My Exploding Cat

Just stories and drawings really, no actual fissile felines.

Chapter 15

The next place Tress directed them was on the other side of the Mirrorworld, in a distant country. Daniel kept thinking. He’d stumbled upon the thought he hadn’t had earlier, and so instead was thinking it now. Sophie had had no real previous experience with nonfiction. She could control what was real, but what was unreal was out of her power. And Messenger… well, on the “real” thing there… Daniel still wasn’t quite sure. He’d watched a show about some woman who, when she heard someone talking, could see a colored band of the words floating in front of her face. It had struck Daniel that this would be rather annoying to him, always having something in front of your face, and it he’d also wondered, if the lady had been color-blind, would the band also be black and white, when in reality, the band was in color? Or would the band really be that way – black and white – if she were color-blind?
He felt the same way with Messenger. The colored band actually existed, in that lady’s mind, like Messenger, only Messenger was real enough to have a mind of her own and teach him things, but Daniel had magic, so this would be a little different, of course. Messenger was more real than just in his mind.
But Daniel wondered if she was real that way because he’d liked gray cats ever since reading about them in an encyclopedia, and wanted one of his own, so he naturally wanted Messenger to be real. Was that what was going on? Was Messenger a gray cat because he’d known, in the back of his mind, that if a cat jumped down from the top of the ice wall and claimed to be his magically-gained pet, he wanted it to be a gray cat? Daniel decided that he sort of controlled this, and decided that he’d wanted Messenger to be real anyway, so he’d just set himself to the thought pattern that she was, and she would be, and that would be that.
“DANIEL!” Sophie was three inches from his nose.
“You got lost in thought again,”Hannah said, cracking up. “You were so quiet we’d taken a poll to see who thought you’d fallen asleep on the horse!”
“Oh,” Daniel said, blinking. “That happens a lot without my knowing it.”
“That’s because if you knew it, you’d snap out of it, silly.” Sophie made a face.
Daniel noted the word silly. Sophie usually called people either stupid or a “brain genius” instead, being the master of sarcasm that she is. Or she’d use the word cerebral if it was a boy, and make him look it up in the dictionary (or, in some instances, make him complain that she was making fun of him in some way he didn’t understand). Sophie knew better than to try this on Daniel, though.
“Guys, we’re here. ‘Nuff chitchat and get on with it. There’s a book somewhere here.”
“Up,” Tress said.
Everyone looked up. There was a book hovering above everyone. Angel tried to fly up to it. She kept flying, and kept at it, but she never seemed to reach it. She kept flying until nighttime, and Daniel, Sophie, Ryder and Hannah had tried a million different spells to get her down. Daniel finally called messenger mentally, and she immediately came.
“Messenger, what do we need to get both Angel and the book down?” Daniel asked.
“Who’s Messenger?” Sophie asked.
“Someone you don’t know,” Daniel said.
“You just need to shout at them. No spells. That book is a kind of mirage – the real book is on the rock cliff. I can easily get up there. Cats go where they want. I’ll push it down, but you’d better catch it,” Messenger said.
Daniel quickly set to work setting up a cushion for the book to fall on in case he couldn’t catch it in time. After all, falling from a rock cliff was a little dangerous and required some security.
Then he cast the spell that made it easier for him to catch. He realized that he probably should have cast this spell first, but the book hadn’t fallen yet anyway, so it really didn’t matter. After Angel had gotten the memo to come down, she started dive-bombing. Now she was almost done.
Daniel sighed and looked up. He realized all too soon that a girl was about to fall on his face, and he and Sophie shrieked and dived aside. They didn’t hear a thump, so they stayed down.
“Um, guys?”
Angel was gently letting herself to firm ground. Her heartbeat was fast, as it always was when she’d done something dangerous like that.
“You thrive on acrophobia, don’t you?” Daniel said. (Acrophobic is a fancy word for afraid of heights.)
“As is traditional.” Angel shrugged.
“Hey, I thought you didn’t know huge words like that,” Sophie said.
“What? Oh,” Angel said. “Who knows?”
“Hey, here comes the book,” Sophie said.
“YAAAAAAAAHHH!”
Daniel caught it.
“A cat pushed me off that cliff!” it said.
“A cat?” Sophie asked.
“It’s a long story,” Daniel said. “I might tell you later, if I end up knowing how to explain it.”
“Okay,” Sophie said, raising an eyebrow.
Daniel put the book in his backpack with several of the others. “We should head back. It’s getting late.”
“Fine by me,” Angel said. “I’m tired.”
“Well, come on!” Sophie had already mounted the horse.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009 at 10:27 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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