Beyond Help (pt 2)

Wet tears ran down the girl's face. She stroked the kitten on her lap with one hand, while her other hand wrapped around its tiny mangled body and held it to her. The cat made quiet mews. Sad mews. Tiny, pathetic, weak cries.

It was likely that those would be some of the last sounds it made.

Harry swallowed, hard. "I wish I could do something to help," he said.

The girl, Melanie, looked up. "I know." She paused, glanced at the kitten and then looked at him again. A new droplet formed and fell from her left eye. "She's too far gone. She's beyond help."

Nodding, Harry shifted from one foot to the other. He wasn't good at this type of situation. It was foreign, unexpected. People rarely seek him out for comfort and when they do, he has no idea how to deal with it. Emotions are not his thing.

He usually just wings it. 'There, there' and a few pats on the back works most in most situations. He has a feeling it won't work now.

Melanie sighed heavily and continued stroking the kitten. "She's so young. Too young for this."

"I'm sorry."

"Why? It isn't your fault."

"It is. I should have made you stay in the car. That demon-"

Melanie interrupted. "It was a demon. It was evil."

Harry nodded again. He studied the expression on Melanie's face. There was strength in her, but also a dull emptiness like she had given up.

"At least you got the demon," she said.

"It can't hurt anyone else," Harry agreed.

It was a cold comfort and wouldn't do anything to help Melanie's dying kitten, but it did make him feel a little better. Tonight, that particular demon won't be around to lunge out of the darkness and eat his face or Melanie's. Tomorrow it won't be either. Nor the day after that.

It isn't much in the grand scheme of things, but it is something.