Development Team (infinitely lucky to have them)
Artist (I still feel unworthy about working with him)
Special Thanks to Cerberus X and IceKitsune for their constructive criticism and allowing me to recreate my style and improve my ideas.
Many thanks to Sinder for his teachings, I'll never forget them. They mean a lot, really.
And special thanks to Strauss for being a fountain of inspiration.
-------------------------------------------Episode 1 - Gone and GoingPart 1:
Not Even GoodbyeIt was a difficult decision, leaving. And sometimes I'd even look back; wondering what could have happened if we decided to stay. But everyday when he tells me he loves me, reminds me why we left. Why, even when the world said no, we chose to lead this life, together.
~Grape Jelly Sandwich, Author
The night at it's still began to call close the neighborhood's inhabitants. The sun setting in its place in the distance, Pets retreated home after the long hours of the day, alongside their families, struggling over the many cracks on the road.
Flickering lights and the absence of sound seemed to envelope the lifeless streets that seemed lone in the dawn of night and it’s silver sun.
Everyone seemed to settle as early as eight. Tomorrow was a very important day, and most of Babylon Gardens agreed to make an early shopping with their peers.
Upon the Sandwich household lay one of the only lit windows in the entire neighborhood.
Grape scrambled through her drawer, taking as many good clothes as she could find. Digging through her wardrobe, she cringed at the sight of her mother's many garments. "Not now, not now!" She drew herself back from her tears. The memories neared their outflow but she grit, maintaining composure.
"C'mon, pull it together!" She held on as much as she could, pushing herself harder and harder to go through with her and Peanut’s decision.
They needed to get away, to the only place that would accept them.
Panic drummed beneath her chest, her heart in its pitched struggle. Her fingers kept shaking, causing her to lose some of her grip. And as late as it was, she was wide awake as she hurried as much as she could.
She pulled out a few choice clothes in the drawer, settling the others back in as neatly as she could. She raced to her parent’s former bed and settled it next to the traveling bag atop.
She could hear bending metal behind her as the pole holding the hung clothing seemed near to break. "No!"
She hurried over to grab it, stopping just underneath it with the weight of much cloth over her. Her legs near surrendered as she attempted to lift the metallic pole as it gave way. "Gah!"
It fell to the floor before her as she lay there along with it. Several shirts over her head, weighing lightly upon her. "Of all the luck..." She mumbled under the clothing.
Irritation stemmed a vein as she rose her head. Discarding a few clothes to her side, she pulled herself up, fixing the fur that hung over her line of sight.
Looking to the open photo album at the bedside table, she eyed a recent photo
of her and Peanut in that very room. Her arm around his neck as the other was off screen, holding the camera. His pleasantly surprised expression, emphasized by the obvious blush, drenched in a deep red. Her lips pressed against his cheek as she winked at the camera.
She sighed. "Peanut, please hurry back."
Glowing eyes watched her as she sat at the edge of the bed. The mysterious creature shifted in the trees across the road, slowly adjusting its line of sight of the room.
Grape plopped down, settling her thoughts on the bed. "Maybe we shouldn't leave..." Her whisper, silent and barely carrying over the tick of the wall clock.
"Of course you should!" She screamed mentally. "They'll never accept you two, and you can't stand trying any longer!"
For the past few weeks they've attempted to keep their relationship under wraps. Shielding their love that seemed to clear as a guilty pleasure in the eyes of their neighbors and peers. Though as hard as they tried, and they honestly tried their best, turning their thoughts of interspecieal relationships is next to impossible.
Many a time they convinced themselves well enough to think that their friends would to accept them but their efforts were left to naught for cowardice and common sense wrestled with their demeanor.
Confidence at a low and their relationship at it's very tip, their decision was met in a simple deduction: What mattered more? Their love or their friends?
Grape stood and made her way to the weighted pole on the carpeted floor.
"No regrets." She said.
Breathing deeply, her eyes shut, allowing her nerves to calm. Her heart slowed, panic fading, her grip on herself returned to her strong persona.
Taking the clothing from its place beneath her feet, she kicked the pole underneath the bed. She picked out all the clothes that would fit them both and set it in the traveling bag. She zipped it shut as she pulled out another bag from under the bed.
The mysterious creature climbed the face of the building, peering through the window of the bedroom. It lifted the window as it slowly made its way in. It's large form, impossibly slimming through the much smaller opening. Once inside, it spreads blue wings as it rose it’s body.
It took the tan colored traveling bag in his talon to inspect it. "Well, well, running away are we?"
"Gyah!" Grape jumped. Recovering from the shock, her eyes set upon the familiar griffin that had recently become both a miracle maker and thorn in her side. "Pete? What do you want? I'm busy." She grunted in as much exerted irritation as she could emphasize.
"Just checking up on you." He grinned a mischievous smile then settled down the traveling bag in its place. He stretched his body across the side of the room, careful not to disturb the cat. "I trust things went well these last few weeks?" He settled his talons underneath his chin, set with an attentive gaze toward her.
She did not make eye contact as she sat at the edge of the bed. "They weren't perfect, but I'm with Peanut now, that's all that matters." She roots a smile, almost blissful, yet she stood and made her way out; bag in hand.
Heading downstairs, her traveling bag dropped on every step on its way down with a loud thump of the clashing little wheels.
Pete followed her. His large frame easily allowing him to take only a single step down from the side of the staircase onto the first floor. "Speaking of Peanut, where is the boy?"
Grape headed into the kitchen, her bag nestled on the counter. "Filling up the car, he should've been here by now."
She opened her fridge, the fresh scent of home grown fruit and frozen meat and wheat flooding her senses. "Hmm... Smells nice." She exclaimed taking out a few apples.
Pete grinned. "You think he ran away?" He teased.
She shot him a deadly glare. "Shut up. He'd never do that."
He grinned. "I'm glad you have so much faith in him." A smug expression gracing his features as he sat across the counter.
Peanut pulled up by the Turtle Shell gas station. It sat nestled at the corner of the block, with the alternating buildings pitch black at their close for the night.
Underneath the seemingly pleasant night sky, an eerie romance of conceitless silence and cold winds reveled about. The evening’s uncouth bliss for the nocturnal kept Peanut at his heels as he climbed out of his car. The atmosphere was dense with the distinct aroma of sushi from across the street in a restaurant.
The scent of freshly cooked fish eminated still from the restaurant's second floor. The cook could still be seen, a tan Siamese with his similar counterpart somewhere inside with him.
Peanut was shaken, unease guiding his footsteps as he neared the gas machine. He took the nozzle from it, disclosure hampering him in hesitation. The fuel began to spill out as he panicked to slide it into the car. Sadly, he had forgotten to unlock the fuel pipe and he started making a mess. "No, no, no!"
A dog of grey coloration rushed to his aid. "Woah! Woah!" Peanut jumped at his sudden appearance. He took the nozzle and shoved it back into the machine. "You are planning to pay extra, right?"
Aaron Morris was his name. He was one of Max's original band members and become a good friend of Peanut's.
He was clothed in an orange car repair jumper that seemed to be accented by the soot that darkened the clothing heavily, as well as a few blots on his forehead and cheek.
"Sorry, Aaron..." Peanut's ears flopped as he leaned against his car. He sighed in slight frustration. He takes out his keys and unlocks the small hatch.
"You're stressed out. What's up?" Aaron takes the nozzle and starts to fill the car.
"Um..." Peanut and Grape practiced over and over on their alibi. Peanut struggled to find the words in silence, masterfully masking his time with frustration, till finally spitting it out before assuming suspicion. "I'm just a bit anxious about a trip I'm going to. Not even sure I should go."
"If you're this eaten up about going, why go through with it?" He reasoned.
"Don't lie!" Peanut thought as he wrestled with his conscience. "I'm just not so sure. It's... complicated." Peanut shifted into his car as Aaron pulled out the nozzle from the filled tank.
Aaron leaned into the open window. "Well, is there anything I can do?"
"No, I don't think so." Peanut checked the built-in digital clock on the dashboard. It was getting late. "Look, Aaron, I really need to get going."
"Sure." He was understanding.
"Just take care of yourself. I wouldn't like to see you here for too long."
"Oh, this?" The young guitarist pulls the orange jumper of his uniform. "No, this is just for extra cash. I work in Veiara Inn now."
"Well, maybe I'll catch you play sometime."
"Don't count on it." He laughed a bit at the thought of it. "Fiddler and Keys own the place, so they own the stage, literally and metaphorically."
Peanut tried to laugh along with him but he wasn't in any mood to. Plus, he was in a hurry.
He was starting to feel awkward and somewhat envious. Aaron had found a comfortable place here. Peanut couldn't possibly hope for the same. "Well, I really have to be going now."
Aaron nodded with a half smile. He drove off as Aaron waved.
"Good luck on your trip!"
"Thanks, I'm gonna need it..." Peanut groaned in his thoughts.
Peanut stopped at a crossroad by a red light, checking both sides. No one else was out this late driving.
He remembered his dad used to stop at every red light or stop sign. Peanut would ask why, receiving the repeated "It's the law." line from him. The lingering sensation of loss, all too familiar and much too unwelcome, heaved it's way into him.
Peanut held tight at the wheel. "Ten and two..." he thought as a tear drop escaped him.
"Dad..." He hung his head over before the wheel. Ready to burst into tears. He wasn't like Grape, he wasn't as strong.
His mind, welled with the memorial thoughts of his family’s many endeavors, was lined with the returning realities. Humanity, now only a memory, fell those few years ago. Flashbacks of the good old days remained forever entangled with his thoughts.
He ground his teeth as hard as he could, trying to keep himself focused. "We're leaving for Seattle." He could hear his own voice echo within him, thriving with sensations of ambivalence. How those last few weeks have hardly been kind, driving them to accept the truth. They would never be accepted, not here at least.
It was a difficult choice to consider, starting over in some strange and new place, but they assured themselves that this was the only option.
They considered other options, even making an attempt to confess. But the closer they got to telling someone their secret, the more clear it became apparent that their minds were not too open.
Tarot, Joey, Fido and Sabrina being exceptions of course, but they were examples of an imperfect life. Joey and Tarot were oddities in society as Fido and Sabrina struggle with a secretive lifestyle, their relationship at its edge.
They weren't cut out for that kind of life. They couldn't take it. They wouldn't take it.
Peanut snapped back into reality. His slow, steady breathing is the only sound in the air. He heaves a heavy sigh.
He shifted the gears then he pushed anxiously at the peddle, heading for Babylon Gardens.
The cricket sounds, now a rare event in this aftermath, embellished the echoes that seemed no more rampant than the infant cries that night. They shed their tears next door, the mother could be heard comforting it and singing a lullaby as they calmed.
Grape's thoughts wandered to having children of her own. If ever she'd be called a mother. She felt she could take it, harbor a newborn in the Sandwich family, but she shuddered in unease at the thought of pregnancy itself. The prolonged restrictions of baring a child within and the constant mood swings that could lay tear with her relationship with her partner.
Though her mind would, time and time again, drift into this line of thought. As if she hasn't fully decided if it is even a reasonable a step to take in their love life. Though she hasn't thought that far.
She hung her head, fantasies that felt wild continued to hover over her.
Her aspirations remained dim in this light. An unwelcome new world without the guidance of her parents barreled down on her thoughts, weighing to this day.
Thinking about having a child in this atmosphere just felt too silly, but seemed to demand so much attention.
Pete watched anxiously as she suddenly came out of her personal trance then hurriedly gutted the fridge of its contents. She continued her rush for a while, still jutting back and forth from the cupboards, bread box, and fridge back to the counter where the traveling bag was tossing in miscellaneous cans and Tupperwares.
He then chuckled inwardly at her panic, bemused by her impressive pace as if she had been preparing for this day and going for a record!
She had pulled the cookie jar from the top cupboard and stumbled back a bit by its impressive weight. In her haste, she had forgotten the weight and proceeded to the counter, only to slip yet again, tossing the jar forward.
As she fell, Pete caught her in his hand as his lion-tail caught the jar within the bushes of its furred tip.
Realizing the unbecoming of her fall and the air, benign of the unwanted sound of shattering porcelain and precious cookies, Grape slowly opened one eye to reveal large yellow talons standing her up. The tail swung and unleashed the jar that Pete caught in the air then settled down with the bag.
Grape looked to him, expecting to see the same annoying grin she had become so acquainted with, yet only to find the look of unfamiliar worry and knowing in his eyes.
She felt he could see right through her, as if he had figured out all her struggles.
"Still doubting this?" She could tell he meant leaving Babylon Gardens, as well as the rest of North Carolina.
However inaccurate Pete's assumption was as to what troubled her recent thoughts, this decision was
still bothersome to her. "I guess..." A lone thought then filled her with half hope and half disappointment. "Maybe they won't let us leave, no matter how far we manage to go."
Pete laughed a bit at her. "Don't be so naive."
"Hey, it's not like you know my friends more than I do!" Irritation plastering her features.
He gave the familiar grin, but that faded for some reason, back to the worrying and knowing expression. "I may not be psychic, like your friend Tarot, but living for so long makes deduction simplistic, having seen it happen so many times. And honestly, sometimes I wish it wasn't this easy."
"What do you mean?" She seemed attentive enough to continue on. Her former expression, faded.
He answered in a lower tone, a disheartening one, while avoiding eye contact. "As I see it, after a week or so, at least one of your sensitive companions will begin to panic about your leaving. Joey, being the only one with any knowledge of your trip prior to all else, will be questioned. As much as he can, he will defend your whereabouts and quell their fears for a time." Grape's hopes were high but Pete's depressing tone worried her. "Though, eventually, his lies would become harder and harder to believe, and what willpower he possesses will fall when confronted by one of your closer or much kinder friends. In the end, they will know but assuredly they will not follow." He ended with a half smile, hoping it helped.
She felt offended, this obvious in her facial expression. Her friends weren't like that. They're dedicated and real, not plastic! They wouldn't just shrug this off as if they never had anything together. "What makes you say that?" She said in a skeptical manner.
Pete was taken aback a bit at her reaction but chuckled slightly inside. "Hmhm, don't take it the wrong way." He smiled. "They'd all probably figure out why, then deter that they will have no say in the matter."
Grape's ears perked curiously at those words, though doing little to loosen her irritation at him. "You're saying they won’t do anything about it?"
Pete began to ignore her expression, keeping their eyes from locking at any soon moment. "How could they? You've already gone and they'd be much more ashamed at themselves. Granted, not all of them, but in time they all will."
A familiar feel of depression washed over the room. "Somehow that doesn't make me feel any better."
"I know, it's just an assurance." Pete could do little in this situation now, he had done what he could. He looked to her, beckoning the bright smile he had become accustomed to. "Just know that you will not be stopped if you go. Neither will you be stopped from coming back and though either choice is not preferable, know that one of them is necessary."
Pete steps away, back into the living room before disappearing, leaving Grape in the pitched silence and thought as the cricket sung on.
Entering the neighborhood, Peanut took a detour to see a friend before he left. He wasn't nervous, not at all, just troubled at the thought that things have resorted to this. And they had to take him down with them.
Nearing the designated home, he slowed his car as he peered through his window. The lights were on in this house.
Peanut got out, making his way to the door.
The air was still cold, the same mixture of heavy breezes and low temperature that rushed throughout the streets.
He shivered under his fur, then suddenly realizing the emptiness in his stomach. He hadn't eaten dinner. "I hope she's making something to eat." Preferably something hot.
He breathed in and out, then trying to muster a smile before clicking the door bell. The doorbell rang in it's odd and silent jingle, but it was louder than last he heard it.
He couldn't place it but there was something off about the home. Something just didn't seem to feel right about it anymore.
"Joey?" He whispered, but no reply returned, nor the sounds of any of the usual stumbling that came before footsteps. He was starting to lose faith in his young friend, thinking he might've chickened out.
The garage door opened as Joey peeked out from the corner. "Over here." He called out, trying to keep his volume at a low.
Peanut walked over to the garage, picking up his pace as Joey gestured eagerly for him to hurry. "What's going on?"
He shut the garage door behind Peanut. The lights flicked on.
"Nice car..." Peanut examined an impressive black van that stood in the midst of the room. He would have taken more time to appreciate the large vehicle, but Peanut had no time and was still riddled with his deep thoughts not so long ago.
Joey leaned into the driver's side window then opened the trunk. Joey headed to the rear of the vehicle as Peanut headed there himself.
Peanut felt troubled by his expression. He seemed stressed and looked ready to sweat if he could.
Joey was a willing friend. Ever supportive and became closer to the pair as the years went by.
Now he's muddled with the same pressure and undermining of society's inacceptance. Opinions set to a general as they, the simple few, lay beneath their shadow.
He opened the trunk and pulled out two gas tanks. "It's going to be a long trip, you sure this is enough?"
"Yeah, I'm sure." Peanut seemed neutral; a blank expression mirrored upon them did little to help his composure.
Joey shook a bit. Nervous about the ordeal and the timing. "What time is it?"
"I don't know." He lied, he checked when he was in the car. Peanut knows what time it is, what day, what month, and he wishes it wasn't today, wishes he was too late already and suddenly became unable to leave. But he was early, it was hardly past eight.
"Well, in any case, you should hurry back. The sooner you go, the less chance you get to meet any of them on your way out. The nightlife is going to be lively tonight." His face was neutral, but bore heavy.
He was ready to confine himself more than usual. He was almost always at home with his mice friends helping keep the house up and pay the bills. He hardly had to work nowadays.
Peanut nodded as he took the canisters to his car. "Thanks, Joey; this means a lot, to both of us." Without a word more, he pops the back of his car then sets them in.
The youngest Brian stood in silence as he watched Peanut get into the car. "Good luck!" He said. Those words were starting to sound very awkward.
Joey could only imagine life from now on. The ever constant lying accompanied with the slow, yet inevitable deterioration of his will power.
He knew well his minimal capacity to lie. He had little faith in himself at the moment, this much was certain. However Peanut, reluctantly, could not concern himself with this. He knew this would be difficult, they all did, but he chose to help them, despite the foreseeable conflicts.
The road was much quieter now. Unsettling to a much unwanted point. But he pushed harder on the peddle, wanting to get this over and done with.
He turned on the radio, it helped in the least.
It was a beautiful a night. A black canvas littered with stars was aloft just above her head. The moon, so full and filled with an almost mythical wonder. Yet it was an uneasing beauty, almost unsightly, matching terribly with the current atmosphere with Grape.
She was perturbed. Unable to compose herself properly now, having dealt with it for so long. It seemed as if the universe was abound to allowing her yearning to thrive.
Now she wonders where all the lovers are. How they are spending this perfect night. How envy strikes so hard on her nowadays, so easily afflicting her.
She needs him.
"He's been out too long." She whispers to no one in particular. She was worried.
She had made all attempts to halt her imagination from going too wild. But her composure seemed failing.
Sure she understands that the trip downtown and back isn't exactly hasty. Now with the cracked roads and inexperienced workmen parking their cranes and bulldozers on the road all hindering the way, she couldn't expect it to be easy either. But it was difficult to be without him now, in most any case.
It was reasonable, and she at least holds onto the fact that he knew this, how much she needs him to get through the day under the heat of peers and need of assuage on their parent's loss.
Their love nowadays, seemed to be all they had left. Now it was all that mattered.
Grape sat by the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of the olive green car.
Now memoirs of the same family car flowed back.
The many trips across the country as Peanut stuck his head out the window. His curious glances over her shoulder as she fought back the ever constant boredom with her own personal fiction. The pleasant laughter of Mom and Dad in the front seat. The sight of dormant countryside as it swayed in the wind.
For a moment she thought she saw her dad driving up by the sidewalk.
She gasped. "Peanut!"
Grape burst from the front door, finding Peanut already at the edge of the walkway.
She wrapped her arms around him. Holding as tight as she could.
"I can't stand it..." She grits tight on him. "I can't stay any longer..."
"I know. Me too..." He gives her a single kiss on the cheek, cupping the same cheek in his hand. "Go in the car, I'll get the bags."
She nods, wiping a tear from her face.
As she settled in the passenger's seat, Peanut already settled the bags in the trunk.
He sat beside her, hands firmly on the wheel but uneasy at the arms. "We're actually leaving."
He held her hand. "I promise you, it'll be alright." He tried to comfort.
"I hope you're right." She tries to smile, making shy eye contact.
She kisses him. The familiar taste of his lips graced a smile on her face. She needed that.
"C'mon, start the car."
The more they drove on, the more difficult it became.
Peanut tried hard not to notice, but it was all around them. Undeniable and gut wrenching was the fact that their timing could have been better if they had decided to keep together for another month, but they couldn't stand it.
"We're going to miss it..." Grape whispered.
"I know." Peanut was neutral, he didn't want to feel this way anymore but it wouldn't go away.
Grape's eye traced a single white flake. "It's snowing."
It was early December. Coming for the holidays and the New Year to come.
On his way out, Peanut had gotten the chance to meet his friends on the road. They bid him Happy Holidays, he responded accordingly. Though he felt a terrible sensation rush through him. A feel of pessimism against their leaving so early, especially under the pleasant veil of December.
The time for jolly cheer and colorful decorations was upon them. The Christmas decorations hung, ready for the holiday everybody’s been waiting for.
Grape looked back just once at the colorful lights on her own house. She set them up to drive off suspicion, now she wished she hadn't done it at all.
The white crystals fell as they left under a blanket of snow.
In a meek little store on Mulberry Street entitled "Tarot's" a certain Pomeranian busied.
Inside, Trinkets and treasures lined neatly on the shelves along with curious little objects that seemed to leave much to the imagination.
Beads hung over the door in this black room with little lights illuminating in this abyssal yet alluring atmosphere.
Tarot herself was in the backroom, staring at a peculiar little snow globe. The snow inside had subsided since last month and she couldn't help but smile.
The initials: "Adam, Eve, Abel" were etched upon the dark polished wooden base.
"Beautiful isn't it?" She says, expecting a reply from the dark.
"You're a lot quieter than usual, Pete. It's actually kind of creepy." She laughs, laid back in the dark room, lit only by the blazing fire place. "Disheartened by the results?"
"I'd rather not joke around right now." Pete emerged from behind her crimson sofa. Laying across her mat beside her. "It’s not a funny matter."
"Don't worry, it'll be alright." She smiled, reassuring him as she caressed his back. "I'm sure of it."
Pete jerked away, annoyed by her gesture. "I'm not your pet."
She settled the snow globe down, letting the light illuminate its contents.
They were ceramic. Inside, Peanut held Grape with one arm as they stood smiling down at something wrapped in cloth in their arms. Between them a purple kitten lay cradled by their joined hands. Its big eyes shining brightly as it watched them from below. And nestled in around the kitten's neck, a golden, heart-shaped locket swung independently.
Across the HorizonIt feels so clichéd. A picnic under a tree, amidst the beauty of a vast meadow. But having actually done it, I realize why people did it so much. The pleasant silence of the wind broken only by her voice and sweet laughter. Conversations carried out with the exchange of hopes and dreams. And as the laughter subsides and your eyes lock, someway, somehow, the wind whispers: "Kiss her"
~Peanut Butter Sandwich, Artist
As they watched the headlights breach the familiar line between North Carolina and Tenesse they found it difficult to proceed. They exchanged glances, eyes drenched with indecisiveness and regret.
The mystifying horizon held very little insight as to what happens next. What lay beyond was a complete mystery having only ever gone as far as Rupert's farm.
The unsettling notion of leaving still battered Peanut's mind. He had hoped this wouldn't bother him too long. His eerie visions of the past set mercilessly as he felt unprepared.
He felt fatigued as his hands lowered from the wheel. His mind, lost in some enigmatic and obscure epiphany. His latent hopes, dashed by the inherent weakening of morale.
The air become ever more thicker as Peanut shut off the engine.
Grape was disheartened. She needed strength but he was as torn up about it as she was. Memories began to flash of their lives in the little town. Before the war, before the heartache. Pitched bludgoenings began to set an addled remorse. Grape began to question their decision. "Why?
" She thought.
The air suddenly became cold. Her fur did little to protect her downdraught body. A bitter taste it was, the absence of warmth. She felt insecure, and it began to show with a tear escaping her.
Peanut took her hand in his. She exited her trance and turned to him with a look of surprise. He smiled softly as he kissed her hand. "We're in this together."
She smiled back, squeezing tighter at his hand.
They heaved heavy sighs, ready to face the world.
Grape turned on the engine as Peanut pushed on the peddle. As they breached that line, their hearts cheered silently.
Suddenly, Grape began to giggle, then laugh. Peanut couldn't help but follow. They went on with a smile that wouldn't seem to fade away.
Cascades of pleasant dreams embellished Grape in her rest. Silent and unmoving, she lay quietly at the passenger seat.
Peanut leaned in to kiss her cheek. "Hmm... Peanut." She smiled.
Peanut could not help but blush, with her sleeping form cozy at his side. Her fur glowed in the moonlight, her constant purrs that seemed to sing songs of pleasantry. He was happy, they both were.
He would notice the occasional tossing and turning, mainly because she wasn't in a very comfortable position. But Peanut grew slightly paranoid, though only slightly. This was enough to set him off, arouse unease and discomfort only to be settled with a well thought ploy he decided to play a little sooner.
"Just what is she dreaming about?
Peanut checked the next stop off a folded map at the dashboard. He kept his lookout then made a turn.
He found himself at their first pit stop, a gas station called "Marby's". The sign lit up with the lights underneath the green sign. It was in a strange font reminiscent of a Super Mario text.
He exited the car and locked it.
Peanut did feel a bit silly about locking the car. Not that he was actually locking his own car
, no he's used to that. It was because the crime rate nowadays was nonexistent; zero to none (if not negative). It was a unique ease he felt, something humanity would have never had the pleasure of.
After setting the fuel in his car, he entered the building to see a tall iguana standing behind the counter. "Wow..." His eyes widened. "Oh, sorry."
The lizard chuckled. "Don't worry about it, I get it all the time. People aren't used to us reptiles being so tall compared to you mammals."
"Really? Is that what you call us?" Peanut smirked, he grinned nervously. "At any rate, it's not that. I've seen a lot of you like this back home. It's just, you're almost as tall as a human being."
He laughed. "Hehe, Yeah that weirds me out too."
He felt an odd comfort with the friendly stranger. His teal t-shirt and gold rimmed shades that dangled about his neck made him seem so homely in the atmosphere.
Peanut picked out a few choice packs of cat and dog food. It felt almost strange that he'd pick this out for himself and Grape on his own. "I find it funny how convenient this is now."
"I'd feel the same way if I didn't have to eat leaves my whole life."
He put the sacks of cat and dog food on the counter. "Doesn't sound too bad."
He shrugged. "Oh it's not. Though sometimes I wish I knew what it felt like."
"Well you're not missing out."
He headed over to the other isles and searched the shelves. He noticed a few things they might need that his Mom took out sometimes. It read Kotex
, and he pondered whether or not he should take it. He left it there, deciding it was just a human thing.
However, it did raise the question why it was there in the first place.
He then took out a few cans and a few more conveniences.
The air was still and silent for a while. It was gradually discomforting and somewhat eerie. Peanut felt almost scared about it.
Peanut leaned over the shelf and watched in pitched horror at the lizard. His fingers held tighter at the shelf corner and his pupils dilated.
He began to wander into some sort trance. His body began to take the products at hand and settle them across the red beam for the register.
Strangely enough his eyes began to blink independently making a strange moist sound each time they closed.
Peanut approached cautiously after almost dropping the cans in shock. "Umm... Marby?"
He broke out of it and, for a while, considered where he was. He scanned the area until he looked down. "Oh! Sorry! That's what happens when I think too much."
Peanut felt his ease rush in. "It's pretty unusual. Have you seen a doctor about it?"
"Dad found it cute when I was smaller so he didn't bother. Besides, it's been years since that happened." He continued scanning the products. "You know, it's funny. Dad always said I freaked out his customers. I guess I still do that don't I?" He then took his attention to glass at a golden bird cage beside him.
"Oh, and Marby's not my name. That was dad's."
Peanut felt a slight cringe in him. "I'm sorry..."
He almost laughed. He gave him a proud smile. "Don't be, dad's happy, wherever he is up there." He seemed overly positive with his life outlook, carrying it out with the biggest grin he could carry without showing off his teeth. "The name's Lorenzo, my friends call me Lawrence."
"169." He took out the receipt as it printed.
Peanut shot his sights back at his car before returning his attention to the counter. Grape was sleeping, still.
Lorenzo took notice of it; his curiosity began to take hold. "So where are you headed"
"Seattle." He answered outright as he helped Lorenzo pack the products.
"Hmm..." His interest peaked as he seemed locked onto the car. "There a cat in that car of yours?"
"Heh. That explains it." He grins.
He began exhibiting a nervous skepticism. "What do you mean by that?" He sounded almost scared of asking the question.
"Don't worry, I'm not here to judge. I actually think it's pretty okay." His eyes grew soft to exhibit his understanding. "Besides, there are a lot of folks there like you two."
"Oh, really?" Peanut felt a surge of hope below within him.
"Yeah, a few stop by here once in a while." Lawrence felt an age old wisdom his father kept talking about. How it would seem to come out unexpectedly when he'd talk to strangers and their unique lives.
Peanut smiled unknowingly. "Can I ask for some help then?"
"Depends on what you need."
"Well, I was planning a picnic to cheer her up but I don't know how to prepare everything."
"Ah, I know just the place!" He exclaimed with a seeming stroke of brilliance. "You should head down the road to..."
As the clerk explained his plans to Peanut, Grape awoke with tired eyes and a yawn. She turned to her side, hoping to find Peanut but he wasn't in his seat.
For a short time she felt worried about him till she took in her surroundings. The brightest lights on was that of the convenience store nearby. "I'm gonna take a wild guess and say he's in there."
She spotted Peanut speaking to a rather tall iguana and quietly snuck in.
Lorenzo noticed an odd change in the air. A different scent crept about. And before he could announce what it was, Grape quickly wrapped her arms around Peanut. "Hey, Love, whatcha doin'?"
"Let's head back to the car first." Peanut pulled her out with the bags in one hand.
Peanut laughed a bit nervously then pulled out a small plastic entrée on a styrofoam plate wrapped in see-through plastic. "Just getting dinner. Wanted to keep it a surprise."
"Aw, aren't you sweet." Grape kisses him on the cheek. "Now, c'mon, I'm starving."
Peanut glances one last time back at Lorenzo. He winks with a thumbs up to Peanut.
He smiles back at him, though silently hoping he remembered all the directions correctly.
"Wish me luck.
Taking note of what Buck mentioned as "stealthing", I've decided to just use the neat little bump thread button whenever there's an update.
Also, this part isn't done yet. We haven't even gotten to the good part yet but it seemed that I needed more frequency then length. (btw, Thanks Valerio )