When the cat split—it’s head growing, morphing, slowly tripling all of its features—that’s when I realized:
It probably wasn’t a cat.
Slamming into the wall, I stumbled.
But didn’t fall.
That small difference probably saved my life.
Something black slammed into the wall behind me, following on my heels. Cracking the wall as the tentacle hit and exploded into black ooze. Seeping down the wall with smokey black gunk.
I kept moving.
Somehow, I kept moving.
Bolting forward, I ran into my bedroom, shutting and locking the door behind me. Heart kicking against my chest, my eardrums. Screaming through my pulse as I tried to gain my bearings. Get a hold on the situation.
There was no way of getting a handle on this, was there? How do you deal with a monster? With an alien or a demon or whatever the hell that thing was?
How do you fight something when you don’t even know what it is?
As the creature yowled, making an ancient creaking sound that somehow merged with the noise of a train wreck, I stopped hesitating. Stopped trying to figure it out.
That’d probably just get me killed.
In this one instance, I did what I had to do. Did the one thing I hated doing.
I gave up.
I opened the window, and dove. Knowing that I couldn’t win in this fight. That I couldn’t do this by myself. No.
My only hope was escape.
Sure, it felt a bit cowardly. I wondered, even as I fell, if this was right or wrong of me. If I should go back and try. But…
I didn’t think so.
Getting myself killed didn’t seem favorable.
And hoped against all hope that that thing was dumber than it felt. That it was random in its choosing, that it didn’t have a need for me, specifically. That it would lose interest once it came across something else (please God don’t let it be someone else) and stop pursuing. Against all odds, I begged. Betting everything on instinct.
Hoping that it didn’t follow, I ran.