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At the entrance are two VERY large oafish louts with spears lolling around in a semblance of guarding this hole in the ground as the green mist twirls and swirls around them and then filters into the atmosphere.
I am just about to slither my way around them and into the cave when there are loud noises emanating from it closely followed by three more oafs. One of them is barking out orders in an unknown language while the two loutish guards appear to cringe before him.
The other two new guards replace them at the cave entrance and the one in charge stomps back followed by the other two.
In a flash my fertile brain suggests that I follow them closely. They do not seem to be too observant and any ward placed on the cave entrance will be down while they all pass through
Once in the very dim and dark cave which descends into the bowels of the earth, the men before me suddenly disappear into a room full of noise, with the smells of food and drink flowing out into the corridor.
I plaster myself into a dark corner on the opposite wall and carefully glance about me.
The thin green mist is flowing along the ceiling. Below the atmosphere although stale and rancid appears to be clear of it.
I rub my amulet and try to reach Jen.
She must be here somewhere but where?
It could take months to explore all these passages.
Then I remember.
In my pocket I have a small but very intelligent rabbit, still with a pencil and a note tied to its back.
I pick it out of my pocket and glance closely and carefully at the little bundle of fur staring bright eyed back at me
It is chittering on a small carrot it had found in my pocket for emergency rations.
“I shall say this only once!
“Find your erstwhile mistress that your ancestors served so well and wait for her to reply to the note.
“Then come back to me with her reply”
Time to wait now in hiding for it to come back, in the meantime cursing the fact that I could have found Jen much more easily if I’d had the foresight to ‘borrow’ Ghost Pup from Charlie!
Siting at the table with Angel,, Pup and Charlie I glare at my pad then it hits me,
Charlie I know how to protect your workers and any one who will use the new tunnels.
Okay Braineack do tell this will be good she says,
You know your faith in me is just amazing I am so touched that ever one believes in me I mean really that every on respects me *** that is a laugh********* I just have to remember YOU are NOT Military,
Any way I will explain that part when the new tunnels are done,
By the way Charlie how long do you think it will take PTG to realize he made a huge mistake in not taking Ghost Pup You and one of your kitty;s???
And how long before he screams for our help??
TUNNELS ARE DANGEROUS NO MATTER, AS FOR YOU NOT SO BRIGHT SECOND. I FIGURE HE HAS ALREADY COME TO THAT CONCLUSION. THE MAN NEVER THINKS THINGS THROUGH. JUST TAKE A WILD HARE AND DOES IT. THEN WHEN HE COMES TO A DEAD END OR GETS INTO TROUBLE WONDERS WHY HE DIDN'T DO THIS OR THAT.
CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT HIM NOW. HE JUST SAID I'M OFF AND LEFT, "ALONE" NO BACKUP EXCEPT FOR THAT SILLY HUNK OF WOOD.
Yeah I know the tunnels can be dangerous but I have a solution that I learned from my visit with My Lady,
that is why I am waiting for your workers to tell me where they want there new ones and then I will take over and fortifie
them so they will be 100% safe.
Now Charlie I think it would be a good thing to give the ole boy PTG a hand just a nudge lol
I need you to pack up some TNT and some bombs so that * when * PTG* rescues Jen she can blow those tunnels to hell and back,
Also we need Ghost Pup and PTG's pet crow so he can tell him where and where he finds Jen he then can play Jen;s shining Knight on a white horse *WEG* I will play stupid untill Jen is back then face to face set things straight on a nice way of course.
Oh by the way my boys will be by to clean out your do do pile and take it to the farmers ,,,, you know that arrangement we made with them works out super you get all that do do cleaned out ,,,, the farmers get great fertilizer ( Jacob said they are getting bumper crops with that fertilizer) we in turn get all the veggies Opel and Miss Katt need to feed us and you get all the hay and oats the Zoo needs to make more do do lo it is great oh and the the boys will be going tomorrow to see The Centaur King Chester for our monthly supply of fruits so mark down what you need .
We hear a loud ruckus from the rafters oh calm down you will get your bananas and grape but you share the grapes with the crow no hording them for yourself.
Well we better get a move on so PTG can do his thing and get Jen back then she can do her BOOM and then we can all go to Jacob's for a big corn roast and some much needed R&R
The pig for the corn roast is brining in the bathtub, so we will have to take showers for a few days Opel.
You did wash the tub didn't you Katt?
Well of course I did, LOL, can you just see the looks on peoples faces if we tell them how we got that giant porker ready for roasting?
...laughter spills out of the kitchen...
It is cold, wet and dark at the side of this tunnel.
What makes me feel worse is the fact that there are delicious roast meat smells coming from the guard’s room nearby.
If I do not soon move from my hidden position by a crack in the cave walls I will be discovered by the rumbles in my nether regions (front not back!)
My little rabbit has been gone an inordinate time and I suddenly have a horrible thought!
Perhaps those delicious smells are the result of one barbecued rabbit!
I settle back trying to contain my gastrointestinal aberrations when I suddenly hear two voices arguing loudly and coming down that passage.
Can it be Jen?
But if so, who is she arguing with?
Yet another foe to pacify?
BUT if they don’t soon quieten down the guards will hear them and we all will be DOOMED!
I scuttle towards the noise beyond the bend in the passage with broom at the ready
I feel a warm soft bundle of fur slide up my trouser leg!
It tickles but I have no time to waste on mundane pleasures as the two figures come into view still deep in a somewhat philosophical discourse
My brilliant mind immediately establishes that the bundle of rags on the left has a feminine voice and the other one a threatening somewhat falsetto boom.
Time for action and I aim my broom handle at the middle of the male bundle.
WHOOSH!! and my weapon connects --->
POOOOF!!! and the handle squishes into a lean and taut male midriff which bounced back into me.
Oh dear! He must be a body-builder!
I have only one chance at success in helping us both to escape..
I grab the female bundle of rags staring at me in astonishment and tear down the passage with her as quickly as possible to escape the almost certain wrath that is about to descend on me from her companion.
Also our noisy fracas seems to have instilled some interest in nearby guards.
Only to be brought up short by my feisty female companion.
YOU!--- You blithering fool! That is a FRIEND --- Not a foe!
It is Jen, my beloved partner-in-crime and daring-do!
She rushes back up the passageway to help a gasping male of the species back onto his feet.
In the meantime I have one very contented rabbit munching away in my pocket!
There is much to talk about and I yearn for a nice cup of hong cha to discuss our present situation and Cunning Plan over it.
However my amulet crackles into life.
So it does work down here!
Especially when being used by Cap’n Bob.
“Listen to your crow! And that is an order!”
My usually silent pet now fills me with images of barrels of dynamite, where to put them and a box of matches for Jen to use to set them off!
We will have about three minutes of fuse to escape the tunnels and the cave before the whole thing is no more so I had better use my charabanc transport system with her and now her erstwhile companion, who is still blithering on about ‘ interdimensional shape changes in a confined ecosystem!’
But the Cap'n seems to have forgotten my primary mission for which I still have the Cunning Plan.
That is to disperse this evil greenish mist lurking over all of us and the Realm.
I have worked out the finer points in accomplishing this extraordinary explosion, which has NOTHING to do with dynamite and blowing up tunnels.
I have now found that these tunnels are connected to the surface via shafts for the air.
One of these natural cylindrical tubes in the rock will act as a superb channel to direct my very large firework up and into the stratosphere
I have Jen with me; she knows about fuses and things and so can set it off safely and in the right direction.
After all, I want it to go up and NOT down or sideways!
I quickly narrate my Plan to Jen who is all in favour of doing this as quickly as possible.
She thinks it may restore her sanity and her companion’s rationality.
I get my broom to turn into a truck and load the very large firework onto it at the base of one of the air shafts.
Jen looks at me rather quizzically: “you are SURE that this will work?”
“Have no fear! I have checked all the details. As long as the shaft is wide enough it will ‘rocket’ up it!”
We hide behind a rock pulling a rather disgruntled male into position alongside us.
Jen pipes up: “By the way, while we are waiting for this fuse to activate, let me introduce my erstwhile companion.
“He is called by some: Tarquin which is the only non-insulting expression I can think of!”
WHOOOOSH!!!!>>>>>>> and with a loud explosion a large ball of lightening streaks off into the upper atmosphere.
It leaves us coughing and spluttering with the fumes from the ignition.
YYYEESSSS!!!!!! And a cascade of intense lights descends down over the entire valley!
The greenish mist is no more!!
I then give her the matches from Cap’n Bob and explain what he wants her to do.
And she explodes with fury!
I attempt to mollify her and guide her back to the Tea Room with Tarquin in tow in order to remonstrate with Cap’n Bob.
Unfortunately her (?)beau(?) takes exception to this and holding a small piece of the cave clasts manages to clout me with it thus rendering me unconscious
Although not aware of the outcome of this until later, my magical boots immediately kick into action and deposit me in a safe heap in the Tea Room at Cap’n Bob’s feet alongside a chortling Charlie.
This leaves Jen and Tarquin still in the caves!
LOOK, CAP I DO NOT DO TUNNELS, THAT IS YOUR THING. I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE THEY GO AND DON'T WANT TO. TO PUT INTO SIMPLE WORDS YOU WILL UNDERSTAND. I DON'T GO INTO SMALL SPACES. THEY GIVE THE SCREAMING MEEEMIES. THAT IS WHY THE BARN IS SO BIG. WITH LOTS OF OPEN SPACE IT IS NOT JUST FOR THE COMFORT OF THE ANIMALS BUT MY PEACE OF MIND.
SO YOU FIGURE WHERE YOU WANT NEW TUNNELS.
FINN AND HIS ELVES PLAN AND DIG THEIR OWN TUNNELS. BUT TO US THEY WOULD LOOK LIKE CHIPMUNK HOLES AND TUNNELS.
I CAN SEND GHOST PUP BUT I DOUBT THAT IDIOT WOULD PAY HIM A BIT OF ATTENTION. YOU KNOW HIM HE STUMBLES AROUND AND EITHER GETS THE JOB DONE OR GETS CAUGHT AND YOU HAVE TO RESCUE HIM.
AS FOR FRUIT. ORANGES, APPLES LOTS, BANANAS NOT TOO MAY THEY GO BAD. GRAPES ARE GOOD. OOH! I HOPE THERE ARE PEARS AND PEACHES.
I LOOK UP AT THE CROW. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WANT TO GO WITH GHOST PUP AND TRY TO GET PTG BACK ON TRACK.
NO REPLY. NOW WHAT?
THEN I GET THE CHAOTIC THOUGHTS THAT CAN ONLY BE PTG.
NOT TO WORRY YEP CAP. THE IDIOT HAS JEN BUT THEY ARE NOT HOME FREE YET. OH! NO!!!
THE CAP HAS ORDERED PTG TO HAVE JEN FINISH BLOWING THE OLD TUNNELS. BUT HE IS NOT HAVING IT.
SORRY CAP, THAT DOOR KNOB AS YOU CALL HIM HAS PLANS OF HIS OWN. ALL THOSE BARRELS OF DYNAMITE AND BOOMS. CAP HAD ASKED FOR. AND HAD PUT IN PLACE. JUST HOPE NO ONE ELSE STRIKES A MATCH OR PUTS A TORCH INSIDE TO SEE WHAT IS IN THEM.
AT THAT MOMENT THERE IS A THUD, AND THERE IN A HEAP ON THE FLOOR IS THE DOOR KNOB.
I TURN TO CAP.
""" I AM GOING TO THE BARN, IF YOU NEED ME CALL.
DAM FOOL NOW WHAT IS HE DOING. GOING TO GET HIMSELF AND JEN CAUGHT IF HE IS NOT CAREFUL