Elora had not gone very far on her bike when she saw a line of dark menacing clouds building up in the distance. Sky pulled into the Drindle’s driveway right after she did and they left their bikes by the road to head up the hill to the mansion.
“Looks like a storm,” Sky said.
“Yep,” Elora replied, glancing off in the distance, “better make this quick.”
Flashlights in hand, Elora and Sky stooped down to look through the hole in the cinder blocks under the porch. By that time, all the adult cats had scattered off into whatever hiding places they could find.
“See anything?” Sky said.
“Nope,” Elora replied. “They’re probably WAY back in the back,” she said with a sigh. “Well, let’s go!”
Elora slid through the small opening first and then Sky. They began army crawling underneath the porch holding their flashlights in their mouths to better see in front of them. Suddenly, there was a loud peal of thunder and both girls yelped.
“Wow, that was REALLY close,” Elora said abruptly. “Hmmmm . . . maybe we should come back later when the weather’s better?”
“Let’s look just one more place,” Sky said, “Over here in the very back — remember that little hole where we found the last litter? Maybe they’re in there.”
Elora and Sky continued to crawl as the peals of thunder became more frequent. “There they are,” Elora whispered, pointing ahead. And there they were — tiny little things huddled into a large multi-colored ball. You couldn’t quite tell where one kitten ended and the other began. Their mother, who was lying next to them, looked suspiciously at the girls, but remained silent.
“Looks like they’re not old enough to leave their mother yet,” Elora continued before being cut off by another loud crash of thunder. It was quite dark under the porch by now. The girls concluded that the sun must be hidden behind the storm clouds.
“Come on,” Elora whispered afraid of waking the kittens or disturbing the mother, “let’s get out of here before the storm hits!” The girls crawled quickly toward the opening just as they heard light raindrops start to fall on the porch roof. Suddenly, Elora stopped and cocked her head to the side to listen.
“Did you hear that?” she whispered to Sky. “That’s not rain.”
Both the girls held their breath to listen more closely to the unusual sound coming toward them on the porch. It sounded like heavy footsteps, but there was a “patata, patata” in between the footfalls. The girls looked at each other. The steps were slow and deliberate yet didn’t seem to follow any discernible pattern or direction that would take them to the front door of the mansion.
“Quick — turn your flashlight off,” whispered Sky frantically. Immediately, both girls were plunged into complete darkness except for the flashes of lightening that periodically illuminated their surroundings.
“Eeeek!” Sky tried to swallow a yelp as something scurried across her hand. A burst of lightening soon revealed a tiny mouse standing inches away from her, looking up at her quizzically. She and Elora let out sighs of relief. But suddenly, the footsteps stopped. The girls scrambled to avoid any holes in the porch as they heard the soft “thud” of a knee dropping down on the floorboards and the “click” of a flashlight. The light from the flashlight slowly crept toward them through the holes in the porch floor. Whatever was above them was getting closer.
Elora and Sky crept quietly into a better hiding spot, held their breath, and sat still as stones. But still the footsteps came closer. By now, the wind was blowing the rain across the porch and down through the floorboards to the ground beneath, soaking into their clothes and shoes and creating thick goo as the dirt turned to mud. But if that wasn’t bad enough, as they sat there, they began to notice something odd seeping through the nearby floorboards. It was stringy and slimy and green and slid slowly through the cracks like thick syrup.
“Disgusting,” Sky whispered grimacing at it. Just then, a large drop of the syrupy green liquid landed near Elora. She covered her mouth to stifle a scream, but that only filled her mouth with mud and triggered a coughing fit which she could barely contain. But just as her coughing became impossible to stifle, Elora heard the sound of a car horn and a person shouting.
“Elora! Sky! Where are you?” The shouting came from the road where they left their bikes.
The light on the porch moved frantically and then clicked off followed by a loud clattering and a “PATATA, PATATA.” Whatever was on the porch lost no time sprinting away and disappearing into the darkness.
“Quick!” said Elora and they scrambled out into the storm toward a familiar voice calling to them from the road.
To be continued . . . .
Copyright © 2020 Allison Shaw: All rights reserved, including right of reproduction, in whole or part, in any form.