Whitney took her time walking home from work.
Most nights she wasn’t in any hurry.
What was waiting for her?
Leftover Chinese food and whatever was left on her DVR?
Yeah, not that important.
She took her time, and this night, she was glad she did.
It was dark out, like it always is when she locks the bar up.
The sun would be rising soon, but the moon still hung full and bright.
In the middle of the street, she saw it – a bright white, one-eyed cat. Just sitting there. Sitting there and staring at her, the moon catching the one eye, gleaming like a promise.
As soon as she was within petting distance, the cat did what cats do, and moved away. Trotting like a fluffy princess down the street. Each time the cat reached a streetlight, it would look back to make sure she was being followed.
Of course Whitney was following her.
It was four in the morning and the half eaten spring rolls in the fridge paled in comparison to the beautiful one-eyed cat.
She chased the cat, finding inside of her this growing feeling of childhood glee.
She was smiling and laughing. Chasing a cat down empty pre-dawn streets is the autumn equivalent of catching snowflakes on your tongue.
The cat turns a corner and Whitney follows and almost run into a little old lady.
She screams and laughs at herself and apologizes to the little old lady.
The cat is in the lady’s arms, now with two eyes.
The old lady, on the other hand, has only one eye.
“Oh, sweetie. You always do find me the most beautiful ones, don’t you? Yes you do, yes you do.”
She kisses the cats head over and over.
Whitney stands, confused, and slowly begins to back away.
“Oh, now, dear. Don’t you go anywhere. You have something I need.”
The old woman moves faster than Whitney expected. Her long nails digging into Whitney’s face.
Whitney felt her lungs tighten, as if the old woman were stealing her breath.
She was. She was also stealing her youth – as 583-year-old witches tend to do.
Whitney was found, the next morning, by the garbage men.
She was lost, and confused.
She looked at her hands and they were old.
She could feel it in her bones.
The garbage men helped her up and she waved them off. Ashamed and afraid of what she has become.
She walked the street, towards her apartment.
Towards her day-old Chinese food and her DVR.
The sun was shining, the morning was cold, and the sunlight caught something shiny.
Whitney looked down the street and saw the one-eyed cat, belly up, playing in the warmth of the morning.