The little sparrow fluttered down from the treetops and landed in a clearing in the public park, shaking itself once it was safely on the ground. It cocked its head, big black eyes searching for any food that might have fallen on the ground.
It spotted something and began hopping towards it, intent on reaching it before a rival did. As it landed from a small, somewhat ambitious leap, something grabbed its leg in a harsh grip. Tiny, needle-sharp teeth sunk into the sparrow’s leg, finding crevices in the scales and ripping through them mercilessly. Worms.
Blood seeped out of the injury and straight into the worm’s greedy mouth. The sparrow tried to take off, but other worms had surfaced and latched onto its wings, pinning it to the ground. Their lamprey-like teeth dug into any meat they could reach.
A few minutes later, nothing but feathers and blood remained where the sparrow had been.
Over the last couple of days, I’d noticed my cat was looking at me with an intensity different from before. Her eyes followed my every move. It was creeping me out, but I was sure I was just imagining it. If not that, then maybe I just wasn’t giving her enough attention, or maybe she was hungry. I’d put extra food in her bowl tomorrow, just in case.
I was actually in the pet store right now, trying to find the specific brand she liked. Sourcream was a picky eater.
I eventually found the right one at the very back of the store, buried beneath a bunch of other bags of cat food. Smiling grimly at my success, I lifted the heavy sack from the pile and hobbled towards the cashier, wondering whether he’d let me borrow a shopping cart since I was way too weak to carry the food all the way home.
I always had this problem. My house was close enough to the pet store that I didn’t need a car, but far enough away that it was torture lugging all my purchases back to the cat.
Unfortunately, the cashier was a rude man who didn’t seem to like me much, and he didn’t let me borrow a shopping cart. So, I was stuck dragging this sack of bricks home.
I exited the shop, throwing a nasty glare over my shoulder at the cashier in the process. The bag of cat food was the size of a small child and would have prevented me from seeing where I was going if I’d carried it in my arms, so I slung it onto my back and held it like I would’ve if I was giving it a piggyback ride.
Since I lived in a somewhat remote town, the traffic wasn’t too bad and I could enjoy my walk without the fear of being run over. However, a lot of people here were ill-tempered, and no matter how smoothly traffic was running, I was bound to get cursed at while crossing the street.
I was almost home, walking under the shade of the maple trees that lined the road and struggling under the weight of the cat food. Sweat had beaded on my forehead, which was scrunched up with the effort of not keeling over. I decided a break was in order after I tripped on nothing and nearly fell on my face. I massaged my sore shoulders and sighed in relief once the sack was safely on the sidewalk.
My eyes latched onto a cockroach that was crawling along the pavement. I am not the biggest fan of cockroaches, although I never went over the top like some girls and screamed while jumping onto a chair, as if that would do any good. Instead, I stomped my foot, knowing that trick usually worked on cockroaches and most of the time sent them scuttling out of my way. However, this cockroach didn’t even flinch. Instead, it oriented itself in my direction and began marching towards me. Freaked out by the proximity of the insect, I quickly stepped forwards and brought my foot down onto the roach, cringing when I heard the crunch of its body being crushed beneath my sneakers.
After that incident, I wiped my shoes on the edge of the sidewalk and picked up the cat food, quickly continuing the journey back home.
Before long, I was standing in front of a medium-sized house. It looked really cheerful on the outside, with the wood painted a pale yellow and the white shutters open, allowing a breeze to rustle the red curtains inside. Flower boxes hung outside the windows, filled with small blooms of all colors. I unlocked the door and stepped inside, leaning the bag of cat food against the wall next to the entrance of the kitchen.
“I’m home!” I shouted into the silent house, knowing no one would answer.
With that responsibility out of the way, I dragged the sack into the pantry and grabbed a glass of water on the way out. I drained it before I was even out of the kitchen and set it in the sink along with all the other dirty dishes I would wash later.
I had a couple of essays due on Monday, so I headed upstairs to work on them, having nothing better to do anyway. I didn’t get far.
Sourcream was sitting on the first step. She was arranged in such a way that I couldn’t climb the stairs without picking her up and moving her to a more convenient location, but Sourcream had an unfortunate habit of scratching anyone who tried to do that, especially when she was in a spot she had deemed comfortable enough to sleep in.
Grimacing, I backed up and turned around, intending to maybe lure her down with some fish or something. Before I could take more than a few steps, a small weight slammed into me, the sheer force behind it knocking me down. I hit the floor hard, air escaping my lungs on impact.
For a second, I was dazed and disoriented, but when teeth sunk into my arm, I was fully aware of the pain. I screamed, a piercing sound that made even my own ears hurt. I struggled to get a good look at what had bitten me, but when I saw the creamy white fur soaked with scarlet red blood, I knew.
Sourcream, my loyal munchkin cat that never, ever bit anyone, currently had her teeth embedded in my flesh as if her life depended on it.