The Neovian Misadventure of Will and Biggs: Part Four
Biggs tapped his little Buzz claws on the fizz bottle as they walked.
“Why did you bring that infernal thing!?”
” Copperkettle’s is near Prigpants’, I’d like him to take a look at it.”
Will scowled and growled while flicking his tails.
“Hey- we’d have to buy the turnip tonic from him anyways! Maybe he’ll let you have it before we can even pay him.”
“Ooh, we could be so lucky….” Will stumbled and put a paw to the ground. “Gah! Oog! Come here-I’ll use my clean one!”
“The ground isn’t that bad!” scoffed Biggs.
“Oh?” Will turned his head to him.
Biggs put his hands on his hips and frowned at the Lutari, “Yes! Think of all the four legged folks!”
“If you don’t want me to touch you just say so!” Will growled as he retracted his claw.
“No-agh-Please! It’s fine pal! I’m just saying that the ground isn’t so horrible and you can’t rightly help it if you have to touch it to get around!”
Will leaned back on his tails and furrowed his heavy brow at him. “All right… It’ll definitely be faster this way-IF anyone says anything-”
“No one will!” Biggs sighed.
Will pulled off his necktie and wrapped it around his left paw and then he placed it on the ground, sighing in relief.
Biggs cocked his head, “Are you in pain?”
“Let’s hurry.” Will mumbled and started off again at an increased pace. They came to a square with a dry fountain in the middle, a shop with a hanging wooden placard which was engraved with a spool and needle lay just beyond it.
“Copperkettle’s is just around the corner-”
“Can’t we go to Prigpants’ first? Look at this it IS filthy!” Will raised up his green clothed paw, which was stained with dirt and riddled with small rocks that were caught in the fabric.
“If we go to Copperkettle’s we might not need to get a cane.” Biggs chirped.
“I have little hope in that” Will grumbled. Biggs gave him a pat on the shoulder and turned down the street. At the very end a sandwich board with a big kettle drawn on it stood guard next to a tall thin door. Will eyed the door, “I’ll erm, wait out here.”
“Nonsense! He’s going to need to look at you.”
“All the more reason!” Will curled his free paw into a fist.
The door opened, revealing a squat, golden Bruce beaming out at them.
“Biggs! I knew that was your coif in the window!”
Will frowned as he locked eyes with the little shop keep. Biggs chirped up, “Copperkettle! Hello! Yes, I-”
“And this must be Will, come in both of you!” The Bruce waddled inside, Biggs followed suit and Will crept up to the door. His shoulders were wider than the frame, his heart sank.
“Just squeeze in! Don’t be shy!” Copperkettle motioned towards Will.
He swallowed then carefully wedged himself through the door, keeping his tails at the door.
“Oh! Don’t let the heat out!” Copperkettle piped.
He pulled himself in and shut the door while bumping his arm on a wall mounted cabinet. “Oohf!” He grabbed it and held it still against the wall “Sorry…”
“No worries.” The Bruce picked the bottle out of Biggs’ claws and waddled behind a glass counter filled with desiccated herbs. A high ceiling with a modest gas-lit chandelier dwarfed the low hung shelves and cabinets lined with empty, odd shaped bottles. “Most unusual!”Copperkettle squawked before pulling himself away from a magnification device. Biggs grabbed Will’s arm and guided him to the counter. Copperkettle stared at him then reached out to Will’s face. Biggs pushed the Bruce’s arm away. “Oh. Ahem-right. Will? Show me your teeth.”
“Um-alright…” Will hung his head over the counter and bared his teeth.
“Now open!” Copperkettle opened his own beak wide.
“Ahah! Fascinating.” A golden flipper pointed to his canines.
“What?” Biggs turned his head to Copperkettle.
“This most definitely isn’t Sloth’s work-Someone else has cracked mutation!” Copperkettle disappeared under the counter and reappeared with two potions in hand. Will’s brows went high, one was a turnip shaped bottle, the other a bright green one with glass wings. “Unfortunately if theories are correct…it’s much more stable. Potent. Generally with mutants, everything is askew, teeth growing out of other teeth, eyes within eyes and so on. But you! You’re too neat, with your perfect rows of teeth and hair.” He opened the bottle with wings.
“So.” Biggs put a claw to his chin, “There is no one in the guild who could have made this?”
“No. No one would either. At least with Sloth’s sloppy work there is room to fix-ahem-return to a- a ‘normal’ state. Well that’s the theory anyways.” Biggs put his claws together and began to fidget them together. Will frowned as Copperkettle held the potion out to him. “Care to test the theory?”
Disgusted, Will growled, “What is that?”
“A green Uni morphing potion. It’s cheap and plentiful.”
“I don’t want to be a Uni!”
“I have a strong feeling you won’t be.” The Bruce’s expression faltered.
Will glared at him.
“If it works I’ll get you back together on my dime!” squawked the Bruce.
“Are you really sure?” Will clenched his jaw.
Biggs’ claws moved to fumbling with his jacket. Copperkettle’s stare was unwavering. Will gently took the bottle, “I’ll hold you to that,” He hissed, and downed it all in one gulp. His throat prickled then began to burn. His stomach upturned itself. The room began to spin and warp out and away from him. He yelped and fell to the floor. Darkness closed in around him.
“Will!” Biggs shook Will’s massive arm. His eyes opened slowly, the little Buzz before him but a sickly green blur.
“I don’t want hooves. Do I have hooves?” He grumbled.
“Hrk!” His eyes went wide and he scrambled onto all fours. He scampered to the door, flung it open and hung his head out into the street.
“Goodness!” Copperkettle flung a parchment to the counter and began to write. The muffled retching ceased and Will raised his head in the doorway.
“Are you alright?” Biggs squeaked as he pulled on his mandible’s tendrils.
“Sick…sick…and dizzy.” Will closed the door and collapsed. Biggs ran to a back cupboard and pulled out a jug of water. He grabbed it and a cup and brought them to Will’s side. He sat next to his head and poured him a glass of water.
“Amazing. Simply amazing. Tell me Biggs, do you have any idea who concocted such a devious potion?” Copperkettle waved a quill at him.
Biggs tipped some water into Wills mouth. “Well. There’s only one who might have done it. It might-must have been this old Darigan Buzz. She had this feather-“
“Feathers! You mean old Ms.Wisp?”
“I-I don’t know.”
“I can think of no other! I had no idea she was an alchemist! She’s so kind too! What did he do to her?”
“Oh, posh! It had to be something dastardly to bring on this!” Copperkettle waved a dismissive flipper.
Will sat himself upright, swaying his head back and forth. He lazily opened his right eye then his left. He cleared his throat and said “I…called her…ahem…an old…bag!” He swiped up the whole jug of water and took a deep drink.
“Well! That’s certainly not nice. Not very dastardly either though. If I were you I would talk to her-If you can you might be able to get him some help!”
“She’s obviously mad! Why would she help?” Biggs started twirling a claw around his tendrils again.
Copperkettle shrugged, “Maybe she’s a benevolent old witch? For all our sakes I sure hope so! Whatever she gave him was pure malice! You know she heads the soup kitchen here? Think of all the trouble she could wreck!”
“I know…” Biggs swallowed and helped Will to his feet.
“If things don’t work out for you Will, the guild would love to take this opportunity to- Oh! Um…I’m sorry! I’ll let you go.” Biggs looked up at Will. Water had welled up in his big eyes and trickled down his furry cheeks.
“What if that potion was no good?” Will’s voice cracked.
“I beg your pardon?” Copperkettle leaned across the counter.
“Will,” Biggs squeezed his arm, “I made these this morning.”
Will sighed and ducked his head into his elbow. “I’m sorry.” He sniffled.
“Hm, I understand…Well! Rest assured we haven’t brewed a failed potion from this establishment.” Beamed Copperkettle.
Will dragged his feet to the door, opened it, and squeezed out into the street.
Biggs frowned and looked at Copperkettle. “Thanks. I can work off the price of the potion right?”
“Nonsense! It was for science! Don’t worry about it. Take care you two.”
Biggs smiled weakly, nodded, and then walked out. Will stood just outside with his face in his paws. Biggs walked up to him and put a claw on his back. “We’ll figure something out. If she can’t help us, I’ll try everything I can.” Will sniffled as Biggs wrapped him up in a hug. “Come on let’s get you a cane.” He gently pushed him back into the square. Will kept his head in his claws until his face was dry, peeping only now and then to check where they were going. The door chimed as they walked into the dark old shop. A large Mynci greeted them,
” Hello, Hello! How can I help you!?”
Will stared through him to the back of the store. A moment passed and Biggs chimed,
“He needs a cane. A sturdy one that’s not just for show.”
“All right! All right!” the Mynci hustled out from behind the register, the measuring tape dressed around his shoulders nearly reaching the floor. He squat down before Will and slipped up a piece of tape from his foot to his claw. “Is this the height you want it at?” Will lifted his paw a little higher. The Mynci zipped the tape up to it once more then got to his feet. “Right-o right-o, let me see what I have for you.” He disappeared into a back room shrouded with a curtain. Will unwrapped his necktie from his paw and handed it to Biggs. Its once green shine was nearly black with filth. A weak, sly smile curled up Will’s face.
“Okay! It’s filthy!” Biggs smiled back. “I’ll wash it for you as a recompense.”
“Thank you.” He gave the Buzz a gentle rub on his back then carefully maneuvered to an old wooden stool and took a seat. The Mynci reappeared with several long boxes under his arm.
“I’ve a few for you!” He set them next to the stool and flipped open the first box, “Now this one is pure silver and the handle is made of pure Kreludan obsidian.” Will’s eyes went wide as they set upon the beautiful cane. Biggs’ stomach knotted itself up and he started to fumble with his claws.
Will took a small breath, then, “Apologies, but I’m going to have to go with the cheapest option you have. I do admire the grandeur and craftsmanship in this one. Perhaps I’ll come back for it another time.” Biggs relaxed and gave Will a big smile.
“Alright! That would be this one-fit for a Grarrl but it’s perfect for your size and sturdy to boot!”
“Perfect, thank you.” Will took the cane’s pewter handle and got up with ease. Biggs followed the Mynci to the register and gave him half of what was in his coin bag. Together they left as the Mynci closed up shop behind them. “How much was it?” Will muttered.
“Don’t worry about it. We can still get dinner.”
“Dinner?-Did you have somewhere in mind?”
“Oh, I don’t know. I don’t-“ Will paused, “Want- to..”
“Well, technically we’re fit for the soup kitchen, plus we could look for Ms. Wisp.”
“Ooohf, that’s so much worse.” Will shook his head, “Fine. Alright.”
“It wasn’t bad really, a little bland, but free.” Biggs shrugged.
“What should I say to her? What if it wasn’t her?”
“I would apologize and ask for the cure. If it wasn’t her she’d still appreciate the apology. Also, if she doesn’t recognize you, you could probably get away with not apologizing.”
Will’s brows relaxed. “Hmm.”
To Be Continued...