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Saturday, October 08, 2011

Clickety Click

Category: Short Story


CLICKITY CLICK

       Maybe it came in with the firewood, sleeping in some rotten log until the warmth of the stove revived it and brought it to life. Or maybe it had been dormant in the walls of the old house and it awoke because it was time. Whatever its origins, it was a unique creature, half mouse half crab and very hungry. It stretched its legs and groomed its body. After so long a sleep, waking felt good. Its need for food was strong.
       The house was dark but it could see. It was wary but all was quiet. It crawled from a hole in the wood box and made its way off the hearth. It scuttled along the room’s perimeter in little bursts of speed followed by an alert silence. Its claws made a soft clicking sound on the wood floor. In the dim light of the room it could make out the darker rectangle of a doorway. It made a dash for the opening.
      To the old tabby cat sitting motionless in the corner, this was just too tempting a target to resist. As silent as only a cat can be it pounces on the intruder, all its weaponry at the ready. The crab thing reacts instinctively and strikes with its poison claw. The cat sinks to the floor a glassy eyed corpse. The thing’s venom liquifies the cat’s organs and bones. A mosquito-like proboscis drinks the pre-digested pussy cat innards and leaves an empty bag of cat fur in the middle of the room.
Having fed, the creature feels stronger though not yet satisfied. It finds the box of kittens in the kitchen and one by one it leaves six little bags of fur in place of animated cuteness. It’s hunger now sated the crab thing heads back to its hole. It has sensed the big black lab asleep by the back door and the family asleep upstairs. Tomorrow is another day.