CW: Ms. Ananke and the Serial Killer.

Ananke stretched her back and yawned. Another day, another chance for the world to crumble into even smaller pieces.

Or be rebuilt...

Her face turned toward the rising sun. As much as she enjoyed the coolness and quiet of the temple, sometimes she found it stifling. The mornings spent outside on the steps allowed her to warm up and reconnect with the world around her.

Ananke’s face twitched at the sight of a woman rushing through the city square. Where is she headed? Humans are such interesting creatures. Always in a hurry.

Momentarily, Pammenes joined her on the steps of the temple.

“Seen anything interesting, yet, Ms. Ananke?” he asked her, as he looked into the distance himself.

As much as she would have loved to dwell on the shortcomings of Pammenes, Ananke decided it wasn’t the best time to do so. Solitude ruined. She stood up and unceremoniously walked away; her tail swinging from side to side. Time to find a new spot.

“Cats…” Pammenes mumbled, shook his head, and sat down on the top stair.

What he didn’t know was that Ms. Ananke was actively observing a man who had been approaching the temple. While the man was still on the other side of the square, Ananke had no doubt that he was heading their way. Her intuition had been sharpened throughout the ages from and for moments like that.

The cat walked along the edge of the step, along the Eastern temple wall and back. By then, the strange man was only about five yards from the bottom step. Ananke slowly circled the column supporting the temple, pretending to scratch herself on its surface. That’s what cats do. Right? She couldn’t let the visitor know she was watching him.

There’s something off about him… She couldn’t quite put a paw on it, but she knew she had to keep a close eye.

“We have a visitor,” Pammenes announced with a smile and stood up.

Ananke sneezed. Look at him – so observant. She laid down and proceeded to lick her chocolate brown paw.

“Praised be the gods, Priest Pammenes.” The man bowed as he ascended the stairs. His hair was almost as dark as a raven, his skin tortured by the sun. Even though it was only springtime, he dressed lightly.

“May they shine their grace upon you today and always,” Pammenes responded, making his way toward the man.

“My name is Gorgo…” The man bowed again. “… and I need help. Could we talk?”

As a newly ordained priest, Pammenes wasn’t always sure how to gracefully deal with the congregation. His first reaction was to tell the stranger that he didn’t have any money to give him and that he himself had to live off what others would give him, but he caught himself in time. “I’d be happy to help. What can I do?”

Ananke paused her cleaning routine and gazed at Gorgo. Well, this ought to be interesting…

To Ms. Ananke, the only thing the priest was good for was praying, eating, and talking to her when she wanted peace and quiet. If he had it his way, he’d keep her in his lap most of the day. Over my dead body. Ananke chuckled. She liked to keep her distance.

“Can we talk in private?” The man’s eyes went up toward the temple.

Pammenes looked around – the square was filling up with people but no one seemed to pay attention to the two of them. “Sure,” he shrugged. “We can pray on whatever you need help with, too.”

“Mhm…”

The two men made their way into the temple and Ananke followed. How would she be able to advise the priest if she didn’t know everything that was going on?

As soon as Gorgo saw the large statues of gods, he started to tremble. What was I thinking? Coming to a place like this with a problem like that?…

“So? What do you need help with – ?”

“Gorgo,” the man filled in the blanks. Did he already forget my name?

Pammenes motioned with his hand for the man to go on and sat down.

Ananke shook her head. He’s not very well-versed in social interactions… She sat down to the right of the entrance to be able to hear the conversation but to still appear somewhat out of the way.

“I have this… urge…” The man started pacing back and forth in front of Pammenes.

“What kind of urge?” Pammenes sighed with disinterest.

“I want to … kill someone,” he finally spat out, still pacing.

The priest stood up. “Someone? Anyone or someone specific?” This was getting good.

Ananke raised her head from her paws.

There was silence for what felt like an eternity and Pammenes wanted to repeat his question, but Ms. Ananke jumped into his arms. Stay quiet! You have to let them talk.

“Ms. Ananke, you never come to me on your own volition,” Pammenes said with a smile as he sat down with the cat in his lap. Focused on petting the feline, he almost forgot about the man in front of him.

A shiver ran down Gorgo’s spine. Is that cat looking into my eyes? As Ananke rolled onto her back, the man waved the silly thought away. It’s going to be easier to say this if he isn’t paying attention. “My father is so annoying…” the man answered, looking down at the floor.

Pammenes didn’t say anything. Instead, he continued to pay Ms. Ananke’s head, marveling at her proximity.

Gorgo looked up at Pammenes. While it was easier to share when the other person wasn’t listening and judging, he came to the priest to get help. He didn’t have many moments of such clarity, so just coming to the temple and talking to someone was a great feat.

“Ouch!” Pammenes exclaimed as he stood up. Teeth marks adorned his right hand.

Ms. Ananke rushed away with an annoyed meow. I had to do something to snap him out of it.

“People do terrible things to us, but only god has the authority to take a life,” Pammenes replied, massaging the bitten area.

“You’re right. You’re pretty annoying yourself,” Gorgo assessed, glancing at the priest.

Pammenes recoiled. There’s evil in this man’s eyes.

THAT’S what it is! Ananke saw Gorgo’s eyes from a mile off and she couldn’t shake the feeling that he was bad news. Proud to have realized that, Ananke jumped onto the floor and made her way to the door. She followed the man at a distance down the stairs.

“You didn’t tell me how I could help you,” Pammenes called after Gorgo but the man paid no attention.

At the bottom of the stairs, Ms. Ananke paused. No matter how much she tried, she could not move forward. Walking to the side, or back up the stairs posed no problem, but it seemed like she could not leave the premises of the temple. Gorgo made a right and disappeared in an alleyway.

“Damn it!” Ananke meowed. She stuck to the temple and the top stairs for so long that she forgot about the curse that was put on her a decade ago.

A killer was on the loose and there was nothing she could do about it. Unless… She looked at Pammenes at the top of the stairs.

***

Write about a cat living in an ancient temple, like the Acropolis.
โ€“ prompt used for this CW piece.
[Source: Reedsy]

***

P.S. As always, you are more than welcome to use this prompt to inspire your post. If you decide to write something, be sure to pingback to this post so that I can get an alert and check out your piece. (A post on how to do pingbacks can be found here.) If pingbacks are not your thing, feel free to simply leave a link to your piece in the comment section below. The more, the merrier!

Stay golden,

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***

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22 thoughts on “CW: Ms. Ananke and the Serial Killer.

Add yours

  1. Interesting! Makes me wonder if the cat was always a cat, or a person who was cursed into the form of a cat that could never leave the temple. Although I think it would almost be more interesting if an actual cat managed to do something that would justify getting cursed to never leave the temple.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hehe. Cats ARE rather like Greek gods… something to remember if I ever were to get one. The mother of the Fates was an interesting choice — more obscure, or at least less prevalent in pop culture.

    Overall, a rather interesting basis for a mystery story.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I didn’t think much of cats for a long time. Then, I ended up getting to know quite a few of them and realized that they have their good sides. Long-term though? I don’t think so. I am more than enough to handle without having to take care of such a big personality (cat).

      Thank you for the kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I wrote a story here and there which had other characters in them. Fantasy? Not my genre, but probably my first idea for a real book when I was a kid. I’ve been thinking about actually writing it. But the other book nags at me more, so… since I can’t choose, or write both, I do none…

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Cats are to clever for their own good, not surprised that it was cursed and that it conveniently forgot about the curse, probably a lesson in humilty or other. Cats likely to crumble the world into smaller bits than rebuild it, anyway before you can rebuild it you fast need to crumble it down ha!
    ~B

    Liked by 1 person

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