The Rainy Night Tale
"Roll the dice already!" Lolly yelled, slamming her faerie Lupe paw impatiently on the ground.
"Oh, chill out. Just because I'm crushing you doesn't mean I need to make snap decisions!" Rogue lobbed the dice across the room. "Twelve! I win! Thank King Roo!" Rogue moved her Kau piece into the key door. That last King Roo square had launched her to victory!
"You'll pay for this," Lolly said, packing up the pieces. "Next round, I shall be the winner!" Lightning flashed in the window, and two screaming children ran in to the room.
"Roooooogue!" screamed Taffy, the baby Zafara. She was waddling as fast as she could to get into the family room. Maggie galloped in after her, her baby Kau hooves being muted on the family room carpet.
"It's so loud outside! What if it hits the house?"
"Shhh, it's okay, little ones." Her dark faerie wings fluttered slightly as she scooped the babies up in her arms. "It's just lightning. It's not like it's going to ring the doorbell and waltz in the hou-" The booming chimes of the front door's bell rang throughout the otherwise quiet house and little ones screamed.
"Now, now, hush," Lolly said, disentangling her limbs off the ground and pulling herself to her feet. "It's probably just someone who got caught out in the rain and needs a place to wait it out."
Lolly walked out the family room and into the front hall, and pulled the string to open the front door knob. It had been placed there because not many of Rogue's pets had thumbs, and although Lolly had learned to get around this, some of Rogue's other pets just hadn't felt like it.
The door swung open, and few drops of water splashed in at Lolly's feet. What the? Lolly thought as she adjusted her eyes to the darkness outside. She could've sworn somebody had rung the doorbell. Lolly squinted, and a figure began to emerge. A red-eyed Xweetok stood in front of her, with the rain falling through her skin. Was she...
"A ghost." Lolly's eyes locked with the Xweetok in front of her. "Yes, I'm a ghost. And even though the rain is passing through me, I'm still freezing. Could you please let me in?" Lolly shifted and the Xweetok scampered in the front hall.
"Um..." Lolly hesitated. She switched the front door shut with her tail. "We're in the next room over." The Xweetok followed Lolly slowly, her bounding gait now replaced by a slow walk. They puttered along silently, the few feet between the front hall and the family room stretching into miles.
"Oh!" the Xweetok exclaimed as her foot plunged through the floor. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. This is just so new to me." Lolly took the Xwee's free paw in her hand, and helped her yank her paw up. "I'm really so sorry. I didn't mean to-"
"Relax." Lolly attempted the lay the tips of her wings on the Xweetok's back, but they only ended up sinking into her body. "Um... just... it'll be fine." Lolly took the last step into the family room, making sure the Xweetok was behind her.
The little ones, who had started wrestling on the ground, paused their game to look up at the visitor. Rogue rose from putting up the Key Quest game and turned to face the two.
"Hello..." Rogue trailed off.
The Xweetok hesitated. "Amerimore." She at last supplied.
"Well then, welcome, Amerimore. My name is Rogue, and you've already met Lolly. The two little ones on the floor are Taffy and Maggie," Rogue said, pointing first to her baby Zafara, and then the baby Kau. "My other pets have run off elsewhere. You're welcome to stay as long as you like."
Amerimore bowed her head. "Thank-you. Tonight's been a very confusing night to say the least."
"Why do you look so funny?"
"Taffy!" Rogue rebuked gently. "We don't say such things to anyone, let alone guests." Amerimore smiled.
"No, she's right. I've shown up on your home on a rainy Halloween night." The lightning flashed behind her in the window, the light flashing through her translucent frame. She smiled faintly. "I guess it is the perfect night for a ghost story."
The little ones clamored, accidently stepping through her toes. She gently pulled her feet back, and sat down on her back legs. "Do you really want to hear?"
"Yes, yes!" the little ones cried, squirming anxiously on the carpet. "Tell us, tell us!" Amerimore smiled.
"You'll have to forgive the lack of details. Even if it only happened tonight..." The babies gasped. "I can only remember bits and pieces of it. So I may have to make up a little bit here and there."
"Just start already!"
"I'm sorry. She just keeps prattling on and won't start already!" A larger, more thoughtful smile appeared on Amerimore's face, and she began.
"Lightning makes me smile you know. It's what brought me here, in to this warm home." Taffy rolled her eyes. "Right. I remember walking from a tree hollow, aiming to get to Meridell. Why? Well... King Hagan had personally sent me on a mission.
"He had heard rumors that Meridell was preparing for an assault, and needed someone sly and quiet to carry out his mission. Me. And so I was slinking from tree to tree, that dangerous fifty miles between kingdoms keeping me wary. I had only just begun when my ears perked up. Someone was coming.
" 'I know you're there,' called out a Meridell Solider. This yellow Techo's sword shook fiercely. He was nervous, for sure. I thought I could slip past him, and so I made the dash to the next tree. Luck was not with me, not today.
"He screamed and began scampering towards me, flailing his blade every which way trying to catch me. I slid under his blade, and we were now locked in a game of cut and chase. He would swing high, and I would duck. He would swing low, and I would have to jump over his head. I would turn to duck out and he would narrowly avoid my tail.
"I don't know how long it went on. I just know that I began to notice something. This soldier's blade was incredibly dull. It might as well have been a costume sword for all its use. So the next time he swung high, I threw my paws up and grabbed the blade mid swing.
"The Techo immediately dropped the handle, and the sword dipped in his direction. He turned to run as the sky began to roar. What I knew as thunder, the Techo thought an incoming villain. I reached down to comfort him, feeling sorry for the solider scared of thunder. Then the sky turned white.
"And just as the sky turned white, the blade was struck. Everything around me was white. Everything. My vision, my skin, the trees, and even the Techo was covered in blinding light like nothing I've ever seen in my life. And then, it was gone."
"I woke up under the tree at the beginning at your path. Except... I wasn't me. I had become the form you see before you. I couldn't even really understand, just that I could see the ground through my paw. I began walking along your path, and I found a divot in the road that was beginning to collect rainwater.
"My glowing red eyes were the only things that stood out to me. It took several minutes before I could even see the rest of my form. I began to shiver, not feeling the rain, but the complete coldness of knowing that I was now alone and a ghost. So I kept walking, and walking, and walking, until I rang your doorbell."
The little ones stared with eyes the size of dinner plates, awed into silence. As the story slowed to a hushed ending, the little girls suddenly burst with a million questions.
"You're a spy?"
"The lightning did it?"
"What was the Techo's name?"
"Will King Hagan come after you?"
"Are you gonna be like this forever?"
"Do you have more stories?"
"Girls!" Rogue called, standing up quietly and scooping up the little ones. "It's long past your bed time, and our guest is probably exhausted from her adventure." The little ones giggled in Rogue's arms, and Amerimore smiled mischievously as they were carried away. "Lolly, show Amerimore to a room."
Lolly untangled herself from the blanket she had covered up with and gestured to grand staircase. Amerimore followed Lolly up the stairs, down the corridor, and into a small bedroom. Lolly pulled out blankets out of the closet, turning to leave her guest in privacy for the night.
"Did that stuff really happen?"
Amerimore paused. "I don't know. Why don't you ask King Hagan?"