The Young Dr_Death: Part Six
Dr_Death was on the porch, huddled in his coat with a Christmas Mazzew.
“There you are, my friend, some fresh air ought to do you some good,” he said, petting it. The Mazzew grinned and ugged in response. Dr_Death smiled as well. “I knew you’d like it.” The little Mazzew had finally gotten over a case of the stomach flu, and Dr_Death was going to take her down to Happy Valley the next day, where her owner was waiting for her.
At that moment, a girl with long blond hair and a fluffy pink coat rushed by his house. She held a baby Xweetok, who was resting luxuriously in her arms.
“Wonder what that’s about,” Dr_Death muttered to himself, looking up. Not that he really cared- whatever happened at the Berkhams’ was of no concern to him. He had forced himself to think about other things, and had become rather cold towards any aspect of their household, including Mipsy. Faced with the inevitable of not being able to do anything for her, Dr_Death had painfully forced her from his mind.
Concerned for the Kadoatie, Dr_Death had neomailed the PPL frantically the next morning after Mipsy had been violently taken back by Shaun. He written how abusive he’d been, and how they needed to come up to Terror Mountain as soon as possible.
But somehow, some way, the case had fallen through the tracks. Dr_Death didn’t know whether Shaun had paid them off or presented a falsely sugared-up image of life at the Berkhams’. All he knew was that the PPL left the same day they came; in fact, after a few hours. Dr_Death had tried to get them to stay, but they simply shrugged him off, saying he’d been dreaming or something. The fact that no one else had seen or heard what had happened didn’t help either.
However, they did say he’d been nominated for an award by their organization- they’d heard about his achievements through the grapevine and had wanted to meet him for some time.
“The paperwork has just come through, though, so that’s why we haven’t neomailed you. The awards ceremony will be on Mystery Island this coming May- it’s all expenses paid for you and your guardian,” the Green Skeith told him amicably, straightening his tie. He was wearing a grey suit underneath a large grey coat.
“You’ll hear more about it in the Neomail,” his companion, an Acara, said, throwing her scarf around her neck and shivering. ‘But we must really be getting back.”
“But what about Mips-” Dr_Death started, but the Acara cut him off with a wave of her hand.
“You were probably dreaming. You say this happened at one in the morning? Yes, you were dreaming, child,” she said gently.
“But he keeps her as a GALLERY ITEM!” Dr_Death shrieked. The Acara patted him gently on the shoulder, although she rolled her eyes at the Skeith, who chuckled.
“Well, we don’t condone that, necessarily, but he seems to be treating her very well.” He held up his hand to stop Dr_Death’s retort. “Well, keep up your work, Dr_Death. We at the Petpet Protection League expect great things from you. Miranda, let’s go.” And without another word, the two left Dr_Death standing in the middle of the road, staring disbelievingly at their receding backs.
“Oh, Dr_Death, you’ve been nominated for an award!” squealed Drew, who had been listening in. She’d been the one to Neomail the PPL after Dr_Death had awoken her at one-thirty in the morning crying hysterically. She had now been awaiting with Dr_Death on the porch to find out the results of the investigation.
“But, what about Mipsy?” Dr_Death asked, turning on her. Drew smiled sadly.
“I’m sure she’s fine,” she said gently.
“No she’s not! I saw him being mean to her! I saw him! Don’t you believe me?” Dr_Death asked, his voice sounding demented. Drew squirmed uncomfortably.
“The PPL are very good with petpet cases. If there was anything unorthodox going on in that house...” she said, not looking him straight in the eye.
“But... I SAW IT!” he yelled. Drew looked around and ushered him into the house. Dr_Death continued to bluster abut how he’d seen what he said he had.
“And besides, what about the fact that he keeps her as a Gallery item?”
Drew shrugged. “A lot of people do that,” she said. Dr_Death still looked like he wanted to argue. Desperate to change the subject, Drew asked in an overly cheerful voice, “Hey, who wants cookies? I know I do! Come on, let’s go bake some!” She dashed off to the kitchen.
Dr_Death had sighed sadly, and looked out the window. There, standing near his window, was Shaun. He was staring directly at Dr_Death with the utmost loathing. It made Dr_Death feel uncomfortable, and he quelled under that look which seemed to wish him nothing more than an untimely death. He had backed away, and ran to the kitchen.
Dr_Death was shaken out of his thoughts by a knock. The girl had gone right up to the house and knocked on the door. Shaun answered. “Yes, what do you want?” he asked, eying the girl arrogantly.
“I heard you were selling your Kadoatie,” she said in an uppity voice while twirling her hair. Shaun raised an eyebrow, and Dr_Death gasped quietly. His arms shook a little, making the Mazzew cry out in protest.
“Yes,” he said slowly, staring at the girl. “But I doubt you could meet my price,” he said haughtily.
“Well, what is it, Sir?” the girl asked. Shaun considered her for a moment, while Dr_Death moved from his position on the porch to get a better glimpse of her and her pet. She was about ten years old, and he realized that all her clothing, not just her coat, was pink. The bottom of a pink silk dress, pink stockings, and pink loafers were visible. Her hair was shiny and placed into pigtails. She looked very wealthy, and carried the air of someone with money who is without class. Her baby Xweetok was wearing a pink coat that was identical to hers, only in miniature. She had a turned up nose, and looked very well-cared for. But most of all, she looked spoiled.
“Why exactly do you want this Kadoatie, um-?” Shaun finally asked.
“Cindy, my name is Cindy. My Xweetok. She needs a new petpet,” the girl said simply. It was Dr_Death’s turn to raise an eyebrow.
“Fair enough. Come in, it’s a little nippy out here,” Shaun said, rubbing his hands together. Dr-Death could tell from a hungry look in his eye that he was going to add yet another paintbrush to his collection. Dr_Death watched him slam the door. He smiled grimly- true, Mipsy was going away, but maybe this girl and her pet would be better owners than Shaun could ever be, even if the pair did look spoiled. Then again, Mipsy would probably get the nurturing she deserved. With that happy thought, Dr_Death turned once again to the Mazzew, who ugged happily.
Over the next few days, the young girl came back again. And again. Dr_Death suspected that she was looking for more than a Kadoatie, but looking through his window, Dr_Death was sure that Shaun was only interested in selling the petpet as soon as possible. He looked somewhat annoyed whenever Dr_Death saw him meeting with the girl in his living room, and he had a closed expression which Dr_Death was sure was hiding his fury at the delay. She seemed to be stalling, and Shaun was getting fed up with her, though he remained civil.
Dr_Death was reading a book out back in his yard, under the oak tree. Drew had gone out shopping, so he was left to his own devices for the afternoon.
He heard a thump in the Berkhams’ yard, and the baby Xweetok bounded out into the snow. Dr_Death raised an eyebrow- what was a delicate pet like that doing out here.
She went right up to the screen door and began to paw at it.
“Um, what are you doing?” asked Dr_Death sympathetically.
“Imma tri-in to gef back in,” she squeaked, annoyed, in her baby voice. “I fell ouf the window!” She looked at Dr_Death. “Who you?”
“I live here. My name is Dr_Death,” he said warmly. The baby approached the barbed fence slowly, since it was hard for her to get through the snow.
“I’m cold!” She shivered. “Lef me bac in!” she squeaked. Dr_Death got up on his knees to survey the property. Then he shook his head.
“I’m sorry, I can’t get you back inside. I’m not allowed on that property,” he said bitterly. The baby Xweetok began to cry. “No, no, don’t cry- oh, I know!” he exclaimed, clasping his hands. He removed the rock that covered the hole in the fence.
“Here, try getting through here,” he told her. She went up and tried to squeeze herself through the whole- unfortunately, she was too chubby from her baby fat.
“I canf gef thro!” she cried, backing away. Dr_Death shook his head sadly.
“Then I’m sorry,” he said sympathetically, “but there’s nothing I can do.” The baby glared at him and went back to the screen door and began to cry out for her owner. Or rather, she began to demand very loudly that the screen door be opened.
“Ifs no use, they talking bout my pefpef,” she said sulkily. Dr_Death nodded.
“So, what’s your name?”
“Candy-Rose,” the Xweetok said proudly. She shivered. “I hof they done soon. I want to go home,” she sighed.
“But now you get to have a new petpet! Isn’t that exciting?” Dr_Death said happily. Candy-Rose, however, just shrugged it off.
“Eh, maybe til I gef a new one,” she said indifferently. Dr_Death started.
“A... new one?” he asked, confused.
“Yef. I gef a new one evry two monfs,” Candy-Rose squeaked happily, showing missing teeth. “Cuz they gef boring after thaf.”
“What!?!” Dr_Death exclaimed loudly, so that the Xweetok back away a bit in fear. “How... can you do that?” he asked in disbelief.
“Hmph, I gef whatefer I want. When pefpefs annoy me, I get wid of ‘em. My last one, it cwied so loud, it woke me up at night,” said the baby indifferently.
“Maybe it was hungry,” Dr_Death said wistfully, remembering all the times petpets had woken him up at night, especially the babies.
“Whatefer, I’m not supposed to spend my days looking after a dumb pefpef. I’m supposed to spend them looking beautiful. My momma says so,” she sighed, smiling. “Aren’t I beautiful?” she asked, posing for him and fluffing her tail a bit.
Dr_Death stared at Candy-Rose. She was turning out to be just as indifferent as Shaun and Shadower.
“Aren’t I beautiful?!?” Candy-Rose yelled again. Dr_Death gawked at her uncomfortably. ”HOW DARE YOU!” she shrieked. ”YOU MEANIE! YOU DON”T THINK I’m BEAUTIFUL!” And she began to ‘sob’ intensely and loudly, while Dr_Death just stared, helpless and feeling very embarrassed.
“Candy-Rose!” an uppity voice called out. Cindy came running delicately out to the baby, whose cries had apparently penetrated the mansion at last and fetched Cindy. That, and Cindy had finally had enough sense to look around and notice her pet was missing.
“Oh, babe,” Cindy said softly, wrapping Candy-Rose in a muffler. “Oh, babe, it’s alright. Momma’s here now,” she crooned over Candy-Rose. Candy-Rose; however, continued to fake sob, causing Cindy to cuddle her even more and dote on her. It was rather sickening. Cindy rounded on Dr_Death.
“What have you done to my precious Candy-Rose?” Cindy screamed, pointing an accusatory finger at him. Inside Cindy’s muffler, Dr_Death could see Candy-Rose give him a smug look, although she still made fake sobbing noises. Dr_Death opened his mouth, not really sure what to say.
Just then, Shaun came out, rubbing his hands together. There was a sort of manic glint in his eye, the kind of look that he only got when he was extremely happy. Apparently, Cindy had been able to meet his price.
“What’s going here?” he asked dazedly, apparently still thinking about money.
“This... thing... was insulting my Candy-Rose!” Cindy said in a scandalized voice. Shaun looked over at Dr_Death and smiled lightly.
“Oh, him? Don’t worry about him.” Shaun turned to Cindy, who was busy straightening her hair. “You’ll have to excuse my poor neighbors; they’re not sophisticated enough to understand the meaning of tact. I’d move, but I don’t want to be too far removed from society, despite my want of isolation, and these riffraff are the only ones on the top of the mountain,” he explained passively. He waved to her to come back into the house, and the three of them went back into the Berkhams', leaving Dr_Death feeling a little stunned.
To be continued...