Mike Moon presents a Tale of Catgirl Island
"RAPTORDY IN BLUE" by Marc Burgess!
Story © 2000 Marc Burgess
Images © 2000 Mike Moon
It was a quiet morning on Catgirl Island. Small crabs scurried across the white sands of an isolated beach. Gulls flew overhead and fish schooled beneath the waves. The morning sun shone off the water to create a sheet of shimmering jewels stretching into the horizon. Such a scene, although beautiful in man's eyes, was like any other to the beach's regular inhabitants. It least it seemed that way at first. It began with a dark form rising from the sea, visible only by the birds flying overhead.
Bubbles began to push themselves to the surface with such ferocity as to give the impression of a boiling sea. Next it was the spines, irregular in shape and size, cutting through the water like a saw. Soon the head, body, and tail could be seen, pushing from side to side, propelled through the water with a speed that seemed unnatural to such a beast. The other animals parted before it as he lumbered onto the beach and stretched his head toward the sun.
Elsewhere on the island, the catgirls were going about their everyday business when one of them got a strange feeling, as if something was not quite right...
"Something is not quite right.."
"What do you mean Niko?" asked Rica, her younger sister.
"I don't know. But you know that my feelings are always correct."
"Yeah, and they always get us in trouble too!" Rica plopped onto the park bench and crossed her arms indignantly. "Well not this time! You can't make me."
"Aww, come on, you know that its never our fault. Besides, the whole island would go up in flames if it weren't for us. Why, we save this island almost every day!"
"More like I save the island from YOU every day.."
"Come on," said Niko as she grabbed her sister's arm and dragged her along through the park, "I promise I won't get you into trouble this time."
The large beast slowly opened his eyes and looked from side to side, surveying his environment. After he sufficiently took in the island around him, he began to saunter across the sand, toward the tree line. Eventually, the other animals continued about their daily routines, but not before making sure that their strange new neighbor was well out of site and not coming back anytime soon. As he moved through the jungle, he toppled small trees and left a defined path behind him. The area had never seen a beast that could dole out such unmerciful destruction. If it were to make it to the populated areas of Catgirl Island, who knows what untold damage this hulk of a reptile could deliver unto its defenseless denizens.
"Did you hear something?"
Rica shook her head in answer to her sister's question.
"I think it came from the trees over there."
"I don't feel so good about this Niko. Lets go back."
"You can if you want to, but..." Niko's voive trailed off as dust began to rise from the copse of trees before them, and a methodical crashing noise could be heard. Frozen in terror, Rica had to grab her sister and pull her behind some nearby bushes. "I told you there was someth..."
The colossal quadruped could finally see a break in the trees as he uncaringly carved his way to some unknown destination. As he broke the tree line, he took a moment to bask in the warm sun, rejuvenating and uplifting him. A person could almost notice an audible sigh of contentment escape from his gaping maw. After his brief respite, he continued along his seemingly uncalculated path, not looking twice at the large bush that was temporarily home to a couple of curious catgirls.
"Did you see that sis!? Sis...?" Rica gently slapped her sister's face until Niko's eyes slowly began to open. "You saw that right?!"
"...AND HAVE HUGE CLAWS WHICH COULD TEAR A HELPLESS CATGIRL IN TWO AND GIGANTIC RENDING TEETH AND VENOMOUS SPINES AND...and..."
Rica shrugged, "I thought it was kinda cute."
The two young catgirl detectives followed the clumsy curiosity as it made its way toward one of the few places on the island where it would certainly come into contact with others, the Visitor Center!
"What should we do?" asked Niko, throwing her arms up in desperation.
"Maybe we can run ahead and warn the others."
"Well, it IS moving pretty slowly... Lets do it!"
As it approached this unusual and intriguing creature, the lumbering lummox stopped and prepared to stare down his opponent. The lizard thought it strange that this animal's glassy eyes seemed not to recognize its presence. Its wooden complexion was splotchy and uneven. What a strange curiosity... perhaps it was sick, or dying. This, though the reptilian, required closer inspection.
"Slow down miss!" The receptionist did her best to calm the panting Niko.
"Let me explain," offered Rica. "We met Rappy earlier..."
Niko suddenly interrupted her sister, her eyes large and unbelieving. "Met? RAPPY?! What are you talking about?"
"I thought that was a cute name for him," Rica explained, an innocent grin upon her face. Niko simply shook her head in submission and let her sister continue her story.
"As I was saying, Rappy came crashing out of the woods a ways down the beach, farther than we are allowed to go..."
Rica waited for the woman to scold her for venturing so far, but instead, she simply stared at Rica and prompted her to continue. "He came crashing out and we hid behind a really big bush," Rica held out her arms really wide, "and waited for him to walk by. We were really scared, but I don't think that he saw us. Anyway, he started heading this way and we think it will be here soon and..."
"Here he comes!" yelled Niko as the sauntering serpent approached the Visitor's Center.
The assembled crowd ran in all directions to avoid its scraping claws. A terrified hush fell over the land as the relentless raptor walked up to the fortification, opened its monstrous maw, and flicked the surface with his wet pink tongue. Niko watched in unbridled horror...
Rica had seen enough, in an act of courage never before seen on this tiny island, the small and defenseless catgirl ran up to the creature's tail, grabbed hold, and proceeded to climb onto its back, thinking to divert its attention away from their beloved bastion. Giving no notice to the parasite upon his hindquarters, Rappy decided that this organism obviously was not in a playful mood and resolved to find entertainment elsewhere. Seeing that the lizard either hadn't noticed her, or didn't care, Rica decided to remain at her post and ride this one out. Niko, seeing her sister doing this, and thinking her quite insane, knew there was only one thing she could do.
Rappy made his way around the island, staring down new foes, basking on new rocks, and generally having a fine time. To the catgirl's suprise, he seemed to take great care not to harm any of them or their possessions (although where vegetation was concerned, the lizard took no prisoners). Rica and Niko soon realized that this terrible monstrosity was, in fact, quite harmless. By the time that he made it back to the original beach at which he had started, a veritable fan club of lizard lovers had adhered themselves to his scaly back.
The path of herbal homicide left behind by Rappy soon came to be known as Lizard's Lane and, believe it or not, he used it every day, at exactly the same times. To this day, you can see catgirls and tourists climbing onto the roving reptilian and riding him to wherever they wish to go on his winding and wondrous journey around everyone's favorite catgirl domicile, Catgirl Island
Rica and Niko will return in Marc's story of how "Curiosity Killed the Catgirl", and Mike Moon's "Night of Dach Shadows!"