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“TABBY”
He ran his fingers through his thick black hair. I watched him. He seemed irritated again. He usually always did so I didn’t worry about it. We never really talked much. I didn’t know where he went or for how long he would be gone. I stayed home most of the time. Lounged in front of the fire or slept. From time to time I go outside and take a stroll around the block or to the park. The park was an amazing place to be, quiet and serene. Divine place to cogitate on your thoughts. The greenery and the trees, the essence of the park seemed as though it were plucked freshly from God’s heaven. Today was different though. The man with the thick black hair was leaning over a table cluttered with papers. He seemed deep in thought. Troubled by the papers. It really was beginning to annoy me. He would sit there and jot down something. Get angry mumble some words of profanity crumble the paper up and huck it in the fire. He would do this from time to time. I sat on the floor watching him for a bit. He paid no attention to me. I thought to myself, “Perhaps I will go to the park and see the lively hood down there.” So I got up and walked to the window. Hmmm, no good. It was raining outside. Quite a heavy rain too. I could see the dime sized rain drops falling from the sky. Erupting to tinier rain drops upon impact on the ground. There, however were people outside. A few children played in the rain. Jumping off curbs into the slowly flooding streets. The floods always happened. It wasn’t anything of great magnitude. Just tiny floods that filled the streets enough to keep the kids happy. To tell the truth though. I really dislike the water. It gets you all wet and soppy. Then you smell terrible for a bit, and when you dry, your hair sticks together and becomes tangled. It’s a pain to get out, so I stick to the doors when the wet season falls. I sat staring out at the window and watched the kids play. It started to become dark outside. I realized I was hungry. I went to the man’s table and was getting ready to inform him of supper time, but before I could get a word in he stood up and walked to the coat rack. With keys in hand and coat on back he left. Without a word, like he always did.

Damnit, another night of writers block. I’m tormented by these blank pieces of paper. Mocking me with their blank look. Aww, supper time. I need to get out and away from the mocking pieces of paper. Maybe I will burn them, yes that will show them I am serious about putting words on them. They’ll never expect it. I think I will meet Suzie down at the “Tour de’ Frank”.

“Suzie! Suzie!”
I heard his voice from across the room and knew right away it was Eric. He was a friend of mine. A writer. A good one at that. Had written a best seller a year or two back. He was a tall man with thick black hair. He wore snappy looking clothes. Suits and what not. Deep blue eyes. Eyes that were always thinking. I bet my bottom dollar that without those thinking eyes he wouldn’t be the writer he is today. He lived in an upscale neighborhood. Alone, well at least to my knowledge he lived alone. I had never seen anyone else in that big house of his.
“Eric, hi. How are you? Writing coming along at all?”
“No not really. Jus…” She cut me off because she knew what I was going to say
“Just more mocking pieces of paper!”
“Yeah, just more mocking pieces of paper. I’m glad I found you. I needed some human contact. That house gets lonely sometimes. If it’s not to late would you like to get something to drink with me? I mean if that’s…or if your already not doing anything. Are you here with somebody?”

There I go again. Stumbling over my words to talk to Suzie. I always do this. It’s truly a wonder she still talks to me. She looked good tonight, really good. She was wearing a white summer dress. A pearl colored sash draped over her shoulders, her sun tanned shoulders. She was magnificent. A divine beauty. Long blonde hair, hazel eyes. Aspects that every woman wanted. Suzie knew it. She didn’t flaunt it though, which made her pristine. A true trophy to have and to show off. I loved her, and she loved me. She was just to afraid to tell anyone or to show it. I knew though, I knew she loved me.
“So are you here with anyone?”
“No, I came down here for something to eat, what are you doing here?”
“I told you, I needed to get out and do something. So you want to get a drink or something, maybe you would like to come over to my house where it is quieter if you… want?”

In all honesty I really felt odd about going to his house. I knew him, but he seemed different tonight. His hair was tufted out of place like he had been sleeping on it. He was lacking a tie, he looked horrible, not himself, almost a different person but I knew him, so I inclined going to his home for a drink. What could possibly happen? He will invite me in, hang my coat up. Get a couple of glasses, pour some scotch, about half glass each. We will drink, discus literature, then I will go home.
“Sure, I can’t be out late. I work tomorrow, ok?”
“Sure, no problem.”


The rain finally halted to a small drizzle. I figured it would be a perfect time to go out on the upper porch of the house and watch the night close in on the little world. So I climbed up the stairs to the small living room where three of the walls were one of those all window type deals. As usual one of the windows had been left open. The carpet around the window was damp from where the rain had snuck in. I usually get yelled at for going through this window but the man was gone and he had left it open. I crawled through the window and onto the upper porch. It was a big fancy house. The upper porch practically wrapped around the whole house. I walked around the porch to where the man’s bedroom was and peered in through the window. Nothing though, empty. He must still be out. I laid on a lawn chair that had been set out on the porch, for, well for laying on. I laid there and watch the night sky. Playing connect the dots with the individual stars, making pointless shapes. It kept me entertained. I fell asleep.
I awoke to car lights pulling into the front drive. The man, he must be home. No concern to me, I decided to lay in the chair and continue to watch the stars. I would say a good half hour passed, after the man returned. I heard noises inside, but naturally assumed it to be the television. Loud thumping and then murmurs. The thick walls of the big house did well in keeping the noise out. A light flickered on behind me. I automatically knew it was from the man’s room. I turned around and peered into the window. I was shocked at what I was now viewing. My hair stood on end, I was frozen from terror as I watched the horrid scene of violence blossom out. It was the man and he had kicked in the door to his bedroom. He was dragging some lady by her hair. It looked as if she had been badly beaten, her dress was ripped and blood trickled from her ear and from her nose. The man dragged and threw her against a book shelf then on to his bed. She laid there crying out at him. Tears streaming down her face from terror. The man stood at the side of the bed talking in low tones to her. As if trying to soothe her pain and calm her very real nightmare. I edged closer to the window not knowing what to do. I stood there, all I could do was watch and listen.

“Right through this door Suzie, and let me take your coat. I will get some scotch. Please make yourself at home. I wont be long at all.” She had decided to come over for a drink. I went to the kitchen and got two glasses for scotch, I filled them about half full. She had come over but why? Was she excepting something that I had no clue of. I mean, all I want to do is discus literature. I got lost in thought and realized that she was mocking me. She came here to tease me. She sat out there on my sofa waiting for her drink. Looking like she does. She deliberately took me from the outside world. “Was she ashamed of me?”, I wondered. No! She was ashamed of me. How can you love someone that your ashamed of? You can’t! Why did she torment me so, I had done nothing to deserve this. I was good to her. It is time, I will show her the truth in which she can not see by herself, I will help her. I walked into the living room and handed her the glass of scotch.
“So, what are we to discuss tonight Eric?” asked Suzie
“Oh I don’t know, Dostovesky maybe, perhaps Whitman or…”
“or what”
“OR THE WAY YOU MOCK ME SO!” screamed Eric. “YOU WILL SEE THE TRUTH ABOUT US”

My breaths quickened to short gasps my heart beat ran faster and faster. A warm feeling fell over me, a terrified feeling, a feeling that something was not right. I was scared, what was he talking about, for the first time ever I feared Eric. Had he lost his mind? Or was he drunk? I calmly looked up at him. My body shook from fear.
“Er..Eric….what are you talking about?”
“You mock me, you love me, but you MOCK ME! I have done nothing to you and yet you mock me so!”
“Eric I don’t mock you. You are my friend.” I quietly stammered out “Eric, I want to leave” I stood up and walked to the door
“NO!” Eric shouted out at me
I stopped and trembled with fear. I slowly started to cry. “Eric I’m scared why…” He cut me off
“Do..don’t be scared you have no reason to be scared. I am only going to show you the truth about us.” Eric said to me in a low monotone voice. He said it starring at the floor and as if he were talking to himself.
“What do you mean the truth?” whispered Suzie, as tears slowly dripped off her face
“You love me Suzie, I know you do. I know you can’t tell me because your ashamed, but that’s ok because I’m going to show you the truth, now come with me.” replied Eric with a soft deep voice
“Eric I can’t, I have a boyfriend.”
Eric’s face turned red and he became angry. “NOOO!” he shouted out at me “You lie to yourself” I got scared and tried to run to the door but he caught me and hit me in the side of the head with something, Things went white for a little bit after he hit me.

She kept lying to herself about me. I had to show her the truth though. I couldn’t let her walk away from the truth, she was so close to knowing. She tried to run, without thinking I ran up and hit her in the head with my scotch glass. She fell to the floor face first. I grabbed her long blonde hair and started to drag her up the stairs. I reached my bedroom, but the door was closed so I kicked it in. I flipped on the light and threw Suzie to my bookshelf. There she laid for a second and regained her consciousness, as if she was preparing herself for the truth. I casually walked up to her and set her on my bed.

As I sat outside the room with terror draped around my shoulder’s I realized I had to do something but I couldn’t. I was frozen from fear. My eyes went in and out of focus. During this time I thought I saw a reflection from the window to the room. I thought I had seen a man behind me, he had long tangled hair and a long messy beard. He wore glasses. I turned around to see him but there was no one there. I looked back into the window, I could hear what they were saying to each other.
“Why did you do this to me?” Eric said as he began to cry
“Do what!? What did I do Eric, tell me?” cried Suzie
“I will show you the truth now”
What I saw then will remain to be in my head forever. That night, the man with the thick black hair beat the woman and stole from her everything she had. He stole from her, her purity, her innocence as a woman, and all her womanly aspects. He thieved from her what makes a woman pure. He did this crying out “this is the truth, this is our love”

The next nights after the murder of the woman the house was quite. I did my best in trying to stay away from the man with the thick black hair. I would board myself up in the spare rooms when he was home. He wouldn’t go out very much. It seemed as if he were trying to avoid me as much as I tried avoiding him. I often sat in one room, it used to be the attic but was turned into a lounge room that no one ever used. I would set up there and watch the day’s go by. It seemed when the woman had died so did part of the house. Though she was only there long enough to lose her life she had taken away from the house and the man, even me, something that wasn’t possible to be regained. I would sit and watch out the window watch the rain drops hit puddles and create ripples of life that bounced off of each other aimlessly. The winter was nearing , the cool nights soon turned into cold lonely nights. On one occasion I had been wondering down the stairs at the time the man was going up the stairs. I paused and looked at him. I hadn’t seen him in days, his unshaven face had a long gnarly gray beard and he was wearing his glasses. He too had stopped in the hall and looked at me through those thin framed glasses of his. He no longer seemed irritated like he always use to. He carried himself very poorly, hunched back and he dragged his feet behind him. I wondered if the torment of what he had done had started to take toll on his defiled soul.

We sat there eyeing each other, not saying a word. I wanted to just walk past him and up the stairs to my room. I wanted to lay down and die. I felt as if taking Suzie’s life that night and also, I taken mine. He kept starring at me, those yellow eyes of his judging me, courting my movements. I hurried past him and watched him trail down the stairs and into the living room. I continued on to my bed room, I walked in and stop in the door way and peered around, I looked at everything that was contained within my sleeping quarters. The book shelf the doorframe it’s self., the dresser. Everything was perfect. “How though?” I thought to myself. I walked over to the book shelf and looked at the floor, on the carpet, “No blood stains, no broken shelf, no broken door. Hmmmm? I remember creating all of what happened the night Suzie had been disposed of, but I don’t remember cleaning it up” Confusion filed my head and I passed out.
I paced around the house not knowing what to do with myself. I couldn’t remember what the hell I had done in the past day or two, my mind began to grow weary of it’s self and now I was losing it all. I knew that someone was after me, I saw him and his beard many times patrolling my house. There was nothing I could do, I was sure that this man knew what I had done, and the cat oh that black tabby cat. Even that cat was judging me, it judged me on the stairs and it was judging me now. I lay there on my bed gazing at the support beams that held up the roof. “How? How had the blood and the book shelf and everything else gotten cleaned up, how?” I wondered out loud. “Had it never even happened?” I couldn’t take the torment anymore.

I sat on the couch gazing into the fireplace, thinking of the man with the glasses and the thick gray beard. I had seen him the night of the murder I was sure of it. Why had I seen him so many times since the woman’s death? I had clearly seen him through the window walking past the house this evening. It was evident that he had something to do with the murder, but what? I sat looking in the flames pondering the man when a loud thud and kicking of the walls filled the house and brought me back to attention. I sat up and walked over to the bottom of the stairs. I looked up the darkened pathway, and saw a bead of light from the top of the staircase coming from the man’s bedroom where the door was cracked open. I slowly edged my way up the stairs as quietly as I could, I did not want the man to hear me. I came to the bead of light, and sat in front of the door fearing the other side, my stomach lurched to and froe. My heart quickened, I wanted to know what he had done inside his room, but I was sacred as hell to look. Had he committed another act of hate, was he thieving the purity from another heartily soul. I braved my thoughts of indifference towards the situation and lunged through the door with all my strength and there he was. The man with the thick black hair, the man who bore all insanity on the house and there he was, hanging from the roof. A rope tide around his neck, strung from the ceiling post. There he dangled, lifeless, unmoving for anything or anyone ever again.

------
Louie B. Tunnell


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