The Cat’s eye – A Tipsy Lit Prompted Piece

prompted-buttonRuth scanned the sea of colour, checking the field for anomalies. She relaxed, marginally, when she spotted no gaps in her vision; no greying edges or worse, the eerie nothingness that confused her.

She couldn’t say how long she’d been there. How much of it was real, how much illusion. She knew only that she was losing her mind.

“It’s time to go, Ruth.”

Her heart sank at the words and, as she looked down into the face of the cat, the product of her madness spoke again.

“We need to hurry.”

She stared into his dark, unblinking eyes and wondered why they were familiar. He’d called her Ruth, more than once, and it felt right, though she couldn’t know for sure.

At first the confusion had come in waves. Now it was a permanent state. The scenery around her rose and fell as she was thrown from one place to another; familiar yet strange all at once.

The cat’s presence pressed against her, soothing even as it frightened. She blinked, on the edge of remembering something. Then the grey was back, bleeding into the colour and stripping it away.

“Now, Ruth. It has to be now.”

Her gaze dropped to him and she felt his power; the connection she couldn’t explain.

***
Jacob looked into the pale face of his wife and felt his heart stutter in his chest. She was still the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, and it hurt to see the vacant look in her pale blue eyes.

“Come back to me, Ruth,” he whispered.

His world had stopped turning the day she’d been kidnapped. He searched for her with a single-minded focus that didn’t allow him to consider anything else.

They’d tortured her, tried to destroy her mind as well as her spirit. The doctors told him she would never recover, that the damage was irreparable. He refused to believe it.

Some considered his love for her an obsession, and it certainly consumed him. But it was also pure, and born of a connection few would understand. So he began a search of a different kind.

He’d found Michael Wang three weeks before. His genius was undisputed, and though his latest invention was in its infancy, Jacob didn’t care.

He secured that technology now, bracing himself for the connection and entered Ruth’s mind with the grace and cunning of a cat.

He’d been warned against presenting himself in his true form more than once. Jacob had never been good at following rules and the time had come.

She was still stood in the centre of the field, surrounded by a beauty that paled in comparison to hers.

He saw the recognition hover in her eyes and willed the thought to take root.

“You found me.” The words that formed on her lips were so faint he might have imagined them. He didn’t imagine the look, or their connection.

“I’ll always find you,” he said and held out his hand. “Let’s go home.”

***
499 words

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Prompted: Taking on Death

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The theme of this week’s prompted feature at Tipsy Lit is ‘Taking on Death’.

Donnie looked into the cloudless blue sky and thought it a glorious day to die.

He could literally feel the life draining out of him, but it was hard not to be optimistic when he’d stopped a killer. The sun was all but pouring its approval on him.

He could feel the beads of sweat along his brow, though that was partly down to the pain burning a hole in his gut. It was like his very own ball of raging fire.

“Stay with me,” Nick said, squeezing his shoulder and demanding his attention.

When the haze cleared enough to focus on his partners face he couldn’t help but roll his eyes. He knew that look.

“I can’t believe you took a bullet for me, man,” Nick said, in a voice that was cracked around the edges.

“Jesus, Nick, don’t you dare cry on me. I’m trying my hardest to be the hero here and die with a little dignity.”

“You’re not going to die, Don.”

Donnie’s legs were already numb, the cold was crawling up his back, ready to claim him. “Sure I am.”

“God damn it. This is so like you,” Nick said, stripping off his jacket and pressing it against Donnie’s wound.

“That’s gratitude for you,” Donnie muttered and looked back towards the sky.

But instead of clear blue, he saw a big, angry shadow and it was bearing down on them both.

“For God’s sake. Can’t anyone die around here?” he said and grabbed Nick’s gun from the holster at his hip.

Nick turned a moment before Donnie pulled the trigger, as surprised as he was that their suspect had risen from the dead.

Donnie fired two rounds into Jones’ chest and watched him drop to the ground as gracelessly as a felled tree.

The creep had killed seventeen people and would have killed them both in a heart-beat, so Donnie felt no remorse.

There was anger and resentment in the other man’s eyes. But there was also something else. Death was closing in fast. He saw it in the greying of his skin and the shadows as the last of the darkness devoured him.

Staring reality in the face was enough to reassure Donnie that he was very much alive.

He turned away, unable to watch the final moments. He didn’t need to see. He heard Karl Jones take his last breath.

“Where the hell is that ambulance?” he croaked, turning back to Nick. “This wasn’t my dance after all.”

***

Thanks for reading.

Mel