The Feline Snow Queen
Sieska was very uneasy and didn't like what was going down in front of her. She stood in the forest for quite a while before turning around. Her forest cats stayed close by.
Her head fell forward as she sauntered back.
"Why so gloom?"
All of them stopped. No one made a sound. "What are you doing here?"
Shae purred. "I've come to warn you. I know you got invited to the feline fox's castle."
Sieska raised an eyebrow. "And you didn't?"
She let out a huff. "Oh, I assure I did get invited. But we're not getting invited over for tea." Shae's ears went flat. Sieska knew that meant trouble.
"What have you found out?"
"When I thought it would be wise to form an alliance with them, I may over stepped."
"Oh, how is that?"
"My spies have told me that they plan on giving us an ultimatum. We either join them or we get taken over. You know what he means by taken over don't you?"
Sieska nodded. "We lose our forests by force if we don't comply."
She nodded as she let out a huff.
Sieska didn't know what to make of this information as she felt the feline fox's invitation would be more than just a social visit. The queen had given her that impression. Now what was she going to do? Keshar was off taking the winter prince to his destination.
Shae tilted her head. "I think my news is not what is troubling you."
Sieska eyed her. "The spring princess has ran off again. The spring King and the winter queen paid me an uninvited visit."
Shae's eyes went wide. "They have ran off together? The winter queen must be furious." Shae almost smiled.
"She was not happy and neither was the spring King. I told him I would tell him if she showed up." "Did she?"
"She did not show up."
"Then why are you so gloomy then?"
“Keshar and I came upon the prince in the forest. He was alone."
Sieska could see the interest in Shae's eyes.
"He wanted help."
Shae sighed. "What kind of help did he want?"
“He wanted passage through your forest to the other side into the feline fox's forest."
Shae ran her tongue along her bottom lip. ""Really? What did you tell him?"
"I told him nothing and offered him no help."
Shae saw the uncomfortableness in her shifting about. "But there is more. What happened?"
"Keshar took him through."
"I see and do you think they will really make it through?"
Sieska let out a low growl. "I wouldn't challenge Keshar. He has powers that are even unknown to me."
"I thought that cat was different. So, he's a stronger alliance than the fox felines?"
Sieska could feel the eagerness in her tone. She was always one to join the winning side if it served her purpose.
"Alliances are not my choice but events have forced me to make these choices so yes I believe Keshar is the safer bet here. I don't trust the feline fox King and Queen. They both like to rule, just like some others I know."
Shae's ears went flat. "I don't know what you're talking about but the fox felines are now after more control."
"Because you offered them your alliance on a silver platter." Sieska could tell that her words bit the high queen deep the way her head fell forward.
Sieska sighed. "You want help with this? Then you have to let Keshar get through without any trouble and not say a word to the winter queen or the spring King about what Keshar did. I don't need war."
Shae sniffed. "Yes, I'll give them safe passage and you have my word of secrecy. Now what do we do about the invite?"
Sieska held up her head. "We are going to a party."
Shae threw her a look and smiled.
***Some of the high queen's guard cats came and Sieska's forest cats escorted them through Shae's forest. Sieska was looking for Keshar but they saw no sign of him. He had said he would send one of his cats if there was trouble. Sieska kept her ears and eyes peeled for anything.
When they got close to the border of the forest between the high queen's and the feline fox's, Sieska could pick up an uneasiness from Shae and her cats. She wondered if they had any occurrences with them from the past near this border.
She didn't ask.
The border was now in sight and Sieska could see something on the other side. It was large and as she sniffed the air, she knew it was the feline fox's.
Shae was sniffing too. Her cats let out some low growls. Her own forest cat's ears all bent back. They didn't like what they saw either. Sieska couldn't blame them. She wasn't looking forward to this little visit.
Two large red fox felines came forward. Their bushy tails swayed from one side to the other sending snow up into the air. Their gold eyes were large and intense. As they stopped in front of them, the two large fox felines stilled. "Welcome to the king and queens forest."
Sieska nodded. "We look forward to the visit."
Both felines showed no sign of emotion. "Follow us."
They all did. Sieska was surprised that they never asked about Keshar. A sudden quiver ran through her down to her paws. What if they had caught him? She started to get a bit nervous and hoped that they would not get ambushed once they got to the castle. The high queen's cats stuck close to her noticed Sieska. They were ready for anything as well.
They crossed over a long bridge that took them to the entrance to the castle front. The doors opened automatically when they the two fox felines got close. Sieska's ears fell as they entered. She suddenly regretted coming and putting her cats at danger.
"Welcome, I'm so glad you all came." The Queen came padding up to them. The two fox felines parted and they stopped in front of the Queen. The Queen looked at them both and Sieska waited for her to ask about Keshar but she didn't which for some reason left her with an uneasy feeling.
"Come into the dining room where the king is waiting for us. We had the best cream and fish brought in for the occasion."
Sieska and Shae shared a look. Sieska knew she wondered the same as her what the occasion was going to exactly be. It wasn't a very big room that they went into. The king was sitting on a huge burgundy cushion. He lifted his head up and nodded as they all came into the room. Sieska felt dwarfed by these large fox felines.
They were escorted over to some fair size cushions of their own by the Queen herself. Shae climbed up on hers with her tail drooping and dragging behind her. Sieska thought she looked like she was sentenced to death or something. Even her guard cats climbed on the cushion with her and surrounded her.
Sieska got on hers but her forest cats stayed at the bottom of the cushion near her. That was all she needed.
The Queen sat on the cushion next to the king. "Welcome. I'm so glad that you accepted our invitation," said the king. “Our forests are right next to each other's and there is no reason that we cannot see each other. This is long overdue. My queen agrees." She nodded.
Sieska thought they were being a little over friendly all of a sudden. That just made her more suspicious.
The cream and fish was served to them right away. That took back Sieska. When hers was set in front of her she sniffed it. Shae and her cats were served right after. One of Sieska's forest cats let out a little high pitched growl that snapped Sieska to her attention.
"Don't touch that," she yelled over at Shae and her cats. They all froze.
Sieska let out a low growl with her ears bent back. "You weren't going to waste any time where you?"
Shae sniffed hers. "I smell something funny in here."
Sieska looked over at Shae. "My high Queen, we were about to be drugged."
She gasped and then let out a low growl.
Sieska looked over at the king and queen who were expressionless and not saying a word.
"Now, maybe you would like to tell me the real reason you brought us here."