“One, two, buckle my shoe.”
Made sure the spikes were secured in the ground.
”Three, four, shut the door.”
Grabbed some brush and branches to cover the mouth of it.
“Five, six, pick up sticks.”
Checked to see if it looks too obvious.
“Seven, eight, lay them straight.”
Now for the assholes.
“Nine, ten, begin again… “
The screams of The Order pricks as they fell into my deadfall trap signaled that the damn thing actually worked. They had been chasing me for the past few weeks now. Since I killed that priest and Inquisitior and had that little conversation with Colonel Faith, they’ve been crawling out of the woodwork tryin to get me.
We were playing a fucked up game of cat and mouse and I thought I would have had an advantage by using the walkie talkie that I got from the priests bag. Yeah, that didn’t work out so well, the clever fucks started speaking in code. Thanks GI Jane…
By the way, sorry I haven’t written in so long. But as I’ve just told you, I’ve been a very busy little bee. New Years Eve was a bit of a bust as you already know, New Year’s Day was pretty much the same. A few fun facts about this place: a year here is longer than 360 days. It’s 421 to be exact and no one actually celebrates the coming of the new year. Must be an Earth thing.
Also do me a favor, kind readers, assuming there are any actually out there reading this. If you hear anyone talking shit about how movies- especially action movies -don’t teach anything, punch them in the face for me. Because my little trap was inspired by one.
I didn’t go back to check, I didn’t care if anyone died, I wanted them to know that I wasn’t screwing around. That if they came after me, they were taking their lives in their hands, I was playing for keeps.
You don’t have to say it, I already know. I was changing, becoming more brutal, that I was never a killer before. You know what? You’re absolutely right, but being in this kind of situation tends to change a person’s mind set. You try sleeping for a couple of hours a day at most, little to no food- tired, hungry and cold, people shooting arrows at you, being hunted like a damn animal and I promise, you’ll end up exactly in my same shoes.
At the end of the day, it wasn’t just my life on the line, if GI Jane and her goons got the nuke, then others would die too. So call me a monster, call me a killer, someone no better than the bastards hunting me.
I won’t argue, nor will I give a rats ass. You know what I call it? Surviving.
Some of you may also be asking why aren’t I using Winona. Well fact is, while my other significant other might be unparalleled at taking fuckers out, she’s also quite noisy going about doing it. I didn’t need everyone and their Kobold to know where I was at.
And if some of you remember the Garland that I got outta Romie’s dad’s tank, yeah that was a fail. I tried it back in Wonderland before we left. Powder was too old, so I left it with mom in-law.
Wasn’t mine anyway and I know she appreciated one more momento of her husband.
I snapped Rudolf’s reins and we were off again, day by day getting a little bit closer to our destination. Romie still hadn’t returned from taking the Raiju girl to Wonderland. Everyday, every night I hoped and prayed that she was ok. That she would just suddenly pop into my lap like the crazy little Cheshire she was. I had to believe. It was one of the precious few things that kept me going.
Rudolf flicked his ear and let out a soft neigh as if telling me it would all be okay. Smiling, I gave my boy an affectionate pat.
Now, if I may take some time out from my lovely little feel good tale to answer a question some of you (that is if anyone is or is still reading this) may have: How the hell did you ever end up with a horse named Rudolf?
Well there’s a funny story behind that one. You see, a long time back, it was my first Christmas out and about in this dimension. I was feeling a bit homesick, sad and depressed, so I did what any other person would do- hit up a bar.
I get in there and there’s a whole bunch of these Dark Mage chicks drinkin and bullshitting in the corner. They invite me over and I end up drinkin and bullshitting with them. As time goes by, however, they all start getting pissy looks on their faces. I ask what’s up and they tell me they’ve been trying to cast charm spells on me for the better part of an hour and nothings been working.
So, in my alcohol fueled brilliance, I jump up on top of the table and tell them it’s 10 gold each to cast a spell on me- give me their best shot. Everyone gets to take a turn and whoever’s spell works- gets me and the money. If no ones works then I get to keep the money.
Well long story longer, they all agree. Coins get tossed, booze gets drank, spells get cast and I end up with a crap load of gold. The mage chicks on the other hand, they ended up all passed out at the table with probably the mother of all hangovers in the morning. But then again, mages can’t drink for shit- they each had like 3 beers.
The next day, fresh as a daisy, I hit up the local stables. Bought me a horse and named him after Santa’s favorite reindeer in celebration of my first Christmas on this little slice of heaven.
That, my friends, is how I got Rudolf.
Another day, another mile. Cept they don’t use miles around here. Not even kilometers, take that metric system! They don’t want you here either.
The sun had just set. Didn’t encounter anyone today. I doubt they gave up, GI Jane didn’t seem like the type to throw in the towel. Especially when it came to getting her hands on a thermonuclear weapon.
I didn’t get it. If the military was all up in here, balls deep as she said, why the fuck did she really care about Big Boy? I mean he’s a tiny little thing compared to what they got. Besides I’m sure they have tons of Big Boys brothers and sisters hanging around anyway. Shit, I remember reading that there’s enough nukes on Earth to blow up the planet like fifty times over.
Something was up. There was a big ol’ piece of the puzzle that I was missing, if the military really was here why not just use tanks or fighter jets? More importantly, how come I haven’t seen or heard of any ‘strange’ (aka 21st century) things flying or rolling around?
Too many questions, too many speculations and not enough answers.
I set up camp and a small fire. Just enough to rest for a moment, maybe warm up a little. Something to cook a bit of food, been so hungry, so tired. It’s hard to think straight sometimes. Adrenaline only gets you so far, keeps you aware and awake for so long. After a while the ol’bod gives you the middle finger and you crash. I couldn’t afford that, not with them on my ass.
There might not be such a thing as instant food here, but what Martha gave me came damn close. Rice, beans and dried meat with spices all mixed together in a sack. Just throw in a pot, add some water and boil. Someone give that Kikimora her own cooking show, please!
Give Stewart a real run for her money.
A snapping twig pulled me from my weary musings as I grabbed Winona and aimed her at my uninvited guests.
An older man in his 40’s stepped out of the brush, followed by a younger woman with straight black hair in her 20’s holding hands with a young tweenish looking redheaded girl clutching onto a big porcelain doll.
The guy had sandy brown hair and some scruff on his face showing that he hadn’t shaved in a few days. His clothes were slightly dirty but looked well made, high-class. The same went for his companions (maybe family?) as they all came into view. He had a short sword that was sheathed, good for him cuz I would have shot him otherwise.
“Are you with The Order?” He asked bluntly.
”I’m with myself.” I replied sarcastically as I really didn’t want to deal with anymore bullshit today.
My answer seemed to throw him off as he scrunched his face in confusion.
“Please good sir, we are travelers such as yourself. Might we rest with you for the night? It is too dark to continue on and the woods here hold many unknowns.” The woman beside him practically begged.
The guy looked sternly over to her as if pissed, while she returned his glare with a soft pleading smile. It worked like a charm too because he sighed, as if defeated, and added,
“If you would be so kind?”
Well they didn’t look like Order soldiers or Inquisitiors or… whatever. And I doubted GI Jane employed kids, at least I hope she didn’t. As fucked up of a mood I was in, a small spark of kindness in me whispered to let them stay.
Chewing it over for a moment, I finally shrugged and replied, “Yeah sure. More the merrier.”
Holstering Winona, I watched as the trio settled themselves around the fire. I vaguely remember praying to myself, hoping that they weren’t going to jump me or that those Order bastards weren’t planning on jumping us all en masse.
Formal introductions were made. The guy was James Helton former, but in his eyes -still, Baron of some place called Riveroak. The woman with him was a nanny named Nivie Desmona and the kid was his daughter, Lilly Helton. Oh yeah, and the creepy looking porcelain doll was named Jenny.
Seriously, what kind of name is Jenny for a doll?
They weren’t exactly real forthcoming with the details as far as why they were walking though Sherwood Forest here, but from what I was able to gather from all the conflicting details- the guy was depositioned by The Order and going to his brother or something for help. I didn’t care too much, I was just interested in the grub heating up in my pot.
Then I found out that they ran outta food… God damn it.
So Chef Donnie here had to cook up another helping of Martha Mix, only this time for the whole family. I swear, I better be getting extra credit bonus karma brownie points for all this.
As we all ate, Nivie chimed in a question,
“Where does your travels take you, Mister Donnie?”
“Just call me Donnie, and I’m headin west. Goin to visit a blacksmith friend to see if she can help me out with something.” I said before spooning another helping of Martha Mix into my mouth. Sure as hell beats out Hamburger Helper any day of the week.
“A woman blacksmith? That is very queer… She’s not some kind of monster is she?” James grumbled with a scowl, between bites.
Sigh, time for some good ol fashion PR work.
“Nah, she’s totally human. Big ol’ butch looking chick, could bench press a horse if she wanted to. Don’t worry about it, she’s totally, one hundred percent human.”’ I sputtered off, just to reassure Mr. Belvedere that all was right in the world.
He nodded, satisfied with my answer, “Good, while we are no friends of The Order, those monsters will not gain any favor from us either.”
I cocked an eyebrow at him and droned, “Yeah, no… those monsters… bad folk… bad, bad folk….”
Who says that everyone who works in PR is a bunch of liars? Oh wait…
He gave me a weary smile as he finished with his food. All the time during our conversation, out of the corner of my eye, I could tell that Nivie was staring at me. Not in the – she’s checking me out, staring but in the – we gonna have some words later on, staring.
Once again, my spidey sense was tingling. That chick wasn’t who or what she said she was. Don’t ask me how I knew, I just did. Probably that damn radioactive spider bite that I got a few years back, acting up again. Yeah.
At least they had tents, which they set up soon after dinner. James was the first to excuse himself to his own, while it seemed that the nanny and the kid shared another. Lilly didn’t say much, either she was the quiet type or… well I’d rather not dwell on what the ‘or’ part was.
She did thank me for the food and had Jenny thank me as well. Yeah, even on a full stomach, that doll was still creepy as fuck. Afterwards they both crawled into the tent to go to sleep.
That left just Nivie and myself…
She stared at me from across the fire, finally she broke our mutual silence by saying,
”I want to thank you. I’m glad that we found someone so friendly to us in this wilderness. As well as someone who leans towards a particular… type”
“Mmm,” I said noncommittally as I poked at the coals of the fire with a stick. Guess she was able to smell Romie on me as well as figuring out that I knew her little secret.
”I take it you cast some kind of deep sleep spell or something on them both?” I asked, pointing my burnt poker towards the two tents.
She smiled at my deduction,
“They are not used to traveling so much. The walking takes its toll on them and they need as much rest as can be afforded.”
I nodded and took a sip of water from my canteen. Made sense, they were nobles after all, not exactly the kind of folk that regularly hit up a 24hr Fitness.
“Mage? Succubus?” I asked, curious.
Her human form shifted and faded away, leaving a half-naked, blue skinned, red and black-eyed, pointy eared, winged Mamono in front of me.
Fuuucccck, yep that’s a Demon.
Well, shit. Those gals were big time players in Grandma Maous army. I wondered what the hell this one was doing way out here in bumfuck nowhere with some noble guy and his kid.
“You’re not afraid.”
”Should I be?” I retorted.
”Only if you wish to do harm to my love and his child,” She bared her teeth to me.
“Hey, live and let live, right?” I said with a small smile and shrug.
She stared for a moment then returned my smile as she replied, “You’re a very odd individual.”
“Why that’s the nicest thing anyone’s said to me all week. But yeah, I get that a lot. I’m not exactly from around here.”
“And where are you from?”
I met her eyes- red irises framed by pure black sclera. Inhuman, frightening yet seductively beautiful. I suppose that’s why they were so feared by so many.
“A little place called Earth.”
”Never heard of it. Is it far away?”
”Something like that.” I smirked sadly as the irony of the question was almost too much.
”Just married.” Statement, not a question. Nancy Drew here was pretty good.
“Pity,” She sighed, “My sister would absolutely love you and if I wasn’t otherwise attached, I’d probably just take you for myself.” She added with a grin, showing off her pearly whites again.
“Cheers for monogamy then,” I said ruefully, raising my canteen up in salute before taking another sip.
“Pity,” She repeated with a chuckle.
“That blacksmith is really a Mamono, isn’t she?”
”Yep, an old friend from back in the day.”
“A Human that’s friends with Mamono before they are married?” She blinked in disbelief, putting a hand on her cheek, “My, you are quite the odd one!”
”Why do you say that?” I frowned while mindlessly poking at the fire.
”Most Humans don’t associate with Mamono until after they are married to one. As you know there is a certain… stigma regarding us. It takes marriage to erase that. Let me guess, your wife is either a Cheshire Cat or a Mad Hatter?” She asked teasingly.
“Why exactly did you name off those two species?” I questioned suspiciously.
“Because they usually go for the crazy ones.”
Ouch, that one actually hurt- alot.
”I’m not crazy, just a little… different.” I mumbled, grumpily turning my head away.
Not that I was embarrassed for some reason or anything.
”Please, don’t misunderstand me. I did not mean it as an insult. It is your open-mindedness that makes you seem crazy to most of the people here. To us Mamono it is quite a refreshing and attractive quality.”
Well, when she puts it like that, it didn’t sound so bad.
“Are you sure you wish to remain monogamous?”
God damn it, really?
“Yeah, I’m good, thanks.”
She sighed and glanced fore-longingly back to the tents containing the nobleman and his daughter.
“Tis a shame we could not have met earlier…”
For some reason her words echoed though my head as a strong sense of deja vu enveloped me. I remembered someone else saying something similar to me. But where? When?
I reached a hand up to massage a dull ache forming in my temples. Well at least I wasn’t hearing voices this time around.
“Something wrong?” She asked concerned.
”No… just… I think someone once said something just like that to me. I just can’t remember.”
“That’s certainly no surprise. What is shocking is the fact that you don’t have throngs of us after you.” She said with a grin.
“I did have a Succubus on me for a while, she didn’t get the fact that no means no.” I said thinking back to that crazy bitch Katrina.
“Oh my dear, ‘no’ always means ‘yes’ to us,” She stood and looked back to the tents.
“ …Even if they don’t know it yet.” She mumbled.
Spoken like a true rapist. That’s nice. Really, really nice, in a To Catch a Predator kinda way. Just need Chris Hansen up in here…
“Alrighty then,” I said, clearing my throat, “I’ll take first watch and wake you 4 hours?”
At least I was guaranteed a few hours of safe sleep.
”Oh there’s no need, I’ve casted a ward around us, we shall be unbothered until the morrow.” The Demon said dismissively.
A magical spell that guarantees a safe good nights sleep? Wished I had one of those…
“…Handy,” I remarked, trying to keep the sourness out of my voice, “I’ll see you all tomorrow then and uh, good luck on…” I gestured to the tents, “Whatever it is you got going on there, I guess.”
“You have my word, James will be happy. It may not seem it, but he has a good heart. It just needs some guidance. As for Lilly, she will have the mother that she both needs and desires. They have been through many ordeals, suffered much pain… it will take time to heal.” Her voice choaked up a bit as she said that.
A part of me was curious as to what their story really was. Another part told me it really wasn’t any of my business, I had my own shit to deal with.
“Thought you Demons were all into corruption, depravity and all that other crap. Not at playing Mary Poppins.”
A spoon full of demonic energy makes the medicine go down, kiddies.
“Then it would appear that you’re not the only odd one in these woods. Good night and luck on your endeavors as well, Donnie.” She walked to the smaller one that held the girl.
”Oh and one last thing?”
I looked to her questioningly.
”Please do relay a message to your wife from me? Tell her that the Demon Nivena says – she’s a very lucky woman and that if things were different, she would still be looking for a husband…” She smiled mischievously as her eyes glowed faintly before her form shimmered and changed back to that of a human. Crouching down, she quietly entered the tent she shared with her young companion for the night.
“Sure…” I said under my breath as I looked up to the nights sky. For the millionth time, I prayed Romie would come back soon. But 8 hours of sleep, that was a true treat for me. Maybe someone up there is watching out for my dumbass.
That morning we said our goodbyes. Before she left, I slipped Nivie or Nivena or whatever the fuck she wanted to call herself a bag with some food packets from my supply along with a little sack of gold coins. Maybe it would help them with whatever they had going on or get them to where they were going.
At seeing the stuff inside, the Demon gave me a quick hug and kiss on the side of my mouth.
”Fallen God help me, she’s a lucky woman.” She mumbled before running off after James and his daughter.
Huh, never heard of the Fallen God before. Must be some Demon thing. Oh well, least I could scratch that off as my good deed for the day, I thought to myself as I mounted Rudolf and we started our trip anew again. A good nights sleep, some food in my belly and I was feeling like a million bucks. Maybe my luck was finally turning around for the better.
Remind me to never tempt Fate again by saying anything about luck. Cuz that bitch has a pair of steel toes on and she will kick me in the balls for doing it.
Case in point:
I was ambushed. Sons of bitches shot an arrow through my shoulder and now I was surrounded by 4 archers and some asshole with a sword. Might have been a Knight, Paladin or Inquisitior, wasn’t sure as the pain was the only thing I could really think about. I tried to reach Winona but was already too late as they all had their bows drawn and aimed at me.
I laid on the ground, against a tree, the arrow still in my shoulder as Rudolf stood near. He should have just ran for it but god damn he was loyal. Man’s best friend might be a dog, but this horse would put Fido to shame.
“You’ve led us on quite the chase.” The guy with the sword said conversationally as he approached. He stuck it’s point to my chest as he smiled maliciously at my agony.
“A number of our brothers fell to your traps…” He pushed it deeper, the tip now just penetrating the skin.
”Too bad you weren’t one of them.” I growled through my teeth.
He pushed a little more and the sword sank deeper. I tried my best not to give the bastard the satisfaction of knowing what kind of pain I was in, but god help me it was excruciating. The best I could do was to grunt and growl, keeping my screams in.
“Colonel Faith said that we have to take you alive. That you were special. You and her came from the same place, did you not? Earn was it? No that’s not right. Oh, Chief God what was that name…” He rubbed his chin in thought as I tried to make sense of what the hell he was saying to me.
”Earth!” He exclaimed with a smile, “Yes, that was it! You and her are from Earth. Some far away land, full of wonders, free from those slut monsters, a true paradise it would seem. A shame she said it was impossible to return to, I would have very much liked to see it.” He said conversationally to me as if we were having a fucking ice cream social with his sword stuck in me.
Wait… Impossible to return?
“It must be Her divine will that brought the two of you together like this. And to have the holy relic with you as well? Truly you were both a test of will for us and a gift bearer.”
I looked to him in shock. My thoughts fought through the pain as the realization hit me. That fucking bitch lied to me! The military wasn’t here, nor was the US, there was no ‘operation’, just her bitch ass. She was just like me, some stranger in a strange land. Cept where I became a Merc, that cunt signed up with The Order.
”It’s a shame that you died during pursuit and we could only retrieve the holy relic…”
My eyes met his own. He was going to kill me and take Big Boy. Then with it in her hands, GI Jane was going to do something horrible and a lot of people were going to die.
And there was nothing I could do to stop it.
Damn it, I tried, I really fucking did try! But the odds, they just weren’t in my favor this time. Sorrow grabbed a hold of the steering wheel as it drove me down the end of my road. The bitter taste of despair filled my mouth as he smiled down at me. The bastard knew exactly what was going on in my head and he was enjoying every second of it.
It’s funny. Despite all my talk of religion, the fact that I celebrate Christmas, I wasn’t exactly the God fearing, church goer some of you may think I am. For me, I just didn’t really have that much faith in a higher power. Heaven probably wasn’t in my cards. I’ve killed people, failed to bring peace to this world and now I’ll be a post humorous accessory to thousands dying from a nuclear blast. Yeah, somehow I didn’t think those pearly white gates would be waiting when I close my eyes for the final time.
“Farewell.” He grinned as he put both hands on the swords hilt and readied himself to stab it through my chest.
Romie… I’m so sorry… I wish I could say I love you, one last time.
A terrifying scream echoed throughout the forest as the surrounding four archers were suddenly engulfed in flames. The fire was so intense that they made no sounds and were only able to take a couple of steps before succumbing to the blaze.
We looked at each other in a mixture of fear and confusion before he was slammed into another nearby tree by a fiery red Cheshire.
A well-known hollow voice boomed from her,
”You DARE to threaten my love?”
Romie… no, not Romie. The other one…
My vision was starting to get blurry as I saw her take a claw and burn it straight through his chest in the very spot that the bastard stuck his sword in me. I could hear his screams, smell the burning flesh around me. I wanted to vomit so badly but my body just didn’t have the strength. My eyes shut for what felt like a moment, but I knew it was longer then that as the next thing I saw was Red Romie cradling me in her arms. Her glowing eyes were full of concern and sorrow as they gazed into my own.
She had torn my shirt open and a paw hovered over my chest wound as she said in that haunting, echoing voice, “This will hurt, my love, but it is necessary.”
I cried out as the paw came down and an intense heat seared the laceration, stopping the bleeding.
“Please,” I begged, I breathed, as the rest of my energy left me and only agony remained, “No more…no more.”
“There is one more left, my love. Please, be strong for me.” Her hollow voice beseeched as she reached the same paw to the arrow lodged in my shoulder. I felt, more than saw, it disintegrate and another intense burning as she cauterised the hole.
Sweet, merciful unconsciousness finally came after as I slipped off into a sea of darkness.
I didn’t know if I was dreaming or not as I floated in the blackness. What was real and just in my head? I couldn’t answer that question as I heard the heart rate monitors again along with bits and pieces of conversations
“…ake up again?”
”… transferred to the Cal…. she’s interested in…”
”Don’t worry… the best care possible…”
“A very merry unbirthday to me. To who? To me. Oh you. A very merry unbirthday to you. Who me? Yes, you. Oh, me.”
I heard Romie singing softly, barely above a whisper.
”Let’s all congratulate us with another cup of tea. A very merry unbirthday to you. Now blow the candle out my dear. And make your wish come true…”
My eyes fluttered open to see the face of an angel. I was laying down on the ground with my head in her lap. Romie was absently caressing my hair with a paw while she looked out to the forest around us. I could see that she had been crying as her eyes were still moist.
Not for the first time, I took a moment to marvel in her beauty and think of how lucky I was to have her.
Startled, she looked down at me. A smile grew on her sad face that was so contagious I couldn’t help but smile back.
“Hey handsome,” She said back.
“What was that song you were just singing?”
“Oh that? Just some silly little thing my friends and I would sing when we would have our tea parties.” She sniffled with a smile.
“I like it… it’s nice, catchy.”
“Thanks,” She giggled.
‘You took her away from her friends, her tea parties,’ a dark voice in the back of my mind said to me. Guilt weighed down as the more and more I thought about it. I then promised myself, when this was all over, I’d take her and I back to Wonderland. We’d settle down, if I couldn’t find a way home then I would make my own with her. There were much worse ways to live a life.
”Romie, I love you. I love you so damn much.” I said suddenly. The fact that I nearly died made me saying it even more important. I realized that I haven’t said it enough to her. She really was my love.
She blushed at my confession then bent down and gave me an awkward upside down kiss. It was the best damn kiss of my life.
“You really saved my-“
”Shhh, its a wife’s duty to defend her husband.” She interrupted with a grin but it quickly fell as she added, “And I failed in that responsibility. If I hadn’t been away for so long, you wouldn’t have been hurt.”
I pulled my self upright with her help, my chest and shoulder screamed in pain but I ignored it.
“You didn’t do this to me Romie. Those bastards did. You just came to my rescue. Help me up please?”
”Are you sure? Maybe you should rest more?”
“How long was I out?” I asked.
“Jesus. Yeah, I need to get up, we gotta get moving. Who knows when more of those assholes will show up.”
I looked up at the sky and estimated that it was close to afternoon. We could get at least a few hours of travel in before nightfall.
Grabbing on to her waist, together we were able to hoist myself up. My legs were wobbly, my chest and shoulder throbbed in pain but I could endure it.
“How’s the girl?” I asked, trying to distract myself.
“I found a home for her!” She said proudly.
“A friend of mine, she’s a wererabbit. She always wanted a daughter but never got married. It took me a while to track her down but when I told her what happened, she couldn’t wait to adopt her.”
”Thats great! What was the girl’s name anyway? She never said a word to me.” I grimaced as I made my way over to check on Rudolf and Big Boy.
“Huh, that’s definitely a different name.” I remarked as I saw that Big Boy was still securely strapped to the cart that held him. We placed some hay and blankets around to hide him. So far nothing looked disturbed. I gave Rudolf a good rub as he neighed in happiness at seeing me. Then I grabbed my cars first aid kit outta one of his saddle bags. It was well used but still had some precious 21st century items in it.
“Before we get going, I need you to bandage me.”
“Oh, I already did that.”
I checked the kit. Sure enough there were things missing from it. Looking to my shoulder and my chest, I found the wounds freshly dressed with clean bandages.”
“You used the disinfectant and antibiotic cream from my first aid kit to treat the wounds?”
”Yep! It wasn’t too hard to figure out what did what.” Romie boasted.
”That’s… That’s pretty damn incredible.”
It truly was if you figure she couldn’t read English and our kind of medicine was a foreign concept around here.
“Hey I’m smarter then I look, you know,” She said with a grin.
”No, you are absolutely brilliant, amazing and beautiful.” I said as I fought to keep the emotion out of my voice.
She popped over and gave me a huge smile then kissed me deeply. Afterwords she whispered in my ear,
”I’m so going to rape you once you get better.”
Wouldn’t have it any other way.
It took us another week to reach the forest in front of Yenbren mountain range that Victoria called home. My injuries healed up decently although there were a few scars as well as a faint imprint of a paw mark on my chest, courtesy of Red Romie cauterizing the stab wound.
Oddly enough we didn’t see anymore signs of GI Jane and her Order lackies. It made me nervous and forgive me if I quote an overused phrase but:
’It was quiet… too quiet.’
I finally worked up the nerve to explain to Romie exactly who it was that we were going to see. Understandably she had questions, which I truthfully answered. Then she asked me the one I had been dreading,
”Did you two have sex?”
Halting Rudolf, I sighed, hesitating slightly before answering,
”Yeah, the night before I left to find a way back home.”
“How was she?”
I looked over to her. She had her impossibly huge grin aimed at me, so it didn’t seem like she was mad?
”I’m not going to answer that.” I said shortly, flicking the reins to continue on.
”What? Why?” She asked floating after me.
“It’s in the past. Whatever feelings that may or may not have been there are gone. This is strictly business.”
”Come on! I’m curious!”
Guess she never heard the story about curiosity and the cat.
“I really don’t want to talk about it. You and I are together now and what’s in the past, I’d rather leave in the past. Please?”
Romie didn’t say anything after that but she had an extremely thoughtful look on her face.
The hike through the hundred acre woods was a bit nicer with Romie with me. No rapey woodland critters tried anything this time around. Guess they must have smelled her. I should actually say the real name of the place. It was called Yenbren forest just like the mountain range by it but I’ll always know it by the other name. This was where I first woke up in this world, scared shitless and alone. I’ll admit to feeling a certain amount of fucked up nostalgia as we traveled.
But look at me now, Ma. A gunslingin Merc tryin to save the world. Aient cha proud?
We took a worn, winding trail up the mountain to an exact spot that I knew. Picking up a nearby rock from the ground, I paused and looked over to my Cheshire. Well, no going back now. Leaning over, I kissed her and said, “I love you.”
I then slammed it against the stone wall as hard as I could.
Romie looked to me in confusion as I finished pounding on the side of the mountain.
“It’s a secret code that her and I used. No one else but me knows it, so she should come pretty quick and open the door,” I explained, tossing the rock away.
A few long minutes passed as I started to get worried. Fuck maybe something happened? Did I get the wrong area? Was she ok? Did something happen when I was gone? Did she move? That panicky feeling of the unknown started to engulf me as time passed by and my imagination ran wild with horrible possibilities.
Finally, to my relief, a large section of the wall pulled in and rolled to the side as a familiar one eyed, blue skinned figure stood in the entrance way wearing an old Connecticut Tigers baseball cap.
“Donnie…?” She breathed in confusion.
I wont lie, as I doubt anyone will read this anyway, I felt time stop as we stared at each other. For a brief few seconds that seemed to last an eternity, we were the only ones on that mountain pass, hell on the whole damn planet. I was taken back to a time, years ago when she nursed me to health after finding me almost dead near her doorway. When she taught me the ways of this world, what a Mamono was and what kinds were out there. When I discovered that I could be attracted to someone of a different species and developed feelings for her. To that one beautiful night when we made love, before I left to find a way home. It all came rushing back in a tidal wave of emotions and feelings that threatened to crush me.
She was the first to break the silence and end the moment.
“What are you doing here?” She asked bluntly. Straight to the point as always. One of the many qualities that I admired so much about her.
“Vic… I… We need your help…” I said slowly, unsure of what the hell to say to her, how to explain Romie, a nuke and… well everything that’s happened in my life since I left her home those few years ago.
Victoria looked over to Romie as if just noticing her. Romie gave a grin and a wave back as Victoria pressed her lips together in annoyance.
Yeah, this wasn’t going to go well.
I introduced Romie to Victoria and vise versa. Romie was pretty friendly about it while Victoria remained politely stoic. Yeah, not exactly the reunion that either of us pictured. I did a run down over the What, Why and How we came to visit as we walked Rudolf to the stables.
Romie marveled at the glowing ceiling throughout the caverns we walked through. I remembered doing the same, my first time around. I later found out it was some kind of magical luminescence that permeated the mountain.
We ended up in a large open cavern that she used as a workshop, where we finally got down to business. Arms crossed, we stood there, around the large rectangular stone work table that Victoria always used for her larger projects. I was on the left, Victoria on the right with Big Boy between us. Romie was on the other side of the table, seated in front of it, watching silently with great interest as we talked.
“What is it called again?” She asked, staring at it.
”A thermonuclear bomb or nuke for short, I named it Big Boy though.”
Victoria rolled her eye at me in mock annoyance as I pressed on,
“I’m not a hundred percent on the exact workings but from what I remember from back in high school, it works by breaking apart the atoms of a radioactive material called uranium thus creating a massive explosion. With this one, massive enough to probably take out a large town, maybe a small city if I had to guess.”
She sharply looked up at me. I could see it in her eye, the same thoughts that went though my own and even Romie’s as I finished my explanation. It was a device with a destructive power beyond the imagination of the people in this world and for the past month I was carting it around like a damn toaster.
“Look, before you say anything, I’m not proud that my people built this thing. And I would never willingly take this… weapon to you if it wasn’t life or death. I- We need your help to dismantle it because I’m not the only one from Earth here right now. Evidently I never was, Romie’s dad was also from Earth.” I continued, as Victoria looked to Romie who gave her a large grin.
“A few years ago a… transport from my world somehow ended up here and crashed landed in Wonderland carrying our friend here,” I pointed at Big Boy.
”It also brought with it some crazy bitch from my country’s military who now wants to use it to take over the god damn world.”
She sighed deeply and raised a hand up to massage her temples in frustration.
“Any other pleasant news you wish to bestow upon me this day?” Victoria asked sarcastically.
“You’re the only one I know of that has anywhere near the mechanical skill to help me do this. I’m sorry, hate me forever after this is all done, but countless lives depend on us taking this thing apart so it can never be used.” I begged.
Looking over at me, her expression softened as she said, “I could never hate you, Donnie,” A small rueful smile grew on her face, “I just wish you weren’t always so difficult.”
“Just how I am, Vic.” I shrugged with a smile of my own.
“But Donnie, this… This is well beyond my scope of ability. You told me once that your people are well advanced over a thousand years from us here. I have no where near the knowledge needed to help you disassemble such a device.” She said sadly.
“Come on Vic, I’ve seen you in action! You know mechanics! You figured out how to make things with my car, hell how to make Winona here!” I exclaimed as I withdrew the revolver and placed her on the table, “You can do this! We can do this!”
“Donnie… You give me far too much credit.” She replied doubtfully, looking to Winona then back at Big Boy.
“No Vic, you don’t give yourself enough.”
She sighed again, deep in thought as she continued to stare at the bomb. Finally she said,
”It’s late. I’m sure you, I mean both of you, are tired. We can resume in the morning with a fresh perspective. You can stay in your old room if you like. I haven’t disturbed anything in it from when you left.”
I nodded slowly. She was right. I was tired as hell and maybe after some shut-eye, we could figure out a way to end this once and for all.
“I trust you remember the way?” She asked.
“Yeah, I think so. And um, thanks? I know I put a lot on you with… everything but there’s no one else I’d rather have helpin to save the world.” I grinned.
“Go.”She said with a faint smile and another roll of her eye.
Glad to know I could still annoy her.
Romie wordlessly followed me, which for me was a bit scary. Normally she was a little chatterbox but now… Yeah all them worse case scenarios suddenly started to pop up in my head. Was she pissed? Jealous? Confused? Low blood sugar?
“You two seem very… tense together.” She remarked as she shut the door behind us.
Oh, thank god she wasn’t angry.
“No,” I frowned, “We were.. just doing a little shop talk that’s all. Discussing the best way to handle things.”
“I meant sexual tension.” She grinned.
Damn it. Her and her one track mind.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I said defensively as I threw myself down on my old bed. Still lumpy yet comfortingly familiar.
“She has feelings for you. You do too, I can tell.”
“Maybe we did… years ago. All that is in the past, now can we please drop this?” I replied curtly as I laced my fingers behind my head.
”Its okay, I’m not mad or anything. I don’t mind sharing you with her. Actually, after all of this, I was gonna ask if maybe you wanted to move back to Wonderland with me. We could have a lot of fun with Myra and a few of my other friends.” She said with seductive grin and wave of her tail as she leaned against a nearby wall.
The Demon chick Nivena‘s words about monogamy echoed annoyingly back home to me.
“Whoa, whoa! Slam on those polygamy brakes woman! When the hell did TLC sign you up for your own Sister Wives show?” I asked, sitting up.
Romie sighed deeply. “I love you very much but you need to stop being such a prude. Plus stop talking like that unless you actually want me to rape you right here and now.” She said in all seriousness.
“Alright! I want to set the record straight on something!” I declared, now standing, while pointing a finger to Romie. She perked her ears and tail at my tone, curious as to what I was going to say.
”I. Am. Not. A. Prude. I am, in fact, very open minded when it comes to sex. You wanna break out the fuzzy handcuffs? I’m down. Some toys in the bedroom? Sure, no problem. Role playing? Okay that’s cool, I’ll go get the Japanese School Girl uniform right away…”
As I was ranting, Romie’s now patronizing grin grew bigger and bigger. Ignoring it, I continued on.
“But the whole… sharing thing… I’ll be honest, I find it disrespectful… to you.”
“To me?” She asked shocked, her head tilting in confusion.
“Yeah. I mean I wouldn’t want you going out and banging a bunch of guys so of course I wouldn’t go and… you know…”
She continued to stare at me, then a warm smile appeared on her face as she popped over and grabbed me in a rib crunching hug.
“Myra was so right when she said I was luckiest girl in Wonderland! You are the sweetest man out there!” She exclaimed in joy as I fought to keep my spleen in its original location.
“Can’t…. breathe…” I grunted.
Releasing her death grip on me she tapped her chin with a claw in thought, while I gasped sweet, life-giving air. I was pretty sure I saw a tunnel… and some light at the end… then in at center of it all, Bugs Bunny holding up a stop sign…?
Eh, what’s up, doc?
Romie let out a loud, happy exclamation as if she solved the mystery of life and interrupted my near death experience remembering.
“Let me try to explain to you where almost all Mamono are coming from,” She began.
I raised an eyebrow to her in sarcasm but kept my mouth shut as she evidently decided to impart some knowledge on my dumbass.
“I want you to pretend that in your life, there’s not much that can make you happy. And it’s the same with all of your friends too. Then one day you find something. Something that is so rare and amazing that it makes you so happy, you could burst. Wouldn’t you want to share that with your friends?”
I took a moment to think about her question, then grimaced as I finally answered, “Okay yeah, I guess I would but this is a whole different kind of s-“
“What does The Order say about my kind? About Mamono?” She suddenly asked, cutting me off.
“I’m not going to repeat their hate speech.” I replied resolutely.
“Say it.” She demanded.
Fuming for a moment, I finally relented,
“God damn it. That you’re all evil, soulless monsters that will corrupt and devour, destroy and ruin or something or other, some bullshit, blah, blah, blah, thee end. There, you happy?”
“Now with that being taught and said to every single man, woman and child out there, how much of a chance do you think a Mamono has to ever find the love they desire? Or even simple sex?”
…Damn it, she was right. I didn’t want to admit she was right, but she was right. I always said she was smart but Jesus, it seemed like she was kicking my ass without even trying.
“Not a lot…” I mumbled as defeat showed itself in the furry form of a Cheshire.
“Exactly! Myra will very likely never find a husband and not for lack of trying but for the simple fact that there are far too few men out there that would ever cross her path. That’s why so many join the Maou’s army. If they can’t find a willing husband, then they will capture an unwilling one! Do you know what attracted me so much to you? Other then the amazingly seductive way you talk that is.”
“My stellar personality?” I asked dryly.
“Mmm that too,” She answered with a grin, “But also that you were willing to have a conversation with me. You never once looked at me in fear as if I was some kind of monster.”
“I’m pretty sure I was looking at you as a gigantic pain in my ass at the time and I also seem to recall you trying to kidnap me…” I retorted pointedly.
“That’s besides the point,” She said with a quick, dismissive wave of her paw, “You looked at me as if I was a person, you talked to me as if I was a person. To this day, you still refer to me as a person. Do you know how rare that is? For a human to look at my kind and call them a person?”
“I… honestly don’t…?” I admitted.
”Exactly!” She said as she took my hands in her paws and placed them over her chest, right below her purple amethyst necklace.
“You don’t see us as monsters, you see us as people and that is what makes you so special, so wonderful and rare. Not that you’re from a different world, not that you’re immune to magic, but for the quite silly and astonishing fact that to you, we are not monsters, we are people.
“I… don’t know what to say…” I mumbled looking down at the floor, humbled by her words.
A furry digit made its way under my chin to lift up my head so that once again I was looking at her.
“Trust me, just like I trust you, okay? When it comes to sex with us, you can’t think like a human. You have to think more like a Cheshire.” She grinned, probably recalling how she once told me that I think more like her kind then my own.
“You will always be forever mine and I will always be forever yours, no matter what. Sharing you is just my way of not only being a great friend but a great Mamono as well. I’m giving my friends an opportunity to experience something they may never experience in their lifetime.” She said intently to me with her eyes shining.
I took a few moments to consider her words. Damn it, everything she said was true or as true as I could see. The whole thing was just so weird and messed up. I mean you can’t exactly find a human girl out there that wants to share you with all her hot girlfriends because they need some lovin. It was a strange concept for me but then again look at who I’m married to. If you’re with a Cheshire and not dealing with strange, then you’re not with a Cheshire.
“O-okay… just… Just know that I love you and I’m not entirely thrilled with this but no matter what, I trust you and I’ll go with whatever you say.” I say, finally relenting.
She grinned widely as she grabbed my face and kissed me deeply.
“Now you’re thinking like a Cheshire! By the way, I was wondering how come Victoria didn’t go with you when you were looking for a way home?”
“Shes an Agoraphobe.” I said simply.
Romie looked to the door then back at me, squinting in confusion.
”No she’s not, she’s a Cyclops.”
“You’re killing me Smalls,” I groaned, throwing my head back, “An Agoraphobe is someone who is scared to go outside. They get panic attacks and anxiety when they are out in the open. When she helped me salvage my car, I thought she was gonna have a damn heart attack. Thank god I found my baseball hat to put on her. It blocked out enough stuff to where we were able to haul the thing up to one of the mountain entrances.”
“Oh… So how does she get food and materials to make things then?”
“Well for one, she has a lot of other Mamono come to her to make and repair things, so they bring her stuff. She’s kinda a celebrity as she’s the only master blacksmith in the area. She also accepts food, service trade or other things in lieu of money which makes her even more popular. For another, she has whole network of caves and tunnels set up in the mountain so if she really did need to go out, she wouldn’t be far from a way back inside.” I explained.
“Wow, I’ve never heard of anything like that!”
“Yeah, it seems rare here but back home, you see it a lot more. Too many bad things happening, bad people doing bad things to good people. Home just seems like a much safer place to be.”
There was a bit of a depressed silence between us until I said, “Hey, this place has a hot spring, wanna come with me and take a soak?”
”You go ahead. You need it a lot more than me,” Romie smirked.
”What? You tryin to say I smell?” I demanded with an evil smile of my own as I captured her in a hug.
Enjoy my stink woman!
“I adore you and your scent, my love, but sometimes you get a little too… musky.” She giggled, breaking free of my hold and dancing away while pinching her nose with a paw.
“Alright, alright I can take a hint. Be right back.” I grumbled in good nature as I made my way out to the large stone chamber that held a cistern of hot water from the spring.
Victoria may live in a mountain but she had a lot of modern amenities that you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else. A source of clean, crystal clear hot water, for one. She used the spring for a variety of things such as bathing, cooking, even the steam from it as an energy source for some of her tools/ inventions. She was truly a renaissance woman.
Having ran out of soap, I opted to ‘borrow’ some of Victoria’s from a few glass bottles that were neatly lined up on the edge of the basin. It had a citrusy smell and wasn’t exactly Old Spice but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.
I’m not sure how long I spent there, enjoying the heat, the water, the feeling of safety, of being as close to a home that I could come to here. I took my time, though. To many people, these feelings are a foreign concept. You live in relative safety with modern conveniences, dear readers but when you’re on this side of the street, those are considered rare luxuries.
After a while, I was forced to get out before I ended up looking like a 90-year-old man, getting urges to shout at the Kobolds and Nekomatas to get off my lawn.
Damn kids these days…
Wrapping a ‘borrowed’ towel around my waist I grabbed my clothes and made my way back.
“Now where the hell did she go?” I mumbled to myself looking around my empty room.
Well, whatever. Maybe she was exploring or had to go pee or something. Throwing myself back down on my old bed I let out a happy sigh. There really was nothing better than a hot bath and a soft bed. My eyelids felt like lead bricks as I closed them for a well deserved good nights sleep, safe and sound in the only other place I called home in this world.
I awoke to a pleasant wet licking of my neither regions. I hardened at the sensation but that pleasantness faded when I realized that I was blindfolded and my hands were tied up above my head, attached to the bed frame.
What the fuck, really?
”Romie, what the hell is going on?!” I demanded.
I felt a weight shift next to me and the softness of a pair of breasts pushed up against my side.
”Well, you said you were so open-minded when it comes to sex,” Romie breathed into my ear. Her voice was soft and honey sweet, “Tonight we are going to test that. But don’t worry my love, we’ll have a lot of fun.”
Shit, she’s using my own words against me! I never should have said what I said and now I just realized that I gave that furry little nympho a blank check to do whatever the hell she wanted. This was bad! All bad!
It also then occurred to me that how the hell could she be whispering in my ear and giving me a blow job at the same time?
Unless… Oh no…
“V… Victoria?” I stuttered in pleasure as a soft, wet tongue ran its way hungrily up and down my shaft while a rough hand held it steady at the base.
”Mmmm and why would you call out that name?” Romie purred teasingly, “I thought you and her didn’t have any feelings for each other anymore. That it was all in the past.”
I felt a claw lightly run it’s way down my front to my groin as she pressed her naked body against me harder.
Fuck, why was she going all dominatrix on me? It wasn’t a full moon was it?
Oh shit it might be…
“Vic… I…” I didn’t know what to say. Conflicting emotions filled my head as it seemed that I was living both a dream and a nightmare at the same time.
“You don’t want it to be her?” Romie asked as the mystery tongue stopped in mid lick.
“I…I don’t want to lose the people I love,” I said finally.
“You two are all I really have in this world. You both cared for me, protected me. Supported and guided me. I…I love you both and I don’t want to lose either of you. It.. It would kill me if that were to happen…”
There was silence as I felt two different weights lift off the bed. Then I heard whispering followed by fiercer whispering, then silence again.
I felt a weight sink in front of me on the bed again. My blindfold was suddenly removed and there in front of me was Victoria, naked and blushing fiercely. Romie, also nude, swung around behind her and said,
”She has something to tell you.”
There was silence as Victoria hesitated. She refused to meet my eyes as she gazed off to her left, embarrassed and nervous to the point where she was shaking.
Romie reached around and cupped Victoria’s breast’s with her paws as she whispered something in her ear, all while staring me in the eye. My Cheshire began to massage her blue breasts and tease her darker blue nipples as Victoria moaned softly in pleasure.
“Say it,” Romie urged/ ordered.
“I know you two are in love and I would never want to come between it… But I love you too Donnie, and… and…” She hesitated before continuing, her body shaking with both anxiety and arousal.
“Say it,” Romie repeated.
“InexchangeforhelpingyoutodismantlethatthingI wantachildfromyou.” She blurted out quickly.
”And I want my payment up front, right now!” She demanded with all the courage she could scrape up.
I looked at Victoria in shock. This was insane! How would that work? Would she wing it as a single mom? Would I end up traveling back and forth between Wonderland and here to do visits? There were just so many questions and again, it was a crazy idea!
I looked up to Romie who was grinning wildly. Of course she was enjoying this. The whole situation was crazy, insane and didn’t make any sense, which made it perfect for a Cheshire.
“This is so hot,” Romie purred, then looking down to me, she asked, “Well, what’s your answer?”
What other answer was there? I needed her help and if that was the only way to get it…
I nodded and said, “Okay, but tomorrow we all have a lot to talk about!”
Both girls agreed as they knelt down between my legs to share me.
Victoria was the first to mount me, we moaned in unison as her tightness enveloped my member. She was almost uncomfortably snug as she huffed and breathed, bottoming out on me.
Romie was right besides her, offering murmurs and coo’s of encouragement. Once Victoria nodded that she was ok, my Cheshire popped over next to me to get a front row seat of the action. As Romie and I kissed, I reached up to caress and fondle Victoria’s breasts. She had a smaller bust size then Romie but with larger, eraser sized nipples that begged to be played with. The room filled with the thick heady musk of sex and moans of pleasure as Victoria rode me while Romie switched back and forth between making out and me licking her gushing slit.
“I’m getting close,” I finally grunted, the need to release into her was building to the point of being unbearable.
“Wait,” She said, stopping me, “Change positions, have her on the bottom and you on top. It’ll help her conceive easier.”
Victoria and I looked to each other, we never thought of that. She nodded and quickly pulled herself off me as we switched places. Before I slid back inside her, Romie grabbed a hold of my cock and took a trial suck, slurping up the sicky mess on it.
”Mmm, not too bad. You two taste pretty good together, we’ll have to do this again.” She remarked as I began thrusting anew.
Romie settled next to Victoria as she watched me, saying nothing but grinning at the lewdness. I thrusted harder and harder causing her lithe frame to move upwards with every penetration.
Burying myself as deep as I could into her, I released my pent-up load, flooding her insides with the makings of her payment.
Panting, I collapsed onto her as Victoria wrapped her legs and arms around me in an embrace, keeping me inside her.
“That was amazing!” Romie purred, while stroking both of our faces with a paw.
“Well, I’d say one more round should do the job, then it’s my turn.” She said matter of factly.
Fuck, I don’t think I’m gonna survive this night. Do me a favor though, tell my folks that I died happy?
Just… don’t give details…