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Disclaimer: Joss / ME / etc. owns these characters. This story is just for fun and not for profit.
Me: "Where did it go?" Tara whispered. She was leaning out just enough so that one button eye could see around the door frame. She edged out another step, her foot making a light paff on the carpet.
Me: A feline head nudged under her legs, and between them Willow's glowing eyes peered down the hallway. "I don't see it. Maybe it's in one of the other bedrooms?"
Me: Tara shuddered. "What if it's in Momma and Dad's room?" she asked. "They could be in danger."
Chris: Pity Simon doesn't have some GI Joes, they'd come in handy
Me: "You're right. Let's get to that phone." Willow slithered the rest of the way between Tara's legs and darted the length of the hallway with stealthy leaps. She paused atop the stairs, coiled and ready to strike should Tara be noticed.
Chris: Slinky-cat Willow is too adorable for words
Me: Together, they descended the staircase, Willow nimbly hopping from step to step while Tara eased herself down by sliding backward on her tummy. Several times, she ended up squarely on her rump, and once Willow had to clamp down on her paw to keep her from tumbling down the remaining stairs.
Me: "Sorry," she apologized, "we're not great climbers."
Me: "I thought bears were pretty good climbers," Willow said.
Me: "Uh...well, maybe I'm not a great climber," Tara amended.
Me: "Too many cupcakes," Willow teased.
Me: When they reached the cold tile floor of the downstairs hallway, they paused to consider their route. "Do you remember the way to the kitchen?" Willow asked.
Me: Tara frowned. "Isn't it on the other side of that room with all the chairs?"
Me: Willow peeked into one of the rooms. "Well, there's chairs in here."
Me: They crept into the room, using the table and chairs as cover. When a shadow fell across the far doorway, they froze in place. "I think it's in the kitchen!" Willow hissed.
Me: Moments later, a band of light began to sweep across the doorway, and then it shined directly into their room. Unable to look away, they stared into the terrifying light while clutching each other tightly. Behind it, a dark shape moved to the side, and then the figure was gone, its footsteps retreating deeper into the house.
Me: Willow released her held breath, then jumped two feet straight up into the air when something tickled the back of her neck. She winced as her arched back collided with the underside of the table.
Me: Tara gasped at the sudden motion, and when Willow landed, they looked above to see Simba stretching lazily on one of the chairs, his tail hanging off the cushion and swishing from side to side. He seemed utterly unimpressed by Willow's acrobatics.
Chris: *glares at Simba*
Me: He stood, circled several times, and fwomped back down on the cushion, presenting them with his better side.
Me: While Willow waited for her nerves (and her fur) to settle, Tara stroked the fine, ruddy hairs atop her head. She chuckled, remembering a time when Willow's fur was a pristine white. One day, Simon had taken her outside and gotten dirt caked in her hair, and Momma had insisted she be run through the laundry. Ever since, Willow's fur had been a stunning shade of red.
Me: The kitchen was empty by the time they finally gathered the courage to press onward. While Tara stood guard at the base of the counter, Willow scouted around the room. She hopped from the floor to a low shelf, and from there to the counter top.
Me: Tara tried to follow her progress. She craned her neck to look straight up, and when Willow's face came into view, nose and whiskers first, it was grinning broadly. "I found the phone," she said.
Me: "Great!" whispered Tara. "Can you use it?"
Me: "I can't quite reach it. I'm going to need your help."
Me: "Okay." Tara nodded, then looked around. "Uh, Willow...how am I going to get up there?"
Me: The smile on Willow's face slowly morphed into a frown. "Huh. I hadn't thought of that. I'm...I'm not exactly sure, to be honest."
Me: "Well, where's the phone?"
Me: "It's pretty high up on the wall here. I might be able to reach it from your shoulders, but...hey! Maybe I could jump out and knock it down to you, then we could use it down there!"
Me: "...Be careful."
Chris: This plan sounds like it may result in a broken phone...
Me: While Tara stood underneath, ready to assist in any way she could, Willow stepped up to the very edge of the counter. She hunched her shoulders and contracted her body into a tightly coiled ball. When she leaped, she extended her paws. From underneath, it looked like she was truly flying.
Me: Her aim was spot on, and her front paws connected solidly with the phone, jarring it from the cradle. Tara suddenly realized the contraption looked rather heavy, after all.
Me: "Booof!!" she coughed when Willow landed less-than-gracefully on her retreating back. They scampered out of the way as the phone plummeted to the floor beside them. It smacked the tiles solidly before springing back up into the air on its cord.
Me: The crash was loud, and they managed to duck behind the counter seconds before the human's light reappeared in the doorway. Its footsteps grew louder, and they heard it speak. "...The hell?" Willow peeked around the counter just in time to see it put its ear to the receiver for a moment, then hang the phone back up on the wall. It opened several of the nearby drawers, and withdrew a large knife from one.
Chris: Eep, not good *hides*
Me: After one final sweep of the room with its flashlight, the human exited the kitchen, heading back toward the stairs.
Me: "It's going back upstairs!" Willow said, urgency evident despite her hushed tone. "And it's got a knife!"
Me: "Momma...but we'll never catch it," Tara whimpered.
Me: "The phone's back up there."
Me: "No time...oh! Come on, follow me!"
Me: Not wasting any time with questions, Willow tiptoed after the bear, who lead her toward another room. In it was a plush armchair with a matching ottoman, many book-covered shelves, and a strange rectangular contraption. "What's that?" Willow asked.
Me: "See that plastic thing up on the arm of the chair?" Tara instructed. "Can you get up there and push the button with the circle on it? Should be near the top, somewhere."
Chris: Ah, I see the plan - clever
Me: "Circle's the round one, right?"
Me: "Yeah. It's red."
Me: "It's what?"
Me: "Red. The color red."
Me: Willow blinked confusedly. "What's red?"
Me: "Your fur is red!" Tara's impatience was growing.
Me: "It most certainly is not," Willow harrumphed. "My fur happens to be grey."
Chris: Ah, I get it, cat vision
Me: "Well, it's the circle the same color as your fur. Hurry! I've got to find the other one."
Me: Willow hopped up to the arm of the chair in two quick leaps, studied the controller for a minute, then prodded one of the buttons with her nose. Behind the glass of the strange contraption, moving images of a bikini-clad woman appeared. They changed every few seconds. Willow stared, bewildered.
Me: Tara made a circuit of the room. "Willow! I can't find it! Is there another one of those devices up there on the chair?"
Chris: They left the TV on the soft core porn channel?
Me: "No, just the...oh, hold on, yeah, it's pushed down next to the cushion, here. Let me just gnrrgt innt orrt mrrf hnrrrgh wrrf mrr trrf. Arrmrrst...Nrkrr gnnt it! Now what?"
Me: Tara peered at the screen, which now showed some kind of space capsule crashing into a beach. There was a purple circle with a line through it at the bottom left of the image. "Uh... is there a pair of button with arrows on them?"
Me: "Arrows...arrows...yep! Arrows."
Me: "Somewhere near there is a skinny, flat one. Push it."
Me: "Okay. Here goes!"
Me: A yellow 9 appeared at the top of the screen. "Lower! Lower!" Tara squeaked.
Me: The purple symbol disappeared, and now sound was pouring out of the box. It was a catchy tune, but entirely too soft. "Now the top arrow button!" Tara said.
Me: "Again...hold it down."
Me: The music got louder and louder, and Willow had to stuff her paws into her ears. "IT'S TOO LOUD," she complained to Tara, who was also plugging her ears.
Me: "It's perfect," Tara mouthed back.
Me: She beckoned Willow to hop down, and the two of them huddled under the chair and waited.
Me: Moments later, they heard heavy footsteps descending the stairs, then the front door swinging open. More footsteps on the stairs. A pair of bare feet appeared in the room--Dad's feet. The television was shut off, and both animals instantly appreciated the silence.
Me: Willow poked her nose out from under the chair to see what was going on. Dad has his back to her, examining the television. He shook his head, and spied her when he turned around. He gathered up Willow in his arms, peered under the chair, and grabbed Tara, too.
Me: He was breathing heavily, and Willow couldn't remember him ever looking so frightened. He squeezed the stuffed animals gently, and headed toward the kitchen.
Me: They got to sit on the counter while he picked up the phone and dialed for help. Huddled together, fuzzy arms wrapped around each other, they watched as the police came and went, and when they were finally toted back upstairs, they knew they'd have all sorts of exciting stories for the animals, next time.