She was exhausted. And lonely. Her feet ached. But it was the hunger, more than anything else, that drove her forward.
Why did she ever leave home? It had been an impulse. An opportunity. To be free, to follow no one's rules. To roam and explore. It always intrigued her, the possibility of being untrammeled, unsupervised. So she leapt when the opportunity arose. But where was she now? She had traveled without a plan, without direction. Nothing bad had ever happened to her before, so there was no fear.
If only Mandy would find her. If only her house was in front of her. She would run to it, and never be tempted again to abandon its warmth and safety.
The sun had crossed the sky many times since she left. Oh, how weary she had grown. This weariness had set in quickly, but then it was too late to turn back. Because she was lost.
Every now and then she found a piece of sandwich, or even a bit of bread that someone had tossed aside. She ate the morsel eagerly. Once, she had to fight birds for the refuse.
What was that? Under the bush. A ribbon. She'd seen that ribbon before, when she left home. She must have come this way. Maybe home was close.
Encouraged by the bit of color, she pressed on. The sore feet, hollow belly. These were no longer important. Home! Home was nearby.
There it was. As she turned the corner she saw the lovely white shingles. The red chair on the porch. How she loved to sit in that chair with Mandy.
A few more minutes and she'd be home! As she approached the door it opened. Mandy! Sweet, loving Mandy!
“Oh Spike!” Mandy was crying as she ran from the door.
“”Spike, you silly cat. Don't every do that again. Please!”
Mandy reached down and picked up the tired, hungry cat.
Those arms, that embrace, that love. Home. Finally.
This story was written in response to the Ink Well prompt: The way home. The prompt and rules for Ink Well may be found here: