I often wonder if there are morphs in my life that I never see. Or I see them, but I don’t realize they are morphs. How would you know if everyone in your life was suddenly replaced with a copy? Humans might not be so easy to imitate, but animals are easy.
Ben made me wonder today if Emilio was a morph. Was my cat—my fat, fluffy, lazy, feline—a morph? I told him no, of course not, but did I know for sure?
I was positive that I’d seen Emilio while wearing my mother’s antique glasses. They allow the user to see through any morphed form to the person’s original physical form. If Emilio was/is a morph, and not my cat, I would have seen it. Right?
Well, obviously since I’m blogging about this I wasn’t sure.
I ran home to check and grabbed my mother’s chest from under my bed. My heart was beating out of my chest and sweat slicked my palms. Why was I so nervous? Oh, right, because morphs kidnapped my mother and might be coming after me.
I pulled out the glasses and pushed them on my face. My stomach twisted into knots. The idea that my sweet purring pet was a shape-shifter made me want to vomit. Ugh.
He wasn’t in my room so I had to go looking for him. I paused at the top of the stairs and took several breaths. What would I do if I saw the blurry shape of a human superimposed on my tabby cat?
I descended the stairs and jumped when a door slammed in the distance with a thud that reverberated through the quiet house. It was probably my father in the kitchen. My heart thudded in my chest, and each breath scraped along the back of my throat.
I felt ridiculous sneaking around the house after a ten-pound animal. It’s just a cat, right?
I rounded the corner into the living room and scanned the sofa, where a shaft of light streamed in through the front windows and highlighted one cushion. No Emilio.
I tiptoed through the dining room, held my breath at the entrance to the sunroom, and hid behind the partial wall. The cat frequented the room at the back of the house where pools of sunlight offered warm places to nap and potted plants provided entertainment. If I entered and saw a morph in disguise, would I run to my dad and get him out of the house? Would I be able to pretend I didn’t see his real identity long enough to lock the cat in its car carrier?
Here kitty kitty. We need to take a trip to the vet . . .
I yelped when my phone chirped in her pocket. With a strangled gasp, I fished it out and read the group message.
MMS Ben: did you check the cat yet?
MMS Daiyu: what’s going on?
My fingers trembled as I texted my friends back.
MMS Kayleigh: looking for him now.
A bead of sweat dripped from my forehead and pooled in one eye. I shuddered and tried to wipe the drop away, but only moistened the lenses of the glasses. With a muffled swear I pulled them off and swabbed the lenses with the end of her tee.
I yelped again and glanced down at my legs, where the bright orange tabby rubbed against my shins with a rumbling purr. I covered her mouth with one hand and fought back the urge to run. The hand holding the glasses violently shook, and I watched the feline sashay into the sunroom.
I peered around the wall as he hopped onto a chair into a pool of sunlight. He yawned and curled into a ball. His eyes drifted closed. I took a deep breath, squeezed my eyes shut, and put the glasses back on my face. It was now or never.
I stepped around the corner and opened my eyes.
A cat—no morph—snoozed on the quilted cushion in a golden spotlight.
A shaky sigh of relief whooshed from my lips, and I messaged my friends.
MMS Kayleigh: no morph. just cat.
MMS Ben: good
MMS Daiyu: whew
I sank to the floor and studied the sleeping cat. After relief dissipated from my limbs, anger grew in its place. Now the threat of morph spies had found its way into my home. I’d snuck around like a paranoid person, suspicious of my house pet.
What was that saying?
“Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean people aren’t trying to kill you.”