My Exploding Cat

Just stories and drawings really, no actual fissile felines.

Chapter 14

Gryphon rides, gryphon rides… screaming all the waaaaay… Daniel, all of a sudden, knew why his pet was not a gryphon. Sophie could ride a horse, so the gryphon wasn’t much more than a flying horse to her, and she really wouldn’t be one to go for a Pegasus-type thing, so this pet was perfect for her. However, Daniel knew exactly why his pet was a half-imaginary cat. At least, he thought it was half-imaginary. He didn’t really know, but he supposed that to withhold this information from him, the cat had to be at least a little bit real. He wondered if there were gradations of real, and then he realized that the gryphon had landed. Where, exactly? At his home. His real home. Not the Nuclear Inn, but Daniel’s house.
He went in, tossing the gryphon a dog treat that he, for some reason, had put in his pocket before leaving for the Mirrorworld. The gryphon grabbed it out of the air gleefully and settled down under the tree in the front yard.
It wasn’t until now that Daniel realized he’d been up all night on that cloud. It was 7:00 in the morning. He headed for the staircase –
That’s not right, Daniel thought. The staircase is on the wrong side of the house.
He opened the door at the top of the staircase. I don’t remember that being there.
In front of him was a blue space. He couldn’t see through it, or what was on the other side of it. How odd.
Messenger jumped onto the railing and clawed her way up. “Have you figured it out yet?” She jumped into the blue space, jumped out, and waved a paw at it. She blinked at him with her large green eyes. Daniel had never owned a cat, but he thought that this was not typically how cats act. If he’d owned one before, he’d have known better.
He went through. It looked like his room –
– sort of. It looked weird, and there was something about it Daniel couldn’t quite place. “If you mess up, you’re safe here. You’re in danger at the same time, though.”
How can something be both of two opposites? Daniel thought. He considered this for a bit. Oh. Duh, he thought. That’s the definition of the Mirrorworld – it’s the opposite of everything in the regular world. So either I’m in danger according to the Mirrorworld definition, which means I’m safe, or I’m safe in the Mirrorworld definition, which means I’m about to get killed here.
“Which is which?” he asked Messenger.
Messenger did that strange grin again. “Take your pick.” Again.
Daniel sighed. This cat is a pain in the butt.
He remembered how tired he was, and the fact that he realized it in the house. Out of habit, he jumped into bed, suddenly not tired any more, but falling asleep as soon as hitting the mattress anyway.
*    *    *
Daniel woke up. The room didn’t seem weird anymore. Except for one thing: There was a book in the air, one he hadn’t seen before, rising in the air toward the ceiling. He scrambled to his feet and jumped off the bed, lunging for it before it went so high he couldn’t reach it. He grabbed it and…
… wrapping his body around it, he realized it was softer than he’d imagined just as he yelled, “GOTCHA!”
“DANIEL! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” Sophie screamed as she ran out of the kitchen. She had an apron over her dress, and she was engulfed in flour – in her hair, on her shoes – it was nuts.
Daniel opened his eyes and realized that he, a 110 pound seventh grade boy, was clinging to his backpack, which was hanging on a very tall coat rack. He felt it instantly, on cue, fall down backwards. Hitting his head, hard, Daniel didn’t really want to move much. There were muffled shouts from Mage, who had slept in. Daniel got him out from the pack, then stopped when Sophie screamed at him not to move more. Daniel didn’t have to be told twice – his muscles were stiff.
“What the heck were you doing?” Sophie yelled again, but slightly quieter. Ryder cracked up.
“What were you doing? You have flour everywhere,” Daniel said. “It’s not like you to cook.”
“That’s exactly why I have flour everywhere,” Sophie said. “The gryphon brought you here, apparently because something told it to. Something rather sarcastic.”
I guess Messenger can be heard by gryphons, Daniel thought.
“So Gavin brought you home and you were asleep. None of us could wake you up. Ryder claimed he’d seen this before and the only cure was snickerdoodle cookies. I didn’t believe him, but there was nothing else to do, so I tried. I used a cooking spell to multiply our quantity of flour since we were almost out, but that went a little bit wrong. I’ve never been very good at math, and…” Sophie glanced back to the kitchen… “I think I used an extra digit or two.” She coughed, puffing flour everywhere. Her extremely dark hair appeared almost white with the stuff. “Anyway, I hope my cleaning spell works better. Might as well finish those cookies, if there’s not too much flour in them now. Although I think that perhaps Hannah should finish them up. I’m kinda clueless. I don’t typically bake stuff like this. What happened to you?”
“It’s a long story.”
“Well, I’m waiting to hear it.” Sophie put a few healing spells into action. “Does this hurt?”
“No, but that’s sore, where you have your hand now.”
Sophie pulled out her wand. Daniel told her what happened.
“Well, I’m not surprised. Magical creatures, especially flying creatures, can leap dimensions, and you have to give really specific directions because half the time, they don’t know where they’re going. I probably should have left a teleporting portal instead of the whistle.”
Daniel allowed Sophie to perform her healing gizmos. He was impressed – they actually worked. He stretched while Sophie cleared the kitchen with a spell – a blink would have missed it.
“Is there a third world?” Daniel thought aloud.
“You’d be surprised,” Sophie called.
“Where did you learn this?”
“Where d’you think?”
“You read mythology?” Daniel guessed.
“No, silly. I don’t read fiction. I read nonfiction. Tress told me.”
Daniel realized something, although he didn’t quite know what it was.
“I… I got the book,” he said.
“I’m not going to ask how,” Sophie said.
“That’s good. The book is in my pack with Mage.”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009 at 10:18 am 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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