The Ghost Meow
A cat walked back & forth. Its fur perfectly kept, save for the tail…
The wild tail was split in two down the middle.
This demonic tail with wiry hair rising, swaying likes flames consuming paper.
That tail, which had frozen Miwa in a deep trance, from just a slight glance.
Jumping across the darkness of the stars had proven uneventful. The entrance to The Nekomata even less for the proverbial door had been left unlocked and thus, open. The only other trouble outside of this dreamy freeze that Miwa encountered was with his voice-channel, muffled, therefore useless.
The only audible sounds were echoes of the cat’s high-pitched meow, the tap of its claws on the metal floor of the chamber, as it sauntered over to him, first rubbing against a chair, then a mysteriously placed stationary bike decrepit from age save for a shiny, chrome bike seat, in this all too tiny, space. A space which felt like a hamster cage fit for one carcass, its minimalism hellacious. Like a ghost, Cat disappeared, ducking under a long low table, finally revealing its true predatory self, pausing before devouring Miwa.
For a split second before the Nekomata’s forked tail grew, just prior to engulfing him whole, Miwa longed for the monotony of his post aboard The Monk Seal, quietly flipping through the memories of his pic-feeds 3D images: his family, his love, and, oh of course, their cat.
Next, he recalled that damned marketing collateral, the Space Navy poster, a service member the standing over an alien body, firing a blase-pistol, shooting stars streaking behind, such sad lies of adventures never to be found, nor to be had.
Lastly, he heard Marley’s mechanical voice and finally understood what emotion his virtual partner shared all along: