The neighborhood was like one of those dark streets, where kids don’t go—a haunted block—a terrible shadow, in the sunlight. The Amazon driver dropped his packages at the corner. They were gone, the next morning, as if, somebody stole them, but nobody saw who did it. The people there, were invisible, like ghosts, that didn’t want to be seen. It was a place filled with sex offenders, x-convicts, and prostitutes who still worked the phone lines, but were too old to turn a trick. They were like leppers, who hid from each other. Their character was written on their faces like bad essays. The neighborhood was a graveyard—unkept, with tilted houses, like crypts. The creatures there, were the living dead. Their souls were waiting to leave, and they kept telling their bodies, “Let me go,” but their bodies were too weak to give permission. It was a horrible spot, a stain—a back alley, where drunkards are afraid to piss, but they do, anyway, because the place deserves to get pissed on.

This was the neighborhood where I grew-up, the summer after sixth grade.

There wasn’t much to do there, during the heat-wave, but kick aluminum cans around.

I was hanging, with the only kids close to my age—their dads were in prison—and mine, left my mother years ago.

The strange events of that summer began when I started to spot lost pet signs stapled to telephone poles.

One or two missing cats, is normal, but it was like the city pet population vanished overnight—every pole within three blocks was covered with missing pet signs.

“Our cats are gone, again” Maddie said.

“What do you think happened to them?” I asked.

“I don’t know—maybe they got hit by a car.”

“Both of them?”

“You know what it is…” Brad said. “Some psychopath preparing to kill us all. First, he tortures cats—then…” Brad was looking at Maddie.

“Stop trying to scare me,” Maddie said.

We were walking down the street, when I spotted a swarm of flies.

“Is that a dead body?” Brad asked.

“Smells like one.”

“Smells different than death—but not far off…”

“Smells like science class,” I said. “Fermali…”

“Formaldehyde,” Maddie corrected.

“That’s what it smells like. Smells like when we dissected cats.”

“Don’t tell me somebody is trying to preserve neighborhood pets for a profit, and sell them to high schools around the country.”

The cat corpse was nothing but skin, bones, and flies.

“What happened to the blood?” Maddie asked.

“It’s been drained.”

“There’s two puncture holes next to the neck. Do you see it? Just like a snake bite.”

To be continued…

8 thoughts on “The Missing Posters and a Dead Cat

  1. This brought to mind a piece of “art” hanging in the Old Administration Building when I was at Old Dominion University. The title was “Freeze-Dried Cat.” It was a dead cat affixed to a platter and hung on the wall.

    Liked by 1 person

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