Two black cats, Tenebrae and Anxiety, slipped out of the farmhouse and into the cornfield. The snow had kept them housebound. But winter was gone and spring had arrived with full tubs and oceans full of rain.
The snow was gone, thawed and washed away. The rain had stopped of its own accord. The puddles dried from lack of new rain.
And the two cats were ready for fresh air and fiendish fun.
They ran in sleek panther lines. Their shoulder blades rose and fell in identical rhythms. They gloried in their freedom. They rejoiced in the night air.
Yet, they ran in silence. Their feet did not betray them. Their voices were silent for now. Later would be the time for screams and yowls.
But not yet.
They had mischief to accomplish.
Mischief that required the deepest and most perfect of silence. A betraying purr or meow would ruin it all.
They entered the cornfield and ran secretly past corn stalks and under limp-wristed leaves. They ran to the secret heart of the field. The one that even the farmer did not know about.
They stopped and arched their backs. Magic sparked out of their fur. White magic. Black magic. And magic accessible to only cats.
The magic landed on the corn stalks and they fell soft and gentle. They bent without snapping.
The magic raced through the field in curls and purls, in cat-backed arches, in straight lines, in patterns only cats knew and understood.
When it was finished, the magic returned to the two cats. Satisfaction and exhilaration surged through them. They raced through the field – two small shadows with no source, two panthers resplendent in joy.
They eventually returned to the farmhouse and slipped inside.
No one saw them come in.
Just as no one had seen them leave.
If they were human, they would have laughed in anticipation of the farmer’s reaction to their one night’s mischief well done.
But they were not human.
They were cats and they expressed their excitement in the only way they knew how. They ran around the house yowling and screaming as if the floor were fiery water.
Tomorrow would be a day of wonder and amusement for the two cats.
They couldn’t wait.