Oscar Bjørne

Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

The kitten hadn’t seemed to like me from the moment I entered my new flat. It was already there and I’d assumed it belonged to the girl who was to be my new flatmate. She was in the kitchen cutting squash when I arrived but she had two guests who were in the living room rolling joints and sucking strips of acid.

Great, I thought. This should be fun.

The apartment was one of the highest I’d been on, but it had a shitty view of Queens and the the Throgs Neck Bridge out to Long Island. Nothing worth describing because it doesn’t matter in this dream. It was just a flat expanse of grey and brown, with that weird hint of blue that happens when it’s slightly overcast and the cloud cover is meek enough that it hints at the colors of the sky above. Whatever.

Anyway, that fucking cat was freaking me out, leaving the room whenever I entered, then coming close for a stroke and fleeing before I even moved to do it. I’m not a cat person anyway and mistrust everything they do from motives to actions, but this was, after all, a kitten. I couldn’t imagine that its instincts for deceit and it’s capacity for treachery were developed enough to screw with me like that.

I introduced myself to the two men in the living room. One of them, a white haired man in his forties or fifties looked up from what he was painting and smiled eagerly as he looked up at me. He had terrible teeth, yellowed and crooked and was miserably unshaven. He said hello with a liverpudlian accent and seemed basically normal, but then said almost nothing else the entire time. He seemed terribly withdrawn, almost fearful of what might happen next, but he continued painting. The other one had fallen backward off his chair and was writhing on his back, making yelping noises like a strange porpoise. His face was red and I knew I was dealing with a dope fiend. But for now he seemed harmless and I stepped over him to go into the kitchen.

“Eeeee, eeee!” he said as I did so.

She had long strawberry blond hair that was familiar and warm. Her pale face was empty and small, but she had a sweet voice when she welcomed me.

“Those things are impossible to cut,” I told her, which was true. But she paid no attention and kept hacking away at the squash with a knife that was thin and long. I put my things down and walked back out to the living room. The two guests were gone and the kitten was in the middle of the room, now bare of any furniture or decoration. I took a step towards the little cat.

It screeched and lept straight up in the air, right at eye level and hissed on it’s way down.

“Aaah!” I shouted, “what the hell is wrong with you, you evil bastard?” It ran to the wall and I followed, bent low to the ground, trying the calm the thing down. But it was freaking the fuck out, dashing from wall to corner, from wall to wall, hissing and leeping, seemingly trying to evade me.

I couldn’t understand it.

As suddenly as it had started, the kitten stopped in a corner and looked at me with careful eyes. The apartment was still. A moment passed and it licked its paw. I stood looking at it.

Then for no reason on this Earth it attacked my face and removed something from my head. I watched it land on the other side of the bare and brightly lit room with something on its face.

“My glasses!” I started, surprised because I don’t wear glasses — except, you know, when it’s both a dream or an interesting literary device. The cat darted around me and into the kitchen, where I could hear the muffled sounds of an excited conversation through the walls of the living room. I followed the cat into the kitchen, grabbing the machete I saw sitting over the refridgerator.

Shut up — it’s my dream.

When they noticed me walking in with a cold two-foot blade the width of a butcher knife and pointing it at the kitten with rage in my eyes, they fell silent. I explained that it took my glasses and I saw the kitten under the table, wearing them, the little fucker. It would’ve been hilarious if I hadn’t been disturbed by it at the time.

“Why not?” said the dope fiend. “And you must get it back from the beast. You cannot trust these animals.”

“Right,” I said, and heard a noise rustling behind me. “Aagh!” I shouted, kicking the chair folded against the wall behind me in that barest of kitchens. “Did you hear that?” I asked them. “What the hell was that?”

“Never mind that now,” the fiend said, calmer now and in control. “You have to calm down…just get your thing. And, uhh, don’t listen to what these people say.” He pointed to the girl and the silent Brit, his deep voice making me nervous and confused.

I walked slowly toward the cat, trying to keep the blade pointed at it and steady with a neutral expression on my face. Cats can sense fear and anxiety and they want no part of it, I’ve found.

With light feet and a precise thrust I managed to slide the blade underneath the feline’s paws and it froze in place. I flicked the machete and the kitten flew across the room. I looked over at the two maniacs on the table, one casting paint blotches of paint on the kitchen wall and the other smoking frantically as he covered the table with menacing words. They stopped for a second and looked at me, some more surprised than others.

“Too much?” I asked them, the machete still in my hand, but I woke up before they responded.

You know those times when mothers tell you to get enough sleep?

You should listen to them.

https://facebook.com/oscarbjorne Oscar Bjørne

Oscar’s day job consists of saying & writing banter for which corporate executives pay outrageous amounts to shelve and ignore. He’s a consultant at one of the largest software firms in the world, and his clients are in major capitals all over the globe. From São Paulo to Prague, from Oslo to Riyadh, Oscar lends us his notes on travel, corporate life, fast adventures and a company dime.

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