Ode to the Night

The mouse falls from the ceiling, and no one hears it scream.

Rata-tat rata-tat.

The cat is on the prowl, sharp dagger claws tapping out their death march on the creaking, warping hardwood floors. Joanie and Marcel, proud owners of the little blue bungalow at 148 Peppertree Lane, are spending the night with Uncle Marvin. Beatrix the cat is in charge.

She’s a mean one, that Beatrix. Hissing and spitting, a veritable demon in disguise. The only person she adores, Auntie Jess, now takes up residence at Country Meadows Nursing Home. Kitty cats are the ghostly plague stalking the corners of those dank insipid green halls. How the feral cats got in, no one knew. They didn’t last long, not with Beatrix around.

Rata-tat rata-tat.

Mrs. Willowby, of room 233, died of heart failure. Severed cat heads lined her doorway.

Beatrix had to leave.

Now she stalks the halls of the pretty blue home with the rose garden in bloom. It’s bright, fragrant, and cheerful. She hates this place. Except at night.

Scurry scurry through the walls. The mouse smells death. It’s name is Beatrix.

Brown fur tumbles, rumbles down the dusty winding crevices. Hallways morph and blur. Faster, faster, the pattering of pink feet on ageing joists.

A bright light.



The mouse, caught by the tail, struggles to break free.

Beatrix smells supper.

Rata-tat rata-tat.


Copyright © 2015 by Emily Clayton
Originally appeared on Finish That Thought:
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