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Chapter 3

These little soirees always take place once a month, but the one that lands closest to Samhain is always the best. The rowdiest. By far, the craziest fun a Child can have. I was positively giddy, preparing for that night. I woke early, around four in the afternoon. It was a tremendous honor to be hosting this year’s Samhain feast. All the Children on the island would be in attendance… as well as many human guests selected according to a variety of tastes. I wanted to make sure all Children would have their favorite flavor, and a variety from which to choose.

All my windows were heavily shuttered, and I bustled about the kitchen with an unnaturally rosy glow. There was something special about this feast. I could feel it.
I prepared the various dishes, finger foods, a soup… I even prepared my famous Luau-style man-meat- craftily shaped into the form of a large roast pig. Our human guests always joined in the feasting to begin with. Man, if cooked just right, can taste exactly like pork, beef, or chicken to the unsuspecting human. We Children have many culinary tricks.

I was a little live wire of energy that afternoon. Buzzing with anticipation. I purposely fasted throughout my preparations, dared not even taste my fare. This was not difficult… my stomach was fluttery, my heart was lodged in my throat. I don’t think I could have even swallowed. It may have been my thirst for the claret, it may have even been due to the fact I was lapsing into feline heat that week. But I now believe, in my subconscious, I was expecting a very particular guest.

I welcomed my brothers and sister at seven of the clock, decked in my black cat costume. It was mostly straps and leather with bright silver rivets, laced together in odd places. The tail swished as if living. My siblings all wore like feline attire, but did nothing to conceal their eyes, teeth, or pallor. This is the way of Samhain. We do not dress up as other things. It is the one night we set aside the cloak and reveal our true nature.

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While I may refer to fellow Children as siblings, those attending the feast were not of blood relation, even though Columbine and Chamomile looked like little blonde twins. I had my eye on one brother in particular, tonight…

“The Children arrive, Themal praised.” This was my only speech as hostess to the feast. We all touched foreheads in turn, smelling deep. I took the longest inhalation with Laurel, the Child I had mentioned. He touched noses as well, and gave my cheek a playful lick. I blushed helplessly at this, tail flicking.
I ushered them out of the fourier, and bid them snack on the various appetizers. I called for one of the hired help to bring the wine.

“Fressia, I must say, you’ve outdone yourself this year.” Columbine commented on the decked dining hall. I shook my head at him modestly, sipping at my shiraz.
“It’s all just cheap decoration for the mice. They love that sort of thing. I even made candied apples this year.”
Chamomile giggled at this, reclining in her chair. “You spoil the little rodents, you know? I’m surprised you don’t have a pet.”
“She needs no pet.” Laurel purred. It sent a shiver through me, his tone. He turned those golden eyes to me and smiled. Laurel was everything I lusted for in a cat… thin, fit, pale, shoulder-length silver hair…
“I’m sure she’d rather be the pet… Isn’t that right, Fress?”
“Laurel, you’ve not known me for very long, yet you speak as though you’ve seen the color of my soul.”
“It’s lavender, dearest.”
I chuckled to be polite, as did Cham and Col. Skullscap brooded, nibbling on a caviar-slaked toast corner. His long, dark brown hair hid part of his face, and the cat-ear hat cocked on his head might have been comical… if his presence wasn’t so foreboding.
“Skully, you look like you’ve been sentenced to a tanning bed. Have some more wine!” Col piped cheerily, and refilled his goblet.
“I do not want wine. I want fucking mouse. Where in hell are they?” he growled in a heavy Russian accent.