A Cheetah’s Tail – Chapter 2

Here’s the next chapter. These are still in progress, so this is not the final one. Feel free to comment on the forums.

Chapter 2

“He’s not here!” yelled Roy.

“I haven’t found him either!” Zack yelled back.

“I’m not sure he’s here. I doubt he would reappear anywhere close to here.” Jason looked at the others sadly.

Roy looked up at the sky. “How far can he go with that magic?”

“Beats me,” said Jason. “All I know is that he can teleport and turn people into animals, but I don’t know any of the limits of his powers or any other powers he has.”

“That guy’s just a coward!” yelled Bob. “Think about it. He turns us into animals and then ‘magics’ himself off to somewhere. We have no clue where he is or even what his other powers are. We can’t talk to anyone else to get help. Why doesn’t he fight us like a man!” Bob swiped at an empty tin can, slicing half-inch gashes in one side.

“I don’t know what to do,” replied Zack. “There must be a way to track him, but how?”

A sudden shout caught their attention. John was standing over what looked like a page from a book. “This is a page out of one of his books!” yelled John. “We can figure out what kind of magic he uses, and…”

John stopped midsentence as a shadow suddenly loomed over her. Acting on instinct, she dove out of the way just as a net came down where she had been standing the instant before. John turned around and backed slowly away from the man, trying to look as menacing as she could. She could clearly see the animal control badge the man was wearing. Out of her peripheral vision she could see several more men surrounding them. “That was too close!” she growled.

Roy spun around, watching the advancing men. “We need a plan, and fast!”

Thinking quickly, Jason hurriedly explained his plan. “Okay, here’s what we need to do. Somehow, at least one of us needs to get through their ring and distract them from behind. Then it should be easier for the rest to get the paper and get out of here. If that doesn’t work, try to break through as a group. If we get separated, meet at Roy’s house. I’ll work on the distraction, you watch for your chance. Don’t worry about me if something happens.”

Zack looked startled. “Wait, why are you doing the dangerous job?”

“No arguing, just GO!”

Jason spun around, looking for an opening. Seizing an opportunity, he leaped forward towards one of the men, aiming just to the man’s left. Just as the man started to swing his net at Jason, he threw himself to the right, flying past the man at breakneck speed and narrowly avoiding the net. Just behind him the man swore loudly.

“Why can’t they afford tranq guns? Every animal control team has them but us!” The man glared at Jason. “Hey Mike, help me out here!”

Mike turned away from the rest of the group and began making his way behind Jason. At that instant Jason saw the other four cheetah cubs bolt through the gap Mike left, one of them snatching the paper in their muzzle. Suddenly, a whistling noise caught his attention. He threw himself forward, rolling to a stop just as the net came down behind him, then launched himself sideways as the other net missed him by inches. Without warning, something caught him in the side, knocking him to the ground. He could see the ring of men advancing. There was no way through. He was trapped.

Suddenly he felt a surge of determination. He couldn’t give up. He had to get through! Rising to his feet, he leaped towards the nearest gap, jumping aside as the net flew towards him. He felt a flash of pain as the edge of the net hit him full force, but still he kept going. Another net swung at him from the side, throwing him sideways outside the ring. He hit the ground hard with a sharp pain and struggled to all fours, half running and half limping away from the men. He collapsed moments later, his mind barely aware of the men closing in behind him as he slipped into unconsciousness.

He was laying on something soft. It was warm and comfortable. He opened his eyes. It took his mind a few seconds to register what he was seeing. Bars. Vertical metal bars. Jason shot to his feet and gasped with pain, tripping and falling flat on his face as he fought the rush of panic.

“Jason! Are you alright?”

Breathing hard, Jason turned to see his friends looking at him with concern.

“Yeah,” he said slowly, looking up nervously at Roy’s bedframe that he had mistaken for a cage, as if expecting to wake up and find that he really was in a cage. “I’m alright.” He began to stand up, but pain forced him back down. “I’m hurt. I’m not sure how bad. I don’t think anything’s broken, though. What happened after I blacked out, anyway?”

Roy looked at the others, then at Jason. “After we realized you weren’t with us, we turned around and looked for you. We found you on the ground with the men a short distance behind you. We carried you here as best we could. You’ve been out about a half hour.”

“Did you get the paper?” asked Jason.

“Yep, I got it.” Zack pushed the paper in front of Jason, who began to read it.

“It says, ‘M.G. – 321 Magic Road, London, England.’ This is just a stupid address!” He looked at the paper in disgust.

Roy spoke up. “But who is ‘M.G.’? Maybe he’s another wizard. We don’t have any other leads; it’s our best shot.”

“Roy’s right,” said Jason. “We have to find this place. It’s our best hope.”

“I have a computer we can use,” Roy said. She led the others to the computer, with Zack and John helping Jason limp behind. As quickly as she could with just paws to work with, she got on Mapquest and looked up “Magic Road, London.” Nothing came up. She tried several different map systems, to no avail. Finally, she typed “Magic Road” into Google. Thousands of results came up, but the first 20 Roy tried all requested a password to get into the site. “I think we’re on the right track. Information about this seems pretty restricted.”

“Try Wikipedia,” suggested Zack. “If any site has information about stuff like this, it’s Wikipedia.”

Roy typed in “Magic Road” and cheered when a single result came up. Roy began reading and paraphrasing the article. “The article is about the Magician’s Guild. Supposedly, it’s a top secret society of magic that’s located somewhere in London, on ‘Magic Road’ according to legend. So M.G. must stand for the Magician’s Guild. According to the articlc, it has been said that in order to get in, a person must have a key, know the address, must have experienced the effects of magic and have a strong will to get there.” Roy looked at the others, smiling broadly.

“There’s a bit of irony here,” said Bob. “By turning us into cheetahs, he allowed us to be able to get in there. Whether or not it will actually help us…”

“But where’s the key?” asked John. “We have three of the four things, but not the key.”

“Yes we do. The paper is the key. It has to be.” Zack smiled. “Now we just have to get to London.”

Jason spoke up. “But who says we can’t reach it from here? I mean, it’s magic. It didn’t say anything about having to be in London, did it?”

Roy thought for a second. “I don’t see why not. Let’s try it. We all have one requirement no matter what. We all know the address is 321 Magic Road, England. That’s two. Next, we all want to be turned back to normal, so that should translate into a will to get to the Magician’s Guild. Lastly, if we all touch the paper it should fulfill the final requirement. So on three everyone touch the paper and focus on the desire to get there. One, two, three!”

The five cheetahs felt a chill, then a feeling as if information was being downloaded into their minds. Suddenly, they knew where the Magician’s Guild was, but had no idea how to describe it to anyone.

“That was really wierd,” said Jason. “We have to go to London, then we’ll find it.”

Roy looked thoughtful. “I know. It’s getting to London that’s the problem.”

“Yeah.” Zack looked at the others. “We can’t exactly walk on a boat or a plane. We’d have to sneak on somehow.”

John looked worried. “But it’s going to be really tough getting past security, let alone staying hidden.”

Jason looked at the others sadly. “This is going to be harder than we thought.”

Back to Chapter 1

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One Response to “A Cheetah’s Tail – Chapter 2”

  1. Rob Says:

    Just waiting for the next cheetah tale I liked the first 2 chapters

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