The gray cat started to follow Randolph as he exited the narrow alley after killing the last of his enemies. At first, he thought the cat was following him due to the few drops of blood on his shoe.
Silent and steady, the feline presence didn’t feel completely off, just different, unexpected. Randolph had never been a pet person, but he wasn’t opposed to them; the opportunity had simply never aroused.
Now, the small shadow following him seemed like a good omen— even if almost concealed within his own shadow as he moved through deserted streets toward the shabby place he had rented as his base of operations.
By the time Randolph reached his current accommodations, someone must have decided to take a piss in the crime scene he’d created (after drinking the day’s labor in one of the taverns nearby) and sounded the alarm. Perhaps, Peeing Peter would not be the first in the scene and the previous visitor would have taken the dead man’s wallet, leaving the coppers with the impression that it had been a mugging gone wrong.
It didn’t matter; Randolph’s ties to the man were so remote they were almost inexistent, not just to the naked eye but also to logic. First, no one knew him in this city where the smell of the ocean and fish factories never ceased their assault on your nose. Second, he had rented the place under a false name and wore a truly Viking fake beard.
Perhaps the cat had sensed the darkness inside him; perhaps they were kindred spirits. Randolph climbed the four steps to the front door and about-faced. The cat sat there on the sidewalk staring at him. A single streetlight didn’t give much illumination, so the animal’s pupils were black pools zeroing in on him.
Randolph put the key in the lock and opened the door; he had done it just extending his arms and finding the lock unconsciously— out of habit. The smelly city had been his station for almost a year, studying his victim until it was the right time to take him out. He kept a hand on the door as he put a foot on the threshold, his eyes locked with the cat’s. “So? Are you coming or not?” he asked the silent figure.
The gray cat sauntered to the steps, taking each at his own special pace, and entered into the townhouse’s dark foyer. Once inside, turned around with his tail high and meowed.
“I know. Me too,” answered Randolph as he closed the door behind him.