After Dinner

BOOM BOOM BOOM. The knock was coming from the floor, from under one of the worn Cathyssian carpets Kyle used to try to give his Spiretonian loft some kind of coziness. Sometimes the goblin drugmongers downstairs pounded on the ceiling if he was making too much noise, but Kyle had been having a quiet evening too himself. He was sorting his latest Beastclash card acquisitions and stuffing his face with food so he’d have enough blood to feed his newly adopted vampire daughter, who’d be waking up in an hour or so. He couldn’t think of anything he’d done to annoy them. They’d been friendly since the Loot division several days ago.

BOOM BOOM BOOM. The knock came again. It sounded like they were trying to get his attention. Why didn’t they come to the door? Kyle got up and walked over to the spot on the carpet where the knock was coming from. There was a slight bump, as if there was something under the rug. Could that somehow be what was annoying them? Kyle grew suspicious. There definitely shouldn’t be a weird lump under his carpet. Had one of his magic students left something behind? Had the Inquisition installed some kind of magical eavesdropping device in his loft, but botched the job and left this lump under his carpet? Had Vile, his cat familiar killed something and left it under there for him to find?

“You know that thing where if you terrorize a mouse, you can get it to eat its own babies?” The aforementioned familiar sauntered into the room, summoned, perhaps by Kyle’s thoughts. “It’s not true,” said the cat, slipping its words directly into Kyle’s mind. “I spent all afternoon terrorizing a mother mouse, but it wouldn’t eat its babies at all.  I had to eat the babies myself. They made a decent dinner. I left the mother mouse alive so I can try again later.” The cat leapt onto a bookshelf and snuggled itself between Artemesia: Divine Suzerain of Margava and The Illustrated Compendium of Couplings with Creatures Mythical and Fantastic.

“Vile,” asked Kyle, “would this mouse-baby eating have anything to do with this bump under the carpet? You know I don’t like it when you bring your torture victims in here.”

“Torture victims? Mice are pests.” Vile began nonchalantly licking his paws. Go ask the Bureau of Quarantine or the Ministry of Sanitation what they think of mice. The City should pay me a bounty for my actions this afternoon. And no, that bump under the carpet has nothing to do with me. I could tell you what it is, but you could just as easily lift up the carpet see for yourself.”

Kyle immediately stepped back. If his cat wanted him to lift up the carpet, what was underneath couldn’t be good. He climbed up on his enormous, ogre-sized sofa, extended his tattooed left index finger, and telekinetically rolled the carpet away.

Underneath was a newly installed trapdoor. 


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