Flying Cats

The cats all had wings and flew from tree to tree following Meg and Gettle. The old women tried to ignore them but Meg finally had enough and spun around, glaring up at the winged animals. They landed on various branches above, staring down. “Stop following me!” Meg shouted up at the cats, her voice weak with age but still commanded by a powerful spirit. The cats stared, their yellow eyes gleaming in their dark faces. Gettle took hold of Meg’s bony arm, “Don’t make them mad.” She whispered.

“I can if I damn well please,” Meg pronounced and turned away, walking quickly away through the orchard. Gettle glanced up at the cats who glared down at her, then ran to keep up with her sister. The cats continued to follow them, gliding from tree to tree, rustling through the branches above. “I can’t have them following me every step of the way,” Meg muttered. She arrived at the pond surrounded by flowers and began angrily weeding, no longer looking up at the flying cats that circled above. Gettle knelt beside her. “There’s not much time, Meg,” she said.

“So what? These flowers need weeding.” Meg retorted. The cats flew lower and lower, occasionally flying so low the women could feel the wind from their wings. Gettle grabbed Meg’s arm again.

“No!” Meg shouted. “Leave me be!” She went back to weeding furiously. “But the children will die,” Gettle said.

“Screw the children!” Meg answered. Then she stopped weeding and threw some weeds at the pond. “Screw ‘em.” She found herself sobbing but made herself stop, wiping her nose with the back of her hand. She thrust her hands into the dirt, forgetting for a moment what she was doing there.

Gettle was standing now and waved her arms at the circling cats. “Leave us alone!” One flew low and clawed the side of her forehead, drawing blood. “Ahhhghh! Get away!!” Gettle screeched. Meg stared down at her own hands in the dirt. Then she rose up with a sudden sense of purpose. “You won’t torment us!” she shouted up at the cats and raised her arms, mini fireballs shooting from her palms. Some burned cats dropped into the pool and swam sheepishly towards the opposite shore, fur singed black.

“That’s great, Meg,” Gettle said. “Now the kids…”

Meg turned to Gettle, her eyes still swirling with magic. She suddenly shot a fireball at Gettle, point-blank, and her sister flew backwards, landing on the ground, flopping around to put out the flames.

“Now what was I doing…” Meg said, looking down at the flowers, but just then several cats attacked her at once, tearing at her hair and arms with their claws. She fought with them but there were too many and they hooked their claws into her hair and the cloth of her dress and lifted her up into the sky.

“Meg!” Gettle cried from where she lay in the grass. But the cats flapped their wings and carried Meg off, high over the orchard into the distance until Gettle couldn’t see them anymore.

Gettle unsteadily rose to her feet, her dress burned and torn. She walked back through the orchard, shaking her head and muttering to herself about Meg and flying cats and the children.

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