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I slop and slap on the wet grass at least there is not gravel to cut my bare foot and no I do NOT want to know why the grass is so wet been no rain as far as i know.
I hear her voice behind me and my heart skips a beat.
Good morning Captain Randy I would be careful where you step if I were you *giggles*
I stop to face her and can hear my heart beat faster and face go red.... good morning to you to Doctor Felix and why may I ask would that be?
Well after that strange storm we had with things flying around birds,pigs,sheep,and bird houses,ducks and wooden horses and and every thing else,,, I have never seen anything like that in all my travels,,
laugh and say well you are in a strange place in Midnight Castle and there is more to come in the fall and winter is something to behold.
One day I will tell you all about our strange home.
Well why not today if that is okay with you.
I blush just to think about spending time with her.... sounds good but I will make it short and fill you in on more later seems I have a huge clean up to do before Opel and Miss Katt return and have to get this lil guy back to Salty,s he is tuckered out.
We walk up to my favorite spot under my lill tree and sit down ,,,, I pet Champ,s head as he is shacking .
It,s okay Champ yes I named you that it is okay we are just going to sit here a bit and he looked at Melodie and jumped from my shoulder to her chest ( lucky boy lol)
She held him and talked softly telling him he is safe .. he gave a soft eek curled up and he fell asleep with his lill paw on her cheek.
We looked at each other and said at the same time what a precious baby he must have been so scared with that Raven and Owl attacking him he could have been badly hurt.
We talked for a few hours then I said I am sorry Doctor Felix I have to get going but can we pick this up at a later date?
But of course Captain Randy I do enjoy talking with you and want to learn all about this wonderful place and please call me Melodie.
Fantastic and please call me Cap or Randy ,,,,, she smiled and said Randy it is.
We walked to the tavern Melodie still holding a sleeping Champ.
We enter the Tavern and I introduce Salty to Melodie as Doctor Felix... pleased to meet you and ye be welcome here any time.
Thank you and pleased to meet you as well and for the invitation.
You can put Champ up there that is were he stays and hangs down when a player plays his ZZ == I will explain later just as I say that the Drunken Skeleton opens his cloak and takes a drink that you can see flow all over his clock lol he is a Skeleton after all and a ZZ,
Melodie laughs and puts Champ on the chandelier just as he wakes up I hand him a banana pet his head and say see you soon .
Salty takes the time to lean over and say wow Cap what a looker you sea dog how did ye get so lucky and does she have a sister?
I glare at him WATCH IT RUM BREATH as I wink at him as we leave back to the Tea Room.
Melodie and I arrive back to the critters compound where Charlie is tending her hungry group.
Hey Charlie we are back .
Wow what a mess outside , Melodie tells me we had a Spring storm.
She scowls at me yeah and they are getting worse makes you nervous about fall and you better not be off in the wild blue yonder .
Watch it you know I have no control over that and would you like to tell Th golden Queen that I am busy and can not go right then and there?
I get the death stare and turn to Melodie== told you she was a fire cracker but we all love her and is a God send to us and the critters we would be lost with out her but don"t tell her that lol
I heard that you big galoot now get out of here I have work to do,, now scram.
Hold up Charlie feed the critters then stop the boys will do the rest cleaning up and what ever you tell them to do == BUT BUT == NO CHARLIE I MEAN IT you finish feeding them and the boys will be here .
She mumbles under her breath but she knows that tone in my voice.
Melodie asks Charlie if any more wounded animals have been brought in and any strays left to spade or neutered ?
Sure has she says I put them in a pen out back and the injured are laying on fresh hay.
Thank you Charlie I will attend to them right away,,, and Randy sorry but I have to go but can we meet later?
Supper will be at 7 in the Tea Room I am the cook tonight seeing Opel and Miss Katt will be dinning in Cloud City and will not be back till late.
Oh my you cook to? a man of many talents I see ... do I need an antacid LOL???
She walks away with Charlie before I can answer but do hear C harlie high five her *** good one ***
I rub my Amulet and call the boys compound ASAP AND I MEAN NOW.
I hear cussing as they get closer I smell BO and booze.
Anger bubbles up in my gut,,,
Yo Cap whatssssssssssssssss up bro??
My look could kill as I say to a stumbling Butch,,,, YO???? BRO???
I see you have been into the barrels again and good lord man when was the last time you showered??
Oh wait you passed the barrels and fell in???
And that mutton was passing over head and fell into your mouth.
Come here that is if you can walk and stand here,,,
I call Blossom and Cherry load up and come my beauties .
Butch,,, Brutus,,,, Hoss and Hans were so wasted it did not sink in what was about to hit them.
I stood behind Blossom and said fire at will,,,, the first stream hit them sending them arse over tea kettle ,, down the slope and into the pond.
As they fell in Ellie and her brood were happy to greet them,,, by there screams you thought they were being murdered / not to strong Ellie I need them sober not dead lol
I sat down took out my pipe and had a relaxing smoke as I watched Ellie and her brood have some fun ,,,, the boys eh not so much lol
MELODIE AND I LAUGH AS WE WALK AWAY, SHE ASKES CAN HE COOK? I SHRUG, I HAVE NO IDEA, BUT IF IT IS BAD OPAL AND KATT KEEP STUFF IN THE COOLER TO EAT. THEY ALWAYS HAVE COLD MEAT FOR SANDWICHES AND FOR HONEY FIRE MY FIRELIZARD. SO WE SHOULD BE OK.
AFTER I HAVE FINISHED FEEDING THE REST OF THE ZOO, NOT THAT THERE WERE MANY LEFT. BABY AND BEAU LET ME KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON DOWN BY THE MOAT. I LOOKED AND YELLED TO CAP. DON'T FORGET THE SOAP. NOT SURE WHEN THEY LAST HAD A BATH.
I LET BABY AND BEAU JOIN BLOSSOM AND CHERRY.
I HAD WONDERED WHERE THOSE GUY HAD GOTTEN TO AFTER THE STORM. THEY HAD EARNED SOME TIME OFF. I HAD FIGURED THEY HAD GONE BACK TO JACOB'S GUESS NOT.
I HAD LET MY GUYS GO TO CHECK ON THE GNOMES TO MAKE SURE THEY WERE OK. NOT THAT THEIR FAMILIES CARED MUCH IF THEY CAME. SINCE THEY HAD GOTTEN STUCK IN THE HUMAN SIZE AND COULD NOT CHANGE BACK. THE GNOMES HAD SENT THEM AWAY. TO BIG FOR THE MINES AND TUNNELS.
WELL I WAS GLAD TO HAVE THEM. THEY WORKED HARD AND NEVER ASK FOR MUCH.
WELL LOOKS LIKE I HAD BETTER START CLEANING UP, NOT SURE THOSE GUYS WILL BE ANY HELP.
AND IF THEY DO MAKE IT TO THE BARN IN SOME CONDITION TO WORK. THEY CAN DO THE KENNELS AND CATTERY.
I GOT THE BARROW AND PITCHFORK AND STARTED WITH BABY AND BEAU'S AREA THEN I WOULD DO DOOGIE AND GOLDIE.
I just barely made the deadline for getting my story into tomorrow's paper. I'm starving so I'll just stop by the Tea Room to catch a quick snack before supper tonight. As I approach, I see a commotion going on in the pond and I see Cap sitting on the sidelines enjoying his pipe and having a good belly laugh. Wait! Cap?!
Cap! You're back! When did you get back? How did it go with the Queen? What were you able to find out? Where's Jewel and Brulee? And, what's going here? Why are your guys in the pond with Ellie and her brood giving them what for?
Cap holds up his hand and says, whoa there, slow down, and take a breath. It's good to see you too. Sorry, Cap, welcome back! And, I didn't mean to bombard you with questions like that. I just left work so my brain is still in reporter mode. LOL
I'm just on my way to the Tea Room for a snack before supper. Come join me and tell me everything.......
Okay out of the pond and stand straight if you can.
Hans lets out a yelp as on of the brood gives him a farewell nip.
I look over at the en closer and see Charlie pushing the wheel barrel man that woman is mule headed never listens so I yell over== Charlie what did I say?? knock it off .... take Melody to Cloud City and show her the sights and hook up with Opel and Miss Katt.
She gives me a back handed wave like yeah yeah lets hope Melody can get her go.
The boys stand before me heads hung low and saying sorry Cap .
So this is what you do when I am away??
Wen the Cap is away the boys play??
The boys I count on to keep things in order and everyone safe?
What would you have done if there had been a breech?
Pup is in Pern earning her battle band,,, PTG well I still do not know where he is and Angel well ,,,, oh there she is hold on a sec Angel but she is so excited she going off like a machine gun.
Ok Ok slow down let me finish with this mess then we can head to the Tea Room.
I growl at my boys ... first get your sorry arses to to the compound and do EXACTLY what Charlie tells you to do, I want that place spotless ,then same thing for the court yard,, clean up ALL the crap and take care of that storm mess,, Jacob and the neighbors will help with what has to be butchered and what ones are hurt Doc. Felix will handle that.
Okay Cap on it now after we clean up... no no no not so fast clean up what I said then and only then you will go and shower and burn those discussing cloths you will not step a foot into the Tea Room until you are also spotless you know Opel's nose.
The Tea Room is to be put back the way it was every thing and in it's place and any and repairs to be done.
Now move it you do not have much time .
Angel and watch as they tear of to the compound .
Man Cap you put the fear of Charlie and Opel in them lol
Okay all yours as we head to The Tea Room,,,, I need a drink after all that but I am macking supper tonight so tea it is.
What do think,, roast pig,,lamb chops... a roast.. mutton stew,,, or beef stew?
I had Angel sit at a table that was not over turned or full of feathers and smashed fruit.
Be right back how about a cold drink?
Lets see f Opel has any of that fruit punch she makes man it is good,,, I grab the jug and two clean frosty jugs .
We drink and feel Opel's golden liquid hit the spot .
I fill Angel in about my visit to our Queen and show her the part of the map and what I am to do to gather all the parts that will get me where TLOD is hiding.
She said he is in a weakened state and trying to gather more fighters and more black evil.
So I have a huge quest and will nee the whole map and lots of help... seems every one we know has a part of the map and are waiting to help me like Annabelle,, Shadow... and get this even Arabella .
I also tell her about Pup that will be back very soon as the Queen says she is almost ready to take her rightful place as Snow;s rider Pup does not know that part lol she thinks she is doing special training .
I wish I could tell Angel her part of it but right now I am sworn by The Queen.
I look at my pocket watch ,,,wow getting late have to start dinner,,, just then my boys come in and looking and smelling like new born babes.
They report all is clean and repaired out side ... and the animals ask? yes Cap as you said but the cold and ice storage is full to bursting do you want us to do that now??
No no time now get the Tea Room done first and make sure it is done right ,,, then come in the kitchen there be peeling to be done I will start the meat now geterdone.
I KNEW IT, CAP YELLS AT ME TO STOP, I GUESS HE THINKS THE BOYS ARE SOBER ENOUGH TO WORK. I HOPE SO. I TELL THEM TO FINISH CLEANING STALLS AND PUT DOWN FRESH BEDDING FOR THE ANIMALS. THEN CLEAN THE CATTERY AND MAKE SURE NOT TO MIX THEIR LITTER WITH THE STRAW FROM THE STABLE SIDE. MAKE SURE THE DOG HAVE NOT LEFT SMALL UNWANTED PRESENTS ON THE FLOOR OF THE KENNEL. THEN FEED AND WATER EVERYONE.
I HEAD FOR THE PENS WHERE MELODY IS TENDING TO THE INJURED FROM THE STORM.
MELODY, CAP SAID WE COULD JOIN OPAL AND KATT IN CLOUD CITY FOR SUPPER.
SHE GRINS, WELL AT LEAST WE DON'T HAVE TO FIND OUT IF THE MAN CAN COOK. CAN'T SAY I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO EITHER OVER COOKED OF UNDERCOOKED FOOD. I AM TIRED AND HUNGRY. SHE WASHED UP AFTER LOOKING AT, AND TENDING THE INJURED IN THE PEN. SHE LOOKED AT HER CLOTHES. THEY WERE A BIT ON THE DIRTY SIDE. I GRINNED AND SAID NOT TO WORRY, IT JUST SHOWS YOU ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING BESIDES SIT AROUND AND LOOK PRETTY. I MYSELF WASN'T THE CLEANEST. AND MY BOOTS, WELL LETS JUST SAY THE WERE NOT CLEAN. BUT WE WORK WITH ANIMALS AND THEY DO NOT CARE IF WE ARE SHINY AND BRIGHT. THEY JUST LIKE US OR NOT ANY WAY WE COME.
MELODY AND I TOOK OFF FOR CLOUD CITY. MORE OR LESS HAPPY ABOUT MISSING DINNER AT THE TEA ROOM.
I stop and listen to Charlie talking about if I can cook or not lol
She has no idea lol I learned from the best my Grandmother whom I call Gammie and always will was a master cook and backer
I wanted so bad to say into the Amulet ,,, hey Charlie I see you forgot to change the setting on your Amulet to mute lol.
Want me to fix you two ladies a plate and you can heat it up tomorrow?
She flips me the bird says to Melodie what a pain that man can be..
I watch as they go clea up to go join Opel and Miss Katt will be good for Charlie she knows the critters are in good hands.
I enter my cottage and find my box I had ordered was on my table' good the Amulets and chips have arrived seeing our extended family is growing and more critters so I was getting short.
I took one for Melodie and set it to all for now and will explain or better still I will ask Angel to teach her.
I entered The Tea Room and saw and smelled the boys wow all spic and span and even sober Okay you sea dogs I am very disappointed in you and your actions ... you know how U depend on you to see all is safe and to protect our new home here,,,so for the 3 weeks you will be under my watchful eyes and you will follow every order you are given understood.
They will come from me or Opel or Miss Katt or Charlie so no questions just do it.
Brutus come with me grab the very large roasting pan,,, we enter the ice box and I look and find the back strip I am looking for and tell Brutus put it in the pot as I grab a very good bottle of cooking wine.
Even Brutus has trouble to carry the pot ith the 500 lb back stripback waiting for us.
so I help by opening the door snicker*
Back in the kitchen the boys await there orders.
Okay you three start washing peeling and chopping 100 lbs of onions,potatoes.green beans.yellow beans and 5 lbs of parsley Get to it time is short.
Brut and I lay the stripe on the extra large cutting table so I show him how to rub it with my special spice mix I always have ready.
WE roll and spice till it is fully covered.
I turn to to the massive stove and oven and they look ready,
On the stove I Place the pan and pour in half the wine then ad sugar I watch as it bubbles and starts to splatter and spit smoke.
Okay Brutus grab 4 long pronged fork and follow me.
Every few minutes we roll until every side is now a golden brown i stand back as I pour the rest of the wine in............ whoooooooooooooooosh as wine hits the juice.... I let it burn of most of the wine then fill half way with water.
I turn the stove way low and wait for the onions,
Onions in and Brut cover the pan and in the oven it goes.
We finish all the veggies and are now salted and simmering away.
I look around the kitchen and know why Opel and Miss Katt love to cook in here so much space so many cupboards counter space and my favorite the butcher block where on both sides have a knife rack big enough to hold every cooking knife.
Our new Black smith is an artist when it comes to copper and gold work.
He is now making Opel a 500 dinner setting gold trimmed and ever thing that goes with the set.
His friend and neighbor is a glass and is making all and I mean all the glass ware .
I asked him if he could make me a sample of his work and he said come back in an hour .
When I returned shining before me was the most beautiful goblet gold rimed and the kicker he made a raised Dragon,,, I had no words.
He Had made two One had Frost on it the other was Our Golden Queen.
He said he is working on a full set with all The Dragons and there names
Captain Randy I do not want a single coin or any payment you saved my family and my self and gave us this beautiful new home and what every you need it is tours.
I shake the memory and say to meself hey get moving.
The Veggies are ready on the top burners just have to be turned up
Okay boys break time go outside have a smoke and a coffee.
On the other side of the kitchen I make a 4 layer double chocolate cake with cream cheese frosty and a 5 layer banana nut cake with maple nut frosting and 3 dozen peanut butter cookies
I test the roast and smack my lips perfect.
OKAY BOYS TIME TO SET THE TABLES
MAKE SURE THERE IS PLENTY OF MILK AND JUICE FOR THE LIILL ONES.
i remove the cakes to cool and decorate cookies are on a rack to cool.
Every thing is done and place on the heat lamp table all we need is someone to at all this lol
I see the ladies never forget to bring us there special bread and buns that are set on the table to be cut as much as you want or buns.
I at the head table with Angel rise and lift our glasses as I said good evening all friends neighbors and family welcome welcome.
Bless you all now dig in while it is hot.
It looks like my efforts were well enjoy by empty plates and the men pating there very full belies.
I call attention and tell everyone there is plenty left so help yourselves to take home.
Angel joins the women folk and get the names of the new born so she can add them to the morning edition of the paper.
While the children play I invite the men to join me outside for a smoke and a small glass of my honey rum.
Jacob says hey Cap that was a super duper dinner who knew lol a man of many talents you are.
Well it is geting late and time to get the lill ones home to bath and to bed.
Again thank you Cap see you tomorrow let us know if you need and supplies for Opel,,speaking of we hear the cart coming down the gravel road and the sound of laughing.
Every one gets ready to leave and I check the dining room and kitchen,,,wow every thing is spotless and even fresh flowers on each table and the kitchen done to perfection as Hoss hangs the last pot.
I go back out side with the boys and send them to the cottages telling them 5 am tomorrow to do there next job.
I hear the hellos as the cart gets closer,
I step over to help the ladies down Opel then Miss Katt then Melodie Charlie slaps my hand away I can do it myself ya big galoot.
Opel asks if I could get the packages and when I looked in the back my heart fliped OMG the bought out the town oh I do not want to see my bill or the grin from ear to ear from the store owners.
Angel joined us and said wow now that is what I call a shopping trip,,, come on ladies tell me all and show me what you got.
I grab the rest of the baga boxes and followed them in The Tea Room,,,
I got away by going in the kitchen to heat water for tea and Charlies coffee.
They were going on about the new things the bought ,, Opel and Miss Katt got new aprons and oven mitts and tea towels and two of the biggest sun hats I have ever seen.
And Lady things you know what I mean lol,,, Melodie showed Angel a beautiful sun dress and matching hat and shoes the color was a perfect match that brought out those gorgeous eyes,
Opel handed a bag to Angel here this is for you ,,, what?? you did not have to get me any thing ,, now now you being our link to al the news so hush and look.
Angel open her bag and there was a leather bond diary with her name in gold and 4 night gowns the ones she loves so much and would live in if she could,,, she looked at each one and her eyes kinda watered over because each one had a kitten on the front playing with balls twin feathers and one with I meow you.
As the ladies all hugged I went to get the tray with the coffee tea and a new thermos for Charlie big enough to keep her popping for days lol
So Charlie what did you get?
Well if it is any of your bees wax got these and held up a new pair of rubber boots and a new pairs of work gloves the rest you need not know and thank you ya big galoot,
We talked for awhile until I said well Ladies it is getting late and I have an early morning and I suggest you all get some sleep you have had a big day.
Opel leaned over and gave me a peck on my cheek and whispered thank you My Cap and the place is perfect.
Good night Ladies Miss Melodie me I see you to you cottage?
Why thank you sir that is very kind of you but my room is just upstairs *giggle*
I smile no it change places may I show you as I extended my arm,
She took my arm and I walked her to her surprize,
I stopped and asked her to close her eyes,, with a raised eyebrow she did so ,,I turned her around and said open,,,
Melodie here is your new home I hope you approve.
She gasp covering her mouth exclaiming this is for me?? but Randy I was fine in the room in The Tea Room.
May I as I leaned to open the door.
She stepped in and was speechless as she took it all in,,,, now if any thing is not right just say so and it will be fixed.
I had made sure she had a full bath and a small kitchenette and a fireplace already stacked with wood and already lite Charlies Gnomes are amazing and it was perfect.
I went and lite the fireplace and said I will say goodnight now and sleep tight is all I got out for she jumped into my arms and kissed me so tenderly.
My heart exploded as I kissed her back.
You taste like honey she said softly I smiled and you taste of mint from her mint julep.
I must go as much as I do not want to ,,, I understand and yes it is better,, see you tomorrow then ?
Yes for breakfast Opel will make what ever you want.
I touched her cheek and left
I TOOK MY BOOTS TO THE KITCHEN AND SET THEM OUTSIDE THE DOOR. NEW OR NOT THAT IS WHERE THEY BELONGED. STUFFED THE NEW GLOVES IN THE RIGHT ONE. EITHER THAT OR I WOULD FORGET THEM IN THE MORNING. TOOK THE REST OF MY PACKAGES TO MY ROOM. THERE HAD BEEN A SALE ON WINTER CLOTHES. I HAD GOTTEN 3 NEW FLANNEL SHIRTS. AND A COUPLE PAIR OF LINED WINTER BRITCHES. NOSY OLD MAN, NONE OF HIS BUSINESS WHAT I HAD GOTTEN. PUT THE CLOTHES ASIDED. HAVE TO WASH THEM THEN PUT THEM AWAY. I HAD NOTICED THAT A COUPLE OF MY WORK SHIRTS WHERE GETTING A LITTLE THIN AND THREAD BARE.
GOT READY FOR BED AND WAS READY TO SLIP INTO IT. HOPE ALL IS WELL IN THE ZOO. SHOULD HAVE CHECKED ON MY WAY IN. THEN SUGAR AND SPICE, SLIPPED IN THROUGH THE LARGE PET DOOR. TRUTH BE TOLD IT HAD BEEN THE DOOR TO THE OUTSIDE TILL MY GNOMES AND PUT IT IN LIKE A SWINGING BAR DOOR. THAT WAY THE BIG CATS COULD GO OUT IN THE NIGHT WITHOUT WAKING ME. THEY HAD GONE TO CLOUD CITY WITH US. NOT THAT ANYONE NOTICED. BUT I KNEW THEY WERE NEVER FAR AWAY.
THE CAME AND BUMPED ME WITH THEIR HUGE HEAD. I SCRATCHED BEHIND THEIR EARS AND BETWEEN THEM. THEN DOWN EACH LONG HUGE BODY. THEN THEY CURLED UP ONE AT THE FOOT AND ONE AT THE SIDE OF MY BED. SPICE SLEEPLY MURMURED THE ZOO SLEEPS. YAWNED AND WAS ASLEEP. THANK YOU MY PRETTYS I WHISPERED. I WAS ASLEEP ALMOST AS SOON AS I HAD SETTLED.