In a shadowy room full of pigeons, Whitney stared at the screen of an antique television set, and she viewed something on there that made her shout, “Curses!” A flock of the birds flew up in fright, but they settled back down pretty quickly when they realized that she meant no harm. At least not to them anyways… Whitney bolted up from her faded and worn cushion seat, and she went closer to the box to gain a more advantageous perspective on the matter. “Ugh! They made it to Summerland alright! I let them get too close! They’ll make it to Oswald in no time flat!”
She growled as she held her hands in the air, and with a lot of venom behind her movement, she sent orange sparks flying across the room! The fowls evaded her advances, and her dark magic reverberated off of a mirror and zipped straight to her! She ducked, and it hit the sable stones that comprised the walls above her. The impact created a cascade of rocks that pelted her! Whitney let out a screeching noise, but as she gazed into her winged associates’ eyes, she calmed down a bit. “What am I getting all bent out of shape for? I’m Whitney, the Ochre Angel of North Vegoz! I strike fear into the hearts of everyone I meet! I can cause the hardest of men to buckle at the knees! I can make the toughest old broads break down in tears by my mere presence! I don’t let anyone stand in my way, and I know a certain dead relative can attest to that! I have the ability to make anything I want occur, so I’m sure as heck not gonna allow a brainless bum, a wimpy warrior, a dull detective, or a lost loser to defeat me!”
She marched back to her previous position, and she studied the screen. “Hmm… There’s still a stretch before they can access his domain! I could go there, and… No, that didn’t turn out well when I tried it recently! They got by with a lot of inane chatter and dumb luck! I need something to slow them down though…” She mulled it over for a moment, and then a lightbulb went off in her head. “I know! Pot seeds! Yeah, pot seeds will do the trick! Pot seeds…” She pointed her palms at a particular location on the screen and cackled at her concoction…
“Well, the cones end here! So, now where do we go?” Daphne petitioned the blue skies above the deluxe dwellings close to where they wound up. Nick, Lionel, and Heathrow gazed at each other questioningly, and then Nick inquired, “Which one of us are you talking to?”
“None of you!” Daphne replied. “Sapphire told me that help would always be available whenever I need it the most, and we need it now! I don’t know how else to access this assistance that’s supposed to be there for me on this journey! She didn’t mention anything about Gold Stone Road coming to an end! And now I look like a crazy person yelling at the clouds!”
Heahtrow assured her, “Don’t worry! I’m pretty sure that I’m still the one they’ll fret over the most!”
A terrier from a nearby yard began barking at them, and after letting out a squeaky utterance, Lionel dove behind Nick’s legs and used his limbs as a shield! “Let me know when the monster is gone!”
“I’d call you a scaredy cat, but that would be an insult to the courageous kitties out there!” Nick gestured to Tater, who was licking his paws and seemingly oblivious to the hound’s howls.
“I’m pretty positive we went the wrong route,” Heathrow conjectured. “Maybe we should go back toWink Gipliken park and go north instead of west.”
Daphne shut down that suggestion, “We’re not backtracking! This has gotta be the posh neighborhood that the Blue Angel is ‘not’ jealous of at all, so we have to have gotten close!”
Lionel poked his head out from between Nick’s knees, and he put in, “There used to be a golf course that led to the Emerald Angel’s headquarters somewhere over here. If it wasn’t for all of those cannabis plants, I would’ve sworn that it was right there!”
“Will you get out of there?” Nick sharply addressed Lionel. Once he emerged from that spot, Nick theorized, “I’m fairly certain those crops are new. They almost appear as though they’re hiding something…”
“Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go check it out!” Heathrow dashed towards the plants without hesitation.
Daphne strove to stop him, “Hold on! We need to wait and see it’s-!” Heathrow immersed himself into the greenery, and Daphne remarked, “Too late!” After a few seconds, she questioned him, “Okay, nothing immediately attacked you, can you make out any hints that anything will?”
Heathrow excitedly reported, “No! No one and nothing is out there right now! And once you get past all of the hemp, you can see the Emerald Angel’s headquarters!”
Nick, Daphne, and Lionel all eagerly raced over to Heathrow, and they crowded over his shoulders to behold the sight. To their delight, they discerned that past the tall, herbal plot as well as the rest of the lush golf course, there was an ornate, jade fence surrounding a lofty, juniper building! “That’s it, guys! We made it!” Lionel rejoiced.
“Hurry! Let’s run there before Whitney has a chance to ambush us!” Nick recommended. They all joyously scampered through this mini forest.
“I can’t believe we’ve finally gotten here!” Daphne exclaimed. “It felt like we were gonna travel forever, but this… was.. a… cinch!”
Lessening his gait slightly, Lionel celebrated, “Soon… I’ll… have… my… courage!”
Nick and Heathrow recognized that they were sprinting alone. They turned around, and it startled them to witness Daphne, Lionel, and Tater moving in slow motion! “Are you three alright?” Nick posed to them.
“I’m fine!” Daphne relayed to him while yawning. “I… I… I need… rest!”
“We can’t rest! We’re almost there!” Heathrow asserted.
Lionel sleepily observed, “Tater… is… napping!” He pointed to the ground, and Tater had, indeed, closed his eyes to slumber. Lionel volunteered, “I’ll… carry… him!” He knelt down to retrieve him, but then he did not stand back up again. “Actually… forty… winks… does… sound… nice!”
He settled onto the floor, and Nick chided him, “No! We can’t spare any precious minutes for snoozing! We gotta meet the Emerald Angel immediately or else the Ochre Angel could-!”
“I’m… awake! But… I… need… a… hand… in… standing!” Daphne leaned onto Nick’s side, but shortly upon doing so, she fell limp and Nick had to catch her!
“Come on, get up!” Heathrow lowered himself to Lionel’s level and prodded him. “Don’t you wanna get the bravery you need to become a champion boxer? Remember your dream at Suntop Arena?” Lionel started snoring.
Nick shook Daphne with vigor. “No! Don’t you quit on me!” Daphne’s status didn’t budge, and tears formed in Nick’s eyes.
Heathrow glanced up in surprise. “Nick, are you crying?”
“Me? Am I showing emotion? Never! Feelings are for suckers!” He couldn’t suppress the urge to weep any longer, and as he cried, he commented, “I guess I’m a sucker then! How could I not be though? I knew that getting civilians involved in a dangerous case could have some terrible consequences, and I did it anyway! Now look what happened!” He sniffled, and he almost lost his balance from this action. “Woah!”
“What was that?” Heathrow urgently asked.
Nick answered, “I dunno! It’s like as soon as I cleared my sinuses, I got super lethargic!” After a brief contemplation, Nick pondered, “Hey! How come you and I aren’t getting effected by… whatever this is?”
Heathrow deduced, “Maybe it has something to do with our sniffers! I have nasal issues too, but I imagine mine arose from my life on the streets. Ya know, I had to evolve past the sense of smell to not gag twenty four seven…”
“Hmm… You may be onto something!” Nick affirmed, which surprised Heathrow. “My sinus problems make my nose constantly clogged. Neither of us can inhale through that passage, but Daphne, Lionel, and Tater can… These crops are new… Holy smokes! This is a spell!”
“Oh no! We better do something!” Heathrow thought about it for a second, and then he queried, “What can we do though? We don’t have the power to reverse a jinx! But the Emerald Angel could fix them! Let’s get them there!”
Nick rejected that plan, “Yeah, right! Do you really think that they’ll let us into a business center with three unconscious bodies?”
Heathrow responded, “I don’t really think at all! My noggin is full of straw! You see, when I was born…” He espied the expression of impatience on Nick’s visage, and he refocused. “Of course, that’s not important at the present! Hmm… If we can’t get assistance from the Emerald Angel, maybe the Blue Angel can come to our rescue!”
“How exactly are we supposed to get her here?” Nick countered. “We don’t have her number or a phone, so we can’t exactly call her!”
“Yes, we can!” Heathrow disagreed. “We can call out our distress to the universe, and maybe she’ll hear us!”
Nick catechized, “Maybe?”
Heathrow argued, “It’s worth a shot, ain’t it?”
After shrugging, Nick complied. He cupped his hands over his mouth, and he yelled, “Help! Help!” Heathrow mimicked that move, and for a minute, nothing resulted as a result of their effort. The two were prepared to give up when suddenly, Sapphire’s translucent form appeared in the clouds above them! She smiled at the pair, and then she raised one of her palms. Once she vanished, snow began to fall upon the land! Nick and Heathrow eagerly watched their three companions in avid anticipation…
To their relief, all three began to stir! Daphne groggily spoke, “Where are we, Aunt Mae?” She got a glimpse of Nick’s face, and her eyes widened. “Wow! You’re not Aunt Mae!”
“No, I’m not!” Nick grinned. They each nervously chuckled, and then they instantly broke apart from one another. They proceeded to stand around awkwardly and avoided eye contact with their counterpart.
“Boy! Unusual weather we’re having, huh?” Lionel kidded as he admired the flakes.
Tater soured at the moisture this atmospheric condition brought, which invoked laughter from the four humans. With much alleviation in his voice, Nick regarded the recovered folks, “I’m so glad you’re okay!”
Nick audibly inhaled through his nostrils, and Heathrow advised him, “There still could be poison particles in the air, so if I were you, I wouldn’t start crying again!”
“Again?” Daphne and Lionel repeated incredulously.
“Um… Shouldn’t we be hurrying to the Emerald Angel?” Nick changed the subject. “With her scheme failing and all, Whitney might decide to find us in person…”
Daphne agreed, “Yeah, let’s get out of here!”
The travelers all enthusiastically scampered out of the area. Shortly after their departure, a golf ball landed in a pile of fresh powder. A man in a yellow polo and green cargo shorts went over to the site. He looked around, and his brows furrowed. “Hey, Henry! I can’t see it anywhere!” He gawked at the shrubbery, and he wondered, “When did they put this trap in?”
From inside of her lair, Whitney screamed in rage. The pigeons cleared a path for her, but she chose not to act out in this instance. Instead, she stared at the trekkers and seethed, “Bah! Someone always comes along to help that girl! Ach! I can’t show up in Oswald’s domain, and, no doubt, they’ll worm their way inside prior to my arrival! But, I can’t simply hang back and let them go see the Emerald Angel! So, what on Earth do I do now?” Whitney paced around her chamber, and some of her feathered friends dared to return inside. Whitney irately stewed over her dilemma, and then she abruptly reached a conclusion. “I got it!” The volume of her verbalization prompted the birds to scurry away again! She grabbed a cellphone of of an antique table, and she decreed, “Those do-gooders are gonna fail their quest if it’s the last thing I do!” She dialed a few digits on her device, and she faded out of that locale.