Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kayzar the Cat by Amy Parsons

Kayzar the Cat
by Amy Parsons

Kayzar is a most unusual cat. His jet black fur has bright blue and deep purple and a blue tuft of fur on top of his head. His eyes are vivid amber and when he stares, he can send chills through a full grown man.

Now Kayzar lives in a forest and keeps pretty much to himself, but on occasion he will venture into the village that lays on the edge of the forest.

This always sets most of the villagers to unrest, as most believed that his presence meant that bad things were soon to follow.

However, this was a myth, but Kayzar enjoyed this as it meant he was generally left to himself, able to hunt and enjoy the brief change of scenery.

One particular morning that he decided to wander into the village, frost covering the ground and his every breath was visible, meaning that the villagers would be especially nervous, as this, to them, was a sign that something extremely evil was about to befoul someone.

Kayzar, however, was not an evil cat. In fact, he was quite the opposite and normally was the one to solve the issues the villagers faced, not that any of them were aware of this. He knew that there was something upsetting the balance of things, but as of yet had not discovered its true identity or purpose.

Kayzar walked as gracefully as any other cat would do, over the partially frozen grass and down a narrow cobbled street, one he favoured as it was usually full of pigeons that he could hunt without being disturbed. Only this time, there wasn’t a single bird in sight. At first, he was uncertain, wondering if he had gone down the right street, even though he had trod it several times before.

When he reached the far end and entered into the village, it was just as still and deserted. Although Kayzar enjoyed peace and quiet, this stillness seemed unnatural and unnerved him. He could tell that something was amiss.

He skulked along, checking down the side streets and alleyways, and even looking into the gardens, for any signs of life. No animal nor person was anywhere in sight.

He walked to one end of the village, still no sign of anyone or anything. He turned to venture towards the other end, but his way was blocked. He stopped dead in his tracks. There, halfway down the main street, was an unusually large black wolf with white markings around his right eye and across his back, sitting staring at him. The wolf was not alone. A tall man in a long, deep purple robe, leaning on a staff, was stood next to it. He had long white hair and a beard to match. They definitely hadn’t been there before he started to explore the village.

The sight made Kayzar uncomfortable, but he seemed to be rooted to the spot, eyes fixed on the unusual pair.

“Greetings Kayzar.” It was the wolf that spoke. “My name is Zoan, and this,” he nodded toward the man, “is Bo’aak,” the man shifted his weight slightly. “And yes, we know all about you.” Zoan grinned, flashing his huge, gleaming white teeth.

Kayzar thought for a moment, uncertain of what to say to this information. “I’m not sure what you think you know about me, but I am just an ordinary cat, albeit with some unusual markings and colourings.”

“Indeed. But that is not what the people of this village say. They believe that you are the cause of all the strange and evil goings on here.” Zoan smiled again, though this time it seemed more wicked than friendly.

“Oh, is that what they say?” Kayzar said, feigning ignorance to this fact. “However, what they are not aware of, is that I have been resolving their problems, putting out the fires, rescuing them from drowning and whatever else may happen to come their way. I wish I knew what was causing all the mayhem around here so that I might put a stop to it.” Kayzar’s tail twitched.

“Well, we have been summoned to destroy you,” Zoan said importantly.

Kayzar smiled at this, which seemed to annoy Zoan.

“Are you not afraid of dying?” he asked.

“I would be lying if I said I was not, however, I am not afraid of dying by your hand...” Kayzar paused for a moment, “because I know that this will not happen.” Kayzars smile broadened at the sight of Zoans bemusement. “I know full well that neither you, nor your silent friend,” Bo’aak was still yet to speak, though he would occasionally shift slightly, “are even capable of such a thing. At least, not towards me,” Kayzar added thoughtfully.

“Enough!” Zoan growled. “Enough talking. It is time for you to die!” Zoan launched himself at Kayzar, reaching the place where the cat had been within a few large bounds, teeth and claws bared, ready to inflict some serious damage, only the cat was no longer there.

Annoyed once again, Zoan spun around and faced Bo’aak, who gave a very minute nod in the direction of one of the houses. Zoan turned his gaze towards the spot that Bo’aak had nodded toward and saw the cat perched on top of a stone wall, smiling at the over-sized wolf.

Snarling, Zoan pounced at the cat again, but again, the cat was nowhere to be seen.

He appeared this time, almost in the exact spot he had started from.

Zoan was obviously getting frustrated with him.

Kayzar was finding all this rather amusing.

Watching as the great wolf spun around again, teeth bared, drool dripping from his snarling lips, he prepared to disappear again, when he noticed something. He saw Bo’aak bring his staff down hard onto the concrete, sending a small flare of green sparks out of the end. Kayzar was uncertain what the point of this was so, as Zoan came nearer once more, the cat twitched his ears and flicked the end of his tail, concentrating on where he wanted to be. Nothing happened. He tried again. Still nothing. He tried for a third time, but it was too late. The giant wolf descended upon him, teeth sinking into his sides.

Kayzar hissed and flailed uselessly for a moment, before being able to turn his body in such a way as to be able to sink his own teeth into Zoan’s leg. Zoan yelped and released his grip on the cat.

Kayzar could feel the his blood matting his fur.

Ignoring his pain, Kayzar now flung himself at the wolf, who had paused to lick his own wound.

Kayzar’s teeth latched onto the wolf’s ear, his claws scratched at his face.

Just then, an earth shattering roar deafened the two fighters, causing them both to stop, still attached to each other.

“What was that?” Zoan said through a mouthful of Kayzar’s fur.

“That, was a dragon,” said a deep voice.

Kayzar’s eyes widened, a dragon. That explained everything, now that he thought about it. It Had been Bo’aak who relayed the information, not the wolf.

“You are certain of this?” Zoan asked the wizard.

“Indeed.” He paused briefly, deep in thought.

“Yes, it all makes sense now; the burnings, the missing livestock as well as the odd villager. How could we have been so stupid not to have sussed it earlier. A dragon was the obvious answer, not this cat.”

Zoan had released his jaws from Kayzar who had also removed his claws from Zoan’s side.

“But what about the legend of the Gen’tu cat? A cat that has magic beyond anything most wizards can perform,” Zoan asked the wizard.

“True. And this cat has certainly shown that he can do this, however, I don’t believe that he has done any harm, now that I have seen how he behaves,” Bo’aak said thoughtfully. “If he was indeed a fire breather, he would have used that power against you.”

“Yes, but...”

“No buts, Zoan, this cat is not the problem. We must concentrate on the greater threat, the dragon.”

“Very well,” Zoan said in defeat. “What do we need to do?”

“We must work together.” He looked at the pair of blood soaked animals. “Kayzar, do you still have your talisman?”

“How do you know about my talisman?” Kayzar asked in surprise.

“I knew Tolin, your old master. I knew that he gave it to you before he died.”

Kayzar didn’t say anything else, he just sped off into the forest, not knowing exactly how the wizard had known Tolin, yet he had not met the wizard before and the wizard had not known that he had never done anything wrong. But then again, he knew that Tolin would not have spoken much about him, the old man had always been protective of what he could do. The talisman had, after all, just been a gift for him to remember the old man, or so he had thought.

Kayzar found the talisman in the tree he had been living in, took it in his teeth and sprinted back to the village.

When he reached the others, Bo’aak had just finished writing something in the dirt with his staff, Zoan sat to one side, a talisman now round his neck.

Kayzar sat next to Zoan, flicking the talisman into the air and caught it so that it went around his neck.

“What now?” Kayzar asked in a whisper.

“No idea, we will just have to wait and see what Bo’aak does, but know this, you must do whatever he asks of you as it will no doubt mean the difference between our defeat and our victory.” Kayzar nodded, still staring at the wizard intently, his sides still throbbing from the fight.

Bo’aak stopped and beckoned the two animals over. They got up as one and went over to him, Kayzar noticing a talisman around the wizards neck too.

“Excellent.” Bo’aak said, not sounding very convinced that they were actually going to achieve anything. “You must come and stand either side of me.” He instructed. Once they had done this, Bo’aak struck his staff on the ground yet again, this time however, a blue light emanated from the top of it and then surrounded the three. He struck his staff again and Kayzar noticed that all of the talismans were glowing red.

Kayzar felt a strange tingling sensation surging throughout his entire body, beginning at his nose and spreading to the tip of his tail. To go with this sensation, he also felt an odd warmth in the pit of his stomach and a burning in his eyes.

He saw that, as well as the talisman, the eyes of the other two were glowing red, as the talismans were, and assumed that this was the burning sensation he could feel in his eyes.

As he watched, Kayzar saw the dragon approaching the village, although still some distance away, there was no mistaking the vast shape of the beast.

Kayzar fixed his burning eyes on the massive creature, watching it drawing ever nearer, but as he watched, he realised that his entire body felt as though it was being stretched and the ground beneath him seemed to be getting further and further away.

Just then a voice entered his head. “This is a very strange feeling.” It was Zoan. “Bo’aak has spoken of this, but I have never experienced it before.”

“What is going on?” Kayzar asked, but before he got his answer, he heard Bo’aak’s voice enter his head as well.

“Do not be alarmed.”

Kayzar knew that the wizard was speaking to him.

“This is the most effective way I know of to defeat a dragon.”

Now, if you had witnessed this event yourself, you would be shocked into silence.

What Kayzar didn’t realise was that the three of them had some how merged into one being.

It’s head was that of a wolf, it’s huge body was sleek and slender like a cat. There was no visible trace of a human, however, there were wings like those of an eagle, along with eagle feathers. The markings on the beast were a mixture of Kayzar's blue and purple and Zoan's white.

The dragon soared over head. Kayzar thought that he would be able to stretch out and touch it.

“Focus.” Kayzar heard Bo’aak’s voice speak.

Kayzar felt a snarl rip through his throat and past his lips that didn’t come from him. ‘Zoan’ he thought.

As he watched, the dragon landed in front of them. Kayzar felt their own wings flapping awkwardly. “Do not try and move us, leave that to me,” Bo’aak instructed. “Try and let your minds go blank.”

This was harder than it sounded. Seeing your body move, but not actually being the one controlling it was indeed strange.

The dragon considered the strange creature before it, but it soon let out a large and powerful fireball.

Kayzar felt his feet leave the ground as their wings flapped again, this time raising them high into the air, narrowly avoiding the blast of flames.

This was indeed a strange sensation for Kayzar, flying.

Kayzar wasn’t sure how to react or what to do. They wobbled slightly as their wings flapped out of sync.

“Kayzar!” Bo’aak bellowed. “Don’t think. Don’t do anything. Leave it all to me!”

Kayzar sighed and tried to focus on nothing, allowing their flight to become more even.

They rose quickly, the dragon shrinking below them. It wasn’t long before the dragon had launched itself into the air. Bo’aak swerved their body, turning them to face it.

The dragon took no time in drawing level with them, but before it had time to react, Kayzar felt a burning sensation in the back of his throat and a fireball left their mouth. This, however, was a very different kind of flame, it had an energy around it that looked like lightning and it was purple.

It hit the dragon squarely in the chest and it started to fall back towards the earth.

They dove after it, Bo’aak knowing full well that the dragon wasn’t finished.

As Kayzar watched, he saw the dragon shake itself off and pull itself out of the dive, its wings brushing a few roof tops in the process.

Zoan growled again, but Kayzar seemed to be thinking the same thing; it was obvious to him that they were thinking more and more as one the longer they stayed in this form.

The great eagle wings folded behind them, increasing their speed.

Knowing exactly what needed to be done, without resisting and without Bo’aak’s instruction, Kayzar opened his mouth to allow another energy fireball to escape the beast’s throat.

This time when it collided with the dragon, it did not have enough time to recover before it hit the ground, creating a huge groove in the earth where it landed.

Bo’aak brought the beast to the ground with great ease, resting just inches from where the dragon lay.

Zoan moved them nearer to the crumpled form of the dragon in a few short strides.

The dragon was writhing around in pain, flailing its huge tail around, smashing the side of the nearest house.

“Now what?” Kayzar thought.

“Now, we have to kill it,” Bo’aak thought back.

They bounded the rest of the way toward the dragon, Zoan in control, until they were near enough for Kayzar to take control, making the beast pounce onto the dragon's chest. Whilst in mid air however, Bo’aak made them release a much larger and more powerful lightning-charged fireball.

This time the dragon took the full force in its face. It roared painfully before becoming motionless.

“Now to finish the task. We must remove its heart,” Bo’aak commanded.

The beast hesitated for a moment as neither Zoan or Kayzar were entirely sure how they were to achieve this, so Bo’aak took control once more, using the claws on one of the powerful front paws, tore a hole in the dragon’s chest and, clamping vice like jaws around the heart, pulled it from the body.

Blood soaked once more, Kayzar asked, “Is that it?”

“It is,” Came Bo’aak’s voice.

Next moment, Kayzar felt lighter and seemed to be shrinking. They were finally separating, becoming their own true forms.

Kayzar blinked. He found the separation just as disorientating as the initial joining. He was now quite alone with his own thoughts once again.

He looked around and saw Zoan a few feet in front of him, Bo’aak stood a little to his left, still clutching the dragon’s heart in his hand.

“Dragon hearts are good for medicines.” Bo’aak seemed to still be able to read Kayzar’s thoughts, as he had just wondered why the wizard still had it.

As they stood silently staring at each other, the villagers started to return.

Kayzar had forgotten all about them and wondered where they had all been hiding.

He never did find out as, when the villagers approached and saw the massive, lifeless form of the dragon, there were gasps and whisperings as to what had taken place.

Bo’aak was the one who told the villagers the story, though he made it sound as though Kayzar was the main hero of the day.

The people declared that Kayzar was not a threat to them and he was appointed protector of the village.

As the people crowded round to express their thanks and get a proper look at the heroes, a large purple cloud surrounded them and they heard a sound like the crack of a whip and Bo’aak and Zoan disappeared.

And so it was, Kayzar remained in the forest behind the village, but would enter it every now and again, the people giving him gifts, no longer running at the sight of him.


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