“Villain” by Lucy Goldberg

Two kittens approached the ragged and scarred tom-cat, the anger flashing in his eyes was unmistakable. Their names were Flitter and Slither. Flitter was a silver tabby she-cat and Slither was a dark ginger tom-cat. They had been warned never to go near this cat. But Slither had dubbed his ominous presence “to important to ignore” and no one ever argued with Slither then. It didn’t take him long to notice them, but he let them think that they were unnoticed. But when they started to be arrogant treading on his tail and jumping on his back, he snapped.

“What do you want?” he growled lashing his paw out and knocking them aside.

“We want to know why you’re here!” Slither meowed bravely, but Flitter shrank back.

“Why, what an interesting question,” he commented, “go away!”

“But you weren’t here before, and now you are!” Flitter protested.

“That’s nice. Anymore amazing observations you want to share with the world?” the tom-cat hissed.

“Yes! You’re mean!” complained Flitter.

“Mean? Oh I was much more than mean before,” commented the cat, pale fire shining in his eyes.

“Then tell us about it!” begged Slither.

“Very well, I suppose I must, but first you have to tell me? How do you think villains begin?” asked the cat.

“They are mean outsiders who hurt cats for fun!” Slither meowed, reciting what his mother had told him.

“How positively short-minded of you. Not all villains were outsiders, I was very popular when I was a kitten like you… my name is Spike, and I have a story to tell you…..

 

Back in time to when Spike was a kitten…..

               

“Bye!” Spike called, his brown tabby fur spiked with annoyance, his tail drooping. His sister Butterfly, his brother Orange and his other sister Mist were being sent away today, only he would stay with his mother.

“Bye!” Butterfly muttered, her voice cracked with sadness. As the human picked them up and took them away Spike watched them go.

“Oh Spike,” his mother Leopard meowed sadly, “at least I have you.” Spike snuggled toward his mother sadly. The rest of the week was supposed to cheer Spike up, but he was cheered up on the second day. He got his favorite food and played his favorite games. All the humans loved him and petted him and called him the most handsome cat they’d ever seen. His ego became large and no one brought it down. Spike’s life was perfect, and he loved it in his house. He would never leave. But he was always by himself, and the humans took this as weakness. So they did what normal fluff-brain humans would do. Buy him a friend. They should have known what this would do, if they had any sense they’d have ignored it. The second cat was a pretty tortoiseshell with startling green eyes, they called her Fire. He called her annoyance. She basked in the human’s praises even more than he had. She stole his compliments, even the heart of his mother, she called Fire the kitten she never had. It tortured Spike. She had to leave.

“Fire,” he meowed one day when he had had enough.

“Yes, Spike,” she meowed cheerfully.

“We’re going somewhere, Fire,” meowed Spike.

“Okay!” she meowed excitedly. Spike led her to a gray building. He meowed loudly and hid behind a tree.

“Just stay there, Fire,” Spike meowed.

“Where are you going?” asked Fire.

“This is a treat for you Fire, I don’t deserve it . . .” meowed Spike. Just then the gray human came and took Fire inside the building. Spike clawed himself gently. Was Fire really gone? Was he dreaming? He hadn’t noticed where he had clawed himself was starting to bleed, the blood was on his claw. When he returned Leopard asked where Fire was. He told her she had run off before he could stop her. Then she saw the blood.

“Y-you killed her!” stammered Leopard. When humans came they saw the blood, too. They muttered things to each other and then threw Spike out and slammed the door. He had to leave, and the next months were hard.

Back to Present

 

“So you killed Fire?” gasped Flitter.

“No! They just thought I killed her!” growled Spike.

“Oh…. So maybe I shouldn’t have ordered Slither to kill you!” Flitter realized.

“Ordered him to do what?” asked Spike.

“Die murderer! Die!” yelled Slither jumping on Spike. Spike shook him off angrily.

“I didn’t kill her! Did you want to hear the rest of this story?” asked Spike.

“I want to finish murderer!” Slither meowed.

“I. did. not. kill. her!” growled Spike.

“Right…” meowed Flitter.

“As I was saying… I got kicked out of the house…”

 

Back to Story

 

Finally he found a group he could live in. The group’s leader saw his skill. Her name was Aqua and she taught him everything she knew. After four months he was finally accepted to the group and Aqua was finished training him.

“Hi,” he meowed walking up to her.

“I’m finished,” she meowed.

“Finished with what?” he asked.

“In training you.”

“Oh! Really?” asked Spike happily.

“Yes, you’re a very skilled cat Spike, you’ll be leader after me,” promised Aqua.

“Really? Wow! Thanks Aqua!” Spike had finally found a place where he could be perfectly happy.

“Also, in return, I’d like you to mentor a newcomer,” meowed Aqua.

“Sure!” Spike mewed, he’d do anything to show Aqua she’d made the right choice.

“A ginger rogue, your age, his name is Orange.” Orange? Could it be his brother Orange? It was, the ginger tom-cat was muscular and well-fed, unlike Spike.

“Spike?” he asked.

“That’s mentor to you,” meowed Spike happily.  Orange was a fast learner. They trained each day and Spike talked to his brother constantly, they were brothers as well as friends again. That was until Aqua got sick. She constantly wobbled on her feet and forgot everything. She decided to name an heir the day Spike finished training Orange.

“The leader of the group will be…” Aqua paused, “what was I saying, oh yes, the winner, no the leader will be Orange.”  Spike was outraged. He had trained Orange. He had been promised by Aqua!

“What about me?” he asked, “You promised I’d be leader!”

“No that was Orange, be quiet Spike, you just finished being a trainee,” Aqua meowed. Spike waited for his brother to correct her, but he was beaming. Why you little…..

“Aqua I was your trainee! You promised me I’d be leader!” Spike reminded her trying to stay calm.

“Quiet Spike! You’re just jealous of Orange!” called Aqua.

“Yes you are!” agreed Orange. Spike growled and walked away. The next months were filled with Orange abusing power. Spike them to be friends again, but Orange treated Spike as his inferior. Always.

“Orange,” he meowed angrily.

“What is it?” grunted Orange.

“I want to show you something,” growled Spike.

“Fine, fine, but don’t waste my time,” meowed Orange walked out of the sleeping place and Spike led him to a small stream that had mud all over the banks. Spike shoved Orange into the mud and held him down while he squirmed. Spike let him up when Orange had brown spots. Then he clawed some of Orange’s fur and put it against the rock in the stream so it didn’t float away. Then Spike screamed and flopped on the ground. Three cats from the group came running.

“Spike!” yowled Sapphire, a blue-gray she-cat. Than Vole, a brown tom turned to Orange, who was almost completely unrecognizable with his fur ruffled and spotted with brown.

“That rogue killed him!” Vole growled to Sapphire.

“You monster!” she hissed.

“I didn’t, he’s faking, I’m Orange!” cried Orange.

“Vole! Sapphire! Look!” called Dragonfly, a pale gray she-cat. She pointed her nose at the tuft of Orange’s fur stuck to the rock, “he killed Orange and floated his body away!”

“No I didn’t,” growled Orange.

“You awful cat! Orange and Spike go for a brotherly walk, and you kill them!” yowled Sapphire.

“They weren’t brothers. They never will be,” growled Orange staring at Spike. I’m doing this to my own brother! Realized Spike he deserved it he reassured himself but I can never go back. Nothing Orange said persuaded Vole, Dragonfly and Sapphire. They chased him off and tried to bury Spike he jumped up at the last moment and ran away.

 

Back to present

 

“I can’t believe you did that to your brother!” gasped Slither, “I would never do that to Flitter!”

“I would never do that to Slither . . . unless he really deserved it,” meowed Flitter.

“Hey!” growled Slither. They jumped on each other. Spike watched patiently, a faint glimmer of amusement in his eyes.

“Kittens! Stop it! Now let me speak!” yowled Spike. He’d forgotten how annoyingly amusing they were. When they stopped yowling and sat down Spike continued. “I was shocked and scared. I had no brother and I had no home…” he began.

 

Back to Story

 

Spike wandered around the alleys. He had no idea where to go or what to do. When he finally found a likely looking house he scratched on the door and meowed.

“Are you lost little kitty?” asked the human, a tall female with brown hair. Spike meowed pitifully.  “Well, I’ll get you down to the pound, and your owner will find you right away!” she said. Spike remembered the gray building and tried to run but the human picked him up and put him in her large piece of metal with rubber circles. When she brought him in the gray building he saw a picture of Fire under the, “Adopted Two Months Ago” sign. Spike felt a little happiness she wasn’t in this dreary building, but he mainly wanted her to share his misery.

“Hey, ma’am you dropping off a stray?” asked the human in gray clothes.

“Yes, I found him outside my door,” said the female, “he looks like my old cat Spike, so let’s call him Spike.” Then Spike recognized her. His old human, the one he had loved, the one who had loved him back was dropping him off in the gray building forever. He growled and scratched her arm. That would show her to abandon him! There was a lot of screeching and he was put in a box with metal bars with a sign labeled “dangerous” where he stayed. During the time in the box Spike watched the other cats come and go. One time a small human ran up to his cage only to be shooed away by her mother. Spike slowly turned bitter. He had tried to be good, he had endured Fire, he had worked hard in the group, and now it was all for nothing. He would die in this box! But if he ever got out . . . then those pretty little kitties who had everything he deserved would pay! So he waited . . . until finally a new volunteer came. The volunteer hadn’t been warned, and when he went to change Spike’s blankets and food. Spike sprang out of the cake, finally he was free! He ran and didn’t stop running to the shouts of the volunteers became mute and the gray building was far in the distance, now he could begin his revenge.

 

Back to the Present

 

“What did you do?” asked Slither.

“Did you kill anyone?” asked Flitter.

“No, of course I didn’t kill anyone! Would that be any kind of revenge for what I went through? No!” growled Spike.

“Well, then what did you do?” asked Slither.

“I did what was always my talent, ruining things for others,” hissed Spike.

“How?” asked Flitter.

“I gave you examples of my favorite tricks, the gray building trick, the fake murder trick, but nothing gruesome,” meowed Spike.

“But why?” asked Slither.

“Were you listening at all you incompetent kitten?” growled Spike.

“I was listening!” bragged Flitter.

“Good, now let me explain to your brother. Okay, Slither, I did it because I had to, I couldn’t be alone in my pain. If I deserved it, than all those perfect cats deserved it, understand?” asked Spike.

“I understand!” meowed Flitter.

“Good, maybe I could train you,” meowed Spike.

“I’ll never be like you!” growled Flitter.

“I suppose I wouldn’t want you to. I wouldn’t want you to feel my pain I suppose. I consider you and your brother one of my only friends, ever. You should be very honored,” purred Spike.

“I feel honored!” meowed Slither. Flitter glared at him.

“That’s what I was going to say!” protested Flitter. Spike purred quietly, he did truly like those kittens. Then to his surprise Slither turned to him, his eyes filled with fear.

“Will you hurt us?” asked Slither. Spike was surprised at himself, these cats thought life was perfect, usually his prime targets, but he didn’t want to hurt them.

“No, those days are over, perhaps you could show me where the rest of the cats sleep,” meowed Spike. Flitter eyes briefly flashed with distrust but Slither looked relieved.

“Okay!” meowed Slither.

“Thank you,” meowed Spike. Flitter and Slither led Spike into the camp when their mother ran up to them.

“Would you like to hear a story?” she asked.

“No! We already heard a great story from Spike!” meowed Flitter. Spike watched Flitter and Slither leaved.

“Maybe my story isn’t up yet,” he murmured to himself, “maybe there’s still time for a happy ending.”

 

Two kittens approached the ragged and scarred tom-cat, the anger flashing in his eyes was unmistakable. Their names were Flitter and Slither. Flitter was a silver tabby she-cat and Slither was a dark ginger tom-cat. They had been warned never to go near this cat. But Slither had dubbed his ominous presence “to important to ignore” and no one ever argued with Slither then. It didn’t take him long to notice them, but he let them think that they were unnoticed. But when they started to be arrogant treading on his tail and jumping on his back, he snapped.

“What do you want?” he growled lashing his paw out and knocking them aside.

“We want to know why you’re here!” Slither meowed bravely, but Flitter shrank back.

“Why, what an interesting question,” he commented, “go away!”

“But you weren’t here before, and now you are!” Flitter protested.

“That’s nice. Anymore amazing observations you want to share with the world?” the tom-cat hissed.

“Yes! You’re mean!” complained Flitter.

“Mean? Oh I was much more than mean before,” commented the cat, pale fire shining in his eyes.

“Then tell us about it!” begged Slither.

“Very well, I suppose I must, but first you have to tell me? How do you think villains begin?” asked the cat.

“They are mean outsiders who hurt cats for fun!” Slither meowed, reciting what his mother had told him.

“How positively short-minded of you. Not all villains were outsiders, I was very popular when I was a kitten like you… my name is Spike, and I have a story to tell you…..

 

Back in time to when Spike was a kitten…..

               

“Bye!” Spike called, his brown tabby fur spiked with annoyance, his tail drooping. His sister Butterfly, his brother Orange and his other sister Mist were being sent away today, only he would stay with his mother.

“Bye!” Butterfly muttered, her voice cracked with sadness. As the human picked them up and took them away Spike watched them go.

“Oh Spike,” his mother Leopard meowed sadly, “at least I have you.” Spike snuggled toward his mother sadly. The rest of the week was supposed to cheer Spike up, but he was cheered up on the second day. He got his favorite food and played his favorite games. All the humans loved him and petted him and called him the most handsome cat they’d ever seen. His ego became large and no one brought it down. Spike’s life was perfect, and he loved it in his house. He would never leave. But he was always by himself, and the humans took this as weakness. So they did what normal fluff-brain humans would do. Buy him a friend. They should have known what this would do, if they had any sense they’d have ignored it. The second cat was a pretty tortoiseshell with startling green eyes, they called her Fire. He called her annoyance. She basked in the human’s praises even more than he had. She stole his compliments, even the heart of his mother, she called Fire the kitten she never had. It tortured Spike. She had to leave.

“Fire,” he meowed one day when he had had enough.

“Yes, Spike,” she meowed cheerfully.

“We’re going somewhere, Fire,” meowed Spike.

“Okay!” she meowed excitedly. Spike led her to a gray building. He meowed loudly and hid behind a tree.

“Just stay there, Fire,” Spike meowed.

“Where are you going?” asked Fire.

“This is a treat for you Fire, I don’t deserve it . . .” meowed Spike. Just then the gray human came and took Fire inside the building. Spike clawed himself gently. Was Fire really gone? Was he dreaming? He hadn’t noticed where he had clawed himself was starting to bleed, the blood was on his claw. When he returned Leopard asked where Fire was. He told her she had run off before he could stop her. Then she saw the blood.

“Y-you killed her!” stammered Leopard. When humans came they saw the blood, too. They muttered things to each other and then threw Spike out and slammed the door. He had to leave, and the next months were hard.

Back to Present

 

“So you killed Fire?” gasped Flitter.

“No! They just thought I killed her!” growled Spike.

“Oh…. So maybe I shouldn’t have ordered Slither to kill you!” Flitter realized.

“Ordered him to do what?” asked Spike.

“Die murderer! Die!” yelled Slither jumping on Spike. Spike shook him off angrily.

“I didn’t kill her! Did you want to hear the rest of this story?” asked Spike.

“I want to finish murderer!” Slither meowed.

“I. did. not. kill. her!” growled Spike.

“Right…” meowed Flitter.

“As I was saying… I got kicked out of the house…”

 

Back to Story

 

Finally he found a group he could live in. The group’s leader saw his skill. Her name was Aqua and she taught him everything she knew. After four months he was finally accepted to the group and Aqua was finished training him.

“Hi,” he meowed walking up to her.

“I’m finished,” she meowed.

“Finished with what?” he asked.

“In training you.”

“Oh! Really?” asked Spike happily.

“Yes, you’re a very skilled cat Spike, you’ll be leader after me,” promised Aqua.

“Really? Wow! Thanks Aqua!” Spike had finally found a place where he could be perfectly happy.

“Also, in return, I’d like you to mentor a newcomer,” meowed Aqua.

“Sure!” Spike mewed, he’d do anything to show Aqua she’d made the right choice.

“A ginger rogue, your age, his name is Orange.” Orange? Could it be his brother Orange? It was, the ginger tom-cat was muscular and well-fed, unlike Spike.

“Spike?” he asked.

“That’s mentor to you,” meowed Spike happily.  Orange was a fast learner. They trained each day and Spike talked to his brother constantly, they were brothers as well as friends again. That was until Aqua got sick. She constantly wobbled on her feet and forgot everything. She decided to name an heir the day Spike finished training Orange.

“The leader of the group will be…” Aqua paused, “what was I saying, oh yes, the winner, no the leader will be Orange.”  Spike was outraged. He had trained Orange. He had been promised by Aqua!

“What about me?” he asked, “You promised I’d be leader!”

“No that was Orange, be quiet Spike, you just finished being a trainee,” Aqua meowed. Spike waited for his brother to correct her, but he was beaming. Why you little…..

“Aqua I was your trainee! You promised me I’d be leader!” Spike reminded her trying to stay calm.

“Quiet Spike! You’re just jealous of Orange!” called Aqua.

“Yes you are!” agreed Orange. Spike growled and walked away. The next months were filled with Orange abusing power. Spike them to be friends again, but Orange treated Spike as his inferior. Always.

“Orange,” he meowed angrily.

“What is it?” grunted Orange.

“I want to show you something,” growled Spike.

“Fine, fine, but don’t waste my time,” meowed Orange walked out of the sleeping place and Spike led him to a small stream that had mud all over the banks. Spike shoved Orange into the mud and held him down while he squirmed. Spike let him up when Orange had brown spots. Then he clawed some of Orange’s fur and put it against the rock in the stream so it didn’t float away. Then Spike screamed and flopped on the ground. Three cats from the group came running.

“Spike!” yowled Sapphire, a blue-gray she-cat. Than Vole, a brown tom turned to Orange, who was almost completely unrecognizable with his fur ruffled and spotted with brown.

“That rogue killed him!” Vole growled to Sapphire.

“You monster!” she hissed.

“I didn’t, he’s faking, I’m Orange!” cried Orange.

“Vole! Sapphire! Look!” called Dragonfly, a pale gray she-cat. She pointed her nose at the tuft of Orange’s fur stuck to the rock, “he killed Orange and floated his body away!”

“No I didn’t,” growled Orange.

“You awful cat! Orange and Spike go for a brotherly walk, and you kill them!” yowled Sapphire.

“They weren’t brothers. They never will be,” growled Orange staring at Spike. I’m doing this to my own brother! Realized Spike he deserved it he reassured himself but I can never go back. Nothing Orange said persuaded Vole, Dragonfly and Sapphire. They chased him off and tried to bury Spike he jumped up at the last moment and ran away.

 

Back to present

 

“I can’t believe you did that to your brother!” gasped Slither, “I would never do that to Flitter!”

“I would never do that to Slither . . . unless he really deserved it,” meowed Flitter.

“Hey!” growled Slither. They jumped on each other. Spike watched patiently, a faint glimmer of amusement in his eyes.

“Kittens! Stop it! Now let me speak!” yowled Spike. He’d forgotten how annoyingly amusing they were. When they stopped yowling and sat down Spike continued. “I was shocked and scared. I had no brother and I had no home…” he began.

 

Back to Story

 

Spike wandered around the alleys. He had no idea where to go or what to do. When he finally found a likely looking house he scratched on the door and meowed.

“Are you lost little kitty?” asked the human, a tall female with brown hair. Spike meowed pitifully.  “Well, I’ll get you down to the pound, and your owner will find you right away!” she said. Spike remembered the gray building and tried to run but the human picked him up and put him in her large piece of metal with rubber circles. When she brought him in the gray building he saw a picture of Fire under the, “Adopted Two Months Ago” sign. Spike felt a little happiness she wasn’t in this dreary building, but he mainly wanted her to share his misery.

“Hey, ma’am you dropping off a stray?” asked the human in gray clothes.

“Yes, I found him outside my door,” said the female, “he looks like my old cat Spike, so let’s call him Spike.” Then Spike recognized her. His old human, the one he had loved, the one who had loved him back was dropping him off in the gray building forever. He growled and scratched her arm. That would show her to abandon him! There was a lot of screeching and he was put in a box with metal bars with a sign labeled “dangerous” where he stayed. During the time in the box Spike watched the other cats come and go. One time a small human ran up to his cage only to be shooed away by her mother. Spike slowly turned bitter. He had tried to be good, he had endured Fire, he had worked hard in the group, and now it was all for nothing. He would die in this box! But if he ever got out . . . then those pretty little kitties who had everything he deserved would pay! So he waited . . . until finally a new volunteer came. The volunteer hadn’t been warned, and when he went to change Spike’s blankets and food. Spike sprang out of the cake, finally he was free! He ran and didn’t stop running to the shouts of the volunteers became mute and the gray building was far in the distance, now he could begin his revenge.

 

Back to the Present

 

“What did you do?” asked Slither.

“Did you kill anyone?” asked Flitter.

“No, of course I didn’t kill anyone! Would that be any kind of revenge for what I went through? No!” growled Spike.

“Well, then what did you do?” asked Slither.

“I did what was always my talent, ruining things for others,” hissed Spike.

“How?” asked Flitter.

“I gave you examples of my favorite tricks, the gray building trick, the fake murder trick, but nothing gruesome,” meowed Spike.

“But why?” asked Slither.

“Were you listening at all you incompetent kitten?” growled Spike.

“I was listening!” bragged Flitter.

“Good, now let me explain to your brother. Okay, Slither, I did it because I had to, I couldn’t be alone in my pain. If I deserved it, than all those perfect cats deserved it, understand?” asked Spike.

“I understand!” meowed Flitter.

“Good, maybe I could train you,” meowed Spike.

“I’ll never be like you!” growled Flitter.

“I suppose I wouldn’t want you to. I wouldn’t want you to feel my pain I suppose. I consider you and your brother one of my only friends, ever. You should be very honored,” purred Spike.

“I feel honored!” meowed Slither. Flitter glared at him.

“That’s what I was going to say!” protested Flitter. Spike purred quietly, he did truly like those kittens. Then to his surprise Slither turned to him, his eyes filled with fear.

“Will you hurt us?” asked Slither. Spike was surprised at himself, these cats thought life was perfect, usually his prime targets, but he didn’t want to hurt them.

“No, those days are over, perhaps you could show me where the rest of the cats sleep,” meowed Spike. Flitter eyes briefly flashed with distrust but Slither looked relieved.

“Okay!” meowed Slither.

“Thank you,” meowed Spike. Flitter and Slither led Spike into the camp when their mother ran up to them.

“Would you like to hear a story?” she asked.

“No! We already heard a great story from Spike!” meowed Flitter. Spike watched Flitter and Slither leaved.

“Maybe my story isn’t up yet,” he murmured to himself, “maybe there’s still time for a happy ending.”

 

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