9 Lives – Chapter 3
The stormy sky shattered with bright explosions from each flash of lightning, followed by bone crushing thunder. The winds shifted directions, blowing like a tempest testing the root strength of every tree in the forest. Each raindrop fell to the forest floor and dug deep into the ground. By any stretch of the mind, this was no place for a small cheetah to have wandered into after being lost.
Breathing heavy and feeling the energy drain from every muscle in its body, the small cheetah willed itself back to its feet and stood as it looked at the demonic mass twisting in front it. The little cheetah watched as the monster grabbed another cat. After being touched, the other cat’s eyes glinted brightly, reflecting the jack-o-lantern filled forest. The grabbed cat’s body quickly went limp and lifeless, and the aura of its soul seemed to pull from its body into the mouth of its captor, increasing the monster’s size.
A wolf, snarling at the monster, darted side to side to avoid the debris that swirled around the demon’s feet, averted the monster’s attention away from the small cheetah. The little cat could barely pull itself through the forceful winds. Every step the cheetah tried to take away from the scene slightly outpaced the direction it was being sucked backwards, to whatever the hell that thing was.
Each moment spent inside this sucking storm seemed so slow and hard to fight that, for a brief moment, the small cheetah almost gave up the will to live. It couldn’t pull away from this thing. It was helpless. What’s the point in fighting it? Even though the small cheetah could feel its mind wavering, the muscles in its body seemed to push on, almost instinctively. It wasn’t until it could feel the pressure of the the vortex release its grip on the small cheetah, when it realized it was free from the scene, and fled deeper into the forest.
Dodging WK Logs, bounding over the WK Stump Hop Sets, and darting thru numerous WK Hollow Logs the little cheetah couldn’t seem to run fast enough. It’s mind was in a panic, but its little paws kept running and running until it reached a clearing in the forest. Taking a moment to relax, the little cat looked back to the forest. It noticed that the storm was secluded to the area of the forest it just fled from. That demon, or whatever it was, was far behind.
The tired cheetah turned back to the clearing and noticed many pumpkins lined along a path, looking like a troop of soldiers marching toward the house sitting on top of a distant hill. Knowing that humans were valuable allies and needing refuge, the little cheetah gathered all its remaining energy to walk toward the building.
All of a sudden, the little cat’s body went completely numb, as if paralyzed, and fell motionless to the ground. The cat’s eyes widened with fright as storm clouds quickly filled the sky. That house on the hill, with rows of pumpkins lining the path, became the last thing the little cat would see before complete darkness. Before the cat’s eyes closed that final scene was burned on it’s retinas, serving a lasting reminder of a moment caught in fright.
The limp cat dropped to the ground after being released by the giant demon. The bright white essence of its soul slithered between the monster’s cracked lips like it was inhaling cigar smoke. Fully sedated, the hideous monster, surrounded by wispy black smoke, resumed its search for souls.
Deep inside the demon’s body, in an empty void, nine souls of unfortunate animals slowly swirled around each other. These souls will become the energy that the evil creature uses to go on its horrific rampage. By the time the morning sun cracked the horizon, the beast that ravaged the forest vanished, leaving a path of destruction everywhere it had been.
Quickly awaking from his vision, an old wise man fumbled for some way to record the terror he witnessed in his hallucination. He’s had omens like this many times before and needed to warn others. Grabbing a sharp rock and quickly scoring his words on a granite slab, he frantically recorded the nightmare.