A girl stood alone in a simple brick house, looking over the chaotic mess of the place she had once called home. Angry tears started to form in her eyes as memories of the past danced in her head, powerful and haunting. Memories of the odious whore she had for a mother, insular and drivin half mad by narcotic abuse. A revolting degenerate of a man playing the father figure to the girl and her older brother, his smell was enough to twist her stomach violently into tight knots. Her brother had abandoned this rotten dump long before it had been left by those monsters. Now all she had left was her cat.

A resounding crash broke through her recollections and reminded her the cat was present.

"Hammy" she called to the black feline slinking around a corner. He looked up into her tear-strewn face and padded toward her.

"You understand me don't you, Hammy?" she asked, as if she expected him to answer. His words, she thought, if he could speak, would be comforting in the shell of her broken, desolate home. Instead of answering, Hammy crept away, his attention now fixed on a flitting insect which he chased out to the backyard.

The girl sighed and trudged after her cat. The only family, or even friend she seemed to have anymore. Cats couldn't hurt your feelings, couldn't betray your trust, and they certainly couldn't break your spirit with menial words and brutal beatings.

The ghosts of memories returned as she passed the rooms in the house. Someone would lash out, yelling and screaming and the fight would be on, booming callous words were thrown around. Had it always been this way? She couldn't quite remember her life as anything but habitual violence. It was crazy to still be there, holding onto the idea that someone would come to save her.

As soon as she stepped into the clutteres garden to find Hammy, the rain drenched her.

"Hammy...c'mon inside." She coaxed. Worry creased her face as she realised Hammy was nowhere to be seen.

"Hammy...Jeez! wehere are you?"

A strong wind sent a trail of goosebumps over her freezing limbs. It was stupid to feel abandoned now by a cat. Everyone else had left or betrayed her, now it was Hammys' turn. There was a female cat down the road that he persued sometimes, and had even fathered a litter of kittens to once. Even Hammy had a girlfriend, a family. Not some savages in human form posing as parents, friends and lovers. The girl felt so terribly alone.

"Come back Hammy." She cried forlornly, not at all expecting him to obey her plea or to even hear her. She stepped slowly back into the gloomy house, dripping puddles of water with each slow, melancholy step she took. She didn't care. There was no one else to care either. There was no one left to do anything. She lay on a dilapitated, grubby couch, full of hopelessness and a painful longing for the warmth of genuine love and care. Longing to have Hammy back. She knew Hammy couldn't provide much, but he was warm, a friend in her frigid world.

"Please come back." Her heavy lids closed over her tired eyes.

She couldn't tell how long she'd been asleep. She'd spent hours drifting in and out of dreams, walking around occasionally searching for her best friend, the cat.

A sudden knock at the door woke her and sent her heart racing so furiously, as if it were trying to beat right through her chest to escape the fear pulsing through her body.

Curiosity won the internal debate over whether to answer the door or not, and she hesitantly turned the knob.

The girl stared at the man standing at the doorstep in amazement, still groggy and bleary-eyed from sleep. She rubbed them in disbelief as she took in the vision of her older brother, with Hammy in his arms.

"Sorry I took so long..."

She hugged him, and her cat before he could finish his apology. Hot tears welled up and spilled out from her eyes as she was overcome with emotion.

He'd come back to save her from the unrelenting bleakness she's endured.

Hammy had returned too. Finally, after weeks of grey, stormy skies, the sun burst through the clouds and cast light on the girl, her brother and HAmmy the cat; Her family.

The End

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