For a while after the incident where I nearly killed my sister, she left me alone. But that was only for a while. I thought she might have learned her lesson for good, but then, I also thought that Ratter was my friend, all that just goes to show how ignorant I was.
I should have known something was up when I started seeing my sister and Starrla everywhere together. For a while after the incident Vulcana had kept to herself, and then suddenly one day she was with Starrla all the time. I don’t know why I didn’t think that they were up to something.
Flame walked over to the rock and sat down next to Ratter, her most trusted friend. “Hey Flame!” He greeted her happily, “How’s it going?”
Flame smiled sweetly, her green eyes were not intimidating to look into like her sisters, “I’m doing just great, for the last few weeks things have been great!” Flame sighed with content, “I’ve barely seen Vulcana at all.”
“I saw her and Starrla today in the courtyard.” Ratter said conversationally, and thought to himself ‘And wasn’t Starrla looking lovely!’ Ratter kept his thoughts to himself though, Flame was his best friend, but there were somethings he just couldn’t talk with her about.
As if sensing that Ratter wanted to talk about Starrla, and trying to avoid it Flame said a little annoyed “Oh lets not talk about them Ratter!”
Ratter didn’t pay any attention “I think you’re Father’s going to chastise Vulcana!” he lowered his voice, “I saw a messenger go looking for her today...”
Flame was really annoyed now “Oh Ratter, can’t you leave the subject...’ she paused mid sentence when she caught a look in Ratter’s eye, a look she didn’t like one bit. “Ratter,” she said slyly “Don’t go getting any ideas in your head...Starrla doesn’t like you, she’ll never like you, she hates us remember? She’d never let you touch her! I mean, she hangs out with my sister, the heartless queen, doesn’t she?”
Ratter didn’t admit to anything, “Starrla? Been havin’ a little Catnip have you Flame? Where’d you get a crazy idea like that?” He said all this in a perfectly innocent voice and then he pounced his friend. Flame struggled against him, she hated when he turned serious conversations like this one into playful subjects. She was about to say something when Ratter pinned her and she was momentarily breathless. Before Flame could say anything Ratter did something very unexpected, he kissed her.
Flame was astonished! She had never thought of Ratter as anything more than a friend, never! And now that she thought about it, she dispised the thought: she didn’t like Ratter like that! She didn’t like Ratter liking her like that! Flame broke away and tried to shove Ratter off, but he was stronger than her.
“Aaah common Flame...what’s the matter with you?” Ratter asked confused.
A look of rage erupted all over Flame’s face and she lost control completely and screamed at Ratter “I’ll tell you what’s the matter with me! You’re what’s the matter with me! What the hell do you think you’re doing Ratter? What the hell are you doing? Get your filthy paws off of me, and don’t you EVER, you hear me, EVER touch me again!”
Ratter looked at Flame with shock. ‘What’s the matter with her? All I did was kiss her, I mean, its not like I did anything else... I wonder what her problem is... she’s being a real...’ Ratter glared at Flame “Fine, you want things that way? I’m out of here!” And he ran off through the field towards the fortress. Flame turned her back on him.
Flame stood before the doors of Macavity’s chambers. She wasn’t quite sure why she was here, maybe it was just to say hello to her father, maybe it was to make Ratter’s life a hell, maybe it was to get some satisfaction from hearing about how he chastised Vulcana earlier... Whatever the reason Flame forgot it as soon as she burst through the doors to the sight of her father and Starrla in a passionate embrace. Flame, who was already worked up over the ordeal with Ratter, was totally shocked by the site before her eyes, she didn’t say anything, but let the heavy door slam behind her and stood staring at her father and Starrla.
Starrla had come to see Macavity quite a few times since that first time when she had come to convince him about letting Vulcana have her way with Flame. Starrla had never intended for it to be more than a one time thing, but she hadn’t anticipated the control Macavity would have over her. Every time after she was through with him, she would sit in her chambers and vow to herself never to do it again...but the next day, or the day after that she would see Macavity in the corridor, or in the courtyard. She would feel his piercing green eyes bore into her mind, and then he would beckon her, and she would follow. Gradually, she had given up vowing to stop, as she realized it was useless as long as Macavity didn’t want her to stop. It wasn’t that bad, because she was very attracted to Macavity, so she just made the best of it and enjoyed herself; not every queen is chosen to entertain the Hidden Paw.
Neither Macavity nor Starrla had noticed Flame enter his chambers, and perhaps they wouldn’t have noticed at all if it wasn’t for the slamming of the great oak door. Simultaniously Macavity and Starrla stopped their passionate activity and looked right at Flame, who was standing there with a look of horror on her face.
Macavity sat up with a jerk, his muscular, red arm still around Starrla, holding her tight. Macavity pulled Starrla up with him and she looked at Flame with eyes of hate, taunting her. Macavity glared with piercing eyes upon his younger daughter, oh how he despised her at the moment. He was not at all ashamed about what he was doing and he was disgusted with her for more than one reason. First of all, disgusted at the look of horror and shock she was giving him, her naiveness made him sick! Why couldn’t she just face that he had to keep himself satisfied somehow... And secondly he had been very involved with Starrla when she had decided to disrupt them, and Macavity was furious about that.
Macavity yelled in an incredibly loud voice “What the HELL are you doing here FLAME?” He wasn’t joking, and his voice was furious. Flame was even more startled at how her father was reacting, she started to back away. “Where the hell do you think you’re going, FLAME?” Macavity bellowed! Then his voice changed into a very dangerous tone, “You want to leave, do you? Well just run along and play, you witch, I’ll deal with you later.”
“I’ll...I’ll tell mom...” Flame said in a quiet but threatening voice as she started to leave.
“You’ll do what?” Macavity demanded, growing a little louder.
Flame avoided his eyes, “I’ll tell mom...” she mumbled, a little less sure of herself.
Macavity got a sick sort of smile on his face, Starrla was obviously intimidated being next to him, she was sitting completely still as Macavity tightened his grip on her with his growing rage. “Well, that information won’t do her much good,” Macavity’s grin grew broader, and he said almost gleefully “Especially when she’s dead.”
Flame gasped, shocked at what her father had said. Without another word Flame skidded frantically out of the room, bumping her knee into the door frame on her way out. She lost no time and continued limping down the corridor at a fast pace.
Flame was crying now, she didn’t know where she was going. ‘I’ve got to find mom!’ She kept thinking to herself, ‘I’ve got to warn her!’ Her tears had blinded her and she didn’t realize where she was going, then suddenly she stumbled into someone, Ratter, she sobbed into his arms, forgetting their earlier argument, just wanting to be held.
Ratter looked at Flame. ‘Why in the world is she crying?’ He thought to himself, while comforting her, “Hush now, it’ll be alright.” He smoothed out her wild red, orange, and yellow hair. She sniffled into his chest. Ratter didn’t know what to think, he was still angry about that morning, but if she needed his help he would help her.
“Its mom!” Flame gasped, between sobs.
“What about her?” Ratter asked in a soothing voice.
“Dad...he was with her!” Flame said horrified.
“With your mom?” Ratter asked, now he was confused.
“With Starrla!” Flame said, she spat out the bitter name.
Ratter looked confused at Flame, but she was staring right through him. “Honey,” he said, “Why don’t you explain things a little to me, I’m afraid I’m getting lost... Just what are you talking about Flame?”
Flame spluttered out the whole story while sobbing uncontrollably the whole time, into Ratter’s arms. “I...I burst into my dad’s chambers, and there they were...” She paused, trying to muster up the strength to continue, “There was my dad and Starrla, on his bed, and he had his arms around her, and they were kissing and....” She trailed off.
“I get the idea.” Ratter said, not wanting to force Flame to say anything more that she didn’t want to talk about, although, he himself was greatly interested in Starrla...
“And then,” Flame shuddered, “The door slammed and they both looked up, and...and...he yelled at me! He was mad! He yelled at me, like he yells at the Jellicles... he hates me Ratter, I really do believe he hates me...and then, when I said I’d tell mom, he said he was going to kill her!” Flame had told her tale, and she collapsed unable to continue, up against her friend Ratter.
Ratter was shocked, it wasn’t all that hard to imagine Macavity finding some young kitten to entertain him, but Macavity threatening to kill his mate? That was just a little shocking... “You’ve got to warn her Flame.” He said, rubbing her back, “Everything will work out, you’ll see.”
“But she’s not here!” Flame exclaimed, “She’s out on a raiding party! I won’t be able to warn her until she gets back, and by then, it might be too late!”
“Hush now, It won’t be too late, you can race out the second we here them coming, and you can tell her, and then we’ll solve this whole mess.” He was getting a little sick of comforting her, because he realized the only reason she was letting him hold her was because she was totally unaware of what was going on, she wasn’t even noticing him. “Why don’t you run along to your chambers, its probably best that you stay away from your father for a while.” Flame nodded and after several moments of gathering herself together, she left, and Ratter walked off alone to think things over.
Vulcana crept out from the corner she had been hiding in. ‘So my sister’s precious little innocent bubble she lives in has been shattered?’ Vulcana chuckled to herself, ‘Its about time someone got through to that naive kitten’s brain! And I find it particularly humorous that she found dad and Starrla together...heh...that must have been quite the shock! But what should I do about Ratter... I could kill him, but I don’t know, first I’ll consult Starrla about the whole thing, she’ll have more information, because she was with Macavity when it all happened.’ Vulcana walked silently down the corridor to her chambers.
Once Flame was gone Macavity loosened his grip on Starrla a little bit and she let out a deep breath. “That little wench!” Macavity cursed, “I’ll teach her to threaten me!”
Starrla opened her violet eyes wide, “I’m sure you’ll show her who’s boss.” She said, flattering to Macavity, “She should know better than to threaten you! That little witch!” Starrla climbed over into Macavity’s lap and began smoothing his mane.
Macavity relaxed a little, “That’s right sugar, we’ll teacher her a lesson.” He said pulling Starrla closer.
“Yes,” Starrla echoed, “We’ll teach her a lesson.” Macavity tilted her chin up and kissed her.
Vulcana came to her father’s door. She didn’t hesitate, he may have blown up at Flame, but he would never do so to her, because she would blow up right back. She opened the door quietly, she supposed her father had sent Starrla home and was now plotting by himself. Vulcana was surprised at what she saw: her father had Starrla pulled onto his lap, he was holding her tight, and they were kissing passionately. Vulcana scowled, as much as she tried she couldn’t get used to the idea of her best friend and her father doing stuff like this together...
“Uh...Dad?” She asked, deciding it was no good to stand there and watch.
Macavity growled slightly when he saw Vulcana, but he knew that there were matters to be discussed, so with great hesitation he detached himself from Starrla and turned to his oldest daughter. “What do you want?” Vulcana relayed all she had seen and heard with Flame and Ratter and waited for a response.
“Say...” Starrla’s violet eyes grew even brighter and even started to glow a bit, “I think I might have an idea.” She said all this in a quiet, thoughtful voice, wondering how they would react to what she had to say.
“What is it?” Macavity asked looking over to Starrla with a curious face.
“Well,” Starrla started off slow and cautious, “It occurred to me, through what you said, Vulcana, that...” she paused slightly, “Ratter might have some interest in me, and...perhaps,” Starrla took a deep breath and finished, “And perhaps I might be able to take advantage of his interest in me, to convince him to betray Flame.” She looked to Macavity nervously.
Macavity sat in silence for a moment and then an evil grin slowly spread over his face, “I like it. I like the way you think Starr.”
Starrla smiled flirtatiously, “Why thank you!”
Macavity looked proudly from Starrla to Vulcana, “I think this idea has a very good chance at success if Starrla gets right to it, now, while Ratter’s confused and hasn’t had much time to think things over.” Starrla and Vulcana sat still, thinking about what Macavity had said. “Well,” he continued motioning to Starrla, “You better get a move on, I’ll ‘talk’ with you later, when we’ve dealt with this.”
Starrla stood up and walked over to Macavity, she wrapped her arms around him and he did the same to her, “I’ll miss you terribly.” Starrla whispered.
Macavity squeezed her, “I’ll miss you too.” At a sound from Vulcana, the two came out of their hypnosis and went their separate ways. Vulcana and Starrla both left Macavity’s chambers, but each went their own way after the door shut: Starrla to find Ratter, and Vulcana to her own chambers. Macavity locked the door after them, and walked across the room to think and make further plans.
Starrla wondered where Ratter might be. Rather than search the whole fortress for him she decided to look in his chambers first. Starrla knocked softly at the door and paused to listen. She heard footsteps so she quickly smoothed her fur, and leaned up against the door. Ratter opened the door and Starrla fell into his arms. “Oh!” Starrla exclaimed, “I’m terribly sorry! I didn’t think that anyone would open the door, how silly of me, but I did hope I’d find you here Ratter!” She stood up but didn’t step away from Ratter, she looked right into his eyes and smiled adoringly.
“Oh!” Ratter was quite startled: startled that Starrla had fallen into his arms and was now inches away from him, and startled that she was at his door in the first place. “Starrla, er...” Ratter had no idea what to say, ‘But...’he thought to himself, ‘I might as well try my luck...’ “Do you want to come in?” ‘What the hell are you doing?’ He asked himself, ‘She’s Macavity’s lover, she could get you killed, she’s the enemy!’ But Ratter didn’t care, he really didn’t, if he had a chance with Starrla he was going to take it!
“I’d love to come in!” Starrla said, continuing to look adoringly at Ratter. She turned and reached for his hand and led him a little deeper into his room. The door shut behind them. Starrla had never been in Ratter’s chambers before, there was no reason why she would have. She hoped that if she started off being forward to Ratter that he wouldn’t need much convincing, and sure enough he took the hint.
Ratter was surprised and pleased at Starrla’s actions, he didn’t bother trying to think of a motive behind them, and frankly, he didn’t care. Ratter led Starrla over to a small couch where she sat down, he sat down close to her. Ratter slid his arm around Starrla and she leaned up against him, Ratter looked into her intriguing violet eyes and kissed her as he had always wanted to kiss her, and to his great joy she kissed back!
Starrla continued kissing Ratter. ‘This is too easy.’ she thought to herself, ‘He’ll do anything I want him to, I’m sure of it! I’ve got him wrapped around my finger.’ In an admiring voice she said to Ratter “Oh you are so handsome! I don’t know why I never came to see you before!”
Ratter, keeping his first arm around Starrla lay her down on the couch and sent the other arm exploring. Starrla didn’t resist.
Ratter lay there on the couch, Starrla in his arms, and he wondered at what he had just done. ‘You traitor!’ he screamed to himself in his mind, ‘Flame’s counting on you to help her and what have you done? You’ve gone and slept with the enemy! I don’t believe you!’ But he did believe himself, because deep down inside he didn’t care about Flame, he cared about Starrla, and in a much different way. He’d do anything she wanted, he was sure of that, and Ratter wasn’t sure if that was a good or a bad thing.
Starrla rolled over so her face was inches from Ratter’s face. “Ratter,” she whispered, their noses touching, “You haven’t been talking to Flame lately have you?”
Ratter had some idea of where this was going and he decided to jump right in and say so “You mean about her wanting to protect Etcetera, and hurt Macavity or something?”
“Yes.” Starrla whispered, “That’s exactly what I was talking about.”
“What do you want to know?” Ratter asked, totally devoted, he would do or say anything she wanted him to!
“Well, Ratter,” Starrla said dangerously, “Flame is a problem, and must be dealt with, but now, you’re the only one she trusts, so...we need your help.”
“You want me to trick Flame?”
“I want you to betray her.”
“Betray her.” Flame looked steadily into Ratter’s eyes, “Will you do it?”
Ratter hesitated for a moment, but only a moment, Flame had been his best friend, but Starrla had given him what Flame never would, and he didn’t really care for Flame anymore, he didn’t want to be on her side, whatever side had Starrla, Vulcana, and Macavity on it was going to win anyway. He took a deep breath, looked back into Starrla’s eyes and said the life changing words, “Yes, I will betray Flame.”
Ratter ran to the courtyard to find Flame. He raced up to her and gasped breathlessly, “They’re coming! We’ve got to get to them before the others do!”
“What?” Flame demanded, “Who’s coming? My mother?”
“Oh my gosh! Flame grabbed Ratter’s hand and took off at a sprint for the fortress gates. She didn’t stop running until they were safely outside the fortress. Then she looked nervously over to Ratter, “What should we do?”
Uh oh, it was time for Ratter to choose once and for all whose side he was on, would he help Flame escape from her Father and sister, or would he do what he had promised Starrla? He already knew that he would do what he had said he would, so Ratter took a deep breath and lied to Flame. “I know what to do Flame, your father, Vulcana, and Starrla are coming, I saw them with my own eyes, and there is only one way you can save yourself and your mother.”
“What?” Flame asked, she was very afraid now and willed Ratter to explain quickly.
“Flame, you have the gift of fire.”
“Flame, remember how powerful you are when you let yourself get mad?”
“Yes, but I’m out of control, remember?”
“No Flame, its the only way you can over power them, you’ve got to get mad and let the fire take over. Its the only way Flame.” Ratter was sure that he could convince her. He knew as well as she did that when she let the fire take over she lost control completely, but he also knew something she didn’t know, and that was that when she lost control it wouldn’t help her to win, it would seal her fate in another way...
Flame thought about her powers, but before she could reach a decision, two things happened: Her mother’s raiding party approached from in front of them, and Macavity, Vulcana, and Starrla stalked up from behind. Flame saw her mother and started to run towards her, when she realized who was coming up in the other direction. Flame stood there, torn at what to do, her mother smiling and waving on one side, her father glaring dangerously on the other. “Fire!” she heard Ratter call, “Its the only way!” So she did just that.
Flame let herself grow angry at her father, Vulcana, and Starrla for all they had ever done to her. She felt the heat racing up to her head, she heard her heart pounding in her ears, she felt her eyes burning and saw the first of the sparks. Her eyes turned a solid red and Flame lost all control.
“Hah! Mother, don’t worry I will show these fiends who is boss!” Flame cried out to Etcetera who was now only several paces away, the other cats who had been on the raiding party lingered in the distance, afraid of Flame’s eyes.
Etcetera gasped at her younger daughter, “Flame! Flame stop it, you hear? Come back to us Flame!” Etcetera tried to call her little kitten back, but it was in vain.
Flame didn’t hear anyone, all she heard were the voices in her head telling her to destroy her father, to destroy Vulcana, to destroy Starrla! The voices grew louder and louder and more and more sparks flew out of Flame’s fierce fiery eyes! Flame hopped around madly for several minutes, screeching out curses on Macavity, and then she ran at him.
Etcetera screamed out, frantically trying to save her baby girl. Ratter stepped aside, not knowing what to do. The eyes of the many cats who had been looking on widened in terror. Vulcana smiled, for she knew what was to come. Starrla looked to Macavity with adoration. Macavity’s eyes filled up with hate for his rebellious kitten who was running at him, and with one heavy, fatal blow to the head he sent her sprawling into the ground.
So there you have it, here’s my life flashing before my eyes and all I see is a stupid, naive kitten who let her best friend betray her, and walked blindly into a death trap without putting up a fight, I deserve to die, but then I guess in these last microseconds I don’t have a chance to change it anyway so it doesn’t matter.
Etcetera was frantic now. She ran to her kitten, her baby girl, her little daughter, she was crying hysterically! Etcetera lifted up her limp daughter and cradled her in her arms. Etcetera looked lovingly into the eyes of her beloved kitten, the eyes that had gone from enchanting green, to destructive red, to a filmy pale green color, glazed over in death. Etcetera wailed out in grief. She pulled her daughter tight, she tried to will Flame’s soul back, but it was gone. Flame, kitten of fire was dead.
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