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Today – 24 February – in 2006 saw the death of US actor, Dennis Weaver. He had a long and varied career, and was best known for his portrayal of Chester in the long-running TV series ‘Gunsmoke’. Other TV shows and movies in which he appeared include:

‘Touch of Evil’ (1958)
‘Kentucky Jones’ (1964-1965)
‘McCloud’ (1970-1977)
‘Duel’ (1971)
‘The Ordeal of Doctor Mudd’ (1980)

Our contest this week begins with THREE things: character, setting and genre.

We spun, and our three elements are – character: Veterinarian, setting: Washington D.C., and genre: Comedy.

The comedy thing didn’t really work for me this time, so I clicked the spin button and got:

Veterinarian/ Big City/ Horror

Here’s my response to the prompt.

Cat Lady

By Ronel Janse van Vuuren


It’s been years since Mary had moved to the big city to look after strays, making sure they got the medical attention they deserved. She’d given up a lot, though getting the hell away from her cheating husband had been worth it.

The soft mewling of kittens drew her to the kitchen. The window was open as always, allowing cats to use the fire-escape to come and go as they please. She’d long given up on keeping them in the alley.

‘It’s alright, darlings,’ she said as she pulled a tray of ampoules from the fridge. ‘You’ll feel better in a moment.’

She could feel the cats on the landing outside the window watch her, completely silent. Even those in the alley were waiting.

Mary quickly injected the kittens. And stepped back as they immediately grew to maturity, glowing with phosphorescence.

The only white one in the litter opened his mouth and showed her his sharp teeth before licking his lips while watching her.

‘Go and feast on the worst of humanity, my pets,’ she said.

A chorus of meows greeted her words and the newest litter of super-strong and hungry cats jumped out the window. They joined the others on their hunt.

Mary grinned. The news spoke of a very active serial killer leaving his victims gruesomely dismembered. If they just knew… At least her cats were well-fed.

Yeah, I know. The judge’s favourite line (with explanation): “Mary grinned.”
Perhaps out of context a rather odd line to pick, but with all that had gone before, that grin was a harbinger of all ills and a testament of madness. I saw that grin unfold with all the portent of Hell opening.

So how did I do it? I listened to The Cure’s Disintegration album. And I took Stephen King’s advice:

So what do you think? I don’t usually write horror, though I think this worked out well.