Editor’s Note: This is by a guest author. By Ivan A.
A man opened the door to the house and strolled lightly into the dark; the warm midsummer’s half-black night swallowed him immediately. He walked to the edge of the moat of stones with which he had surrounded his property and stopped. There he simply waited, and looked out at the clear sky and gibbous moon which shone upon him. As he stood a black-marked white cat came up beside him and rubbed his leg.
“I thought I heard thunder,” the man said.
“You did, but that should be no indication of its existence,” the cat replied.
“What do you mean?”
“You heard the thunderous cacophony of an unquiet mind. Tell me, what troubles you?”
“You cut to the chase quickly, old friend.”
“And you throw a red-herring quickly. What is bothering you, I asked.”
For a long moment there was silence, then finally the man spoke again: “This is an evil and oppressive night.”
“To the contrary, this night is pure and free.”
“Like an unholy shroud it masks the many wonders of the sight.”
“Like a well-fitted garment it obscures, but displays the true beauty therein. Tell me, why do you flee your company inside?”
“I do not know; good company is difficult to part with.”
“Then they aren’t your good company?”
“You insult my guests.”
“You avoid my questions.”
The man chuckled to himself, then sighed. “You know me too well. No, I suppose they aren’t my good company.”
“As such you are unreluctant to be rid of their presence. Tell me, am I your good company?”
“Should you even have to ask? You are my everlasting friend, and a rapier wit as well; I would not be rid of your presence for all the persuasions in the world.”
“Speak that lightly, I may yet persuade you to visit with your guests.”
They both chuckled, and silence once again filled the void. Then, the man said “I thought I heard thunder.”
“You heard the uproar of an unwilling spirit. Tell me, where are you going?”
“I thought I heard thunder.”
“You heard the wailing of an unable body. Tell me, what hinders you?”
“I thought I heard thunder!”
“You heard the rusty groaning of an unused heart! Oh, God, man! Tell me, what love aches you?”
“A rosemary that never wilts!” he screamed, and the night itself shuddered.
And all was silent, save an occasional cricket. Then the man said “This is a beautiful and magical night.”
“This is a pitiful and dead night.”
“Like a crystal it sharpens my thoughts, and makes the world clear in purest air.”
“Like mud it blurs reason and mens’ thoughts come out more muddled than when they were first so ill-conceived. Tell me, what pleasure do you derive from pestering a lonely cat?”
“Would you like me to leave you to your peace?”
“To my peace? Not with your nonsense running about my brain. I’d prefer if you left me to your peace.”
“Very well, I shall seek whatever lack-of-company my company can offer.”
As the man walked away the cat called: “Felix!”
“Don’t forget to smile.”