Austin wasn't quite sure he understood what was happening at first. It seemed like it had only been second's since he had flopped his weary head onto
his pillow and had quickly fallen asleep. He glanced over at his alarm clock and saw it read two thirty. "Did I sleep all day?" he thought to
himself."Is it really two thirty in the afternoon?" Oh well it didn't matter he muttered, he didn't have much planned for that day anyways. "Could I
have been so tired that the night's sleep had passed virtually unnoticed and the day was already here?"he wondered. He turned his head and looked
towards his bedroom window, which was emitting a bright beam of radiant light that seemed to warm the air and fill his room with a brilliant shimmer.
"I must have just slept like a log," he jokingly told himself , as he gradually forgot about the strange feeling of time seeming to pass so quickly.
Even though the nagging sensation he somehow felt cheated out of a good night's sleep lingered in his mind, he slowly sat up in his bed ready to take
on the new day that was standing before him.
It was at that moment as he sat up he felt an eerie presence inside his room. Initially he didn't get why he felt like this and he couldn't perceive
why his heart was beginning to pound. It got to the point of actually being able to feel the heaving of his chest and hear the loud rhythmic
heartbeats inside his ear's. For a second he thought he might be having a heart attack , but when he saw them together inside his room staring back at
him, he new there was nothing wrong with his heart and the eerie sensation of a presence near him became abundantly clear. Suddenly it seemed like all
the fear that he had ever experienced throughout his entire life had been balled up into one moment, and thrust upon him like a wave of gigantic
water. It caught him so off guard he thought he might actually wet himself.
With his eye's wide open and his body frozen in fear, he tried to focused in on exactly what he was seeing. Merely a few feet from his face and
huddled together at the foot of his bed he could see two seemingly normal house cat's. As he sat frozen looking directly at them, they sat absolutely
motionless staring directly back at him. He didn't move an inch. With his eye's and their eye's locked on each other, his peripheral vision noticed
strange details about what he was viewing. He could see they were both snow white in color and seemingly flawless in their appearance as if they were
the exact same cat. They both had jet black eye's that appeared to look almost like a glossy coating of paint on a porcelain vase. Slowly he noticed
slight movements in their bodies as they seemed to act in unison. When one shifted to the right the other followed in exactly the same manner, but
they never seemed to move completely from their original position.
It felt like time was standing still to Austin but in reality only second's were passing as this staring contest seemed to go on forever. With his
heart coming out of his chest and his level of fear increasing by the second he began to try and rationalize what was going on.
"I don't have a cat," he muttered to himself, I don't even own a dog."Maybe somehow the neighbors cat got into my house, he thought, "but how?" "All
my doors and windows are closed, including my bedroom door, so how could this be?" It didn't make any sense. With each second passing and feeling like
an eternity, he wondered why at this moment the sight of two cat's inside his room would create so much anxiety. Once he had noticed the cat's and saw
they were just cat's he should have relaxed and forgotten all the reason's they could have been there in the first place.Why would cat's create this
much dread inside his mind?
Even though Austin didn't own any pet's at the time, he had previously owned a cat when he was younger. He had always been an animal lover even when
he was just a little boy. His parent's always used to watch in amazement as he showed the compassion and patience of someone well beyond his years.
When he would find a spider caught in the bottom of the bathtub he would lovingly scoop it up with his hand and proceed to take the time to walk out
on the back porch to let it loose. This thought alone further confused the reason why he was feeling so much fear and soon lead to a reaction that he
could not have ever predicted.
He had completely forgotten about the fact his room was still bathed in light and whether it was morning or not , seemingly in his head, he had bigger
concern's to deal with. In what felt like an instant, Austin's doubt about what he was experiencing reached a whole new level of misgiving.
As he focused on their face's he noticed that they appeared to be smiling at him in an almost Cheshire like way. Cat's normally do not have the
muscles or facial feature's to even create anything close to a smile so these features seemed rather odd to Austin and suddenly the sensation of utter
terror took over any feeling's he was previously having."Why would a smiling cat make me literally piss myself ?" he desperately thought.
"Why should I be terrified of cat's?"
It felt like all logic and common sense was being thrown to the floor and being smashed to bit's right before his eyes and he didn't know why. The
event was becoming more and more confusing as each second passed.
With all rational thought and reason escaping his mind, Austin felt a sensation beyond horror. It was absolutely palpable to him like he could taste
it on his tongue. He could not wrap his mind around what was happening to him and why he was feeling the way he was.
In an instant he felt as if his brain was about to overload, and before he new it, it did. It came like a flash of light in his mind, as if he was
having some kind of epileptic seizure. He just could not process anymore information and switched into a mode of pure instinct and survival. He had no
control over it. It was like someone other than him was about to take charge and there was nothing he could do to stop it. Now he was just along for
the ride. His authority over his own actions were no longer his, but now belonged to some primitive and long dormant creature that lay hidden deep
within his subconscious mind.
For the first time since all this started, what seemed like only minutes ago, Austin lunged up out of his bed in a way that was filled with anger and
purpose. For what purpose, at first he did not know but he would soon find out. With all his strength and determination he slid out from under his
covers. His feet hit the soft carpet that covered his bedroom floor, never once taking his eyes of the cats, and quickly found himself on his knees
reaching under his bed. With his left hand pressed against the bed holding himself steady, he used his right hand to reach under and pull out his
trusty Louisville slugger that he had put under there for protection. If any thief ever tried to break into his house he was going to be sure he was
prepared. Jumping back up to his feet with the baseball bat firmly gripped between his fingers he held it slightly above his head like he was about to
hit a three run triple to right field.
With his eyes still fixated on the two cats, he watched in horror, in an almost detached state, as his body moved abruptly towards the two animals. It
jerked forward in an awkward and robotic way. He had no control over it what so ever and the whole time he never uttered a word. It was at this moment
he new something was going to happen that would change him in a profound way and that he would possibly regret for the rest of his life. This was the
first time he noticed any actual real movement from these two cats.The first time he saw movement it was different, almost like a type of distortion,
like the ripples of heat on a long desert road. This time it was a definite and premeditated lean away from his approaching body. Still looking deep
into the faces of the cats he noticed a change in the expression of their faces. The smiles he thought he saw earlier had now changed to a look of
disbelief and sadness. It was so obvious he could not deny it and its implications, still it couldn't stop him from doing what he was about to do.
In a quick and precise motion and without any thought or feeling, Austin brought down the baseball bat with a rush of fury that only surpassed the
surreal flash of terror that had gripped him earlier. After their slight initial movement away from Austin the cats never left their original position
except for maybe a few inches. It almost looked like an illusion when he did notice movement. They didn't try to run or hide , and they never cried
out. They seemed to accept the destiny of what was about to happen but never felt the need to avoid it. All the while they never changed the look of
sadness that had taken over their faces. The top end of the bat struck the cat that was on the outside position furthest from the bed with a deadening
thud. Austin felt the impact of the bat as it struck the animal cleanly on the side of the head. As the bat recoiled back like it had just hit a
cement wall, he saw clearly that what he had just done had no effect on it what so ever. He expected to see blood flying through the air and watch the
head of the cat distort and crush as the bat came in contact with its soft skull. But he didn't. Nothing happened at all. They never moved and there
was no blood or carnage. He was confused. Why had nothing happen? He slowly loosened his grip on the shaft of the bat and let his arms relax, slowly
coming to rest beside his body. Now he looked on in amazement standing and staring in a daze of fatigue. They were still in the same spot, unaffected
looking up at him in a state of disappointment and sorrow.
In a blinding streak of enlightenment it all became crystal clear and the reality of the moment somehow kick started his brain back to life. He could
feel the warm rush of blood flowing through his veins once again, he could feel the beat of his heart quickly calm and the air come back to his lungs.
He felt like he was back inside his body and for the first time since this all began and he finally saw and understood what was happening. A serene
feeling of peace came over him that was swiftly followed by the most intense feeling of guilt and remorse he had ever felt.
Still focused solely on the two animals, he heard the voice inside his head say it just before he muttered it to himself. "They aren't cat's. They
were never cat's".
Before another thought could enter his mind Austin suddenly found himself back in his bed laying flat on his back and staring at the ceiling of his
bedroom. His room was lit up with the glow of the morning light and he heard the sound of birds chirping just outside his window. He didn't move. He
rolled his head slowly over and looked towards the window and new instantly that morning had finally come. This time it was real and he new it. He was
still in a minor state of shock and his heart was beating hard but was soon slowing back to its normal rate. He felt a sudden wave of relief flowing
through his body when he realized that what had just happened was just a bad dream. A dream that shook him to his very core and he new it would haunt
him for a long time to come. As he lay there wondering what his subconscious mind was trying to tell him he could not shake the image of himself
hurting a helpless animal. Even though he clearly saw that the animal wasn't hurt. Why had he committed an act that went against his very nature? What
did it mean? All these crazy thoughts raced through his mind and the mental anguish he was feeling left him exhausted and unwilling to get up out of
bed for some time. He lay there motionless for at least another twenty minutes before the phone on his night stand rang out, startling him so much his
heart began to thump loud in his chest once again. He felt on edge and nervous. No dream had ever affected him in this way before. He lifted his arm
from under his covers and reached over to hit the answering machine so he didn't have to talk to anyone. He just didn't feel like dealing with reality
yet. He lay there and listened to the phone ring two more times before the machine picked up. He had the volume down so he didn't hear who had just
called but at that moment it didn't matter.
Nothing really mattered to him right now, all he could think about was the cats. Finally he mustered the energy to rise from his bed and try to
salvage the day the best he could. He looked towards the window one last time and cracked a slight smile knowing that it was just a dream and nothing
was going to come from it. He just had to let it go and realize it was just a bad dream. He chuckled a bit thinking it might have just been the pizza
he had eaten just before bed and remembered how his mother told him once when he was younger that doing that can could weird dreams. Smiling cheekily
he stretched his arms high above his head and flexed feeling every muscle ache throughout his body like he had just run a marathon. "Man that was an
intense dream", he thought. "It's like my body actually experienced the whole thing for real."
Lifting his head up from his mattress he leaned forward and looked up. Ever since he was little he was always prone to messing up his sheets while he
slept. Even though he slept well he would commonly find his sheets on the floor or tangled around the bottom of his feet. But today something seemed
different. He felt it as well as sensed it. Across his body his sheets were laying perfectly square. They had been tucked so hard down around him he
could barley move his body to get up out of bed. Suddenly he felt uneasy. This wasn't right at all. He forced himself up and against the sheets and
pried himself into a sitting position. Not only were his sheets perfectly positioned on top of him and neatly laid, they were flipped completely
upside down so his top comforter was on the bottom and his bottom sheet was on the top. As if someone had tried to make his bed while he slept but
made the mistake of getting the order wrong. Without a second passing his heart began to pound again , louder and louder. The feeling of fear was
coming back. He new something was wrong, terribly wrong. Then he felt it. Something was in his bed. He quickly kicked away all his sheets and found
his bed was covered with pine needles."What the hell?", he said loudly to himself. "This cant be." "How the hell did these get in here?" Austin's
heart almost stopped. He new just before he went to bed he had changed his sheets and put his old ones in the basket for the next days laundry. He
always liked to make sure his bed was fresh and clean. This couldn't be happening he thought. Then slowly and gingerly he leaned forward a little
farther and saw his feet were dusty and covered in dirt. He had also remembered he had a shower when he got home from swimming and had scrubbed his
feet thoroughly. A chill came over him like the hand of death reaching out and touching his shoulder. His pulse raced faster and faster. He felt
himself becoming dizzy and light headed. "What [snip] is going on?" he yelled. It was a yell loud enough he could hear its echo bounce off his bedroom
walls. "No way, no [snip] way!" he chirped over and over. He jumped to his feet and walked in small circles around his room mumbling and punching his
fists into the air. Occasionally he put his hands into his face and rubbed it hard hoping to wake up from another dream. But it wasn't going to happen
this time and he new it. This time it was real.
He stopped and stood silently for a few seconds beside his bed looking down on it like it wasn't his. Like it was something foreign to him and
something that made him very afraid. He lowered his eyes, then lightly leaned over to look under his bed and saw his Louisville slugger laying neatly
in its usual position. This sight made him feel at ease in a very small way. It was enough to convince himself that maybe this was all just a weird
coincidence mixed with some rotten pizza and a bad dream. He quickly grabbed some clothes from his dresser and rushed out of his room.
Throwing himself into the shower still feeling dirty and sweaty, he still couldn't shake the imagery that kept appearing in his mind like a scene
playing over and over. He stayed in there for at least a half an hour just standing under the steaming jet of water talking to himself, telling
himself it wasn't real. Finally feeling clean and refreshed he stepped out of the shower, dried himself off and got dressed for the day ahead.
While making himself some morning coffee and munching on a piece of toast he abruptly remembered that someone had called earlier and had left a
message on his machine. With his coffee in hand and a wad of toast in his mouth he sauntered back into his room and sat down on the edge of his bed.
He took a few sips from his mug and reached over to hit the replay button on his answering machine."You have one new message", the machine barked out
in a robotic male voice. He pressed play and recognized the voice of his friend Terry."Hey Austin, It's me man you there?", Terry belted out in his
usual booming voice ."Anyways, dude you have got to check out the news, the weirdest # happened last night seriously!" Everyone's saying they saw
some strange white light moving up and down the lake, its crazy everyone's talking about it." Austin stopped chewing his toast and set down his mug.
His eyes seemed to lock on a point in space that he could not escape from. His heart began to thump loudly in his chest once again." Mrs Harper just
down the street from your place was on the news. She said she was outside letting her dog out for a piss around two thirty and swore she saw a huge
ball of light hanging in the air just over your neighborhood!" Can you [snip] believe that [snip]?" [snip] Austin slowly stood up and walked over to
his window in a daze while the machine continued to play Terry's message. " Dude are you there? I hope those aliens didn't come and take you away last
night because we have a kick ass party to go to tonight." he laughed loudly, "Seriously though, I new folks in this town were a little off, but man I
didn't realize it was this bad!" People will do anything to get on the news!"Anyways hurry up and call me we've got a lot to do, talk to you later." A
loud click was followed by a sudden silence as the message ended. Then a loud beep ended the call followed by the robotic voice saying, "You have no