Like a gravity grounded astronaut, dressed in an off-white onesie-styled snowsuit, I prayed it’d protect me as I prepared myself for battle.

My back pressed against the door holding my breath, trying to ignore the tropical summer temperature and the repugnant mothball-scented ski mask that itched against my face. I resembled a deep sea diver yet to find his land legs, with Seventy’s inspired snow-gators that ‘swish-swashed’ against each other disturbing the peace with each step I took.

At the centre of the room, I eyeballed dark corners for any and all high points in case of aerial attack. Scanned book-covered shelves, the well-worn couch, and the wooden desk by the louvered wall of windows.

Clomping around the desk I pulled back the chair. Exhaled slowly to calm the hammering heartbeat, I leant down to examine the perfect terrain for an ankle ambush. I lowered onto padded knees and crouched beneath the bureau. Mist spread inside the goggles distorting my view while I tried to scrutinize shadows, as dust bunnies danced in time with the ceiling fan’s rotation.

Encased in this snowsuit, it felt like an oven bag and I swear I’d begun to cook. Or this mobile sauna-suit was expelling a year’s worth of toxins via perspiration gathering inside my boots.

When there was an evil guttural snarl of the rising dead. My skin pricked, I swallowed and looked for the safety of the door. Desperate to regain the advantage I scrambled to rise in gargantuan ski-boots.

Damn.’ A solid mass slammed  into my shoulder and latched to my upper back. The weight and suddenness knocked me forward. Lethal claws scratched at my goggles and masked face. It spat, howled and hexed me to hell in its ear piercing devil tongue. I grasped its body with king-size gloved hands while it writhed, clawed and tore gashes into the snowsuit exposing it’s white downy innards.

With gravity as my ally, I pinned the beast to the floor and there lay Lucifer’s spawn. Black mottled fur. Exposed flesh sinking talons. Tail twitching like a serpent set to strike. A mouthful of razor sharp toxic teeth that could shred precious blood-filled veins. Yellow edged pupils with big black soulless irises.

Gripping the murderous menace with gloved hands against my chest, thoughts of suffocation tempted me. Staggered with a ‘swish-swash’ to the vacant cage and shoved the callous creature inside and locked it mega tight.

Lifting off the goggles and ski mask, I pushed back the hood, shirked off cumbersome sweat-filled layers of a suit that never saw snow, but I’d grown into it over the years and said, ‘Grandma, why can’t we just drug the cat for its annual vet visit?’

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