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"Hello?" Archie barked quietly.


The Crying Man was breathing, he could smell the stink of his breath from a mile away, as well as the popping bowel movements that made the entire room reek of rotten eggs.

Archie nudged the mans face with his nose but the man only slobbered and winced.


"And they call us 'animals'." He chuckled, moving around the tiled floor in a nervous circle.


Usually, his nightly routine would have kept him firmly in the main room, he would sit there staring daggers at his masters throat until sleep released him of this duty. But that cat had gotten to him.

He didn't want to admit it, especially as he seriously doubted the existence of the cat at all. But the vague promise of Tigger The Disembowelled Ghost-Cat had stirred something inside him. Hope? Was that it? Hope?

He supposed it was, the promise of getting back his old life, his old status held a lot of weight. Archie was not a fool, he understood that his old life only led to an early grave but in that regard both dogs and cats shared an affinity. They were beats of the night, howling at the moon, screaming in ecstasy in alleys as the apes slept, dancing through traffic, killing rivals, living by their own rules - and eventually dying by them.

That's what he wanted, that was the life he wanted back.


Then why were you just checking on that human? A voice inside asked him.


He looked at the man again. Noting the flayed collar of his clothes, the scabbed over cut on his forehead, the tired mouth beginning to form the jowls of middle age and steady decline.

He walked over to the Crying Man, bent his head towards his face and gently licked the wound.


"Means nothing." He grunted.



Suddenly he shuddered, his white fur offering no protection against the chill which spread from his nose to his tail.

From inside one of the toilet stalls there came a gurgle, the sound of water moving and bubbling, the thud of a toilet seat being thrown open.


Something fell on the floor, something damp and heavy. And slowly there came rustling footsteps that faltered clumsily as though unused to walking. The toilet door moved to open and Archie felt his mouth draw back in a snarl.

Something emerged from behind the filthy door, Archie saw four feet lurch forwards and instantly knew it was a cat. But as its head peeked out, he saw no ears, no eyes and no fur. There was only a blue plastic bag, stained black with old blood and drawn tightly around the tabby cat's neck.

It walked into the light and seemed to wobble for a moment before turning towards him.

Archie saw with disgust that there was no tail, only a rotten patch of dead flesh. A sagging, putrid used condom hung limply from its backside.

Archie looked at the beast, still snarling, and knew that it could see him, bag or no bag.


"Who are you?" He demanded.


"I was loved." The cat replied, its voice low and mournful, the blue bag wheezing in and out with every word. "I had a name and a family and a life."


Swallowing his disgust, Archie flashed an uneasy grin.


"One of Tigger's mates?" He laughed joylessly. "Here to give me a guilt-trip, no doubt. Well, do your worst. That pretentious twat's been nagging me for ages and I still don't give a sh*t."


"You didn't kill me." The cat replied.


Secretly, he felt some relief at this. His nerves were jangled enough without the ghosts of the past emerging to play with his mind. But then, why was he here? What relevance did this creature have to what Archie was supposed to do?


"What do you want?" He asked.


The cat sighed, its entire body dripping with toilet water.


"Things had been different back then, he was young." The cat began. "I wasn't even his first. Can you believe that? I wasn't even his first. He actually whispered into my ear about all the others he'd killed. Called them whores."


Archie said nothing.


"I lived with his step-sister. She was a good girl, bright for her age and kind too. The boy hated her, hated her happiness. It's only now that I understand that hate is all he can really feel. Hateful love, hateful lust, hateful joy. I was only small, I couldn't stop him from tying me up, he taped up my mouth so I couldn't even scream when he dumped me in his backpack."


The cat started to slouch and shook its head.


"There was an old field near his house, people barely went there once it became too overgrown to walk through. But he knew the land, he could slighter past the thorn bushes and navigate the ditches. He did it often, it was his killing field and he knew every inch of it. He took me to a clearing and dumped me on the ground."


"What did he do?" Archie whispered, a knot of dull pain forming in his stomach.


"He beat me." The cat muttered. "He tortured me. He violated me. And when there was no more enjoyment to be had, he took out his step-fathers hammer and caved in my skull. The boy took me to a public toilet and tried to flush me away, like a goldfish. But when he realised that I wouldn't go down no matter how much he stomped and pushed, he ran away. My girl never found out, you know. She never found out what happened to me. She thought I left her."


Archie stared for a moment, silent, dumbfounded.


"Why are you telling me this?" He asked, recovering himself.


"Because he's waiting for you." The cat replied.


The words lingered between them, the silence looming overhead like a vengeful spirit.


"Because he can't stop himself." The cat continued, starting to stumble back into the toilet cubicle.


"Because this is the only way you'll ever find peace."


"Waiting for me?" Archie growled. "Where?"


He saw the cat enter to the cubicle but didn't dare move any closer.


"Where?" The cat answered, his voice becoming fainter. "He waits with the rats and the maggots, he waits in the dark with the dark things, the Rotten King crouched in his Rotten Throne, waiting for you and whatever judgement awaits the sick and the lost."


"What do you mean?" Archie barked madly. "Where is he? How will I know him?"


But the cat was gone.

Edited by Typhus

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