Chapter 3Mature

       "Well, whatever it was, it looks like its gone now," Gage reassured her.

       "I doubt it," she plainly stated. And her words grabbed hold of us and kept us peering into that window.

       "There!" Nadia was the first one to shout it out.

       Somewhere on the path, I could make out a figure cloaked in shadows. Its ashy fur stood out against the emerald-green sky and enlarged its seeming size to the naked eye.

       "That's just an ugly, skinny stray cat," I told Nadia.

       "No, it's not. First of all, it is actually alarmingly cute, and... ," she started, but Gage interrupted her in mid-sentence:

       "And second of all, any normal cat would find itself stuck at the beginning of the path, but this thing has made it all the way up here," he continued. "But it does look exactly like a cat, just very, very fat. But how is that possible... " Gage trailed off, deep in thought. Nadia and I watched him expectantly.

       "Unless... " Gage started, a light-bulb popping on over his head. " Unless... Unless that 's a metave..."

       His words were lost as he rushed out of the room.

       My sister and I went back to gazing through the window. The thing wasn't on the path anymore, but we watched ever eagerly.

       "Aah!" A simultaneous scream escaped our mouths as an ashy belly of something hit the window and started to slide down, making a horrible sound.

       We jumped back, and froze, the terrible squeaking sound still audible to our ears, until its face slid into view. We dashed out of the room, screaming Gage's name.

       We found him in the office, standing in front of a bookshelf, flipping through a thick book. Nadia grabbed hold of his arm and wouldn't let go.

       "The...the...the cat... " I began, at a loss of other words. " J-jumped onto the window!"

      "A cat couldn't walk up the path, not to mention break my force field around the house or see where the windows were from the outside. However, a... " Gage paused, flipping another two pages. "However, a metavenmorph... could," he continued, pointing to a picture in the encyclopedia.

       I turned my head to glimpse the picture, my brow curled up in a frown. It didn't look like anything I'd ever seen before. It had flippers that stretched the length of its own body with short toes to end them; there were no claws. Square scales lined the creature's back. All my eyes saw was a crocodile's body until I looked at the head. the head bore the same square scales, but they were lined perfectly in a Mohawk position. Loose scales hung  off his chin and cheek bones, giving it the impression that it was weating a helmet. Or rather, it had grown an encrusted beard. Its eyes weren't open in the photograph, and I daren't imagine what they might look like.

       I stared blankly in the direction of our bedroom. I looked back over Gage's shoulder at the curious picture.

       "No, a metavenmorph does not have the resemblance of any kind of cat," Gage said, following my gaze.

       I looked at him oddly, wondering how he could have answered my unstated question. I waited for an explanation, but he simply rested his eyes on the encyclopedia once more.

       "'Metavenmorph (more commonly known as a meti),'" I read to myself. "'A rare animal found in the East District that obtains the extraordinary pwer to transform into another being when in need. The miniscule amount of this lost species that is found usually does not show its power to any human. This new species was created through a number of illusion tests and can therefore withstand the many common illusions that human beings cannot."

       I watched Gage's eyes move awkwardly from his feet to the photograph to some other room, avoiding contact with me. My eyes had drilled holes in hime before I laid off and watched Nadia deciphering unknown words in the reading. I held off my comments until she finally looked up.

       "So... the meti can turn into anything?" I questioned.

       Gage nodded. "Anything that is living and breathing."

       "How about plants?"

       "With the exception of plants."

       "And we won't even notice it," I whispered.

       Gage nodded again.

The End

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