this is basically just an outside look on cat (with a little bit of bat) as a warm up to her character. i am absolutely attracted to her character (as a writer). i was inspired by the song bird song intro by florence + the machine which makes great background music if you're interested.
i would appreciate reviews, comments, critique, anything!
you won't disarm my heart. . .
When Cat Valentine was a child, not even more than three hundred and twenty eight days old, she loved to laugh. She danced before she could walk, whimsically throwing her body off to the wind and embracing the ground with each fall as if they were bear hugs from marshmallow giants. And when she felt the grass tickling her cheek, she laughed and made sounds of 'ah's and 'oh's in these musical symphonies, effectively communicating "I am happy" even without learning the power of speech. She lived and she dreamed with eyes wide open and ready to express whatever childish sentiments barely one year olds feel. But that was just it- she felt.
She sometimes felt too much too suddenly that her very laughs synchronized with tears and she was just so confused so she let her tiny baby frame shake and laugh and cry to the bewilderment of strong shadowy figures dominant in her life.
So she felt. And left those around her on the outside of her inner world. Her feelings were special to her, brimming over the top of her baby mind, not still experienced in the world.
When Cat was gifted with the joy of being old enough to demand things, she screamed for freedom. So her mother and father took her to the only place they knew embodied freedom- the park. Being three years, fives months and fourty six days old, Cat was inspired by the turning wheels, hanging swings, vivid, blurring colors, stoic monkey bars and twists of plastic slides. She disengaged herself from her father's grip as she climbed into an empty swing at the end, next to an older child who stared in disgust as the laughing Cat struggled and slipped to fit herself onto the black and silver chained swing. After fleeting minutes, she felt her father hoist her up from her tiny rib cage and place her with a rough descend onto the seat.
Cat didn't laugh. She wanted to climb up on her own. But her thoughts changed when she felt a force exerted onto the back fabric of her bright magenta shirt and the wind cut past her fragile pale skin like scissors on paper. Her mouth fell open in animated shock before she erupted in immense amounts of laughter. She was holding freedom underneath the whites of her knuckles curling around the old silver chains.
"Higher!" she squealed. And higher she went, and for a suspended moment, Cat was face to the sky, her brown eyes turning a pale green in need to caress the open sky at her finger tips. So she let go and she became the feeling of freedom until she crashed into the ground like burning airplanes and dismal helicopters.
When Cat sat in her desk, cutting outlines of snow flakes and cupcakes and suns and stars in white smooth paper with pink safety scissors, the other kids gaped in strange curiosity. It was science class and today they were learning that the sky is blue because it is the reflection of the sea and the sun and that it didn't matter how many times the children asked, they just wouldn't understand. But Cat knew the sky was lavender, and sometimes it was pink, but most often she thought of it as gold. The teacher snapped when a child, too oblivious and without the will of his own, pointed out Cat was not paying attention to grade one science.
"What are you doing! It is not time for arts and crafts, Cat. We are learning about science." the teacher swiped the scissors from her miniscule hands a little too sharply, creating friction as her fingers were rammed from the circular holes. Cat stared doe-eyed, her rich chocolate eyes searching for the source of her crime in the adult's eyes. The teacher sighed, "Perhaps you would share your own opinion as to what you are doing?"
Cat sat, thoughtful for a few lingering moment. Her eyes clouded over into worlds far beyond the reaches of the people around her as she laughed at her rhyming inner monologue (Cat sat, sat Cat). she decided, finally, "I'm making happiness."
Cat always spoke very fast when she became overwhelmingly excited for herself to control, which happened most often. But that night as the family watched cartoons on the television, the young brunette had jumped up and began reenacting scenes which involved her screaming and running circles around the family. While her older brother (by only a few years) watched the small eight year, seven month and five day old with glazed interest, her mounting performance began to intermix with the white noise of the flashing television. Somewhere between shouts of fantasy spells and childish vows to protect the citizens of the world, her mother grabbed Cat's wrist, twisting them slightly, yelling at the now frightened child. "Shut up, Catarina! You are giving me a headache!"
Words caught in the back of Cat's throat and her mouth sputtered incoherent mumbles of apologies of deeds she was not sure she had done. As her father appeared in the back of her view, wrenching her mother away, the adult calmed down. As Cat drifted to the past, she wondered if it had something to do with the mess of pale colored capsules unflushed in the spotless clean bathroom.
"Did you take your pills? Come, dear, let's go out for a drive, shall we?" as the adults shuffled through the door, Cat collapsed into her brothers arms, sobbing- only to minutes later, begin laughing hysterically over a silly thought that occurred to her.
Cat had always been very close to her mother, even despite the strange living nightmare that haunted her memories once or twice a gray day. They were quite alike, except, there was one thing her mother could never understand, much like the other strangers that floated in and out of Cat's reality- that was the place Cat visited behind the veils of her earthy eyes. It was her own world filled with sugared icing and cupcakes and a blanket of glitter that covered everything the horizon met in a warped three hundred and sixty degree angle that extended her sight to the far reaches where nine colored rainbows dissolved upon touch.
No one was ever allowed into Cat's own world as she dazed in and out of like the flutter of butterfly wings. But every time she awoke, she found a little more hurricane debris lying in the past just behind her and hazy memories of ghosts she tried to escape. And in this sense, she was very much like her mother, which a friend of the family once commented in a tone that adults use to give the impression that they know more than they're alluding to.
"What's that supposed to mean!" she screeched suddenly, her eyes open from the electric shocks of white hot anger pulsed through her ten year, two month and eighteen day old system. And as the adult spluttered to explain themselves, Cat laughed with the storm passing as she felt herself fading into her own little world.
As eleven year, four month and twenty eight day old Cat piled into the backseat of the car with an overflow of excess bags and items with her older brother, she had no idea the impact this would have upon her. Dressed in her sweetest white dress matched with a pair of fuchsia sandals. Her mother suddenly had the idea to go on a road trip, and her father, wanting nothing more than to ensure her mother's happiness, told the kids to pack whatever they can before throwing them into the car and driving off onto the highway. Neither sibling knew where they were going, and to be fair, their father was just as clueless. But he sat rigid and upright with his hands on the wheel, ready for the strange, whimsical directions she would shout out in a split second's decision.
Cat, however, enjoyed every spontaneous moment as she drew bumpy pictures as they travelled past faded yellow dashed lines that seemed to blur together as one long strip depending on how fast her father drove to bypass slower drivers (which made Cat giggle when he would sometimes curse the other drivers under a long exhaled breath). The road trip was filled with an uninspired game of 'I spy' and a license plate memory game (Cat had the perfect system worked out in her mind so that she remembered up to twenty three consecutive license plates, easily making her the champion). When her mother called for a stop, they set place and had a picnic by an irreemote murky lake with a few other families. Cat eagerly dived into the water, swimming madly before simply deciding to luxuriate in the water being blown in tiny waves over her cooling skin. When the picnic was all said and done and Cat had resemble a shriveled human prune, they decided to get ready to leave. Slipping her hand out of her father's hand, she ran back to the lake bidding a farewell to the moderately large body of water and the families who barely interacted with her. When she made her way back to the car, her eyes bulged in betrayed surprise to see her care speeding off in the distance.
However, instead of crying out, running like a chicken without its head, she laughed, high and clear in the crisp air. She shook her head, unsticking her wet brunette hair from her pale, rosy cheeks, and resolved to simply wait. But waiting was awfully boring by herself, and so she skipped alongside the road, acting as if she were a tightrope walker on the white lines, giggling as cars blew their horn when she lost her footing and tripped into the speeding highway, daring to play frogger. However, as the endless lines went ever on, Cat's smile fell ever so slightly with each passing moment, falling with the dipping sun. Soon, it was night time as Cat wandered into a golden field of barley on the side of the road, sitting down and sobbing as the moon rose to blanket her sadness, the sky an inky black with very few stars freckling her sky. That was when Cat learned to trust in the moon and stay up a little later than allowed, enveloping herself in the shared loneliness of the moon until the sun rose and the screeching siren of a cop car arrived to take her home.
The night Cat found her mother on the kitchen tile in Cat's own cow-print apron she sobbed for in the middle of a foreign ice cream store, was the night that her reaching branches cracked and chipped away and her broken vision shattered. The young brunette fell to her knees, crawling to her mother, poking with a sort of morbid curiosity. "Wake up," Cat called incessantly in her high-pitched twelve year five month and thirteen day old voice. Occasionally her eyes wandered to the stray blank pills that blended into the flooring and the outstanding red velvet cupcakes that stuck like super glue with smeared icing on the habitually pristine floor she was accustomed to seeing. When Cat noticed the leathery feel beneath the padding of her thumb, Cat's eyes sunk in a false state of falling as her own mind began to clink and turn in rusted pace, trying to search the back corner of her mind to find the words to explain her mother's cat nap on the floor.
Cat giggled briefly at her own joke, as her iris' contracted as her safety mechanism began to take over her body- but she fell half way in a shredded fantasy of dilapidating fields and chasms of broken earth that were spacious amongst land mines sprinkling the quick sand earth beneath her skinny legs. She screamed, trying to run from her own world, her fingertips outstretched to a world of pink sparkled icing and glittering clouds. Instead she had dark red skies and limbs of decaying trees reaching out to tear her skin and rip apart her outer shell.
She was jerked from her illusion by her father's hands digging into her skeleton, dragging her across the kitchen tiles and into her brother's spindly frame that stood paralyzed in the doorway, unable to see the crime scene beyond a sea of white dressed paramedics and sheets for burn victims and corpses.
It made sense when the man in an overly formal suit and a plastered face like operatic masks Cat made back at an open Hollywood Arts workshop told her she had a serious mental issue at only fourteen years old. It was of no surprise to her when he continued to say it was hereditary and had most likely been the very illness her mother suffered from. A gun shot resounded in her inner eardrums as if an explosive had just been lit. "What's that supposed to mean!" slipped from the back of her dry throat and she cracked as she emotionally broke into uncontrollable sobs that shook the foundations of the strange building she found herself in. After about seventeen minutes and thirty eight seconds, she was okay and she wanted red velvet cupcakes.
Cat brooded in a sulking, childish pout when no sweets were produced- and she laughed when the doctor gave up and fed her cherry red and vanilla swirled candies. As a compromise, she answered every detailed question, annoyance beginning to ebb away in her voice as he pried further and further into her hollow organs, picking apart her mind where he was not welcome. "You mentioned you had tried to escape, and that you 'awoke' moments later when your father took you away. You mentioned several times your state of lucid dreaming- what is this world that you are so describing? Where are you going? What is it like? Who resides there? How do you interact-"
Cat's fingers that so intertwined within her red velvet hair to the point of knots beginning to mat around them, tore away, forming white burning fists. She screamed at him to stop, preventing him further access into her being and the tips of cobwebbed places she had yet to fully discover herself. Then, she sobbed for the second time that meeting and her hands flew instinctively down to her protruding wrist bones, her right hand rubbing her left forearm in instinctive anxiety.
Cat liked to think she was spontaneous while others just found her impulsive. When she waltzed into class at her freshman year at Hollywood Arts the next day, her hair a vibrant velvet red color, people overcame the disturbance overly quickly. Dismissing her with a "Oh, that's just Cat". Just Cat frowned- not once did one ask why she had dyed her hair. So eventually, she forgot about the transparent flesh monsters and jumped into her world with spineless willow trees and tarnished bronze skies. She kept running, wanting to feel the infinite possibilities of swing sets and aerial arts once more. But all she could find were rickety, old playgrounds that creaked and crumbled into ash and cinders at the slightest touch.
"Woah, Cat, what did you do to your hair?" a dark, yet smooth voice asked in surprise, pulling her through from what she no longer could tell was reality or fantasy. Her muddy eyes stared blankly as if it was obvious, and so she stated in an airy voice, "I dyed it." and he laughed as if she didn't understand (which made her want to pull on her hair and scream that he would never figure her out). He tried to re-format his question, asking her why she dyed it a velvety red considering it was such a drastic move, even for her.
Her chapped lips parted as if to answer, but no sound came. Her paranoia fought with the glint of a hopeful ghost wondering if he had asked for spite or if he had interest in solving her rubik's cube puzzle. As her analytical stare faded into a simply day dream gaze, the boy ran a tanned hand through his dark hair. "Well, I have to go. Tell me some other time? I'll see you at improv." and he left her, parting the thunder clouds of overshadowed mistrust as he did so.
Cat felt destroyed as she waited in a pretty pastel pink princess dress outside of the doors to prom. No one had asked her as she was Cat, and she was 'bi-polar' and 'strange' and 'crazy' and of course no one wanted to date an over-emotional neurotic space case. It hurt to know she was the only girl in school who wasn't at least asked as an after thought. As elitist girls passed by in their equally large and glittery dresses, Cat couldn't help but sigh at the sight of all the Cinderellas and Sleeping Beauties, while she remained to be the paper bag princess, waiting for nobody to escort her in. Yet, as they passed by, snickering to themselves of how desperate and pitiful Cat was to have even shown up dateless and effectively rubbing salt to the wound, Cat could no longer blend into the crowds of glitter and gold. She removed her dirtied glass slippers and fled to the only place she knew she belonged; the park.
Blanketed in the comforting twilight of the park, Cat reveled in the bleeding reds that reflected in the metal of the contraptions. But she bee-lined straight to a picnic table atop a green and yellow hill, climbing atop the graffiti heavy wooden table. Careful not to rip the tulle of her dress (which, of course, she did) she tried to chase the stress induced headache with a few pills for her insomnia and a miniature squirt gun filled with clear vodka with gold flecks she removed from her tiny sequined clutch. As her eyes fluttered close, she swayed to a distant music buzzing in her ears, waiting for the effect to befall her and the blanket of the moon to come out and shelter her. She hummed lightly to the muses in her head telling herself a wordless story of girls (including her) in princess dresses and boys on white and black speckled horses coming to save them. As such, Cat did not appreciate when a pair of strong tan arms felt the need to wrap themselves around her fifteen year old body, pulling her down from the top of an eroded picnic table, stopping her impromptu performance and interrupting her story. She screamed, tears streaming down her rosy red cheeks. She left her limbs to their own devices, flailing in every single direction to try and swat away this intercepting creature and reclaim her hazy day dream she had been pleasantly slipping into as she swayed and twirled in a surreal mood atop the bench. Now it was ruined.
"Cat! What are you doing! Are you trying to kill yourself? For god sake's, Cat, stop. . ." the boy had said, his voice coarse with strain. Cat stopped flailing, her eyes clouding over with a viscous fog. She muttered about trying to kill a headache. The boy behind her turned her body around, so her eyes groggily met his darker ones. "Dear god, Cat. . . don't scare me like that. . . I heard you had left the prom running, you should have stayed and danced with us. I mean, she-" her mind began to fizzle out, blocking out names and numbers, "would have gotten over it after a dozen songs or so. . . just, don't waste a beautiful dress for the comments of over-jealous snobs. Cat? Cat, hey, stay with me-" but she didn't hear too much after that as her consciousness withered away with a few butterfly kisses thrown to the wind. Even if he wasn't hers (and never will be), she had a prince for the night, dressed in black and white with a blood red rose in his coat pocket, who came to her rescue (even if it was a little too late).
As the dusk began to adorn curtains over the nature trail area, seventeen year old Cat suggested the group of mismatched teens make their summer night a little more memorable by a traditional game of spotlight (which, essentially was merely a game of hide-and-go-seek with the help of their cell phone lcd lights). Running as far as her petite legs could carry her in muddied midnight blue heels, she found herself being willed alongside old and scratched rail road tracks. A soft smile brought to her face, Cat quickly removed her shoes and hopped onto the cold steel of the tracks playing make-believe- the world of reality dissolving fast behind her, leaving only forwards. She giggled, though each laugh from her throat seemed separate from her body as if her voice had been thrown, echoing off the pebbles beneath the tracks and being absorbed into the earth. Yet, with each passing second, her giggles began to drown out by a distant humming. A strange sensation vibrated in the solid beneath the pads of her tiny size five and a half feet. "Oh, Cat." a detached voice commented from her side as her eyes fluttered close with the strange vibrations surging through her legs. "Hey, uh- isn't that a bit dangerous?"
"I'm just performing," Cat giggled, balancing in a quick arabesque. "Come join me!" seeing nothing but the shadows of her eyelids, she could not have been too sure if he would join her or simply yank her down by the hand telling her she's insane, which was a typical response to any of the actions she took. However, putting her mind aside, she shut her eyes a little tighter, trying to re-envision a new make-believe world until she heard a slight tap of shoes on metal to her side. Her eyes opened half-way as she glanced to the source of the noise to find him grinning in a slightly lopsided fashion (which he usually reserved exclusively for a select few) towards her, his larger feet wobbling to balance on the thinner metal below him. She let out a surprised gasp as the humming sound steadfastly became louder and the rumbling shot up from the skin of her toes up through every vertebrae of her spine a frozen look painted on her face, mimicking in the boy's opposite. The two did not even need to guess what was approaching in a burning rampage, cutting into their perspectives, a chain of smoke weaving in the crisp sunset air, headlights beaming in their own tags and rights of spotlight.
And Cat began to laugh, her stomach bouncing from the hilarity of the situation to her. "And for my next trick-" she shouted, thrusting her arms out to the side, palms upward to the burning sky. "I will be invincible!" and she laughed again, high and forced as if to challenge the steel monster head on even though her knees shook, suddenly aware of a pressing weight. As the train began to close the distance, the high screeching produced from the friction drumming in her ears, and screams of her name barely audible. She smiled widely, her mouth open in now soundless laughter, her upper arm muscles vibrating from the acid of adrenaline seeping in through her body. And as the spotlight blinded her entire one hundred and eighty degrees of sight, she felt her entire body wrapped in overwhelming feelings and rushes of emotion so quick she couldn't comprehend what was going on. And then she was on the ground, her body ramming into the rocks, scratching her arms, pressed against soft cotton fabric of an old jacket. "Jesus, Cat! I know you just want to feel alive, but there are other ways to know that you're here in reality than near death experiences. Shit," he paused, his arms still embraced around her frame, her face crushed into his chest. "Let me in." and for once, Cat began to truly cry, sobbing as she listened to the rhythm of his rapid beating heart. And she let Beckly Oliver burn the final wall to her once strictly guarded mind and heart.
Cat could not stand the closeness of others for fear that they would figure her out before she could even begin to express herself. So often she detached herself from reality. Her psychiatrist told her it was because of her borderline personality disorder and that if she took her pills the world would not seem so cut and shadowed with the disfigured monsters of people's true dark intentions out to rip apart her limbs to eat away at her heart. But Cat found that the more she took her pills the less she felt. So Cat began opting out white powdered medication for a different kind of remedy that allowed her with a clipped version of the quintessence of the freedom she felt as a child. Her illusion might have still remained frightening, but at least she could feel, even if she lacked the words to describe them and at least, still, no one would be able to figure her out with the layers of alternating expressions.
But it was he that had always found a way into her life, breaking through every defense she decided to place in his path. He even dared to scramble her entire fantasy world she had built in the back reaches of her mind- the very spots she had yet to tangibly touch herself. While they never spoke much- for words were neither of their strengths- they communicated, and somehow, Cat found herself responding through laughter and tears and hiccups and sobs and chokes and screams. And he came back every time like a safety net beneath her act of flying trapeze and wild emotions. That's how they functioned like a synchronized bond. She understood him and he understood her and it was Cat and Beck and Beck and Cat. And she felt a little more secure and a little lighter, flittering around him.
Cat Valentine felt a lot of things and sometimes it was just too much and it began to seep through her bone marrow and pores and she would start to shake. Goose bumps would run up her arms and legs and she would just quiver in the excess of emotion. Then her laughter would catch up to her sobs and things became soundless and sometimes they became interwoven melodies that just could not be explained because her words often lacked substance. So she would slip away into her fantasy, repaired and sewn so that it became a composite of gold and red skies, the moon and sun lingering in a lunar or solar eclipse over the expansive crumbling fields of icing and cones of depression. However, it came with an addition: him. And no matter the consequences of her actions, she felt.