Jake sat in his pajama bottoms staring into the coffee cup on the kitchen table. The steaming coffee smelled good, but he left it alone. He knew he’d puke at the first swallow. Why in the hell had he insisted on all those tequila shots? His head pounded.
Jake’s cat Motor pawed at his pajama leg. “Knock it off Motor,” Jake said and flicked his foot towards the cat. Motor dodged the brushoff with ease. Unfazed, he jumped onto the table, and claimed squatter’s rights on the newspaper in front of Jake. Motor locked eyes with Jake.
Jake didn’t even notice. He put his head in his hands. He was thinking about going back to bed when he heard a thin nasally voice say, “Snap out of it you twit!”
“What the fuck?” Jake asked, lifting his head. He looked at Motor.
“You heard me twit, Snap out of it.”
Jake stared at the cat with his mouth open. He couldn’t believe what he’d just seen and heard. By all counts it seemed like Motor had spoken. His mouth moved and even matched the words. That’s nuts, cats don’t talk, Jake thought. He looked around the room to see who was punking him. The room was empty except for and Motor and Jake.
“Don’t pretend you can’t hear me Jake. You know we’re alone, at least that is if you don’t count that blonde bimbo in the bedroom. And after all the booze and “gymnastics” last night, I imagine she’ll be sleeping it off for a while. That just leaves the two of us. Face it dude, I AM talking and you CAN hear me,” Motor said.
Jake struggled to think through the post-alcohol fuzz. “If you can talk, then why in the hell haven’t you done it until now? We’ve been together forever for god’s sake. Why now?” Jake asked.
“Let me break it down for you Jakey. It’s all about reincarnation my human friend… past lives and all. That shit’s real. I’m proof. I haven’t always been a cat you know. Mind you the cat thing hasn’t been so bad, I mean you can lick your balls for god’s sake. And jump? You wouldn’t believe what that feels like… but I digress. I was a human before, and I want to go back. Correct that, I AM going back,” Motor said.
“What makes you so certain?” Jake asked.
“Once you’ve been through the process, you get to know how it works. There are only two rules; first, you have to spend at least five years in your new body, that is unless you’re dying, which lets you out of that one. Check that one off Jakey, I just celebrated my fifth birthday. And second, you need to knock off two to get one fresh body to move into. The universe loses two, you get to take one, so to speak. We need to talk about that one Jakey,” Motor said. His eyes again locked on Jake, unmoving except for the pupils that were dilating in and out. Motor shifted his weight from one foot to the other and then became still.
Jake was about to speak when Motor lunged. He was no match for the cat’s reflexes. Motor was on Jake’s neck before he could even flinch, claws sunk deep, teeth searching for Jake’s jugular. Motor’s head twisted from side to side as blood spurted from Jake’s neck. Jake panicked. He grabbed at Motor’s body to pull the cat from his neck, but only managed to sink the claws deeper into his own flesh. Jake was bleeding out. He could feel it. His knees buckled and he fell to the ground.
Jake’s left leg twitched as the last of his life’s breath whispered out of his body. Blood formed a spreading pool from the puncture marks in his neck. Motor stepped back, and looked toward the bedroom. He could hear nothing from the blonde. Clearly the tough night of tequila fueled sex had left her oblivious to “the dance” that had just played out between him and Jake.
Motor walked towards the bedroom, instinctively flicking his paws with each step, trying to shake off the blood he’d picked up from the dark pool next to Jake’s body. With each step he left a tiny cat print in the tan carpet. By the time he reached Jake’s bed he looked like he was wearing red socks with white bottoms.
He paused, senses in full hunter mode, taking in the room. Nothing but the blonde, who had now begun to snore, still very much asleep. Motor leapt onto the foot of the bed. He paused again to check for movement. Nothing. All good. He crept towards the blonde’s head with all of his cat-senses on high alert.
Motor was on her with one short pounce, his mouth latched to hers, claws sunk deep into her cheeks. He was in this for keeps. The blonde jolted awake, startled and confused. Both of her hands clawed instinctively at Motor’s fur trying to free him from her face. She wanted to breathe… bad. No luck.
Motor sucked hard trying to pull in the energy that made her soul. He could feel the blonde’s life force leaving her and entering his body. Her eyes widened as she realized just how oh-shit bad this was. It dawned on her that if she didn’t double down and overpower the cat, her life would be over. She sucked harder, pulling against the cat’s force.
Just as she reached the tipping point of death, Motor relaxed, letting the energy flow reverse. As he did, he could feel it flowing out past his lips in a tangible stream back into her body. The taste of the stream began to change from citrus to a metallic taste as Motor forced his energy into the stream. Now the stream was all his as it flowed back into the blonde, filling her body and into her soul.
The blonde’s eyes bulged, her body tensing at the sudden pulse of energy. There was an electric snap as the connection broke between Motor and the blonde. The cat’s body went limp and fell lifeless to the sheets next to the blonde. The blonde gasped, her chest heaving as she coughed, struggling to breathe. The next breath was deep and welcome. She felt good.
Her body visibly relaxed with each breath. She smiled ever so slightly as she swung her legs over the side of the bed and hurried to the bathroom mirror. Once there, she cupped her breasts, admired her newfound body. “Oh my blonde friend, thank you for this wonderful body. I promise I will use it the fullest,” Motor said and laughed.
Life is good, Motor thought. Now to make the most of it. He walked over to the chair by the bed where he’d seen the blonde’s clothes. “It looks like I’m going to be doing the walk of shame this morning,” Motor said as he picked up the silky little black dress. He pulled the dress over his head and tugged it down but it still barely covered his cheeks. He slipped on the black heels and reached for the small black purse on the floor near the chair. “Now, let’s find out where I live,” he said, opening the purse for the cell phone. The screen powered up with a touch and no security code. Lucky me, he thought. Checking the phone, he found two messages, from ‘Sis’, both left last night.
He pressed to hear the first message and put it on speaker. “Hi Brenda, this is your sister. I talked to Mom just now. She said she’d promised you she wouldn’t tell me, but she just had to. She said she couldn’t keep something like this from me. Why didn’t you tell me Brenda?” She sniffed. “I want to be there for you. Call me back. Okay?”
Wonder what that’s all about, he thought and pressed to hear the second message. “Brenda, why aren’t you calling back? I didn’t want to do this on the phone, but Mom told me about the cancer.” Sis was crying in full-blown sobs now. “I know how bad it is. At a time like this, you need to be with family. Mom said Dr. Raj told her it was a matter of hours or perhaps a few days, but no more. I want to see you now! Please call me Brenda. It can’t end like this,” and the call went silent.
Motor’s stomach turned over forming a knot. His head throbbed behind his eyeballs. Had that been there before and he hadn’t noticed with all the adrenaline? “Just my luck. All I wanted was a hot chick for a shot at my next life and I end up in a walking time bomb and a short fuse,” he said. Time’s a wasting bucko, you know what you have to do, he thought, and headed for the door.