“Well—you’re heavier than me. Why don’t you drop down and see if they’re hungry?”
“They’re house cats, Andy,” Morgan said. “They’re not Tigers. Even if a cat eats you, you need to die first, for this to be possible.”
Morgan explained this like an expert. “Your body needs to be like Tuna in a can—tender and juicy, for a cat to take interest.”
He sold me, and on the other side of the wall I heard, “Good kitty. Good kitty. You see, all a cat wants is to be petted and fed,” Morgan said.
I dropped down, into the dark, and looked around. Yellow eyes greeted me, like fireflies that didn’t blink. The shadow of the house was not welcoming.
“Quiet—there’s a window,” Morgan said.
We walked towards it, like cats, peering out-of-the-night.
A distinguished-looking man, wearing a smoking jacket, was seated at the table. His manservant walked in, carrying a silver tray.
“Thank you Jiles.”
“That’s not his real name—I’m sure of it,” Morgan said.
We were close enough to the glass, so that we could touch it.
Suddenly, we were inside.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” Hubbard said. “Sit down.”
I did as I was told. Morgan just stared at the man like a scaredy-cat.
“Sit down, Morgan. I’ve been watching you, since you chased the ice cream truck, when you were 12.”
“There’s not much to do in this house. See, my telescope over there?” It was gold, standing on a tripod, looking down, at the town, through a green-house window.
“Mr. Hubbard—if I can call you that—what just happened? We were standing outside of the glass.”
“Magic,” he said.
One word explained everything, and I believed him.
“This house is like Chernobyl. The core is slowly melting down into the ground. Radiation, is contained—as long as somebody is caretaker.”
“How is that possible?” Morgan asked. “There has never been a nuclear plant in this town.”
“Magic—you idiot! I was using Chernobyl as a metaphor. Magic is more dangerous than an atomic bomb, if it’s not contained.”
“How did you become caretaker?”
“I don’t want to go into that.”
Hubbard lifted the lid on his silver tray. There was a dead cat.
I felt like throwing up.
“Do we have to stay?” Morgan asked.
“Just hear me out. You work for minim pay. Your education comes from Netflix and the News. I can provide you libraries of Latin, that will open-up your world, so that you can conquer it.
Hubbard made a sweeping motion with his arm, and the walls gave way, to a tremendous library.
“I’m done with school,” Morgan said.
“You are a fool,” Hubbard laughed. “The cats have to be kept inside the walls. If they get out, they will spread evil wherever they go. They’re like demons, that can’t be killed. They need to be eaten, one by one. Slowly, you will absorb their power—slowly, you will retain their spirit.”
“What do they taste like?” I asked.
“Barbecue Sauce.” Hubbard dipped a piece of flesh into Longhorn BBQ, and smiled like a rabid dog.
To be continued…