Stone Circle Prayer

By Rachel H Grant

Sarah’s three cats relaxed by the fire in a way that only cats can, a tapestry of black and white woven together in to a feline spell. Alice, Amy and Arnold brought untold joy; Sarah was so pleased that she had attended the Cats Protection open day the year before, looking for a kitten but taking home three adult siblings instead. A blessing in fur and whiskers; a vision of contentment and catnip fun.

However fun fled that night as Arnold disappeared. He did not come for breakfast the next day; he did not come for his evening meal. Still he did not appear the following day, or the next. Weeks passed, mutating to months, hatching as years. He was gone.

Sarah dreamt of him most nights. He was standing, still and regal, in a stone circle. Then he turned and was gone, merging in to the dreamlike mist all around.

black and white cat with green eyes
Image by Andii Samperio from Pixabay

With quiet desperation she searched online for stone circles in the area. There were three in a ten mile radius. She visited the first two to no avail; however at the third circle she found his red collar. Sarah ran through the surrounding woods, calling his name. But there was no sign of him.

**

Arnold sniffed his way round the stone circle, the air alive with feline wisdom. Shivering in a wind that felt as cold as centuries old snow, he could hear ancestors whisper in his ears. It could have been any day, but it was this one. A day that destiny would devour, like a vulture on its last meal.

stone circle at the foot of a mountain
Image by Paul Edney from Pixabay

The temperature suddenly changed, from cold to warmth in a second. Arnold sniffed the air, surprised. The day felt … different. A black cat approached from the other side of the circle. Its eyes glittered in reflected sunlight, like mirrors to another world.

Cautiously, they sniffed noses. “I am Adele, and I have come to get help from this magic stone circle. A cat who lives on my street told me about it. The circle sends you to another time. Watch, I will leave now and I will disappear, to find a better home.”

Adele walked slowly between two of the stones, and was gone.

Suddenly, Arnold was back at the first stone he had sniffed. Time shifted beneath his feet as the world plunged into darkness, stars above like the light of better futures, beacons of hope for the lost soul.

He began to sniff his way round the circle again. Another cat approached, eyes like full moons in the dim light. “Hello, I am Jasper. I have come to this magic circle to be free.” Jasper then walked out of the stone circle and was gone.

The grass moved beneath his feet, and he was back at the first stone again, the world spinning as grey daylight overtook the night. A light rain fell.

A grey cat who matched the sky above approached slowly. “Hello stone circle cat, I am here to request its magic. A new time and a new owner!”

“What is this magic?” asked Arnold.

“All the local cats know about it, not happy with your current home, you come here. You will find a better one on the other side of the circle.”

“But I am happy in my home,” pondered Arnold. “What will happen to me?”

Arnold skipped round the circle, then returned to the first stone, to begin his exploration anew. He did not know that he was in a time loop, but he sensed that something was not right. It was like he was trapped in the largest cat basket ever, he could see out of the circle but he could not walk free.

**

Sarah stopped her search for Arnold. He was gone. She learned to live without him, but would never forget, another feline footprint in that part of her heart that almost but did not break. How could it break when there were still two beautiful cats to look after?

So Sarah, Alice and Amy continued their lives together, curling up at night to dreams they did not remember, meeting Arnold somewhere cold, a frozen feeling in their hearts that evaporated with the dawn.

Years passed; Sarah’s hair turned grey as the cats’ whiskers grew white and their eyes saw less and less. The arthritic felines still slept each night on Sarah’s bed, the slumber of the old, a sleep from which one day they might not awaken. Then that day came, both cats sleeping their forever, bodies still and cold. Sarah awoke to the pain that all pet owners must one day face. She picked up a stray whisker, as the tears fell.

**

Arnold had been in the stone circle for days now, and finally pangs of hunger broke through the mysterious unease in his heart. He must eat.

A white cat approached him across the circle. “I am your guardian cat angel,” she purred softly. “I have come to send you home. Exit the circle by that stone there, then go home.”

“Home? My own home? Not a new home like all these other cats I have met?”

“Your home,” said the cat with her deep green eyes on his. “Go now.”

Arnold ran and ran. He could not wait to leave the stone circle behind. Then he was there, at his house and sprinting through the cat flap.

**

Sarah sipped her cold tea, then heard the sound of the cat flap. She froze. It was a week now since Alice and Amy had slipped away. Who then was coming through the cat flap?

Slowly she walked to the kitchen, then stopped in disbelief, turning to dizzy delight. It was Arnold! Looking not a day older.

Sarah hugged her cat as though she had not seen him for years, as indeed she had not. “Arnold, my Arnold.” Grief melted as happiness hugged her heart.

Tears streamed down Sarah’s face, joy and grief intertwined like the ribbon of life. Arnold sniffed her hair, his knowing eyes sparkling. Magic misted the air around them, as miracles unwound in their hearts. It was a day of destiny; it was another chance at love; it was a cat spell in freefall.

A few miles away, a stone circle sparkled under the sun, secrets hidden deep in its stone, mysteries silent as the sky above. Slowly, a stray cat entered the circle, hope in his heart. A better destiny would dawn.

Billy and Teddy Visit the Sphinx

The Sphinx with a pyramid behind at night
TheDigitalArtist on Pixabay

Previous Billy and Teddy Adventures

Secrets are a silence that will one day shatter.

Billy and Teddy’s eyes shone in the moonlight. The black and grey cats crouched close together. The garden was still, a light wind whispering in the trees, like secrets being shushed before they were spoken.

Ambrose regarded them with his patronising eyes. He was the giant ginger cat who had orchestrated their previous adventures. “Tonight, I share with you my story. This time, we travel in the time capsule together.”

“Where or when are we going?”

Ambrose’s eyes sparkled with an inner sun. “You will see!”

The moon kissed the capsule with its silver light. It whirred and came to life. Then it was gone.

They had arrived. Billy and Teddy were astounded at the desert all around. They had never seen anything like it. A towering and half feline face looked down on them.

“We are in Egypt, and this is the Sphinx,” explained Ambrose. “You are here to learn its, and my, secrets. The knowledge you gain tonight, will make you the most powerful cat healers this world will ever know. Follow me.”

Ambrose strode confidently towards a giant Sphinx paw as a door opened before him, the stone groaning like an old man. “Hurry up!” screamed Ambrose telepathically. “This door is secret! We can’t have it open and in plain view for a second longer than we need!”

The three cats entered a dimly lit chamber, flickering candles throwing light around them, shadows circling their feet as wonders hit their eyes like arrows from a crazy adventurer.

“These candles are magic,” explained Ambrose. “They light themselves whenever anyone enters the chamber, which is very seldom indeed, in fact we are probably the first for centuries.”

The light danced in their eyes, then slowly settled like a flock of startled birds coming back to earth. They could see seven sphinx statues, cat like beasts with mysterious eyes. Billy arched his tail nervously. A deep magic sent an electric current through them. The statues were silent however seemed to speak, so strong was their presence.

A statue of a sphinx with an Ancient Egyptian style head
NakNakNak on Pixabay

“These sphinx statues contain timeless secrets. The most dramatic secrets however, are in the heart of the main sphinx whose paw we are now in. But that can wait for another day. Today, let me introduce Avalona, Miracle, Destina, Oracle, Golden, Wisdom … and finally, Ambrose.”

“Ambrose?”

“Yes. This is a statue of me in my former life. I was a sphinx in Ancient Egypt, and I was a guide to a king. We have all reincarnated as cats, but one day we may return as sphinxes. The day that cats are once again revered on Earth as gods, is the day the sphinxes come back. And that will be the start of paradise on Earth.”

“So sphinxes were real?”

“Very much so, we contain the wisdom of ancient worlds, and will one day birth the secret to a new heaven here on Earth. Today, I will introduce you to the statue Golden. All sphinxes are unique, and all meow to their own molten magic.”

Ambrose rubbed his head around Golden’s sandstone paw.

Immediately, the sphinx’s eyes lit up, launching two golden beams of light across the cavern.

“Come closer,” commanded Ambrose. “This light will attune you to the golden healing ray. It is very special, with the power to increase intelligence, rejuvenate brain tissue and impart wisdom. You will now carry this ray of light, and can heal all you come in to contact with.”

Billy and Teddy closed their eyes as golden rays caressed their minds. As often happens half way through an adventure, they suddenly felt like a nap, and lay down at the golden sphinx’s feet.

“What are you doing!” roared Ambrose. “What a pair of heroes you are! Wake up! If you look in to this sphinx’s eyes, it will relay a timeless secret to you. It is actually possible to connect to the feline sphinx’s soul through its eyes. This is the soul currently residing thousands of years ago in Egypt. This whole crypt is a time travel tunnel of telepathy.”

Billy and Teddy did as instructed, their brains tingling as they stared in to the enigmatic gold eyes before them.

“A secret word. It will transport you to Ancient Egypt whenever you are in danger or need help … We will be there and will come to your aid. This is the word … ”

Billy and Teddy grinned as only cats do, by closing their eyes. The message was clear, they had powerful new friends. Would Ancient Egypt be their next adventure?

“Time for home,” instructed Ambrose. “But we will be back! In time, you will be introduced to the secrets of each sphinx here … even one day, my own mysteries. There are seven sphinx statues here, you will get to know each one. One day there will be nine statues, to represent the mythical nine lives of a cat. But time to go.”

Back home, Billy and Teddy finally succumbed to slumber. A golden meadow stretched before them, and they chased golden butterflies and nibbled on golden grass.

As they slept, many miles away day dawned in Egypt as the Sphinx suddenly shone gold. Early tourists stared in amazement. Then the sphinx reverted to its normal sandstone hues. The moment passed, decreed to be a trick of the sun.

In the Sphinx’s ancient eyes, secrets burned like invisible suns. Billy and Teddy stretched in their sleep, dreams like jewels in their heart. When they awoke, they felt refreshed … and did they really feel more intelligent? Something had changed in their brain, it was easier to think. As they left their bed, a golden whisker shone in the sun. Then it changed colour back to black.

They agreed that this had been the best adventure of all. Gold energy lit their hearts as the sun rose higher in the sky. It was time to play, to be a stranger to strife and a friend of fun. It was time to be normal cats … until the next adventure beckoned.

Far away, seven sphinx statues emitted a low moan, however there was no one to hear. Billy and Teddy continued to play, the mysteries of their world sleeping … for now. The early sun shone as though night could never come, and summer never end. Billy and Teddy chased contentment, not a care in their golden hearts. One day, sphinxes might return to Earth, bringing their promise of paradise. A new tomorrow would dawn, and with it a feline destiny of golden hope.