Coffee, Cats and An Act of Murder. Chapter One

The world that we know is actually only a small piece of a larger, fragmented universe. The truth of how this world came to resemble a broken mirror has been long since forgotten. Most live in ignorance that their shard is one of many. Through the ages there have been those gifted with the ability to pass between these worlds. But whether this gift is a blessing or a curse is all a matter of perspective.

 

CHAPTER 1

 

One look outside at the heavy downpour filled Mara with a sense of melancholy that no amount of coffee could cure. But that did not stop her from pouring another cup.

“I should have known that today would suck,” she groaned with a sigh to the empty room before finishing her latest cup of coffee. For a moment she stared at the empty mug as she tried to remember how many times she had filled it already this morning. But the sudden yawn that overcame her made the answer clear.

“Not enough,” she announced as she started making a fresh cup. Though drinking an excessive amount of coffee was nothing new for Mara, this was bordering on the insane. After another night, totally devoid of social interaction, spent marathoning Game of Thrones and wikiing how it differs from the book, her body had cruelly decided to wake up with the sun, giving her only a few hours rest. Mara hated waking up in the mornings as it was, so this was like a special brand of torture.

The new cup of coffee was a pleasant source of warmth as Mara wandered back into the lounge room but a glance at the clock sent a chill through her body.

“Damn it!” she cursed as she hurriedly placed the cup on a side table, spilling most of the contents and causing Mara to swear a few more times. Despite waking so early, time had escaped her and she was now late. Grabbing her coat and bag she dashed out the door and headed for the elevator that was naturally out of order, again.

“Damn, damn, damn!” she swore as she ran down the stairs, almost leaping from one landing to another. Only her grip on the railing stopped her face-planting the floor but the momentum did slam her against a few walls on the way down.

By time she reached the shelter of the bus stop her appearance resembled that of a drown cat. A quick check of the timetable rewarded her with some good fortune. The next bus was only five minutes away. With a loud thump she dropped onto the cold, hard bench and dug her hand into her bag. Naturally she had forgotten her phone. With a groan she sat back and waited for the ground to open up and swallow her.

“With the luck I’m having I wouldn’t be surprised.” she thought aloud.

Without her phone for distraction she instead listened to the rhythmic sound of the falling rain. Yet through the din another sound, soft and sad drew her attention. Peering behind the small bus shelter she discovered a sorry looking black and white cat doing his best to keep dry beneath a row of sparse shrubs; and failing completely. In his misery the cat was softly mewling but upon noticing his audience, his meow grew louder.

“Poor little thing, caught out in this rain. Don’t you have a home to go to?” The cat wasn’t wearing a collar and Mara assumed it must be a stray. Mara had a soft spot for animals, especially small, cute ones. A familiar roar in the distance alerted her to the approach of the bus, she was already so late she couldn’t afford to miss this bus.

“Sorry little guy, have to go. Hopefully it will stop raining soon.” at her words the cats eyes seemed to grow wider, sadder and it was by sheer force of will that Mara turned away and flagged down the bus.

The bus driver was a heavily overweight man with sweat patches already starting to form under his arms and on the collar of his shirt. His skin shone from the thick layer of grime and even from the distance of the door Mara could smell the sour scent of his body odour. His mouth twisted in disdain as she stepped into the bus, most likely thinking about the wet mess Mara would make once she sat down. For a fleeting moment, as she swiped her bus pass, she entertained vindictive thoughts of making as much mess as possible. But her mind kept drifting back to the cat under the bushes. As the bus pulled away from the curb she peered out the window trying to catch one last glimpse of the cat.

“Maybe he has gone home,” she said to herself, but wasn’t very convincing.

_________

Thanks for reading. If you would like to find out what happens next you can buy the book on Kindle and Paperback at Amazon.

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