At Child of Dreams' request, I have posted this other Phan-Phiction, WHICH I WILL NOT CONTINUE. Anything in asterisks is a direct quote from Susan Kay's Phantom. Own nothing, enjoy.
*Staring out across the frozen river, I wondered briefly just how hungry a woman would have to be to accept bread from my hand in return for her services. I'd never dared to approach a prostitute; I'd never be able to face the humiliation of having my money refused. The memory of that little slave girl in Persia still burned in my head.
Something pulled at the hem of my cloak; and as I turned, thinking to find the elegant cashmere snagged on the remains of a paling, I found that I, too, had been accosted by a lady desperate for food.
A very little lady...
There, on the pavement,* was a very rattled kitten. Her coat was coloured as a tiger would look but it was filthy and stained. I knelt to lift her but then noticed her twin stepping forward, a string of pearls in his mouth. He too was coloured like a tiger with muddy fur. Feeling poorly for them, I took them to my sanctuary below the Opera. I washed them up and stole some horse meat for them. I stood just outside the dining room, not able to bear the thought of watching them eat that. Then it dawned on me. If I hadn't saved them they would be some *stuffed tailor dummy and his mincing, overdressed wife's* meal!
Minutes later, there was a loud crash followed by high-pitched cackling. I opened the door to find the two kittens on the table and a glass shattered on the floor. I glared daggers at the two as I picked up the glass shards. After a while, they went and curled up in the corner. I heard a faint mumbling a while after that. "Shou'n't 'ave done that, Jer." I shook my head and continued picking up shards.
"Come on, Tea! It was fun!" I looked up to the kittens who seemed fast asleep. I placed the shards on the table then went to inspect the peculiar kittens.
"Yeah, bu' we coulda gotten int'a trouble!" The kittens could talk! The female kitten had a fairly high voice compared to her counterpart.
"He saved us! Why'd he want ta get rid 'a us?"
"Shut ya face, Jer."
"You shut ya face, Tea." The girl kitten kicked her sibling and he woke with a start. He looked up at me. "Um, Tea, I think'ee knows." He pawed his sibling and she woke.
"Uh-oh." She hopped up on the table. "What's ya name?"
"My name is Erik. What is yours?"
"Jane. This is James." James waved.
"When you were asleep though, you called each other 'Tea' and 'Jer'." Jane sighed.
"I'll explain then. We are Jellicle cats an' as you can see we are very special cats." James hopped up on the table. The two cats sat beside each other, facing me directly.
"There's a man over there, with a look of surprise. As much as to say 'well now how about that'."
"Do I actually see with my own very eyes, a man who's not heard of a Jellicle cat?" Jane sang as she winked at me.
"The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter, it isn't just one of your holiday games; you may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter when I tell you, a cat must have three different names. First of all, there's the name that the family use daily, such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James, such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey- all of them sensible everyday names.
"There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter, some for the gentlemen, some for the dames: such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter- but all of them sensible everyday names.
"But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular, a name that's peculiar, and more dignified, else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular, or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride? Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum, such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat, such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum- names that never belong to more than one cat.
"But above and beyond there's still one name left over, and that is the name that you never will guess; the name that no human research can discover- but the cat himself knows, and will never confess. When you notice a cat in profound meditation, the reason, I tell you, is always the same: his mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name: his ineffable effable, effanineffable, deep and inscrutable singular name." The two paused for a moment as I watched them. They looked like they wanted to say or sing something else so I gave them a nod.
"Mungojerrie," James sang as he pointed to himself.
"And Rumpleteazer." Jane sang as she pointed to herself.
"We're a notorious couple of cats. As knockabout clowns, quick-change comedians, tight-rope walkers and acrobats. We have an extensive reputation. We make our home in Victoria Grove. This is merely our center of operation for we are incurably given to rove.
"When the family assembles for Sunday dinner, their minds made up that they won't get thinner on Argentine joint, potatoes and greens. Then the cook would appear from behind the scenes and say in a voice that was broken with sorrow: 'I'm afraid you must wait and have dinner tomorrow, the joint has gone from the oven like that!' Then the family would say, 'It's that horrible cat! Was it Mungojerrie or Rumpleteazer?' And most of the time they leave it at that!
"Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer have a wonderful way of working together. And some of the time you would say it was luck and some of the time you would say it was weather. We go through the house like a hurricane and no sober person could take his oath! Was it Mungojerrie or Rumpleteazer? Or could you have sworn that it might've been both? Or when you hear a dining room smash, or up from the pantry there came a loud crash, or down from the library came a loud ping from a vase which was commonly said to be Min. Then the family would say: 'Now which was which cat? Was it Mungojerrie or Rumpleteazer? And there's nothing at all to be done about that!'" Then the cats did something unexpected. James stood on his hind legs and in quite a quick movement, Jane threw her paws over his legs and they spun in a wheel across the table until they both fell off. "And there's nothing at all to be done about that!" Jane jumped sideways onto James' hip and he supported her for a few seconds before she slipped down and collapsed for a catnap. James hopped back up on the table.
"So I take it that your second names are Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer?"
"Ya catch on fast."
"Naturally." James chuckled. "If you break anything else-"
"It's our job ta break stuff-"
"-I will have to subject you to Don Juan Triumphant."
"It is an Opera that I am writing that I do not even like to play."
"An' why is that?"
"Come with me." I stood and went to the organ in my bedchamber. James hopped up on the lid of my coffin and I sat down on the organ bench. "I will play only two measures, alright. No more, no less." I played the two measures and when I turned to look at James, he lay on the floor crying, screaming, and twitching. To calm him down I played Mozart's Moonlight Sonata on my violin and he fell asleep. I carried him by the scruff of his neck back into the dining room where I laid him with his sister.
Little did I know, in the next six years, I would hear Don Juan Triumphant more than I ever had or would.
In the first year, I played eighteen measures for Jane and twenty for James.
In the second year, I played ten measures for Jane and sixteen for James.
In the third year, I played four measures for Jane and ten for James.
In the fourth year, I played six for James.
And in the fifth year, I played the whole thing for myself.
Why did I have to fall in love with someone I couldn't have?
James and Jane were now full grown cats but still followed me everywhere. They were the ones that found her, not me! They stole her father's violin, not me! Then again, it was broken and they were being nice. I fixed the crack in the lower bout and placed it beneath her cot with a note: I fixed your father's violin. Yours, the Angel of Music. After that, James, Jane and I had an argument over just about anything and everything.