This story is by Debra Campoli and was part of our 2017 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the Summer Writing Contest stories here.
It was a beautiful autumn day. The crisp breeze was blowing down the last leaves that still clung to the trees. November wasn’t Darcy Porter’s favorite month because it held too much sadness for her. When she was a child, her parents died in a plane crash. Then, she bounced from one foster home to another every single November. Darcy, 36, worked at a well-known bakery and rented a studio apartment that was not in the best area of the Bronx. She was shy and plain and never had a date or even a first kiss. Then last November her beloved dog of 15 years passed and left her more lonesome than ever.
The bus she rode to work passed a broken down building in desperate need of renovation. Trash and broken bottles were strewn around along with broken bricks and old building materials. The place looked as lonely and pathetic as she felt. Riding by, she couldn’t help but wonder if the tenants who used to live there felt the same way she did.
As they were passing the shabby old dwelling, a furry purple creature ran along one of the beams. She pointed and exclaimed, “OMG! What the hell is that?”
A few passengers turned to look but the bus had already moved on. Darcy tried to explain to the lady next to her but, nobody cared. After all this was New York, so she shook her head thinking that she had to be nuts seeing a stuffed animal running on its own. But, while passing the building that week, she saw that creature twice more.
Darcy wasn’t working on Monday so decided to check it out herself. She got up the same time she normally would, took the bus, and got off at the stop which was just past the building. Cautiously she walked closer and peeked into the rundown structure. It didn’t look like there was anyone around, so Darcy climbed over some rotted wood and garbage. The place smelled musty and similar to a dumpster, but she didn’t notice any urine smell which she was surprised at.
All of a sudden out of the corner of her eye, she spotted it! She stood still not daring to move a muscle. Apparently it never noticed her and continued on until it turned and came across a fallen beam practically in front of her. All of the hair on her head and arms stood up and she felt goose bumps all over. The little purple Fur-ball held fast on three short legs and stared at Darcy with its lime-green eyes looking like a deer in the head lights.
Neither of them moved until Darcy stretched out her arm with her palm facing down in a gesture of submission. The creature reluctantly moved closer with an amusing glint in his eyes, as if he was smiling. Darcy stooped down while moving forward and the creature turned his head curiously. In her mind, she heard its voice.
It said, “I like you. You are special. Pick me up.”
It was ridiculous thinking that she heard a voice coming from this thing. Darcy just stayed crouched but put both arms out. Quickly in one swift movement, the creature jumped into her arms and rubbed its head against her chest and then looked up into her eyes.
“What are you Cutie pie? You are just so soft but you need a bath.”
Again in her mind, clear as day, she heard, “I want you. You are special for me. I go home with you.”
Nodding her head as if this whole thing was normal, Darcy opened her jacket and covered the little creature as best as she could. She tried to hide it from anyone who might see it.
“I want to take you home with me, but somebody will see you. Don’t you think?” she whispered.
The Fur-ball smiled with his eyes again and replied again in her head, “Go home with you. You special for me. Hungry.”
Darcy hid her little friend with her purse covering the part that would be sticking out from her coat. She waited at the bus stop, got on, and soon arrived at her place. She hurriedly reached her door and went in. She couldn’t believe her luck finding her little friend especially in November.
What a special bond she had with Fur-ball. That was the name she gave him and wasn’t sure if it was a male or female. They kept each other company and sometimes Darcy let Fur-ball sleep all night in her bed. But, Fur-ball missed her when she went to work so Darcy started bringing him to the bakery. If the owner didn’t like him being there, well, she would just quit. Nobody was going to take away her happiness. But, no one said a word about Fur-ball. She put him on the counter when she was in the front by the cases and he sat on a shelf in the back when she was busy there. It was great that everyone minded their business and left Fur-ball alone. They acted like he wasn’t there.
This went on for days. Darcy loved her sweet little creature. Then one day before they went to bed, Fur-ball was looking at her strangely. His lime-green eyes started changing and he started turning neon pink.
“Aren’t you feeling well my Love? Maybe we should go to bed now instead of watching a movie.”
They both went to sleep. By morning Fur-ball had a huge stomach. It was so big and round and Fur-ball kept burping with indigestion. He managed to get up to the window sill even though his belly was over-stuffed. With one last look around, he jumped out through the screen. He wanted to find another vacant building.
Darcy Porter was never seen again. The police surmised that she was kidnapped and the intruder came in through the window. It was after all still November….