Thursday, February 28, 2008
Excerpt from Shardai, a YA Cat Fantasy
Shardai felt his muscles tighten, as he looked at Ramses. He was so close. He had to get back to his beloved mistress. He strode round the table till he stood directly in front of Ramses.
The Abyssian’s golden eyes narrowed. “I distrust that look, Shardai. Don’t think to sway me with one of your pretty speeches.”
Shardai leaned his front paws on the table and looked into Ramses’s eyes, his expression intense, his long tail swishing. “I never beg or plead, though I would in this case if I thought it would get me home to her. Instead, I ask you to remember, fifty years ago when you died. The boy was what, twelve, thirteen? Trembling on the threshold of young adulthood and he still cried into his pillow every night for two weeks for his beloved Ramses. And even after all these years, he speaks fondly of you to his grandchildren. The bond was there, Ramses, you knew it, you felt it. You know what it’s like. There were cats and dogs that came after you over the years but no one took your place. That corner of his heart he locked away and you’ll always reside there.”
Shardai felt the gaze of the council on him, but focused on the Abyssinian, who held his fate in his paws.
A warm light breeze ruffled the cats’ fur but neither Shardai nor Ramses felt it, their eyes locked. The silence stretched out for several heartbeats.
Shardai’s gut tightened and the nerve endings under his skin quivered and jumped. Just as he opened his mouth to hiss out his rage and pain, Ramses’s shoulders slumped and he threw up his paws. “If this is what you wish, so be it. He stood up, tall and regal, the sun at his back, glistening on his fur as he began to chant:
“For troubled shores now thee leave
Man’s imperfections to receive
With mortals weakened, faulty shell
So shall ye among them dwell...”
Ramses’s paw shot out rigidly in front of him.
Shardai was gone, leaving a wisp of blue smoke floating in the spot he had inhabited only moments before.
~ * ~
“So foolish,” Lolita complained to Morris, the council member on her right.
“Have you never loved a human?” he asked curiously, as they watched Shardai’s descent to earth.
“Never,” she spat. Morris shook his head.