Image Prompt Response – Void Cat

I visited Heather’s blog here for an image prompt. The results are below!

black-cat-on-planters-pot-1424687
Photo by Katarzyna Modrzejewska from Pexels

She felt like an idiot. What kind of vampire actually gets caught hanging out in a cemetery? But her master had commanded it. She was supposed to meet some people her and they were going to give her something, she knew not what. She’d tried to ask some follow-up questions of her master but he’d already cracked Raven’s skull open because she was too slow pouring blood.

She’d only been a vampire six months and so far it seemed like the same old shit plus no beach time with blood-drinking.

She was leaning against a mausoleum, waiting for whoever was going to come to show up and give her whatever they were bringing. The master’s chauffeur had dropped her off but just shrugged when she’d asked how she was supposed to get home. What if whatever she was picking up was some huge fucking immovable object. She should probably just run away. There had to be better kissers around. It’s not like she had anything tieing her to this particular city. The creep who’d recruited her had made sure of that before he turned her into a vampire.

There in the distance were a set of headlights getting slowly closed to her. It got close enough and she saw it was an older style two-door car in black.

The car came to a stop and two demons piled out. At least she thought they were demons. They looked human enough, but her gut said demon. She hadn’t really gotten particularly good training on what to pay attention to as a newly minted vampire, but so far trusting her gut hadn’t steered her wrong.

Unfortunately, her gut was not only saying demons, but also: RUN!

Sadly she couldn’t run unless she was planning to run away from the kiss entirely. And since we didn’t explain it before a group of vampires is called a kiss. And all her stuff and money was back at HQ. Granted it was not a lot of money and hardly any stuff. Yes, as the demons neared it started to seem like a better and better idea to cut and run.

One of the demons carried a wicker basket. The other carried himself with menace. The other demon tried but the wicker basket got in the way.

Once they were in speaking distance the one holding menace asked,“Your Geoffs get?”

“Geoff is my master, but Kevin made me.”

The one holding the basket looked at the other in confusion.

The other shrugged. “Close enough.”

The basket holding one held the basket out to her.

“What is it?” she asked.

The talkative one said, “Better you not know. And no peeking. Trust me you will regret knowing.”

With that, they turned tail and got back into their car backing out the drive.

That left one terrified newly minted vampire alone with a basket of unknown contents. Does she take a look? Does she flee without taking a look?

She got out her phone and was in the process of calling a lyft which was a crazy thing to do on her limited budget. Somehow she didn’t think she could manage the two-hour walk back to HQ with the basket of mystery in hand.

Sprint!

When suddenly the basket began to purr. Not like a cat’s purr. No like some sort of demonic creature’s purr. So now, of course, she was filled more with curiosity than dread. Surely something that could fit into a basic couldn’t be a threat to her….

She put away the cellphone and put the basket on the ground, gently, gently. And flipped the handle aside the flipped open the lid. She stared inside. At first, there was what appeared to be an inky void. A purring inky void didn’t seem quite right and as she stared some more, she came to think about that quote about looking too intently at abysses and them looking back at you. She felt under observation, by something that purred and didn’t have any eyes. If only it had been a cat…. But then what would Geoff want with a cat?

Gradually a change overcame the void. It began to take on definition and shape and the quality of the purr changed until the basic contained a medium-size black cat with emerald green eyes and a white tip on its tail.

She glared at the cat who looked up at her imploringly. “You can’t fool me,” she said, “I know you’re not a cat. I saw the void.” She didn’t know why a void in a basket would purr at her…

She realized she was waiting for an answer. And of course, something that voids and cats had in common was a decided lack of conversation skills. She put her hand near the cat’s head and encountered a resistance, she pushed past it and lightly pet the cat on the head, it purred louder and pressed its head into her hand. What would Geoff do with it? What even was it?

She had a sudden urge to take the cat and flee the city. She didn’t know where she would go or how she would get there but she knew she had to put distance between this cat and Geoff. These tasted like her thoughts, but there was a sudden intensity and call to action to them that was not at all her own.

She pulled her hand back from the cat and found her thoughts under much better and logical control. Sneaky. The void apparently could project thoughts. Well, she couldn’t just hare off into the night with something Geoff desired. That was a sure way to get him to chase after her. And she was ill-equipped to get very far at that and with a cat of all things.

There would be hell to pay when she got back if she showed up without the void in the basket. She supposed she could free the cat and say she had never opened the basket and had no idea it was empty. Perhaps a double-cross from the demons. Weren’t demons always doing shit like that? Promising one thing and delivering betrayal?

She didn’t think her thoughts were being influenced any longer but the idea of giving Geoff the void did not sit well with her. It seemed powerful. Giving power to a sadist seemed like a bad idea for her well being and that of the other vampires who called Geoff master.

She tried explaining this to the cat, she reached a hand into the basket and this time just placed it on the cat’s head. She thought her concerns at the cat and hoped it could understand them.

Then a vision appeared in her mind’s eye, which was odd because normally she had a very poor visual imagination. It was of her standing over the basket and lifting out the cat. The cat free of its confines shifted back into an inky void form in her hands and then seemed to melt down into her. This was followed by a serious of pictures of her suddenly possessing symbols of wealth.

Hmmm… She wondered if the void/cat were some sort of wish-granting genie that had to possess whoever it was granting wishes to. That didn’t seem to bode well.

She attempted to project an image of this concern toward the cat. But all she got was a puzzled feeling back. Well if being possessed by the void would allow her to flee the city that could turn out well for her. The worst that could happen was the void/cat vanished and took off into the night. She’d have to go back to Geoff empty-handed but he wouldn’t get the void/cat which all seemed to be good to her.

Decision made, she scooped the cat out past the barrier that was on the basket. She set the cat down on the ground and stood up. The cat looked up at her again with the giant imploring eyes. She knelt back down and patted on the head as though it were a dog. “There there now,” she said, “you’re free to go!” IT projected an image of the whole black void possession thing and anded in a puzzled interrogative statement. Was this what she wanted.

She shrugged at the cat. “Honestly as long as Geoff doesn’t get to use you I’m good.” The cat tilted its head in a decidedly uncat like fashion. Suddenly the vision was coming true the cat shimmered and became an indistinct void once more. It hovered over her where she crouched and then seemed to settle into her skin the world went black for a moment and when she woke she was lying in the grass on her side. She rolled over and above her were a few stars visible through the cloudy sky. The moon was off in some other direction. She noticed something odd too. Her vision which had gotten significantly better as a vampire was astoundingly good. It was practically daylight out. Wait a second. That over there was the sun. How could she be out in the sunlight and seeing stars? This made no sense. Also, How was she not dead, this also made no sense.

Her cheek was warm from the sun being on it for too long. She, a vampire, was going to get a sunburn. That was ridiculous. So being possessed by the void had some perks. It would seem Geoff hadn’t sent anyone after her. At least not to the cemetery. They did have a few human servants that could have come during the day. And it had been fairly late when he’d sent her to the cemetery to start with.

She got out her cellphone. It was noon. She been passed out much of the day. She’d need to find a way out of the city asap. Geoff was going to be pissed his void was missing. And if her crazy vision was anything to go by it was now in her.

She google mapped it to the most closets bus stop. There she got out her bus pass and took the bus to the greyhound bus depot and found that her wallet had more money in it than she thought. She was able to get a direct connect to the next state over. There was an hour wait to board. She hung out in the depot. She bought a small charger from the depot vending machine. She was also surprised that she was able to be around such a crowd. She’d been only eating bagged blood since her transformation

The ass hat who had turned her and told her it wasn’t safe for her to be around humans for a while. And she’d believed it. The blood bags tasted stale as fuck but damn if she didn’t rip into them like a savage the moment they were handed out. She queried herself. Was she hungry for blood? And the resounding answer was yes she could eat, but she wasn’t starving. She hadn’t been taught yet how to take blood without killing a person. Or how to take blood without getting caught. She realized she had a lot to learn about being a vampire. Which considering she’d been one for nine months seemed odd. Surely the others would have taught her about being a vampire by now. Wasn’t she suppose to be able to levitate or mesmerize people by looking at them. Granted she was holding her own with the sunlight. And now with the void inside of her, there was the whole starlight during the day thing. She’d also been noticing things about the people around her that she thought might be due to the void as well and it was hard to tell what was due to the void and what was due to being a vampire.

The man across the way at the depot was solid looking and had biceps that looked bigger around than her thighs. He seemed completely normal in every respect except she could see that he had a giant wasp-like creature hitchhiking in his back. It’s antenna flopped on either side of his neck and its jaws seemed to clasp his neck. She couldn’t tell if the creature was simply hitchhiking or feeding from him somehow. Occasionally it fluttered its wings and a buzzing sound filled the depot.

There was a woman across the way whose forehead had an extra eye between and slightly above the traditional three. It glowed.

There were creatures that didn’t seem to notice the humans at all that seemed to busy on tasks and pursuits of their own.

She checked her messages app. There were several from fellow newbie vamps asking where she was and the master was looking for her she’d better put in an appearance soon. Several of them were from before she’d even been handed the basket so that didn’t really say much.

What followed next was a long bus ride after which she asked for directions to a cheap motel and arrived at one. And once again when she went to take money out of her wallet she found that there was again more than she remembered being there the previous time she’d opened it.

She used the key to the room and paused on the inside of the room. It was to vampire eyes pretty clean. Worn, but not gross, which is what she’d been fearing. No vermin. Just rather thread worn. She plopped down on the chair next to the table.

She’d used cash to get this far. She thought perhaps the void was helping her on that front. She should probably ditch her cellphone as well. The best she could do for now was turn it off and take out the sim card. Wasn’t that what you were supposed to do in movies. She’d bought this phone with her own money. She didn’t think they’d put a tracker in it, but better safe than sorry.

She’d find a place that sold phones in the morning and get moving to the next or the next state. She wasn’t sure where she was headed. She got a feeling the void had some thoughts on the matter. But how to communicate? She hadn’t had any of those disconcerting flashes of images since she woke up. If it weren’t for the money appearing in her wallet she might think it had abandoned her entirely.

She lay down on the bed fully clothed and on top of the sheets and top blanket. She propped her head up on one of the pillows. She closed her eyes and tried to think about the void. Where do you want to go? She saw only black and then she saw black again, but this time it was the impenetrable kind that made of the void. This though had a feeling of expansiveness. She then saw it from the perspective of someone looking up at it as it was surrounded on three sides by cavern walls.

Suddenly she was looking down at a ledge that held three demons. Two were the ones she had met the third wasn’t trying very hard to look human. Was this the void’s perspective. She got the impression that it was imprisoned here. That it would flee these demons if it could. The third demon was speaking an incantation over a bucket attached to a long pole. She then picked up the pole and shoved the bucket end at the void. This was clearly from the POV of her void. She could feel a part of herself being sucked into the bucket and there was nothing she could do about it. The small piece of void was removed from the larger whole and now the POV moved with the small piece void, her void. It was stuck in the bucket and couldn’t get out.

There were demon faces peering down into the bucket and she felt fear? Terror? A creeping despair. They transferred the mini void into a basket. And she recognized it as the one that the void had been delivered to her in.

Hmm…. “Do you want me to free the void or just return you to it?”

She felt an affirmative on both counts from the void. This did not strike her as boding well for her longevity.

# # #

The bus ride was 12 hours (the longest one she could get, and it was in the general direction the void wanted to go). She’d picked up a few books and some clothes and suitcase at a thrift store prior to boarding. She found an electronics store that sold phones and plans. She dumped her old phone in their e-recycling bin.

It was a long ride. She ignored the other passengers but attempted to strike up a conversation with the void inside her. It was mostly quiet, it seemed puzzled by the majority of her questions. (What are you, where did you come from, do you have a name?) Clammed right up when she asked how and why the demons were holding the big void hostage.