I sat at the front window with Mylo to my left and Rapi to my right. The sun had set about an hour ago and by now the moon had come out. I have always been fascinated by the way that big silver ball hangs in the dark sky. If it is as big and heavy and scientists say it is, then why doesn’t it crash down on the earth? I am sure that they have very good answers, unfortunately for me, it is too deep and difficult for my little doggy mind to comprehend, so I just take them at their word.
Tonight, it wasn’t the giant full moon that drew us to the bay windows at the front of the house. No, it was Daddy. Before he left for work, he had promised to take Mylo and I out for a walk around the neighborhood when he got home, and we planned to hold him to it.
“Do you think Mommy and Daddy will still take us for a walk even though it’s dark out Cindee?”
I glanced over at the little white puppy who wasn’t so little anymore and thought about his question. Mylo had a point. Maybe Daddy didn’t realize the sun would be down.
“A promise is a promise, Mylo.”
Both Mylo and I swung our heads in the direction of the deep voice with the thick Spanish accent to find Rapi staring at us thoughtfully. I weighed the orange cat’s words carefully. The more I thought about what Rapi said, the more confident I was becoming that Daddy meant what he had said.
“Rapi is right Mylo,” I said, pivoting my head back in the direction of the puppy.
Mylo shifted his attention over my shoulder. I watched with fascination as his eyes grew wide and his pupils dilated rapidly.
“There is a car coming,” he barked excitedly.
Rapi and I turned to look. Sure enough, the beams from an SUV could be seen coming down the street.
“I think it’s Daddy,” the cat said, leaping from the table he had been perched on and dashing across the room and out into the kitchen.
“Where is he going,” Mylo asked.
“Don’t know,” I answered with a shrug.
Turning back to look out the window at the street, we could see that the headlights were growing closer and had begun to slow down. Mylo had started to dance from his spot on top of the green chair. The lights had come to an almost complete stop and the car swung into the driveway.
Mylo’s howl filled the house. His body shook and trembled like it had been possessed by an energy demon.
“Daddy’s home,” I barked excitedly, and followed the puppy to the foyer where we waited impatiently for the door knob to turn.
The door swung open, and Daddy stepped inside where he was greeted by two very eager dogs and a happy Mommy.
“Are we going for a walk,” she asked, wrapping her arms around the old man.
“We sure are!”
Those were the best words ever. Lucky for us, our parents are well practiced at walking us, because they had us leashed and ready to go in two shakes of a boxador’s tail.
We were just about to push through the outside door when a shriek came from the kitchen. Mommy and Daddy’s heads swung to look at each other, their faces scrunched up with that puzzled look on them.
“Wait for me,” the wail came again.
With my hair on end, I turned to defend us, but quickly relaxed at the site of Rapi rounding the corner dragging his cat leash behind him.
“Take me with you!”
It was a nice winter evening, at least by Western New York standards. The moon looked down at us and guided our way by lighting the sidewalk with the gleam from her silvery light.
We started out at a good pace but had so slow down after a few minutes to accommodate the orange cat’s short stubby legs and enormously round belly. It also didn’t help matters that he was afraid of the dark too.
As we strolled down the street, we passed the houses with living room windows lit up by the soft glow of flickering light coming from the home’s television sets. A thin layer of rapidly melting snow blanketed the ground. Each home had several tall maples growing in the front lawn, the naked limbs reaching for the sky and creaking like arthritic arms searching for rest. Each time one of trees would squeak or groan the poor cat would leap into the air and search the area through terrified eyes.
At last, we reached the end of the street. Rapi and I turned right, and for some inexplicable reason, Mylo pulled left.
“Mylo, what are you doing,” the cat hissed.
“I am in the mood for something different, something … new,” the puppy said, cocking his head to the left and scrunching up his forehead.
“We don’t go that way,” I growled.
“Ever,” Rapi added in a deep rumble just for emphasis.
“But,” the puppy stammered.
We had come to a standstill. Rapi and I glowered at Mylo, but the puppy responded by staring back innocently.
“Hmmmm, let’s try something different,” Daddy said.
“Good idea,” Mommy added with a nod of agreement.
“Now you have done it,” I grumbled.
“We are going to die,” the cat whined.
We made the turn then rounded a bend in the street. To our left was a large stone wall that ran the length of the street, but it was what loomed on the right that bothered us. It was the only structure on the street, an old three-story Victorian mansion fronted by a three foot tall stone wall, with a large arched wrought iron gate for an entrance. There were no streetlights to be found on this lane. We would only have our good friend the moon to guide us.
“Kind of spooky isn’t it?”
We glared at the puppy, unable to believe the audacity he had to ask that question after we had warned him.
The groans and tapping of the trees seemed to form some sort or arboreal language that we couldn’t understand, but in the depths of my soul, I knew whatever those maples were communicating to each other … it wasn’t good.
The unearthly scream filled the night air and set my hair standing on end. Rapi shrieked and darted underneath me where he began to whimper uncontrollably.
“Nooooooooooo, help meeeeeeee!”
This time I was able to identify the otherworldly wail as coming from the white puppy standing next to me.
“Knock it off Mylo! You are scaring Rapi,” I said through chattering teeth.
“Wh wh whats the matter,” the cat asked.
“Look! Disembodied eyes!”
The puppy was trembling as the words tumbled from his lips. I followed his gaze to an ancient oak tree. Nestled in the crook of it’s branches sat a black cat peering down at us.
“OMG It’s Edgar,” I cried.
That was all Rapi needed to hear. The two of us began to run dragging Daddy along behind us. Startled, by the sight of us dashing terror stricken through the night, the puppy yelped and began to pull against his leash as well.
“Knock it off,” Daddy growled from behind us.
Rapi and I came to a halt.
“What has gotten into you guys,” Mommy asked once she had caught up with us.
We sat quietly shaking and horrified. There was nothing we could do but stare into the old graveyard that had appeared across the street while we were being chastised for our behavior.
“Would you tell me what’s going on,” Mylo whispered to us.
“That is the home of Rose and Lilly Moody,” I answered beginning the tale.
“The Moody Sisters are witches,” Rapi added for clarification.
Mylo’s mouth fell open and his whiskers began to twitch. The full ramifications of our ire at turning down this street now dawning on him.
“And Edgar,” the puppy inquired.
“Edgar is their familiar. He travels up and down the street and reports back to Rose and Lilly whenever he spots an unattended dog or cat.”
Mylo looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language.
“They eat dog soup and cat stew,” Rapi added, his usually strong latino voice was cracking with strain.
A sudden stirring caught my attention. My head spun in the direction of the movement in time to see Edgar leap up onto the wall and take a seat.
From his perch the black cat tracked our progress as we began to move down the street away from the house. I couldn’t help myself, I needed to check over my shoulder a couple of times to make sure he wasn’t tailing us, but he seemed content to hold his ground and keep an eye on us.
Reaching the edge of the cemetery I could feel my breathing returning to normal, but still my heart was pounding in my chest. Rapi and Mylo had been silent since we had begun our trek away from Moody House and they seemed resigned to stay that way, until the big orange cat let out a small wordless squeak.
I looked at him with one eyebrow raised, curious as to what the noise was all about. He did not say anything, but instead, chose to nod in the direction we were walking. I couldn’t see what he was trying to show me at first, but then when I squinted, I was able to make out a faint yellow dot in front of us.
Perhaps I was a little pre-mature feeling at ease. My heart rate began to rise when I noticed that the little dot that I was seeing was the flame from a candle flickering in the not too far distance, and that it was drawing closer with each step that we took.
“Cindee,” Mylo whispered.
The faint glow from the candle was on top of us now, and it was illuminating two dark figures. Mommy and Daddy slowed down, then came to a stop.
“Good evening, nice night for a walk, isn’t it?”
The voice was gentle and lilting. I knew who it was and didn’t want to see them. I closed my eyes and held my breath.
“It sure is,” Mommy answered.
“Are you the nice couple that just moved into the white house the next street over? The one on the corner?”
The voice belonged to the other woman. It was a little louder and more confident sounding.
“Why yes, we did,” Daddy answered.
“Well welcome to the neighborhood. We just live up the street here. I am Rose and this is my sister Lilly,” the one with the confident voice said.
“Please, please, please let’s go before they eat us,” I whispered under my breath, hoping that my prayer would be heard and answered. Unfortunately for me, my whispering had managed to attract attention.
“Oh what cute doggies,” Lilly said with a smile, holding her hand out to Mylo,
“No, don’t do it,” Rapi groaned hoarsely.
I looked at the puppy and shook my head, but he just tilted his little noggin to the right, smiled back, then trotted up to the younger sister.
Lilly ran her hand through Mylo’s fur, making sure to scratch behind his ears and under his collar. The puppy sat in the middle of the sidewalk, closed his eyes and nuzzled against Lilly’s hand.
“Oh look, an adorable chubby kitty too,” she cooed.
Without missing a beat, she pivoted from Mylo to Rapi and gave the large orange cat the same tender loving treatment. I could barely believe what I was seeing. Not only had Rapi surrendered, but his purring machine was running at full volume.
The seductress cast her glance on me next.
My objection had come out in the form of a strong growl.
“Okay sweetie, okay,” Lilly purred before rising to her full height.
“Well, we have taken enough of your time, you have a pleasant evening,” Rose said with a smile which rose up on the right side of her face but not the left.
Having said our goodbyes each party continued on their respective way home.
“They seem so nice,” Mommy whispered to Daddy.
“Very nice, and Mylo liked them too,” he answered.
I watched over my shoulder to make sure the witches didn’t turn on us and pounce. We had barely managed to take three steps when the Moody Sisters stopped.
“You should stop by for dinner some time,” Lilly called over her shoulder.
“Oh yes, please do, Lilly makes a stew to die for,” Rose added, still wearing her crooked smile.
My eyes bulged out and I gulped.
“Have a pleasant evening doggies,” Lilly said in that enchanting way she had … then disappeared into the night.