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The Cap’n has just left me behind in the Tea Room muttering about plans and powders and cake.
All very confusing.
The note just given to me by my mage has also upset me. She obviously thinks that I am totally incompetent!
I look around and see that FEMALE knit-one-pearl-one expert is tucked into her usual chair in the corner of the room.
She may seem to be dozing as there are little wheezes and snuffles emerging from her open mouth.
But I KNOW she, or one of her pesky pets, is keeping a close eye on me for the Cap’n.
As the Cap’n leaves the room he tosses me my amulet saying to put it back on immediately and don’t let it be removed again.
As if I had had a choice in the matter!
But he has not returned my boots, perhaps thinking that without them I will feel ‘emasculated’
So all I can do is to sit back and sup my hong cha.
Out of boredom I listen in to the conversation between the Cap’n and the others at the circus.
It seems that his plan is to knock everyone out with one of Roo Roo’s sleeping potions secreted into a large cake or ice cream.
Opel is just putting the finishing touches to this and the home-made ice cream all containing the sleeping draught.
The Tea Room door opens and in rushes Opel heading for the kitchen with a large box that is clanking away.
“Can you wash there up for me please Dear Mrs Fletcher. I have no time to stay and do them myself!”
And rushes out again.
Still out of boredom I sidle into the kitchen where I find Mrs Fletcher seated in her favourite spot with a large mug of her special brew (whatever that may be).
“Here! Let me do that washing up for you. I’ve got nothing else to so and it is driving me insane being cooped up here!”
I take one of the large bowls, which still has the scrapings of the cake mixture in it and am just about to lick it clean with my fingers when I notice some tiny shiny crystals in its base mixed in with the dough.
I look at the other bowl, also with some cake residue, but this one has no such glitters.
“Ahhhh!” I mutter to myself, “the sleeping potion of Roo Roo!
“I can do something with these crystals surely?”
I lick the bowl that has no crystals clean first!
I carefully extract the tiny crystals and dissolve them in a little tepid water.
Then I make a hot drink for Charlie and go back into the Tea Room with it.
“There! I’ve made a cup just for you. Now drink it while it is still warm”
She must be really dozing because she automatically reaches out for the cup and drains it.
Within minutes she is genuinely asleep and though several pairs of animal eyes are looking at me VERY suspiciously, none are inclined to move from her side. They are first and foremost her guardians.
NOW to continue with my interrupted Cunning Plan!
PTG THINKS HE IS BEING SNEAKY, ONE HE NEVER SERVES ANYONE ANYTHING. LOOKS OUT ONLY FOR HIMSELF. TRUST HIM I DO NOT. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS IN THE CUP HE HAS GIVEN ME BUT SUGAR AND SPICE TELL ME DO NOT DRINK IT. LIKE I WOULD I DO KNOW IT IS, NOT COFFEE. AND IT SMELLS WRONG. I PICK IT UP AND PRETEND TO DRINK. SPILLING IT INSIDE MY SHIRT. WARM AND WET BUT I DOES NOT SHOW SO NO HARM. THEN I PICK UP FROM PTG. SLEEPING DRUG. SO THAT WAS HIS PLAN TO KNOCK ME OUT. I PRETEND TO FALL ASLEEP. TO THE CATS. GIRLS KEEP AN EYE ON HIM IF HE GOES BACK TO THE KITCHEN LET ME KNOW I HAVE TO REPORT TO THE CAP WHAT HE HAS DONE. ONE MORE TICK ON MY LIST. MAN THAT MAN MUST THINK I AM A FOOL. YOU LEARN MORE BEING QUIET AND AT MY AGE PRETENDING TO BE ASLEEP. THAN JUST WATCHING. PEOPLE LET DOWN THEIR GUARD WHEN THEY PERCEIVE ONE THING AND IT IS ACTUALLY ANOTHER. THE CATS TOO PRETEND TO SLEEP. I KNOW SOMETHING IS AFOOT WHEN HE OFFERS TO DO DISHES. SINCE THE KITCHEN IS NOW MAGIC AND CAN DO THE DISHES WITHOUT HELP.
I look all round the Tea Room, just in case the Cap’n has left my boots in a corner.
No! not anywhere there.
Did he leave them with Charlie?
She is sound asleep so I go over to her chair.
I am bounced to one side by a large toothy moggie of the lionine kind.
“There! There! I mean her no harm
“In fact, I do NOT want to touch her and disturb her nap
“So just let me feel around her in her chair to see if she has anything of mine hidden there”
I carefully slide my hands past her and around the edges of the seat.
After all she would not be sitting ON them as they would be too uncomfortable.
I come back empty handed but wet!
Oh dear! Well after all she IS an old woman and ‘accidents’ do happen after drinking.
The threatening growls continue until I move back from her.
Time to get my thinking cap on!
The Cap’n definitely did not take the boots with him so they must be here somewhere.
Ah! They could be in the kitchen.
Did he give them to Mrs Fletcher?
I glide over to the kitchen door and peep in
Dear old Mrs Fletcher is sound asleep in her chair too.
Time to have a rummage around.
In my desire to find my boots I had forgotten entirely that I had been redressed in the Hospital Wing out of my Ringmaster's resplendent outfit.
There they are in the corner cupboard all damp and smelly on the floor.
As I approach there is a wriggle in one of its pockets.
My trusty broom!
I had forgotten all about it!
Yes! I have transport once more. Also it may know where my boots are.
“Not allowed to say!”
“Who says?!!! I am your master not that ‘ancien’ in military fatigues!”
“No, not him! Your guardian!”
I am gob-smacked!
Ah well! Time to carry on with my Cunning Plan without them.
IF THAT MAN COMES CLOSE AGAIN NOT ALLOWED I THINK TO THE CATS. DON'T JUST WARN HIM OFF. REMOVE HIM.
NOW THAT HE HAS HAD IS HANDS IN WHAT EVER LIQUID HE TRIED TO GET ME TO DRINK I HOPE HE LICKS HIS FINGERS.
NOW I MUST GO AND GET OUT OF THESE NASTY CLOTHES. I KNOW HE IS JUST LOOKING FOR HIS BOOTS. STUPID MAN. THE CAP DID TAKE THEM WITH HIM.
NOW THAT I KNOW WHAT HE IS ABOUT MIGHT AS WELL JUST GO AND KEEP AN EYE ON HIM.
I SLIP OFF TO MY ROOM CHANGE AND RETURN BEFORE HE MISSES ME. HEAD TO THE KITCHEN FOR A PROPER CUP OF COFFEE.
THERE HE IS IN HIS HOSPITAL UNDIGNIFIED CLOTHING. STARING AT HIS BROOM IN DISBELIEF.
FUNNY SIGHT. I FIX MY COFFEE. AND WAIT FOR HIM TO NOTICE I AM NOT ASLEEP LIKE HE THOUGHT.
As the minutes tick by my nerves start to act and butterflies in my stomach doing a hoochie koochie
I start to pace looking for Charlie and the Lions because they are not where they are supposed to be.
i swear heads will roll if this plan get messed up.
As I am mubbling under my breath and walking I hear foot steps and whirl around to see Charlie and the two Lions,,,
WHERE IN THE HELL WERE YOU /// I WAS WORRIED TO DEATH,,, sorry for yelling but JHC woman it is not the time to play with my shattered nerves.
Well exxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxcuse me for breathing and if you calm down I may just tell you where we were,
Ok ok ok I am CALM just spit it out ,,,, so she does right on my arm ,,,,, OMG you did NOT just spit on me??? well you did say to spit it out no??
Calmer now are we?? good ... I had Griff come pick me up so I could go back and check on the Zoo and your door knob of course.
He is siting in a chair with that horrible hospital clothes on and staring at his broom **who knows what lives in that cave** (his skull)
Any way all is fine Miss Katt doing a bang up job and Mrs. Fletcher sound asleep in my chair as she glares at me and you know why ,, but all that later.
I brought you Baby and Beau to help out with the you know what .*WINK WINK*
Oh great idea I can use them in the show good thinking the Miss C.
Now lets get this show on the road.
I set up the chair in the center and check we are ready,,,
The Tent flap is pulled back and a spotlight hits me ,,, GOOD EVENING LADIES , GENTELMEN BOYS AND GIRLS BE READY TO BE THRILLED AND AMAZED.
i WILL DOING THE INTRODUCING TONIGHT OUR POOR RINGMASTER HAS COME DOWN WITH A BAD HEAD COLD SO I HAVE PUT HIM IN THE BIG WAGON TO REST,,, WE DO NOT NEED HIM COUGHING AND SNEEZING ALL OVER YOU AND MAKING YOU ALL SICK ALSO MORE SO FOR THE KIDDIES.
Now if you noticed tonight's spectacular is free but you were all given a ticket with a number on it so please keep them for at the end of the show I prize will be awarded to the holder of that ticket .
LADIES AND GENTLEMAN PLEASE WELCOME MY ASSISTANT AND LIONS... A aloud roar come from the crowd
Miss C and I start by putting the lions through a few tricks,,, I ask any one hear a lion purr??? some from the crowd says Lions do not purr but cheetahs do,,, right you are sir but also wrong ,, listen,,, I lat down my whip and chair and slowly walk to one of the Lions,, she growls and snaps at me ohhhhhhhhhhh aweeeeeeeeeee come from the crowd.
I reach out my hand and she snaps at it again,, now now pretty girl do not be afraid,, as I gentility touch her head then go behind her ear and softly scratch ,, the crowd goes wild SHE IS PURRING SHE IS PURRING HOW PRECIOUS ..
I say wait the best is yet to come,,, I remove my hat take her snoot and chin in my hands and open her mouth **** GASPS from the crowd*** I then put my whole head inside her mouth and remove my hands TA DA
One poor woman in the crowd faints.
I back away whispering thank you Sugar Cap loves you.
Now look as the Lion dog entertains you ,,, Nose fly's around the ring yapping and jumping and nipping at the Lions tails to make them growl at him,,,Miss C say sit boy ,,, wave hello, speak welcome,,, she them points her finger and says BANG the pup falls over playing dead,,, good boy now roll over now back,,, now sit and wave to all,,,,good boy now she turns to the Lions up girls the both sit up with one paw in the air as the pup runs around the whole ring then makes a huge jump over both Lions heads then he sits and put his face in his crossed paws he is saying his prayers,
We hear yells of joy coming from the children the have spotted the elephants ,,,
As they reach the cage my two male assistants disembark the chidren that were riding them, and they enter the cage ,
NO NO NO comes from the crowd the lions are still there ,,,,
I say it is okay something special for you and you will never see this again in a lifetime.
Miss C moves the animals around till they are all in there places.
they go Elephant =Lion= The Pup =Elephant=Lion
Miss C stands in fronts raises her arms UP and the all sit up and trumpet growl and bark.. as I close the flap.
The crowd goes nuts everyone is having a great time.
Angel busy doing her fortune telling... Roo her knife show then hands out dart for the kids to bust a balloon ,, if you break two balloons you will win a gold coin.
The hours fly by and it is time for the big finally ,, I grab my horn and announce Ladies and Gentlemen Boys and Girls it is getting late and the kiddies are getting tired so please follow me outside for the final fireworks then right after that we will have the draw so make sure you have you special ticket .
If your number is drawn you will win 500 gold coins.
We all stand and watch Roo do her stuff,, great awesome job.
As the last boomer fizzled I hold up my hay and ask one of the children to draw a ticket no peeking now as she blushes and giggles and hands me the ticket
READY??? THE WINNING NUMBER IS ========================= 731 A WOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOO COMES FROM THE WINNER AS HE RUSHES FORWARD
I VERIFY AND YES THIS IS THE TICKET CONGRATULATION SIR AS I HAND HIM HIS POUCH OF GOLD COINS.
One last treat for you all as a huge thank you for allowing us to entertain you,,,, over this way please I take Roo's hand and when we get to the table I stand behind her and cover her eyes,,,, I nod at Opel she removes the very large and long cover then lights the wicks that shoot of tiny firecrackers I uncover her eyes and we start to sing Happy Birthday to her and the crowd joins in .
I slice the cake and with out any one seeing me Opel slips me a clean piece and a spoon of clean ice cream.
I hand her the plate kiss her on the cheek and say Happy Birthday firecracker,,, we then hand out cake and ice cream we also have tea and coffee if you want any and drinks for the kiddies.
Before we knew it the large table was void of all cake ,, ice cream,,, tea and coffee and just a bit of juice was left.
The Gaurds that where way in the back I gave then extra ,,, even the jailers showed up that made my plan better.
Captain I said may I over you a nector you have never tasted?
He grunted sure.... here take this back with you((a barrel of Honey Rum))) and have a drink on me.... good night sleep tight and thank you for coming.
We all went back to the temp kitchen tent and had the good cake and ice cream tea and coffee .
Okay lets get a little nap as to not to be to tired for tonight we strike and get the hell out of here and back home.
All agree I will wake you in three hours that potion will be doing it's job and all will be in LA LA LAND.
I laugh as some are already zzzzzzzzzzz they are all worn out.
Hummmmm.....Sigh....Let me see here....Nope....I don't see how Mrs Fletcher...... can still be in the Clinic if she is busy in the Tea room with PTG or in the corner sleeping peacefully.....Can She be Faking it all this time and learned to "Poof" without letting any of Her dear Friends and Special Room's Companions know???.....Hummmmm....Think I will let our Captain Randy figure this plot out after His "Great Circus Adventurer" has ended....
I awake from a short nap and start to wake the other ,,, it is time.
Opel and the boys have already packed up every thing and all is loaded and ready to go .
I call Frost and Snow we are about to go in *** RIDER****** understood.
Charlie would you send Nose and Ghost Pup to see if the way is clear.
What you think I am senile ??? already done and they told me all is clear except for the two on the Tower.
I have to laugh feisty as hell that one.
I need a minute wait here .. I go down a bit and kneel and draw my Sai and hold it high...
Your Majesty please bless this rescue and give my Sai the extra power I may need... your devoted warrior,,,
My Sai light up a brilliant gold then turns to a flaming blue encased in a white flame then went back to it's self.
Thank you My Queen
I return and say okay lets rock and roll,,, Angel behind me,,, Charlie behind Angel ,, she looks at me like I feel and split my head open and lost my brains and dust bunnies ,,, BUT BUT SHE SAYS ,, I stop her it is only a back up you and the Lions if needed and you will safe as a baby in her Mothers arms.
We head of to the Frosty Fort's back Gate.
Okay wait here I will take care of those two up there and then open the gate for you.
I climb up the wall like a fly and reach the top,,, peeking over I see the one idjits smoking he is turned away from me looking over the field,,
I jump softly and knock him out ,,, he almost falls over the wall but I grab his coat and tug with all my strength man you need to go on a diet ,,,, I get him leaned against the wall and put a jug of Rum in his hand,, lets see him explain that
I move on to the next further down the Tower ,,, not to make the same mistake I cough and he yells HALT WHO GOES THERE,,
i swing my Sai and get him on the chin ,,,, down like a tree he goes,,, man you would think as big as they are there chins would not be made of glass.
@#$%^&*()_ this one is heaver then his partner and to cover up that bruise he will have tomorrow I have to get him over and face leaning on the wall with my second jug stuck in his huge paw.
I check and all is clear not much security here they are either stupid or sure no one would dare attack . Guess they are wrong on both counts.
I slip to the door leading down to the gate open it and with my back to the wall descend to the gate.
I open the gate to let the others in and say shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh follow me .
Okay wait here I have to check the gaurdes room,,
I reach the room and see the door ajar but hear nothing from inside so I push the door it creaks I freeze , nothing moves so I go in .. what a site they are all passed out , Honey Rum all over the place,, what a waste of good Rum but a price I gladly pay.
I grab the huge key ring and think man this is going to take a month of Sundays to find the right keys got a better idea... I leave the drunken slops and join my group.
We come to the long hall way where the cells and cages are .
I insert the blade of my Sai and it pops open the lock looks like it was opened with a key.
I gently shake the man and say quite we are here to set you free ,, gather your family and stay close.
I tell the man to follow me I will open the cells and cages you line them up behind my team but be very quite.
He follows me as I go from cell to cell and cage to cage 10 cells in all and 6 cages he gets them all in line I count 47 but no Jacob's family so that means they are in the room where I heard the female trying to comfort a sobbing child.
Listen every one you are going to lead out by two of my group Butch will be in front and Charlie will be in back just be very quite and follow them out side .
Angel come with me I think I know where Jacobs family is,,, we head to the end of the hall way to the last door.
I pop the lock then put a key in the lock letting the ring hang.
I enter the room and see a female and 3 kids all cuddled to each other.
I speak softly awaking the female who is about to scream NO NO NO NO MORE PLEASE , her words are muffled by my hand
shhhhhhhhhhh you are safe now where is your husband?
Jacob she asks ?? I do not know we where kidnapped and taken here , please sir do not hurt us any further we do not have the information you seek we are but a simple farmers.
I am not the enemy but am here to take you home back to your husband who is waiting for you.
She sobs and falls into my arms thank you thank you sir,
Come on lets get out of here it is okay children we are going home,,, the little girl throws her weak and skinny arms around my neck.
I lift her in my arms come we must leave now follow close behind me.
Finally we make it out side into the crisp night air .
Listen every one we have a short walk to where you will be taken back home.
We make it back to where the cart is waiting ,,, Opel takes a few children the others are loaded in the painted wagon .
All that are left to load is Angel,, Charlie my two boys and myself.
Charlie says use the elephants and I will ride with Angel on Sugar and Spice ,,, Angel gulps and says NO WAY AM I RIDING A LION HOME , CHARLIE LAUGHS THEN WALK HOME.
Okay enough you two we have to get these people home so Angel come with me ,, her face goes ghost white she knows where I am going with this and is shaking her head NO NO NO NO .
Opel head out we will meet you home.
I grab Angel and drag her to the valley and say get up or Frost will help lol.
Snow will you allow Angel to ride you home,,, she answers by lowering her head so Angel can climb on.
Angel does so reluctantly and say under her breath on you are going to pay for this ,,, I HEARD THAT
We climb high and head to The Tea Room me with a singing heart and a sill grin on my face.
So, I still do not have my magical boots, which are essential for carrying out my Cunning Plan.
I dare not leave the confines of the Tea Room without them or Cap’n Bob will be somewhat furious with me, especially if I get captured again!
But it is such an important Cunning Plan!
Is it worth taking the risk and incurring the Cap’n’s wrath even if I return successfully?
My quick-thinking brain tells me that it is!
If only I could remember all that has gone on here in this room before Grim was taken from us.
She was the “brains” of our little coterie.
What I do remember, and we have the plans to prove I have not forgotten, is that there is a network of tunnels interlinking all the rooms in the Castle. They now have magical wards on them to prevent the evil surrounding us from entering so their usefulness has been restricted.
They’re not safe to use. Especially if I am alone and boot-less.
But also, in the Castle are Grim’s so-called apertures – hidden spaces which are as old if not older than the present fabric of the Castle.
They too can be interconnected if only I knew their secret routes.
Unfortunately, I do not have the plans covering most of these, but those around the Tea Room I do know about.
The magical power of these amulets is that they are immune to evildoing. In fact, you are between dimensions and in a strict sense not even there!
So any prevailing evil has nothing to attach itself to!
I can try out a small section of these and not disobey the Cap’n. In fact, I’ll try and link the Tea Room to the Kitchen.
I feel along the far wall trying to unlock the hidden space but become aware of a silent presence behind me.
I quickly turn around to see a small pair of very inquisitive eyes peering out at me from a canine snout.
It is one of Charlie’s “spy” dogs.
The wretch! It will relay back to her everything that I am doing and that is the last thing that I want.
“Broom, to heel!
“Yelp! Yelp!” as my magical broom’s stiff bristles sweeps the small mutt to one side and under the table.
My broom stands by ready to repeat the action if it dares to reappear.
I realize that Charlie will not be pleased but ‘tough’!
I consider that the end justifies the means!
Time to reconnoiter.
I HEAR THE PUP YELP. AND SEE PTG'S BROOM CHASING IT. BROOM STOP THAT NOW. OR YOU WILL BE FIREWOOD. PTG I ALREADY KNOW WHAT YOU ARE PLANNING. YOU SEEM TO KEEP FORGETTING I CAN HEAR YOUR EVERY THOUGHT. SO STOP NOW! OR I WILL CALL THE CAP AND TELL HIM WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT.
I am not well-pleased, to put it mildly, with Charlie’s blast into my amulet and contained threat.
But if she chooses to tittle-tattle to the Cap’n that is her choice.
But that pesky moggy WILL remain out of my way as I explore the local Apertures, or else!
What I have to do is far more important than staying within her comfort zone.
So with, or without her “looking over my shoulder” I continue to feel the wall.
Ah! There it is – a small indentation the size of a hand in the wall’s surface.
I press it and immediately I am within the wall!
But I am not in total darkness, there is a silvery glow from the ceiling and walls which enables me to see the cavity I am enclosed it
The soft buzz from my Amulet is silent and I suspect that the ancient magic surrounding me is preventing any communication using the device.
I wonder if it is also interfering with Charlie’s so called telepathy
I certainly hope so!
I look more carefully and all around me is Nothing but wall!
Totally disappointed with this I am about to return back into the Tea Room when I espy a scroll propped up against the corner.
On opening it I see the most peculiar scribble of either a demented child or- as ‘the penny drops!’ the paw of a large rabbit!
It is a plan of this aperture with several shaded areas in the walls and one in the ceiling.
“You thoughtful partner, Grim!” I exclaim to myself with tears in my eyes.
I study the scroll more carefully and line up the paper with the wall next to me.
A small indentation which Grim has labelled “K”
Is it the kitchen?
If so I have my Cunning Plan in hand!
I put my hand over the indentation and emerge into the back of the kitchen by the cupboard.
Mrs Fletcher still seems to be asleep, but her breathing is TOO regular?
Something to think about in the future but for the moment I return to the Tea Room without using the device.
More explorations to come, shortly AFTER I have dealt with that interfering busy-body and her pets!
They should have returned by now from their ‘jolly’ in the Bone Kingdom.