He watched her as she stalked and pounced on a bird. She was a good hunter, but she was evil. He had to eliminate her in accordance with the Goddess’ instructions. She was filth, no matter that she had been kind to him, had given him food when she’d seen he was hungry. She was vermin and it was his mission to destroy all the vermin. She had to die and he was the Goddess’ instrument of vengeance. But, not yet, he had to learn more about his prey’s habits. This was still the stalking stage. This kill had to be precise, just as the others were. He would eradicate the vermin from the world. His mission would not be finished until there was no more multicolored vermin in the world.
He stayed in the shadows, watching her eat her prey. He would not eat, could not eat, not in sight of such vermin. She would die, but the Goddess told him to wait until the time was right. He always obeyed her. She was all-powerful and she’d chosen him as her instrument to remove the vermin. Other cats would be envious of his status of chosen one. They would honor and revere him once he’d eliminated the vermin from the world. It would be his right and due. The Goddess had told him so.
She’d also told him to keep his mission to himself, which was the hardest part of the mission. He longed for accolades from his peer. The Goddess understood that, but she still maintained that no one else should know. They would want to help and take some of his glory. No, he’d obey the Goddess and keep the glory for himself.
She’d finished her bird and was walking away, leaving a small pile of bones and feathers. He followed, flitting from shadow to shadow, keeping her in sight. Watch and wait, that’s what the Goddess had told him, the Goddess knew how it should be done, it was her plan, all of his plans were of her devising. Watch the vermin, strike only when the time was right. He wondered when that would be. He was certain that the Goddess would let him know as she had all the other times.
The moon overhead cast a soft glow on the human play structure where she was curled in multicolored ball, sleeping. The play structure cast a dark shadow in the corner of the yard where he crouched watching her sleep, knowing that she had no idea that he was there. It would be so easy, just creep up to the side of the structure and pounce.
Not yet, the Goddess told him. The time is not yet.
He wondered when the Goddess would let him destroy the vermin. He ached to destroy her. She was vile. She soiled the nest she slept in. The wooden play structure formed a decent enough shelter, it would be a good nest for a good cat to sleep in. He wondered what good cat now was homeless because she had his nest. She pretended to be good, but he knew better. She was evil incarnate. It was the Goddess’ will that her kind must be destroyed, removed from polluting the good cats around them. Only then, would the Goddess allow the season to return to normal. Only then would everything be right in the world.
It would feel good to rip her disgusting fur and stain it with her blood. He would enjoy this. He’d enjoyed the other kills. The Goddess would be pleased, but not if he did the deed here. It was too close to humans. He would wait until he had her alone in her hunt for prey. Then her filth would be gone from the world.
He slipped behind a bush and through a hole in the fence. She would never realize he was there at all. He left only a hint of his scent behind him, slowly dissipating in the soft breeze.
“Your name is Tom-Tom, correct?” Princess was all business. They had no real suspects, but he wasn’t going to show any softness to anyone connected with this case, or cases, if the same killer was not responsible for all three killings.
“That’s right,” the tom’s voice was soft. Princess hated interviewing homeless cats. They were the strays most often seen on the streets. They had no set den site and finding them again was always a chore. Most of them were harmless, preferring to move often. Maybe they were right, Princess thought uneasily. This killer preyed on cats with homes, but there seemed no reason for the kills. Why had he killed those lovely cats?
“Did you know Mardi Gras, the first victim well?” Mittens asked.
It was cold in the alleyway, the way the wind was blowing, and Princess’ fur was little protection at all. How did cats with absolutely no shelter manage? He did his best to ignore his discomfort and concentrate on what the dirty white cat was telling them.
“Only by name,” he replied to the black and white longhaired agent’s question. Who knew if he was telling the truth? Most cats didn’t want to talk to FCIS agents. They didn’t want to get involved with any crimes, especially if their own livings came from shady deals on the streets. Princess suppressed another shiver as the wind stirred up his fur again. It was all well and good for Mittens, his fur was long and didn’t ruffle as completely as Princess’s own short hair did.
Tom-Tom was a short hair as well. How did he stand the wind? Princess was developing a respect for the gentle homeless tomcat.
“What about Annabelle, the second victim?” Princess said. “Did you know her?”
“No.” Didn’t he ever raise his voice?
“The last victim, Callie, did you know her?” Mittens exuded such patience that Princess wanted to bite him.
“She lived not far from here,” Tom-Tom said. “She used to give me scraps from her kills. She was nice.” Yeah, they were all nice. Princess sighed inwardly. That was all they were getting in this investigation. No one wanted to admit to knowing the victims well, but they were all well liked. That meant that this interview, like all the others was adding up to nothing.