Maze of Shadows
Series: None yet
Allegiances: None yet
|Kip is just an ordinary kittypet in a huge Twolegplace. She dreams of being a wild cat. But Twolegplace is a prison... and she's going to have to escape...|
A sleek silver seal point she-cat was bounding over a huge expanse of meadow. She scented the air and licked her lips- it reeked of prey. She felt her collar scratching at her neck, so she sliced it with one long yellow claw. It slid off into the tall, sweet-smelling grass and was hung on a frilly pink wildflower. She could hear her sister, Coco, and her friend, Rhett, running close behind her.
"Look at all the pretty flowers!" Coco exclaimed.
"There's no time for that, Coco. We have to find a place to rest for the night," Rhett told her.
"I can smell mice!"
"Of course you can. This place is full of them."
"And it's all ours?"
"Yes. It's all ours."
"Finally," the she-cat mewed. "I'm free. We're free."
Drip. Drip. Drip.
The sound of water slowly brought Kip out of unconsciousness. She felt light and happy. It would be sunrise now, and the sun would be coming up over the meadow. But to her dismay, she woke up in a Twoleg nest. The sleeping bodies of Coco and Rhett were beside her. Cold seeped through the hard nest she was sleeping in. Above her sat a strange pool cut from a white, square rock with a weird, shiny tunnel above it. The tunnel dripped water. There were two flowers to the left and right of the tunnel- sometimes the Housefolk would try to pick the flowers, but all that came out was water. Suddenly, one of the Housefolk burst into their den, holding a container full of hard pellets. It rabbled on about something. Kip picked out the words 'Kip', 'Coco', 'Rhett' and 'breakfast.' She assumed 'breakfast' meant the pellets, but sometimes the Housefolk called them 'lunch' or 'dinner'. The huge, naked, multicoloured being with fur on its head poured the pellets into three of the four bowls that sat next to the pool. It took the other one that was filled with water to the pool. It tried to pick the flowers, but water came out and filled the bowl instead. It sighed and put it down next to the other bowl, then swiftly left the den, slamming the large, wooden thing that blocked the entrance as it went.
"Food! It's about time," mewed Rhett. The tortoiseshell tom padded over to the bowls and plunged his muzzle into the red bowl which he had claimed for himself. Kip prodded her sister Coco. The light brown, dark brown and white point she-cat yawned and blinked open her eyes.
"Morning, Kip," she mewed.
"Morning? Have you been listening to those Housefolk ramble on again?" Rhett had finished his food and was shaking his head in disappointment.
"No... I heard Louisa saying it."
Louisa, or Lou Lou was the cat in the nest next to theirs. Her Housefolk, John and Pamela, often talked to Kip, Rhett and Coco's Housefolk, Troy and Anne. John and Pamela lived with a smaller version of them called Violetta, and Troy and Anne had one called Jarrah. They were the Housefolks' kits. Across the Thunderpath that ran in front of their nest was Imogen and her mate, Rocky's nest. Their owner was called Ronnie. Imogen and Rocky had three kits; Cali, Blue and Laurel. They had an awful brown dog that always came across the Thunderpath and made its dirt in Troy and Anne's garden. Kip shuddered just thinking about it.
"This is what I hate about living here," Rhett complained. "We're turning into them. Before you know it, we'll be walking on two legs and our fur will start falling off until there's only a small patch on our head!"
Kip just stared out the transparent bit of the den wall, dreaming of huge, grassy meadows and neverending blue skies.
"It's really annoyi- Kip? Kip, are you listening?" Rhett was glaring at her crossly.
She snapped to attention.
"I'm going outside," she mewed, and walked over to the wooden entrance blocker. She mewled and scratched at it until Jarrah flipped it open.
"Are you coming or not?" she asked Rhett and Coco.
"Yes," Coco answered quickly.
"Fine, then. May as well," Rhett sighed.
"Someone woke up on the wrong side of their nest this morning," Coco purred in amusement.
"Quiet, you. I just don't feel very well," the tortoiseshell tom replied.
"Whatever," the brown, dark brown and white point she-cat mewed, rolling her eyes and following Kip out of the den. Rhett groaned, swaying for a minute, then bounded to catch up to them. He fell into step behind the two she cats but walked groggily. Kip felt worried as he stumbled and nearly tripped over his own feet. They sat in a corner to the left of the house, next to a bare, fenced off patch of ground their Housefolk were growing something in.
"What have you been eating?" she asked him.
"Just our normal food," he mewed. "And a mouse someone left in the flower pat-"
"A mouse!" Kip and Coco exclaimed.
"I have a few points to make," Coco mewed sternly. "One, we agreed to share any live prey we caught together, and two-"
"That mouse was poisoned," she finished for her sister. "Rhett, you know our Housefolk hate mice. And the gangs of street cats around here deliberately try to poison us with the mice the Housefolk poison and claim our territory!"
"I know!" he hissed.
"Then why did you eat it?" the two she-cats yowled together.
A sleek, young cinnamon tabby she-cat with a white underbelly and face had appeared on the fence next to where they were huddled.
"Lou Lou!" Coco yowled, springing onto the fence.
"Hello, Coco!" Louisa mewed pleasantly.
"Hello? Honestly, the stuff those Housefolk talk about!"Rhett snorted.
"My Housefolk are very intelligent, thank you," Lou Lou retorted. "They've been teaching me English."
"What is that? Some foul bunch of words they spit out?" he sniggered.
"Don't exert yourself, Rhett," Coco snapped.
"What's going on here?"
Rocky had joined the argument, leaping up onto the fence beside Lou Lou. Imogen padded into their yard with Blue, Cali and Laurel tagging along.
"Louisa has been listening to her Housefolk ramble on about something called Een-gleesh," Rhett mewed.
"It's pronounced Een- glish, actually," Lou Lou corrected him.
"Whatever," the tortoiseshell tom mewed exasperantly.
"Let's end this argument," Imogen suggested nervously. "Blondie is back in the neighbourhood," she added, her eyes shining.
"Blondie?" everyone mewed together. Imogen's eldest kit hadn't been in the neighbourhood for seasons.
"I thought he escaped to the wild," Coco mewed.
"He did," Imogen sighed. "But then he decided to come back and live with the Housefolk next door to us!"
"That's-er-great!" Rhett mewed, his voice cracking. He and Blondie had always been competing. They had been best friends- until Blondie had betrayed him by running away and stealing his mate. She felt a pang of sympathy for the tortoiseshell tom. Blondie being back could not be good news for him. I'll protect him, she vowed.
As if on cue, a dark grey tom sidled into the yard. Rhett's jaw dropped as Blondie walked right up to them.
"Hey there beautiful," Blondie mewed to Coco, his eyes sparkling. Rhett instantly pressed his fur against Coco's and hissed.
"Stop it," Kip ordered them. Rhett ignored her.
"If you came back here to annoy me, you've done just that," he growled. "What do you say to a fight, best friend?"
"Rhett, no!" Kip hissed. "You're in no position to fight right now."
"Don't worry," Rhett mewed, but he seemed to be looking directly at Blondie. "I won't be getting hurt."
"Blondie. I think you should leave," mewed a voice. It was Coco. Her eyes blazed with something Kip wasn't used to.