I saw my cat out on the sand worrying something, shaking his head as if he had become more dog than cat. I put on my Cat Lady cardigan and went out in the drizzle. The thing in his mouth was an abomination. Putrid, reddish and greenish in indecisive patches. Teeth bursting manically between frayed lips.
The part of my mind CSICOP would approve of said ‘rabbit’, the part where hope lives in his bewildered and vine-entwined tower said ‘Monster, like the one they found at Montauk. New to Science. Fame. TV. Book Deal. Money.’
The words flickered like corpse lights in the shelter of my mind while I stood in the rain and looked down. They danced like gypsy fires. They did all kinds of things like other things. I thought – this could be your moment to leave mediocrity behind; all you have to do is reach out, take that thing away from your cat, wrap it in something and let someone who knows about monsters examine it. That’s all you have to do – reach out. And whatever it is might even bear your name at the end of its cloud of Latin.
And then something else washed over the little hope lanterns, like…(oh, you do the work)…and extinguished them. Left me standing there, my arm at my side. I couldn’t identify it for a moment, but then I realized it was indifference. The image of hope stood, smiling, waiting, and as I did nothing its face clouded in puzzlement, it turned aside and moved on to find a more willing customer, and I stood and watched the cat chew and swallow my chance of immortality.
I guess I knew it was just a putrid rabbit. Saw more than I knew I was seeing.
Or maybe we all do really know our place.
I later found the monster vomited in a neat and steaming pile of slush by my door. Cat standing by, smiling, offering me a second chance if only I could do the jigsaw puzzle.