Well, I figure that I’m in trouble, sort of. The story’s settling into a rhythm, which means that it might go from short comedy to long adventure… (laughs) I should’ve told myself that I don’t do shorts!! For interest – if characters are written out of a scene, it means that I have more plans for them later, and frankly – I struggled dealing with so many characters in one place. I instinctively divide my characters into groups of four because that’s the most I can comfortably deal with. This is a good exersize for me because I’ll end up with NINE! So, anyway, onwards – enjoy. More Author’s Note at bottom.
Nasty Pixie Tale Part 3
“So, you’re not angry with me for drawing you as a zombie?” Kylie queried an hour later as they strolled though the forest. “I mean… It must be pretty awkward.”
Mud chuckled dryly as she lurched forward at a steady pace that could cross worlds. “No more awkward,” she started, “then being a tiger, a wolf or a woman with bat wings.” She pointed out. “Given that this won’t be a permanent state of being I’m rather enjoying it.”
Kylie grinned and looked behind her – Antonio had ran ahead to scout the area and Marsha was walking behind with Alyssa who was struggling to keep up with their steady walking pace.
“I’m fitter than this,” she heard Alyssa tell the older woman, her face flushed and covered with sweat. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
Marsha chuckled and rested a comforting hand on Alyss’s shoulder. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you,” she said in a tone that almost bordered on motherly patience. “I just think you’re meant to fly – not walk.”
Alyssa gave her a sceptical look and shook her head. “Impossible,” she said. “The human body’s not…” she had to swallow and take a breath. “Aerodynamic. And too heavy. I won’t even glide.”
Marsha chuckled and squeezed her shoulder. “Are you afraid of heights?”
Rubbing her brow, Alyssa shook her head. “No,” she said with earnest. “I’m afraid of falling and ergo, the ground.”
Again Marsha chuckled and patted Alyssa’s back. “That’s reasonable,” she said. “Though I want you to consider a few things. One – we’re all seemingly well adapted to be our Chibi’s. Antonio and I, once we got the hang of it, didn’t think twice about running with four feet or two for that matter. Mud comfortably reattaches her arm whenever it falls off and she had managed to direct me with her arm to find her miles away. Kylie leaps into trees with a single bound and I can assure you – when we get into a fight she’s going to kick some serious ass.”
Alyss looked at her sceptically. “I’m not sure where you’re going with this,” she said with a small smile to which Marsha laughed, her tail wagging.
“I’m telling you to look at yourself,” she said. “From what I’ve gathered, you’re an active person yet here you are, puffing away after what could only be two miles’ walk and you have almost no muscle on your legs and arms yet – I can feel them moving here…” she squeezed her shoulder and abruptly dropped down to all fours and sniffed the air.
“Think about it Alyss.”
She trotted ahead to the others where she stood up on her hind legs again. “Any sign of anybody else?” she queried. “This is going to sound silly but I think I smell something.”
Kylie shook her head. “No,” she said. “I was about to go and find Antonio. I think we need to stop and rest, I’m starving!”
Marsha raised an eyebrow and realized that she was as well. “You’ve got a point, I wonder what’s around?”
Kylie grinned and motioned into the trees. “When I was still alone,” she said. “I saw a deer and some rabbits. Maybe you and Antonio-kun can…” She paused. “Well, you know…”
Marsha’s eyes went wide. “You mean hunt?!”
“Yes!” Kylie exclaimed with a grin. “I know this nifty trick to start a fire and I discovered a few blades and neat stuff about my person. I’m sure we’ll manage.’ She glanced at Mud. “You’re not hungry yet, are you?”
Mud shook her head with a half smile and stopped so that Alyssa could catch up. “No,” she said. “but, I’m all for resting a bit.”
Alyssa – who had just joined them again, gave her a side ways look. “To my knowledge,” she said. “Zombies can’t get tired.”
Mud chuckled in her dry zombie manner. “Granted,” she said. “I think it’s more a force of habit. Like breathing. I don’t have to do it, but I still feel as if I need to.” She glanced at the youngest. “What is it Kylie?”
The young woman had gone very quiet and was looking around her. “I don’t know,” she said softly, her voice suddenly devoid of its usual cheer. “I feel as if we’re being watched.” She turned sharp eyes on Marsha. “You said that you smelled something?”
The wolf nodded. “Yes,” Marsha barked. “And the smell’s been getting stronger. I’m not sure what it is, but – it’s not one of us.” She sniffed the air again. “It’s fainter now.”
Alyssa looked around her uncomfortably. “Maybe its left,” she said and took a step back, her hand straying to her face to push up glasses that weren’t there. “What do you sense Kylie-chan?”
The ninja donned her mask, her eyes narrow slits. “I don’t know,” she said dangerously. “But I’m going to find out.” She started to head in the direction of the trees but in a movement quick as lightening Marsha grabbed her by her shoulder and pulled her back.
“Hang on Kylie,” she said sternly. “I think you should wait for Antonio.”
Kylie looked irritated and rebellious when she moved out of Marsha’s touch. “I’ll be fine,” she protested. “Really Marsha, I’m a ninja. It’s going to have to be something really frightening to best me.”
Marsha made a sound close to a growl. “And I’m taking responsibility for you,” she said. “You’ll wait for Antonio.”
Kylie grumbled something but one firm look from the wolf made her drop her head and pout. “Yes Mom,” she said exasperated, much to Mud and Alyss’s amusement. “I still sense something and… it’s getting closer.”
The group shifted uncomfortably and looked around them, trying to spot what ever was coming their way. Marsha dropped to all fours again, sniffing the air and growling softly. “I can still smell it,” she said. “Though I think it’s trying to move down wind…” There was a sudden crack to their left and Marsha lunged in its direction but Mud was quicker. “Alyss!” she yelled. “Open your wings!”
Alyssa blinked startled and turned around sharply to look behind her, her wings opening with a sharp thud of flesh meeting flesh. Marsha, who had pounced towards where the twig had snapped, turned around with lightening speed and lunged as Alyss quickly moved out of the way as Kylie too leapt forward as well. There was an ‘Oomph’, a fierce snarl, a yelp of pain and something that could only be a ninja war cry. Alyssa quickly joined Mud and stared at the spectacle wide eyed as Kylie and Marsha battled with an invisible foe.
“Call Antonio,” Mud said quietly, watching the fight. “You’ll have to do it; I don’t really have vocal cords.”
Alyss nodded and turned around quickly, realizing too late that her wings were still spread. When she felt them jolt against her back she realized that she had knocked Mud off of her feet…. Literally.
“Ag kak man,” Alyssa cursed softly as she bend down and quickly helped Mud find her footing. When she had the zombie reassembled she leapt up and readied herself to holler Antonio’s name but before she could she heard a clear and out of breath: “Uncle, uncle!”
The fighting stopped instantaneously.
Helping Mud to her feet, Alyssa gaped at the spectacle in front of her. Both Kylie and Marsha were crouched on the floor, Marsha’s teeth bared and a knife in Kylie’s hand but of their assailant there was no sign. It took them a moment or two to realize that Kylie actually appeared as if she was gripping something.
“Uncle!” the spectacle said again. “Please Kylie let go of my hair.” The Ninja froze and frowned.
“You know my name?” she queried. “How?”
The invincible spectre coughed. “I’m ah… Phil.”
Marsha stopped bearing her teeth but didn’t stan up. “Ah Phil?” she queried. “You don’t sound very certain.”
The spectre coughed again though this time it sounded embarrassed. “Ah, it’s not that,” he said. “I’m just in an awkward position.”
Mud seemed amused. “Awkward position?” she queried.
“Ah yes,” Phil said. “Kylie, please get off my chest. Please.”
The Ninja started to relax but she still had her blade out. “Show yourself first,” she said.
There was a lengthy pause. “Ah,” Phil said after sometime. “I can’t.”
Marsha, who had also started relax, sat back, her gaze fixed on the empty spot in front of her. “You can’t?” she queried. “Are you invisible?”
They could sense that Phil was becoming more awkward. “Ah, no,” he said. “Right now yes but not in general. No. I just can’t appear before you right now, at this very moment.”
There was another long pause.
Alyss, looking very suspicious, took a step closer. “Why?” she queried and peered at the blank space.
With a heavy sigh, Phil gave up. “I’m…” he paused. “I’m naked.”
To Be Continued…
If you want to know why I decided to make a character (and friend ;)) naked, read the pervious comments on the last two posts. I should say in a disclaimer that no naked Nasties were harmed during the production of this chapter. They will however be careful what they wish for I suspect. ;P