*potters about for five minutes whilst attempting to write an into*
It was a little over two years ago I began my monthly story thing. To be fair, I didn't know it was going to become a "thing" until about a month or two later.
It started with me just being me, silly and frivolous, and I had a few short stories/a song rewrite that popped into mind and decided, why not post it here. I think also at the time, FG was seeing very minimal traffic, only the 40K count was active and I had this vague scheme of making a post under each subform section.
Then it became sort of a challenge for me, write something (semi) original each month. Some were good, some were terrible, some were obvious filler *glares at Joey and Quacksalot* sadly, I don't think a single one of them were Artemis related...although I did have this one idea about Butler at a wedding or something....
But they were fun.
Alas, all stories come with a price. No, wait, that's magic I'm thinking.
But, for varying reasons, I have decided to...take a step back as it were. Perhaps permit someone else to make a post or two around here, eh?
So, with this the final tale, I invite you in, take a seat, have a beverage of your choice, there's a lovely fire roasting we can toast with.
Terry the Toothbrush lived on a counter in the bathroom. Terry did not like the bathroom. Terry dreamed of being a chef and working proudly in a restaurant. Perhaps somewhere exotic, like Florence, Italy; or near a sandy beach on an island in Greece; maybe even that place down the stairs and around the corner Terry spied when he first landed his job here.
So, with the help of Frederick Flosswell, Terry made his way up into the air conditioning ducts and rappelled down into the house’s kitchen.
It was everything he had dreamed of! Appliances and utensils, aprons and - ooh! An oven with a proud range straddled across! A rack of any kind of knife imaginable! A pair of paring knifes, a finely honed fillet knife, a boning knife, meat scissors, a Chef’s knife, a butcher’s blocky blade.
A large refrigerator gleamed at Terry with a gorgeously polished stainless steel face, as if teasingly inviting him inside to find a tasty snack.
Suspended over the central kitchen island, a ring of pots and pans and skillets and willets and wok-pans waited to be flamed, fried, sautéed, saturated, seared, sizzled, and savored.
Except for the seven inch, cast iron skillet. He seemed ornery.
He bore a few scuffs and scrapes along the lip, as though he had been dropped once too often by a clumsy cook.
Have no fear, Terry’s here!
On the kitchen island lay a bowl of fruit filled with bananas, apples, and oranges! Terry loved a good orange, that bright, distinguished taste, it was like nibbling on the sun.
…..minus the scalding kelvins, of course.
Where to begin, where to begin…
Perhaps a nice stew, Terry could slice up a few onions and carrots, along with –
At that moment, a thunderous shuddering shook the tiny toothbrush and knocked Terry on his back.
Oh no….Terry recognized that sound. Those footfalls…
He had to run, had to hide before he was discovered down here!
Ah, but it was too late!
A monstrous paw descended and clasped around Terry, drawing him up.
Joey regarded the green toothbrush in his hand with a frown, uncertain how it could have landed here. He had been looking everywhere for his toothbrush, it seemed.
He turned around, as if certain he’d spy a sinister saboteur sneaking off.
There was no one.
He was completely alone.
Save for his quacking compadre upstairs, of course.
The frown deepened to suspicion.
“Oi! Quacksy! Did you move my toothbrush?”
Quacksalot’s reply was distant from his room where he was researching a case.
“Eh? Why would I move your toothbrush?”
“No idear,” the quirky kangaroo said, shrugging. “Been looking all morning, mate.”
“Hm. Maybe it ran off with my floss.”
Joey rolled his eyes.
“Now, don’t be ridiculous. By the way, just got the confirmation, I’m going to be in jury duty tonight, so you’re on your own with the Ferguson case, okay?”
Quacksalot honked out a snort, unable to get over the image of Joey on jury duty.
“Remember, innocent until proven guilty!”
Knowing his fiendish duck friend was enjoying himself too much with this business, Joey shook his head despairingly.
“Honestly, at this point, whichever option gets me out of there faster!”
My thoughts exactly, Terry silently agreed, searching for any feasible escape before he was forced to face the atrocity of the kangaroo’s teeth.
The teeth themselves weren’t anything of an orthodontist’s nightmare, but it was that cursed vegemite.
Perhaps while the kangaroo was away, Terry and Frederick could forage another scheme.
Thus it came to pass upon that night, a cold moon hung in the ink black sky.
At the bathroom window ledge, Frederick Flosswell and Terry jimmied the lock on the window open with Harrison Herr Klippe, who had heard of the breakout plan and insisted on tagging along.
With a small pop, the window unlocked and creaked open. Under the conditions, Terry thought they sounded as loud as an elephant playing drums in an auditorium.
The fresh air of the night tickled Terry’s bristles, as though beckoning him. His goal was near, the end had come.
No longer would he or Fred or Harry be subjected to serving the kangaroo and duck, fighting their hygienic war – that was the way of dishonor!
Thus it was time for them to breakout and make up their own destiny, for that was the best form of all!
Uneasily, Terry eyed the long drop below and cast a glance at the moon. Like a blind, baleful eye, it seemed to watch the trio from its throne in the sky.
“Leap from a lion’s head,” Frederick whispered, paraphrasing a line from one of the talking boxes.
Taking a breath, he gripped line and rappelled down.
Don’t look down, don’t look down….
There was absolutely no danger.
Frederick Flosswell was a trusted individual. He wouldn’t let Terry down.
Or that is, he would not let Terry down in a manner that would cause ill harm to befall the terrified and technically treacherous toothbrush.
But what about Harrison Herr Klippe? He was a new element. What if he had his own designs and schemes that involved betraying Terry and Frederick Flosswell?
Terry took a breath, aware he was simply attempting to detract from thinking about the long climb down.
Earlier, in the air conditioning vent shafts, it was easier. It was all the same bland, boring sheet metal, like a steep slide at best.
Here, outside, there were so many things to look at! Power lines, trees: trees with leaves, trees with no leaves, trees wearing sleeves. Below, streetlamps burned like faux stars, furnishing a fickle path for any fellow to find their path.
A car drove past and Terry froze, the bristles of his brush pointed and trembled.
Was this a mistake? What if he fell and got run over?
No, he was being ridiculous. He wouldn’t fall. The side of the house was covered in brick and allowed for perfect grip points.
On touching the dewy blades of grass, Terry almost couldn’t believe it.
He did it. He was free.
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