The guard and cats were falling fast, yet it seemed like time stood still. “Stay on top of me,” the guard told the cats, “I’m going to try and land on my back, and I’m a big man, that might protect you. But if I bounce or roll, jump off fast and grab whatever you can and hopefully you’ll be safe.” Meow, meow.=You very nice man, we not forget. Meow!!=Tree coming up fast!! There was a crashing as they hit the tree and the guard quickly grabbed a couple of the branches. It wasn’t a large tree but big enough to stop them anyway. “I thought this only happened in cartoons,” said the guard, “but at least this tree is bigger.”
Muffin looked down. Meow,meow=Bigger tree below us, look. The guard looked carefully down. “That is a better tree and not a far drop either,” he admitted, “get on my shoulders.” The cats did and he moved himself around and let go dropping to the tree below. It was a mature pine tree with large branches. “This is much better,” said the guard as he climbed down to the ledge the tree was growing on. There were a number of smaller pines growing on the ledge too. “This is good,” said the guard, “if we have to spend the night, I can sleep behind the trees so I don’t roll off the ledge and…”
Then he stopped and looked at the cats who were sitting there looking at him and smiling. He shook his head. “Maybe I hit my head coming down, or maybe it’s just the high altitude that’s affecting me,” he said, “I mean, cats don’t smile or talk.” Meow,meow.=But we special cats, not many of us around. We understand human speak and some humans can understand our meows. Meow.=Yep, but only very nice human people can understand. Meow,meow=Yep, like you, you try to keep us safe even though you might die. The guard just looked at them not knowing what to say.
Meow.=My name Mr. Cat, but everyone call me M.C., you can too. Meow,meow.=My name Muffin, what your name? “Willie is my name,” he said, “but everyone calls me Rock because I’m so big.” Meow,meow.=That good name, we call you Rock too. M.C. looks over the edge. Meow.=Oh, that very long way down, more than we came already, want to look? “No, there’s only one thing that scares me,” he said, “and that’s heights, I’m not looking out that way for nothing!” Giggle, giggle. “You laugh too?”, he asked them.
Meow,meow.=Yep, we do lots of things. We get rescued soon, we have trackers, go to Calanthe, they find us soon. “Do you have food too?”, he asked. Meow.=We have cat food, but we share. Meow,meow.=Oh, I have sandwich, Kat put in top of my backpack, you have that. He looked, sure enough it was there and he ate it quite happily.
Now back to us… “Why would we help you after you just killed our cats?”, I said to Baldwin. “Because I’m sure you don’t want anything to happen to your pretty wife,” he said, “and your help will make things much easier for me, and ultimately for you too. I will let you go after this as there would be no point killing you, plus it would produce too many questions.” Baldwin finally came out into the open. “How did you get here from the hospital so fast?”, I asked him. “Simple,” he said, “I was never in the hospital, that’s my double.
It’s amazing what can be done through surgery these days especially when two people look somewhat alike anyway. It took a while to get it right and learn to talk right and have all of Baldwin’s different actions and walk and mannerisms. And then there is the copying and changing his ID, especially the fingerprints so they match me. I am, in effect, now your friend Baldwin and Baldwin in the hospital will soon be revealed as a fraud. That’s where you come in, because you will expose Baldwin as a fraud.”
“And you step in to take over all of Baldwin’s companies and wealth,” I said. “Precisely,” he said, “and with all of his holdings around the world I will soon be able to take over some small countries and set things up the way I want them and soon be one of the most influential and wealthy people on this planet.” “I won’t do it,” I said, “Baldwin is my friend and I won’t turn against him.” “Then your wife will join your cats at the bottom of the cliff,” he said, “I will give you and your wife half an hour to decide.”
We were then taken to a room in the cave, a metal door closed and we were alone. Though I’m sure they were listening and probably watching too. “You can’t do it Steve,” said Kat, “I’m not important, you know that. If he kills me, he kills me, that’s why I’m here.” “Now it’s getting interesting,” said a man. “I’m not interested in kissing and hugging, I want to know what they say,” said Baldwin’s look alike. “I’m not going to let him toss you over the cliff,” I said. “But you can’t turn against Baldwin,” said Kat in tears.
To Be Continued.
©2021 Steve McLeod.