“Here, kitty, kitty!”

   Gavin smiled as he stood there watching Sly play with Mitzi just outside the building he lived in. Mitzi was a hyper cat but outside the apartment she was too shy and nervous to make sudden unpredictable moves. Sly believed there was no harm in letting her out every once in a while as long as they kept a close eye on her. They looked so cute together his heart started to ache as he remembered Jack’s words. It’s today, he thought. Today is the day Jack takes her away and I still haven’t had the heart to tell him.

   “Gavin, what’s wrong?”, asked Sly, “lately you’ve been spacing out pretty often. And you seem glum.”

   “I’m tired. I haven’t been able to sleep well lately”, replied Gavin.

   “Well, take care, okay?”

   Gavin nodded. He wanted so badly to warn Sly about Jack but he felt like it was a little too late and Sly might throw a fit for not being warned earlier. He scratched the back of his neck aggressively; Sly caught him doing so and realized Gavin was agigated about something but decided to keep quiet. Maybe it was best to leave him be but Gavin’s constant nervous habit started to rub off on Sly.

   “Alright. What is wrong?”

   “Nothing”, answered Gavin.

   “Don’t tell me it’s nothing! I can see you’re nervous as hell. Your head’s in the cloud for the past few days, you’ve got that gloomy look on your face, and now you’re scratching your neck like you want to tear the skin off. Mind telling me what’s up?”

   Gavin struggled to find words. He cleared his throat a couple times, took a deep breath and then spoke in a shaky, stuttering tone.

   “Mitzi’s gonna die today. Jack’s gonna reaper. He told me that.”

   Sly was at a loss for words. His brows furrowed, his mouth hung opened, his pained expression was difficult for Gavin to watch. Gavin shifted his gaze to the ground and continued.

   “I knew about this four days ago-”

   “And you didn’t say anything?!”, Sly yelled, his face twisted into an enraged expression. 

   “I-I wanted to! I really did! B-but-”

   “But you decided to keep it to yourself.”

   Sly squeezed his eyes shut as if to shut out pain and pinched the bridge of his nose as he turned his back to he kid standing awkwardly.

   “You could’ve asked Jack to spare her.”

   “I did. He won’t listen.”

   “Have you tried convincing him? Or maybe even bargain with him?”

   “Jack isn’t someone you bargain with!”, cried Gavin, desperately trying to defend himself. “And you know when he’d never bend the rules, not for anyone’s sake! Not even his own!”

   Gavin could hear Sly letting out a frustrated sigh. Mitzi, however, payed no mind to any of this. She continued to claw at a certain spot on the ground. All sudden, distracted by something, Mitzi jumped and took off, running right into the street with cars zooming by. 

   There was nothing they could do. She sprinted away before they two had a chance to react. She got hit before they even got anywhere near the road and she was taking her last breaths. The traffic lights turned red and the cars were still making it the opportunity to pick up the dead cat. Sly held Mitzi’s limp body in his hands and felt something within him crumble and break. He felt like a black hole inside him was eating him inside-out. He dragged himself to the door of the building and flopped down. His body stiffened, his expression was blank.

   By the street where Mitzi died, Jack stood there stroking a glowing orb, Mitzi’s soul. Gavin walked up to him.

   “It’s a shame”, Jack sighed, “I really liked this cat.”

   Gavin felt like there was a large chunk of metal lodged in his throat and he swallowed trying hard to get it down but it didn’t help. Jack continued.

   “It’s inevitable. That’s just the way things go. Maybe it’s good that I reaped her otherwise she might have suffered. You know, we’re only told who or what to reap and when. We are never told how they die. It really sucks that this is the way she had to go.”

   Gavin never really considered how a reaper felt after reaping. Heck, he never thought a reaper would feel anything after reaping. But maybe that wasn’t the case. Maybe it just might be as tough for a reaper.

   It just so happened that Darren was walking by. The sight of Sly sitting by the building looking dazed left him with a dark, terrible feeling. He slowly went up to the boy and saw the dead kitten in his hand and there it was, that old feeling of losing something precious. His eyes teared up but he couldn’t let himself cry. He picked the cat up from Sly’s arms. 

   “We should go bury Mitzi. Give her a proper funeral.”

   Sly nodded his head slowly as if he where overcome with exhaustion. After the had buried the cat, the three walked home. Darren tried to console his friend who was now in tears. Sly reached his building and stood outside feeling bitter. Darren gently patted his back then said good-bye. Gavin and Sly were alone now.

   “Maybe it’s for the best. Maybe if she hadn’t died she would’ve suffered”, said Gavin in a very low voice.

   “Maybe if you’d warned us about Jack earlier we could’ve done something!”, Sly scowled.

   “Oh, so it’s my fault. Ok.”

   “Why didn’t you say anything?! We could’ve figured out a way to keep her alive!”

  “From a grim reaper? Are kidding me? How are you going to keep her from the reapers? You know that if she’s going to die then she’s going to die.”

  “Screw this. And screw you, Gavin”, grumbled Sly as he marched to his apartment. Gavin just watched him, feeling a sort of resentment.

(I’m going to end this story here. I find it funny how a story about enjoying iced tea ends up being a story about a dying cat. Also, Jack is in this. It’s been a while since I wrote a supernatural element into a story, or at least an obvious one. This story might have ended but I will continue to write about Gavin, Darren and Sly and others.)


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