View Full Version : Kitty (A short story)

Lilly Davidson
April 30th, 2012, 01:17 AM
Dear Readers,

I hope I am doing this correctly, first time I have done this - quite scary really! Keep in mind that I am a beginner but be truly honest about what works or not please.


By Lilly Davidson

Mrs Katz lived in the village of Stoneridge in Staffordshire. Today, like every Wednesday, she welcomed her two oldest friends warmly into her immaculate bungalow for elevenses. They always enjoyed a chat with homemade cake and fresh coffee. Sunshine streamed into her gleaming spotless kitchen. Her tabby cat, Kitty, weaved sashaying around their feet before settling regally onto her red silk cushion on the windowsill. From there she gazed impassively at them with huge emerald eyes.

Margaret and Dorothy were sisters in their seventies and just as immaculately turned out as Mrs Katz. All three ladies wore impeccable makeup and had beautiful manicures. The sisters had both gone naturally stylishly grey but Mrs Katz defiantly sported a coiffure of rich auburn waves. She was older than them but looked younger than her 82 years and was normally the most vociferous. Today her husky accented voice was noticeably subdued. Her heart was heavy and she did not know how to put it into words.

‘I got my test results’ she eventually told them. ‘Pancreatic cancer, I have maybe three months left’. Margaret and Dorothy sat still and then spoke at once.

‘Oh Rina, no!’ they protested, tears starting up and mouths open.

‘No, no, none of that my dears’ said Mrs Katz pretending to be firm.
‘It is just my time, it comes to us all. I only ask you to please look after Kitty for me’. Years ago she had arranged for these two oldest of her friends to be her joint executors and willed everything to them. She had no family so it made sense.

‘Right, my mind is made up. We are going on a cruise next month! You will choose where, totally my treat. I want to go out with a bang not a whimper’ she smiled but her voice was shaky. The sisters tried to smile too but failed. Together they sat awhile, words were not enough to express how they felt. They could not imagine her not being there.

‘See you tomorrow darlings’ she saw them off. The two sisters left, blowing their noses. Mrs Katz sat down with Kitty on her lap, stroking her gently until the purring escalated to fill the silence. Every cat she had owned had had to be a girl and was always called Kitty. Suddenly she looked at her watch, time to go out. She had an appointment at the hairdressers, needed a little shopping, followed by lunch in the park. Soon she was zooming off in her little Ford Ka into the nearby town of Oldridge. She had decided to keep things normal until the pain got too much.

Later, with newly cut and styled hair, she went into Morrisons supermarket and grabbed a basket. She did not need much, her small slim body had never been able to digest much food. She had been a widow for twenty years now, without dear David. They had had no children but had been true soul mates, taking great joy in their friend’s families. Her reverie was deep but suddenly something jerked her out of it, her pulse raced.

‘Thank you, two more slices please’ the deep gruff tones of an elderly man in front of her in the queue, buying ham. He was in a mobility scooter with his back to her. That voice. Does one ever forget a voice? The effect of this one on her was electric and she stepped away into another aisle, dropping her list. Surely not! Mrs Katz took a deep breath and followed him to get a proper look. He wore a hat, overcoat and shiny shoes, impeccably dressed.

In the bakery section the scooter stopped and she saw him politely ask for assistance to reach the bread. She crept closer to check his hands. A jolt shot through her when she saw his right small finger was missing. Her body went rigid, constricting her breathing, setting her mouth into a grimace. She must check the face.

‘Excuse me, could I reach for those cakes please?’ she heard herself croaking to him. He looked up amiably, straight into her eyes. She was momentarily locked into his gaze but forced herself free quickly. There was no doubt. Though faded and rheumy, those eyes were definitely amber. It was a face one could never forget. Mrs Katz took a cake and walked away.

She leaned on a rail and breathed heavily, willing herself not to pass out. Memories threatened to engulf her but she resisted.
She must find out where he was going, must follow him. He had noticed nothing and was moving slowly to the check out. Mrs Katz followed him out of Morrisons, boring her eyes into his unaware back. He headed at a snail’s pace across the road into Oak Park, which was a picturesque cherry blossomed oasis. Ducks floated serenely on the pond and children played in the sunshine. She saw him settle and start eating a sandwich, smiling. Mrs Katz’s heart had turned into a stone inside her chest. This was not right, how dare he have grown so old and be enjoying life.

As she sat down on a nearby bench, she began to feel nauseous and overwhelmed. Glancing at his profile, memories came flooding back, memories she had locked away and never dared to confront for so long. Some small children came running up to him and he patted them on their heads and he gave them sweets. Their mothers smiled indulgently. No, this could not be allowed.

‘Excuse me, anybody sitting here?’ she marched up to the bench next to him and sat down.

‘No, you are welcome. It’s always nice to have company’ that deep voice, those haunting eyes fixed onto hers. Mrs Katz controlled her breathing, he did not recognise her after so long.

‘Such a nice day’ she said as casually as she could.

He talked. About the weather, about his illnesses. On and on he droned about himself, just meaningless dribble. She knew that to everyone he appeared to be a harmless old man, someone’s nice grandfather. The bile rose in her throat, white hot anger grew as a seemingly separate entity, quite out of her control. Her weak dizziness was being replaced by an icy calm and clarity of mind. Her dry mouth pursed hard in front of clenched teeth. Memories crowded unbidden and began screaming inside her skull. Her body went into automatic pilot as adrenaline kicked in strong and hard.

Mrs Katz’s hands reached into her handbag. She too had packed a sandwich, along with an apple and a sharp paring knife in a plastic box. She stood up, enraged that he had lived all this time without punishment. It was just not acceptable. She must do it now. Mrs Katz placed herself behind him.

‘Do you remember Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony?’ she hissed into his ear. His back instantly froze then he bellowed surprisingly loudly for help while frantically trying to start his scooter up with gnarled feeble fingers. Like lightning she plunged the knife into the back of his exposed neck. As the blood spurted and sprayed everywhere he slumped forwards.

‘For Kitty and all the others!’ she cried continuing to stab, her face contorted with hatred, eyes wide and mouth open in a silent scream. All around them deafening hysteria erupted, filling the air. Children and mothers flew to each other crying uncontrollably. Loud wailing sirens started and screeching police cars violently spilled forth bulky running police officers. Suddenly Mrs Katz stopped. She left the knife impaled in his back and simply sat down on the bench. She was bathed in his vile blood from head to toe and was elated. It was done, but could never be enough. As the police officers charged up, she crumpled to the ground unconscious.

Hardened police officers were pale, shocked to the core. Grim faced paramedics took Mrs Katz by ambulance to The Oldridge General Hospital two miles away. Meanwhile detectives stood around the old man’s body, even the most experienced of them completely perplexed at this apparent geriatric madness. The huge subdued crowd stayed for a long time, trying to make sense of it all.

It took time for medics to stabilise Mrs Katz. Eventually a doctor came out to speak to the two detective inspectors waiting patiently.

‘She is very weak. Her GP has informed us that she has cancer. She has refused a sedative but is quite calm and lucid and wants to make a statement’.

Mrs Katz looked up at the two big men as they seated themselves either side of the bed. She looked just like anyone’s grandmother.

‘Why did you murder Albert Smith aged 91 today?’ they asked her after some necessary initial formalities. She remained silent. Then, slowly, she lifted the sleeve of her left forearm to reveal a tattoo. It was a 5 digit number ‘39921’. Her husky voice was clear.

‘Auschwitz-Birkenau. I was born in Bielsko in Poland. I was 13 years old in 1943 when we arrived there. Me, my parents and my baby sister Kitty who was just 10 months old. We had arrived at the gates of hell. The concentration camp guard and SS officer in charge was the man I recognised today. His real name is Gerhard Schwiedler and I am proud to have executed him. He had no right to life. I recognised his voice and checked his right small finger was missing. He has amber eyes, very rare, also known as “wolf eyes”. This is how he was known, as “The Wolf” because he would use his teeth like a beast on those he raped, beat and murdered. He carried out orders from Dr Joseph Mengele, known as the “Angel of Death”. They did unimaginable things.

When we arrived my baby sister Kitty was crying. Schwiedler tore her out of my mother’s arms, held her legs and smashed her head against the side of a truck until she was dead. This image above all has been burned into my mind forever. Then he sent my screaming mother to the gas chambers. My father had already been gassed. What words are there for this?

I did hard labour for two years, the only one of my family to survive. One thing surely saved me. I could play the piano. Many times I was forced to play for the officers while they ate and we starved. Schwiedler’s favourite was Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, he enjoyed it while he drank and played cards with the other monsters. I was not spared much else though. Schwiedler and his men were a pack of wolves, falling upon us girls. The damage they did to me meant I would never bear children but many other girls died of their injuries. I could not stand any man near me for years after the liberation of that terrible place, until I met my dear gentle David. His whole family too perished the same way. I beg you to tell the right people about this. Now I am very tired’.

Mrs Katz sank back on her pillows, her breathing laboured. Medical staff hurried back in and the pale faced detectives left. Eventually, her dear friends Margaret and Dorothy, who had waited hours, were at last allowed to see her.

‘Oh Rina, why did you do such a thing?’ they whispered.

‘Kitty’ was the only word she uttered, eyes still closed. They assured her they would take care of her beloved cat. With haggard eyes and tears pouring, they held her hands.

Later that night, alone in the gloom, Mrs Katz opened her eyes. There, at the foot of her bed they were all waiting, smiling. Her husband David was holding her baby sister Kitty, beside him were her parents, and behind them the room was filled with the faces of all those whom she loved. They held out their arms to take her. Mrs Katz smiled back and closed her eyes for the last time.

April 30th, 2012, 03:40 AM
Lilly - The 'dear readers' intro is not needed. Best is to go ahead and post the story. One point gave me a problem - the choice of music. A piano adaptation of a Beethoven symphony would be a bit much for a casual evening's entertainment. Equally well known - all of us who took piano as children had to learn it - is the Beethoven piano sonato sub-titled 'Für Elise', which would be appropriate for those evenings with the music loving SS officer. As the woman prepares to strike she could say, 'This is for Kitty, und Für Elise'.

Otherwise I like the story very much.

Lilly Davidson
April 30th, 2012, 04:40 PM
Hi Garza

Interesting point. I did look up about what kind of music was likely to have been listened to by the Nazis. Beethoven was a choice mentioned but I cannot remember where I read it. It is a good point to think what a child of 13 might have been able to play unless one assumes she was particularly gifted.

I think if I used your phrase it would sound perhaps a bit comical somehow, which would be wrong in this story to say 'for Kitty and fur Elise'. All I kept in mind was that the Nazis were such monsters and yet liked the finest music, drink and food, it was an appalling irony. I researched as many aspects of the story as possible, names, places, ages etc so that they ring true.

Thank you for reading it.

May 2nd, 2012, 02:17 AM
I really liked how it became much more in depth as I read on. When I first started it, I thought it was a bit dull but when you got to the old man in the power chair, it started to get more interesting. I also liked how you withheld why she was so upset by the man for a while, it made it that much more intriguing.

You were also able to describe what was happening in the right amount. It wasnt so descriptive that it was gory, nor was it not descriptive enough that I wasnt able to picture your story as it unfolded. All in all, great work. :)

May 2nd, 2012, 02:57 AM
Hi Garza

Interesting point. I did look up about what kind of music was likely to have been listened to by the Nazis. Beethoven was a choice mentioned but I cannot remember where I read it. It is a good point to think what a child of 13 might have been able to play unless one assumes she was particularly gifted.

I think if I used your phrase it would sound perhaps a bit comical somehow, which would be wrong in this story to say 'for Kitty and fur Elise'. All I kept in mind was that the Nazis were such monsters and yet liked the finest music, drink and food, it was an appalling irony. I researched as many aspects of the story as possible, names, places, ages etc so that they ring true.

Thank you for reading it. Wow! Here was the center of so-called Western civilization, with it's deep, rich history in music and the arts, as well as the center of modern scientific thought and progressive ideas. So what did they come up with? Cold-blooded eugenics, and a plan for a "Master-race." I don't think all that could be written, has been. There's a goldmine there...

As far as your story, all I can say right now, is that it was powerful. Perhaps it's been done before but you did all right. I'm reeling. It started off so innocuously, and then... and from such a sweet looking avatar :)(brilliant disguise)

May 2nd, 2012, 12:16 PM
I think that you should introduce the Nazi part in a better fashion, it seemed plain a she was just speaking of a serious event, it lowered the quality.

May 14th, 2012, 06:33 PM
I enjoyed reading this story and the beginning made me smile from time to time as Rina reminded me of some old people I know. I also smiled at the fact that all of her cats have been ladies and named Kitty - because my great grandmother had done the same(Except, all her cats were male and called Miku). She seemed like a sweet old lady and her act off killing the man was unexpected, yet logical and so - good.
The only thing that I didn't like was the way she described her past, she spoke way too calmly - there are quite a lot of people in my country who had gone through the same or worse but by the hands of soviets and none of them can speak calmly of it. All of them either start sobbing in the middle, or just loose the ability to speak after saying a bit, it's way too painful and hard.
But other than that the story was great! <3

Lilly Davidson
May 14th, 2012, 06:42 PM
Hi Tshuki

thank you so much for those comments, all very helpful. I agree that she does speak too calmly about it all and I will look to re-write that to put more emotion in. I suppose I wrote it like that because she is dying and has killed the oppressor. But I agree that hardly anyone would be able to stay that calm. I am such an inexperienced writer that I simply did not know how to handle it differently, but I will keep working on it.