Endless Masquerading

Endless Masquerading

By: Callista

Author's Notes: To all of you who have read this far, THANK YOU!!! Remember I am still taking comments, critizism, etc. at briar_rose15@hotmail.com Oh, and also, the first part of my story ends on the night of the Jellicle Ball of the movie.

Part II--Chapter 6( one year later)
Madeline sat straight and tense, tail whipping about excitedly. Tonight at the Jellicle Ball, she would become an adult. A pair of paws came up behind her and covered her eyes. "Guess who, Blue Eyes? And no fair smelling." Madeline grinned and threw out some names. "Pouncival?"

She heard a snort.

"Munkustrap?" "Hah! Thatís rich! But no."

Madeline pretended to think really hard. "I donít know, I give up!" She was turned around whiskers to whiskers with Rum Tum Tugger. He pouted.

"Hey no fair!"

Madeline laughed. "Arenít you a little old to be flirting with a one year old?"

Tugger looked indignant, "Iím only two and a half. Besides, who says Iím flirting?" Madeline laughed again and shoved him playfully. "Isnít that Bomba I hear calling you?" Tugger looked over fearfully and nodded sheepishly. "Yeah, I guess Iíd better be going. See ya around Blue Eyes." Before her admittance into adulthood came a part of the Jellicle Ball that she couldnít join. It was the Dance of Jellicle Mates. Each year a queen and her chosen mate would dance a solo together and then all the other couples would join them in celebration. Madeline vaguely remembered her first ball when Victoria had danced with Plato, but they had only been temporary mates. A Life-mate vow was the strongest of all and could never be broken even after death. There were a lot of mates and life-mates this year. As well as a couple of new kittens. Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer had their one month old tom, Knockabout, who was busy trying to steal his motherís pearls. Munkustrap had a new light in his eyes as he looked at his life-mate Demeter who was in her last days of pregnancy. Jennyanydots and Skimbleshanks were proudly dancing for their five month old kitten, Thimblethumbs. Then a sudden hush fell over the collected cats. Mistoffelees and Victoria were dancing; dancing their life-mate vows to each other. Alonzo shyly offered Cassandra his paw which she accepted with an equally shy smile. Madeline sighed, So many couples. Everyone but the kittens have someone to dance with. Jemima and Pouncival came whirling by, Tumblebrutus and Electra werenít far behind. Etcetera had grown up a little and no longer chased after Tugger when she had met a new Jellicle named Tomfoolery. Exotica was talking quietly with her tom, Balderdash. Suddenly a dirty smelly cloth was pressed up to face, covering her mouth and nose. Darkness overcame her so quickly that she didnít even have time to scream.

Chapter 7
When she awakened she sat straight up and immediately regretted it. Her head started pounding like a Pollicle had been barking in her ear for an hour. "OhhhhÖ" she groaned. "Where am I?" She was in a pet carrier that had a scratchy rug beneath her. Trying to ignore the throbbing pain in her head, she examined her surroundings as best as she could from inside the cage. There wasnít much, she was in a dark room that smelled musty. Madeline laughed as she figured out what must have happened. "Okay Tugger, nice joke. You really had me going." Nothing. "Youíve had your fun, now let me out." She got no answer, no stifled giggle reached her ears. She swallowed, maybe it wasnít Tugger. "Pouncival?" Silence. "Vicki? Jemi? Anyone?" Then she thought she heard something. "Hello? Is anyone out there? Come on! Let me out!" she yelled, unsuccessfully trying not to panic. "The gameís up! I want out!" She rattled the door of the carrier, hoping it would jar loose. A deep, humorless chuckle reached her ears. Madeline flattened her ears to her head. She was furious. Whoever was playing this bad excuse for a joke would pay. "Let. Me. Out. NOW!" she growled. The laughing stopped abruptly and golden eyes glowed at her before a tall thin shadow emerged from the farthest corner of the room. Macavity?!?! Why would Macavity want her? How much time had passed? Will I ever see my friends again? These questions and more flooded her mind as the infamous Hidden Paw strode towards the pet carrier. With a scowl he sat down gracefully and stared straight into her eyes.

Inwardly Madeline cringed but she managed to stare straight back. After a couple of minutes the ginger tom spoke. "Youíre not supposed to be here." It was low but had a resonating quality that Madeline suspected he used to hypnotize others. She snorted.

"I could have told you that."

He growled once showing his fangs, leapt up and started pacing in front of the cage. "Why are you here?" he shouted.

Madeline was confused. "Why donít you tell me, O Napoleon of Crime."

Immediately she cringed, but he barely seemed to notice her insult. "I told them what she looked like, but they bring back you!"

"You meanÖ." She whispered. "That you didnít come for me specifically?"

He whirled and stared at her again with those remarkable golden eyes as he sneered. "Of course not. Why would I want a scrawny little runt like you?" Madeline bit her lip but in her mind pieced together the puzzle. The last time Macavity had shown himself was at her very first Jellicle Ball when he tried to catnap Demeter. She had heard rumors that Dem had had "dealings" with Macavity before she was a Jellicle. Madelineís eyes widened in the darkness of her cage as she figured out what happened. Macavity must have sent his hench-rats to take Demeter, and given them a description of her to help them find her. But why had they gotten her? Then she remembered that Dem was pregnant so she didnít look like what Macavity would have described to his hench-rats.

Macavity had gone back to pacing. Softly she spoke up. "Did you tell them to look for a slim queen?" He looked annoyed. "Of course I did. Sheís not fat!" At that Madeline cracked a grin. "Yes she is! Sheís due to have kittens any day now."

He spun around so fast that she thought he might fall over. "WHAT?" he screeched. Madeline cowered down, cursing herself for mentioning it. "Look at me!" She didnít move. "Look. At. Me. Now." His voice was deadly quiet, she looked up. "By my do-gooder brother?" He spat out. Madeline stared at him blankly. "Munkustrap," he added through clenched teeth. Madeline, too scared to do anything but stare, didnít move. He saw the answer in her eyes though. His eyes narrowed. "This changes everything. What am I going to do with you?" he hissed to himself. Abruptly he turned and headed towards a cat door. Madeline finally found her voice.

"Hey! What about me?" His back stiffened but Madeline got the feeling as he spoke that it was mostly to himself. "I will have my revenge, one way or another. Eventually they will come looking for you, and then my plan will be complete." Eventually she curled up, scared and bewildered, and cried herself to sleep.

Chapter 8
"Hey, Strife! Look over here! Itís a queen!" The voice of the tom jarred Madeline awake but she stayed curled up hoping they would leave. She heard a disbelieving laugh.

"Youíve been in the catnip again, Ďavenít ya, Khafre?"

"No, really! Itís a queen. Come see for yourself." After a moment she heard a sharp intake of breath. "Blimy! Wonder who she is?" The voice got closer. "Maybe we should get out of here, Strife," said a suddenly nervous sounding Khafre, "What if she belongs to ÖMacavity?"

A derisive snort was his answer. "Not likely," said the tom called Strife. " ĎEís only Ďad one queen and that Ďun wos one oí dem human-loving Jellicles!"

"Still, we shouldnít be in here. What if he comes back and sees us?" < Khafreís voice trembled at the mere thought.

"You worry too much," said Strife dismissivly. " Ďey! I bet sheís a gift! Yeah, thatís it! I bet me whiskers sheís a gift to Macavityís best tom!"

Madeline stiffened as she heard Khafre gasp. "What are you doing?" he hissed. She heard the door of the cage make a soft click. "Noffinkí. Iím just gonna get to know Ďer a little."

Madeline tensed her muscles and when she heard the door open she leaped out. Hearing a startled curse she ran blindly towards where she had seen Macavity disappear to. She didnít get far, however, because of the small matter of Macavity being in her line of escape. She managed to skid to a stop right before hitting his legs, but before she could run again he hissed and grabbing her by the scruff of her neck carried her back the way she had just come. Madeline was momentarily shocked out of fear. She was tall and slim like most queens her age but if she had stood side by side with Macavity on their back legs, she would reach his upper chest. And here he was carrying her like she weighed no more than a kitten.

Heíd barely taken a few steps when two toms who must have been Strife and Khafre shot out of the door of her prison room. The one she assumed that was Khafre was a Siamese and looked like he was about to faint. The other tom, Strife, was a dark coated Abyssinian who also looked nervous but collected. "Who wants to explain?" asked Macavity in a deadly growl.

"Well, uh, ya see sirÖ" stuttered Strife, "We, um, wos walkin along when we Ďeard this noise, like. We went to investigate," here Strife pointed an accusing paw at the dangling Madeline. "It wos Ďer! We peeked in and she went crazy! Next thing we know sheís runniní out the door."

Macavity scowled and Strife no longer looked confident.

"Even if that were true," he hissed, then with surprising speed reached out and grabbed Strife by the throat. Madeline made a mental note never to arm wrestle Macavity, he now had two full size cats in his grip and wasnít showing any signs of being tired. "You had no business going in there anyway." Both of the toms gulped fearfully. "I dropped her breakfast down the corridor. You can go pick it up and get two more new cans." With a sneer he dropped Strife.

They raced away and Macavity put her down and sat in front of the only exit watching her warily. She ran to the wall farthest away from him and cleaned the spot where his paw had been holding her. "What is your name?" he asked as if he were talking with a roach. Madeline gave him an icy stare, her tail lashed about wildly displaying her aggravation.

"Thatís for me to know and you to wonder about," she hissed.

Macavity gave a condescending smile as if waiting out a temper tantrum.

"If you donít tell me, then I guess Iíll have to make up one for you." "Madeline," she snarled, mad about losing this contest of wills. The ginger tom lazily scratched his chin with a claw. "Hmmm. Not your average Jellicle name." Madeline lifted her head proudly. "Itís my name because Iíve earned it."

At that moment Strife and Khafre entered with the cans of cat food. Macavity snarled at them and they left hurriedly. Then he opened one with a razor sharp claw and slid it over on the floor to her. She backed away from it as if it might bite her. Macavity was already eating his share contentedly. He frowned when he saw her ignore the food. "Well? What are you waiting for? Eat already!"

"Iíll eat nothing thatís come from you!" she hissed arching her back. She knew she had no chance of getting by him. That demonstration of amazing strength was enough to convince her not to try escaping when she was alone with him.

The ginger tom growled menacingly and before she could blink he had thrown her back into the pet carrier. "If you wonít eat now, then you wonít eat at all!" He started to pick up her can of food but stopped and a slow evil grin spread over his face. He carefully set it in front of the cage so that she could smell itís enticing odor but could never reach through the door of the cage to get it. With a evil chuckle he slipped out the cat door. "Enjoy your meal!" Madeline hadnít eaten since before the Ball. She had been so nervous, that was the night she was to become an official adult. Now her stomach ached with the sight of the food so near. Hours later she was almost dizzy from the smell and her hunger.

Stop it! she told herself firmly, Pull yourself together. Think of something else, donít think about food. It worked for awhile, she counted the air holes in the pet carrier, stared at a piece of floating fuzz for about a half hour, groomed herself thoroughly and thought of home. She should be rescued very soon now, at the latest any day. She remembered when Tugger had "rescued" Bomba from a yappy little pollicle that was barely bigger than a two month old kitten. She almost felt sorry for the thing, it looked so pitiful when it ran off tail between its legs. That got her laughing but the laughter soon turned to tears and for the second time she cried herself to sleep.

Chapter 9
Over the next few days Madeline refused to eat. She grew weaker but did not relent even to Macavityís wild tantrums where he would shout at her relentlessly until he could scream no more.

"You think starving yourself is going to help you?" he raved at her when she had turned down a meal on the third day. Still, she refused. Any day now, she kept telling herself.

On the fifth day Madeline didnít get up when Macavity came in with breakfast. He growled, but she didnít respond. He went over and kicked the cage. It rocked but nothing came from inside. Curious, Macavity peeked in, sighed with annoyance and pulled her out. She was unconscious and was so thin that she looked like she was about to break. Something flashed in his eyes, concern? No, he dismissed it. She was a key to getting his revenge, if she didnít survive then it went down in shambles. Yes thatís it he told himself. Gently prying open her jaws he went about dropping a bit of the cat food in. Not too much or it would come right back up. He did this each day until her eyes finally opened. She didnít say anything only backed away from him. He pushed the can of cat food towards her with a triumphant grin and left. She ate in silence.

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