The blood turned cold as it slowly dripped down my face. I laid on the dirty street. Snow fell silently, bathing me in ice that stabbed my tender skin. I opened my mouth to beg for help. For anyone's help. But no cry escaped me. Only a wheezing breath sounded, and I feared it would be the last sound I made.
One of my eyes was swollen, but I was still able to watch as people walked by, ignoring the young girl dying in the alley. No one cared. It was that thought that hardened me. Angered me.
I lifted my hand, attempting to pull myself forward. If I could make it back to my shelter, I had a chance. There, it was warm and dry. Maybe it would be enough to save my beaten and abused body. I whimpered when I realized my wrist was broken. It was purple, and my fingers were angled wrong.
Why didn't they kill me? It was all I wanted to know. Why torture and beat me only to toss me into the snow?
"Because they're cowards."
I flinched at the strange voice, unable to turn my head to follow it. "Who is?" I whispered instead.
"The men who did this to you, of course. They are brave when it comes to hurting someone weaker than them. But even in the end, they can't finish the job. Hence, why I said that they're cowards." The voice circled me. Still, I couldn't find it.
"I'm not weaker than them," I said, unable to accept what was happening.
"My dear girl," the voice came to a stop in front of my face, "yes, you are."
I peered through the slim slit in my eyelid and nearly laughed. "Pretty kitty." I tried to raise my broken hand to pet the peculiar-looking cat, but it fell before it had a chance to rise.
The ebony cat stared at me, his severely long limbs sleek and strong. His crimson eyes caught every twitch of muscle and flutter of breath. Was he waiting for me to die so that he could have dinner? I wouldn't blame the animal. At least I would have a purpose. At least my death wouldn't be for nothing.
"Is that all you want from me? To consume you after you're gone? That seems like a rather insignificant purpose if you ask me." The cat rose and paced back and forth, his tail flicking irritably.
"What else could a cat give me?" I asked, curiosity the one and only thing keeping my chest rising and falling. I no longer felt the snow. My body had numbed besides the stinging in my fingers and toes.
The cat paused, refusing to sit, and stared into my open eye. "Do I look like a mere cat to you?" He rose to his full height, extenuating his abnormal figure. At a glance, he looked like a common black cat, but there was something unnatural in his build and the intelligence in his eyes. "Well, you are talking to me, so probably not." I laughed, and my breath caught, refusing to fill. Something inside me was broken.
"Do you want to live?" he asked, his gaze unwavering.
As the blood began to dry, I asked the cat, Why should I?
"Revenge, obviously. Are you going to let those assholes get away with killing you? Are you going to let them continue to hurt other children? Make a deal with me, and you'll have the strength to not only live, but take what is rightfully yours." He sat on his haunches, shifting so close to me that I felt the faint whisper of fur on my broken nose.
I looked out at the people again. They saw me. And they kept walking.
Anger warmed my cold heart, setting it ablaze.
"Good answer," the cat purred.
YOU ARE READING
RELEASE DATE AND COVER REVEAL: TO BE DETERMINED THOU SHALT NOT Worship other gods Create idols Take the name of the lord in vain Forget the sabbath day Fail to honor thy mother and father Kill Commit adultery Steal Lie Covet Hard rules to follow whe...