ISSUE ONE: March, 2019



Late at night, at my desk, I hear a cat crying, wanting to come in. I haven't owned a cat in years, not since the last one passed. The crying continues. I decide to investigate. I look on the back porch, but there is no cat, just moths gathering around the porch light. I go to the front door. More moths, but no cat. There are no more cries.

Maybe, the cat will come back. In a way, I hope it does. I'll take it in. But I wonder what I would do, late at night and hungry, with no place to go. Would I approach a farmhouse in the dark, unsure who was inside? People can be good, or evil. Would I take that chance, even if I was starving?

Just as the mysterious cat is nowhere to be found at the moment, I think I might hover, away from the farmhouse, in the dark, waiting for something, maybe a signal. For safety. For Refuge. I might go forward, toward that farmhouse, a kind of hope stirring me on, my fear behind me every step of the way.

I don't know what might happen, but I am interested in finding out. So I leave, go outside the house. I walk away from the farmhouse light and enter the shadows of a pasture. I wait there awhile, until I feel the time is right, then decide to venture toward the light in the distance. I go slowly, creeping, toward the farmhouse. I don't know a thing about who might live there—good, or evil. It's one or the other, I know.

Slowly, guarded, I climb the stairs to the back porch. I hear no sounds. Then, when I am on the porch, I hear a creaking noise. The back door opens. There, before me, stands a cat, a calico, at least six feet tall. I take a step back, waiting to see what might happen. The cat's eyes are wide, in wonder or hunger I can't be sure.


CHRISTOPHER WOODS lives in an old farmhouse in Texas with his wife, Linda. He has published a novel, THE DREAM PATCH, a prose collection, UNDER A RIVERBED SKY, and a book of stage monologues for actors, HEART SPEAK.
Gallery: http://christopherwoods.zenfolio.com/