"Astra!" called out a female voice. "Astra, wake up!"
"Why?" she thought. "This is a reincarnation. I'm probably not going to make it alive to the sunset."
"Astra," called the female again. "get up! Today's the big day!"
"Big day? Big day for what?"
She lazily opened her eyes, and realized she was underground. She looked around; why could she see so well in the dark? Was she forming mental images from the smells she was picking up?
She noticed she was in some sort of room. Through a wall, a fibrous root protounded, but she had never seen a fibrous root in so much detail, it was as if it were gigantic! She stretched out her hand to touch it, and saw that it was a paw!
"Astra, come on! You're the last of the litter!"
Astra looked at her paw, for it was strange, even for a paw. Her fingers were long, and there was hardly any fur on them; the fur seemed to begin at her wrist. She took her paw to her head, and noticed that she had a long snout that extended to her forehead. She passed her arm to the back, and detected a huge, round ear.
"Astra, don't make me come in there!"
Astra looked around, there didn't seem to be any clothes to put on, any books to grab, any tools to get ready. What was this mystery woman calling her to?
Just then, a large head poked into the room, blocking out what little light was entering. "Asra, if you don't come on out, I'll pull you by your scruff!"
Astra jumped, startled. "I... I'm sorry, ma'm," was all she managed to say.
"How many times do I have to tell you? It's mom not mam. Oh, never mind, there's not much point anymore. Are you coming or not?"
"Coming?" echoed Astra, confused, "For what?"
"For the weaning, of course! Today's the day you leave the nest!"
"Nest?" though Astra. "What are we, some kind of bird with paws?"
"I... I'm coming... mom." She struggled to say, thoroughly hating herself for it. How could she call this furry creature "mom"? She kicked her kids out of her nest, she probably didn't play with them, and she didn't wear a crown! She was nothing like her mother!
"Good! I'll be waiting for you outside."
Astra struggled to get up; the room was a lot smaller than it looked. She then followed through the tunnel, on all fours, ignoring the other rooms, and went outside.
"There you are!" said the female. "I was wondering when you'd come out!"
It took Astra's eyes a while to get used to the brightness of the outside world, but when they did, she took in the figure before her, entirely. It was a mouse. A huge mouse, slightly larger than she was, and she was sitting on her hind legs.
"You know, I've always wondered when you'd finally come out. Your brothers and sisters were rather quick, if only out of obedience, when their day came. You, however, lazed on. You wanted to stay, and it wasn't exactly to stay with me. It's as if there was no spirit in you."
Astra, however, wasn't paying attention. She was taking in the forest they were in, with its huge, towering trees, and how they imposed themselves over her own three-and-something inches of height.
"Well, Astra, you're on your own now. If you follow the road this way, you'll find a carnival; great food source. If you follow the road that way, you'll find a town; lots of excitement. If you follow the road this other way, you'll find a cave; a lot of danger."
Astra turned to her "mother" and could only think of one way to thank her: she gave her a long, tender hug. Her "mom", though unfamiliar with hugs, understood and appreciated the gesture, and sent her off.
Astra didn't go very far, however, before she met a female cat. At five times her size, the beast was so imposing, it made her freeze in fear! She couldn't, however, help noticing how similar the cat looked to Fred. What Astra doesn't know is that you, the reader, are that cat.
1/5/2010 1:29:58 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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