Episode 64: Eve: A Matter of Payment

 

    My head peeked out from behind the books, next to Dichall’s and Gretchen’s, but we
dared not move them, even to hide. I was petrified that the faerie standing in front of us would notice the motion.
     The thin being dropped the decapitated body to the floor, where it bled out onto Josh’s
carpet. The faerie scanned the silent room, with the cat’s bloody head still in its toothy mouth. Then it swallowed the head whole.
     She has no reason to suspect we’re here, I kept telling myself. As her gaze passed our
way, we kept our eyes and whiskers perfectly still.
     As she walked toward the door she revived her glamour, and by the time she was outside she looked like a normal human woman again. She left the door open.
     All three of us exhaled a relieved breath as soon as the monster was out of sight. We
hugged each other, grateful to be alive.
     Gretchen was the first to break our embrace. “Come on, Councilmice, we have work to
do.”
     We jumped down to the ground. The room stank of fresh blood. I couldn’t look at the cat’s body. We never even got her name. Why didn’t she go out the window when we warned her to? Why didn’t she stay under the couch, at least? These questions would never have answers.
     I thought about Josh coming home to this grisly scene. “We can’t leave the body here.”
Gretchen and Dichall just looked at me.
     “I know we can’t drag her out ourselves. I want to ask Waffles to do it.”
     As if on cue, his head appeared in the doorway. His one eye took in the scene. “Sweet
cheese and crackers! What on earth happened here?”
     “Faerie. We have to hurry. Waffles, can you drag this body outside, and hide it
somewhere? We don’t want Josh to have to come home to a murder.”
     Waffles gestured with his snout at the pool of blood. “I think he’s going to know that
something happened to his cat.”
     Good point. “Still, I think it will be less traumatic if there isn’t a headless cat on his
carpet.”

     Waffles screwed up his face, but finally put the cat’s tail gingerly in his mouth and
dragged the body outside and around the corner.
     I saw it left a trail of blood across the carpet, out the door, and to the bushes where
Waffles had left the body. It didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped… “Okay, back to Jody’s to get the glasses?”
     Dichall pointed back inside. “We still don’t have anything to pay her with. I noticed Josh left his wallet in there, on the counter.”
     We all looked at the wallet.
     I was tempted. “We did help him. It would kind of be like payment…”
     Gretchen shook her head. “But Josh didn’t agree to anything like that.”
     She was right. “All right, let’s go. We’ll have to find another way.”
     We mounted Waffles and left the grisly scene for Jody Curator’s house.
     After a tap on the window the white-crowned sparrow in human form opened the door
and let us all in. “That was fast…”
     I shook snow from my fur and jumped atop a chair. “We found that Josh’s girlfriend
Madison was a faerie in disguise. We tipped off his sister Morgan with a phone call. She came to his place, they both saw what she was, and ran away. The faerie is gone.”
     Jody sipped her tea. “Gone? Did you destroy it?”
I felt a pang of guilt for allowing that horror to walk free, probably to victimize someone
else, but I just would have just gotten myself killed trying to fight it. “No. She’s gone for now, anyway. We hope the humans are coming here with the glasses we need.”
     Jody just blinked at this story, as though it sounded perfectly normal. Maybe facial
expressions don’t translate so well when you’re in a transformed state… “And what do you have for me in terms of payment?”
     Dichall scratched his head. “About that… Josh and Madison don’t know that we helped
them. I was hoping you could ask them if they wanted to offer a donation, in exchange for the help they didn’t know they had. Maybe that could pay for our use of the glasses.”
     Jody chuckled softly. “I think you underestimate people’s generosity.”
     “Maybe so. But we didn’t find anything else of value to you. I don’t know. If this doesn’t
work, maybe we can owe you a favour or something.”

     Jody nodded. “I will ask them. Why don’t you hide under the couch, and we’ll see if they
show up soon. If they don’t, I’ll give them a call.”
     Waffles eyed the couch’s underbelly with a skeptical, single eye. “I’m not going to fit
under there. Can I just curl up on the carpet somewhere?”
     “Sure. Just don’t talk to them.” Jody stood and took her teacup to the kitchen. “They
don’t know I’m a white-crowned sparrow.”

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