I just want to thank everyone that entered the give away, we had some fantastic entries. Joe and I came to a unanimous decision that the winner had to be Lynn with her story about the cats.
The cats prowl, maddened by hunger, feverishly curling round my ankles, and I know because there’ll be no more food, that I must prepare, help them go before me. I make my mind wander, a distraction from my busy hands.
I should feel regret that it’s only me and the cats, that I have no partner, no children ‒ loving or estranged – to accompany me into death. But even at my most hopeless, I can’t regret my stubborn, solitary life – to pretend as much would be a lie and what’s the point of pretence now?
Hands still gripping, still pulling, my eyes drift to the TV and I see that young male newscaster’s been replaced by a jowly woman with bleach brittle hair who resembles my old cafeteria cook. How many staff have they lost since this began, how many dead, to be replaced without a word of explanation?
I think of all that will crumble as mankind slips away: Mona Lisa’s smile cracking and flaking to pigment: Van Gogh’s Sunflowers shattering to seed sized splinters. I focus on this, not the nurseries and the primary schools used as mortuaries, their own teaching staff, their own pupils lying exposed inside ‒ they ran out of body bags days ago.
And now the cats lie in a row, limp on the rug – four wrung necks, four pink, protruding tongues – the last, Logan and I, curled on the couch, he nestled in my arms, purring and oblivious to his fallen comrades. I close my hand around his neck, feel the vibration against my palm. I pause – perhaps I won’t be alone when the end comes.
Thanks again to every one that entered. Tell me in the comments if you want more give aways like this.