Spike – A Novel (Chapter 6)

Chapter 6

“Jen, it’s nearly midnight. She’s not back yet. I need to talk to that child.” Howard was disturbed but worried. “Her damn cat’s here. I hate that stupid cat. Maybe I should let her marry that boy so she’ll take that damn puss with her.”

“Oh, come on, Howard. That cat keeps to himself. He never bothers anyone.” Jen had no intention of letting her husband’s worries become hers. “Elizabeth is a good girl. She’ll be home soon.”

“Mom,” Jonathan called as he entered the living room. “Where is Beth? I need some help with this algebra.”

“She’s not home yet, Jon,” answered his mother.

“You do your own damn homework, boy!” His father entered the conversation. “What’s the big idea of putting it off until so late at night?”

“I’ve been working on my term paper all day and I thought I’d leave the algebra until Beth got home.” Jonathan and Jeff were the only ones who called her Beth.

“Use that head of yours. You’re going to Yale in a few years, so you’d better start thinking for yourself,” his father yelled.

Howard Johnston had attended Yale, as did his father and his father before him. Howard believed whole-heartedly that this was a family tradition worth carrying on. His son would be no exception. He would attend Yale, even if Howard had to hire tutors full time and keep Jonathan from any extra-curricular activities; anything to keep Jonathan at the top of his class.

“Dad, I just need a little help getting started. You know I’m not very good at math and it comes so easy to Beth. She seems to know how to explain it so that it’s easier for me.” Jon always butted heads with his father about something but mostly about school.

Jonathan was just 13 years old and was small for his age. He was a Freshman at Sandy Oaks High School and excelled in every subject except math, although his grades were generally B’s and sometimes C’s. He had no intention of going to Yale or any other college after he graduated. He had his sights set on a trade school where he could learn a trade and get a good job. Of course, this could change since he was so young, but he wanted to be out in the workforce sooner than later.

Beth and Jon were a very close brother and sister. Beth always spent time with Jon as they were growing up. They weren’t just siblings, they were best friends. Some of the best times they had together were when they played outside with no adult interference. They would talk and laugh and Beth would give the best piggyback rides! Of course, that was when they were so much younger, before school became such an obstacle.

Jon left the room to avoid another argument with his dad. He sensed that something was amiss with his parents and he knew it had to do with Beth. He wondered if they found out about the baby but he didn’t dare mention it. Beth confided in him 2 weeks ago and he promised to keep it to himself. He had no intention of breaking his promise.

As he left the room, he spotted Spike sitting outside of Beth’s bedroom door. Funny she’s not back to feed Spike by now, he thought to himself as he went into his own bedroom. He shut the door behind him. He never trusted that cat.

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Spike – A Novel (Chapter 5)

Chapter 5

Spike was a gorgeous cat. He was a silver tabby and his black striping was perfectly symmetrical. His emerald green eyes glowed in the dimmest of light. He was extremely long and slender, with his tail as long as his body. He had the speed of a wildcat.

Elizabeth had found Spike down by the lake several years ago. He had been abandoned by his mother at just a few weeks old. There had been no sign of another cat anywhere, but a kitten that small would have never survived long without its mother. Elizabeth decided to take Spike home and raise him herself. Her father had not approved of this, but Jen had taken the upper hand, something she had rarely done. “A girl should have a kitten,” she told her husband. “I won’t let you take that away from her, Howard. I won’t let you!” Howard said no more about it and Elizabeth was allowed to keep Spike.

At a very early age, Spike had developed a voracious appetite. He took advantage of Elizabeth’s snack times, especially the 11:00pm snack. Elizabeth grew older and grew out of most of those snack times since she had to watch her slim figure.

At 11:00pm every night, though, Elizabeth and her feline companion would eat popcorn or crackers and cheese whilst watching television. Sometimes they enjoyed a bowl of cereal or a dab of ice cream. Afterward, they would play fetch together.

Spike would retrieve anything Elizabeth could toss across the room. She had not taught him this. It started one morning when Elizabeth was writing a letter. She had made an error and threw the crumbled piece of stationary to the floor. Spike brought it back. She threw it down again, several times. Each time Spike brought it back. When Elizabeth realized what Spike was doing she stopped her letter writing and made it a game. Spike had a little rubber salamander that ended up being his favorite toy to fetch.

Spike was a very loving cat, at first. He began roaming the neighborhood and found himself only coming home for snack time. He became very unsociable with everyone except Elizabeth. He became spiteful and mean one time when Elizabeth was late for snack time. She was late by only a few minutes. He had attacked her, leaving a bite mark on her right calf. Her muscle was tender and swollen for quite some time but she kept it clean and treated it with antibiotic ointment. She kept this injury from her parents, fearing she’d have to get rid of Spike, or at the very least have to go to the doctor. She even avoided the truth so many years later, when asked about the scar.

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Spike – A Novel (Chapter 4)

Chapter 4

Elizabeth had no idea what happened. It seemed as though she tripped over something, but there was nothing in the path. The moonlight was bright enough to see everything very clearly. She jumped to her feet and began dusting herself off.

What was that? she asked herself. She looked up the path. She heard a shuffling in the bushes up ahead. Must be my imagination, she thought. She continued on with her walk back to the house. She heard the noise again. Must have been a rabbit. There are lots of rabbits out here this time of year. Another shuffle. She turned to her right. The glowing emerald green eyes frightened her at first.

“Spike! You scared the daylights out of me. Come here, sweetie.” Elizabeth motioned him to come…and he did.

He came swiftly out of the bushes and sank his teeth into her ankle. His claws latched onto her foot and calf. She screamed out in pain as she tried to shake him off. She fell in the attempt. She kicked and screamed and tried to free herself, but before she knew it Spike went for her face. He bit her cheek and scratched at her eyes.

Elizabeth tried to protect her face, but Spike bit even harder. She tried to get off the ground but Spike made it impossible. She tried to scream even louder than before but Spike was at her throat now. His teeth sank deeply into her neck. He ripped at her throat violently. She was becoming very weak.

Elizabeth had never known this level of pain before. It was quickly draining away, pain and blood. Her life and that of her unborn child had ended at 11:05pm.

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In case you missed the first 3 chapters:  Chapter 1   Chapter 2   Chapter 3