Posted: 2010/12/14 by admin in Short Story, Uncategorized

A Short Story by

Yawar J. Maajed  

Frustration welled up inside me as I repeatedly turned the key in the ignition and pressed on the gas pedal, urging my car to start. "Come on… damn it! Turn on already!” I muttered under my breath. Of all days, why did my car have to refuse to start today? I had already shown up late to the office that morning, most likely due to the hangover from the previous night. But, it wasn’t like I was out with friends or at a party. No, I was alone in the comfort of my own little lonely apartment, the way I preferred it.

I considered my options, but ultimately, the thought of paying someone to fix my car made me cringe. I could keep trying to start the car until the battery died, or I could call a mechanic for help. But, I shook my head. "Nay,” I thought. I’m too cheap to spend money on something I can potentially fix myself. To justify my decision, I made up an excuse that it was too late to get help, despite having a credit card that was about to max out and a mere ten dollars in cash. At this rate, I was only a few steps away from becoming a street bum, anxiously waiting for my boss to give me the boot.

Exasperated with the non-responsive car, I gave up and stepped out of the vehicle. I lit a cigarette, hoping it would ease my mounting frustration, but the burning red tip only served to exacerbate my already soured mood. I had spent the entire day listening to yelling and cursing in the wretched office I worked in, where my colleagues resembled cigarettes, with their tops on fire and spreading pungent smoke wherever they went. With a groan, I tossed the cigarette to the ground and stamped it out as hard as I could, venting my frustration with a string of profanity that would put my colleagues to shame.

I checked my watch and realized that after seven, the buses didn’t run as frequently. Lacking knowledge of the bus schedule, I made the decision to wait for the next one. As I stood at the bus stop, the thick evening fog caught my attention, accentuating the profound silence that enveloped the area. Some nights were so quiet that they seemed to be void of any sound, and this was one of those nights. Every twenty or so steps, a speeding car would race past, jarring the stillness of the atmosphere. I couldn’t help but wince at the grating sound of the accelerating engines, an unwelcome interruption to the peace and quiet of the night.

"Did you hear that? It sounds like a crying baby,”. I scanned the area, trying to pinpoint the source of the sound. But, the notion of a crying infant at this time of night, in this place, seemed implausible. Despite my reservations, curiosity and a twinge of fear propelled me to investigate. To my astonishment, I discovered a cat in distress, hidden in the bushes near the sidewalk. The illumination from the streetlight allowed me to observe the feline’s frightened state clearly. I had never heard a cat wail in such a distressing manner. It sounded like a combination of a human baby and an old woman’s cry. As I reached out to touch it, the cat didn’t resist, but rather, weakly tried to crawl away on its forelegs. I felt the warmth emanating from its body, indicative of a high fever. As I peered closer, my apprehension deepened. The poor creature was drenched in blood, with its hind legs seemingly crushed by an unknown assailant. Without hesitation, I took off my jacket and gently wrapped the injured animal, determined to help in any way I could. The hospital was a couple of miles away, and my only options were to either flag down a passing vehicle or walk there myself. I chose to walk, hoping for a stroke of luck to come my way. Even though the hospital was not an animal clinic, I trusted that the medical professionals would do what they could to help.

My heart ached for the injured kitty. It was apparent that some heartless individual had run it over, leaving it to suffer without any assistance. I was weary, and the thought of walking to the hospital with blood coating my hands made me feel nauseated. It wasn’t my blood, but it was still disconcerting, and I couldn’t shake the sensation of revulsion it inspired in me.

I heard the distinct sound of a car approaching from behind and quickly turned to face it, hoping to flag down the driver. As the headlights drew nearer, I started waving my arms, trying to capture the driver’s attention. But, to my dismay, the driver seemed to speed up, perhaps intimidated by my frantic gesturing. I wasn’t trying to commit a crime or cause any trouble, I was just a man in desperate need of help.

As I cradled the injured kitty in my arms, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of empathy for her pain. It had been a rough day for me, but now I was carrying the weight of something even more vulnerable than myself. Despite my weariness, I knew that I had to do what I could to help her. The kitty gazed up at me, her eyes shining with an otherworldly light. It was as if she was trying to convey something to me, perhaps even blaming me for her suffering. But I knew deep down that I had nothing to do with her injuries, and I was simply doing my best to assist her. As I held her, I couldn’t help but notice the sharpness of her claws, and a wave of irrational fear washed over me. What if she suddenly transformed into a monstrous beast and attacked me? I shook my head, trying to dispel such foolish thoughts, and focused on getting her to the hospital.

I continued to walk, trying to distract myself from my bizarre thoughts. My mind shifted to my car and what I would do in the morning. Maybe I could call my brother, he’s good with these things. And dinner, I should grab something on my way home. Meanwhile, the cat continued to stare at me.

Maybe there’s a convenience store near the bus station where I could find some food. "Stop looking at me!” I yelled at the cat. "I’m just trying to help you.” But the cat didn’t seem to react to my yelling, and instead turned its head away. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was planning to attack me with its sharp claws, leaving me soaked in blood on the side of the road. And then, a big, huge cat would come walking by and take me to the animal hospital. It was a ridiculous thought, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of unease.

That’s ridiculous. I shook my head and started walking even faster; I wanted to get this over with as soon as I could. Before I saw this cat, there was a car passing almost every minute or so and now it felt like everyone in the city had suddenly gone to sleep or… maybe had been run over by cars with headlights on their backs. Maybe everyone’s legs were crushed and they were crawling towards me, with the hope that I would take them to the hospital; maybe with glitter in their eyes and very sharp nails.

I looked at the cat again; she was looking right into my eyes once again. Was the cat getting heavier or was it just my tired arms? She was feeling much heavier than she did when I picked her up from those bushes. My arms started going numb. God! Please help me, I am just trying to help here, this thing isn’t going to attack me and kill me; or is it…?

The so very quiet atmosphere got filled with sounds and echoes. There was sound of this very heavy breathing … that had to be my own; and then there was this sound of thumping; wait… Was that my own footsteps or the pounding of my heart? It was hard to tell. There was this very weak crying too, where the hell was that coming from? The kitty? I almost started running when I heard the sound of a big roar. Damn it… I was right… She was going to eat me alive. I tossed her in the middle of the road and started running. The very next moment, I heard a screeching sound and then a thud. The roar was the sound of the car coming behind me and the thud was the cat being crushed again.

The car stopped for a few seconds but then started again, this time with driver pressing full on gas. He knew very well that he had run over something; He stopped but then decided to run.

Taking very slow steps towards the middle of the road, with an empty mind and wide-open eyes, all I could think of was getting eaten by a crippled cat and all I could see was her little crushed body wrapped in my jacket in the middle of the road.

  1. Jaykumar نے کہا:

    …very heart touching story

جواب دیں

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