Monday, March 25, 2019

Fartmoodles: Chapter 12

How to capture a Fartmoodle
Chapter 12
"The ghosts of a well fed goat."
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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."