I actually edited this one! Not a lot, but still! It's still pointless, but fun, so it fits in with the rest of the story."Oh, I'm sorry. Did you want to wait for the paddy wagon?" ~SamChapter Twenty-Two
Puppy BurglarsThe group is gathered in the hotel room, listening to Starsong and Lady Unicorn. LLP is standing in front of them with her arms crossed.
"I'm calling the police," she said.
LLP took a step towards the phone.
"And tell them what?" I asked.
"That we're being followed," she said.
"He didn't do
"He chased you around the castle. He has a gun. That's a grown man, chasing two teenage girls. It's a matter for the police."
"But he didn't do anything. Can we please just forget it, and and enjoy our vacation?"
She thought for a minute, obviously wanting to say no, but finally gave in.
"Fine," she said.
"Toy store!" Amberwood exclaimed happily from the backseat. We had left Stranraer an hour before, and were now in a town so tiny that we could see both ends of the road leading through it. I looked through the window to our right and saw a storefront with a sign that read "Young at Heart Toymakers."
From the driver's seat, LLP sighed.
"Amberwood, we're already a day behind schedule," she said.
"Please?" Amberwood said.
"Please?" I said.
"Please," Starsong said.
," LLP said.
"Please," Sam said.
Fine. Don't push it."
"Sorry." We parked in front of the toy store and piled out of the van, most of us enthusiastic, LLP relucant. A little bell rang as we opened the door and stepped inside.
"Dang," Spunky said. I had to agree. Balls, dolls, board games, action figures and stuffed animals filled every shelf and display. It was a child's dream. And ours, too, apparently. Starsong gave a little squeal and ran off.
"Don't break anything," I said. She either didn't hear me, or chose to ignore me. The rest of us wandered off, and I headed to the collection of stuffed animals. They were all so soft and adorable- the bears, and puppies, and kittens, and-
I gasped and picked her up. The soft white stuffed unicorn with a light pink horn. I held her close.
"Aww," Puddleduck said.
"I shall call her Lady Fluffy," I said. "And she shall be mine, and she shall be my Lady Fluffy."
We both laughed and I looked at the price tag, then headed to the front counter.
"Look what I found," Puddleduck said, holding up a magnetic ramp and wheel toy and moving it up and down to move the wheel.
"Ooh, I love those things," I said. I stepped up to the counter and set Lady Fluffy down. I checked out quickly, and picked up Lady Fluffy.
"Thank you," I said to the cashier. After Puddleduck checked out, and we walked away, I looked at us.
"One toy store, and suddenly we're five again," I said.
"You say that like it's a bad thing," she said. We both laughed again. We found Sam and LLP sitting at a table, playing a game of Candyland.
"I'm stuck on the Gum Drop Mountain," Sam said.
"Bummer," I said. I held up my unicorn. "Look what I got. Her name is Lady Fluffy."
"Did you both check out already?" LLP asked.
"Yeah," Puddleduck said.
"Why don't you take Lady for a walk?"
"I can walk myself," I said. Sam snickered, and LLP smiled. "Okay. Come on." Puddleduck and I headed for the door.
"So are you going to be a good girl, or should I get the leash?" she asked. I smiled and elbowed her gently. We stepped outside and up to the van. I opened the door and set my things on my seat. "Puppy," I called. There was no sound in reply. I looked under the seats. No puppy.
"Puppy!" I called again. I climbed back and looked in the very back of the van, but she wasn't there either.
"She's not there?" Puddleduck asked.
"No," I said. I turned to look at her and saw that the front passenger window was open. "Who left the window open?" I asked, climbing out hurriedly. "She must've jumped out."
"That was Spunky's seat."
"Ugh!" We both looked around, as if we might see the puppy just bouncing around at our feet, but she wasn't.
"Where do you think she went?" I asked.
"I don't know. She could be anywhere."
I sighed and started walking down the sidewalk, looking around.
"Where are you going?" Puddleduck asked.
"To find the puppy. We can't just leave her. Jo!" I called.
"Lily!" Puddleduck called. I stopped and sighed.
"Do you think she's gonna answer to either of those names?" I asked.
"Probably not. Lady!"
"You don't have to yell. I'm right here."
"I was calling the dog."
"Oh. Lady!" I called. We kept calling her as we walked down the road, and when we got to the part where the sidewalk ended and the dirt road began, we had still seen no sign of her.
"Let's go back and check the other end," Puddleduck said.
"Yeah." We hurried back down the sidewalk and found the others waiting for us at the van.
"Here they are," Starsong said.
"Where's the puppy?" Amberwood asked.
"Lost," I said angrily. "Because someone
-" I looked at Spunky, whose eyes went wide. "-left their window rolled down, and she jumped out."
"Oops," Spunky said.
"We were just about to check the other end of the road," Puddleduck said, pointing.
"Let's take the van," Starsong said.
"Okay," LLP said, heading for the driver's door. Amberwood glared at Spunky.
"You," she said. "Back of the van." She pointed. Spunky frowned and climbed to the back seat.
We drove down to the end of the street, looking all around. When we got to the end of the sidewalk, LLP stopped the van.
"Anyone see her?" she asked.
"No," we all said.
"Keep going," Sam said. LLP sighed and turned to look at us.
"Guys," she said sadly. "There's no way of even knowing where she went. We're already behind schedule. I'm sorry, but I think we should turn back and move on to Edinborough."
"We can't just leave her!" Puddleduck said.
"But-" Spunky started to say something, but the entire middle seat turned and glared at her. She fell silent and sank down in her seat.
"I think she's right," Starsong said. "I mean, Lady is obviously a very tough little puppy. I'm sure she'll find someone else who'll take care of her."
No one argued, but an unhappy silence fell upon the van. LLP turned around and we headed back down the road. I looked out the window sadly, holding Lady Fluffy close. We drove on the dirt road, leaving the tiny town behind. We drove for a couple of miles before Sam sat up straight and yelled out, "Stop!"
LLP brought the van to a screeching halt, giving us all whiplash.
"What?" Starsong asked.
"She's in the field," Sam said, opening the door and getting out. We all followed her, and sure enough, the puppy was bouncing happily through the field of grass next to us. She turned and saw us. She gave a cheerful little bark, then turned and ran off.
"Come back!" I called, running after her. The others followed us as the puppy headed for a house up ahead. "Puppy! I don't want to play! Stop! Damn you're fast." The puppy ran up to the house and under the porch. I hurried up to the porch and knelt down. The puppy was happily rolling in the dirt.
Sam came up and knelt down next to me as the others gathered around behind us.
"Come on, puppy," I said, reaching for her. "Time to go." She looked at me, but stayed out of my reach. She gave another happy little bark and bounced a little. I sighed in annoyance.
"What makes you possibly think I can fit under there?" I asked.
"Lady," I heard LLP say. The puppy gave a small bark and I turned around. There was a cute, dark-haired boy in his early twenties watching us with a confused look. (Apparently, cute boys in our age range are quite common in Europe.)
"Can I help you?" he asked.
"Yes," Sam, Starsong and Amberwood said.
"Um, our dog has barricaded herself under your porch," I said.
"Has she now?" he said.
"Well let's take a look." He knelt down next to us and looked under the porch. "Well hi there, Puppy." She gave him a friendly bark. Sam looked over him at me.
"Oh, my god!" she mouthed.
"I know!" I mouthed back with a smile.
"All right," he said, reaching into his jacket pocket. He pulled out a small dog treat and held it out to her.
"You carry dog treats in your pocket?" LLP asked.
"Yeah," he said casually. The puppy proceeded carefully and sniffed his hand. Before she could make a judgment, however, she saw something else and took off running past us. I heard a cat screech and both animals disappeared around the corner of the house. All of us chased after them. When we got to the back, the small cat door was still swinging.
The boy walked up to back door and tried to open it, but it wouldn't budge.
"It sticks sometimes," he said, working the handle. I heard barking inside.
"Hurry," Spunky said. The door finally gave way, and we all hurried inside. We followed the sound of the barking into the living room at the front of the house. The puppy was barking at the space under the couch, where the cat was crouched low to the ground, hissing at her.
Puddleduck hurried over and scooped the puppy up.
"Bad puppy," she said, giving her a little hit on the nose. The puppy couldn't have cared less. She tried to escape and reach her prey.
"I'm so sorry," LLP said.
"It's no problem," the boy said. A police car pulled up outside and sounded its siren.
"Oh, boy," Amberwood said. We all looked at the boy, who suddenly looked very shifty.
"You don't live here, do you?" I asked.
"Not technically," he said.
"What do you mean, 'not technically'?" Starsong asked.
"Technically, as in, I don't live here, and I don't know the people who live here."
"That's not technically," Starsong said angrily. "That's 'at all.' As in, 'I don't live here at all, and in fact, I'm probably going to rob this house.'" There was a knock at the front door. Puddleduck walked over and opened it. Two police officers stepped inside.
"Put down the puppy and step into the living room, please," one of them said. Puddleduck obeyed, and the puppy sat down calmly.
"Now she stays," I heard Amberwood say quietly.
"Hello, Officer," Spunky said. "I don't suppose you'd believe that we live here?"
"I know the people who live here," he said. "You're not them."
"So that's a 'no,'" she said quietly. The second officer sighed as he looked at us.
"Looks like we're going to need a van," he said.
"We have a van," Sam said. We all glared at her.
"Oh, I'm sorry," she said in annoyance. "Did you want to wait for the paddy wagon?"
So that's how we got taken to jail in a VW bus.
We were in a cell for half an hour before one of the officers came and let us out.
"I'm sorry about that, Ladies," he said as we filed out. "You can get your puppy from Officer McGinnis."
On our way out, Starsong stopped at the cell holding the boy.
"So if you're ever in Wellington, look me up, yeah?" she said. He nodded eagerly.
"Starsong!" LLP said.
"I know it's a ways away, but I'm worth the trip."
"Starsong!" Amberwood and I said.
"All right! I'm coming!"TnB Travel Journal
*sigh* Why are all the cute ones criminals?
My apologies to Spunky and LLP.
Comments are love!
Love Glomps and Firewhiskey!