It was a dark and stormy night,… Chel chuckled to herself as the phrase ran through her thoughts. She hadn’t fully stood up yet and the cat jumped into her arms, as though it belonged there.

“Great,…” Chel walked quickly through the house to the front door, peeking through the peephole to see if she could recognize who was on the other side. The cat growled faintly in her arms and her ears went back flat against her head. Eerie.

She couldn’t see. It was too dark and he was staring at the ground. “Who could that be,…” She murmured to herself, going through the possible list of people she knew with hair like that. Unable to think of anyone, she said loud enough to be heard through the door, “Hello, who’s there?”

“My name is Shira Lexx,” an unfamiliar voice said on the opposite side of the door. It was low, just barely high enough to be heard as though he was being forced to introduce himself at gunpoint. He continued, his voice rising a bit and speech quickening, “Sorry to bother you so late at night,..” He
paused, formulating what he was going to say next carefully. “… and during a rainstorm. But my little sister’s kitten was startled by the thunder,…. and I think it ran into your back yard.” He looked up.