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Tricks with Cats and Dogs

by Mere Rain

Tricks With Cats and Dogs - Mere Rain
Editions:ePub - First: $ 1.99
Pages: 29

Halloween is supposed to be a night for safe scares and harmless tricks, not terror ... or romance.

College student Colin agrees to take his little cousin trick-or-treating, anticipating nothing worse than having to shepherd a bunch of sugar-crazed third-graders and a poorly-trained puppy. When the kids run ahead to peek into the local supposedly-haunted house, it seems like a harmless bit of mischief until the puppy crawls through a basement window and is lost. Colin promises to get her back. The place may be dark and creepy, but it can't really be haunted. When the house turns out to be occupied by an attractive man who is willing to let him in, it seems like a lucky break ... at first.

Secrets. Sometimes Cat feels like he has nothing but secrets. No family, no freedom, not even a real name. Colin seems nice, but Cat doesn't owe him anything, not when the risk of punishment for helping a stranger is so high. But he's looking for a puppy, and Cat has a soft spot for dogs. And possibly also a soft spot for kind boys with soft lips. But the apparently simple task of finding a missing pet won't be as easy as it sounds, because the house isn't what it seems ... and neither is Cat.

Could Colin possibly still want Cat if he learns the truth? They won't find out unless they manage to escape the darkness of the house.

    • The door opened.

Colin stepped forward. His toe caught on something and he stumbled.

Firm hands caught him and held him against a chest that was definitely not ghostly.

“S-sorry,” Colin whispered.

“It’s my fault,” the man in the dark murmured. “I should have repaired the outside lights.”

“What about the inside lights?” Colin asked as the door shut behind him.

“Oh. Yes.”

Suddenly a dim yellow light illuminated the entryway.

Colin was leaning on a man a couple years older than himself, with soft-looking black hair. He was wearing black, too, a sort of silky robe that was open to show a not-unattractive chest.

“Sorry, did we wake you up?”

“What? No, I was, uh ... why do you think that?”

He let go of Colin and brushed self-consciously at his hair.


“Just that all the lights are off,” Colin explained. “And you have your bathrobe on.”

The man glanced down and hastily tucked his robe closed. “It’s not -- You didn’t wake me. I was just ... getting ready for bed. Let’s hurry and find your dog. Which window did it go through?”

“I don’t know. One of the ones closer to the front, I guess? Do they all go to the basement?”

“Not all. There are other rooms. The, um, the laundry room?” The man sounded uncertain. “Storage.” He looked away.

Colin hoped he didn’t have a sex dungeon. That would be embarrassing for everyone. Colin hadn’t worked up the nerve for regular sex yet, much less dungeon sex.

On the other hand, it could be a murder dungeon, which would be much worse.

“I’m Colin,” he said. “My friends are waiting outside, so let me find Kissa and get out of your hair.”

“Yes, hurry. I have a tight schedule.”

A tight schedule for sleep?

“Lead the way,” Colin said, and the man turned and walked into the dark.

“What did you say your name was?” Colin asked, voice rising with nervousness as he stumbled after the dim figure.

“I didn’t.”

A few steps later, the man picked up a candle, lit it, and put a glass lid over it. “The basement isn’t wired,” he explained.

“Oh. Can I have a candle, too?”

The man ignored him and proceeded down the dark stairs.

Colin tried to keep his feet in the nimbus of flickering light without treading on his host’s heels. His feet, Colin saw, were bare, which seemed like a bold choice on the dusty and unfinished wooden steps.

The first room was, or had been, a laundry room. Colin recognized it because his grandmother had the same basin and mangle set-up in her basement, long disused. Granny’s basin had been full of big, black beetles. They had given child-Colin nightmares.

Something skittered along the floorboards, and Colin squeaked and grabbed at his host.

The man jumped and clutched Colin’s arm, raising the hand with the candle as if he could hit someone with it.

“Sorry,” he whispered, not letting go. “Do you have rats or mice or something?”“Not for long. Come on."

The man turned and continued, but didn’t shake off Colin’s grip.

Wait, Colin thought. If they don’t have rats...



About the Author

Mere Rain is an international nonentity of mystery whose library resides in California.
Mere likes reading, travel, food, art, and you.
No, really!