Stories by: Mirri

The Tall Tails of Catwood

Chapter Few


Tika’s door is slammed aside by a happy tigress, ”Hey Tika, guess what!?”

The leopard growls and blinks his eyes a few times at the rude intruder, ”Sis..? What time is it?”

”Time to get up and guess what!?”

Tika’s head falls to the pillow again with a groan, ”What, sis?”

”I passed Basic Magic yesterday! Woo-hoo!” She jumps backwards in a flip-flop out into the exercise room, ending with a soaring leap that sends her the nearly 30 feet into the air it takes to reach and tag the crossbeam under the ceiling in the middle of the room. She giggles and runs towards the stairs, ”C’mon, breakfast is ready.”

Tika keeps snoozing for the five minutes he knows he can drag it before his mom comes up to get him out of bed. He puts on his cloth, rubs his eyes and exhales deeply as he stumbles down the stairs. Mirri is already engaged in eager conversation with her parents, ”And the telekinesis test really wasn’t as hard as I had thought, and the healing one was just a piece of cake!”

Mika grins and fuzzles her daughter, ”That’s great. Now you’re ready for Intermediate Magic. If you’re just as quick at that, we won’t even have to pay as much as we thought. You can go straight to the Academy after that.”

”Yeah I know. Isn’t it cool Tika?!” She turns to her brother who sits and nods every time he falls asleep again, just staring at his Gorvenian pastry, ”Huh?”

Mika smiles, contrary to Mirri’s snort of complaint, ”I think someone didn’t get enough sleep, hmm?”

Tika smiles drowsily, eyes half-closed, ”Naw, I’m fine.” He swallows some breakfast in between the lapses of consciousness and is soon on the road with his sister, on the way to school.

”Last day of school before the weekend, huh bro?” She would have elbowed him in the side at this point, but just looking at him she is afraid if she does he will just fall to the ground and not be able to get up again, ”You sleep bad?”

”Yeah.. so tell me about this magic thing you passed.”

Mirri lights up an in enthusiastic grin, ”Well! There’s se7en circles or disciplines that you have to pass. There’s Healing, that goes without saying; there’s Time, which is basically how to read and move a lot faster than usual, at our level anyway; there’s Telekinesis, moving pencils, boxes, heheh.. and knives without touching them; there’s Pyrokinesis, we’re only supposed to know about how to make fake fire and small flames on our body that don’t hurt us, but I can make a campfire 60 feet away. I hear that’s what they learn in Intermediate Magic; then there’s Mind, that’s the first one we learned where we can shield our thoughts and emotions from the older students who are learning how to read them, and transfer images or a single word to someone else. Oh, that reminds me I better try to see if it works on Sen, my teacher said most animals are highly receptive to commands if you show them a mental picture of what you want ‘em to do; and then there’s Hydrokinesis and Terrakinesis, where we learn how to shape water and earth and how to move it around, duh. I can’t really see much use of it unless you wanna study Life & Forces at the Academy, then you have to know the two circles.” She just keeps rambling while Tika is having enough trouble concentrating on walking in a somewhat straight line, ”I can’t wait to start IM after the weekend. On the Intermediate level this school adds a metal/woodshop circle just for the year, where you learn how to bend and shape it permanently. I think that’s what dad used to build our house before we were born. Hey, but y’know he could have used this other cool circle I heard about at the Academy wher.. Tika? Hey, Tika. You awake?”

Tika blinks at her touch, ”Huh? What? Yeah, yeah. I’m alright.”

The school towers to the sky ahead of them, ”Well, we’re here. I don’t have Basic Magic today of course so I’m off early. Want me to wait for ya?”

Tika just nods and stumbles off towards his wing, ”Yeah, that’s fine.”

Mirri looks concerned after her brother and shakes her head before heading for her own wing.

At lunchtime, Mirri goes to the trouble of walking all the way to Tika’s canteen instead of eating in her own. She opens the door and looks down the huge hall at all the colorful furs around the place, ”Great..” she mumbles to herself and closes her eyes and turns her head around in the hall to try to find her brother. A red burst of light flashes from somewhere that appears to be under her eyelids once she turns in a certain direction. She opens her eyes and starts off, looking for a black and white fur.

Tika sits with Kesonam and a few others, laughing and seemingly having a great time while talking about their game of Bredarium Hockey. Mirri spots them and smiles to herself, so he did manage to wake up after all. She wonders if she will be welcome at the table too, but decides not to bother them and turns to head back to her own wing.

Lero jumps as high as he can, luckily catching the round disc with the glove on his tail before it hits the blue hovering globe behind him. He moves his tail back and yips with exertion as he slings the disc as hard as he can to one of the wolves on the same team as him. The gray/white lupus catches it with the glove on his tail, spins around and hurls it to the other end of the court, a few furs try to catch it, but to no avail. The yellow disc slams against the floating blue sphere, making it light up instantly and give off a loud beep.

Tika and Kesonam just stare at each other, ”Lucky raccoon.. I don’t like this game at all.”

The lion slaps Tika on the back, ”I thought you had lightning reflexes.”

”They only work when I concentrate, you know that. Who can concentrate in this noise??”

The players hardly hear one of the doors in the hall close shut as Mirri enters. She looks around, locates her brother and moves to sit on one of the middle rows of the benches beside the court.

All the furs are focusing on the game fully and the teacher moves around between the five courts, generally yelling at everyfur to do better than that. Mirri closes her eyes and thinks of a picture of her on the bench seen from the court below, she keeps the image fixed in her mind and tries to aim at a familiar mind between all the others running around on the court below. Luckily, this is much easier with furs you know and Tika suddenly stops up down there, looking around for something. He sees Mirri up on the bench and waves at her before being pushed by his teammates and told to pay attention to the game. The tigress pulls a few books on contemporary magic out of her school bag, crosses her legs and starts reading silently.

Eventually the teacher blows the whistle as the last lesson ends. Kesonam stands on the court with Tika and a couple other furs, panting as the game ends. He grins and points at the benches on the west wall, ”Hey guys, look up there.”

The five furs gaze up at the reading tigress and blinks, ”Wow.. please tell me she’s gonna join this class. Please!”

Kesonam whews and wipes his forehead, ”What a hot lil’ number..”

Tika’s eyes flash enraged and he pushes the lion’s shoulder, pretty hard, ”Don’t talk about my sister like that!”

Kesonam is nearly pulled off his feet and glares back at the defiant leopard. A month ago he would probably have gone into a fight with the little critter just to show no one messes with him and to keep his pride intact. He stands wobbling between the two choices for a while before smiling disarmingly at his friend, ”Hey, sorry Tika. Didn’t know it was your sister.”

Tika seems to accept the apology and stops glaring, he just walks for the showers. Kesonam looks at the others who turn too and walk away, sighing softly to himself about his lost status, ”Well, at least I have a real friend now.” He looks up at Mirri for a few more moments before accompanying his classmates.

Kesonam walks through the door just as all the males are gathered in a crowd in the other end of the locker room, laughing and preparing for something. He takes his shirt off and walks over to see what is going on, ”Hey, what’s up guys?”

”A ugly face contest,” somefur shouts.

”Yeah Kes, wanna join?”

Kesonam backs away and shrugs, ”Heh, no thanks.”

A raccoon waves his paw rejecting at the lion, ”Yeah, you’d probably beat us all paws down anywho. Ready? Okay here we go. One, two, now!”

All the faces of the furs in the corner suddenly go completely distorted and odd noises are coming from the crowd. Kesonam walks into the shower where Tika is washing and standing on his toes to see over in the other end of the room, ”Hey, what’s going on over there?”

”A contest. They try to see who can make the ugliest face. I’d say no matter what they do it’ll end in a draw.”

Wild laughter and cheers are heard from the group as one of the wolves is announced the winner, he is the only one to still keep his face distorted, all the others had broken down in laughter at some else’s face already. The raccoon who seems to be the new popular fur in the class speaks up, ”I think we have a wiener! And what an ugly dog face it is! Let’s hear it for Maraga.” The wolf jumps onto the bench and bows several times in every direction, ”Thank you, thank you. I just want to thank everyfur who participated in this contest, and remember it’s not about whether you win or lose here, it’s about how stupid you look.” He waits for the whistling and applause to die down, ”I’d also like to thank the one fur I owe all this to... my big sister. She was truly my inspiration today. Thank you once again everyfur, I’ll be here all week and don’t forget to tip your waitress.” He jumps down amidst the cheering and clapping mob and is victoriously carried to his locker.

Tika giggles and shakes his head, ”Crazy furs.”

They all disappear one by one until just a handful are left, most of them including Kesonam and Tika have already dried themselves off and is on their way out the door, ”So.. this sister of yours, what’s her name?” Kesonam pokes curiously.


For some reason, something snaps in Kesonam’s mind as he hears her name, ”Mirri... she lives with you in the tree house I take it?”

”Yup.” Tika searches through his locker and tries to find the book he is supposed to read in till after the weekend.

”What’s she like?”

Tika shrugs, ”She’s okay... sometimes. She goes to the east wing, just passed Basic Magic yesterday. She’s crazy about philosophy and stuff I think. Keeps her muzzle buried in books all the time.”

Kesonam just looks out in the blue dreamily, ”Wow....”

”Aha!” Tika rips a book out of his locker and places it on the bench.

”Have you ever played some games with her?”

Tika stops all movement and current thoughts and turns his head slowly to his friend. He stares at him a bit to search for a sign of anything on his face, but the lion just stares back innocently, ”Well.. yeah, sure I have. Some time ago.”

Kesonam smirks, ”Did she ever play a game with you called ‘Who is right?’”

The leopard gazes silently for a few long moments before his tail moves and shows signs of life again, ”Not really sure, doesn’t sound familiar. Why do you ask?”

Kesonam snickers and shrugs, ”Just curious.”

Tika is not really sure what to think about that question, ”What is it?”

The lion closes his locker, ”Oh nothing, just a sort of mind-twisting game about the universe. I think you would have remembered it if she had. She would’ve played it pretty recently I think.”

Tika slams his locker shut and scrapes the books on the bench into his backpack, ”Then I think the answer would be no.”

They both move into the hall again to get the tigress too, Tika in the lead, ”Hey Mirri, get your stripy butt in gear. We’re going home.”

Mirri looks up and smiles, ”Alright.” She packs her stuff and walks down to the two, her eyes twinkling a bit as she sees Kesonam. The lion merely smiles foolishly and steps on his own foot as he gets his first good view of the anthrotigress.

Mirri has a very sleekly athletic form, long whiskers, and black stripes cover practically all of her fur, although mostly distinguished on her sides, back, and legs. The base color of her fur is a sort of orange amber, a bit lighter and not as dark orange as most tigers’. She has the typical golden creamy into white color along the insides of her legs, her chest, throat, belly and all the way to her fluffy chin. Her soft coat is well groomed and free from any visible cuts or bruises and shines back beautifully when the light reflects on her nearly angel white front. She takes great pride in keeping herself clean.

Kesonam’s eyes move up to her gleaming sea-blue ones, friendly and enigmatic, with a hint of mischief not very well-hidden under the surface, and a distinctively feline secretive smile that seems to reveal everything and yet, nothing.

Her demeanor is that of curiosity and cheerfulness, her azure eyes constantly sparkling and taking in every sight around her. They stand out beneath her fine brow like a ray of sunlight through the darkness.

Slightly tattered spherical ears are perched on her head, sticking out of her long, yellowish gold hair, they are pinkish-brown on the inside and flicker and turn, curious as to what goes on around her. A black nose rests in the middle of her delicate features, ever faithfully smelling the surroundings and keeping her alert. The tigress is smaller than most furs, but certainly not small in beauty.

”So.. this must be the famed, unreachable Kesonam, yes?” She looks sideways at her bro. There is a peculiar gracefulness in her playful features, visible in the way she moves, talks and generally carries herself. The thin, lengthy, curving tail coils between her legs constantly in motion, adding to the atmosphere of playfulness and curiosity around her. Kesonam’s eyes remain fixed on her athletic feline body just a little too long to be regarded as a casual glance. He finally catches himself and grins sheepishly, shrugging and concentrating the whole time on not saying anything stupid. He fails miserably at the first try, ”Well.. I uhh.. I’m Kesonam, yeah, heh.. uhh.. but you can call me Kes.” His eyes move downwards to scrutinize the last few details he missed about her, which includes the black, primitive skirt similar to Tika’s with a hole in the back for her tail to hang freely. With the training in the arts of magic that Kesonam has had, he can intuitively tell that there is a strange, albeit powerfully fiery red aura about her. Mirri just smiles back slyly, flicking her tail and flashing her indigo eyes at the lion as invitingly as she has learned, ”Okay then.. Kes.”

Tika thinks this might get really bad and pushes the two along, ”C’mon, c’mon.. let’s go.”

Kesonam swings the duffel bag with his stuff over his shoulder and they start walking along, ”I was just.. umm.. asking Tika if you guys have ever played a game called ‘Who is right’?”

Mirri’s brow rises as she looks over at the lion, ”Well.. yes, I have. Not Tika.” She cants her head and smiles, a bit of an admiring tone in her voice, ”How do you know the game?”

The lion keeps his voice from reaching the high tones of joyful ecstasy and even manages to sneak a little pride into it, ”I’m an avid player.”

Tika does not like the way his sister is staring right through him and only notices the lion walking by his side.

”You’re kidding!? I’ve never actually met another player in real life before. Wow.. I only thought it was y’know highly educated furs who knew how to play that. Are you any good?”

Kesonam sniffs with a hint of superciliousness, ”Pretty good if I should say so myself.”

Tika constantly keeps himself between the two to make sure they do not stare themselves blind at each other, ”Can we talk about something else? Please?”

Mirri shoots her brother a glance that would make a Sworbehian steel-eater turn tail and run, but the subject is dropped for the moment.

After a walk more extensive than Kesonam has made in a long time, the two siblings suddenly stop at a tree while Kesonam continues a few more steps before noticing anything, ”Huh?”

”This is it, Kes.”

Kesonam looks at the incredibly wide tree, you could almost fit a villa inside the base of it. His gaze continues up the trunk and up, and up, and up, and up... Gigantic, massive, immense, tremendous, colossal, enormous, mammoth and huge completely fails to describe the size of the redwood tree in front of him.

”Oh my gods...” He thinks he can see the large green top of it, but it blends into the other tree tops beside it at that height, ”Please tell me you don’t climb home every day...”

Tika grins and slaps the lion on his back, ”Don’t worry, Kes.” He moves to the bushes and vegetation surrounding the roots the size of small trucks and fumbles around. Suddenly a seven feet doorway opens at the side of the tree and Mirri leads the way inside. It is very dark, so Kesonam’s senses flare into action to try to make him able to feel where he is. A very bad move on their part, since the doorway Mirri suddenly rips open blinds the poor lion for half a minute. They all three step into the elevator with enough room for 10 furs or so and start the ascent. Kesonam thinks it takes an awful long time to get to the top, but then again this place is also a lot taller than the local mall.

The elevator door opens and Tika steps out, ”Mooom.. we’re home.”

Kesonam moves out behind him and follows him down the short reception corridor to the grandiose living room. A finely made fireplace adorns a part of the northern wall, and a plentiful supply of firewood stands nearby, giving the room a very comfortable feel to it. Some beanbags stand in safe distance away from the fireplace, almost begging him to sit down in them and gaze into the hypnotic dancing flames. There is one sofa-like beanbag much larger than the others, but all of them look good enough to sleep in as well as relaxing, depending on your whim. The walls are made of the same wood that the tree is and has been polished endlessly to a smooth, shiny finish. Even if you wanted to you probably could not get splinters in your paw by stroking the surface. Kesonam notices a peculiar pattern set in the wood paneling of the walls. Staring at it a bit and using a little imagination, he can begin to distinguish many images of great felines prowling, stalking and generally acting catty, apparently carved into the wooden wall itself like a huge cave painting. In the western end of the living room is a comfortable-looking couch of the real kind, painted (hopefully) in a tiger striped pattern, set so a fur could watch the sunrise at appropriate times through the floor-to-ceiling panorama windows set in the outer wall. Kesonam steps spellbound to the window and Mirri smiles at him, following silently. The lion moves close enough to almost touch the glass with his nose and gapes at the magnificent view of the entire Anaconda Jungle.

The most of the enormous trees at the far edge of the jungle actually look like little matchsticks from way up here. Conveniently enough this tree seems to be the only one of its colossal size in the nearby area, maybe even the tallest one in the entire jungle. The one sun in the sky today is on its way down from the noon median and is turning orange already. It casts long shadows from the slightly taller trees in the distance over the smaller ones beside them and gives the whole jungle a very vast, three dimensional perspective. A flock of birds take flight from somewhere in the middle of the scenery, as if on cue to make Kesonam loose his balance in awe and smack his nose against the window.

”Ow.. I mean, wow..”

Senajit comes padding up to the newcomer, sniffs him and then rubs himself against his legs, purring.

Tika raises a brow, ”That’s weird. He usually growls at furs when they visit.”

Kesonam lets the nature be for the moment and bends down to give the tiger a good rubbing behind his ears, ”Good boy.” He looks up and notices the parts of the room he did not see before: An expensive-looking table made from ebony has been placed in front of the couch, along with a suitable covering woven from silk. His ears perk at a gurgling noise and he finally sees the Jacuzzi at the east end of the living room, ”Heeey...”

Tika leads the way and steps up the stairs to the tiled floor around the Jacuzzi. The steps lead to an elevated platform that makes the Jacuzzi look like it is built into the floor when you stand where Tika is now. What looks to be the controls for it are set in the wall within easy reach. A set of hangers for shed clothes stands near the controls, and a tall stack of clean white towels is ready to be applied to wet fur.

”Cooool..” Kesonam admires, ”We’ll have to try that sometime.”

Tika smiles and jumps down to the floor again beside Mirri, ”Sure thing. Over here’s the kitchen.”

The trio moves up the three steps to the kitchen and Kesonam gets a chance to look around here too. It all looks clean and tidy, not at all the campfire and grinding stone Kesonam had imagined when first meeting Tika. It is very large, keeping to the theme of the whole house, and well equipped indeed. There is a large wooden counter made of some undeterminable, but very beautiful and most likely solid lumber, lining all around and also being the entire wall to separate kitchen and living room, and a metal sink is set into the counter. The counter has cupboards set in it, with room for various cutlery and kitchen equipment. The southern wall has a stove for cooking food properly, complete with baking oven. Also, a large refrigerator hums quietly to itself where it stands with its back to the outer wall. Various closets and cupboards are along that wall as well, filled with foodstuffs that do not need refrigeration, only a dry and dark storage environment. Some medium-sized windows gives a view of the southern through western jungle, and a fan above the stove can be activated to blow the fumes of cooking out of the house.

This just keeps getting weirder and weirder for Kesonam, ”Uhh.. what’s in here?” He proceeds through the only other door to emerge in the smallest room he has seen so far. It lies to the right of the corridor from the elevator with a massive wall to divide the two, but this place is a lot darker than the other rooms since there is only one window.

It is a room with a few hangers and a chest of drawers for prospective guests to put their clothes if they wish, although with the warmth that usually suffuses the jungle, most furs who live here wear only the most necessary of garments. Kesonam can feel the heat even inside the house, he is really not dressed for this environment.

There is a large freezer buzzing happily against one wall and a door leading outside apparently, but the sole purpose of this room seems to be hosting the broad stairway leading up to the second floor past a platform to make the stairs bend back again to save space. A few smaller blankets and a very large one lie spread under the stairs, most likely the pet tiger’s bed.

The door with the lone window in this room attracts Kesonam’s attention the most, ”What’s out here?” He says, not waiting for an answer before he opens the door to step out. Tika jumps in behind him and answers before Mirri can react, ”It’s our balcony that leads halfway around the house.”

Kesonam stops once clearing the doorway, he inhales the gentle breeze deeply and slowly opens his eyes again to enjoy the splendid view, now brought even closer to him. Looking out over the jungle canopy, the only thing that somewhat obscures his view of the breathtaking nature is the light mist that arises from all jungles worth their salt. From up here, the jungle just looks incredibly *green* and the noisy jungle-sounds are muted to near-inaudibility with the exception of the birds, although the creatures of the jungle are probably going about their business as usual. True to Tika’s word, the balcony extends all around the large tree house ending just before the tinted panoramic windows in the living room so it will not block the view in any way. They thought of everything.

Even though Catwood does not lie above the tree, but in the upper part of the enormous treetop, the view is still absolutely outstanding. Kesonam can see everything worth seeing through the branches and leaves of the tree as if the key ones had been removed as not to hinder the spectacle in any way. Which they are too.

Kesonam’s subconscious mind is glad that the balcony has a secure railing, otherwise the lion might have lost his third dimension by now what with all the mindless glaring. The two siblings stay quiet and enjoy the surroundings too, even if they have seen it all a million times it is still just as beautiful.

Kesonam leans over and peeks to the ground, trying to judge the distance to the ground and failing. He tries looking at a nearby tree and following it to the ground, but stops about halfway down as he is getting dizzy already, ”Wow..” is the only thing he can think of saying. Insufficient for his emotions of course, but his baffled expression speaks for itself, ”Is it really safe out here?”

Mirri nods, ”Perfectly safe. As long as you don’t try to jump to the guesthouse instead of using the vine.” She glares at Tika, who merely murmurs a bit. Mirri points to explain. Kesonam looks into the tallest of the nearby trees and notices a small wooden tree house there, much smaller and of much darker wood. Or maybe it is just old and badly maintained.

”That’s the guesthouse? I’m sleeping there?”

Mirri grins and shakes her head, ”No. The only way to get over there is to swing your way.” She yanks at a vine beside her that is closest and at a direct line to the guesthouse to draw Kesonam’s attention to it, while smirking at her brother, ”The *only* way. Remember that Tika?” She does not wait for him to answer, ”Anyway, we don’t use it that much anymore. Mom likes to sit over there and meditate or just be alone, but she’s the only one. Tika and I just liked swinging back and forth when we were younger.”

Tika smiles after a moments pause, ”Well, shall we abandon the magnificent view for creature comforts?” He leads the way inside again, and Kesonam closes the door behind them all with a worried expression on his face, ”Isn’t it dangerous to have the tiger so close to the door? What if he walks out on the balcony?”

Tika shrugs, ”So nothing. He does it all the time. We don’t let him out of the tree except for walking around sometimes. He hasn’t fallen down in four years, don’t see why he should now.”

All conversation is interrupted as a female furry that looks somewhat like a jaguar and a leopard steps into the room from the kitchen. She is dressed in just a black skirt not unlike Mirri’s, and she has the markings and spots of a leopard, but the ferocious build of a jaguaress. Not that there is that much difference, but Kesonam is familiar with both species so he can tell them apart better than most.

Mika greets them all with a friendly smile, ”I thought I heard you come home. Hello, you must be Kesonam, right?”

The lion nods and smiles, ”Just Kes will do fine.” They shake paws and he looks around, ”I had no idea this place was so big.”

Mirri smiles, ”Wait till you see what’s upstairs, we have all kinds of--”

Tika grabs his friend’s paw and drags him away, ”C’mon, I’ll show you what’s upstairs.”

Mirri is just left gaping and looking after the two as they rush up the stairs, ”Aww, man.” She crosses her arms and pouts.

A smile spreads across Mika’s muzzle, ”Don’t worry dear, you’ll get your turn.”

Mirri looks up at her mom and smiles again, ”I’ll take your word for it. Anything good on TV?”

Tika opens the door to his room, shoving debris of homework, old toys and indeterminates aside, ”And this is my place. Sorry about the mess, if I knew anyfur was coming over I’d have.. well.. left it as it is, to be honest.”

Kesonam grins and sits down on the bed, ”It’s okay, I know the feeling.” He looks around curiously and points at the wall, ”Who’s that?”

”Hrm? Oh, that’s Towaro. He’s a space explorer, adventurer kinda guy.”

Kesonam shoots his chest out in pride, ”Lion of course.”

”Of course.”

”So.. what do you do all day here?”

Tika thinks, ”Sleep.. mostly I think. I go hunting with my dad sometimes, play with Sen once in awhile, watch TV, listen to music, don’t do my homework, train with my sis in the exercise room, whatever I feel like.”

”Sounds great, you on the PWMN?”

Tika blinks, ”The what?”

”You know that music network where you pay an annual license fee and then just access all the music whenever you want to?”

Tika ohs, ”Yeah of course, just turn on the TV. I thought everyfur on this planet had that?”

Kesonam shakes his head, ”I was actually home with a fur from my old gym class who didn’t have that.”

Tika grins, ”Poor thing. They didn’t have TV either?”

Kesonam smiles, ”No. Well, they didn’t have 3D one anyway, which I would say is the same.”

Tika hrms, ”And I thought *we* were primitive..” His vision disappears for a brief moment and is replaced by a picture of a table with food on it and a lot of smoke around it like it is very hot. He grumbles something, ”I think dinner’s ready. I really wish she’d stop doing that.”

They all watch a movie after dinner and when it is time to go to bed, Mika follows the three upstairs, ”Now, I think our guest should have a room for himself, so Tika you’re sleeping in Mirri’s room on a mattress tonight.”

Tika blinks, ”But moom..”

”No buts, go get a mattress from our bedroom, they’re--”

”Behind the door, yeah, yeah, I know.” He glares at his sis who smiles back so innocently that he is positive she had something to do with this.

The lights go out in Catwood one by one. Tika waves goodnight to Kesonam before turning out the light and closing the door, ”Nighty. Sleep fast.” He walks into Mirri’s room, who is already snugged under her blanket, and lies down on the mattress, pulling his blanket up.

”Hey Tika, what about the light?”

Tika grumbles back at her, ”It’s your room. And since you’re sooo smart, why don’t you just use some of your powerful magic to turn out the--”


”Goodnight Tika.”


Both of them fall asleep relatively quick and the night passes slowly. Tika opens his eyes, his mouth dry and hoarse. He lifts himself up and blinks a few times to look at the alarm clock, ”3.33 am?? Gah..” He falls to the mattress again and groans, ”Hey Mirri, you awake?” He whispers.

No answer.

Tika takes a deep breath and stares at the ceiling, but he just cannot fall asleep again. He keeps thinking about what happened today, and about how he should definitely not let the two get too close. He turns to the side and looks at his sleeping sister. The thin blanket outlines her form elegantly and he cannot stop staring at her sleeping face. She is only a few hours younger than he is, but still he feels like the big brother sometimes, having to protect her from herself. Mirri is just a little too smart sometimes. Kesonam is okay, great friend, but Tika is not sure that a mix of the two would be very fortunate. What if they like each other? Then he will end up all alone with no one to talk to or hang out with since they would both be too busy for him. And the way they are acting now it will probably end up like that. A thought occurs to him, maybe if they think they like each other and then suddenly start hating each other. Then he would not be able to hang out with both of them either.

Tika shivers.

”No!” is his first recovering thought, ”I can’t let it go that far. I have to stop this before it starts. I have to figure out a way for them to not be interested in each other at all. Why’d both have to know that stupid game anyway? Now they pro’bly think they’re like meant for each other or something. Blah. I have to think of something to ruin it. It’s for the good of everyfur.”

Tika spends a few hours laying plans before his busy mind finally gives up on him and shuts down for a good night’s sleep...


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