Whitney smiled in delight as her flock of pigeons brought in two captives. “Good work, my birdies!”
The winged creatures carried Tater over to their master, and as Daphne got dropped onto the floor, she saw this transaction take place, which prompted her to shout, “Give me back my cat!”
“You’re in no position to demand anything!” Whitney leered as she stuffed Tater into a cardboard box and closed it.
“Alright, then, what do you want? New furniture?” Daphne glanced around the room, and her face soured from bewilderment.
Whitney was affronted by that. “What? Why would you think I needed that?”
Daphne ridiculed her, “Seriously? Despite all of the power you have in this town, you choose to live in what can only be described as the Golden Girls’ attic?”
“These aren’t my living quarters, you foolish girl!” Whitney snapped. “This is just where I work out my plots with my feathered friends! Obviously, I can’t let them into my apartment or my tenants will get the idea they can keep dozens of pets in their households too! How would that be sustainable?”
“You have tenants?” Daphne questioned. “Who would wanna live with the Ochre Angel of North Vegoz?”
Whitney impatiently let her know, “They’re my employees, and before you ask who would wanna work for me, I forced them into it, you know, threatened to curse their families and stuff.” Daphne nodded in comprehension, and then Whitney shifted the conversation back to the original topic, “Now then, I’m keeping your kitty unless you give me the Carmine Clogs!”
Daphne inquired, “Why do you want them so bad? Oh they must do more than stay stuck on my feet…”
“If Sapphire didn’t tell you, then you’re not gonna find out ‘cause I’m certainly not gonna tell you!” Whitney folded her arms defiantly. “You’ll see when you hand them over to me!”
“Why would I do that?” Daphne shot back. “You’ll kill me whether I hand them over or no, so in light of that, I’d rather follow the Blue Angel’s advice and prevent you from taking them!”
Whitney seethed, “If you don’t give them to me, this box is getting tossed into a flood channel!”
Daphne objected, “You can’t do that! My cat is in there!”
“Uh, yeah! That’s the idea…” Whitney coldly responded.
“I… I can’t let you have them!” Daphne hesitantly told her.
Whitney ordered the beaked beasts, “Go ahead and drown that stupid animal!” The pigeons darted towards Daphne, so Whitney barked, “Not her, you idiots! Take the box and toss it into the flood channel!”
The fowl began to obey her command, and Daphne’s heart plummeted at the tragic premise this posed! Tater was family to her, and she couldn’t let him lose his life like that! She unwillingly relented, “No, don’t do that! You can have the shoes as long as you promise you won’t hurt him!”
“Yes, fine!” she brusquely agreed prior to diving for the red footwear. “Finally! You’re mine!” Her clutches crept closer to them, but when she fell within inches of the Carmine Clogs, they shot out a bolt of scarlet electricity! “Ouch! Oh, that can’t be right! She gave me permission to take you! You’re mine now! You have to allow me to touch you!” She made another attempt, and the shoes issued another zap! “I’m your owner now! You must bend to my will!” She made another bid for them, but the footwear repeated the same action. Daphne stifled a giggle, and Whitney growled at her, “What did you do to them?”
“Nothing! I can’t make them do anything!” She paused and then followed that with, “Can I?”
Whitney snarled, “You’re pulling my leg, aren’t you?”
Daphne asserted, “I can understand why you’d assume that, I would’ve found something like that extremely amusing! But no, I’m serious! I didn’t jinx them or anything. Actually, they even attack me if I get too near them! I could’ve mentioned that to you, but it was more fun to watch you figure it out yourself!”
“Hmm… How do I get those clogs?” Whitney wondered.
“If I had any inkling on that, would you really expect me to tell you?” Daphne snidely articulated.
Whitney let out an exasperated exhale, and then she yelled, “I wasn’t talking to you! I was thinking out loud!”
Daphne needled her, “Oh, really? Well, could you specify that next time? I wasn’t very clear…” Whitney gritted her teeth, and then she began to pace around the space. She spotted Daphne getting comfortable, and she ogled her in disbelief. Daphne very nonchalantly regarded her, “What? You expect me to be cowering in fear right now? If you wanted to watch someone tremble from terror, you would’ve been better off kidnapping Lionel instead!”
“You should be scared!” Whitney hissed. “You don’t know what I’m capable of!”
“What are you capable of? Murder?” Daphne grilled her. “Have you killed before?” Whitney chose not to reply and resumed her pensive movements, and Daphne continued to hurl enquiries at her, “Did you murder your sister? Huh? Did you get the impression that you could obtain her shoes if you annihilated her? Or did simply wanna take over her territory? Oh, maybe you just got jealous of her…”
Whitney paused her pursuit as she doubtfully acknowledged her assertion, “Really? Why would I be envious of her? I have far more power and influence than that so-called professor ever had!”
Daphne sort of smirked at her slight against Almira. “If she showed as much compassion towards her students as she did the staff around her, I wouldn’t doubt that statement! However, her teaching ability evidently isn’t something you covet much, but there could have been other things! Like… Well, maybe you thought she was prettier than you..”
“Ha! That’s ridiculous! That dog was not prettier than me!” Whitney argued.
“I guess we’ll never learn the truth since you made her disappear!” Daphne retorted.
Whitney refuted that allegation, “I wouldn’t assassinate Almira over something so superficial!”
Daphne probed, “Then what would you assassinate her over?”
“Enough!” Whitney roared. In her fury, she gestured wildly and wound up flipping over the box Tater was held in. As soon as he got the opportunity to do so, the cat burst out like a spring and darted out the window!
“Go, Tater! Go!” Whitney encouraged him as she watched him jump off of a canopy and onto the nearby pavement. “Man, I wish this was big enough for me to copy that move!”
Whitney held her hands up in confusion. “Why did he escape? I already agreed not to hurt him!”
Daphne vocalized, “Maybe he left in case you changed your mind. I bet you did the same to your sister- did you promise that she’d stay safe so she’d get rid of her suspicions?”
“Quit interrogating me, you strumpet!” Whitney screamed. “I’m not gonna crack, so zip it!” She returned to her speculative steps, and Daphne stayed silent for a stretch. Suddenly, she ceased and declared, “I’ve got it!”
“You’re gonna execute me?” Daphne presumed.
Whitney spat, “I’m not telling you anything! You’ll discover it for yourself soon enough!”
Daphne shrugged. “Perhaps! Meanwhile, I have backup en route here, so you’ll have to contend with them soon enough!”
“Ugh! You’re right!” Whitney cringed.
“About the murder?” Daphne cheekily quizzed her.
Whitney clicked her tongue in annoyance, and then she informed her, “Do you picture me getting to where I am by being dumb? Listen, you see this timer?” She adjusted a timer in the shape of a chicken, and then she darkly conveyed to Daphne, “This is how long you have to be alive! I won’t say how, but when this goes off, you can hassle Almira about how everything went down personally!”
Whitney cackled as she left the room, and initially, Daphne stayed defiant. After a while, the reality of the situation hit her. She was all alone up there! Tater fled, and her three other companions were getting subjected to whatever depravity Whitney had in store for them. She was completely by herself in there, and the next instance she would have another soul in her presence would likely stem from the onset of her demise! She had no manner in which to escape either! She felt so helpless, and she berated herself for beckoning this fate to her direction! She wanted to lend innocent folks a helping hand, and instead, she evoked the termination of her lifespan! Her stomach tied itself into knots, and she wistfully cradled her knees as she contemplated it all.
“Daphne? Daphne! Where are you?” Aunt Mae’s voice sounded from Daphne’s pocket.
“I’m here, Aunt Mae!” Daphne gratefully held her busted cellphone up so she could speak into it. Her heart flooded with joy to hear a friendly ally during a juncture like this! It was a relief to have someone who could offer her comfort in her final moments, but then it occurred to her that it didn’t necessarily have to be final for her after all! She swiftly reported to her, “I’m in Vegoz, Aunt Mae! I’m being held captive by a woman who’s named Whitney Hamilton, and she’s keeping me in the Pumperdink Gulch apartments! Please call nine one one! I can’t, my phone broke during the cyclone!”
Daphne expected Aunt Mae to assure her that she would comply with her request, but no noise got emitted from her device. “Aunt Mae, do you hear me?” She got no response, and her spirits sank. She allowed her optimism to prevail as she fell under the belief that she had unearthed a method of breaking away from this deathly predicament, but alas, it appeared to have been a deceptive concept instead! Daphne desperately strove to restore her idealism once more, “Oh, Aunt Mae! Please don’t leave me! Please, come back! Please! I’m frightened!”
Whitney’s image abruptly manifested onto the monitor by her, and she mocked Daphne, “Aunt Mae, please come back!” She snickered at her cruelty, and then she sneered, “I knew all that bravado was inauthentic! Nothing gets past me! … Except the pool boy! I don’t let him go anywhere near my proximity!”
“Why?” Daphne pondered.
“Never you mind why!’ Whitney grumbled as she disappeared from the screen. Daphne couldn’t furnish any other avenues of faith or solace, so she buried her face in despair.
Whitney stirred a giant cauldron and gave it a sniff. “Ooh! It’s almost ready! If those meddling boys are convinced they can rescue that bratty tramp, they have a huge shock coming!”
Two men entered into the vicinity with pretzels and a six pack of beer, and when they beheld Whitney in the lounge, one of them assessed, “Uh, we should probably come back later!”
“Yes! Or I’ll mandate overtime with no pay!” Whitney screeched at them. They sped out, and then Whitney opened a window that faced the water park. “No person can carry on with this in their system! Enjoy!” She guffawed as the vapors floated outside.
“We’ve already been to this spot!” Nick complained.
Heathrow disagreed, “No, we haven’t! I don’t remember seeing this slide before!”
Nick pointed out, “You carved your name into it!”
“Oh, yeah!” Heathrow recalled. “So I wouldn’t forget!”
“We’re lost!” Lionel esteemed. “I don’t know how though! It’s not that large of an area, and all we had to do was go straight! How did we get so turned around?”
Heathrow concurred, “It’s strange! Even being brainless, I don’t usually get this mixed up!”
Nick catechized, “Hold on! Did we get some sort of spell cast on us?”
“Probably!” Lionel reacted nervously.
“So, what do we do now?” Heathrow canvassed them.
Heathrow and Nick motioned in a fashion that indicated their dubiousness. All of a sudden, Tater entered into their scope! “Tater! Where did you come from?” Nick addressed him. Tater swiveled around and craned his neck back, so Nick determined, “I think he wants us to follow him!” Heathrow and Lionel obliged, and the three of them tailed the feline.