Snow flakes tickled our noses and covered our heads as we tumbled to the ground in a puff of white powder. Picking ourselves up, we dusted off the snow and looked around. I heard a gasp from Dude, I felt Muse purring on my shoulder, and I smiled in delight at what I saw.
Spread out below was a valley, and beyond that were mountains bathed in white. An icy stream snaked down from the mountains, and in the distance rose the mist from a great waterfall that fell between the pecks of the mountains. The valley was sprinkled with crystal-like flowers, who’s frozen petals sparkled against the rays of the golden sun. The whole scene held an air of mystery and wonder, and was beautiful to say the least.
Dude rubbed this eyes and looked again, as if he couldn’t believe what he saw, “This is incredible!”
“Welcome to The Land of Make-Believe!” I proclaimed, sweeping my hand across the scene to show off my marvelous land.
Muse shook the snow off his wings, then settled down on my shoulder and curled his tail around his paw. “Funny, I’ve never seen it in winter before,” he considered it a moment,. “I rather like it.”
“Why thank you, I thought it would be appropriate,” I said with a nod and a smile.
Dude scratched his head, “Appropriate for what exactly?”
“For Christmas, of course!” I snapped my fingers and Santa hats landed on all three of our heads. Dude jumped in surprise while Muse look annoyed, but slightly amused. Which I’m not sure how that’s possible, but then again he is a cat.
“It’s only two weeks away,” I continued.
Muse interrupted, “You know it’s still Advent, right?”
I rolled my eyes, “Yeah yeah, I know. I can get a little Christmasy though. At least I’m not constantly singing Christmas music-”
Suddenly, Frosty the Snowman was playing over the loud-speakers. I looked around in confusion, and my friends were just as surprised as I to find that we were now in the middle of a shopping mall. The frosty landscape had given way to busy shoppers, whining children, the scent of cinnamon and fresh bread, sparkly decorations and bells, and radio stations playing non-stop Christmas carols.
“Wha… what just happened?” Dude looking at me as if I should know.
I looked at him back and shrugged, “No clue, I didn’t do nothing.” I looked at the green and red ribbons hanging from the balcony above us, then at the hordes of shops beginning to press in around us, “But let’s get out of here. As much as I like pretty decoration and people, malls just suffocate me.”
I started walking through the throng, trying to squeeze past people as politely as I could. Muse climbed to the top of my head, and stared uninterested at the shoppers, but occasionally pointed out where a clearing was. Dude followed behind me and asked, “Can’t you just change it back to that other place? Don’t you have, like, ultimate control over everything? Since you’re the writer and rule over all your universes?”
“Yeah… but not at the moment,” I said, side stepping a baby stroller.
“Because this is the plot hook. We wouldn’t have a story if we didn’t have a problem to fix, now would we?” Muse purred.
“Muse! Stop breaking the forth wall! Don’t forget what happened last time. But thanks for saving me from having to come up with some plausible excuse as to why my powers won’t work. I’d probably have to come up with some bad guy, some reason he’d want to trap us here, and whatever else. But now we just have to find the exit.”
Dude scooted out of the way of a huge lady with five bags on each arm, “Good, being stuck he with a villain would be too fat and ugly of a problem for me.”
No sooner had we spoken then we heard a growl, and the words: “What did you just say to Wanda?!”
Looking over my shoulder I saw that the lady with the bags had turned around and was glaring at Dude with murder in her eyes. She was the type that you’d picture with curlers in her hair, her thin night-gown creased and folded within the rolls of her fat as she stood on a hillbilly porch and screamed at something. Her ugly face was enough to repulse you, and that was nothing compared to the smell.
“Oh! No, I’m sorry miss, I wasn’t talking about you. You must have heard me wrong,” Dude shook his head profusely, holding up his hands in defiance and stumbling backwards.
The lady started stomping forward, “Wanda have select hearing, you make fun of Wanda?”
“No! No no no….”
“You called Wanda fat and ugly!” Her brutish voice shirked.
I grabbed Dude’s arm “Okay, time to go now.”
Muse smirked as we took off at a run, “I think we just found our bad guy.”
“Hush up, you,” I said, looking back to see Wanda thundering after us. She was plowing through the crowd, and the people were squawking and moving like chickens in a chicken house moving out of the way of the farmer’s boots. She really was hideous, and the way her arms hung down and her shoulders hunched made her look like an ape.
Since Muse was sitting on my head, he saw everything I saw, and when he saw her he said, “Ooh, you picked a nasty one, didn’t you?”
“I though I told you to hush up? And I’m blaming you for this,” I snapped as I dodged through the crowd.
“Nope, this one’s all you mistress. You and that strange subconscious of yours.” He glanced back and said with an amused grin, “Curious, I believe she is turning green, and are those purple shorts she’s wearing?”
“Will you stop making me want to kill, and start helping us out of this?”
“Fine, go that way,” Muse rolled his eyes and pointed with his tail.
“What?!” I looked around but couldn’t tell what he was pointing at.
“I see it, follow me!” Dude pulled me to one side, but we fell down and slid across the floor. I closed my eyes and put my free arm over my face to protect myself from the stampede of feet. When I opened them again, I found that we had landed under one of the vending carts that stood in he middle of the mall.
We held our breaths and dared not move as the rampage of Wanda barreled past us. After several tense minutes, we ventured to peek out, then slowly come out from hiding. The path of knocked over shoppers and Christmas decorations left in Wanda’s wake was still putting it’s self back together. So no one paid much attention as Dude, Muse, and myself causally make our way in the opposite direction.
To be continued…