Short Story: Hazel and The Witch

“You adopt another kitty, Millie?”

“Yes, Mrs. Pederson.”

“Don’t you already have two, Millie?”

Well one of them is a bunny now…. I decide not to mention this.

“Yes, Mrs. Pederson.”

“You better be careful now young lady of you’ll be known as the cat lady who never gets any men.”

“Yes, Mrs. Pederson.”

“Well, does the thing have a name?” Mrs Pederson bends down to look inside the carrying case.

I mumble something under my breath.

“Speak up dear.”

“Apollyon, the Destroyer of Worlds.”

Mrs. Pederson blinks.

I blink back.

“I was thinking something more like Fluffy.”

Mrs. Pederson gives me some more words of wisdom before letting me get back inside my apartment with my new cat. Ghost has burrowed himself into a pile of sweaters on the floor, fast asleep. Hazel is sitting in the windowsill, staring absent mindedly out at some small creature outside, her tail flicking back and forth. Hazel is the oldest; the first. She was the first decision I made after moving out on my own. Ghost was after her, but a small mishap turned him into a bunny. I think he likes it better.

Apollyon tears around the room when I let him out, which wakes up Ghost, and the two race after each other until Apollyon finally gives up and just hides under my bed.


“Yes another.” I smile, putting a kettle on the stove. “I thought Ghost could use a friend.”

I suppose.

“Mrs. Pederson thought I should name him Fluffy.”

I can hear Hazel snort in that dainty little kitty way.

“What do you think?”

Absolutely not.

I join Hazel and sit on the windowsill, my feet dangling out, four stories up.

“Maybe I didn’t just get him for Ghost. I thought you might like someone as well.”

We shall see if he has potential.

“You sound like a world leader.”

Maybe I am.

Someone honks down on the street below. Four more honks return the call. I pick up Hazel and head to the kitchen to pull the whistling kettle off the stove. She climbs up to perch on my shoulder, and leans against the side of my head as I pour the water into a mug with mint leaves and lemon.

I sit on the floor with my tea and a can of tuna fish and wait until Apollo comes out from under the bed to investigate. It only takes a little bit of tuna-bribery before he settles down into my lap for a good scratching. Hazel jumps back to her perch in the windowsill, this time turned to face the room.

He likes you.

“Of course he likes me, he’s purring.”

He doesn’t even know your smell yet.

“He will.”

There is a pause, and Hazel tilts her head at the sleeping Apollyon.

He likes it here.

“I’m glad.”

Just don’t mess this one up.

“I’m not going to.”

That’s what you said last time, and now Ghost is a rabbit.

“That won’t happen again.”

She lets out a half purr, half hrmph.

The sky is darker now, stained with orange and pink ink, slowly blotting itself across the horizon. Ghost decides to go back to sleep in the laundry, satisfied with the newest member of the Ramsey household.




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