Tragedy was something the Willis family was not used to. But that changed with Cathy’s death. Her body was found decapitated early in the morning, right outside their house, on the road. There were flies all over the body. It was Mrs. Willis who had seen her first, when she woke up earlier than usual and thought maybe she could use a walk.
Mrs Willis opened the main gate and had only taken five steps when an awful smell greeted her and she saw the horrifying sight. There was blood all around Cathy’s body, her limbs were stiff, her head was lying three feet away, her green eyes eerily open, the tongue sticking out. Mrs Willis stopped abruptly, letting out a squeamish inaudible scream as she flailed her hands in the sky, shutting her eyes, she turned around and put her right hand on her chest where her heart was. She patted her chest softly to relax herself.
“Oh my God, oh my god, Cathy is dead, what am I gonna tell the kids, oh my poor Cathy”, Mrs Willis spoke to herself, completely distressed by what she had just seen. Getting a grip of herself she called for her husband. She realized he was still sleeping, so she dashed back inside the house to tell Mr. Willis what had happened.
Mr. Willis was cuddled under a deep blue blanket, sound asleep, with a smile on his face. His wife put her hand on his shoulders and tried to jolt him out of his slumber.
“Jacob, wake up, Cathy is dead!, the kids cannot see her like this, wake up Jacob, Cathy is dead”, she said with all the urgency she could in her soft voice, she did not want to be too loud, lest the kids wake up.
Jim (12) and Sarah (7), shared the same room, which was right beside their parent’s room. Mrs. Willis cast a look at the wall that separated her room from that of her children, in the back of her head she was wondering what to tell them. Nobody had ever died in their family after the kids were born. The little ones absolutely loved Cathy, Mrs Willis too raised up Cathy like her own daughter.
“Wake up Jacob, Cathy is dead”
Mr Willis pushed his wife’s hand away and opened his eyes slowly, even as he held on to his blanket and did not seem like he heard what his wife was saying. Then slowly the words hit him.
“What are you saying?”, he rubbed his eyes and asked with slight disbelief.
“Cathy is dead, her body is lying on the road, we must do something before the kids wake up”
Jacob now had his ears up, he sat up on his bed and inquired again. Mrs Willis told him what she had seen.
“The kids cannot see her like that”
“I know, we must act before they wake up, let’s go”
Mr Willis assumed the air of sudden seriousness and walked out of his house. His wife had got him plastic gloves to wear.
“Here you go dear”, she handed them over to him.
Mr Willis too was slightly disturbed by what met his eyes. It was clear to him that Cathy did not die by accident. Even a blind man could see it. His wife was a different case though.
“Someone killed her”, he murmured.
“What are you saying”, Mrs Willis who was right behind him, caught what he had said.
“Someone twisted bastard did that to her”
Mrs Willis gasped in shock, she covered her mouth with both her hands as her eyes dilated in shock.
“But who would do such a monstrous thing?!”, she said more to herself than her husband.
“Only the devil knows”, Mr Willis said, nodding his head in disgust. He picked up young little Cathy by her tail and put the cat’s headless body in a black bag. The head was extremely morbid to look at, he closed his eyes and picked it up in one swift movement of the hand and dumped it in the bag.
“The kids are going to be devastated”, Mrs Willis said.
The couple decided that they must bury Cathy in the backyard of their house. It was Sunday, the kids would not wake up for another two hours at least, they had plenty of time to do the burying.
When Jim & Sarah woke up, Mrs Willis asked them to brush their teeth and then sit with her at the dining table, so that she could tell them the news.
Her little girl Sarah who was wearing pink pajamas looked paler than usual, her pretty blonde curls were all over the place. Jim seemed to be his usual self, his elvish little eyes were twinkling with some sort of impish delight. Mrs Willis looked at her pretty children and wondered how they would deal with the loss of their favorite pet.
“Kids, Cathy died yesterday, she was not well”
“Noooooooooooo”, Sarah said and immediately broke into tears.
Before Mrs Willis could say any comforting words of wisdom to her little daughter, seven year old Sarah said something that nonplussed her mother.
“Batman killed Cathy, you killed Cathy, I hate you”, Sarah continued crying as she pointed fingers at her elder brother.
“She is lying mom, I don’t know what she is saying”
An evil foreboding struck the Mother, she asked her son to keep quiet and asked her daughter what was she talking about.
Little Sarah continued to sob as she narrated her story.
“Yesterday night we…. *sobs*… we could not sleep…. *sobs*… Jim said we should play Batman & Joker… he was Batman and he had to catch me…. *sob*…. Mommy…. I said Cathy should also play…. Jim said Cathy would be Harley….I hate Jim mommy…. he is evil”, the kid started sobbing copiously.
Mrs Willis hugged her daughter.
“It’s okay, it’s okay”, she hugged her and tried to calm her down.
“She is lying mom, don’t listen to her”, Jim protested.
“You stay put, I don’t want you to say anything”, Mrs Willis reprimanded him.
He sulked back in his chair and glared at his little sister, who began narrating her story again.
“Jim was Batman…. and he killed Cathy mom… he did something to her in the dark mom…. we were outside on the road…. he said he killed her and that he would kill me if I told anyone”, Sarah spoke between sobs and then continued crying.
Jim did not say anything. Mrs Willis was aghast beyond imagination, she did not say anything, as she looked at her son who quietly sat at the table. Her eyes then noticed something that made her shudder.
She saw the marks left by cat claws on her son’s left hand, the marks were not the friendly ones Cathy sometimes gave them, they were violently red, they were marks of struggle. Mrs Willis then looked at his face, completely devoid of expression, unblinking, and he stared back at his mother, his face giving nothing away.