Note: Italics represent thought.
Part Six: "I'm Back!"
Curiosity rose with the sun as each Jellicle wondered about the black cat secluded in the center of the junkyard. They had been told not to come near him but crept towards the center anyway; even Munkustrap wanted to at least see him. The notorious couple was the first to spot Mistoffelees and, being almost completely unaffected by silly instructions, walked up to him.
He was clearly quite shaken by the struggle he endured alone against Macavity last night. He tried to disguise his anxiety by cleaning himself and oddly did not even take notice of Mungojerrie as he sat down in front of him.
"AAAGGHH!!!" Misto was beyond scared. His back was arched and fur bristled. His claws and teeth were bared and his tail was straight upin the air. The Two never thought the little guy was capable of looking so threatening.
"Misto! Calm down! Macavity's far from `ere!" Mungo attempted. The frightened cat suddenly broke down and Rumple took him in her arms. He hadn't slept all night and he couldn't take anymore surprises.
"How did you know about..." Misto sobbed.
"There are a lot o' things about Macavity we preferred we didn't know," Rumple glanced at Mungo.
"Yes. There's something we `ave to tell you," Mungo said.
"Wait." Misto stood up. "You guys do realize that anything could happen right now."
"We're in no danger, Misto. We are immune to your bad luck." Misto,still shaking slighty, sat back down and listened intently. The tone of voice Mungo was using comforted him yet seemed to be hiding something.
"Misto --- this is gonna be `ard ---" Mungo hesitated. "I don't know`ow to tell you this. We didn't think he would actually go through with it but... Ya see, Macavity's been planning to rid `imself of his main problem and it `appens to be you."
"Your bad luck, if you don't remember, was given to you by Macavity when you were a kitten. He wanted you to join the Jellicles where you would unknowingly cause the tribe to diminish, accidently killing off members one by one," Rumple added. "Well, thank goodness, it didn't work. His powers were not strong enough to give your bad luck a fatal edge. But that was when you were a kitten. Now it seems that your luck has gotten progressively worse and Macavity `as only just now taken notice of it. But it's still not enough to kill anyone."
Misto sniffed over this for a moment. "So wha-- what do I do? What CAN I do?"
Mungo put his arm around him, "Misto, Macavity's asked that you meet`im in his `ideout. He said that he would take the bad luck away, but I'm sure there's a catch. Don't trust `im. I think he will take away your bad luck but he definitely `as something else in mind."
"Anything, I don't care! I just want to be able to be near everyone again!" Misto took off without a second thought.
"Don't trust him. We warned you!" Rumple called after him. Just then, Alonzo came over the top of the carhood.
"Hey, have you two seen Mistoffelees lately?" He startled the Two but they were relieved that he had not overheard their conversation. "Nowe `aven't seen `im," Rumple quickly answered. They didn't want to upset the tribe or get into any trouble with Munkustrap after sending Misto to see Macavity alone.
Macavity was so ready. This was his chance. Originally, he justwanted to kill off the Jellicles, but now he needed revenge on the little black furball that foiled his plans one starry night. Not just revenge but cruel amusement.
Misto arrived panting and still a bit shaken from all of the previous events. He stepped into the warehouse fully expecting to be captured by rats or trapped in some cage. But no. He looked across the dimly lit, empty room and saw a very calm (almost inviting) Macavity. He was just sitting there, staring at him with his slits for eyes.
"Macavity," Misto squeaked, then clearing his throat, "Macavity, you sent for me?"
"Yes, yes I did." Silence. Misto froze not knowing what to do. "Come closer."
"Oh, MAN he's scary..." Misto thought, and reluctantly crept closer. There were at least twenty feet between him and the master criminal and each step echoed noisily against the walls. Macavity had not moved from his eerie gaze, nor had he blinked. Misto finally tookthe last step a foot away and sat down.
"Sit next to me. I won't bite," the fiend taunted, humorously.
"No." They stared at each other menacingly for a couple of seconds. Macavity spoke very quietly.
"Very well. I suppose the notorious duo told you why I sent for you."
"They said that you would take away my bad luck."
"Yes. You've been causing a lot of trouble for your tribe, haven'tyou?" He said, grinning evily.
"Macavity, what do you want from me?"
"I never said I wanted anything from you." He was successfully getting under Misto's skin.
"Stop beating around the bush."
"Stop involving yourself in other cats' business," Macavity was irritatingly calm.
"I was not about to let you ruin the Ball by keeping Old Deuter--"
"Because of your heroic antics you now have to watch your back and constantly check the shadows, don't you?"
"I did not come here for your amusement."
"Or did you?"
"Why must you always act like the kitten whose tail has been stuffed up his ----"
"You are a very smart cat, Mr. Mistoffelees. Don't resort to idle minded insults."
"You know what? You are nothing without your powers. At least I have cats who care about me. You'd have nothing but your--- your rotting hyde and maybe a couple of fleas that might possibly befriend you!"
"Oh, do try a little harder. You haven't affected me in the least." Misto suddenly realized how easily Macavity was controlling the pointless conversation and took a deep breath to clear his head.
"Are you going to do anything or should I just leave?"
"You want to leave? Leave."
"MACAVITY---" Misto was tired of the games.
"Alright. Alright." He closed the gap between them and stared deep into Misto's eyes.
"No! Not this."
"I assure you, it is necessary. You will realize it when I get started, if you will let me."
"Why am I trusting him?" Misto thought. "Ok. But don't take long."
Macavity started again. His eyes seemed to penetrate past Misto's pupils and freeze him where he was.
"Oh, gosh, this hurts. Just as badly as when I was a kitten. Wait. He IS eliminating my bad luck. Macavity has a heart?" And with that final thought, Mistoffelees passed out.
"What are we gonna do? He can't go on like this for the rest of his life!" Jemima was furious that nobody was doing anything to help her mate. It seemed that anything Jennyanydots said only upset her more.
"I know it seems like we're not trying, but there's really nothing wecan do about it. And I hate to sound like I'm shrugging the problem off, but it's the truth."
"Can't we at least go look for him??"
"Honey, we can't get near him. You know that." Jemima turned away,and Jenny hugged her. "I know. I know. We all miss him, Jemi. We'll get through this."
"Owwww." Misto came to with a groan. His head ached as he tried to remember where he was. Then opening his eyes he gasped, seeing the red beast sitting in front of him, once again as calm as ever.
"How do you feel?" No emotion what-so-ever.
"What do you mean 'how do I feel???' You just...!! ------- Ifeel... ok," Misto grumbled.
"Good. Then off you go." Misto had not even picked his head up off the floor. "Well? I gave you what you wanted, now leave me with my'rotting hyde' as you say. Go!" Misto heaved himself off the floor and dragged himself out of the warehouse, oblivious to the trickster's underlying snicker. Macavity ran up to the window to watch him and assoon as Misto was out of hearing range, he let out the most maniacal,sinister cackle ever in his career as the master criminal.
"This is my best prank yet! Now those ridiculous Jellicles will see my great sense of humor AND I'll have the ultimate chance to kill that...that orphan!" He was rolling around in his tears, laughing viciously at Misto who had not the slightest idea of the mess he hadjust gotten himself into.
Seeing that Mistoffelees had left early in the morning, the Jellicles were free to rome the junkyard. Many were discussing the possibilityof looking for him, but Munkustrap would not allow it.
"We'll only be in danger and Misto would not let us near him anyway. It's just not a good a idea."
Jemima couldn't be patient anymore. "Munkustrap, what are yousaying??! He's a fellow Jellicle and it shouldn't matter what the circumstances are."
"Jemi, please try to understand..."
"You don't understand!!"
"Please! Let's not yell. I'm sure we'll find a solution to this if wework together," Skimble interrupted.
"Right. I'm sorry. I'm just so worried," Jemi apologized.
"Well, I agree with Jemi about this. Whatever happens, I'll be therefor the little guy," everyone looked at Tugger who usually looked outfor only himself, but since it was him who said it, they began to feelthe same way. Munkus sighed. They were right. But being the protector of the kittens he had to draw a line.
"Ok. We'll go look for him, but only a few of the adults. We don'tneed cats scattered all over the place. Who will volunteer?" All ofthe adults raised their paws, immediately. Suddenly, Mistoffelees came running through the pipe with a wide smile.
"Hey everyone!! I'm back! No more bad luck!!" Every Jelliclescreamed and ran in opposite directions, except Munkustrap who stoodhis ground, snarling rabidly at Misto.
"What do you want Macavity!!???"
"Huh?? Oh, very funny. Nice one. You really had me frightened for a second!"
"Macavity, no games. Speak or leave now!!" Confused, Misto looked down at himself, seeing his black tux coat.
"Munkus....really, you can stop now. That was a great joke!"
"You're wasting my time!!" His growl became more ferocious.
"Ok. Munkus. You're really scaring me now. Please, stop," Misto shrank back in confusion and fear. He saw eyes glaring at him from every direction.
"Alright, have it your way," Munkus started to creep towards him, claws unsheathing and ears flat against his head.
"Oh, no. No, no, no!! They told me not to trust Macavity. What do I do?? They all see me as Macavity, I probably sound like him, too!!" It was absolutely frightening being on the other end of Jellicle wrath.
Munkus found it rather peculiar that Macavity was backing away inwide eyed fear, but it had to be a trick. "There's always some awful reason that lures Macavity to the junkyard!" So he attacked,full force. Misto desperately slammed himself into a submissive position on the ground, hoping that Munkustrap would reconsider and not tear him to shreds, but it didn't work. His claws scraped across Misto's face causing an ear piercing shriek. Now, this startled the Jellicles! Macavity in submission, first of all.... but shrieking as well??
Munkustrap didn't know what to do. "He's just lying there. I can't do this if he's not going to defend himself." Misto opened his eyes and sighed a breath of relief.
"Munkustrap," then remembering how gruff Macavity's voice was, he tried again, softer, "Munkustrap, please, please, please believe me. I am not Macavity. I am Mistoffelees." Munkus didn't move. He stared down at him, wanting to believe, but then again...
"I'll stay down here on the ground if you like, but I'm begging you,don't claw me again," Misto whined, holding his cheek. Munkustrap still thought that it could be a trick and stood over him like a hawk ready to peck at it's prey.
"Macav-- Misto, you have got to prove to me that it's really you. Andif it's really you, then you'll know how to prove it." He backed upoff of him (still ready to pounce) and waited expectantly.
"Of course! Macavity's type of magic only works when doing evil,but mine can do good." Mistoffelees slowly sat up, so as not tocause any hostile reaction from Munkus. He walked over to a mug thatwas laying beside the car (with Munkus right on his heels). He showed everyone the inside so that they could see that it was empty. Now,what he was planning to do was to pull a good length of rainbow colored ribbon from the mug as he had done at the last Jellicle Ball. What hedidn't realize is that with Macavity's body and voice came Macavity'sevil magic as well.
He waved his paw over the mug, reached in and pulled out...
"A SNAKE????!!! Macavity, prepare to fight!!!" There was no turningback now. Munkustrap, along with Alonzo and Tugger, began to stalk closer and closer to him, snarling in all their anger. In the background...
"Mungo, do you think it's really `im??" Rumple worried.
"It's so `ard to tell. But it's possible!"
Mistoffelees wasn't scared anymore. He knew he was going to die. Down on the ground again, he closed his eyes and waited for the three angry toms to tear into him.
"HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!" Everyone whirled their heads around to see another Macavity standing in front of the pipe! "You can't even tell the difference between me and one of your fellow Jellicles. You poor pitiful cats!" At that, he ran over to the car where Misto was stilllying on the ground, knocking down cats on his way.
Suddenly, Misto jumped up and grabbed Macavity's throat, squeezing hard. Macavity did the same. They were equal now with the same strengths and weaknesses. Seeing that the Jellicles still had a fairshot at him, Macavity pulled the two of them down to the ground and rolled around until no one would be able to tell which was which. Still strangling each other, they began to turn blue in their faces under their fur. Misto thought he had more air than Macavity and could feel him begin to lose conciousness. Munkustrap could see this and,not knowing who was who, thought it would be safer to separate them incase Misto was on the losing end of things.
"Tugger grab that one, quick!" Munkus grabbed the other which happened to be Mistoffelees. The two Macavitys gasped for air and rubbed their necks. One (Tugger's) was cursing under his breath. Munkus' Macavity (Mistoffelees) was yelling at his skeptical leader, trying to get him to understand that he was Misto and that he could've won.
"Where are Coricopat and Tantomile??" Misto was about to prove himself. They would sense him. But the twins had left the junkyard as soon as Misto had arrived. Since they still were not connected they bothdecided to leave and hoped that the other had left, too!
"What's it to you, Macavity?" Munkus wasn't about to let Macavityout-smart him. The real Macavity was pulling himself out of Tugger's grasp. Misto was exasperated!
"Munkustrap, would you hurry up and believe me??!! He's coming backover here and you KNOW I don't like fighting!!" He had said it with somuch fear in his gruff voice that Munkus almost believed him. But what really convinced him was when he saw the beast gracefully pull himself together, rising up on his feet to the magnificent posture that only the Magical Mr. Mistoffelees could assume. He glanced across the junkyard at the other Macavity who was slouching as usual. He roughly grabbed Misto by the head so that it would appear to the real Macavitythat he had the wrong guy in his paws. Quickly, he whispered in his ear:
"Be yourself and I'll know who you are. Now, fight me." Mistoffelees caught on quickly. Reaching back and grabbing Munkustrap's head, he flipped him over his back, but not too hard. Macavity was quite amused by this and watched a few seconds longer.
"They all think Munkustrap is fighting me! I'll let him kill his orphan friend and then I'll break the news to him. This is too easy." The two Jellicles went on play-fighting like this until Macavity couldn't wait any longer. The orphan simply wasn't getting killed fast enough. He decided to intervene:
"I'm coming Munkustrap!! That is... if you believe I am---"
"Of course I do, Mistoffelees. Come on and help me!" Munkus was pinned under the real Mistoffelees who gave him a split second grin. Then suddenly, Misto was thrown off and pinned down by Macavity. Munkustrap let Misto hold his own for a few moments. Everyone was unwittingly cheering for Macavity. "Go Misto! Don't let him up!!" Then, without warning and confusing everyone, Munkus pounced on the false Mistoffelees, digging his claws into his back and clamping down with all his might on the back of his neck. Macavity was completely surprised and let go of the now confident Mistoffelees. Big Mistake. Munkus let Misto have the spotlight. 'The orphan', feeling the phenomenal strength of his temporary body, picked the weak Macavity upover his head and threw him down in the center. The fiend was knocked senseless and could do nothing but sit there. Then, holding him by the scruff, Misto dragged Macavity onto his feet and, with his unmistakeable stance, stood defiantly next to him and faced his fellow Jellicles. All were quiet. It was too obvious. Jemima timidly stepped over to Misto. He looked at her with such compassion, then remembering who he looked like to everyone else:
"Stand back." Misto needed to regain his precious black tux coat. Heplaced his paws around Macavity's neck and rung him out for all he wasworth.
"Misto, don't kill him," Jemi watched in horror.
"I won't." The captive's tail swung around violently, slapping Misto'slegs and beating the ground until, peacefully, he lost conciousness. His limp body sank down onto the ground and lay still.
"Oh my." Misto felt his good energy reinhabiting his being. The red fur quickly darkened to the much loved mystical black. Then brilliant white once again overtook his chest, three paws, tail tip and (thank the Heaviside) his face. Then the final touch, his distinctive bowtie, reappeared. He giggled as he felt himself shrink a little, back to his normal size. He looked around:
"Ok, let's try this again. HEY EVERYBODY!! I'M BACK!!! NO MORE BAD LUCK!!!" All of the Jellicles ran to him and bombarded him with relentless hugs and nuzzles as he laughed with joy. Pouncival, on his way over to Misto to welcome him back, tripped over Macavity who was still unconcious.
"Hey wait. What are we going to do about sleeping beauty?" Misto looked down at his foe and shook his head.
"I think we should teach him a lesson he'll never forget."
"Ooooh, yeah. Turn him into a peke or a pug!! It's so easy to torment those puny little pint-sized creeps."
"Hey, I resent that," Misto retorted jokingly. "Ok, I'll turn him intoa pug---" then grinning, "a cute little pug." He began to electrify his paws, concentrating and creating the image of a pug in his mind. Then when he was ready, he picked up Macavity's tail and yanked it, causing the fiend to light up and change into a red pug right in front of their eyes. Then running around to his head, he touched each ear, turning them into cute little floppy ears.
"Misto?" Pounce looked at the dog doubtfully. "His nose is too long, not cute enough."
"Ok." He pushed on Macavity's nose and it shrank into his face. "Perfect!" At that moment, Macavity's eyes flew open. He began to say something but instead, a bark echoed through the junkyard. The Jellicles burst into laughter as the frightened dog ran away with his tail tucked between his legs.
Tantomile came through the pipe just in time to see him run off. "Was that who I think it was??" The cats were laughing too hard to say anything. "Where is Coricopat?"
Cori was on his way back to the junkyard when he saw a most peculiar looking creature.... He dodged it as it ran right past him,and stared at it's fleeing form for a moment. "Nah! It couldn'tbe."
Then out of nowhere, "What couldn't be?"
Coricopat jumped four feet into the air! "Tanto! Tantomile! I'm sensing you!! Don't go anywhere! I'm coming!" He raced back tothe junkyard in record time. Tanto sensed him coming through the pipe and waited.
"Tantomile! Oh, I've missed you SO much!"
"It's so good to be able to see you again!! That was awful."
"This must mean that Misto's bad luck is gone."
"Yes, he just ran Macavity off with his tail tucked between his legs."
"That was Macavity??"
"You saw him? Didn't he look utterly ridiculous?" Laughing, they joined the rejoicing Jellicles and made sure that Misto received their share of hugs and nuzzles. He had everyone's undivided attention. If only you could see the way he blushed...
The End ^..^