It was a warm, July night. The air was soupy, with the oppressive humidity that's reserved for places like Vietnam, Hell, and Southern New Jersey. Mrs. Steele and I were sitting-up in bed in our climate-controlled apartment, reading magazines and occasionally glancing at each other fondly.
(Okay -- that's not what we were doing -- but bear in mind that my mother reads this page.)
Suddenly, a crash! Followed by a wham! A shadowy form dashed out of the room as the five-foot-high standing fan slammed to the bed beside me!
Mrs. Steele and I bolted upright in bed. (Um, we were reading those magazines laying down. Yeah. That's it.) As quickly as my fingers and frazzled wits would allow, I snapped the cord-switch on my bedside lamp, so that the two of us could survey the scene.
The attempt was clever ... very, very clever. A speaker had been tipped into the fan, which in turn had crashed to the bed just inches from my hips. If that five-foot fan had been a six-foot fan, my ... magazine ... would have been shredded. And if that theoretical six-foot fan had fallen three minutes earlier, Mrs. Steele would have taken a nasty hit to the back of the head ... as she was ... in a position to ... peek at my magazine.
I leapt to my feet and raced into the dark hallway, wary of my would-be magazine-shredder. And find him I did, sitting in the middle of the hall, one leg sticking straight into the air, licking his own crotch. He glanced up at me wide-eyed, and protested his innocence in the only words he could muster.
My sister's wiley kitten had failed in this attempt ... thwarted by his own faulty, feline, math. But there would be others. Oh, yes. None this sophisticated or devious, but that kitten clearly wanted us both dead. Teeth and claws attacking bare ankles with unbridled fury in attempts to bleed and weaken us ... a disease-filled tongue dipping into my beverage ... a carefully planned dash between our legs as we walked ... it was only a matter of time before his deadly game of Cat & Non-Mouse claimed one of us.
We returned the bloodthirsty beast to my sister on Wednesday. Game over, you say? Not quite. For -- you see -- during his four day sojourn into our home, Casey the Homicidal Kitten had been working on a plan more insipid than I could possibly imagine ... Codename: Reinforcements.
"Oh ... he's so cute! Just look at him! Let's get a kitten of our very own. Can we pleeeeease? It's important to me. You have to say yes, because it's important to me, and you already told me you could never deny me anything."
Mrs. Steele had become an unwitting ally in the plot against us.
Two weeks ... I still have two weeks to plot and plan. But I'm just a Man, drinking my beer and watching my movies and playing my video games. What chance do I possibly have against the natural born killer who is about to be introduced into our lives? We've even chosen a name for our fuzzy little murderer: Amadeus, after the play where Mrs. Steele and I first met. Deus (pronounced, 'Duce') for short. And that's how many lives he will have claimed, when it's over. Duce. One, two.
Tyger, tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symetry?
It's almost over, my friends. But I'll see what I can do about getting the sequel finished, first.
(Just as an aside, Tyger was actually written by Blake. Many thanks, Miss Krusberg.)