Saturday, February 12, 2011

Brooklyn Half - 6


Brook crawled out her window and onto the fire escape. A cold breeze and a wailing siren drifted towards her. Anger had replaced her fear and now exhaustion replaced her anger. She looked out over the lower east side street and hoped the cold would clear her mind. Still, she felt haunted and watched. She couldn’t avoid the feeling that there was something out there... something that was looking and waiting for her. She pulled up the bandage over her ears and felt the ugly stiches. More tears fell and dried on her face and an image of her mother flicked into her head. She thought about what Shaun had said. Could it really be her?

‘It’s not your mother,’ sounded in her mind.

The fire escape began to reverberate. She turned around to see who was coming down.

‘Woouff, woouff’

‘Get that thing Toro’


Mrs Simpkins hairless cat landed on her leg, clawed up her shirt and clung to her chest and shoulder.

Ahhh, F!@#!

Benji from number four and his Great Dane thundered down next, taking the stairs two at a time. Fluffy sheltered against her, tensely clawing her skin as they stormed past.

‘Hey kid’ he said.

‘Jeez Benji,’ she muttered.

‘That cat is one ugly little critter isn’t it?’

He didn’t wait for her response and Brook was left trying to prise the cat off her shoulder.

‘Reee hisss’ the cat spat after them

‘Ahhh, Fluffy you bitch get off.’

She sat back down unplucking its claws and placing it on the stair beside her.

It sat quite still and calm now

She put her hand under her shirt feeling the welts.

‘Ignorance is the greatest ugliness’

She sat quietly stunned. It was as if she had thought the words rather than heard them. They were in her head, but the words were not her own. She looked about frantically.

‘IGNORANCE’ the word resonated in her head like a gong.

She looked down at the cat now and it fixed her with a steady gaze, as if it was reading her reaction. She’d flipped. Without a doubt. Brook shut her eyes as tightly as she could and counted to twenty in a panic. When she opened them again the cat was still sitting beside her, looking patiently up at her.

“He is ignorant. You are ignorant.”

Sane people probably ignored it when a cat spoke to them. Brook thought this was the best approach.

‘And it’s not your mother.’

It was looking right at her. Skinny and bald with absurdly large ears and it was reading her mind and communicating with her.

‘What you see is a cat. To believe only what you see is ignorant.’

‘This isn’t happening, I’m not listening’ It was all Brook could think of to say, she was losing her mind. It was being taken away from her.

‘What is mind? Where can it go? Is it a possession? How can it be lost? How can it be taken?’

‘You’re Mrs Simpkins cat Fluffy; you’ve lived across the hall for as many years as I can remember.’ And now she was arguing with it. Jesus.

‘So certain of that which you are uncertain.’

‘Cats can’t talk.’

‘Exactly, and since we are communicating now your own rational deduction would suggest the truth, that I’m not a cat.’

Brook looked down at the cat and realized, however f*#ked up, the little critter had a point.

‘Rational deduction would suggest I’m a fruitloop.’

‘Human deduction would suggest that. And you are only half, Brooklyn. It will take a while to explain and it is now necessary that I do.’