Sunday, January 29, 2017

What They Didn't See Coming

Writer Lady looks at Tinkletoes. “I have to admit that I did not see this coming.”
“I'm the man.” Monitor Man cries. “I'm the man!”
“I wonder...” Tinkletoes says thoughtfully, “do you think that the whole running for second-in-command of an entire country is too much pressure.”
“You might have started out with the upper paw but I turned it around.” Monitor Man continues.
“Let's see...a world famous actor who takes a trip in pursuit of a new project gets roped into running for one of the highest political positions in the country only to get kidnapped, transported to another dimension and find himself being hunted down in a fantastic game of cat and mouse. I think that this has been a tougher day than most. Even for him.”
“This is Monitor Man on a bad day?” Tinkletoes asks.
Monitor Man is doing a strange combination of posturing, dancing, and casting insults at the kittens (okay...flipping them
“Why don't you climb into our bubble and say that?” Smudge Mal challenges.
“Any time.” Monitor Man answers. One of his hands begins pushing through the wall of his bubble.
“Bubble...if you would be so kind.” Writer Lady says. A honk echoes through the meadow getting everyone's attention. “Okay. Enough! I would like to declare this hunt over. With your permission Tinkletoes I would like to declare Smudge Mal and Spots Wash capable protectors.”
Tinkletoes nods.
“I would also like to declare Monitor Man a capable adversary. He stood up when the chips were down and turned the situation around.”
“Say it...say it...say it.” Monitor Man's whispers gently echo inside Writer Lady's bubble. “He is the man.” She announces. “Now let's go home.”
But Dobby said...” Spots Wash begins to argue.
“Don't you worry about what Dobby said Spotsy. I'm going to be having a few words with Dobby.”
“I'm glad that's over.” Spots Wash says to Smudge Mal. “I wonder if we can get some food.”
“Ask.” Smudge Mal says.
Spots Wash looks at Writer Lady. “Could we have some food? Now?”
“Of course. You two must be getting awfully hungry. I'll get each of you a nice big bowl of food as soon as we get home. We'll have to pick up Dobby on our way out. Which way is home?”
Both kittens shrug.
“Don't you know where we are?” Writer Lady asks.
“What do you think we are? Dogs?” Smudge Mal asks.
“No. But you are soldiers.” Monitor Man says.  He has calmed considerably and speaks quietly, with purpose. “A good soldier knows his surroundings. Think about it. Think about where you've been. Picture it in your mind. Describe it. Then tell us where we are.”
Tinkletoes looks at Monitor Man. “I didn't know you served.”
“I didn't. I've read for a few war movies.”
“That was really good. I don't remember ever hearing that speech.” Writer Lady says.
“You didn't. I haven't spoken those words since my audition.”
“You didn't get the part?”
“They decided to cut that scene during pre-production. Those were the only lines I had. No scene, no lines. No lines, no job.”
“They were good lines.” Writer Lady says as she, Monitor Man, and Tinkletoes watch as Smudge Mal and Spots Wash huddle to discuss where they had been. Several minutes pass and Smudge Mal announces. “We remember where we left Dobby.”
“In the desert.”
“Sailing on a pirate ship.”
Both kittens share at the same time.
“No he wasn't.” Smudge Mal says.
“Yes. He was. You were getting sea sick.” Spots Wash says.
“It's like two people witnessing the same car crash from opposite angles and one of them has the sun in their eyes.” Writer Lady says.
“We may never get a straight answer.” Tinkletoes agrees.

Carp and Black Buck the Antelope walk through the grasses of a vast meadow along the edges of what used to be the road.
“What does this Monitor Man look like?” Black Buck asks.
“Tall, handsome, great butt.” Carp answers.
“What makes him stand out amongst the other humans?”
“Tall, handsome, great butt.”
Black Buck smiles and blinks in amusement. The antelope looks behind Carp and stops walking. “Stop.” He says looking at Carp. “Look behind you.”
Carp stops walking and looks behind him. The meadow grasses are tall, covering Carp's posterior, the tips stopping halfway up the assassin in training's back. “Oh.”
“Unless your Monitor Man is seven feet tall we aren't going to get a good look at his buttocks.” Black Buck points out. “Maybe you can remember what he was wearing when you last saw him.”
Carp shakes his head.
“Perhaps Tinkletoes has found Monitor Man already.” Black Buck offers.
“That would be the way of things.” Carp says. “I never have any fun.” He sighs. “Did you know that I was the one who encouraged Tinkletoes to search Faerie for Monitor Man? I read about Faerie and the creatures that inhabit it when I was a child. I'm the one with the creative mind. The romantic heart. I was a romance writer. My last novel as Jenny Love before I started my serious work was going to be a sweeping saga. A love story for the ages between a Faerie king's half-human son and a pixie. It was going to be set in Faerie.” Carp looks at his surroundings, his eyes memorizing every blade of grass, flower, and random pebble on the deteriorating road. “Here I am, the one destined to write a great work of art about this place and the only one not to have an adventure.” Carp releases another sigh. This one of a tired, disheartened soul.
Black Buck listens patiently. “In your research did you never read about Faerie's felonious nature?”
“I thought that Faerie didn't have set laws.”
“Not felonious as in committing a felony. Perhaps you do not have a word for it. I meant feline in nature. Many walk through Faerie, but to encounter the true nature of this dimension you must treat it like a cat. You must wait for it to come to you.” Black Buck says. “Her creatures choose who they want to interact with and when.”
“Here we are with not so much as a pixie flying around.”
“There are many reasons pixies will deem an area uninteresting.”
“Such as?”
“Pixie fleas, killer mosquitoes, ogre infestation, dragon mating season, demon training, dungeon collapse.”
“Dungeon collapse?” Carp asks. “The dungeon is already in the bottom reaches of the castle.”
“If the foundation bricks were enchanted by drunken pixies...”
There is a rustling in the grass behind them.
Carp stops walking and listens. He turns his head twenty degrees to the east. The hair on the back of his neck stands up.
“I remember the first time I heard about a dungeon collapse...”
Black Buck stops talking and listens.
“We're being watched.” Carp says. “When I say 'Duck' then get down.”
Black Buck nods.
Both listen closely. A hoof strikes the ground once, then twice. Four hooves hit the ground at full stride, running straight towards them.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Things Get Turned Around

“You okay?” Writer Lady asks.
“Yeah. Um...yeah. These things whip around too much.” Tinkletoes says, looking around the inside of his bubble. “I can hear you.”
“It's a magical communications system. I thought that I wanted to ask you if you were all right so the communications system was activated.”
Tinkletoes' bubble shifts as a bubble full of field mice bump into him. It turns adjusting its course away from the cluster and takes off disappearing into the horizon. The self-proclaimed mercenary closes his eyes. “I wonder if the little weirdos came up with something to make everything stop spinning.”
There is a loud clicking noise and a pair of mechanical arms drop down into Tinkletoes' bubble. First the arms unfold, then a pair of hands, fingers extending. The index finger of each hand is covered with a thick, glowing goo. The fingers drop down to Tinkletoes' head, reaching in and giving the self-proclaimed mercenary a wet willy in each ear. He makes a face. The now bare fingers close into into the mechanical hands, fold back into the arms, disappearing as they tuck themselves into walls of the bubble.
A feminine voice says, “Thank you for using, 'No More Puke Balance Goo'. Enjoy your ride.”
“It looks like they do.” Writer Lady says smiling.
Tinkletoes closes his eyes for brief moment and opens them.
“Better?” She asks.
“I'm glad that we found you here. We're having a problem. I think that you're the solution.”
“Really?” Tinkletoes asks with a grin.
“There are two other bubbles here. One of them carries Smudge Mal and Spots Wash. The other Monitor Man. Could the bubbles move so that we can all see each other. Please?” Writer Lady asks the inside of her bubble.
The bubbles shift forming an impromptu circle. Both kittens remove their hats and bow their heads.
“Sir.” Smudge Mal says.
“Big Sir.” Spots Wash says.
Tinkletoes nods. “I see that your mom finally got you two properly outfitted. Looks good.”
Both kittens smile. Spots Wash holds up his Super Soaker proudly.
Tinkletoes looks at Monitor Man in his t-shirt with a target sign on it and matching khakis.
“Could you turn around?” Writer Lady asks.
Monitor Man does not move.
“Monitor Man?” She asks again.
“Is this really necessary?”
Writer Lady looks at Monitor Man without saying a word.
Monitor Man's face reddens as he slowly turns around. The words, “Your Ass Is Mine” show up clear as day across his backside.
“That's getting to the butt of the problem.” Tinkletoes says, grinning.
“We both know that Monitor Man disappeared from the house. As it turns out, he was kidnapped and transported to Faerie. Spots Wash and Smudge Mal are on a mission to capture Monitor Man. They told me that they're doing this to prove that they're capable of protecting our future president—Tinkletoes.” Writer Lady says.
“Not great.”
“They're trying to kill me.” Monitor Man says.
“Only if you don't come quietly.” Spots Wash says looking at Monitor Man.
“See. It's only if you don't go quietly.” Tinkletoes says.
“What happens if he doesn't go quietly?” Writer Lady asks.
“We'll take him any way we can.” Smudge Mal says. “We get extra points for transporting him if he doesn't cooperate.” The kitten says, grinning.
“That would be a big deal.” Tinkletoes says.
Monitor Man looks at the self-proclaimed mercenary.
“That's a lot of dead weight. I weigh about 250. What do you weigh, 200?” Tinkletoes asks.
“One eighty...five.” Monitor Man says.
“Only 185? Because it looks like you weigh more.” He says.
“I'm shorter than you are.” Monitor Man responds.
“Still...” Writer Lady says, “...two kittens who maybe weigh eight pounds between them and have no opposable thumbs schlepping 185 pounds of dead weight through Faerie and back home. It defies the laws of physics. They should get a few more points for doing something like that.”
“Could we stop saying “dead”...please?” Monitor Man looks at Writer Lady. “Whose side are you on anyway?”
“Yours. Who else's side would I be on?” She asks.
“If you are on my side would you please be on MY side?”
Nodding, Writer Lady says, “Although these two kittens undertaking such a challenge and getting this far is impressive, there is a major problem with this entire mission.”
Everyone looks at Writer Lady and listens.
She looks at Tinkletoes and says, “Monitor Man is your running mate. He can't help you win if he's...”
Monitor Man coughs loudly.
“...if he is captured. You're not loved by everyone Tinkletoes. Monitor Man is. You need Monitor Man to continue running with you. You need him to help you win this election.”
Tinkletoes listens, thinking for a few moments and says, “He does have a majority of the female votes, him being an actor and all.”
“He also has the support of the magical community. I remember TP talking about how the magical communities of Faerie have influenced many aspects of our world including our politics. The successful presidents have always had the support of the creatures of Faerie.”
Tinkletoes looks from Writer Lady to Monitor Man who slowly nods in agreement.
“Nixon...” she continues, “Nixon lost the support of most of Faerie, specifically, the Pixie community before his second term. Do you want to be another Nixon?”
“No.” He answers.
“Clearly you need Monitor Man.”
“Yeah.” Tinkletoes admits grudgingly. He looks at the kittens. “No more actor hunting.”
“No-o-o.” Smudge Mal and Spots Wash's protests end with a groan.
“Yes. It ends now.” Tinkletoes says.
“O-kay. Can we keep the clothes and the Super Soaker?” Spots Wash asks.
Tinkletoes looks at Writer Lady who smiles, quietly points to the water gun and shakes her head. “You can keep the clothes but not the other gear.”
The kittens look at each other.
“I want one thing.” Smudge Mal says. “Credit for how far we got. We traveled to another dimension and successfully tracked our target. We deserve credit for the work. We deserve to have it taken into account when you become president.”
“No. You didn't catch me.” Monitor Man says, “Besides, we found the bubbles, turned back and caught you tracking us. If anyone hunted anyone successfully it was us.” He says gesturing to Writer Lady. “We should get the credit.”
The kittens begin protesting Monitor Man's argument.
“I did not see this one coming. Did you?” Tinkletoes asks looking at Writer Lady.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Coming Together

“Wait.” House says. “What are you doing?”
Damon continues erasing. “No change House. Change house. Move door.”
“No move door. Moving door closes bridge. Moving door is bad.” Damon says as he finishes cleaning off the white board.
“This is eloquent?” House asks looking at Mural Man. “No one can stop me from changing my appearance when I want to.”
“Duuude...what Damon is trying to say is that if you change yourself, you'll have to close the bridge during construction. We don't know when anyone is coming back. We need to wait and keep things open man.” Ray says.
“First of all.” House says. “I'm not a man. I'm me. I'm the house. If I don't do this now I'll never get a makeover. Do you have any idea how full this place is getting? I feel bloated. All the time. I need to update my looks regularly. I'm independent. When you're independent and a big deal you have to keep upgrading. I need this makeover. Little Miss Priss is too inflexible to agree to my changes. I'll never get anything if I have to wait for her.” A high pitched cry resonates through the bonus room.
The room grows silent.
“Was that a whine?” Mural Man asks.
“No...” House says. “...maybe.”
Mural Man says, “I love you. I see how important this is to you so how about no makeover for now? You can plan all that you want," Mural Man says, looking at Damon then returning his gaze to House, "but don't do anything. I think that Ray, TP, and Damon will agree with me when I say that we will do everything that we can to help you get an expansion after everyone returns from Faerie safely.”
House looks around the room. Everyone nods their agreement. 
 House nods.  

“We need to find out who is hunting me.” Monitor Man says.
The bubbles gain altitude, turning and speeding back the way that they came. They circle around a bubble just as it is lifting off of the ground. It continues rising then stops. All three bubbles hover together. Monitor Man looks at the faces of his pursuers. He finds himself face to face with Smudge Mal and Spots Wash. Both kittens are completely decked out in hunting gear. Monitor Man studies the two kittens.
“Hey. Are you two trying to kill me?”
There is no answer.  Spots Wash shifts a little hiding his super soaker water gun.
“Hey!” Monitor Man's yells can be heard through both bubble's perimeters. He sees Writer Lady's bubble floating on the far side of the kittens. “They're trying to kill me. Your kittens are trying to kill me!” His voice rings through the interior of her bubble as he looks at Writer Lady.
“Spots! Smudge!” Writer Lady says, scolding her two young charges. The kittens look at each other. Their eyes grow wide. Spot swallows and lowers his head as both face Food Provider a.k.a. Writer Lady a.k.a. Mom.
Smudge Mal looks at Writer Lady and holds her stare.
“What do you two have to say for yourselves?” She asks, looking from a stricken Spots Wash to an undaunted Smudge Mal. “Well?”
“Smudge Mal. Browncoat. Secret Service Agent Class 1.”
“I am a Browncoat on a mission. I do not have to explain myself.” Smudge Mal responds.
“What mission?”
“Smudge Mal. Browncoat. Secret Service Agent Class 1.” He repeats.
Writer Lady looks at Monitor Man who is standing with his arms crossed in front of him looking at her expectantly. She looks at the kittens. “If you two don't tell me what's going on...there will be repercussions.”
“Repercussions?” Spots Wash whispers. He looks at his older brother. “Did you hear that? Repercussions. That means bad things. I don't like bad things.”
“We are Browncoats. We have grit. Browncoats aren't scared of bad things.” Smudge Mal says.
“What if she doesn't love us any more?”
“Look at the way she's looking at you.” Smudge Mal whispers. “The disappointed eyes, the sad expression. Not possible.”
“What if she takes our food away?” Spots Wash asks.
“Once again look at her face. Not possible.”
“What if she takes away our toys?”
“We have to be tough about this.” Smudge Mal says. “If we tell her what's going on now then she'll have us spilling our guts all the time.”
“What if she takes away our toy mice?” Spots Wash asks. “What if you have to spend your days without Mousy?”
Smudge Mal looks at the scenery between his combat boots, the lush meadow clearly visible through the bubble's protective layer. “It's a hard thing. Sometimes tough guys have to do hard things.”
“You love Mousy. You take him bed, to the water bowl, to the litter box. You bite us if we try to take him from you.”
“I love Mousy. I love the mission more. A Browncoat does not relent.” Smudge Mal says, tightening his jaw and quickly looking away.
“That's your final word?” Writer Lady asks.
“That's my final word.” Smudge Mal answers, looking at Writer Lady.
“Very well.” She says. “When we get home...”
Smudge Mal's eyes begin to tear.
“Wait...” Spots Wash says. “...don't take Mousy away. Smudge Mal isn't trying to be bad. Food Provider, we came to Faerie to prove ourselves. We are on this mission to prove ourselves worthy of protecting our future President---Tinkletoes.”

A strange noise grows louder. All beings kitten and human alike watch as a large object races towards them braking moments before impact. The bubble arrives stopping suddenly and thrusting its only passenger against its inner wall. The person's face temporarily rearranged into something alien.
“What the...?” Tinkletoes asks.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Riding The Bubble

   Writer Lady  stands in front of the other bubble and studies it.  Finding what looks like the same spot Monitor Man has she places her hand on the bubble’s outside.  The bubble warms and begins to glow.  Monitor Man looks over and studies her progress.  “Only use a little pressure.”
 She adjusts the pressure that she is using.
 “A little less…a little less… be gentle.”  He says.  He watches as she adjusts pressure.  “Do you have any concept of how to use a soft touch?”
  “Um…yeah?”  Writer Lady eases up a little.
  “You need to ease up.” 
  “I just did.”
 “Ease up a bit more.”
Writer Lady looks at Monitor Man.   “It doesn’t like me.”  She says.
 “Don’t be silly just ease up.”  Monitor Man eases into his bubble even more.  “Relax.”
Writer Lady wiggles around a bit in an effort to look relaxed.  When the bubble begins to respond she does begin to relax.
  “Keep relaxing.”  Monitor Man encourages.  “That’s good.  Step forward.”
 The bubble softens even more.  Soon Writer Lady’s hand and wrist are inside the bubble.  The bubble continues making its way up the length of her arm.
“See?  It’s working.  Stay relaxed and let the bubble do the work.”
A slit lights up along the outside of the bubble beginning at Writer Lady’s arm and working its way down.  “What do I do now?”  Writer Lady asks.  There is no sound.  “Monitor Man.   Monitor Man?”  Writer Lady looks at the other bubble.  Monitor Man is safely inside.  “I guess these things are sound proof.”   She says looking at Monitor Man.  He smiles and gives her the thumbs up, encouraging her to continue entering her bubble.    Writer Lady studies the slit and eases her way forward a couple of inches.  The bubble continues forward closing the distance between them.  Writer Lady has one arm up to her shoulder and a half a leg inside when Monitor Man’s bubble begins to rise from the ground.  “Oh no you don’t.”  She says glaring at his bubble.
“No…no…no.”  Monitor Man says, the bubble he is occupying continues rising.   “We are waiting for Writer Lady.”  The bubble continues rising.  He looks down at Writer Lady, she is almost inside of her bubble. “Stop.”  Monitor Man yells, the bubble stops rising and floats in a holding pattern.  “Thank you.” 
  The moment that Writer Lady makes it inside her own bubble Monitor Man’s takes off at full speed.  She is jostled around as hers takes off immediately  in pursuit.  An odd noise surrounds.  “What is that?”
  “It’s some sort of communications system.  We can talk to each other.”  Monitor Man’s voice resonates throughout her bubble.
“Hello.”  He says.
“Hello,”  Writer Lady says, looking around the bubble as she speaks, unsure of the location of her bubble’s microphone.
“It’s okay.  I can hear you.  There’s no need to speak so loudly.” 
“What?  Why?  How?”  Writer Lady asks.
“I don’t know.  I said that I wanted to talk to you, I heard a beep and there you were.” 
“Isn’t the bubble organic?  What about biology?  The physiology of organic life?  The laws of physics?” 
“I don’t know.  Maybe it’s because we’re in Faerie.  Maybe it occurs naturally here.”
The bubbles rose and fell naturally over the landscape.  First giving them views of fields of wildflowers and then skimming over water.  Writer Lady sees the mountains growing in the horizon. “Where are we going?”  She asks.
“Good question.” 

 “I talked to the bearded guy and I know what to do.”  Smudge Mal says, looking out at the empty sky in front of them.  “Where’s Monitor Man?”  He asks.
 “He took off.”  Spots Wash says.
 “It’s okay little brother.  That Santa guy says that after you get inside the bubble all you have to do is think about your destination, picture it, or say it. All we will have to do is say that we want to find Monitor Man and the bubble should head right for him.”
 “There’s something else. “
Smudge Mal looks at Spots Wash and waits.
 “I saw the person with Monitor Man.” 
“Who is our second contestant?”  Smudge Mal asks.
“It’s a woman.”
“He finds girls everywhere.” 
 “The woman looked a lot like Food Provider.”
“How much like Food Provider?”
“Her clothes looked different.”  Spots Wash says.
“Anything else?”
“No just her clothes.”
“Food Provider is with Monitor Man in Faerie.  We are in Faerie to take Monitor Man prisoner.  Do you know what this means?”
Spots Wash does not answer.
“Extra points.  Let’s get this bubble flying.” 

“Sending a text.  You think it comes down to sending a text?”  Paige demands.
Peter, Dylan, and Diomedes all stop what they are doing and look at Paige.  They look at each other. 
“Yeah.  Why wouldn’t it?”  Peter asks.
“Keeping this place running is a big responsibility.  Huge.”  Paige says, pacing the floor.  “Who is going to send out bill payments,  keep Dylan out of trouble, keep food in the house?  Who is going to keep TP from playing with Tinkletoes’ weapons?  What about House?” 
Peter and Dylan look at each other.  “What about House?”
She wants a makeover.  She has Mural Man, Ray, and TP in the bonus room for a planning meeting as we speak. 
“TP is out of trouble.”  Peter says.  “Everything is fine.” 
“I have to explain everything don’t I?  House is not a woman, she’s a house.  When she gets a makeover it means that the house will be changed.   Writer Lady told us to keep things the way that they have always been.  If House gets her way Writer Lady’s instructions will not be followed.  What if Writer Lady gets mad at us all?   What if she sends us away?” 

“I want new fixtures, floors,  skylights, three more bedrooms, a ballroom. Clean lines, no more of this traditional crap.”  House smiles as she stands at the big white board.  “The only way that this is going to work is…another floor.  We need a second floor.”  House sighs contentedly, admiring her work.
“That is very ambitious.”  Mural Man says,  standing close to House.  “Very you.” 
Damon wanders in and studies the board.  He leans in close.  The demon reaches into his pocket and pulls out a rag.  He begins erasing. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Enchanted Letters and Kittens On The Prowl

“Thank you Damon.” Diomedes says, accepting the letter. It is wrapped in a heavy parchment envelope and has been secured with a wax seal. The seal pulsates with a strange pink glow.
Dylan climbs up on to the couch to get a closer look. “It's glowing,” the tow haired boy says.
Peter and Paige make their way to Diomedes' other side to inspect it. Furnatche runs over to Diomedes and whimpers until someone picks him up. The baby dragon sniffs at the envelope intensely and begins to purr. His fur begins to glow in the same pattern as the wax seal.
“I didn't know that you could do that.” Dylan says reaching out to pet Furnatche.
“He is a magical creature. He is simply recognizing the power of other magical creatures.” The seven foot dragon says.
“He doesn't glow for you.” The four year-old points out.
Diomedes smiles gently. “The magic of Faerie travels along a wide range of wavelengths. Clearly, I am from a different part of Faerie than Furnatche is. This letter must have come from a place very close to Furnatche's home.”
Dylan looks down at Furnatche and says, “Maybe it's for you.”
“Let's see, shall we?” Diomedes suggests, breaking the seal on the letter, and opening it.

If you are reading this something has gone horribly wrong. That last sentence sounds a bit clichéd doesn't it? Unfortunately it is the truth. Something has gone wrong. Well, I'm stuck, in Faerie. I don't know that I'm stuck but I am in Faerie and since it is a magical place existing in another dimension and I don't know how to get back home...I'm stuck. I am having trouble recalling many of the specifics of life in Faerie which puts me at a loss of what to do next. Usually someone ends up here and has some kind of fantastic adventure. I have to admit that it has been an adventure so far. Let me get you up to speed.
When we discovered that the house had grown too quiet and parted ways to search for the kittens TP told me that he knew where all of the cats were and he would lead me to them. I could tell from the calls traveling throughout the house that they could not be found. I decided to follow his directions keeping in mind that he is TP and usually up to something. Most definitely up to something this time. I followed his directions to stand in my closet, turn around five times fast, and sing “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry. He promised me cheese puffs and entrance to Faerie. I did it. It was scary, painful to my ears, and lasted way too long. I saw a strange light in the upper corner of the closet. There might be video. If there is please destroy it. Don't watch it if you want to keep your ability to hear...anything. Seriously.
I ended up in a part of Faerie that is amazing. It looks exactly the way I always pictured it. A place of lush, green meadows full of wildflowers, cottages, idyllic villages. It was idyllic until I met the ogre. He cornered me at the entrance to an alley behind the town square. He kept telling me how good I smelled and how I reminded him of a baker he'd had for dinner once upon a time. I asked him if the baker was the guest or the entrée. Damon found me before the ogre had a chance to answer. He has become quite eloquent since we last met.
The point is that Damon got me back on track. Neither one of us are quite sure where that track leads so I left this note with Damon and sent him back the way I came hoping that he would find his way back to you.
I don't know how long I will be gone. Keep things going the way that they have always been for now. Try not to arouse suspicion. Text my folks from time to time so that they don't stop by to see if anything is wrong. I hope to return soon. If too much time passes and the cats return they are going to have to go live with Grandma for a while. Sorry Dobby Cat these things happen. I love you all. Be safe. Take care of each other.

Writer Lady

“Duuude...this is serious.” Ray says, looking at Damon.
The demon nods his head, toilet paper flutters with each nod.
“There is no need to worry.” Diomedes says reassuringly. “We just need to make sure that we text Grandma. If someone could just tell me, what is a text?”
Everyone looks at each other.
Dylan rolls his eyes and says, “It's okay. I've got this.”

“It looks like he's going to try using one of those flying bubble things.” Spots Wash says.
“He's looking for a way in.” Smudge Mal continues, finishing his brother's thought. “We need to find one of the those bubbles too.”
A bubble passes overhead landing several yards behind them. The kittens watch as the bubble's passenger disembarks. He is a portly elf with a long white beard, wearing shorts and a brightly colored shirt. A long red sleeve trimmed with white fur is tumbling out of a bag that the elf is carrying.
“Wait here. Watch and remember where that bubble goes. I'll be right back.” Smudge Mal says.
Spots Wash watches as Monitor Man walks around the bubble searching for an entrance. Monitor Man starts feeling along the outside of the bubble. His hand stops when the surface of the bubble starts to change color. He smiles. His hand begins pushing through the bubble's perimeter.
Spots hears him call out.
The kitten listens as someone approaches and stands on Monitor Man's far side outside Spots' line of sight.
“Something is happening.” Monitor Man says.
Spots listens for an answer from their target's unknown traveling companion. A hawk flies overhead screeching, and drowning out all other discernible sounds.
“I placed my hand on the surface of the bubble, it started glowing, and after a few seconds I was able to push my way through...or maybe the bubble is pulling me in. I can't tell. Try it.” He says. “I'll wait for you.”
At the same time more and more of Monitor Man's arm enters the bubble.
A slit glows along the outside of the bubble traveling down from where his arm has entered. A tip of one foot begins edging towards the slit.
“Things are starting to speed up here. Hurry.”

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Getting Sucked In

“Duuuude...what are you doing in the bathroom?” Ray asks. He turns and looks at the sea of faces watching him curiously. He smiles. Ray turns back to the bathroom and enters. His voice fades as he says, “Long time no see man,” and closes the door behind him. He emerges minutes later with Damon following close behind. The demon has toilet paper hanging off of both horns and his mouth is coated in mauve lipstick. He is dressed in jeans and a t-shirt that reads “Visit Faerie. Enchantment Awaits.” Damon follows Ray into the living room eagerly, smiling as he looks around at all of the familiar faces. His eyes stop. His smile disappears. The demon walks straight to Diomedes and hands him an envelope.

Writer Lady and Monitor Man keep low. They make their way through the rain forest using every caution. After verifying that they have lost their pursuers, the two find their way to the bubble landing site. Hiding behind...what else? Trees, the pair watch as a family of platypus leave their abandoned bubbles and head into a stand of trees in the distance. The bubbles darken slightly and the noise level lowers to a quiet hum.
“What's happening?” Monitor Man asks.
“I think that they may be shutting down. No...wait...the bubbles are still humming. They must be in quiet mode? Why?” She responds.
“They're waiting for new passengers.” He suggests.
Writer Lady and Monitor Man look at the empty bubble, look at each other, and smile. Each make their way to a bubble.
“How do we get inside?” He asks.
“I don't know.”
Something rustles among the trees. Both look in the direction of the sound. A lioness emerges from the shadows with a house cat following close behind.
“Can't we ride the bubbles Mom?” The cat asks.
“Not this time dear. We need to get home. Your father is already on his way back from the canned fish convention.”
“If we take bubbles won't we get there faster?”
“We're practically home now.”
“Mo-om.” The cat whines.
“Maybe next time dear.”
“Mom...I promise not to break another one.” He says, trying again.
“You have better control of your claws?” The lioness asks.
“I practice every day. I remember what Dad said too, 'If you knead you can't fly with speed'.”
“That's very good.”
“Let me show you.” The house cat presses.
“Next time.”
The lioness smiles, she blinks, and answers patiently. “Next time.”
“A lioness and a house cat.” Monitor Man says, watching as they continue their journey.
“Yeah.” Writer Lady says, returning to the task at hand.
“Did you hear me? A lioness and a house cat?”
“Faerie? We're in Faerie. We are going to see things like that. Can you help me get one of these bubbles moving or do you need to be shot at before motivation kicks in?” Writer Lady asks, crossing her arms.
“Asks the cranky woman.”
“Excuse me.” She says, pointing to the target on the front of his t-shirt. “I am traveling in another dimension with a moving target and an unknown assailant. It makes a woman cranky.”
There's a rustling noise in the trees. Both Writer Lady and Monitor Man look in the direction the sound originated.
A second louder sound echoes through the open expanse. An orange monkey screeches as it travels through nearby branches.
“Maybe now is a good time to get going. We're too visible here.” Monitor Man says.
“Ya think?”

Spots Wash looks through the trees and watches Monitor Man as his eyes follow the lioness and house cat walking past him. He starts talking the moment that he senses Smudge Mal behind him.
“Am I still your useless little brother? I found him.”
Smudge Mal looks at what Spots Wash is looking at. “I'll be...”
“darned.” Spots says finishing his brother's sentence.
“Finally...things are gonna get interesting.”

“Help!” Carp calls into the vastness that is Faerie.
“Here comes another one.” Tinkletoes says. “Be more aggressive.”
“Remember that in Faerie everything can sense your emotions and can reject you at any time because of them.” Black Buck coaches.
A bubble zips across the meadow, skirting over grasses and flowers.
“Here it comes.” Black Buck says.
“Take control.” Tinkletoes says, looking at Carp. “You're a soldier.”
Carp looks at Tinkletoes and nods. Facing the bubble, he raises both hands indicating that he is the one in need of a ride. The bubble floats to Carp, immediately reversing within inches of the self-trained assassin.
Carp looks at Tinkletoes with uncertainty.
“I won't let you fail.” Tinkletoes says, turning to the bubble. “Hey!” He yells. The bubble pauses its retreat.
Black Buck and Carp look at each other.
“Come on.” Tinkletoes says, looking at Carp.
Carp makes his way over to Tinkletoes and the bubble. He reaches out and bubble starts backing away.
Tinkletoes walks around the back of the bubble stopping behind it. The bubble stops moving.
“Try again.” Tinkletoes says.
Carp raises his hand again, as the bubble floats back Tinkletoes stops it with his own hand. The spot where Tinkletoes' hand meets the surface turns green. The bubble begins warming.
“I have seen that before.” Black Buck says.
As the bubble warms, Tinkletoes' hand pushes its way through the bubble's membrane.
The bubble moves closer. Slowly, more and more of Tinkletoes is surrounded by the sphere.
“Whoa.” Tinkletoes says. “Slow down. I'm not getting inside. Carp is.”
The bubble continues inching its way forward engulfing the self-proclaimed mercenary's arm to his shoulder.
“I said, Whoa.”
The bubble glows, turning red. It begins to back up. Beep...beep...beep...
“Hey...Hey!” Tinkletoes yells.
The bubble stops.
Tinkletoes looks at Carp and Black Buck, standing tall and muscular with a floating bubble half engulfing one forearm.
“I think that the bubble disagrees.” Black Buck says.
I didn't ask the damn thing what it wanted.” He responds glaring at the bubble. Tinkletoes looks at Carp. “You...get over here.”
Carp makes his way to Tinkletoes.
“Get in.” Tinkletoes says.
The bubble begins floating back and forth.
Carp reaches up to steady the bubble. A sheet of bright light travels along the outside of the bubble illuminating and electrifying its surface. “Ouch.” Carp says removing his hands.
The light disappears. The bubble adjusts its position inching closer and closer to Tinkletoes. There is a loud sucking sound. The self-proclaimed mercenary is surrounded.
“I have never seen that before.” Black Buck says.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Where There Are Bubbles...

Getting no response Monitor Man continues, “Monitor Man, it's so wonderful to see you! Pie?” He asks, mimicking Writer Lady. He looks down at an imaginary pie that he is holding. “That looks amazing. I don't mind if I do.” He says. He lowers his head to eat only to have it redirected by Writer Lady as she gives him privy to her view.
“What the...” He says as a pair of giant bubbles zooms by their heads. “What are those things?”
“Bubbles.” Writer Lady says. “Flying bubbles.”
“Something is inside.”
“I think that it might be...” Writer Lady pauses as they watch the bubbles that had just flown past their heads lower to the ground. “...some form of transportation.”
“In this mess?” Monitor Man asks.
Monitor Man studies Writer Lady looking for more information.
“Haven't you noticed that the rain is not as heavy now?” Writer Lady points skyward. “The vegetation is so thick that we aren't getting drenched like we were when we were out in the open?”
Something disturbs the tree tops behind them. Monitor Man pushes Writer Lady to the ground seconds before bubbles shoot past where their heads used to be.
Writer Lady looks up nearly butting heads with Monitor Man, “See? The bubbles are flying low. They're protected by the trees.”
“If they are a method of transportation...are you thinking what I'm thinking?” Monitor Man asks, standing up.
Writer Lady nods. “We need to find out if they really are a method of transportation and if anyone can use them.”
“If they are then we can get out of here.” He says, offering Writer Lady a hand as she rises from the jungle floor.
Writer Lady looks at Monitor Man and smiles. “Or...” She says raising an eyebrow.
Monitor Man picks up her thought and raises a brow in return. “We can circle back around and turn the tables on our pursuers.”

“This is going to be so much fun.” Carp says.
“What?” Tinkletoes asks.
“Catching a bubble. We can search a lot more quickly with one of those things.”
Tinkletoes thinks for a bit and smiles. “I have to say I like the idea of watching you try to catch one of those things.”
“I am a retired writer. I have an imagination. I am open to other possibilities. I've got this.” Carp says. “It will be more fun watching you try to catch one. Big, thundering, no imagination. Those bubbles are never going to open up to you my friend.”
“That isn't part of the plan.” Tinkletoes says. “My plan is...”
“You aren't coming?” Carp asks.
“My plan is...”
“It won't be the same.”
Tinkletoes glares at Carp. “The plan is: you search by air. I'm staying on the ground. That's where the real searching gets done.”

“She's not in the bonus room.” Paige says, entering the living room.
“Not in the kitchen.” Peter calls, returning with Dylan following close behind.
“She's not in High Command.” Ray says, sniffing at a brightly colored cat toy he returns from High Command with.
“What are you sniffing at?” Paige asks.
“Catnip.” Ray says. He leans in close and inhales deeply. “Good stuff.” He sniffs again. “Not domestic.”
Diomedes looks at Ray, “Imported?” He asks.
“Duuude...somewhere good too. Madagascar? No way man. That can't be right.” Ray sniffs again.
“Why are you sniffing catnip?” Dylan asks thoughtfully.
“I'm the cat.” Ray says, looking down at the tow headed boy.
“Well, Mr. Cat, did Writer Lady leave a note?” Paige asks.
Ray continues sniffing. “What?”
“You were in High Command? With the desk? Paper? Pens? A dry erase board? Did she leave a note saying where she went?”
Ray turns around looking in the direction of High Command, he turns back facing the others. “”
Paige looks down studying the clipboard that she's holding. “What is the status of the bedroom?” She asks without looking up.
“All clear.” Mural Man calls, entering the room, and stopping next to House.
“We've checked the kitchen, the bonus room, the laundry room, Writer Lady's bedroom and High Command. That leaves...the bathroom. Who wants to look in there?” Paige asks, looking up and searching the room for a volunteer. “Anyone?”
There is silence.
Ray takes a step back.
“What's wrong? You're the cat. Writer Lady loves cats. Doesn't she love you?”
“Du—ude yeah. But not in the bathroom. You should never go into the bathroom when a female is doing her...thing.”
“Diomedes?” She asks.
The dragon answers almost immediately, “I do not invade ladies' commodes.”
“The bathroom was the room we found you in.”
“I did not know that it was a lady's commode.” Diomedes counters. “If I had I never would have entered.”
Everyone looks at Dylan who takes a step back stopping next to his big brother.
“Don't tell me that you're scared of that woman.” House says.
“And you're not?” Ray asks. “Dude.”
“The bathroom is part of me, as I am part of it.”
“Then you check.” Paige says.
“No. I don't care where she is. The longer she's gone the easier my life is. When she's gone I can do things with this place.” House says wistfully.
“Aunt Purdy says that doing things behind someone's back is bad.”
“So.” House says.
“I agree.” Paige announces.
“I don't. I don't care what you think either. Who put little Miss Overachiever here in charge?” House asks.
A strange noise is heard coming from the bathroom. Everyone turns to look at the bathroom door.
“What was that?” Peter asks.
The noise grows louder.
“Dude...that bathroom is haunted man.”
The noise repeats louder accompanied by the sound of glass breaking.
“It sounds like someone is going to have to go in there.” Paige says, looking at the group.
More glass breaks as the floor shakes beneath them. House cries out in pain.
“That's it.” Mural Man says. “I'm going in.”
“No way man. You'll get wet and dissolve.”
Ray looks at the cat toy he is holding, he takes one last inhalation. “It's okay man. I've got this.” Ray places the toy on an end table and makes his way into the hall stopping at the bathroom door. The door opens, a bright light radiates through the hallway and into the living room. “Duuude....”