Feather was running.
She was running at top speed through a meadow, panting and racing around a few boulders that happened to be in her way. She glanced up at the clear, blue sky, fear clouding her thoughts. Had she lost the shadow-claws?
Just then, a long, black, slimy arm burst out from the forest in the opposite direction Feather was running to. It snaked passed boulders much faster than Feather had. It was definitely gaining on her. It opened its hand to reveal claw-like fingers.
Feather skidded to a halt. The meadow took a drop in front of her and spiked rocks filled the ground below. Feather gulped. She had reached the edge of a cliff. Turning around, she glanced at the shadow-claw catching up to her. Feather had two choices: Get captured by the shadow-claw and have who-knows-what done to her, or jump of the cliff to her demise.
Feather chose the cliff.
She jumped over the edge. The shadow-claw shot straight over her head. Thank goodness those things couldn't move downward. Then she looked down and watched as the rocks got closer and closer. Feather shut her eyes and awaited her death...
Feather gasped and her eyes shot open. It had been a dream and no more. Shaking, Feather stepped out of her cat bed in the living room. She shook her head. Why do I keep having that horrible nightmare? She wondered.
She padded across the room and through a doorway which led to the kitchen. Smushed against a wall was her food and water bowls. She crouched beside them and began to eat. Mmm. She thought. Purr-a-licious Kitty Kibble. My favorite brand.
She let the flavor sink in before swallowing. She took a few more mouthfuls before lapping up some water. She shrank back, disgusted. The water hadn't been changed in a while. There were hairs and bits of food and dust floating in it. Feather padded away.
She exited the kitchen and walked up to her human, Ms. Tripear. Her human was cheerful and a bit, um, plump, with a chubby-ish face and wavy blond hair that she positioned in different styles every day. Today's style looked like an upside-down tornado.
Ms. Tripear squealed with delight as Feather weaved in between her legs. "Oh, Milly dear! You shouldn't have!"
Feather nearly shrank back in disgust as she had in the water incident. Milly? Oh please, that dumb name? Feather was glad she still remembered the name her mother had given her.
Ms. Tripear bent over, her hairdo flopping towards the ground. "Milly dear, let me catch you," she giggled.
Then Feather went still and felt huge, squishy arms envelope her. She was lifted slowly up until she was cuddled to her human's chest. She purred and lifted her chin whenever her human scratched her head.
Feather suddenly nipped her human's arm. I want water! Not love! she remembered. Ms. Tripear jumped and released her grip. Soon, Feather was back on the ground, meowing affectionately to her human and weaving once again between her human's legs.
Ms. Tripear recovered from the incident quickly.
"Oh Milly, love!" she chortled, "I don't deserve so much attention!"
Feather raced away from Ms. Tripear and into the kitchen. Then she sat in front of her water bowl, yowling loudly.
"Milly! Honey bunches! What ever is the matter?" Ms. Tripear called as she bustled into the kitchen. She took a glance at the water bowl. "Oh, how repulsive!" she declared. "I will fix it at once!"
At that, Feather's human scooped up the water bowl and walked over to the sink, where she dumped out the repulsive contents and refilled the bowl with clean, clear water. Then she walked back to Feather and placed it before her.
"There," Ms. Tripear chirped. "Water you can brag about! Goodbye, Milly dear, I must attend a buisness meeting."
And so, Ms. Tripear left the room. She slipped on her neon pink and green sandals before heading out the front door.
Feather was now all alone. She looked away from the doorway in which Ms. Tripear had reluctulantly walked through, before crouching down and lapping up the wonderful water.
After she had a good drink, Feather got up and stretched. She gave a little yawn and then made her way out the opposite doorway which led to the living room.
Once in the living room, Feather jumped onto the soft, baby-blue couch and settled down for a nap. She closed her eyes and drifted into a dream...
Feather was in a forest. Ivy vines laced every tree and moss climbed up the bark. The huge, tall trees loomed over Feather's head. She looked up at them as she padded on, passing a couple of moss and fungus-covered rocks. She didn't know where she was going, but her paws seemed to be sure of the destination.
She padded up to the mouth of a large, ominous cave. Inside, Feather could only see pitch black darkness. She shuddered, her paws urging her forward.
She walked into the cave, the dark welcoming her, encourging her every step. Feather gulped but her paws moved on their own; taking her deeper into the cave.
She stopped in front of a glow of light blue light. It illuminated from a small, crystal-blue gem. It was a diamond shape, and it stood upright on a single point, a large, wide, cylinder-shaped rock beneath it.
Feather exhaled sharply in awe. Then, the gem's image flickered and it took the shape of a dark gray cat with a lighter gray muzzle and a white chest and paws. It gazed at her with an expressionless face from a sitting position with its glowing amber eyes.
Feather blinked, and the cat was gone, the gem in its place. I'm seeing things. Feather thought, a bit shaken up. There isn't anybody there at all...just me and this strange gem.
All of a sudden, a voice echoed through the cave. It sounded as if the speaker was right there before Feather, but there was no one in sight. The voice spoke one word, 'Wake', and then it faded away.
Then a shadow-claw erupted from the gloom in front of Feather. The voice whispered something so low that Feather could barely catch it. She instantly understood its meaning, just before the shadow-claw curled its slimy, long fingers around Feather, dragging her deeper into the darkness.
Feather jumped awake. She gasped for air, her dream still fresh in her mind. Feather glanced around the room. Ms. Tripear was still not back from work so not much time had passed.
Feather got up and stretched, a little tense from her vivid nightmare. She looked up and then padded towards the house's back door, which had a smaller cat door attached to it. Feather slid through it and entered the backyard.
She sniffed the fresh air. The flowers and herbs in Ms. Tripear's beautiful garden smelled wonderful. Feather wished she could stay and enjoy them, but she knew what her nightmare was silently telling her. She knew what it was telling her to do. And Feather knew she could do nothing but listen to it.
And so, Feather walked through a berry bush and slipped through a hole in the gate and padded on and into the forest. Feather's journey had begun.