Hello and here is the next installment of our cat story-part 4. Hope you enjoy.
The Feline Snow Queen
Sieska knew that having tea with the winter queen was not a good idea but here they were in her castle of ice sitting there with steaming bowls of tea in front of them. She glanced at Keshar and she knew he wasn’t going to touch the stuff.
She wasn’t either.
The winter queen sat in her frosted twig chair while her son the winter prince sat next to her with a scowl on his face. Every once in a while he would throw Sieska a dirty look. She gave him one back. “Now,” she said in a soft cool voice. “Isn’t this so nice?” She made the word nice end with a hiss. “It’s such an honor to have the feline snow queen in my castle. I’ve heard so much about you.”
Her blue eyes got bluer with a slight shimmer. The fur on the back of Sieska’s neck bristled. “You said you might have information that is useful to us? We would like to find the high queen and solve the matter of the dead spring faerie.”
Sieska looked straight at the winter prince. The winter queen noticed and her nose wrinkled. Her eyes briefly looked at him before she shot her a look of disdain. Then quickly pouted. “It’s so tragic about the spring faerie isn’t it? We don’t want trouble with the spring king.” Her nose twitched. “He can be such a brute. But I assure you my son had nothing to do with that or your missing high queen.” Keshar glared at her. Before he retorted back Sieska with careful words said, “So, you have said but the information you might have might be helpful. Would you mind telling us what you know?”
She smiled showing off her snow white teeth that were as sharp as needles. “Of course I would. I have been told that the spring king executed one of his own and the spring faerie that you found was the one who was retaliating but was found and killed for his betrayal.”
Keshar finally broke his silence. “Then why would be dump the body in the snow queens forest?” The winter queen eyed Keshar carefully. Sieska took note of her discomfort with him. The winter prince also appeared to share the same discomfort she noticed. She took in a deep breath and looked at Sieska instead to answer his question. “You can only guess what goes on in that cruel head of his.” Her eyes went slightly wide. “I wouldn’t doubt that is who stole your high queen. He’s up to something if you ask me.” Her blue eyes flickered between the two of them. Sieska wasn’t buying any of it. She was lying. What she needed was to get some time with her son. She was sure with Keshar’s help that she could get the right information out of him.
“What do you think he is up to exactly,” asked Keshar in a cool tone of voice. The winter queen grinned. Her hands clutched onto the sides of her twig throne sending more frost down over the twigs onto the floor. “He wants the snow queen’s forest for himself. Having it would make him more powerful than he already is. But we can’t let that happen can we?” She tapped her fingers on her throne. “That has given me an idea. Why don’t we form an alliance and then he would not be so powerful?” She eyed them both as Keshar and Sieska shared a look.
Sieska looked at her. “No. I just want information and so far what you have told me is just hear say. We will find out on our own.” She looked at Keshar. “We should go and be on our way. We’ll continue our search.”
The winter queen shot up in her chair. “You’re not leaving already are you? I could tell you so much more, if you stayed.”
Keshar huffed. “You have not told us anything other than your dislike for the spring king. That sounds like a grudge that you have with him and nothing to do with our situation.”
She clutched the twig arms of her chair sending more frost down onto the floor. “How dare you? I have told you nothing but the truth. I have been in good faith.” She narrowed her gaze at Keshar. “Maybe it is you who is the one we should be wary of.”
Her blue ice eyes looked over at Sieska. “Maybe you should rethink who you keep company with. He’s not to be trusted.”
Keshar growled sending her back into her chair. The winter prince gave his mother a look. Sieska looked at the pair of them and then Keshar. He had bared his teeth at them and she noticed a light shining under his front paws. Powerful magic was making itself known.
He leaped down and looked at Sieska. “We should get going before darkness falls.” He and his cats started to leave. Sieska then also jumped down and was joined by her forest cats. She glanced back at the winter queen. The winter queen and the winter prince watched them carefully leave. She was surprised that she let them go so easily. Sieska could feel it in her that something was not right. The forest cats were looking all around as well. They were clearly uncomfortable and wanted to leave as quickly as possible.
Keshar and his cats were waiting just outside the castle. The wind had picked up and the snow started to fall. It was a total white out. They would never make it very far in this kind of weather. Of course Sieska knew that this was the winter queens doing. What was she up to?
“We have to try and make are way out of here somehow. She’s going to trap us otherwise.”
He nodded and led the way through the white out. Cats were on the ground sniffing through the snow making their way out. They hoped. A high pitched screech broke through the wind’s howl. They all looked up and a large white bird was circling above them. Sieska knew what it was and so did the rest of them. She heard Keshar send a howl out to his cats and her forest cats followed suit. They took off into the bush for cover and so did she.
The screeching got closer and she knew it was looking for them. The bird like creature was no doubt a pet of the winter queen. It was a bird of black magic and was always called the death bird. It suddenly dropped into the snow and pulled out one of her forest cats. She gasped.
Keshar and his large cat that had carried the dead spring faerie jumped into action and both leaped into the air knocking the large snow bird back into the snow. Keshar’s large cat took hold of the forest cat while Keshar himself fended off the bird. It hissed at him and let out a sparkly breath that made Keshar falter. Sieska couldn’t let him take a fall for her cats. She leaped out of the bush where she was taking cover but only made it half way when everything went still. The death bird stayed still.
Sieska looked frantically about to see what was there. The winter prince stood before them all. The wind stopped howling and the near white out conditions seized. All that fell now was large light fluffy snowflakes. Everyone stared at him. He threw up his head and walked toward Sieska who stood her ground as he approached. “I want to make a deal with you.”
She narrowed her gaze at him and sauntered to about three feet from him. “Did your mother send you?”
“No? How am I to believe you? You both lie. We all know you took the high queen. We saw you. I’m suspecting your mother might have had something to do with the dead spring faerie.”
He shrugged his shoulders and grinned. “You know mother. I offer you a deal to get back your high queen in exchange for something.”
“What would that be?”
“Access through your forest into the hills that lead to the spring faeries territory.”
“You killed the spring faerie?”
He shook his head. “I did not but I think I know who did but I won’t say right now. I need that access.”
Sieska could pick up an urgency in his tone of voice. “Why the need to get through to the spring hills. The spring faeries hang out there and have claimed that as theirs now. They don’t like outsiders.”
He let out a huff. His breath hung in the air. His steel blue eyes shimmered while the large snowflakes fell around him. “They will let me through.”
“You have an alliance with them?”
He never answered. Keshar came up beside Sieksa. The winter prince eyed him. Sieska looked at them both. “What is it about Keshar that makes you nervous? I noticed your mother was the same.” “You can’t feel it, my feline snow queen? He reeks of black magic.”
Sieska looked over at the bird. “And that thing of yours don’t?”
He laughed softly. “Okay, you live with your darkness, I’ll live with mine. Do we have a deal?”
“I’m not sure. Are you going to bring back the high queen to us and tell us about this dead spring faerie that I think you know about?”
He wrinkled his nose. “You’re no fun at all. Always want things your way. Fine, I will bring her to you and as for the winter faerie that met its demise? I can’t offer you help there at this time.”
Sieska sighed. “Fine, bring us the high queen and we go from there. Lead the way to my forest and we will wait for you at the edge of the forest going into the hills”
The winter prince gestured to the snow bird and it came over to him. He got on its back and they lifted off the snow sending snow into the air. They all followed the bird and prince back to the forest. Sieska was relieved to get out of the winter queens forest. She shook her hide shaking off the snow. Keshar did the same. Her forest cats and his cats ran ahead of them.
They walked side by side. “Do you think he can be trusted?”
Sieska looked over at him. “I don’t trust him, no. But we had no choice. If he brings her back, then we will deal with the rest.”
He nodded. “Yes. I do believe that there will be a lot to deal with. I think he is a part of some bigger plan.”
“I think so as well. That is why we have to keep him close to us. Let’s not challenge him too much. We want him to trust us.”
He looked at her out the corner of his eye. “You have something in mind?”
“Yes, I do but for now let’s just get our high queen back. Once we get her back, then we can move on to the next thing.”
Keshar didn’t press her for any more information. They continued on their way. The bird above them let out a shrill. They looked and they were coming down. They landed in a small clearing. The prince got down from the bird and the forest cats surrounded him. He hissed at them and they all growled. Sieska trotted up to where her cats were. They parted letting her through. He brushed off the snow off his coat and hair. He glanced a few times to the hills.
She tilted her head at him. “Is there someone there waiting for you?” He froze and she knew she had one answer.
He gave his head a shake. “That’s none of your business.”
She raised an eyebrow at him. He let out a huff then. “Your high queen should be here soon. I have sent word.”
SIeska nodded. “So, while we wait. Why don’t you tell me all about who is waiting for you?”
He grinned. “You would like for me to spill my guts wouldn’t you? Not going to happen. You’re lucky I’m making a deal with you and not mother.”
Sieska let out a breath. “Because you’re far more trustworthy?”
His steel blue eyes locked into hers. “Of course I am. Mother would have let the death bird eat you all.”
The snow around them started to swirl. The winter prince looked up and then at Sieska. “She has arrived.”
That she did. A white carriage being pulled by a large white horse with wings flew down to them. When it landed Sieska could see the horses red eyes. Another faerie hopped down and opened the carriage. Shae stepped out like a true queen. She looked a bit roughed up but she shook herself and hissed at the faerie who opened the door. She let out a feral growl. It hissed right back showing its teeth. Then she saw Sieska and Keshar. Her eyes widened. “You rescued me?”
Sieska grinned at her. “That we did my high queen. Welcome back to my forest.”
Shae’s ears drooped.