"Willow's Missing Tail" 9
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(Events from earlier that evening)
“Sahara, get in here right now!” Daphne yelled in a tone that demanded immediate action and her voice reverberated through the half vacant, industrial building.
Sahara landed on her human’s desk. “Squawk! I’m here.”
“That feline has locked me out of the room,” Daphne grumbled, “I need you to open that door.”
Sahara hesitated. That cat had already helped her companion escape and the other cat that had been guarding her had disappeared too. Sahara didn’t want to tangle with that menacing cat if she could help it.
“Squawk…must I?” She asked in a tiny parrot whisper.
Daphne gave the bird a sharp look.
“Yes and now.”
Sahara's feathers shivered, but she resigned herself to her fate.
Sahara landed outside the door that led into the caged cat’s room and found it magically sealed against her. She flapped her wings and sent her most powerful magic to open it, but the door remained sealed.
There was another way she could get into that room but she wasn’t happy about taking it; it was through the duct work and she was claustrophobic, but she was also afraid to return to her human in failure.
Sahara flew up to the ceiling and with a flap of her wings sent the vent cover flying.
She entered the duct and tried not to fear the dark, tight space as she hopped along the vent and to the room with that cat in it.
She tilted her head and peered down through the slats of the vent and what she saw in that room, worried her very much.
The cage was gone, the cat was loose and that other cat Ram was back but he wasn’t trying to recapture the cat. Instead, Ram was lounging on a feather bed and eating treats out of a fine chine bowl. It appeared he’d been bribed and that the two cats were now friends. And if they were friends, with that menacing cat out of the cage, why didn’t they leave? If they left, Sahara wouldn’t have to bother with them! She flapped her wings and the vent cover flew off and down into the room, landing near the cats.
Sahara flew into the room and had both cats riveted attention.
Willow's tail tick-tocked as she tracked the bird.
Ram’s eyes followed the feathered intruder ready to defend Willow, because Willow had treated him better than anyone ever had.
“Squawk…you two are trouble you know that…Squawk!” Sahara scolded them, “But if you’re out of the cage…Squawk…Why don’t you both just leave? Squawk!”
Willow’s eyes focused on the parrot with a dangerous gleam and Sahara feared retribution for her part in the cat’s captivity. She shivered even as she defended her actions. “Squawk, I only do my human’s bidding…Squawk, I wanted no part of your capture.”
Willow’s eyes lost their sheen of intent; she accepted the bird’s reasoning, understanding the human-familiar connection. Her thoughts of retribution turned from the parrot to the small office window.
Sahara worried what the cat might do and she didn’t want any more trouble so she tried again to get the cats to leave.
“Squawk! I’d have no way to stop you if you fled…Squawk! But you should leave quickly,” she warned.
Willow concentrated on the office window and flicked her tail twice. All the trappings of her home disappeared from the room and Willow turned back to the bird with a satisfied cat smirk. Now she was ready to go home.
Willow meowed her intent to Ram and he agreed; they both jumped out the pet door and a second later, the pet door disappeared.
Sahara gave a squawk of relief that they were gone but then she looked towards her human’s office window and her relief vanished.
A wind tunnel was whipping up everything inside the room, paper, paperclips, a laptop and a chair passed by the window. Then her human’s face appeared there with wind tossed hair and a mottled, angry red face.
Sahara knew the cats escape would not go unnoticed.
“Sahara, you get in here now!”
The command shook the parrot’s confidence; she’d like to have ignored it but she did as commanded and, with wilted spirit, flew back to her human.
Daphne’s office was beyond repair and she was a disheveled mess.
“We’re going after that cat; I’m not letting her get away with this. I’m sure she’s gone back to her human but we’ll make sure we welcome that cat home instead. Send a message to Thistle and Ram to meet us there.”
Sahara sent the messages but she already knew Ram had defected, so it was only Thistle who’d respond. Thistle did respond and Sahara received the interesting reply. She knew her human would be happy to hear it too.
“Squawk…Martha has a secret meadow and Avery is hiding in it,” Sahara reported the information along with a map of Martha’s property that fluttered down onto the messy desk in front of her human.
Daphne’s smile grew wicked. “Oh, that’s too lovely; trapping him there would be a fitting finale. Let’s go and find this not so secret meadow. No, wait; first undo this windswept mess on my head.”
Sahara flapped her wings and the room righted itself and her human once again had a perfect coiffure and an outfit both crisp and tidy.
“Thank you; now tell Thistle we’re on our way.” Daphne commanded.
When Thistle got Sahara’s message, she headed towards the willow tree to leave the hidden meadow. First, she had to rid herself of the tracking device Max had placed on her; it was easy enough to shake it off. That stupid cat thought she wasn’t a threat so he hadn’t added additional restrictions.
Thistle’s happy little cat smile grew as she thought about Max’s reaction when he found out she’d let him catch her so she could find Avery’s lair. And it had worked out well for her, she’d found more than his hiding place; she’d found this meadow.
No one was more surprised than her, to find that she had complete access to it. A bonus that would net her a big reward from the vengeful human who’d hired her.
Thistle ran through the passage under the willow tree and out of the meadow into the garden beyond it. Then she used her special, magical power to change the access and closed the door, locking everyone else inside.
She met up with the vengeful human who employed her and they both taunted the trapped occupants trapped behind the hidden door.
Daphne waved to Martha, Perfidia and Avery as she trilled that she was gong to enjoy some of Martha’s famous tea and then she offered the helpful cat a treat inside too.
Then they walked into the house ignoring the frustrated, impotent anger directed at them from that meadow.
Martha could not believe that sibling cat of Willow’s had mirror magic and used it to change her access to her own garden! It was beyond believable. And now that jilted cousin of Perfidia’s was in her house, drinking her tea, and having full access to her world; it was intolerable!
“How could this have happened Perfidia? How did Daphne even know we were here?” Martha questioned as they walked back through her meadow to Avery’s hidden home.
“I was wondering that too and the only conclusion I could come to, is that feline familiar, Thistle, was a spy for Daphne.”
Martha nodded. “You’re right; it had to be Thistle; that little sibling of Willow’s was a double agent cat and not a captive.”
“A devious feline for sure and I’d normally admire that trait, but not when I’m the one trapped by that deviousness,” grumbled Perfidia.
“I agree and the tattletale cat told Daphne that Avery is here,” Martha surmised, “so now, because Daphne has a cause to retaliate against Avery, she’s sealed the doorway. But why keep us in here? We’ve done nothing to her.”
Perfidia smirked. “Game play; I told you, she loved playing games but winning was the most important part of any game for her. I’d say her strategy in keeping us here is a power move against Avery. We’re caught in her presumed check mate so we can’t help him.”
Martha looked up at the darkening sky and frowned. “I don’t like being anyone’s pawn and I can play a pretty intimidating game of chess myself. Only right now, I’m stifled. Willow isn’t here and I’m worried about her too. We can’t rescue her if we can’t get out of the meadow.”
Now that she had Chaos, Perfidia understood the bond between them. It would be unsettling to think of anything happening to Chaos, and she hadn’t had his companionship for much more than a day.
“Don’t worry; we’ll get Willow back and we’ll win this game.”
Martha wanted to feel relieved by her statement but until they found the alternate exit out of the meadow, and rescued Willow, she couldn’t.
They made it back to Avery’s hidden door and found one of his many servants waiting there to show them to their rooms for the night.
The rooms were massive and luxurious. It made Martha wonder again, how much of her meadow he’d taken up with his home?
Perfidia was openly impressed by the spacious room with a skylight she’d been given and only wondered how she could recreate this grandeur in her own home?
Martha’s room was no less impressive but she couldn’t have cared less.
She stepped into the room, closed the door and walked over to a window seat, tucked under a bay window, and sat down to stare into the inky night.
She called to Willow, knowing the bond was strong enough to reach her, and told her to find a way to escape, because she needed her.
Chaos and Max had been searching the meadow for that alternate exit for hours and both cats were growing weary but then they noticed a shimmering light; it was coming from under an ancient willow tree just ahead. Had they found the alternate doorway out of the meadow?
Max was about to run under the willow to see when two cats ran into the meadow from the other side of that shimmering light. Max skidded to a stop inches from a familiar, furry face.
Max was surprised to see Willow but he wasn’t happy to see the other cat with her, the one that had helped keep them captives. Max considered shocking his sibling, Ram, with a powerful ball of lightning
Chaos had never met Willow so he assumed she was Thistle and the cat with her was an accomplice. He was only waiting for Max to step aside so he could send a rope of containment to wrap around the two intruding cats.
Before Chaos or Max could send their differing magical traps, Willow told them of Ram’s help in her escape.
Max eyed Ram with suspicion but Ram nodded his furry head confirming his allegiance. Max considered his sibling’s change of heart and stepped aside to allowed him to enter.
Chaos trusted Max and if that cat was Willow; he’d trust her too. The other cat, Ram, he’d still keep an eye on.
Willow was informed of her sibling’s troubling ability and the four cats ran all the way back to the willow tree that led to Martha’s garden.
Willow was concerned, if it was true, that her sibling had mirrored her power. Mirror magic was rare, even in twins. She and Thistle been separated as kittens and hadn’t grown into their powers together., but if it was true; there would be an inevitable showdown between them and in the end, one of them would have to lose their familiar powers.
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There's jeapody in that last
There's jeapody in that last paragraph. Rare mirror magic and a pending Showdown that could result in the loss of familiar powers. Looking forward to reading more :)
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I've been so looking forward to reading this instalment of your story for days, and I wasn't disappointed.
Martha and Perfidia have no idea what's going on, now they're being provoked, unable to go into their own world. I do hope Willow can come out of this showdown unharmed and get back to Martha.
Can't wait to read more.
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