Bella sat in her room on her favourite pink chair by the window. It was cold outside, autumn had just ended and winter was here bringing its fierce chill with it.

It had been summer when she, her sister and her parents moved to the pink palace, she had to move away from her friends who were still in Australia, where it was summer and come to America…She hated the place.

Bella missed her friends greatly, especially her best friend, Victoria, Tori for short. Tori had short blond hair and it was thick, Tori played basketball. Bella didn't play a sport, she played hockey back in Australia, she had only played in school but she was good and always made the team.

Her open window sent a slight breeze towards her blowing about her long dark brown hair. She took a black hair tie off her wrist and tied her hair into a medium ponytail; she admired the shine and slight wave to her hair in the round mosaic mirror on her windowsill.

That mirror had been there when she arrived at the pink palace 2 months ago, though it was old it was very pretty.

Her mirror reflected her school blazer, shirt, tie and skirt, hanging from her bunk ready for next term, she shared a room with her little sister, Eliza who had turned 10 last month, only two years younger than herself.

~xXx~

Bella jumped back in fright at the sight of a skinny black cat on her windowsill. The cat jumped inside and Bella scooped him up on to her lap.

"Hey boy, You scared me?"

"So you can't talk"

The cat blinked its big blue eyes in response; Bella took it as a no.

"I suppose I should name you then…" Bella thought for a while.

"How bout, Cat, just cat" Bella suggested.

Cat purred and curled up in Bella's lap, it comforted Bella greatly to have a friend while she was home alone, her mother and sister were shopping and her father has work every day but Saturday and doesn't get home till 9.

"You must be hungry huh?" Bella ran her hands across the cats skinny spine, Cat looked as though he had never eaten at all.

"Do you live around here?"

Bella didn't quite know why she was talking to a cat, cats can't understand humans, surely she knew that.

You are one skinny cat, I think I'll feed you. Bella thought to herself.

Bella stood up slowly and gently and carried the cat with her to the kitchen, Bella opened the fridge and the cat eyed a half-eaten can of tuna.

"Sorry cat, there's not much in here at the moment, mum is out shopping with Eliza and dad is at work, they might be a while."

"Will some tuna be okay?"

Bella placed the half-eaten can of tuna of the floor and within seconds the cat had eaten it all up.

"Why don't we going exploring cat?"

Bella bent down and knelt on the floor to be closer to cat.

The cat only blinked in response.

Bella picked up the can and chucked it in the bin with cat in her arms as she ran out of the kitchen and up the stairs, she carried the thin cat into her room, Bella put on her pink boots, hat and matching rain coat, she grabbed a bag and slung it over her body.

"C'mon cat"

Bella scooped up that cat in a hurry stumbling a few times as she ran down the stairs holding the fragile thing.

Bella ran into the kitchen with cat in her arms. She pulled a pink water bottle from the cupboard and filled it with water; she then grabbed a chocolate bar and 3 packs of lollies form the cupboard.

"Shhhh, don't tell anyone cat" she winked at the cat and he flicked his tail.

She shoved the water and food in her bag. Next she grabbed a torch, a microscope, a pack of band aids and a blanket for cat, Bella put the blanket over the other supplies in the bag,

Bella scooped up cat from the floor and put him in the bag, and cat snuggled into the blanket.

Bella ran to the door and down the stairs. She stopped running when she got to the garden.

"Why don't we have a look around her aye?"

The cat only flicked its tail in response.

"Man I wish you could talk" Bella was bummed.

Cat jumped out of the bag and had soon disappeared into the garden, Bella caught up with the cat.

"Do you want me to follow you?"

This time the cat nodded in reply, Bella's mouth fell to the floor.

"You can understand me!"

The cat nodded once again.

Bella ran after the cat, it lead her to the edge of the forest and went in, Bella was reluctant to follow it. She stepped into the forest slowly…stepping on a twig; cat turned around and hissed at her as if telling her to be quiet.

The cat turned a sharp corner and Bella ran after it once more.

"Cat where are we going?" Bella demanded it.

Cat turned around after Bella spoke; in his mouth he held a doll. Bella's mouth fell to the floor.

~xXx~

The doll had Bella's pink boots, jacket and hat, it had her long dark hair, tanned skin, red lips but something different was the dolls big, black button eyes, and a big black key with a round black button at the end wrapped around the dolls neck.

"Huh…" Bella took the doll from the cat's mouth.

"It looks just like me cat"

"But...how?"

Bella ran her fingers over the key and through the dolls woollen black hair.

"Cat, say something, please" Bella begged.

The thin black cat ran through Bella's legs in an instant, she tripped and cat continued to run.

"Owwwwww!" Bella screamed out in pain.

"Stupid Cat!"

Bella pulled the blanket out of her bag chucking it on the floor. She began searching for band aids, when she found them she put them in her lap, she grabbed the pink water bottle and poured some on her leg before putting the band aid on.

She pulled out the chocolate bar and placed everything else back in the bag including the doll, Bella pulled the blanket on top. She put the chocolate bar in her left pocket and the doll in her right.

"Cat, cat come back, I'm sorry I yelled at you."

Bella stumbled through the forest looking for cat.

"Cat, that's your name isn't it, just...cat, I was right"

Cat appeared from the bushes, he nodded, Bella smiled.

"So, cat, where to next."

Cat flicked his tail to Bella's right and I followed. Cat came to a stop at an old well.

"What's this cat?"

Cat jumped on top of the well, flicking his tail and blinking his big blue eyes at me before opening his mouth.

"Yes, the name is Cat…" Cat had a strange voice, he sounded old and wise, he was definitely male.

"How old are you cat?"

"I've walked these parts for centuries, befriending countless children like you"

"What do you mean like me?"

"You're not the first child I've given a doll to. That doll has resembled 30 children before you."

"Cat, you're scaring me"

"You should be scared; it's all a game you know"

"A game?"

Cat jumped off the well and could no longer speak; he nodded at me instead and jumped inside my bag.

"So you can't talk when you're not on the well?"

Cat blinked.

"That wasn't the right question was it?"

Cat shook his head.

"We should get back, don't you think"

Cat was tired of talking, he closed his eyes and I pulled a part of the blanket over him.

I pulled the chocolate bar out of my pocket and ate it as I walked back the way we came.

~xXx~

"Mum, I'm home!" Bella screamed as she opened the front door to the house.

"Mum, dad"

"Bella, where have you been, you've had us worried sick." Bella's mom stood straight and tall, her long dark hair falling to one side and her usually rosy cheeks pale in anger and fear for her daughter.

"I, I went exploring"

"All alone" Mom whined.

"No, I…I had cat"

"Cat…"

Cat jumped up into my arms, purring and licking his paws.

"So, he's a stray?"

"I'm not sure"

"Hmmm, Bella I don't think I want you keeping stray in the house" mom gave me a look and sipped at her coffee.

"He's a good cat mum, that's his name you know, Cat"

"Bells, is that a doll, it looks just like you!"

"Um…Yes, Cat found it in the…in the garden"

Charlise grabbed the doll from Bella, her hand gripping the dolls waist and her finger running over the dolls button eyes.

"It looks just like you Bells"

Bella ignored her mom's comment.

"Oh, mum you went shopping!"

"Yeah, well it's not much but it's enough for a couple of day's dear"

Bella ran into the kitchen to find a plastic bag on the kitchen table. In the bag were few things, toilet paper, bread, milk, chocolate, butter, cheese, eggs and apples.

"It's ok mum, when does dad get paid?"

"Thursday dear"

Bella didn't want to wait two whole days for a proper hot meal but she still had the 3 bags of lollies in her bag.

Mum left the room and Bella began to empty the bag, she emptied the water bottle into the sink and put the water bottle in the sink next to it. It was still cold outside but it had started to rain heavily, she put away everything except the lollies and ran upstairs into her room.

"Oh, hey Liz" She smiled at my sister as she walked into the room.

"Oh, where've you been missy?"

"Out, exploring, with cat"

Cat ran through Bella's legs and onto her bed he curled into a ball and began to purr, he was tired, it had been a long day.

"Hmm, he's kind of cute, I guess"

Liz put her head phones back over her ears and held her magazine over her head as she lie on the floor.

Bella hopped onto her bed with Cat, she took off her muddy boots and chucked them onto floor.

She emptied her bags of lollies and chucked them under her pillow. She slung her bag over the frame of her big white beautiful bed.

Cat nudged at her right pocket.

"Haha, cat what are you…" Bella cut herself off.

"Shit! The doll"

Bella felt sick at the thought of the doll and the cat's words.

Why did it look like me?

~xXx~

That night Bella couldn't sleep, she tossed and turned thinking about cat, the doll…What did it all mean.

'You should be scared; it's all a game you know'

'I've walked these parts for centuries, befriending countless children like you'

'You're not the first child I've given a doll to. That same doll has resembled 30 children before you.'

Bella held the doll in her hand as she slept.

She dreamt strange things…Mice chanting things to her, little songs.

~xXx~

Tap tap tap

Bella woke to the sound of a small black figure tapping at her window.

"Oh, hello there, what are you doing here Cat?"