A quiet meow drifted on the cool, fall breeze that stirred Fulguralis's robe. He lifted his head and gazed off toward the sound. The streets of Stormwind were empty, the only dancing in the street performed by fallen leaves. Overhead, the moon burned bright, making the scattered street lamps redundant.
Another meow answered the first, tickling the warlock's ear. He turned toward it, eyes glinting from deep within his hood. A shadow darted across the alley. Fulguralis loosened his blade in its sheath.
The sound seemed almost sensual now, with a little growl at the end. Several more like it came from behind piles of trash in the street. Fulguralis took a step forward.
"Don't toy with me, cat," the warlock growled.
But the cat only answered: meow.
His sword was in his hand now, pulsing with the power enchanted into the steel. He held a magical tome in the other. He supposed the book was more for comfort than anything else. He certainly didn't read it in the midst of battle, though it did seem to help his spell casting. Perhaps holding ancient words made one say them more crisply.
It was a chorus now. A gang of cats, just around the corner ahead. He could see the shadows coalescing beneath the street lamp. The feline silhouette arched, elongated in its reflection on the stones as it spoke. A dozen answered.
The warlock took a step backward. There were too many. Too many cats. But it was too late.
They sensed his hesitance and surged forward, a sea of fur breaking around the bend. Except they weren't cats, but kittens. Achingly cute kittens, with large eyes capturing the moonlight and holding it hostage. Eerily, they had stopped meowing, and a kind of silence clutched the alley. Only the padding of little feet, the click of claws on stone, and a rumble upset the stillness.
What is that? Fulguralis asked. Then it dawned on him. They're purring.
The first set of claws gouged his boots. The next set tore his robe. The warlock flailed about him with sword and book, knocking the furry fiends away. They screeched as they slammed into the walls, slid down, and rejoined the throng. The horde kept coming.
"Get. Off. Me," Fulguralis yelled in between swipes. "Enough!"
The air flexed around him. A shadow passed over the moon. And there, in the alleyway, stood a purple demon.
Claws met claws. The demon's wings flapped wildly as it threw cats from its back. It began to make progress when it burst into flames. Great bursts of fire pulsed out from the purple monstrosity. The stink of burning fur filled the night.
The demon leaped into the air. It took one flap of wings and then landed with both feet. Hard. On top of the kittens. They burst beneath him like overripe pumpkins. Instead of the the gore the demon expected, however, coins clattered to the pavement. Suddenly, the night was filled with clinking.
One kitten after another was destroyed, bursting into metallic currency. The demon hopped about with glee, stomping on anything with a wagging tail. Behind him, a trail of gold.
~ * ~
Fulguralis woke in the morning feeling refreshed. He hopped down the stairs to find his wife sipping warm tea that table in the manor's kitchen. He kissed her on the forehead before filling his own mug.
"Sleep well last night, dear?" she asked.
He shrugged. "Well enough."
"You certainly seemed to be having one fel of a dream. First you were yelling, thrashing at the covers. Then you disintegrated into maniacal cackling."
He smiled and nodded. "It was good."
Fuubaar leveled a gaze at her husband. "Were you killing baby mages again?"
The warlock shook his head. "Kittens."
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