My Exploding Cat

Just stories and drawings really, no actual fissile felines.

Chapter 28

Cat ended up sniffing out the trail, and eventually found Hannah and Ryder. On the way, Daniel couldn’t count how many times Khorabelle had flipped her hair or flashed a flirtatious smile. A somehow-brushed flirtatious smile. Sophie had told her off about enchanting people, so she couldn’t do that, but Khorabelle was confident that her little charms would win her latest prey. She grinned to herself. If only they knew.
But that would ruin her plans, right?
Ryder and Hannah had gone together. Hannah had tripped on her skirts running, and then Ryder fell into some poison ivy helping her escape, so they went together. Hannah had thoroughly washed the poison ivy oil off, and was now bandaging their scrapes. Hannah gasped, her eyes distant.
“…something happened…” she mumbled.
“How, exactly, can this be explained?” Sophie asked.
“Haven’t you read any fiction?” Daniel said. “She’s a girl found on a stone slab in a cave with no memories, no known past, who can use magic. This is in about a million stories. She’s that one character who is so mysterious that they’re familiar to the reader! Duh.”
“Who says we’re living in a story?” Sophie said. “This is now, and this is real! Yes, you might have a grip on seeing what others can’t, but you can’t see what’s actually here!”
“Who says this isn’t some kind of story? Feels like it to me! But you wouldn’t know. Nooo, we can’t read stuff that won’t be eventually taught in college, nooo.”
“I’ve learned stuff from books that very few people know about! Especially teachers! They don’t know everything, especially the future English teacher who sits around reading Rapunzel all day!”
“I read all kinds of stuff like that! You’ve just been caught up in your petty little thoughts too much to listen!”
“Why, you… I’m caught up in my thoughts?!”
“Shut up, both of you!”
Two heads turned. Hannah was sitting up and feeling steady enough to cross her arms. Chorabelle huffed impatiently and fluffed her hair up a little more.
“Obviously, there’s something here that I’m sensing, and it isn’t good. Then you two argue loud enough for the entire forest to hear! What is wrong with you? Come on.”
Hannah pointed behind Daniel and Sophie. “It’s loud enough for them to hear! You two were arguing long enough for everyone else to find us! Who says that whatever else didn’t hear it too?”
Daniel looked where she was pointing. The rest of the group stood behind them.
“Dang,” Sophie said.
“How uncharacteristic,” Daniel said.
“Hey, you’re right… you don’t usually fight.”
“Well, that, too,” Daniel said, “but I mean that Molly didn’t hear us. She usually pays more attention than anyone else in the group.”
“Uh oh,” Hannah muttered. “Something isn’t right here. We have to find her.”
“Maybe something happened,” said Cat. “Who’s Molly?”
“A spy we found off the street,” Daniel explained. “She’s usually the one who hears stuff like that first. So either she’s gotten lost, which is unlikely, and can’t hear us, she’s been kidnapped, which in Molly’s case is very possible, or she heard us, but was… preoccupied.”
“But Molly can use magic,” Sophie pointed out. “She told me. And there’s about a million different spells that are tried and true to escape kidnapping. And Molly never, ever gets lost. Ever. She knows where she’s going and what direction to go in if she’s looking for something.”
“Then that must mean…” Ryder said.
“She has to have had something much more serious going on,” Sophie said.
Daniel looked away. “Hmm.” He was thinking, but he didn’t want to tell this to everyone else, especially in front of Khorabelle. Daniel didn’t trust her. Maybe he’d tell Sophie in private, but this wasn’t exactly the place for privacy.
“We need to find her, fast,” Hannah said. “A spy who doesn’t accept being around the protection of magic wielders is a very foolish spy. We do know that Molly isn’t foolish, nor does she turn down free stuff. If someone offered her a bulky machine that squished berries, she’d take them up on it just so she could throw it at something later.”
Daniel stared. Sophie gave the practiced “back away slowly” look, and everyone else just kept silent.
“Are you waiting for something? Come on!” Hannah said. Sophie predicted that Hannah was about to learn how much one needed to express urgency before it became overdone “damsel in distress” talk.
“Well, get on with it. Give me something with Molly’s scent on it, and I’ll go.”
Angel handed Cat Molly’s cloak. “Perfect,” Cat murmured. “The scent is strong.”
“She hasn’t washed it in a long time,” Sophie said.
“I don’t care,” Cat said. “I can find her easily now. Look, she’s nearby with someone else. In that undergrowth.” She pointed.
The others rushed to the low bushes. There were indeed two bodies there, but only one was moving.

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 28th, 2010 at 4:53 pm and is filed under Mirrorworld. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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