Starlight, Starbright

In a land far, far away, there's a world that you could never have imagined. This place has no name. But it is home to numerous cats. Everything about this world is mysterious from it's blossoming, bright springs, lush, emerald summers, colorful, fiery autumns, and white, sparkling winters. In this story we trace the steps of a young heroine. From the moment she realizes what life is really about to the very second she dies. A tale of friendships and sorrows, heartbreaks and heroes, a broken connection between two sisters, a murder mystery, and a conclusion no one suspected...

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10. Death

 

The first thing I noticed when I came to was the sound of someone crying.

Then someone speaking. Or scolding, more like.

"Crying's not going to help, Aqua. There's pretty much no hope left."

My brain was too tired to process the discovery. I couldn't even open my eyes. It hurt too much.

Whoever it was, they were still talking. "I mean she's been out for, like, so long."

I decided to tune them out and concentrate on how many cats were here with me. Where ever I was. From the mixed scents, quite a lot.

And apparently, they'd had quite enough.

"Would you just SHUT UP, Olivia?!" Oliver's voice cut through my blackness. Of course it had been Olivia babbling on. She was always like that.

But what really surprised me was how Oliver called her Olivia. He always, and I repeat, always calls her Livia.

I guess I wasn't the only one caught by surprise. The room went absolutely silent. Even Aqua's sobs died away. I forced myself to open my eyes.

"That's the first time I've heard you call her Olivia."

Everybody in the room practically jumped a mile into the air. I must have shocked them as well. Everyone stared at me. Snowy, Olivia, Aqua, Oliver, Conner, Charles, Lily, Father, even Shontel was there. But there was someone missing. I just couldn't put my whisker on it.

"Yeah, well, I got a little mad." Oliver shrugged sheepishly. I smiled weakly at him.

Then I shook my head. "There's someone missing." As I said those words it hit me. "Where's Feebee?"

Father's eyes were shot with pain.

"Nothing gets by you, does it?"

"Father, I'm serious."

"You might not want to be,"

"What's up?"

"The sun, the clouds and a few plumes of remaining smoke." Aqua joined in.

"Uh huh, sure, you expect me to go with that. Feebee's my best friend, what happened to her?"

"She didn't make it." Charles whispered after a long silence.

Oh.

Suddenly, I wished I hadn't asked in the first place. "I heard a scream." I said after thinking for a while. "At first I thought it was you, Aqua. That's what got me so scared." I continued at their puzzled expressions. "It must have been Feebee."

Aqua shook her head. "We didn't hear anything. At least I didn't."

I studied my paws for a few seconds.

"Can I see her?"

Father exchanged a glance with our royal doctor, Rose. I hadn't even seen her come in. She was quiet, like Mother, and just a few years younger. She has a pale pinkish coat, like a rose with beautiful light amber eyes that sets off her pelt.

"You've been out for a long time." Snowy said carefully.

"How long?"

Shontel, who hadn't said a word up until now, smiled smugly at me. What horrifyingly horrifying thing did I do now?  I wanted to ask.

But instead of saying anything snotty, she answered me. "A week."

"A what?" I stared at her in shock.

"A week. They already had the funeral. I was so worried about you." She said the last part with a glance at Oliver. I sat up. "I find that doubtful." I muttered.

"What was that, sweetheart?" She smiled at me again, sweetly this time. Too sweetly. She had something nasty up her sleeve. I was sure of it.

I narrowed my eyes at her. Rose noticed and started herding everyone out. "The princess needs to rest." She whispered gently. "Are you sure she'll be alright?" Father asked. Rose nodded. "I'm sure she'll be fine."

"Can I stay with her?" Oliver asked quietly.

A collective 'oooh' rose from everyone, except Father, of course.

Oliver glared at them, then turned back to Rose. She glanced at me. "How do you feel about company, Your Highness?"

I sighed. "One. I'm fine with 'company'." That just made everyone giggle harder. I gritted my teeth. "And two. Just call me Fire. That's my name."

Rose looked uncertain. Father smiled at her. "You might want to do that. She threatens to behead anyone who doesn't call her Fire. You're just lucky she hasn't killed you yet."

Rose stared at me in surprise. "I'm capable of doing that." I crossed my arms.

A small smile hovered on her lips. "Okay, Fire."

After that, she shooed all my visitors, except Oliver, out. He pulled up a chair and sat down beside me.

"Are you okay?" He whispered. I stared into his dark blue eyes. "Yeah, I'm okay." A yawn interrupted me. "You should get some sleep." He stroked my forehead as I snuggled into the soft mattress. I smiled at him. With Oliver I always felt... I don't know, safe, I guess. Being with him, it was like I would never get hurt.

Too bad that wasn't true.

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