"What makes you so certain he's coming here tonight?" I
again in as many minutes, pulling my coat tighter around me as if
trying to prevent the alley's gloom from enveloping me.
Spike very slowly, very deliberately, turned.
"Listen, Kitty," his
voice dead-level; suspicious eyes searching for any sign of
disloyalty. "I heerd it from Trixy, see. Dat
gal keeps me up on
everything dat goes on in dis here territory o' mine.
and keep in the shadows.". You don't argue with Spike.
"Yeah." Mix chipped in. "Shaddap." He
tried to copy Spike but
all he received for his effort was a glare.
I retreated behind Mix, using him as barrier from the cold autumn
blast which tore through the alley stirring up dust and
the papers again.
I made a vain attempt to brush the dustoff my coat. My
rebelled at the muskiness of rancid food emanating from the garbage
cans lining the alley. I watched mice furtively
rummaging under the
litter. I wondered if they were as cold as I was.
"What a life." I grumbled.
"What?" snapped Spike.
"What?" echoed Mix.
"I don't know. What?" My mind racing.
"You said what somethin'." Spike was staring again,
with his one good eye.
"Yeah. Somethin'. Mix was really starting to press
"Um...er...I said: 'What a night.'
"Yeah." Spike agreed. "You said it. Whaddah
night." His voice
had resignation in it. A wind-gust reinforced his words.
"Yeah." Mix again.
I settled even deeper into the shadows behind Mix, determined to
avoid any more confrontations with Spike, and also Mix
there was no real threat from that department.
Alone in my thoughts, I discovered I was staring at Mix, or at
least, at his scrawny back. *You'd think he'd look after
* I mused. *Just because he knocks about at all hours of
he could at least straighten his hair and fix that ratty coat of
I don't think he's washed his face and hands for days.
Absolutely filthy! Why Spike puts up with this odious
beyond me! And he's so mixed up! Probably
where his name came
from....Mix, the Mixed.*. I chuckled inwardly.
I noticed Mix was looking at me.
"No." Why would I ask Mix for anything?
"I thought I heard you say my name..." He left the statement
hanging there, like the oppressiveness of the alley.
"Er..um..I was thinking how the dust STICKS my coat. Hard to
get off. Heh. Heh." He did not look convinced when he
his original position which was looking over Spike's shoulder.
Spike, the undisputed master of his domain, small as it was.
Spike and his choleric temper made short work of any threats to his
territory, real or imagined. Years of emperical wisdom had
vigilance, tenacity, and shrewness. His story could be read
features, especially those powerful shoulders which rippled under
his winter coat. It was difficult to tell where the
shoulders ended and
the head began. It wasn't the lacerated nose or the torn lip
deterred a challenger. It was the eyes.
Those eyes! Those blacked
emeralds defeated many an enemy even before the first blow landed.
*What a life.* I thought. *Fighting almost
continuously; on the
run from who-knows-what; relegated to lurking in alleys;
relatively secure place in which to snatch a catnap or two! Is
what I wanted? Was this what I was seeking when I decided to
embark upon this impetuous escapade!?*
"NO!!" My voice shattered the silence!
Both Spike and Mix swung round and glared. "Will you shuddup!!
You'll ruin everything!!"
"Yeah, everything." mugged Mix.
After a quick scowl at Mix, Spike continued: "Look, I don't
what-the-hell's wrong with you tonight, but if you can't
"Yeah, get lost!". Mix was almost inaudible this time.
"My intentions exactly! I refuse to lower myself to this
So, flouncing my tail in their astonished faces, I scampered
home where a plate of tuna and saucer of milk awaited me.