Stories-part three

IT ALL ENDS HERE! This is the last Daughters of Bast book.

Daughters of Bast #3

Chaos Rising

Madeline Todd

Deirdre woke up with a start to the sounds of the alarm going off. Bast didn’t say anything about today being important, which is when she set the alarms. Then, Deirdre looked at the kitten calendar and saw the reason for the alarm. Today was April Fool’s day. This time, the alarm was playing Motown music. The night we met I knew I needed you so, and if I had the chance I’d never let you go… Deirdre laughed. For one thing, this clearly wasn’t Bast’s doing. It seemed more like an attempt by Bebo to annoy everyone out of their skins. For another thing, this did not work at all because Deirdre actually like this song. Still in bed, Deirdre began singing along. “Be my, Be my baby,” she sang. Ainsley sat up and stared at her. “What the heck…” she muttered. Deirdre shrugged and turned the alarm off. The two best friends got out of bed and began getting dressed when Ainsley let out a gasp. “Look over there,” she panted. Deirdre turned around to see a poster of Taylor Swift hanging on the door. This was also clearly Bebo’s doing. Deirdre ripped the poster to shreds and threw the scraps in the trash before going out the door with Ainsley. At about halfway down the hall, the girls heard a cry of “EEEEEEWWWW!!” coming from Bebo’s room. Ainsley cautiously opened the door to find Bebo staring at the walls with a disgusted look on her face. Phoebe was lying on the floor, laughing hysterically. Deirdre peered inside and saw the source of Bebo’s cry: there were Oscar the Grouch posters covering the entire room. There was even one with him standing next to Darth Vader. “Who did this?” demanded Bebo. “Alright, fine. It was me!” snickered Ainsley. Phoebe ran over and gave Ainsley a hearty fist bump before they went down the hall to breakfast. When they got to the kitchen, they saw that Elsa and Namidah were already up. Bast and Sekhmet were up too, but something was strange about them. Sekhmet was lying facedown on the kitchen floor. Growling, she pulled herself up and pointed an accusatory finger at the girls. “Who’s doing was this?” she growled. Deirdre peered nervously into the pantry to see that it had been carefully booby trapped. “April Fool!” Elsa shouted. Sekhmet did a face palm before lumbering onto the couch. Bast was making biscuits in the kitchen. Cheerfully, she pulled them out of the oven. “Breakfast is ready!” she meowed. Deirdre’s mouth began to water at the sight of the buttery, flaky, circle of baked goodness before her. She took a large bite to find that the biscuit tasted strange. Deirdre looked at the place she had bitten into and she saw a fluffy, pink and white substance spilling out of it. She prodded it cautiously, and a little dollop got on her finger. Deirdre sniffed the stuff to determine that it was shaving cream. Raspberry-scented shaving cream, to be exact. The weird aftertaste lingered in her mouth, so she ran to the kitchen sink and rinsed with tap water. Panting, she ran back to the table. Bast seemed to be holding back laughter. Ainsley was devouring her biscuit, but then she dropped it on the plate. Cat treats were stuffed inside her biscuit. Bebo bit into her biscuit to find purple, glow-in-the-dark putty. Seeing the others, Namidah ripped open her biscuit to find it stained  bright blue with dishwashing soap. Elsa picked out pony beads from her biscuit one by one. Phoebe brushed biscuit crumbs off a Japanese eraser shaped like a puppy. Sekhmet bit into her biscuit to find trail mix, but without the delicious M & M’s. It was all gross nuts and raisins, but at least it was the most normal out of all of them. All heads at the table turned to Bast, who’s biscuit was not the slightest bit tainted. “Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone,” she snickered. No one laughed. “Here, I’ll go and make some eggs for everyone,” mumbled Sekhmet as she left the table. Bast broke into loud laughter as the girls dumped their biscuits in the trash can. When Bebo came to the trash can, there was a surprise waiting for her: Yet another Oscar the Grouch poster. The girls broke into laughter along with Bast, whose laughter only got harder. Sekhmet made eggs as the girls rinsed with water, trying to get the tastes of fish, rubber, plastic, and putty out of their mouths. The eggs were able to silence the disgusting tastes and the girls went on eating.

***

It was late afternoon, and Deirdre was removing a booby trap that Elsa had crafted that morning from the trash can. Deirdre decided to head to the arcade and headed out the door. She slipped on the floor of the hall. Did someone wax the floor for April Fool’s? she thought. But there was no sign of wax. There was a small slip of paper on the floor. Deirdre read it in surprise.

Dear Master “A”,

I’m going to break it to fish breath and her little assistants soon enough. After that, I’ll come back to you and continue my work. The world will be a much better place without them.

Sincerely,

Bebo K. McBride

P.S: Show this to Set

Deirdre gasped. Who was Bebo writing to? Who was “Master ‘A’”? Who were Set and the other girls. Who was the “fish breath” person that Bebo referred to? Deirdre turned back from her course to the arcade and ran to Bast and Sekhmet’s study. She threw open the door to find Bast sitting on a chair, drumming her clawed fingers on the wooden legs. “Bast, I found something,” Deirdre panted frantically. Deirdre whipped out the note and handed it to Bast.  She narrowed her golden eyes as she scanned the note with great interest. As she reached the end of the letter, her eyes widened. “Set? Master ‘A’? Oh, no. Deirdre, big news: Bebo is officially a traitor,” meowed Bast. “A traitor? Sure, she loves Taylor Swift and Fruit Ninja, but surely she isn’t a traitor!” cried Deirdre. “Let me tell you something, Look at Master ‘A’,” said Bast, pointing to the words on the letter. “The ‘a’ stands for Apophis, the serpent of chaos. Set,” Bast continued, pointing to the words on the letter. “Set is the god of evil. If Bebo’s working for them, it’s bad news,” explained Bast. “I’m showing this to Sekhmet, then I’ll gather everyone and interrogate Bebo,” she said. The goddess stormed into a pocket of the study where Sekhmet was obviously working. “How dare she call me fish breath,” she heard Bast mutter. Deirdre left the room and set off to the arcade to distract herself by playing Pac-Man.

***

Bast had gathered Sekhmet and the girls around the dining room table. She pulled the note out from her sleeve, which was where she normally hid things like notes and the occasional pen. “Deirdre found this in the hallway this afternoon,” she explained. Bast read the note aloud and shoved it in Bebo’s face. “Explain this,” growled Bast. Bebo trembled, her blue eyes darting between Deirdre and Bast. Without a word, she raced out of the dining room. “Come back here and explain, you…..!” shouted Bast at the top of her lungs. Bebo didn’t come back. “I knew Bebo was up to something,” whispered Ainsley. “I’ve always thought of her as sort of a….bad egg, shall we say.” Bebo eventually came back, but she had two rolling bags. “I’m leaving. I knew all of you suspected me all along. You’ll regret this when the world is Apophis’s,” snapped Bebo. Without a word, she sashayed towards the door and she was gone. “Good riddance,” muttered Namidah. “This can’t be good. We have to confront Apophis and Set a.s.a.p, girls,” said Bast with a note of panic in her voice. “At least no one really liked her,” said Elsa with a shrug. “Yes, well…” said Sekhmet, her voice trailing off. “I’ll take Phoebe, Namidah, and Elsa for battle training, tomorrow” said Sekhmet. “After dinner, at least.” “Promise you won;t taint anything?” Deirdre asked. “Pinky swear,” said Sekhmet, holding out a furry, white pinky.  Then, Sekhmet went off to the kitchen, stopping to undo the booby trap in the pantry. Ainsley and Deirdre went off to their room. They plopped down in the bed. “Ugh. I knew Bebo would do something like that,” muttered Ainsley. “Yeah, well. For me it was pretty—” Deirdre was cut off as she heard footsteps thumping down the hall. “Oh. It’s Namidah. Apparently she has something important to do,” said Ainsley, rolling her dark brown eyes. “Do you want to investigate?” asked Deirdre mischievously. “Let’s do it,” sniggered Ainsley. “I have something perfect.” She opened the closet and pulled out two sleek white jumpsuits. “My spy suits. They provide soundlessness and almost perfect camouflage against the white carpets. Pull the hood over,” instructed Ainsley. Deirdre pulled the thin hood over her head and the girls headed out. “Might wanna pull your hair under the hood,” suggested Deirdre. Little curls of Ainsley’s hair were sticking out from under the hood. She pushed them in and they set out for Namidah’s room. The door was open, and the girls got down on their bellies and stalked into the room like cats preying on mice. Namidah was hard at work on her laptop, typing rapidly on the keys. Deirdre peeked around her shoulder to find Namidah on the Warrior Cats website. She giggled as she typed Deirdre’s name into the screen. Uh oh, thought Deirdre as Namidah typed “New York” in as Deirdre’s hometown. Namidah pressed the enter key and something strange popped up on the screen: Warrior name: Honeyfeather. Namidah giggled and looked around her shoulder. “Deirdre? Ainsley? What are you doing here? I said I was busy,” Namidah growled. Ainsley sighed and did air quotation marks. “You’re just making everyone warrior names that no one will bother to even use,” muttered Deirdre. Namidah’s expression brightened. “I just finished! Wanna hear everyone’s Warrior names?” she asked with a smile that was a little too enthusiastic. She exited off of the Warrior website and pulled up a computer sticky note that she had made. This is what it read:

Deirdre = Honeyfeather

Ainsley= Emberpelt

Bebo= Aspenshine

Elsa= Redfur

Phoebe= Pineclaw

Me!= Longleaf

“Cool, right?” asked Namidah. “Now let’s figure out what you would look like as warriors!” “Let’s leave. She’s become Warriors obsessed!” whispered Ainsley. With that, the girls snuck out of the room. As they were walking out of Namidah and Elsa’s room, Ainsley began doing the most surprising thing that Deirdre had ever seen her do. Ainsley took of the hood of the jumpsuit and began to sing softly. “Sheena is a punk rocker, Sheena is a punk rocker,” she sang. Deirdre looked at her confusedly as they walked back into their room. “I never thought you could sing,” remarked Deirdre. “Well, I only do it when I’m anxious,” said Ainsley. Ainsley walked over to the iPod and began scrolling down on the songs. “Bad Believer?” asked Deirdre. “Nope,” said Ainsley. “The song I was just singing.” Rock ’N’ roll music began playing out of the speaker. “You like the Ramones?” Deirdre asked. “No. This is the Yeah Yeah Yeahs covering the Ramones,” corrected Ainsley. Ainsley danced, curly, dark brown hair whipping along to the beat. In the middle of Ainsley’s dance number, Deirdre heard Bast calling. “Girls! Meet me in the living room!” she called. “Darn it!” muttered Ainsley under her breath as she turned off the music. The twosome walked out of the room and into the living room. Bast was staining next to a huge chest. Elsa and Namidah had already arrived. Elsa was holding a clipboard and a pencil. Sekhmet was slouched on the couch. “Alright, girls! Stand next to Namidah for me,” instructed Bast cheerfully. Ainsley stood next to Namidah, and Deirdre moved next to Ainsley. Soon, Phoebe came running and stood next to Deirdre. “Girls, Sekhmet and I have constructed a plan. For this plan, we need a decoy. This contest will determine our decoy,” explained Bast. “I will draw the name of a book character, a movie character, or a famous person and you four will try and act out that person. Each round, someone will get first place. Whoever gets first place the most times wins and is the decoy,” explained Bast. “Elsa has elected to be scorekeeper since she’s wheelchair-bound, so she will not be participating,” Bast continued. Bast pulled the chest open to reveal a bunch of dress-up items like witch hats, fairy wands, and even a fake steering wheel that looked like something taken of a pirate ship. “For the first round, imitate…” Bast said. She pulled a slip out of a mason jar and read it aloud. “The Wicked Witch of the West!” “I’ll go first!” said Deirdre. At the orphanage, they played The Wizard of Oz many times each month for entertainment, so she had the entire movie practically memorized. She pulled the witch hat on and began her act. Deirdre pretended to sink to the floor in agony. “I’m melting! I’m melting!” she moaned. Deirdre collapsed on the floor and stood up again before handing the witch hat to Namidah. Namidah pulled the witch hat on over her baby blue headscarf and began her act. She put one hand on her hip and bent over towards Sekhmet. “I’ll get you now, my pretty, and your little dog too!” she crowed, waggling a finger at Sekhmet. Sekhmet sniggered and Namidah handed her hat to Ainsley. Ainsley slowly put it on and stood there for a moment, confused. Then, she started hopping around wildly, flapping her arms and cackling weirdly. Ainsley stopped her act panting and handed the witch hat to Phoebe. Phoebe slipped on the witch hat and then jumped back suddenly. “Acck! The slippers!” she cried. Then, she tossed the hat back in the chest. Elsa began scribbling on the paper attached to the clipboard rapidly. She tapped Bast on the shoulder and they looked over the paper. “For this round, Deirdre wins first place!” Bast announced. Deirdre pumped her fist in the air before looking at Bast to see the next round. The second round, the girls had to imitate Mickey Mouse. Ainsley won that round for her perfect imitation of Steamboat Willy. Phoebe won the next two rounds with her imitations of Harry Potter and Nick Jonas. She was now the decoy. Deirdre gave her a high five before turning to Bast again. “Now, we need to decide what the decoy should be like. This decoy is someone willing to join Set and Apophis. We’ll each cast an idea for what the decoy should be like except Phoebe,” explained Bast as she passed out slips of paper and pencils. Once Deirdre was handed hers, she began to think. Someone who would work for Set would probably be dark….wait, I’ve got it! Goth girl! thought Deirdre as she wrote her idea down on the slip. She dropped it in the mason jar and waited for the moment of truth. Once everyone had submitted their ideas, Bast fished around the jar. She pulled out a slip and read it aloud. “It says…Wolfmother Fan,” read Bast. “Good idea!” Elsa began to giggle. “I got the idea from this kid at the children’s hospital. He was about fourteen and he really liked Wolfmother. It’s this super weird band that does rock, but no good rock. Not in my opinion, at least,” she explained between giggles. “I know Wolfmother. Here, Phoebe, I’ll get your decoy outfit ready and teach you a few chords for a Wolfmother song on the guitar to make yourself even more convincing,” explained Sekhmet as she took a nervous Phoebe by the hand. Deirdre plopped herself back down on the couch. “I’ll give you guys the plan. Phoebe comes out with the decoy, playing guitar in the middle of nowhere. Set and his girls come out and Phoebe asks to join their team. They hopefully let her, and we follow close behind. We give Phoebe the cue, and we attack,” explained Bast quickly. “Sounds like a plan! Wait, sorry. No pun intended, guys,” said Elsa. “Get some clothes on that you won’t mind getting all ripped and stuff and meet me back here,” instructed Bast. Deirdre sped off to her room and began digging through the closet. There she found a boring, solid baby blue tank top and some jeans that already had a few holes in them. She also slipped on some worn, red sneakers. Deirdre pulled her hair back with a barrette and walked out the door. When she came back, she found Bast chatting with a girl she didn’t recognize. The girl had white-blonde hair with dyed purple streaks and sea blue eyes. “Oh, good outfit, Deirdre. Allow me to introduce you to our fellow spy, Tabitha Means,” introduced Bast. Tabitha walked over and shook Deirdre’s hand. “Hey,” she said. “So, you’ve been a spy for Set and Apophis for this whole time?” asked Deirdre. “Yeah. those dudes were such idiots,” said Tabitha mischievously. Deirdre laughed. “I can’t wait for Phoebe to come out in her disguise. It’s gonna be so great!” exclaimed Deirdre.  Ainsley and Namidah came out wearing their “battle outfits”. Namidah sported  a simple t-shirt and jean shorts. Ainsley wore a pink tank top and ripped leggings. Bast introduced them to Tabitha and they waited for Elsa. Eventually, she wheeled into the room and waited for Phoebe and Sekhmet. To pass the time, Namidah showed them the at least six minute long video that she, Phoebe, and Deirdre took of Bebo playing Fruit Ninja. After the video had ended, Phoebe and Sekhmet walked. Phoebe’s long hair had been teased up to look something like an afro. She sported baggy jeans and a golden yellow t-shirt with “Wolfmother” on it in triangular lettering. Posed on top of the letters was a silhouette of a guy with an afro playing an electric guitar. Phoebe also carried a black electric guitar. “How do you like my ‘do?” asked Phoebe. Something seemed strange about her voice. Phoebe was speaking in an Australian accent! “What’s with the accent?” asked Namidah. “Apparently Wolfmother is an Australian band, so I did the accent to be even more convincing,” explained Phoebe. Phoebe plopped down on the couch, her afro bouncing. She began to practice her song on the guitar. “Have you been to the carnival? I would like to see ya, There’s a whole lotta people there, who would like to be ya,” sang Phoebe with her accent. Deirdre couldn’t help laughing. “Alright, Phoebe. You can stop now. Let’s go,” snickered Bast. “I’ve packed up all of our defenses. Deirdre and Elsa, you don’t need to worry because you have combat avatars.” The goddesses and girls went out the door and into a small patch of bushes. “This is where we lay our ambush,” Sekhmet explained quietly. “Well, looks like the kitty cats have arrived! At least you’re not late,” called a voice. A woman in delicate robes and bright was sitting in the bushes. “Oh. Hello, Isis. Where are the others?” greeted Bast. “Over there,” said Isis, gesturing behind her. Behind the goddess, a crowd of gods and goddesses were sitting down and talking. Bast, Sekhmet, and the girls walked over. Two of them Deirdre recognized. Sitting next to an older looking goddess with a dress that looked like running water was Anubis. Lying on his back on the ground, dripping dirty water,  was Hapi. He had changed his Hawaiian-patterned swimming trunks for ones that had neon-pink flamingoes. Deirdre plopped down in the crowd and scanned her surroundings. As she was looking around, she felt a hand tap on her shoulder. Deirdre spun around to see the woman with the water dress. Her eyes were outlined with mascara and sparkling, blue eyeshadow. She wore a headband that also looked like rushing river water. “I’ve been waiting for so long to meet you, Deirdre,” the woman purred. “How do you know me?” asked Deirdre nervously. “I just do. It’s a goddess thing,” snickered the woman. “I’m Nepthys.” “Oh yeah! I remember you! Bast did an imitation of you to get some information out of Anubis when he kidnapped Ainsley,” Deirdre explained. “Now that I think about it, her imitation sounded more like an eighty year old lady than you.” “Anubis did WHAT?” exclaimed Nepthys. “Sorry, mom,” apologized Anubis in the background. “Awkward..” muttered Deirdre under her breath. Nepthys turned around to give her son a talking-to and Deirdre ignored them. Her eyes spotted a scrawny, bronze-colored cat with black spots. Feeling sorry for the poor thing, she scratched it under the chin. The cat purred and closed it’s green eyes. “What’s an old kitty like you doing here?” cooed Deirdre. “Oh, I have a right to be here.” Deirdre paused scratching the cat and stared at it.

“Did you just talk?” Deirdre asked. “Well, yes. I am a god, after all,” purred the cat. “My name is Ra. The Ra.” “The god of the sun can’t be that small,” exclaimed Deirdre. “Well, I go into this form when I go out every night to slay Apophis. He just comes back to life very morning. It’s pretty annoying, if you ask me. Anyway, in order for Apophis to destroy the world, he has to swallow me,” explained Ra.  Deirdre stared at the tiny god in amazement. A voice rang out among the gathered deities. “It’s time to set the ambush. Phoebe, get out there and do your stuff!” exclaimed Bast. Phoebe said goodbye to a god with a falcon head and whipped out her electric guitar and began to play the rehearsed Wolfmother song. In the background, Deirdre heard Anubis whispering, “Hey, I like that song!” Nepthys silenced him and they watched the disguised Phoebe. “Lay low,” instructed Bast. Everyone got to their bellies to avoid detection. Phoebe continued to play her song. Out of the blue, a girl came out. The girl was wearing a plaid, long-sleeve shirt, jeans, cowboy boots, and a cowboy hat. Her bright red hair, which was tied in a braid, made her look like a fox in a cowgirl suit. Phoebe looked up and began talking to the girl, and they left. Bast made a swift motion with her fingers and the gods, goddesses, and girls crawled on their bellies soundlessly after Phoebe and the “cowgirl”. Deirdre imagined a cat stalking a mouse as she put each hand down on the sidewalk. The group followed the girls until the girls stopped. There were four other girls standing there as well as a few freaky looking gods and goddesses. With a start, Deirdre recognized Set and Apophis among the crowd. Apophis basically looked like a giant snake with blazing red eyes. Set resembled Hapi, but with fiery red skin, blank, golden-yellow eyes, and what looked like a short toga instead of the flashy swimming trunks. Bast separated from the group and crawled over to Phoebe and whispered something in her ear. Phoebe nodded quickly and Bast leaped back into the silent throng. Phoebe whipped out her guitar and muttered some ancient Egyptian spell. The girl in the cowgirl outfit’s eyes widened as the electric guitar turned into a gleaming khopesh. Bast quickly turned around. “Advance further. I’ll get the attention of those evil gods. Then, we attack,” Bast whispered quickly. The cat goddess leaped and landed right next to Phoebe. Apophis turned around and hissed. Deirdre felt a tap on her shoulder. It was Ainsley, trying to comfort her. “It’s gonna be fine. We’ll win this war,” she whispered. Deirdre took a deep breath and sighed. “I suppose so.” She continued staring intently at Bast, who was in deep conversation with Set and Apophis. Then, they stopped and turned around. “Girls, get over here,” she instructed. Deirdre shakily got to her feet. Gulping, she walked to Bast’s side and held onto her free paw. Deirdre heard jeering voices of girls. “Ooh, look at poor scaredy-cat, holding onto mommy’s hand!” The comment was met by mean laughter. Once all of the girls had come over, Bast handed out instructions. “According to these pea brains over here,” she said, gesturing to Set and Apophis. Apophis hissed and Set gritted his teeth in response. “We each have an opposite on the evil side. Line up.” Deirdre stood beside Ainsley. When she looked at her opposite, a familiar face showed itself. Deirdre could recognize the blonde bangs and rectangular-rimmed glasses at once. It was Bebo. “We meet again, loser,” sneered Bebo. “I beg to differ about who’s the loser,” retorted Deirdre, her anger bubbling up inside of her. Deirdre looked over at the other girls. Ainsley faced a strangely pale girl with spiked, black hair, dark makeup, and an Iron Maiden t-shirt with the sleeves ripped off. Phoebe faced the cowgirl. Namidah was facing a girl with long, auburn hair and a neon pink fedora with black dots. Elsa wheeled ever closer to a girl with a prosthetic hand. Tabitha was smiling wickedly at a short girl with blonde hair streaked with electric blue. Set had his hands pressed together, fingers going in and out. “Let the games begin,” he announce wickedly. All of the sudden, the whole area was abuzz with screeches and shouts. Bebo unsheathed her khopesh and stalked towards Deirdre. In response, Deirdre rose up in her combat avatar. Her vision was blurred with the bright, transparent orange of her avatar as she sliced with her claws. Bebo swung her weapon wildly, causing the combat avatar to flicker ever so slightly. In defense, Deirdre grabbed Bebo by the waist and held her high in the air. With her free hand, Deirdre slashed at Bebo’s face. Bebo, unable to get a hold on her khopesh, thrashed in Deirdre’s grasp. Deirdre shrugged and dropped Bebo. She heard a sickening thud as Bebo, along with her glimmering khopesh, hit the ground. Bebo began to moan in agony. A goddess raced up and dragged the injured Bebo by the hand and put her in a nearby shed. The goddess went back and stood to face Deirdre. Deirdre, still in her combat avatar, backed away slightly at the sight of the goddess. She had a headdress and robes like any other goddess, but the goddess herself was a humanoid scorpion. Deirdre had a deathly fear of scorpions because of a nightmare she had when she was in the orphanage. A giant scorpion had chased her down a winding road and eventually off a cliff. Deirdre woke up sweating that night. With a start, Deirdre realized that it was Serqet, the goddess of scorpions. Flickering out of her combat avatar, Deirdre let out a scream. The scorpion goddess snickered. “Oh, so this ‘hero of the story’ I’ve been hearing about is just a big old wuss. Figures,” Serqet jeered. Hyperventilating, Deirdre slowly backed away. Then, imagining Bast leaping back into the crowd minutes ago, she leaped with the sheer agility of a cat. Deirdre clung to one of Serqet’s plated arthropod arms and began to climb up the goddess’s body. Serqet tried to shake the eleven year old off, but Deirdre pushed on like a mountaineer climbing Mt. Everest. Soon, Deirdre reached Serqet’s ugly head. With one hand, she held on, and with the other, she punched Serqet. Serqet once again tried to shake her off, but to no avail. Deirdre had something close to a death grip on the goddess’s head. In defense, she lifted her barbed tail up and guided it towards Deirdre. Deirdre leaped off Serqet and began to back away when a cloud of dust flew past her. It was Ainsley, running as fast as a hurricane towards the humanoid arthropod. Aiming her ivory wand at Serqet, Ainsley shot a blast of blue light straight into Serqet’s chest. The goddess hissed and began to advance towards the girls. Serqet dropped into a crouch and aimed her giant tail. Ainsley advanced towards the goddess, right in the path of her stinging tail. “Ainsley! You’re going to get yourself killed!” screamed Deirdre. Ainsley ignored her plea and advanced ever closer. Serqet lifted her tail to strike, the teardrop-shaped barb pointed down. With lightning speed, Serqet’s tail rocketed down on a path straight for Ainsley’s heart. Seeing her friend in danger, Deirdre jumped into Ainsley and pushed her away from the deadly blow. Serqet’s tail grazed Deirdre’s arm as she pushed Ainsley away from danger. Angered, Serqet snapped her jaws together and scampered away. Deirdre held onto Ainsley, cradling her as she hyperventilated. “Are you okay?” Deirdre whispered. “Okay? You saved my life,” panted Ainsley. “Now, let’s go save the world.” The girls stood up and raced back onto the battlefield. Deirdre’s head turned around to see Apophis with Ra in his his coils. Ra was slicing nonstop with knives at the great serpent’s neck. Apophis was slowly lifting Ra towards his gaping, fanged maw. Despite the danger, Ra kept on slicing. “He’s going to swallow Ra!” gasped Ainsley. “We’ve got to get over there!” Deirdre and Ainsley raced towards the serpent and leaped onto his back. Oblivious, Apophis began to force the scrawny cat into his mouth. “Climb faster!” shouted Deirdre. It was too late. Apophis had swallowed Ra whole. The outline of gleaming, golden orb showed through the evil serpent’s neck. “I have swallowed the sun!” Apophis hissed. “The world is mine!” Deirdre hyperventilated faster than ever. All of Bast’s efforts were wasted. The world was doomed. His job done, Apophis looked around and spotted the two girls clinging to his neck. “Get off, pests! You’ve lost the battle,” spat the serpent. The girls stayed exactly where they were. “Wait for it…” Ainsley whispered. “I heard that! Wait for what?” demanded Apophis. Deirdre looked up at the serpent’s neck. The glowing orb was glowing larger by the second. Thunder boomed in the distance. Apophis began to choke. The once powerful serpent now weakened. In a flash of blinding light, Apophis’s neck burst into flames and the orb rose out. The orb began to take the shape of a cat, then returned to the state of Ra. “Told you so,” meowed Ra as he hovered in the air before descending back down. Apophis cowered in the flames, slowly dissolving until he was nothing but ashes. Deirdre and Ainsley leaped off of the flaming serpent and back onto the hard ground. Deirdre whipped around to see Set howling out orders. “Retreat! Apophis is dead!” he shouted. They ran of for who knows where and Deirdre watched with a triumphant smile. Bast threw her head up in the air. “Victory!” she yowled. In the place of screams and howls of pain, the clearing erupted in cheers. “This is a cause for celebration!” an unseen god announced. “Alright then, Horus. Good suggestion. Meet me at my house tomorrow at seven p.m., and we’ll have a ‘The world is still here’ party!” Bast announced. The gods and goddesses all went into their human states and the clearing began to empty. Bast and Sekhmet stood proudly, battered and bruised but stoic. The girls picked themselves up and they walked home.

***

It was the night of the celebration, and the mansion ran amok with girls and goddesses setting up. Deirdre was pouring strawberry lemonade into wine glasses. Sekhmet helped tall Phoebe put up neon lights. Ainsley and Elsa were setting up Bast’s DJ station. Bast was making a dance playlist on her laptop. Namidah and Tabitha were planning party games. Paper decor hung from every threshold and ceiling. Deirdre was excited beyond her wildest dreams. A party with major gods and goddesses was better than even having a party with celebrities! Drowning in daydreams, Deirdre began to drift off and spilled a bit of lemonade. Quickly wiping the accident up with a paper towel, she arranged the cups and changed into “party clothes”(An overly sparkly and sequin-laden tank-top, lipgloss, flip-flops, and jean shorts). Putting her short hair in a bun, she went to join the others. Ainsley and Elsa had just finished up the DJ station and Bast set down her laptop and inspected the playlist. Elsa tried to peek over her shoulder, but the cat goddess quickly shooed her away. Ainsley was walking over to Deirdre. “So,” Deirdre asked. “How do I look?” She struck a pose like a wannabe supermodel. “You look great,” giggled Ainsley. “Thanks again for saving my life,” she continued. “What are friends for?” said Deirdre. Ainsley laughed. “This is just like a scene at the end of some cheesy movie where the boy falls in love with the girl after he saves her life and they get all mushy and stuff.” The girls fell into peals of laughter and Deirdre nearly fell down. Suddenly, they heard the scratch of records and someone doing beep box. It was Bast, testing out her microphone. She now sported huge headphones. Ainsley and Deirdre laughed even harder and flopped over on the  couch.

***

It was now seven o’ clock and the first of the gods and goddesses were arriving. Deirdre ran over and gave Nepthys a warm hug and led her to the party room. Looking over to the side, Deirdre spotted Sekhmet taking a selfie with a smaller lion goddess. She and Nepthys sat on the couch. Nepthys looked over at Deirdre, her sea blue eyes twinkling and warm. She put a comforting hand on her shoulder. “I can’t thank you enough, young one. You fought with the heart of a lion,” purred the goddess. In the short time that they had known each other, Nepthys had become an aunt of sorts to the orphan. In minutes, the place was crawling with gods and goddesses of all shapes and sizes. Deirdre spotted Hapi, now wearing a tuxedo, drinking lemonade with a goddess that looked like a humanoid hippopotamus. Isis was chatting with Bast over at the DJ station. Once all of the gathered deities had arrived. Bast stood up  and held the microphone in one hand and a glass of lemonade in the other. The once loud room hushed. “I would like to thank all of you, gods, goddesses, and mortals….wait, did that sound too much like Shakespeare?” Bast began. The crowd snickered. “Boy, she knows how to start a speech,” giggled Ainsley. “Anyway,” the cat goddess continued. “You all made sure that when the war was over, the world would be in one piece. Thank you again. A toast to victory!” Bast recited. “A toast to victory!” the crowd echoed. Deirdre reached over to ever god, goddess and girl that she could and the sound of clinking glasses filled the room. “Now, whaddaya say we have a dance party?” announced Bast. The crowd cheered and Bast sat down and put on her headphones. She spun a record around and scratched it before turning the playlist on. Everyone got to their feet and danced. Nepthys dragged Deirdre off the couch and swung her around in the air. Deirdre couldn’t help but feel dizzy as Nepthys placed her back on the ground and grabbed her arms.

***

It was later in the night, and the navy blue sky sparkled with stars. The dance party was in full swing. After a flurry of dancy songs, The music began to slow. “Alright peeps, slow dance time! I tried to pick something a little more fun than the typical slow dance song, so here we have Strange Love by Karen O.,” Bast explained. Deirdre looked around and suddenly felt a paw claw her foot. It was Ra, staring up at her with blazing green eyes. “May I have this dance?” he meowed. Deirdre smiled and picked him up and cradled him in his arms. “This is the closest I can get to dancing,” Deirdre explained as she swayed back and forth to the music. Ra purred and closed his eyes. Looking around the room, she saw Ainsley arm in arm with Anubis. Maybe, just maybe, they had made amends in the time between the incident, the war, and now. The song stopped and Bast paused the playlist. Deirdre put Ra back on the floor and turned to look at Bast. “This last song is dedicated to my little hero, my dear Deirdre Huxtable. She showed herself to be brave and true in every situation, and I am proud to be your mother. Also, most of my other daughters know and love this song, so this is also dedicated to them. I present to you, our last song, Bad Believer By St. Vincent,” Bast explained. Deirdre couldn’t help letting out a whoop as the music rose to an electronic crescendo. She grabbed the arm of Ainsley and they danced together. Tears of joy were pooling in Ainsley’s brown eyes. “This is the best night of my life!” she cried. “Besides the night that Bast took us home?” corrected Deirdre. “Well, yeah..” Ainsley’s voice trailed off. Suddenly, Deirdre felt herself being viciously squeezed. She turned around to see Sekhmet smiling warmly. the lion goddess grabbed Deirdre by the hand and twirled her around. The music played in the background. But now I’m not afraid. I know I’m not a stra-anger.  Nepthys rushed over to the goddess and the girls and joined in dancing. By the end of the song, they were all clustered in a ball of smiles,  hugs, and joyful tears. The world is finally safe, thought Deirdre. For now, at least. I feel another adventure coming.

~End~

Epilogue

“Happy Birthday, Deirdre!” Bast, Sekhmet, Nepthys, and the girls were seated around the kitchen table. It was six months after the war on a sunny September day, and Deirdre’s 12th birthday was being celebrated. “We’ll have the cake later. Sekhmet, will you do me a favor and bring the gifts over?” asked Bast. Sekhmet ran into the living room and came back with her arms full of wrapped presents. “Open mine first!” pleaded Tabitha. The white-blonde haired girl jumped up and down as she handed Deirdre a present with “Happy Birthday” written all over the wrapping paper. Deirdre tore it open to find a t-shirt that had a little kitten with a sun hat. Deirdre held the t-shirt up to her chest. It fit perfectly! Next, Deirdre received an iTunes gift card for thirty dollars from Ainsley. “Use it to get St. Vincent’s new album,” snickered Ainsley. Deirdre put the gift card down and pulled out a small present from Phoebe. Deirdre tore open the kitten wrapping paper to find a little diary with an Egyptian cat hieroglyph on it. From Namidah, she received a stuffed tabby cat. Elsa gave her a sketchbook. “Thank you, guys! I love these!” thanked Deirdre. “Oh, that’s not all! You haven’t gotten our present,” said Bast mischievously. Nepthys picked up a small present with gold wrapping paper and a silky ribbon. Deirdre untied the ribbon and carefully peeled away the shining paper. The box onside held three miniature statues.

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