Without knowing she wasn’t supposed to be able to see it, Stacy took to jogging down Cypress Lane, passing the only house there with its clowder of cats and giants buzzards on the roof. Though it gave her the willies at first, she quickly grew accustomed to it as a natural part of her running route.
Her boyfriend Scott joined her on a jog one day.
“Where are you going?” He huffed a non-jogger puff.
Stacy pointed, “Down the lane. It’s not far. We’ll turn back after and keep it short.”
Scott looked at the copse of dense brambles to which she pointed. “What lane?”
“C’mon Scott, don’t be a wuss.” And then she ran right through the brambles…without even disturbing them. “C’mon!” She called clearly from the other side. Her voice should have been muffled by the foliage but it wasn’t.
With one hand in front of him and the other pressed to the stitch in his side, Scott walked through the brambles without resistance.
“Why are you walking like that?”
Scott lowered his outstretched arm. “Because of the brambles!”
They argued about the bramble’s existence until Stacy spotted an old woman standing in front of the cat house. The giant birds on the roof stalked back and forth agitatedly and the cats left a wide birth around the old woman.
“You shouldn’t have brought him here,” the old woman barked. She flicked a stick in their direction and POOF— Scott and Stacy were cats.
The panic was immediate. It took all day to calm down and another to figure out how to communicate with each other again. After a hungry week, they’d come up with a plan: Get the stick.
It took some thinking, but they lured her out of the house by having Scott use his back foot to hammer at the front door. When the old woman—or witch, as they thought of her— came out, Stacy spotted the stick in her hand and made a leap for it.
She latched her feline mouth onto the stick and held on as the witch tried to displace her. Scott darted in and bit the witch in the calf. She dropped the stick and Stacy ran off with it, yowling all the way.
Following the plan, they immediately headed for main road and ran along it hoping for a vehicle. The witch screamed as she chased after them.
Stacy spotted a car and ran toward it, narrowly dodging its wheels as she dropped the stick. CRACK! The stick broke into pieces, crushed by the car.
Stacy and Scott were suddenly human again.
The witch let out an ear-piercing screech and ran back to her house through the brambles Stacy could now see.
Sometimes they talked about the other cats. Who they might be. How Stacy and Scott might save them. But mostly they remembered the terror of being cats and they stayed well away from Cypress Lane.