Catrina “Cat” Jameson’s November evening shift at The Stray Cat Motel started the way most of her others always had. She bid the day shift worker, Lila, a good evening, and checked to make sure that there was enough change in the register.
As twilight turned to darkness, Cat watched the outdoor lights of her father’s motel automatically turn on. She looked to see if any of the local alley cats graced the side door of the main office.
“Here you go.” Cat placed a plate of food out for a small black cat that cautiously peeked through the evergreen bush.
Cat then heard the motor of a car in the lot. She knew this limousine. The driver opened the door for a surly old male, dressed in a black suit. Another male, a regular at the motel, exited and made his way to the main office.
“Hey, the usual,” Victor said to Cat as he quickly threw a one hundred dollar bill on the counter. He snapped his fingers and held his hand out for a key. He was about 5′ 9″ tall with a muscular build. He would always stare at Cat as if she were from another world. Cat looked like the offspring of Keith Richards and The Black Dahlia.
“Anybody ever tell you that you have nice eyes?” Victor asked.
“You do, every week,” Cat smiled. Cat’s eyes were large and deep green, lined with black. They dramatically contrasted with her pale skin and long, black hair.
“Wait! Here’s your change,” Cat said.
“I’ll come back for it,” Victor replied.
Less than fifteen minutes later, another car pulled up. Cat recognized this one, too. Two young males quickly exited a black Lincoln Navigator.
Cat’s eyes studied the two males for as long as she could. As they moved towards the first floor, she was unable to clearly see them from the window.
Her instincts told her that this was not going to be a friendly visit. She felt trouble in the air and braced herself. She grabbed her father’s .38 from underneath the register.
Cat’s body barely flinched when she heard the gunshots. She heard them coming closer, then…silence.
She peeked out the window. She saw a male on the pavement. She dialed 911 and left the phone off the hook so the call would connect.
Slowly, she walked out of the office and towards the room. There was another dead male on the ground.
Cat pushed the door open with the tip of the gun. Two other men were seated in the dinette chairs. Dead.
She walked to another male, the limo driver, who was nearest to the car. He appeared to be dead, too. His hand extended underneath the vehicle.
Cat bent down on the pavement and put down the gun. Her eyes fixated on a metal case. She grabbed it. Slowly, Cat opened it. It was filled with one hundred dollar bills. Quickly, she closed the briefcase. Cat nodded to herself and smiled.