Secrets in Whispers

Secrets in Whispers

A Chapter by KibaxChan

The Felecetii sat with his head bowed, his onyx hood looming a shadow over his face. The sunset burned his fur through his robe, but still he sat for hours. Not one person stopped to ask him what he was doing there for so long. Nor if he were waiting for somebody, something, anything. He sat, ignored.


He was accustomed to it. This was his daily routine as a nameless outcast of his people. There in his solitude, he mused to himself of a life even a little less arduous than his own.


A few streets away, in the shadows, hidden from the eyes of passerby an old man sat alone. Waiting for something that he wasn't even sure would appear. An image from a dream or a memory, he wasn't certain; he remained stationary, waiting. The boy would come.


As the sun began to descend over the horizon, painting the sky in glorious shades of pinks and oranges,the cat felt the gnawing of hunger deep within his gut. With a heavy sigh, he rose from his bench.


He kept his face hidden, but his eyes were peeking out from underneath his hood. Searching for a target. It could take him hours, he knew that. But he had to eat tonight, didn't he?


He had traveled only a few roads away when he saw his target. An old man, sitting by himself on a bench in the shade. There weren't people around to impede the feline's plans. He went slowly over to the man and lowered himself to perch beside him. The old man,apparently deep in thought, didn't seem to notice him. This was his chance.

The catman's clawed fingers gingerly reached into the pocket of the robe of the man who sat obliviously next to him. He'd done this a million times before, but something was odd. Different. He hoped to find a coin purse, but what he found was an orb. His claws wrapped around the orb and he pulled it softly out of the man's pocket, who still seemed to be clueless.


That was when he felt it. The energy from this white-blue orb began to engulf him. Suddenly, he couldn't take a breath and it felt as if all around him was an inescapable white-hot fire. He gripped his chest and fell to the ground with the orb in his paw.

The old man knew he felt a presence,though he was caught off guard when he realized exactly what the presence was- the hand of a pickpocket, rifling through his belongings while he was focused elsewhere. He had been waiting for a traveler, or someone remarkable in one way or another. He'd been given visions for as long as he can remember, a certain traveler on a certain day, under a certain star--he would meet this person and from there the mystery of his past would be unveiled, or he would gain insight he sought, the visions were never clear on what would be achieved but he knew to follow them. He had followed these dreams for as long as he could remember. His vision had told him to be here and to be here at this time. He was waiting for a shining soul, or an avatar of knowledge and strength; imagine his surprise when he noticed it was but a mere Felecetii attempting to pickpocket him.


The catman was plagued with grotesque and macabre visions. Waking dreams. He didn't know what they were. But he witnessed unspeakable horrors. Crimes of war. He heard the squelching as a blade entered a man's belly and he went down to the ground to breathe his last agonized breath. He witnessed things he could never repeat. They burned themselves into his memory and ripped apart his soul in a way he never knew possible. Yet nothing could be done, all he could do was watch.


The last vision he saw, he was standing in the middle of a battlefield. The ground was soaked with blood; enough blood that where there should have been sand, there was mud. Bodies were all around him. Limbs were displaced, piles of guts and various organs spilled out of people's corpses. His entire body shook as he took it all in, but then he noticed something off in the distance. A silhouette. It was faced away from him, it was too far away to discern anything. Then, it began to turn around.


The fool had found the orb, unexpectedly and unfortunately for him. The orb had killed the last few that had touched it, an unknown enchantment the old man had become aware of. He wasn't sure why or how the orb killed those that touched it--he only knew that he was safe, the orb was his and was intended for his hands only. He knew it as an orb of scrying; the visions came in the night while he slept and the orb allowed him to view them in his awakened state. He had come to rely on his dreams and to have the ability to replay them was invaluable. He had come to appreciate this enchantment and watched the cat fall to the ground dead--or so the old man had thought...


A Felecetii? He saw the robes, fit for the body of a catman. He knew them to be the robes of a priestly order of the cat people, though these robes appeared old and withered, dirty even. This was no cleric and he knew it well. With the thievery and filth surrounding this animal he figured it was an outcast. A stark contrast to the usual Felecetii. The cat-people were revered as gods by some of the lesser races, to be a filth-covered thief was unbecoming of a noble feline. The poor fool was surely born weak or mentally stunted, no reason the cats would shun him otherwise. Burglary was unheard of in the utopian cities of Felecetii.


 "Let me gaze upon the face of the poor b*****d, live by the sword die by the-" He gasped as he pulled the veil from the face of the cat. Pure white fur, unheard of as most cat-people he had seen were black as pitch; the visual itself such a shock. He had never seen anything of the sort and as he pulled the robes further down away from the face of the pitiful creature he noticed a single eye had been injured and as he went to examine further, he felt the creature shift slightly. Small, rhythmic breaths punctuated the seconds of silence. He was alive.


The first thing the ivory cat realized was that he was lying on the ground and then, that the orb that he had pickpocketed from the old man was grasped so firmly in his hand that his knuckles were undoubtedly white underneath his fur. His eyes snapped open to see the face of the aging mystic. He was observing him like an experiment, something he'd hated with a passion his entire life. He could only see out of the eye that still had it's pupil, but his depth perception was unaffected. The wounded eye was a crimson red, as was the other, but the ebony slit of a pupil added contrast. His face was a ghastly sight, a phantasm of a Felecetii.


"NO!" He screeched as he jerked away from the man with the intensity of somebody about to be beaten. The Felecetii tossed the orb at the man and scrambled from the ground, grabbing his hood fervently and pulling it over his face as if he didn't want to be seen. "TAKE YOUR DAMNED ORB!"


"Yes! Yes, you did take my 'orb'. Nasty little thing, isn't it? I'm surprised you're alive, little thief. Many have tried before, but you're the only one to survive the 'failsafe'." The old man said with a smirk across his lips. He almost pitied the creature, his fur alone must have been enough of a reason for the felines to shun him.


The feelings of pity quickly passed and gave way to quizzical reflection. Could this be the one foretold by the dreams? Is this who I am waiting for? The attempt at the orb was enough reason for suspicion. Could this be the one he had been waiting for? Never in all of his years was he caught so unaware, realizing he was being stolen from only as the cat fell catatonic to the ground. The kid was good, foolish but not without skill. The snow white cat was worth a second look, something was different. He knew this was the one he was waiting for.


The white cat, reeling with his visions of torment and anguish, felt sick. Nausea gripped his empty stomach and his head tumbled feverishly, he was certain that it was all over his features. He turned from the man, pulling his hood even further over his head and attempting to stumble away from him. 


"If you know what's any good for you, old man, you'll stay away from me. Stay away from me and forget you ever saw my face." He managed between heavy guttural breaths, his claws clutching the fabric so tightly that his needle-like appendages tore through it as he shoved his way into the crowd.


* * * * * * * * * * * * ** *


The Felecetii felt as though he needed to get as far away from the orb, the man, as possible. He needed to get out of the city, like he's needed for years. He didn't know where he was going and he didn't know how he could possibly get there on his own. He had weapons, he knew how to use them, but things happen in the wilderness. Unspeakable things. Yet, he trudged on anyway, even in the shadow of night.


But ever since he touched the strange white-blue orb, the feline felt sicker than he's ever felt in his life. He kept trying to ignore it, focus on the journey. One step after another. But soon he fell to his knees, unable to stand, and he retched onto the stone pathway he had been following. His head pounded like his brain was swelling inside of his skull. All he could manage was a moan when he gave up evacuating the contents of his stomach that wasn't there. He slumped to the side slowly and felt himself hit the ground. He felt the chill of the stones on his fur and the nip in the air. His scarlet eyes were but mere slits as he stared down the road, wondering if this is where it would finally end.


He had watched his thief move down the cobblestone road and attempt to vanish into the clowder of cats occupying the street. He wondered what the cat had seen to scare him so, what visions or dreams he had reflected. Does the orb even have the same effect on others? 


He wondered if he had seen anything at all, he certainly was afraid. Several daggers were affixed to the inside of the cats robes, he could have struck out at him if he truly wanted to. Maybe he was afraid of the old man? Maybe not--but he knew he had to follow him. The feline had caught his eye and was the one foretold. Catching up to the creature, however, was the first step. He gathered his things and made his way down the road after him. Their stars had crossed and both were catapulting to a fate unknown.


He passed through the city, catching a disproving glance from several black coated sentries on his way out of the city gate. The city guard--fierce, giant cat men trained since birth to kill had their eyes trained on him. They saw a simple human dirtying their streets and were likely relieved to see him leave the city, they viewed all humans as lesser and with good reason. War and infighting had ravaged the former glory of mankind, he had lived through some of the worst of the wars himself. He had seen the battlefields that the glorious cities of men had become. He had also walked the graveyards left behind.


The feline had been lying there for an unknown amount of time. It could have been minutes, it could have been hours. But eventually he saw a silhouette of someone wandering up the road. He didn't want their help. He hoped they wouldn't stop and he knew they definitely wouldn't if they saw the color of his fur. He laid there on the cobblestone, unable to even lift a finger, his breathing depressed.


He waited, but what he waited for was death. Whoever was coming up the road meant nothing to him. But then suddenly, with his healthy eye,he noticed the features of the stranger. It was the old man. He wanted to get to his feet and, at the very least, lurch off in the opposite direction. But he had no energy to do so. The most he could do was half-struggle to lift himself up with his arms.


"Kill me if you wish! End it!" He croaked, unsure that the man had heard him at all.


A dark, bellowing laugh drifted down to his ears in a panoramic and wobbling way. Something was unusual about the laughter, a distortion; something very wrong. His hair stood on end and he drew back his lips in a weak hiss but to no avail, the old man drifted towards him and lifted him into the air almost as if he were weightless. As the young Felecetii drifted in and out of consciousness he saw the wizard walking in front of him, he gazed at the ground and noticed he was being held in the air by an unknown force. He was levitating behind the wisened stranger. He tried speaking one last time before the man spoke in the cat's own language, "Sleep now, we'll be there soon."


The cat may have drifted in and out of sleep, but it felt as though he were drifting in and out of realms. Nothing was real and yet all of it was real. Sometimes, there was a different aspect to the things he saw. Something that told him that this was the reality he lived in. During those moments, he would see the dark outline of leering trees passing him as he levitated along. The old man was still walking in front of him, his back turned to the Felecetii.


He wanted to claw the old man's eyes out of his head and shove them down his throat. How dare he do this to him? Render him so powerless? He would have these nearly incoherent and yet tangible thoughts before falling back into realms of the unknown.

That was the last thing he remembered before he jolted into consciousness on a bed. An actual bed. He hadn't felt one of these in the longest of times. For a moment, he let himself enjoy the luxury of the cushion. Then he realized. Where was he? Where had that mystic taken him? What did he want with him?


He sat up rather abruptly, causing a sharp pain in his head. He wasn't wearing his cloak nor was he wearing the bandages he kept over his scarred eye. He began to panic, but didn't have the chance to lose his mind over it, for a voice spoke to him.

"So you're awake finally, it's been a few days but I believe the worst of it is over." The old man said, from a dark corner of the room. His face was illuminated by his smoking pipe, the embers gently glowing and reflecting in the mystic's eyes. "My orb is safeguarded with an enchantment, you very nearly died. I've brought you to my home, you'll be quite safe here." 


The man continued on, pausing only to take a deep draw from his pipe "...what did you see? You see, this is no mere bauble. Those with the ability can see very interesting things, sometimes very frightening things. You saw something didn't you? Tell me of your dreams. Who are you?"


The ivory cat stared at the man as if he had three heads. He blinked as the barrage of questions ran through his mind. He held his skull as he screwed his eyes shut, groaning. He wondered if the headache would be a lasting thing, touching that damned orb that belonged to this damned... whatever he was. A simple wizard? It didn't matter. What mattered is that the feline wanted to be as far away from him as physically possible.


"Your orb there is an evil dirty little b*****d, is what it is! Blood, there was blood everywhere." He saw it again, as if he were right there in the dream. Smelled the iron, heavy in the air, felt the wet of the blood soaked in the sand. "The silhouette, the only one left standing, it was..."


When the absurdity registered in the feline's mind, he stopped himself. He turned his head and he stared with his only eye at the old man. The intensity was like an unquenchable and wrathful hellflame as he regarded his one last question. "I don't have a name."


He continued, "Now I believe it's your turn. Who are YOU?"


"Who am I?" The man paused, unsure of how to reply. He had been alone for so long and without any need for a name. Time had not been kind to his mind, many of his memories had faded away; old age, some would think--or was it something else? Had he delved too deeply in the arcane? Had all his years of peering into the mad world of magic and ancient lore taken it's toll on his mind or was it only age?


Either way, he had forgotten his name and had begun to go by whichever title the locals would call him. He was known to travel and due to his use of magic and enigmatic air, it wasn't long before the locals of whichever area he happened to be in took notice of him. Magic users were rarely ignored. They called him some variation of "bearded man" most times. The names weren't very creative, most of the time he was traveling through the forests and marshes. The folk of the forests and swamps typically were very simple. They lived quick, brutal lives and had no time for the fanciful titles and words of the city-dwellers. Simple descriptors were enough for them. Old one. Ancient one to some.


"My name is Muhlsaan, young Felecetii." He chose the words "Old Shaman" in the ivory feline's own language as his name to be given. Any name was as good. Such attachments are unbecoming of one shown the secrets he has been shown in his years studying the abyss and it's maddening trove of knowledge. Some would scream and crumple to the ground if they learned what he had. Mages often become mad Sorcerers and with good reason. The forced death of ego frequently resulted in the spawning of a death lord, though he had no intentions of massacre--or did he? He didn't remember his childhood, nor much of his adult life--a side effect of a spell gone wrong? A consequence of a deal gone wrong with an infernal lord or Djinn?


He simply couldn't recall. He continued on, remembering his visions, "I know your face, I've seen it for some time now. I've seen it in my dreams. I know this is no coincidence, the aether has facilitated this meeting. I am meant to find you or you were meant to find me; it is unknown to me and the purpose may very well remain unknown." He paused, "The Gods have willed it, young one."


"Your Gods are liars!" the catman spat in a hiss at the aging man, his scarlet eye alight with his scorching black rage. His snow white fur bristled as he regarded the man, rising to sit at the edge of the bed as his snow white tail lashed in his intense irritation. "You speak to me in my own language in words that have nearly lost their meaning, but you are nothing but the rambling corpse of a human! The puppet of the dead Gods! You have no idea who I am! I DON'T KNOW WHO I AM!"


"There is something we share in common! Such an angry person you are, who hurt you? It surely wasn't I. Last I checked I brought you into my home and nursed you to health--it wasn't easy you know, I estimate my age to be nigh six decades. Not an easy age for a human. How old are you, young one? I'd estimate no older than 80--I understand your cat fellows live extraordinarily long lives. Extraordinary for a human that is." He continued on in a forlorn, prolonged sigh, "Ah... I mean you no disrespect, I'm all alone out here and have been this way for too long." He paused, "I've forgotten how to speak to others."


The Felecetii seemed to deflate and he stared at the archaic man in a silenced shock. The visions swirling around in his mind like a hurricane clouded his emotions, twisted his words. It was awhile before he spoke again, his crimson eyes downcast.


"I likewise did not mean you disrespect, old wizard. I am grateful that you took me into your home," he lied through his fanged, yellowing teeth as he kept his vermilion eyes to the floor. He wanted to die that night, on that road, in the dark. Alone and in silence. It would've been the ideal punctuation for the end to the story of his sorry life. But perhaps this man spoke the truth... or perhaps he was mad. Either way, the feline was imprisoned here with him for the time being. Answering his questions would be the least that he could do.


"I am 82 years. Young, still, for a Felecetii... as you know. Your human race has a shockingly short life-span," he remarked in a near monotone. His eyes never left the ground as he spoke. "Though technically it was your phantasmal hellish orb that brought us here. I don't know what it is, I don't want to know, and I don't ever want to touch it again. I steal to survive, not for trinkets and knick-knacks, and definitely not for visions of doom."


That's when he raised his eyes from the floorboards to meet the man's own pale blue orbs, staring back at him with a sagacious wisdom that went beyond time. He searched his features for a moment, a hint at anything relating to so powerful an object, yet the man's face betrayed nothing.


"Muhlsaan," the word, so underused and forgotten, felt foreign on the cat's tongue, "I am one of the unnamed. They do not name mutations such as I and most of us are killed for our deviation from the Felecetii's natural genetic code. Our birth-mothers and fathers reject us, kill us. But sometimes they raise us until we're old enough to fend for ourselves. Perhaps 20, sometimes younger. Most don't make the journey. I'm the first one I've seen in years."


The white cat's voice was softer now, almost reminiscent of a cat's melancholic mew. He grabbed one of his snowy ears and tightened his fingers around it, his claws nearly puncturing the flesh. "Call me whatever you wish for it will mean nothing."


"Nothing, you say?" Muhlsaan interjected, "Nothing is the name, isn't it? We need to discuss where we go from here." He drew in a deep breath and took a more serious tone. "I have been waiting for you, nameless one. I have seen you in my dreams or a person much like you. I have dreams and these dreams I follow... they are visions from the divine, they guide me. I've followed the messages given to me for as long as I can remember, each time becoming closer to knowing myself and the greater mysteries of the arcane."


He watched the feline's eyes raise to meet his, "Arcane? Mysteries? Are you some sort of sorcerer fiend? Am I another one of your mad experiments?!" The boy raised his voice, masking his fear with false bravado. Legends have spoken of mad men of the forest, speaking to the spirits of the wild and striking up deals with dark spirits in exchange for terrifying power. Could this man be one of them? Will he strip my flesh from bone and use me as a sacrifice? Will he use me for experimentation?


It wasn't unheard of for fellow mutant Felecetii to be used in such a manner, some tribals even believed diseases could be cured using the blood of his unusually-colored brethren. It was a fate he felt fortunate to have escaped, though he now wondered if his savior was instead his captor. "What do you... what do you want with me?! I refuse to take part in any of this, I didn't ask for this! Release me!" He pleaded.


"I'm afraid I can't do that..." the sorcerer replied.


"Why not, wizard? Have you gone so deeply into madness that sense means nothing to you?" The ivory cat stood from the bed, his fists clenched, his claws digging into his palms. His only eye was a flood of sorrow, of hatred, of grim intentions.


"Because there is much to learn, much to do... and we must get started as soon as possible." The old man replied in a voice that never reached below or above a monotone. He took a drag off his pipe as he watched the feline reacting to the words he spoke, his icy fur bristling with so many emotions that he couldn't even discern half of them. He opened his mouth to speak, yet no words came from his mouth. It took him a moment before he was able to force the sounds that ached to leap from his tongue.


"You... you are a spirit of wickedness. That's what you are, sorcerer. I want nothing to do with you and yet you've latched onto my life like a LEECH!" The boy took a step forward, threateningly and imposing in his strength. He didn't know if he had intentions to attack this old man, but he was prepared to rip the flesh from his bones. He wanted to as horribly as he ever had; he had never been a violent creature, but his unsheathed claws betrayed his nature. "Never will you feed from me. Never will I let a creature such as you have your way with me, not until DEATH. You won't ruin the life, the one I've desperately tried to create... I refuse, you wretched PHANTOM!"


"Phantom" the boy wasn't wrong, he was a phantom of his former self. He was a spirit existing in a world beyond his time, a shade of his former self. The words stirred him, "Careful, boy..."


Muhlsaan said as he noticed the cat's body language, he was on the verge of attack though he knew the boy was too afraid to lash out without further provocation. The boy was much more physically imposing, as all cat-people were in contrast to humans. Humans were soft, the years of safety and technology had allowed their bodies to survive despite being physically weak. Armor had been integral to the warfront of mankind. The Felecetii, however, had no such armor until much later. The ancestors of the cat-people had to be strong, agile,deadly to pass on their genetic code. Simple laws of evolution were against him, but the wizard had no need for armor--magic was his ally. 


"You were rendered catatonic earlier after touching my simple trinket, and you have seen only a fraction of the power I can bring to bear." He paused, warning the boy but feeling the need to decelerate. "I could show you this power, if you have the talent and desire to know. Unfortunately you may lack the patience..."


"PATIENCE!? PATIENCE!?!" The white feline finally went off, his thoughts churning in the storm of his mind and the words pouring out of his mouth like vomit. His scarlet eyes were glittering, was it hatred? Was it the acceptance of a challenge? He didn't know, he didn't want to know. All he knew was that his intense feelings toward this wizard, sitting in front of him, smoking his pipe without a care in the world... sent him into an infinity of hate. "I've spent my entire life in patience. Being patient for a life of even SLIGHT leisure, patience for a love that would bring me a semblance of peace, patience to show my face to my own people, patience for someone to actually care about ANYTHING I'VE EVER HAD TO SAY!"


"WHAT IS IT YOU WANT FROM ME, WIZARD!?" The Felecetii was screeching now, every glistening fur rising in anticipation of the war his brain began to create. "Do you want my mind? My body? BECAUSE YOU CAN HAVE IT! YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL!"


Suddenly, the boy fell to his knees as slowly as he possibly could. He covered his eyes, including the scarred one, and began to weep. He couldn't handle the emotions burning like hellfire through his veins, the emotions ripping through his brain vessels and causing bleeds that he could never fix. 


"Take it all from me..." His voice was a whisper now as his body went as limp as it could without falling to the floor, kneeling as if he were only a jester. "Just take it."


"You offer me your life, as if it is yours to give. You have a greater purpose, this is what I've tried to make you understand. There is a fire within you, a fire many have tried to snuff and their efforts were for naught. You've been treated this way because they are afraid of you, what you represent--a deviation from the norm. Something powerful, something different," said the sorcerer who's eyes glowed with intent, glowed with purpose. The coals of the dying fire reflected in his pupils as he extended his hand, "Come with me, boy, I want to show you something more."



© 2016 KibaxChan


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Added on July 16, 2016
Last Updated on September 6, 2016
Tags: magic, wizard, sorceress, fantasy, cat-person, furry, furries, orb, lore, enigmatic, spellcasting, thriller, felecetii, satyr, centaur, nymph, aspect, secrets, prophecy, fox-people


Author

KibaxChan
KibaxChan

Farmington, NM



Writing



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