Trick or Treat
by Rita L. Smith
Meow. I heard a cat from somewhere within my house. The problem was I didn’t have any cats. I was sure I must’ve been mistaken, when the sound got closer. So, close in fact, that I could hear the cat purring.
Something brushed against my leg and I jumped in spite of myself. The cat stood looking at me and I could swear it was laughing at me, too. It was a mangy looking creature with scraggly brownish fur. One ear had a piece missing from it. And those amber eyes… I swear I had seen those eyes before.
“Charlie?” I asked the cat. I was being ridiculous, but I couldn’t get past the thought that the cat looked like my husband.
“Charlie is that you?”
“If you are Charlie, you had better change into a human again and explain yourself.”
Laughter peeled from behind me. I spun around to see Charlie and my daughter.
“I told you Dad that Mom would think that cat was you.”
“Haha,” I said. “Where in the world did you find a cat that looks so much like you?”
“We didn’t,” Charlie said. “ It found us and I knew that I had to bring him home.”
“Without consulting me?” I knew I sounded hysterical at this point, but I couldn’t help myself. I was embarrassed that I’d actually thought the cat was human. And angry that my family knew that I would be that gullible.
“Honey, calm down,” Charlie said.
“Yah, Mom, even I thought it was Dad at first. They look so much alike,” Jasmine said.
“Did you really?”
Jasmine began to nod, but cut it off in mid nod. Her eyes widened. I looked a Charlie and he seemed to be having the same reaction. I turned to look at whatever they were seeing.
Something was happening to the cat. It seemed to be shimmering and it was getting bigger. It’s shape begin to change. In a matter of minutes a naked man lay on the floor.
“Fetch him a blanket,” I shouted.
“Who are you?” Charlie asked as Jasmine ran to grab a blanket from the back of the couch.
When she returned with the afghan, I said, “Jas, something without holes.”
“Oh,” Jasmine said looking at the afghan as if it were a foreign object. She returned to the couch and grabbed the quilt.
“Here you go,” Jasmine said as she handed it to the man. The man could have been my husband’s double.
“My husband asked you a question, who are you?” I asked.
“Don’t you recognize me?”
“You look like Charlie, but who are you?” I demanded.
“I am Charlie, hon.”
“No, Charlie is standing next to me. You are only someone who looks like him.”
“My dear, sweet wife, I am your husband.”
“Charlie, what’s this kook talking about?”
“I have no idea,” Charlie said.
“Ask him if he knows your name, dear?” the cat said.
I looked at Charlie and waited for him to say my name.
“Opal, your name is Opal, dear,” the man who I thought was Charlie said.
“Charlie would never call me that,” I said. I could feel myself nearing hysteria again.
“Why wouldn’t I that’s your name,” the imposter said.
Jasmine and I moved away from both of the men. I asked the cat, “What is my name?”
“Your name is Dee,” he said. “But I call you Diddlebug.”
“Charlie,” I said, but it sounded like a question even to my ear.
“Yes, dear I am the man you married in that shotgun wedding all of those years ago.”
I ran to the man I now knew as my husband. “Oh, Charlie. I knew it was you from the beginning.”
“Who is this then?” Jasmine said.
“He’s a warlock, I would imagine,” Charlie said. “He turned me into a cat and then changed himself to look like me.”
“So, he really doesn’t look like you?” I said.
“No,” Charlie said, shaking his head as he did.
“Get out of my house before I turn you into a mosquito!” I shouted.
That made everyone laugh, except the warlock. I think he realized that there was more to me than anyone realized. The warlock headed for the door, before I could say the magic words.
Please remember that this story is copyrighted by me, so don't reprint it. I will be putting a book together with my flash fiction in it. Also, I have Flashes From My Mind and More Flashes From My Mind available on Amazon. More Flashes From My Mind is available on Kindle for $2.99.