The Cat People of Kagir Manor
If you haven’t read the other parts you can find them here:
After a short time, the door opened and in came the Purrs. They were pushing a large trolley on which was a variety of dishes, some steaming hot, others appearing to be cold.
They pushed the trolley into the centre of the room, then stood back as if expecting a rush to be made on the food.
The men looked curiously at the fare before them.
Never before had they seen food of this kind. The plates were adorned with foods of the brightest colours as if the chef had painted every dish a different colour.
Some appeared to be a meat of some kind, others were very vegetable in appearance and some were a food the men had never laid eyes on.
In the centre of the trolley was a bowl with purple creatures swimming around. Thinking the bowl was just a centrepiece decoration the men concentrated on the other dishes.
The television came to life once more with Shatar appearing on the screen.
“Gentlemen, welcome to the feast of Kagir Manor. The foods before you are the specialty of the chef, the greatest cook among the Cat people. It is expected as a sign of good faith that you try each dish. They are different to any food you have ever tried before, but as a means of satisfying the Cat People you are harmless I suggest you try each dish.”
Shatar continued, “The centre dish is your desert. They may not look very delectable but let me assure you they are the most delightful food you will ever eat.”
Shatar looked down benevolently as the men decided which dish they might try first. For there was no doubt that they were feeling hungry and the aromas coming from the trolley were more than delectable.
“Eat up Gentlemen, there is much to be done and seen and it looks a whole lot better on a full stomach.”
Michael and his friends approached the table and taking up a plate, they began their first ever Cat food meal.
To their surprise it was far better than it looked and the men were soon satisfied. All that remained were the purple swimmers, but none of the men were keen to eat anything that was alive.
Shatar interrupted their quiet discussion.
“Gentlemen the best way to eat a Jackiana is to take it between your index finger and your thumb, hold it firmly and pop it into your mouth. Then bite down on it thereby releasing its amazing flavours.”
Those instructions didn’t give the men any more enthusiasm for eating the Jackianas then they had before. When they looked into the bowl the men fancied the Jackiana were swimming around the bowl as if they had not a care in the world. They looked such innocent little creatures and they were the dessert?
Michael sensing the others were expecting him to go first, approached the bowl and looked down at the creatures swimming enthusiastically round the bowl. Did they know they were the dessert he wondered? Then it occurred to him that catching one would be a challenge in itself as they zoomed around the bowl.
He placed his hand in the bowl only to find the Jackiana flocked around his hand as if he was bringing them food but he quickly realised they thought his hand was the food and grabbed one as he quickly withdrew his hand.
The other men looked on in horror, Roger was looking pale, as if fading into his beige body suit. All attention was now placed on Michael as he held the Jackiana and looked at it squirming between his fingers.
“Now place it into your mouth and bite down on it.” Shatar instructed. “Don’t worry about the Jackiana being alive they won’t feel a thing.”
Easier said than done thought Michael who for a second thought he noticed the little Jackiana shaking its head, as if urging him not to put it to death.
“It’s best not look at a Jackiana when eating one, they can give the impression they are telling you not to eat them.” Michael heard Shatar say.
Opening his mouth and shutting his eyes Michael placed the Jackiana into his mouth and bit down. Despite the sensation of what he perceived as the scream from the Jackiana his mouth was suddenly flooded with the flavours of the universe.
Around the room the Purrs chuckled to themselves.
The other four men watched Michael as he savored his Jackiana, his surprised pleasure showing on his face. The small sound of rapture that came from him sealed it for them.
They all took a turn dipping their hand in the bowl of Jackiana’s and slowly bringing it to their mouths. One by one, they popped them in their mouth and bit down.
Sounds of pleasure wafted around the room as the men were treated to the sensual taste of the Jackiana.
The out of this world flavour was lingering on Michaels tongue as he noticed the Purrs starting to leave. All of them walked toward the door, except the one that had held Michaels hand so firmly on their way in. This one hesitated behind the others.
All the time the men were here the Purrs never made eye contact. Michael thought it must have been forbidden, as they seemed nothing but servants.
He watched his little Purr for a few seconds and was surprised when it suddenly raised its head and looked directly at Michael. It had a tiny cattish face, yet it was beautiful with it’s pixie like smallness.
The Purr’s eyes were large and round, not at all like the Cat People. The colour was a mix between blue and purple with long lashes surrounding them. He looked at the Purr and noticed its mouth was more human shaped with fullness to them. Michael raised his eyes to the Purr’s and noticed it smiling at him in a shy way.
Suddenly it turned to walk out the door with the others, but Michael noticed a small piece of paper float down to the floor from the Purr’s small hand.
He didn’t move till the door was shut on his small friend. Casually he walked over to where the piece of paper lay on the floor. His friends were still enjoying the taste of the Jackiana and didn’t notice him stoop quickly and scoop up the note. With his back to the men, he opened the note and read.
“Please meet me tonight. I will sneak into your room after the others sleep. I desperately need to talk to you! Your lives are in danger!”
The note was signed……… Kali
Michael said nothing to the other men about the note. He wasn’t sure if he should for fear that he would cause too much distress for Kali when she returned. The sight of all five of them in anticipation of salvation was something he wanted to spare the little Purr from.
He waited until all were asleep. Their beds were sufficiently separated to allow each man a degree of privacy and as Michael soon learned, snoring space.
He was also sure that there had been something placed in their food to ensure they slept as he was struggling himself to stay awake. The others were asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillows.
Then he heard the door open and Kali entered, looked around to see the other men sleeping, she came across to Michael.
“Drink this,” she urged, thrusting a small vial into his hand, “It will negate the effects of the sleeping draught that was mixed into your meals.”
Michael gladly swallowed it as he could barely keep his eyes open at this stage. Immediately he felt the effects of what he had drunk. With a jolt he was suddenly awake.
Kali beckoned him to follow her. They went to a far corner of the room where she opened a secret panel in the wall and indicated he should follow.
He followed her down a dark corridor and soon they were in a room not unlike the one they had just left.
She turned to him, looked him in the eye and smiled shyly at him.
“You did not expect me to say anything to you did you?” she asked in her slightly high-pitched voice.
“No” replied Michael honestly.
“We are forbidden to speak in the presence of the Cats.”
“Catfranka in particular frowns on the Purrs doing anything but serving the Cats. She can be very brutal Michael, you must guard against her. She will use her charms, and she has many, to lure you to your deaths.”
“Deaths?” Michael all but spat the word out.
“Death is the outcome if you don’t fit into what she is planning.”
“And what is she planning?”
“To make you one of us.” Kali state bluntly.
“We Purrs have a short life span. The spell she uses to create us only lasts a few years and then she has to put us under another spell. If we hide and miss the cut off point where we cannot be put under again we are destroyed. The Cats love destroying the Purrs. They are vengeful creatures the Cats. Don’t do anything to anger them Michael.”
This story is a collaboration between Michael at Morpethroad and Jackie at To Breath Is To Write. It began when we realized our Friday Fictioneer stories
Had a common ground and decided to try our hand at writing a story from this base. So this is the fruit of our labors, a lot of fun and always a pleasant exercise.
Part 6 will continue the story tomorrow on Jackie’s blog.