Peter's Dreams and Otherworldly Things - Excerpt 3
While hanging, part sail and part little boy, Peter heard something hit the boat, a sudden thump. The sound was muffled, as if something had fallen out of nowhere or down from somewhere, but a definitive thump, nonetheless. Soon, there were two more sounds, more like plops and less urgent than the first thump, but clearly two separate plops.
"Stop that. I order you to stop what you're doing," a cry came from directly beneath Peter's feet. "What are you doing on my boat and what are you doing with my sail? Come down from there this instant."
Peter was startled. He attempted to separate himself from the rope and the sail and the mast. He couldn't imagine who was talking to him or how any person or persons could have come aboard without him seeing them, in spite of his present difficulties and preoccupation with something he knew so little about.
"Have you no consideration?" two other voices asked in unison. "You've ruined our nap, not to mention dragging us up the mast and dropping us from nearly atop the spar to the bare deck. We'll have bruises for a month. I'll bet we get arthritis. Who do you think is going to take care of us?"
Peter struggled to catch sight of whom or what could possibly be causing this commotion and condemning him so vigorously for his innocent actions. He could see no one and, when he had freed himself from his self-imposed captivity, he fell to the deck near the mast that had tried to imprison him and tumbled into the stern of the boat.
"Watch what you're doing," the two small voices pleaded. "You could crush us with your big feet if you're not careful."
"Not likely," replied a single, huskier voice from its perch on top of the pile of canvas, which had descended along with Peter and lay in unkempt disarray. "Thisâ¯¹à²¯bably can't catch his shadow."
Peter finished accounting for all of his parts, gathered his breath and found himself peering into the eyes of an overly rotund, gray-striped, short-haired cat with two seriously irritated mice standing by his side. He stared in silent disbelief.
"My name is Aloysius," the cat said abruptly.