Jul 9, 2005

HR, 7

"Bad kitty!" Harlequin repeated in his best human voice.

The cat slumped instinctively, its predatory pose dissolving into a cowering flinch. It looked around fearfully.

Harlequin slowly backed away. The cat, not seeing any humans, scowled at its confusion and eyed him warily. He reached the edge, maintaining his bold stare until he was over the side and the cat was no longer in view. He looked up to see the cat staring down at him with dangerous skepticism. Harlequin thought he saw it tense in preparation for a pounce as he backed away.

It relaxed a little and jumped lazily off the dumpster, looking occasionally around for the source of the voice. Harlequin cleared his throat anew.

"No! Stay, kitty, stay!" Harlequin shouted. The cat whirled around, snarling desperately. Cats do not like to be outsmarted by their pray, and this one was beginning to get that feeling. Harlequin, seized by the power he held, and began to walk towards the cat, hissing "Pssst!" and "Shoo!" in his best imitation of a man.

The cat backed away hissing and clawing; Harlequin went for the knockout and tried a ferocious dog bark. His vocal chords, already strained by his yelling, managed only the growl that comes before the bark. He was very surprised to hear his voice crack and hear his bark sound as a distinctly chipmunk squeal. He covered his mouth and froze in horror.

The cat stopped its mad twirl, and focused it's wide eyes on Harlequin. A smirk of measured hatred overtook its wild countenance and returned it to its fearsome state. Determination and power renewed it's gait; it loped cooly towards him. He scrambled back, paws scraping at the cement. He felt himself collide with the unyielding wall of the Chinese restaurant. He was out of escape plans.

A human voice came from behind him, speaking in heavily accented English. "Who is out there? Anybody?"

The cat purred in cruel laughter, delighted that it had uncovered the impostor; the purr deepened into a sadistic growl. Teeth flashing, the cat covered the distance between them in a single bound and slashed at his belly with unsheathed claws.

In its bloodlust, the cat had not seen the back door of the restaurant opening and swing towards them. The door came directly between Harlequin's belly and the cat's longest claw, breaking it off with a snap. Continuing on its path, the door struck Harlequin's head with enough force to knock him unconconscious.

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