“The following morning an eerie silence lingered despite the remnants of a blizzard. One of the largest storms in history just ravished the heart of Washington, leaving a trail of destruction behind. Trees had snapped, littering the roads with debris. Nearly four feet of snow had buried the valley, making it impossible to travel anywhere. Residents were trapped inside and no one was heading to work, even the authorities. Emergency personnel were still on call. The town had officially closed until further notice.
Rolling over lazily, Mason came face to face with Rilo the hissing kitty. He glanced at the frosty windows. It was impossible to see outside. And why was Rilo in his room, acting jumpy? Most mornings the cat pounced around with Shameless and Aimless and the yarn ball, and they rarely visited his room. Frowning, Mason glanced at the time. Ten? It couldn’t possibly be ten in the morning already. He never slept till ten, especially on a weekday. He didn’t even remember sleeping at all. He remembered tucking Lucca into bed and worrying about the heavy winds that could damage the nearby trees. Thankfully, the trees hadn’t fallen. Looking at the time again, he rubbed his eyes in exhaustion. He must have blacked out. He flicked on the light and grabbed a sweatshirt, noting the power had returned. He watched Rilo who restlessly circled. The cat nipped his feet, which seemed odd.
Mason shouted, “Lucca, you up? I’m going to need help shoveling the snow from the porch.”
An eerie silence lingered.
He walked down the hall to Lucca’s room. “Lucca. Come on. It’s getting late.” He glanced around the room, realizing she wasn’t there. She was probably making pancakes or playing with Shameless and Aimless. He washed up, then wandered downstairs to the kitchen. He frowned. The kitchen looked the same as the night before- no freshly brewed coffee, no pancakes on the griddle. Instead, a strange quietness lingered, making him hesitate for a moment. Why did their home suddenly not feel like home? Catching a glimpse of Shameless and Aimless, they restlessly circled, whipping their tails. Even the cats were acting strange. That’s when his heart shuddered. Lucca always woke early and the cats never left her side, ever, and she always came into his room by six, seven at the latest, even if he was still in a deep sleep. Running back upstairs, chills crawled along his spine as he entered her room.”
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