NOTE: The BlogBattle is changing come May. Stories will only post 2 times a month from now on. This means Madnes Solver’s next chapter will post on May 10 and May 24 (the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of May and every following month). But I will still be blogging other posts and fun things, so be sure to check back! 🙂
Chapter 47: Sheep Go Baa
Read all the chapters here. Enjoy!
Previously: In Wonderland, Madnes and his group have decided to split up in their search for the 7 crystals of the Terraforming Spell (a dangerous spell currently threatening to destroy their home on Earth, Okinala island). Cheshire is with Cosmic, Harrey is with the orphans, and Madnes with Alice. They now ready to begin their individual missions, but the Red King has his own plan to put into play. Meanwhile, the story follows Harrey, Ash and Drisel up in the floating islands…
A mash up of wood painted white met them as they stepped onto firm ground and rounded a hedge of bushes: a tall structure put together with nails and rope, and lopsided. It swayed and bent with the wind. Ash stared up at it, wondering how it hadn’t toppled over yet. Or was it because the thing was so flexible that it survived the high winds of the sky?
“How do we find a crystal in all this?” Behind him, Drisel gestured at the sky islands spread in every direction around them.
Ash glanced up at Harrey, who was pinching his lower lip, eyes narrowed as if the act of thinking was painful.
“I don’t suppose we should right out ask if anybody’s seen a giant crystal around?”
Ash gave him a flat stare.
Harrey shook a palm, “Joking, joking. ‘Course we can’t. Guess we’ll…figure it out as we go!” the older boy concluded, flashing a grin, and trotted toward the strange building. Ash glared after him; the carefree attitude of that guy was getting on his nerves. Did he think everything was a joke? He wanted to slap that grin off.
Drisel skipped after Harrey, and Ash finally followed, shoving his hands in his pockets. The wood portico squeaked as they entered a creaking door, and a little bell attached rang out their presence.
It was cool and musty inside, light from several round windows bounced off dust motes. Tools of every kind—some recognizable and some not—lined the unpainted walls held up on nails. Larger items filled the tables. They maneuvered their way to a counter at the back.
Ash heard creaking steps and saw something push through a makeshift curtain door behind the counter. Pink hair bobbed forward.
“What do you want?”
Harrey stared at the hair. “Um…”
There was a scraping sound, and then the hair became a head and body as the short girl climbed up onto a stool. “Are you here for parts?”
Ash stared. She couldn’t be any older than him and Drisel, but she was the oddest-looking humanoid he’d seen yet. The short-cropped pink hair was the normal thing about her. Horns like that of a sheep curled above her ears, and white wool wrapped around her chest and wrists. She was very much like what he’d imagine a human trying to cosplay a sheep would look like: tulip ears, black nose, feet divided like hooves but made of flesh, a sheep’s tail peeking out of the jean dress she wore.
“Oh, this is a workshop, isn’t it?” Harrey spoke up—the first one to recover from the shock.
The girl eyed them openly. “You’re not Baa. Why are you in the Floating Isles?”
“Baa?” Harrey mouthed. “What’s a Baa?”
“I’m a Baa.” The girl crossed her arms with a glower. Loud steps stomped out from the curtain and another Baa girl approached the counter. This one full grown and almost as tall as Harrey, her tank shirt and shorts stained. She looped her thumbs around her belt.
“Is there some problem here?” her voice filled the room.
Ash looked from her to Harrey, then noticed the boy’s jaw dangle and cheeks go red. Ash balked, ‘Seriously?’
“You’re a mechanic,” Harrey ogled the lady, “an inventor’s best friend!” He pointed a thumb to his chest. “I’m an inventor, by the way. We should be best friends.” Ash aimed a kick at the older boy’s kneecap, and Harrey grunted.
The female watched, disinterested. “Are you buying something or not?”
“Oh, ah, that’s right.” Harrey stammered, and Ash wanted to facepalm. “Do you have any jewels or jewelry things around here, by chance?”
The Baas blinked, both grimacing. “At a mechanic shop?”
Ash would’ve strangled him if his arms could reach. ‘Jewels? How more obvious can he be! We’re not supposed to draw suspicion!’
Drisel stepped up, hands shoving him and Harrey back a step as she took center stage. She faced the Baa with her sweetest face. “Forgive my brothers, but they’re a bunch of idiots when it comes to shopping,” she said. “We were looking to buy some jewelry souvenirs and then got lost. Can you point us where to go?”
The oldest Baa looked down at her, eyes unstiffening a fraction, and the young Baa tilted her head at Drisel curiously. “Shopping? Everybody knows boys are useless at that! I’m Thimble, by the way,” said the youngest, springing over the counter to land beside her. “I can lead you into town.”
Ash’s eyebrows soared into his bangs; he’d rarely seen this tactful side of Drisel. “Well done,” he mouthed.
“I’ve never met a human girl my age before,” said Thimble, eyeing Drisel’s lack of horns and wool.
“Don’t take too long,” ordered the older Baa. “No detours.”
“Fine, Thelma.” Thimble rolled her eyes. She took Drisel’s hand and pulled her along, back out into daylight, leaving him and Harrey to tag along. Though Harrey seemed comfortable to linger behind with Thelma, who glowered at his flirty wink. With a grumble Ash shoved Harrey along.
“I’ll see you later! Thelma, was it? You’re as pretty as a prized lamb, Thelma!” he voiced.
Ash pushed him out the door. “Lamb?” he shook his head in disgust. “Worst pickup line ever.”
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This is my entry for this week’s #BlogBattle challenge by the wonderful author Rachael Ritchey, where the challenge is to write a short story based on that week’s chosen word. This week’s word was: “voice.” Check out the link, read other great stories there, and VOTE for your favorite 3 to win!
Hope to see you on Okinala Island (here) next #BlogBattle day!
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