“Oh, isn’t that cute?”
A tall and leggy blonde to Jonah’s left gushed loudly and he turned to study the image she was pointing at. It was kinda cute, he guessed, if you liked a messy pile of kittens and babies. Personally he wasn’t overly fond of the younger generations, feline or otherwise. He preferred the creatures he interacted with a bit more mature.
Not for the first time that evening he questioned the impulse that had led him here. He should have stayed away. It was bad enough that…. He shut his thoughts down. It was a bit late to start worrying about it now. Besides, there was nothing stopping him from walking away. So far nobody seemed to have noticed or said anything. If he went now he would avoid awkward questions for which he didn’t have good answers—in the short term at least.
“This image is remarkable.” It was the woman who’d spoken earlier, sounding more subdued this time.
“Yes, I see what you mean,” her friend said. “It’s almost eerie, isn’t it?”
He took an involuntary step in their direction before he realised what he was doing and stopped. Adrenaline coursed through his system and he was on edge, ready to flee at a moment’s notice. He looked at the picture the women were studying and stared at himself. He should have never taken that photo. He shouldn’t have left it where his younger brother had been able to find it. Now it hung in an exhibition of local photographers and while Jonah could certainly do with more clients, this was the one image he would never have picked to advertise himself.
“I mean, if it wasn’t impossible. If I didn’t know any better….”
“You’d say they were one and the same.” The blonde finished her friend’s sentence. “I know. I feel the same.”
The women turned and stared at each other before bursting out laughing. “Maybe we should read something besides shifter stories for a while.” The words came out chocked as the woman tried to catch her breath.
Jonah sighed in relief and turned towards the exit. Maybe coming here hadn’t been a bad idea after all. He’d just been given the reassurance he hadn’t realised he needed. He heard rather than saw the two women turn towards the next image as one of them spoke again. “Still, that photographer has remarkable skill to produce an image like that. I’ll put his name on our list.”
He smiled—some might say like the cat that got the cream— as he walked out the door of the gallery into the dark night. He felt the change and knew exactly what anybody who’d look him in the face would see: eyes shining bright from slit pupils. He purred softly before walking home.
More stories based on the same image can, as always, be found in the Monday Flash Fics Group on Facebook. I do hope you enjoyed my whimsical tale and would love to hear your thoughts.