Lurking

The half moon looked like the smile of a Cheshire cat as it hung lazily in the sky. Philip stared up at it and smiled, then returned his attention to his diminishing dinner.

Everything seemed beautiful these days, thanks to the scrumptious meals that had been blessing his palates for the last few months. As far as he was concerned, a restaurant opening next door was the best thing that had happened to him all year. Tonight, the Chef’s Special had been exceptionally delicious and as with nights prior, he walked away satisfied and wondering what feast would await him the next day.

He made his way into the house, sucking his teeth and relishing the last few morsels. He had only taken a few steps in when the power went out. Electricity had been more unstable than usual since the storm three days before; something about a fallen power line, but Philip was not surprised. After all, it was N.E.P.A. He refused to refer to them as P.H.C.N. because a new name typically meant improvements, and nothing had changed.

It did not take long for his eyes to adjust to the darkness, but he did not wait around for it to. He had lived there long enough that he knew his way around even with impaired vision.

He maneuvered the familiar path between the three-sitter and dinning set, using the back of the three-sitter as a physical guide.

There was an extra skip in his step as he trotted along. He was in such a good mood. Halfway through the “walkway”, he considered breaking in to a hum when he felt something move behind him.

He stopped.

He took a few steps backwards and there was nothing there. He shrugged, thinking it was his imagination playing tricks on him. He resumed his journey, but slowly came to a halt soon after. He had this eerie feeling that he was not alone and he could not shake it. So he slowly and carefully looked around him but he saw nothing. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, he slowly stooped low, and straining his eyes, peered under the dining table but there was nothing there.

Shrugging once more, he continued on his way but as he moved, a nauseating sensation engulfed the pit of his stomach. The last time Phillip got that feeling and ignored it, he almost got killed by a crazed woman with a pestle. As a result, he opted to heed the warning and scurry. Maybe he was being paranoid but if he made it safely to his hideout, he would feel a lot better. At least nothing could get to him there.

After only a few centimeters of scampering, Philip lost his nerve. Something, someone was definitely in the house and he was not sure he could make it to his hideout safely, so he turned around and headed back towards the entrance. With any luck, the intruder’s vision was impaired too and he had not been seen.

He was a hair’s breadth from the entrance when he heard a loud shriek. A large figure pounced right in front of him, blocking his path; its bright eyes coming to life and glistening in the darkness. Quickly realizing he was in danger, Philip spun around and made for his hideout but it was too late. He felt a heaviness, no doubt the intruder’s feet, weighing on his back and pressing his belly to the ground. Philip struggled, clawing at the ground but he was pinned; there was no escaping this one.
He finally stopped struggling, he knew this was it.

In a final move of bravery, he wriggled until he had rolled unto his back, still pinned. If he was going to die, he wanted to look his killer square in the eyes.

The eyes, a bright mustard yellow, remained cool in the dark room. It observed Philip and for a moment, it looked like it was not sure what action to take. Just as Philip got a glimmer of hope, he saw the weapon glisten in the dark.

In one swift move, Jacob, the neighborhood cat that had been observing Philip for the past week, sent his right paw, claws extended, slicing through the little mouse’s body.

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24 thoughts on “Lurking

  1. Nice suspense! Truly wondered what it might be man or beast. It ended rather abruptly. Was that a technique in play? Nice one mate. Nice one.

    1. Indeed it was. The intent of the abruptness was to make you suddenly realise he wasn’t human, go back and re-read, and go “aaaaaaaaaaaah”. I suspect it worked 🙂

  2. I just love this *After all, it was N.E.P.A. He refused to refer to them as P.H.C.N. because a new name typically meant improvements, and nothing had changed*. I kept wondering “what hideout?”, until i got the end and i realised the woman with the pestle was actually the home owner! This made me laugh really hard. Great story.

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