This is my entry for a Writing Prompt Contest. Would appreciate any feedback.
Note: Entry for a Writing Prompt Contest. The prompt is the first two sentences of the first paragraph, in boldfaced font. I would appreciate any feedback on this. Thank you.
I always thought my cat had a staring problem – she always seemed to be fixated on my face. Until one day, I realized she was always looking just behind me.
I got home from the hospital that day, having been confined for a week because of acute pneumonia. The moment I stepped inside the house, she was looking behind me, her sharp hazel eyes wary and unblinking.
"Hey Cheska girl, what's wrong? Aren't you happy to see your old buddy?" I asked.
She kept staring behind me, ears standing backward, tail erect, and fur standing on end. Weird, I thought. I've seen her agitated only once before when she fought with another cat. I called out to my housemate, Jenna, that I was home. There was no response. She must still be sleeping.
I bent down to pat Cheska's furry head. "What's up girl? I missed you." I told her fondly.
"Meow!" She hissed.
"Whoa! Easy fuzzball. What's wrong with you today? What is it you keep looking at, huh? It's just me."
She continued looking behind me, hissing, revealing her shiny ivory-white fangs. I looked around, no one else was there but us; nothing appeared unusual or out of place either. I felt a slight chill, but I wasn't the easily-spooked type so I brushed the feeling off.
Her demeanor suddenly reminded me of someone I recently met. Debra. Yes, that was her name. She was my ward mate at the hospital. A woman in her late 50s, she looked quite young for her age; though I found her a bit eccentric. On several occasions during my confinement, I woke up from sleep or nap startled to see her standing by my bedside, staring down at me, smiling oddly.
Each time I asked her what she was doing, she said reassuringly, "You and I are going home soon."
Each time, groggy from sleep or perhaps from the meds, I replied, "Y-yes, I know...I-I hope so."
And I recalled, each time, her smile turned to a grin and her blue eyes twinkled knowingly. Then one day, I woke up, she wasn't in the room with me anymore. I never knew where she'd gone or what happened to her. Well, I never asked.
"Meow," Cheska hissed again, snapping me out of my thoughts. I sighed.
"Alright, you must be hungry. I'll fix you something to nibble." I told her, making my way to the kitchen. I caught a whiff of my hair. I hate that stale hospital odor. I need a long shower. I thought, grimacing.
"Here Cheska kitty," I called to my cat as I placed her bowl on the kitchen floor. She wouldn't even look at it, and kept on hissing at something behind me. I was becoming irritated.
"Look Ches, what's wrong with you today? Cut it out." I admonished her gently. "I'm bone-tired old girl, okay?" I told her. "You stay right here and eat your food."
But she followed me instead as I proceeded to my room, now yowling like crazy. I sighed deeply. I was still feeling a bit feverish, but the doctor assured me I was completely cured. I was aching to have that hot shower and long sleep on my own bed.
I started peeling my clothes off, placing them neatly on the bed. I tried to drown-out my grumpy cat's yowling by humming a song as I walked over to the closet to get a towel. I passed quickly by the full-length mirror not wanting to look at myself just yet because I knew I looked terrible. Then I did a double take. I thought I saw a glimpse of something familiar yet unusual out of the corner of my eye. Curious, I took a few steps back and faced the mirror squarely. What or who I saw standing behind me on the mirror's reflection made me freeze in total shock. I felt every hair on my body standing up, my legs shaking uncontrollably. It was nothing I've seen or experienced before.
"Y-you!" I sputtered, my newfound terror gripping every fiber of my being.
Debra's ethereal face contorted into a devilish grin, sending chills down my spine; her blue eyes twinkling in dark amusement.
"I told you we were going home soon. It's time, Alicia. It's time to go home." She whispered gravely, ghostly hands touching my shoulders.
"Noooooooo!" I shrieked, as Cheska yowled and pounced at the apparition.