Sometimes Catnip isn't Enough

Moggie loved it when new crops of plants were brought up to the landing of Tempest Fortress. The clanks always made her giggle and the smell of the plants being carefully dried was always a treat. Fae, Ariadne, Moira, and Dhampie had come to help with things and, Moggie thought that it felt like family for the first time in a while. They may not be actually family by blood, but the women were as close to aunts as she would ever have.

Moggie grabbed a bunch of the tiny Speirling roses and let out a giggle-squee as their electric sparks made her hair, ears, and tail all defy gravity. This made the women stop working for a moment and Moggie heard her mother cackle for the first time in, it seemed, ages.

But something was amiss. Moggie quickly realized that her sister, Min, wasn’t in the chorus of laughter at her antics. She put the armful of flowers down, defuzzing after a moment or two. Soon, she spotted her twin, on the other side of the piles of flowers and other plants. Min was perched on the end of one of the landing guide posts that extended to the east of the landing platform, well out over the storm and water below. A quick visual check told the girl that her sister was wearing one of the small emergency glider packs that their mother insisted that they wear if they were anywhere above ground elevation. Even though there may not be any danger of her sister falling to her death, Moggie still didn’t like the girl sitting out there all by herself, staring out over the open water.

She grabbed a handful of the small sample of catnip that her mother had gathered on the island below and hopped over to the landing post, then sidled on all fours out to her sister and took a seat behind her.

“Whatcha doin’?”

Min mumbled, “Thinkin’.”

“’Bout what?”

A shrug came as an answer.

“Mum says that we need to come to her if we’re sad.”

“I know.”

“She says we’ll be able to harvest the catnip really soon.”

“That’s nice.”

“Min, don’t be sad. I don’t like it.”

“Sorry.”

“Here. I brought you something. You get the first draught.” Moggie held out the handful of catnip to her sister.

Min mumbled something but took the clump.

“I hope it makes you happy again.”

Nothing.

Moggie sighed. A flash of an idea came to her and she was sorely tempted to push her sister off the edge—knowing fully well the girl wouldn’t be hurt but maybe it’d make her mad enough to get her past the latest funk. But no—her mother didn’t need more stress right at this moment.

“I’m going to go help with the flowers, okay?”

“Mhmm”

Moggie shifted around and made her way back to the platform on all fours again, returning to her mother and adopted aunts and leaving her sister to her funk.

Once she felt alone again, Minnie looked at the clump in her hand and, for a moment, reached back as if she were going to toss it in the direction of the missing Citadel Island—in the direction of her missing father. But instead, she lowered her hand to look at the clump again. She shoved it into her pocket—the plant would not have enough magick in it to bring back what was lost but it could at least make her sandwich at lunch a little happier.

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