“The very next day, Carella got the fight he was spoiling for.”
From Ed McBain’s Give the Boys a Great Big Hand
Thomas was told by his mother not to go into the kitchen. It was a place fraught with danger and the one area of the house Thomas’ mother knew could be the undoing of her son. But Thomas being young and impulsive, as well as curious, ventured to the door.
Through the doorway he could see the fireplace, the flames emitting warmth and as it was a cold day he was tempted to creep over to it and take in its warmth. He could also smell the cooking. Inviting aromas, magnetic in power and strength. He took a step inside.
Immediately the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. There was danger. It was the cat. He forgot the warnings about the cat. It held domain in the kitchen, here was his world and Thomas was suddenly out of his depth. He froze, his brain running every alternative.
The cat was old and cumbersome, and Thomas being quicker made a dash for it. Out the door and behind the skirting. Safe from the terrible claws he trembled, aware of his good luck. He resolved to listen to his mother. After all, she’d survived all the dangers and temptations.