It begins with the harsh thud of the raindrops against the glass of her shut window and the flash that followed after the roar. Four o’clock appears on the only small clock above her nightstand, the moon shyly conceals itself so that there is nothing but darkness except for the illuminating street lights outside on a void street.
Mia Burch laid in her small bed set in the corner of the room. The thunder startled her and now she was wide awake staring cautiously at the window. The raindrop's lines trailed down the glass pane while another flash brightened her room and pursued by the second roar of the clouds.
She holds her stuffed bunny to her tightly. The eight-year-old loved her little bunny and always held it to her side during thunderstorms to keep her safe. It didn’t have any name, just regular bunny.
She remains there taking normal, calm breaths. She knew that she would fall back to sleep soon if she laid here long enough, maybe close her eyes and pretend to sleep. It should come soon.
The storm's thunder and crackle ruined her chance. It was sure bad tonight. Her eyes went to the black cat that always sat in her room at night on her dresser licking its paws and ignoring the storm raging outside.
Something outside her bedroom stirred that intrigues the animal, its ears shift in the direction of the door before its head follows. It jumped off the dresser and dashes swiftly out of the purple room. A louder noise of pans falling causes Mia’s head to lift, turning to the cracked doorway. Another pan fell loudly.
Additional sound of moving furniture raises Mia’s curiosity. She wondered if Cindy, her babysitter, had heard.
She blinks a few times in hopes that her dad would check, but remembered that they won’t return until morning. Most likely due to the storm.
Sliding out of her bed slowly with her pink clouded pajamas she took the bunny with her for something to hold onto. She walks over to the door to peek out to see if she can detect what was outside in the hallway.
The sound of the pots before scared her, knowing her babysitter never went into the kitchen. She especially didn’t touch the kitchens cooking items.
She watches at the end of the hallway where the light of the T.V from the living room was seen. She hid behind the door and peeked through the crack, seeing a semi-large shadow move past the transitioning colors.
It wasn’t Cindy’s large, tall figure. It was a small slender form that quickly moved by, a sound of a table sliding over wood was heard. This startles Mia and she runs over to her bed, the sound of thundering outside shook the house. But that didn’t scare her now.
Someone was in the house...
Did the burglar hurt Cindy? Although she wasn’t a nice person to Mia she was nice to her parents. It might’ve been fake niceness but nobody deserves to get hurt.
Another noise came.
Then, the hisses of her cat.
She peeks over the side of her bed and whispered. Her heart races for her cat who her father kindly let her save a couple of months ago from the shelter. She picked him out and brought him home. She fed, loved, cuddled, and even bathed her strange water-loving feline. She didn’t want him hurt.
She slowly slid from beside the safety of her bed and called her cat again, hoping that he would run into her arms like he always does and she could lock the door. But he never came.
She decides to abandon the safety of her room and look for him. She glimpses out the crack of her door, calling his name for luck, but without any sight of him, she slides out into the hallway. There were no more shadows from the light of the T.V and she used that to assure herself even more to enter the living room.
Once her small feet patters over the wood floor inside she gazes over the living room. Her babysitter Cindy was still laying blissfully on the couch with a bag of opened chips on the short and wide table in front of her. However, it wasn’t really that that caught the young girl’s eyes.
On the wall leading from the kitchen was a fresh yet light handprint of a strange burgundy color. It slid from the wall to the floor, another handprint led to the table that was pushed a little away from the couch.
Mia blinks and tilts her head at the scene. Someone was here but she didn’t know why they would cause a mess.
A cat hissed from around the corner of the kitchen and towards the darkness of the open door of her basement. It was also where the red handprints led to.
Her breath caught in her throat. She held her Bunny to her while she runs into her parent’s room to retrieve her father’s flashlight from his drawer. She didn’t like dark places, especially the basement, but Hershey was her responsibility. She loved that cat and she knew he was down there.
But who else was?
She cautiously approaches the open door of the basement and turns on the flashlight while the bunny was still embraced in the crook of her arm. The light was bright when it flickers on. She points it down the stairs.
She slowly steps down each step and wishes that her cat was down here for this effort.
She paused when she saw more red on the stair below her.
“Hershe- oh no!”
The large flashlight fumbles and before her tiny fingers could grasp it again it fell. It rolls off each stair down, hitting the floor and rolling just a little more before slowing to a stop.
Another noise in the basement made her freeze still in fear. She wondered if she should back out now or to at least get her dad’s flashlight back.
She heard her cat’s hiss, confirming his presence down here. She needed to make sure he’s alright.
She sat on the steps and slowly slides herself down one by one. Her heart races while she moves closer to the flashlight, her tiny hand racing to grab it, and once it was in her hand she surveys ber surroundings with it.
There were boxes stacked high along with other piles of junk that hid the rest of the basement in the dark. Mia saw more red directing to a hidden part of the basement along with the sight of her cat Hershey.
The black feline had it’s back curled, eyes narrowed, its lips pulled back in a vicious hiss towards the direction where the red marks led. Mia got up with the flashlight and steps forward.
Hershey’s hiss was met by a louder, startling growl that forces the cat to turn and abandon her. Mia froze in shock. She never heard anything growl like that.
After the growl was a moan of pain that causes her curious to grow. With the flashlight, she moves forward with the inquiry of wanting to know if the strange noises were someone (or something) was in pain.
The flashlight in her hand flings across the room. The light vanishes and a shadow appears before her, a figure that was bigger, taller, and much scarier.
Especially when it started growling at her like a large feline. In immediate reaction she pauses, her eyes widening once she saw glowing eyes in her line of sight. She hugs her bunny tighter to her chest.
Yellow. Yellow bright eyes that made her continue to stare. Especially when the eyes didn’t look human. It was more like a... Cat.
The tall shadow growls again more fiercely, trying to run her off so it could slip away. But it’s threatening growls turned into slight hisses of pain as its arms covered it’s stomach and chest, bending forward. It’s wound finally took its toll.
The shadow collapsed and pushes the smaller girl down on the floor. The stranger curls in pain.
Mia left her bunny on the ground so she can reach for the flashlight to shine on it.
She didn’t really understand what was before her. Perhaps at first, she would mistake him as a hurt boy... Laying on the ground withering in pain seemed like a young boy, obviously older than her, maybe one of the older preteen kids. There was something else to him though.
The boy had the ears and tail of a feline. Two pointed ears sat on top of his head. His tail was as long as a leg, moving side to side in pain. His clothes were unusual, wearing only black trousers that looked handmade.
His body faced her direction and his eyes were squeezed shut. His bare slender torso seems to have been wounded. He had bruises, cuts, and dirt and blood covered his battered skin.
Mia began to tremble, yet seeing the boy in a terrible condition made her fear slip away. He was hurt.
She sits up and moves closer but the first slight noise she made his eyes opened to. His pupils were in thin slits as he first stared, his yellow eyes lock onto her brown ones in warning, but as he gazes at her he stills.
Mia examines his pupils as they grow into wide circles while his body went limp without lowering his head. He blinks a couple of times, more than she did, and let out a breath he had held for some time. The little girl didn’t know what was going on but she knew she needed to help him.
She moves even closer to him, “Y-You have... Blood on you...”
Even when she moves closer he just stares at her without saying a word. She still went to him worriedly, “I-I don’t know how to fix it, but maybe you should get cleaned off.”
He didn’t say a word. His pupils were large enough to make it seem like he was normal, his expression dazed. He blinks more in response to her. Even when she touches his battered arm he remains silent and confound, his pain almost forgotten when she encouraged him up.
“My babysitter is sleeping,” she whispers to him and helps him to the stairs. He looked exhausted to her and hurt. She had to help him. “She can sleep through anything, but stay quiet just in case, alright?”
He just stares once again at her.
She helps the exhausted boy up the stairs, his exhausted and sore body made him a tough task to handle. He was bigger than her, older and taller, but he put most of his body weight on the wall rather than on her. He struggled with every step.
He was quietly making it through the living room and to the hallway with her. At the very end right next to her room was a bathroom where she led him in.
By that time his exhaustion overcame him and he fell, grabbing the shower curtain in a weak attempt to keep up. He fell backward in the tub, not even Mia could stop him.
But his head rolled back, his tail halfway out of the tub and his ears were low, his eyes shut. He passed out.
Mia looked at him, seeing his body covered in dirt and blood he almost didn’t look like a boy. She left his trousers on as she grabbed the showerhead standing on a nearby chair to reach and turned on the water. She made sure it was a warm temperature so she can use a clean rag to wipe the poor boy.
She knew he was a stranger. A really weird stranger. But she didn’t have the heart to leave him filthy. She only cleaned his face and torso, the water carried the dirty stuff down the drain. When she got a look at him her head tilted in question.
He didn’t look like a normal 12-year-old. His hair was a little long, a detail boys around this town kept their hair short, and he had muscles. Still slender as a sign he was still young.
Who was he?
As he remains unconscious in the tub she went around the house and to clean the blood off the wall which was easier than she thought. She didn’t want her parents to blame Cindy for a mess she didn’t make.
She hated to leave the boy in the bathroom but she wasn’t big enough to carry him. She was still small, still very innocent throughout the whole situation, but she wanted to help him the best way she could.
She returns soon to the bathroom a little while later to see that he was awake again. His head was rolled back and his tail curled slowly each second. Feeling her presence he rolled his head her way. His eyes half-closed, his breathing slow.
“I... I cleaned you off a bit,” she softly spoke, her fingers weaved together nervously. “I am sorry I left you there, I just... Well, too small to pick you up.”
He lifts his head to look at her with tired eyes. She thought he would speak but no words came. He just laid there, soaking, but he didn’t seem to care. The warm water was pleasant. The tip of his tail curled again.
She wanted to ask questions about it but didn’t. “Do you want a medicine box for that?” Her voice shook timidly. She was never around many people much as a result of homeschooling. Her social skills were not the best.
He just stares again.
She looks away from him this time. She was new to this eye contact thing, even with a stranger. Especially with a stranger. A strange stranger.
She decides to leave for her parent’s room again for the medicine kit, coming back to the bathroom to see him still there. She placed the kit down on the side of the tub but he swiftly snatches her wrist. The speed of his hand causes her to jump.
It was the first thing he said all night, just that one word prompts Mia to become even more frightened. His voice was too serious for a young boy to have.
He jerks her wrist towards him, her eyes finally turned to see his. In a flash he grins, her eyes spotting his front long canines. He used them to bite into her wrist, using his other hand to cover her mouth to smoother her panicked scream.
Although he took light sips, never gulps, her body went limp in fear. Confused, her eyes watch him. They were wide seeing his lids were shut casually, her screams stopped when she realized it didn’t hurt. Her wrist was numb although his fangs were in. She was still nervous at the sight.
Once he let go, removing his fangs and all, she squirms quickly away from him to check her wrist. Two pinpricks had blood slowly oozing out, she turns to give him a confused frightened glance. She kept her distance.
Her breathes stilled when she saw all his wounds have halfway healed except for a strange white line below the left side of his chest.
He still has that weary look in his eyes when he stared at her bleeding wrist that she held. Although it was droplets slowly seeping out.
“A-Are you fine now?” The bizarre experience is odd but it seemed to help him. The thought still didn’t make her heart beat any lesser.
For once he answers with a nod.
“The basement is warm,” she said. “Y-You can sleep there... I think there is something you can lay on for the night.”