Welcome to the third excerpt of chapter 24: SKEEVIDS, from HECCTROSSIPY 2: The Will of the Dark Creator. What lengths will Artheena go to, to get her sick baby brother his medicine?
Her heart sped up with dread. This guy not only was a dweeb. He was a scheming little creep. “Whatever,” she said, acting unfazed. “I just want to get what I need and get going.”
“Good. Then you’ll accept my pursuit.” He said, his grin growing wider.
Artheena made a face.
“Is that a, no?” he asked condescendingly, closing the coin holder. “Well, I guess your little brother will have to do without, and suffer.”
“Do the owners of this place know that you treat customers like this?” she asked.
“Jolp and Manganute went out for a bathroom break,” he said with a cocky smirk. “They’re in their hundreds with really bad arthritis. It takes them forever to walk to a privy and back. So they won’t be in here to do anything about this. If you don’t want my help, fine. You can go home and get your own money. Good luck getting back here when the rain gets harder, which it sounds like it already is.”
“OK! OK!” Said Artheena, exasperated. She had vowed to never again make the mistake of accepting the pursuit of a guy she didn’t like, but this was unfortunately different. He was giving her no better choice.
“Say that you accept it.” he demanded.
“I accept your pursuit, Danknoid.” she said, flatly.
“Thank you, my sweet, beautiful darling,” he beamed, handing her his coin holder. “Soon, I’m going to make you the happiest wife in the land.”
She had to stop herself from recoiling when the jerk put an arm around her shell, as they stepped out of the office, and headed for the store aisles. This was embarrassing, especially when the two orange-collars came out from the break room, and smiled approvingly at the new young couple. Now, being the girl that all the single guys in the village want felt like a curse. Artheena kept her mind on Willberry, in order to not feel disgusted with herself.
Thankfully, once they started down an aisle of medical paper products, Danknoid removed his arm from her, so he could carry her stuff. While she loaded his arms with boxes of folded up coping shrouds, paper bags of lisp leaves, and little jars of powdered and pureed herbs, he talked on and on about his tough life growing up in Continent 2. He survived through blizzards that lasted for dozens of days, and he merely escaped death when getting hunted down by blade-horned rambo monkeys in the hostile Arctic forest.
Artheena knew this was all nonsense, and he couldn’t have really come from Continent 2. She had read about Arctic people before, and seen picturized illustrations of them. Vervetts from Continent 2 have burley builds, and their skin is as pale and shiny as polished white stone. Danknoid was as scronny as an ink twig, and as brown as a tree trunk. He reminded her of Dah Mackrel, who she noticed had stopped coming around ever since the Hecctrossipy Festival. She concluded that maybe he did have his heart set on getting with Mell May. For some odd reason, the thought of this conclusion made the image of Dah Mackrel dressed up like a Guardian, from her hecctrossipy nightmare, flash into her mind.
When she and Danknoid walked up to the check-out counter, the store owners, who also took turns being the clerk, weren’t back yet. So Artheena left a pile of Danknoid’s coins on the counter for them. Danknoid insisted on carrying her stuff home for her, which she absolutely did not want, because then he’d find out where she lived. She was just about to politely turn down this favor, when Guardian Kroatis barged in.
“Good morning,” he said, as the orange-collars hurried over to wash his feet. “How is everything in this store?” His luminous purple eyes sparkled with adoration at the sight of Artheena. “And it’s always good to see you, Artheena. Even in your nighttime clothes.” Her cheeks reddened with embarrassment. “How are things going with you and the rest of your family?”
“Honestly, not good,” she said. “My brother came down with skeevids.”
“But her brother will get better sooner, thanks to you Guardians making sure that this store is well stocked and open at all times, my noble Guardian.” said Danknoid, in a sycophant tone.
“Yes,” the Guardian said to him. “Especially when you have a little sibling with skeevids too.”
“Oh, no, my noble Guardian,” said Danknoid. “I just started working here, and wanting to be a good contributor and a good pursuer, I’m carrying this stuff for my wife-in-pursuit, because she forgot her shopping tote. Now I’m going to be of even better service, and carry her purchases home for her.
Kroatis’s gloved hands balled into fists for a split moment, as his brilliant eyes blazed with repressed jealousy.
“So she’s your wife-in-pursuit, huh.” He looked at his coveted villager. “Really, Artheena?” She shrugged, feeling ashamed. “Where is the couple who runs this place?”
“They’re not here, sir,” said Danknoid. “They took a bathroom break.”
“Then you can’t walk this customer home, if no one else is here to manage the store.” said the Guardian, authoritatively.
“Jessup and Oosh are here!” protested Danknoid, losing his overly polite manner.
“It’s not the public servants’ responsibility to take care of business matters,” said Kroatis, in a combative tone. “You, young man, are to stay here. I’ll get a wheel burrow for this customer to carry her stuff in.”
“Oh, thank you so much, Guardian Kroatis!” Artheena joyfully exclaimed, wanting to throw her arms around him and kiss him.
“You’re welcome,” he said with an adoring smile. “It’s always my pleasure to do what’s best for my villagers.” Then he gave Danknoid a dirty look that said, “You’re not really her pursuer, you little punk.”, before he disappeared out the door.
“Sheesh,” said Danknoid. “Some Guardians are such up-tight thorns in the foot.”
“I know, right.” said Artheena, with a big smile.
In less than a moment, Guardian Kroatis came back through the door, holding an empty wheel burrow. Artheena didn’t care where he got it, or how he got it so quickly. She was just glad she could ditch the dirt bag, and get out of there. In one swift motion, the Guardian took Artheena’s shopping order from Danknoid, and loaded it into the wheel burrow. Thanking Kroatis with a beaming smile, she gave Danknoid back his coin holder, which sent him sulking back to the office. Then she was free to hurry home.
Fortunately, the rain didn’t get much heavier than before she entered the store. Even though she couldn’t sprint while pushing a loaded wheel burrow, its wheels rolled swiftly along the wet streets, which made it kind of fun to maneuver.
Artheena tried not to think of how she was going to deal with Danknoid, once the weather cleared up. There were too many other negative issues she struggled to not let get to her. Accepting Galloway, Logort, and Jo Joga’s pursuits was enough of a big regret, but at least they were nice guys.
Willberry’s bloody-murder screams echoed down the front walking path, as Artheena approached the house. When she opened the door, a blast of vomit and rotten cheese stench nearly made her fall backwards. “Curse of Jyoseppy! Ugh!” she exclaimed through choking coughs, as she rolled the wheel burrow into the sitting room.
Mom and dad were giving Willberry a bath. Beneath his screams, she could here them talking to him in calm, reassuring voices, and the sound of a wash cloth being gently dunked in and out of his bath water. “MOMMY, STOOOOOOOOOP! IT BURNS! IT BUUUUUUUUUUURNS!” screamed Willberry. He shrieked out a cry of agony, as though he was really being burned. The sound tore at Artheena’s heart, making her want to cry. Especially knowing that poor Willberry had no better choice but to endure this torture. Not keeping a skeevids sufferer’s skin thoroughly washed would make the skin vulnerable to other infections.
“Artheena?! Is that you?!” Burjiss called out from the bathroom, raising his voice to a holler over Willberry’s screaming. “Could you do us a big favor, and run to the Household Cleaning Supplies store! We have soap and mange fruit and wiping leaves, but I don’t think they’re going to last much longer! Willberry had an accident in his room, big time!”
“OK, dad!” Artheena called back, leaping towards her room. “Please, Jumellica,” she said, quickly changing into some daytime clothes. “Help us stay positive through this. Give us your grace that will light our way. So we could bring more of the light of good to you.” she sighed with discouragement, as she grabbed her wicker shopping tote. “And how do I keep myself from failing at being of any help to the Guardians’ plan?”
She hurried back into the rain, wishing she had a rain flyer, like the Guardians. The only thing to feel positive about at the moment was, at least she didn’t have to worry about running into Danknoid. The Household Cleaning Supplies store and Children’s Medical Supplies store were five streets apart.
I hope you weren’t too disappointed about nothing naughty happening. I got to keep things at a censored, PG13 kind of level. Besides, vervetts aren’t horny creatures like humans. Two vervetts have to be equally in love with one another in order to get some mating action going.
Coming up is the conclusion to this rough chapter in the South Section 5,898 family’s lives. Things only get worse for them, in chapter 25.
Love you all! Post you in about 24 Earth hours!…