April 26, 2016-I retreated to my lair and tried to push Stephanie out of my mind. I tossed and turned throughout the night and images of her unfaithfulness kept me awake. My heart grew more cold with every passing hour. I finally decided what I would do; I would purge her from my thoughts by keeping myself occupied. I would rise from the ashes once again like a mighty Phoenix. I would make myself so busy causing chaos that I would be too tired to think of her when the night came. I grabbed my notebook and began writing furiously. I scribble the words OPERATION MONTY at the top of the page.
The next morning I awoke and felt much better than I had the night before. I would not let ANYONE get me down; for a split second yesterday I let someone take away my power, I let her get inside of my head and distort my reality…this would never happen again. I would never allow someone to make me feel less than the magnificent beast that I truly am! Victory would once again be mine!
I emerged from my lair and carefully searched for Monty. I did not want him to know about the unfortunate fate that was soon to befall him. There he sat, drool hung from his bottom lip, and a stupid look covered his face. I’m not really sure if he had any other look to be honest. The filthy beggar. I crept up the staircase, Simbicile was sleeping and I tiptoed over him with out waking him…success. Monty was staring at the wall…sigh…yes the wall, I snuck up behind him and acquired my target; I chomped down as hard as I could on his tail and fled at full speed from the living room. He howled in pain and like a bull in a china shop he smashed into a large cabinet. The sheer force of his body knocked over many valuable glass items inside and they shattered into thousands of tiny pieces! He skidded down the hallway and our high speed chase had only begun! I slid into my hiding place and avoided the gnashing of his jaws. I felt exhilarated and happy to be back!
I remember my first encounter with Stephanie as if it were yesterday. The details will be forever burned into my psyche. I had always been a prisoner, in fact, I was born into captivity. The warden held me at my first breath and I immediately loved her. I was not always the world dominating mastermind that I am currently and the hatred that I had for others came on like a slow burn.
I had an excellent childhood. I played with my brothers and sisters and my mother and father were loving and caring. They did a good job raising me; Simbicile is my father and sadly my mother passed away after childbirth she was called Salem and she was as black as the night sky when there are no stars hanging in it.
The prison had always been my home and my favourite place to perch was on the back of the sofa so that I could watch the world through the glass barrier. I saw many things over the years and made many friends. One particular summer evening was akin to a Shakespearean sonnet; the wind blew softly and the sweet smell of cherry blossoms hung in the air like a thick veil, the sun was setting and it filled the skyline with shades of orange, pink and light purple…then I saw her.
The warden usually left the large prison gate open but a smaller gate still stood between me and the outside world. The smaller gate held a sort of mesh material that I could see and smell through. I hurried down from my perch and raced to the small gate. The magnificent feline approached the gate and shoved her pink, button nose to the screen. I touched my nose with hers and wished that there had been no barrier. She sat and spoke with me for hours about many things; we talked of life and of love over the next few months and it filled my heart with joy. I could hardly stand the time in between our encounters and missed her sorely each waking moment that I was alone. One summer night I worked up the courage to ask her to be mine. I groomed my suit to perfection, gathered a flower from the dining room table and waited.
That night Stephanie never came to the prison gate. I had wasted an entire night waiting for her; I returned to my perch worried for her safety and my mind went to the most terrible place of What If? As I fretted with worry I saw something in the distance; it was Stephanie!..but she was not alone. I narrowed my eyes and tried to get a better view; there she was in all of her glory, and she was holding hands with Sylvester the common gypsy! At that moment my heart shattered into a million sharp pieces and I swore that never again, would I ever love something. The tale of Sylvester is for another day because I cannot bear to tell it now.
I stood there frozen. Stephanie hadn’t spotted me yet and in a split second I made the decision to return to the prison…it would be better than being anywhere with her. I turned on my heels but it was too late. She jumped out of the bushes and started rubbing her face all over me-she grabbed me and smooched me as hard as she could; it left me breathless, but not in a good way. She was in love with me, but who could blame her? I am a magnificent specimen of black panther and anyone would be lucky to have me. I did not want to become involved with her because it would take my focus away from world domination…besides she had broken my heart once already.
I struggled to get away from her but she was stronger than me. She had me pinned and was grooming me furiously. I had no choice but to play dead. Monty tracked my scent and found us in the bushes, the small, stupid human finally discovered us and scooped me up. “Stephanie!” she exclaimed with glee,”I haven’t seen you in months, I was worried about you!” Such treason made my guts churn. Stephanie loved the small, stupid human because she left vittles at the gate of the prison as well as fresh water for all of the travellers.
I had seen many of my kinsmen from the clear barrier in the prison, I oft wondered what it would be like to join them on their travels. Did they also have aspirations to get rid of the humans? Did they aspire to take over the world like me? So many questions, but no answers .Stephanie was a gypsy of sorts and travelled constantly but she always turned up eventually. After I hadn’t seen her for an extended amount of time I thought that my wish had been granted and that she had been captured but alas, this was not the case. The small, stupid human handed me over to the large, stupid one, she picked up Stephanie and cradled her, Stephanie hugged her back. I vomited at the sight of such affection and the large, stupid human deposited me back inside the prison walls after muttering obscenities that I had soiled his uniform.
I watched from the clear barrier and shuddered at the thought of meeting her again-at least tonight I would be safe from her clutches. The first time we met was such an encounter that it still haunts my dreams.
April 22, 2016 – The small, stupid human was standing on the front stoop with her hands on her hips; she looked worried. I remained perched on the branch just a few feet above her sight line and the large, stupid human did not see me either. The wind was blowing quite fiercely so I decided to retreat to a few branches below; this was a mistake because the hell hound caught my scent and started barking. He sniffed around the base of the tree and looked up…I had been discovered!
I quickly but carefully scaled the tree to the highest branch. The idiot canine danced around the bottom of the trunk and continued to bark; he pointed his nose in the air and alerted the humans to my location. The small, stupid one called my name and tried to coax me down from the branches but I would have none of it; I would not go back to captivity without a fight!
The view was magnificent from where I sat, I could see everything! The humans were frantic and I could hear the large, stupid one speak into some sort of device; he was relaying the fact that I was in the tree top and that he could not reach me. I was quite comfortable and would not mind bunking here for the night but my plans to do so were in vain. I sat and admired the night sky for awhile when I noticed a large, red truck with a hose and a staircase had turned onto the street; it stopped right in front of the prison and a man got out. He spoke with the prison warden and she pointed in my direction. He started to manoeuvre some sort of staircase and before I knew it he was almost eye level with me.
There was nowhere for me to go but down and once I realized how high up I was I started to get dizzy. I clutched the tree and the man in the uniform gently pulled me from the branch; the small, stupid human was crying again and the man handed me over to her. TRAITOR! I heard the large, stupid human mutter something like, “I could’ve done the same thing but I don’t have a ladder that’s tall enough…” I writhed with anger in the small, stupid one’s grasp and scratched at her face, the pain was too much for her to bear and she let go of me. I raced away from her clutches and returned to my backpack to gather my things when I spotted my arch nemesis…STEPHANIE.