The cat was crying, pleading, her skin stretched hideously over her skull. She was dusty yellow and thin, with long ears; delicate and shabby, beautiful in her own way. She climbed the rest of the way up the wooden steps and crept soundlessly toward me, then thought twice about it and stopped short, squatting back on her haunches.
We observed each other.
"Are you lost?" I asked her.
No reply, just an anticipatory stare: hope restrained by dread.
"I'm lost, too," I admitted. I don't know why I said that.
The cat, melancholy, turned and crept back down the splintered steps. Everything seemed really big just then. Big and empty. This whole fucking place.