Fiddlewood: Chapter Four


In which a cat is in a tree

Camille stomped through the forest in a flamboyant fluster, swatting at the leaves and kicking at the dirt, because the Flamingos were too ill-bred to understand or appreciate the honor of dancing with a storm in that fashion. She tied up her hair in a bun to continue her tirade, but was instead distracted by a whisper of a voice, or more of a purr, that rolled out of the leaves and scratched Camille’s pride.

“Scaredy Cat is a derogatory terrrm,” purred the voice.

“Who’s there?” said Camille, while turning about and looking at the leaves, which seemed, at least to her, to be looking right back at her.

“Up here silly girrrrl,” said a small grey cat with a white belly that was stretched out on a tree branch. “Were you expecting the leaves?”

“No, you just startled me is all,” replied Camille.

“Why? Were you expecting me to meow in revolt to your prrresence? That is a stupid stereotype; you’d be wise not to reinforce such negative perceptions,” said the grey cat.

“I surely won’t, Kitty Cat,” said Camille.

“Kitty Cat is a derogatory term as well, silly girl,” snapped the grey cat.

“Oh my, I’m sorry, I didn’t know,” replied Camille, as her hand instinctively covered her heart.

The grey cat looked Camille up and down then slowly stood to her feet and arched her back in a great big stretch. She licked her paw twice then curled up like a rabbit and stared down at Camille with her predatory eyes, “Then you’d be wise to learrrn.”

“I will… And if that is the case what should I call you?” asked Camille.

“My name is Lolita,” purred Lolita.

“Nice to meet you, Lolita, my name is Camille,” said Camille, extending her hand to Lolita.

“I know who you are . . . and no, you may not pet me,” said Lolita.

Camille retracted her hand and rubbed it awkwardly before saying the first thing that came to mind in the hopes of improving the mood, “Do you hear the music too?” she asked.

“I hearrrrd your music,” replied Lolita.

“No, I mean the music playing right now,” said Camille.

Lolita sprawled out without taking her eyes off Camille then turned away and said, “Your music was quite awful. A true insult to musical notes – many of whom live about these parts you know.”

“Well no one asked you,” said Camille, crossing her arms.

“You did,” said Lolita, her tail flapping about playfully.

“I certainly did not!” said Camille.

“That’s exactly what a silly girl would say,” remarked Lolita.

“The cheek of you to be so rude. I never imagined I would meet anyone as rude as that moustache man, but you, Lolita, surely take the cake!” snapped Camille.

“See how it feels to be insulted, silly girl. Let that be your lesson about letting your tongue run carelessly spitting out all sorts of derogatory rrrrhetoric,” said Lolita.

The words hissed off of Lolita’s tongue, lashing Camille’s delight and forcing her to turn around as tears began to swell in her eyes. “Everyone is so rude in this world,” huffed Camille, through quiet whimpers. “I want to go home.”

“Only a silly girl would have left home in the first place, silly girl,” said Lolita, walking down the branch to get closer to Camille. “If only your intelligence matched your beauty,” continued Lolita, until her whiskers were almost touching the hairs on Camille’s head. Suddenly, Camille jerked her body in Lolita’s direction, spinning around while spreading her arms out wide, screaming, “BOO!”

Lolita let out a loud screeching “Meeeeoooow” before falling off the tree branch in a hectic flurry of flailing limbs. She plopped right into Camille’s outstretched arms without even coming close to the ground, and was quickly brought to eye level.

“Gotcha,” said Camille, slyly offering a wink from a tearless eye. “I thought you said “meowing” was a false stereotype, Lola.”

“My name is Lolita,” snarled Lolita, while trying to wiggle out of Camille’s grasp.

“And my name is Camille, not silly girl. So until you get that right I’ll be addressing you as Lola. Or maybe even Miss Buns. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?” said Camille.

“It certainly does not,” said Lolita, while trying to break free.

“I will let you go if you tell me where the music is coming from,” said Camille.

“I don’t know where the music is coming from; I can’t even hear the music, silly girl!” said Lolita.

“Of course you can, you’re a cat and cats hear everything,” said Camille. “And don’t even try and tell me that’s a false stereotype, because I’ve been a cat.”

“How dare you, you feline-phobic racist!” meowed Lolita, before angrily trying to bite and claw at Camille’s hands.

“Oww!” screamed Camille, as one of Lolita’s claws scraped her skin. With a growl that bared her teeth, Camille began to shake Lolita like a doll until she meowed desperately for her to stop. “Well . . .” said Camille.

“You’re the devil,” snarled Lolita through an exhausted huff, so Camille shook her again until she meowed even louder. “The music started playing the day you bloomed,” huffed Lolita.

“And who’s the musician?” asked Camille.

“I told you I don’t know, silly girl!” – Camille shook Lolita again until another crazed meow rang out – “I don’t know, I don’t know, but there is someone who might.”

“Who?” demanded Camille.

“His name is 5-Year-Old Con… Now put me down,” said Lolita.

“Where can I find this 5-Year-Old Con?” asked Camille.

“I can show you,” said Lolita, before Camille could even finish her question.

“Nice try. The minute I put you down you’ll take off right into the forest,” said Camille.

“I won’t – Cat’s Honor,” said Lolita.

“I have an idea!” exclaimed Camille. She unlaced her shoelace from her remaining shoe and tied one end around Lolita’s neck like a leash. “What do you think?”

“I hate you,” said Lolita, sitting in her bunny position with an angry frown on her face.

“Oh it’s not that bad,” said Camille.

“Put it this way, I’d rather you take me home as a pet, call me Miss Buns, and pet me on a daily basis,” said Lolita, sarcastically.

“Well that could very well be your fate,” said Camille, with a sly smile.

“Just follow me,” said Lolita, as she started out into the forest with Camille strolling carelessly behind her.

About Connor Wilkins

Quickly, quickly... take your seat. Our storyteller is about to begin. Shhhh. Listen... His pipes are fluting emotions of myth and fable, but don't be fooled by fantasia for there are truths hidden within his unworldly tellings. We're drifting now... back in time to a world only he remembers.
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