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The council of cats closed in a tight circle around them.
Ramses stood up, tall and regal, the sun at his back, glistening on his fur as he began to chant:
"For troubled shores now thee leave
Manâ€™s imperfections to receive
With mortals weakened, faulty shell
So shall ye among them dwellâ€
Ramses paw shot out rigidly in front of him.
Akasha was gone, leaving a wisp of blue smoke floating in the spot she had inhabited only moments before.
Akasha raised her pretty calico head and sniffed the air. Something about the brooding stillness didnâ€™t feel right. There was too much electricity in the heavy atmosphere. The cat peeped out the cubbyhole in the boathouse, where she made her home, and looked at a sky turned black with storm clouds. The waves of the lake lifted and hit against the shore with a sharp slap that made her flinch. Thunder rumbled. In the distance a bolt of lightning cut through the dark and hurled a sizzling blaze of light to the ground.
"Mamma, Iâ€™m scared.â€ A tiny replica of herself, down to the gold spot on her chin and black splotch on her right shoulder, peeped at her from the top of an old wooden fishing boat resting upright on a flat webbing rack supported by eyehooks.
"Donâ€™t worry, Cairo. Mammaâ€™s here. Mamma will take care of you.â€ Akasha purred. Her first litter and she was so proud. Sheâ€™d never known kittens that were as smart or as cute as her little five-week old darlings. Sheâ€™d had no idea how it would feel to be a mom. That nothing in the world would ever matter as much as these three balls of fluff. She would lay down her life to keep them safe.
Cairoâ€™s head disappeared abruptly, followed by a hollow thump as she fell to the bottom of the boat. "Iâ€™m okay, Mamma,â€ Cairoâ€™s voice sounded muffled as she sang out from the bowels of the boat. "Oh look, I found a leaf.â€
"Thatâ€™s nice, dear.â€ Akasha lay on an old towel deep in the shadows of the boathouse, Cubbie and Cosmo, her two boys, drowsing beside her.
A crack of thunder sounded close by and a streak of blinding lightning landed almost on top of the building. The sound of splintering wood followed a great whoosh and the maple next to the boathouse crashed to the ground.
The wind picked up at a frightening rate.
The two boys woke with a start and burrowed against her. "What was that, Mamma?â€ Cubbie asked, raising his little black head to look around.
Blowing gusts howled. The heavens opened and rain battered the building pinging off the steel roof like the rat-a-tat-tat of bullets.
"Mamma.â€ Cosmo tried to burrow under her.
"Mamma, Iâ€™m scared,â€ Cairo called out.
A whistle like an approaching train sounded in the distance, getting closer and closer at an alarming rate of speed.
Akasha tensed and laid back her ears as the noise rose to a piercing shriek, hurting her eardrums. She sensed danger, terrible danger.
"Flatten yourself in the bottom of the boat, my darling Cairo, under one of the seats,â€ instinct made her call out above the driving winds. "Boys, get under me.â€
"I want to come to you, Mamma,â€ Cairo wailed.
"Itâ€™s too late, baby. Do as Mamma says.â€ Akasha flattened herself over Cosmo and Cubbie, stretching her paws out in four different directions and putting her head down.
The shrieking noise escalated and the building collapsed around them like so much kindling, leaving the cats inside a gray funnel that picked them up, held them suspended in air for several heartbeats, then, like a giant fist opening, dropped them in the water. The boat landed with a splash several yards away, teetering madly on the waves.
As Akasha and the two male kittens hit the water an icy swell washed over them. Akasha pushed hard to the surface. She looked around frantically. "Cosmo, Cubbie where are you?â€ she howled, fear beating at her like the relentless waves.
"Mamma,â€ Cairo called out several yards away.
"Hang on, baby,â€ Akasha mewed, swallowing a mouthful of water as a second wave crested over her. Again she fought her way to the surface. The pounding rain mixed with her tears as she called frantically, "Cosmo. Cubbie. Where are you, babies?â€
She treaded water and turned in frenetic circles, trying to look through the towering dark waves, but the rain streamed down in liquid sheets, blinding her. Everywhere, nothing but water and the boat bobbing farther and farther away, while Cairoâ€™s voice grew weaker. "Mamma, save me. Save me, Mamma.â€
Besides her young adult cat fantasy series, Sandra writes paranormal, time travel, western romance and new age non-fiction. Sandra hopes to be able to quit her day job and write full time in the not too distant future. She loves to hear from her readers. Feel free to contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Ms.Cox transports readers into the hearts of her feline characters. Akasha is a purr-fectly pleasurable adventure.â€ --Sherry Morris
Akasha, sets out alone on a perilous journey to find Cairo, her missing kitten. Danger follows her every step as she moves closer to discovering if her baby is dead or alive. The story of Akasha tugged at my heart strings. A perfect example of a mother's love. --Jeane Daly
The sequel to Shardai, Akasha had me in turns smiling and crying. Truly a story to touch your soul and make you view your fur babies in a new light. If you want to teach your children about the love of animals, as Iâ€™ve said before, Sandra Coxâ€™s books on these beautiful cats, and the trials they face, are the books you need to get for them. you know an animal lover, then this book is for them. And if youâ€™ve ever lost a little fur baby to death, this book a comfort for what lays beyondâ€¦ the Rainbow Bridge, however you perceive it to be. --Angela Verdenius Heart & Soul sci-fi/futuristic romance series
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 196
Paper Weight (lb): 8.4
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