Tank trotted around the cabin after MommySass left, sniffing corners, putting his wet nose to the viewports, and then staring nowhere and everywhere. Be alert, Friend Reilly had warned him. Bad Thing watches us with its ugly smelly light.
Tank knew. He scented another drip of ugliness just now, a fetid ripple in the neverwhen. A small one, yes. But there.
Gone now. He looked again through the neverwhen. Perhaps he’d scared it away. He might be only a fidget, but he was growing stronger. He blinked his eyes, searching for something more pleasant.
He felt Reilly’s answering purr.
Play now? Play time?
Play now, came the answer from down the corridor. Come here. Go Blink.
Fun! He swished his tail, remembering to do what Reilly taught him. Stretch. Reach. Sense. Go Blink.
He felt the neverwhen ruffle his fur. And then he was in Friend Reilly’s cabin sharing a wet-nosed greeting. Fun! he said again, and pounced on his friend’s back, wrestling the larger furzel to the floor....
The two furzels touched noses one more time before Reilly followed Tank into Sass’s small kitchen. Tank sat and looked up at the countertop. Reilly leaped gracefully, landing next to a shallow bowl of cream.
Tank scrunched his pudgy body against the floor and pushed with all his might, managing only to scramble against the cabinet doors before falling.
Shtift-a! he swore.
Reilly looked down at the pudgy fidget, then indicated with a lift of his nose the other side of the counter and two tall stools. Obediently, Tank trotted around and, paw over paw, grunting audibly, managed to pull himself up to counter level. Reilly graciously left a bit of cream for his friend.
A noise at the cabin door drew their attention.
Sass. Friend. Love, said Tank. Mommymommy!
Friend. Sass, agreed Reilly.
“Keep it this time. Please.” He secured it to her shirt, just over her captain’s bars.
She knew she would never let it go again. A part of him, a part of Branden Kel-Paten. And a promise of forever.
She threaded her hand back through his and let him lead her through his ship’s dark and dying corridors to the airlock’s hatchway. A fat long-furred black and white furzel sat patiently waiting for them in the bright glow of the only working overhead light. Guardian of their safety. A beacon to guide them home.
(all selections from GAMES OF COMMAND )
Daquiri aka Daq Cat aka Tank the Furzel
Nov 1996 - June 21, 2009
You will be in my heart forever.
~Linnea aka MommySass