Jeremy walked down the street. Another failed date. He just kept messing everything up! This time, he had zoned out while Gabriella was talking. She had asked him a question and he had asked her to repeat it. Gabriella hated having to repeat herself, she lost her temper and left. Now he was walking home all by himself. He tripped and placed his hand on the pole next to him to catch his balance.
Jeremy noticed a poster nailed onto the pole that read:
Emma Jarron has agreed that one man will be able to have her hand in marriage. But there is one thing they must complete. In order to have her hand in marriage, they must collect a pendant from Miss. Jarron’s cat, Ash. The first man to catch her and collect the pendant will be greatly rewarded.”
Emma Jarron was the most wanted woman in the whole city. Many men had asked for her hand. Jeremy started walking again and headed down the street. This was an opportunity of a lifetime. He just needed to ask around to see who had tried and to see if anyone had succeeded. Jeremy walked into the local bar. This was where all the men in town came to talk and share stories.
Jeremy sat down next to Jered. Jered was a tall man and was probably the strongest man in town.
“How you do?” Jered asked.
“I’m fine,” Jeremy answered, “I was wondering, have you heard of the contest? The one about Emma Jarron?”
“Yup, no one has succeeded yet.”
“Have you tried?”
Jered nodded, “Yup, I set some traps, but all the strings were cut when I checked on them. I even saw the cat. She has grey and black fur, and the pendant is just hanging around her neck.”
“Wow,” Jeremy said, “who else has tried?’’
“Almost every guy here. They all want Emma. Oh, and she sure is a beauty.”
“Ya, tomorrow I’m going out to see what I can do about this cat.”
-The Next Day-
Jeremy woke early that morning and walked into the woods. His plan was to wander until he found the cat, which could be a very long time, and then he would improvise. He had been wandering for almost two hours when he heard a snarl from behind. He turned and saw a cat running toward him. He dove out of the way and the cat rushed by. Following the cat was a tall, bald man probably in his forties. He was muttering curses under his breath as he ran. He cornered the cat between him and a tall rock and slowly walked forward.
“I got you now,” He said “you pesky cat!”
He lunged forward to grab Ash but she sprang upward and landed on top of the muns bald head. She used her claw to scratch his bald scalp then ran off into the trees.
Jeremy started to run after her but realized it might be smarter to walk. He didn’t want to scare her. He found ash sitting in the middle of a small clearing. Her ears pricked up as he approached and she stood up, ready to run.
“It’s okay,” Jeremy said, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a small bag. From inside the bag, he pulled out a small fish. He had gotten it ready before he left that morning, he had decided it was the best thing to use to bait her.
Ash let Jeremy get closer and then hissed. He stopped and just held out his hand, offering the fish. She stepped a little closer and sniffed the fish. Jeremy was about to spring and grab her when he stopped himself. Was trying to capture her the right thing? That had failed with everybody else. Instead of that, he would just become friends with her, then take the pendant when the moment was right.
Ash took the fish, then Jeremy sat down on the dirt in front of her and watched her eat.
“Your a nice cat, aren’t you?” Jeremy asked.
Ash meowed quietly. Jeremy leaned forward and tried to touch her, but she quickly jumped several inches away from him.
“It’s okay,” Jeremy said in a soothing voice, “I’m not going to hurt you.”
He held out his hand and waited. Ash slowly walk forward and sniffed his hand. After a moment, she nudged he had with her head. Jeremy started to scratch her ears, he started to move his hand closer to the pendant, but Ash hissed and he moved his hand away.
“This is going to take a while, isn’t it?” Jeremy asked the cat, “I just want to become friends.”
Ash suddenly tensed and her hair started to stick up. Jeremy heard a noise from behind him and he turned around. Coming out of the trees was the tall bald man.
“Get away from my cat!” The man yelled.
Ash suddenly jumped and landed on Jeremy’s shoulders. Her claws dug into his skin but he was more worried about the bald man. The bald man started to run forward and Jeremy ran into the trees. He wove back and forth, trying to lose his pursuer. He finally reached his house and went inside. He looked out the window but he didn’t see any sign of the bald man.
Jeremy walked into his kitchen and sat down at the table. Ash jumped off his shoulder and laid down on the table. Jeremy started to scratch her behind her ears. Ash purred loudly.
“Your probably hungry,” Jeremy told the cat, “I’ll go get some food.”
He walked out of the kitchen and into his pantry. He grabbed some fish preserved in salt. When he walked into the kitchen, Ash was gone. In her place was a beautiful woman, with the pendant around her neck.
“I am Emma Jarron,” the woman said, “I am a shapeshifter, and have decided you are worthy. Congratulations, you have won the contest.”
Author Notes: This was a writing prompt my friend gave me. I hope you enjoy!