You stand outside the window, as silent as the cat from which you take your name. I lie here in my bed, breathing slow and heavy. You listen in silence, believing that I sleep. I do not sleep, I only wait and watch through veiled eyes as your dark shadow shifts and you begin to slip gracefully into the room. I roll slightly, testing your reactions, and you freeze. Not panicking, but just wary. I calm my breathing, lie still again, and you relax. You pad so quietly to my bedside and look down for a moment at my unmoving form. I imagine that a single tear slips down from your eyes, trickles through your eyelashes and down your cheek to splash, warm and salty on my skin. But instead you only smile, eyes as cold as ice, a smile that holds no humor, only cruelty. You draw a gleaming steel blade that looks almost milky, fey, as the pale moonlight plays and pools over the impossibly keen edge. You pause, and then you slide the knife into my bare back, so smoothly, so gracefully, sheathing it in my crimson blood. It spills onto my bed and over your hands, bathing both in precious lifeblood. I scream, a long, piercing, shrieking scream that is beautiful and haunting at once. It is what you expected, for your cold face betrays no surprise.

But then I roll over, blood still streaming, and I smile.

Your expressionless face is startled, for none of your victims have done this before. No one has ever greeted sweet Death with open, welcoming arms as I do now. You have grown hardened as the years have gone by, hardened to pleas for mercy. You have taunted them as their lives leaked away and they begged you, as they entreated every god they knew. But never has one smiled, and so you know not what to do.

My smile frightens, it terrifies you. I can see it in your eyes, see the fear in their icy depths. And perhaps it would terrify me, too, if I could see it. I can feel it, more a twisted grimace than a smile and holding everything that fascinates and horrifies you.

Now it is your turn to scream. I begin to laugh as your face becomes a mask of terror and blood continues to seep onto the bed. The once pristine white sheets are stained now, a rich, deep crimson, the color you once reveled in. You back away, mouth and face contorted in a silent shriek, while silvery moonlight bathes the room in radiance that should be serene. But instead it lays its silent curse of insanity upon you and drives your terror-filled mind into a frenzy. With false courage you rush desperately toward me, draw the knife out and stab me madly, over and over. No artistry this time, only the crazed madness of one who will not be denied a victim.

You stab, you slash, you do anything to stop your fear. And through it all I laugh, I smile, I cry out, but not in pain. Pain means nothing. Pain is nothing.

Your desperate frenzy slows, and the rain of blows stops as you pause, chest heaving with deep, labored breaths. I look up at you, still laughing. The laugh begins to gurgle as blood flows into my throat. You begin to laugh, too, but it is tinged with insanity and a tiny hint of hysteria. You laugh and laugh, and cannot seem to stop. You laugh and laugh, until the laughter turns to sobs and your voice cracks. You hold the knife in front of your pale face. A single, intensely crimson drop of blood slides along the stained edge to the almost-invisible point, all the way down to land on your trembling hand. You watch it, now silent, as it rolls down your arm, leaving a thing trail of red behind. It hits your dark sleeve and vanishes instantly, absorbed, but leaves a delicate tracery upon your skin.

You drop the knife as if it burns you. It clatters loudly to the floor, shattering the midnight silence. The moonlight dances across the once-brilliant blade, now dulled by dried blood.

Nothing breaks the quite now. You collapse on the floor, face buried in hands. My laugh, too, has stopped, and my breathing slows. I watch you through lowered eyelashes, dreaming. You raise your head for a bare moment to look at me. Perhaps memories of happier times haunt your soul as they do mine.

It becomes a silent, almost sacred scene, neither of us moving. My life drains away, but I cannot tell whether it is pleasure or pain for you. Perhaps it is both. Did I not tell you once, long ago, that I would know when my time came and I would welcome it? You were young and carefree then, you laughed it off with a wave of the hand that is now bloodstained, and I joined you in that sweet laughter, so different from the insane laugh you had a moment ago. That I had a moment ago. There are many cruel things in this world—Fate and Destiny and life, even you and I—but Time is the cruelest of them all. It rips away everything and leaves us here—you on the floor and I on the bed.

You begin to rise, still with that cat-like grace that sets you apart. You stand, and a hint of your former pride shines through in your cold eyes. It is that pride that I once shattered, and it is that pride that brings you on the wings of this night to kill me. You look down at me. Perhaps in another life time you might have been overcome with remorse and killed yourself to be with me. But in this one you are remorseless and feel only slight regret for what you have done, and perhaps not even that much. You care only for yourself, though once I might have thought you cared something for me. For I, who lies here looking up at you with clear eyes. You look at me a moment longer and then you leave as silently as you came through the window, leaving me here, alone, to die.

My vision begins to fade, and I know my time has come. And I welcome it, as I said I would. And yet, as my soul floats down to the darkness, I can still whisper in your departing ear.

You think you have won. How wrong you are. Savor your victory now, before it fades away like my life.

You think it has ended. How wrong you are. It has only just begun.