As he crept into the cellars of the building he could sense that everything was not quite as he had expected. When he arrived down the steep staircase he found one large, open room with several doors leading out of the central chamber. He had hoped, as we all might, that there would be somewhere to hide away without taking the risk of going into a completely enclosed space.
No, he thought, this would not do at all.
Suddenly, he turned around – having heard the cat’s bell. He had forgotten to close the door again. This cat would be the death of him if he was not careful, something which he certainly hadn’t been up to this point.
Without a care in the world the cat trotted on past him and through the only open door in the room, briefly pausing to mew at him from the doorway. It was a gesture to follow, although coming from a cat which he had known for a matter of weeks this seemed quite odd.
“Still,” he muttered to himself “Angelica’s never led me astray before.” As he got closer to the open door he began to smell something that he couldn’t quite place. It was an exquisite scent, featuring shades of Jasmine and Bergamot and for some reason it reminded him of another place, one he had quite forgotten about and all that he could see in his mind’s eye were blurs of people – distinct bodies with heads that did not fit them.
It was as Abraham realised that this place was that which he had once called home that he stepped over the threshold of the room. His jaw dropped. The cat that he had expected to see was gone and in her place was a woman.
In itself, this is not completely unusual when you have seen as much magic as Abraham or I have, but what shocked him quite so much in his first experience of therianthropy was that during the transformation no clothes magically appeared. This was logical when you consider that cats do not wear clothes but stumbling across a naked figure out of nowhere is not an everyday occurrence.
At first Abe could do nothing but stare at the floor, unsure of the rules in a situation like this. After a while, however, he began to look at Angelica’s feet and from there he looked slowly up her body. She was a beautiful young woman, perhaps a year or two older than he was, but her figure was not at all as you would expect of a woman who was also a cat, not lithe and sleek but instead rather short with a slight belly. He chuckled a little as he saw that this human version of Angelica still had a now rather stretched collar around her neck, a sign that he was not going mad as he had first thought. He was now at her face: her beautiful, glowing face with a smile that could only be described as infectious. She had mousey brown hair and a quite round face, along with a nose that was, in truth, disproportionately small for her face and yet it looked completely at ease with the rest of her features – apart from her eyes.
Her eyes still gleamed as those of a cat gleam and were almost circular in proportion, the yellowness of them started to draw Abe in. He was soon brought back to the real world.
“Pass me that dress, would you Abraham?” Angelica emitted in quite a high-pitched, Welsh accented voice, “Thanks cariad.”
Abe handed her the dress and attempted to skulk back towards the doorway he had entered by. As he reached out towards the door handle, he froze. Angelica was now between him and the door and his hand was hovering over her stomach. His embarrassment was become more and more visible by the moment.
“What do you want from me?” he asked abruptly “I can’t help you, I’m not well enough. I need sleep.”
“Don’t we all?” the feline-eyed woman replied. “Firstly, I’m going to need to inspect that shirt of yours. I think I may have left something stuck to it the last time we went for a walk. After that, your time is your own, bach.”
He reluctantly moved closer to her, and turned his back as she started to smell the shirt, getting ever nearer. Quite suddenly she stopped, raised an eyebrow and, after a brief pause, continued to sniff around to the front of him. Angelica pressed a hand over his heart and began to hum. Abraham attempted to identify the tune, wondering if it bared any significance.
It was here that he began to remember home more clearly. The tune was a lullaby that his elder sister had sung to him whenever he had been afraid and it went something like this:
“I’m forever blowing bubbles
Pretty bubbles in the air
They fly so high, nearly reach the sky
Then like my dreams they fade and die”
He began to sob gently as he remembered how he had lost every part of himself at this place – this hub of self-pity, this house of despair. Angelica had sensed this tune in his heart, when he had forgotten it himself.
It is here that I, again, feel I must interject. I imagine you have realised in your life just how powerful music is. The right tune can create such emotion that you find yourself trapped in that moment with no way out. Each person carries with them a collection of musical signatures, melodies that have had such an impact on them that the very way that they look upon the world has changed.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is an excerpt from a longer piece that I’m working on. However, it is also isolated as I’ve struggled to pad out the area around it – I’ve got no idea how the story gets to this point.
On a slightly different topic, I am working on a personal update to the blog which I’ll post when I’m happy with it. It’s taken a few sittings and several weeks but it is getting closer to completion.