Thursday, July 31, 2014

Forty-First Beginning – The Buddy System 04

[Same story, alternate beginning.  Or, perhaps, another chapter.]

Next beginning. 

Guscodus decided that he would explore this town, backwards as it was and annoyed as he was with the boy and his bird.  He was a fine, sleek cat and a credit to any traveling party.  He was clever and swift and even if it was completely understandable for him to be angry at the position he had been placed in and the people whose stupidity had placed him there, even if he had stalked off into the night, leaving his navigator, his leash holder, his ruler behind, even so:  he could still scout out this town that they had been approaching and use his nimble wits to learn of its opportunities and dangers, bringing the information back to lay at his master’s feet, like a still warm and only half-eaten rat.  The boy would be grateful and impressed.
Tail twitching as he marched back through his thoughts, Guscodus concurred with himself and, stretching slowly and thoroughly, rose to begin his search. He would have to come up with a name for the boy, interim though their relationship was. It made thinking cluttered if he had to bat around for a title each time.

Master was dead out. Master wasn't even twitching and bleeding, it was too dead to consider batting around in boredom. Gus had had three Masters in his time and this temporary place holder of a boy was no Master.

Navigator wasn't bad. Or wouldn't be if the boy had any clue where he was going. Servant was too condescending, even for him. Leash holder came close but was too long and implied more control than the boy had. Handler made him sound like a common animal and manager made him sound like a human.

Gus padded in fits and starts along the roofs, fitting the tempo of his travel to the changing terrain. Herder was not to be considered. No cat could be herded.

Runner, perhaps. Runner had possibilities. Words regarding business or human relationships, such as friend, never entered his feline mind. Neither did words like Provider or Keeper.

Runner would do, he supposed. He would try it and see how it worked. Gus twitched his tail and paused before leaping onto what might prove to be the tallest roof within the city walls. It still annoyed him that the boy saw him as only a tag end to his difficulties.

Gus had been angry with the boy for other, larger things at the beginning. But, trouper that he was, he had eventually put those behind him. He was prepared, now, to see the whole thing as an unfortunate horror that they'd both have to deal with. 

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