Dec 24, 2010, 3:07 PM
She saw the cat as it turned around daring her to follow it. Her eyes grew thrice their size, her hair stood on end, and she unconsciously dropped her bag to the floor.
The white cat urged her on with meows. It knew that she would be tempted because it was her room. The cat was standing on her doorway, right on the threshold. Her blood ran cold and shivers ran down her spine as the cat walked, sexily and gave mocking meows.
She never heard a cat meow like that before, and she wasn’t ready to let it get in her house.
To her surprise, it walked into her room with a jump as if announcing its presence, that it was the master of the room, the one she had been waiting for all her life.
As if by some form of voodoo, she caught herself walk across the room to shoo the cat. The cat was unmoved. It watched her with amusement written all over its face. Its glassy eyes shining like Indian jewelries.
“Shoo, shoo,” she said, sweeping her hands in the air like a mad woman.
The stiff-necked cat only retreated to the far most corner of the room, each step punctuated with a purr. The cat was beginning to get on her nerves, and she decided to get it out with a broom.
The cat came to its defense and as fast as lightening, pulled ahead and sank its razor sharp nails and teeth in her leg. She let out a shriek and flailed her arms and legs uncontrollably.
Then a snake appeared. Slowly, seductively, it slithered toward her. It made a tour of the room like the mistress of a school. Its eyes rested on the picture on her bed-side table, then on the only dresser which doubled as a study. Then on her TV which she forgot to switch off when going out and finally on her wardrobe – her temple. It slithered toward her as if giving its approval of the room. It said it by locking its gaze with hers. She became petrified. She held her head with one hand and pinched herself just to make sure she wasn’t having a nightmare. But she couldn’t feel herself. She retreated to the door and found out that it was locked. She ran to the window and the wild flowers in the pot, she picked in the morning, resting on the window sill, fell on the floor. She didn’t have time to pick them up. She caught herself sniffing, sobbing. Her teeth clattered, and she muttered a prayer in between clattering, clenched teeth. It reminded her that she hadn’t said her prayers for a long time. She wasn’t sure God would answer her.
“Don’t come near me, no don’t,” she managed to say.
The snake crept on, with a wicked hiss escaping it every now and then.
Her heart-shaped mouth formed an expressionless O. the words couldn’t and wouldn’t come out, no matter how hard she tried.
The cat neared her, mockingly meowing. It rang in her ears and her heart thumped so hard the animals could hear it. Something hit her on her leg. She was sure it was a snake bite, and she gave a bloodcurdling scream. She flailed her arms and legs in mid-air again and again and again.
Someone held her arms and said, “Wake up, wake up Michelle.”
She flew her eyes open and stared at her mother in disbelief. It took her minutes to completely wake up and find her voice.
“I have been bitten by a snake; and a cat sank its nails into my skin, mom.”
“Hush, child, hush,” her mother cooed, “It was only a nightmare.”
But she knew it was more than it than met the eye because she could feel the sting of the bite even after having her bath and sitting behind the wheel of her Hyundai Santa Fe, driving to work.