Oh Meow No! Part One by Derek Ailes
“Help me stand up the burnt zombie display,” Chandra said as Merle finished putting all the plastic skeletons on the rack near the massive zombie display in the Spirit Halloween shop in Hobart, Indiana. She stared at him impatiently as he adjusted all the skeletons to where they were exactly three inches apart from each other.
“Come on, Monk! I don’t have time for your OCD today!”
Merle adjusted the last skeleton and slowly walked over to her and helped her stand the animated reddish zombie inside the tiny haunted house display in the back of the store. She immediately plugged it in and watched its hands move around as it lit up making it appear to be on fire. She knew that many horror fanatics would be willing to pay the two hundred dollars for it.
“My boyfriend will definitely want this in our bedroom.”
“Chandra, isn’t he already living with a freak show.”
“Oh, Merle. You think you’re insulting me, but it’s actually a compliment,” she laughed. “I’m a hundred percent freak show.”
Chandra had raven black, spiked hair, reminding Merle of the hairstyles of the punk rock girls of the eighties. She had tattoos all over her arms, legs and neck and had multiple spiked earrings in both of her ears. She was gothic to the core.
Merle, on the other hand, was husky with short blondish hair and wore thick glasses. He was a big horror movie fan and found working at the Halloween shop the coolest job he had ever had. Unfortunately, it was only a temporary four month job since the company only set up in vacant stores during the Halloween season.
“Now that burning man is up, we should set up the other two zombies,” Merle suggested.
“Good, it’s almost time for our grand opening,” Mitchell, the store manager, said as he walked over to them.
Chandra was about to say something when she was interrupted by a loud howling noise coming from outside the store. As the noise became louder, the front windows burst inward sending glass shards in every direction. The front display of Halloween toys violently flew toward them as powerful tornado force winds blew inward.
The sky outside was dark as night even though it was only nine a.m. The power in the store went out replaced by constant flashes of lightning. As each flash of lightning brightened the store, Chandra thought she saw several creatures moving across the floor. The power came back on and Chandra screamed as she witnessed Merle and Mitchell on the floor being ripped apart by several cats. The howling wind got louder and several ceiling tiles crashed down around her. As the roof of the store was sucked upward into the sky, Chandra could see the large tornado above her. Several cats fell from the tornado and greedily ripped away at her flesh. Before the cats could completely devour her body, she, along with all of the cats, was sucked into the tornado as it continued moving forward toward Valparaiso.
“I hope I have your vote.” Danny Crump shook the hands of all the Republican voters who showed up for his rally at the fairgrounds in Valparaiso, Indiana. He was one of many candidates who were campaigning for the Republican ticket for the 2016 presidential race. When he first announced his candidacy, the analysts claimed he had no chance of winning the election. With his constant don’t hold back, say whatever pops in your head attitude, he was currently leading the polls. The more he talked about his stance against immigration, the more people seemed to be willing to vote for him. The more he stuck his foot in his mouth, the higher the polls were in his favor.
He was the owner of several successful businesses and was considered one of the wealthiest men in the United States. Because of his vast wealth, he didn’t have to rely on wealthy corporations or lobbyists contributing to his campaign and trying to control him like he was some puppet connected to a bunch of strings.
As Danny was walking away from what was left of the massive crowd that showed up for the rally, the dark clouds in the distance caught his attention. He hated thunderstorms and the weather service had predicted back-to-back severe thunderstorms. He wished that Mother Nature was a real person so he could personally say to her that she was fired. That thought put a big smile across his face.
“Mr. Crump, impressive rally. It is trending on all the social media sites. You should hear all the negative things Chris Matthews and Bill Maher just said about you on television,” Anthony Smith, his campaign manager, said.
“When was the last time you heard something intelligent coming out of their big mouths? Never. They’re probably not really Americans anyway,” Danny said and jumped a little as he heard thunder in the distance.
“Mr. Crump, we better get out of here before it starts raining.”
“Not a bad idea. I hate the rain.”
Kate Jessie helped her friend, Julie McEnroe, place all the old paperback books on the table for the Independent Cat Society’s annual book sale at the US Army National Guard Armory in Valparaiso. All the proceeds from the book sale would help fund their animal shelter for another year. Finding homes for abandoned cats was Kate’s life passion. Being an owner of five cats of her own, she was your typical crazy cat lady. She only wore shirts and sweaters with pictures of cats on them, and she also wrote a book about funny cat stories based on all the stories she and her fellow ICS members talked about throughout the years which she also was selling at the book sale for $5.00 each.
Julie picked up another box filled with children’s books. “Looks like somebody donated their whole Garfield and Charlie Brown collection. These will sell quickly.”
“Along with all the DVDs, we should bring in a lot of money this year,” Kate exclaimed.
After all the tables were filled with books, with several unsorted boxes underneath the tables, they walked over to the front table and sat down to rest before the book sale officially started.
“I hope Danny Crump’s rally doesn’t attract all the potential customers away from here,” Julie stated.
“I wouldn’t worry. Usually, the first few hours bring in the dealers who are looking for rare books to resell on eBay. They spend the most money. We will do fine,” Kimmy Sanderlin said as she sat down next to them.
“While we are waiting, does anyone want to see the new cat videos I downloaded off of YouTube last night?” Kate asked.
“Do you really need to ask?” Kimmy laughed.
“I hope you have the one where all the cats jump high after being startled,” Julie exclaimed.
“That’s my favorite one,” Kate said and began playing all the videos on her laptop.
Outside the armory, the sky began to turn black as night as the severe storm approached.
Steve Tomalin stared out the window of the hotel off of Highway 30 watching the storm approach. He was from Jolene, Texas where he served proudly as their sheriff for several years. His cousin, Amanda, was getting married this weekend and he recently arrived in Valparaiso to attend her wedding.
“Steve, is everything ok?” Coralee, his fiancé, asked.
“There’s a storm approaching,” he said concerned.
A year prior, Texas was terrorized by a catfurnado, a tornado infested with thousands of killer felines, and a lot of his friends and neighbors were killed. In the aftermath of the catfurnado his deputy, Wayne Parks, was killed while they were killing the remaining cats plaguing their town; a day that still haunted him.
“It’s only a storm. Some rain, maybe some hail. I don’t think cats are in the forecast,” she assured him, smiling.
She was very beautiful with her long curly blonde hair. She was the psychologist brought into Jolene to help the survivors overcome the traumatic events of the catfurnado. They had fallen in love, and he proposed to her several months later.
“I know I get very paranoid anytime there is a storm, but I have a bad feeling about this one. There’s something about the way that storm looks that bothers me.”
“I assure you it’s just a storm,” she said and kissed him. “We have several hours until the rehearsal dinner. I want to see the local sites.”
“Ok, but if the storm gets too severe, we are seeking shelter.”
“I did promise to relax and have fun. The sheriff side of me is on vacation ─ a much needed vacation.”
“That’s what I wanted to hear. Now, let’s go have some fun.”
Jackson sat on his porch watching the approaching storm. The sky was filled with forked lightning and he watched in awe. He could hear his horses in their stalls panicking. He got up and walked over to the stalls on the right of his farm house and peered inside. His three horses paced back and forth nervously.
“It’s only a severe storm,” he assured them.
The booming sound of thunder startled the horses increasing their pacing. They stopped pacing and stared forward as if something caught their attention. Jackson could feel the hairs on the back of his neck standing upward, as if his body sensed an immediate threat behind him. He slowly turned around expecting to see Jason Voorhees gripping a machete. He was surprised to see a small calico cat.
“Hello, little fellow. Seeking shelter from the storm?”
The cat hissed at him viciously. He could hear other hissing coming from the distance. He could see several cats in the distance walking through his soybean fields. The hissing got louder as more cats appeared. The calico cat walked toward him licking its lips as it eyed him. He stared back at it not sure what its intentions were. The sound of the tornado siren going off broke his trance. As the cat jumped forward, its head exploded.
Randy, his brother, walked into the stall holding his shotgun. “Jackson, we better…” Before he could finish the sentence, he was attacked by several cats viciously ripping into his flesh.
Jackson ran over to him and grabbed one of the black cats and tried prying it away from Randy’s left arm. Within seconds he was also covered head to toe by several cats. Before his face was completely covered by three large calicos, he spotted a large tornado heading straight for them. Thousands of cats fell from its base.
Several book lovers sorted through all the books at the book sale as Kate, Kimmy, and Julie continued to watch the funny cat videos. Kate pressed pause as she watched one of the shoppers bring a stack of books up to their table. As Kate counted the books, Julie placed them in a plastic bag.
“That will be ten dollars,” Kate said.
As the man handed her a ten, the lights in the armory went out. The lights kicked back on and she could see the panic on some of the patron’s faces. Loud thunder echoed throughout the room. Julie handed the man the bag of books. A few seconds later, they could hear the tornado siren.
“Maybe you should stay here awhile until the storm passes,” Kimmy suggested.
“My truck can handle any storm. Thanks for the great selection of books,” the man said and headed for the front door.
He struggled to push the door open due to the heavy winds blowing outside. Once he managed to exit the building, he ran for his truck trying to avoid being completely drenched by the pouring rain. He quickly opened the driver side door and climbed in. He started the truck and slowly drove away. As he was heading down the highway, he heard a loud thud on top of the truck. A round ball of fur rolled down the hood of his truck. At first glanced it looked like a large brown Tribble from his favorite Star Trek episode. As the ball of fur stood up revealing its four legs, he realized it was a cat. He slowed down and pulled to the side of the road. He got out of the truck to check to see if the cat was ok. He picked it up and it violently scratched his arm. As his jacket sleeve was being drenched in his blood, another cat fell from the sky landing on his shoulder. It bit into his neck, ripping out a large chunk of skin. He grabbed the cat and violently yanked it away from his neck throwing it forward. As he was about to kick it, several more cats landed in front of him. He slowly walked backward toward his truck. As he was reaching for the door, a cat bit into his hand. He screamed, lost his balance and fell into the ditch on the side of the road. Several cats jumped onto him and began to rip away at his flesh.
Julie watched the storm outside the armory. The lights flickered as the power was deciding if it should go out or not. The rain was coming down hard making it impossible to see anything outside the window besides the lightning flashes. They could still hear the tornado siren going off. The door slowly opened and a little grey kitten slowly walked in.
“Poor thing; you are soaking wet,” Kate said rushing to its aid. It purred as she picked it up.
Kimmy took off her pink sweater and wrapped the kitten in it trying to dry it off. It playfully nibbled her hand.
“How cute,” Julie said.
“Not so much. That hurt a little,” Kimmy laughed.
Several cats ran into the armory surrounding them, meowing innocently.
“We are in cat heaven,” Kate exclaimed.
The playful meowing quickly turned into an evil hissing sound as they viciously attacked, ripping the three women apart. Before the rest of the patrons could escape, they were engulfed by several hundred cats.
Continue on to part two if you dare!