Tag Archive: Arturus


Emery skidded into the room from the veranda in time to see Arturus catch the governor by his shoulder. Naturally, the security team assigned to the man drew their weapons immediately. “Hold your fire,” Emery shouted, counting on the fact that they were trained to listen to the sound of an authoritative voice. “He’s a valuable witness in a murder investigation,” he continued into the silence that followed the attack.

“Arturus,” Miles said. He ran forward but stopped short of the pair. There was a strange, almost feral look in the cat-boy’s eyes. “Arturus, please, relax and let him go,” he murmured, not making eye contact.

“Arturus,” Emery said, stepping up to Miles’s side. “I know you want to stop him but if you do anything rash, he’ll be the victim. Relax. Think this through. Let him go.”

“He needs to pay for what he did to Mother,” the older boy growled.

“He will,” Emery promised. “He will, but not this way. Let us take him into custody and gather evidence of the crime. Let him go. We won’t let him get away. He’s done with the free ride.”

“Emery?” Morrissey said softly as he entered the room.

“It’s alright,” Miles said softly. He stepped forward and set a hand on Arturus’s shoulder. “Relax, Arturus. Relax and let him go. That’s right, just let him go.”

Slowly, as if unsure what he was doing, Arturus released the man who’d killed his mother. “I want him arrested,” the governor said to Morrissey as soon as he was free.

“You first,” Morrissey said calmly. “You are under arrest for illegal enslavement and suspicion of murder.”

“Conspiracy too,” Emery added. “He worked with several others to hide the body.”

“Too true. Come with me, sir,” Morrissey said softly as he escorted the governor out of the ballroom. Emery sighed in relief as he saw several wardens joining the investigator in the corridor.

“Enslavement? Of who?” Emery asked.

“Me,” Marius said. “Yes, I intend to testify, before you ask. I told Morrissey on the way here. It’s high time I stopped hiding.”

“You aren’t the only one who can finally come out in the open,” Miles replied. He glanced over at Arturus, who was being greeted warmly by the uncle he’d never known.

“This is taking too long,” Arturus growled. He was pacing and seemed anxious. “They’ll miss me if I’m not in my tower.”

“Listen, Brother is getting our supervisor. He’ll help us. Just try and be patient,” Miles said softly.

“He suspects that you already know, right? He might find a way to get away before you can catch him. He’s been running free for twenty years. He’s not about to go quietly to jail.” Miles heard Arturus growl low in his throat as they watched one of the governor’s aides approach him.

“We have you as a witness,” Miles hissed, as he hoped Arturus didn’t do anything foolish. “We’ll be able to get evidence too. He won’t get away with it this time.”

“The watcher is warning him,” Arturus hissed before he crept into the room. His movements were swift and agile. miles followed but quickly lost him in the crowd. He didn’t need to follow the other boy though; he knew where Arturus was heading.

Though it had taken them quite sometime to find Arturus, it took them almost no time at all to make their way back to the party. Once they reached the ballroom, Emery waved a hand at the older man to stay outside the door. “I’m going to get Morrissey,” he said softly.

Then he entered, leaving Miles to stay with their witness. As he crossed the threshold, Emery realized that finding the older investigator was going to be a task that was easier said than done. He wondered briefly how the servant had found the man earlier in the night. Then he saw Stevie and made his way over to him… or her since that was how the messenger was dressed.

“Hey, Emery,” Stevie greeted.

“St – Miranda,” Emery said. “Have you seen Morrissey? I need to tell him something important.”

“He’s around here somewhere,” Stevie said. “Dance with me and maybe we can look while we’re on the dance floor.”

Emery blushed but took the other boy’s hand and led him out onto the floor, suddenly glad that he was dressed as a woman. As they danced, both watched the crowd that surrounded the floor for signs of the senior investigator. It was Stevie who spotted him.

“He’s heading out into the garden with that guy that’s always hanging around with the governor,” he said as the dance ended.

Emery bowed and scampered over to the door Stevie indicated. He walked quietly and carefully out into the garden, hoping the senior investigator wasn’t in any kind of danger.

“Why are we looking for him again?” Emery asked as he followed his brother through the darkened corridors of the manor. “We should be keeping an eye on that creep, not looking for a lost cat-boy.”

“I scared him, Brother,” Miles said. “I can’t just leave it like that. I wonder where he would go.”

“I saw glowing eyes in a tower room earlier,” Emery said after some thought. He paused. “I was in the front garden, so the room would be at the front of the building. That’s this way.” He turned down a side hallway and followed it to its end. Instead of stairs, as he’d hoped, there was a large room.

Miles bounded forward and opened the door. “Brother,” he whispered, awe coloring his tone.

Emery followed him inside and stopped in his tracks as he saw the multitude of books lining the walls. “It’s a library,” he whispered. “There are more books here than there were at the Academy.” He bounded over to the nearest shelf and chose a volume at random. His eyes skimmed the page, devouring every word.

“Brother, we’re supposed to be looking for that person I saw,” Miles whispered, even as he walked further into the room. He paused as he caught sight of a form in the dim light of a lamp. It was hard to see, but he could just make out a pair of furry ears and a tail that seemed to be in constant motion. He had to smile as he realized that the cat person was just as enthralled with the books as his brother.

Silently, he crept up behind the still form. He stopped just outside of arm’s reach. “Hello,” he said, using his normal tones.

The form started and the book dropped to the floor, breaking the room’s hold on Emery. “Miles, be careful,” the older Ballard said softly.

“It’s alright,” Miles said gently. “I’m not here to hurt you. I wanted to apologize… for scaring you.”

The cat’s ears tipped back and his growled, “I wasn’t scared.”

Miles blinked his eyes slowly, as he would if something had spooked Flamel. Direct eye contact was a hunting posture with cats, he knew. He was rewarded, after a few tries, with the same gesture from the cat-boy. “I’m Miles,” he said softly.

“Arturus,” the cat replied. “Are you the human’s guest?”

“Your father, you mean?” Emery asked, stepping up behind his brother. “We were invited here by him, but we don’t consider him as a friend. He killed your mother, didn’t he? Right in front of you.”

“How could you know?” Arturus asked.

“I have visions,” Emery said. “I saw it. We want to help you. We want to stop him from getting away with murder. You want that too, right?”

“I want my freedom more,” Arturus whispered.

“Of course you do,” Miles replied. He darted a glance at Emery and added, “We can help with that too, but you have to be careful.”

“The watcher says humans would want to keep me in cages,” Arturus said.

“There are some who would,” Miles admitted. “Not us, but there are some. “That’s why we have to go carefully. Your mother could shift forms, can you?”

“I’ve never tried,” Arturus said. He closed his eyes and seemed to relax. After a moment blue light shimmered around him, beginning at his head and moving downward. The brothers blinked as their eyes were dazzled. When they could see again, before them stood a young man with the same bright green eyes and dark hair as Arturus, but lacking the fur that had marked him as a half-cat.

“Well, well,” Emery said softly. “I wonder what the governor would say about this.” He darted a glance at Miles and murmured, “Shall we find out?”

“Yes,” Arturus hissed, standing and moving past the boys toward the door of the library.

Arturus crept down the stairs. Normally the watcher escorted him to the library – or really anywhere else in the manor. Normally if he was alone, he was locked inside. Normally he did not have free reign of the house. Today he did and he was at a loss.

He could follow his routine and go to the library to read until bedtime. He could explore the gardens or even go down to the party. He’d been told how the humans would hate or fear him. He’d been warned not to be seen, ever.

Just as he was making up his mind to go to the library, he heard a soft gasp from behind him. He turned to see a young boy staring, eyes round, at him. “A… cat?” the boy said.

Arturus gasped and bounded away, intent on getting away. Behind him, Miles sighed, disappointed at having spooked the small demi-human.

Arturus saw the boy in the garden. He seemed to have a glow around him. Their eyes met and he turned away. The door behind him was open. His watcher stood there.

“What were you looking at?” his watcher asked.

“The stars,” Arturus growled. His ears pinned and he stalked away from the window. “What do you want?” he asked.

“The master has guests tonight. You are to remain quiet – and here – until they’ve gone,” the watcher said. “I know you like to read at night, but – ,”

“The guests won’t go into the library,” Arturus growled. He paced the room for a moment. “The guests never go into the library. There is no need to disrupt my routine because he has guests.”

“Arty, try and relax,” the watcher said, his hands raised in a mollifying gesture.

Arturus yowled at him.

“Use words,” the watcher reminded.

“I want my books,” Arturus growled.

“I’ll bring you some books with your supper. Relax, Arturus,” the watcher said.

“Don’t forget this time,” Arturus said. His eyes slid shut as the watcher smoothed his fur. “I want fish for supper.”

“Of course,” the watcher said. He stepped back and headed toward the door, careful to watch Arturus the whole time. “We have pasta alfredo as well. I’ll bring that up with your fish.” Then he was gone and a soft click told Arturus that the door was locked.

As he usually did, Arturus reached under the door with his clawed hands and shook it. To his utter shock, the trick worked for once and the door popped open. His ears pricked, Arturus peeked out the door and then padded softly down the steps.

Emery felt himself slipping back in time. Then it was daytime. The sun made dappled patterns on the ground with over-arching trees. He knew he was still amid the same bushes but there was no tiled walkway before him, only a simple dirt path. Raised voices attracted his attention and he saw that his parents were fighting, again.

A small part of him realized that these weren’t his parents. He was within a memory. That part began taking in small details. The dress she wore was of a style that Emery’s mother had worn when he was a young boy. She had later, before they left for school, decided that the dress should be tailored, as it was out of date. This small detail placed the memory at a time at least a decade previous.

The man raised a hand and struck the woman, knocking her to the ground. When she fell, not far from his hiding place, she struck her head on a rock. She looked up at him with lifeless eyes for a moment before he launched himself at the man.

Great gouges of blood erupted from the man’s arms and Emery realized he had claws. Then gloved hands were pulling him off the man – his father.

“Freakish little… thing,” the man snapped. “Put him away… somewhere. Do something with – with her.”

“Sir,” the voice of the man hold Emery said. Emery, or the being he was inhabiting for the memory, struggled to free himself but he was carried inside.

Then Emery, attached to the location, not the person, floated free and watched as workers methodically dismembered the woman’s body and buried it along what would soon be the garden path. Emery focused his mind’s eyes on the face of the man as he watched the proceedings. Then he was back I the present.

“The governor,” he hissed. Shivering, Emery stood. He looked up at a tower room, similar to the one he often stargazed in at home. For a moment, glowing eyes met his, then they were gone.

Emery swallowed heavily, then dashed back to the terrace. He had even more questions but one very important thing was now clear.

Monica Ferris

an author with many hats

A Land of Curiosity

From the files of Shynian Intelligence

Heather's Fancies

tales from the enchanted gardens and shadow hollow

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