Mr. Wilson lived alone in the two story wood house on the corner. He was fastidious about his lawn and would spend most days with his bushes, muttering under his breath. If you were just fast enough, you could pedal your bike around the corner and be gone before you got too cold from the shadow of that old place.
Then one day, a calico cat showed up and decided to live with him. Not that it was his choice, the cat just kinda chose him. Mr. Wilson would walk along the porch that stretched across the front and down the sides of the house, boards creaking, his cane tapping the spindles of the railing, calling that cat all kinds of words my mom would have found worthy of ivory soap. It would just sit under the end of his old Monte Carlo, blinking its eyes at him.
The cat must have lived on mice, because there was no way he fed it, he didn't even give candy at Halloween. Early on we trained our cat to stay away from Mr. Wilson's place, but no matter how bad he treated it that old calico stuck around, lounging on his porch swing when he was not looking.
One summer night, that calico disappeared. All us kids figured he finally caught up with it and our imaginations ran wild with what we thought he did. Three days later, an awful racket erupted, that drew us out into the yard. Everyone on the block was milling in the streets, watching the smoke rise from an orange glow on the corner.
Mr. Wilson stood in the center of his yard, watching his house collapse in on itself as the fire ate it cinders. It was not the fire that drew our attention though, it was all the cats in the neighborhood, lined up on the fence, screeching and mewing, staring at Mr. Wilson. As the second floor gave way into the first, they hopped down in a line and paraded passed Mr. Wilson.
He stood there shaking in his pajamas, as dad herded us back in for dinner. We never saw Mr. Wilson again after that night.
This is a Theme Thursday post.