Dark Riders of Marblecliff
01 Missed Connection
▂▃▅▇█▓▒░۩۞۩ July 27, 2013 ۩۞۩░▒▓█▇▅▃▂
▂▃▅▇█▓▒░۩۞۩ Missed Connection ۩۞۩░▒▓█▇▅▃▂
Lilliana Fargo pulled the faded, two tone, mint green and white ‘66 Chevy Custom 10 truck into the parking lot of the apartment building. She looked down at the phone in her paw as she cut off the engine. She took a deep breath as she doubled checked the address she had found for the mouseman she had met on the cruise. She had enjoyed the time she had spent with him, as well as the activities. Getting the job as a teacher at the prep school was ideal for what she had planned for before she found, and fell in love with the young kangaroo mouse, and what she had read about the school, it was just the place she wanted to send her new daughter to. The fact that it just happened to be in the same city as the older mouse and his daughter was just a little boost for her when she thought about it.
It had been a long time since she had any kind of relationship with a man, and being with the young mouse and her new lover only served to highlight that fact. That, coupled with Susan and Hank getting back together, tore at her with the thought that Cecily needed a good father figure in her life. She thought back to her long, half-drunk conversation with the mouse about him and his life. He seemed to be just what she thought a good man and father would be. He had spent much of the past sixteen years seeing to the needs of his children after his wife passed away, and it was that dedication to that turned her on. She shook her head as she got out of the truck. “Pull it together girl, you're putting the cart before the horse here. You don’t even know if they guy is still interested,” she said to herself as she started to walk toward the door.
The liger stopped at the bank of buttons by the door, each had a number and name beside it, a few missing the nameplate. She scanned over it several times as she looked for the on O'Donnell, not able to find it. The liger glanced at the intercom box near the button bank and randomly pressed a button. After a moment a slightly groggy feminine voice came over the small speaker embedded in the wall, (hello? How is it?)
“Hello. I’m Lilliana Fargo,” Lilliana said “I’m sorry to disturb you…”
(We don’t want any.) The voice interrupted.
“No,” the liger starts again, “I’m not selling anything…”
(We already have all the religion we need.) She was interrupted again.
Getting frustrated Lilliana leaned into the intercom as if it would help the person on the other end see the look in her eyes as she hissed, “Now look here you little shit, I just need to ask which apartment the O'Donnell’s live in. Their name is not on a butt…”
(They moved, last week or something.)
“Last week?” She asked suddenly, “Where the fuck to?”
(Roosomething City, North Carolina. Something about a better job her dad got or something.) The voice said now sounding annoyed. The words were followed by a click sound and silence.
Lilliana turned and slumped against the wall as she looked at the name and number saved on her phone. She slid to the ground as she stared blankly at it. “Who the fuck picks up their life and moves in less than a week?” she asked herself in the reflection and glare on the screen. “You did dumb ass, you and the whole group of crazy fuckers we now call a family, and all for a mouse.” She dropped her paws to her sides as she looked up to the sky and continued to talk to herself out loud, “Can’t really blame him if he got that good of an offer. You’ve done it a few times now. And with that girl of his,” she paused and looked around the dingy apartment building, “she deserved better than this.” She looked back at the contact information on the phone as she hit the delete button. “No point in hanging on to one good night, and no point in bringing up the fact that we missed a second chance at whatever that was.” She sighed heavily as she added one last comment to her monologue, “Pull yourself together girl, we have much bigger fish to fry.”
Lilliana grunted as she pushed herself up from the ground and groaned as she stretched out. “What am I going to tell Sisy when she asks about the mouse?” She asked herself, “I’ll just keep my mouth shut until she says something and deal with it then. Shit, I should have held onto the number at least they could still do a get together or some shit.” She looked at the phone as she thought about that one night they spent on the ship, “She didn’t even know I had his number, so no lose unless she asks if he did.” She slipped the phone back into its holster as she walked back to the old beat-up truck. “Where to now Lilly?” She asked herself and paused before answering, “Pinball.” As she sat in the tattered cloth bench seat of the truck she pulled out the phone again and said, “Locate Arcade.” as she cranked up the truck.
▂▃▅▇█▓▒░۩۞۩ Quiet Time ۩۞۩░▒▓█▇▅▃▂
Cecily looked over her shoulder as she stuffed the contents back into her denim backpack, and clipped the S.T.R.I.K.E.R stun gun to her belt under the loose fitting denim jacket. She listened to the sounds of the others cleaning and moving about the house. She had managed to slip away from the group as they spent the time tormenting her girlfriend Daisy. She giggled at the thought of how they were running her ragged yet continually checking to see that she was okay. She had told them she was going to take some pictures so they would not worry too much. What she didn't tell them was that she had planned on taking them around the neighborhood, and she wanted to try and do things by herself again. It had been nearly two months since she had truly been alone and on her own. She loved her family, and her girlfriend, but she still needed a moment to herself.
The small kangaroo mouse tossed the backpack over her shoulder as she picked up the camera and slung it over her neck. The fading light of the day was going to make some captivating pictures if she found anything or anyone worth taking shots of. She double checked the stack of SD cards and the extra battery she had stuffed in her pocket for easy access before she started to walk down the drive to the road.
As she walked through the neighborhood, she marveled at the large houses and manicured yards. The place looked like nothing she had seen before, like something out of a movie. All the houses looked empty and lifeless as if on display to say ‘We can have this even if we don’t need it.’ She looked back over her shoulder in the direction she had come, the house and her family now out of site. The place they had gotten was for a purpose. It had a reason to be as big as it was. She was going to share what she had found with those who needed it. She was going to make the place into what she had only dreamed possible until now. And her Family was going to help her do it.
She watched as the yards and houses slowly got smaller and more realistic. As they did the lights and life in the houses could be seen. She saw families sitting and watching TV together, a few younger cubs running through a yard together. She lifted the camera to her eye as she started to snap rapid photos of the neighborhood as it came to life with people and laughter.
It was still early evening and the summer breeze made it ideal for the outdoor play. She was slightly disappointed as she saw not one her own age. Even though she had hoped to accidentally run into one of the two girls or even both she had met on the cruise, she knew the odds were against her. Marblecliff was no small town and the neighborhood they now lived in was proof enough of that.
She stopped by a large open park, there were many trees and a huge playground, but those were not what caught her eye. In The midst of the large open grass field was a huge black and white Clydesdale horse grazing near a wagon that it had obviously pulled with it. The sight was so out of place for the high class neighborhood she needed better pictures but she did not want to get too close.
She pulled her backpack off and knelt on the sidewalk and she rummaged through the bag looking for the telescopic lens. She wanted to get more in the shots of the horse close up but her heart was racing too much to be close to the large animal. The majestic beauty was so captivating that she was drawn to it. She just couldn’t help herself; the continued sound of the physical shutter coupled with its digitally synthesized counterpart calmed her enough to keep going. She needed more pictures of the two young mink girls that pranced around it and played more in the wagon than the nearby playground.
She jumped with a start as the voice came from behind her, “Hey, What are you doing?” She spun on her paws, backpack still on the ground, to see a tall giraffe with a Mohawk and multiple piercings. She wore a tight leather jacket that was unzipped to show off the faded Led-Zeppelin concert T, her jeans were faded, torn, and intentionally cut and frayed in places. The small mouse's heart raced as she looked at the much larger girl. She took a deep breath as she tried to not run, her paw fumbled as she patted at the denim jacket as she tried to reach the stun gun at her side. The giraffe crouched down as close to eye level as she could get and asked again, “What are you doing? Where’s your mom and dad? You shouldn’t be out here alone at this time of day.” The giraffe looked around as she added, “This might be a nice looking neighborhood, but bad people can be anywhere.”
Cecily’s eyes darted down as she stepped back and her paw found it’s way to it’s target, then back up to the giraffe. Her heart felt like it was going to leap from her chest as her breath came in short bursts. With no warning she swung the yellow plastic, non-lethal weapon to both paws and pulled the trigger at the near point blank range. Her eyes shot open wide as she watched one probe deflected off the zipper of the jacket as the giraffe stumbled backward in an attempt to avoid the unknown object wielded by the small mouse.
“What the fuck!?” the giraffe girl yelled as she fell into her ass. She was shocked at the the sudden attack from the small mouse. “You tried to fuckin’ shoot me.”
Cecily watched, stunned for a moment at the failed move, as the giraffe girl started to stand back up. She squeaked slightly as she rushed through the one move she remembered from her morning workouts with Lilly nearly two weeks ago. Quickly she balled her fist and twisted, throwing a punch into the girl’s gut with all her strength and the added force from pushing with her legs. As the girl fell back to her knees and started to gasp for air, Cecily squeaked loudly as she turned and bolted into the distance. She bounced and jumped as fast as she could.
▂▃▅▇█▓▒░۩۞۩Cleaning House ۩۞۩░▒▓█▇▅▃▂
Hank looked over at the teenage moose as he told her, “Watch your feet, they broke all these windows from the outside.” He handed her a big push broom as he added, “just push it all out into the hall for now.”
“Okay, no problem Hank,” the moose herm said as she took the large push broom from his paw, “never understood what the big thrill was with breaking shit that belongs to someone else.”
“There’s no point to it,” he said as he started to leave the room, “But it got them to take almost half off the final price. I’ll be back in a few to check on you. If you’re done before then just move to the next room. I need to see if Alex or Sue is going to follow Detlev with the truck.”
A short while later Daisy stopped and watched as Alex walked past the room she was in wearing nothing more than bra and panties with a garment bag over one shoulder and a duffle in the other hand. “Imma take dis room ova ‘ere. If ya gots a problem wit’ it go fuck yaself,” she said without directing the comment toward anyone Daisy could see.
“Fuck you too, Boomer,” came from Susan somewhere else in the house, “which room is it?”
“Da one wit’ da balcony lookin’ ova da pool.” The eagle disappeared from sight , her voice heard from the next room.
Soon after the chinchilla started to walk past and stopped and asked, “Squeaker been in here taking photos yet? I haven’t seen her since she said she was going to.”
At the mention of her girlfriend’s nickname the thought that she hadn’t seen the small mouse for a few hours hit her. Stepping out into the hallway the moose herm said, “for that matter have either of you seen her at all?”
Susan shrugged for a moment as she said, “She might be down in the basement, Let me check there. There’s a theater and gym down there or something and a lot of places to hide if she wanted to,” then walked on leaving the moose to her work, “I’m sure she’s fine, just have to find her in this maze.”
‘Wai’ a secen’,” Alex’s voice came loudly from the next room, “ya tellin’ me ya los’ my siser?”
“We didn’t lose her, Boomer,” Susan replied, “It’s just a really big fucking house and she is one small mouse.”
A moment later the eagle leaned into the room, wearing a faded t-shirt with a dark horse and rider on it and worn jeans and blurted out, ‘If ya wanna wake up wit’ all ya hair in da mornin, ya bedda find’ ‘er,” then sprinted down the hall.
Leaning the broom handle against the wall as she watched the eagle take off in a sprint Daisy muttered, “How the fuck is it my fault she wandered off on her own? For fucks sake I’m her girlfriend not her damn warden. She is after all fifteen, not five.” Looking in both directions up and down the hallway a moment she sighed heavily. “Better see if I can find her, I don’t know how much of that was empty threat and how much was for real, and she is crazy enough to do it.”
▂▃▅▇█▓▒░۩۞۩ Tilt ۩۞۩░▒▓█▇▅▃▂
Lilliana rested her hips against the pinball machine as she bumped and jostled the thing hard. She had gone through several rolls of quarters as she tested out the sensitivity of the table. the game was a few years old but had remained almost untouched in the modern arcade. The liger was disappointed at the lack of respect for the skill needed to play the game properly. The thrived on the subtle motions and tactile game play that the classic system offered. She looked over her shoulder as she heard two boys talking about her at the game. Not really paying attention to what they had been saying she asked, “What, you guys want a go at it? There’s another one right here.”
The bull said, “No ma’am, I was just saying how you must love to waste quarters on a game the is that simple when you keep losing.” he turned to his friend with a grin as she spoke.
“Simple game you say?” she said with a smile as she looked over at the matching pinball system to the side. “Well then, why don't you show me how it’s done?”
“I don’t waste my money on games like that,” he said with a smirk on his muzzle.
Lilliana dug in her pocket and slapped a fist full of quarters on the Pinball deck, “I’ll pay, you can have as many tries as you want, I’ll just use this one.” She held up a single quarter as the looked at the pair, “either or both I don’t care, I just need schooled on this ‘SIMPLE GAME’.”
The bull walked up to the system as his iguana friend said, “Dude, I think she’s punkin you.”
“Who cares,” he said as he picked up the first quarter, “you’ve seen how bad she sucks at it, and it’s not my money.” As the boy dropped in the first quarter and started the game, his paws on the flipper buttons as he hit the push-button launcher. he leaned in and started to play, he watched closely as the ball bounced around the table. As the last of the three balls rolled down the drain, missed by the ill-timed flipper, he looked up at the screen, proud of his 180,000 points. He turned to the liger and started to speak, “See, all you have to do is…” His jaw dropped open as the saw the difference in the woman's stance and concentration as she worked the ball over the field. The numbers on the screen flashing as she played the game.
“You know what I hate about these new systems,” she started to say as she played the game without taking her eye off the moving balls, "They took away the plunger in favor of these auto launchers. You used to be able to set the ball right where you wanted with a little finesse.” He watched as the hip bumps and palm taps that had ‘TILT’ the game earlier continued in a finer more controlled movement as she spoke, “Then they had to go and make all the tilt sensors more sensitive. You nearly have to fuck the machine for an hour before you get a feel for what it can handle. Then you young fucks think the game is easy and boring.” She started to launch the ball in a precision loop with a strategic bump of the hip in one spot as she rolled it over the multiplier trigger. He glanced up at the scoreboard and saw it at several million points and several free plays already earned as well as free balls. “I’ll give you one thing; there is skill involved in your shooters and fighting games, even your racers. But none of them have ever compared to the full body skill of the good ol’ pinball game.”
Slightly dumbfounded, but more angered at her words and making him look like a fool, he turned back to the game and tried again, this time using more bumps and shakes, trying to mimic her actions. Within as a few seconds the machine stopped working as a loud buzzer sounded and ‘TILT’ rolled across the scoreboard. Still playing on the same quarter and, he assumed, the same ball she said, “They're more like women than fuck dolls, you can’t just slam it in there like she can take whatever you give her. You have to feel it out, rub on her some, get her worked up. Then you ease it in and give it little taps and long gentle strokes until she asks for it.” She paused as the ball rolled up some rails, “then you,” She hit the machine hard with her hip and sent the ball nearly to the other side of the field without it touching anything causing a warning buzz, “and if she screams you ease off a bit and give her the soft gentle love again.” She glanced down at the phone on her hip as it buzzed. “It’s all in knowing what she wants, and when and how to give it to her the way she likes it.”
She stood up and stepped away from the machine as she said, “You two have fun, you might learn a thing or two if you play with her a bit more before you call her EASY.” She left the two boys there, mouths agape not sure what to take from what she had said.
She lifted the phone to her ear as she answered, “What?” a moment later she said, “I’m on my way. Just give me a few, I had a slight change in my original plan. Look for her wherever you need to and don’t lose the moose, we only have her on loan.”
▂▃▅▇█▓▒░۩۞۩ Miscommunication ۩۞۩░▒▓█▇▅▃▂
Vivian watched stunned as the small kangaroo mouse disappeared out of sight faster than she had seen anyone move. The girl couldn’t have been more than seven or eight years old, but she packed on hell of a punch. She looked down as she struggled to catch her breath, the girl had left her backpack and what looked like a really expensive camera, along with the Taser gun the girl had tried used on her. the giraffe girl pick up the black and yellow gun and looked at the side. Printed in big black letters she read “S.T.R.I.K.E.R.” underneath was shocked her the most. “Holy fuck!” She said as she saw the 1800000 volt printed there.
Vivy shuffled over to the backpack, still crouched down, and pulled it open. Inside small denim bag she found several additional attachments for the camera, a thick hardbound book, a small pencil box, and a cell phone. She pulled out the phone and looked through the contact list that contained only five numbers, with no names associated with them, only odd number and letter combinations, except for one named Daisy Daniels. As she looked at all the numbers, she noted that none of them were local. With the simple items and the fact that she had never seen the mouse before Vivy decided that the girl must be from the family that bought the house across the street from Vanessa. the rumor of the house finally being bought had started a week before, and she must have met the first of the new family in the neighborhood. She gathered the things into back into the denim backpack and decided to at least take it back to the house and inform them that the girl had panicked and run off.
As she walked up to the house she watched a U-Haul truck and a jeep leave the drive. The movers seemed a bit low budget for the neighborhood as she saw the otter that looked like he was only wearing overalls and a straw hat. She continued her way to the door and pressed the small button by it as she looked through the broken windows to either side. No sound came from the device lending to the thought that the place may be deserted and not where the mouse came from after all. She gave one last effort to get the attention of anyone that might be left as she shouted, “Hello? Is there anyone here?” She started to run and leave. “Fuck, No one's here. Who in their right mind would stay in this shit hole like this?”
She stopped as the sound of the door bursting open with a strange voice and accent spoke to her loudly, “Wha’ da ya wan’?”
She turned back to see an eagle with a faded t-shirt and jeans standing with the door wide open. “Excuse me? I must have the wrong house.”
“Exoos you? ya yelled a’ my dooah?” The eagle said back as she looked the giraffe up and down, her eyes stopping at the denim backpack. “Whayadijagetdat?” the eagle’s eyes narrowed as she looked at the rocker girl, her words moving faster than Vivy could understand.
“What?” Vivy asked as she tried to make sense of the sounds that came from the eagles beak.
The eagle reached out and grabbed Vivy by the collar of the leather jacket as she repeated slowly, “Whaya… dija... get... da... backpack?” The golden eyes of the eagle locked hard on her as she spoke.
Slightly confused by the eagles aggressive reaction to the article she said, "You recognize it? I'm trying to return it and apologize to the little girl it belongs to for spooking her."
She watched as the eagles eyes changed from aggression to concern as she shouted, “Squeaka ain’t in da ‘ouse!” Her voice echoed through the empty building. She lowered her voice as she let go of Vivy’s jacket and took a deep breath. “Which way did she go?” the eagles words now clearly spoken as her demeanor shifted.
As she started to tell the eagle what happened two other women arrived at the door. A moose about her age and a chinchilla that looked to be the same age as the eagle, “I was walking in the park and saw the little girl. When I looked around I didn’t see any parents so I thought I would… um… try and help her out. a girl her age shouldn’t be out alone like that.” She held the backpack up as she added, “After she shot the Taser at me and punched me in the gut she ran off and left this stuff.”
The eagle looked to the chinchilla then the moose, “She done tased an’ ‘it dis one.” A little smile curled in her cheeks for a moment as she spoke. she turned back to Vivy as she took the backpack and handed it to the moose and asked, “che still go’ da phone on ‘er?”
“What?” Vivy asked as she looked at the eagle confused.
Daisy dug through the backpack to find the Taser with the spent cartridge still attached and the phone both toward the top. “FUCK!”, the moose herm nearly screamed in near panic. “No, the phone is right here. Looking to the giraffe girl, her eyes wide with fear she asked, “where did this happen? How far from the house?”
Vivy saw the fear and concern in the moose’s eyes as she said, “About three or four blocks that way, by the park.” She looked around the strange collection of furs as the look of concern spread among them. “Who is she?”
“Shit, that means she didn’t head straight back here,” Daisy said as she looked from one face to the next around the small group. “Jesus I just hope she didn’t go far before she holled up.”
“Che wen’ about tree er fife miles da las’ time. Once che ge’s goin’ ‘oo knows ‘ow far chi’ll get,” the eagel said as she walked swiftly back into the house.
Looking at Vivy again Daisy said, “wait you said near a park, what kind of park, is there any like, kids playground shit there or not?”
“It’s the park down the street,” the giraffe said, “It has a playground and there were even some kids a bit older than her there goofin’ around. But, shit, she sprang past all that in like two seconds.”
“Fuck this, Susan do what you have to, I’m heading that way to see if I can find her. If she didn’t get far before she found a hidey hole maybe I can find her,” Daisy said as she patted her pockets adding, “I have my phone on me, if I find her I’ll call.” Daisy looked at the giraffe a moment longer before she said, “she’s not a little kid, fuck she’s just small, but she’s nearly our age. Fuck I have to try to find her…” she finished as she ran off in the direction of the park.
▂▃▅▇█▓▒░۩۞۩ The Boy in Blue ۩۞۩░▒▓█▇▅▃▂
Cecily wasn’t sure how far she had gone or where as she slowed and looked around. She had left the residential area some time back without realizing it and now noticed that she had left everything else back with the strange girl. She looked around at the unfamiliar signs as she thought of one of the first things Lilliana had told her nearly two months ago, ’No running off. Both my and your vacation will be ruined if I have to hunt you down in some strange city that neither of us know. And I will come looking for you.’ The words carried more weight now than they ever had. She was in a strange city and now with no idea how far she had gone or where. Her blind panic had only sent her in a run like that once before in the time she had been with the liger, and Alex had somehow managed to find her. But this time they didn’t even know she was gone.
She started to walk slowly down the sidewalk as her heart began to race again. The feeling of the panic and anxiety started to build as she stopped to lean against a tree. ‘Do i even remember anyone’s number?’ she thought to herself as she realized just how dependent she had become on the little digital device she was given. She sat and pulled her knees up to her chest with her back to a lamp post as she tried to think of the next move. She started to hum a random tune from her head as she sat there. She closed her eyes as she thought back to what she should have done instead of sneak out, but she knew if she had told anyone they would have insisted on going with her. Looking back she knew that might have been a better idea.
As she sat, tears started to roll from the corner of her eyes. She buried her face in the space between her legs and arms. She jumped as she felt a paw touch her shoulder. she looked up quickly ready to bolt again as her heart speed to a rate equal to that which got her to where she was. The sight of the blue uniform stopped her from sprinting, but did nothing to slow her heart rate or calm her panic. The look on the young bobcat officer’s face started to calm her as he smiled down at her. “Hey there, Lil L'on, What’s wrong? Did you lose your mom and dad?”
His soft voice and the gentle purr in his chest reminded her of Lilly. She managed a weak smile as she said, “I… I didn’t lose them, I lo… lost myself.” Over the weeks before the cruise they had gotten her used to the idea of trusting most police officers, something she had lost during her time on the streets. There was one thing she needed before she could trust him, a thing drilled into her by Alex. She kept her eyes on his as she asked, “Ca… can I see your badge?”
He kept his smile as he said, “Sure thing sweetie, and it’s always okay to ask to see it from any officer.” He reached to a pouch on his belt and pulled out the small shield as he said, “My name is Sergeant Goodman, What is yours?”
As she reached up and gently pulled the shield from his paw she said, “Ce…Cecily,” She nearly squeaked as she spoke, “Cecily Sil… Cecily Fargo.” She corrected herself. “We… We just moved here and I got lost.”
She listened as he spoke into the radio using some phrases and codes she did not understand before he looked at her again and asked, “How old are you sweetie?”
“I’m fifteen.” she said as she watched the officer’s eye widen in disbelief.
“Um…” Sergeant Goodman was caught off guard by the age as he thought through the next step, “Do you have any ID miss?” he swiftly changed to his teen plus terminology to attempt to avoid any misunderstanding.
“I… I left it in my… backpack in the park,” she said her eyes locked on the small golden shield in her paws as she ran her fingers over the raised lettering and emblem. “I had a panic attack, and… and I ran.”
She looked up as the bobcat stood and started to talk into his radio, “I have a young lady by the name of Cecily Fargo. She has no identification and has informed me she is fifteen”
A voice came over the line (We have a report of a kangaroo mouse by that name that suffers from panic disorder that has gone missing.)
Cecily’s eyes light up as she heard the words come over the radio, “Th… that’s me.” she said as she started to stand up.
“She said that it might be her do you have an address to, or rendezvous point for the family?” He said as he smiled down at Cecily.
(They said to bring her into the station; someone was on their way to wait for her.)
He looked down at her with a smile, “Want to go for a walk, Miss Fargo? The station is only a few blocks away.”
She looked up with a weak smile as she said, “Yes sir, Sergeant Goodman.” Cecily reached up and the officer took ahold of her paw out of reflex due to her size, and led the way to the station house.
▂▃▅▇█▓▒░۩۞۩ Mouse Hunt ۩۞۩░▒▓█▇▅▃▂
When Daisy reached the park it was just as the giraffe girl had said, there were many kids in their early teens playing in the park, but the thing that caught her eye was what she was sure that Cecily had seen if it was there when she was. The large black and white horse that dwarfed the mink man that held it by the reins as he led it back to the wagon had to be the reason the small mouse girl had stopped and was in a position to leave her backpack and prized camera if she bolted in a panic.
Daisy ran toward the mink man as she started to shout, only to stop when the horse started to rear. The powerful beast lifted the mink off the ground easily as he held onto the reins and tried to calm it down. He looked at her from the distance; the large scar above his eye became the focal point of the picture as he waved her forward. She wondered suddenly if his injury was caused by the horse as she cautiously approached.
When she drew near enough to be heard easily she began to apologize. “I’m really sorry about spooking the walking wall there,” she said quietly.
“Oh,” the mink said, “it wasn’t you miss, He didn’t want to be hooked back up to the cart, But we talked about it and he agreed.” he spoke with a smile as the two young mink girls ran to him from the playground. “So, how can I help you? Want to pet Smokey? He’s really tame, just a little grumpy because he doesn’t want to go back home.”
“Thanks, maybe some other time,” the moose herm said as she glanced around the park. “I was wondering if you or your daughters may have seen a little kangaroo mouse that was in the park earlier.”
He looked at the moose with a concerned look in his eyes, “Are you talking about the girl who bolted through the park before?”
The smallest of the mink girls looked up at the older mink as she asked, “The one that ran from the scary girl?”
“Yes Pet,” he replied with a smile at her as he put his paw on her head and mussed her hair. “Um... She went that way I think. You want a ride?” he asked as he turned to continue hooking up the cart to the horse.
Looking the mink man over Daisy considered his offer before she replied. “If it’s not too much trouble, it would save time from running back to get my car. She’s prone to panic attacks when she feels cornered and I need to find her as quick as I can.”
“Hop on.” he said as he lifted the younger mink into the bed of the wagon and the older of the girl’s climbed up herself.
As she climbed into the back of the cart with the two young minx she looked at the trio as she said, “thank you, my names Daisy by the way,” offering her paw to each of the girls then their father.
“Brent,” he said as he shook her paw, “the goofy one in the black and pink is Arelia and the sprunket is Petra.” He glanced back at the girls as they stood quickly and in unison said, “Pleased to meet you Miss. Daisy.” He then said, “Okay girls, sit down we’re getting ready to get going.” As the girls sat he clicked his tongue and shook the reins a bit to get the large beast moving. “Any Idea which way she might go? She looked like she was moving pretty fast. Where does she like to go?”
“That’s the worst part, she usually runs until the panic runs out or she finds someplace she feels safe. But we’re new in town and she hasn’t really had a reason to bolt. I don’t have any idea where she would take off to,” Daisy said as she continued to scan the area for any sign which way the small mouse may have gone.
“Hmm,” the mink man looked around as they went, “That’s not good. Is she on anything for anxiety or panic disorder?”
“No, not yet. Like I said we just moved into town and haven’t even had a chance to get settled into the house yet. It hasn’t been a huge deal until now because she’s been with either her family or myself. She’s been trying to work through it with me some lately, but with school starting soon… oh God I hadn’t even thought about what that’s going to be like for her,” Daisy said as the thoughts of how many things would be changing for them both in just a few short weeks hit her.
“I can only imagine,” he said, “being the new kid is bad enough and as young as she is, with panic attacks, that’s going to be hellish.”
The young white mink hopped up against the bench the two older people sat in, “Do you think she’ll go to my school? I could be her friend.” the girl looked wound tight like a watch spring as she rocked back and forth.
“I don’t know dear,” Brent said as he glanced back at her, “You go to a special school, not everyone gets to go there. Now sit back down, okay?”
“Here we go again,” the moose muttered as she turned to look at the older mink beside her. “She’s small for her age, issues with malnourishment when she was younger, but she’s fifteen. Everyone thinks she’s a lot younger, even I did when I first met her,” the moose admitted as she turned back to searching the yards and trees as they passed slowly by.
“Really?” he said, “Sounds like she had a hard life.”
As he spoke Daisy felt her phone vibrate as it rang. “Yea?” she answer knowing that only a few people would be calling her. From the other side of the phone came Susan’s voice, (Stay right there, they have her at the station, Alex will be by in a moment to get you.)
“And just how the...oh yea, the tracker that Sisy put on my phone,” the moose said as she rubbed her forehead with her free paw. “I’m not exactly sitting still here Susan, I ran into some people at the park that saw her take off. So should I stay with them or what?”
(Well then just have them drive you back to the house. Lilly is on her way to get Sisy.)
“Okay, I’ll just do that then. Thanks for letting me know she’s okay Susan, I appreciate it,” Daisy said as she ended the call shoving the phone back into her pocket as she looked over to the mink. “Looks like she was found, her mother is heading out to get her. If it’s not too much trouble could I just have you drop me off at the house to wait for her there?” she asked a little sheepishly.
“No trouble at all miss,” Brent said as he started to get the horse and cart turned around in a nearby parking lot. “Smokey needs the exercise; he’s been pent up for years. Just point the way he’ll just saunter along till I stop him.”
Daisy pointed the way as the Mink directed the horse back toward the large house. The moose feeling slightly relieved that her girlfriend was found but still worried about what might have happened while she was lost.