Chapter 3.25 – Hunt. Kill. Cuddles.

Note: Disturbing image. Nudity. Yes, Yimiki, this one contains BUM.

A lot can change in a moment.

Run for the hills, girl, lest you be promised for an eternity of servitude and humiliation at the hands of a heartless monster.

I see that you have met my fiancé.

In a moment, the world can become unrecognisable.

Tonight, Kitty.


In another moment, we ourselves can become unrecognisable.

Once significant thoughts can tumble into a jumble of noise. The language that we hear can sound alien and familiar all at once when it is no longer the one we can speak.

And now I know that a moment can leave us feeling like we are what we were – but yet unlike either.

Very little occupies the thoughts of the average cat beyond the primitive musings of hunt. kill. cuddles. For one who spent her existence haunted by the minds of others, it has been both bittersweet and bitterly lonely. I was robbed of everything I had created, everything I had fought so hard for, and compacted into a fluffy little case.

For centuries, there was barely a thought of my own in my rudimentary brain, let alone the littering of a hundred others.

They flooded back to me as quickly as they’d drained away.

On elongated limbs, that I shall never again take for granted, I shakily wandered the dock and pondered this unexpected outcome. Slipping into my cat form was easy and often rather convenient, if not terribly comfortable, but thanks to that blasted curse, reverting from it was impossible.

Whatever did she – Seth’s new girl – do to reverse it? I doubted that she herself would even know.

With my bipedal stride swiftly relearned, I was led beyond my surroundings, to a path of discordance; trying to fathom the events in my hazy mind. I was attempting to reconcile what once was, and comprehend the vastness of what could be now that I was finally free, in every sense of the word, when I was wracked by a pain, the likes of which I have never felt.

A constriction in my throat, a shuddering ache in my bones and my torso convulsed as if attempting to dispel my shrivelled innards on to the stone at my feet.

No! Not yet! I pleaded to an entity that had long ago forsaken me and continued to do so.

Oh! The cruel hand of fate that would return me my true form on the wing of a promise, only to take it from me mere moments later! Was this a new layer to my damnation? Would I forever slip between forms, never knowing how I would wake the next morning? A tentative lick of freedom and now – alas! I would forevermore be—

An almighty jerk bent me double; simultaneously interrupting my thoughts and ejecting something from my face into the murky water before me.

Oh. Ack.


I wandered the darkened dock, restless. Aimless. Wherever does one begin when their prison door is unexpectantly thrown open?

Do we dare to hope? To start again?

A rat scurried from me towards a crevice in the brickwork I had spent many nights gazing into. His tiny heart vibrating in terror as his feet carried him as fast as they could to safety. But gone was my urge to pounce.

Fear me no longer, little rat. I needed a more substantial meal.

I ran my tongue, now smooth, over the needles of my teeth. Sustenance. Hunting. I suppose that was as good a place to begin as any.

Hunting as a vampire.

How did that work again?

The manmade clearing was alight and abuzz with a food festival. How very convenient. A bite for my bite and a bite for me; the world was in balance.

I questioned my appearance immediately upon setting foot in the lighted park. The stares followed me as the eyes of old portraits would.

Perhaps, I thought, the transformation had gone awry? Perhaps I still had a tail?

I smiled at a human, whose eyes flitted over my whole body in horror, and asked, “Mwatchu starn aht?”

Lucifer’s arm. Those were not even words. The vocabulary of a feline was so limited; perhaps a few muscles of mine would take a little more flexing. There was once a day when my voice had kept me fed; perhaps it still could. I cleared my throat, clogged with fur and the shadows of bird entrails, and began to warm up my long dormant vocal cords.

“She’s naked!” somebody shouted.

I paused. Looked around. Looked down.

That did explain a lot. I halted my humming and yawning, lest I appeared entirely unsound.

However was I to communicate when my vernacular failed me? I wondered if, perhaps, I could blow the substantial layer of dust from my inner voice.

I turned towards a scarlet-haired human in my eyeline and addressed him from within. Hello.

Nothing. He continued to stare at me like a simpleton.

I tried again, louder, as it were, finally eliciting a response.

“W-what the fuck are you?”

He could evidently hear something as I projected to him, but perhaps that skill also required a little more lubrication. I decided to toy with him a little as I found his language rather impolite.

I am the woman your mother warned you about, Joshua. Follow me.

He did not move and was joined by numerous others who gawked and leered in dumbstruck silence. Nigh on three centuries have passed since I last embodied this shell and it appeared that men had changed not-at-all. That was both infuriating and oddly comforting.

Through the slowly growing sea of idiots, I spied a fairer face who, judging by her tilted head and curious, slow steps towards me had, perhaps, heard my call. My spirits lifted. I reached into her mind to retrieve her moniker: Brandii.

She kept her eyes trained firmly above my shoulders as I approached. Her body twitched backwards, defensively, instinctively as it processed the unspoken threat. Some over-salivate at the thought of a tasty dish, whereas I produce an excess of – well, you’ll see.

Barely above a breath, Brandii asked me, “Are you OK? Should you, y’know, be out?”

I most certainly shouldn’t be, Brandii.

Ah. I did not take her life, but the sanguinary satisfaction – or perhaps the power – did get the better of me.

Wasn’t that always the way?

It took all night and a handful of hours of the next day, but I found him, as I always do.

I had watched him for a short while. Followed him. Like a masochistic puppy, he could never stay away from Lilith for long and, in turn, she could never be away from her brother. It was only a matter of time before I was back in Caleb’s lap – in one form or another.

I watched Seth waving his gloved hand at this human he had encountered – a call of memory displacement, executed with perfect precision – and watched the human fail to be affected. Seth should have been highly skilled at that, yet his efforts yielded no result, other than confusion from his prey and a chuckle from myself as, alas, he failed again and again.

Most peculiar. My first assumption was that his latest preoccupation had frayed more than just his heartstrings.

It took longer than I’d like to admit before I realised that I could assist rather than simply watch, and marginally longer still before I gained the will to do so. I had no idea how Seth would react to seeing me after all this time and no real idea what he was capable of. Approaching him while I was still relearning how to operate would have been foolish.

Add into that the fact that he’d never once looked for me… Perhaps I should have simply left him to suffer.

But – sigh – he was still my baby.

My intention was to subdue the human. However, when I made my attempt, nothing happened.

This was more than being out of practice. I could feel the resistance, thick in the air around me, subduing my efforts. I recognised it immediately. There lay upon this town a shield; a blanket of restriction, thwarting those who would attempt free magic.

That should have prompted me to abort; Seth had tried multiple times already to break through it – it would no doubt have caught the attention of the witch who had cast this so-called protection – and she was surely a force to be reckoned with. But, loathe, if three hundred years of poking my whiskered little nose boldly into every nook and cranny hadn’t made me curious and contrary forevermore.

I gave it all that I had. The effects were phenomenal, if I do say so myself. No human had a cat in hell’s chance of resisting that.

Naturally, like a spider who senses a fly caught in its web, the witch appeared, drawn to the perversion; the attempted corruption of her pure magic.

And, oh! Holy damnation! Seth was not the only one making a hasty retreat as this emerald enchantress wandered into the square.

Gravity had won as the clock had wound on; I could hear her knees creaking from my distance and her once raven hair shone silver. Yet I recognised her instantly.

And I could remember her, as I had seen her last.

“It’s not fair!” Sage screamed, stamping her feet like a child. “This is my home!”

“Would you exercise that flabby brain for five minutes, Sage? You’ll be far safer with me.”

“I’m safe here! I don’t need a stinking magical shield! I’d like to see them try and take me!”

Beside me, in the shadows of the chicken coop, my comrade, Layne made a noise that could have almost passed for amusement as he projected his thoughts to me.

That sounds like an invitation.

No, I threw back. It sounds like a trap.

“I’m staying! And we’re going to find the lot of them; every single last one!” Sage had screeched. “Just you wait. Heads are going to roll!”

“We?” Ma had huffed. “Child, you are sending me grey before my years.”

“I’m not afraid of them!” Sage insisted, raising her voice to a shrill wail. “Do you hear me, parasites!? I’m not afraid of you!”

I’ve heard enough, Kitty, Layne communicated; even his inner voice bore his trademark monotonous drone. Those two pose no threat nor hold any interest of mine. Come.

She is his daughter. She shouldn’t exist—

Then maybe she isn’t his.

I swallowed hard; unwilling to yield. Can we not take her? To be sure?

“Breath in the calm…” Ma inhaled deeply. “And breathe out the psychotic teen rage. Breathe in the calm and breathe out the childish temper tantrums…”

No. Look at them, he sneered. Hardly worth staining one’s fangs over. Merely a spoiled brat…

…and a crazy old bat.

I waited around the corner until Sage had given up on looking for the source of the spell. I wondered what had changed in those years. What did Sage know? What did Seth know? Sage had felt the need to cast this barrier; what did she fear? And was Ma still around? Oh, there was so much to explore, but I had learned the hard way what happens when we attempt to run before we can walk.

I had waited centuries, without hope.

I could wait a little while longer.

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11 thoughts on “Chapter 3.25 – Hunt. Kill. Cuddles.

  1. I’m left once again with a feeling that there’s so much I do not understand … even though I became a lot wiser about who Kitty is.
    I must also assume that Faith has somehow manipulated the curse of the century when she touched the cat (the disguise).

    You’re so full of secret sub-stories. So it was Kitty who erased the memories in the square … which leaves me with the impression that Seth is still losing more of his abilities and his former power.
    What kind of power does Faith have? Do we know anything about her father?
    I’m gradually starting to guess that she has supernatural abilities and maybe is an alien in disguise.

    As usual, you promise me more clarification and leave me with more questions than ever before 😕 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Snuffy: I’m going to write a chapter that answers everyone’s questions!
      * Writes chapter *
      Snuffy: Oops, I generated more.

      You’re not alone; not everyone who feeds back to me about chapters does so publicly, so you’ll have to trust me when I say that this chapter left a number of reader brains scrambled and a few people screaming at me that I suck at query resolution. 😂

      Faith definitely managed to do something to undo Kitty’s curse when she touched the cat, yes.

      “You’re so full of secret sub-stories”. Guilty as charged, haha. The background for this story, and the characters, have lots of long history and origins. I shared this with another reader earlier in the week so I may as well share publicly as it might help show how it all fits together: Almost Eternal ‘Family’ Tree.

      Maybe one day I’ll get round to answering all the questions. We are currently only halfway through the whole story so plenty of time to drive you all insane solve all of the riddles.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. …Wow, okay. Okay. So what this one does is more leave impressions that give information. Which is awesome. Time for a guessing game! 😀 So let’s see…

    So now it looks to me like Kitty did get mixed up with the vamps to escape that Wangshaft hunter. The rest of the past shots confuse me though. Who is the other blonde with her that looks so similar? And is what they are wearing there a dress a proper lady would wear at the time? Was Kitty a member of the high society? On the one hand, why would a Wangshaft want to marry her if she wasn’t? Yet on the other hand, why would she have had to sing for a living if she was? That… place the vampires frequented doesn’t seem like somewhere one would want to work if they had a choice… unless she went out of sheer defiance, of course. …and how does her being a witch factor in? So many questions, none of which I expect an answer to. XD

    Anyway, didn’t I just know it? All this time Kathryn was something to fear, almost a spectre, and now she’s suddenly a person. And her time being stuck as a cat sounds horrible. I should not feel bad for her, but blast morals, I do. And again I have to wonder who did that. Get her stuck into cat form… that smells of witchy magic, but if that is so then whoever did it kept her fate secret… or maybe didn’t have the time to tell. Maybe the High Priest managed to do it… we still don’t know how he died. Or maybe it was Ma and that’s how she knew that Kitty was turned in the first place.

    Even getting her bearings, though, Kitty is scarily sharp. Faith would not have any idea what she did, no. Let alone how… and is that? I think I recognize the pink cloud around her. That’d explain a few things. Wonder if Seth really didn’t inherit that or if he simply never thought to try… or both.

    So we get a confirmation that Kitty was The Cat, the one that Caleb had been feeding. Thought so. Even in cat form, she seems to have gathered a good bit of information there… or had she known the siblings before?

    The way she’s helping Seth as a matter of course… I have a few thoughts on that, but… I guess it does make sense from where she’s standing. She did turn him after all and for a vampire, that means something. It has to. Why share their limited resources with another predator otherwise? Still, though. Her head’s messed up, no question about that. Also that casual way she just dismissed the unintended kill while we’re at it… I guess she’s… old, eh? Lots of time with vampiric instincts eroding human perception of things. And now lots of time with only cat instincts on top of that… wonder if that is gonna make things worse.

    Ha. So that there answers at least on of my questions. So it was both Kitty and Seth working (unknowingly on Seth’s part) together that broke through the spell, eh? Yea, explains a lot. And heh, no wonder Sage is freaked out at the sheer amount of power there, that had to be *a lot.*

    Also interesting to see how Kitty switches perception of Dark Magic from a presumably vampire’s perspective of “free magic” to a witches way of speaking about it as “corruption.”

    “She shouldn’t exist?” More questions. So many questions. Either way if this is when Kitty saw Sage last, and that last picture of Ma, it makes me think all the more that Ma is the one who did the cat curse. Well, owie. And what is that about Sage and her tantrum? Maybe she didn’t want to be safe…

    But yes. Looks like Kitty did learn to be a patient plotting menace. Uh-oh… a new player at the board. And the stakes just shot through the ceiling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SUCH interesting questions but, as requested, I won’t answer. However, don’t you worry; Kitty will definitely be back to elaborate on some points and provide much more information. She just needs a while to figure out how to function in this new, modern world.

      Yep, Kitty was ‘Robert’, Caleb’s only friend for the past 30-odd years. Did she know the siblings before? She certainly met one of them.

      Kitty probably needs to ditch the cat habit of leaving mutilated prey for humans to find, especially with everything going on in the media right about now. Not that she has any idea what’s going on, or probably even what media is. And yes – her interpretation of the different kinds of magic might give a few clues.

      Oh no, more questions? I swear, you’re closer than you think you are to figuring out the answers. When I read your comments, I see all the answers to the questions you ask, and I so want to join up the last dots for you. I have to metaphorically sit on my hands not to do so.


      1. Oh, blast! That bit with Lilith meeting the rogues did slip my mind… or maybe it hid among all the other secrets that she is keeping? Either way, that is sloppy of me. Tut, tut, how do I want to solve any riddles like this? XD

        Mhmmm, media or no media, leaving signs around for hunters to track you by is never a good idea. The habit might be hard to shake it’s true, but I dare guess she’ll at least realize she shouldn’t rather soon.

        *giggles* Oh, so my suspicions have merit, do they? 😀 I would dare go ahead and accuse Sage of deliberately trying to get kidnapped just so she’d be taken to her father, which is reckless enough to perhaps be a reason for Lilith not to give her the info she has… but there might be more to that. Maybe even something to do with the cure, let’s not forget Seth having meddled with Lils search for that…
        The other riddle is a more difficult one. Seth had only been turned after Angeline had already been pregnant so it can’t be that, yet the way Kitty says Sage “shouldn’t exist” seems to suggest some kind of clash of magic or something that should have made the child’s existence impossible. Is there… another kind of a being besides vampires that uses dark magic? That naturally has dark magic? Is “evil witch” a thing? I mean, they were in Sims3, weren’t they? :O


        1. Is she keeping secrets? Oh my. Haha! Even I can’t remember every detail so if you did it’d be kinda amazing. You’d be like my spare memory. I could really use a few of those. When things become super relevant again, I will endeavour to remind you for maximum riddle solvability. 😁
          Your suspicions always have merit, but you know that. 😉 Deliberately getting kidnapped is one way to find someone who hides well, isn’t it? “…but there might be more to that.” There might be…
          Correct, it’s not his vampirism that means she shouldn’t exist. Evil witch definitely was a thing in the game that spawned this story, yes. Ooh you’re so close! So close! ‘About to lose your eyebrows’ close.


  3. Not the BUM! 😱

    Right, on to the actual comment. *puts on tinfoil hat* The contrast between happy, smiling, spellcasting Kathryn and pale, creepy, cat-eyed Bob is staggering. I don’t remember most of the society vampires’s names but I’m pretty sure the brown-haired one staring up at her is Layne. My mind keeps calling him Lanyard and I don’t know why. Anyway. She’s wearing the same type of outfit as Moustache’s other wife but she doesn’t seem nearly as docile, which makes me think that maybe she wasn’t bound to him. Did she go voluntarily? Did Lanyard turn her? So many questions.

    Technically this is our first time meeting Bob, but her image has been so tainted by memories that were shared by Seth (and by his behaviour) that I’m having a hard time staying objective. Seems like she’s got a similar type of speaking as Seth, but not as long-winded and much more dramatic. Fitting for what seems to have been a performer. Oh geez, and there is the first confirmation that Seth was probably telling the truth. That red mist is terrifying. I wonder how many people she caught in that at once. I don’t play with vampires in the game, so I don’t know where that comes from. A mass mesmerise, like April does to single targets? Or something different? It seems different.

    So the first thing she does is feed, and the second thing she does is go after Seth. She seemed to stick around him all the time even as a cat. Or at least close. Bob is incredibly obsessed. I wonder if it’s just because she likes him and put him in her dungeon for so long, or because there’s some deeper scheme at play here.
    [It was only a matter of time before I was back in Caleb’s lap – in one form or another.]
    …. 😐🤔😦🤔… nah. No way… right?

    And there’s the bit that makes all my objectivity go out the window and makes me boil over with rage. Her baby. After what she put him through. Gah, it does sounds all kinds of wrong. Possessive, degrading, humiliating, infantilising… especially paired with that scared face in the flashback. Gaaaah I despise pre-mental breakdown Seth (and am very confused about post-breakdown kinder Seth peeking through, though I think I have that figured out now) but Bob ranks above him on the potato-target scale.

    Free magic. Interesting. I believe Sage called it a barrier against dark magic last chapter, which would support the idea of Kathryn turning to dark magic (and vampirism? Or was that a side effect of more power?) of her own free will. I wonder what she wanted more power so badly for. She was already high priestess. She already led the clan. What merit is there in clawing for more power? I’m pretty sure that Broof tried something dark magicky to do something that ties in with Cabbage’s death and paid the price – is it the same for Kathryn? Did she want to do something she couldn’t, and turn into Bob as a side effect?

    Oooh, and she knows Sage from back then, too. That’s very interesting. “Try and take me”. So they were after her, and Sage knew they were after her. To use as leverage against Seth? To kill, so Seth would have nobody? To turn into a vampire? “She shouldn’t exist”. I’m not sure if that’s a “there’s something special about her that shouldn’t be possible” or a possessive “he belongs to me, and any reminder of him being with anyone else needs to be destroyed”. Seeing with how obsessed she seems even now, I’m leaning towards the latter.

    Bwahaha omg Ma is amazing 😂 she is turning into one of my favourite characters – every time she’s on screen or even talked about I like her a little bit more.

    …I wonder if she just turned into a cat, like she always did back when she didn’t practice loads of “free” magic yet, and the universe just went “Ha! Nope. CONSEQUENCES!” and she got herself stuck like that.


    1. Protect the children! It’s a BUM! I have wondered if I should take off the ‘nudity is always tasteful’ notice from my chapter page, but we all have a bum. That’s acceptable right? Eh, I don’t care. It’s Wednesday and I’ve had my permitted seltzer so I’m trying to stop myself adding all the bums to the next chapter.

      I don’t think I’ve told you everyone’s names but, from left to right around the table in the place Kathryn is singing, we have Charlotte, Silas, Layne, Wrathwyn and Hellbeth so yes, the one staring up at her (eventually) is Layne. Or Lanyard, totally acceptable. So many questions! I won’t answer them here but you know where I lurk if you just need an answer.

      “A similar type of speaking as Seth, but not as long-winded” the dude is so long-winded, bloody hell, he eats up the word count. Yes, Kitty is much more ‘visual’ in her thinking but, like Seth, with a healthy dose of ‘not really with the times’. And less alliterative. And less thesaurus. Just less.

      Back in Caleb’s lap. Maybe it’s a comfy place to be?

      Ugh. Yes. Yes, yes and yes. Moving on before I boil with you.

      Why would she want more power? I’m sure she had a reason, if that was the reason. Which I can neither confirm nor deny. ”I’m pretty sure that Broof tried something dark magicky to do something that ties in with Cabbage’s death and paid the price.” 🍪

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, dear. First of all, I feel that AJ was in some actual danger there and now I feel foolish for laughing at the other chapter because I am CONCERNED.

    I did not think this was a chapter that would answer all of my questions, but here is what I know now:

    Kitty *thinks* she is a force to be reckoned with. And maybe once upon a time that was true. But it’s been a few centuries, sweetie, and I don’t think you are ready for Faith. Faith maybe be broken, she may sometimes (all the time?) go the wrong way, but she is not so easily controlled. And I think Kitty is in for one hell of a fight.

    This whole chapter gave me shivers! You think that Seth is a monster and Caleb is a monster and so on and so on and then you meet Kitty and it’s clear who the real monster is.

    (oh this bad, I’m developing a crush).

    But I digress. I have a feeling Sage has got something up her sleeve too. The woman is nothing, if not tenacious. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to continue living in my fantasy world where everything is fine and no one has anything to fear from Kitty. Kthxbye.

    Liked by 1 person

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