The medic-slash-trench-coated-agent scrutinized the bag I had carried out of the false hedge. I had already been thoroughly searched, probed, and given basic medical attention, while the anonymous men and women scavenged and burned the vampire’s maze. The robot’s corpse had already been carted away.
The agent pulled out my cat, now decapitated. I shrugged. “A toy for my kid, it was his birthday today. Guess its trash now.”
She clucked, turning it over in her hands. If she looked closely I knew she’d see signs of my tampering so I leaned in and said, “Look, I left a phone in there. I was recording everything and I’d like it back-”
Her face paled and she started babbling into her mic, dismissing me. I took the cat and the bag and got out of there. I headed towards the all-terrain buggy waiting for me; I was reasonably certain they weren’t going to drive me out to a back wood’s execution. I was almost a celebrity after all. I’d be missed.
I settled into the seat and glanced at the cat. I had swapped its death rattle for that of the vampire. Perhaps I’d find a clue towards the larger mysteries shaping my life. Despite my lumps and bruises, this was a victory, a-
“Shit,” I muttered.
“What’s that?” the driver asked as he shifted into gear, pulling away.
“I still need a birthday gift, for my kid.”
“Can’t help you there.”
Damn. I couldn’t give Daniel the headless cat, that’d be gross. I’d have to settle for a quick stop somewhere, pick up a stupid old boring ball…
…my eyes brightened as I imagined the horror of our neighbors watching as Daniel and I played catch. With a bloodball!
I grinned, closing the bag and sealing the cat inside.