The first thing Deena felt was the sticky lump on her forehead. Lying still, she decided that was the worst injury the giant had inflicted—so far. She sat up, and the floor swung wildly. Bracing her hands, she looked around her cage, suspended from a hook on the ceiling. She didn’t trust her balance, so she lay back down, rolled to the side, and pulled herself upright against the cage bars.
The giant’s kitchen spread out below her, but he was nowhere to be seen. A pot of water boiled on the center stove, and she shuddered. I hope that’s not for me, she thought grimly.
She pulled herself around to the cage door. It was locked of course. And the giant had taken all her weapons. Or so he thought. She leaned down and felt around the hem of her heavy skirts for the slender knife sewn inside.
Making short work of the lock, Deena swung the door open and peered out, considering her options. She definitely wasn’t jumping down toward to pot of boiling water, although that was the closest surface. Her next best bet was a counter covered with flour, a rolling pin resting in a stand. Great, maybe he’ll bake me into a pie.
She swung the cage to build momentum, then leaped for the counter. She grabbed the edge and felt the cool marble slide right past her fingers as she fell to the floor, banging against two drawer handles on her way down. She lay there, gasping for breath, looking up at the still-swinging cage. Well, this isn’t much of an improvement.
“You don’t look like a mouse. I think I’ll eat you anyway.” Deena bolted upright at the raspy voice. Behind her sat an enormous gray cat, regarding her with cool green eyes and slowly swishing his tail back and forth. And talking to her. That’s never happened before.”
She jumped up and tried to look menacing. “I’m no mouse, and you shouldn’t eat me. But you could help me get out of here,” she suggested.
The cat yawned and showed off his sharp, white teeth. “Why would I do that?” He purred.
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