orange_prose: She-devil from Echo Bazaar (Default)
[personal profile] orange_prose
This is the story I wrote for ontd_creepy:

Almost every neighborhood has a hoarder. They may have trash in their house, piled high, or, in a much sadder case, they may hoard animals. We call these people crazy cat ladies, and are generally horrible to them.

Before I was married the first time, I lived in a town with the worst animal hoarder I had ever heard about. This woman was extremely elderly, and she had not aged well. You could see every bone in her hands and the skin was peeled so tightly on her face (and almost all you could see of her was her hands and her face). I was cashier at a Wal-Mart during this time, and she would come in periodically. She was not a pleasant woman, she would snap at us with strange orders to pack only certain things together, and the orders changed each time.

I didn't usually notice what people bought, except for the man who bought ammo, rope, and lube, remember me telling you about that guy? Anyway, I did notice this. Her grocery purchases were dwindling. She no longer bought her magazines, her medicine. Finally, it was just cat food. Massive, heavy bags of cat food. Being the strapping lad I was, I would ask to help her carry these things out to her car. Sometimes she accepted. Her car smelled of cat, as did she. But I tried to be polite, even as she snapped at me. This woman was not well, I thought to myself. It got to the point that when she came in all the other cashiers would go on break, leaving me with "the crazy lady."

Then she stopped coming. For a while, I didn't notice, as like I said, her times were weird. But it had been a month, and I started to get worried. I thought of this poor old woman, sick in that dirty house, with no one who cared except her cats. So I went and told a buddy of mine, who was a cop in the town. Now, the police can't go barging into people's houses randomly, but this was a small town where everyone knew each other, so we were just going to make a call on a lady were worried about.

So Terrence--that's my buddy, have I told you about him before? No? Well, I'm sure he'd love that this is the first story. Anyway, Terrence knocks on the door, and says "Mrs. Smith, are you in there? We haven't seen you about lately, just thought I'd check! This is Sergeant Hammond, Mrs. Smith!" And there's this movement sound, rustling. So we wait a while, thinking she's just going to take a while to get to the door. But there's nothing. So he knocks again, he says "Mrs. Smith, its Terrence! You used to chase me out of your yard when I was little! Remember?" 'Cause Terrence was like that. And from inside we hear this rustle, rustle, rustle. Terrence goes "what the hell?" under his breath and I shrug.

"Mrs. Smith?" he says, "If you don't answer me, I'm going to have to come in, because I'm worried you fell or something."

Rustle, rustle, rustle.

So he sighs, and looks under the mat. Sure enough, there's the key. So he unlocks the door, and he goes in. Still calling for her, asking if she's all right, if she could holler so's he'd know where she was.

The house smelled. Like cat, like piss, but also a smell I'd never come across before. But now, I know what it was. The cats, they all look terrified to see us. Terrence goes first; hand on his gun 'cause he was still a cagey motherfucker then. I'm bringing up the rear, thinking I'll just stay behind the big black guy with the Smith & Wesson. I wasn't much better than he was then; I'm not going to pretend.

We go through the house, the smell getting worse, and I start gettin' acclimated. The house was disgusting, the cats unwashed, but I start calming down. I start really looking at the animals. These cats, I think to myself, they're covered in something. Do cats roll in shit? I didn't know, I've only had dogs. So I look up, and Terrence is trying to push this door open, it was open enough for the cats to get through, but he couldn't, so he's pushing and pulling and it's barely budging. But as it is, the smell starts getting overpowering. I move my head, trying to avoid it, when I see this one cat. He was a fat bastard, and he had something in his mouth. I wonder what it is, try to call it, but none of these cats were socialized and cats don't come when you call anyway. He hisses at me, and I cuss at him, and then Terrence gets the door to move.

I didn't see it. I didn't have to. Terrence did, and he starts to say something before heavin'. He gets done with that, he turns and grabs me and says "We're getting the fuck out of here." I asked what was up, but he just drags me out. He slams the door, throws me in the cop car, and gets on the radio, calls for back up, says they need animal control.

While we’re waitin’, he tells me why we’re waiting. Mrs. Smith was dead. The smell was of a rotting corpse. The cats? They were eatin’ on her. This was back when they thought a meal of raw meat made animals wild, and they ended up puttin’ most of ‘em down. They weren’t adoptable, they said. But Terrence fought about it, and he ended up getting two kittens and raising them. Those things always creeped me out, and Terrence would pick on me about it.

That’s why I didn’t ever let you have a kitten, baby. Even after I’d divorced your mama and we didn’t have to worry about her allergies. And I swear to God, if you give my grandbaby a cat I’ll whip you.


orange_prose: She-devil from Echo Bazaar (Default)

November 2011


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