Sunshine and Shadows

I was lost. I mean, you can’t blame me. The streets of D.C. are more like a maze than a couple of roads. If you hadn’t guessed, I’m an alley cat. I don’t have a name, but I’ve been called a scoundrel and the like. I have no idea why. I wouldn’t be upset if a needy kitten was digging through my garbage! Ok, are you creeped out yet? No? I thought you would have realized it by now, but I guess I have to spell it out for you: CATS DON’T WRITE JOURNALS! Yeah, you really should have at least put some thought to that fact. Well, the truth is, this story is being written down after the story you are about to read has happened. Also, I’m not the one writing this. I’m just telling my friend Olivia what to put in here. Surprised? No? Maybe, just in case, I should spell it out again: CATS DON’T TALK! You know what? Maybe it would be easier if I just told the story.

Ok, back to the beginning: I was lost. Suddenly, I remembered where I was. Or at least, where I should be. Wendy’s is near here! I thought. I tumbled over to where I knew some half-eaten, half-rotten cheeseburgers would await me: the Wendy’s trash cans, any alley cat’s dream! There were four trash cans out there, and three smelled like fast food. The other one, though… I couldn’t put a finger on it! Or a paw, for that matter. It didn’t smell like magically good food, it smelled like actual, pure magic! I jumped inside to find out if there was anything to eat. There wasn’t, but I felt weird all of a sudden. I saw sparkles, and spun around and around. Maybe the trash can was empty, and I had hurt my head on the metal bottom. Then, the whirling stopped. I still saw sparkles, though. And pink trees. And flying cows. I had a feeling that I was not in D.C. anymore.

I didn’t know it yet, but I had fallen through a portal in the bottom of the trash can into a town called Misty Hill. It was set apart from the outside world, and for good reason: the people of Misty Hill knew magic, and used it on a daily basis! However, they needed some way to get to the “normals”, so they put up a portal. It was a bit unfortunate that they put it on the bottom of a trash can, since those half-eaten, half-rotten cheeseburgers I was drooling about earlier kept falling through, but even their wisest elders couldn’t figure out the principles of closing a portal. 

Anyways, the cheeseburgers turned out to be a good thing because they cushioned the fall. At the time, the townspeople were inside. Except for one little girl jumping rope, that is. She was also eating a cookie, which sounds unsafe while turning a jump rope, but the rope was turning on its own! I walked up to her, and rubbed against her legs. My golden fur gleamed in the sun, and I made my big eyes even bigger. 


“Hi little kitty! Like my trick?” She asked. I thought, yes! As hard as I could. I guess it worked because she said, “It’s only practice. My parents are teaching me how to do magic! It really helps when I’m hungry, as you can see!” Then she looked at me. “My parents are teaching me all about magic gems. My favorite is opal. It’s soooooo pretty! I have an idea…” She went inside a house, and stayed in there for a bit. Then, she came out holding something. I couldn’t tell what it was, just that it was glowing. It was also covered in bright, shiny, multicolored stones. She skipped up to me. “An opal collar,” she said. “For you! It has so many magical properties! It could make you able to fly, immortal, or even…” She paused for dramatic effect. “IT COULD MAKE YOU ABLE TO TALK!” she blurted out. My tiny jaw dropped. Put it on, put it on, PUT IT ON! I thought.  “Here, let me get it on you,” she said. I resisted from scratching her. Suddenly, I felt like the shine from the opal was inside of me!

“Thanks! It’s pretty!” I said. Wait a moment… I SAID STUFF?! I guess the collar worked. Hmm… it was supposed to have other powers… maybe I could fly, too! I focused on being light, and floating on a cloud. Suddenly, everything around me started to shrink. Wait, no… I was just going higher and higher! I tried to go left — success! To go right — nailed it! To go down — I was home again! I didn’t want to try out immortality, though, because if I wasn’t immortal, I would die! Besides, I think immortality is one of those things you just have to depend on. 

“I don’t have a name, because I was an alley cat before I came, but I want to know yours,” I said. 

“Oh! Sorry, I still haven’t gotten used to, well, a talking cat. My name is Olivia. And do you know what? I’d like you to be my pet! Hmm… I think I’ll call you Pixie!” She said. I was overjoyed! Suddenly, a storm cloud appeared. It settled down on the hill that gave the town its name. Then, it turned into a person! A witch, in fact. She wore all black, and looked… well, evil! 

“Who is she?” I whispered to Olivia, terrified.

“She calls herself the Shadow Witch. She thinks she rules the town, and I guess she kinda does, with all her evil magic.”

“Greetings, lowly peasants! I would just like to inform you that anyone who disobeys the following rules will be personally punished by yours truly:

  1. Do not attempt to stop my reign.
  2. Do not assist those who I hold captive.
  3. Report anybody who disobeys the first two rules directly to me.

Remember, I am your ruler forever, and I CAN FIND YOU!” The shadow witch glared at the town one last time, then turned back into the black cloud and floated away.

“She was scary! But what did she mean by ‘I am your ruler forever’?” I asked Olivia.

“She’s immortal. That’s why nobody dares challenge her. She’s impossible to defeat! But you know what? I bet we could do it! We could save Misty Hill!” she replied. It was a good idea, but there was one flaw. 

“If we manage to kill her, which is already a huge difficulty, how would that make us any less evil than her?” I said with a worried look on my face. Then, it hit me.

“I have an idea! What if we just try to turn her good? Also, um, do you know the particularly handsome black cat that was next to her?”

“Some kitty has a cruuuuuuuuush!” Olivia teased. “But good plan!” She quickly added. I blushed, if cats can blush.

“I do not have a crush! Anyway, what’s his name?” I asked.

“His name is Vampire. And I’m sure you do like him on some level. Maybe if the Shadow Witch turns good, he will too. Anyway, we really should start our quest. But, before we go, I need to tell you something. You are a helpless little kitten without that collar, okay? You need to keep it safe in order to keep yourself safe.”

“I am not helpless without it! I can do all the stuff cats can usually do!” I retorted.

“Listen, I really don’t want to start an argument with you. Just keep the collar safe, ok?”

“Ok,” I agreed. I’ll prove you wrong. You’ll see, I thought. Then, I realized there was something very important we needed to know.

“Where does the Shadow Witch live?” I asked.

“I have no idea, actually. You know what, though? My parents will!” she exclaimed. So, we set off to her house.

Two minutes later, we arrived at the house she had gone into to make my collar. Thinking about that made me think about our argument. I felt bad for disagreeing with her. After all, she was my only friend, even if she was wrong about me. I remembered a phrase I had heard long ago that seemed quite literal now. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, I thought to myself. We walked inside, only to have a terrible smell blasted into our nostrils.

“Ugh! Is mom trying her hand at cooking again? Daddy, I thought you promised not to let her do that anymore!” Olivia said. Her voice sounded funny, probably because she was pinching her nose.

“I’m truly sorry, honey. She read about a recipe that she thought would be simple, and I couldn’t stop her!” her dad replied.

“By the way, do you by any chance know where the Shadow Witch lives? Pixie and I want to make her good!” Olivia said casually.

“Well, um, are you sure you want to face her? I mean, I know you’re a brave girl, and your cat has that magic collar,” her father replied, flabbergasted. There it was again! Did underestimating me without my collar run in their family? I decided not to mention it. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, dumdum! I reminded myself over and over again.

“Daddy, I’m serious. Pixie and I really want to do this! It could save us all!” Olivia whined.

“Um, if it’s any help, I also really want to do this. She’s telling the truth!” I mumbled.

“Alright then, girls, she lives on Craggy Cliff,” her dad told us. Olivia’s eyes widened with recognition. 

“You mean the Craggy Cliff, the main eyesore of Misty Hill? No way! Nobody could live there and not be evil!”

“True,” her dad said.

“I think you girls should go ahead. Be careful, though. Ok?” her dad said.

“Promise, Daddy.” With that, we started concocting a genius plan.

We agreed that first, I would fly out there to see if she was home. Craggy Cliff was at the edge of the town, but thankfully, the town was not very large, so the edge of it was only a ten minute flight. If the Shadow Witch was home, I would carry Olivia back to the lair with me. Then, we would talk to her (I would actually be talking more to Vampire, because he doesn’t speak human but I do speak cat, also because he is gorgeous). After the Shadow Witch turned good, we would become a foursome, working together to keep Misty Hill safe. Now, we just had to hope that everything would go according to plan.

Like we had agreed, I flew across the town to Craggy Cliff, where I saw a pitch-black castle shrouded in fog. I went over to one of the windows, and peered in, hoping I would not get caught. The Shadow Witch was even scarier up close. Not wanting to spend any more time on that horrible cliff, I flew back to where Olivia was waiting.

“She’s home, and she’s terrifying!” I whimpered to Olivia. Now, it was time for step two: I would fly back to the castle carrying Olivia. That seemed risky, seeing as she was a lot bigger than I was, but we tried anyway. We never got off the ground. 

“It’s hopeless! We’ll never be able to save anyone!” Olivia wailed. Then, I had an idea.

“Olivia! I can’t carry you, but you can carry me!”

“Yeah, but I don’t see how that would help. You’re the one who can fly,” she said sadly.

“I can only fly because of the collar! But if you let me take it off, just this once, then you could wear it as a bracelet! And if you did that, then you could fly there carrying me, instead of the other way around!” I said excitedly.

“Pixie, you’re a genius! Just promise me that you’ll put it back on once we get there.”

“I promise! Come on, let’s try it!” I exclaimed. She took off my collar. Without it, I felt like I was an alley cat again. She slipped it onto her wrist. It fit her perfectly! She scooped me up under her arm, and flew away. She was unsteady at first, but then she got the hang of it. In what felt like the blink of an eye, we were there! As bravely as we could muster, we walked up to the front door… and knocked.

The door opened. The Shadow Witch stood in front of us, and I could practically see the evil oozing out from her ears. She shooed us inside, and gestured for us to sit on rickety stools. Then, she spoke.

“I have a feeling you aren’t here to help me. However, if you are, I will accept the gift that you should have brought. Oooooooooh, is this it?” She was looking at my MY OPAL COLLAR!

“Opal always was a favorite of mine. Thank you!” Just like that, the plan was shattered. She had taken away my opal collar, and with it, my ability to talk. I had expected that, though, so I had another plan. One that, along with saving Misty Hill, would also make people stop underestimating me. I walked up to the Shadow Witch and rubbed against her legs, just like I had this morning with Olivia. Now, that was a distant memory. I don’t mean in the ‘it feels like so much time has passed’ way, just that I have a bad memory and, as you are noticing right now, a very short attention span. Anyway, back to the story.

I rubbed against the Shadow Witch’s legs and purred like a motorboat.

“Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.” I made my eyes extra large, especially for her. 

“Meeeooooooooooow!” I could pinpoint the moment that her hard heart melted, and the moment Olivia realized she had misjudged me. My collar was not who I was. I was who I was. And I was adorable.

“Oh, I’ve been so mean to the people of Misty Hill! I wanted respect, but I got it the wrong way. I owe everyone a huge apology!” the Shadow Witch confessed.

“Yeah, ya really do. But don’t worry, it’ll be ok. Pixie, I owe you an apology. I underestimated you and overestimated your collar. Friends, everyone?” Olivia asked.

“FRIENDS!” everyone shouted together. Except for Vampire. He meowed.

The next day, the Shadow Witch came once again to Misty Hill. she declared peace, and apologized, as promised.

“I know that I did a terrible thing, forcing you to do as I said through dark magic. I apologize for that, and hope that you can find it in your hearts to forgive me. Also, I have appointed a new ruler, since I was so bad at it. Everyone, please give a round of applause for the Sunshine Witch and her cat, Pixie!”

Olivia and I stood up from our picnic blanket in the audience, and got up onto the stage. She was smiling from ear to ear, and so was I. Then, she spoke.

“Hi everyone. Um, my name is Olivia, but you can call me the Sunshine Witch. I am happy to stand in front of you today, and start to spread joy around Misty Hill. However, I couldn’t have done it without my cat, Pixie. Pixie, would you like to say a few words?”

“Hi. I am also happy that Olivia is your new leader. She is a great leader, if a bit stubborn. So, yeah. That’s all.” Everyone applauded. I walked over to Vampire.

“Hi! You were great up there,” he said. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot: he has an opal collar now! Olivia made a matching one for him!

“Thanks,” I said, blushing. Olivia walked over to us.

“Pixie, come with me. I have to take you somewhere!” I followed her to the portal.

“Do I have to go back to the outside world? Is this goodbye?” I said, a bit overdramatically.

“No! I would never part with you! You’re my pet, remember? Just jump in! Trust me!” I jumped through the portal. 

I tumbled out inside a Wendy’s trash can. I hopped out so that Olivia wouldn’t fall on top of me. A few seconds later, I heard a clunk, and Olivia clambered out of the trash can. We walked up to the front of the Wendy’s.

“Wait here,” Olivia said. I sat down next to the door, and Olivia went inside. She came out with a bag. It smelled like Wendy’s, but not rotten!

“I thought you deserved to try some Wendy’s that wasn’t from a trash can,” she said. She reached into the bag and produced a cheeseburger.

“Is it all for me?” I asked, mouth watering.

“Yup!” was Olivia’s excited reply. I stuck my nose into the soft bun. It smelled like butter. I savored the smell until I couldn’t wait any longer, then bit in. it was the best thing I had ever tasted! In about a millisecond, I had sucked down the whole thing. When Olivia had finished hers, we went back through the portal. The Shadow Witch and Vampire were waiting for us. It was good to be home.

As predicted by yours truly, Olivia was a great ruler. The Shadow Witch, Vampire, Olivia, and I became a foursome. We practiced magic, had sleepovers, and did karaoke. The opal collars also made it so that Vampire and I didn’t grow up, and stayed cute little kittens forever. The Shadow Witch enchanted Olivia with the same spell that made her immortal, so we literally had forever to keep being awesome. So, yeah. We went all over Misty Hill, solving problems and making people happy. (With, of course, very frequent trips through the portal to get Wendy’s!)

So, basically, that’s my life story. Except, y’know, it doesn’t end there. It keeps going, because I am still alive! I will be forever! Olivia went home for the day. Her fingers got tired, so she taught me how to type. So, yes, you now have a talking, flying, immortal, and typing cat. I think next, I might learn how to jump rope or play hopscotch, so that I can play more with Olivia. The Shadow Witch and Vampire are out getting me some cheeseburgers. Wait! Did I just hear my magic kitty-phone ring? I did! It’s Vampire… oh no! Maybe the cheeseburgers sold out! No, not that. Vampire says – he says the Shadow Witch sensed dark magic! She said it wasn’t coming from Misty Hill, though! She said… the dark magic is coming from the outside world!