It had been at least an hour since "the experience" when Jemima and Mistoffelees finally decided (or could decide for that matter) to get up. It was so unreal and mysterious that they were still somewhat stunned. It had put them in the most solemn state of mind yet their souls felt as though they were going haywire because of the upset. Misto was barely on his feet and a little dazed when Jemi managed to speak.
"How..." she had to think again and start over, "How on earth did you do that???"
"I didn't do anything. It was simply a result of our love for each other. When a magical cat is close enough to his love for a long enough time, then his thoughts and feelings can be shared completely with his companion. It's very efficient considering words can, a lot of the time, get in the way." He was interrupted by a big yawn. "Others have told me to be careful with the link, but I had never done this before and so I had absolutely no idea just how....draining it is. My face is numb now."
Jemi smiled and gave him a lick on the nose. His face tingled for a moment and he gave his head a shake, then in reply, his eyes smiling in hers, gave her a lick much to her delight. They nuzzled each other and took the rest of the afternoon to migrate back to familiar territory.
(Three Weeks Later...)
"Is everyone here?" The Jellicles gathered in the junkyard around the Magical Mr. Mistoffelees, who hadn't done anything magical for the past few weeks. It was rare now for him to be in a good mood, and they knew that he liked to entertain so why not indulge him while it was possible? Jemima had convinced him to take a little spotlight time for himself and have a some fun.
"I'm going to give someone the temporary gift of invisibility. Any volunteers?" he asked, with a plastered smile. Tanto and Cori quickly volunteered. "Wonderful! This doubles it!" He might've been a little over-enthusiastic, but he was trying so hard to be happy because misery was always just around the corner... "Alright. All you two have to do is stand next to each other, face me and keep your eyes closed," Misto instructed. ("They should keep their eyes closed so that they won't be blinded by the light or get smoke in them, or even get burned...")
"Ok. Here we go," he announced. There was immediate silence as everyone watched in anticipation; ("almost as silent as it was at home before... ")
Misto began to electrify his paws. By now, the fur on his chest and paws had grown a little with white roots showing through singed blackness, which made him look a little older. Just as his paws couldn't possibly get any brighter, he gave a last warning. "This is it. Be sure not to open your eyes until I say you can. The light is blinding to anyone being manipulated by it."
"We won't," the twins replied in unison. With that, he walked over to Tanto's side and held her head. Sparkly particles began to surround her body as she started to glow. But Misto couldn't keep his mind on the situation.
("I really don't feel like doing this. I wish it had never happened. I wish the whole problem would just...disappear.")
"Are you almost done?" Tanto was squirming as the particles whirled around her.
"Oh!" He took his paws away from her head and she stopped glowing. "Uh, it didn't work. Keep your eyes closed, let me try again."
"No, it tickles a lot," she said with a smile. "Try it on Cori."
"Alright." His paws were still tingling with magic as he stepped over to Cori's side. "Ok, Cori, here it comes." He held Cori's head and sparkly particles bloomed again, and as the glow began to travel through his body, the thoughts started to invade Misto's mind again. ("I miss her so much, all of them; and I could have saved them. Maybe I shouldn't have tried to create that...that shield...so clumsy...")
"It does tickle a lot!" It had only been a few seconds and now Cori was starting to squirm. As the sparkles and glow disappeared, Misto stepped back to take a look at both of them, cocking his head to the side in confusion.
"It didn't work on either of you, but something has changed..." He slowly circled them and stopped in front of them with a very troubled expression on his face.
"Misto, what's wrong?" Jemima was also sensing something. The magician began to circle them in the opposite direction but stopped abrubtly behind them.
"Can we open our eyes now?" Tanto asked. "I feel really strange."
"Can we open our eyes now?" Cori unknowingly repeated. "I feel really strange." Misto stood over them for a moment. There seemed to be a gigantic chasm between the twins. He shook his head in disbelief.
"That's impossible. I couldn't have..." then sensing the chasm again, "I did."
"Misto, what IS wrong?" Munkus was beginning to feel it, too. Wearing a look of guilt and worry, Misto reluctantly stepped in front of the twins and turned to face them. "Cori, Tanto, I'm terribly sorry...I want you to know, before you get too upset, that this is not permanent and I can fix everything as soon as I....find a way," he said hesitantly. "You can open your eyes now," he said, staring at the ground.
Cori looked around, "Misto, it did work on Tanto! I knew you were just pulling my tail."
"You silly cat! Trying to scare us into thinking something bad had happened... it did work on Cori!" Tanto exclaimed.
"Oh, no! They don't even realize what's happened," Misto whispered to the sky. At that moment, Cori and Tanto began to look around for each other and slowly get worried.
Munkus was beside Misto now. "What are you talking about? Neither of you are invisible."
"It's going to happen," Misto warned.
"What is?" Munkus asked. He didn't have time to explain. The twins were on opposite sides of the area on the verge of falling into a demented trance.
"Munkus, grab Cori and hold him down!!" Misto ran to restrain Tanto. The twins were becoming very disoriented since their psyches were so unexpectedly severed. Everyone was now surrounding them, trying to calm them down but it only made things worse. They struggled even more against Misto and Munkus, yelling for each other in relentless confusion.
"Where is Tanto!!??? I can't sense her. She's gone!!" Cori yelled. Munkus was pretty strong, but Cori was enraged so it didn't matter.
"She's not gone, she's right over there!"
"You mean you can't see or hear her!??"
"NOOO!!! Let me go...." It took all Munkus could muster to pummel Cori to the ground and hold him there.
Meanwhile, Misto was having equal if not more trouble with Tanto.
"Please, everyone, back up; it'll help them to calm..." Before he knew it, he was on the ground with Tanto ripping away from his grasp.
He watched her for a moment and thought, "Now I've done it."
"Where IS he??" She ran about the junkyard sobbing and yelling at anything and everything. Then at full speed she charged Misto, teeth bared and ears flat. He felt like disappearing and almost did but then decided that he should take the blow instead of having the disoriented Tanto smash herself against the tall stack of bricks and scrap metal behind him.
Indeed, the impact was nothing less than catastrophic. She rammed him in the stomach (which was bad enough) and sent him flying into the twisted metal, bricks crashing on top of him. He was trapped.
Upon realizing what she had just done, Tanto cried, breathless and mentally exhausted. Jenny decided that it was safe to come near her and consoled the twin. Cori heard the crash over all of his yelling and stopped wrestling with Munkus to see what had happened. He saw the Gumbie Cat strangely hugging the air.
"You see?" Munkus exclaimed trying to catch his breath. "She's right there with Jenny." Cori walked slowly towards the air that Jenny was so lovingly nuzzling. The others watched in shock as he pawed at the air. What they saw was his paw going straight through Tanto's middle, but HE felt and saw nothing. "And she can't see me either?" He sat down beside "the air", not knowing what else to do with himself as Jelly came over to console him.
"Someone help me move this stuff!" Munkus was carrying the bricks, one by one, off of the huge pile. The others rushed onto it to help uncover the poor cat when they heard a muffled scream. "MMmmm!!! Ge uff...."
Munkus understood, "Everyone get off! We're apparently not as light as we think." They all came down and stood at the base of the pile. "We'll have to pull bricks from the bottom. This could get very dangerous so, please, be careful." The task was easier said than done since each brick was approximately as heavy as one of them; not the average house brick.
Meanwhile, Cori and Tanto were straining to connect with each other but to no avail.
"Where is he now?" Tanto asked while desperately using all of her senses to "see" him. Jenny watched them, heartbroken; they were facing each other. "He's right in front of you at a lick's distance." Upon hearing this, they both licked at the air in front of them, each knowing that they wouldn't feel the other's touch. The fact that they knew the whereabouts of the other was enough to keep them calm for the time being.
"Misto, we need to hear from you," Munkus said as he moved some of the fallen bricks out of the way. It was getting dark and there was still quite a ways to go. Munkus stopped what he was doing. "Mistoffelees?"
The others stopped and looked at each other in silence to hear absolutely no sound, not even breathing. "Oh, no... We have to work faster and get to him as soon as possible!" At that moment, everyone heard a voice from across the junkyard.
"No, no, I'm here, I'm here!" The kittens ran over to him, all smiles and chattering, surprised to see him alive and walking. They couldn't imagine what life would be like without their Magical Mr. Mistoffelees, especially Jemima. Misto loved the attention but he was bruised all over and couldn't take the nuzzles.
"Ouch, not there! I really appreciate this--ow!--but I'm in a LOT of pain right now." They gave him some space as Munkus and Skimble came to usher him. "How are Cori and Tanto?"
"They couldna be further apart," Skimble answered sadly, eyeing the siblings. "How didjya end up way over here?"
"I didn't have much energy left so I didn't really have much of a choice of where I wanted to end up. I just needed to get out of that brick pile." They made their way over to the twins to see what could be done. Tanto had almost forgotten about Misto and the brick pile as she was trying to "see" her brother.
"Mistoffelees, I'm so sorry, I don't know what... I couldn't help it!"
"You can't blame yourself for that. I messed everything up." Tanto gently pawed one of his bruises.
"I didn't cause too much damage, did I?"
"No. I'll be ok, but right now I have to fix what I've ruined. Have you made any sort of connection yet?"
"None," they said together somehow. "We're so distant that we could walk right through each other and not feel a thing," Cori solemnly added.
Skimble was pretty worried about Misto who not only had bruises and a gash on his left elbow but was also limping on his back right paw, though he didn't seem to notice it at the moment. He carefully sat beside the twins trying to avoid any soreness on the way down.
"I know of two ways to reverse this: one involves magic, of which I still have yet to learn, and the other is just to wait."
"Wait? How long?" Jenny inquired.
"I don't know," Misto answered, his ears drooping, "and even if I knew how to reverse it through magic, I wouldn't be able to do it. I'm used up."
"Misto," Cori was noticing the injuries, "Are you sure your OK? I can wait until tomorrow if Tanto can."
"Yes, Misto, ya are still bleedin', ya know," Skimble worried.
"Are you sure you're OK? I can wait until tomorrow if Cori can," Tanto said. Misto looked at them for a moment and thought, "So close yet so far away..." He gave them both a hug as best he could and was escorted to a separate clearing in the junkyard with Jemima following close behind. When they got to the clearing, Jemima looked around for a rag while Skimble tried to find anything soft so that Misto wouldn't have to lay on the hard ground.
Misto hated it when he had to be cared for. It was hard enough being the smallest tom but now he felt weak and forlorn. On the other paw, he was grateful for Jemima's mothering as he had not had a mother for most of his kittenhood. She gently cleaned his elbow (he tried not to wince) and wrapped a rag around it. Skimble helped him get situated on the pillow he had found, and seeing that Jemima was doing such a fine job taking care of Misto, he and Munkus wished them goodnight and left the two of them alone.