Sunday, June 23, 2019

Fartmoodles: Chapter 14

How to capture a Fartmoodle
Chapter 14
"It smells so bad, my nose hairs are melting."
Rough Draft
By: Nellie Tobey


    The tunnel had spidered not far in, and they had all decided to stay in the largest tunnel that seemed to now be less covered in the shimmering toxin.
    "Your father said they had to abandon these drains... How many years has it been Cass?"   Kettle had been disturbed that this poison was still laying un-changed in time on the floors.  If time couldn't break it down, what chance did the great Shepard have.  As powerful as it was, there were some things even the extraordinary tree could not process and remove, mostly human things.
    "He said it was when he met my mom.  They met when he was on Grandpa's property to survey the drain fields."  Cass held Ketttle now, the giant bug was growing weak.  Cass could feel a heaviness growing as it sat cradled in cass's arms. 
   Madison nodded, "Mom said there use to be a shallow river flowing outside. When they shut down these sewers, they damned up her river too."

  *** Children's idea's of possession was not that of an adults.  A precious thing such as a creek or river was claimed, not in ownership, but as something to be cherished and protected.  This river had been Mom's and therefore they knew the loss when it was taken away not only from her, but from them, and their future friends, kids, grandchildren....***

Kettle felt a little heavier in Cass's arms.  The light too began to dim.  They all turned a corner, and some moon-light spilled in from up ahead.  Madison looked worriedly at Kettle now visible to the child's eyes as more than a light, but as the giant bug form Kettle had chosen to use.  "It looks sick Cass."
  Cass put a hand on Kettle's shelled torso.  "It is Madison.  Like mom, this stuff, it's killing it. " 
  Madison gulped.  A determination overwhelmed the both of them as they approached the blue light coming from what must be a gate around the corner.  Tooty and Steve had flown ahead to see what might be on the other side.
  Tooty shook her head at the sight before them.  The gate was slightly ajar, and beyond it was a dimly lit room full of rusting barrels.  Toxic goo was dripping like candle wax down the sides of some of them.  Other blue plastic tubs seemed to be holding up against whatever was inside, but the smell was overwhelming.  The ceiling was lined with iron sewer grates where the moonlight was prying it's way through dead brush and old leaves that plugged most of the rectangular openings.   

  Steve was holding his nose too keep out the burning air.  "We can't let the littles or Kettle in here.  It's too poisonous.  This is not a natural smell, this is horrible... I can't even."   Steve made a slightly gagging noise.  Tooty could not detect what he was smelling, but a fowl metallic ick started to grow on her tastebuds.
   Tooty pulled some stinkweed from a pocket.  "Hold this to your nose. We gotta send the littles and Kettle back out of here."
   Steve nodded, grateful for the barrier he held tight to his face.  He fluttered off to stop the group from coming any closer.
   Both littles were not happy.   This was why they came, this was what had been hurting so many in their town, and it looked like there was no way to stop it without hurting their dad.
  Madison was on the verge of tears when the words came bursting forth. "Dad knew!  Cass, dad knew this was here!"
  Cass was carressing the little dog Kettle had transformed into to take a rest while the moonlight kept them out of the dark. "Yeah...."  Cass had a tear rolling down the cheek, and wiped it away before settling back in to pet the tiny dog.
  Madison looked at Tooty, anger growing so loud the pixies were feeling overwhelmed by the heat.  "We can't let you stay here Madison, You both will get sick, Kettle will die... We can't do anything right now."
  Madison seemed to have made a decision and the anger grew cold.  "You all head out.  I just want to think a minute."
  Cass mewed a bit.  "We need to let the gremlin rest a little longer Madison, it's so heavy. "
  Madison coughed, and then walked through the crocked gate.  Cass, Tooty and Steve stood perplexed.  Madison picked up a pipe and started to bar the gate shut from the inside.
  Steve had flown into action and was trying to pull the childs arms away from the pipe being lodged into the gates large bolt hold.  "No, Madison NO."
  Tooty had joined and was trying to keep the other arm from moving.
  There was a strength there that even the pixie magic could not overwhelm.
  Kettle awoke and was pulling at the other side of the gate with Cass.
  But it was all too late.
  Madison stood, coughing and pointing at the barrels.  "Go back.  Tell the police I'm trapped,  tell dad....."
  Cass had picked up the almost collapsed form of Kettle again.  A small furry raccoon hand barley grasping to Cass's arm.
  Cass nodded.  Tooty and Steve watched the exchange and realized what the little was doing.  Tooty pulled a large hankerchief from the pocket of her uncle's magical vest.  She handed it to Madison.  "There is something dangerous in the air too... Please wear this around your mouth and nose."
  Madison wrapped it around the head, Steve helped tie it in the back. 
 "We have to hurry, "  Steve began to glow a furious green light, and Tooty with all she could muster, a bright clear light.  Cass gripped the gremlin tightly and they all rushed out, and were greeted by the morning light.   
 

Sunday, June 9, 2019

A Certain Flavor

A Certain Flavor
by: Nellie Tobey


  Bob was looking in the mirror sharpening and cleaning the smaller hooks of his mandibles.  As mandibles went on his home world, his where quite spectacular and he preferred to keep them that way.  A little polishing every cycle went a long way to keeping them from cracking.
  For the last thousand years the species had moved away from the carnage of eating and ripping the flesh of it's lunch and had developed a taste for a different kind of sustenance. While still flesh, human brains were now all the rage, and it was Bob's job to check the latest crop on Earth to see if they were ripened enough for harvest.
  He had nearly lost his job once, due to bringing back a sample from an anomaly of a human.  It wasn't an exact science as of yet, but apparently the human's could develop in very peculiar ways, and batches had to be done to rule out that one brain had ripened far beyond it's crop.  There were a few members of the board that wanted Bob fired for feeding such a sour batch to the populous.
  And he was about to put his career at even further risk.
  Might as well look good for it.
  Every three years, for the last two hundred and forty three years Bob had found himself admiring these beasts more and more.  They had a certain capacity for intelligence, compassion and self-awareness that suggested it may not be ethical to eat them.
  Today he would gather a human he had been watching for the last five trips and bring it to the board members to discuss this dilemma.
  They'd probably laugh and send him to the prison camps for the mere suggestion.

  He'd lose everything.

  He'd be an outcast.

  He'd never taste that salty maddeningly delicious tissue again.

  The little tingling bell that alerted Bob that autopilot was approaching the planet. It was chiming from the wristband on his smaller left metatarsis. Time to collect a specimen.

 *******************  The wonderful Mistake  ******************

  Chad the sixty something year old human awoke in his sterile holding cell on a large soft surface very confused and very upset.  His dog Molly lay at the foot of the bed alert to something just beyond the radiating green bars on the far side of the room.
  Of course the human thought it an illusion, a dream, some kind of hallucination (as all samples did on the way back to 'CorneFias II'), but Bob had done something out of protocol and brought back with Chad that furry four legged companion of his.

  It seemed to be a good idea at the time.

  Keep the human calm, give it someone so it wasn't completely alone.

  Keep the human from growing to anxious and spoiling what could be an excellent sample of cranial goodness.

  Bob had finished applying his perception suit gel and was headed in to greet and explain to Chad the situation.  Chad wouldn't see a fist sized bug resembling an ant with cricket legs,  but a four foot tall human child.  The offspring seemed really good at controlling the moods of the adults, and Bob hoped the effect rubbed off from mere image alone.  Human's were very influenced by their ocular signals.
  The human had been moving around the room, but now sat in a leather recliner that Bob had acquired on a previous trip for a slightly older speciman.  Molly sat diligently next to Chad, and came to attention when Bob entered.
  Molly could see right through the nano filled projection.  But she did not growl, or raise her hackles, she simply wagged her tail slightly, and turned her head at an angle to study Bob.
  Chad raised from the chair.  "Where am I?  What is this?"
  There was the scent of hysteria emanating from the human.  Molly wagged her tail a few times, bowed her head looking up at her human.   Clearly the dog could smell it also.  Bob was intrigued.  They had studied the human's at extraordinary length. Volumes had been written not only on the primitive culture, but on the many ways to prepare the white matter in souffle.  The domesticated canine however was never on the list to study from this particular planet.

  With the translator giving Bob a slightly Canadian accent, Bob did love that territory, Bob tried to eliminate some of the fear.  "You are safe Chad. You are not a prisoner, and are being given a most prestigious gift of meeting my civilizations leaders and founders."   Human's did love feeling important, probably more so that any other society Bob had encountered.
  Chad pondered for a moment, Molly hesitated then put her head up into the man's hand for reassurance, "Like... take me to your leader?  What are you?"
  There was that intelligence Bob had been documenting.  "Our species is called *gutteral growl noises* but you can call us the Urbecks."
  Chad wobbled sideways and sat on the bed.  "This has to be a dream."  Molly followed Chad and climbed up next to him. She laid her golden head into his lap.
  Chad gently scratched her ears, and stared at Bob for a few minutes.  Bob stood patiently waiting, and watching.  Molly climbed down then and walked over to Bob and to Chad's human eyes, seemed to be sniffing the child's foot.  But Molly and Bob knew she was smelling his largest arm which was held outstretched in response to her curiosity.
  Chad had an angry countenance to him, and sternly chastised Molly.  "Get away from it!"  Molly returned obediently and Chad reached down to hold her by the collar.  Chad realized his insult to this Bob, but was still stinking of fear and confusion.  "I'm sorry, but she's just a dog, she doesn't mean any harm."
  Bob smiled in the projection, motioned for Molly to step away, and nodded. "Oh, I know."  Bob stood for a few seconds and made a decision.  "Why are you humans so violent?"
  Chad snapped out of his anxiety, and a new smell erupted from him.  Self-righteousness. "We aren't all violent, but our world is full of danger, and war, and ..."  Chad stood.  "Am I on trial here?"
  Bob's mandible twitched, and the projection winked.  "Maybe."
  Chad, now holding on to Molly's collar, seemed to be making some very complicated decisions.  "I do not wish to answer any more questions."
  Bob's head nodded.  "Will you allow me to take that thing from off this creatures neck?"
  Chad realized he had been holding too tightly to Molly's collar and she was squirming.  He let go, and Molly went to Bob and wagged her tail some more, then gave a gentle boop to the top of Bob's small shelled head.  To Chad's eyes, the collar fell magically off when Molly stood there with her nose against the child's leg.

  Bob would be sending that directly into the Engine's waste disposal shaft.

*******************   The important things ***********************

Bob had administered the sleeping agent, and moved Chad to a fluid chamber hours later.

  He sat reviewing the video's and news stories throughout recorded human history on domesticated dogs, and even a small section of the Urbecks research on them that had been filed under: "An nonconformity to be further studied." 
Molly sat happily at his side chewing on an old exoskeleton that Bob had left absentmindedly in a basket.
  He came to the conclusion that they had not been 'domesticated' but had evolved.
  
  "You know, we have a program for species such as yourself that allows for asylum on our lesser populated planets.  I think your fellow canines would be very happy, and a great contribution to our society."
  Molly perked up her head, and panted.
  "Oh yes, food and water are abundant and for all in our society.  And no creature is made servant against their will to any other."
  Molly tilted her head.
  "I know you love them, but on behalf of all our kind, we'd like to make the offer known."

Three years later, Bob would be traveling to Earth not to check on crops, but to be transporting asylum seekers to the colony of Harmony.  Bob had almost made the worst decision in his life.  They definitely weren't ripe yet.
 

 



 
 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Fartmoodles: Chapter 13

How to Capture a Fartmoodle
Chapter 13
"Even a Lemming wouldn't go near that."
First Edit
Nellie Tobey


  The Satyr was making no effort to hide itself in the patch of blueberry bushes on the other side of the farm.  Madison could clearly see it at first glance.

*** Most magical energy types are invisible to the human eye. The human ability to overcome the brain and see what is truly in front of them was a rare trait. It was also lacking in comparison to the rest of the animal kingdom.***

Madison was not frightened, and knelled down to stare at the scale bedazzled kitten.  "You are beautiful!"  Madison paused.  The Satyr stood on it's hind quarters and balanced on the long lizard tail. "What are you!?"
  Kettle was busy looking for the scent of Cass while Steve and Tooty watched from a branch of a tall tree.  Madison puzzled, held out a hand to the curious critter.  "I'm Madison, Nice to meet you."
  The Satyr stuck out a long lizard tongue and tasted the air.
  Tooty and Steve glanced at each other and ducked down a little further behind the newly budding leaves.
  Madison sat on the ground and waited.
  The Satyr did a little dance and then a strange whistle.  Madison clapped.  The Satyr danced again and whistled a little louder, the pitch growing deep.
  Madison giggled.  " I can't whistle."
  The Satyr did a curtsy, and a silver coin appeared large and shiny in it's outstretched claws.
  Tooty was ready to take flight, but Steve grabbed her arm gently.  "They won't hurt Madison.  We need to see if it takes the child to the sibling."
   Tooty nodded.  "Can we get a little closer, just in case?"
   Steve agreed. "Good idea."
  Kettle picked up a scent that might be Cass.  The dog senses told Kettle it was similar, but wrong... as if copper had been smelted recently.  The nose stuck close to the dirt, Kettle rushed along to follow the nose to the source of the scent.

  The Satyr was now laying out coins in a path, never letting Madison get to close, but keeping the child's attention with the coins.  Tooty and Steve paralleled the path the Satyr was creating quietly.
  Steve held Tooty back as he spotted Kettle's retriever nose sticking out in the distance.  "I'll go to Kettle, you stay with Madison."
  Tooty nodded, and hurried back after the trail of coins.  
  Kettle was still a minuscule golden dog, and Steve had the strangest urge to reach out and pet the gremlin.  Kettle did a huge doggie smile and sat wagging the furry tail.  "We are really hard to resist when we take on the canine form.  In my opinion this is the most useful form ever created." Kettle stopped wagging the tail.  "The child Cass is currently trying to get a lock open on a sewer release gate."
   Steve cocked his head and motioned for the smallest retriever in the world to lead the way.
 
   Tooty, unbeknownst to her, was heading in the opposite direction of Cass now.  Madison had finally stopped picking up coins and was looking at the large badger trap the Satyr had led them too.  "My grandpa had these."  The Satyr then pretended to limp around, it's cat like eyes wide in an expression of pain.
  Madison stood, found a large stick, and gently eased toward the trap.  "I'll show you how to stop them magical kitty."  Madison then jammed the branch hard into the wide open metal jaws of the contraption.  The Satyr jumped back in one huge leap, digging it's claws into a large tree trunk, and hissing.
  Tooty made a decision.  She came out slowly and bowed before the Satyr.  "I mean you no harm friend."  Madison watched the exchange, a look of curious joy on the child's face.  Tooty pointed up at Madison.  "We are here to help this human little, and the other little that was with us."
   The Satyr had slowly walked sideways down the trunk, and to the trap without taking it's eyes off from Tooty.   With a flick of the tongue, it decided the trap was indeed now rendered harmless.  It's voice was filled with a purr as it talked. "We don't see the pixie folk in this territory anymore.  Why now?"
   Tooty tried to remember the things her father had taught her about negotiating with Satyrs.  Number one rule was, 'Never give them more information then they need.'.  "Me and my companion have come as emissaries to the Gremlins of HammeredByMorning."
   The Satyr stuck out the long thin tongue from under the pink cat nose, checking the air.   "Why are you with these human littles?"
   Tooty pointed up to Madison.  "I was captured by this one, and we knew they needed our help."
   The Satyr sneezed and looked up at the child.  "We don't help the human's in these parts."
   Madison sighed. "I wish I knew what you two are saying.  Where is Cass?"
   Tooty saw Steve motion to her in the high branch of the tree the Satyr had recently been attached to.   "We will be going now.  May your days be long and filled with the sun."
   The Satyr looked at Madison, and then at the disabled trap.
   "These children owe the debt of their family."  The Satyr pointed at the trap. "They must come back to remove the traps from our wood."
    Tooty saluted from her belly saying, "It will be done."
 
With Madison in tow, and Cass prying the rusted lock off the gate with a sturdy oak branch as leverage, Steve was not excited about the prospect of interacting with the children, or the Satyr any more than was necessary. "You have to stop making promises to help Tooty."
  Madison spied Cass and ran up to see what had been found.  "Are these the drains mom would talk about... Cass?"
  Cass pointed at the symbol engraved on the plaque inside the sewer tunnel beyond the gate.  "Old water disposal from the factory,  that's Dad's company symbol on the sign."
  Madison grabbed the branch to help Cass pry at the lock.
  Kettle was now in the form of a very agitated ferret.  When Steve and Tooty caught up, Kettle pointed to Cass.    "Cass knows I'm here, but won't acknowledge it see's me.  That child is hiding it for some reason.  They can probably see you two as well."
  Steve and Tooty exchanged worried glances. Tooty spoke first,  "This is getting too dangerous."
  Steve threw his hands up into the air, "It's been dangerous from the start.  What do we do??"
  The gate swung open knocking Cass and Madison unharmed on to the cold wet ground.  "We should go in."
  Madison looked up at the horizon.  "It's almost dark, we have to get home before Dad does."
  Cass pointed at the iridescent haze coming from the stagnant water inside the tunnel.  "I heard Dad and his friends.  This is the stuff that's making them sick.  It's the stuff that made mom sick."
   Madison looked at Tooty, and then into the tunnel, and back at Tooty.  "Will you stay with us?"  Steve marched toward Tooty to protest, and followed quickly as she launched herself into the air.  Kettle grabbed his foot before he got to far and pulled him down.
   Tooty made sure she had Madison's attention, pointed at the puddle inside, made a getting sick motion, and nodded heavily.  Cass held the now open gate waiting.  "Is that fairy going to help or not?"
   Madison pleaded with Cass, "It will get sick, and so will we.  We can't go in there, we don't even have a flash light!"
   Kettle had transformed into a giant lightning bug and was pulsing light inside the tunnel.  Steve now trying to remain calm watched as Tooty and Kettle proceeded into the darkness with the two children.
   He shouted after them all, "We weren't supposed to put the children in danger!"
   Kettle's voice streamed from the air around the bug now barely lighting the path inside.  "Trust me flutterbait, Cass was going in whether we helped or not, and the sibling would not have allowed Cass to go alone."
   Steve joined Tooty at Kettle's side.  "This could kill you Kettle, those littles are in so much danger."  Tooty agreed.
   Kettle carried on, and pushed more light from the bug butt.  "I received message from my tribe that the great Shepard is starting to shed dead branches. We have to figure this out, and fast."  Steve and Tooty exchanged worried glances, then both proceeded to glow as much as they could.
   Madison gasped at the now additional Fairy, bright bug and the light engulfing the tunnel that came from all three.  "Woah...."
   Cass giggled.  "I hope it changes into that tiny dog again, but the giant bug is pretty cool."  Madison punched Cass in the shoulder.
   "You can see them this whole time!?"  Cass rubbed the shoulder, and pointed at the bend in the tunnel ahead.
   "I can hear them too."  Cass giggled again when the three of the smallest members of the adventure turned to look at them.  "If your Kettle friend needs to stay away from the toxic goo, I'd be happy to carry it."
   Kettles voice  cracked a bit.  "These littles are my kind of trouble."
   If the bug had hands, it might of wiped a tear away, if the bugs had tears.
 




Monday, March 25, 2019

Fartmoodles: Chapter 12

How to capture a Fartmoodle
Chapter 12
"The ghosts of a well fed goat."
Edit 1
By: Nellie Tobey


   At first KettleStruck was worried about losing track of the Cass and Steve, but realized quickly the human Madison knew where it was going.  Madison also seemed to really enjoy slapping the  towering corn stalks with it's hand as it ran.  Human's had such curious interactions with nature.  Kettle turned into a crow and flew up above the stalks following the movement of the green convulsions that marked Madison's trek.  In the distance Steve was hovering near the edge where the lush lanky green plants met the low laying weeded grass of the farmhouse yard.

  It was a strange light that seemed to be leaking from Flutterbait's torso, a pulsing yellow, pale and bright.  Kettle made sure Madison had cleared the forest of corn and flew down with Steve to the ground where the child Cass was whimpering and holding it's ankle.  Tooty rushed over and was also pulsing with a pale darker light.  Kettle back in raccoon form sniffed at the ankle from a safe distance.

  ***  The animal traits a gremlin acquired while practicing a form was greatly dependent on the individual critter during bonding.  The particular raccoon that Kettle had first met was timid, and very interested in a rotten watermelon that had been left to rot at the back of a country garden.  It's also good to know that the reason a weasel or ferret is almost always the choice of an agitated gremlin was because to get near them for the bonding ceremony, no harm, but much trickery was involved.  Weasles and Ferret's hate to be outsmarted, and it makes them much more determined to find a better way the next time. For that reason bonding with these creatures was a singular event.   Much like the Goblin mistress Kettle had introduced Minister to.  ***

   "It's not broken."  Kettle turned to traditional form and motioned Tooty to come closer to the ankle.  "I need you to have Cass stay still.  Pretend your doing magic on the foot."  Madison was approaching from the distance.  "I need to do this quickly.  I think that one might see me if I take too long."  Mischief had more pull on other mischief then the moon had on the tides.
   Tooty hovered and made dramatic arm movements and fluttered a short distance from the foot.  Cass flinched just slightly as Kettle placed the stubby furry hands on the spot that was radiating the most heat.  Steve was watching silently, and kept an eye on the other human child approaching.
   Kettle started to shimmer, and the form grew from defined to fuzzy.  Edges melting from the energy vibrating to the hand on the child's ankle. The same translucence that appeared from the sickness was happening.  Tooty stopped to ask if Kettle was in danger, but Kettle held up the other arm and struggled saying, "It's ok, this will not harm me."   Tooty quickly started to dance around again.   Just before Madison jogged up to see what was wrong with Cass, Kettle was done and slumped away to sit on a flattened section of grass.
  "Madison the fairy fixed me!"  Tooty, concerned with Kettle, was trying to draw attention away from the resting gremlin only a few feet away.
  "Whatever Cass, why are you sitting there all lazy, we need to go get grandpa's coins!"
   Cass brushed off the few dry weeds that stuck to the pants, and they headed toward the back of the house.  Steve helped Kettle up and draped a now froggy arm over his shoulder.  Tooty kept her eyes turned toward them as the children led the way.

  Soon Kettle was recovered and ready in mole form to start digging.  Steve couldn't help but ask, "How did you do that?  Can all gremlins do that?"
  Kettle went to where the child pointed and started digging.  To Cass and Madison it looked like the fairy was magically making a small hole erupt from the dirt.  Cass watched Madison go wide eyed and said triumphantly, "I told you it was real!"
   Madison gasped as Steve sniffed at the first hole, shook his head in the negative and the mole began digging another hole a few feet south.  Tooty went down by Steve's side.  "What are you smelling for?"  She was still morbidly curious what it was stuff smelled like to the other fartmoodles.  Steve pulled out a button he picked up from the human house.  "Anything that isn't natural." Tooty tipped her head at this and went to the third hole that Kettle had dug.  She jumped down in, pulled up a pebble and licked it.
   Cass giggled and Madison just watched.  "It's licking the rock," Cass explained.
   Steve sniffed at the hole.  "I don't think we are even close."  Tooty nodded in agreement.  Kettle could feel the frustration starting to infiltrate the group.
   " It doesn't make sense that a human wouldn't mark where they buried their possessions.  They can't smell, or magic like us.  They'd need a landmark."  Kettle pointed to the small wooden replica wishing well fifty feet away closer to the back porch.
    
   Tooty went up to Cass and waved her arms toward the structure that Kettle and Steve were headed to.  "It wants us to move."  Madison looked around and thought for a moment there had been a couple turtle heads poked out from a spot in the wildflowers.  Cass followed Tooty, and Madison went to inspect the strange thing in the flowers.
   Steve was rubbing his nose and sniffling.  "I don't know Tooty, the smell is so strong near the house, but I think we're close to something down there."  Tooty hopped into the new hole and started to lick at a  bigger rock just peaking up from the dirt.
   Kettle had noticed the disappearance of Madison and was searching for where the child had gone.  "Where did they go?"  Tooty and Steve looked over to Kettle now in the form of an unnaturally miniature golden retriever.  "You two, something is not right."  Cass was kneeling down and watching Tooty curiously.  Steve sniffed the air, and Tooty flew into the air to look around.  "Where is Madison?"
  Kettle ran on four golden legs toward where Madison had stood last.  "This is bad.  This is really bad."  The dog nose, slightly stronger then the fartmoodle's was picking up something Kettle thought had left the cities of human's long ago.  "Have you pixies ever had to meet a Satyr?"

  ***  Unlike the human version of Satyrs, --half man half goat-- what satyr's really were was an amalgamation of cat and lizard,  lacking a cat's ability to empathize, but twice the unbalanced temperament. The lizard traits were understood by no tiny folk, including the Satyr. 
         Much like the human version, the Satyr did indeed love to amuse themselves by getting children into trouble.  This wasn't, jelly-bean in the nose trouble, this was toddler stuck in a well trouble.***

  Steve reached into the biggest pocket on the skirt.  He flipped through "The histories of human Myths and our real peoples" to the section about mythical misfits.  "Oh.... "
  Tooty leaned in close to see the picture. Steve was growing quite a greenish glow.  "We have those, but a treaty made a long time ago keeps us from ever crossing paths."  Kettle started to sniff the ground. The furry long tail, like the steering rudder on a boat, turned with the canine body in response. 
  "Get Cass, to follow me, we'll need bait." 
  


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Fartmoodles: Chapter 11

How to Capture a Fartmoodle
Chapter 11
"That's what we call broke."
Edit 1
By: Nellie Tobey

Notes:
I really had no idea what I was going to do with these characters, and any time I start writing I just kinda decide.  What thing will they do for this part?  Originally the concept was to create something my nephew could enjoy and have some teachable moments for current social situations.  But honestly it all started because I thought something with farts and magical creatures would be something he'd really enjoy.


  Steve and Minister watched with anticipation as the child called 'Cass' kept trying to convince the sibling 'Madison' that there was something in it's hands.
Madison, with rolling eyes said again, "You aren't fooling me Cass. You're just gonna ask me to pull your finger or something silly."
  Cass with slumped shoulders stomped over to the bottom bunkbed to sulk while still holding Tooty tightly.  "Are you going to disappear if I let you go fairy?"
  Tooty tried not to be offended, and shouted 'NO', as she shook her head.  It felt like the child was starting to hear her.  At least it was starting to communicate with her in some way.
  Cass watched Madison walk out of the room with a lug full of legos.  Steve used his now dry and tierd wings to get up next to Tooty.  "We don't know how this works, what if you DO disappear when Cass let's go?"
  Minister used it's tiny raccoon claws to work up the bedspread next to the Pixies.  Tooty felt the child's grip loosen.  "I don't know, but if Cass squeezes me much more I will pass out."  Tooty tried to wiggle her toes.  "I can't feel my feet, we have to do something."
  The invisible raccoon raised it hackles at this.  "They can't see me, but I can bite em' if necessary.  Just give me the word YoungOwl."
  Steve nodded in agreement with Minister.  Cass grabbed a pillow from the front of the bed and smoothed it out before setting Tooty down, and hesitantly let go of her. "I have so many questions."
  Tooty let out a huge sigh of relief after she took a few heavy breaths to get herself regulated.  Minister climbed up as close as possible to be available to claw at the child if necessary.   Steve stood ready on the other side with a long sharpened steel toothpick.

   ***  The day before the journey KettleStruck had presented Steve with the fine weapon, it's handle firmly and expertly crafted on in copper plating.  The thing had been stored in the Gremlin warehouses for a long time.  According to Kettle, the Gremlin's of long ago generations were known for their great weapon crafting, but more recently the clan had condemned the instruments of war as barbaric and useless. ***

  Cass leaned in to try and speak to Tooty again.  "Are you a real magical fairy? Where did you come from?"  Tooty tipped her head curiously trying to decide how to answer, if at all.
  "The human's will never be able to speak like us.  We might as well be telling a wasp not to sting."  Minister sat back on the fluffy banded tail, satisfied danger was not immanent.   
  Steve still held the Gremlin sword at his side and tried remembering what he had read and put in the notebook for the mission.  "Tooty, nod at Cass, and flutter your wings."
  Tooty agreed, and did.  The child smiled and became giggly.  "Why are you here?  Why me?  Can I have magic too!?"
  Tooty tucked her wings down, shrugged her shoulders and opened her arms wide with her hands palms up.
  Cass pondered this a bit and then seemed to come up with an idea.  "Can you grant wishes?"  Tooty shrugged again, and put her hand up to her chin in contemplation.
  Cass went to the dresser and grabbed an old yellowed picture to show to Tooty.  "It's my grandpa.  He used to tell us that he buried coins all over the farm yard, and one day me and Madison could dig them up and be rich!"
  Tooty flew up to the picture and nodded at the child.
  Steve and Minister were speaking over each other in protest.  "We can't do that!"  and "What are you thinking!".
  Minister slouched a bit, and then resolutely stated.  "You can't Pixie, but I can."
Minister then changed into a very fat mole with smooth shiny pink fur slicked all over.   Tooty pointed at the picture, waved at the child, and pointed at the farm house.
  "I don't understand."  Cass looked again where Tooty pointed.  "Do I need to take you there?"
  Tooty smiled big and yelled over her shoulder to BrewMinister and Steve.  "We can smell those coins if Minister can get a hole dug close enough Steve, and if we earn it's trust, maybe next we can assure Cass it's ok to take us with to the `bring your child to work` day!"
  Steve flew up close to the picture and grinned at Tooty.  "I guess there is no harm to be done in trying."
  On the horizon, behind the farmhouse the big old grizzled human stood in front of, was what had to be the original steam stack and foundry that were part of the present factory.
  BrewMinister wiggled the star shaped snout, clapped together the over-sized paws, and pointed out to dusk quickly approaching.  "We need to get this done, human's don't like the small ones out in the darkness anymore then we Gremlins do."
  Steve grabbed hold of the picture, plucked it out of Cass's hand.  To Cass it looked like it was hovering by magic in the air.  "Pretend you're doing it Tooty!"
  Tooty fluttered back up in front of the child's face to get it's attention, and made gentle wavy hand movements toward the picture.  "But Madison will have to go with us, and Madison doesn't believe me!"
  Tooty pointed to the floating picture.  Cass rolled it's eyes. "Well duh, ok, yeah!"

*******************************

  Steve had to weave and dodge every time Madison tried to knock the picture down to discover whatever trick Cass was playing.  "Fairies???  How come I can't see them?"  Madison nearly knocked the picture out of Steve's hand once more.
  Minister was currently rolling on the grass in laughter.  "Just kiss it already FlutterBait!"
  Tooty flew next to Steve to get Cass to protect him from the siblings doubting slaps at the picture ( and Steve).  "Stop, you're going to hurt it Madison!"
  Madison, still doubtful, but know very curious what was going to happen next pointed at the gate on the side of the yard.  "Well, if this magic Fairy is going to help us find all grandpa's old coins, we better go now, or we won't get back before dad gets home."
  Cass looked at Tooty in gratitude and patted the shoulder now covered in an olive green fleece.  "You can sit here if it's easier Fairy."  Tooty flew around the child to show it that she could indeed keep up with the human.  Steve decided it wouldn't be a bad thing for one of them to stick to the child just in case, and made himself comfortable on Cass's shoulder.   BrewMinister was hoping around as a bright orange fox.  "Oh this will be interesting!"

  As they jogged down the road toward a large patch of cornfield, Steve could hear Madison conferring with Cass in somber tones.
  Madison answered.  "I promise I wouldn't lie about this.  I want Dad to be able to pay Mom's medical bills, and Grandpa would have wanted us to dig it all up."
  Before they all got separated in the tall corn, Steve heard both children agreeing, "Mom would want us too." ,and "I miss her so much."   



Sunday, February 3, 2019

Fartmoodles: Chapter 10

How to Capture a Fartmoodle
Chapter 10:
"How to mount a turtle"
Edit 1
By: Nellie Tobey


There Gremlins did not have a portal in the suburbs of the town, so travel needed to be made through the closest portal.   It was still a great distance for a Gremlin, and two Pixies to make in a day, so preparations had to be made.

  If Steve had visited the area before, he could zip and whoosh himself and Tooty there, but BrewMinister informed him that even if FlutterBait could manage it,  that particular method of Pixie travel was not compatible with Gremlin magics.

*** At some point BrewMinister had tried this out in the old country with a certain regal Pixie, but upon 'popping' into the designated destination, was over-come with such dizziness, that the Gremlin could not maintain a form long enough to travel any further than a few feet from where they arrived. Anything with a cervical spinal curve made BrewMinister nauseous and that happened to be every creature that the Gremlin knew how to form. ***

After denying the Owlets again the chance to join on the mission, the troupe of three headed out before dawn.  BrewMinister had led them through the portal to a wide fast river that could flow downstream to the town below.  Steve eyed the water nervously.  "How are we going to get there again?"
  Tooty was staring upstream watching for their rides.  "Turtles Steve, they aren't that scary!"
  BrewMinister patted Steve on the shoulder.  "These aren't the snapping kind like where you come from.  These reptiles are friendly."
  "I think I see them Minister, "  Tooty backed away from the sandy bank that spilled into the otherwise inaccessible river.  On either side of the bank were sharp cliffs of dirt and tree roots, where time had eroded away the soil.  It looked as if much of this fast river might have the same trim along the waters edge.
  Steve slowly stepped behind their Gremlin guide.  "I'll just see how you two do it."   Minister let out a slight giggle, and walked up to greet the two turtles who plowed their way into the sand with the large paddle appendages.  The two heads raised up to greet BrewMinister, and the Gremlin bowed to them.
  "First things first Pixies,  these turtles need you to promise there will be no Pixie magics used on the journey downstream."   Tooty looked curiously at Minister, and Steve was still slightly frozen in his place.  "You see, the wildlife here only knows our magic, and they don't want to be ....",  Minister conferred in silent gazes with the turtles for a moment,  "startled by any unexpected events."
  Tooty bowed to both turtles, and gave her belly salute to signify her promise.  Steve stepped forward finally and did the same.  He gulped saying, "On our honor."

***  The turtles at this point, had never really sensed fear from the gremlins, and were quite confused as to why such a magical being would be frightened.  They discussed it much on the journey downstream, and came to the conclusion that perhaps the nervous one was afraid of offending BrewMinister.  The Gremlin had been known to scare a bear away from a fresh salmon if there was sufficient cause. ***

  "Wait..."   Steve watched BrewMinister guide Tooty into the right way to sit balanced on the rounded shell of one of the turtles.  "There's only two?"
  BrewMinister made a gesture toward Steve, and Steve could swear the two turtles were laughing, or at least smiling at him.  "Tooty can ride on her own FlutterBait, you will ride with me."  Steve wanted to be slighted, but was also very grateful.
  Minister helped Steve slide up toward the head of the shell.  It wasn't near as slippery as he first imagined.  BrewMinister changed into medium sized water snake, and wrapped around Steve to keep him in place.  "I think maybe we should be making sure Tooty is safer first..."  Minister held up the snake head and thisped out, "Tooty is unafraid, and on the river, fear is what is most dangerous FlutterBait."
  Tooty pondered this, as her turtle used those strong flippers to make it's way back into the water.  Steve shivered a bit from the feeling of BrewMinister coiling tightly around his legs as their turtle heaved into the water to follow her.
  At first the water was lazy, and did not move very quickly.  Steve imagined it would have been faster to walk, or to carry Minister between them to the town.
"This isn't so bad,"  Steve looked over at Tooty who was actually lounging on the back of her turtle.  BrewMinister tasted the air, and shouted over to Tooty.  "The fast part is coming YoungOwl,  you'll need to sit properly for this part!"
  Steve felt the coils wrap again around him.  "Fast part?"   Steve watched Tooty bracing herself on all fours, and tuck her wings tightly to her back.
  BrewMinister toggled the snake head toward Steve.  "I hear your quite skilled at kiss the frog..."  Steve blushed a bit, "Think of this as hugging the turtle."
  "That is in NO WAY helpful Minister!"
  All that came from BrewMinister was a loud stuttering : "hizzz, hizzz, hzzz"

*********************
  Tooty had managed to ride the turtle quite gently, Minister had translated to her when they arrived, and was welcome to ride whenever she needed.  The turtle Steve rode was shaking it's head vigorously, mouth full of his foot. Steve spittering and sputtering water.
  It hadn't been far into the weaving and bobbing of the water, before Steve had paniced and opened his wings.  The air swept himself up and out of BrewMinisters grasp. The turtles had to bridge so that the Gremlin could climb up with Tooty.  Steve's ride then dove upstream to fetch Steve, and carried him gripped in it's mouth the rest of the way down river.
  BrewMinister smacked Steve on his sides a few times to help cough up some water.  "You FlutterBait, I have no idea how you managed to win with the Frog."
  Tooty wanted to ask, but seeing the misery Steve was in, walked over to help dry some of the water from his wings.  "Is it far to the human house now?"        
   Steve realized that they had arrived a bit later into the outskirts of the small span of houses than planned.  The sun had already been up for a fourth of the daytime.  "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to ... "  Tooty was gently using a swath of hankerchief to wipe his wings.  She blushed when he looked back at her.
  The turtles blinked at BrewMinister, then at the two Pixies, and made their way back into the water.
   "It's ok Pixie, I've been told you don't have these fast rivers where you are from."  Tooty cocked her head sideways at this.
   BrewMinister, now back in the green toadish form, winked very heavily at her.
   "No, we really don't."  Steve opened a pocket in the skirt in horror.  "My notebook!"  A shadow fell over him, almost visible to the other two.  "I'll have to start all over...."
    The still fishscale clad Gremlin, now done with the delays already thrust upon the mission, grabbed Steve by the arm and pulled him up onto his feet.  "We can give you all your answers about Gremlins again when we are done with this."
 
*** At this point there was a much agreed consensus among the Gremlins that the notebook should be somehow altered, as Steve had come to some awkward conclusions that they were not to happy to share with the other tiny folk.  One being that the process of urination produced the special brew, which they discovered was a bodily function none of them possessed in the way Steve had described.  The Owlets had become very adept at sneaking in to look at the notebook while FlutterBait slept. ***

They approached the grey two story house on the end of the road marked, 'Stout Ave'.   The children were in the fenced back yard as the adventuring scouts had reported.  The little clan of three slipped in through the gap at the gates hinges.
The two children, both with shoulder length hair, t-shirts, and jeans were swinging each other on a tire roped to a large Maple branch.
  Steve sighed in disappointment.  "How do we tell which one is a girl human?"
  BrewMinister huffed.  "What is it with you flying folks, why does it matter?"
  Tooty sensed some tension coming from Ministers now feathery ferret form.
  "Well the picture has a child with a frilly pink dress and a giant bow,  in most of our observations that's a female human."  Steve started to consider he may be treding on unstable ground.
   "What Steve means, Minister, is that in our area they are easily told apart from one another, and given the picture we had of that fairy thing, it would likely be a female that would want to hold on to me."
  BrewMinister still had a grim look, but then darted toward the children.   "So what does it mean when they look like this?"
  Steve considered before answering. "Well in that form, we can't really say.  They all sound and look alike at that age, unless they wear specific cloths."
  The Gremlin put short little arms up in the air in frustration.  "How very observant!"
  Tooty listened to the darker haired child, tell the other "I am done pushin'.  It's my turn to swing!"
  The lighter haired child held tighter to the rope suspending the noxious smelling rubber, and gave the other a big pouty smile.  "One more time, please?"
  Darker haired child got a mischievous twinkle in it's eyes and grabbed the rope above the lighter haired child's hands.  "I'm gonna twirl you till you fall off!" And the tire began swinging wildly with the lighter haired child giggled uncontrollably.
  Minister watched the lighter haired child grow a funny look, and it started yelling, "Ok!  Ok!  Stopppp!!!!"
  With that the darker haired child jerked the tire to a stop, and lighter child fell out onto the dirt.  At first the child whimpered and then it got up, and stomped away.
  BrewMinister nodded satisfactory and pointed.  "We should start with that one.  We can try the other one if this one proves incapable."
  Steve contemplated but then said nothing but, "Ok."
  Tooty flew over to the child, now digging it's feet into the ground to push itself around in the swing.  "HEY, LOOK AT ME!"
  The child slowed a bit, but didn't seem to acknowledge Tooty's presence.  She tried again.  "CHILD!  HERE I AM!!!"
  The child slowed some more, but only stared at the entrance to the house where it's sibling had exited.
  Tooty waved to Steve to fly up next to her to discuss what they should do.  "It's not working Steve....  They just ignore me... They aren't like the adults."
  Steve went to pull out his notebook, but remembered it was gone.  A dark blue glow came over him.  The child gasped, waving its hand in front of it, not far from where Steve hovered in the air.  Tooty realized what was happening.  "Steve, you need to make me glow."
   Steve took a deep breath and spouted, "Tooty, you couldn't make a cow fart on a windy day!"
   Tooty smiled, and started to laugh. "Was that supposed to make me angry? I don't like all that stink remember?"
   Steve remembered the day in the supermarket.  "You've been amazing me since the day I started teaching you our ways, and I don't ever want to stop being there to see your succeed."
   Tooty almost fell out of the air from forgetting to flap her wings.  A slow ultra violet glow started to come from her.  "Really?"
   Steve nodded and watched the child start to focus on Tooty. "Your make every day worth fighting for."
   Tooty's hair illuminated a bright green,  her skin speckled with bright purple specks, and the child's hand leaped forward and snatched her from in front of Steve.

*********************

Steve landed next to BrewMinister and followed the child as it carried Tooty into the house.  She could easily vanish and slip from it's grasp, but she was too busy avoiding looking at Steve.

  Steve grabbed Minister's attention.  "How did you know that was the one we needed?"
  Minister grunted.  "From what you have described to me,  your definition of female just needs to be brave, adventurous, and terrifying."  Steve closed his mouth tight, Minister slipped one last thing in before they jumped in through the open door.  "And who says I picked that one because I thought it a female?"



    

  


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Fartmoodles: chapter 9

How to Capture a Fartmoodle
Chapter 9:
"Even hydrogenDioxide can kill you"
First Edit
by: Nellie Tobey

In the kitchen of the bar, the woman threw down a very large warm tortilla.  She was placing meat in it, and yelling out the door.  "I'll get you another in a minute Frank, and don't call me that."   She smiled a little and started gently sprinkling something with the letters CUMEN on the meat.   Tooty held out her hand and got some powder to taste.
  Steve looked impatiently back out the door at BrewMinister standing by 'Frank's' drink tipping a drop of brew into Frank's short stout glass.  "Is it going to work?"  Steve couldn't sense flavor, and had no idea what the difference was between water, or the stuff humans liked to call 'hot sauce'.
  Tooty relished the new sensation from the brown powder.  "I can't imagine why not."   She then flew over at the cambro with the green peppers in it and took a taste. "Oh these.... These are...",  Tooty coughed, and her eyes watered, "perfection."   Steve flew over to minister to let them know it would work.
   A few moments later a yellow and fucia chameleon handed the small copper lined glass bottle to Tooty, she poured it onto the top most peppers vigorously.
BrewMinister gasped. "No no no, that's way too much!"
   Tooty smiled at the concerned Gremlin.  "If we aim to cause mischief, we need to do this right."
   Minister lashed out the lizard tongue and took a taste of the peppers.  "Oh, this is going to be interesting, I do say ..."  And BrewMinister stopped and said nothing more, but smiled oddly at Tooty.
  Steve had a pang of jealousy, and tried to control it. "You two just keep on talking, but I think our human is getting ready to leave!"
  The man in the suit jacket stood and was shaking someones hand.  The bartender was just carrying out the burrito covered in the enhanced jalapenos.  Steve, Tooty, and an agitated chameleon stood on the bar counter watching intently.  "Hey Morgan, you're not leaving before you get a taste of my cooking are you?"
  The suit pointed to his coworkers,  "They'll devour it, I promise.  Not a one of them turns down free food, and I gotta go home to the kids."
   The woman nodded and placed her other hand on his shoulder.  "You will let me know if you need any help.  You have your hands full, and anyone in this town would be happy to help."
  Morgan nodded. He laid his hand on hers in a grateful gesture.  "She was the one who would know what to do, and I know she'd want me to home with them Martha."  He paused for a second, took out his wallet and handed her another 50.  "Don't let any of them drive if you can stop them.  Ed and Gerry will walk, they are smart, but those other new ones just aren't smart enough."
  Martha took the 50 and smiled.  "I already got two sets of keys, you know I'll get John's with a wink and a nudge."
  Morgan laughed and bowed out the front door.
  Minister had turned into a ferret and was growling at the floor.  "We didn't get a chance!"  Tooty poked the ferret in the ribs.
  "We still got that burrito, let us see what the others know."  Steve gave a sharp head nod when minister looked at him.
  BrewMinister smiled at Tooty in that odd way again.  "And if we don't, we sure as flip have a time getting them humans into trouble!"

    *******************************

It was nearly morning and three empty bottles of goblin brew #99 were scattered by Steve's tent, as Tooty sipped from her mother's goblet.  Kettle, Red and Minister were giggling at the idea that Tooty had effectively talked Martha into inviting John out to pizza after the bar had closed.
  Kettle pointed at Tooty in a grievous way suddenly. "Who would of thought a well timed stink would make them laugh so hard. You dear are a Master."  Tooty did a curtsy and  raised the goblet.
  "To being invisible, and knowing that Frank can't hold one in!"
  The three gremlins cheered and then Kettle and Red's eyes drew down in a sudden sleep.  BrewMinister stood, seemingly unaffected by his two empty bottles, and walked up to admire the cup in Tooty's grasp.  "I do believe this is some of the best copper work ever produced in this village."
  Tooty dropped the cup and stared at Minister.  "My mother."  She fluttered her wings without even knowing it.  "It was my mom wasn't it!"  Minister smiled, picked up the goblet and handed it back.
  "T'wasn't me that said a thing."  And BrewMinister turned and walked away into the darkness as a great fluffy tailed squirrel.  The squirrel turned around before being swallowed by the dark.  "Her light was engulfing, but it was your father's glow that I always fancied."  Then the brown and silver tail danced away into the shadow.

***********************************

  Tooty was busy playing swords with the Owlets (they informed Tooty it was their new club name),  as once again the biggest one snapped it's pine needle trying to stab a dead leaf on the ground.  The smaller two jabbed and swung at Tooty as she blocked and danced around to give them a chance to swing at her.  "The brown needles will just keep breaking, they're not flexible any more."  She noticed Steve approaching with his notebook swinging from one hand and a determined look on his face.  "Ok Owlets, I gotta get back to work."
  There was a slight protest, and then they started digging through the pile of pine needles for greener weapons.
  Steve got close and couldn't contain himself, "I figured it out Tooty, I think I know how to get the information, but it's going to be dangerous."
  She took a look at the magazine page Steve handed her.  "The children? No Steve, I refuse.  The Gremlins will too."  The picture was of a girl playing with a doll that very much resembled a fairy, but was far to pale, big headed and lacked the claws or mandibles. It could be a Pixie if the appendages weren't so short and the wings so smooth.  A Pixie also didn't sparkle.  Maybe glow from time to time, but never sparkle.
  "Hear me out, we won't hurt them, or do anything that could put them in harms way."  Steve sighed a bit.  "Not any harm the human's aren't putting them in already that is."

***********************

   BrewMinister, OldRed, and KettleStruck immediately refused.  Steve was still trying to explain, "They are going to be in factory anyways, we just need to get a good look around without being sucked into some bit of machinery."  
   Tooty tried to help Steve explain, but was also not very fond of the idea. "It happens sometimes in our region, and most times the kids end up opening the jar at some point so we can get out."
   BrewMinister shook the restless porcupine quills occupying their backside.  "I promised your mother and father absolutely no harm would come to you, and I will not deliberately let you be in a jar for a human to carry around on some cold cement factory floor!"
   Steve started rifling through the pages of one of the books he had gotten from the goblin market. "These things where the humans take the small ones to work, it's not that dangerous."  Steve showed them the picture of a big man in bright yellow garb and a ridiculous plastic hat.  The man and two other big ones were guiding a group of small ones all with the same hats and yellow garb to match.  "See here,  they make them all wear this protection, and Tooty is smart, strong and fierce, she wouldn't be in danger in the hands of a child."
  Tooty was taken aback by the compliment, but then watched Kettle and Red do the hand gestures and Minister waving furry paws to say no.  Minister finally turned around and walked away.  "Damn humans!"
  Kettle and Red nodded and spoke, "We are sorry for the silent communication, but some things are still the Gremlin way no matter how much we want to include both of you."  Steve started to believe maybe his plan had hope.  Red pointed at the giant rat trap on the next page of Steve's book.  "The thing is, we could not help you, we could not be in that place to make sure you two come out safely. "
  Steve started to protest, but Kettle held up it's hand, slightly translucent in the sunlight.  "But we are also going to all die if we don't find out how to stop this."
  Tooty felt her determination harden inside.  "I will be fine, we go among the humans, in their human places all the time where we are from."  It was a tiny lie, she herself had just begun training to do just that.  "Steve is our top academic, and there is no one more equipped with the knowledge I'll need to survive in there."
  BrewMinister had returned, clad in a suit of fish scale armor, "If we leave our Shepard, we die, if we let this human poison continue, we die."  Red and Kettle tried interrupting Minister but that just made the Gremlin louder.  "The way I see it, we have to get in there and stop this, I'm the strongest one of our village, and I will not die before I try anything possible to stop this."
  Tooty pointed at the picture of the 'not' fairy and the child.  "First thing we have to do is find Morgan's kids and figure out how to get them to see me."
  Steve unrolled the blue flyer that was at the pizza joint Martha and John ended up in.  It read 'Bring your kids to work day'.
  Tooty put a firm hand on BrewMinisters slimy fishy shoulder. "Time to get yours truly caught in a jar."