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Donnelle's World

LJ Idol Week 36 - Quick fire

LJ Idol Week 36 - Quick fire

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Me 2015
Mama Bear looked around her house and scowled. She'd spent all morning cleaning the cottage, but it looked nearly as bad as when she'd started. The cracked windows and the rusty red roof let in too much dirt, and she just couldn't get it clean. She growled, and tossed her rag into a corner.

"Are you okay, Mama?" Baby Bear peeped around the door frame, his deep eyes limpid with love.

She bustled to him and stroked his head, wincing at the heat radiating through his fur. "Of course, dear. Just trying to get ready." He barely weighed anything as she scooped him up, and carried him to his little bed.

"Ready for what, Mama?" he asked, as she tucked him in.

She avoided his gaze. "Just got some cooking to do, dear. We want to get you nice and strong again."

Baby Bear nodded tiredly and curled up on his side. She rested a paw against his forehead; still burning. He needed medicine, and soon.

The front door squeaked as Papa Bear dragged it open. She padded back to the kitchen and greeted him. "Did you get it?"

Papa Bear dropped a bag on the table. "I got it all."

She hugged him. "Thank you, my love. Let's start cooking."

The two bears bustled around the kitchen, measuring and mixing, heating and stirring. Finally, it was ready, and they poured it into the only receptacles they had available; Papa Bear's great big bowl, Mama Bear's medium bowl, and Baby Bear's teeny tiny bowl. Papa Bear held his paw against the side of his bowl, and flinched away. "Too hot," he growled.

Mama Bear glanced towards the bedroom. "Maybe we should take Baby Bear for a walk while we wait. The fresh air might do him good. Get him away from these fumes."

Papa Bear nodded, and together they bundled up Baby Bear and headed outside for a walk in the forest.

***

As the bears left the clearing where their cottage stood, someone stepped out of the trees. Her hair shone with the bright brilliance of sun-dried sand, and her expression was resolute. She walked up to the front door, carefully stepping over the third porch step, where the wood had rotted. The front door stuck, as it always did where the rusted hinges had let it slump downwards, but she hauled it open and stepped into the dimness.

Inside, she nearly tripped over the table where the three bowls sat, cooling. She leaned over and inspected the bowls. "I knew it," she muttered. "I could smell it." She picked up a spoon and prodded the contents of Papa Bear's bowl. It was too hot; the clear substance was still liquid. Mama Bear's bowl had cooled quickly, but the crystals were small and fragmented, and had the yellowish tinge that suggested impurities. But Baby Bear's bowl was the perfect temperature. The crystals were a good size, and clear and colourless. Just right.

She fished out a crystal and methodically prepared it. The rush washed over her, and she stood, euphoric, watching the leaves dancing outside the grimy windows.

As the initial rush faded, she started to explore the house. She found a chair in the lounge, and, impressed by the ornate wood carving, she sat in it. It was not comfortable. Annoyed, she flopped into the beanbag on the floor and wriggled to make a hollow shaped to her body. She tried to relax into it, but her incessant twitching disrupted the filling, and she abruptly found her bottom resting on the floor. She hauled herself to her feet and strode across the room. In the dim light, the small chair in the corner remained unnoticed until she caught her toes on it. Irritation erupted and she kicked it abruptly across the room. It shattered against the empty fireplace.

Restless agitation filled her, and she stomped from room to room. She halted as the front door groaned open again, and three furry figures filled the doorway. She ducked silently into the bedroom and hid under a bed.

"Hrmph," said Papa Bear. "You do look tired, Baby Bear."

"I'm okay, Papa," he quavered, though his fur was sleeked with sweat.

"Mama will pop you into bed, and I'll start packing up this stuff. Hopefully we made enough to sell, so we can take you to the doctor," said Papa Bear, gesturing at the table. The scattered equipment caught his eye, and he turned with a growl. "Someone's been in here!"

Baby Bear had halted at the doorway to the lounge. "Somebody's been here, and they've broken my chair!"

Mama Bear grasped his paw and pulled him back to the kitchen. They huddled there in silence as Papa Bear methodically searched the house. His bed was high and wooden, and the floor underneath was clear. Nobody could hide there. Mama Bear's bed was low, and the soft centre hung almost to the ground, but Papa Bear lifted the hanging quilts and checked anyway. Nobody was there.

He eyed Baby Bear's bed, with its rumpled blankets. Leaning down, he lifted a corner and found her hiding there. He hauled her out with his claws extended, and roared "Who are you?"

Filled with chemical belligerence, she bellowed back, "I'm Goldy."

Papa Bear shook her. "What are you doing here?"

She sniffed insolently. "Wolf sent me to check on you. We caught a whiff of what you've been cooking, and he wanted to know if it was any good."

Papa Bear let her go, and his posture changed to one of supplication. "And? What did you think?

Goldy smirked. "It'll do. But your crystallisation needs work. Only one little bowl of that is saleable."

He growled. "What will he give us for it?"

"What do you want for it?" she asked, twirling a lock of hair around her finger.

"Three grand."

"Ha!" Her abrupt laugh was genuinely amused. "Too high." She pondered for a moment, with her head cocked and an eyebrow raised. "Fifteen hundred?"

He shook his head. "That's too low."

They eyed each other for a moment, then spoke in unison. "Two grand."

Papa Bear closed his eyes, and his fur settled down. Glancing up again, he said, "Just right. Do we have a deal?"

They shook on the deal, his furry paw engulfing hers.

***

In the kitchen, Mama Bear listened intently, and clasped Baby Bear in relief. Two thousand would cover the medicine he needed. Everything was going to be okay.
  • Heh heh heh. It didn't quite end up where I intended! Sort of ran out of time but was glad I could get it to a vaguely sensible place!
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