The tiny kitten had stood it for as long as she could remember - most of her life. Tortoiseshell colouring wasn't all that common, and many Cats would take any excuse to taunt her about it. Slowly, she had sunk into a deep depression over it, feeling positive that not even her "friends" really cared about her. Well, Jemima wouldn't actively take part in the teasing, but she never did anything to stop it, did she?
After this solemn reflection on her life, Electra stood and quietly padded over to the Cat-flap in her humans' door, making as little noise as possible; Etcetera had fallen asleep in the front hall, and would doubtless insist on coming along if she woke. That would ruin everything...
Once Electra was safely outside and alone, she sighed and began carefully climbing up the gutter pipe, using her claws to steady her. The young kit almost lost her grip at least once on the way up, but she quickly righted herself and continued. As soon as Electra had reached the rain-slippery roof, she made her way cautiously across the gentle upwards slope.
Suddenly, she let out an internal laugh at herself. Why was she being careful? There really wasn't any point now.
Upon clamoring up the steeply angled chimney, Electra gazed mournfully up at the Jellicle moon, which was now almost full. This year, she would miss the Ball, which was a pity as it was so close - but who would notice she was gone except by having no one to tease?
Up at the highest point she could reach, practically alone with the pale moon, she finally held a moment of peace; no one was there to taunt her... and no one would get in her way. As if they would anyway..
The small kitten heaved a sigh that should have been uttered by someone much older than her, and jumped back onto the roof proper.
After walking slowly across the opposite side of the roof, Electra looked down nervously at the twenty-foot drop. Two dark brown Pollicles sleeping at the bottom made her shudder in fear - but maybe it would be for the best.
Looking back one last time, some small part of her hoped for someone to care, to run at her and tell her to stop, but seeing no one, she closed her eyes tightly and prepared to jump. A pale, tabby-striped kitten climbed over the peak of the roof just as Electra leapt into midair, refusing to acknowledge what she thought was her ears playing tricks on her - a faint, panicked cry of "Lecky - !!"
She didn't even try to land on her feet, biting her lip hard enough to draw blood as the wind rushed ever faster by...
The kitten that had rounded the top of the roof raced over to the edge and stopped quickly, staring down in shock at the limp body of her best friend, crushed on impact. Tears began to spill helplessly from Etcetera's eyes, and she made her paws move quickly, to take her away from the scene, towards the Junkyard in hopes that someone was awake at this hour of night.
"She... what?" The silver tabby's mouth went dry.
"Come on Munkus please I'm not kidding come on!!" Etcetera's panicked expression and tone told him this was no joke, and he followed her as quickly as he could to her and Electra's home.
Coming round to the back of the house, Munkustrap stopped short, eyes widened in horror. She was right. Electra's crumpled form lay just beyond a fence made of chicken wire, between two Pollicles whose sleep hadn't even been disturbed. Swallowing hard, he reached carefully for the dark kitten and pulled her body gently through the fence, suppressing a shudder at the touch of death on his paws.
Silently motioning for Etcetera to follow him, he took care not to jostle the little kitten who was carried so easily in his grasp as they headed for the Junkyard.
The small group of Cats that had stayed in the Junkyard overnight, mostly talking or napping together, stood in alarm as the trio entered. An aura of sadness and demise surrounded them, as clear as a lighthouse to the scattered felines. Jennyanydots was one of the first to realize who Munkustrap carried, and had a good guess what had happened. She took a step forward, hesitantly, then stood frozen in place, tears beginning to course down her face.
Looking around the silent Junkyard, Munkustrap frowned, then said, a little louder than was needed, "Hey! Someone get Deuteronomy!"
As a pale feline flickered in the light given off by the moon, supposedly heading for the Vicarage Wall, Munkustrap walked toward the tyre, laying Electra's deathly chilled body just at the base. He pulled his paws back slowly, staring at her as if in fascination.
"Munkus.." Etcetera whispered after a moment, nudging at his forelegs. Her voice was choked. "Don't... don't look at her like that... it's scary..."
The silver tabby shook his head hard, prying his gaze away from the first dead body he'd seen... ever. The elders of the tribe would always ascend, peacefully, and there had never been any real casualties in the fights between the Jellicles and strays. Sickness, yes - but never fatal - and stillborn kittens. But never... like this.
A sudden cry and a sob sounded from across the Junkyard. Munkustrap turned his abruptly heavy head to see Jemima, who had just arrived, try to shrink back away from the atmosphere of death. "I can smell it..." she whispered, eyes wide with terror. "Oh.. Bast..."
Old Deuteronomy arrived at that point, quicker than he would usually be moving - Plato's urgency had brought him running as well as he could. He stopped as soon as he entered the 'Yard, shock and then sorrow filling his eyes at his first sight of Electra. I've seen too much of this... he thought quietly, still panting a little from his hard run as he walked to the tyre.
Munkustrap stepped aside to let Deuteronomy have access to the dark-furred kitten - and also using it as an excuse to get further away from the lingering "taste" of death in the air.
Nuzzling Electra's body slightly, the leader of the Jellicles moved forward and onto the tyre, turning to face the rest of the tribe. Someone had gone to tell all the absent members, so by that time, everyone was scattered across the Junkyard, various expressions of shock, fear, and abject sadness on their faces.
He let out a sigh and closed his eyes momentarily, then began to speak. "I can only guess that Electra did this to herself, and don't know why. But what's done is done, and can't be changed - unless through the intervention of the Everlasting Cat Herself, which honestly, I doubt will happen. So... all we can do is help Electra's soul on it's way..."
Biting her lip to hold back tears that were threatening to spill over her cheeks, Etcetera turned and ran before she had to hear or see any more.
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