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WileyKat and WileyKit Must Die
By RD Rivero



"WileyKat and WileyKit Must Die"
By RD Rivero
April 26, 2000

In the beginning the land sprawled in the wild, in the vast array of
features to the round edge of the horizon.  So high over the planet, the
curvature of the Third-Earth was clearly and undeniably visible.  Above,
the blue heavens stretched in cloudless wonder out to the stars, to the
distant half-moon in an eternal sky-dome vastness.
A strong breeze blew against them and ruffled their fur while the
kittens cruised on the hover-board.
"Over there, Kat," she said, she pointed to a wide area of brown-orange
sand slightly past the sparse limits of the elsewise dense forests.
"That's a desert wasteland."
"We've never been there before."
"Tygra said not to wander off too far, Kit."
"Oh, that old fuddy-duddy doesn't know how to have fun."
She directed her floating vehicle to that general direction.  For a
while her brother remained on the original course behind her but when he
realized that she was serious, he, too, altered his direction.  In a few
moments he was directly behind her.
"I don't see why you just can't leave well-enough alone."
She darted gently to the side then backed slowly to be next to him.
"So you decided to come after all.  What took you so long?" she asked
with the most devious smile on her face.
"Someone has to make sure that you don't get yourself into trouble."
She was about to say something -- she had even opened her mouth to utter
-- when a hot and fast object sped through the air in an audible whiz.
It dashed past her forehead after she had moved her whole body back for
no apparent reason other than mere chance, than mere causality.  It
bounced off her brother's cheek, he was not about to yell out, there was
no real pain only discomfort, there was bleeding, though.
"What was that, Kat?  Are you all right?"
"Just a flesh wound.  What ever it was --"
Another one of those things, another one of those small projectiles
swooshed into the air only that time it hit WileyKat's hover-board.  The
vehicle began to rock back and forth violently.  The vehicle could no
longer be controlled.
"Kit!"
"Grab my arm!"
Instinctively, if not impulsively, he jumped on board next to his
sister.  His sputtered for a while then lost power completely and began
a straight and headlong fall.  Hers, so overburdened with extra weight,
also began to drop.
"Hold on!" they shouted -- the twins hung onto each other arm-in-arm.

On the perched and arid ground WileyKat's hover-board had come to land
on its side, embedded in the loose soil.  Surprisingly there was very
little damage -- at least the fall had produced very little damage.
Far, far worse had been done by that miniature and yet unseen
projectile.  A great gash had been torn free to reveal convoluted and
mangled internal structures in dismal, in chaotic disarray.
The kittens had come down in much better shape by contrast though
WileyKat did have that injury across his right cheek but it no longer
bled.
"Panthro's not going to like this, Kit.  Now, what are we going to do?"
"Well, what have we here?" an airy voice asked from behind them.  The
stranger stepped out from the shadows, out from a tall pillar of rock --
the kittens had only then turned to see.  The stranger held something in
his hands but he let it drop over and around his shoulder onto his back
where it remained hidden from view.  The stranger approached yet closer
-- he was oddly dressed in what appeared to be a sweater, of all things,
a heavy sweater and in the heat.  "You children seem to be having some,
difficulty.  I saw you two fall from the sky."
WileyKit was a little hesitant -- her senses gave her a bad feeling she
could not understand at first.  She spoke reservedly:  "My brother's
hover-board must have been hit by --"
Her brother was less formal:  "It lost control --"
"Oh, I see."
The kittens were somewhat timid, somewhat unusually timid.
"Perhaps I could help you?"
WileyKat was about to say something when the stranger abruptly stepped
in:  "Yes, I forgot, sorry about that.  I am Fred Roggers but you can
call me Mr. Roggers.  All my friends call me Mr. Roggers."
"I'm WileyKat and this is my sister WileyKit."
He seemed not to pay attention -- he looked around the scene while the
youngster spoke, the spacious and empty scene, there was nothing
anywhere except for a small house built around mounds of orange sand.
"This is my neighborhood.  So there, we're not strangers anymore."
"I don't suppose you could fix my hover-board?"
"Kat --"
"Well, I don't know, if I had a better look, I suppose --"
The stranger walked past the two and knelt over the broken vehicle.  His
back was to them at last and they could see what he carried on his
shoulder.  WileyKit did not have a name for it but she remembered that
she had seen a similar weapon before.
"Kat, didn't that hunter Joe-Whatever have a weapon like that?"
Before WileyKat could reply the stranger turned once again to face
them:  "This board of yours is surprisingly lightweight.  I could carry
it into my garage and make some repairs there."
"OK, Mr. Roggers."
WileyKit poked her brother in the back in a way that no one else could
notice or could suspect.  The stranger picked up the broken vehicle
before them and WileyKat stepped up to him slowly, slowly away from his
sister.
She knew she could not count on him so she said:  "Well, while you're
getting your board fixed, I guess I should go back to Cat's Lair --"
"So soon?" the stranger asked.
She was already on her vehicle.
"Before the others start to worry.  I'll be back."
"Don't tell Panthro about what happened to the hover-board.  I don't
want him to get angry."
She gave no answer -- by the time that he had completed his question she
was already up in the air, up and away.
Silence -- until the stranger turned to the boy:  "Why don't you come
over with me?  I'm sure you must be hungry."
"Well, maybe a little --"

In the stranger's house WileyKat sat on a tall, metal chair at the
kitchen table.  His legs swung freely from the knees on down for his
feet never touched the floor.  He ate from a bowl of candy fruit and
cookies that had been placed before him.  Soda.  Snarf would have never
let him have that much sugar, he whispered to himself under his breath.
The kitchen was lighted only from the open windows in the back of the
room.  A gentle wind circulated in a refreshing breeze within the
chamber.  The refrigerator stood at the far end -- dark red in color,
all sorts of magnets and snippets of papers dotted the top-half of the
single door.  To the side was the while countertop, a sink and a stove.
Above and below were the cupboards, opened but the views within were
obscured in shadow.
He munched on another cookie -- crumbs fell onto his lap.  He looked
around the room some more.  The linoleum floor was dusty and curled --
cluttered but not in a mess or in a haphazard sort of way.  In front of
him was door, slightly ajar that no doubt led to the rest of the
interior of the house.  On his left was the open entrance to the garage
where the stranger worked noisily on his fallen vehicle.
The man appeared suddenly with a contorted mechanical part in his
hands.  "This appears to be the problem," he said, "there's a guy in
town who might have a similar, spare part."
"Oh, that's all right," WileyKat said, he got off of the chair in a
clumsy way, "you don't have to do that.  I could get back home on my
own.  Cat's Lair isn't that far away."
"No, it won't be a bother, I have to go to town any ways."  With that he
took a yellow piece of paper that was stuck onto the refrigerator.
"I'll be back shortly.  You can go all about the house if you want but
just don't go upstairs.  My wife's not feeling too good and my
daughter's napping now, I think."
"OK."

The stranger set off into the garage then out of the house on to the
desert trail north to where WileyKat remembered that indeed he had seen
the outline, or at the least the traces of the limits of a small town
when he had been up in the air with his sister.  Alone in the house he
began to wander -- into the garage where he came upon the hover-board.
He was not very good with gadgets, especially those gadgets that Panthro
put together -- too complicated, too intricate -- but he did notice that
the vehicle had not been opened.  Inside, through the hole that had been
ripped open, the machinery looked no different than it had earlier
before, outside on the sand.  Not only that, but when he peered even
closer he found a strange object inside -- a small, hot ball of metal,
grossly distorted.  He remember something his sister had said or had
tried to say, something about Joe.  Safari Joe.
Yet he could not put two and two together.
Bored, he went back into the kitchen and opened that other door.  It
creaked loudly and disturbingly and he wondered if perhaps he should not
have done it but it was too late, it was too late.  The living room was
sprawled out before him.
The floor was wooden, bare wooden and covered in the shards of cutup
papers.  Papers -- he looked to his right to the refrigerator.  The
little notes on the appliance were garbled junk:  random letters and
numbers and nothing more.  Back to the business of the living room, he
entered in absolute silence.  Cloaked in shadowed darkness he treaded
softly over the litter.  The wooden boards of the floor were afraid,
unwilling to creak under his weight.  He could see little, though there
were lamps all over the place, all were off.  The furniture was not
chaotic or damaged, everything else seemed at the first glance to be in
good shape.
Over the mantle of a fireplace and on small tables that adorned the
yellow, plaster walls were small picture frames.  The stranger was in
ever one of those pictures along with images of a woman or,
sporadically, a small child.  He picked one up in his hands and walked
to one of the windows.  He pulled back the light, see-through drapery
and the heavy, green blinds to let in fresh, midday light.
The pictures were wrong.
He opened the frame and held the actual photograph in his shaky hands.
Yes, the picture of the woman was not an actual part of the original
snapshot.  Rather, it was a woman, a cutout of a woman taken from a
thin, glossy magazine, taped over the photograph of the stranger.
All the others were just like that, all the others doctored exactly like
that.
In shock, WileyKat did not know what to do.  He started to walk back,
back, back to the front, barricaded door in a small hallway that jetted
out from the side of the living room.  There was a staircase in front of
him.  A small, oval window of tinted glass was perched on the wall.
>From the darkness above he heard a door open and heavy footsteps run
from one end of the house to another.  Only silence followed.
Nervous and curious he approached the foot of the stairs.  He wanted to
call out but he did not know what to speak just them.  Up the first step
-- that much was simple to do -- but the second, but the third, the rest
came with more and more hesitation.  Almost to the top there was a sharp
turn to the right.  He looked, he was almost completely in the second
floor of the house.
It was even darker up there, up above.  Except for one room, whose door
was slightly open and from which a glaring white light poured from.
Laughter.  Laughter -- a child giggled within.
"Hello?" the words came out of him though his voice cracked with every
syllable.
More laughter followed -- he was already at the door -- he heard another
door within the room close shut.  He waited for a while but at the end
his curiosity was simply too great to resist.  He reached out with his
hand and pushed the door forward all the way until it hit and bounced
off the wall within the small chamber.  It was a child's bedroom.  It
was littered in a mess that he could recognize himself from what his own
room looked like.  The bed was covered with toys, little toys, little
multicolored toys.  There must have been thousands of them.  Dolls and
teddy bears also dotted the floor.
Laughter.
It was even louder then before and came from the closet.  The closet
door was painted blue -- everything forever was painted blue.  The walls
were shiny and other than the garage it was the only room that was
adequately lit.
WileyKat turned the crystal doorknob until it clicked.  The closet door
burst open by its own, unseen mechanism.  Clothes and yet more toys
spewed forth.
"A kitty katty!  Daddy got me a kitty katty!"
He could not see the child that spoke those words.  The inside of the
closet was in darkened shadows but empty.  Then the pile of clothes on
the floor began to move and to fall to the side.  The voice came from
that pile and he pushed some of the objects away.
"Hello," he asked again.  He reached down and he felt something -- hard
and rough and he darted back.
Something that looked like a crumpled shirt bent up slowly, slowly,
impossibly slowly.  He screamed -- it was a child, all right, the
exaggerated and flat corpse of a child, horribly shrunk and shriveled
though its insides had been removed with a vacuum cleaner.  It moved
like a worm moved, neither the arms, neither the legs bent -- it was the
whole body that lumbered.
"A kitty katty!"
More giggles.
He could not find the mouth under and within the gnarled wrinkles that
formed the structure of the head.  He darted out of the room, he closed
the door quickly in one swift movement.  From behind a door slowly
creaked.
WileyKat looked -- it was another bedroom but not as lit as the
child's.  He did not know why but he approached it, too, except that
time he did not go inside.  He merely opened the door a little and
peeked in.
On the bed, uncovered, was a corpse of a woman nearly as flat as a
pancake.  It suddenly sat up and turned its crushed, sunken head to face
him.  From the mouth -- a clearly  perverted, a grotesque opening
crumpled lopsided -- a sound, an incredible sound came out but he did
not notice it too much for he screamed himself.
He ran down the stairs, stormed through the living room into the
kitchen, into the garage and there he stopped and screamed.  He fell
back onto the floor in utter terror.  WileyKit stood before him -- he
could see a hole in her head, her shrunken, shriveled head.  Her body
swayed and lumbered, the bones were visible through the tight and taught
skin.
Her corpse -- her corpse came closer to him.
"WileyKat," it spoke.
The child from upstairs appeared from the kitchen.
"Daddy, daddy, you got me the kitty cat!"
"Yes, child," the stranger spoke, "and because you've been so good I got
you two."
WileyKat looked up, suddenly aware of the man's presence, the last thing
he saw was the end of the barrel of Mr. Rogger's weapon.





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