The incessant knocking was distracting him from hiding the bodies. The door rattled, the handled jiggled. Too soon the Knocker burst in the room. Pop, pop, pop and high pitched sounds hurt Rusty’s ears. He rushed to grab her before she hit the ground. Pushed the snake she tripped on aside.
Everyone jumped up and yelled, ‘Surprise!’
‘Happy Birthday Fuchsia.’ Just saying her name made Rusty happy. He held on to her arm. He felt vital, alive and connected. Something he’d never been. Fuchsia and he were two pigs in a pod.
‘Hand over the magic b-b-book or you’re d-d-dead!’ Said a leather-clad cat holding a rifle.
‘I’m not p-p-pussyfooting around!’
‘Are you the entertainment? We booked Kitty Perry to sing. You’re early.’ Said Rusty Boar.
‘I mean it! You shouldn’t leave your d-d-door open!
‘You’re far too pretty a kitty to be a Rebel without a pause purrpetrator. No one can chisel us out of the book!’ Auburn Snake wondered how cats taste. ‘Is that a Paintball, sorry, hairball gun?’
‘I am FBI, the Feline Brigade of Intelligence, handover the b-b-book now!’ Said the Meowntain of fur and purrple leather.
‘Malarkey, out with the truth!’ Auburn snake reared up his diamond-shaped head and mesmerised the cat with his eyes.
‘We’re a branch of the Funtastic Fur.’ The Cat ceased her broken speech.
Auburn wriggled closer. ‘Tell us more.’
‘Humans call us their pets, but our ‘purrpose is to safeguard them. And now they’re in danger from the Vampire Rat.’
Everyone but Kasey the kelpie laughed.
Kasey kelpie looked away from his delicious strips of bone. ‘It’s true, we chaperon the humans, but it’s the first I’ve heard of the Funtastic Fur or the Vampire rat.
‘The Vampire rat is siring an army of mouseketeers to infect the humans with the blue-bonnet plague and tyrannise the world. It’s in today’s mews-paper.’ Said the woeful cat.
‘Pardon?’ Fuchsia pig looked paler than freshly bleached hospital sheets.
‘We need to purruse the book you took, to learn how to defeat him.’ The cat inched back. ‘The patients are not responding to the blue-bonnet healing poultice, but if we exterminate the Vampire rat king, those he sired die with him. We can furmulate an antidote for the plague from his blood.’
‘Good luck finding a rat,’ said Auburn.
‘He may be a mouseter at hide and squeak but I injected him with a GPS tracker.’ Said the cat.
‘How?’ Fuchsia moved closer.
‘I’m purrfectly purrficient at my job!’
They stared at the cat, awaiting more.
‘Wearing the invisibility cloak and scent of sexy female rodent. It rattled him into a stupor, so I jabbed the rat with the tracker. Rodent aroma is rather repugnant. I took a batch of baths slathered with soap galore. No matter how much I shampooed or drenched the stench of rat fragrance remains. Vermin tail me wherever I go. I’m the pipe-less, pie-less pied piper, you hyper, insensitive viper. The Cat shivered. Her hair stood on end. ‘I can’t bear to lick my fur.’
‘You paw kitty,’ said Auburn snake.
Ella-phantastic grabbed the dusty book and with a wiggle of her ears said, ‘Let’s go.’
‘Listen little elephant, I appreciate your pluck but it makes no sense for you to come. I work alone.’ The Cat tried not to glance at Ella-phantastic.
Ella showed signs of tears, but she opened the book and searched for ‘Vampire Rat’.
‘You must drink from the lake of purity in the goblet of invincibility and recite this poem.’ Ella pointed to a page in the book.
‘Where’s this famous goblet then?’ Auburn snake noticed the floor was moving.
‘Isn’t it in the book?’ Said Fuchsia.
‘Goblets can’t fit in a book,’ said Ella.
‘Instructions to find the goblet, you impediment of an e-e-elephant.’ Auburn snake caught the cat’s stutter because each word he utters can come true, especially an insult or two.
‘P-p-please f-f-fix m-m-my s-s-stupid sp-sp-sputter.’ Spluttered Auburn staring at Doctor Hue.
The dragon Doctor Hue changed through a queue of blue to the hue of beef stew. Then on to the blush of a red kangaroo while healing Auburn snake of his sentence stammer.
‘Phew!’ Said Doctor Hue. ‘Auburn, be careful with your words!’
‘This carpet of rats its disrupting me from honing in on where the Vampire rat’s at.’ Said Ella doubting her superpowers.
Fuchsia shook the book. A map fell out.
‘Hey, be careful, that book is purr-iceless!’ Hissed the cat.
‘This map’s indecipherable!’ Fuchsia looked despondent.
‘It’s deci-fur-able if you’re a cat.’ The former sourpuss grinned cheekier than a Cheshire Cat imbibing a vat of sweet cream fat.
‘The lake’s in Hogglebrush and the goblet’s in Hushtown. They might as well be in the north and south pole.’ Said the cat.
‘Then let’s go pole dancing,’ said Fuchsia grasping at paws. Fuchsia teleported herself and the cat to Hushtown.
‘Neat trick,’ said the cat.
Magical music mayhem meandered throughout the mist. Fuchsia and the Cat relaxed so much, they almost forgot about the goblet. With transparent intentions, they entered the cave a thousand thieves failed to invade.
Fuchsia thanked him and the cat bowed and did a secret paw-shake.
‘Agreed,’ said the petite protector.
‘What did you agree to?’ Fuchsia asked the cat as they exited the cavern.
‘Let’s get to the lake, with the time difference across the world, the moments are evaporating.’ The stoic cat gripped Fuchsia pig’s trotter.
Hogglebrush’s lake became a sullen swamp through neglect and woebegone ways of wars that passed by her space. ‘I am not the lake you seek. I am the decoy for the villainous and bane to those who plod into me.’
‘Where is the Lake?’ The cat hollered.
‘You must drink my silt to find the answers you seek.’
The cat picked up a wooden cup left behind by the Teddy bear’s picnic, filled it with silt and drained the cup. She grimaced and quaked with disgust.
‘You only needed a sip’, said the swamp.
The cat growled and spat. ‘The lake’s back in Hushtown.’
‘Do you want some water?’ Asked Fuchsia, pitying the cat.
‘No time for that, move it!’ The cat clasped Fuchsia’s limbs as she beamed them back to Hushtown.
A blood-red lunar eclipse bloomed in the sky. Fuchsia took out the goblet. One by one they filled it with the lake’s pure essence and drank the glass empty. The funk of rat odour evaporated from the cat. They checked the cat’s watch for the Vampire rat’s tracker location.
The Vampire rat startled by a pig and cat materialising didn’t realise they recited his demise. They took the blood they needed and the prospective lab rat and his noxious fleet of mice Krispies vanished from the streets forever.
Dragon Doctor Hue insisted on assisting with the antidote. Soon the ailing humans returned home, doting on their ‘dependent’ pets, unaware of their fearless furry ways.
‘My name’s Catrina. Thank you for saving the biped beings of the world.’ Catrina Cat handed Fuchsia a fancy wristwatch. ‘In case we need to connect again.’
‘But yours is gone!’ Fuchsia squealed. ‘Don’t you need it.’
‘I posted my timepiece to a classified location.’ Catrina Cat fidgeted with her wrist.
‘To a pocket-sized man, with pointy hands whose wearing it as a necklace?’ Asked Fuchsia.
‘You are a clever pig. The Feline brigade of intelligence will grant me another, I’m sure. If not I’ll borrow your elephant. Now that the rats are gone, her honing skills are superb.’
The furry and the furless dauntless daredevils celebrated Fuchsia Birthday until, well it’s still going strong.
Kitty Perry (also known as Awesome Kitty) had everyone singing, laughing, dancing and goofing to the Awesome song.