For the month of May, my patrons are getting a newer story. Here is a little snippet from the beginning of something I call ‘The Cats of the Pacific Northwest’.
Daniel and his girlfriend, Emma, had been lost in the western rain forest of the Olympic Peninsula for days. He worried that she, a tattooed tomboy from the poly-sci department, would see defeat through his show of control. They had run out of food and water two days before and he knew she blamed him for breaking the GPS unit. It no longer turned on after he dropped it in the trail head parking lot, yet still, he insisted that they carry on with their little adventure in the woods.
In dating over the past few months they’d both claimed extensive experience backpacking in all seasons of the Pacific Northwest. Daniel had lied and he started to suspect she had as well, but he felt it was his duty to get her back to safety. If he weren’t so clumsy they would’ve been in the Wrangler heading back to Seattle days ago. Ever since crawling out of the rented tent that morning he’d been unsuccessfully searching for a stream or river to lead them toward the ocean and out of the forest. Then, in a clearing proving to Daniel for the first time that day that there was still sky above, a black house cat with no eyes approached.
Repulsed at the sight of the eyeless cat, he tried to back away, Emma at his side, but the cat wove through their legs purring and pressing its wet fur against their rain-soaked pants. Daniel felt a shiver reverberate through Emma’s body when he pulled her into his arms. He wondered if it was the cold, the hunger, or the presence of the cat getting to her.
Emma screamed and Daniel nearly fell backward in horror at the sight of a second cat, an orange tabby wearing a male human face stretched over the front of its skull. It stalked toward them after jumping into the clearing from a cluster of ferns. Staples around the edges of its human skin held the face tight over a furry uneven surface.
It stopped at their feet and looked up to them with empty human eyes, little orange tufts of fur protruding between the flaps of eye lids. Daniel did his best to fight the urge to flee, and he would’ve failed if he weren’t already starving. He froze, wide-eyed, while the other cat circled at a distance in and out of the surrounding trees and brush.
“Hungry?” the orange tabby asked and tilted its head to one side.
If you want to find out what happens to Daniel and Emma you’ll need to become a $3+ patron by the end of April. I will send out the complete story to my patrons on May 6th.