A/R (Author's ramblings):
Hello, all, and welcome to the magical land of the sane part of my brain! Magical, is it not? Lucky Charms could be its twin.
Let me warn you straight away, that I am a COMPLETE amateur when it comes to writing. I know better how to read, which shouldn't come as a surprise, really. I digress.
My story may be a little rushed, or it may be a little slow(but let's be honest, it's rushed, isn't it? Ahhhh, I'm such a noob!), so feel free to criticize me to the best of your constructive ability when you review. I am walk this lonely road, so there may be many mistakes, but hopefully not, because I am a grammar and spelling nerd. Granted, I'm a complete noob in both, but I do like to do my best(I said "do" twice. Heh. Do do).
Please read, review, love, hate, dislike, like, get turned into a pit viper, get turned back, be horribly traumatized about your times as a pit viper, be inducted into a psychiatric ward, get out, feeling like a free man only to be run over by a train, somehow live, and decide to make me a sandwich.
Disclaimer: *looks into wallet* My wallet says I don't own anything but a moth.
Chapter one. A Dime Is A Dollar, Right?
How would you react if you woke up one day and a cat was sitting on your face? What if it wasn't even your cat? Would you pick the thing up and toss it across your room, cursing because it peed on your face just to wake you up? Or would you sit up, grab it, and take it to your open window that you could have sworn you closed the night before?
I did none of those things. I did none of those things because the cat did something that no one could have predicted it would do. The cat spoke.
"Hey, wake up."
I opened my eyes to a quite purring voice.
"What?" I croaked, voice dry from falling to sleep right after a late night ironman game of soccer with no water breaks. I couldn't even remember getting into bed, let alone changing into my pajamas. "Who's there?"
"Wake up. Feed me," the voice purred again. It was then that I realized I had a cat on my head and my face was mysteriously wet.
"Ahhhhh!" I shot up into a sitting position and allowed my brain to catch up with the situation. "Ewwww! That is so gross!" I picked up my blanket and scrubbed furiously at my face, stopping only when I heard a low hiss.
"Hey! Watch what you're doing, Neph!" I looked around, only finding the treacherous cat that lived in the woods behind my house that my dad insisted on feeding every morning. Could I be dreaming?
"Hello?" I said, deciding to test the waters and see if the ghost that was haunting my room wanted to murder me or not. "Are you going to kill me?"
"Of course not! How else would I get my breakfast?" This time, my attention was directed towards the cat sitting atop the computer monitor on my desk. I stared. "What? Is there something on my face?"
My mouth opened wide in shock. That's not possible. Cats don't speak. That's impossible. Animals can't speak. Especially little mangy furballs that like to pee on people's faces. That's impossible.
"You've said that already, Neph." Apparently I was speaking out loud. Why must my mouth go rogue on me when all I want to do is go back to sleep and pretend this never happened? "Now, are you going to feed me or not?"
"Stop!" I threw my blanket over my head, trying to drown out the sound of the cat's voice- which was sounding less and less like purring by the second. Could it be growing angry with me?
"Stop what?" The cat said, tone slightly annoyed. Do cats even have tones?
"Stop… That! That… Speaking thing you're doing! How are you even speaking? Cats don't speak! Why am I even speaking back?" I was rambling. Let me take the time right now to tell you that I'm not very proud of the way I handle stress.
"What? I've always spoken!" The cat hissed indignantly. Apparently, I hurt its feelings. Poor thing. Not. "I've always spoken! This is just the first time you've bothered to listen." The cat started to lick its paws. "I've been very patient with you, Neph. Others in my place would have given up years ago."
"Wait, given up on what?" I asked. I was sure I was going crazy. I was actually entering into a conversation with the cat.
"You, Neph. You took so long. Makes me wonder who your father was," the cat said, rolling its little cat eyes.
If I'm gonna be speaking to a cat, I'm going to have to get over the fact that it's a cat. You know, for my own sanity.
"Wait, you know of my father? And why are you calling me 'Neph'? That's not my name!"
"No, Neph, I didn't. That's why I just said I was wondering who your father was. And they told me you guys were smart." The cat jumped off my monitor and on to the back of my swivel chair, deftly dodging the pillow I threw at it. Makes me appreciate the term "cat like reflexes" better. "Watch where you place things, Neph. You might end up hurting someone."
"Stop calling me 'Neph'! My name is Bella!" I said, scowling. The pillow I threw crashed into my desk, knocking everything on it to the floor. Now I'm going to have to clean it all up.
"No, it isn't your name, is it?" The cat asked, jumping off of my chair and landing gracefully on my dresser. "But, it is what you are."
I grumbled under my breath. Stupid cat doesn't even know how to speak. It annoys me to no end when someone starts a sentence with "but". Call it a pet peeve of mine. I shook my head and sighed.
"What do you mean, 'what I am'?" I asked, choosing to ignore the cat's grammar. It would be foolish to argue with an animal of all things. A baby, maybe. An animal? Now that's too much.
"I mean you are what you are, Neph. Now feed me." The cat leapt off my dresser and strolled over to my door. It sprang for the handle, somehow managing to open it. "Come on."
I decided to follow the thing. Maybe if I feed it, it will decide to stop talking the way an old man on the top of a mountain is supposed to. That, or if once I start doing something normal, I'll wake up and realize I had only been sleep walking. Yeah, let's go with that.
Once I got downstairs, my legs were burning, no doubt trying to teach me a lesson for making them work so soon after last night (I swear, my muscles hate me), I looked around, not seeing the cat. Maybe it decided I wasn't what it was looking for and scooted off to a little cat bar to tell all its little cat buddies about the foolish human who actually believed a cat was talking to her.
"You coming?" The cat asked, sticking his head out around the corner to the kitchen. Yeah, I thought not.
"Yeah, yeah… Hold your horses, furball," I said, hanging my head in disappointment. I'd rather have all of the cat community laughing at me than actually face the fact that this cat was actually speaking.
The cat hissed and disappeared back behind the corner. Just before I followed it, I heard my dad yell from upstairs.
"Bells?" He shouted, not noticing that I was just a few feet off from the bottom of the stairwell and he was just at the top. "Oh, there you are."
"Hi, Daddy," I said, smiling. Yeah, I call him 'daddy', so what? I loved my pops. Yeah, he may just be my adopted father, but I loved him the same. He'd been the only one to actually understand when my mother passed away, trying, and failing, to give me a little sister. He comforted me, and I comforted him back. Together, we formed an inseparable bond that nothing could rival. Not even concrete glue.
"Were you making mewling noises?" He asked, walking with me into the kitchen and getting out the cat food for the interloper sitting on the table. "'Cause I coulda sworn I heard you scream, and then two cats meowing at each other.
"No, I wasn't," I said, giving him a confused look. "And all I remember is this devil spawn climbing on my face and…" I paused, my face growing pale from the blood draining into my feet. "EW!" I shouted and raced upstairs and to the shower, faster than any human in the world. I would have been freaked if I wasn't so grossed out by the pee on my face. I'd also need to clean my blanket. As I was running away, I could have sworn I heard my dad chuckle and ask the cat if it'd done it again, to which it replied that it had, and that I'd deserved it.
I'd get that cat, one day.
When I was finished, I walked out of my bathroom and straight to my dresser which housed my usual: sport shorts and a t-shirt. I don't even know why I have a closet if all I do is stack my t-shirts on top of my dresser instead of hanging them up.
I got dressed and walked downstairs, barefoot, the shoes of champions, and went back into the kitchen looking for my dad. The whole way down the stairwell I was marveling at how I was no longer sore. I was always the envy of my team because of how fast I recovered from exertion. The only other person who did that that they knew of was the goal keeper who was on their team the year before me. She was a short girl, although they told me she was incredibly fast and could jump amazingly high.
"Daddy?" I queried, peeking around the corner, into the kitchen. "Are you cooking, yet?"
"No, Bells." He chuckled, drinking his coffee. "I figured I'd let you decide what you wanted first. You know, before you have to leave the room so I can cook."
It may be a little known fact, but bad luck follows me everywhere. Especially in those places where dangerous things reside. Take the kitchen, for example: knives, microwave, forks, spoons, stoves, giant fridge/freezer combo, lots of things to kill someone. Luckily for me, everything in there has taken up the contract someone has put out for my head. That was sarcasm. When people turn the stove on, it explodes. When someone knocks the fridge, it falls at me (Yes, AT me. It purposely falls so it will hit me). When someone uses a knife, fork, spoon, or spork, it flies through the air-straight at my face. The only reason I'm still alive is my amazing physical prowess.
"Oh, I'll just take some cereal, milk, and some fruit." I walked over to the counter and got a plastic spoon from the drawer. Yes, we use plastic utensils. It might be gross, but it's much safer than metal.
"Here you go," he said, setting the things I asked for in front of me on the table as I sat down in my chair. "On the house."
"Why, however can you be so kind?" I asked, holding a hand to my heart and pretending to wipe a tear from my eye.
My dad chuckled and left the room, probably to go and retrieve the paper from the front porch.
"What a kind man, him." I stiffened in my seat. I had forgotten about that little problem. "Too bad he isn't your real father. I would have preferred he were. Maybe he could have sired someone with a little more… wit."
"Would you quit it?" I hissed out in a whisper, not wanting my dad to overhear me talking to a cat. He'd send me to the nut house for sure this time. Once, when I was little, I was trading songs with a bird in my backyard. Other birds heard and came to listen and participate, many landing on me or around me. When my father walked outside, saw me, and asked what I was doing, to which I replied that I was talking and singing with the birds. He got this weird look on his face and shooed the birds away. I never did that again. I had always dismissed that memory as childhood imagination (I mean, birds talking? Ridiculous!), but I guess it was real.
"What?" The cat asked, looking affronted. "I am doing no wrong. I am simply speaking to you and your father like I normally do. Your father is the one who is doing wrong by ignoring me."
"Wait, what?" I asked, stopping in the middle of pouring myself some cereal. "What do you mean 'like I normally do'? You mean you talk to us all the time?" The cat sighed, shaking its head.
"I've only been telling you that for the past hour, Neph. Is it not time you learn?"
"Learn what?" I asked, choosing not to be offended by the cat's clear insult to my intelligence. The cat sighed again.
"Have you not been wondering why you can suddenly understand what I am saying?" The cat spoke as if it were teaching a child something. I already know not to stick my fingers in outlets, thank you.
"Of course I have, stupid cat. I've been asking you all day!" I said, not a little annoyed.
"The reason, Neph, is not because I have suddenly learned to speak your language, but because you have suddenly learned to speak mine."
I dropped the spoon I had been raising to my mouth, spilling milk all over my nice, clean, comfortable shorts. I stood up, cursing right when my dad burst into the kitchen.
"Bells! I heard them again! I swear, there's another cat in this- what happened?" He asked, finally realizing I had cereal bits on my shorts, and milk on the floor. "Did you drop your food again?"
"Yes, daddy, I dropped my food," I said, smiling sweetly. If what the cat said was indeed true, then the other cat my dad was talking about had to have been me. That means I've been meowing this whole time without even knowing it. If anyone were to find that out, they'd most definitely send me to the crazy house. "Let me clean this up real quick and go change; then I'll be out of your hair."
"Okay, Bells. I gotta go to work, soon, anyway," he said, sipping his coffee. I looked at the clock on the wall above the entrance and saw that it was only 7 o'clock. Ouch, that's early for a Saturday.
My dad works as owner and manager of his own window washing company that goes around the whole state. Considering how icy it gets up here in the winter and how the birds all migrate up here in the summer, he has a lot of work year round. He's even been given a job to do some of those large buildings that are made entirely out of glass in the city a few hours away.
I watched my dad go upstairs to change into his uniform for work and got on cleaning the milk off the floor. When I was finished, I raced up stairs, trying to get to my room before the cat. Upon reaching the doorway, I jumped through and slammed the door shut. I locked it, and danced around in victory, finally able to escape from that cat.
"What are you doing?" The voice sounded from behind me, sounding bored, but slightly amused at the same time. Does that make sense?
"Impossible!" I whirled around. The cat was right there, sitting on my window sill. "You were downstairs a few seconds ago! You didn't even move when I left!"
"You should be careful how you use the word 'Impossible', Neph." The cat said, doing a weird little cat chuckle thing. "It's not able to be thrown around as much as it used to be."
"What do you mean?" I asked, forgetting for a while my shorts, and just staring at the cat in curiosity. Hmm… I wonder, if I stare in curiosity enough, will it kill the cat? Worth a try.
"Everything that you've known until now, will change," the cat said, adopting a serious tone to its voice. "Soon, an envoy will come after you to either turn you, or kill you."
"What would they wanna kill me for?" I asked, finally remembering my shorts and going about changing them. "I'm not that hated, am I?" I was going for a joke, but apparently I hit the nail on the head.
"Actually, you are," the cat said, tone grave. "Everyone hates you. You are the only one that can save and be saved and they envy you to the point of hatred for your power." The cat cocked its head, seemingly thinking about something. "Well, I guess there could be more of you, but I doubt it. Angels don't make it a habit to go around courting humans-"
"WAIT!" I shouted, interrupting the cat. "What did you say? Angels? Angels don't exist!" The cat leveled a glare at me and I flinched. Man, cats can throw a mean glare. I think it's the weird pupils.
"Of course they do!" It hissed, standing up from its sitting position, its fur rising on its back. "How do you think you came to be in this world! Not because two humans who didn't want a child had one by mistake, but because of an Angel! An Angel fell in love with a human female and impregnated her to create you! You and all your kind!"
"What…" I said, voice shaky, frightened at what the cat had just revealed. "You mean to say… That I'm not… Human?" The last word came out in a squeak. This is impossible. This can't be happening. I'm human… Aren't I?
"That is not what I mean to say! That is what I'm saying!" The cat huffed, sitting back down.
"No, that's im-"
"If you are about to say that word, I suggest you stop." The cat said, eyes narrowing, its glare intensifying. "I don't like that word anymore."
"Then I'm… Not human." I whispered to myself, plopping down in my swivel chair. "Then…" I looked up at the cat. "What am I?"
"You?" The cat said, its glare turning into a soft, sympathetic gaze. "You are Nephalem. Child of the Angels, cursed to wander this world, saving those who are undeserving."
"Wander?" I sat up straight in my chair. Now I have to leave? "What do you mean 'wander'?"
"You must become a nomad and go around saving people." The cat started to clean itself, seemingly uncaring about the state of my mental trauma. "Of course, you could do it from one place, there are more than enough undeserving souls in one city, but it is dangerous to do so."
"Why is it dangerous?" I asked, putting my head in my hands and slumping forward in my chair. "Let me guess. Some kind of evil being is going to try and suck out my soul and use my body as a rug." I looked up at the cat, who had a surprised expression on his face. Do cats have expressions? "Am I right?"
"Wow, that was a good guess." The cat raised its little cat eyebrows at me. "And here I thought you were completely brainless."
"Well, I do pride myself in having at least half my brain," I said, a little proud of myself. "That's not the point, though."
"Ah, yes. As I said before, you will indeed be in danger if you stay in one place too long. As of this morning, when you woke up, demons have been able to sense you from around the globe and they will try literally anything to get to you."
"What will they do if they get me?" I asked, my voice again a whisper, dreading the answer.
"I don't know. This is my first assignment, so I don't know much about what a demon does to a Nephalem. I would assume he would either try to turn you, or eliminate you."
"What do you mean by 'turn me'?"
"Well, you know how Demons came into existence in the first place?" The cat looked at me, obviously expecting an answer I didn't have. It sighed. "I thought not. To make it short, Lucifer, God's right hand man, didn't really like how things were being dealt with up in Heaven so he decided to revolt and take over. Needless to say, he lost. There weren't always Angels and Demons, and when God banished Lucifer down to Hell, he and his followers transformed, making demons. They learned to slip through cracks and hide in corners and eventually made it out of Hell and into the Human realm-Earth.
"Not all of the Angels that revolted with Lucifer were unrepentant, though, and most wanted to go back to Heaven. God wouldn't allow them, though, for some reason or another, and the Fallen Angels, or just the Fallen, took it upon themselves to watch over humanity and keep it safe from Demons." The cat finished cleaning itself and yawned. "Some Fallen fell in love with Humans and badda bing, you have the Nephalem."
"You know," I said, "that wasn't very short." The cat hissed and clawed the air, most likely pretending to scratch my face off like it had done many times before. I chuckled. I guess I'm getting used to this. "So what part do you play in all this? You mentioned an assignment?"
"Hmph." The cat rolled into a ball upon the window sill, and basked in the sun. "I am no ordinary cat. The Fallen had realized that their children were being targeted because of their ability to save souls and the favor they held with the Father, so they devised a plan to give them guides to help them survive in a world where everyone wants their head."
"How'd they do that?" I asked, interrupting the cat. I had yet to gain anything from its drawn out explanation and was already getting bored. I wanted the straight facts.
"I was getting to that!" The cat hissed, fur rising as it lifted its head to glare at me. "Anyway, they went around looking for vessels. Since animals don't have souls, they were perfect. The Fallen, however, had not the heart to actually harm the animals in any way, since they were so pure, so they looked for ones who were on the brink of death before saving their lives while simultaneously filling them with knowledge beyond that of a Human-and a little bit of their Angel spirits."
"So you're an Angel-cat?" I asked, a little impressed.
"If you want to put a name to it, I guess so. I prefer the term Spiritus Dux." The cat eyed me. "That's Latin, if you were wondering." I was wondering, actually.
"Why do I know what that means if it was Latin?" I asked, knowing that "Spiritus Dux" meant "Spirit Guide", but not knowing whether to feel afraid of this new-found ability to speak Latin (and cat) or to be awed by my awesomeness.
"Your ability to understand goes far beyond just cat, Neph. You will find in time that you can speak any language known to man, animal, plant, or any other language you will find." The cat sounded rather smug. Obviously because he knows so much and I so little. It's not my fault I was only able to understand it now! "Now, before we can go any further, we must bond."
"Wait, what?" I asked, standing up and thwarting the cat's attempt at jumping across the room and onto my shoulder. Man, that thing can jump. "What do you mean 'bond'? You're not gonna have to suck my blood or bite me or anything are you?"
"Don't be foolish, Neph," the cat said from atop my shoulders, rolling its eyes. I jumped when I heard it right behind my ear and it fell with a high pitched cat screech. Hadn't the thing just been on the floor in front of me? It hissed at me before speaking again. "We just have to meld our souls. I will not be able to properly guide you if I do not know what state you are in spiritually."
"Will it hurt?" I asked, still breathing hard from my scare. I took slow, calming breaths. No need to drown the thing that's supposed to be keeping me alive. The cat looked at me like I was an idiot. What'd I do?
"That's really what you're worried about? You have no questions about what it would do to you, or even how it's supposed to happen?" The cat shook its head and I marveled at how human a gesture like that was. "You have no self preservation, do you?"
"Hey!" I shouted, clearly making it noted that I was insulted. "I have self preservation! How do you think I'm even alive with all the inanimate objects out for my head?"
"Mm. You do seem to have a number of imps after you," it mused. Before I could ask what an imp was, it spoke again. "Anyway, let's get this over with." It jumped on my chest, causing me to fall back, missing my chair and landing straight into the mess of desk-objects on my floor, bruising my butt. I swear it does this on purpose. The cat quickly placed the crown of its head against the dip in my collar bone and a flash ensued. It was weird. I could feel something invading my body, but… It wasn't "invading" per se, more like it was tromping on my lawn, yelling for me to let it in.
"Open yourself, Neph," the cat murmured, pushing harder into my collar bone and seemingly going further into me.
I tried to do as it said, because this feeling was really weird, and my butt was starting to hurt from landing on my first place trophy and pencil sharpener. Let me tell you, it's not a good combination.
I closed my eyes and envisioned myself opening a door, and the cat happily trotting in. It was right then, as the cat crossed the threshold that I had this amazing feeling of being two people. Or… It was more like there were two people inside of me, and at the same time, I was inside of someone else (my guess was it was the cat) along with that person.
"There we go, now slowly pull away, but remember this feeling. You can call on me any time now. Just open yourself to me." The cat slowly pulled away, and I slowly closed the door.
I opened my eyes and blinked. Everything looked so clear. I could literally see the particles of dust floating in the air, and they weren't highlighted by the light. I could also hear… Well, everything. I could hear the blood pumping through the cat's and my veins, I could hear its soft, steady breathing. Heck, I could hear the breathing of the neighbor three doors down. I bet, if I concentrated hard enough, I could probably hear my dad washing windows in the city hours away.
"How do you feel?" the cat asked, not moving from my chest, which was kind of annoying, considering where he was standing. As soon as he said that, I noticed the raging pain in my buttocks where the trophy and pencil sharpener were jabbing into my poor flesh. I wouldn't have been surprised if I were bleeding, but I could tell I wasn't.
"Like I've been sitting on trophies and pencil sharpeners for hours," I groaned, throwing the cat off of me and standing up. I tentatively put my hands on my butt cheeks, attempting to soothe the pain even the tiniest bit. It didn't work. I don't even know why people did this in the first place. It never works.
"Hmm. It's only been a minute and a half. You'd think your pain tolerance would have been upped as well, but it seems you've just gotten a boost to your senses. Don't worry, you'll get used to it. Probably."
I cursed under my breath. Probably? Doesn't this cat know what it's talking about? That's when I had a revelation. If I'm going to be living with the cat for the rest of my existence (I couldn't call running for my life a life), then I should know what to call it.
"Um… Excuse me… Cat?" I said, not knowing how to address the thing out loud.
"Yes, Neph?" It asked, stressing the word 'Neph'. I guess it doesn't like being called, 'cat'.
"Umm… Do you… Happen to have… I dunno, a name?" I asked, feeling a lot awkward. I rubbed my arm and blushed. Should this be so hard? "I mean, you don't have to tell me if you don't want to."
The cat laughed at me again. I swear, the thing hates me.
"No, I don't have a name." It crawled to my feet and started rubbing itself across my ankles, purring. "Seeing as you are now my master, you can name me if you wish."
I thought about that. What do I want to name this evil devil spawn fur ball of a cat that likes to pee on my face? After thinking for a few minutes, I suddenly had an idea. I know just how to get back at the stupid thing.
"Fine, then as of now, your name is… Meatball." Before I could even look down at Meatball in triumph, it jumped on my face and started eating me. It was then I realized it was a "she". Guess I should get my dad to take me to go get tags for the cat, and shots for myself.
Yeah... Tell me if I should continue this, and who I should put as who. I only have places for Bella, Alice, and Charlie right now, and I know not of where I should put any one else. Be warned, I'm not sure if this will have Bellice in it or not, but Alice will most CERTAINLY be in it. I love her too much to forget her.