“Grandma, tell us a story,” came a chorus of high-pitched, mewling voices. Grandma looked over the kittens, each struggling for a prime spot in the basket on the library table. Winter in Vermont is cold, even inside, and none of the little ones wanted whisker or tail outside their warm bubble.
Grandma, a long-haired, graying calico, paced around the basket, looking over the stacks of books, fading forever into the darkness. “You’re not old enough, yet, for my stories.”
“We are, we are!” The kitten chorus echoed through the empty walls, bouncing around.
“You’re too young,” Grandma said again, primly sitting in front of the basket, licking a paw until they quieted down. “You will all be asleep before I start.”
“We won’t, we won’t!” They waited for her to finish smoothing her whiskers.
“You haven’t seen enough of the world out there,” she flicked her tail out the window. “In the darkness, beyond where we have you safely kept.”
“Tell us a story!” Grandma paced, leaping across to another table, where she turned again. She arched her back, stretching, before jumping back to the kittens.
“What do you know of the world? Any story is going to be meaningless to you.”
“We know about the humans,” said one of the kittens.
“And we know that there are things outside,” said another.
“Like other cats! And birds! And more humans,” said a third. “And… other things.”
“Do those other humans keep other cats,” asked the fourth. Here Grandma snorted, then sighed heavily.
“See? You are too young; the humans do not keep us. We keep them,” Grandma said, turning to the window again. “We keep them from the other things in your dreams. But, still. You are too young to understand. You won’t listen. A story would be wasted on you.”
“Tell us a story. We promise to listen!” The meows turned into a roar, until Grandma sighed and settled in front of the basket.
“It seems I’ll have no peace until I give you a story,” Grandma said. “So, listen now. Listen to how we keep them; how we watch them.”
Curl down, young kittens, and listen
A tale of wild cats gone missing.
They came to their clowder,
Under oak and spoke together.
First came Tumble, swift and fine,
Quick to act, and the first in line.
Next bright Bumble, sweet and gold,
Always brave and always bold.
Next came Rumble, stubborn and proud,
Un-catlike and very loud.
Next is, Mumble, first to speak,
Eyes blue as a spring creek.
Last is Jumble, who always dared,
Despite being small and scared…
A Call of Cathulhu adventure for 3-5 investicators.