I was only mildly surprised when the cat of my downstairs neighbour whispered to me with my sister's voice. I had always known, somehow, that there was something weird about that cat.
Whenever it encountered me, it jumped in fright and ran away. I never did something to scare it that much, but apparently there was something about me that frightened the animal. I wrote it off as not important: who knows what animals think?
But that day, I was in the tool-shed to get my tire-pump (the tire on my bicycle had a leak) and there was the cat. It got frightened again, but since I was standing between it and the door, it could not dash off as it usually did. I got down on my haunches, so as to make myself less threatening to an animal that much smaller than me. This tactic seemed to work: it seemed to get less scared. I got a good look at the cat and now I saw that it wasn't completely black, as I had always thought, but that it had a few white hairs on its breast. It regarded me with those big, cat-green eyes and carefully walked up to me. As it got closer, it kept looking at my face. I don't know whether I can correctly interpret facial expressions of cats, but it seemed almost curious.
It got closer, walked half past me (I didn't move, thinking it would get scared again if I did) and seemed to sniff at my ear. Then I heard the cat whisper, in my sister's voice.
"Hein, is that you?"
Startled (but strangely less startled than I perhaps should have been) I turned to look at the cat. It offered me its ear, so I whispered back: "Yes, it's me. What are you doing there?"
I turned my head to give the cat access to my ear again, and it whispered: "Did you know this cat has ten lives now?"
I didn't understand that remark, and my face must have shown it. "What does that have to do with you?"
"Because I am the tenth", the cat/my sister whispered with what sounded like a sob.
We both startled as I heard my downstairs neighbour call the name of the cat. I quickly got up and turned around: he was standing by the door of the shed. He was looking at me with suspicion and nodded at the cat. The cat ran past him, but my neighbour kept staring at me. After about 15 seconds (which seemed like an eternity) I heard my telephone ring through the open window of my apartment. I mumbled something, shoved past him and ran up the stairs to pick up the phone.
It was my mother. She was crying. She had just been called by the police in Denmark: my sister had been killed not two hours ago in a freak accident.
I put down the phone and walked over to the window, as if I had been sedated. I looked outside, and saw my downstairs neighbour still standing at the door of the toolshed. He was looking up at me. I stared back. I don't remember what I was thinking then, perhaps I wasn't thinking at all. All I could see was my neighbour, staring up at me with those expression-less eyes.
After what must have been a full minute of staring, he averted his gaze and went inside. I heard him coming up the stairs and I heard his front-door open and close.
This was three weeks ago. I haven't seen my downstairs neighbour since. I haven't seen the cat since. When I came back from work today, he had moved out. Nobody knew where.
I think he knows that I know what he did. I fear he killed the cat and killed my sister for the second time. I will find him, no matter what it takes. I will find him and make him pay.
(The dream was slightly different from this short story, but not too much. I awoke with a gasp after dreaming this. Thinking back to it gives me goosebumps.)