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The Regicide

The Regicide

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Published by Philip Schweitzer
The first chapter of a book that I am working on. It involves two men and a cat. I've been told that it is most similar to Poe or a Gothic horror piece. I hope that you enjoy it!
The first chapter of a book that I am working on. It involves two men and a cat. I've been told that it is most similar to Poe or a Gothic horror piece. I hope that you enjoy it!

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Published by: Philip Schweitzer on Dec 24, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/03/2011

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The Rhinoceros, the Fox and the Moon
Robert Glass had a face that would not have looked horribly out of place if chance hadconspired to put it upon the neck of a rhinoceros instead of a man. It had once been young andhealthy but of late, appeared more as if the craftsman who created it had forgotten it out in thesun for at least three or four years. The health and vigor which it had once held were nowreplaced quite completely by deep, ravenous cracks and a thick layer of what might have beenthe leather sole of a shoe.George Rapell had a face that would not have looked ugly on a fox. The whole thingcame up to a distinct point some inches forward from where it had been toward the edges. Hehad red hair, a shallow forehead, a too long nose and an almost impossibly thin mouth, with longrows of white teeth inside of it.Robert Glass’ cat, Charles, had a face that would have served as a suitable replacementfor the man-on-the-moon. It was, with the exception of a few necessary pieces, perfectly flat anduniformly grey. The exception to the flatness was evidenced in the ridges which served aseyebrows and lips. The exception to the greyness was that it was covered here and there in black spots of varying size and depth-of-darkness. A high proportion of these black spots were notoriginal to the cat, but had been acquired at various parts of his life from the process of leadingthe life of a cat who, for whatever reason, has not yet learned to clean himself. Most of these fakespots were from grease, a few less were simply dirt and still fewer were the scarred remnants of  previous wars waged against other feline soldiers.
 
Charles, being a cat, and George, being as close to a fox as one can get without giving upone’s property and taking up residence in a hole in the ground, did not get along well. Charlesseemed unable to bear the sight of George and made this feeling evident by hissing and spittingin George’s direction whenever the two fell into the unfortunate circumstance of being in thesame place at the same time. Just at present, Charles-the-cat was nowhere to be found.“My dear George, but have you heard the news?” The leathery skin of Robert’s faceseemed always to regain a little of its former life when he was able to speak sarcastically. Thecavernous cracks appeared to lessen and the leather of his face began to look a little more likecloth.“Hmm? I suppose that you are referring to
the
news and not the regular news.” Georgestopped for a moment and rapped his fingers against the wooden table. “I would think ithorrifying if I hadn’t.”Robert leant forward a little in his chair and the sides of his mouth leant upwards into thefaintest suggestion of a smile. “Oh, it’s just ghastly, isn’t it?”George inclined the side of his head towards Robert, in mock reproach. “Really, I don’tknow how you can take such revelry in things like this. Regicide is nothing to smile about.”“Oh, you can’t assume that he didn’t deserve it. He did exile his own brother after all…”There was a faint mewing which resonated from the doorway, as Charles-the-cat slunk around the doorframe. The evening light glinted on his dull eyes and turned them from their usual grey to the color of mist on a cold morning. George fixed his eyes upon Charles as the catskirted the walls. Every few feet he would stop to inspect a portion of the wall, as if testing it for 
 
the possible entry points of mice. And every few feet more he would turn his head around to look at George, turning the corner of its mouth upwards into what, on a human face, would have beena sneer.Whenever this happened, George would glance concernedly at every part of the roomexcept that which held the cat. “Robert, I really must insist that you get rid of that cat.”“Get rid of him? Never.” Robert smiled easily at George and waved his hands about, as if to imply that George had intended it as a joke. “He’s the most clever cat that I’ve ever heard of.Why only yesterday, your wife asked to borrow him so that he could take care of your mice. Andhave you ever heard of a cat that could mimic human expression? No, Charles stays.” Then, asan afterthought, he added, “You’ll just have to learn to get along with him.”“I doubt very much if that is even possible. He hates me.”Robert sighed his amusement. “Well then, don’t. But I’ve some news on this regicidewhich is remarkably interesting. You might want to grab onto something, lest you should fallover in fright.” He gestured to an edge of the table.However, before George grasp the table, Charles-the-cat leapt upon it.George gasped. “Where in God’s name did he come from? He was in that corner just amoment ago.”The corner to which George gestured, and in which the cat
had 
 been just a moment ago,contained a number of crystal vases. Each of these was still wobbling slightly and glinting in theevening sun.

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