Cecily huddled in the corner, tail wrapped around her, holding her ears flat to her head. He was outside the door again, yelling. Maybe he was drunk, maybe he was just mad, but these days he always seemed to yell. Pounding on the door, “Open up you little bitch, and get out here. You need another lesson.” She was glad that she got the dresser in front of the door in time, but what if he got through it? Cecily was only five, the foster mother was nice, but she was in the hospital again. When she was not there, he always came after her. Tears rolling down her cheeks, she heard the door crack and give way as the large equine man rammed his way through… she felt a warm embrace. It was not him. It was soft and gentle. Comforting, not like the woman when they hid from him together. Everything was calm and peaceful. Then the humming started, she could not place the song, but the voice was sweet with a low purr in it. She felt coarse, wet pressure moving from her neck to the top of her head, something she had never felt before. It was something, like the humming.
June 9, 2013
Cecily blinked and opened her eyes. She found herself in the tent wrapped in a sleeping bag. There was more than that, there was a weight across her midsection and a constant rumbling vibration that coursed through her from behind. Then came the rough wet feeling on the back of her head. She jumped and moved to the far side of the tent quickly.
Lilly was jerked from her sleep as something was jerked from her grasp. She roared loudly and extended her claws. Suddenly brought back to reality by the sound of the air mattress as it popped beneath her, She saw the little kangaroo mouse holding her ears to her head andcowering across the tent from her. The wide eyed look of fear on Cecily’s face snapped her even further from her dream world.
“Oh my God! What the fuck did I do?” She said while she tried to assess the situation. “Shit, Shit, Shit. I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to scare you. What happened? Are you O.K.?”
The air hissed out of the mattress while Cecily sat there, not knowing what to do. The look on Lilly’s face when she roared was the most frightening thing she had ever seen. But now that look was gone, replaced with the same look of fear and concern. She slowly lowered her paws from her head and looked at Lilly, her heart was racing a million miles an hour. She just continued to sit in silence.
“Sisy, what did I do? Did I hurt you?” the liger asked as she reached out to her, “Come here. Where did I get you? Shit, I don’t even remember what I was dreaming. Did I attack you?”
The softest “no.” Lilly had ever heard from the girl broke through the hissing sound of the mattress. ”You… you licked me.”
Lilly’s expression of fear melted to utter confusion, “I did what?”
Tail wrapped around her, knees up to her chest, “You were licking my head in your sleep… and purring.”
“Wait a second… I licked you?’
“It woke me up. I did not know what it was. Then when you did it again… it scared me… so I jumped… I’m sorry.”
Lilly rolled to a sitting position, closed her eyes, and started to rub her temples. “I have got to be losing my mind.” She crossed her legs on the almost deflated mattress and looked over at Cecily. “Look, never apologize to me if I did something to scare you. That is never your fault. I guess somehow I registered you as a kitten or something in my dream. When I felt you pulled away from me, I reacted the only way I know how. Hell my reaction just cost us a good mattress.” She poked at a pocket of air trapped in the hollow of her legs, “Well, if I had to kill something I am glad it was this thing. Maybe we should buy another tent so you have your own space.” Cecily fidgeted with the puff of fur at the end of her tail and said, “No, please don’t. I’m sorry I woke you up. I had a bad dream.”
“What kind of dream, Sisy?”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“O.K. then. I can respect that.” Lilly reached over and snatched her watch off the duffle bag and flipped it open. As she snapped it shut again, “No time like the present for breakfast and clean up. Grab the shower kit we made for you and a change of clothes and we’ll hit the shower.”
The showers were separate little stalls, each with a separate changing area. The place was empty this early in the morning. They took stalls next to each other, Lilly starting the water to let it warm up while she stripped off her clothes. Cecily sat on the little bench and looked at the small bag of hygiene supplies. I don’t get all this. What is wrong this woman? She is totally crazy. She sat the bag down on the bench and decided to finally start up the shower as she listened to the Liger hum to herself in the next stall. Cecily turned on the water, and yelped at the sudden rush of Ice cold that hit her.
“You OK over there, Squeaky?” Lilly asked.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” She replied as she slumped against the wall while the water warmed to a reasonable temperature. She pulled her knees back up to her chest, letting the water just roll over her body. The past two days were so confusing. First the coyotes taking her to that club, most of that night is just a blur after that. Whatever they gave her she just took it. They seemed to be having fun around her, she just wanted to have fun too. Then she woke up in a bathtub with this crazy liger sitting over her. She seems nice also, but everyone does at first. Why would this person want to keep me around when no one else did? She doesn’t even know me. She looked up, and listened to the Liger continue to hum next to her. First she buys me all this new stuff, and then tells me that she wants to adopt me. She has to be loony. God, she was licking me in her sleep. She picked up her tail and started to fidget with the fur puff at the end, And that look in her eyes when she woke up. That was worse than anyone, ever. I would hate to see what would happen if she was really mad at me. She shivered as she thought about the horse from her dream.
The shower cut off on the other side of the narrow divider, “You close to done over there?”
Cecily Squeaked out, “Just a moment,” as she jumped for the shampoo bottle.
“Take your time, we have a few hours before the park even opens. I’ll just wait for you out here.” Cecily thought to herself, If i do stay with her, will it really be any worse than before? At least I will know where the food is coming from for a while… until she leaves me too.
As she listened to the shower run behind her, Lilly made her way over to the bank of sinks. On the wall behind them was a long polished piece of metal for a mirror. She pulled out her toothbrush and looked at her reflection. Showing all the teeth she could, I must be the scariest thing that poor girl has seen in her life. I wouldn’t blame her if she just wanted to get away. Who would want to stay with a loud mouthed asshole like me? She squeezed out some paste onto the brush and went to cleaning the chompers that must have scared the poor little mouse senseless earlier.
A short time later, Lilly heard the shower cut off and the rustling of the mouse getting dressed. “Thank God. I was about to call the rescue squad, I thought you might have washed down the drain.” Lilly said when the small kangaroo mouse came through the curtain. “Come brush that grill of yours, and then we can pack up the camp and look for food. I am thinking Steak and eggs today. What about you?”
The mouse walked up to the sinks. Cecily stood barely tall enough to see herself in the mirror as she tossed the bag up on the countertop, she pulled out her own toothbrush and stretched to turn on the water.
“Shit. Let me get you a stool to stand on there.” Lilly said as she walked over to the corner and grabbed a discarded soap crate. “They need to make these things with shorter people in mind. Not everyone is a tower like me.” Then she went back to preening herself in the mirror, “So what’s on your menu this morning?” With a mouth full of toothpaste suds, Cecily squeaked out some muffled words, before spitting them out of her mouth and trying again, “Pancakes will be fine.”
“Pancakes my ass. We need to get some meat on those bones. If you were any smaller you would blow away with the next breeze.”
Cecily mumbled something too low to hear.
“What’s that, Sisy?” Lilly looked down at the mouse. “Are you OK? Look, about this morning, I am really sorry if I scared you. I have no idea what happened. And, um… I am sorry for licking you; I have no clue what I was thinking.”
Just above a whisper Cecily said, “You're treating me like a child. I am almost sixteen. But, it doesn't matter. Whatever you want for breakfast is ok. I am just along for the ride anyway.”
“Well then, looks like you have made a decision. So… When do you want to call and let them know you're ok?” Cecily looked down at the floor while she picked her shower kit up, “I don’t want to go back there. I want to stay with you. But, how long will you want me to stay?”
“Shit, Squeaky, what the hell do you mean? I would not be asking to adopt you if I was going to get sick of you. I am more worried about you getting sick of me. Everyone gets tired of this personality after a fashion. I have a bad habit of making people feel stupid, or just telling them they are.” She put her paws on Cecily’s shoulders and turned her to look face to face, “If you can put up with this crazy, mouse licking liger, I will do my best to not scare you off,“ She looked away for a second, “You know what? I think you’re growing on me. I like you Squeaky. Hell, I have already done one stupid thing for you; maybe we can figure it all out together. The first one was my stupidity, Let’s make the next mistake together. What do you say?”
The mouse looked Lilly in the eyes, “You realize you just called adopting me a mistake?”
“One that I am willing to make, but only if you‘re going to make it with me. I can guarantee you one thing for sure, it will be exciting.” she said to the mouse.
Cecily whispered, “Ok.” as she looked down at the floor.
Lilly pulled her into a powerful hug and squeezed a loud squeak out of her, “Awesome. We can make some calls this afternoon. Till then, let’s go pack up and get ready for the Busch Gardens. I hear the Landscape Life Tour is beautiful.” She stopped to think for a moment, “Shit. I forgot to get a camera. Guess that’s one more stop we need to make.”
Together they left the showers and made their way back to the campsite to pack things up and be on their way.
Headed down I-95 to Richmond, Lilly noticed the little kangaroo mouse fidgeting in the passenger seat. She looked over at her, “Are you OK, Sisy?”
Suddenly Cecily shouts, “STOP THE CAR!” with that Lilly pulled off to the shoulder. As soon as the Camaro came to a full stop, Cecily swung the door open and bolted from the car, shot over the guardrail, bounded into the woods, and out of sight.
“Shit!” Lilly said as she killed the engine to try and follow her. “What the fuck did I do now?” She jumped over the rail and ran into the woods. She stoped for a moment to switch gears. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Talking aloud to herself, “Ok, don’t shout for her, you’re a liger and she’s a mouse, it will just make her run again. Think, think, think, what should I do?” She looked around she saw a clear path of bent and broken branches. “Ok, she is not trying to hide. She is just running. Stay calm, you can’t help if you’re panicking too.” She listened carefully as she followed the trail into the woods A hundred yards or so in, she heard panting. “Cecily? Are you there?” after getting no response she moved slowly toward the sound. Huddled against a tree, curled into a ball with her tail wrapped around her, Cecily sat motionless. “Hey there girl, what’s going on?” She asked slumping against the tree next to her.
She sat there in silence and waited for Cecily to make the first move. After several minutes she slowly moved her head to look up at the liger. “I’m sorry.” She said in her quiet voice.
“What are you sorry for?”
“I made you stop and come looking for me.”
“Shit, I just want to know what I did wrong. Do you not want to go to Busch Gardens? We can think of something else to do.”
“But, I just broke one of the rules, don’t run.”
“Fuck, I didn’t even think about that.” Lshe said as she looked at her own paws, “You know what? Fuck the rules, it’s just us. If you want to run… run. I will chase you to the ends of the earth if I have to. At least tell me why you ran.”
“I don’t know. Sometimes I just have to get away. I don’t know why.”
Lilly reached her arm over her shoulder and pulled Cecily closer. “Look Sisy, you have been through a lot that I don’t understand. But, I am here to help you. You can talk to me about anything. If you want to run, for whatever reason, shit, for no reason, just tell me and we can run till you drop. I will be there to pick you up, I promise.“
“You don’t want me. No one wants me. I’m not worth it. I’ll just be a burden on you.”
“You know something. I have never tried to do things the easy way. It’s so much more rewarding if you do them the right way. I have made up my mind, Sisy, no matter how hard things are we will figure them out, and if we can't do it ourselves, we’ll just have to ask for help.” Rewarded with a weak smile from the mouse, Lilly smiled back. “If it’s Ok with you, I think it’s time to go get some ice cream.”
With a weak smile Cecily replies “OK,”
Together they made their way back to the interstate hand in hand, where they found a state trooper looking into the Camaro. “Can I help you officer?” Lilly asked, climbing over the guardrail.
“Is this your car, ma'am?” He asked as she approached.
“Yes it is. Registration and insurance are in the glovebox, License is in my purse on the floor.”
“Can I ask why you are stopped here?”
“We had a little… Woman's issue. Something we had to take care of quickly if you know what I mean. We will be on our way now, unless you have something else, officer.”
“Just please be careful when pulling off the interstate like this. Bad things could happen to a couple of ladies like yourselves.”
Getting back into the car, Lilly said, “Thank you for your concern, Officer, We will keep that in mind if it comes up again.”
As the Drove away from the location, Cecily looked over at her, “You just lied to that Police officer.”
“No I didn’t. I just didn't give him the information he did not need to know.” She said with a smile on her face. “It was a woman's issue, unless we’re not women, and it needed to be taken care of quickly, which we did. The fact that it was a panic attack and you bolted was not that important.”
“A panic attack?”
“Look, I know what it is, I have been dealing with them for years, I know what PTSD looks like, I was diagnosed with it after Iraq, so I really know what it feels like to need to run like that.” Liliana said with a smile on her lips.
Sitting in the parking lot of the Busch Gardens theme park, Cecily watched Lilly while she sat with the bluetooth earpiece and waited for an answer. “Hey Susan, it’s Lilly… yes I am still alive… Shit, it’s only been a month. How is Hank?.... That’s too bad. Look, I have an ulterior motive to calling you. I need to ask a favor… Are you still working at the courthouse?... Ok, here’s the deal. I picked up a runaway that happened to come from your neck of the woods…. D.C. .. You're telling me… Yes, I am… No, that’s not my plan… What would it take to get custody of her? … You can look that up from home? You are awesome… Cecily… Shit,” Looking over at her, “What's your last name?”
“Cecily Silvana… You're shitting me… Ok, well I do have her right here with me… Ok, what do I need to do?... You can kiss my ass… It’s a fucking waste of money… That’s not my problem… Can you fax it to me… Notarized,? That is some of the burocratic bull shit… References? Fuck me sideways. How the hell am I going to pull those out of my ass?... OK, OK just fax me the shit so I can fill it out. I guess I need to make another phone call… Yeah, Yeah, Yeah… I can FedEx the shit back in the morning if I have to.... Ok, thanks a lot. Yeah, I owe you one… Fuck no… I am on vacation… Yes, I did… What the fuck, you guys got a betting pool on me… Who told you?... The bitch… What’s the pot up to?... and the buy-in?... Put me down for longer than you fuckers think… The old man can kiss my ass too… Yeah, he’s who I am going to call… Can I count on you too?... I love you… NO… Slut… You buyin’?... We will be there by the end of the month… NO, I am going to take my sweet ass time… See you when we get there… Yeah I will keep in contact… TTFN”
She looked over at Cecily, who had a confused look on her face from trying to follow the one sided conversation, “Apparently you’re still living with you foster parents. Or at least they’re still collecting for you.” A look of terror crossed Cecily’s face. “Don’t worry about that shit, Susan has it covered, it’s just going to cost me in the end.” Cecily managed another weak smile. “Ok then. We ready to get this day rolling? Nice calm walk in the flowers. You got the camera?” She lifted the small disposable in one hand. “Let’s go.”
The next few hours were spent walking through the landscape and wildlife tours. Lilly watched as Cecily snapped her way through the roll on the disposable camera and through three more from the gift shop. The mouse seemed to be oblivious to the world around her, eagerly looking at every display, and reading every plaque. The look on her face as she bounced her way through the theme park warmed Lilly’s heart. “How about a ride, Sisy?” She looked back at her from the Birds of Prey display and clearly said “No, thank you.”
The day rolled on with the happy mouse jumping around giddy as a schoolgirl. Lilly contemplated all the things Susan had told her on the phone. She dreaded receiving the file Susan promised to send her with the temporary custody paperwork. What have I gotten myself into? Flopping down on a bench while Cecily read more plant data sheets, Stop questioning yourself. You promised her. Besides you need her too. She thought to herself before saying aloud, “You’re losing your fucking mind Lilly.”
This is a work of fiction and is meant for entertainment purposes only. All names and characters in it is fictional, a composite drawing from several individuals and from imagination. No reference to any living person is intended or should be inferred. No animals were harmed in its production. Businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. All art of minors are simulated pictures. All models over 18 years of age. Some actions and activities may be illegal or dangerous and should not be attempted. All products, services, and characters copyrighted to their respective owners. Some content may not be safe/suitable for work or school. Some content and depictions may be illegal to view in some areas. Some content may be illegal to view by those under legal age of connect.