They only come out at night

Felicia slunk quietly through the deepening shadows, feet soft, gait light. She could see the outline of the house set against the golden globe setting in the west. The air was still, silent. A good night for a hunt.

Winter had faded and spring warmed the days, calling green to the grass and buds onto the trees. Looking to her right, into the broken and brown forest, she saw her partner, Sam, skulking through the underbrush. As they neared the house Felicia dipped into the woods, sidling up to Sam as he settled in at the base of a tree.

She sat next to him, their eyes trained on the bleak house, faded paint, broken windows. Anyone could walk into that house and find naught but broken furniture, cracked floors, and a hefty dusting of dirt and decay. A hunter could hunt all day and not so much as sniff their prey. They only come out at night. Creeping, crawling, leaping out of windows on long, thin tendrils, drifting on the breeze. No breeze meant no flight. Hundreds would be on the ground.

A fine and easy feast.

The sun slipped below the horizon and the thick black of night settled over the deserted house, the dead and dying forest. Felicia and Sam stood, stealthily creeping closer to the house, remaining in the dark shadows, ears straining for the tell-tale rustle of feet from inside the house.

Minutes ticked past and Felicia and Sam sat in rapt attention, bodies tight with anticipation of the hunt.

As the stars flickered on the familiar rustle began. Like scrape of a thousand turning pages the sounds of hundreds of thousands of delicate feet on dirty surfaces rose and filled the air. Rising, rising, the sound, and with it Felicia’s pulse quickened. She crouched low and wide, bracing her feet flat on the soft forest floor. Pupils black as her fur, ears fully alert, every muscle straining. Beside her Sam braced against the forest floor, haunches instinctively flexing in rhythm, his tail flicking as his rump swished from side to side. His teeth clicked in a small chatter. Felicia extended her front claws and sank her back claws into the earth, ready for the fight.

Long-legged, fat-bodied spiders began swarming out of the doors and windows. Glossy black bodies glittered in the pale white moonlight. They ran over the rooftop, jumped out toward the trees and skittered along the dark earth. Felicia and Sam flicked eager glances to each other and noiselessly sprung into the fray of the spider horde.

As the cats descended, galloping into the advancing throng, the spiders parted ways, fleeing the oncoming death. Felicia saw a spider encumbered by a monstrous abdomen and adjusted trajectory to pursue the retreating black form. The spider’s legs churned quickly, its distended gut causing a rolling wobble. With almost no exertion, Felicia overtook the absurd spider, pressing her paw down and pinning it to the ground. Mouth wet with anticipation she bent to the spider and bit into its swollen gullet, devouring the morsel hungrily. Despite the size of her kill, Felicia intended to feast until she had forgotten the feeling of hunger or the idea of want.

Turning her golden eyes to Sam, she saw him bat a small spider to the side and pounce on a giant spider with a golden hind end, the spider about half Sam’s size.

Sam’s ferocity as a hunter was well known and Felicia felt pride as her partner demolished his chosen foe and then sat in victory beside the twitching carcass as he licked a drip of gore from his whiskers. Spiders ran around Sam and his kill, a circle of respect and fear for the victor. Felicia slammed her paw into another engorged spider that came too close and she hungrily devoured the kicking legs and fat, wet body.

Felicia ate eleven spiders of various size while Sam stayed by his giant kill, eating at leisure while Felicia took her pick of the tens of thousands of spiders who continued to pour out of the house. As the moon rose high and Sam crunched on the last leg of his fallen foe, the endless waves of spiders dwindled. Felicia walked over to Sam and licked some flecks of spider off his face. Both cats stretched their front paws out, arching their backs and shoving rumps and tails in the air. Felicia set a slow pace away from the house, her mind and body at ease after the thrill of the hunt and joy of crushing her teeth into fresh kill.