Part Five: Wretched Black Cat
A beautiful morning emerged from the night's
unfathomable darkness. Cirrus clouds created floating patterns in the
sky and budding sunflowers showed their bright yellow faces to the sun.
The fresh smell of spring was just around the corner, but it all went
unnoticed as Mistoffelees watched silently from the sidewalk while a
bulldozer swept away the last of his house. He was convinced that he
was certainly bad luck and being one not to burden others with his
problems, he was extremely angry with himself because he couldn't do
anything about it.
"I've been crossing my own path all this time," he thought. His tail twitched beside him as he simmered over his hopeless situation. "I couldn't possibly go back to the junkyard." Much to his dismay, he wasn't alone for long.
"Misto!" Jemima came running down the sidewalk.
"No, no. Stay over there! Don't come any closer." Jemima didn't listen. She wanted to be next to him.
"Jemima, stop!!" His fur began to bristle and he backed up a few steps. "You know what kinds of things can happen and I don't want anything to happen to you." Heeding his warning, she trotted to a stop a few yards away from him and pouted for a moment.
"Misto, I love you," she whimpered innocently, with a hint of a smile. He allowed a smile to temporarily permeate his solemn exterior and relaxed a bit.
"I love you, too." Their smiles slowly dissolved as they stared at each other. "So close, yet so far away..." Misto thought.
"Listen," Jemima went on, "the Jellicles agreed to sleep on the outskirts of the junkyard so that you could stay in the center. We want you to have a safe place to sleep at night." Misto hung his head low and stared at the ground. "We were really worried about you after you ran off like that." Nothing. He closed his eyes and sighed. Jemima wanted so badly to just walk over to him and comfort him, but seeing that he didn't want to communicate, she sat down and watched him for a while.
It was depressingly peaceful for Misto, sitting there sulking in his former yard. The only sounds to be heard in the quiet neighborhood were the occasional chirping of birds and the motor of a dump truck, full of burnt wood, driving off into the distance. A tear managed to free itself from Misto's right eye and slowly make it's way down his furry face. He felt it trip over one of his whiskers and finally lose it's grip, hitting the warm sidewalk in front of his paws and drying up on the spot. He was tired of mourning. "Where is everybody else?" he asked, almost whispering.
"What? Oh. Well, uh..." Jemima had been caught moving closer to him as she was only a foot away. "They were...busy..."
"That's ok. I probably wouldn't want to be around me either."
"I do." She stretched her neck to nuzzle him.
"No, please, don't touch me. You're too close as it is," he said, not intending it to sound as harsh as it did. He wiped his face and got up to leave. "I'll be there tonight, but be sure that everyone is far enough away so that absolutely NOTHING can happen."
"Ok." He began to walk away. "Misto?"
"He will be practically alone in the junkyard tonight." The henchrats were gathered around the fiendish feline, giving him all the information that they had found on Mistoffelees. It had been quite a long time since Macavity had cast the spell on the black cat and he had forgotten all about it. But it was now brought to his attention that Misto was very vulnerable what with being thoroughly saturated with bad luck.
"And where will the others be?"
"They will be on the outermost edges of the junkyard."
"The perfect opportunity," thought the monster of depravity. "You will leave me to my concentration tonight. I want no one here to interrupt me when I begin... or you will face the consequences."
"Uh, we'll leave now, sir." The henchrats scampered away. Macavity chuckled, "I love this job."
The hours were passing by pretty slowly for Misto. He had been wandering the streets, going nowhere in particular, "as long as I'm not endangering any of the other Jellicles..." The highlight of his day was during a stroll through the park. A little girl (she reminded him of his deceased little girl master) and her mother were also strolling, hand in hand. As they walked by, the little girl reached down to run her hand down his back when her mother quickly pulled her away.
"Hasn't anyone ever told you that black cats are bad luck?"
"But mommy, he's so cute..."
"No, honey, he's obviously been burned and he's quite mangy-looking," she replied with a smirk. "You don't really want to touch that, do you? Come along now." The girl waved to him as they walked away.
"Bye-bye, kitty." He meowed back to her which made her smile which made him feel a little better.
"Over-protective and superstitious," he muttered to himself, but he still felt like a bad omen sitting there without a friend in the world. A chill ran down his spine as he sensed just how alone he was at that point. It was dusk and getting darker without the moon shining like it did on better evenings. He made his way to the junkyard.
Macavity stood alone in his lair situating himself for the task ahead. As powerful as the master criminal was, this task was difficult even for him so he decided to start early before dusk turned to night. He sat down in the center of the room in his warehouse and began to meditate on his goal.
Mistoffelees quietly crept through the junkyard pipe, glad to hear nothing and smell no one. "Nothing'll happen tonight," he thought. He chose a spot in front of the car and flopped down on the ground, mentally exhausted. Before curling up and closing his eyes he looked around one last time to make sure no one was near. "Good," he thought and laid his head down, not really to sleep, but to rest.
Macavity was ready. He had finally gathered enough evil energy to ...
The junkyard was completely silent. Misto couldn't sleep. He couldn't help but think about all that his luck had caused, but what really disturbed him was, "Why now? What started all of this?" he wondered. He yawned and stretched himself out to go to sleep... but something wouldn't let him.
His tail was the first to show it. It wasn't twitching like it usually did. Instead, it slithered about, rising off of the ground, pulling away from his body until it was as straight as arrow, as if pointing to something across the junkyard. He watched it involuntarily bristle when suddenly he felt something in his toes. Panicking, he jumped up on all fours and dug his claws into the ground. His hind legs felt as though they were being pulled out from underneath him while his tail became more and more taut as the strange force pulled harder and harder.
He clung to the ground as he felt his weight being slightly lifted off of his paws. Realizing that he would soon be airborne, he focused on the car fender in front of him. Just as the dirt began to loosen under his claws, he leapt as hard as he could and managed to get a good grip on the fender. But then what? His hind legs never came back down to the ground as he was completely levitated. All he could do was hang on and wait while being sucked into some kind of invisible vacuum of which the creator he eventually identified as...
"Macavity!!!" he thought to himself. As frightened as he was, he would not yell for help because he didn't want anyone else to be sucked into his bad luck. But he SO needed to scream! He swore that his tail would snap off if he had to endure the vacuum much longer. His front paws, still clutching the fender, grew weary as he waited, suspended in mid-air. After a few minutes, most of the blood in his head had rushed to his hind paws and tail, both of which became quite swollen and throbbed with pain. Just when he thought he'd let go, the vacuum began to weaken. Little by little, the force released it's hold until it completely dwindled away allowing Misto to collapse on the ground, dizzy and bewildered.
Macavity angrily awoke from his meditation, "I've lost him!! Wretched Black Cat...!!!"