Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 6.7

Posted by harmony0stars on May 10, 2010

Glory sketched the symbol onto a piece of paper, grabbed her laptop, and exited the vault. It was getting close to lunch time. The kids would be getting hungry, and as much as Robert had taken to Edgar, she couldn’t expect him to watch the boy all the time. He was a teenager after all. Any day now, he was liable to realize it, and start acting as though the world revolved around him.

As she opened the vault door, she heard Robert shout something and the sounds of people running through the house. Trusting the vault door to automatically close itself, she bolted from the room, tossing her computer onto the bed. She made it halfway down the stairs before the spotted cat from the museum ran by. He was followed closely by Edgar and then Robert. Dumbfounded, she stood a moment, frozen, before jogging down the remaining stairs.

As she hit the bottom step, the trio came around the corner again, and the cat leapt into the air. He hit her just below her shoulder and scrabbled up to stand on her shoulder, making a warning sound half way between a growl and a yowl. His fur stood on end as he glowered down at his pursuers. Edgar stopped short, and Robert nearly ran into him from behind, halting just in time to avoid bowling the smaller boy over.

Edgar was the picture of wide-eyed innocence as he stared up at her, his eyes fixed longingly on the cat. As if he’d merely been playing and was not determined to eat the thing. Glory was not fooled for an instant. “Edgar! Cats are not for eating!” Glory said sharply.

“You – you could have w-warned me you were bringing home a cat!” Robert gasped, tying to catch his breath. Then as if realizing he had finally broken his silence, he continued in a more accusatory tone. “I mean… I mean what did you think would happen!” Without waiting for a response, he grabbed Edgar about the waist and hauled him off to the living room. Edgar mewed like a cat, which was new. Either he wanted to resume his chase, or he was apologizing to the cat. Could Edgar speak cat?

She had a feeling Robert hadn’t been referring to their feline guest, but it didn‘t seem the right time to press the issue. Not when the security of their home had been compromised. “You have blood on your face,” he called over his shoulder, and she flushed with embarrassment. Cleaning up any injuries the guard had inflicted had been the last thing on her mind when she got home.

The cat allowed her to lift him from her shoulder and hold him at arm’s length. She looked him over suspiciously, but all he did was chirp as he had at the museum. It was definitely the same cat. He gave her the same wide-eyed innocent look as Edgar. As if to say, Am I not a pretty kitty? A normal kitty? “You’re not fooling anyone, cat.” Tucking him under one arm, she stomped back upstairs, but he made no attempt to free himself.

Glory pulled her door shut behind her and set the cat loose. But she walked by him, going instead to the bathroom to wash her face. Not for an instant did she believe he was just a cat, but if he wanted to play games, he could just wait. If he could claw the face of a worm possessed man, get thrown through an urn, and disappear only to show up at her place apparently unscathed, then he certainly could have secreted himself in her room without antagonizing Edgar.

She came out of the bathroom scrubbing her face with a wet washcloth. The blood hadn’t been that bad. Just a little mess from guard in the stairwell. It had healed so quickly, she hadn’t even known he’d managed to split her lip. If nothing else, the had inspired Robert to comment on something. So in a way, she supposed it was good. Maybe he’d finally talk to her about Jacoby.

The cat had made itself at home, adopting its sphinx-like pose at the foot of her bed. Lashing the comforter with his tail, he watched the bathroom door for her exit. Well, she supposed someone should get some use out of the thing. It wasn’t like she was going to take a nap anytime soon. Grabbing a chair from her reading alcove, she dragged it over to the bed and threw herself in the chair. She propped her feet up on a corner of the bed, putting her more or less eye to eye with the cat. He did not seem to feel it necessary to reorient himself to face her but continued to stare at the bathroom door.

“Well?” she demanded. It was a ludicrous situation, talking to a cat, and Glory felt like a fool. She had better things to do than interrogate him as he made every effort to appear normal, even kneading the comforter with his claws. “Look, I don’t expect you can talk, but if you can, an explanation would be nice. I’m not stupid enough to think your showing up at my house is a coincidence. I’m also fairly certain you don’t mean us any harm or else you never would have gotten inside or let Edgar chase you around the place like a little hellion… Not after what you did to that guard at the museum, so can we just cut the BS here? You‘re making me feel like a hardboiled detective in some kind of weird occult mystery, and it‘s kind of annoying.”

He blink his green eyes at her and began washing one paw. As he lifted his leg, she saw he’d settled himself on top of the paper with the symbol sketched on it. She’d thrown everything onto the bed so fast, she hadn‘t even noticed where it ended up. She reached for it, but he pulled his paws under his body and closed his eyes as if preparing to nap. “You’re looking for the stone then.”

to Book 6, page 8

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