Chapter 11: What Killed the Kat?

Chapter 11: What Killed the Kat?

A Chapter by Cameron Lockhart

Now with their mother cornered, the twins do all they can to thwart her evil plans and help her grow a conscience.


Letting loose a battle cry, Mike Jr. dashed into the fray with a drawn-back fist. Just as he intended, his mother adjusted her stance, raising her staff to block him, but he didn't expect what happened next. Abruptly dropping to the ground, he landed on his back and continued to slide forward with one leg jutting out to the side, but didn't expect Katherine to effortlessly hop over it. She looked down at him with a mocking sneer but still managed to block a dive-kick from Josephine that would've otherwise nailed her in the face. Forced back, her daughter broke her fall with a backflip, sliding backward on her feet as she briefly struggled to maintain her balance. Gritting her teeth, Josephine let out a shout of her own as she rushed back in, at a higher speed than her twin. She swerved around several blows that her mother threw out, attempting to counter with a palm strike that was stopped when Katherine grabbed her wrist, subjecting her to an overhead swing into a bodyslam on the ground. Josephine freed herself by kicking her mother in the shin, somersaulting backward so she could stand back up.

As the two stared each other down, Mike Jr. took the opportunity to slam his fists onto either side of Katherine's head, quickly met with an elbow to the chest in response. Josephine tried to get in some hits while her mother was momentarily distracted, but each one ended up flawlessly parried. Both twins attempted to gang up on their mother, but she kept her cool and fended them both off. Mike Jr. did manage to catch her off guard by coiling his arms around her neck, holding her in place as Josephine dealt some helicopter and butterfly kicks into her face and chest. She was about to follow up with another palm strike but was kneed away. Josephine only stumbled after taking the hit, ducking as Katherine hurled her brother right over her head.

After glancing back to see him slowly rise to a stand, she grit her teeth and charged in again, attempting to focus more on using her agility. Katherine attempted to bat her daughter away with her staff, but she dodged it, along with the next several hits thrown out, via a series of flips, slides, and cartwheels. Darting behind her mother, Josephine leaped towards the wall and kicked off of it, diving onto Katherine's frame and crawling all over her at high speed in a snake-like fashion. But not even her signature technique was able to bring her down, for all Katherine had to do was activate her staff, its tip glowing a lemon creme color as she covered her whole body in electricity for a split second, electrocuting her daughter and causing her to fall off.

Letting out a sinister chortle, Katherine roughly kicked her over towards her son; neither of them were hurt by the beating they took, but the chances of them overpowering her seemed slim to none.

"Hmph… I expected a bigger challenge, given how much your father and I trained you," she gloated. "And speaking of your father, I now hold the key to bringing him back… and making our family whole again!"

"So you want to kill him instead of just letting his life run its course?" Josephine asked, holding herself up on one knee. "If you really loved him, you'd let him go."

"Yeah, isn't Dad, like, your one soft spot? Every bad guy's got one," Mike Jr. added.

"Th-That's nonsense! Your father isn't my soft spot… he's what motivates me to be evil! And I-I just… I need him back with me so we can continue our mission," Katherine replied in a shrinking voice.

The twins looked at each other in skeptical silence for a bit.

"Bull f*****g s**t!" Mike Jr. blurted out, gathering to his feet as he narrowed his turquoise eyes. "He's not your motivation. He's your damn ball and chain! All our lives, you caved to his every demand and followed him around like a lost puppy! And even after we died, you didn't even stop to miss him!"

"You just carried on and insisted on continuing what he started, while losing sight of what exactly that was," Josephine said, using her brother's sturdy arm for support as she stood up as well. "Face it, Mom. At this point, you're nothing more than a defanged lapdog who's afraid to admit it, and has turned into a comic book villain as a coping mechanism."

"I think you mean Saturday morning cartoon villain. At least the bad guys in the comic books had some charm to them. But this s**t here is just flat-out not compelling!"

"I didn't need that little anecdote, but whatever."

By this point, Katherine's vision was warped as tears breached the surface of her eye, turning her own children into piles of goo, which they in fact used to be quite a long time ago. She looked down in shame, paying no mind to her makeup oozing down half her face, the discolored, salted streaks reverting her skin to its natural peach color and then dripping onto the ground. The twins couldn't help but grimace at the dark gray puddle forming around her booted feet, but quickly looked back up as she started to heave, curling her fingers like claws.

"H-How dare you brats!" Katherine sobbed angrily, slapping the reincarnation device onto her staff with an audible click.

"Look, if you don't believe us, why not see what Dad thinks of all this? It has been years since we saw him," Josephine said, her voice more compassionate than it'd ever been before.

"You know what? Maybe I will!"

Gritting her teeth as the tears continued to fall, Katherine whipped around and pointed her staff right at the front door, its tip glowing indigo with notes of lavender. A beam of the same color was shot out, forming a massive portal about halfway between herself and the door. After a few seconds, the vortex opened, revealing an overhead shot of the same prison cell she'd previously seen via the AngelTech box. A gaunt, disheveled Mike lay in a fetal position on his bed as he shivered, that loose striped prison jumpsuit unable to stave off the frigid nighttime breeze through his barred window.

"Mikey…" Katherine spoke softly, eyes widened in concern at her husband's poor state. She'd never seen him look this miserable since they first met as high school sophomores. "D-Don't worry, dearie, I… I-I'm coming for you-"

"Hold it!" Mike Jr. held his mother back by the shoulders, though this time she didn't try to fight back, so he chose to let go.

"Just wait for some more context," Josephine added, gesturing towards the portal.

"Why?" Mike muttered in a quiet, shaky voice. "…why?"

"Sis, he's just saying 'why' over and over again. I don't see-" Mike Jr. promptly had his twin's hand slapped over his mouth.

"I could've had so much more than this… why'd I do it? Why did I go down this path out of all the options I had?" Mike continued, the occasional sob shaking his body. "To think all I could've done back in high school was… just find some goddamn counseling! I could've had it all: my wealth, my wife, my children… sure, we didn't exactly plan on starting a family, but that doesn't mean I didn't love 'em."

"Well that's reassur- mmph!" Now it was Josephine's turn to have her mouth covered.

"And who knows? Maybe I could've even become legitimate friends with Mark. Let him into my circle… all I wanted to do was get better after that freak accident, not just physically but mentally too. But because of my stupid lust for revenge and inability to let grudges go, I've become this… this monster! I-I've lost everything! My assets are frozen, my family is dead, and I'm stuck in this cell 'til the day I pass."

He took a few moments to break down into quiet tears, not garnering the attention of any fellow prisoners, but utterly melting the heart of his eavesdropping wife.

"Batman was right. Seeking revenge on those who wronged you doesn't bring satisfaction. It just drives you to do more messed-up stuff!" he sobbed. "…I completely deserve to be locked up for life…"

"Okay, to be honest, I had no idea he'd conveniently say that." Mike Jr. scratched his head.

"But Mom, you know what this means, don't you?" Josephine asked.

"No…" Katherine whispered as she turned back to the twins. Unbeknownst to all of them, Queen Cobra hopped into the portal as quick as a flash, slinking right past Mike and out of his cell completely undetected. "I-I don't…"

"Mom, it's okay. Really-"

"No!" Katherine stepped closer to the portal, bending over and reaching an arm in. Contact with the living realm's air brought about an icy feeling, her hand rapidly aging before her as it caught up to how old she would be had she still been alive. But she didn't care. Nothing could get between her and her husband now. "Mike, don't think like that! You can have us all back. Just come with me."

Katherine's voice entered Mike's cell as a soft echo, unheard by anyone else. It didn't occur to him to look up as he remained in his fetal position.

"Mike, listen to me! Come back to us… to me!" she continued to plead. "I… I-I need you. So damn bad!"

"And why do you need him, exactly?" Mike Jr. folded his arms.

"…b-because I just do, okay?!"

"Yeah, right. You just feel lost without him, and you can't accept the fact that he's moved on from evil," Josephine spat with a scowl.

The moment her daughter said that, Katherine knew her last nerve had been struck. Whipping around with rageful tears dampening half of her face, she let her sadness overpower her anger and dropped to her knees, sobbing and panting all at once.

"You're both correct… about everything…" she moaned. "All I wanted… was for him to be happy!"

"Happy?" the twins asked in unison, each cocking one eyebrow.

"Yes. I already told you about the time when your father had that football accident, but that was only the first of many tragedies that plagued his adolescence. That bone-shattering tackle brought about major PTSD and frequent panic attacks that he exhibited every now and then at least up until our death. Add onto that his parents taking their own lives and leaving him with a mountain of debt, after dragging him into a generations-long war between wealthy families," Katherine explained, her eyes taped to the ground. "I remember we first met shortly after he was injured. I was there through it all afterwards, watching him spiral in and out of depression as the world kept kicking him around time and time again like a rusted Chef Boyardee can. And then came the moment when he got back at Mark Simmons by murdering his parents."

The twins' eyes widened upon hearing that. They knew their family had carried a shady reputation for countless generations, but they were mostly known for financial crimes and inhumane business practices, which had all been condoned by the government for the longest time given America's laws. Even when more explicit crimes were added to the lineup, they were mostly done on the grounds of mischief rather than bloodlust. And to learn that their own father had actual blood on his hands was quite the curveball.

"I don't think I ever would've helped him with that under any other circumstances, but at that point I was just desperate. I was so done with the world abusing my poor boyfriend, and I just wanted to see him happy again. From there, I stayed by his side and catered to his every whim, wanting the rest of his life to be spent in as much bliss as possible… and now that I'm not there, he's depressed again. But not for long…!"

Mike Jr. just slapped a hand over his face while Josephine rolled her eyes.

"Mike, listen to me! It's me, your wife! Ascend with me, and you will be at peace!" Katherine practically dove into the portal, ignoring the rapid aging of her outstretched hands before her. Finally, her husband looked up and saw her for the first time in a decade, recognizing his wife in an instant as silent awe sparked inside of him. "I failed to protect you these last ten years, but I can make it up to you by making your afterlife as happy as possible."

Unbeknownst to her, in her haste, she had tossed her staff right into Josephine's hands. Sharing a smirk and a nod with her brother, she tossed it as high into the air as she could. At the same time, Mike Jr. coiled his arms around his mother's waist and yanked her back, just before she could make contact with her husband, who was now standing on his bed. The two struggled for a bit before Mike Jr. prevailed and pulled Katherine a few yards away from the portal, her extra wrinkles and liver spots disappearing in an instant. The very moment he subdued her with a devastating jack-knife, Josephine had just performed a series of backflips and landed in a handstand, catching the staff with her feet as she slammed it onto the porch's railing, shattering the orb at the tip, and forming a multicolored cloud of sparkles and smoke that quickly disappeared into thin air.

At the same time, Mike had been hopping on his bed, hoping to bounce high enough to reach the portal, but ended up banging his head on the ceiling just as it vanished, falling unconscious in an instant as his lifeless body landed halfway on the bed.

"No… NO! What have you dumb kids done?!" Katherine wailed, breaking free of her son's grip. She looked like she was about to have another angry meltdown, but her sadness took over once more as she broke down sobbing.

"Taught you a lesson, that's what," Mike Jr. replied bluntly. "You heard Dad. He's regretted every evil thing he's ever done, and wants to move on."

"That may not absolve him of his prison sentence, but being aware of your shortcomings and having a willingness to move on are good first steps towards happiness. You want him happy? Then that's about as happy as he can get, given his current life situation," Josephine added. "Plus, we couldn't let you disrupt the natural order like that."

Katherine said nothing as she continued her unmerciful crying, and took a few minutes to get back to her feet. Directing her reddened eye towards the bottom of the driveway, free of the mint green flames blocking its gates. The town beyond looked well past repair, with homes damaged or even destroyed, and most of the province still billowing smoke. Don't even get her started on the state of the town square's fountain. Despite what she'd initially assumed, the sight of so much destruction and misery did not make her happy.

"I-Is this…?" she asked hesitantly. "Wh-What have I done…?"

"Hmph, just imagine if you'd done all this back on Earth," Josephine replied.

"Yeah, you'd probably get executed for that," Mike Jr. added.

"My god… to think I could've almost led your father do so something like this, I… I guess I really did lose sight of why I did what I did," Katherine remarked, barely acknowledging her two children as they pulled her into a group hug. "I just… I can't accept this. I've caused so much trouble…"

"Indeed… but it's never too late to do what's right," Josephine said with a slight smirk.

© 2022 Cameron Lockhart

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Added on September 22, 2022
Last Updated on September 22, 2022
Tags: antihero, afterlife, action, humor, family, drama, comedy, redemption


Cameron Lockhart
Cameron Lockhart

Charleston, SC

I've loved writing ever since I could properly hold a pencil, and I currently strive to become a published author someday. In 2021, I earned a BA in Creative Writing; I primarily focused on prose and .. more..