“Road Trip” Part II Part II by Nicholas “I am NOT Miss Briggs!” Ball
Preferable PreFable: Gasp! There’s even more! The voices in my head never stop! Why do they come to me to die? Why do they come to me to die?!?
THE FIFTH ELEMENT DOESN’T EXIST
The kat sat in the warm water. He was relaxed. He could handle his life. Life was good.
The hermvixen sat in the warm water, too. She was relaxed, too. She could handle life, too. Life was good, too.
Me and Jeremy were yet to do a complete memory swap – up til now we’d just swapped, say a day, like, Thursday – so I’d get Jeremy passing his Enforcer exam, and he’d get me walking around the city for a bit, or a few hours here and there. But we had to do a complete one. So, at a nice hotel, we were both in the jacuzzi (“Spa” Jeremy insists “It’s a spa” – I don’t get the difference) when I decided to do it.
“Give me your paw”
“Hmm? Okay” Jeremy handed his paw to Vachon.
Vachon placed Jeremy’s paw and closed her eyes. Jeremy had been used to memory transfers like this, but he wasn’t prepared for what was going to happen next. Vachon’s eyes sprung open and she looked at Jeremy in alarm.
“Oh my God!” she yelled, and shoved his face into her clevage.
“Vach! What are you doing!?” Jeremy mumbled/yelled, retrieving his head.
“Shut up and get down there! This is important!” she yelled, shoving him back down again.
“But I- Mmph! Mmm!”
Jeremy retrieved his head.
“Look, I’m not really that type of kat, I mean, I like you, sure, in fact I’d go so far as to say that when y-”
“Listen! Get down there, and get down there now!” she hollered.
“Vach, please! The other swimmers are starting to STARE!” Jeremy whispered. Vachon grabbed his head and forced it back, holding it there this time. Vachon was much stronger than Jeremy, and she held him easily there for the next 5 minutes, struggle as he tried. Quite a crowd developed around them, and when Vachon finally released Jeremy, he had to lie, gasping for breath on his back, whilst the crowd applauded. Eventually the pink died away from his cheeks, and he was back to his normal colour.
“Wha?” Jeremy gasped, getting on one elbow.
“Do it again!”
“I most certainly will not! Now get out of here! Please!”
The crowd went away, in search of something more interesting. They settled for shuttleboard.
“You’re going to have to do it again”
“I beg your pardon?”
“You’ll have to do it again. Before I lose it”
“I think you might have lost it already. What are you propositioning me with?”
“Look” begun Vachon “it’s very simple. I want you to stick your head HERE” – she gestured with her paw “and keep it there, as still as possible, for as long as possible”
“Down there?” Jeremy blinked and pointed, without looking.
“This time I’ll be too busy to have to hold you there. Now I ask you, please keep as still as possible. It makes it easier for me”
“Easier for you? And why must I stick my head THERE? I don’t really think I-”
“Jeremy – many kats would kill to do what I’m asking you to do. Now will you do it, or do I have to break both of your legs?”
“But I don’t-”
“It’s dark in there”
“Whenever you’re ready”
“It’s hard to breathe in there, too. Can I have a snorkel?”
“Time’s up. Down you go”
“Can’t we at least do this somewhere private? What if-”
“Count of 3”
“But wait, I’m not ready! I’ve never, I-”
“Listen, I’ve got a better idea. Why don’t *I*-”
“Of all the times in my entire-”
“3. Prepare to dive”
Vachon closed her eyes and internalised.
“See you in 10” she said, and laid back.
*****10 Uncomfortable Minutes Later********
“Now, how was that?” Vachon asked, and smiled.
“You could have at least covered me with a towel, to make it look like you were sunbathing” Jeremy muttered, rubbing his eyes.
“I don’t see what you’re whinging about. I was the one who had to tell the line of kats that had formed to go away”
Jeremy was silent.
“You were very good, actually. Keeping still for all that time. So good in fact, I’ve got a reward for you” Vachon added, smiling again
“Reward? I don’t really want a reward, I’d just like to have a normal spa, without any crazy stuff”
“You’ll like this reward”
“Yep. 10 more minutes”
“Don’t you even JOKE about that”
“Okay. You win a normal jacuzzi”
“Whatever. I’ll tell you what I learnt”
“Can I put the bubbles on?”
The spa/jacuzzi roared into life, and the kat stepped into it.
“Now, why did you do that to me?”
“Okay. I think you deserve an explanation. Sorry about doing that to you earlier, but it was an emergency”
“Right” he replied, with all the skepticism he could muster.
“It was. Usually, I get all that’s in your head through your paw. It’s all individual memories, and it’s all pretty small. Today, however, there was something large in there. VERY large. And there shouldn’t be. I had to make sure”
“Obviously. And that’s why I’ve spent the last 15 or so minutes being smothered.”
“I – is it really that hard to breathe down there?”
“Yes. Go on”
“Well, I needed a more direct link to your brain. So you had to use your head. Sorry about yelling at you like that”
“It’s okay. Did you get what you needed?”
“And half. Jeremy – I have some news that’s going to shock you”
“And you’re going to tell me it”
“Yes. Now quieten down, or I’ll smother you”
Jeremy quietened down.
And then I told him. He took it pretty well, actually. I was expecting him to go nuts with power, you know, go around burning things and calling others ‘mere mortals’ or start his own religious cult or something, but he acted all normal. Well, at least as normal as Jeremy can get. And that was that. I still don’t know why he insists on calling it a spa.
POSTCARD FROM MILLVILLE
Dear Everyone, Having a nice time, wish you were all here. Should be home pretty soon. The past few days have been pretty hectic for both me and Vachon – a few days ago she broke her leg on the hotel stairs. It’s only a ‘green stick’ fracture the doctors say, which means that it’s hardly a break at all and the cast should come off in a few days, but I have to carry her everywhere she wants to go so she doesn’t put any weight on it. I’m driving the truck for her in the meantime. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be, but the other day I almost hit a coyote, so I’ll try to be more careful. Well, I’m starting to run out of space now, so I’d better sign off. Miss you all, Jeremy XOX P.S I’m a magic-using sorceror-type kat.
THE PRICE OF FISH
“Three is the number to which you should count, and the number you should count to, is three. Neither two, nor four, but three. First you shall count to one. Immediately following one, the number two should be counted to. Continuing past two to three, you reach the number to count to. You are not to count past three, to four, but stop at three. Upon this number you shall release the holy hand grenade.”
“Right. One, two, five!”
Here’s an incident where Jer’s naivity got the better of ME. We were in the truck, and Jer was driving. He was thirsty, too, though he hadn’t been hitting the corn chips this time. There weren’t any drinks in the truck, and we were miles from the nearest truck-stop.
“If you’re so thirsty, I might have a solution for you”
“Yes?” Jeremy turned to the sneaky vixen.
“Eyes on the road”
“Okay” The kat turned back to the road.
“The solution is….to drink your own-”
“Thank you, I think I haven’t reached the drinking bodily fluids stage of desperation” he interrupted.
“Oh, in that case, I suppose you don’t want any of my MILK”
Expecting him to do a classic freak-out job, you know, the blushing, the stuttering and his denial that he’d ever, well, you know. I love it when he does that. Jeremy’s wonderful. But he didn’t. He goes:
“Actually, I think I’d really like that. Can I have some?”
“Your milk. Can I drink some of your milk?”
And so *I* get all uptight. The other day he cut himself shaving – and he was using an electric shaver. I don’t know how he’s still alive. Not from the shaving cut, just in general. All the doors he’s banged into and stairs he’s fallen down, you know. I asked him the other day ‘Why aren’t you dead?’. He said ‘I dunno. At Uni I thought it had something to do with ‘Ignotum Ter Ignotius’. And I always was crap at biology’. I looked it up at the next hotel. Ha. Anyway, he turned the tables on me in the truck without knowing it, and *I* was the victim…
“Um…I don’t think you really – have you ever drunk someone’s milk before?”
“Me? Oh, yes”
“You what? Abby’s??”
“Yes. In my coffee”
“You – oh. This is bottled milk, isn’t it?”
“Yes. What kind do you mean?”
“I mean the kind that a she-kat takes with her EVERYWHERE. Her own milk”
“I’ve drunk that”
I’d just started to get myself back together, and he drops THAT bombshell.
“You..you have? Who’s?
“Mila? The one who tried to attack you when we first met?”
“When did you drink her milk?”
“When we first met, or rather, when I first met her. You weren’t there”
“When you first met???”
I know that Jeremy likes to shake paws with people when he meets them the first time, but THAT was ridiculous.
“Yeah. I thought it was kind of peculiar”
“What her carrying milk in her purse like that”
“Carrying her milk in a purse. Weird, huh?”
“You mean ‘her milk’, in the sense that she owns it, don’t you?”
“What other sense is there?”
“Never mind. I think I see a truck stop ahead”
And that’s how naivity overcame innuendo and slyness. Well, it only seemed fair, seeing as it spends most of it’s time losing to those two.
I’ve noticed that I can make Jeremy either smile or blush. I say EITHER smile or blush, because there’s no telling what he’ll do. One day he’ll smile, the next he’ll blush. The other night, he did both. It was the last night of the cargo run, and we were staying in a rather decent hotel. I must go there again, sometime. Anyway, I was walking here and there, checking this, doing that – you know, the types of thing you when you’re in a hotel room, when I notice that Jeremy was staring at me. Well, not so much staring, but he was just sitting there in this little trance. I turn to him, and give him a little smirk.
“And what are YOU looking at?”
Vachon walked over to Jeremy.
“You like it, do you?”
“It’s..it’s..it’s just so BIG!” Jeremy said, not taking his eyes off it.
“Here” Vachon turned it around and pushed it against him.
“You can pat it. Don’t worry – it won’t bite”
Jeremy brushed it with a paw gently, as though he thought it might.
“Thank you. I can wrap it around me like a snake to keep warm sometimes”
But all road trips must come to an end, and, alas, so did ours. I was driving again, and I dropped Jeremy off outside the garage. I felt terrible, I thought he was going to hate me or something for the way the road trip turned out. But then:
“Thanks for the fun time”
“Thanks for the great trip”
“Great trip? Jeremy, over the past three weeks you have been stabbed, smothered, accused, chased, beaten, shoved, stripped, abused and labelled as the singlemost evil creature to walk the surface of the planet”
Jeremy hugged Vachon.
“I know” he said “And you have the lovliest tail”
The kat released the fox, picked up his bag, and walked inside. The fox blinked, got back into the truck, and drove off.
And that’s the road trip. Me? I’m hanging out for the next one. Snake-bite kits included, obviously.
End of Part III, and of ‘Road Trip’
Coming soon: A small little thing called Road Trip II (Hardly) Another thing called Xena Briggs: Warrior Deputy-Mayor (Sort of) Something that isn’t a thing called Pseudon’t (Improbable) More hard work for me to do (Definitly. Bugger.)
And that’s Road Trip. I hope you liked it – the character development, the fact Jeremy can’t keep his pants on for a complete story, the fact I know I’ve driven Ashrin COMPLETELY INSANE. Heh heh heh. All comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, unless they’re ones that accuse me of being Miss Briggs in real life because we both have one vowel in our surnames, and our surnames both begin with ‘B’. Obviously.
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