Housepets: Symphony in Periwinkle
Huh? What is that sound... Don't tell me he's... it can't be
"O' Catherine see haow I trud'geh thro'ghe the thickest af snoooowww..."
Awwwwwrrr, he is. Wait, am I dreaming? What is.. Where?
A flash of light greeted Max as he just barely opened his eyes, straining to see while his head throbbed from the enormous headache accompanying him. He's had no actual means of consciously keeping up with the passing events in the world of reality, only fading in and out every so often, while being at being at the mercy of Ivan's sudden urges to sing.
Oh they've have been moderately tolerable so far, these singing sessions, but on the sixth rehearse of Ivan's apparent favorite song "Through Vinter Discontent Did Boys Become Men, no.3
," it was now starting to seep into his dreams. There was no way around it, the shoes were off (figuratively speaking) and some words had to be said. And Max had to say them. With all the strength he could muster, he grumbled "Ahhh Ivan
, stopit erm wiishaaa
Ivan, too absorbed in the majesty of all that was glorious to hear Max, merely spun round cackling and threw his head back, "Ahh! Iss days like today that take me ba'k to yesterdays in motherland." Ivan exclaimed with shivering relish, "Vhere us men roared from the heart, in brisk, ice cold, chilling down your spine veather." He saluted to the empty air, "Iss powerfully embracing."
"Bout as embracing as the serious headlock I'm going to put you in if you don't can it
." Max mumbled.
Ivan gave his comrade a benevolent look, "Vhat did you say? Sorry, cannot hear you under girly voice of yours."
'I said can it
." Max hissed, regaining some semblance of activeness. "and ah.." what else should I ask while I'm still up
, Max struggled to remember what wa--oh
, suddenly it hit him, oh! Oh sh
-what time izz it? Where arh we?" A gut wrenching chill shot through his neck, sending every hair on the back of his neck stiff standing up, having just remembered exactly what
it was they doing and why
it was they were out, "Have we found Grape yet?!"
Ivan scratched at his forehead, "Eh, but you just tell to me to 'can it,' how can I answer vhen I am forbidden to unccan vhat has been can'd?"
"Oh for the love of," Max tightened the grip he had on his arms, seriously considering his headlock threat, "Just be straight with me Ivan, I need to do something here that's kinda urgent! Grape hates me now and I need to find her!"
Ivan rolled his eyes, "Aowwa Max, does this vorld need to spin slower for you? Okay, maybe some things seem bad now, but relax for minute. In fact they haff a saying in my country for this occasions," He said in a "oh-so-matter-of-factly" tone, "'Vsyakomu ovoshchu svoyo vremya
.' There. I think you'll agre'eh it vorks okay, so try not to feel tense now."
"This is serious Ivan so just give the antics a rest, and what good do this mystic proverbs do me when I can't understand them
? I'm not
not Russian so who--" Max stopped himself cold. He was too tired to pay attention to what he was saying, and now the words were falling out without notice. Immediately Max made haste to scramble together an apology, "Ah geez, I'm sorry Ivan, I didn't me--"
The Savannah giant had stopped dead in his tracks, bending his neck around with an omniscience crack
so that his piercing eye made contact with Max, "I h'am villing to forgot the words that haff been said, so long as ve never speak of this again." He said. They were not words spoken lightly, but as final as the spell of death.
A long, tense awkward pause fell between them.
Rarely does the overused phrase "I hope you learned something from all this," ever really apply to Max in his happy-go-lucky tumble through life, but at one point a lesson struck him clear and that was never to confront Ivan's background directly. Max has witnessed on several occasions when many others made this fatal mistake and payed dearly for it, and nothing serves to teach a point more effectively than a clear demonstration. Who knew exactly why Ivan was so bent on believing he was something he was not, but what ever the case was, Max knew he had gone over the line, and somehow he got away with it. He felt terrible, more so than before, and the fact that Ivan didn't simple drop him and leave him behind made him feel all the more worse as Ivan continued to wade on through the white, still lugging him along as if nothing had happened.
"So," Ivan spoke abruptly, startling Max, "you say you need to talk to purple cat about something that make her hate you. You say it is urgent; do you know vhat you are going to say to this girl of yours?"
Max was taken aback by this question, not expecting Ivan to truly act so concerned about the matter at hand. He thought for a moment, probably for the first time on this, and replied, "I, actually don't know. I kinda thought I would just know once I was there with her."
"Iss no good," Ivan said, shaking his head, "you can not go vithout plan of vhat to say or else you von't know vhat to say."
"I don't think that's true," Max said, "I kinda know what I have to say, in fact I have a pretty good idea of how it will go too. The only thing I need to figure out is just, how to start saying it all.."
Ivan shook his head harder this time "And that is vhat vill be vhat ends it for you!" He raised his hands, "Grom ne gryanet, muzhik ne perekrestitsya
,' You think you don't need to take measures, but know this comrade," He pointed at Max, "girls are tricky
things. They vill twist your vords and sayings to mean things you did not mean. They vill search for those tiny niches to grab hold of and choke off any other routes you can take! They are passionate beings who unravel your vords and construc'kt them into demons that vill devour you, and a vomen fueled by emotion is a dangerous beast comrade. If you do not know vhat to say at the start, you vill not recover."
"No." Max stated simply, "Grape's not that kinda person, hardly like a girl either but
, she's not out to twist words around. She's... cool, and very down to earth when it comes to people. She'll know where I'm coming from, we both...we have a lot in common. I trust her to hear what I have to say...'
"Just like you trusted her to run avay from you?" Ivan quipped.
"That was different." Max sighed heavily, "I wouldn't exactly expect you to understand, but believe me I don't blame her for doing what she did... had it been me in her place..." Max closed his eyes, "I don't know. I thought I was better than that. She trusted me, she chose to like me, but now... I don't even know who I am anymore that's how bad it is. What I did wasn't me..."
He felt a leisured sag in Ivan's shoulders. The large cat lifted his head, "Max," Ivan said listlessly.
"Listen comrade, I know... I am not one hundred percent who I say I am." Max opened his eyes, lifting his head sharply, "I am villing to say maybe that... but don't you go and forget who you are." Ivan leaned back a little, as if searching the boundless plain above him for something, "Vhat a man is reduced too, vhen he has no place to call his own, no something to call himself, iss a sad way to go," he paused for a moment, "I don't think that suits guy like you."
Ivan turned his head around again, this time not with aggression, but with compassion, a thin smile across his face, "If this girl likes you for who you are, if she trusts you, don't give her any reason to doubt you are not the same person she vanted." He grasped the nub of Max's elbow, "I see hope for your scrawny bones, just go prepared is all I am saying."
"Oh Ivan, ya big softie," Max lifted his arm to ruffle Ivan's course headed hair, "I'll be fine, 'sides, I'm in my element when it counts, like in those 'heat of the moment' times," He screwed up his eyes, "you know, something like that. "
Ivan shrugged, "Heh, sure. Just don't say I not varn you."
Max laughed lightly as he felt the familiar weights tugging at his eyes yet again, "Ivan, I will be the first
to let you know that you did indeed warn me. Heh heheeeee
Against the waning hours of the day, Fido still persisted to find Peanut somewhere within the forest. He heaved himself through mass amounts of debris and various pointy sticks and rocks concealed just below the snow; it was all starting to become a very tiresome venture. It didn't help that with every seeping minute he felt as though whatever grasp he had had on this day was slowly becoming nonexistent, if a grasp had ever existed. Confidence sinking, Fido figured the best thing to do was try once again to fool himself into thinking everything was actually going rather well.What a great day,
he thought, and there it is! I feel better already. I'm so glad I have everything under contro--
"Fiiiiiddouuhh."...aaaand there it goes
He sighed with mixed agony and annoyance, "What is it Spo?"
"Lifffssugh," Spo had foregone the physically demanding task of applying his usual brand of excessive gestures to his dialogue and instead relied on relaying his messages facedown, directly into Fido's head, "yuggh doof angh awghhhhhsaaahhma tahmeh leeaha jushhhs imprreassshaaanne..."
"What." 'what' being the only word Fido could muster on the spot that didn't sound inherently threatening.
Spo rolled himself over lazily, "I said you do an awesome Tommy Lee Jones impression." He mumbled.
"Oh." Well okay then,
"that's... nice. I guess."
"No, I mean like, can you to do that part from the Fugitive again man? I gotta be honest that sends chills down my spine."
"Nooooo." Fido shook his head, sparking a few sharp complaints from the resident up top, "No Spo. That was one time." He counted one finger, "One time Spo, and I reeeeally don't want to have that somehow turning into a habit if I can help it."
"But it's... perfect
for the occasion!" Spo pleaded, practically bursting his arms upward, "There's gigantic-no, huge
potential here! I swear to you- maybe at if you don't- you will never be in a situation that's more befitting."Heh,
"You know what's sad?" Fido asked with a mock tone of jest, "Is that I know that's highly unlikely."
Spo rolled his eyes, "Bah, you've gone soft. You'll see, soon you'll grow old and the spark will be gone, and you'll rue the day you missed out on this golden opportunity..."
"Mmmm, sounds more like a day of bliss eh hehe," Fido was surprised to find himself chuckling; his shoulders were actually shaking from laughter. It felt rather unpleasant to Fido, mainly because it didn't feel natural. He felt like he was laughing out of reflex more than anything. "Ahhh. I wish it'd get here sooner."
"Hurmph, donno why you find that so funny..."
"I don't know either." He replied dolefully.
Spo sat himself up, sporting some impressively bad bed face. He licked his paws and tried to smooth his fur back to a respectable appearance. Through a midswipe he paused, both hands hovering above his eyebrows, "I bet he's hiding." He whispered. He shook his hands out to dry, then sat silently, rocking back and forth to himself, periodically biting his lower lip when the urge demanded it. "He's been on the run for ten or twenty minutes," He grumbled, "average foot speed laughable. What I want out of every you
," He prodded the top of Fido's head, "is to- eh... check every, farmhouse? Farmhouse. Farmhouse, outhouse, and doghouse... maybe just the doghouses. We better make sure you check them all to be certain- oh c'mon don't leave me to put Jones to shame, I want it to sound cool."
Fido continued to tread more ground, working to regain his footing on the whole fooling himself effort.
Spo sighed, "Let me be straight with you Fido, let me be candid if you will, sometimes I can't handle the stress of keeping up appearances." He shrugged, "When folks get too serious it bums me out; sometimes I need to kick back and be that simple guy who enjoys simple things you know?"
"hrmmmm..." Fido replied.
"It's not like I ask you for much-- okay okay maybe some here and there, you don't need to growl at me like that. Look, all I'm asking for is a little authenticity here. Cause you're a cop and Jones played a cop in like all his movies..." He leaned forward, waving his hand well within Fido peripheral vision, "you see where I'm going with this?"
Fido didn't respond.
Spo, crestfallen, slouched back to his seated position.
"Hmmmm," Spo pondered for a moment, "Cept' for that one Schumacher movie. Urgh..." He shuddered a bit. Once he opened his eyes, he took a good hard look at his companion, "... I think you'd definitely make a better twoface than him." I'm not listening. I'm not being distracted... in fact, I can't even hear him. It's all fuzz and peaches to me. Not a peep--
"Let's you and me try to picture this now Fido," I'm picturing something already...Something PG-13 I hope.
"On one side, we got the devilishly good looking, bigger-boy scout-than-Captain Marvel, top dog of the neighborhood; the Harvey Dent of his species. Brought down by a cruel twist of fate and forced to live with half his face sheared off to reveal the dark, secretly repressed underside of his wicked cat courting self--"
"If you want my attention so bad fine," Fido snapped, "just don't bring up anything about Sabrina right now okay?"
Spo smirked, "Got something out of you didn't it?" He patted Fido ear lightly, "We're supposed to be bros Fido, all biological impossibilities aside, and bros share things; preferably secret things." He pointed to himself, "I'm trying to help you, as a bro, and you," He jabbed Fido's ear this time, "you're pushing me away, which is totally unbroish."
"Spo, lets you and me try to picture something right now" He shaped his hands round the sides of an imaginary box and planted it firmly in front of himself, "I still need to find a missing dog in these woods," He nudged the box to his left, "Who also happens to know about my relationship, both he and his friend, and for how long I'm not sure" He nudged farther left, "On top of that, I now have to contend with the fact that everything Sabrina and I have been working on together may or may not be falling apart at the seams, aaaand..." He rounded the box to his farthest right, "You're. Not. Helping
"Ouch." Spo said, a twinge of hurt in his voice, "way to cut down your bro man."
"Fido, why do you bother with all this? I'm almost certain there are dames out there that wouldn't give you this big a headache."
"...Because I love her okay?"
"Is that all?"
"Isn't that reason enough?"
"I guess, but, heck if I can figure it out."
, now, please let me concentrate on what I have to do."
"Pffft sure whatever,
not my fault you can't keep from going around in circles anyhow."
"Circles Fido, they're round objects. Euclid is rolling in his grave."
"No, what did you mean by the "going around in circles" bit?"
"I can see the dog tracks right there," He pointed to a small clearing through a thicket just above Fido line of vision, "If you're lost that's okay, it's nothing to be ashamed of."
"Could you... can you show me where they are?"
Through a exhausting effort, Fido cleared a path through the thicket, stumbling and hopping to get over without pricking his feet. Fido bent down to give the padded snow prints a quick sniff, "...this isn't my scent, which can only mean their Peanut's foot prints."
He began making a mad dash to follow the prints, jumping and ducking breathlessly through the trees like an Olympian athlete, stopping only when he found himself right at the edge of the side of the cliff. He examined the trail, "He definitely got down there, maybe by falling. I don't see him though..."
Fido then hopped down off the side the cliff, much to the sheer terror of Spo. Unlike the previous trekker, Fido's descent had some elements of grace to it, save for the hideously high pitch shrieking erupting from the top of his head. He petered out towards the end, stepping just so back on terra firma.
Spo, petrified and white-knuckled from clutching Fido's hair, screamed "What the fudge man?!" You could have killed yourself! And by extension you could have killed me
"Spo, for once you've been really helpful. Thank you."
"Oh well, you know," Spo said bashfully, seeming to have recovered rather quickly, "it was nothing."
"Right then, lets keep going." With that Fido began to sprint along the trail of prints; after having finally gotten a hold of something, he was not about to let go.
Thanks a lot for reading!
Say tuned for part 8!
P.S. Huh, who knew Spo was so comic savey. What a nerd amiright?
P.S.S. If you're still reading this silly story, and you found this message, try to fit the word "Jackanapes" into your comment. It'll be our little secret.