The King Himself

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An excerpt from an in-concept novel, our young protagonist must get the help from a unsightly and eerie creature.

Scarlette approached the decrepit cemetery, her arms wrapped tightly around herself to keep her warm on the foggy night. The moonlight cast long shadows of the crossed graves; for once the wind stopped and there was total silence. Scarlette turned around as she walked, looking for someone… or something. She gasped at a sudden deep and raspy voice calling out to her.

"What brings you here, human? Why bother the dead? Just in time for Samhain." the voice chuckled, echoing from ...all directions and shaking Scarlette to the bone. "Do you know where you are?"

"S-Someone told me to come here." Scarlette answered, spinning around in search for the voice's origin. "Someone said you could help me."

"Help you? Ha!" the voice laughed again. Scarlette began to see pairs of glowing red eyes popping up from the shadows, along with dozens of wailing cats. "Whoever sent you here… must not like you very much, girl. There are many things I've done… can do… none of which involves helping a mortal like yourself. Quite the contrary." The red eyes began to approach from all directions. Scarlette watched as dozens of undead cats surround her. Some were still rotting, others were cleanly picked skeletons; in all their undeath, Scarlette steeled herself, shutting her eyes tight. The cats began muttering things like 'claws for diggin'' and 'bones for lickin''

She clenched two fists and shouted, "I need your help!"

The wailing cats quieted. Scarlette peaked around, opening one eye first and then another. All of the cats were sitting, swinging their tails. Then, on a distant grave, the shadows began to shift and distort, forming a solid figure on top of the cross. There sat a cat, with glowing golden eyes that stared ominously toward Scarlette. If just for a moment, the air felt colder than ever as spikes sprouted from its body and shadowy tendrils anchoring it to the ground.

"I'm not sure who sent you for me, girl, but if they think I can help you… things must be truly dire." The shadowy cat said.

"Believe me; I wouldn't have come if I didn't need to." Scarlette replied. "But you're the only one that can help apparently. You're Irusan, aren't you?"

The cat gave a wide fanged grin. "What can the King o' Cats do for you?"

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