Cat and Daniel in Bari

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Here’s the view from the breakfast table. This is Bari, the first stop on the cruise ship. And now here’s some snap shots.

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For some reason, after visiting the cathedral in Bari, we were taken to the fish markets. According to the lady, it was there that we could see an octopus getting its head smashed in, and also, there were men who apparently were prone to catcalling the pretty girls.

“Well this is delightful,” I said to Daniel as we walked through the markets, stinking of fish and guts.

“Yeah…and no one’s given me a wolf whistle yet.”

I rolled my eyes at Daniel’s vanity. “Come on, you already know that you’re hot.”

“Oh, is that a confession?”

I simply stuck my tongue out at him. “Silly Cat,” he chuckled. “I know what you-” He was cut off by a sudden wolf whistle.

“I think you’re being paged,” I informed him.

He shook his head. “Nope, that’s for you, Miss Madigan.” He angled his head towards the source of the sound.

I turned in that direction. A boy- yes, a teenage boy, not an old seedy fisherman- grinned at me when I caught his eye. “Ciao bella!” he called.

I immediately started giggling, as Daniel looked on in amusement. “Well isn’t this sweet. Cat Madigan is giggling over a boy.”

I just smiled. “I’m pretty,” I said simply.

Later on…

“Please tell me that you’re not going in,” Daniel pleaded as I made a beeline for the shoe shop.

“Ten euro for these boots!” I exclaimed, cheerfully ignoring Daniel. My own were tearing apart at the soles, and there was still a week left of this tour to go, with only my white sneakers which probably reeked of the fish market now, and my sandals, which were far from day shoes to walk around Katakolon in.

Plus there was the fact that they had black lace.

“You and your lace fetish,” Daniel scoffed.

At that moment, another pair of shoes caught my eye. “Okay, I’m sorry,” Daniel said. “Please buy the boots so we don’t have to stay here a moment longer. Please? Don’t go near that other pair, we’ll be in here all-”

It was then that a bunch of girls, nice ones, walked into the store. “…well, I’m doomed,” Daniel conceded, shaking his head.

Back on the boat…

“Sex on the beach,” I told the waiter.

“Well, if you insist…”

I ignored Daniel. “Zero,” I added.

“No alcohol?” Daniel enquired as the waiter walked away.

“One of us has to be sober,” I reminded him. “And it may as well be me as I’m not allowed to drink.”

“Oh yes, in Reality, you’re still a minor.” Daniel watched the waiter bring back my drink. “And therefore, should not be drinking something with a name like that. Allow me.” He reached for my Sex on the Beach.

“Get your own,” I told him. “Besides, I took you for a guy who had whiskey, or scotch. Not fruity cocktails.”

“Because you’ve never had alcohol, allow me to enlighten you,” Daniel said. “Alcohol is disgusting.”

I raised an eyebrow. “That doesn’t stop you,” I pointed out.

“It’s not liquor, it’s medicine,” he insisted. “My point is, the only reason people became accustomed to alcohol was because there was a time where the only alternative was the water, which then was less than healthy. Think of the concept like you would coffee.”

At that I made a face. “Exactly. And it’s the same with alcohol. You’d only be able to drink it because you’ve gotten used to the taste. The fruity taste makes alcohol a lot better.”

“I see…” I spot Daniel’s flask in his coat pocket. “So what’s in that?”

“Medicine,” he repeated. “Nothing more, nothing less.” He took a swig.

After dinner…

“You must be joking.”

“Kaya wants to dance,” I told Daniel.

“This is the tarantella. Far from what she’s used to.”

I don’t care. Besides, Cat’s likely to get fat from all the food she’s been having. She needs to exercise.

“I went for a swim today, and we were walking around Bari this morning!”

Good for you. I still want to dance.

“I’m considering walking out of here now, to be honest.”

Are you really ready to listen to me bitch all night?

“…fair point.” With that, I closed my eyes and lifted myself out. Daniel took my hand and lead me to the seat next to the dance floor, and we sat and watched Kaya.

She was quite a good dancer, though it took her a bit to understand the Tarantella. But by the end, she was smiling and laughing, as if she hadn’t spent the last years of her life in fear and pain. “Did you enjoy yourself?” Daniel asked, when she came over.

She merely smiled. “You need to stretch more,” she informed me. “Your body is clumsy when it comes to dancing.”

I grimaced. My mother detests dancing. If she saw me- well, you -now, she’d have something to say about it.

“If I cared what my mother thought, then I would’ve taken my life before the espers got it,” she said flatly, ignoring Daniel’s and my discomfort at the idea. “Besides, your mother is not here, thank god.”

“Her father is,” Daniel inserted.

I wouldn’t worry about him, I informed them both.

“Yeah, he’s only interested in the tour,” Daniel said. “Our Cat Madigan has been good, in terms of her ‘blackouts’.”

“Do you go somewhere secret?” Kaya asked thoughtfully.

Sometimes, I said. It happens midday now, instead of the evenings. I just go to the bathroom when it happens.

“Well fetch me if she does it in public,” Kaya said to Daniel. “In case she screams as she did in Rome.”

Shut up Kaya.

“Fine.”>

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The Prince Charming

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“Come down from the tree Cat.”

“No.”

“Cat, you can’t stay up there forever.”

“Yes I can.”

“Cat…” Daniel’s voice takes on a sharp tone. “This is a social function. It might not be one from your Reality, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t show the same etiquette.”

“Since when do you care about manners?” I retort.

“Since about now. Now get down!” he snarls.

“Fine.” I jump out of the tree and land on one leg on the blue grass. I walk past Daniel back to the castle without saying a word.

He follows me, equally silent. “Would you like to tell me why you’re in such a foul mood?” he asks, his voice quiet, even though there’s no one around.

I ignore him. He just sighs. “Just promise me you’ll behave,” he says, and leaves me at the door to his chambers.

I enter, and I slam the door behind me. When I turn, I’m startled to see someone there. She’s just as surprised as me, and she drops the large pile she’s holding when I open the door.

“Oh!” I exclaim. “Jhaq, I’m so sorry, I didn’t know-”

She nods hurriedly and resumes to pick up the ocean of fabrics at her feet. “Here, let me help,” I tell her, scooping up a couple of the items. “Who is this for?”

Jhaq looks down as she speaks. “Miss Madigan, certainly,” she says. “His lord sent them for Miss Madigan.”

I grimace. “He shouldn’t have…” It’s too pretty. I pick it up from the bodice, and I can see that it is embroidered with bronze coloured leaves. I run my hands over the fabric. Velvet. The softest, silkiest velvet I’ve ever touched. Fuck. “Jesus Christ…” I murmur.

“Who is Miss Madigan talking to?” Jhaq asks.

“No one. I…” I turn to her, and she flinches away. “What is happening tonight?” I ask her.

“It is the celebration of His Grace’s first day of age,” she informs me promptly. That’s what I could rely on from Jhaq. Unlike Daniel, she would tell me anything I asked, providing she was capable of understanding my question. Not about Daniel of course; whenever I so much as mentioned him she’d go black in the face. I figure that’s their own form of blushing, but when I first saw it happen I thought they were dying.

“I see…” She’s holding out the dress for me, so I reluctantly take off my clothes -my school dress and shoes- and step into it. She ties the laces for me and steps away with her head bowed.

I walk up to the mirror and look at myself. The dress is the colour of the grass I walked on earlier; deep navy blue. The leaves of bronze cover the bodice and short sleeves, and when I turn around, they fall down my back, like a train. This is not meant for a rude little girl, this is for a princess. “People will look at me,” I say aloud. “I don’t belong there. I won’t ever belong there.”

“People will look at Jhaq too,” Jhaq reminds me. Instantly, I feel horrible. Jhaq’s face has tattoos running from her eyes to the ends of her jaw, like tears, and her dark bruises scarring her cheek and collarbone are easy to see. Jhaq’s face shows nothing. Like me, she doesn’t show sadness easily.

“Should we go?” I ask softly.

She gives a sudden gasp. “Miss Madigan’s head firstly,” she says, and rushes off. She returns quickly with a box. “This is for Miss Madigan’s hair,” she tells me.

I open up the box, and Jhaq pins more bronze leaves in my hair. She lets my hair down so that it trails down my back, and Jhaq nods in approval. “You have been good,” she tells me, her eyes sparkling in a rare moment of amusement. “Other girls huff and scream at Jhaq when she does their hair.”

I shake my head. “They’re only pins, and they don’t hurt,” I told her. “How is your talking coming?”

“My…talking is good. A lot better.” She inclines her head and speaks in a whisper. “Thankyou for my words, Miss Madigan.”

“If you ever want another lot of words, let me know.” Daniel has many ‘words’ in his bookcase, and he won’t miss them. “Shall we go?”

“Miss Madigan shall go,” she confirms.

I frown. “Where do I go though?”

Jhaq sighs. “It is down these rooms,” she tells me. “Follow, if you would please.”

Jhaq leads me out, and we walk together down the long hallways. I find it cold and unwelcome here. Grand, certainly, but not beautiful.

We walk past a tall one and Jhaq turns her head away. He walks toward us suddenly, and I raise my arm across my face in a moment of habit. He walks past me however, and toward Jhaq.

And he hits her across the face.

“You’re not to be wandering these grounds at this time,” he fumes. “Foolish slut, get away from here!” He raises his hand again.

Before he can strike, I step between them. “She is guiding me by my own request,” I tell him. “She has done nothing wrong, and you have no reason to harm her.”

He glares at me. “Oh, it’s you, little freak,” he sneers. “What are you all dressed up for?”

“Daniel wants me by his side tonight.” Even though he knows that I hate the idea of a party with these people, and I’ll be in a bad mood the whole time. “I don’t want any trouble. And neither do you, if you know what I am.”

“I’d be a fool not to,” he retorts. “Freak.

I meet his gaze and smile. “You’ll have to come up with something better than that,” I tell him. “Freak is no longer an insult to me. Now…” I gesture to Jhaq. “If Jhaq isn’t allowed out here, perhaps you can show me where to go?”

His face is no longer angry. It is emotionless and cold as a statue. “Of course,” he says shortly. “If you will follow me.”

I turn to Jhaq and incline my head, like I’ve seen Daniel do. She curtseys slightly and hurries away. I trail after the rude man, and I don’t take my eyes off him for a moment. He is wearing a silver robe, as bright as his hair. His eyes, however, are black as ink. One of these things is not like the other… I mused.

It’s all too grand. Everything is done up in gold and bronze. Even servants are painted in gold. I stand next to the man, on top of glossy, golden stairs. I manage to stop myself from wrinkling my nose at the lack of taste, if only just.

“You like it not,” the man says.

I turn to him. “This is all new to me,” I inform him.

He nods. “Your name is short for Catherine, is it?”

“Why do you wish to know?”

“Daniel’s mentioned a Catherine.”

I shake my head. “That’s not me. I am Cat, simply Cat.”

“Lady Cat. It does not sound as easy on the ear as Catherine.”

“Then what about Lady Madigan?”

He sighs. “Very well then. Start down the stairs.”

“After you sir.”

He bows and starts down. When he reaches the bottom, I start walking too. I spot the back of Daniel’s head; his hair is tied back, and he is dressed all in black. When they call out my name, I see him start to turn around, but suddenly, everyone starts walking forward, and I can’t see him any more.

Someone walks up to me and takes me by the arm. I freeze, unsure what to do, and he laughs. It’s a loud, clear sound, and he smiles at me. “Peace,” he says. “You must be nervous.”

I don’t trust myself to speak, so I just incline my head. Keep it up Cat Madigan. “A shy young thing, aren’t you?” he enquires. He does not let go of my arm, and he walks me across the hall. “Contrary to everything I have heard about you.”

“One would hear many things in this place,” I say as clearly as I manage.

He laughs in response. “Is it true though, that you kicked over my advisor?”

“Do you mean…” I nearly say ‘Fat man’, but I correct myself at the last minute. “…Thommand,” I finish.

“Yes. He has a certain dislike for you,” he tells me merrily, stopping at the edge of the giant room.

“He should.”

When I say nothing else, he talks again. “This is the first I have seen of you,” he says. “Why do you not leave your chambers more often?”

“…I don’t get along with people well.” That’s as honest as I get.

“I disagree. You are conversing with me, and I believe, if I may dare say, that we are getting along at least somewhat well.”

“I suppose,” I admit. I look around the room and I catch people quickly glancing away from me. “Still, there are plenty here who would have nothing to do with me.”

“So why are you here today?” he enquires.

“Daniel,” I tell him.

“Ah…yes. How loyal of you,” he says. “I suppose that is another reason why you never leave your room.”

It takes me longer than it should’ve to understand his implication. “I do not know your name,” I say, changing the topic. “I know nobody here, and I should really remedy that, shouldn’t I?”

“Of course.” He sweeps a bow to me. “Christan, though, I think it would suit everyone else better to call me Your Grace.”

Oh….fuck. “Just as well, Your Grace,” I said, quickly recovering. That’s why people were looking before….Cat Madigan, you stupid bitch… “I know only one person called that, and he is a….” I struggle to come up with a ladylike word. “I do not enjoy him,” I say finally.

“As you wish.” He is handsome, in his own way, I observe. He has silver hair, like the man from before, but he has golden eyes, which shine like the sun, and a permanent smile on his face. He is the image of Prince Charming. If Prince Charming was lacking eyebrows.

I didn’t trust him.

Not a lot, anyway.

It wasn’t anything he did. I simply don’t trust handsome strangers who flirt with me for no reason.

He started talking again. “So, when can I expect your first day of age?” Christan asks me. “Of course, it doesn’t matter much, but if you allowed me, I’d be happy to bestow upon you a gift. Or Daniel perhaps.”

I start panicking in my head. What does Day of Age mean? I screamed inwardly.

I just said, “In two years.”

“I see. And how many moons?”

Moons? Wait, does he mean months? I restrain from laughing at the term. “Six.” If it means what I think it is.

“Very well then. Well, I believe I shan’t keep you from Daniel any longer. I wouldn’t want to cause a scandal here tonight,” he laughs, taking my hand.

Suddenly there is a loud bang. “What is that?” I ask, immediately on guard. I feel my hand burning, and I’m grateful that Christan is holding the other.

“The prisoner,” he says, a touch of exhaustion in his voice. “Do not worry, my lady, this isn’t the first time this has happened.”

I take the opportunity. “I was wondering, Your Grace,” I started.

“Go on.” He looks at me with his golden eyes.

“Might I have your permission to see him? The prisoner, I mean.”

Christan frowns. “He’s wild, my lady,” he tells me. “I wouldn’t want to compromise your safety. Besides, we are still trying for information from him.”

“I am human,” I remind him. “Like he is. Maybe I could help?”

“A pretty face might prompt him to tell us something,” he said thoughtfully.

I snort, not at the flattery, but at what would be said in Reality about that. I could almost hear Slenderman sniggering “Heheheh, incest.”

“I’ll consider it, my lady,” he tells me. “Now, if you’ll come with me.” He and I walk over to Daniel, sitting in a dark corner with a cone in his hand. “Daniel!” Christan calls jovially. “So this is the lovely lady you keep locked away from us all. I don’t blame you, my man.”

Ugh….

Daniel sees me flinch, and his lips turn up at the sides. “I thank you,” he tells Christan. “And I thank you for letting me bring her, Your Grace.”

“Ah, it is my pleasure.” Christan was distracted by another beauty passing by, wearing pink and gold and far too much face paint. “If you will excuse me, I must attend to other matters. I hope you enjoy tonight, my lady.” He raises my hand to his lips to kiss and bows, before turning to another girl.

I sit beside Daniel. “Thankyou,” I said.

He turns to me with his eyebrow raised. “I am allowed to see him,” I say. “It’s probably more for interrogation, but I can see him.”

He frowns. “Really?”

“What? You didn’t think of this?”

“Actually, no,” he admitted. “You asked His Majesty?”

I shrug. “He must like you,” he muses.

Another shrug. “Would you like him?” Daniel asks, eyebrow raised suggestively.

I shook my head. “I don’t go for the Knights in Shining Armour,” I told him.

“Oh, you’re more of the Heathcliff type, are you?”

I wrinkle my nose. “Heathcliff is pathetic. He’d probably marry me and ship me off to somewhere dark to die, while he pined over a married woman.”

“Fair enough.” He takes a sip out of his cone.

“Whiskey?” I ask.

He shakes his head. “Cloud dew,” he tells me. “Want some?”

“Doesn’t that mean rain?” I ask, but I take the drink.

He watches me as I take a sip. “You’re behaving quite well, Lady Madigan.”

The drink is sickly sweet. “Thankyou. But if you didn’t take me here to get permission, why did you?”

Daniel smiles. “You like parties.”

“…when I’m around people I enjoy,” I amend.

“Do you enjoy me?”

“Occasionally.” I narrow my eyes. “When you’re not drugging me. What was that for?”

“I was saving your life,” he said mildly, taking the cone back and having another gulp.

“How can you stand that drink, it’s horribly sweet.”

“How appropriate,” he says drily. “It’s alright, I have you, my sour tongued shrew.”

“That’s a rhyme,” I smile.

He grins back. “You forgive me?”

“I will eventually.”

“Good girl. Now.” He stands up. “May I have this dance, m’lady?”

“Do I have to?”

“Well, everyone else is. And the alternative is His Grace, who is coming this way now.”

I look up. “I’ll take His Grace.”

“Whatever. Just watch out for his hands.” He winks at me as Christan appears and holds out his arm before asking if I would accompany him in a dance.

Two dances is all I have with him. Daniel was right, throughout the dance, I’d slowly become closer and closer to His Grace, and by the end of the second, when I asked if I could go back, he pressed a ribbon into my palm before bowing to me and kissing my hand.

When I showed Daniel the ribbon, he sniggered, trying to conceal his face from the crowd. “Please don’t tell me what I think it means,” I said flatly.

When he looked up, his face was straight, but his eyes were gleaming. “It’s a scarlet ribbon, you whore,” he told me cheerfully. “Since when is scarlet ever innocent?”

I grimace. “You’ve had too much to drink.”

“On the contrary. I’ve been feeding on only sweets and secrets all evening,” he said. “Of course, though, I’d like something more savory now. Come dance with me.”

“I told His Grace I was sitting out this one.”

Daniel smiles slyly and turns to whisper in my ear. “Dance, or I’m going to have to make a scene.”

“That’s blackmail.”

“Hadn’t noticed,” he said dryly.

I stand up, and let him walk me over to where everyone is dancing. “I’m curious as to what sort of scene you’d make,” I start. “Would you care to divulge that little secret?”

“No dice,” he tells me. “If I start telling you all my secrets, how will I stop?”

“I have three I want to know. And you don’t know half of mine.”

He raises an eyebrow. “Trade for secrets, hmm? You’ve peaked my interest, Lady Madigan.”

“So what would’ve you done?” I ask.

“Something more public and more embarrassing than a scarlet ribbon.” He grins. “Number two?”

“Who is Catherine?”

He grimaces. “You don’t have to answer,” I tell him. “But I won’t judge.”

“Someone from a long time ago,” he says.

“Lover?”

“God no.”

“You’re not going to tell me any more, are you? Fine then, I’ll be just as discreet with my answers.”

“I wouldn’t expect any less of you. And third?”

“What is the beginning of the end?”

He stops smiling. “Do I want to know?” He shakes his head. “How do you even know? Are you psychic?”

“That is more than 3 questions, Lady Madigan. My turn now.”

I braced myself. This would be painful.

The Worst Thing About Being Sick List

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Yup…Mad Cat’s gotten sick again. Seriously, what is up with this immune system? Just because my brain doesn’t work doesn’t mean it can have a holiday too…

Anyway, Cat’s going to make yet another list.

Presenting, the Stuff That Happens When Cat Madigan Gets Bored/Sick List.

Tadaaaaaaa.

1- Cat is left at home all day, by herself, which often leaves her feeling depressed/friendless.

2- Being depressed/friendless is usually what makes Daniel pop up. Which is wonderful.

3- Cat is unable to eat, because she can’t keep anything down. And hunger leads to bad moods, and bad moods often leads to grumpy Cats.

4- Her family, the biological one, when she’s sick, take delight in having dessert when she’s unable to eat anything. And they very very rarely have dessert, and when they do have dessert, its almost like it’s a public holiday, like Christmas or Easter.

This is an example of how this is played out…

Happy Icecream Day! What’s that Cat? You’re dying? Awww, looks like you can’t have icecre-

HEY! Cat, you’re not meant to have that, you’re sick remember? There. Now you’ve chucked it up, now isn’t that-

RRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOW! SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

OWWWWW! That’s my #*%$*@!@&$* hand!

5- Cat Madigan has a nasty habit of getting bored…

6- When Cat Madigan gets bored, she writes $h!tty posts like this, which is never good.

7- Cat doesn’t have internet on her iPad at home, so she suffers from Doctor Who withdrawal as well as whatever the hell she gets sick with now.

8- Criminal Minds Withdrawal.

9- Game of Thrones Withdrawal.

10- Black Butler Withdrawal.

11- Benedict Cumberbatch Withdrawal, resulting in lots of stalkerish artwork.

12- Cat starts killing off characters in the story she’s currently working on. This wouldn’t be too bad if she didn’t happen to be making detailed plots reminiscent of Saw.

13- She starts playing Horror Games. Seriously, isn’t there enough wrong with her head?!

14- Cat Madigan plays dress up.

15- Cat cosplays as Grell Sutcliff.

15- Cat Madigan ends up dressing up in something that looks almost like lingerie.

17- Cat starts dancing.

18- Cat’s mother walks in on her dancing. Cat’s mother is more disturbed by that fact that her daughter dances than the fact that she was wearing an almost see through black nightgown.

21- Daniel turns up and Cat has to immediately put something over said black nightgown, much to his disappointment.

22- Cat and Daniel have a catfight.

24- Daniel, for some reason, tries on Cat’s ballgown.

23- Cat explains to Daniel why he can’t be a character in her story; because he would end up annoying everyone till they all committed suicide.

24- Cat starts to draw Daniel.

25- She intentionally makes him look like a girl, and Daniel ends up making her tear up the drawing.

26- Cat starts going on Tumblr…fortunately, she puts an end to it when Daniel begins to run around screaming out “THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELLS YOU!”

29- Cat Madigan intentionally skips some points in this post. How many can you find?

30- Cat Madigan giggles at the thought of the reader going through her post to find her missing points, only to remember that no one actually reads her $h!t.

31- Cat falls asleep.

32- Daniel wakes her up, pretending she’s set fire to her room again.

33- Daniel gets a black eye.

34- Cat and Daniel watch Pewdiepie play Heavy Rain.

35- Cat skips the topless scene, much to the disappointment of you-know-who.

36- Cat notes that if her brother was taken, her parents probably wouldn’t give a shit.

37- Cat eats toast, and of course, vomits it up.

38- Cat is now going to stop typing so Daniel can drag her to bed before she vomits on the keyboard.

39- Did you also know that Cat typed 15 and 24 twice?

Night night. <3

Mad Cat