Ferrets of the Apocalypse 1.4

“You may rest for now, but we will depart on the morrow,” Famine stated.  She then curled against my side.

B.D. moved onto the pillow, settled into the curve of my shoulder, and promptly began snoring.

I didn’t open my eyes until Nina brought in the breakfast tray, hoping the figments of my imagination would disappear.  They didn’t.  I spent the remainder of the day dozing and reading, and eating alarmingly healthy food prepared by my kind friend.  The ferrets remained asleep, even when I shifted them to switch positions in bed or got up to go to the bathroom.  Ferrets can seriously sleep.

The next morning, I convinced Nina that I was able to look after myself.  She left, after delivering a nutritious breakfast of sprouted wheat toast with organic peanut butter and a glass some violently green juice that smelled like dirt.

“Feel free to leave, while I’m getting cleaned up,” I told the sleeping mounds on my bed.  ”I’ve left the window open,” I hinted broadly.

I showered and dressed at a leisurely pace.  I even blow-dried and styled my hair instead of just putting it up in a messy bun.  I went so far as to apply eyeliner AND mascara.

I walked barefooted toward my bedroom with a hopeful heart.  All would be normal. I mumbled to myself, “I’m a boring woman who works in a lab in Seattle.  The most excitement I ever have is landing a research project or scoring a covered parking spot.”

I pushed open the bedroom door.  The room appeared to be ferret-free.  No lumps under the covers.  No tails visible under the furniture. The bedroom was empty.  I surprised myself by feeling a hint of regret.  My imagined brush with magic had just been the fleeting side-effect of a traumatic brain event.

At that moment I heard crockery smash onto the tiles of the kitchen floor.  Sliding to a stop at the kitchen’s entry, I saw two ferrets standing on the counter looking down upon the remains of my hand-made cookie jar, noses quivering with interest.

“It’s empty,” B.D. complained.

“It smelled lovely,” Mal offered.

“Well, I ate the last of the cookies before my ‘brain thingy’ and I haven’t had time to make any more.  I’m so sorry,” I said snarkily.

I turned to get the broom and dustpan from alongside the fridge, when I noticed Famine raised up on her hind legs by the stove.  Her little jaws worked, as she chewed on the dishtowel tied to the oven-door handle.  A corner of the checkered cloth appeared to be eaten already.

I dashed across the dangerously shard-strewn floor to snatch the cloth away from her.  Famine’s eyes narrowed dangerously.

“That is not for eating!”

“She can’t stop herself, sometimes,” B.D. snickered.  ”She once ate the sandal of a roman soldier, and had stinky-foot breath for a week!”

Famine flashed him a glare, and then managed a haughty shrug of her furry shoulder.  ”On occasion, I have unusual cravings,” she admitted.

“I’m surprised you didn’t lose a finger, miss,” Mal said.  ”Last person what tried to take something from ‘er lost an earlobe, ‘ee did.  I remember the look o’ surprise on ‘is face when she scampered up ‘im like a squirrel on an fat oak tree.  An’ the yellin’ wa….”

“Yes, well, perhaps you would be so good as to prepare a morning repast for us and then we can be on our way,” Famine interrupted.  ”Some scrambled eggs and fresh fruit should suffice.”

“Well, your ladyship, first I have to clean up this mess.  I may have some toaster tarts and milk, but that’s all.  I haven’t been to the store in a while.”

“Very well,” Famine agreed with a sigh.  ”We’ll consume these crusty tarts, but we must make haste.  We need to see a man about a sloth.”

 

Maybe I had brain damage after all.  Talking ferrets.  Their lips hadn’t moved, but who said a hallucination’s mouth needed to move to speak.

“You are not seeing things.  We are real,” the bossy cream-colored one said.

“Can’t I have dancing ferrets in my hallucination, or a very handsome man juggling ferrets?” I wondered out loud.

“We are not juggled!  Ever!” the small, red one sputtered.

“And the whole apocalypse thing is a real downer,” I added.

“The apocalypse has been occurring for some time and will continue,” the red one said unhelpfully.

“May I slip under the covers, miss?  It’s a bit chilly in here, and I promise to stay on me own side,” the gray one wheedled, with a winsome glance and an artful sniff of his little pink nose.

“Sure.  Why not?” I said.

He was off like a shot and under my covers in a patchy gray flash.  I gasped when his furry body brushed past my legs.  He was real!

“I hope you can accept the situation quickly and rationally, Alienor.  We’ll waste a great deal of time, if you choose to be silly and panic,” the white one said in a clearly superior and feminine voice.

“What am I supposed to accept?” I asked somewhat tartly.  I mean, I was recovering from a pretty serious medical incident, and here I was being harassed by possibly real, talking ferrets.  It’s a lot to expect of a person.

“I am Famine,” the female ferret said with a regal dip of her head.  She looked toward the red one, “This is War, but he insists on being called Brutal Destruction.  As a compromise, we refer to him as B.D. The one under your bedding is Pestilence, but he likes to be called Mal.”

“Where’s Death?” I asked with a chuckle.

“That would be you, for now,” Famine said.

“No, thank you,” I said politely.  ”I’m going to take a nap now, and you three may leave the way you came.”  I closed my eyes and concentrated on the image of a white sand beach gently awash with aquamarine waves.

I felt the weight of small feet move up the bed.  Four paws had the temerity to step onto my abdomen. I opened my eyes to see B.D. staring directly at me.

“Death kept you from dying when your blood thingy burst, and he gave you his powers.  He must’ve had a good reason for doing that, and now you can help us with our work, until we find Death and ask him what’s what,” B.D. said succinctly.

Well.  What can a woman say to that, I ask you?  I was formulating a darn good reply, when Nina knocked briefly on the door and entered my room.  She looked very surprised to see a ferret on my stomach and another by my side.

“I didn’t know you had pet ferrets,” Nina exclaimed.

B.D. growled lightly and gave her a mean stare.  Nina took a step back.

“I was keeping them for a friend who went out of town,” I lied with disturbing alacrity.

“Oh, well, let me know if you need me to do anything for them,” Nina generously offered.

B.D. had stopped growling, but his tense body and glare had not subsided.

“I heard you talking, and I thought I’d see if you were ready for some breakfast,” Nina said, ignoring the red ferret’s unfriendliness.

“Thanks so much for your help, Nina, and breakfast sounds great.  Toaster tart and chocolate milk?” I asked hopefully.

“Steel cut oats, fresh berries and sugar-free almond milk, coming right up!” Nina said, as she breezed from the room.

Four Ferrets of the Apocalypse 1.2

I was home in my own bed, so I finally got some rest.  The hospital was not conducive to sleep.  The doctor’s had to release me, since I no longer showed any signs of suffering from the brain bleed that technically left me dead for several minutes, and my tests all showed normal results. My friend, Nina, agreed to stay at my place for a few days to keep an eye on me, in case I keeled over.  All things considered, I was feeling pretty good, until the voices started.  At first I thought Nina was watching television in the living room, but she’s one of those anti-t.v. people who’d rather do yoga or make something with wheat germ, and the voices were really close.

“She smells like him,” the first voice said.

“We know she has his powers, Mal, that’s what led us here,” a voice replied impatiently.

“I say we bite her and get things going.  We’ve been waiting ages for her to wake up,” a rather squeaky voice added.

This last statement prompted me to open my eyes.  I blinked repeatedly, but continued to see three ferrets ranged along the foot of my bed.  One had creamy white fur with a black points and a plump body.  The white one was flanked by a smaller, russet-colored one, and a weedy gray one that seemed to have noticeable bald patches.

“Good morning, Alienor.  Welcome to the ranks of the Four Ferrets of the Apocalypse.”

Ferrets of the Apocalypse 1.1

I didn’t expect to die on a Tuesday. It seemed anticlimactic. I reported to the lab for my shift and started putting fresh water in the specimen cages. I released the upper latch on our oldest resident’s enclosure; a ferret that lab legend claimed was twenty years old.  He looked at me with dark, intelligent eyes.  For a moment a glowing light emanated from his sleek body.  I shook my head, and the light faded as a fierce pain blossomed behind my right eye.  I don’t remember hitting the floor. I didn’t hear the thump of the ferret as he jumped from his open cage and scrambled over my prostrate body. I woke the next day in county hospital surrounded by interns pouring over my chart and monitors beeping to raise the dead.  I was a miracle survivor of a sneaky arteriovenous malformation in my brain.  I was also unknowingly the new repository of the spirit and power of one of the ferrets of the apocalypse.  My life had taken a turn at entry-level-biologist onto lesser-known-mythological-being.  Things were about to get very weird and very annoying. My name is Alienor Weston.  Call me Al.

B.I.T.S. and Grit

I’ve decided that writing for me is a matter of B.I.T.S and grit.  B.I.T.S. stands for bum-in-the-seat, meaning in order to write one must place the bum in the seat and do it.  Even if it’s not perfected best work, write every day.  Grit means stick with it and write, write, write.  People who succeed in any arena might not be the most talented, but they do not give up, and they do not put their dreams on hold.  This blog is part of my effort to realize my dream of finishing my neglected stories, creating new stories, and becoming a published author.  I hope I can meet some great people along the way, and of course have some fun.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I wanted to start a blog to help myself begin writing NOW, have fun and make connections with other writers.  It would be easy they said.  It would be just a matter of a few clicks, and voila!  Wrong.  One meltdown later, I am writing this first post.  This is a test to see if it actually shows up on the blog and if I can access the blog site.