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...Oh...This is sooooo nice just flooooating along without a care in the world.....OH My....I do believe that Cloud over there has Welsh Shelley's little twitchy bunny nose and Cotton Tail............"Snort"..."Snort"......Hee...Hee...That Cloud over there kinda resembles The Captain's cute "widdle" Honey-Rum punch which Mrs Fletcher claims is soooo Darling....."What!"... ...."Where Am ???"....I'm On a "Ding Dang Carpet" Floating over The Eastern Realm!!!" ......Dressed in a Jasmine Like Costume ta boot.... ...Wheeeewie!!!..... I got's ta get this <<<<<<Poofing>>>>>under control before I land in a heap of trouble......Hummmmm.....Just maybe I can control it by THINKING really, really hard about how I'm dressed and where I want to be..... ....."I want to be dressed as Dandy-Dog and near where PTG Is."....ZAP!..POW!.. ...IT Worked!! ....It really WORKED!!!....."Wait a minute now....Wait one darn minute here......Please tell me that I did NOT just hear with my very own Ears that PTG thinks that I should GIve Up My Speciallly Captain Randy Built for Me Super Duper Scooter and drive somet'un a little Easier and Simpler!!!!........ .... Ya Better hold me back Mrs Fletcher cause I is about to do a Bottom-Whopping on PTG unless he takes that back or explains ta me just what he ment by it......
Roo has calmed down again since Randy seems to have escaped from the assault troops who are now pouring over the ruined HOS scene
She starts to fidget. I look at her?
“Why are you not sitting still. Do you not know what happens when clouds collide?
“They produce friction which produces electricity which produces ……”
I sigh. Too late!
She lights up like the Xmas Tree in my Special Room complete with fairy lights from the electrical discharge which has just illuminated her baubles.
It must have looked spectacular from the ground as the odd few Atlanteans, who have begun to gather around the ruined Poseidon Statue now that officialdom has left with the shards look up, gasp and fall to their knees in worship!
I cannot describe her appearance without collapsing in a heap off the cloud, but she will be perfect this coming Halloween!
I cast around to see where my old codger of a partner has gone and am amazed at his agility!
He leaps into the fish tank with some sort of breathing apparatus, presumably to hide from any military incursion that may come over the top of the hill.
He gets caught up in a vortex at the bottom of the tank and disappears!
Is it my lot in life to rescue my fellow Musketeers all the time?
Cannot they just stay still and quiet for a peaceful drink and a piece of cake in Mrs Fletcher’s Tea Rooms?
I get a twitch from my broom and it places itself about a centimeter (or an inch US!) from my nose
In among the bristles there is one h**l of a dust up going on between two little dust bunnies!
Animated dust bunnies?
I look more closely and they are living creatures with pointy hats
And one of them seems to be getting the upper hand.
The smaller of the two seems to concede and proceeds to sulk on the other end of my broom.
The victor approaches and ‘looks me in the eye’ (well one of them).
It waves and points downwards into the Fish tank below.
Ah! Small animal speak! This I have had plenty of practice with my owl.
“Yes! We go and follow Cap’n Bob?”
Roo whispers to me that the small creature is called a ‘Piskie’ (by the knowledgeable and ‘Pixie’ by the rest of the world)
It jumps up and down in agreement(?)
OK! We go down and see where he has gone. My derriere was getting quite damp from the cloud anyway and if Cap’n Bob is anywhere subterranean, well then we have Roo to light us up since she is still giving off very visible sparks.
The broom takes us back into the Eastern Realm
Just in time to see a very wet and bedraggled Cap’n Bob leap onto the magic carpet as it flutters by and zoom off into the sunset.
Then my brain catches up with my eyes!
Was there not something tugging at his voluminous Sultan’s pants?
And was that something not a female?
And was she not crying and swearing like a trooper at Randy.
She tries to swat him but desists when his pants are on the point of coming off and revealing all that should not be revealed!
And they are gone!
The small piskie at the other end of my broom saunters along, replaces its sparring partner, smirks and points upwards once more.
We once more soar high into the stratosphere and just as rapidly rush back down again.
I had forgotten Roo quietly accompanying me but now she lets out a scream as some very solid looking terra firma rapidly approaches.
It resolves itself into the very distinctive shape of Mrs Fletcher's Tea Room
So perhaps I can have that cup of tea and piece of cake?
We all seem to arrive safely at Mrs Fletcher’s Tea Room
I feel quite exhausted after the recent events of mayhem and am looking forward to a nice cup of tea.
Mrs Fletcher herself delivers it to me and gives me a broad wink as she inquires after the health of my male partner!
I mumble something nondescript as I don’t want her to know that he has yet another woman literally in tow and attached to his Sultan’s bloomers.
It is then that my owl flutters down and once more I am led a merry dance on trying to understand its toots and what it wants me to do.
Finally I get up, tea still untouched as it is too hot, grasp my broom and think; “Go where my pet owl wants me to”
We are off once more, but this time not for very long or too far.
We end up in Kayley’s Fancy Goods, where all seems to be well. No disaster has struck the furniture nor the fittings and all the fabrics are neatly stacked where they should be.
Just as I reflect that we have been sent on a ‘wild goose chase’, the Telephone rings!
Now in all my years of sweeping and cleaning in the MC that phone has never rung!
It has no dial and it has no telephone number. It is as most ex-directory as one could get.I pick it up wit
Hi Dandy Dog.....it's a pleasure to finally meet you! I'm so sorry to hear of your problems with your super duper souped up scooter. Since Cap'n Randy is so anxious to talk to Roo, and I'm sure she'd love to see you as well, I'll just go up to see if she's finished her shower and I can get her down here pronto. That'll please the Cap.
And, since Dandy Dog knows nothing about me, she takes my offer in stride and smiles as I head up the stairs. As Roo is coming down the stairs, I'm going up. Roo gives me a look but keeps going. Whew! That was close!! At the top of the landing, there just happens to be a window, calling me....so, of course, out I go and I'm off like the wind!
Since I'm still on the trail of my scoop of the century, unbeknownst to my new.....comrades? partners? prison wardens?......I'm hot on PTG's trail to see where he's off to in such a hurry....and more importantly, why?......
I'll have to be REALLY careful though, and make sure I'm well hidden. It's unfortunate I can't take any photos just now and will have to do things the old fashioned way....handwritten notes! ***sigh***
Uh, oh.........I may have underestimated the abilities of PTG's pet owl.........
Pacing again round and around waiting for Roo to appear I hear steps behind me and turn to see a spiffing looking Roo all dolled up and hair perfect every one in place now.
Roo glares at me man if looks could kill lol I would be one dead man,, so I explain to Roo what I meant in the shower statement and after giving her my sweetest smile and shy look she huffs ok ok move on,,
Please Roo sit next to DandyDog and Angel???? I see an empty sit where she was a minute ago,,,@#$%^&*()_+_)(*&^%$#$%^&*()__)(*&^%$ GREAT JUST GREAT not only has PTG gone POOF but Angel to,,,, We all run to the window to see what all the noise and screams are and I start to laugh * sorry but the site is to funny*** there is PTG's Owl with his claws dug deep in Angels hair and trying to pull her back to Salty's
Angel's screams are turning the air blue I almost blush , never knew women could cuss like that.
Angel is screaming that if the Owl does not let her go she is going to make POT PIE and a feather duster out of him,,, in answer the Owl tugs harder .
I go untangel Angel from the talons of the Owl and thank him for his service but your owner is an other matter because when I find him I will dethisel his broom pluck it dry and ground them both.
I get Angel back in side and grab a table cloth * only thing handy** and tie Angels feet and hands to the chair,, see why I can not trust you?
Okay now that is done I can now tell you Roo and DandyDog why I need your help
Roo I need you to make me some sleeping powder and pipe bombs filled with paint , sparkles glue , anything that will stick to when blown up
They both look at me like I have lost my mind,,, okay let me explain,, you know that I have said ever since I got here that this is The Evil Murk and his ugly kid Arabella's dong, they have some how managed to make a second, third maybe even a forth
MC Castle and area that are not real but we think they are and have covered these areas with a magic evil dome some what like our General Anessa Blue did for our Camp* a good magic dome* for our protection before she became total Elven,,,now if my therory is right Murk can move freely back and forth but we can't because we can not see the trap doors and walls
So if Roo could build/make a huge rocket type bomb and fill it with what I hope will stick to the dome then we can see the escape route,,
So Roo what are your thoughts on this ,I am sure you can do this for us.
Now DandyDog I need you and the super duper souped up PUT PUT .**********
I can fix it back to new and while we are working on it Roo would you babysit our escape artist here?
Okay lets get to work.
It takes a couple hours to get the PUT PUT back up and sounds like better than new
I guess I will have to make you an other Manuel for this DandyDog seeing PTG did not give you the one I gave him for you ,maybe he has been into to much of his special tea
Okay ready ?? like I said this could be dangerous but this is where the sleeping powder will come in handy,, DandyDog looks at me like she is supposed to understand all of this and says what in tarnation you talking about man??
I laugh sorry got ahead of myself there okay my plan is for you and I to fly to the Airship,, bomb it with sleeping gas just incase there is someone/thing driving it,, steal it and have it take us to where it takes all our hard earned gold, diamonds and inventory and bring it back,, then we will need it to fly through the barrier because I am not sure the PUT PUT can go that high.
Okay lets go have a hot cup of Tea and a bite to eat and see what Roo has come with as a plan for us.
Just as I thought that matters could get no worse a large quantity of discarded HOS inventory suddenly appear, which the pixies grab and start hurling at the fairies.
To coin a phrase: “this is like a red rag to a bull”
I could say that this makes my broom ‘fly off the handle’ in anger but that would be an understatement.
It positively gets all its hackles up, attacks both pixies and flattens them before they can do any more damage to the room or its inventory.
It then turns its attention to the fairies, sweeps them up as if they were just small bits of fluff and deposits them all in a nearby sack: which is reserved for flotsam and jetsam!
With a tremendous show of vim and vigor it replaces all the misplaced HOS items, cleans away the barricades and in the ‘twinkling of an eye’ all is back to normal.
Two very sorry looking pixies struggle into a sitting position where the broom threatens them with dire consequences if they move.
The pixies realize that their armor and needle swords are of no use against what is normally an inanimate object and sit sulking.
I borrow some of the straps from the doves, who are decorating the Cloud City Flying Boat, and harness the two little miscreants.
They will be returned to their Welsh mistress when I can find her.
There! Job done! All is now peace and quiet in the Castle corridor.
I quietly sit with my “dead centre” cooling off rapidly in the cold tea.
I, in my haste, have forgotten to provide myself with a change of clothing!
As I sit I feel a little wiggle in my trouser pocket!
Have I caught something unmentionable?
Or have Grim’s Cash and Wickerbat returned to jolly me up?
I tentatively feel the area and find a hard lump and it is INSIDE my pocket!
I do NOT want to become a permanent member of the Sultan’s harem so grab it to stop it wiggling against my still soggy "parts".
I then extract it and find that it is a piece of wood encased in a silk purse
But not any old piece of wood. It is pure ebony with intricate and mystical carving.
Also in the purse is a note and as I read it, my eyes water with pleasure at the fact that there IS someone over me “looking after me”!!
I now have a new magical tool the kind of which is unique in the Castle and befits its Chief Sweeper Upper!
I notice that my partners are about to launch themselves into the stratosphere, so gaze with some interest at what is about to occur.
Suddenly all h***l breaks loose.
My dear scientifically minded partner Roo has forgotten lesson Number One in handling explosive mixtures and rubbed two of her special bombs together.
The resulting friction sets the missiles off: onwards and upwards.
As she has made them only of “medium strength” they have not gone far, but high enough to zap all my kites so carefully put in place to thwart their operation.
Drat and TRIPLE drat!
Not only have they “downed” my flying obstacles but they have proven that the system using the BIG bomb will work!
Ah well! I can console myself with the fact that I have a fully operational magical broom to sweep up all the pieces.
AND if by some miracle Cap’n Bob’s scheme works and he finds these so-called apertures I have a charabanc to transport us there!
"Top of the Morn'un to Ya Mrs Fletcher!"..... ....Oh,...... hi there Salty.........You can put that quadruple order of ..........whatever........ ......in the back and Bing will stack it where it's suppose ta go OK... .....I'll just do that as soon as yous tells me what's caus'un your usual Sweet Granny-Smile ta turn upside down like.......Well Salty, have you noticed that thing's here in the "Slightly Insane Simple Room" are becoming even crazier then usual?.....How so Mrs Fletcher?.... ....PTG ya know is-or-was a best buddy of the Captain?... .....Now I am so darn confused on what their stand is in that there, "Compartment of friend-ship" if'un you know what I mean Salty....sniff..sniff.......And did ya know that PTG has his very own Fairy God Mother?...... .....No I did not know that one......Yes He does and She makes him special wands, ....or was that special Brooms?.....Huummm....... Salty......My Sweet Honey-bun Captain has a brand new Female in his life now that goes by the handle of "Angel" and how can I compete with both an Angel and a Cowgirl?.... .....Mrs Fletcher....What I's does know is that your, "Jump'un the Gun" here a wee bit in all of your in-sup-tions about the "Story Line" that playing out here in the "Simple Room." ........Ya needs ta just sit back...or better yet....continue to make those Delicious Tea Cakes everyone loves.....yum...yum... ....and enjoy youself with the Friends you love and care for.......I'll just do that Salty......And thank you.... ....
As I enter the Tea Room again I notice PTG has a NEW BROOM??? bigger better brighter then the old one still dethiseld at his feet right under his still dripping trousers
I can not help but over hear the conversation between Mrs.Fletcher and dandydog
I walk over and slight cough , excuse me for interrupting but I came to fetch dandydog here as I am ready for stage two of my plan and could not help overhear ,
Now Mrs.Fletcher please put your mind at ease you have nothing to worry about with that lunatic The Cowgirl she is safely locked up, and as for that wanta be Houdini well I do not even know her and do not trust her but I will get to the bottom of the truth with her,,, and what is this PTG has a Fairy God Mother wow who knew?
And you do not have to worry about PTG and I he is a door knob at times and gets bent out of shape when things do not ** turn his way*** but we will be fine..
We all hear a big bang and go runing to the window and see a huge cloud of smoke and tiny bits falling from the sky,, as the smoke clears I see that the kikes have been blow to kingdom come , I look at PTG and can not help I burst out laughing poor PTG another one bites the dust and now what I installed in the PUT PUT can be used for other things.
I turn and pat Mrs Fletcher on her hand and say may I have a few of them delicious goodies you make for a short trip dandydog are going on?? she blushes and scurry's to the back and comes back with a velvet bag filled with her heaven made goodies.. thank you Mrs F,, okay dangdog lets getter down.
Dandydog jumps of her chair like a kid at Christmas clapping her hands and with a huge smile out we go to the waiting PUT PUT************************
Roo is beside the PUT PUT as I asked her to join us so I can see the bombs she made us and to get the sleeping powder,,, I put the powder in the compartment and say very nice Roo and just the right size, now I suggest you go back inside and warn the others there will be a bang soon.
Dandydog get in the side car as I turn on the PUT PUT I will be right back,, I walk to the clearing in the other direction and set up the bomb making sure it is aimed just right,,, good , strike the match and race back and jump in the PUT PUT, cover your ears Dandydog **** KABOOM**** that is my signal to goooooooooooo
dandydog looks at me in surprise the PUT PUT is so quite now Cap would did you do??lol put on a muffler as we seem to float now silent as a feather ,,, okay here is the plan,,I am going to board that Air Ship and I am going to get back as much of our stolen items , coins, diamonds chests etc. then see where that thing goes to unloads and come back wanting more, but what do I do Cap. well your job is very important we are going to change places in a bit and you will guide the PUT PUT right up to the Air Ship and hold her steady while I throw
PTGWell Cap’n Bob certainly doesn’t need to tell me to ‘think about it’.
I do little else!
I fully understand that what we have achieved so far in our questing is very little in the grand scheme of things.
We do not yet comprehend what are the root causes of the evil in this Realm and how we can deal with them.
So far we have limped from disaster to disaster and it is a miracle that most of us are still alive particularly as we seemed to have blown things up so many times!
We are at best a very disjointed group with little formal military training or background. Cap’n Bob is our only expert in these fields.
If he says he can fight the good fight in defeating this evil more effectively by moving over to the other Realm with its Camp, soldiers and MASH Unit then, of course, I agree.
The others are ‘a-rarin-to-go’ to complete the third phase of his plan and my offer of immediate assistance is there if he wants it.
The acrid smoke from the burnt offerings has now dissipated somewhat and our good hostess has by some miracle produced another batch of perfectly crafted pancakes and a large jar of honey.
Conversation ceases. Only the soft sounds of munching and murmurs of gastronomic delight pervade the air.
Mrs Fletcher produces a very large pot of tea and we wash the delicious honey coated morsels down with quite a strong brew.
Beaming at the Cap’n she asks him if he will be gone long and does he want a packed lunch.
I notice that the others have already filled large paper napkins with more of the still warm but crispy discs and stowed them away.
Sated, I turn to the Cap’n:
“I will remain here and look after Angel, if you don’t need my help. I think I can get her to stay if I promise to tell her of some of the exploits we 4/5/6 rebel inmates have gotten into within the Castle walls.
“Also there is a little matter of our unworthy CEO to be taken care of.
“I am sure that Angel would like to experience a more active role in our activities so that, as a correspondent, she gets a better understanding of how we ‘operate’!
Sipping the very welcome cup of tea to wash down all those lovely pancake morsels, I think to myself that perhaps the Cap’n needs some sort of demonstration of the capabilities of my new magical broom.
I will help him understand that there is more than one option of inter-Realm travel available to him.
The method he is proposing is beneficial, in the sense that it can also reveal the travel routes taken by Murk and associates.
But I can show him a direct route between the two Realms.
How to best suggest this to him as he is so focused on what he is about to do?
No one is looking so I tell my broom to convert to the comfy charabanc mode and then think hard about a time long ago when I was in the other Realm’s Camp interrogation room talking with a small woman in fatigues.
I am deposited in a bare but immaculate room that I recognize immediately.
I remember that I sat on one side of the table and being quizzed by a small but very fierce female Colonel. One of the others was taking notes on an official looking pad.
The pad is still there. So I move quickly over to it and remove the top bare sheet which is already stamped: FOR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION.
Unfortunately it isn’t signed but it should be enough.
And I am back in the Tea Room with my broom transposed back into a small stick.
Cap’n Bob turns to me as he has sensed that I am ‘up to something’.
Wordlessly, I smile sweetly and hand him the pristine piece of paper.
He barely glances at it at first and then takes a longer second glance with amazement written all over his face.
“Dddddid you? Cccccaaaan you?”
I smile, nod and then have another sip of my still hot tea.
Helloooo?.... ...Helloooo?.... ....Rooooo?...YuuuuuWuuuuu Rooooo?..... Shelleyyyyyy?..... .....Grimmmmmm?...... ....Anybodyyyyyy Here?..... ....I guess no ones down here in the MC's under grown tunnels either Egor...Sighhh... ...Eccck..Ecck..Ecccck?.. ..Where are we going to look next?... .....Hummmm....Well.. so far we've been to all of the other Realms not counting the extra specially sweet visit to the Eastern One where we were once more united with the Friendly Monkey, (Orangutan?) Family....(Isn't their Baby just the Cutest little one ever!!!) ... ...When I asked if they had seen Roo's Monkey Fez ....They told me no.. they've not seen it in quite some time... ...So I think it's time to start worrying a wee bit don't you Egor? ....Ecck, Eccck, EccccK!.... ... You don't need ta shout Egor and yes I do remember that the Captain and PTG have issued a "Gathering of the MC's Slightly Insane Troops" for a special meeting....Ecck..Ecck?. ..About What?.. ...I don't have clearance yet for such <<<<Highly Classified>>>> Information....Sigh....Maybe someday...(In My Dreams Maybe ).....Anyhoo Egor, we best be on our way lickity-split like and report back.....Also I have a certain feeling that we're missing out on a Certain Stack of Mrs Fletcher's Delicious's Pancakes ta boot....So let's get ta Crack'un!!!!....broooom....broooom....(quiet)....broooom....brooooom...
I stand there in front of PTG with my mouth open and chin almost hitting the floor.
My hands start to shake as I hold the paper and read and reread over and over again ,in between lines looking at a beaming PTG stuttering yooou ccccaaann dooo thiiiiss
on your new toy?? but how ?? and if you could why wait till now to tell me??
Okay ok I understand you learning how to use the new toy but but I can not believe this as I reread the paper and see PTG with a smile across his face like a cat that just caught a mouse and sipping his tea.
As I read for about the millionth time my eyes stop at FOR IMMEDIATE ATTENTIONThen the bells go off this looks official but #1This is NOT an official nor standard order #2 there is no Letter Head saying to whom it is addressed #3 it is not signed,#4 Rosie does not have the authority to send an order
I feel entranced with the sparkly air . It soothes me as it calls to me. Moving slightly into the sparkles, the combat boot (not me) trips over a small, smooth stone. I reach to retrieve it.
The stone is cool to the touch. Brushing the dirt away, I see scratches covering the top and bottom sides. Perky-pointer traces the sharp lines on both sides. The stone seems to be getting warmer and I look twice to assure myself the lines begin to glow. I suddenly realize that I have found one of the fabled Rune Stones that should only be found in the Castle proper.
The glowing lines begin to turn red as the stone becomes uncomfortably HOT HOT HOT. Without any thought but to save my hand from burning, I drop it into my velvet pouch.
I draw golden-strings open, watching as the stone’s lines begin to fade. Looking like any old stone one would find near a riverbed, the surface was polished smooth from eons of water crashing over and around it. If it weren’t for the severely straight lines and the heat, it would definitely be crushed-gravel in a Zen garden.
I feel emboldened and take it in my bare hand again. Tracing the lines brings back the glow and the warmth. I want to continue holding the rune stone and wish I had a sturdy pair of animal-hide gloves. Thinking of them, made it so...each hand now covered with half-finger gloves and the heat, bearable.
The stone went back into the pouch and was snugly cinched closed. The sparkles in the surrounding air still inviting me to walk into it. I started again, glancing around to see that nothing got in my way again.
Just a few moments flitted by and I saw that, true to its smooth form, the stone probably came from the watercourse at my feet. It was not too wide and the water gently tumbled over small stones. It was not deep so, after removing both boots and hiking up the ballooning pantaloons, I make my way across the stream.
My pet owl is still perched on the monitor that was showing the strange room and girl.
As I pass into the tunnel I happen to glance at the screen.
The girl is gone!
My magical broom reverts back to a small cylinder, which I pocket and I head back to the bank of screens.
Nothing! She is nowhere to be seen and those screens cover the entire Castle and its immediate surroundings.
Well, I think, time enough to locate her again but first I must return to the others and see them off (if that is the correct term to use).
In a trice I am back at my table with Mrs Fletcher looking very suspiciously at me.
I show her the empty cup.
Somewhat bemused she returns with the large red tea pot and refills my Worcester porcelain china cup. Which so happens to be the only one left after Roo’s little accident.
Sitting near the burbling stream bank makes me thirsty...and hungry. I left the dingy room earlier this day without the thought of a proper repast.
Leaning to sip the cool water from the crystalline brook, I leaned too far....kersplat!!! Face down staring into the pebbly bottom of the nasty stream...sooooo undignified! Boy! I am glad no one is around to see me now!
I wish..... because, hovering to my right, I see a pale-faced spirit. She must be an apparition since I can see right through her! Her filmy gown floats around her and she emits a faint glow.
I should be frightened but she hasn’t moved so I don’t think she means me harm. She holds an upright banner with symbols I don’t recognize. It doesn’t matter, however, the symbols change every few seconds until finally I can read it ...the Castle provides what you need. WOW! A message for just for me! ....or for all who travel this way????
As she appeared quickly, she disappears, just as fast.
I am feeling the chill. I get out of the water and walk to a sunny patch of grass. Unlike the area around the building I came from, the land on this side of the stream is a beautiful forest with old-growth trees and flowers with colors I have never seen. I actually hear a bird’s solitary whistle. An echo replies.
The sunshine in this golden spot is drying my grab and see that the impromptu soaking cleaned the dirt and dust from my clothes and my person. The Castle does provide. I am clean and ready to find the gruff-voiced man.
Now for some food as I go.
Following a not-so-worn-path in and about the old trees, I catch wisps of pleasant odors. I salivate with each new scent. I wish I had brought a cup of cool water with me from the stream and been more watchful for food of some sort.
An idea flashes before my eyes. I remove the rune stone, cradling it in one gloved-palm while perky-pointer traces the lines. The stone warms and I think of cool water. Cool water dumps over my head and drips down to my booted feet.
I sputter and cough. Well I’ll be ...perched pickle on a plank! I tap my chin with my perky-pointer....thinking....thinking...or is it ‘pickled perch on a plank’!; maybe ‘planked perch on a pickle’ Whatever.....I am astonished!
I stare at the stone. It is still warm. The water had no effect on it. I concentrate on water but imagine it IN A CUP! By gosh and by golly...a cup of cool water in my grasp. I swallow it before it goes away. Picturing the cup with water again and...another cup of cool water.
Although the thought of food lingers, I want to try this out with another idea. I stand facing one of the rough-barked trees nearby. While manipulating the rune stone, I imagine myself climbing through its limbs. A sturdy ladder appears. Leaning against the trunk, it reaches into the dense foliage near the treetop. Up I go!
With the aid of the well-built wooden ladder, I imagined myself a distant relative to a sure-footed monkey in search of fruit. Capturing the tip-top I survey 360 degrees.
I found the edge of the forest opposite in direction of the tiny stream. If I keep going in the opposite direction, I will reach what I think to be smoke coming from a stone chimney, itself, sprouting from the pointed roof of a building. Where there is smoke there might be fire but more important to me, I might find the man with the gruff voice and/or food.As I carefully clamber down the tree limbs, I spy ...a bird’s wing???? EEECK. My morbid curiosity compels me to examine closer. I see that is not a REA
I reach out & clasp Cap'n Randy’s hands in mine. His bravery warms my heart & gives me much needed courage.
"It's ok" I tell him softly, "we will come to no harm" As we leave I turn & can't resist blowing him a kiss ......
When we reach the Sultans Gallery he is already waiting for us (not a good omen) "Roo" he practically shouts at me "your Cowgirl has escaped & she has taken my Sultana with her, You may take whatever you need from my realm but I want them both back. You have 24 hours" With that he turns & strides back to his private chambers.
Angel huffs & says "You mean I have been dragged all the way here for a bunch of dried grapes that can be found in a HOS?"
"Angel" I sigh "A Sultana is the revered wife of a Sultan & if we don't find them quickly we may both loose our heads" We both slump on the cold stone steps & as I try to think of a way out of this predicament. A messenger arrives & informs us that Cowgirl has been spotted in The Town.
We rush out to the Palace Square where I see the Palaquin. Hmmm if we have to take the guards they might as well give us a ride.
to be continued
I still feel the warmth of Roo's hands and feel even deeper the emptiness of The Tea Room, even though this strange lady called DD is siting at the same table , drinking out of the same cup, has that same look on her face * almost blank* she has not moved nor spoken since I sat with her and asked all those questions,
We are in real trouble here, hours have been ticking away while the guards insisted on a regulation sleep break, just in case they are selected for execution duty Every time I closed my eyes I saw & heard the swish of the Blade of Terror!! Angels' mood swings from panic to organised note taking in the blink of an eye. I have to keep stopping to play HOS's for coins to pay for various tolls & fares on our journey & the clock keeps ticking away
Finally we are unceremoniously dumped in front of the City Clock in the Town Square ,we do not have much time left. Fez is sitting on the Flying Carpet pointing at Kaley's & I think he's been there for hours.
I peek into Kaley’s window & spy the Sultana. The poor woman has been dressed in an outfit that can only be described as a showgirl in a saloon of yesteryear. Cowgirl would never be a fashionista. he Sultana catches my eye & I put my finger to my lips hoping she understands shush.
I turn to Angel "You have to go in there & distract Cowgirl "
"Why me?" she protests
"Because she knows me & would suspect a trap just talk about Rodeos or Randy, that will keep her attention". I sense that Angel is not convinced so I draw my finger across my neck then Angel willingly obliges. The guards have already refused to enter Kaley’s emporium as it's now break-time!
The Sultana, being quick to catch on runs out the door the moment Cowgirls back is turned. Cowgirl tries to give chase but I dash in just as Angel sticks out a foot & trips Cowgirl up. Angel reaches up to hang on to anything & dislodges a newly delivered urn of carrot coloured fabric dye. We slither around on the floor trying to restrain Cowgirl & finally the guards enter,lift her up & toss her into the Palanquin.
It only takes a few moments to change the Sultanas clothes, place her on the Flying Carpet & send her home. Phew....
Our only problem now is to get back to my hideout without anyone seeing us or any bunnies trying to eat us before this dye washes off !!!
This is getting out of hand, me pacing the floor like this trying to decide what to do stay here and try to talk some sense into DD I stop and almost Gibb slap myself, like she is going to answer after what how many hours here in the same spot with that blasted cup hanging and steaming mid air.. or stay here and talk to myself until someone shows up or wait a minute maybe I do need some Honey Rum at least then it would not take so long for what is happening here to sink in, I might be as loonie as a toonie * or so I have heard ** but at least I would be doing something God only knows what but at least it would be action.|
Come on man you are a solider and an officer that has seen more battles and been through H*** and back and yet look at you siting here going in circles trying to find what way is up,, BUCK UP MAN I yell to myself.
I grab one of the old wanted posters still hanging on the wall from way back when that Mrs Fletcher turned around and used the back as a Daily Menu and write a note*****
Cap. Randy Here To Anyone Who Reads This**********
I am off to try and
I remained seated...mindless of all, including my own person, around me. I ‘came to’ when a gawd-awful sound shattered my quiet void. Near my side, doleful eyes winking/blinking at me, was my alabaster friend, Ally. Thing is, he is no longer a knickknack in my pouch! He is squealing a real porcine squeal as if someone pinched him or pulled hard on his curly tail.
Just as Angel and I finish the last morsel of ** if I may say so** a great meal **** but then again an old shoe would taste good when you are really hunger ****
It is then that I notice our run a way PTG siting alone by the window,, must be the sunlight blinding him because I wave him over but he seems glassy eyed and does not see me, so I shout BLIMEY BLOKE you blind ?? we are over here , he jumps at my voice maybe his mind was still in the wild blue yonder from wench he just returned
Just as I am about to go get him I am stopped in my tracks by a very very upset and a tad orange Roo?? if that is not enough I look behind her and see the one called DD reach for a floating cup that explodes and shatters to pieces but then reappears whole and still steaming ?? then we see her hit the floor and cover her eyes,then she gets up and sits with a bewildered frightened doe like look on her face it is then we all notice a alabaster pig???
We all watch in stunned amazement as DD cuddles on her lap what is now a baby pot bellied piglet and again is on the floor *** my head whirls**** but this time as she raises from the floor she dusts her cloths and holding for dear life to the piglet to her side she begins to speak with a very shaky voice ** you can tell she is terrified and wants to run ,,, she spurts out questions at us so I step forward and show her my empty hands easy it is okay we mean you no harm,, I am glad to see you returned and can now speak to us,, please forgive me let me answer your questions,,, I am Captain Randy leader of this group of captives in this mirror image of our MC,, by the window is PTG my second in command,,,next to me is Angel who we are still getting to know, and over there is our beloved Auntie Roo whom we all call Roo our apprentice piro maker of all
things that go bomb (a little joke to ease the tension ) making of potions and spinier or spells she is taking over the place of our dearly beloved Jenny Wren who is no longer with us,, you will also meet Dandydog general entrepreneur and driver/owner of a new souped up Put Put * will explain that later* and our dear Mrs Fletcher owner /operator of this The Tea Room, and of course Salty owner/operator of The Tavern..
and of course there is Egor, Fex, PTG pet Owl, and many more for you to meet when we can get out of this false MC and back to the real one,,, more on that later,
We are all trying to get away from here ever since we found out this is NOT the real MC and is a mirror world made by Murk and his off spring Arabella.
Getting out of here is exactly what I am working on and if you would like to get back to the real MC I can help you do that no you do not have to leave you stay right here with us you will be look after and protected , now please lets all sit and have a hot tea and welcome our new friend here and her lill friend what is his/her name may I ask??
Hello to all. Thank you Captain Randy. My little pigglywiggly is Ally-short for alabaster...He was just a little porcelain trinket but somehow he became a real boy.
I would love to try your tea. My last attempt at making my own with magic sent me on an unscheduled flight to ....not sure exactly where.
I hope Ally will stay in this form.
Oh Roo did you hear that ? our new friend DD here has magical powers I bet you two become tight friends, but I must warn you DD our Roo try\s her best but does not quite have the hang of it yet especially when it comes to things that go BOOM lol
But God love her she does her best, and I would highly advice not to use to much of your magic here seeing this is a mirror /phony MC and things happen and we have no idea why right PTG.
One minute you are here the next POOFFFFFFFFF your gone.
But we stick together and some how manage to get back here to The Tea Room.
You are most welcome DD and I tickle Ally under his chin what a handsome boy you are.
Please excuse me a minute I think the kettle is ready tea for all??
I am agog to see Angel sitting at the table. Well she didn't escape very far!!
What is this I see? Angel is wearing an outfit exactly the same as my new outfit which is hanging on the back of my door. I have to say mine doesn't have steak juice or melted butter down the front of it
Kaley promised me it was an exclusive design & as rare as a unique stamp hmmm...
That reminds me I must write a note for Fez to give to Egor, to pass on to Dandydog who in turn will give it to Mrs Fletcher (phew)
Cancel hog roast on Saturday night, will explain later.
I doubt any of us could eat it having looked at DD's cute little pet Ally.Oooh! I spot
Roo croons over her shaking Fez and reassures it that all is well.
DDs little piglet has recovered and nuzzling her fingers as it is hungry. Which is just as well as it is now no longer on the menu!
Cap’n Bob is literally steaming with anger at the effrontery of the evil surrounding us.
He then continues with his conversation with DD over a hot cup of the special hot chocolate made by a simpering Mrs Fletcher: made with cream, chocolate and laced with honey rum.
We turn our gazes upwards at the hole in the Tea Room roof to see a now cloudless sky.
I turn to them and comment;
“One up to us, I think!”
Having calmed down, my thoughts turn back to Roo's suggestion that I try to find any clues which can be gleaned from the MC inventory.
I know of the Book of Wisdom which Roo is currently reading. This might be useful but she is such a slow reader!
Also she is not too well versed in the technological power of the seek and find functions available to her.
The much more comprehensive Book of Knowledge, lodged in the Library of the Dark Tower, may also have useful information, so I think that I will go there to have a read.
But first I turn to my broom and think: "any useful maps in the HOS Repository?" (One never knows, I may get lucky!).
Several maps suddenly appear and I am immediately drawn to the copy that Cap'n Bob is also holding in his hand, titled 'The Map of the Old Roads'.
This seems to show ancient surface tracks on the MC landscape, but before the Castle was built.
It also indicates large surface pits where the Gnomes quarried for stones and other materials for the construction of the Castle.
There are scattered here and there large dark holes indicating tunnels into the mountain sides.
Since the Gnomes are renowned doe their burrowing activities, these must be the basis for the tunnels we now know and which Cap'n Bob has mapped with his troops.
"Now", I think to myself, "I will superimpose this current Castle map from the HOS Repository with the old map and see what information we can glean".
Immediately we see that there is a superimposition of nodes for several of the tunnels directly under Grim's apertures, and which leads to her HQ.
But there is also another one in Cloud City which seems to go nowhere.
I am confused and say to the others; "Here is an aperture but there is no tunnel!"
Time for us to venture over to Cloud City and leave the Tea Rooms to some spontaneous reconstruction work.
There is nothing new to see until DD, clever little girl that she is, points upwards at the ceiling.
We now need Roo's gadgets to enhance the lighting in that area.
DD has got quite excited and is telling Cap'n Bob that she thinks that the area above is where she first appeared in our realm.
So perhaps it is there that we can find a way out of this duplicate multiverse that Murk has managed to trap us within.
Hmm...just as well I didn't shard all of my inventory one of the benefits of being a hoarder ha ha!
As I empty the contents of my bag all around me I turn to PTG & say "I have 4 searing lights,10 lightning flashes & 8 illuminating devices, Do you have a preference?"
"Just one I illuminating device will be sufficient" he replies rather sarcastically
Next time I see the blacksmith I'm going to get him to make some sort of wheels for my bag. At least this trip seems to be above ground. If there's any digging I shall insist Angel is better suited to the task now that she's changed out of MY dress
Cap'n Bob, being the military man that he is, is now on a Reconnaissance and quickly gathers together with Roo all the necessary supplies.
I get him several Knights Honor Banners from the Repository so that he can more easily path-find the way out of here.
Then I spot several bulges in Roo's newly re-acquired dress.
When I mention this to her, she denies any such additions to her body and calls me most ungentlemanly for saying so.
But on pressing the issue, she rather shamefacedly removes several sticks of dynamite 'borrowed' directly from the Atlantis Elephant site and so not showing up on the HOS Repository.
I think: "Deja Vue!" with our beloved Jenny Wren in my mind.
"Whatever will our worthy playing citizens think and say if there is now a hole in that HOS?"
My broom scoops up the sticks and returns them to their rightful place, leaving a rather sullen Roo making faces at me and calling me a "goody two shoes!"
Then I remember something which is now rather important and rummage around in my pockets. I pull out a scrap of paper and pass it to Roo.
It is from my Fairy Godmother.
My dear Playingthegame,
I have struggled with whether I should tell you this very significant and hidden feature about your new broom. You see, it is a feature that was NOT added by me and since the creator is no longer available for me to consult and get permission.....well, I just don't know if it is my place or right to divulge her "secrets."
But, after much debating with myself, I feel compelled to tell you about it.... you see, Ms. Jenny_Wren was floating by as I started my broom spell. (Hers is the part that is secretly coded.) She gave the broom a hollow shaft....the very top of your broom doesn't look like a "cap" but, indeed it is. You just need to tap gently along the very top edge before the end domes up, and then it will rise up ever so little for you to then unscrew the cap.Inside that hollow shaft you will find sticks of dynamite.....one on top of the other and if you mumble "arrow" ever so quietly into the open end, the next one to come out will be attached to an arrow. But, be wary of that arrow, for it cannot be set flying by just any archery bow found in one of the HOSs. No, that special arrow must be released by the crossbow inside of the Fairy Forest Armory. (See how clever she is? She has guaranteed that the crossbow remains in good working order by
PS. Of course PTG is fair game for any female who's brave enough to try
Careful Roo........his Fairy Godmother is watching over him! ...... and.....what gal wouldn't want a man with a broom who keeps everything neat and tidy??????
Just for the record (because of recent posts) I am the Chief Sweeper Upper of the MC and I take my duties very seriously.
"Very Seriously" means 24/7 and I have neither the time nor the inclination to go gallivanting about like some people I could mention, trying to be fashionistas or demolition experts.
Cap'n Bob may need to remind you all that we are at WAR with evil, which is everywhere and which has got us into this present pickle.
If I have a FAIRY GODMOTHER (God bless her!), it is because she thinks that I need help with this war.
Now that I have this "off my chest", may I suggest Angel - a little more fur around the shoulders.
Up there in the stratosphere (if that is where we are heading) it may be a tad cool, and your bare shoulders are more suitable for reclining in the Sultan's harem!
I feel suitably chastised. In my defence I was trying stop Captain Randy from getting any further distractions while he ponders on our present predicament .
I shall redirect my energy into reading faster & demolition lessons
So....PTG is a CSU of MC!!!
And thank you, PTG, for the weather forecast.
Included in each of our ensembles will be a Cape for Dusty Roads. Kaley makes these while you wait. Each will be monogrammed and have our own choice of color.
If you and the Captain would like your very own, let us know. i am sure Kaley will be able to accommodate us.
She also specializes in custom jewelry to meet each individual's specific needs. Angel will need the Star Buckle to cinch in the waist and I have to have the Genie's Bracelet and a miniature Spyglass to wear as a lavaliere.
We are having a great time shopping on the Captain's coin.
I sit still a bit bewildered over the past events , the now roofless Tea Room man Mrs Fletchers going to very upset over that not unless I can get a hand at fixing it before she gets back.
That and now these rings that PTG are poring over trying to figure them out and why would his Fairy God Mother send them now??that kinda means that PTG and I will tied together and as he has stated many times he DOES not want to leave here and join us back at Camp, so now what The H*** do I do?? these rings if I understand correctly have to be used together so what if I am off to Town or The Castle Entrance and PTG is here ??
I try to remove my ring and give it to PTG but guess what it will not come off it is like stuck to my finger #$%^&*()(*&^%$#$%^&*( just great I can not get this ugly thing off my finger now , hum I wonder if the Blacksmith has any cutters for this ,if I can wake him up that is #$%^&(*&^%$%^&*()(*&^%$#
I stop mid $%^&^5 for the ladies have come back all looking like they are ready for an Easter Parade as each one shows off there new duds and even Caps for when it nice touch and well I will be new cloths for me now this is more fitting to my rank real Army clothes now this is going to make me feel a whole lot better ,
So Ladies you all happy with the new duds they all chime in at once oh YES Cap thank you thank you and in turn I get an empty velvet bag that ***WAS*** filled to the brim with gold coins and now empty good thing I gave then the right bag ( the other ones has all my diamonds in it) guess that means I have to do endless rounds in the HOS'S to restock my coins and have a word with Kaley think she took advantage of a good thing and wiped out the ladies well me I should say out.)
I need some air as I walk out The Tea Room and try to find a spot where I can think
I wish I had my pipe right now.....
Today I visited the memorial to jenny_wren in the Fairy Forest to let her know that I successfully delivered her gifts.......You incompetent old woman! she screams at me.....you got the message ALL WRONG!!!! Can't you do ANYTHING RIGHT????? And you know I can no longer do it myself....How you get on my last nerve!....oh, for some dynamite to just blow up something! .........sigh.... sigh........I'm sorry....I should not have said that..... And, you know I don't truly mean it.....it's just soooo hard no longer being a woman of action and needing to rely on others.
So....here is the deal .... yes, the rings work together.....of course they do because they are mated/friendship rings..... and, yes, when in a room together, PTG and Cap can, indeed, cover a larger area to secure ALL of their friends.....and yes, they can make singular domes in the same room......and yes, in this same world, they only work when they have line of sight...... (but this will not be a permanent condition.... the goblin assures me that when he has more time to work with his spells, he can make them work when they are in different parts of this world... he just had to hurry up the forging because Murk and Arabella attacked sooner than he thought.)
However, the rings DO work individually when they are in the DIFFERENT worlds.....so, if Cap manages to get back to his camp...... and PTG stays behind or goes to an alternate world (away from this one of Murk's and Arabella's conniving), then the ability to create the dome for protection will work for them individually in that singular universe.
She insists I write all this down......(she reads it over to make sure I have managed to get it right) and then she puts the note inside an envelope addressed:
TO: Captain Randy and Playingthegame ... c/o Mrs. Fletcher's Tea Room
After returning to the Flying Boat, I find a (hopefully) worthy pigeon to deliver the message and release him on his way.........
PTGI follow the Cap’n out of the Tea Room wit
I look at PTG and get a grin from ear to ear as we spy the rings neatly laying on our cloths, whewwwwwwwwww what a relief so I take it the knuckle buster rings do not like water , I get a bit jittery and say to PTG lets get dressed and back to the Tea Room seeing we are standing here soaking wet and in our birthday suits and you know I DO NOT TRUST those gals,,, especially DD with her popping in and out all over the place
I hear a noise in the bushes and both PTG and I grab our close and jump behind a small bush and we both look at each other as we both feel the rings slip back on our fingers
My cheeks hurt from my ear to ear grin,, but I say to PTG I do wish they had made these thing a tad lighter and less ugly makes me fell like a P*** Daddy as I roll on the grass laughing opppps better get dressed .
We head back fully dressed now and along the way come up to DD siting on a rock playing with her bracelet and talking to her self, she is one strange lady but then again we all in this place and I can not wait to get back to Camp and sanity well more sane then here.
A huge feeling of sadness over takes me and I turn as PTG talks to DD I stare at the Mountain tops the tree line that I know over there is my beloved Camp God how I miss them all and all the critters, I swipe away a tear as I hear PTG call me hey hop a long lets go.
Man that man infuriates me at times but gota luv the guy.#$%^&^%$%^& in the B***
he is but to tell you the truth I would not want to change him or ask fro a better friend and second in command , I would not change any of them here I have grown to love them as my family and I will give my life to save them,,, I shake my head okay you old softie snap out of it buck up man,,, I turn and join PTG and DD and we head back to The Tea Room................
The close shave that Captain Randy & PTG had has shocked me into understanding the precariousness of our current situation
I need to make preparations to be ready at a moment’s notice & I do not want to be left behind. I am loathe to leave as everyone is enjoying this rare occasion where we are all in the same place at the same time, although the atmosphere is alive with underlying tension of what might lie ahead of us.
Strangely enough I do not feel afraid I am amongst friends & if things get tough I'm going to stick with anyone who's got a fairy godmother watching over them
I must quietly leave & go quickly to my hideaway for I feel time is short....hopefully they won't even notice I've gone. I should be back in the blink of a bats' eye.
At my hideaway I throw all sorts of bits & bobs into my bag just in case they are needed. I try to pick up my bag but what is this? I cannot even lift it off the floor, it's far too heavy. I pull everything out then put it all back in . it's all essential hmmm...
2 cups of tea & 3 cookies later I find a solution but I will have to be quick or my absence will be noticed
Thank goodness for the puzzles...A quick trip to the kiddo & I have outsmarted him. Unceremoniously I grasp the Wish Master from his fist & run.
At the Gates to Atlantis the genie is not very happy to see me !
"Roo, you cannot enter I have orders not to let you in after the damage you caused last time" he says quite firmly.
"How many times must I say, it was not me it was Cowgirl & if you help me I will be on my way. I just need a little wish from you please".
I explain my problem & ask if I can have a replica wish master pendant that will enable me to summon my bag in times of need.
"Is that all?" He asks. I nod. He waves his arms around a few times (not nessesary I'm sure, he just likes to display his muscles), mumbles a few words under his breath, then POW...I am wearing a pendant. I thank him, promise I won't be back in the near future & return to the tea room.
You know this POOFINGGGGGGGGGGGGG in and out all the time is making me dizzy so KNOCK it off and yes I mean you two DD and Roo one minute I am talking to one or the other and poof your gone then poof your back, do I have restrain you two like I did when Angel first pooed in here?
Ask her how she liked it
HEY Mrs Fletcher can a hungry man get a bite to eat??
Maybe I should shout louder *** but no I might scare her apron off** or go peek in the kitchen ** nope not good idea she hates anyone being in her kitchen and I might get whacked with her huge kettle**
I look over at PTG in deep conversation with Angel wonder what those two are up to again.
I sunder over and let a soft cough out ,, excuse me but PTG could I ask you something?
Did you give that bar room smelling Owl of yours his bath yet ? and he is sober enough to go on a mission for you and I?
We cleaned up nicely with our romp in the Pond but I think we better get rid of this facial fungus or the Lassies will be calling us Rip Van Winkle and it is getting a tad itchy .
Do we have to write down what we need and from where?? we need two razors, 2 soap, 2 shaving brushes and a comb or two would be nice ,,,,
As I reach the table with PTG and DD in very deep conversation hummm
this looks intense to late for Spring In The Air but my old comrade in arms my pain in the b*** my second in command my friend be getting hit by Cupid arrows????
POOFFFFFFFFFFFFF I am back under the bed with ROO and Fuzzy ????????????
PPPOOOOOOOOOOOOFFFFFFFFF I am back at the tea room OKAY enough of that stop it makes me dizzy and dust bunnies is not a thing you want to see.
Well this is boring PTG with DD and now joined by Angel , Mrs Fletcher hiding in her kitchen, Dandydog still MIA I am going nuts here with nothing to do and eyes getting crossed from reading this map a million times,
grab a pen and paper scribble a fast note...... I am out in the woods cutting some planks and gathering mud to make some tiles so I can fix The Tea Rooms roofGuess my shave will have to wait GRRRRRRRR