📅 Published on July 23, 2022


Written by Kendra Nicholson
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
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Chapter 1

“Hey, Donovan!” Colin yelled as he walked into his corner office with his hand held out for a shake. “My man! I cannot believe you brokered that deal! I didn’t think there was any way Richard would sell.”

Donovan smiled as he reached out to grasp Colin’s hand. “He didn’t want to. Flat out refused.”

“I heard, I heard…” Colin turned and closed the door behind him. “OK. It’s just you and me. How’d you do it? What finally made him change his mind?”

“Truth?” he asked, and his friend nodded. Donovan shrugged and sat down in his leather chair, put his feet up on his cherry desk and said, “It was simple. I took him out for drinks, and told him that I knew about his affair, and that I was going to call his wife.”

“He was having an affair? How did you know?”

He laughed as he answered, “I didn’t. I made it up. I saw the way he ogled the server as she walked away, and I figured he seemed like the type, so I just went for it. He immediately started blubbering, man. Crying like a toddler. ‘Please! You can’t tell my wife! I can’t afford a divorce! I’ll do whatever you want!’ And BAM! Done.”

Colin shook his head. “My god, Donovan… You are ruthless…”

“It’s business.” He responded as he put his feet down on the floor and leaned forward. “I did what needed to be done.”

“Well, congrats, man!”

As Donovan exited the building and walked across the parking lot, he noticed that Richard’s car was still there, and as he got closer, he could see that he was sitting in it with his arms crossed on the steering wheel, and his forehead resting on them. He felt a twinge of guilt for taking advantage of the guy, but he quickly pushed it down as he began making plans for his evening celebration.

He drove home and pulled his Range Rover into the driveway of his two-story brick home with its perfectly manicured lawn and pushed the button on his garage door opener. As he waited for the door to open, he saw it. That damned cat. The lady that lived next door let her cat wander the neighborhood, and he knew that its favorite place to take a dump was in his flowerbed, but he hadn’t caught it in the act.

Until now.

There it was… it had kicked mulch out of the bed and was squatting there looking smug as it stared at him with its eyes half closed.

“Get out of here, you fat bastard!” he yelled as he climbed out of his car and sped over to it.

“Don’t you dare touch my Mervyn!” yelled a voice from across the lawn.

Donovan turned and saw Ms. Beaumont heading his way. He stopped for a moment, then looked back at the cat in time to see him kicking more mulch in every direction as he tried to cover his mess, which made Donovan even angrier, so he started over there again as he yelled,

“What are you gonna do, huh? You gonna kick my ass, you dried up old prune?”

She stopped in her tracks a few feet away, and said, “If you lay one finger on that cat, you will be very sorry.”

“Oh, am I? I’m gonna be very sorry?”

Then he leaned over, scooped Mervyn up and tossed him across the yard. He screeched, landed on his feet, then ran to her side where she picked him up and clutched him to her chest.

Her face darkened as she crossed the final few feet and stood directly in front of him. She looked up at him with her cheeks blotchy red, eyes blazing, and raised a crooked finger up to his face.

He thought she was muttering words to soothe the cat, but then he realized that the words were directed at him.


“Tis a vile and hateful deed you have performed this very night,

Deserving of a vile and hateful deed in true requite.

Rest well, you will this very eve, like a wee babe you shall sleep,

But when morning comes, a change you’ll feel, perchance to make you weep.

Fair warning you were given when my familiar you maligned,

Tomorrow morn, when you awake, you will become feline.”


“OOOOOOKaaaaay…” Donovan said, and then she spit into her hand, rubbed it down Mervyn’s back, and as he stood stunned and confused, she reached up and wiped it down the side of his face. She smiled at him, then spun around and walked back over to her house. He could hear her laughing until she got inside and slammed her door.

He didn’t bother moving his car into the garage. He just wanted to get inside to wash his face. His wife, Erica heard him enter, but when she went to greet him, she saw the look on his face, and said,

“Oh no… You didn’t get the deal?”

“No… I mean yes, we did. We got the deal.”

“Well, you don’t sound very happy about it.”

“No, I am. I’m very happy about it. I just had a weird run-in with the crazy lady next door.”

“What? I’ve barely ever seen her outside of her house, let alone talked to her. What happened?”

“I pulled in and finally caught that cat shitting in the flowerbed, and I just lost it. I picked it up and tossed it out of our yard.”

“Donovan! You threw her cat?”

“It landed on its feet. It was fine. Then she stuck her finger in my face and started…I don’t know…saying some weird poem or something. Something about me being vile and hateful… and then she said something about her ‘familiar.’ I insulted her ‘familiar’ or something like that. Weirdo. Then she spit in her hand, wiped it on the cat, then wiped it on my face.”

He walked over to the sink and turned it on, getting the temperature just right before he leaned down and splashed water on his face.

Erica handed him a hand towel, and worriedly said,

“Are you sure the word was ‘familiar?”

“Yeah, why?”

“That’s what a witch calls her pet. A familiar.”

“What? How do you know that?”

She looked embarrassed, then reluctantly said,

“I learned it from Sabrina the Teenage Witch.”

Donovan laughed, and she grabbed the towel and popped him with it, then she started laughing too. He pulled her in for a hug, and said,

“Go put on your favorite outfit that isn’t sweatpants. We’re celebrating.”

She looked up and pulled his face to hers for a kiss.






Chapter 2




Donovan awoke before his alarm feeling more rested than he had in months. He rolled over and stretched before climbing out of bed to head for the shower. He turned on the water, then relieved his bladder while he waited for it to heat up. When he reached over to stick his hand under the spray to check the temperature, he had a strange sensation and jerked his hand back. He was suddenly afraid to touch the water.

“What the…?”

He knew logically that the water wouldn’t hurt him, but the thought of stepping into it and having it run all over his body was repulsive.

“Come on… Just get in there and get it over with,” he said aloud to himself.

It was the quickest shower Donovan had ever taken in his life. He poured shampoo into his hand and scrubbed his head and the rest of his body in a frenzy, then rinsed himself, turned off the water, and jumped out within seconds. He grabbed a towel and put it over his head to dry his hair and instantly felt more peaceful. He stood on the bathmat with the towel over his head while he waited for his heartbeat to slow and his breathing to become normal again.

He had experienced panic attacks before, and although this felt different, he chalked it up to that. It had been weeks since he had seen his therapist, so he picked up his phone and added, “schedule appointment with Dr. Murray,” to his to-do list.

“I made coffee,” Erica said when he entered the kitchen.

“Thanks, babe,” he answered pouring it into his travel mug, “Gotta run. Love you.” He kissed her goodbye and got in the car. He opened the garage door, backed out, and drove to work. For once he was looking forward to the morning meeting where they would be discussing the next steps in finishing the deal.

He walked into the meeting room to applause. The noise startled him, and he jumped, nearly dropping his laptop bag.

“Surprise!” his manager, Joseph, jokingly yelled, and everyone laughed.

Donovan took a seat, smiled in embarrassment, and said, “Sorry about that. I’m a little jumpy today.”

“That’s understandable,” Joseph said, patting him on the shoulder. “You’ve been under a tremendous amount of stress. It’s going to take a few days for this to seem real.”

He felt better hearing that. He was absolutely correct. He had been pushing himself hard recently, working long hours, and not sleeping. Of course, he was still anxious. He took a seat, reached over to the box of donuts on the table, and pulled out a jelly filled. When he took the first bite, it dripped out onto his wrist. Without thinking, he began licking it off. He looked up to see Colin holding out a napkin and looking at him in confusion.

Donovan took the napkin with a sheepish, “Thanks…” and looked up to see Joseph pointing at a chart with a laser pointer. He was transfixed. Everything else in the room turned soft focus and the sound all deadened to white noise as he followed the pointer on the chart. It took every ounce of control he had to stay seated. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest, and his breathing quickened. What in the hell was going on?

“Hey, man?” Colin whispered, then he touched his shoulder, and Donovan leapt out of his seat. He stood panting as everyone in the room turned to stare at him. “You ok, man?”

He looked down at his hand and saw that he had squeezed the donut in his fist, and jelly was running down onto the floor.

“Yeah…yeah, I’m ok,” he said unconvincingly. “I’m fine. Just…a little tired, I guess.”

“Why don’t you take the day off, Joseph suggested. “Go home and relax. When was the last time you took a day off? You deserve it.”

“Sure…that’s a good idea. I’ll just…go home.”

Colin gave him some more napkins, and he held them under his hand that was still jelly covered and went down the hall to the bathroom.

He turned on the water and stared at it, still feeling…what? What was he feeling? He wasn’t necessarily afraid of the water. It was more like he just…didn’t like it. He couldn’t stand the thought of it on his skin.

He suddenly remembered what Ms. Beaumont had said, “you will become feline…”

The aversion to water… the damned laser pointer…

Donovan stared at himself in the mirror. Was it possible? Was he…?

No. Of course not. There is no way in hell this could be happening. It was the pressure. That’s all it was. There was no way that lady was a witch. No way. There was no such thing. This was just all in his head. She got to him.

“Get it together,” he said out loud to his reflection. “Pull your head out of your ass and wash your damned hands.”

But when he opened his fist and saw the jelly and smashed up donut, his stomach gave a growl, and he was overcome with the urge to lick it off like he had earlier. As if his body were in more control than his brain, he began raising his hand to his mouth, his tongue poking out between his lips to clean it off.

“NO!” he yelled. “No, no, no!” He thrust his hand into the stream of warm water and pumped soap out of the dispenser, then began rubbing them together furiously as he gave a guttural growl. He turned off the water and waved his hand in front of the sensor on the paper towel dispenser. It didn’t even blink.

“COME ON!” he growled through clenched teeth, and waved his hand again to no avail, then he opened his palm and slapped the sensor so hard it stung, and the dispenser rolled out a paper towel. He ripped it off and quickly began drying his hands. He felt immediate relief.

He pulled his phone out of his pocket and texted Dr. Murray, “Struggling. Any openings today?”

Within seconds he had a reply, “5pm after last patient?”

“I’ll take it.”

Donovan walked out, got in his car, and drove home. He thought about going over to see Ms. Beaumont, but he didn’t want her to think that she had gotten to him. He would go inside and have something to eat. The only thing he had eaten today was the jelly that he licked off of his wrist. No wonder his thinking was muddled. He was starving. He opened the fridge and saw two steaks still in their packaging. He could smell the raw meat, and suddenly his mouth was watering, and his stomach gave an almost painful rumble.

He poked his finger through the plastic wrap and pulled it aside, then grabbed the steak and sunk his teeth into it. It was delicious. The smell…the texture…the flavor was like nothing he’d ever eaten in his life. He ripped off chunks with his teeth until he had devoured the entire thing, then he licked his hands clean.

Now he needed a nap. He walked into the living room to lie on the couch when he was drawn to a beam of sunlight pouring through the window. He was pulled to it like a moth to a flame. He stood still, feeling the warmth wash over him, and he slowly lowered himself to the floor, curled up in a ball, and went to sleep.






Chapter 3




“Donovan?” Erica sounded worried, “Donnie? Babe, are you okay?”

He opened his eyes to see her on her knees next to him on the floor.

“Donnie, what are you doing on the floor? Are you sick?”

She began rubbing his back.

“Oh…Oh, that feels good…Don’t stop.”

“Okay…” she said, continuing to rub her fingertips in circles across his back. “Honey, what is going on?”

“Just… stressed… Feeling weird and… anxious…” he mumbled, then he started to feel a vibration deep in his throat.

Erica could feel the vibrating hum, so she stopped stroking him with her fingertips, and laid her hand flat on his back, and the hum stopped.

“More,” he said. “Do it again.”

She tentatively moved her fingertips over his back, and there it was. She laughed nervously. “Donnie…this is super weird, but it almost feels like you’re…”

Suddenly her touch felt like nails on a chalkboard.

“ENOUGH!” he yelled, and he turned and swatted her hand away.

They both looked horrified.

“Oh my god! I’m so sorry!”

“What the hell, Donnie? What is going on with you?” Erica said as she stood, her eyes tearing up.

“I don’t know! I don’t know what’s going on! I feel like I’m losing my mind, Erica.” He glanced at his watch and realized he had slept nearly all day and it was time for him to go to his appointment.

“Babe, I’m so sorry. I’m not myself. Look, I have an appointment with Dr. Murray, and I have to go now. We’ll talk more when I get back.”

















Chapter 4




“So…you feel like you want to be a cat?” Dr. Murray asked. “Like…a furry?”

“What’s a furry?”

“It’s a group of people who pretend to be animals. They anthropomorphize animals to create characters and then dress like these characters called “fursonas.”

“In English, please.”

“They create an animal character with human traits, then they dress up like the animal.”

“What?! No! No way!”

“It’s okay. I’m not here to judge you. Many people find comfort and stress relief in the furry lifestyle. It’s a very welcoming community. There is nothing for you to be ashamed of.”

“NO. You’re not listening to me. I don’t WANT to be a cat. I feel like I AM a cat. I can’t stand touching water. I had a raw steak for lunch. When my wife rubbed my back, it felt so good I… I purred, then all of the sudden I couldn’t stand it. I completely lost my shit and smacked her hand away.”

“Ah…I see… Well, that’s quite a different thing all together. I’m not as familiar with this…”

“This what? What? You think I’m crazy.”

“We don’t like to use that term.”

“But I’m not wrong? I have a mental illness or something, right?”

Dr. Murray stood and said, “Not necessarily.” Then he walked over and poured two glasses of water out of a pitcher. He crossed over and handed one to Donovan.

“Thanks, doc.” He took a sip then sat it on the small table next to him.

“Did anything unusual happen to bring this on, or is it something that has been happening slowly over time?”

“Ummm…it sort of…ummm…” he tried to answer, but he was becoming filled with the overwhelming desire to push the glass off of the table. He shook his head to clear it and tried to answer again. “It started this morning… Last night my neighbor’s cat…” He reached out and scooted the glass an inch. Good lord, that was satisfying. “ummm…it was shitting in my yard…” He scooted it another inch. YES… “anyway…I tossed it…the cat…and Ms. Beaumont lost it… and…” Scooooot…It was perched on the edge. So close. Holy shit balls that felt GOOD. “she put some kind of curse on me…something about me waking up feline… she’s the one that’s crazy, doc…” Then he took one finger and scooted the glass completely off the table and watched it fall to the area rug, and he laughed. That was absolutely delightful.

He looked up to see Dr. Murray staring at him. Then he looked back down at the glass.


“Did you say your neighbor put a curse on you?”

“Yeah. I mean, I told Erica what she said, and she said it sounded like a witch’s spell or some shit, but she only knew that from Sabrina the Teenage Witch.”

Dr. Murray nodded. “I see.”

“I don’t believe in witches or spells or whatever.”

“You probably should have led with that story.”

“What do you mean?”

“The power of suggestion is quite strong, my friend. You don’t have to believe in something in order for someone else’s belief or behavior to persuade your subconscious. It sounds like she was very angry, and she emotionally attacked you.”

“It was creepy as hell.”

“I don’t doubt that for a moment. I’m sure it was unnerving, and your emotions were heightened. Sometimes emotion trumps logic. The good thing is that now you are aware. You have the logic. So, when you feel these…urges…” he said glancing down at the glass, “just stop and take a deep breath, and remind yourself that you are in control.”

“Thanks, doc. I’ll try that. Sorry about the glass.”




















Chapter 5




Donovan felt relieved as he walked out to his car. He was surprised to see another car parked next to his in the patient lot when he was the only one there. He felt the hair on his neck stand on end when he realized he recognized the car.

“Feeling a little down, Donovan? Needed someone to talk to?”

He spun around as Richard walked toward him with a gun.

“I know the feeling. I do. I’ve been feeling the same way since you screwed me over the day before yesterday.”

“Richard…look…let’s talk about this, okay? Let’s just go sit somewhere and have a drink and talk about it. I don’t blame you for being upset…”

“WELL, I BLAME YOU!” he yelled and held the gun in his face. “I blame you because I’m upset. You’ve ruined my life. My wife wants a divorce because I sold the business, and it’s your fault!”

“I’m sorry, man! I’m sorry! It’s just business!”

“It’s just business for you, but it’s my life!” he roared, then pulled his arm back and slammed the gun into Donovan’s face, and the world went black.




Chapter 6




Donovan woke in excruciating pain. He couldn’t breathe through his nose or open his eyes. He reached up to touch his face, and it was swollen, and his eyes were matted together with dried blood. He rubbed at them as gently as he could until he could open them. He was lying on the ground in a small clearing surrounded by trees. He felt a shadow cross him and looked up to see Richard still holding the gun and staring at him.

“What have I done?” Richard asked, sounding genuinely upset. “Oh God…I don’t know what else to do with you. I didn’t mean… I was so angry… I made a mistake… I have no choice now…I’m sorry, but I have to kill you…”

He was still in pain, but his head was clearing a bit, and he felt the heat of rage building in his chest. He let out a low growl.

If he had been in this situation before, he would have begged for his life, but now…now his fear was taking a backseat to his rage.

He wanted to kill Richard.

He NEEDED to kill him.

“Richard,” he said quietly, “You want to kill me like a coward? While I lie here on the ground, helpless? At least let me get to my feet.”

Richard held the gun out, but his hand was shaking and unsteady.

“All right. Get up. Go ahead.”

Donovan got up on his hands and knees and put the sole of one foot on the ground looking as though he was preparing to stand, then with a scream he shoved himself up and pounced, knocking Richard to the ground, sending the gun skittering out of reach.

As Richard tried to get his breath, Donovan pushed up to his knees and punched him in the gut, and he reflexively drew his knees up, and turned face down, trying to crawl away, then he stopped. He didn’t have it in him to fight.

“Get up,” Donovan commanded. He lost the compulsion to hurt him when he wasn’t moving.

“No,” he answered.

“Get up! Come on!” he said, and he walked over and hooked his toes under his torso and flipped him over onto his back.

He just shook his head. “No.”

Donovan let out an angry growl, “I need you to move!” Then he bent over, grabbed him by the front of his shirt with both hands to yank him up off the ground, and Richard plunged the knife he had been carrying in his pocket into Donovan’s chest.

He stood up and stared at the handle of the knife, seeing it move slightly with each beat of his heart. He staggered, then reached down and pulled it out, dropping it to the ground. He began to feel weak, and he fell to his knees, then he sat and let himself collapse onto his back and stared up at the sky until he could no longer see.










Chapter 7




The first thing he was aware of was the sound of his own heart.

“Lub dub…”

And he wheezed in a lungful of air.

“Lub dub…”

He opened his eyes, and the stars glimmered above him.

“Lub dub…”

Then he became aware of the pain. He felt like hammered shit… Everything hurt.

But he was alive.

He heard something rustling in the leaves and rolled onto his side. Even though it was dark his vision was clear. He saw a shovel pop up out of the ground, then Richard climbed out after it, and turned and bent over with his hands on his knees, staring down into the hole he had dug.

Donovan slowly got to his feet and tread lightly as he walked over closer and picked up the shovel.

Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
Please wait...

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by Kendra Nicholson
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Kendra Nicholson

Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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