In which we properly meet Samuel; people have hangovers; the situation is sort of explained and cats are once again hated.
A calm had fallen over the house. The rowdy party goers from the night before had filtered slowly out, leaving only the dregs still sleeping where they’d dropped. Samuel picked his way through the refuse scattered on the floor, shoes in one hand and coat in the other, heading for the door. He stopped by the mirror in the hall to check his appearance. Black hair, short but messy; average height and forgettably faced, Samuel was someone who could blend into any crowd. People didn’t tend to notice him immediately, and if they did they found him to be ostensibly likeable. He was, in every way, an entirely ordinary 20 year old male.
A quick finger comb later and he was satisfied, leaving quickly but quietly and emerging into the morning sun to begin his long walk home. As he swung along the monotonous primness of the suburban streets he tried to recall the night before. Not a lot floated to the surface, but he caught snippets here and there: his friends smashing a window; the neighbours coming round to see what the commotion was and everyone hiding; talking to someone about… something and then somehow he’d woken up in one of the bedrooms feeling fairly fresh.
OK, so not the most he’d ever remembered after a party, but after the amount of alcohol he had poured down his throat he was hardly surprised. One foot in front of the other. Time to get home.
But then a cat. It sat on the pavement ahead, swinging its tale lazily, as cats are wont to do. Swish, swish, backwards and forwards, tracing an arc on the tarmac and staring at Samuel intently. He got the feeling it was staring right inside him. He felt uncomfortable. Samuel hated cats. He hated them with a passion. He hated them enough that he made up his mind to cross the road to get away from this particular specimen.
However, in a sudden downturn on the stock market of luck, he realised that actually, perhaps crossing the road at this time might not be the greatest decision he had ever made. They had been following him, silently. The road was swarming with cats, and now, as he turned to them they all hissed as one. Now, even people without a fear of felines would have found this mildly terrifying, and even cat lovers might have been slightly unsettled, though that is a matter for lengthy debate.
Samuel made a decision. He had reached a part of the city that was all old office blocks, ugly concrete monstrosities from the 70s. His only avenue of escape was the alley between two grey monoliths where the drones that worked there kept the bins so as to make the frontages that tiny degree less depressing in appearance. He darted down the alley. Unfortunately, so did the cats. All of them. At once.