Hey there Peeps!
And, here’s another bit. I wrote most of this chapter as I sat waiting for my job interview at the school. I was early and they were late, so I had a LOT of time. 😉 Almost asked the English teacher to check my spelling. 😛
Have a good one and enjoy!
Nasty Pixie Tale Part 7
It took an hour for the Nasties to get settled into something that resembled order.
The Great Ear Argument of 2010 was disbanded when Alyss finally lost her temper with the group and marched in like a play ground school teacher, snatching the jar from Kylie’s hands and shoving it into Mud’s after opening the lid. When Kylie tried to protest, Alyssa merely pointed a finger at her and gave her the Look which she had perfected during her time as a riding instructor. Even Tiffany seemed to settle down after that and appeared more relaxed when the group started exploring the cottage.
In theory, they had everything that they needed there. There were enough places for people sleep on (though some would have to share) and it had a kitchen equipped with the needed basic utensils. There was provision for electricity, but further exploration revealed that there was sadly nothing to power up the house with. Tiffany popped up in and around them as they bustled around, her demeanour changing from a pleasant, introspective young woman to a somewhat wrathful spirit. It became very clear after several incidents that they had to make sure that Tiffany or Mud was alright with their actions before they tried to touch or look at anything in the house. Mud gave her permission with her calm, amused zombie air and eventually patiently told Tiffany that the Nasties were welcome in the house and could do whatever they wanted as long as they kept it either decent or secret.
Tiffany was an anomaly that took some getting used to. There was a definitive part in her that was very schizophrenic, as if her true self and her ghostly self didn’t quite communicate very well. Like roommates who worked different hours. She was a force to be reckoned with when worked up, her protective streak surpassing all reason. Yet, when calm, she was wonderful to be with (as opposed to interesting when she was worked up), having the same otherworldly view of situations as Mud did. Her ghostly eyes seemed to see everything and when she smiled it was as if at a joke that none of them understood. She told them that she had come to awareness in the cottage and that she had been quite content to be there, not really questioning her own presence until she had been provoked by the attempted break in. She could not leave the cottage, her reach stretching only as far as the porch. That didn’t seem to trouble her as much as it did the others who also eventually came to the conclusion that she didn’t really grasp that she was dead.
Nobody felt like breaking it to her.
Although they seemed to have everything that they needed to make themselves comfortable, the Nasties were faced with a rather daunting problem. There was no food in the house and as Marsha pointed out dejectedly, it was all very well having everything that you needed to prepare a three course meal, if you didn’t have any ingredients. By this time, most of them had gone a whole day without eating and the strain of it was beginning to show. Even foul tempered Alyssa confessed that caffeine withdrawal was to blame for part of her general irritation with the world. At the mention of food, everybody once again couldn’t help but spare a glance at Mud, who was the only one besides Tiffany who didn’t seem affected by hunger. Even Antonio got a few odd looks every now and again and Kylie tactfully wondered whether Alyss was a vampire bat or a fruit eating bat.
Everybody tactfully covered up their necks after the remark.
The only option that seemed open to the Nasties were for Antonio, Marsha and Kylie to try and see if they could hunt something to bring back. Mud and Phil were to go on a foraging expedition of their own to try and see if they could find any edible plant material and Alyssa elected to remain behind with Tiffany to keep the spectre company.
Antonio, Marsha and Kylie travelled together in a small group as they went into the forest, their senses on high alert as they searched for any signs of something living. Marsha was the first to speak as they moved out of sight of the cottage, her tail low with anticipation.
“You know,” she said mildly. “I hate to sound like a stick in the mud but, I don’t think I can kill anything. I mean, it’s all very well saying that we can hunt but… Killing something? I don’t think my instincts are that far developed to just kick in and help me do it.” She glanced at Antonio who huffed out a tiger breath and paused to smell the air.
“True,” he said, sounding calm but his anticipation showing in his tail as it twitched left and right. “It’s a bit… Barbaric. My suggestion would be that we try another stream or something like that to fish in. I’m sure we’ll have more luck this time with only three of us hanging around it.”
Kylie laughed and shook her head, but they didn’t miss the relief in her voice. “You guys have no imagination,” she said but winked and gently touched each Nasty’s head before she fell back to look in the cottage’s direction. “You think they are alright on their own?”
Marsha made a considering sound and rose to her hind legs but Antonio smiled and nodded. “I think any one of the Nasties we have here at the moment are formidable.” He intoned. “I would hate to mess with anybody.”
Marsha stretched her back before dropping back to all fours. “Do you think that we should go and look for the others?” she queried. “Like Suzanne, Jenn and Aheila? I’d hate to see them out by themselves at night.”
Antonio huffed and motioned to them to follow him as he trotted ahead. “Again,” he said when they were moving forward in a slow jog, “they are three people who are very capable of taking care of themselves. I think they’ll come to us.”
Kylie sighed happily and looked wistful as they stopped at a stream. “This is the most fun I’ve had in a long time,” she confessed. “So, what are we looking for?”
Antonio rose up on his hind legs and stared into the water, his hands in his hips. “Anything edible,” he said and looked at the clear reflection of the water. He could see the sky reflected in it and looked up, past the trees. Marsha looked at him with a small smile and waded into the water for a drink, her sharp wolf eyes scanning the rocks for any movements. Kylie moved a little upstream and proceeded to start turning over rocks, laughing with delight whenever she discovered something that protested being disturbed. Antonio in turn took off his shirt and also waded into the water a little bit more downstream. For a while, as the light continued to fade and darkness settled around them, the area was filled with the delighted and frustrated sounds of the Nasties’ fishing expedition. Antonio, after spending a few frustrating moments chasing after a small school of fish, found a perch on a rock and proceeded to try and ‘scoop’ the fish out of the water that swam his way as they fled from Marsha (his tail swishing beside him in a very obvious cat-like manner…). The wolf managed to catch one in her mouth, but confessed that it was quite by accident and proceeded to help Antonio. Kylie continued searching through the rocks until she was some distance from the two animals. The water was clearer there and she soon lost interest in the rocks and crabs and proceeded to look up as the stars started to appear in the heavens one by one. When she noticed one moving above her she grinned and ran to the others, keeping an eye on the slow moving light.
“Look guys!” she said. “A shooting star or… Comet or something.”
Antonio purposefully ‘missed’ a fish and sent a spray of water in Kylie’s direction before looking up. “That strange,” he said. “It moves very slowly.”
Marsha, who had moved out of the water and was sitting next to the bank drying her clothes, looked up and frowned. “That’s not a star you guys,” she said and got up quickly. “That’s…”
She was interrupted by a rather loud splash as Kylie dove Antonio off of the rock and into the water. “You two!” she snapped. “I think that’s an airship! Get up, you’ll be soaked!”
The two Nasties stopped grappling and looked up. Kylie looked up with a frown as she picked herself up out of the water and made her way to the bank. “All I can see is a moving light,” she confessed. “Antonio?”
Antonio stood up, water dripping from his fur, and squinted up at the sky. The two women watched as his face changed from confusion to happy recognition. “It is!” he said. “And I can think of only one person it could be!”
Kylie paused from squeezing out her ninja mask and looked up. “Suzanne!” she said delighted. “We’ve got to get her attention! Come on!” She started running with Antonio and Marsha quickly following suite, their caught fish forgotten.
The three raced after the light until the trees became too thick to see it. This didn’t deter Kylie though as she scrambled into one of the threes and scared it to the top. “Suzanne!” They heard her call. “Suzanne, down here!”
Marsha and Antonio continued to race in the direction the light had been moving which – coincidently – was also in the direction of the clubhouse. “I don’t think she’ll hear or see Kylie,” Marsha pointed out as she made her way through the undergrowth. “Hopefully she’ll notice the clubhouse.”
Antonio growled beside her as he leapt over a rotten log. “Not if she doesn’t see it,” he said. “I don’t knjow if the others have managed to find some lamps. We need to get her attention!”
They ran a couple of more strides then drew up short when Kylie dropped down in front of them.
“I don’t think she’s seen me!” she said frustrated. “I’m not high enough and, judging by her trajectory, she might just miss the clubhouse! If only I can get closer to her but ninjas can’t fly!”
The moment she said it the three of them looked at each other, a single thought bouncing between them. When Antonio started grinning, there was a hint of feline villainy in his eyes. “Kylie, you follow that light,” he said. “Don’t lose it. We’ll go get Alyssa…”
To Be Continued…