Well, it looks like this short story is going to be a mini serial. It's not done yet. I hope all cat lovers enjoy it! Happy Reading!
The Feline Snow Queen
Sieska didn't expect for the high queen to be that impatient. Shae sent a messenger who looked like it had been beaten first before she sent it. Sieska shook her head. She invited her to come to her forest and she would invite Keisha as well. Hopefully she wouldn't be too angered at her for inviting him. An hour before she due to arrive a servant cat came in and announced that Keisha had arrived. "Send him in. We will talk in the main room."
When she arrived he was waiting for her. He didn’t look happy. A shudder went through her as she padded her way over to him. She waited a moment for him to say something. He took a deep breath. "She attacked last night."
Sieska looked at him wide eyed. "She did?” He nodded. "I will not stand for this. My tribe fought them off and maned one. The high queen is too unpredictable and dangerous. I had no idea."
Sieska didn't want to say I told you so. She instead said, "She will be here in less than an hour. There will be guards all around her as I'm sure she will bring a small army with her. We won't let her get away with anything."
He quietly nodded. "Have you given any thought to our alliance? Especially now that she has done this? She could attack you next."
Sieska didn't respond. She took a deep breath and padded over to the window to see if she was coming yet. Sieska looked back at him. "I will know more after I have talked to her. If she poses a threat I will take action. I'm hoping she will give some hint of what she is up to and those winter faeries. I have a few scouting them out for information to see if indeed they did some sort of alliance with her."
Two of the forest cats came in the room. Sieska looked at them. "She's here"? The one gestured with his head that she was just outside the room. They didn't have to wait long when she sauntered in. Her long black fur dragged on the floor. The whites on her feet were dusted with snow. The white patch on her head swept back from her face showing off her feral green eyes. She hissed as she passed the forest cats. Sieska walked forward to greet her.
"Welcome to my palace high queen."
She snorted. "Palace huh? For a snow queen, I expected something a little more...queen like." Her lips almost curled back in a sneer. Sieska paid her no heed.
"Come over to the cushions and sit down. We can talk." Shae started to pad over when she spotted him. She stopped short.
"Hello high queen," said nodding.
She whipped her head around to the snow queen. "What is he doing here," she hissed.
"It is time that we all had a talk. You owe me some explaining."
Shae held up her head. "I owe you nothing. I will not sit and talk with him in the room."
"You will sit and listen to us all or you will not be talking to me."
The high queen let out a low growl. The forest cats came a little closer. She looked back at them and backed off. Without word she padded over to the largest of the cushions and sat down. Sieska and Keshar shared a look before they too sat down. Shae sat there like she was bored even before a word was spoken.
"So, let's start with the little silver ball that you tried to kill me with."
The high queen shot her a look. "I had nothing to do with that. You should go to the winter queen with that grievance." Sieska tilted her head slightly at her. "You have no alliance with them?"
Shae narrowed her green cat eyes back at her. "Why would I form any alliance with those dreadful creatures?"
Sieska glanced over at Keshar. He was watching her every move. She turned her attention back to the high queen who was cleaning her paws now.
"If you had nothing to do with it, then why attack his forest?"
Her green eyes looked from her to him. "I guess I was having a bad day. After he sent his messenger snooping around, I wanted to get the message back to him that no one messes with me."
He was about to respond when Sieska held up her paw. "I don't believe you. You don't strike out unless you have a plan in place. What is it?"
Shae's green eyes grew wide. "I don't care what you believe. I am the one who came here in good faith."
Sieska sighed. "You only act on good faith when you have a self-serving agenda. I've known you long enough to know better. You wanted to talk to me, start talking."
Shae dug her claws into the cushion piercing the fabric. She looked at the snow queen as she did it but she showed her no response but she knew her well enough that she was cringing underneath.
"I assure you I have no agenda." She glanced over at Keshar. "He's the one who started everything when he arrived. Maybe he is the one with the agenda. I wouldn't trust him."
Sieska threw a glance at him but he showed no emotion. She wasn't sure but she got the feeling that was deliberate and for the high queen's benefit. Sieska took a deep breath trying once again to see if she could get any useful information out of her. "If you think he is up to something, then what do you know and what do you know about the winter faerie queen?" These were two questions but hopefully she would at least answer one.
She eyed her carefully. Shae ripped a tiny thread and pulled at it. She didn't look up. "I have my sources that he moved here from another forest far from here because he was kicked out. He did something." She smirked. "I was told he killed someone." Her voice was sweet and soft when she said it.
His eyes narrowed. "That is a lie," he growled. "All she can do is lie and she will tell you nothing. That is why we need this alliance so she can be of no threat to us."
The high queen looked at Sieska and grinned. "See? Hostile attitude. He can't be trusted."
Sieska had had enough. "Alright, Keshar, leave us alone for a moment will you?" He gave her a look. "Only for a moment I promise. Just outside the door." He got up then and padded out the door. "That's better," Shae said. "The big brute is a party spoiler." Sieska let out a huff. "The only party spoiler is you. What are you trying to prove? You’re so irritating."
"The same could be said about you." She leaned over toward Sieska. "I would be aware of him," she said in a low voice.
"The messenger that he sent to me was no ordinary messenger. He was a spy. That's why he went back a little worse for wear if you know what I mean."
Sieska rolled her eyes. "Yeah I know what you mean but you still haven't told me anything to make me believe that he is no good. Give me some proof."
Shae rolled her eyes in return as she flopped back on the cushion. "Fine, the night of your celebrations, the one you failed to invite me to, one of the winter faeries was seen playing with some magic. It was a silver stone like the one that he gave you. Then he gave you one. I think the stone is the same one."
"He said the stone was spelled before I got it. The stone was supposed to have had good magic in it." "If you want to believe that. I think the two stones are the same. He got them to spell it for him. He wants your forest, not an alliance." She picked at the pillow some more.
Sieska sighed. Someone was not telling the truth. How would she find out? She didn't know Keshar very well at all. Unlike the high queen, who she knew all too well. She was a liar and manipulator. But what if he was too? There was only one way to find out and that was to do some digging into where he came from and why he came here. Just before she was going to say something, Keshar came back into the room. He padded past Shae, not looking at her once. "I thought a moment was up now and that I would come back in.” He looked at Sieska.
"Did she tell you anything?" Sieska didn't answer right away. "I didn't think she would tell you anything based on what you told me and how she treated my messenger."
"You mean spy,” said Shae.
He growled at Shae. She never wavered as she tilted her head slightly at him. "Why don't you tell my dear friend here the truth? Tell her why you are really here and that silly silver stone that you "gifted" her. Tell her."
Sieska looked from one to the other. "Tell me what?" She got up and faced them both. The two forest cats stood behind her. "One of you will tell me what is going on or neither one of you will be leaving this room." Shae just laid back on the cushion and needed her claws into the cushion. She didn't care. Keshar on the other hand was not as laid back and was not impressed by the threat. "Cute, but not impressed. I have not played any trickery unlike the one shredding your cushion."
Sieska cleared her throat and Shae stopped-for the moment. "How do you suggest I find the truth then? Because I will form no alliance with anyone as it stands now."
Shae sighed. "I can get you some unhappy winter faeries that would be more than willing to spill their dark souls for a favor."
"Their favors are always something distasteful and dangerous."
"That's true enough but I might know one who would be worth it perhaps. He's been very unhappy lately."
Keshar gave her an untrusting look. "Who would that be?" Shae traced the pillow with her claw. Then green eyes flashed at them. "The winter queen’s son."
Sieska almost choked. "He's worse than his other mother. His soul is so full of darkness that he would kill his own mother and think nothing of it. Any favor that he would ask would be pure suicide."
Shae let out a little laugh. "Where's your sense of adventure? I don't think he would eat you. He hates cats."
"All the more reason to avoid him. You go talk to him if you want an adventure."
Shae screwed up her nose. "Last time we shared the same space, I crippled one of his servants." She rolled her eyes. "Of course the damn thing was one of his favorites. So, he might not have quite have forgiven me for that little misunderstanding."
Keshar shook his head. "What was the point of this little talk with her?"
Shae fluttered her eyes at him. "Because we were going to reveal that you were really a rat and not a cat?"
Sieska cleared her throat. "Okay, no one in this room is going to tell me anything so I can see that I will have to go find the answers myself. You may all leave."
"What?" Shae pouted at her. "We don't get anything to eat?"
Sieska shook her head and gestured with her head toward the door. Then she looked at Keshar. He stood firm. Shae let out a giggle. "I would love to see who wins but if I'm not going to get anything to eat, I'm leaving." She got up off the cushion and shook herself shedding some lose fur on the floor and on the cushion. With head up in the air, she sauntered past them and the forest cats who let out a low growl as she passed them. She ignored them.
Sieska let out an exasperated breath. "I should have known. Now you can go."
He padded over to about two feet from her. "I will help you."
She narrowed her eyes at him. "Help me to your advantage? I don't think so."
"I give you my word to no foul play. I can tell you one piece of information. That story she just told us about the winter queen's son? That is true. He has been very unsettled and this could be the beginning of unrest with the winter faeries. Since some of them reside here in this forest, I would be cautious of what might happen."
"Even if it's true, it's not worth meeting with him. As she said, he hates cats and I'm not sending one of my forest cats to face that thing."
"I understand and I wouldn't send any either. But I have other ways to spy on him. Keshar, created a glow in his paw.
"Come here and look into my little ball of light. We will see what is going on right from here."
Sieska was a bit leery but came up beside him and looked in. She was surprised as she actually saw him with a few others. They were in a very snowy forest and by the looks of it they were doing some spying of their own.
"Where are they and who are they looking at," asked Sieska.
"My guess is the border of the high queen's territory. Look, they have found who they want. It's Shae. They are watching her walk back to her castle. I wonder...
All of a sudden there was a flurry of activity. "They've attacked," said Keshar.
There were more that came out of the trees and surrounded her and her guard cats. They were outnumbered. She hissed and let out a loud howl. "She has called the others," said Sieska.
"It will be a bloodbath. Do you still want to watch?"
"Just for a moment. See if the others arrive." The dark faerie prince sauntered out in front of her. She growled at him as his winter fae slowly closed in on them. Shae was looking panicked as the other ones she called had not came yet. She howled for them again. They could see the prince throw his head back in laughter. Suddenly he waved his arms in the air and this white globe formed over them and within an instant a gust of wind picked up and blew the globe like dust into the air. They were all gone.
Sieska looked at Keshar. "Now what?"
"We have to find out what he is up to."
"How are we going to do that?"
"You said you had ways of weeding out the disgruntled winter faeries. Start finding them and I'm sure we will get the answers that you are looking for. I have a strong feeling that something major is coming our way and it's not going to be pleasant."
Sieska took a deep breath. "Then I guess I have no choice."
"No choice in what?"
"You and I are now an alliance."
His eyes went wide. "I didn't think you would but I’m pleased that you decided to trust me. Like I said earlier I give you my word that you will come to no harm."
"Even against him? You see what he did?"
He huffed. "That was kitten play compared to what I can do."