Ronald had always been calm and level-headed in the manner of most cats. Mornings were spent quietly grooming his tail; afternoons contentedly sleeping in a sunbeam. He was a sensible cat, not given to sudden outbursts — until one day.
It began innocently enough. His human had dropped a piece of toast on the floor. Normally, Ronald would saunter over casually to see if it was to his liking, but this time he noticed it was scorched on one side. “How’d it get burned?” he demanded to know. “How’d it get burned? How’d it get burned, howditgetburned?!”
He gasped. Had he said that? One minute he was his normal, sensible self, and the next he was — overacting. He dropped the toast and backed away, straight into the cactus his owner grew by the cabinet. “I’m a prickly pear!” he cackled uncontrollably. Where did that come from, he thought. Am I losing my mind?
Ronald raced down the hallway, raving like a madman: “I’m a vampire! I’m a vampire!” Was that it? Had he been possessed by some demonic force that was driving him insane? Ronald stopped in his human’s bedroom. For a moment, all was still, everything was where it should be. But there was something new. On the bed. A strange pillow his human had bought in a second-hand shop just days before.
Then it became clear. The face on the pillow was unmistakable, its piercing gaze full of madness inescapable. Ronald had fallen under its curse, and as long as that pillow was in the house, he would never be sane again.