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A Barbaric Summer of Shenanigans

Chapter 8

“This way,” the Count bowed slightly and gestured toward the noise of children playing.

Filly smiled, letting her heart lead her to the raucous joy that emanated from behind a rainbow painted transport. A rather harried young woman and a sweaty young man were being love tackled by two score of children. The young man was tackling back, in strength equal to those climbing on his back. But the woman was trying desperately to settle everyone down.

“They’re all yours.” The Count grinned his tease.

He was thankful he had nothing to do with the scene and quickly disappeared, leaving Filly to somehow take over all the activity.

Filly surveyed the mess. The young woman corralled a few of the more sensible kids together, but the young man was still trying to wear out the wilder ones. So, overall, their well-intended efforts, only contradicted each other. Especially as some of the children had brought pets with them.

A couple of dogs were barking vivaciously, chasing madly around the activity. And a parrot jumped up and down on a side table, squawking loudly as one with the cacophony. Filly got a cheeky idea and giggled to herself.

There were a couple of small, meat pies wrapped up on a high shelf, waiting for lunch break. Filly took one down and unwrapped it. She sat on the grass and took a bite of the savory meat pastry, then barked loudly at the dogs. They both came running to her, following their noses. There was a smaller, fluffy schnauzer and a great, muscular mastiff. Both were overly loving and untrained. Filly found herself bowled over.

She laughed loudly, but the young teacher lady sighed at her in annoyance. As the supposed authority, the woman stalked over toward Filly with a chain in her hand, presumably for one of the dogs.

Filly worked her energies quickly. Wrestling the biggest dog, she pressed all her weight upon his powerful back, clamped her teeth onto the skin of his neck, and rolled over on top of him. The mastiff wriggled. But, Filly adjusted her mouth hold onto the soft underside of his throat and clamped her jaws together just tight enough to get his attention. Then she growled quietly and the dog stilled.

The schnauzer was still barking loudly, so she grabbed the scruff of his neck and pulled the fluffy mutt in, under her arm and brought his face close under hers, also.

The teacher reached down to grab at the mastiff, but Filly let go her bite hold and growled loudly, threatening the teacher with a warning stare. The woman was startled and paused. The children, also, paused a moment in their activity to watch the crazy dog lady. The parrot hushed a moment, too.

Filly returned her full attention of fauna energy upon the dogs. She gazed into both of their eyes and they gazed back, panting at her adoringly. She giggled and sat up. The two canines sat up, too. The schnauzer butted her arm with his head and the large mastiff tried to sit in her lap. Filly laughed out loud, cuddling them and loving them with whiny, puppy noises.

“What are you doing?” The frustrated teacher demanded.

Filly winked up at her with a smiled and said,

“Watch this.”

Then the animal Energist whistled a short quip and both dogs alerted to attention. She nodded to each of them, then out to the children with a rounded movement of her head.

The dogs barked in eager happy voices and bound off, running around the children in a great circle. They barked and play snapped at their feet, causing the kids to dance closer in toward each other. The dogs wiggled their butts and wagged their tails and got all the children laughing with hilarity. But, they also herded them in to stand in a small clump before the crazy dog lady.

The parrot screeched,

“All in order, now. All in order.”

Filly had the attention of every wonder-filled child. She smiled and held out her arms, crying,

“Welcome to Story Adventures! I can show you a whole new world,” She changed her tone to a warning challenge, “if you dare to travel with me.”

Every child was silent, staring.

“Do you dare?” She asked in a loud voice.

The kids burst into cheers, clapping and jiggling their little bodies up and down.

Filly let them exhale in delight, but when she sensed a catch of breath in them, she held up her hand and directed,

“Then take a seat, my friends,” And she sang to them, “and let me show you a whole new world!”

Everyone sat, even the dogs and the teachers. The parrot flew over to land upon the shoulder of her favorite, owner child.

“We have been afforded the most wonderful opportunity,” Filly said, gazing around at everyone present, “by Royal Decree even.”

The kids “wowed” and became wide-eyed.

Filly reached up, inside the transport, where several papers were stuffed into an important looking box. She pulled out an envelope and carefully unfolded the letter within.

She read:

“It is hereby decreed that Miss Filly the Fauna Energist will take charge of the most talented children in all the land, to create an epic production of wonder, that will entertain the crowds of the Blyns Crag Festival.”

A couple of gasps escaped young mouths. And Filly continued in a loud whisper,

“By order of the magnanimous Count Marin Tambeaux of Kentari, King of the Caravan Artisans.”

Then she folded the letter away.

“I wanna see!” Demanded one of the kids and they all pressed in to read the letter, too.

Filly stood quickly and held it close to her breast.

“No, no, no, no, no. Only the person to whom this letter was given may read it.” Then she scolded the children gently, “you know private mail is Private.”

The children vocalized their disappointment with whining.

“What’s this?” Filly was shocked. “I thought I might find the most talented children here, but… this can’t be? Talented children are hardworking wonders that can do what no other child in the world can do! Do you know what that is?”

“What” they asked on cue.

“Talented children can do what no other children can do by being pleasant and not being whiny.” She winked at them.

They all laughed together.

“Shall we see what talents you all have?” Filly the Fauna Energist inquired.

The kids all cheered and bustled in to get her attention and tell her what they could do. There were a few others on the outskirts who looked terrified by the idea of performing. So, Filly encouraged them,

“I’m also going to need some secret agent children, who can bustle about in the dark and get things done, without anyone knowing they are about? I need a stage and tech crew.”

Of course, everyone suddenly wanted that job, too. But, the shyer children looked more relieved and interested.

Filly spent the rest of the afternoon taking turns, chatting with each child individually. While the other two wonderful teachers were now better able to keep everyone in line with a rough schedule of: eating, studying, and playing. All in all, it was a productive time and everyone was happily satisfied when they returned to their home transports for evening meals and packing up to move on.

Filly returned to the Count’s transport and took her rest for the night, expressing her stress through creative painting. Count Marin Tambeaux took a seat opposite her and watched her mix colors.

He smiled and teased,

“It is reported that you received a rather special letter from me, today.”

“Indeed, I did,” Filly responded, matching his teasing tone.

“Funny. I don’t remember sending that one.” He challenged.

“You must have forgotten to write it.” She winked, “but I found it disguised as a gas bill for the children’s transport.”

Marin laughed at her.

“I suppose you will be wanting me to write the real one? If you can remember my wording?”

Filly smiled with gratefulness,

“That would be most kind of you to bother. I think I may remember?”

Marin stood to do his duty and asked,

“Shall I write an order, sending you to take charge over the whole children’s transport, too?”

“Good lordy, no thank you.” She sighed a breath in the quiet. “I will need this peace, away from them all, if I am to remain sane during this project.”

“Your will, is my command.” Marin bowed with a flirtatious flourish.

“Don’t be like that, Marin, please.” Filly said in a moment of vulnerability.

“Like what?” he asked.

“Let’s just be friends, especially behind closed doors. You know what is coming, or who is coming. Please, don’t make it any more confusing by amplifying whatever connection you and I already feel.”

Marin sat beside her,

“You are a wonderful woman. Any man might be” he cleared his throat and quickly let his gaze fall upon her figure, before he stared directly into her eyes, “inspired by you.”

Filly countered,

“Your inspiration comes with a genuine connection, but is seated upon a loneliness of heart, more than an equality of soul.” Then she leaned over and kissed his cheek.

He held her face close,

“Everyone is lonely. Can we not enjoy some passing fancy and console each other in our loneliness?”

“I don’t want be loved or lusted on because I’m needed me to fill a hole in your life. I need to be wanted, where I’m not needed. Need is a hole you must fill yourself.”

Then she lightened the mood with a tease,

“Besides, do you really think you’re any match for the Pirate?”

He teased back, grateful to not have to be serious any more,

“I have my own talents that I can bring.” And he dripped a cool drop of water from his fingertips, down the back of her neck.

Her body jolted and she squealed a little. Marin whispered in her ear,

“I can make any woman squeal with true pleasure, in the dark.” His fingers, still poised at her neck, wrapped around her with firm caresses as he slowly kissed her ear.

Filly was captive in the raw emotion that swirled up in her. She took a long, deep cleansing breath and whispered back,

“I never doubted you could.” She shivered, but turned her gaze away from the enticing man, and looked out a dark window.

Marin stood and cooled himself in the ice of his heart,

“If you ever need an ocean to swim in, my water energies are yours to explore.”

“And your heart?” Filly challenged.

Marin let a sad glance flicker through his teasing,

“I’ve not had one of those for a very long time, sweetie.” And he turned to leave.

His eyes set upon some young women dancing by the fire, but before he joined them, he tossed a hard remark back to the animalistic woman,

“Don’t expect your Pirate to have much of a heart. He’s famous for having half of it removed by a siren, remember.” Then he stalked out of the transport, dragging whatever remaining pride he had with him.

“Oh, I remember.” Filly whispered to herself. “I remember that well, indeed.”

She licked her lips.


Pre-exposition Letter by the Scribe

Chapter 9


If you would like to see more of Gregga’s books and other creative projects, check out her website: Gregga J. Johnn and Story-in-the-Wings.