Cat in the Kettle
Chapter 8: Cat in the Kettle
Do we only lie because we want other people to smile?... I did.
I was asleep while Eddie was setting his “prank”. I did find out about it later on and I still laugh my butt off thinking about it. But that’s another story.
Brandy had set me back into that small nest, while he went to get ready for bed. I had planned on running away as soon as he was asleep, but I drifted off not even five seconds after he set me down. It must be because I was still young. I was happy to be asleep for once because I wasn’t being plagued with a nightmare from my past life. I still saw my past again… Though, it just wasn’t one of the bad memories like it usually was.
“Hey Terry,” I smiled, “You all rested up?”
My little fighter was all fired up after he materialized from his bell. He looked up at me and pointed at my face, he sounded like he asked me a question I didn’t want to answer.
I covered up my eye, “Oh, this don’t worry about it. I wasn’t looking where I was going.”
The tree spirit eyeballed me for a minute, then sighed. Needless to say, Terry wasn’t convinced. He plopped on the ground to ignore my poor explanation.
“Hey, don’t give me that,” I begged as I got down on one knee, “I ran into a locker door.”
“(Liar. You ran into trouble again, that’s what you did.),” Terry smiled slightly giving me that ‘you’s think I was born yesterday’ look.
Now I was shocked. No not me back when. Me dreaming this now. This was a dream remember? Back before then, I thought that Terry had said something different. Being a Yokai now, I guess I’m now remembering what he was really saying. I wanted to speak, but the words didn’t come out. I was forced to watch as the memory continued like a film.
“Yeah, I need some glasses don’t I?” I then laughed like an idiot, “So what’s the game today?”
“(Well, at least he’s my idiot, not wanting me to worry.),” Terry smiled, smacking me on the leg, “(TAG! You’re it!)”
The reptile ran away after hitting me. I immediately knew what he wanted to play. as I leaped to my feet to chase after Terry.
~...At least, I got that last part of his sentence right...~ I thought as I watched my dream-self chase after Terry.
~...I sure do miss him, though...~ I started to tear up, ~...Of all the Yokai in the region, they had to steal mine...~
“Gotcha Terry,” my dream-self reached out to catch him, but Terry vanished into a mist before contact.
~...No, I can’t lose him again!...~ I wailed and stormed down. My dream-self faded into the background.
“You never had him back in the first place,” an older voice said as the dream world also vanished. Something uncomfortable about watching yourself turn into mist and disappear. In the blink of an eye, I wound up back to being a Phoenix again.
“(What just...),” I stopped because I was speaking Phoenix again, “(Oh Joy!)”
“Now we can talk without any restrictions.”
I turned to find a fully grown silver Kyuubi towering over me. For some reason, I wasn’t scared. She wasn’t frightening in the least to me. I knew that she could eat me if she wanted to, but also knew that she wasn’t going to. It was like she was a Guardian Angel, always there. I even realized that she was talking in pure English. I knew of only one Yokai that could do that.
“Guilty as charged,” Kubbi bowed her head to me.
She then told me that I was descended from an ancient line of kings and was, like her total hero. She tells me that in my past lives I used to be great warriors throughout all time. Telling me of how I slew thunder dragons and banished gryphons.
And all about how I... I um, uh... Oh, forget it! How many of you would actually believe all that?
She did bow, but just slightly. I only stared like an idiot, because she was extremely beautiful and attractive. I’m sorry, but I think that it’s just my Yokai brain acting up. Besides, she’s way too old for me.
“Do you know why I’m here?”
“(You're here about all those prayers about me, right?)”
“Pfft, you wish,” she laughed slightly, “I barely even listen to half of those in the first place and there were only three of those people who even prayed for you.”
“(So then there were six out of nine. That’s not too-)”
“No, just three. Only three attempted to pray for you and your soul,” Kubbi paused to shake her head, “but that’s not why I’m here.”
“(Then are you here to destroy my self-esteem.)”
“Nah, you damaged it enough,” she joked, “I’m here about your second life.”
“(Well, what about it?)”
“Well, you should know that once a life is gone then it can’t be restored. Correct?”
“(Well, Yeah... So wha-. Oh God! You’re not here to take me to the other side are you?)”
“(Please don’t take me! There’s things that I need to do before I move on.)”
“I’m not here to take you away. I just wish to tell you about how precious this gift is.”
“(Oh…),” I tilted my head, “(is that it?)”
“What do you mean by ‘is that it’?”
“(Yeah, I mean, you’re Kubbi. The Kubbi. I was sort of expecting something other than being told that I need to be careful with my second chance and to not throw it away again, and how it’s so precious, and blah, blah, blah.)”
“Alright then, How about if I gave you some information about being a Reborn?”
“(What else is there to know.),” I snorted, “(I died and I came back. That pretty much sums it up right there.)”
“Were you always this annoying?”
“(Um...),” I was thinking of what to say when this radiant light started to shine in between us. It blinded me for a few seconds.
“(Jonathan... Jonathan...),” a familiar voice called out in a dynamic echo, “(Your destiny is calling you, Jonathan. An Epic Quest to save the entire world. You must search for the-)
That noise was Kubbi hitting Sigma in the back of his head and out of his spotlight, (Ow! Do you mind!)”
“Do you mind,” the silver fox growled at the puffball, “Go highjack someone else’s dream!”
“(No, I needs him!),” Sigma whined.
“Then get in line, because I was here first.”
“(Yeah, well... I was born first!)”
“Only by a Millennia! I need to be here!”
“(Well, I need to be here more, Bitch!)”
“Hey! I am a Fox! Show some respect!”
“(Sorry, but all you non-cats look the same to me.)”
“Well, how would you feel if I called you a Pussy...”
“(Well I’d...),” Sigma paused for a moment to think about it, “(Okay, point taken. However, you are so lucky to be dead right now.)”
“(You know, I’m feeling much better now, so...)” I backed up away from them, slowly heading for the door that was conveniently marked ‘exit’, “(I’m just going to wake up now and forget this ever happened.)”
“(No!!! I need to talk to you right now!),” Sigma caught me in a purple bubble.
“What could be so important that you need him for?”
“(Well, I guess you should know... It’s your medallion... it was lost!)”
“My what is lost!,” Kubbi’s silver fur turned a distinct white, “Where was it lost! Tell me or else I’m going to be having a Cat in the Kettle.”
“(No. We can’t be having you look for it.),” Sigma then physically pulled me and my prison in front of him like a shield, “(Which is why I need John here.)”
“But he’s human!”
“(Not anymore he’s not, so Its power shouldn’t cause any problems.),” Sigma smirked, “(Just like that loser who lost it.)”
“But he’s also immature, disrespectful, short-tempered,” Kubbi listed.
“(I seem to remember a little Kitsune that used to be like that.)”
“Don’t you dare bring her up again,” Kubbi was really mad now.
“(I didn’t...),” Sigma sighed, “(I was talking about you.)”
Kubbi calmed down slowly, but surely, “...fine, but are you sure that it won’t affect him? He still has the spirit of a human.”
“(So did that airhead you entrusted it too! John should be able to find the Phoenix Gate, no problem.)”
“(Look, whatever the Hell you want me to do),” I huffed, “(I won’t do it!)”
“(Oh come on, Please!),” Sigma whined like a little child, “(I’ll give you anything if you do.)”
“(NO! I just want to...),” I stopped, anything means a lot to me, “(Anything? As in Infinitely Mystical Yokai Powers Anything?)”
“(Of course, there are exceptions.)”
“(For one, I can’t change the past. What happened, happened. Time travel is not in my jurisdiction. Second, I’m not going to do something stupid, like a lifetime of servitude, or a new world order, or go get senseless revenge on someone you don’t like or...)”
“Bring back the dead,” Sigma glared at Kubbi for some reason, “What? It’s true, isn’t it?”
“(I told you, there was nothing that I could do about that.),” Sigma knocked her lightly on the head, “(I wasn’t even there, so stop bringing it up.)”
“(Well, my mother. I want to let her know that... No. I want her to be... I don’t know.),” I had to think about it more, but not for much longer, “(Can you make it so that I died differently?)”
“(I told you that I can’t change the past.)”
“(I know, but can you change everyone’s memories of how I died.),” I explained, “(Make it look like I died by some accident instead.)”
“(Do I look like a miracle worker to you?),” Sigma placed his paws on his large hips, “(there’s only so much that I can do.)”
“But that is something that I can do,” Kubbi stepped forward, “I will only do it when you find the relic in time.”
“(But my mom she’d...),” I was about to cry again, “(After losing Dad, she’s been... At least do it for her now, then the rest of whoever needs it later.)”
“No,” Kubbi sneered, “Relic first. Reward later.”
“(But my mom would-)”
“Your mother will live after a few days of being heartbroken,” Kubbi then turned away and sighed, “Believe me, she’ll live, but when you succeed she won’t remember why she was crying so hard. I promise.”
“(Alright... I’ll trust you.),” I then turned to face Sigma, “(So what am I supposed to do again?)”
Before Sigma had the chance to say anything, it was already morning.
And I had forgotten everything.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Good morning,” Brandy smiled. He was packing up his things.
“(Morning Dad.),” I chirped still half asleep.
“Sleep well,” he asked as he rubbed me on the head.
“(Like a rock.),” I answered almost wanting to go back to sleep. I couldn’t remember what I dreamed about, but I knew it wasn’t another nightmare.
“Had good dreams, Milkshake?”
“(I think so... Hey wait! Don’t Call Me Milkshake!),” I screamed wide awake now, wishing that I could be out of this nightmare for once.
Meanwhile, in the forest, two teenagers were still asleep in an unfamiliar setting. As the sunlight finally seeped through the plastic window, the boy was the first to slowly wake up.
“Ow, my head,” Tyrone rubbed his temples, “What happened last night?”
“Where are we,” Karen groaned as her sleeping bag covers nearly slipped down.
“What the…,” Tyrone covered his eyes, “Ohgodohgodohgod!”
“What? What’s the matter?”
“I think tha-that you lo-lost o-our bet,” Tyrone stuttered as Karen checked.
“What did you do,” Karen yelled at the top of her lungs, “Get out, Pervert!”
“Okay, I’m...,” Tyrone stopped getting out of his sleeping bag, “I can’t.”
“Well, why not!”
“I have the same problem as you...,” Tyrone blushed.
“Pervert,” Karen screamed again, “I don’t care if you crawl out like a worm! Get out!”
“Where’s the zipper on this thing?”
“I don’t know! It’s your tent!”
“This is not my tent!”
“Of course, it is! Whose else would it be!”
“I don’t know,” Tyrone said as he moved to another wall of the tent, “Ow! Hey, I found Leo’s bell... and Kiki’s… and a note.”
“Give me that,” Karen swiped the piece of paper from Tyrone’s hand. She read it, but not out loud. She suddenly blushed and then handed it back to Tyrone.
Dear Debt Slaves,
Last night, I had a bad case of insomnia. This was very bad for me because I make a living by fishing for bass, carp and Water Yokai. It would be very bad if I should fall asleep while fishing. To correct this problem, I decided to go for a little walk to burn off any excess energy that I had. While I was out, I overheard your little bet. (Lame battle there by the way.) I then went home and took a nap. This morning I found that you two were still at it. So after I saved both of your lives, I found that the battle was officially a draw.
The bet was “If you don’t win you had to...“, and Since neither one of you won, this means that both of you had to pay the price. I am sorry if you two are a little freaked out, but I can’t resist a prank. Know that I didn’t do anything inappropriate while you were sleeping. Well, except maybe a quick cup check. (Kidding, seriously.) Keep the tent as thanks for the smiles and an apology for the cruel joke that I pulled. Your clothes are waiting for you in your backpacks.
Always smiling, :D
p.s. Jake wishes you both the best of luck, but would appreciate it if you said “Hello”, “Thank you for saving our lives” or even “Good night”, before you going to sleep. :P