Running, then resting, then running some more.
It had been only three days since I had suggested the plan to lead the dogs to the family, but just that morning, we had woken up and smelled Titan nearby. Why he hadn't just killed us is far beyond me, but leaf said that there was a reason for everything, and that he was most likely planning a cat-and-mouse game. And so we ran, decideing that as long as we were running, we would be running to get the dogs.
That is, if they had been created.
True, leaf couldn't run because of his leg, so it was more like trotting. Trotting in constant fear that Titan or Miri would find us. Which was more agonizing than most would think,especially when you yourself can run as fast as anything. Suddenly, I catch sight of a fallen tree, the bark peeling off in huge sturdy slabs.
"wait, leaf. I have an idea." I said, eyeing some tough-looking spikeless vines crawling all over the tree. "can you tie a knot?"
About an hour later, leaf was curled up comfortably in a chunk of bark, holding two of the long vines I had seen. I gritted my teeth in frustration and continued running as fast as my legs could carry me across the forest floor, the contraption leaf had helped to build burying itself in my thick fur.
A harness, he had called it.
He had seen something like it when he lived in the small human-place before Titan had found him, where they used them to walk their small dogs. We had built what he called a car without wheels, but something in me called it something else: a sled.
How in the world did I know that?
I thought that in cold places, people would use harnesses and sleds to get somewhere, like we were doing...only with dogs.
"do you have any idea how hard you are to pull around like this?" I asked.
"no, but I'm the wounded one here, so it's not like I'm going to take your place. Go faster before Titan finds our scent!"
I growled. "on the way back, your pulling."
"only if my leg is healed! I'm not doing anything if my leg isn't healed by then!"
I rolled my eyes. Leaf could be such a mouse-head sometimes.
I continued running. After awhile, though, I was worn out. We had found a place that was bare of sky-reachers, and was instead full of huge rocks that were hard to climb over and nearly impossible to get around, especially with this sled.
"do you even know which direction the lab is?" I asked, slowing down to a walk. Even though I had only just escaped from my former prison, my encounters with confusion and danger had scrambled my memory, and I could no longer remember which direction I had come from.
So I had nominated leaf as guide.
Leaf looked both directions and sniffed the breeze. "I know where we're going. Don't worry." he said, then suddenly sat up as best he could. "look there! That rock has a hole in it! Stop, dawn, stop!" glad for a rest, I obliged, looking with hope at the small cave in the belly of the rock.
"well, you can get out of that harness if you want." leaf said. "titans never going to catch up now, at least for the moment, and I know that your tired."
I smiled, then slipped out of the makeshift harness. Leaf then got up and limped to the hole, squeezing under it like an orange and white worm. I followed after him, but not before hiding the contraption that I had been self-enslaved in.
After all, there is never such a thing as being too careful.
The cave, as narrow as the entrance was, was actually rather roomy once you got inside.
Lined with dry leaves, and it was every bit as warm and comfortable as the bush. I went to sleep in safety, curled up agenst leafs side, and when I woke up, I found I was purring.
Leaf shoved me gently. "hate to ruin your happy time, but could you please turn your volume down?"
I laughed lightly. "aw, now you made me sad...and I was so happy before you said that!"
leaf ruffled the fur on my head with his uninjured paw. "oh, c'mon already. You know I'm playing with you."
"no I dident! You were acting like a big meanie!" I mewed, my eyes becoming huge amber orbs.
Now it was leaf's turn to laugh. "yes, I'm a meanie because I told you to be quiet and because you pull me around everywhere. Speaking of which, I think we should leave now. Titan is faster than you think."
I, however, remained curled up in my ball, suddenly unable to leave so soon when just a second ago I had been fine. I decided to stall a little.
"remind me why we're running from titan again? I don't think I heard you right last time."
Leaf rolled his eyes as if I was asking a kittens question. "look, Titan wants to kill me because he thinks that I am trying to steal you from him, that being important beause he wants you for his mate. Titans last mate died, because he wanted her and she hated him. So he killed her. Or rather, he tried to force her into submission, but in the end she killed herself. I do not want that tohappen to you, unless your frog-headed enough to want Titan, so we, or rather you, ran away, taking me agenst my wishes. A demon has gotten into that cat, dawn, and what the scientists did only strengthened it. Now let's go."
Unable to stall any longer since I now had this huge awnser to chew on, I exited the cave, slipped into the harness, and was off again, soon putting the place of rocks behind me at a fast pace that I knew I could keep up for the rest of the day.
The flying animals above again returned in my path and again sang their endless songs. Watching them, as they hopped around, becomeing scared at the slightest thing, a question came to my mind.
"leaf, are we normal cats?"
leaf snapped out of the nap he had been enjoying and thought a little. "what makes you say that, dawn? Of course were normal."
"but that's not what I meant. Normal cats wouldent be able to build this sled, would they?"
"no, but they don't have powers like we do. I think that when the humans altered us, they did something to our minds so that we think more like them. And then I suppose that the next question is that we don't have another side toe on our front legs, like the humans do, right? Have you noticed that our front toes have gotten longer, though? They gave us more than just our powers, dawn. I thought you knew that by now."
I looked at my toes, contemplating what leaf had said. Yes, they were longer. And more flexible, too. More suitable to grabbing and pulling things than walking. What did they do to us? I thought.
I shook my head in disbelief. A creature that could alter another's body and mind beyond reconision was to be feared, not played with and stolen from.
I became frightend of my own idea.
AN: hey there! I haven't talked to you since chapter one or two (I can't remember) and now I'm back. Two things: first, I'm not sure I did as good a job on this chapter as I did the rest. Please let me know if these any prblems with this one. I was mainly trying to explain how the heck a cat could build a sled, even if it was altered, so something else might have escaped me. As a result, I would love it if you review this chapter, if not the ones prior to it. Also, I would like to thank everybody who helped me with this book. thanks to them, I've been given the motivation to publish more chapters sooner rather than later. Thank you all!
~sincerely, Miri the winged