Gabriela, The Story Of The Storyteller
Halloween is quickly looming on the ominous horizon. Is it time to start writing Halloween stories? Could horror be the topic of the season's morbid conversations? How can a person that specializes in comedy possibly come up with tales to scare the boldest of readers?
How the hell should I know? I write mostly comedy!
So, I went to the household expert on the topic and asked her. No, not my wife (although mornings are getting kind of scary before the make-up goes on)! I turned and looked at my demon cat, Gabriela, to inquire if she knew of any tales that might be rated PG to relay to the audience.
"So, you want to know about my early life do you?" she responded. "You know where I've come from before getting here!"
"Gabriela, I knew you had a tough life, but I thought you just might be able to help me out with this one." I replied.
Raising her foreboding head slowly, a gleam came to her eyes that eerily illuminated the living room. Gabriela glanced first to her left, then to her right, as if looking for a spy that might take her words back to the evil one she had escaped. Sighting no one or nothing, she turned back to me and began telling me the first of her stories.
In the early 1940's, I belonged to a young man named Victor during my first life. It was fate that Victor could not find love. His uni-brow on such a protruding forehead presented an overbearing appearance as it only accented the face of which would make even crying babies hush in fear. I even tried to avoid his petting, but, relented occasionally knowing where my meals came from.
He had been relentlessly teased during his school years, turned away from job after job for fear of his looks causing disruption to the other employees, and no girl would send a glance his direction without feeling shivers immediately after. Victor was not one to reap the benefits of anyone's love.
Only his mother could bear to be around him. She provided sympathy for his plight, but her words were filled with spite as she, herself, had been the victim of rejection several times in her life.
As the years passed, Victor's mother's natural death ended her decades of misery. A huge life insurance settlement was presented to Victor, ensuring a life of leisure be his to relish.
Amy Etheridge, a fairly loose woman for the day and time, got wind of this fact. As she was growing older, the gents were not a free with their presents to her as they had once been. Age was creating a lack of funding for the life she had become accustomed. Victor's immediate wealth and lack of female company provided a substantial opportunity to set herself up well.
Pretending to be collecting for a local charity, Amy strolled upon Victor's porch one evening. He had been sitting alone staring at the other houses on the block. Inside, he knew families were talking and laughing, as families do. Sadly, Victor wondered what it would be like to have a person to share his life with. I could feel his emptiness. So, feeling sorry for this creature of ugliness, I actually jumped in his lap to give him a little company. Then, the town whore had arrived.
Oh, she was so smart. Her words flowed as wine from an open bottle, intoxicating Victor's spirit. Her giggles were so brilliantly scripted and obvious, but unseen by my master. He was drawn in faster than a mouse to cheese upon a trap. And, what a trap she was setting.
I was pushed from his lap after emitting a slight growl of disgust and she had pulled away in a false facade of fear. If I'd have known that he would have reacted with the need to protect her, I'd have stayed quiet. Yet, I don't believe it mattered to her, or to him. She was providing him with something he had forever longed, and he had something she had forever longed. Too bad it wasn't the same thing.
I could go through the happenings of the week's following that evening. However, the story has been told many times. Her web was spun with strength and care, and he dived into it head first. It wasn't long before a ring was on her claw and she was a permanent resident of the household.
I kept close watch as the next month brought a host of visitors to the home. A lawyer had been there several times as Victor made sure his new love would have a great life should something happen to him. Then, an insurance agent had dropped by and sat with the couple discussing the need to prepare for the unexpected. Both had signed papers willingly. Perhaps, it wouldn't have been so easy had Victor seen the leg of his love rubbing up and down that of the agent's under the table. The sights one can view from floor level is enlightening at times.
One night, the agent dropped back by with the policies. Two weeks later, he returned one afternoon unannounced, telling Victor it was important they talk. My master had been chopping firewood for the evening when interrupted, and entered the house with the wood and axe in his arms. Setting them down next to the fireplace, he turned, shook hands with the agent, and had sat while discussing the task of cutting wood every day. Excusing herself, Amy left the two and went to the kitchen to prepare coffee.
I lay under the table, gazing up at this harlot. When the percolator started it's steady tune, she turned, looked towards the living room, and turned back to the cabinet. She opened the bottom doors under the sink and pulled out a bottle they only used when I grew lazy and stopped chasing mice. I watched as she took a teaspoon full of the mouse poison and deposited it in my master's special coffee mug. Then filling all the cups, she carried them back to the living room.
I was perplexed, wondering why she would put this mice poison in my master's cup. Then, like a bolt of lightning flashing to the tree in the backyard, it hit me! She wanted my master to be as the mice...dead!
Rising quickly, I trotted to the three, now laughing and enjoying themselves. I jumped to my master's lap as he raised the cup to his lips, hoping to cause him to spill the liquid. Instead, I was grabbed by the scruff of my neck and tossed out the front door.
I rose upon my hind legs and peered in the window, meowing frantically. Helpless to do anything, I could see my master take drink after drink from his cup.
What happened next was almost too fast to describe. I could see Amy pick up my master's cup, point at it, and say something as she laughed. My master rose, walked to the kitchen, saw the bottle on the counter, and ran back into the living room lunging at her. The agent jumped in between them and hit my master, knocking him to the floor. He rose and tackled the agent as chairs and end tables were scattered. Climbing atop the agent, his hand around his neck, I watched him slowly squeezing the life from the man.
My claws scratched at the slick glass attempting desperately to get inside. Amy was trying to pull my master off the agent. My master turned his head in her direction and screamed for her to watch the agent die as she would be doing the same in a few minutes. Yet, his voice was getting weaker and weaker. Could the mice killer be doing it's job?
Then, Amy rushed to the fireplace, grabbed the axe my master had earlier set down, and swung it with all of her might. I watched as Victor raised his arm to defend himself, but instead, found the axe severing his arm from the wrist. Still screaming he would kill her, he started to rise, but was met with another blow that entered his skull. Then, there was nothing but silence.
The rest of the afternoon was spent under the bed, hiding. There were all sorts of people coming in the house, first taking pictures, then taking away the dead bodies of the agent and my master. I heard someone saying something about finding a missing hand, and even glared into the eyes of one the men that had looked under the bed seeking the missing appendage. Then, all were gone, except for the one that had killed my master.
That evening, she seemed happy. Pulling out a bottle of liquid that stunk, she would take drink after drink. She would look at the policies and laugh, take another drink, and laugh again. She even wound up the record player and put on one of those black discs that made horrible sounds. Finally, she went to bed and passed out, stinking greatly of the liquid she'd consumed.
The next morning, I awoke not knowing what life would be like without my master. It was my decision to get the woman up so that I could be fed.
Jumping up on the bed, I found something that I still can't explain. There she lay, her eyes bulging from their sockets, with my master's hand wrapped around her throat.
Three weeks later, several men in blue clothes broke into the house. They shouted her name, then went from room to room as they searched the house. When they reached the bedroom they found her.
I still don't know why they were surprised about her missing flesh.
"A cat's got to eat!"
I asked somewhat hesitantly,"Gabriela, are you kidding me?"
"She better be!" I heard Faletame whisper from behind me.
Gabriela curled up in a ball, licked her lips once, and with a slight smile on her face said, "Tomorrow, I'll tell you another one, if, you're still interested."
I'm not sure if I want to hear another one or not.
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