A Chance Meeting with a Gypsy....
Lisa had always been considered kind-hearted…in fact her roommate Annie generally thought she was too trusting for this world.
Take that business with the gypsies, for instance. She’d been on her way home when she saw the angry store manager throwing the old gypsy woman into the street.
The next thing Lisa knew, she was paying for the groceries the old woman supposedly stole and offering to drive her to the trailer park where she’d stopped for the night. It seems Mrs. Lee always pays her debts, so she gave Lisa a magic charm—“Good for one wish—didn’t spend it on pizza—” and assigns her cat Tomas to watch over the girl.
Tomas is the perfect pet…clean, companionable, funny, attentive… If he was human, says Annie, he’d be the perfect man. Tomas appears to be ready to defend Lisa against everything from her roommate’s barbs to a lustful boyfriend…but there are a few things he can’t protect her from. One is the dream she has of a man she feels she knows, a man with the shadow of a giant cat looming over him…the other is a criminal preying on women living alone…
I had a lot of fun writing this story, especially the scenes told from Tomas’ point of view. I like cats and it was easy to get into seeing his side of the story.
He'd gotten a good look at the layout of the house while Annie washed the pizza dishes, and now—while those two were out of the way—he was making certain the house was secure. Protecting Lisa. Just as Mrs. Lee ordered.
Studying the kitchen door, he gave a cat-nod.
Okay, backdoor shut and locked. Trotting briskly into the living room, he looked at the two windows opening onto the front lawn.
Hmmm, better check that left one. He scampered over, standing on hind paws to tap the bottom of the sash with a front paw.
Good, shut tight. The front door was locked also.
So...that leaves only the bedrooms...
For just a moment, he stood there, looking from Annie’s room with its open door to Lisa’s on the opposite side of the living room.
Which one to check first? Tomas didn’t really want to bother with Annie. The girl was rude, sharp-tongued, and had made some pretty crude comments.
What does she eat for breakfast, anyway? Cactus?
Sauntering cautiously over to the open door, he peeped in.
A few steps brought him to the bedroom window. A quick swipe at the curtains knocked them out of the way to reveal the sash in place and locked. So far, so—
“Hey, what are you doing in here?” Annie appeared in the bathroom doorway, toothbrush in hand, mouth smeared with white foam.
Uh-oh! Tomas backed away. He stared at her face, eyes wide. My God, she’s foaming at the mouth!
“What's the matter? Haven’t you ever seen anyone brush her teeth before?” Annie spluttered toothpaste as she spoke. Tomas turned his head, making an odd disjointed little sound sounding suspiciously like laughter. Cat laughter.
“Get out of here!” Picking up a pillow, she swatted at him, and as he galloped for the safety of the living room, tossed it back on the bed and returned to the bathroom.
Okay. Fine. Tomas watched her disappear inside Let someone break in and steal you. See if I care...
...but he knew he’d better not let that happen. Mrs. Lee had entrusted him—not Isaac or David—and for a very good reason, and he’d better not screw up this time. Turning his back, he stalked with feline dignity into Lisa’s room.
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