Excerpt from KittyVixen, Prologue continued:
“This Child must go!” thundered Jagin, holding the babe out over the railed balcony.
Verbena’ sharp voice stung the air.
“Jagin, you mustn’t!”
“I MUST!” he insisted, red eyes aflame. “It says in the Law – only the firstborn son shall inherit the throne!”
As the King and Queen stared one another in the eyes in persistence, the poor, quaking midwife crawled most ungracefully to the door and fled, fearing the worst.
“It says nothing of the sort!” exclaimed Verbena, still in her great pain. Her pale blue eyes shone under the dim light.
“Well….it does now!” proclaimed Jagin, his red eyes gleaming out from the darkness.
The babe suddenly stopped crying, as if on cue.
Jagin turned slowly and looked at the stoic Child…who was staring, almost ruthlessly at him with the largest Orchid-colored eyes he had ever seen. Her ears were laid back, whiskers lifted in a venomous hiss, fangless mouth agape, nose twitching, and eyelashes dripping with Raindrops. It was not so much the expression of extreme dislike that the babe held on her face, but the strange, familiar fire burning in those light purple eyes that issued a shudder to run down the spine of the so-called fearless ruler. With a hideous growl, he prepared to release the Child unto the bone-crushing, wild Seas that could, very plainly, be heard crashing up against the overhanging Cliff.
“You will regret this moment.” those precious eyes seemed to say.
“No, Jagin, stop!” demanded Verbena, trying to sit up a little more. Her black fur glistened under the growing Sunlight. “You cannot simply change the Law as you wish!”
“I may do whatever I please with the Law, Verbena! For it is I who is King, and it is I that has the blood of the Blacktail family line running within me! I am not to have a mere KittyVixen, of all beings, telling me what I can and cannot do!” snapped Jagin, his black fur matted in the dark Night from the Mist of the Rain sweeping in from the window. A golden Lightning bolt struck out in the distance, illuminating the darkness, for a moment, as bright as Day.
And Verbena fell, weeping, from the bed to the floor, and struggled just to kneel under the comforting Sunlight.
“Oh, Jagin! No!” cried the KittyVixen helplessly, grasping at the soiled sheets of the bed. “Please, if you have any mercy in you at all, hear this poor mother’s plea, and harm not the innocent! Yea, I beseech ye, almighty King, spare this young Child’s life! Please do not kill her……. Please……PLEASE!”
With this, the exhausted Queen collapsed, weeping frantically, on the floor, grasping the covers of the bed as though in replacement of the Child she had never held.
Jagin sighed and the small KittyVixen released a pitiful whine. She was cold, wet, hungry, and longed to be held close. Wiggling, she freed her tiny black arms from the black silk that held her captive, and reached them out for the pondering new father.
After a moment or so, Jagin’s own arms grew heavy with tire, and he drew the soaking baby in.
“So be it that you shall keep her.” he admitted finally, but then he added, “But only until the Child has learned to speak. Then, my dear wife, she shall be taken from the Castle and executed. You must promise me a male Child once this is done, Verbena, or I shall have the same sentence carried out on you.”
Mercilessly, the King flung the poor, cold KittyVixen onto the bed, and she was immediately snatched up by her mother.
“You are a murderer, Jagin, a Monster!” she seethed, hugging the babe to her chest.
“I care not!” growled the King with a mirthless laugh, making for the doors. “But you had best keep that Child concealed, or else the execution will be carried out sooner!”
“You ruthless, heartless brute!” mumbled Verbena under her breath. She sat, weeping still, with her back to the bed, and slowly rocked the tiny Child in her arms, staring sadly into her pretty, kitten-like face.
Meanwhile, the angry King Jagin stomped out of the room, screaming at the top of his lungs,
“Stillbirth! Stillbirth! The Child was a stillbirth!”
And although Verbena knew that the baby had been born healthy and very alive, she rocked the newborn, mewling kit to her bosom and whispered, stroking the babe’s soft, black whiskers,
“How very near you were, my love, how very near you were!”