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“Simon, you did a very clean job taking care of those Pharaoh Cats.”

The Mage clasps me on the shoulder and pats my back. It helps take my attention away from the bodies of the cat-like creatures surrounding us. Their jet black fur reminds me of the stray cats that used to wander around the streets of the care home, they were the only things that weren’t scared of me back then. I have to remind myself that these aren’t real cats. I’m obsessing over the not-cats so much that it slips out before I can stop it.

“Thanks Dad,”

I can feel my face heating up. The Mage drops his arm from my shoulder and purses his lips.

“Right then Simon, you’re clearly very tired. And why wouldn’t you be after showing such spectacular swordsmanship! 21 Pharaoh Cats! That must be a record!”

The Mage walks away right after, muttering about the protective qualities of Pharaoh pelt, I run back to Mummers. I don’t want to look at those damn cats a second longer.