Maria : For String and Woodwind
was no use talking, there was nothing to say
When the band began to play and play
"And We Danced"
"Wait, wait, no." The gray cat waived his paw in the air. "It's not sounding right."
"What do you mean?" asked David, scratching his ear once. "It sounded good to me."
"It's me, I can't do the vocals right." Jason put down his flute. "It never sounds right when I do it."
David reached over and hugged the cat. "Well it sounded right to me. But I know you're a perfectionist." David put down his accordion gently. "So what can I do to help?"
Jason returned the brown dog's hug, and smiled. "We need James." He said, and he playfully put his cold nose into David, who yelped at the shock of it. "Think we can get him?"
"I think we can." the dog said, putting his colder nose into the cat, who yowled a little. Both laughed, and talked about what needed to be done.
In the brig the pirates were still talking about what to do. Escape attempts had not worked to this point, and one of them was trying to put a hole in the side of the wall. He had been at it for days, and making no progress. The senior staff had been trying to formulate a plan, and all they tried didn't work. They thought of overpowering the guards, but they couldn't see a way to get more than one out of the door.
James sat in a corner to himself. The only friend he had on the ship was now gone, probably eaten or worse. On the Jezzibelle he could escape into his music, with Jason. But he didn't have his violin, he only had what he wore. He huddled in, holding onto himself, hoping that his end was fast. He cursed to himself for being so gullible, so stupid, letting himself get talked into being on board by Jason. Now Jason was gone, and he was all alone.
"I think we should keep our men on the wall." Captain Langley said. "I think we can get through it in a week or so providing that we can scrounge enough buttons or metal parts. Meanwhile…"
The brig door opened, and a hush fell over the prison. A gray cat walked in with an armed escort. "Which one of you is James?" he said, looking over the crew. Nobody spoke up. "We're here to offer you freedom."
Nervously, James stood up. "What do you mean?"
The cat smiled, curbing his excitement. "One of your friends said you could play music."
"Yes? And?" James shifted his feet.
"He said he needs you to play with him. If you're good, we will spare you." the cat said.
"What if you're lying?" James asked.
"Then they don't have to choose who we take tonight." the cat said.
James looked to Captain Langley, who motioned him over. James leaned in. "Do it." Langley whispered. "Buy us some more time. Stall if you can. And if you can, see if you can free the rest of us."
James nodded, and looked back to the cat. "Ok then. I hope you have a violin." James said, going to the opening on the wall. The wall glimmered, and James stepped out. Another pirate tried to make a run for it, but the wall glimmered again and he hit it especially hard, falling backwards on his rear.
The guard dog let out a snicker. "It never works, does it Eric?"
The pirate snarled at the guard, and the three of them walked out of the brig. Captain Langley watched the door close. "If he can, he'll free us." the Captain said. The staff nodded as the wall continued to be scratched, bidding for freedom.
James walked with the cat up a staircase. "So where's Jason?"
"Jason?" the guard asked.
"You took him yesterday, he's the only one who knows about my music." James said.
"Soon enough." the cat said, between smiles. "He's alive and fine. Trust me."
"I want to see him first." James said. The gray cat thought about dropping the hammer, but decided against it for the moment. He had to keep the game going.
"Can you show us if you can play first?" the cat asked.
"Ok, that's fair." James said. "But once I do that, you'll take me to Jason." The cat nodded.
They went to a room with a dozen of the Maria's crew in it, a general quarters area. They walked over to a brown dog who was holding an accordion. The dog looked like a mix of at least four breeds, but none in particular, his brown fur not giving any clues. "This is David, he's my music partner." David offered a paw, and James shook it nervously. "I think he's got something for you?"
"Ya can call me Mutt if ya want." the dog said with a grin. "That's what everyone else but the cat calls me. Well! Here ya go!" Mutt handed James a well beaten Violin. "We found this on the Jezzibelle when… well, we found it." he said. "Can you use it?"
"Can I use it?" James asked with disbelief. "It's my violin, I hope I can!" He saw his bow on the table, and picked it up to get a good look at it. "I guess getting horse hair is easy around here?" Several of the crew laughed at the joke, one poking his horse friend in a jesting way. James felt at peace inside himself and slipped into his passion of entertainment and music.
He whipped up an improvised song, tuning his violin every few bars. The cat picked up his flute, and James looked at him with a sideways glance. It was Jason's flute, he'd recognize it anywhere. And the way he held it, the slight mannerism of his pre-playing finger movement, it all looked familiar. He and Jason played together every day for several years, and James felt a familiarity of warm-up with the cat. So James decided to test the cat, just to see if his feeling was right.
"Do you know 'The Captains Daughter'?" he asked.
The cat looked up with a twinkle in his eye. "If I did I wouldn't admit it!" The small crowd got a laugh out of that.
"Ahh! So you've seen her too?" James asked, falling right into the routine.
"She's hard to miss." the cat said. "When she sits around the ship, she really does sit around the ship!" More laughter from the small crowd.
"Just because the whaling ships think she's a good catch doesn't mean she's big!" James said, to more laughs.
"I'm not saying she's big!" the cat grinned. "I'm just saying that she's a lot of woman!"
James tapped his violin, getting the beat down. "Well, I'll say it. 4, 3, 2, 1..." And on cue he and the cat started into the opening. David picked up on it, and filled in the bottom while James played his opening. The cat continued into the song as James put down the violin to sing.
"The captains daughter, she's bigger than me
She jumps in the water and fills the sea.
Her shirt's so big, if all else fails
We can use her washing as a makeshift sail.
She chases the crew, but none too fast.
I hope I never trip and finish up last.
It's because of her I'm fit as a fiddle…" The cat lowered his flute to join James to sing
"because the captains daughter has a really big middle!"
James and the cat both played the instrumental chorus as the crew around them burst out in uproarious laughter. The dog was trying desperately not to stop playing, as he had a hard time not laughing. James played the back as the cat picked up on the main theme with the flute. And in time, James continued.
"OH the captains daughter, she can fill a room
Or be the counter weight to raise the boom.
She sleeps with the sheriff and she sleeps with the mayor
But neither man sees the other one there.
If you see her out on the beach some day
Try to keep the evil whalers away.
But it really doesn't matter just what I think" and again the cat stopped playing to join in
"With out her on the boat, the ship can't sink!"
More laughter as James picked up the main theme on his violin and played the chorus. As he played, he looked up to the dog and said "You get the next one."
"If she's like the one you're singing about, you can throw her back!" The impromptu line brought on more laughter, and James closed his eyes, trying to keep his composure, biting his lip in small chuckles.
"I'll have to remember that!" James said, reaching the end of the chorus in fits of stifled laughter. He extended the chorus two bars to regain his composure before trying the final verse.
"The captains daughter, she's quite a sight
In the light of the moon she'll give you a fright.
When you see her coming get out of the way
Her shadow makes night out of what was day.
She cooks up food measured by the pound
It keeps her shape so nice and round.
But nobody says it to the captain of the crew…" The cat joined in for the last verse
"Because if you do she'll sit on you!"
David took the theme as the crew around them laughed on the final line. Mutt played his accordion as the gray cat took the back with James. David let James have the last bar of the song as a solo, playing he final notes. The dozen or so Maria crew members applauded, and scratched James on the head in appreciation. James spread his arms and hugged the gray cat. "Hi Jason!"
Jason hugged his friend back. "How did you know?"
"Who else would know that song?" James asked, the crowd backing up a little. "We wrote it!"
Jason smiled. "I guess you've got a good point."
"What happened to you?" James asked "I mean, when you left you didn't look like this!"
"The ship happened!" Jason said. "There's something about this ship that does this to us."
"Us?" James asked. "You mean it's going to happen to me?"
"Fraid so." Mutt said, leaning in. "We're all kinda stuck here, and we've all been turned into animals like this." David flicked his flopped ear with his paw. "It's not so bad, once you get used to it."
"What exactly does stuck here mean?" James asked. And Mutt explained about the Maria. James took it well, with Jason's help. After the explanation, James sat up from his place on the floor. "So what's going to happen to me?"
"Whatever you want to happen to you." Mutt said. "Hey, if you need a friend, come on down to see us. He knows where we are. But if you want, we have a small group of us that play music a lot. Jason's sat in with us this morning, we'd love to have you." Mutt got up, scratching Jason's ears once. "See you later?"
"Yeah!" the cat said. The dog took his accordion, humming the refrain to himself as he walked away. "I told David that with me singing it didn't sound right. I had to get you out of there too. I've missed you."
"Yeah, me too." James said. They sat quietly for a moment, James finally picking up his violin and looking at it. "So why are you a cat?"
"Not sure." Jason said. "At least I'm not like the rats. Yuck."
James nodded. "So how did you become like that?"
Jason smiled again, and leaned into his friend. "I can show you, you might like it too." Jason rubbed his paw over James chest. Somewhere in the back of his mind, James thought this was not right. That something about this was not good But he found himself not resisting as Jason leaned into him, and gave him a gentle kiss.
The two shared their kiss, which grew more passionate and needful as they held on to each other. Soon Jason's hand was reaching to remove James's shirt, and James removed Jason's. Soon James's pants were being removed, along with Jason's.
In the center of the general quarters room, Robert was sitting with Abacus. They had heard the music and came down to look in, and now they watched as the two kissed and fondled each other. Robert closed his eyes, and leaned into Abacus. Abacus stroked the tabby cat's fur, tracing along his lighter stripes. "Do you remember when we did that the first time?"
Robert nodded. "Very well." He kissed the raccoon on the chest. "He's a cat, you know."
Abacus looked up to the two in the corner, kissing and exploring each other. "How can you tell?"
"I know." Robert said quietly. "Like I knew about the ship the other week."
"Oh, that." Abacus said. "Don't try to think about it too much. I still think it's just coincidence."
Robert's ears sagged, and his tail rolled around the raccoon's. "I hope it is."
Abacus stroked the tabby on the head more, and gently brought his head up and gave him a kiss. "Don't worry about it. I still think you're making a lot out of it that might not be there."
Robert nodded. "I know. But…" He looked back to the now naked couple in the corner. "He's still going to be a cat." Abacus kissed his feline mate again, and the two of them held each other while watching the two on the floor caress each other.
Jason slithered down James body, and let his rough tongue lick all the way up James shaft. James let out a low moan, and let his whole body relax. Jason soon had his entire muzzle around James's shaft, and he could feel it's texture change. In a few strokes in his muzzle, James's flesh became smoother, more pointed at the tip, and a little slicker as James's sheath began to form.
James curled his toes as his feline friend sucked on him. And in moments, he felt an urge to repay the kindness. He slid his body around between Jason's legs. Jason raised his tail as James put his mouth around Jason's shaft. Whatever doubt he had vanished as he tasted the pre of his friend. With one hand, he held the base of Jason's tail and felt it's muscles roll around.
Robert let one paw slide under Abacus's pants line, and he stroked his mate's shaft gently. Abacus raised an eyebrow, as Robert was usually not this public with his affections. Abacus shifter closer to the tabby cat, and loosened up his belt. He could see Robert was looking wide eyed at the two in the corner. The cat's breathing got shallow, and his fur was bristling as he stroked his raccoon mate's shaft. Abacus nibbled and kissed Robert's neck, cradling Robert's head in his paws. Robert ran his finger tips all along Abacus's sheath, purring softly as he felt his own sheath stir to life.
"Feeling frisky?" Abacus asked.
"Can't help it." Robert said breathlessly. "Something in the air." Robert turned his head to kiss Abacus, their tongues wrestling as Robert's mind began to swim in lust.
Jason and James both sucked on each other, feeling a deeper need to be filled. James tail began to grow from between his legs, and snaked out in a feline form. Jason raised his tail higher and pulled his muzzle onto his friend's shaft as far as he could. James began to purr as fur began to form on his skin, black on white in an even coating. Soon he found his muzzle accommodating Jason's shaft into his throat, and he wanted to taste his feline friend.
Jason and James both ran their paws over the other. Jason buried his nose into the white sac under the sheath of the new cat. Robert couldn't hold himself back any more. He pulled out of their kiss, and looked to Abacus with a hunger in his eyes. "Take me. Please. Here. I need it. Please." His words breathless, and Abacus was a little shocked but at the same time aroused. They had never done this in the open, and the thought of everyone seeing them was appealing, publicly announcing their status as mates. Abacus undid his belt entirely as Robert removed his own pants in a hurry. Without hesitation or question, Robert straddled Abacus, facing him, raised his tail, and lowered himself onto the raccoon's shaft. With a loud yowl, he closed his eyes, then opened them in a lust filled state. He looked at his raccoon mate, and covered his muzzle in kisses while riding his lap hard.
James could feel his whiskers touching the inner thighs of Jason's fur. His new nerves tingled with the sensation, and he began to surge. Jason planted his muzzle onto James, and began to lick with a fever pitch. Soon, James was rocking his hips up into the gray cat's muzzle, exploding into an massive orgasm. Jason tried to hold it all in, but couldn't. James hips slowed only once he was totally spent. He lay there panting, then looked at the pink shaft still in front of his own muzzle aching for attention. "How rude of me!" he said, and he placed Jason's shaft into his mouth.
Robert's shaft poked out of his sheath painfully hard, but Abacus couldn't notice. His mate was milking his shaft hard, and kissing his muzzle and neck with a feral lust. Abacus held onto Robert and whispered "I'm close love... I'm so close."
"Do it!" Robert pleaded. "Please! do it!"
Abacus let his instincts take over. He snarled once, and bit down on the side of Robert's neck. Robert let out a yowl of pleasure as he came, then Abacus came hard into his mate, holding him down onto his feral shaft. The tabby closed his eyes tight as he held Abacus by the head into his neck bite, the sensation making all his fur tingle as both their bodies rocked in orgasm. Across the room, Jason let out a yowl of his own, and sprayed into James's muzzle. Out of instinct, James began to lick and swallow.
The raccoon came out of his delirium first, and began to lick Robert's neck. Robert let go slowly, and held his mate's head in his paws, looking directly into his eyes. "I love you." he said. The raccoon smiled, nothing more needed to be said, and the two of them embraced in a passionate kiss.
Jason rolled off James, and they both panted hard. He lay next to his friend, and took a good look. James had become a black and white, with a white stripe going down the center of his chest, widening at his crotch to circle his crotch and inner thighs. His white shoulder fur went around his shoulder blades, and ended just over his tail. His tail was black with a long white tip. All four of his paws were white, with a black streak going down both his calves and forearms to his paws. His ears were also covered in white fur, the white streak going down to the shoulders around the back of his head. Jason eyed his friend's snow white sheath, and white ball sac between his legs, and traced with one finger the white haunches that framed James's ass perfectly. He then traced the black fur along the nape of his friends neck, tracing the distinct black lines of his friend.
Jason looked over his friend with a lustful eye. He looked into his green eyes, and smiled. "You're gorgeous."
"You're a looker yourself." James said with a grin. He traced several of the dark stripes on the gray fur of his friend, then traced the facial stripes on him as well. "We're quite a pair, huh?"
"Yeah." Jason said dreamily. They both lay naked for a long time, touching and exploring each other.
Robert slowly pulled himself off of his mate's shaft, and looked onto his chest. "I'm sorry about your shirt." he said. "I'll clean it up."
Abacus smiled. "It's ok. I just wasn't ready for it. If I had more time I would have removed it."
Robert looked embarrassed. "It's just that… didn't you smell that? That kinda musky odor when he began to change?"
Abacus shook his head, holding Robert in his arms. "No, sorry." With one paw Abacus traced the light white mask of fur around Robert's eyes, then the "M" marking on his forehead. "It must be a cat specific musk?"
Robert didn't reply, but simply purred. He loved it when Abacus traced around his eyes, and Abacus knew it. The two of them leaned into each other, ignoring the sexual play going on around them that they helped start.
James eventually leaned up. "I see what you mean, about the ship happening."
"Yeah." Jason said. "When I was brought over one of the dogs helped me through. I'll introduce you to Duke later."
"A lot of the crew go by nicknames. The Howlers all have what they call a pack name." Jason said. "I still haven't got one, I haven't thought of a decent thing yet."
James looked at his form, and at his friend. "How about… Smoke?" The gray cat nodded in agreement. "I'll be…"
"How about Treble?" Jason said, pointing at the violin on the ground next to them. James smiled, and nodded. "Ok, it's settled. I'm Smoke, and you're Treble."
The black and white cat nodded, and ran is paw over his friend's belly. "Sounds good. Now I just need a place to stay."
The gray can nodded. "I can think of a place." Both cats smiled at the inference. Smoke looked around, and saw a few of the dogs kissing and sucking each other. "But I think we started something here. Want to help them out?" Treble grinned, and the two of them pounced into the growing pile of bodies enjoying the moment.
Robert walked out onto the deck. The rain streamed down around him. It was happening fast, too fast. He looked up and saw several people up on the rigging to get the sail rolled back up. A flash of lighting, deafening thunder, and in the flickering light Robert could see a form crash to the deck right in front of him. Robert looked at it, and there was the form of a gray fox, slightly twitching.
"NO!!!!!" Robert screamed as he shot out of bed. Abacus startled at the noise, and looked up to see his feline mate panting hard. His eyes were wide in the moonlight, and his fur was standing on end.
Abacus quickly leaned up, and held Robert close to him. "Shhhh!!!! You're safe!" he whispered, rocking the cat back and forth. "You're safe. You're with me. You're safe." Abacus had seen it before, and held the cat close, reassuring him.
Robert was petrified, trying to get out words. Finally, he grabbed Abacus's arms and held him close to him. "Three days." he said like a mantra. "Three days. Three days." He rocked in the moonlight with Abacus, on the verge of tears. Abacus ran his paw over Robert's head, who finally relaxed into the raccoon's body. Robert tried to calm his breathing, but he was still in a mantra. "Three days. Three days. Three days…."
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Being a work of fiction, none of the characters herin
are based on a real person (Save the narrator and one other person...)
And similarity to any person alive, dead, undead or unalive is coincidental,
totally. However, if you see yourself or someone you know in a character
be honored. You've been immortalised.