Sabbath's Gift

Sabbath's Gift

Marilyn Celeste Morris

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Joanna moves into a remote farmhouse, and makes the sunroom into her office. Joanna adopts a cat from the local veterinarian, who tells her that Sabbath "had belonged to a witch." Unexplained events unfold: Joanna is locked overnight inside the storage shed, footprints appear under the sun room windows, and Jason's dog, Mournful, is found poisoned.

 
PUBLISHED BY: Vanilla Heart Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-935407-87-4
PUBLICATION DATE: 2009
WORD COUNT: 51288
SEXUAL CONTENT RATING: 1
EBOOK READER RATING:
CATEGORIES: Mystery/Suspense, Paranormal, Romantic Suspense
KEYWORDS: black cat, supernatural, mystery, suspense, Marilyn Celeste Morris, Vanilla Heart Publishing
 

EBOOKS BY Vanilla Heart Publishing

EBOOKS BY Marilyn Celeste Morris

 
EXCERPT
COPYRIGHT Marilyn Celeste Morris/2009

Chapter One

Her first memories were of struggle. The kitten struggled to keep her mouth and nose above the acrid, cold water, where she and her littermates had been tossed earlier, as the sun began to rise over Cow Path Creek.
Although her eyes were not yet open, she felt a warmth enveloping her, blotting out the mud on her coat; a life-sustaining warmth that she temporarily ceased her upward climb, gaining strength, absorbing the heat deep down in her tiny body.
Around her, she heard feeble mewling; her siblings were becoming weaker by the moment. The kitten turned her head to call them, urging them to climb the slippery bank. Despite her efforts, however, the cries became more and more faint; soon she knew her brothers and sisters were No More.
Now it was her turn to mewl in sadness.
She raised her head toward the warmth radiating down on her, and became aware of another Presence.
Had the Man returned to finish her off? The Man who had snatched her in his cold, rough hands, stuffed her into a Dark Place, then flung her into the Cold Wet Place.
She heard a man speak, then another voice, a soft and tender voice.
“Well, aren’t you about to turn back now, go home?” the man asked.
“In a minute, Ralph. I haven’t found the wildflowers I’ve been looking for yet.”
“It’s awful muddy down there.”
“Good. Then there’ll be some great wildflowers….you know after such good rains we’ve had lately, they’ll just be sprouting all over the place…”
“Oh, Ralph, come look!”
“I don’t think I need to get my feet muddy, too. You fuss at me enough, anyway.”
“Come see what I’ve found here.”
The kitten felt herself being lifted up, high, more toward the warmness: she squealed in delight, squirming deeply into the Woman’s soft, enveloping hands.
“Oh, Wanda. A cat?”
“It’s a kitten, Ralph. A poor little female kitten, from the looks of it. Somebody musta tossed her here into the creek, the sorry so-and-so,” she ended with a slight stamp of her foot in the muddy soil.
“And I suppose you’ll just have to take her home, won’t you?” Ralph smiled as he joined her in inspecting the kitten.
“Of course. We can’t leave her here. And we could use a good mouser, can’t we, kitty-cat?” She stroked the muddy fur. Stepping briskly from the edge of the creek bed, she strode in the direction of their home; Ralph falling in pace beside her.
“And a good bath, too,” he reminded her.
The kitten was soon to learn about a “bath”; indeed, she would learn all manner of things as the resident mouser in her new home.
For now, however, the creature reveled in the joy of being rescued from that Cold Wet Place. She had the satisfaction that she now owned not one, but two People. A Male and a Female. She would be proud of them, she knew.
But I really must have a name, she thought, as the Female Person called Wanda thrust her suddenly into a deep place filled with water….
No more water, the kitten shrieked as she spun around in her Person’s arms, leaping for safety. Both Persons pursued her, calling, “Here, kitty, kitty. Don’t be afraid. We just want to clean you up.”
But she found a niche where she could remain undetected at least for a while. Heart pounding, she crouched as low as she could get. She wondered why her People were being so cruel to her? I don’t want to go back into the Water, she shivered.
Just at that moment, the Male Person’s hands enveloped her.
She squealed in protest, wiggled with all her might, but the strong hands refused to let her go.
“I found her, honey. Under the dresser. Smart little thing.”
“Oh, good. Would you bring her to the sink? We’ll get her cleaned up for good this time, if you’ll continue to hold her, okay?”
He nodded, releasing some of the pressure on the kitten, but not enough where she felt she could escape.
The detested Water flowed over her. This Water felt warm. And both her Persons were talking to her in soothing tones. This was not the same as the first Man who had thrown her away.
“Well, Wanda, what do you think we ought to name our little mouser, here?”
“Don’t know yet. She’s all black, not a single mark of white anywhere on her. She could be called Raven, or Jet, or something like that.”
“Hmmm. Don’t know as I like any of ‘em.” He removed one hand from the kitten and placed his free hand around Wanda’s waist.
“Ralph!” the Woman cried as the kitten seized her chance to escape, splashing soapy water all over the room. “Now see what you’ve done!”
“I suppose we’ll have to call her clean, now,” she sighed, hanging up her apron. “Don’t suppose she’ll willingly submit to us again for a long time.”
“Yes, it would be folly for the cat to allow us close to her for a while, all right.”
“Folly? Ralph Spencer, you are the most elegant-speaking man I’ve ever known. Who in this day would use the word ‘Folly?’ She smiled.
“Well, she’s your folly, too, you know,” he replied, searching his pockets for pipe tobacco. “You had to go out looking for wildflowers, but came home with a creature instead. ‘'''Tis indeed, a folly.”
“Well, then, that’s her name.”
“Folly? Well, that’s a good one. Folly she is.” Ralph lit his pipe. The cat suddenly sneezed in her hiding place.
“Found you, little Folly,” her Female Person laughed gently as she raised her from behind the bureau. “Now that you’re all bathed—or mostly bathed, I should say, we’ll get you some food and water. Are you hungry?”
Folly, the kitten thought. That is what they will call me. But I shall not come when summoned.
She submitted to the thing being thrust into her small mouth, which smelled like nourishment, like her. Her what? The one who gave her birth, suckled her and her siblings. Folly gave one more moment of grief before she greedily sucked on the nipple being held by her Woman.
I am special, she thought. I have been allowed to live where my siblings have not. How do I know this? Somewhat startled, she ruminated on this subject. I am a feline, opposed to being a canine; my natural instincts had held me in good stead. But now, something new entered her consciousness. A feeling of being aware of herself, and her –- she searched for the word to describe what grew slowly inside her mind – Gift. I have a Gift.
But that was as much as the kitten knew for a very long time.
Until the time that she would be forced to employ her Gift, she would be the contented Owner of Two Persons, who never came when summoned. As for being a “mouser,” if one rodent had appeared, Folly would have disdainfully ignored it, at least in her Persons’ presence, but at night, when her People were asleep, she tracked down, tortured and finally executed the rodent; her primitive instincts would not allow her to do otherwise.
Thus, the years passed. Folly almost forgot that she was Special; that she had been blessed with a certain Gift, as yet, unused.

 
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