Last Life

Dreams

She opened her eyes with the dream replaying in her mind. The sadness she felt from the girl, the loss of an entire planet, and the worries of what was to happen to them.

Will they survive? Where are they now?

All of this seemed to do nothing, but spawn more questions with no answers in sight. With these questions burning strongly in her mind and the dream quickly fading from her brain, she rolled over onto her other side and opened her eyes. She laid there for a few minutes longer, pondering the questions that she almost never thought of. Both her mind and her body wouldn't let her fall back asleep. Her mind was wandering and her body was itching to do something.

Catrina let out a soft sigh as she finally decided to get out of bed. It was half past midnight and the screen on her TV faded off to that snowy fuzzy screen that signified the end of the movie she had been watching. The TV was the only source of light in her room as she sleepily rolled over again. Sitting up, Catrina reached out a hand for a small sketchbook sitting on top of her nightstand. A black shadow of a cat encased in a red circle adorned the cover of the sketchbook. It seemed familiar – no, it was familiar. She just couldn’t place where she’s seen the symbol before. All she knew was that this cat symbol has always been on the notebook and it always brought comfort to her whenever she looked at it.

Catrina got up with the sketchbook in hand and searched for the light switch along the wall close to her bed.

Thunder could be heard sounding off in the distance, though it was far away, as she liked. Catrina let out a soft yawn as she walked along the wall, trying to blindly to find the light switch. She heard a loud cat yawn nearby. Her eyes flickered over to the large form lying in the middle of her room on the floor. It was a large tan furry body with a long tail that flicked every once in a while. A male lion was barely out of the cub stage. Her lips formed into a big smile at seeing the lion sprawled out.

“Kassim, what are you doing laying there, you lazy thing?” She asked with a shake of her head. Kassim just moved his head, barely lifting it as he stared at his mistress with his amber eyes. Kassim was an abandoned lion cub that Catrina’s stepparents had found around the same time they had found her, which was about a year ago.

She shook her head again as she gently stepped over the lion’s tail, being careful not to trip over him. She finally came to the door where her hand reached out and flipped up the switch for the lights. The sudden brightness of the room made the thirteen-year-old blink a few times before her vision adjusted to the lights.

Kassim just simply stretched out more with a soft grunt before his sleek body rose off the ground. She could see his muscles rippling under his fur with every graceful movement her feline friend took.

“Why can’t I be graceful like you, you overgrown kitten?” Catrina teased, sitting back on her bed. She had to get this dream down on paper before it left her mind. Sitting back in the bed, the girl flipped open the book. The first page she saw was a picture of two young kids around her age. One was obviously her while the other was a boy with a wild red hair resembling the mane of a lion’s, golden cat-like eyes, and the cream-colored fur covering all of his body. Again, this seemed familiar. For the boy was smiling brightly while the girl next to him just offered a small smile.

Catrina finally flipped to an empty page, took a pencil into her fingers, she started to sketch the image that was burning in her mind. It was of the the young boy wielding the sword from her dreams. She couldn’t sleep. Not even after finishing the drawing. Unable to sleep, Catrina rose off her bed once more and walked across the room to her dresser. A mirror was hung on the wall over her wooden oak dresser. When she looked into the mirror, she saw herself reflected back at her.

A messy tangle of light dirty blond hair, sky blue eyes, and light tan skin stared back at her. Despite her somewhat cat-like eyes, and her slightly odd teeth, Catrina thought she was a normal thirteen-year-old girl. Only she looked slightly different.

Picking up her brush, Catrina tried to run the brush through her hair but found that it would not obey her. She felt like a teenage boy trying to tame his wild hair while getting ready to go on a date with a girl he really liked, only to find his hair sticking back up a few seconds later. Only in her case, her hair never really moves, except for when the wind is blowing, and every lock felt as soft as a kitten’s fur.

Catrina finally gave up on her hair and just stretched her arms a bit. She was about to turn away from the vanity mirror when she saw her velvet catlike collar around her neck in the mirror. A brown strip of velvet cloth was clasped snugly around her neck as it held a small pendant. The pendant was red with the black shadow of a cathead with its mouth open.

What was really grabbing her attention was the way it faintly flashed red. She furrowed her eyebrows in confusion at seeing the pendant flashing rapidly. It seemed like it was giving off a distress signal. Catrina just shook her head at the thought. It sounded so Science fiction to her.

She quickly wheeled around on the balls of her feet and turned off the light as she did so. She walked back over to her bed and slipped back under the slightly cold covers. Exhaustion ached at her body the instant she laid down. She allowed sleep to claim her within a few seconds.

--

Catrina was asleep for barely an hour when the door to her bedroom opened and she heard the floorboards creaking slightly under the weight of her visitor. She nearly shivered a bit as the covers were lifted and the bed squeaked softly under the weight of the intruder. She already knew who it was. It was her eight-year-old stepsister, Samantha.

“Cat, you still awake?” Came the little third grader’s voice. When she did not answer, Samantha, also known as Sammy, reached out and gently shook her sister. “Cat, cat!”

Catrina’s eyes fluttered open and she rolled over onto her other side to look at her sister. She blinked a bit, trying to focus her vision in the darkness.

“For Gods’ sake, Sammy, what is it?” She asked, not meaning to sound irritable. She did not like being woken up after having gone back to sleep. Kassim, who had climbed up onto her bed and laid at the foot, opened his eyes a bit but sprawled himself out more and just fell back to sleep with the tip of his large pink tongue hanging out. Sammy’s eyes widened in fright at a sudden thought and she grabbed onto her sister’s nightshirt.

“The aliens are coming to get us. They’re going to abduct us and use us for their experiments.” Sammy whined. She always had an overactive imagination. Her long brown hair ended in soft curls at her neck as she looked up at Catrina with large green eyes filled with fear and anxiety.

Her sister’s words annoyed her, but Catrina was the only one home with her since their parents were out on a vacation for their twelve-year wedding anniversary. Catrina sat up now, causing the blanket to slip off her shoulders. She looked at the younger girl and slipped an arm around Sammy, drawing her closer into a half hug.

“Sammy, you’ve been watching too many alien movies. Alien and Predator aren’t going to take over the earth, aliens aren’t coming to cause destruction, and Will Smith isn’t going to save the entire earth from Aliens along with the Men in Black. All of this is from you watching too many movies.”

“B-but I saw a flashing light up in the sky, no three of them!” Sammy cried out. Her bottom lip poked out. She could tell Catrina did not believe her.

“Airplanes have lights on at night so that the people at the airports know where they’re at and us too,” Catrina said with a yawn behind her clawed hand. She shook her head at hearing her little sister’s words of protests and she just lay back down, rolling over so that her back was to Samantha.

“Well, then Space Pirates are coming to loot us!” Sammy said worriedly. She looked over at Catrina’s bedroom window nervously and she pulled up the blanket over her head as she snuggled into her sister’s back.

“C-can I sleep in here with you, Cat?” She asked, trying to hide the fear in her tone.

Catrina yawned again and nodded, “If you quit the talk of Space Pirates and aliens.” She murmured softly, drifting off to sleep.

Sammy nodded and curled into her sister’s backside. Catrina may not have been her real sister, but she often thought of her as one. She did not even care that her sister did not even look completely human. She was just glad that Catrina was there to protect her and be there with her. Sammy let out a soft yawn and she finally allowed herself to fall asleep.

--

A loud crash from somewhere downstairs woke the girls up. Sammy opened her eyes and she felt a tingling presence in the house. Feeling scared, she turned to Catrina and gently shook her, whispering in her sister’s ear. “Cat, I heard a loud noise.”

Catrina groaned in her sleep. She did not quite hear Sammy’s voice let alone feel her sister shaking her gently. When her sister starting crying, Catrina opened her eyes. Her eyelids felt heavy with sleep as she looked over her shoulder at her sister and just groaned a bit. She was always a heavy sleeper. Only a thunderstorm could wake her up.

“It’s probably just Kassim going to his water bowl. You know ‘ow he always knocks stuff over with his tail.” She said sleepily.

Sammy looked over and saw her sister’s feline companion still at the foot of her bed, his tail hanging over the edge of the bed. She shook her head, her small hands shaking Catrina’s shoulder again. “But Kassim is still in bed with us. Sis, please? I real-“

This time a loud crash could be heard from their parents’ bedroom across the hall and Catrina had definitely heard it. Kassim jumped to his feet at hearing the loud crash, he bared his fangs, hissing, and growling in the back of this throat as his fur bristled up. He could smell the fear coming from the two girls and the unfamiliar scent of whoever was in the house.

Catrina sat up. Throwing the covers off her, she slowly and quietly rose off the bed. She shuddered at feeling the chilliness of her floor under her bare feet before making her way to the closet. Kassim started to get off the bed at the corner of her eye, but she looked over her shoulder and shook her head at him.

“No, Kassim; stay here with Sammy.” She ordered. The teenager turned her head back around once she sensed that Kassim was going to obey her. She gently and quietly snuck into her closet and picked up her bat that lay inside. She then walked across her room and gently opened the door just enough to see out into the hall without being spotted. Her eyes widened at seeing three humanoid creatures roaming around the hall. One looked like a reptilian humanoid and another looked like a strange ape or something.

Catrina immediately pulled herself back n when the reptile alien turned around and looked at her straight in the eye. She heard them talking but it was hard to make out what they were discussing. Though she knew it was about her because the reptilian mutant had cried out for its friends before she had closed the door. She quickly ran back over to her bed and took Sammy into her arms.

Sammy’s green eyes widened in fright and she hugged her sister’s neck tightly.

“C-cat,” She whimpered. Catrina just shushed her while leading Kassim over to the window. She managed to open the Bay Window and Kassim was the first to jump out onto the ledge. She followed him. Sammy clung even more to her sister in fright. She did not take very well to heights, but as for Catrina, Catrina did not mind since even if she fell, she would be able to land on her feet. It is just a matter of retaining her balance when she would land.

“Hold on tightly, Sammy.” She whispered to her sister. Sammy nodded and did as she was told. Catrina took in a deep breath as she looked down at the ground below. She could see the front door lying in the middle of the yard. The Space Pirates had obviously just ripped it off its hinges and tossed it there. She did not know why they were raiding her home or what they were. She just knew that she had to protect her little sister.

A voice in her heart was reminding her of an unknown code of honor that was somehow instilled into her from her unknown childhood.

”Justice. Truth Honor and Loyalty are what makes up our laws. We live by the code. Honor all promises and laws. Loyalty is forged by trust and faith. A Thundercat never ignores those in need. We must all uphold justice and get rid of all wrongdoings that others have done. Live by these laws and everything will fall into place.”

Catrina gulped again but a dark shadow fell over them and she saw a strange ship overhead. It was at that very moment that the door to her bedroom was blasted open and the Space Pirates came rushing in. Startled by one of the mutants swiping at her with a massive hand, Catrina shrieked and took a step back. Her left foot slipped off the edge and she started to fall backward with Sammy still in her arms.

Kassim let out a loud roar before sinking his fangs into the Reptile Mutant’s arm and clawing at it. He immediately released the mutant before biting the back of Catrina’s nightdress to keep her from falling off the window ledge. The silky fabric ripped and he was left with only a piece of the dress in his mouth as Catrina and Sammy fell the twenty-foot drop to the ground.