The cat was gone.
It must have clued in to the way Fumiya had been staring at it. Smart cat. Obviously figured it was better off anywhere else than sticking around and eventually being made into soup. Of course, it was probably right. But that was enough thinking about the cat. Damn thing had always been more trouble than it was worth, anyway.
Fumiya reached for his briefcase where he’d discarded it on the bed upon arriving home, and extracted his laptop. Placing it on a small desk in the corner – probably need to get around to dusting one of these days – and is that a coffee stain? When did I do that? – he opened it up and pressed the power button. The tired old machine always took a while to boot up these days. Over the hill. Sometimes Fumiya felt like he could relate. But at least he generally didn’t make so much noise.
He’d heard somewhere that the French were legally required to stop working at 6pm. Must be nice. Fumiya couldn’t remember the last time he’d been able to leave the office before nine. It was like the more he did, the more there was that needed doing. He activated the wireless internet connection and glared passively at the little icon that cheerily popped up to inform him that he had eleven unread emails. Six more than he’d had when he last checked at the office an hour and a half ago. It was nearly midnight now. Couldn’t Japan just take a break for once?
Fumiya ground his thumb into his temple, trying to ease his headache as he blearily skimmed the subject line for each of the new messages. Right. He could probably get away with ignoring most of them. He’d tackle one – maybe two – now, and leave the rest to deal with first thing tomorrow.
Fumiya was the cat. He was in a better place. Everything felt mellow and the light was pale green and soothing and all those damn emails could go fuck themselves. The world shifted, and he was swimming. The water was cool and soothing. But he couldn’t see land. He needed to get to land. And the water was warming up, and getting thicker. He tried to hold on to a buoyant necktie for dear life, but it melted. The soup was pulling him down, sucking him in, and he couldn’t breathe and–
He couldn’t breathe. Panicking, he thrust out a hand and fumbled until his fingers hit the lamp switch. Light flooded his eyes. For a second he still couldn’t see. But there was something on his face, and it was in his mouth, and he still couldn’t breathe. He clawed at it, but whatever it was was liquid and his fingernails bit into the flesh of his tongue. His scream was silenced by the stuff in his throat. Finally recovering his vision, his eyes widened in shock as a gooey, melted eyeball dripped slowly towards his face from the ceiling. Raising his hands as though to ward it off, the gloop he’d scraped off his face spread over his fingers, and he realised it contained fur. Oh god. His cat was quite literally soup.
The eyeball dissolved into a thin drip and poured between his outstretched fingers, pooling gently onto his face. He screwed his eyes shut tightly in fear and disgust. He could feel the goop all over him now – creeping into his nostrils – and a numbness was rising in his body. Pressure started to build around his eyes. As though the goop were actually trying to force its way in. He was still trying to scrape it off, but his hands were getting weaker and weaker. He couldn’t keep struggling forever.
The liquid that was previously made of cat didn’t relent even when Fumiya passed out. Oozing into any crevice it could find, it began to dissolve him from the inside. Soon Fumiya would be soup. Just like his cat.