She choked back a sob. “I can’t find him, mom,” Hailey said worriedly. Two weeks had gone past since Blaze had disappeared, and no-one had even seen a tuft of fur that looked like his. She hadn’t spoken a word to anyone about her nightmares, or the black thing she kept seeing out of the corner of her eye, or the mysterious scratches that she found on her skin each morning when she woke up. Admittedly, she was scared that if she did tell someone, they’d think she was insane. “He’s gone…”
“I’m sure he’ll turn up soon,” her mom said, giving her a reassuring smile. It didn’t look real, though. “I bet he’s trying to find his way home right now.”
“But he’s never wandered away like this before,” Hailey pointed out, her voice cracking in fear.
“Maybe it’ll teach him not to do it again,” Steven added.
Hailey shook her head and wiped the back of her hand against her eye, hiding her tears from the sight of her mother and step-father. She turned and opened the door, tossing her words over her shoulder as she left, “I’m going to keep looking for him.”
The door shut loudly behind her, but she didn’t even stop to flinch. She simply dropped to her hands and knees and crawled under the porch through a hole in the lining. Maybe he’s down here, she thought as she squinted, finding it hard to see when the only light source was the small hole she’d crawled through. I haven’t looked here yet, after all. Cats like small dark places… don’t they?
She moved her hand forward a few inches and her fingers brushed against something with fur.