My Exploding Cat

Just stories and drawings really, no actual fissile felines.

Chapter Ten–Mother


My jaw dropped. I blinked. I should have known! Her voice was familiar, she was protective, she spied on me just to know who I was. It made sense.


“Like you, your father and I didn’t want to be used as weapons. But we were required to be warriors because of our powers. Your father can do rare and powerful magic as well—his specialties are Air and Storm, but he is not a Star Anoki. We left fake bodies the second we got the chance, but they didn’t look real. I had to use Star magic to make them look right, like we’d been shot. I couldn’t go get you or Kaye, or we’d all be hunted, and I didn’t want to actually die in the war and leave you parentless forever. But I watched you and made sure that you weren’t hurt. You don’t know how hard it was not to just go up to you and snatch you away, although you probably would have killed me if I tried that.

“I was never worried about you. You had strong magic, and Mel took care of you. You’re strong, and brave, and beautiful. You taught yourself Star magic. I saw you make up spells, though you didn’t know what you were doing at the time. You used Star magic to decorate the house for your plans. You were clever.”

That was why she looked like me. Under the dark hair dye, I could see traces of auburn, like mine. Her eyes, so near my deep blue-green, could look threatening but didn’t now. I was nervous. I felt vulnerable.

I didn’t know what to do. I sat down on the pine-needle floor of the forest and broke down into tears. I rarely cry. But I was doing it now.

“It’s all right.” She sat down right by me and hugged me like I was some little girl. “It’s all right.”

*          *          *

I don’t know how long I sat in the stupid pine needles sobbing like some idiot. But when I cry, I cry. The trees’ sympathy was wonderful, but actually having my mom there was better. I definitely took after her. I wondered what my father was like—maybe like Kaye? Now there’s a weird thought.

“What am I going to do?” I sobbed. “I have two villages that need me, I’m an emotional wreck, and—big surprise—thirteen years old. And I’m not sure whether to break down crying or do a dorky King Tut dance.”

My mom pressed her lips together to keep from laughing. But she did grin at me, and I grinned back.

“I don’t want this power. I don’t know what to do with it.”

“You’ve done your part,” my mom said.

“That’s just it. I’m stuck with an extra job.”

“Do what you want. But you have to do it fast or someone else will take over. Get yourself together and go to them. It’s okay if you choose to stay and govern the villages. I live in a village nearby. Go now.”

I did. I ran and took off, and raggedly flew to the Kliid.

“I am your new leader,” I shouted. “I have more power than the previous ruler, whom I have dealt with separately. First thing: stop all warring with the Zephans!”

I went to the area of the battlefield right where the two armies mixed in combat. “Stop and retreat! Both armies!”

There was a pause. Both went straight back to the camps, muttering. I was expecting trouble, but it didn’t come. I guess killing like a ton of people off and fighting vigorously for hours on end kind of shows that you’re really serious. Even if you’re a teenage girl with weird taste in hair color.

I landed and found the Fire Anoki who had stuck up for me against Jaken. “What’s your name?”

“Aaron?” He looked undecided—freak out or not?

“I’m putting you in charge of the first army group I had. Sector seven. They’re powerful. I trained them myself. You’re trustworthy; you’ve proven that to me through several things.” I grinned coyly and left him standing there, confused.

I flew to Mel’s friend’s place. He answered the door, and I went in. “I have both villages,” I said sadly.

“Good for you!” Mel said. “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t want to sit around barking orders all my life. Mel, you can take the Zepha tribe. You’re smart. I’ll find someone to take the Kliid.”

“Why?” Mel said. “Where will you go?”

“I found Mom… well, she found me.”

Everyone but Mel looked surprised.

“You found Mom!?!” Kaye shrieked, bouncing up and down. And there’s the difference between Kaye and me. I break down in tears from stress and emotion, she dances around. Wahoo.

“Mel, you knew she was alive, didn’t you?”

“Yes. But if you went after her, the dictators would have sent troops to go kill you and your mom for lying to them. I was protecting you, like she was.”

“And I don’t want to sit around settling disputes and giving commands and whatever when I can have a normal life for a while after having, well, this. I’d give Kaye the Kliid village, but I think she’d want to be with Mom, too.”

Kaye’s mouth twitched. I could tell she didn’t know what to do.

“Mom said she lives nearby,” I added.

Kaye nodded. “I’d like to stay near the Kliid, since all my friends are there. But I want to see Mom.”

“No duh,” I said. We all started giggling.

“I’m definitely staying with the Kliid,” Li said. “Seeing as my mom’s there. Maybe Kaye can help convince my mom to stop calling me by my full name, Lisanti. She saw that name on a sugar packet from a Chinese restaurant and thought it sounded pretty.”

“But what do I do?” Akana said.

“You can come with me,” I said. “I’ve taken care of you this far. I’m not going to stop.”

“Dang,” Mel’s friend said. “One minute she’s my girlfriend, the next minute she’s Zephan leader. Dang.”

We all cracked up. I didn’t know what to say.

“I want to see Mom,” Kaye said.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 6th, 2010 at 2:54 pm and is filed under Star. 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.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>