The girls dragged themselves upstairs in the Common
Rooms, giggling weakly and rubbing their stomachs with full delight. Scarlett,
a wodge of millionaire’s shortbread still gluing her teeth together, flopped
onto her bed softly, her stomach warm. The arranged cushions beneath her head
wheezed quietly at the impact. The gentle trickle of the river outside and the
subtle trill of the birds sounded from outside, when the setting sun cast an
orangey glow over the Common Room. A hazy summer breeze lulled Scarlett into
nearly falling asleep, sinking slowly into her memory foam mattress.
"SCARLEEETT!" she sat bolt upright, stiff from fright, clutching a
pillow. Celeste looked startled. "Sorry, I didn´t think you were
"No- no, I´ve been awake for ages," yawned Scarlett groggily.
"Anyway, get changed into your PJs- it´s time for the fun to
S-l-o-w-l-y, Scarlett drew the curtains of her bed
and grabbed her pyjamas from her trunk. The top was silk and grey with a
black lace trim, where the bottoms were (silk again) grey and with a black ribbon
fastener, and more black lace.
She put them on, slipping comfortably in her smooth
nightclothes. When she drew the curtains of her bed again, the other girl’s
weren´t there. She was just pondering on where they could be, when a beautiful
singing voice began from directly below Scarlett. She jumped in shock.
"SCARLEEETT!" Celeste shouted. "Come
on, it´s so fun down here!" Scarlett jumped off her bed, and pattered down
the stairs, her head fuzzy with excitement. The other girls were in pyjamas
too, dancing and laughing and chatting in the heavenly glow of the sunset. The
desks were laden with gorgeous food and drinks, like tropical fruit punches all
colours of the rainbow, plates of golden cookies, dishes of glossy éclairs, and
to top it all off- a massive, stringy, cheesy pizza.
All the girls were partying, but not like a proper
teenage party with screams, blinding lights and roaring music so loud that you
can´t even think straight. This party had some of the most popular tracks, a
friendly aura and not the sort of dancing that could decapitate someone within
10 centimetres of you. Just a quiet, collected get together.
Celeste and Kitty came running over. Celeste was
wearing a blue, cotton singlet that slipped over one shoulder, and sporty,
flannel shorts. Kitty was wearing a crimson nightdress that floated around her.
Both their faces radiated with ecstasy.
"Scarlett! Isn´t this great?" Celeste
laughed. "Who knew Kitty was such a great cook?"
"Oh, stop, you!" Kitty giggled, waving
about her slush puppy.
"Cook? You mean, you cooked all this? Wow! How
did you get access to the kitchens?"
Kitty pointed to a white door that Scarlett hadn´t
noticed before. "There´s our own, private kitchen in there! Feel free to
put anything you want to share in there. I found ingredients and a
hella´ load of goodies in there!" Kitty squealed in her high-pitch tone.
"Where´s Bea, though?"
Celeste looked at her. "You haven´t noticed
yet?" with a knowing smirk, she jutted her thumb towards the fireplace at
the top of the room. Standing there, CD player playing backgrounds to songs,
was Bea, singing the most beautiful voice anyone had ever heard, into a
microphone, eyes gleaming with passion- and, of course, with Rini close at her
heels, howling softly to the melodies.
Scarlett was absolutely astonished. Bea had only just discovered
21st Century music, and here she was, singing to it as if she had known it all
After burning off the dinner with dancing and then
refilling with éclairs, Scarlett dragged herself upstairs, giggling weakly, in
a hazy, happy trance. Night loomed over the school. Moonbeams cast a diamond
path across the lake at the bottom of the fields- past the arena, the pitches,
the stables, the trampolines, the archery targets, the weaponry shack and the
pet houses. Every student was allowed a pet, and even though it wasn´t
mandatory, it was highly recommended, as it could console the students after
witnessing the worst of things. Also, the school would pay for it no problem. Scarlett,
looking outside into the dusky night, decided that she would sign up for a pet.
A dog, probably. A small one. One that would understand her and give her hugs
when she feels down.
Kitty walked upstairs with Bea, congratulating her.
Rini suddenly poked his way through Kitty´s legs, yapping and panting
excitedly. He sniffed her socks with interest, and Kitty did something
completely out of character. She leaped, hissing in a cat-like manner, eyes
popping, lips lifted over her teeth to reveal small needle-sharp teeth. She
landed gracefully, but on Rini´s flagpole tail, causing his muscles to jerk and
shriek with pain. He scuttled behind Bea, legs trembling, tail curled between
his legs. Bea scooped him up in her arms, cradling him.
"Kitty? Why you do that? He just be
friendly." Bea frowned, confused.
Kitty backed up two steps, back hunched, eyes large
with fear, pupils shrunken. "I..." she shook her head and ran softly
towards her bed, and buried herself in her silk sheets. An awkward silence
lingered there afterwards.
"Um, anyway. I´m going to unpack then go to
bed. Night, Bea."
"Whats the time, by the way, do you
"Its twenty-five to lelev...le,
leleven...elven..." Bea furrowed her eyebrows at her watch. Scarlett
Scarlett laughed. "Don´t worry. You´ll learn
fluent English soon enough. I´ll help you." On that final note, Scarlett
turned and went to her rucksack, which contained the small amount of possessions
she owned. First she took out a picture of her mother, father, herself and her
brother. Her mother was in a hospital bed, face clear of makeup and chocolate
hair swept into a messy ponytail. Her lips were ghostly and eyes bright. Bailey
was sitting on the edge of the bed, gazing at a newborn baby with a crop of
scrubbed, black hair. Me, Scarlett thought. The baby was intrigued by her
mother´s hair, twirling it in her pink, starfish hands, lips slightly open in
curiosity, eyes popping. Then there was her father. He had his pot belly, and
his silly, floppy, gel-soaked hairdo, gleaming fake platinum.
Scarlett´s mother had died two days after this
Father had replaced her no more than a month after,
without a trace of sorrow.
Holding back her anger, Scarlett placed the photo,
in with a white, carved frame, on the empty side table.
Then came the jewellery box.
Of all the things Scarlett had sold to pay rent,
she had kept and treasured the wooden jewellery box Mother had left her in her
will, which she wrote a day from her deathbed.
The pastel pink paint was scratched and faded, but
the chipped ballerina inside still twirled when wound up, and played a gentle
Inside the box was a brass bangle, a golden
lightning bolt (which Scarlett was wearing at the moment), an opal ring that
danced all colours when in the sunlight, a pair of silver elephant earrings, an
emerald necklace with a four-leaf clover preserved and trapped in a transparent
bead on the necklace and a silver charm bracelet. Scarlett sorted through all
these things, to check they were there. Often, the Lolasaur would try and sneak
a few out to pawn or wear as her own, but Scarlett would always catch her and
hide the box once more.
Scarlett put this on the desk, too.
She took out all her clothes and winter pyjamas,
too, and put them all in the trunk, along with a sketchpad, pencil case and
small toy dog that she had since she was small, which she affectionately
christened Chiko at the age of four.
Chiko, as old as he may be, was still precious, and
needed to be kept safe.
After putting her wash bag in her own cupboard in
the toilets, she slunk back to her bed to fall asleep. She was exhausted.
Everyone was in bed now. A few sidelights were on
for reading, but apart from that, everyone was snuggled comfortably. Scarlett
snuggled down into her covers. So this is what it feels like to have a
bed...she fell asleep within minutes.
Scarlett woke up with a start. It was pitch black.
She looked around, breath held. She stared at Kitty´s bed. Pieces
of porcelain vase lay around it. Two yellow eyes stared back. She
resisted the urge to hide under the covers and scream. Instead, she composed
herself once more. ´Don´t be pathetic.´
She squinted further more at the eyes. Were they
some sort of nightlight? The eyes blinked. Nope, they
were definitely alive. But not quite human.
The eyes turned and jumped off the bed. There was a
gentle thump on the ground. Then, almost flying over the ground, Kitty (if
it even was Kitty) ran down the stairs, soundlessly, stealthily. In a single
blade of moonlight, Scarlett could see a figure. Of a cat.
Without thinking, she jumped out of bed to follow
the cat, grabbing her flashlight. Pitter patter down the stairs.
The cat made for the door, but Scarlett, thinking
quickly, slid down the banister past the remaining few steps, and ran in front
of the door to meet the cat.
"Aha!" she flicked the flashlight on, and
she finally got a glimpse of the cat. It had startled, large, fiery eyes,
and auburn fur. It was small and petite, with little paws and a button nose. It
was obvious that it was Kitty.
"Don´t panic, Scarlett. Tell no one." The
cat whispered. Scarlett´s muscles jerked with fright.
"No one," Kitty repeated.
"How-what- how could this b-be?" Scarlett
"Let me tell you about my life."
Kitty was not a child from a happy family. She was
a test subject at a laboratory. With no relatives, she was handed into this
place, where they were rather interested in DNA at this time. If a species was
injected with another species’ DNA, would it become a cross-species? Soon,
there were rat-bats, dog-gators, lion-sheep and even a frog-cheetah. But they
were leading up to something even greater than anything that they had created
before. A Cat Girl.
They were to use Subject 082. No one there had
names, just numbers. They brought her out, at the age of seven, and brought her
to the lab. It was white, pristine and clinical. She sat on the chair.
"She´s going to have to have a name, you
know," The female doctor whispered.
"Hows about Kat? As she´s going to be a cat
girl?" The male doctor chuckled. The woman looked at Subject 082.
"I think Kitty is more suited."
They pumped her with Cat DNA, and something within
Kitty switched- something free, feral, something that gave her the urge to run.
She exhaled deeply and closed her eyes.
"Did it work?" the female doctor asked
nervously. Kitty opened her eyes. They were glowing yellow, and sly.
"Yep, it worked."
They kept Kitty for years, and taught her English,
and how to act as human and as cat. After more experiments and editing, they
managed to timer the DNA release, so that she would only become cat at night,
and it would wear off as the first ray of the sunrise shone. When Kitty was 16,
the government found out about the illegal lab, and took every animal to
be euthanized to put them out of their suffering. Then they found the
children. Not knowing of Kitty´s condition, they split all the children into
different boarding schools. Kitty went to Skothamor´s Senior Academy, taking
her secret with her.
Kitty told her story to Scarlett, tail waving
slowly, ears pointed down around her head.
"No one must know. Do you hear me? No
"Why were you coming out here?"
"A cat must be free every once in a while,
Scarlett. Everyone should."
With that, Kitty scampered out the door
soundlessly, and Scarlett returned to bed as if nothing had happened, but still
replaying the weird scene that she had just witnessed.