Sheilagh’s improved mood upon escaping from the schizophrenic demon currently occupying the muscle tissue, skeleton and synapses of Franz Leopold, her award winning British Blue cat. It wasn’t until she performed something like a triple axel to get a seat on the tube that she noticed the evil bastard had actually drawn blood. A spot had stained the inside hem of the scarf she had in her back.
It was then she felt what could only be described as a vice or one of those clip things that joiners use to glue two pieces of wood to make sure it bonded well, gripped her. A sudden rush to the head made her eyes go funny. A buzzing and then spinning.
“Are you alright love?” Which to her ears were more like “Mah huh de wok loo.”
She knew it was the lady with the blue stained raincoat next to her because her lips were moving.
The demon. The evil. The bleeding. Venom?
She shook her head.
“Water love. The ‘eat. So dry don’t you think. Such a dry ‘eat”
It was the nudge on her arm that triggered her return. The contact of cool plastic.
“Thank you. That’s awfully kind of you.” she said curling the corners of her parched lips in the faintest of smiles.
“I’ve no idea what came over me.”
“Could be this ‘orrible dry ‘eat cooped up in this.” The woman gestured to nothing in particular.
“My mum taught me. Sheilagh darling be kind to strangers as one may be an angel in disguise.”
“Aww how lovely. Aren’t you blessed to have had a good ‘un.”
“Blessed? Yes until this moment that is not a word I’d have come up with. Blessed. Yes. How strange.”
“Well I’m no angel. Our Susan might have been. Maybe that’s why we only had her for a few hours. She’d have been about your age now ‘spect but maybe needed elsewhere?”
Sheilagh touched her hand, brushing calluses of hands that were no stranger to hard work. Honest hands who if they could talk she imagined could tell a bloody good yarn.
“I’ve just had the oddest thought. Do you think it possible that a departed loved one could occupy the soul and body of a cat.”
“You’re speaking to someone who believes in Angels darling. What d’you think?”
A moment of stunned silence before she let out a sound like her demon cat. Sheilagh sniggered. Then let out a small chortle before she was giggling like she did at school.
“Christ it’s me stop. Bye love.”
“Bye and thanks again” she wasn’t sure if the hiss of the doors meant she heard it all but she’d said it. By golly she was fast and flexible scooching and sliding in and around fellow passengers as if in a TFL version of an Argentine Tango.
“You’re Dad and I did a mean Argentine Tango.”
Sheilagh sprayed G&T mist spluttering. “Shut up, you did not? You? And…”
“Sheilagh language please.”