The lightning flashed in a series of quick short bursts, kind of like someone flicking a light switch on and off. The rain was not long in coming; huge, heavy drops that turned the ground into a muddy soup. Todd looked outside the living room window sipping from a cold bottle of Nestlé’s Southern Style Iced Tea. The lights in the living room were turned off so he could see outside. He was clearly agitated and nervous. His breathing was quick, a couple of beads of sweat hung under this nose like a water mustache, and his deodorant has given out about an hour ago leaving huge wet stains under both armpits. Todd paced in front of the window, rubbing his left hand constantly on his left thigh.
“Where are you?” said Todd out loud. “Damn it!”
Suddenly the alarm on his digital watch went off with a high-pitched beep. The watch displayed 10:17 pm. Todd cut off the alarm and slammed the bottle of iced tea onto a small table beside the living room window.
“Jesus! Why doesn’t she get her already?” asked Todd looking out the dark window.
In the chair beside the table was a black cat sleeping in a tight curl. The noise of the slamming bottle woke the cat and he sat up, stared at Todd, and let out a long drawn out meow.
On the floor in front of the chair where the cat was sleeping lay the recent edition of the Havensburg Times. The lead story announced itself in huge, bold typeface:
BODY MISSING FROM HAVENSBURG MILLS CEMETERY
“Why don’t you go ahead and begin the ceremony? I am sure Patricia will not mind,” said a voice beside Todd.
Todd looked at the cat. The cat raised its right eyebrow and said, “Well?”
“I can’t begin without her!” replied Todd raising his left arm and pointing outside the window. “I have problems pronouncing some of the words.”
“Well geez Louise!” said the cat. The cat jumped down from the chair, started walking towards the basement door, and then turned around and looked at Todd. “Are you coming or not? You have to open the damn door for me.”
Todd grabbed his iced tea bottle and looked outside again. He couldn’t see anything. The rain was coming down too hard. He put his face close to the glass. Lightning flashed and then he saw it. Standing in the distance perfectly still was a silhouetted figure staring at the house.
“She’s here! Hey cat, she’s here!” said Todd.
The cat took a deep breath and then said, “Fine. I didn’t want to do it anyway.” He walked back over to his chair and jumped up into it. After a few scratches behind his right ear with his left foot, the cat curled back up for another nap. “Don’t bother me again,” said the cat.
“Why should I care?” asked Todd turning to look at the cat. “You’re not real anyway. So go back to sleep.”
Todd turned back towards the window. Lightning flashed revealing the figure was now standing at the window.
“Holy shit!” shouted Todd.
The figure was female. She was dressed in tattered jeans and a white t-shirt that was both soaked with rain and stained with blood and bile. Her eyes were glazed over a deathly white. The woman had long, stringy hair that partly hid the fact that her face was decomposing. Bone and rotten meat hung outside of long, deep, unforgiving, fleshy wounds. She pressed her rotten right hand up onto the window and then spoke.
“Toooodddd!” said the woman in a slow, yet loud, scratchy voice. “Let me in!”
“Holy shit!” again screamed Todd. He dropped his drink. “Look at her!” he said.
“You know,” said the cat still curled up with his eyes closed. “This reminds me of a story of someone just like you. Someone who is too afraid to make a commitment.”
Keep looking for the next installment of “The Secrets of Havensburg” entitled “The Believers of St. Patrick“.