Kitten Mitten

Her cat.

I was out one night in December around midnight. It was terribly cold, being the day after Christmas. I sighed deeply, almost amused at seeing my breath. I was tired, walking home from my friend Ricky's house. We'd just got done eating a ton of snack food and playing Pokémon, battling over and over like when we were kids. How I miss those days.

I'm seventeen now, and kind of a nerd. I don't have a lot of friends, but I cherish the ones I do have. I don't have a girlfriend, but do have a crush or two. Anyway, I loved taking walks at night. It was so quiet and peaceful. I also really loved the cold air caressing my cheeks and fingers.

I sighed again, almost home. Just a block away was my house where I lived with my mom and two bratty younger sisters of fifteen and ten. Part of me didn't want to go home, worried Mom would catch me up late and scold me for being out alone.

Suddenly, I saw her.

She was pretty, kind of short, but not a child. She had wavy blonde hair and was wearing satin pants and a light blue tank top. As I got closer, I could see her face. Her pale skin was almost white as snow, with piercing green eyes. Her lips and fingers were blue. She looked very sad and very cold. I imagined it was because she was barefoot and had nothing on her arms.

As I got about three feet away from her, she took a step towards me and said in a chilling, soft, yet raspy voice, "Can you help me find my cat?"

I shrugged and tried to smile. "Sure, uh, where do you think he is?"

She pointed to a truck parked in a driveway.

I nodded and walked with her to the car. Before walking around it, I took off my jacket and offered it to her. "Here... You're gonna freeze to death."

She smiled sadly, looking up at me. After a short pause, she whispered, "I already have."

By then, I was getting freaked out by her. I didn't believe in ghosts or anything, plus I could see her breathing. I put my jacket around her shoulders, and for some reason, I was relieved when it stayed there.

I made my way around the car. Sure enough, there was a kitten underneath. I reached in and pulled him out, to his surprise. He must have been focusing on her. He purred in my arms, and eagerly jumped to the girl when he saw her.

She smiled at me, joyful tears now cascading down her snowy beige skin. She grinned wide and scratched the cat's ears. "Thank you so much."

I smiled back, glad that she was happy. She turned to walk, and it was in the direction I was heading in. I made conversation after a moment, briefly reaching over to pet the kitten.

We talked about the weather, work, music and the like. She was seventeen, named Hannah. She was out for a long time looking for her cat, freezing in the cruel December air. Of course, our talk was very short lived, since I was close to home.

"Jack," she said. "Thank you so much for helping me." She grinned.

"Of course," I said, blushing.

She reached over and kissed my cheek. Her blue lips were like ice on my numb face. I shivered at the touch, though flattered that she did such a thing. I went to stammer a reply, but she had turned. Her words echoed in my head, and then I realized something.

"Wait... I didn't tell you my name.... How did you-?" I asked, watching her walk away.

She turned to look at me, smiled, and then vanished.

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