[P] [M] You make me smile, please stay for a while
Smike | Tora

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

Specifically, this thread is marked mature because of: Covid 19 content, isolation, pandemic, death, depression, depressive thoughts.

Ooc: Modern human AU | Beginning March 2020, west coastal Washington
Her cellphone rang; the jaunty, cloyingly-sweet tone she'd assigned her cousin to his ever-evident disgust, echoing on her bedside table. At this moment, she really couldn't care less if he was in trouble again, if he was needing to borrow some more money to catch up on his due rent, or if he'd been shot and was bleeding out along First and Avenue D.

It was 5am. 5:17am to be specific.

"Benjamin. It is 5am. I will murder you and they won't find the body. I am familiar with the back roads of the cascades."

<"Wow. Wow, I am hurt, truly, deeply, why are you so mean to me, Pontifex. I'm just here, trying to be a nice cousin and check up on you, and here you are, threatening me with physical bodily harm."> She could hear his laughter, wrapped up in the hoarse, exhausted sound of his voice, she was not a fan.

"Why are you calling me at this time? Why are you awake? Are you insane? Or have you even been to sleep yet?" Sitting up on her bed, she leaned back against the mountain of plush pillows and tried to pretend like this wasn't the last thing she wanted to do.

<"Inslee's said they're doing lockdown, thought I should let ya know before you see the news. He's saying everyone not essential will have to stay home.">

Ponti's fingers tightened about her phone. Her eyes sought out the ceiling.

<"Ponti?"> The voice on her phone prompted, sinking into concerned.

"Yeah, I hear you."

She wasn't so sleepy anymore.

❁ ✾ ❀

She spent her birthday at home for the first time in her life. April 1st brought a torrential rain that sat over the quaint little town like a shroud, the dismal clouds dumping buckets of water in pattering sheets that, although they made for a grey and dreary day, gave her a very peaceful background to the ticking sound of her fingers as they flew across the keyboard.

Working on her birthday shouldn't be so depressing as it was, but, well, it wasn't like she had much choice in the matter. Anxiously, her eyes flicked to her silent cell phone, wishing and dreading in turn, its distinctive beeping that would say she had a text from her cousin. A day that should be filled with well wishes, with relatives and friends dropping by with kisses and hugs, was instead being spent awaiting news on the condition of her uncle John.

The disease that was ravaging the world had not passed by her family without affect, and her uncle lay, comatose and very sick, at Providence Hospital in Everett; A journey she could not make, because of the pandemic, and nor would the hospital allow her in to visit anyways. Against her own attempt, Pontifex found the tears beading again, and strove to push it all down, to leave behind the chest-clutching anxiety that accosted her.

Surprise didn't cover it as her grieving was interrupted by a loud caterwauling, followed by a cacophony of hissing and thumping. Rushing to her window she peered out around the curtains before letting out a cry and turning instead to fly to her door, pulling it open and rending her voice into the still afternoon,

"Waynescott! Johnathan! You bullies! You leave it alone!" The two stray tomcats sprang backwards at the noise of her voice and the opening of the door. They were a troublesome duo that Ponti had pseudo-adopted and named after her uncle and his good friend, the resemblance between the two men and the cats often enough to make her laugh as she watched their antics. But today, she wasn't talking in a soft tone, her voice flashing with anger.

"Beasts!! Both of you!" She added, just to make her final point. The tiny dark kitten they had been ruthlessly slapping at took a chance at escape from the two much larger cats and charged at her, fleeing directly between her legs and into her apartment.

Johnathan, back arched, hissed at her, and Ponti gave a good facsimile of a hiss back, making the tomcat puff up further. Waynescott, uncaring that he'd been caught in acts of bullying, calmly licked a paw and washed his face with it, done with the entire charade already. Shutting the door firmly behind her, Pontifex turned back to her apartment, and signed, wondering which crack or crevice the kitten had managed to jam itself into. 

Walking quietly, stooping to look under and behind things she began to search, her previous sorrow forgotten in wake of the interruption. "Puss puss, spspspsps" She called quietly. The very brief look she'd gotten at it, it had looked thin and scraggly, and definitely in ill health.

As she checked each room and made sure it wasn't hiding, she closed the doors that led off of the hallway, reducing the number of places it could run too if it tried to flee again. Eventually, the last place to check was under her bed and, yep, the glint of eyes peered back at her.

"Hey there, little thing." Ponti spoke very quietly and soothingly, "Don't you want to come out from under there? I can't imagine it's very comfy." She'd not really thought of getting another pet, not after Feu's death, it just hadn't felt right. But, when she did catch the wee little thing, what would she do with it? She couldn't put it back out on the street, it'd die; And she was pretty sure the shelters were closed.

"What am I going to do with you, huh?" Ponti clicked her tongue enticingly, to see if that would serve to budge the little creature.

 Toraberā Tanaka ▩ 不名誉より死

The world was very cruel to the very small, and not at all kind to those who couldn't see well. The cat, scarcely more than a kitten, was both, and thus knew only harshness. He was sure that he had had a mother to keep him warm and fed at one point, just as he was sure he had had a second eye, but what happened to them he did not know. The outcome was the same no matter the cause: an aching hole in his heart and an infected wound in his head. 

He ate what was left behind for him, the small tins of tuna and handful of dried pieces left out by the generous People as well as some of the smaller rodents that lurked in their garbage. These sources were naturally limited however, and he had to compete with creatures far larger than he. Raccoons hissed and screamed when he came near, skunks would rear up to ward him away. He had learned to avoid the People's yards, lest they have a horrible dog to chase him away. 

The worst were the other cats, the toms who did not pity a rival. 

He had been seeking shelter from the rain when he happened upon the scent of something fresh, a meal discarded and still warm! Blinking away the downpour he rushed over, the water stinging the scabs crusting his empty socket. Little paws bat furiously at the greasy bag, trying to determine an opening when the other two arrived.

The Cat screamed as he was beset, wailing in fright and anger, and desperation as he tried to fend them off. It was no use. They were bigger and stronger, a flurry of furious paws and bared fangs ganging up on the weak little wretch. There was no exit, certainly no hope of a meal, only the thin chance that they let him off with a light beating as opposed to a proper maiming.

"Waynescott! Johnathan! You bullies! You leave it alone!"

A voice, an open door, a mad sprint for safety. The Cat escaped only by the grace of the Person who shouted at his aggressors, their stunned reactions buying time to run and hide. He shot between the Person's legs and kept on going, wedging himself in the darkness beneath something sturdy and strong. It was there that he sat until the Person came looking, trembling violently from cold as much as fear.

"Don't you want to come out from under there?"

He didn't understand the Person's words, only that they were bigger and blocking the exit. That meant a threat, and the Cat had no recourse but to puff up and hiss. He knew that the display was weak, he was no threat to anyone, not in his condition. 

He was just so scared.
➧➧  mrow | Word Count [476]

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