Updated: Mar 17
I looked at my nails as we entered the backdoor… not even a speck of dirt. My kind of gardening, I didn’t even need to wash my hands. The sharp talons that had materialized when I let my energy go were slowly morphing back into their normal curved shape now. I think I will paint them blue tonight, I thought to myself as I moved passed the dining room, Nikki close behind me.
As I walked into the kitchen, I spotted a bottle of something clear by the sink… vodka? Oh Linus… you shouldn’t have! He must have forgiven me. Either that or he loved the new edition to the garden already. I wonder where he got the bottle, it looked expensive… did they deliver alcohol in Georgia? I’d have to check my credit card statements tomorrow.
I swiped the bottle from the counter as I walked by, not stopping until I reached the front yard… I saw James had a car parked haphazardly on my lawn. Bad boy… you shouldn’t drive without a soul. It’s dangerous. Well, at least we now have a ride.
“Where too now?” Nikki asked as she hopped into the passenger seat, looking slightly nauseous at the thought of riding in this car… she already didn’t like riding in them, and the state of the car wasn’t making it any better. There was trash and clothes littered all over the interior space, and it smelled of old French fries.
“We are going to swap this car out for something more comfortable, and then we are going to the charming town of Blanks. Now that James is taken care of, I have an errand to run there. I’ll fill you in on the way.”
Nikki glanced at the bottle I had tossed in the back seat next to a child’s booster seat and crumbled up fast food bags, “You think it’s wise that you drink that? Last time you drank, we ended up with the Oscar situation. Blanks is where Mateo lives right? I am sensing a repeat situation here.” Her eyebrow went up in question.
“Mountain Top, if there was ever a need to drink, it would be now… I have a fresh body and three little pigs in my back yard, a fae masquerading as an Angel, and possible more lost souls coming for me.”
“Right. I have some other news.” She said as she turned and reached for the bottle.
I turned my gaze on her and just stared at her with a deadpan look on my face, “What is it?” I asked after a moment. Learning my lesson from earlier about not letting her give me all the details, I wanted her to tell me everything.
“Well, now that I know what to look for… there’s a few more lost souls wondering the mountain. I saw a few people aimlessly walking around… I thought they might be playing one of those games where you go into the wilderness to catch characters on their phones or something. I once found a man searching for something called a Pokémon, so I hadn’t thought anything of it until now. I didn’t go up to any of the others like I did James, so they didn’t get hooked onto me like he did.” She said this as she cracked open the bottle, the smell of vodka replacing the scent of old fast food. I kind of sensed this was going to happen, one lost soul wouldn’t be the end of it. Goddess, I didn’t have nearly enough space in my garden for this problem. “And… we also have a Unicorn issue.”
My head, which had turned back straight so I could look where I was driving, whipped back around as I slammed on the breaks, causing a screeching sound and smoke to waft up from the tires. I was back to staring at her. “What?” I said, emphasizing the T sound.
“A unicorn has crossed over. Oh... and a Gnome.” She took a swig of vodka and made a cringy face as she choked the liquid down.
“You saw this?”
“Yes… The unicorn was walking along the train tracks around dawn this morning. And the gnome, well... he seems to think the mountain is now his, so we have had some turf issues.” She went for another swig and started to pass the bottle. “Wait, you're driving… you can’t drink.”
“What? Why not?” I asked as I reached for the bottle to take it from her, but she held it out of my reach. “I need it even more after what you just said!”
“It’s against this lands laws…” She said like I should know all the laws here.
“I don’t care about the laws Nikki…” my voicing raising louder.
“Well, I do right now because we don’t need any more trouble… you already spiked your energy once today.” She said… taking a third sip. She was going to drink it all, I just knew it.
“Fine.” I ground out and looked around us… we had made it to the intersection close by my house. There was a car dealership cattycorner to where I had stopped the car… they sold luxury used vehicles, the sign proclaimed. I narrowed my eyes on the target… perfect.
Twenty minutes later, we were pulling out of their parking lot in a slightly used but fully loaded black Escalade. Kind of big for my usual tastes but it was all that they had that I liked. The owner of the establishment, a lanky man with bad breath and a questionable aura, was in the driver’s seat with orders to be silent and keep his eyes on the road. With the designated driver now secured, I snatched the bottle from Nikki. She had already polished off a quarter of the bottle. “You are ridiculous…” She didn’t even bother replying, she just snorted into her hands.
“Maybe you should slow down considering you don’t drink?” I suggested as I took a sip of the burning liquid… it was awful, how was she drinking it so easily?
“Oh, I’ll be fine.” She said with a flag of her hand.
“Uh huh.” I eyed her closely… “I won’t be holding your hair back from your face as you vomit this all back up later, Nik. Just so you know.” I managed another sip, we needed some orange juice or something. “Hey driver… stop at the gas station so we can get some juice!”
“Weakling…” Nikki murmured low, as she snickered again.
“Weak! This is like drinking gasoline… I’m not weak, I just have better taste.” I huffed. A short while later I had an official tasty drink in my hand, and we were on the highway. It took about an hour to reach Blanks and by then, we had polished off almost the whole bottle.
During the ride I explained everything to Nikki, telling her about that morning with the pigs. After she got her laughter under control, and wiped the tears from her eyes… she asked me what I planned to do with the pigs, send them back or roast them? “Nicolette Mons!” I reprimanded. “They are innocent babies… I won’t roast them!” I gave her a dirty look. She just laughed. “I should roast you.” She laughed again…
We finally got to our destination… I had started off wondering how we’d find this farm once we got here but I didn’t need to worry. The town was quite tiny and once we crossed into it, I spotted a large billboard that read, ‘CherryLee Farms, 2 Miles ahead’… Perfect. Let’s see if someone’s home.