My Exploding Cat

Just stories and drawings really, no actual fissile felines.

Chapter 1

Eight figures sat on a hill. One got up and started running. He ran down the hill, sobbing a little, and scrambled up the old maple tree. He didn’t want to be a part of the group any more. He never, ever wanted to see them again.
They’d laughed. They’d called him stupid when he said he’d seen magic. They said that he was a baby to believe in that junk. That what he’d said was the stupidest thing they’d ever heard.
He wanted, he wanted more than anything, to stomp right back up that hill and beat them all up, then drop a soaking cat on each of their heads. And also tell them that stupidest was not a word.
Daniel had always been the poetic, literary one in his family. He’d always wanted to become an English teacher. They’d laughed at him when he’d said that, too.
When school started, Daniel had sat down at just any table on the first day, and told the others his name, and expected things to go fine, and, at first, they did. The kids he sat by had called him to their table in second period, too, and third, fourth, fifth… there were always a few of them there. Pretty soon, Daniel found himself, unwillingly, in a clique.
The worst part was that the others had noticed what good grades he got, and how extremely great he was at English and Reading, and they’d asked him to “help them” with their homework; Daniel, being a born teacher, agreed.
Which ended up in him doing the homework for the others. It was the worst experience he’d had in school, especially since Daniel was so quiet that he didn’t know how to say “knock it off”. The absolute worst experience. And that was saying a lot.
Daniel had had the worst experiences you could imagine in a school life. He’d had teachers who, despite the child abuse laws, had relied on the old ruler-across-the-wrist trick, and he was always the one blamed for other kids’ talking.
The other kids thought he was a pushover. A complete loser, useful for getting him to do your homework for you and ace it, too.
Daniel never had any friends. He had people who were using him by the dozen, but no friends.  Nobody would be the friend of someone they knew as some dorky sixth grader. His only friends were the librarians, but never the teachers, because he was blamed for all the others’ stupidity. They’d taken that away from him, too.
Daniel rarely lied. He only lied when the other kids trapped him into it. When he’d said he wanted to be a teacher, the others said, “You’re kidding, right? Please say you’re kidding, ‘cuz otherwise that is just too dorky.”
So to get out of the situation he had to say, “Yeah, I was just joking around.”
But he wasn’t joking when he’d said he’d seen magic. And he wasn’t going to lie again. Daniel hated lying.
It had started right in the later part of the middle of the year, and Daniel had been to the library 163 times. He’d counted. He’d made friends with the librarian, and she really liked him. She was the strangest librarian Daniel had ever met.
Her eye makeup was strange. She wore green eyeshadow, or blue, or purple, or something else, swept all the way up to her eyebrows. This always struck Daniel as weird. He’d seen that  before, but then there was always this glint in her eyes when she talked to him. And there was more. Her hands were always wet. It was so strange. Daniel would hand her a book to check out, and it would have a few drops of water on the laminated cover when she handed it back. Always. The water always seemed to have glitter in it or something – and then the water evaporated when he took it. Occasionally the library was misty, and one of the librarian’s hands never really seemed to leave her water bottle, which she was never without.
But recently, Daniel had been in the library for no reason at all, and he’d run out of ideas of what to read next. So the librarian, with her eyeshadow (it was blue today) had called him over, looked around to see that no one was watching, and positioned Daniel so that his body blocked the security camera’s view. She reached under the counter and pulled out a book with a bright blue cover, or maybe it was yellow, or red, or purple, or green, no, purple, or orange, or… chartreuse? It couldn’t decide.
“Keep it,” she whispered.
So he’d gone home, dropped his backpack inside the back door and climbed up the old maple tree, sat on his favorite branch and read the book. Tried to read the book. Then the pages started glowing, and stopped abruptly.
“Okay, this is clicheic, so I’m just gonna stop now and not go through the whole 3,462 miles of sparkle-girly magic stuff, ” the book said.
“Um… excuse me?” Daniel said.
“Well, you’re excused,” the book said.
“I mean,” Daniel said, blushing a little, “that, well… you’re a book. You’re not really supposed to talk.”
“Oh, that’s the boring kind you’re used to,” the book said. “They’re a dime a dozen. Count your change later. We have work to do.”
“What kind of work?” Daniel said.
“Oh, come ON, Liara. Do I have to do all the work?”
“Hey, I found him for you!” To Daniel’s surprise, he could hear the librarian clearly.
“What kind of work?” Daniel asked again.
“Well, hmmmm. Let’s see. Have you ever encountered a talking book before?”
“No,” Daniel said.
“And how many books have you read?”
Daniel thought a minute. “Hundreds?” he guessed.
“Exactly. There is a place called the Mirrorworld, and it used to be that mirrors were expensive and there weren’t very many around.  Now, it’s very common to see two mirrors facing each other in a bathroom. Then people, for some reason, tend to take books into the bathroom, between the mirrors. Then the books get replaced with their Mirrorworld copies. This only happens with books. I’m one of the few talking books left. Once the last books go in, we have to stay in. But for now, we’re still retrievable. We have to go to the Mirrorworld and get two mirrors, then take the magic books and pass them between the two. Before the last books go in.”

And that was just the start.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 6:02 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.

One Response to “Chapter 1”

  1. Sonia
    6:08 am on August 7th, 2010

    Bekah-great chapter! I like how you use an unusual character as the protagonist 🙂

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