Chapter 3: The Rescue
Heat. Heat was all around her. Red dancing with yellow, yellow dancing with orange, red dancing with yellow dancing with orange, all dancing together. They danced around her, teasing her, snickering at her, telling her she was too late. She heard them talking to her, talking about her, bashing her, belittling her. Stop it! She thought as she looked around her. I don't care what you say about me, all I want to do is find my sister!
Jemima turned around and saw her sister, Sillabub, standing yards away from her. Her green eyes danced with fire in them. Her gentle fur was barely touched by the fire that surrounded her and her twin sister. Sillabub... Jemima smiled to herself as she saw her sister standing there, a smile upon her face. She was going to be okay... everything was going to be okay and they would live together as a family again. A family... together...
Jemima! Jemima's face got a questionable look upon it. Who else would be calling her?
Jemima's ears twitched, the voice so familiar. She looked around and finally turned around and saw a familiar tom standing there, fire dancing on the shine of the armor the cat bore. Tumblebrutus!
"Go away! Save the others! I'm going to my sister!" she called. She saw the hurt face upon the tom and she whirled around. To her surprise, Sillabub was no where to be seen. She became confused. Where did her sister go? Did she leave her while she was talking to Tumblebrutus? She turned around to ask Tumblebrutus where her sister went, but he was gone as well. Now she was really confused.
Suddenly something happened. Jemima felt weird. She smelt something weird. She looked around and finally noticed that flames were all around her... But before it didn't bother her but now... Something disturbed her. She sniffed around and looked down at her arm. It was burning... Her eyes went wide as she watched as the sleeve of her dress disappeared and her fur was burning. Her mouth opened and she let out a scream. Pain... Sheer hot pain was all over her body. The fire was all around her. They were singing... singing their death song. They were teasing her as she felt her fur burning. She kept screaming, feeling the flames now attacking her face. She closed her eyes, not wanting to watch anymore.
Leave me alone fire! She felt tears stream down her cheeks but they never went far, evaporating before they got anywhere.
"LEAVE ME ALONEEEEEEEE" she shouted, then letting out a scream as she felt her body fall to the ground. It was all around her. The dancing flames all abandoned their partners and were now on top of her. Leave me alone... please... Sillabub... Tumblebrutus... someone... please... help me!
Why must you haunt me fire? Thought Jemima as she felt her fur begin to fall off.
Leave me aloneee. Jemima let out another scream and opened her eyes
Her eyes met gentle eyes, and everything around her began to flood into her ears. Soon, she noticed she was screaming and that tears were streaming down her cheeks. It took her moments to noticed that the eyes she was starring into where Tumblebrutus'. She didn't understand... She soon stopped screaming and before Tumblebrutus could say anything she reached her two shaky hands up to touch Tumblebrutus' cheeks. Each hand touched the soft fur upon his cheeks over and over. One hand touched his forehead, making sure that was real... Her fingers made their way to his eyes. Tumblebrutus closed his eyes as she touched them gently. The fingertips traveled down his nose then lingered upon his lips. He was solid. She found her hands cupping his cheeks.
"Real..." she whispered, feeling that her voice hurt and was sore. Tumblebrutus just stared at the scared queen in his hands. He watched as her eyes darted to her arms, a look of amazement upon her face. Jemima felt amazed as she looked at her arms... They were still there... no fur missing... nothing burning...
"Jemima..." whispered Tumblebrutus but he soon found her head buried into his brown shirt he usually wore under his armor. He felt shaky arms wrapping around his waist. He was unsure of himself with the queen so close to him. His arms soon found their way around her small body, pulling her towards him. He soon felt a little damp upon his chest, then figured out that Jemima was crying. He was lost for words... She must have had a dream that upset her, for she had been screaming for a good ten minutes. Tumblebrutus found his cheek resting upon the helpless queen's head and soon was humming softly, trying to sooth her. His God Mother used to do this to him when he was young, when he was upset and scared.
What seemed like forever, Jemima finally came to her senses and soon stopped crying. She slowly pulled away and looked up at Tumblebrutus. She felt a gentle hand brush some of her hair from her face and she turned her face away, a small blush starting to blossom.
"There is a stream out back for you to clean up if you wish." Tumblebrutus said gently, not wanting to hurry the queen any faster than he felt she could manage. Jemima nodded and slowly got up. Tumblebrutus watched as she exited, but before she did, she turned and looked at him. She opened her mouth, but soon shut it and left the tent. Tumblebrutus smiled.
"You are welcome." he said to nobody at all. He made his way out of the tent and met the stare of a cat upon a black stallion. Tumblebrutus let out a soft gasp of surprise and grinned.
"Hello Rumpus." he said.
"Who is that?" asked Rumpus, taking off his helmet.
"That is Jemima... I rescued her from a burning village. Most likely done by the same people who were burning other villages..." explained Tumblebrutus. He knew that Rumpus was just trying to make small talk before he told Tumblebrutus what he found.
"She's getting worse..." Rumpus said. Tumblebrutus looked at the ground, his hand curling into a fist.
The sun shone bright of the day that was before them. Sunlight shone through the window, slipping through the curtains and touched the cheek of the sleeping queen. A soft moan escaped from the queen's lips and her eyes began to flutter open. Green eyes focused upon the bright light and soon shut itself off from the light. It was too bright, she wasn't ready to see light that bright yet. She was warm under her blankets but something didn't feel right... Something didn't feel right at all... And this is what woke up the queen. She slowly sat up, but she felt a small pain in her abdomen. She couldn't place where the pain was at, and she couldn't remember how she got it. Did she eat too much last night? No... She ate her food but not all of it, so she didn't eat too much. Had she drank too much? No... She barely touched the wine Macavity had offered her... She felt her feet touch the ground and she pulled the sheets off of her. She let out a small gasp as she looked at the sheets under her covers. Red... The white sheets were stained with red... Blood? Demeter began to check over her body but found small red spots upon her night dress. Demeter did not understand. She soon stood up and felt that between her legs were sore. Demeter scrunched up her brow, trying to figure out what was wrong... Then it suddenly hit her and she fell back upon the bed, her hand upon her chest. Macavity... Demeter closed her eyes and buried her face in her hands. Tears began to form and soon soft sobs were coming from the queen.
The door opened and Demeter quickly wiped her tears away. She looked up and noticed a brown queen walking into the room, a dress of emerald green in her arms. The queen looked at Demeter and gave her a small smile. She gave Demeter a small curtsie and placed the beautiful dress upon the table.
"Good morning Princess," greeted the brown queen.
"Good morning miss..." trailed off Demeter, not sure who the queen was that stood before her. She recognized her from the night before, but most of the night was a blur to her and that made her feel uncomfortable. She already realized one thing that had happened, had she done anything else out of character?
"Summer," said the queen, a small blush upon her face. "I'm not used to being shown kindness." she replied, looking at the ground a bit embarrassed. Demeter was confused.
"What do you mean? I just replied back to you as you greeted me... is that not common in this castle?" she questioned, looking at Summer with a puzzled look. Summer shook her head quickly.
"Oh no, no one ever pays attention to me.. The only one who ever says anything kind is Princess Rumpleteazer and she..." but Summer couldn't finish before Demeter spoke up.
"Princess Rumpleteazer?" Demeter began to think, and then a small but brief memory popped into her head. "Oh yes..." Demeter said softly, her eyes focusing on the table. The Princess she had cried to the night before. She felt a little embarrassed now that she thought upon her actions, it wasn't quite like her. Yet, she had been scared and wanted to let out her frustration.. Most princesses cry to loosen their frustration, but Demeter's sister Bombalurina yelled to get out her frustration. Demeter's eyes soften at the thought of her sister.
"Princess... I'm here to dress you and take you down to breakfast," spoke Summer, after several moments of silence between the two. Demeter looked up and nodded and she stood up. Summer gave Demeter a small smile, feeling that she needed some encouragement. Demeter returned the smile and Summer spoke, but her voice was a little timid.
"I'm not supposed to do this but... If you ever want to talk about anything... I'm here." Demeter smiled.
"Thank you Summer. You have such a kind heart," Summer blushed a bit and began to dress the foreign princess.
Demeter did not like the feel of Macavity's castle at all. Everywhere she looked she saw deep red and black tapestries, suits of armor that were blood stained and rough looking, and the smell wasn't something she was used to either. She missed her home, where the tapestries were black and golden and it always smelled of fresh bread and felt warm. Summer was just in front of Demeter as they walked towards the dinning room, the place where Demeter was supposed to meet Macavity for breakfast. Her heart began to pound in her chest. What was she going to say to him when she found him? Ask him why he had soiled her? Was she bound to maybe do something unladylike and slap him in the face? She was sure her mother would have done something like that. Demeter sighed at the thought of her mother. The beautiful Grizabella... Too bad Demeter never knew her, for Grizabella had died soon after her birth. The thought made Demeter sad and she soon shook it from her mind.
A figure suddenly caught Demeter's attention as they walked. She small queen was carrying a tray with what seemed to be something covered. Demeter became curious and soon slipped away from Summer and fell into line behind the short queen. She tried not to make too much noise to startle her new guide. Demeter was curious as to who was receiving the covered gift and what it was. Soon the figure came to a door and opened it. Demeter caught the door and swung it open. It was another bedroom, a beautiful room with orange accents here and there. Her eyes finally settled upon who was receiving the gift, and their eyes met hers as well. The figure wasn't alone, besides herself and the servant, there was a tom standing there as well, his eyes wide with fright at the sight of Demeter.
"Olivia!" cried the queen, rushing to her servant. "Why did you allow yourself to be followed?" she asked, panic in her voice. Olivia blinked questionably and then looked behind her. Her eyes fell upon Demeter and let out a small gasp.
"Oh Princess Rumpleteazer! I'm extremely sorry!" she said, looking back at the shocked Princess. Demeter smiled. Now she remembered... Princess Rumpleteazer. Rumpleteazer seemed to had recognized her as well.
"Princess Demeter..." said the younger Princess, her eyes a little worried.
"Do not worry, I will not tell Macavity of your guest. May I ask his name at least? So I know if ever questioned about him, I can deny anything that might blacken his name?" questioned Demeter, a small smile upon her face. Rumpleteazer's worried look turned into a happy smile and looked back at the tom.
"This is Mungojerrie, he is a knight here. I'm not allowed any visitors due to Prince Macavity's orders... but Mungojerrie and Olivia are my only friends so..." Rumpleteazer began to babble about the story of her being locked in her room and soon began to giggle. "I guess this would be a very good story to tell to someone down the road, isn't it? A princess locked in her room and soon to be rescued by her knight in shining armor," Rumpleteazer grinned, and her eyes flashed quickly to Mungojerrie then back again. Demeter gave the princess a small. She looked at the covered gift and finally asked the question that had been bugging her for a long time now.
"So, what is that exactly? The thing that is covered up?" Rumpleteazer glanced at the tray that Olivia brought and smiled.
"That is my breakfast." replied Rumpleteazer, sitting at the table finally. She had forgotten about her meal until just then. Demeter raised an eyebrow.
"Breakfast? Can you not eat in the dinning hall?" asked Demeter, now curious.
"Prince Macavity doesn't like that," spoke Mungojerrie for the first time. Demeter had almost forgotten about him but gave him a small smile.
"I see. I'm sorry to make this visit short, but I feel you should leave... I was supposed to be in the breakfast hall by now and I have no doubt that we might be visited soon once they find out where I have escaped to." explained Demeter. Mungojerrie gave her a nod and looked down at Rumpleteazer.
"Princess." he said as he bowed before her. He was soon gone, faster than it took for Rumpleteazer to try to swat him. A playful smile settled upon her face.
"I keep telling him to not call me Princess." she said softly, resting her face in her hand. She glanced at Olivia. "You better go too, you are usually gone by now. I don't want you to get in trouble again. You could lose your whole hand instead of one finger." said Rumpleteazer, a worried look upon her face. Olivia looked at her left hand, noticing her missing pinky.
"Do not worry, I'm one of the better servants here... if they want to cut off my whole hand, they'll be losing a good worker." explained Olivia. She turned, gave a curtsie to Demeter, and left.
Demeter made her way to the table and sat down, glancing at Rumpleteazer.
"What do you do all day while you are in here?" she questioned, very curious as to what the Princess did to pass the time. Rumpleteazer put down her biscuit as she looked at Demeter.
"I don't do much of anything. It saddens me a lot. When I was first locked up, I used to sneak out a lot just to defy King Growltiger. Soon after Growltiger and Griddlebone left, Macavity decided to go in on the whole Keep the princess in her room thing... For a while, Macavity seemed to have liked me. This creeped me out a bit... you know... being related to Griddlebone and all. He soon stopped trying to court me when I dropped an egg upon his head when he tried to steal a kiss. That did not settle with him too well so. But anyway, back onto the topic at hand, I soon kept getting caught. I've sometimes went weeks without supper so I stopped sneaking out, I was starting to look unhealthy. I just decided to sneak out yesterday but that didn't work very well.. I almost lost my hand. I wish the servants of this castle would come to realize that Growltiger and Griddlebone are not coming back..." Demeter watched the Princess with intent eyes. What a sad life, never having anyone to talk to while she was in this big castle. She placed her hand upon Rumpleteazer's and gave it a small squeeze. Rumpleteazer looked back at her and gave her a smile of her own.
"Thank you Princess Demeter..." Demeter laughed softly.
"Call me Demeter... Princess is something I want people other than friends to call me." replied Demeter. Rumpleteazer's eyes lit up and she let out a small giggle.
"Friends? You and me?" she questioned. Demeter gave the queen a small nod and soon found the princess extremely hyper and very clingy. Rumpleteazer pulled Demeter into a tight hug and was squealing a bit too loud for Demeter to take. She laughed and pulled away from Rumpleteazer, a grin upon her face.
"Am I interrupting something?" questioned a voice. Demeter and Rumpleteazer turned their heads to see a very dull looking Macavity leaning against the doorway. Rumpleteazer quickly lost her smile and turned away. Her eyes were now focused on her half eaten breakfast. Demeter stared at Macavity. Her muscles began to tense up. She didn't know what she would do if he tried to approach her. Macavity smiled and pushed himself off the doorway and made his way towards the table.
"I missed you at breakfast." he purred, his hand reaching out to brush Demeter's cheek. Demeter jerked away and glared at him. A slight sign up angry crossed Macavity's eyes, but as soon as it reached his eyes it was gone.
"My my... we are feisty this morning. I'm not surprised..." he purred again, his haunting eyes staring into hers. Before she knew what she was doing, Demeter slapped Macavity across the cheek as she stood. Rumpleteazer gasped her eyes wide. She had never seen anyone slap Macavity... A part of her mind cheered on her new friend, happy that someone had set Macavity right. Macavity rubbed his cheek slowly, and glanced at Demeter.
"I will have my meals in my room." Demeter stated, her head up in a proper manner. She was now in Princess mode, the mode she went into whenever she was agitated and upset. Macavity gave a low growl.
"That is not an option Princess." stated Macavity.
"Why not? Princess Rumpleteazer has her meals in her room, why can I not have the same option? Very well. If it is not an option, then I will only eat in the hall if Rumpleteazer is allowed to eat there as well." explained Demeter, her chest puffing up a bit. She wasn't the tallest of queens, she was quite on the short side compared to her sister Bombalurina, but she wasn't going to let her size keep her down. Macavity glanced at Rumpleteazer then at Demeter.
"I will see you at lunch then Princesses." said Macavity quietly as he left the room, his black boots clicking on the stone. Demeter felt proud of herself. She usually backed down from challenges and always went with the option given to her. She felt pleased to have finally done something she wasn't accustomed to doing, and that sent a smile across her face. She turned to Rumpleteazer and kept her smile.
"No more eating here." replied Demeter. A smile spread across Rumpleteazer's face.
"Thank you so much." she said, as she got up and hugged Demeter. Demeter hugged the queen back and let her eyes wonder out the open window. At least she wasn't alone.
Macavity walked quickly down the corridors, up staircases and through more corridors and up more steps until he found his destination. He was angry and needed to take it out on the one being he felt was for his unhappiness. His magician. Macavity turned the door handle and stormed into the room. His eyes focused to the dim light in the room, even if it was almost noon. A soft caw came from a crow on a perch but other than that he found no one. Mistoffelees... Where have you gotten to? You knew that spell wouldn't last... Damn you... Macavity turned around, only to be met with the deep blue eyes of his magician.
"Is there something you need?" asked Mistoffelees, his voice calm and collect. His hands were hidden in his dark robes as he looked at his Prince. Mistoffelees wasn't dumb, he knew Macavity was angry with him. The spell had only made her love him for the one night, it wasn't permanent. He should have told Macavity that he did not posses the power to make one that lasted longer than twelve hours, but that slipped his mind at the time. Macavity just stared at him and gave a soft growl.
"You know why I've come, do not play dumb with me Mistoffelees." said Macavity, his hands already in fists to try to wear off his anger.
"Is it about the Princess?" questioned Mistoffelees, trying to sound surprised. This, unfortunately, did not work.
"Yes, all knowing one, it is." Macavity took a deep breath, trying to calm himself down. He wasn't acting like himself, his choice of words and sarcasm had vouched for that.
"Am I allowed back into my room or are we going to stand here while I try to explain myself?" questioned Mistoffelees. Macavity slowly backed up, allowing Mistoffelees to enter his room.
Mistoffelees made his way over to his crow and slowly ran his finger down the bird's breast. It cawed once more, blinking his eyes. Mistoffelees smiled and glanced over at Macavity.
"Please, have a seat." Macavity found himself sitting upon a stool near Mistoffelees' desk. Macavity glanced upon the desk. It was quite unorganized, and this surprised the Prince just a bit. He always found Mistoffelees to be quite organized and had an order to everything he did.
"Now, you have come to question me about Princess Demeter, am I correct?" questioned Mistoffelees, bringing Macavity back to what was at hand. He glanced at Mistoffelees and gave a quick nod, his temper well gone now.
"Yes. Why is she not in love with me? When I asked for that love potion, I did not want it to be temporary, I wanted it to be permanent." explained Macavity, his eyes glancing at Mistoffelees. Mistoffelees sat upon his bed and pulled his hands out from underneath his cloak. His hands found their way together as Mistoffelees thought.
"It had slipped my mind to tell you that the effect was temporary and not permanent. I do not have the power or the knowledge to make a lasting love spell. This, is magic that I had never studied or was never too interested in. Now, if you would to contact my brother..." but Mistoffelees slowly stopped. The thought of his younger brother angered and slightly saddened him. Mistoffelees closed his eyes as he though. Quaxo... Mistoffelees soon came to his senses and looked at Macavity.
"If you wish, I can study up on these types of spells and make you one. It shall take some time, but I can do this if you wish." explained Mistoffelees, pushing aside all thoughts of his brother. Macavity straightened his posture and stood up.
"Yes that is exactly what I want you to do. In the mean time, I shall try to seduce the queen myself... It would be sad to have few nights like the one we shared last night." purred Macavity as he made his way from Mistoffelees' room. Mistoffelees slowly got up and shut the door. He looked at his crow and walked over to him. He stroked the bird again and a small smile was upon his lips.
"I do not think I shall study that spell old friend." he told the bird. "Demeter will soon be gone, and soon I will be with my love again. It shall be rough, but I foresee us being together and gone soon enough..." The bird gave a long caw before Mistoffelees let the bird fly through his window so he could exercise his wings.
Victoria made her way down one of the long corridors of the castle. She hummed softly to herself as she walked. She was trying to make herself happy and take her mind off of the horrible situation at hand... the kidnapping of Princess Demeter. Victoria didn't like thinking about it, for Demeter was her best friend besides Quaxo. A small smile spread across her face. Quaxo. She soon began to skip a little as she walked, the thought of the male courting her made her happy. Victoria rounded the corner and soon found herself hitting another body. She backed up a bit and looked to see who she had skipped into. She didn't even have to look at the face before she knew who she had run into, the earthly color of her dress gave her away.
"Cassandra." said Victoria, straightening herself a bit, smoothing out the wrinkles of her pink dress.
"Why are you so happy?" questioned Cassandra, not even acknowledging her. This made Victoria a bit unhappy. She never understood why Cassandra had been treating her horribly lately for they used to get along quite nicely.
"Must here be a reason for happiness? Must happiness always have a reason?" asked Victoria. Cassandra gave a frown.
"Our castle is in a muddle because of the capture of Princess Demeter and you act like nothing has changed." explained Cassandra. Victoria's eyes met Cassandra's as she tried to hold in her temper.
"Are you saying that I am acting like I do not care about the situation at hand?" Victoria tried to calm herself down; knowing that getting into an argument with Cassandra was just what she wanted.
"That is exactly what I am saying. You do not care one bit that our Princess is missing. You are probably happy that she is gone." spat Cassandra. Victoria's eyes flared and she did something she would never do. She slapped Cassandra. Cassandra was taken back by this gesture and could only stand there, wide eyed.
"Do not tell me what I do and do not feel. Princess Demeter is my best friend. My friend. Something you know nothing about. Now, if you would excuse me!" hissed Victoria, and she stepped to the side and walked briskly passed the stunned queen. Cassandra curled her hand up into a fist and hit the castle wall.
The nerve of her! Slapping me of all people. Cassandra turned around and glared as she watched the white and pink figure soon turn a corner and disappear. I'll get her for this.
Victoria rounded the corner and soon stopped. Her hands were in fists and the next thing she knew she was kneeling on the ground crying. She didn't understand why she found herself hunched over with tears running down her eyes, but she did. What Cassandra had said struck her. Demeter was gone... and she was skipping around thinking about Quaxo. Was she heartless for doing so? Tears kept coming as Victoria leaned against the stone wall.
"Victoria?" came a gentle voice from behind her. Either Victoria didn't hear, or she just plain ignored it, but the owner of the voice touched Victoria's shoulder which made her jump in surprise. She looked up and noticed the bright blue eyes of Quaxo staring down at her.
"Quaxo..." she whispered softly. That was the last person she would want to see her cry. Quaxo knelt down next to her and gently brushed away some of her tears.
"Victoria, what is wrong? I rarely see you upset, and I have never seen you come to tears before." explained Quaxo. He felt helpless as he watched Victoria cry. "Was it something I did? Is it because I skipped out on lunch again? If so, I'm extremely sorry, I got busy and the next thing I knew it was well passed lunch." blabbed Quaxo. He hoped that it wasn't anything he did, but then he did wish it was him. He couldn't stand the thought of something else bringing the poor queen to tears other than him. He knew he could change and apologize for any idiotic thing he did, but if someone else did something he couldn't fix it. Victoria sniffed and shook her head.
"Nothing... its just me thinking about Princess Demeter and all..." said Victoria, trying to cheer herself up. Quaxo brushed away more tears and soon found his hand traveling down her cheek.
"Are you sure?" he asked. Victoria gave a small smile and nodded.
"Yeah... Cassandra just brought something to my attention and it made me think.. Do not worry about it." said Victoria. Quaxo raised an eyebrow.
"Cassandra?" he asked. That was strange. What could Cassandra say to make Victoria fret so... Sure, Princess Demeter would make Victoria upset but would it make her cry? There had to be more to this than Victoria was telling him, but he decided to let her tell him if she felt like it. Victoria nodded and gave a small smile.
"Yes, but do not worry... It is all over and I'm feeling much better that I'm with you at the moment." commented Victoria. Quaxo smiled as he stood up. He held his hand out for Victoria, who took it and found herself on her feet in a few seconds. Quaxo finally gave her a good look and kept on smiling.
"Ah, the pink dress I picked out for you. How pretty you look this afternoon." explained Quaxo, holding out his arm. Victoria linked her arm around his and playfully hit him.
"Now now, don't think too highly of yourself, I liked this dress before you even laid eyes upon it." she said. Quaxo smiled as they began to walk down the hall.
"Of course, of course. Would you like to take a trip to the gardens? I believe the apples on the trees are ready to be picked." suggested Quaxo, trying to make up for the skipped lunch. Victoria smiled.
"That is a wonderful idea."
"What do you see?" asked Deuteronomy, as he sat there looking a bit anxious.
"Patient my King." spoke a gentle, but deep voice of a robed cat. His golden eyes looked at a crystal ball upon the table between him at the King.
"Patience is the key your majesty." said a soft female voice, a robed cat who looked exactly like her partner. Her silver eyes gazed into the ball as well. Coricopat closed his eyes and at the same time, his sister Tantomile did the same. Deuteronomy sat there, his foot beginning to tap. Suddenly the twins opened their eyes and gave a small smile.
"She is fine." said Coricopat. "She has not been harmed with physical violence." Deuteronomy gave a small sigh of relief, but the sigh came a bit early.
"But there is something different about your daughter." said Tantomile. "Something has been taken from her, something that cannot be retrieved... It is gone forever." Deuteronomy scrunched up his eyebrows, confused.
"What do you mean?" he questioned. Tantomile stood, the crystal ball vanishing as she did.
"I cannot say... It is not my place or story to tell." she responded. She touched her brother upon the shoulder. Coricopat stood and gave a small bow before the King and the two made their way from the room.
Deuteronomy sat in his throne and gave a deep sigh. He should have known that the twins would keep information from him. Their parents had done the same years ago when he went to them for advice and knowledge. Like parent like child he always said. Demeter had taken after him, while his daughter took after her mother. Deuteronomy's eyes softened at the thought of the mother of his children. He stood up and made his way to a picture that hung upon the wall on the right. He walked up to it and laid his eyes upon one of the most beautiful cats he had ever seen. Her coat was a mixture of brown, fire red and gold. Her eyes... her crystal blue eyes could hold him forever in one gaze.
"Grizabella..." he whispered softly and turned away from the painting. He could not bare to think of her when he should be worried about his daughter.
"I see you still think of her." came a cracking voice. Deuteronomy looked up and smiled as his eyes met an old friend who he had not seen in some time.
"Gus!" he called, as he walked and met half way with his old time friend. He shook Gus's hand gently, knowing the cat had been reaching his time. Gus smiled and nodded his head.
"So you do still think about her." restated Gus, his brown eyes sparkling with delight. Deuteronomy gave a small laugh and turned to glance at the painting for a quick second.
"Yes, I guess I do still think about her from time to time." explained Deuteronomy.
"Too bad she died." said Gus, hanging his head a bit as to pay respect to the late Queen. Deuteronomy's right ear twitched a bit and nodded.
"Yes... a pity." he said softly. The King felt that a change in subject was needed. "So, what have you been up to?" he asked, curious as to what his friend had been doing with his old life.
"Nothing much as of late, I can tell you that. I come to visit my niece Jellylorum from time to time, but nothing other than that." explained Gus, making his way to the nearest thing he could sit upon. This just so happened to be the King's throne. Deuteronomy did not mind, it was his best friend after all.
"Ah yes... how is she holding up in the kitchens?" questioned Deuteronomy as he sat in the abandoned Queen throne next to his King throne.
"She is adapting fine. She enjoys it down there with the servants. She was always an interesting kitten when she was young... always wanting to clean and help her friend Jennyanydots. Funny how they both end up working in the kitchens and tending to the younger servants." explained Gus, a small smile upon his face. "I would so love to see her marry before I pass on to the Heavyside you know." Deuteronomy smiled and nodded.
"Yes... yes I understand." he said. Gus soon got to his feet and stretched a bit.
"Any sign that we shall be getting back our Princess?" questioned Gus. Deuteronomy shook his head. "Pity... Anyway, I must be off, I believe my wife could be thinking I passed on for how long I have been out. Poor old bat, she is probably thrilled about the thought. She'll be down right unhappy when I hobble through that door." explained Gus. Deuteronomy gave a laugh as he patted his friend upon the back.
"Tell her I say Hi." said the King.
"I will." said Gus, and he was soon on his way. Deuteronomy sat upon his throne and looked up at the ceiling. He was praying... praying to the Heavyside that his daughter was safe.
"Almost there!" shouted Munkustrap, edging his horse along. Alonzo hit at branches that tried to capture him and looked back at Tugger. Tugger had his hands full trying to edge his horse over a stream.
"Come on you dumb thing, just jump over." Tugger growled, not very happy at the predicament he was in. Alonzo pulled the reigns and turned his horse around. His horse trotted to the stream and he looked at Tugger.
"Having trouble with your horse Tugger? Thats something new, everything loves you." said Alonzo, having fun teasing his knightly friend. Tugger rolled his eyes and let out a soft laugh.
"Ha! You are just jealous," said Tugger. Tugger finally jabbed his horse with his heels and that sent the horse into a leap. The horse handed on the other side of the stream and was off after Munkustrap, who was now very far ahead of the team. Alonzo rolled his eyes as he turned his horse around and kicked him into a run.
The darkness of the forest was soon over as Alonzo made his way to the edge of the haunted forest. He understood why many people just went around the forest and not through it. He never felt as helpless and unhappy in his life. Munkustrap was a few feet in front of him and Tugger and he looked over the large meadow. He spotted a castle far on the horizon and turned to his comrades.
"We break in the castle at night. No one will suspect a thing." explained Munkustrap. Alonzo gave a cough and Munkustrap looked at him. "Yes Alonzo?"
"How will we get in? Our horses scream our own castle, and not the castle of Growltiger and Griddlebone." explained Alonzo, pointing down to his shield and the garment on his horse's face that bore black and gold. Munkustrap suddenly became agitated.
"Blasted.." he said and turned his attention to the castle again.
"Why don't we capture three knights and just steal their horses?" questioned Tugger. Munkustrap looked at him.
"Where are we going to find three stupid knights Tugger?" questioned Munkustrap. A rattle from the woods took Alonzo's attention and he turned around.
"Why didn't we just burn down that Village? It was screaming to be burned!" said a voice.
"Shut up Pouncival, I do not care about your thoughts." said another voice.
"Now Bill Bailey... Pouncival is younger than us and is always up for a challenge..." said a third voice.
"Shut up Gil." said Bill Baily. The three knights soon stopped at the sight of Tugger, Alonzo and Munkustrap. Tugger's eyes went wide and a huge smile spread across his face.
"Found them." said Tugger, his hand upon his sword. Bill Bailey looked at Tugger, then at his shield, then at his horse and then back at Tugger again.
"You... are from King Deutoronomy's kingdom aren't you?" questioned Bill Bailey. Gil didn't need to ask that question, he already knew the answer. His hand was upon his sword and he drew it. He sat up straight upon his horse, his chest up trying to make him look bigger. He was a small tom, and this discouraged him in most battles. Upon this action of Gil, Alonzo and Munkustrap both drew their swords and glared down the knights of Macavity's.
"We don't want to fight, but you see... Your Prince has taken our Princess. Now, we have come to take her back and your horses are just what we need." explained Tugger, pulling out his sword. Gil's horse began to bob its head, a soft neigh escaping. Gil did not like this. He did not like this at all.
Before Gil knew, he felt himself being pushed off of his horse. He hit the ground hard, his vision blurring. Pouncival shouted as Alonzo slashed at him. Pouncival deflected it with his shield, swinging blindly at Alonzo. Alonzo deflected then rammed his shoulder into the shield. Pouncival wiggled on his horse and Alonzo slashed at him again and Pouncival found himself off his horse and on the ground. Alonzo grabbed the reigns of the startled horse and began to whisper softly to it. He slipped off his own horse and stood over Pouncival. He leaned over and pulled off Pouncival's helmet. Pouncival looked up at Alonzo, his blue eyes scared.
"Are you going to kill me?" he asked. Alonzo took his sword and hit Pouncival on the head, knocking the poor cat out. He dropped the helmet and looked at Pouncival.
"Pitiful Knight..." Alonzo mumbled, mounting his horse once again. He looked around and noticed that both Tugger and Munkustrap had the horses and shields of the enemy and looked at him.
"Are we ready to lay low for a while?" questioned Munkustrap. Tugger looked at the knocked out knights on the ground.
"What about them when they wake up?" questioned Tugger.
"They won't wake up for hours and once they do, they have a long walk a head of them back to the castle... We shall be fine. Lets go." said Munkustrap, riding off towards the castle. Alonzo let out a sigh as they raced towards the castle. His eyes glanced up at the setting sun. Soon they were going to rescue the Princess and he could lay low for a while.
Jemima didn't know where she was. It was black all around. She turned to her left and there was nothing. She turned to her right and there was nothing there. Jemima began to breathe heavily. She was scared. She felt like she was in the dark forest, and this scared her so. Tears began to form in her eyes as she looked around.
"Sillabub?" she called out. There was nothing. "Mother? Father?" she shouted. No response. Jemima began to shake and she wrapped her arms around herself. She was alone. After what seemed like hours, a soft voice filled her ears. She strained them to hear.
"Jemima..." Her ears twitched and she whirled around. It was male...
"Tumblebrutus?" she called. She felt a hot breath upon her ear and a shiver went down her spine.
"Jemima." said the voice. Jemima felt weak. Why must the voice be so close. She turned around. Her eyes met nothing. She was confused now.
"Jemima wake up."
Jemima opened her eyes, but all she saw was darkness.
"Oh no... not again." she said softly. Tumblebrutus looked down, confused at the response he received from the queen.
"Not again? I do not think I understand..." said Tumblebrutus. Jemima looked behind her and then up at him. She seemed a bit surprised.
"This... isn't a dream?" she asked. Tumblebrutus shook his head. Jemima turned around and her vision adjusted and she saw dim lights ahead of her.
"We have reached our destination. Unfortunately, its quite late so we must stay at the inn.. The person we shall be visiting is most likely asleep, she needs her rest." explained Tumblebrutus.
Once they reached the inn, Tumblebrutus dismounted his horse and helped Jemima down. Jemima seemed uneasy with her legs, due to riding the horse most of the day. She held onto Tumblebrutus for support as they walked into the inn. Jemima's eyes glanced around the inn. It was dimly lit and there was a small tom behind the desk, his eyes closed. Carbucketty walked up and knocked upon the desk. The tom jolted awake and he looked at the group sleepily.
"Yes?" asked the tom, yawning sleepily.
"We need three rooms." said Tumblebrutus, taking out his change pouch and began to get out the gold for payment. Jemima looked up at him.
"Three?" she questioned.
"One for you, and two for me and the other knights." explained Tumblebrutus. Jemima looked down. She didn't like the thought of being in a room by herself. She had been having nightmares the past two nights and she was scared if she had another nightmare that night. They kept getting worse and that didn't please her.
"Is there something wrong?" questioned Tumblebrutus. Jemima felt her cheeks turn red and she kept looking down. She couldn't possibly ask for one of the knights to stay with her... Besides, it was horribly improper and wrong.
"No... Nothing is wrong." she said softly. Tumblebrutus looked at her then back at the tom. The tom gave him three keys and Tumblebrutus deposited the gold upon the counter and ushered Jemima down the hallway.
They reached the first room and Tumblebrutus opened the door for Jemima. Jemima walked into the dark room and looked around. Her eyes adjusted and she found the bed. She suddenly could see clearly and noticed that Tumblebrutus had lit the lamp for her. She gave a small smile and nodded.
"Thank you Tumblebrutus..." she said softly. Tumblebrutus walked over to her and placed his hands upon her shoulders. His eyes looked down into hers. Jemima felt her face start to flush, and she hoped that Tumblebrutus didn't notice.
"Are you going to be all right?" he asked softly. Jemima gave a little nod.
"Yes... If I have a nightmare I will most likely scream..." she said softly. Her eyes flickered with worry. She hoped she wouldn't have a nightmare. She felt Tumblebrutus touch her cheek softly. She glanced up at him.
"I will keep your key and once I open my room you can have mine. If you get scared, come and wake Me." explained Tumblebrutus. Jemima opened her mouth to protest but they were interrupted by a voice from the doorway.
"Hey Tumblebrutus, can me and Rumpus have our key?" Carbucketty asked. Tumblebrutus pulled away from Jemima and turned around.
"Yeah, I'm coming." he said and he walked out of the room. Jemima gave a soft sigh and sat upon her bed. She put her head in her hands and tears began to come to her eyes. Why was she feeling funny? She didn't understand why she was feeling this way. She shook her head. It was wrong... Everything she was feeling was wrong. She was an orphan, a queen with no money and nothing to her name. Why would anyone want to marry such a creature? She let out a soft sob and she felt her body ease. Several more sobs escaped her mouth and soon she found herself curled up on her bed, tears streaming down her face.
"Jemima?" asked Tumblebrutus as she walked quickly across the floor. His armor was off and he was dressed is loose pants and shirt. Jemima glanced at him but soon covered her face. Tumblebrutus found himself sitting upon her bed, a hand upon her should. "Jemima, what is wrong?" he asked. Jemima shook her head. Tumblebrutus sighed. He didn't understand Jemima at all. She cried, yet she would not tell him why; she would have a nightmare and not tell him what it was about. He was confused.
"Jemima... how am I suppose to help you if you do not let me know what is wrong with you?" asked Tumblebrutus, frustration coming to his voice.
"Why would you want to help me?" she asked, taking her hands from her face and looking at him. Tumblebrutus opened his mouth but soon shut it. Why did he want to help her? It wasn't his duty, he had helped several queens in the past but he was never this patient with a queen. He didn't understand it and rubbed his head.
"I am not completely sure." he said. Jemima gave a small sigh and looked at the ground.
"Once we get back to the castle... I will be on my own." she said. Tumblebrutus looked at her, the sudden realization coming over him. She would leave them once they reached the castle. He didn't understand why, but something inside of him felt weird. He soon stood and placed the key upon the nightstand next to the bed.
"There is my key, if you get scared I am in the room right next to this one." he said. He turned and walked towards the door. He turned around and looked at the queen lying upon the bed.
"Goodnight Jemima." he said. Jemima looked over at him and gave him a small smile.
Three knights rode their horses through the village surrounding the castle of Growltiger and Griddlebone. The one in the lead soon dismounted his horse, tying it to a tree nearby. His two partners soon did the same and they found their way up to the castle. They entered the castle and looked around. It was big... but not as big as Deuteronomy's castle. The one in the lead turned around and looked at the other two knights.
"We stick together." said Munkustrap, his eyes glancing around. "If anyone asks, we are just looking for a few servants for the night." explained Munkustrap. Alonzo held back a grunt of disapproval. He should know enough about that subject. Alonzo put his hand into a fist, trying to fight off what he had just thought. It was wrong of him to blame Munkustrap for his many affairs with the servants.
The three of them began to wonder around the castle, their eyes looking for anything that could lead them to finding Princess Demeter. Their eyes fell upon a queen walking down the hallway slowly, her orange, black and red hair braided into a long braid that went down to the middle of her back. Next to her was a smaller queen walking with her. Munkustrap could tell that one was of higher class, due to the clothing of the braided queen.
"Princess Rumpleteazer, I don't like that you can eat in the dinning hall now." said Olivia, fiddling with her hands. "It makes me nervous... I cannot watch what is put into your food if you eat down there... One of the chefs could slip you poison and kill you! Griddlebone would be so upset with me if she found that out." Rumpleteazer gave a nod and a small sigh.
"Yes, I understand Olivia..." Rumpleteazer froze when she felt a hand upon her shoulder. She turned around to be confronted by a knight. She began to blink rapidly, not liking the sudden company.
"May I help you?" asked Rumpleteazer.
"You are the Princess of the castle, right?" asked Munkustrap. Rumpleteazer let out a laugh.
"You are a knight here, and you do not know this? Of course I am." said Rumpleteazer. She was surprised by the lack of knowledge that this knight had. Maybe he was new, but if he had grew up in the village outside the castle, he would know who she was. "What is it that you want sir? I was about to go to my bed to retire." explained Rumpleteazer.
"Where is Princess Demeter." blabbed Tugger, not liking this subtle hinting and questioning. He wanted to get home. He was a bit tired and cranky and he didn't enjoy being in a foreign castle. Rumpleteazer was taken back.
"Princess Demeter? Why do you want to know where she is?" Olivia began to look at the knights then it dawned on her.
"You aren't from this castle..." Alonzo looked at Olivia and raised an eyebrow.
"How do you know this?" he asked, curious on how she could come to that conclusion so soon.
"Your shield. I remember quite clearly that Pouncival had a dent in the top of his shield exactly like that... no other knight has a dent in their shield." Olivia blurted out. Rumpleteazer looked at her friend.
"And how do you know this Olivia?" questioned Rumpleteazer. Olivia began to turn red.
"This does not concern us how you know Pouncival, we are here for our Princess." said Munkustrap, getting agitated with both queens. Rumpleteazer looked at Munkustrap then at Olivia.
"You have come to take her away?" she asked.
"Yes... Our king is very worried for his daughter... You must know a fathers worry, you had a father once." said Alonzo. Rumpleteazer looked at Alonzo then gave a small smile.
"I will be happy to take you to Demeter."
Demeter lay in her bed, her eyes gazing out the window. As she closed her eyes, she heard the door open and the torch by the door suddenly became lit.
"If you are here for more fun Prince Macavity, you shall be getting none from me." she stated, sitting up in her bed with her back to the door. "You've already taken away my innocence; you shall not take anything else."
"What did you say?" came a voice that Demeter was not expecting to hear. She whirled around and a smile came to her lips.
"Munkustrap!" she called. She slipped out of the bed and ran to her friend. She tried to hug him but she found him grabbing her arms and keeping her away from him. "Munkustrap, why are you being so rough?" she asked.
"He took away your innocence?" he asked, his voice rough.
"Yes... but." she could not finish her sentence when she felt herself being pushed back into her room. She heard the door close and found Rumpleteazer standing there among the other two knights.
"Olivia went to get you some peasant clothes Demeter." said Rumpleteazer. Demeter smiled, but inside she felt worried. She never could remember seeing Munkustrap push her away from him. She soon felt Alonzo upon her side and turned to him. She gave him a smile.
"Hello Alonzo." she said. She felt herself being pulled into a hug and she let out a small laugh. He always did love to give hugs. She hugged him back and soon found herself trembling. She was hugging a friend... She was going home.
"Now, Olivia you hang onto one of the knights and Demeter you do the same. No one has really seen you, so they will not recognize you." explained Rumpleteazer as she began to spread mud like substance upon Demeter's face, trying to make her not recognizable to Macavity or to anyone who had actually seen her. They had put her hair up into a tight bun, which was no easy task due to Demeter's incredibly long hair. The group made their way out of the room and down the hall. Olivia wrapped her arms around Tugger's arm and grinned up at him. Tugger gave a smile, his eyes looking her up and down. She was quite good looking for a servant. Olivia gave a small squeal and rest her head upon his arm. Demeter had her arms wrapped around Munkustrap's arm, her eyes a little distant. She was still worried about Munkustrap's behavior earlier, but she put it to the side and only thought on getting out alive.
They reached the entrance of the castle when suddenly a cat stepped in front of them. Olivia let out a small gasp.
"Mistoffelees!" she said. She found herself clutching onto Tugger's arm a bit too hard and Tugger's arm began to go numb. Mistoffelees' eyes landed upon Demeter. Demeter looked back, hoping he wouldn't recognize her. Mistoffelees gave a small smile.
"Flying the coop?" he asked his voice gentle.
"Just taking these two lovely servants out for a bit... You know how that is." said Tugger, winking at Olivia. Olivia blushed. Mistoffelees didn't pay attention to them.
"Have fun." he said. Demeter blinked nervously as they passed. She felt Mistoffelees walk by her and heard him whisper "Goodbye Princess."
Demeter soon felt her loose hair flying behind her as Munkustrap made his horse run as fast as it could once they got out of the village and on their own horses other than the three they took. She tried to glance back at the dim lit castle, but Munkustrap forced her to face forward.
"You better get some sleep... We'll be riding for a while." explained Munkustrap. Demeter nodded and settled into a comfortable position and tried to fall asleep. It was a lot easier to fall asleep due to the fact that she knew she would be home the next day, in the comfort of her own kingdom and her own friends.
But she had a feeling things weren't going to be the same.
Author Notes: I am sorry it is taking me so long to get these chapters out.. as you can see, there is a lot of stuff to be covered and several stories going on at once... This one came out faster than the other one though and I am proud of it! The next one should be shorter... This wasn't suppose to be this long but it ended up this way... So sorry