On January 18th it's supposed to rain but doesn't. The sky is low and full of clouds. The gray clouds are wrinkled and shiny. The sky is a cerebrum. There's no reason why I'm standing on the corner of this pale street but there are a lot of cars passing by, splashing the gathered remnants of a previous rainfall. A moment is enough to experience a day without storms, so I continue on the cracked sidewalks toward home.
Before the turn en route to my home there is a tree. This tree hangs with fingers like a crone. We called it the witching tree. When we saw it walking from school we knew home was near. On the highest branch there is a perched owl, unmoving like a plastic lawn decoration. These creatures are nocturnal and rare in these suburbs. Though I walk through the proboscides jutting from the trunk of the witching tree, my eyes fix the owl. Barely breathing. Still. Borrowing the pigment of the bark and scattered with tiny gray feathers without pattern. His eyes open like a sliver of a knife against flesh, instead of crimson from the wound a deep yellow surrounding black pupils fully aware of this passerby.
The steps leading to my house were built by my grandfather before he died and stand as a legacy to his memory. This may be the reason why my family hasn't taken the opportunity to strengthen the foundations with new wood. They creak and feel weak under foot. Underneath there is an opening made way from rotten wood and is home to the cats we feed and keep outside. They paw at the door when they are hungry and run away if we approach without food. There are eight in total, but a regular three or so come daily meowing and waiting on the black mat before the door and are always lounging on our porch.
Night falls with the rain.
Today there are no cats...