Sammi slammed into Jinxx, they rolled on the floor in a mess of limbs. From what I could tell, Jinxx wasn't fighting back, only trying to protect himself from her attacks. She was going at it with all she had, her hands contorted into claws, she scratched at his face, his clothes, anywhere her hands would land. The house was filled with her screeching.
"STOP IT!" Jinxx shouted, he shoved her away, Sammi toppled onto her back and quickly scrambled into a sitting position against the wall. Her golden curls covering half her face, her one visible eye was darting back and forth between Jinxx and I. She lifted her lip in a snarl, staggering to her feet, she glared down at us, her chest rising and falling quickly under her pale pink dress.
"Who are you and what are you doing in my house!" Sammi screeched.
"Sammi," I began, I stood up with my hands in front of myself. "Calm down, it's just us, Jinxx and Ashley."
A flicker of recognition passed across her face, but it was quickly replaced with anger. "YOU. ARE. NOT. JINXX!" She took a step towards me. "AND YOU. ARE. NOT. ASHLEY!" With spitting out each word as she advanced towards us. She opened her mouth and let out a guttural, animalistic scream.
Sammi threw herself head first into my gut. The wind knocked out of me, all I could do was double over and wait it out, unfortunately, Sammi wasn't going to wait for me to recover. She tackled me to the floor, I was surprised at the inhuman strength with which, she held me down, she was yelling gibberish, a thin stream of saliva dangling from the corner of her mouth. I closed my eyes as I felt her small fist being pummeled into my body. Then, they stopped. Sammi was still screaming, but Jinxx had his arms wrapped around her, preventing any movement. She was kicking and cursing, but Jinxx ignored her and repeated the same question over and over.
"Why Sammi, why" He turned her around so she was facing him. "Why Sammi! Why would you do that!" Sammi went limp, her head hanging against her chest, from where I was standing, I could only see her back and Jinxx's face, stained with anger tears.
"Th-they were telling me to do it, they wouldn't stop unless I did it!" She wailed.
"Who! Who told you!" Jinxx was furious, but I couldn't understand why, what had Sammi done? I walked backwards, away from her in case she decided to explode again, but in the process I bumped into something cold and stiff.
That's when I noticed the odor, it was putrid and rank, so much so, that I couldn't believe I hadn't noticed it before, slowly, I turned around. Now I knew why Jinxx had freaked out when he walked into the kitchen, why the very moment I stepped into the house, the hairs on my arms and the back of my neck stood on end. Hanging from the ceiling fan, spinning lazily, was a cat. It's mouth was open in a silent yowl, eyes crusted shut with yellow ooze, blood was drying around it's neck and nose. Now it was my turn to cover my mouth to prevent myself from screaming out.
"Who?" Sammi chuckled. "You. You and everybody else. You come in and stand around me, telling me to do these things, IT'S YOU!" She came back to life and yanked herself out of Jinxx's grasp. Sammi crouched on the floor, laughing. "You've been here to entire time, watching. How do I know who's who?"
"Where's the rest of them! Tell me!"
"Gone." She laughed and rocked back and forth. "Gone, all gone! Hahaha!"
"All of them?" Jinxx shouted at her. "Answer me!"
"Y-no." She hissed. "The stupid cat. I never found him."
"Ashley, find Bach!" I nodded, eager to get out of this kitchen.
Out in the living-room, I called to Bach, poor cat must have been scared to death. I peeked under the couches, behind tables, but couldn't find him. So I walked into the darkened hallway. From what I could tell, there were three rooms in this wing. Hopefully he'd be here, I didn't want to look through the entire house. The first room was Jinxx's snake room. Like Sammi said, it was gone. The black-and-white snake was laying on the bottom of its tank. I didn't want to take any chances, so I walked over to it, and flipped it over using a pen. It felt mushy, like a half-filled tube of water. By the far wall, was another tank, this one holding a boa. But I didn't even have to touch this one to know it was dead. Half of the skin was peeled away from the body, exposing pinkish brown muscles decomposing.
The next room looked like a study or a library with shelves reaching the ceiling. In one corner there was a cage, I peeked through the bars, and walked back out. The cruel death Sammi had dealt those hedgehogs. It was too much for me to put into words. The last and final room appeared to be Sammi's room. It was cluttered with scraps of clothing, shoes, and random tidbits.
"Bach?" I whispered. "Here, kitty kitty." The was movement by the bed, "Kitty?" I lifted the hem of the sheets. Two glowing eyes watched me from the farthest corner. "Bach? Come here kitty." I clicked my tongue to coax him out. After several minutes, he finally began to inch towards me, until at last, I was able to reach my arms under him and bring him out. The blackish, gray cat clung to my shirt, he had a torn ear, was emaciated, and was missing fur. I carried him to the living-room.
"Jinxx, I got him!"
He walked towards me, relief washed across his face when he saw me holding the cat. Sammi walked out of the kitchen and leaned against a table. She was eerily calm, looking at her gave me the chills. Jinxx had told me she had issues, but I never imagined it was this bad.
"Remember Jinxx." Her voice cold. "You promised." With that, she turned around and walked back into the kitchen.
"Let's go." Jinxx rushed us out of the house and into the car. I handed over the cat so I could drive. Once safely on the road and away from Sammi, did Jinxx finally decide to speak.
"So where was he?" He asked me as he stroked the frightened cat on his lap.
"He was under Sammi's bed."
"And my snakes, the hedgehogs?"
"Dead" I told him plainly, I spared him the gruesome details. He nodded and went back to stroking Bach. The ride back home was spent in silence.
"So, he's going to be okay?" Jinxx asked the women in a white lab-coat. Jinxx had called a vet as soon as we got home to examine Bach and make sure he was okay.
"Yes Mr. Miles, he's going to be fine. He just needs to be well fed, I've cleaned out the scratches, so there shouldn't be any infections, and the fur will grow back in time."
"Okay. Thank you Doctor."
"It's my pleasure." She packed up her instruments and I walked her out the door.
When I rejoined Jinxx in the living-room, he was holding Back tightly against his chest. The only one who had made it out alive from that hell hole. The poor cat seemed to be petrified, never leaving Jinxx's side. Chrome watched the new cat from the top of the stairs, she seemed unwilling to approach him. I decided to just let her be. I sat next to Jinxx and wrapped an arm around his shoulder.
"Hey, it'll be alright." I gave him a squeeze.
"I just can't believe she would do that. Sebastian was her baby."
"Like you said, she's sick in the head. Sammi needs to be institutionalized."
"I guess so."
"Are you hungry?" I asked him.
"Too bad, you're going to eat. Come on." I tugged on his hand.
He got to his feet and fallowed me into the kitchen. Bach fallowed, with his belly nearly touching the ground and his ears flat against his head. Jinxx sat on a stool while I rummaged around the kitchen banging pots and pans, clattering the dishes while humming quietly to myself. Chicken stir-fry sounded good to me, so I got to work chopping the veggies and chicken while I waited for the pan to heat up. There was a loud hissing sound as I poured in the vegetables and chicken, now I wasn't a chef, but then again, I wasn't totally clueless in the kitchen either. So I figured I looked like I knew what I was doing as I sautéed the stuff in the pan and added pinches of seasoning.
I set a plate down in front of him. "Eat." I told him.
"Okay, okay." He picked up his fork and took a bite. "Ash! This is great!"
"Aw thanks!" I smiled and sat down across from him so I could see him eat. I watched him until he was finished. The I put his plate in the dishwasher.
"Hey, where's Bach?" We looked around the kitchen, but couldn't find him. We walked to the living-room, Chrome was sniffing a frozen Bach. Satisfied, Chrome laid down beside him and began to lick his ears.
"Good thing she's fixed huh." I elbowed Jinxx in the side.
Jinxx looked at me funny, then burst out laughing. He was doubled over holding his gut. Seeing him laugh, made laugh, and soon we were both rolling on the floor with tears streaming down our faces and unable to breathe. My stomach was cramping up, I was laughing so hard, no noise was coming out of my mouth. After several minutes of our lunatic laughter, we calmed down enough to speak.
"Why were we laughing?" Jinxx asked between breaths.
"I don't even know." I laid back down on the floor rubbing my sore stomach.
"Hey Ash?" Jinxx asked.
"You know how you said everything would be okay?"
"Well...when I'm with you...I believe it's true."
I sat up and looked at him. He was embarrassed, his face was pink, but he looked me in the eye. I gave him a crooked smile, got on my knees, and held his face between my hands. "You're so cheesy." I chuckled and kissed him like it was the last thing I'd ever do.