CΩT (Part 4)

Black leathered fingers curl around the edge of the now open door, inching the door further until there is a space wide enough to fit the unmasked man. He sidles into the apartment, footsteps light but still causing the floor to creak. Chuck sits in the middle of the room, staring at him. The man wears a camouflage green jacket, square pockets lining the front, and has lank brown hair that falls in thin strands over his stubble covered face. He peers around in the darkness, eyes moving back and forth twice before lighting upon the observing cat. He looks back at it for a moment and then puts his forefingers to his lips, chuckling without sound as he lowers his hand an moves closer to the middle of the room. Chuck remains seated, watching all the while. The man moves to the shelves and then turns to the television. He grimaces and shakes his head. All of a sudden, Carly lets out a snort from the bedroom and the man jumps. He stares at the list of shadow that leads to the sleeping girl. Licking his lips, he inches his way to the door.

“Well, he was obviously on drugs.” The policeman looks down at the unconscious thief laying just outside Carly’s bedroom.

“I can’t believe I didn’t hear anything, I’m usually a really light sleeper. I just need to move.” She grabs her shaking shoulders, arms crossed across her teal nightshirt.

“Looks like your cat was making sure he stayed down.” The officer points at the man’s face, thing red scratches running down his cheeks. “Hope he doesn’t press charges!” he laughs. While he talks, two paramedics lift the unconscious man onto a stretcher and lift him to take him out to the waiting ambulance. “Well, let’s get this scumbag out of here. You just give us a call if you need anything else.” He follows the paramedics outside, radio on his belt crackling. Carly closes the door and falls back against it with a thump, closing here eyes and exhaling a large sigh.

“Unbelievable.” She opens them and is greeted by the sight of Chuck sitting a few feet away from her, tail slowly going back and forth. “I would take a day off, but I really can’t afford to. You gonna hold down the fort while I’m away?” Chuck meows and walks over to her, rubbing against her legs. Carly reaches down to pet him. “Apparently you were looking out for me already. And I thought I was going to regret bringing you in! My little orange guardian.” Chuck looks up at her a blinks. “Well, off to work I go. Another exciting day, no doubt.” She heads to the bathroom and the sound of the shower can be heard, muffled after she shuts the door.

“Ah crap, I’m gonna be late.” The door slams behind Carly as she rushes out to her truck. Chuck sits in the middle of the living room again, staring at the back of the front door. The wall phone in the kitchen area rings, and the electronic imitation of a bell fills the apartment. Chuck moves over to it and stands staring, tail whipping. Three more times and the answering machine comes on.

“You’ve reached Carly’s pad, I’m probably at work. Leave a message if you’re not trying to sell me something!… and yes mom, I’m alive.” Chuck meows as the message ends. The machine beeps and starts recording.

“Hi, this is the hospital where the burglar was taken. I know it’s unlikely, but do you happen to know anything about what happened to him? He’s still unconscious, but stable. Almost looks like a kid beat him up, the bruises are so small. Just trying to get any info on this guy, no ID or anything else! Our number is 800-873-5042, give us a call any time. Thanks!” Chuck purrs and walks over to the door.

( ©2015 Sean Dorsey )

Note: Please don’t call that phone number. I made it up, but it’s probably real. If you don’t mind though, what state/city does that go to? I’ll probably look it up later anyways, but that’s the setting for this story, chosen by fate.

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