For a change, I settle down this evening after visiting Natalie. Normally, I’d be running and leaving misleading clues to confuse anyone who might be following me. I’ve had enough of that for now. It’s time to pause, just for a night.
There’s a network of stone caves carved into the side of a crag near Natalie’s house. The passages between the caves are incredibly thin; nothing bigger than a cat could get through. If, however, you know how to navigate the passages properly, wriggling through is surprisingly straightforward.
Even though I am considerably larger than the average cat, the tunnel presents no problem. My skills lie in anything related to the earth. You might say that we’re on the same wavelength. You have to make sure that you keep one step ahead. Look forward; make the turn before you reach the corner. Make yourself as small as possible.
I stretch and wriggle through the tiny passages until I reach a cave large enough to sit comfortably in. Brushing aside some cobwebs, I lean back against the stone wall. This is the safest I’ve been for weeks. Maybe it’s safe enough to sleep.
I wake with a start. It’s impossible to tell how long I’ve been asleep for. There’s not a glimmer of light here. It’s not safe to stay asleep for too long. They’ll track me down, see through the false clues, and capture me.
Quickly listening to the surrounding area, I reach the conclusion that there’s nobody around. The rare, sweet sense of relief.
Rousing my thoughts from their dormant state, I touch Natalie’s emotions with my own. She’s thinking at the minute, imagining and dreaming. Under this, I sense confusion and frustration.
Concentrating deeper, I fight the mental fog and swim through to clarity. There’s Natalie, sat on her bed in the dark, gazing at something in her hands. It’s a small piece of paper. Moving closer – a huge mental effort, like swimming through treacle – I look at the paper. It’s the note: the note with letters on. A surge of her emotions and thoughts hit me. It’s a tangle; her thoughts are an utter mess. She’s thinking of love and hate and rejection, all pinned together by that intense base of confusion.
I break off from my observation.
For the first time in my life, I do not think about Natalie all day. I don’t think about my family and the fact that I might never see them again. I don’t even think about the people trying to capture me, or the horrors that people are suffering back in my world.
All day and night, I think of nothing.
And when I touch Natalie’s emotions, she’s thinking of nothing too.