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Artistic Endeavors (PG-13) 
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Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:57 am
Posts: 198
Location: Snowy Montana
Post Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
So I've finally mustered up the courage to post this here. Basically my first Fan Fiction of HousePets! I'm not one for adding in a synopsis or stuff like that (cuz that's spoilers. X3). Not sure how often I'll be able to update this, but I'll keep this first post as a ToC (and I hope I'm allowed to double post to have my first chapter separate from this introductory post).

NOTE: Feel free to criticize me as much as you like, as long as it's Constructive Criticism. Tell positives, negatives, and anything in between. By listening to others, one can become a greater writer... at least, that's what I believe. X3
Also, I will be uploading this to FF.net because, well, why not? *brick'd* If you're more used to reading stuff there, feel free to hit this up there as well (username is 1:1 same as it is here).
Or here's a link. :3

---

Table of Contents

Ch 1: A Bitter Day - Direct Link
Ch 2: Awakening - Direct Link
Ch 3: Hope for the Future - Direct Link
Ch 4: First Impressions - Direct Link
Ch 5: The Greatest Gift - Direct Link
Ch 6: Revelations - Direct Link
Ch 7: Memories - Direct Link

---

I'm actually gonna start adding replies and such through actual posting now. I don't know what I was thinking when I thought I couldn't do so. As long as I have that ToC, people can find their way around easily. X3

As I've said above, all comments are greatly appreciated.

Also, I forgot to mention this earlier. Thanks for the comments. I really do appreciate the time you take in reading this work. X3


Last edited by TarkaTarquol on Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:31 am, edited 15 times in total.



Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:50 am
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
Chapter 1: A Bitter Day

---

“Wow, this weather sure did change, didn’t it, Fido?” Ryan said, driving him and his dog through an unexpected snowstorm back to their home in Babylon Gardens in River Ridge.

Fido was in the backseat, messing with the sunglasses he always kept with him. “I’m just disappointed it came in the evening,” Fido replied, putting the sunglasses back on his head. He looked out the window at the snow blowing nearly horizontally, both in amazement and disappointment. Each breath Fido made splashed an area of fog on the window, which quickly dissipated in the warmed cab of the car. Fido then leaned forward, pretending like he had a rod and reel in his paws. “Wish we could’ve spent a few more hours out on the ice… We barely got any bites!”

“Yea, I know how you feel,” Ryan, Fido’s owner, said back. “This storm wasn’t in the weather report this morning, but I guess you can’t always predict the weather.”

Fido acted like he reeled in a fish from the ice before sighing and leaning back against the window, staring at the snow again. “My day off from the force and this is what happens…” He just stared at the snow flying by. The small amount of sunlight from the horizon that was still getting through seemed to shine on each snowflake. It was having a hypnotizing effect on Fido. He started to fade in and out before he eventually just fell asleep. It was still a while before they’d be back to their house, so a quick nap wouldn’t hurt…

---

The weather refused to let up at all. How a snowstorm this large was missed by the weathermen, Ryan couldn’t understand. But he just drove diligently through it all. He had the heaters in the car blowing full blast to counter the freezing air that was just outside. The radio was lightly playing classic music from the 70s. Fido could be heard gently snoring in the back of the car. Through it all, Ryan kept a smile on his face, content with how the day played out. Even though their time on the lake was cut a slight short, he still had fun, and he knew Fido did too, even if he didn’t admit it. Neither of his brothers liked ice fishing, and Fido had yet to meet another who shared this hobby with him, so he was all he had on their ice fishing trips.

Fido had just reeled in a decent sized pike before the weather really started to turn into the snowstorm that was currently raging. After Fido released his catch, the two had to move quickly to gather their gear and get back to their car before their visibility on the lake turned to nothing. The visibility for Ryan driving was poor at best. He could barely see a hundred feet in front of him! And the snow that clogged on the windshield was being constantly swept away by the wiper blades every second.

Though through it all, nothing eventful had happened, and the two were back in River Ridge without incident. The streets that they drove on were barren of anyone: human, pet, or otherwise. Houses had half-made snowmen on their lawns, while others left sleds and the like to be buried in the newly falling snow. It seemed like everyone had interrupted their fun in the snow to take shelter from this bitter storm…

“Whoa! No!” …Until Ryan made another turn. Through the poor visibility, he was able to notice a figure in the middle of the road, crossing. Ryan immediately slammed the brakes to avoid colliding with the figure, who was now paralyzed with fear. The car swerved on the slick roads, jarring the sleeping dog in the back awake.

“Gah!” The dog’s muzzle was slammed against the window from the sudden swerving of the car. “What’s wrong!?” Fido shouted, trying to get his bearings. He managed to straighten himself out before looking ahead and seeing the same frozen figure Ryan saw earlier. Fido’s eyes widened, fearing the worst that could happen was about to. He wanted to shout at it to get out of the way, but they were too close. Fido turned away, expecting to hear the ‘thump’ of the car…

…But it never came.

Ryan had managed to swerve the car away from the figure in the road and regain control of it as well. It stopped in the middle of the road quite a ways away from where the figure was standing. Fido immediately unbuckled himself and dashed out of the car, his K-9 training kicking in. “Fido, wait!” Ryan yelled, but Fido was long gone. “…At least close the door, Fido…”

It took seconds for Fido to reach the figure in the road, who was still frozen with fear, looking in the direction their car came from. Fido circled to face the figure head on… and finally got a good look at who it was they almost hit…

A fellow dog.

The first thing Fido noticed was that this dog’s fur was matted all over and caked in snow on his back. His tail was wrapped tightly around one of his legs, and his eyes were stuck wide-open, not really registering Fido in front of him.

“Hey! Are you okay? Say something!” Fido shouted, snapping into the dog’s ears. Though nothing he did elicited a response. The dog’s ears didn’t even twitch at the snapping sound inches from them. Seconds later, though, everything seemed to catch up to the paralyzed dog, and he started to collapse. “Whoa! Hey!” Fido tried to react fast enough to catch the dog, but he wasn’t prepared for him to pass out. He managed to grab onto the dog’s paws and gently set him down on the snow-laden ground. “Jeez… what the heck happened to you, bud?” He started picking the dog up to take him back to the car, brushing some of the snow off him.

“Fido!” Ryan was now running over, a blanket in his hand. “Is everything okay?”

Fido was already halfway back to the car with the dog on his back. He was a bit smaller than Fido, so it was easy for him to carry him by himself. “No. We gotta get this guy to the vet, now.” He could feel the dog’s faint breathing from his back, so he knew he was still alive, but he also knew he was in rough shape. “Call ahead, Dad. I’ll try and warm him up,” he ordered, still in K-9 mode.

Ryan nodded as he set the blanket over the dog on Fido’s back before pulling his cell out of his pocket. They got back to the car and set the dog in the backseat, wrapping him tightly in another blanket. He just stayed motionless, unconscious, and unaware of anything that was happening. Ryan then connected with the vet’s office and explained the situation before driving off towards the vet. Fido was in the backseat again, though also watching over the dog they nearly hit. The fact that he was a fellow dog made that fact resonate with Fido even more than normal. He set his paw on the dog’s shoulder; he didn’t seem to even know it was there. “Don’t worry, bud. We’re gonna get you help.”

---

All through the detour to the vet, Fido had questions running through his head. Who was this dog? Why was he out in such horrid weather? Why is he in the condition he’s in? These questions kept pestering him and it frustrated him not knowing the answers, especially to that last one. How did this dog get to be in such a deplorable condition? Fido wanted nothing more now than to track down this dog’s “owner” and strip him of that title. ‘Hmm… maybe he still has his tags…’ Fido thought. He recalled seeing a collar around the dog’s neck, but didn’t check for the tags. So he removed the blanket covering the dog’s neck, hoping to find something…

Nothing. No tags, just collar. Fido’s ears dropped when he saw this dog had nothing on him to help track his owner. ‘Great…’ He covered the dog back up and started to feel frustrated again, rubbing his eyes with a paw.

“We’re here,” Ryan stated, pulling into the vet’s parking lot. “How’s he holding up?”

Fido shook his head. “He’s breathing, but he hasn’t moved since we got him in the car.” Fido unbuckled himself and quickly hopped out of the car. The vet on duty was already waiting for them and immediately came over to assist. The three of them were able to get the dog into the office and onto a bed that was ready and waiting. Before the vet took him to the back, Fido had a request, “Could I get a full report of this dog’s injuries?”

The vet knew Fido was a K-9 and could understand why he wanted a report. “Of course. I’ll get it to you as soon as I can.” With that, the vet left Fido and Ryan to start treating the dog.

Ryan could see the look Fido had. He knew he wanted to do more… but he also knew there was nothing he could do right now. “Fido, don’t get too eaten up by this, okay? I can understand your feelings, but-“

“Don’t worry, Dad,” Fido cut him off, shaking his head. “I know. But I’m still gonna do my best as a K-9 to see that dog gets justice. No one should ever look like that… Go through whatever he went through…” Fido clenched his paw in front of him… before giving out a sigh and dropping his arms to his side, his ears dropping as well. He knew that even with a report of the dog’s injuries and current state, it wouldn’t do him any good unless he knew who that dog was and, more importantly, who his owner was. All he could do now was wait and hope for the dog’s recovery.

“C’mon. Let’s get home.” Fido nodded and followed behind Ryan out through the door.


Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:51 am
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
I like this highly detailed style, very cinematic! :D and yay, Fido is the main character!!
You lit up my curiosity, Sir, I am ready for more

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Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:25 pm
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
The details are wonderful in this new story. But Fido might not be the main character, the unconscious dog might be the main character and we just don't know it yet. Either way that was a great start at what looks like it will be a great story. Hope to see more of this soon.

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Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:18 pm
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
Cool story bro :) Okay but really, I liked it. Your writing style is really easy to follow and as Valerio said it gives a rather "cinematic" feel to it.

Any critiques thus far would probably sound very nitpicky, haha so I'll see what happens as the story progresses. Speaking of which, I can't wait to see where all of this goes, you had a lot of build up here on this chapter. Good job thus far and hope to see more from you.

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Lucky Abbot: S-9 P-6 E-7 C-6 I-7 A-4 L-3


Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:58 pm
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
Chapter 2 - Awakening

-----

The next morning, Fido had to get up early for his morning shift at the police station. But what happened the night before has stayed with him ever since they dropped that dog off at the vet. And he’d have been lying if he said he didn’t lose sleep over it. While everyone else was dead in their beds, he was just lying in his, thinking about that dog. Thinking and subsequently getting frustrated again with not having answers to the questions he’d been thinking.

Fido released a large yawn as he entered the kitchen, covering it with his paw. “Did ya even sleep at all last night?” the wise-cracking mouse, Spo, who was hitching a ride on Fido’s head, asked. “Or were you thinking about that pup you told me about? You’re not one to lose sleep like this.” Fido didn’t reply as he poured some oats on the table for Spo to eat, and then grabbed a bowl and some “Canine Cibble” for himself. He let Spo down onto the table then went to his own breakfast. “Even without Sabrina shelling off injured animals for you to-“

“That dog wasn’t injured. He was neglected,” Fido replied bluntly, giving Spo a stern stare. Spo jumped at bit at Fido’s tone and quietly went to eat some oats. Fido came back to his senses, shook his head and sighed. “Sorry, Spo… I didn’t mean to snap at you like that… It’s just…”

“Hey, don’t worry about it. You do what you gotta do,” Spo said back. “Besides, you put up with me all the time, so you’re allowed a snap every once-in-a-while.” Spo grinned wide and went back to eating his oats.

Fido formed a slight smile too, returning to his breakfast as well. They finished up and Fido went back downstairs to grab his K-9 vest and equipment. As he was attaching his collar radio, the phone in the house started to ring. There was a phone down with him, so he answered it quickly. “Byron residence.”

“This is the River Ridge Veterinary Clinic. Is this Fido Byron?” the voice on the other end of the line asked.

Fido tensed up a bit, not expecting anything from this call. “Yes, this is him. This is about that dog, correct?”

“Yes. You requested a report? Well, I have good news. He wasn’t in as bad a shape as we initially thought. He was just a bit hungry, and that’s basically the worst of it. His fur was just in a bad shape because of the weather – all the snow catching and melting in his fur. We gave him a bath and set him in a bed with some food and water. He woke up early this morning and ate a bit, then went back to sleep. He’s still asleep now.” Fido’s tail started to wag hearing that the dog was healthy. “But… he hasn’t said a word to anyone here. He just avoided us all when we tried to approach him.”

And hearing that ceased Fido’s tail-wagging. “Oh… Do you think it’s alright if I stopped by and tried to talk with him?”

“Yes, that should be no problem. We’ll be keeping him here for another night, just to make sure he’s at one-hundred percent, but he’ll be transferred to the animal shelter afterwards.”

“Right. I’ll be stopping by today. Thanks for the report,” Fido replied.

“There’s a physical copy waiting for you here. We’ll see you soon.” The vet hung up the phone and Fido put the phone back on the dock. His mind was racing again. Half of him was thankful the dog wasn’t severely injured or anything, but the other half was wondering what psychological trauma the dog may have. If he actively avoided those trying to help him, maybe there’s still something behind the scenes he doesn’t know about. All Fido can do is hope that there’s something he can do to help this dog.

He snapped out of his trail of thought and remembered he still had another obligation. He was a K-9, and he had a morning shift. Bill would no doubt be coming by soon to pick him up and take them to the station. He finished attaching his collar radio, straightened his vest out, slid his sunglasses on his head, and then grabbed a K-9 heavy coat as well. Knowing Bill… he’ll probably be coming in his motorcycle. He’s the only one insane enough to drive one in winter.

Fido heard a knock at the door and hurried up the stairs. He grabbed his lunch and out of instinct told Spo not to get into any trouble. Outside was Bill, ready with his motorcycle…

---

The entire morning passed as smoothly as ever for Fido. He really didn’t need to be there, because the only activity he got was the overzealous car driver trying to get last-minute Christmas gifts. It wasn’t long until their lunch break, which Fido requested he be dropped off at the vet clinic. Now was as good a time as ever to finally meet up with that dog.

As Fido entered the clinic, the receptionist hailed him instantly. “A police dog coming in today – You’re Fido Byron, yes?” Fido nodded and walked over to the counter. She reached into a drawer and pulled out a file. “Here’s that report you requested. There’s not much in there to point towards neglect, I’m afraid. At least, that’s my opinion.”

Fido took the report and started to skim it. As much as he hated to admit it, she was right, on some level. Reading the report, for all he knew, this dog could just have run away from home, ditched his own tags, or some other happening. The only thing that didn’t fit was his unusual shyness, and even that could be attributed to something else. But he wouldn’t know for sure unless he talked to him. “Where is he now?”

“Recovery room 1C. He was moved to a full bed when he first showed signs of nervousness. We hoped the larger room over the standard caged plots would help him calm down some.” She wrote down Fido’s info and destination on a card, handed it to him, and pointed toward a set of doors. “Here’s your pass and head down that hallway and to the right. Third door on the left.”

“Thanks,” Fido replied, taking the pass. He followed the instructions and soon came to recovery room 1C. His heart started to race as he slowly opened the door. The room was pretty decent sized, for a recovery room. A TV on the wall, a window that had its shades shut, and a single bed, occupied by the dog Fido and Ryan nearly hit.

Fido closed the door and took off his jacket and vest, setting them on a chair. He also unclipped his radio and put it on the chair as well. He dropped the file on the dog onto the counter walked over to the still sleeping dog. He was on his side, facing away from the door and Fido, half covered by the blankets.

Fido finally got a good look at the dog, now not having anything else to worry about. He was smaller than he, but was nowhere near as tiny as that corgi. He may have been a bit smaller than Fido’s younger brother, Joey. His fur was a deep brown, almost chocolate, colour with a few faded, black spots along his back. His belly held a slightly lighter tuft of brown fur, and his muzzle took that same colour of fur. One thing’s for sure: he really needed that bath.

But there was one thing that really caught Fido’s attention. On his right ear, there was a straight slit of a scar running down it. He didn’t peg this dog as a fighter; he was too small! And the scar was too straight to be from a fight wound. But maybe it’s something unrelated as well. He’ll ask about it only if necessary.

Remembering about the dog’s displays of anxiety, Fido wondered how he could awaken this dog without scaring the living daylights out of him. He looked across the room to the window still covered by shades and smiled. What better way to awake than by nature itself? He strolled over to the window and slowly opened the blinds, as to not blind the dog with a sudden flash of light. The view outside the window overlooked the road and beyond that was a line of trees, laden with freshly fallen snow. The skies had definitely cleared up from that storm the night before, and the sun was shining brilliantly, reflecting off the snowy ground and trees.

Fido got so lost in the sight that he didn’t notice the dog had started to awaken, the light drawing him away from his sleep. His eyes fluttered open, and all he could see when he awoke was bright with a dark figure cut out on one side. The dark figure immediately registered, and he shot awake, sitting up and wanting to just run from whoever that was… but didn’t when his eyes focused and saw the figure was just staring out the window. His eyes trailed to the outside too, focusing on all the same brilliance Fido was seeing.

A squeak from the bed snapped Fido out of his trance and slightly turned his head, smiling. “Hello there. Wonderful day today, isn’t it?” Fido turned his head back to looking through the window. “Nothing like it was last night, that’s for sure.”

The dog tensed up a bit. “Who… are you?” he tentatively asked.

Fido turned back around and sat on one of the chairs near him. “Fido. Fido Byron. My dad and I were the ones who found you freezing your tail off in the snow last night. You passed out, so we brought you here.” The dog started to tense up again and started to shiver as well. “Hey… you alright?”

That night was flashing in the dog’s mind, as it had done so many times before. “A car… almost hit me… Was that… you?”

Fido’s ears dropped a bit. “…Yes, but we didn’t see you. The roads were slick, visibility was poor. In such a raging storm, we weren’t expecting anyone to be on the roads.” The dog just turned his head from Fido, causing him to feel a pang of guilt. He didn’t expect this kind of reaction at all.

“…Why are you here?” the dog asked, turning his head back towards Fido.

“Why am I here? Because there was a dog in need that I had to assist. And I’m not going to just drop that dog off at the vet and forget about him.” Fido brought a chair up next to the bed. “So what was the deal? Why were you out on the streets hungry and with such matted fur?”

The dog tensed again before looking away. “I’m… just… another stray…” he replied.

Fido’s brow furrowed, and he gave a stern look back. “I’m sorry, but I can’t believe you’re just ‘another stray.’ Strays don’t normally have collars in as good a shape as yours is. So you’ve either been abandoned or you’ve ran away. Those are my guesses.”

“I… found the collar. I’ve never had a… home or a family, so I wasn’t abandoned or… ran away,” the dog replied, stuttering at points. He turned his head away from Fido again and sniffled a bit.

“I still don’t believe you,” Fido said back. “There’s something else going on here, but I won’t ask again. You’re too shaken up right now.” Fido stood up and placed his paw on the dog’s shoulder. “But whatever it is, I’m sure I can help you through it.” Fido grinned wide and gave a thumbs-up with his other paw.

“Thanks…” he turned his head away, “..but it’s not needed. I’m fine.”

Fido gave the dog’s shoulder a few pats. “I think we both know that’s a lie, but alright. There’s still one thing I can help you with, though. As the ‘stray’ that you are, you’ll be sent to the shelter after another day here, or less if they know you’re healthy enough. But instead, why don’t you come live where I do, in our neighborhood? I know those who currently run the place, and I’m sure they’ll be able to find a room for ya. And hey, if you decide quickly enough, I may be able to get your name in our ‘Good Ol’ Dogs Club’ Secret Santa gifts. We won’t burden you with someone, but I’m sure one of us would be able to get something for ya!”

The dog just stared, dumbfounded by Fido’s proposition. “You’d actually be able to get me… a home? And I wouldn’t… have to do anything?”

Fido nodded his head. “Yup. You wouldn’t have a ‘family,’ per se, but a home, food, and the company of great friends. And no obligations. There are a lot of other dogs and cats who live in Babylon Gardens. You’d fit in just fine.”

The dog, for the first time since talking with Fido, smiled. “That sounds-“

A static noise from across the room cut the dog off. “Dispatch to Officer Fido, please respond.” Another bit of static followed.

“Gah, hold on…” Fido went over to the chair he set his radio on and clicked the button. “This is Officer Fido.”

Static. “We’ve got a 16-55 near your area. Respond and deal with them.” More static.

“A 16-55? Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me…” Fido said, a paw on his face. He clipped the radio back onto his collar before turning his head. “Sorry, I gotta go take care of this… Hey, you alright?”

The dog was frozen in place, just like he had acted the night before. “You’re… a… police dog?”

“Yes, I am… Is that a problem?” Fido replied, slightly worried.

The dog snapped out of his freeze and waved his paws in front of him. “N-no! No problem at all, hehe…” but he knew he wasn’t fooling Fido.

“I’ll ask another time,” he replied, sliding his jacket on. “Well, I have to get going... Hey, y’know, I never did ask your name.”

“My name? Oh, it’s Ar-“ he hesitated, tensing up again. He looked to his left, towards the window. “…It’s Art…”

Fido finished writing something down on a scrap piece of paper. “Art, eh? Alright, here.“ He handed the paper to Art. “It’s the number to call if you want to come live in Babylon Gardens. I’ll let them know to possibly expect a call from an ‘Art’ and fill them in.” Fido headed toward the door but turned his head. “Be seeing ya around, Art.” And with that, Fido left.

---

Art just stared at the paper Fido gave him. ‘A home… Friends… No worries… Could this really be true?’ he thought to himself. And it seemed like there were no strings attached, either! He looked back at the door, to the paper, to the door, then to the window, and scratched his ear. He held the paper close to his chest before lying back down.

A small sniffle escaped from his nose, followed by a sob.


Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:55 am
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
Daww, this was so cute a moment :D
Hmm, looks like 'Art' is one to watch out for, Fidey. Let's just hope it's not Bino to expose him...

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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
Chapter 3 - Hope for the Future

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“Well, it’s been almost that half hour…” the vet said to himself. Before Fido left to return to his job, he asked the vet if he would check on the dog, who he told was named Art, in that time or so. The fact that Fido was able to get a name out of the dog meant that he was at least somewhat sociable, which would look good for when he was transferred to the shelter for adoption. Although Fido asked him to check up on Art, he forgot to mention his proposition he gave Art before running off, so the vet was still under the assumption he’d be sent to the shelter after he was cleared.

The vet started to open the door to Art’s temporary room, not sure how he was gonna react or how he is now. He poked his head in and noticed that the shades were opened, but that was the only difference the vet noticed in the room. Art was on his side, facing the window, half covered with a blanket just like he was when the vet was last in here. ‘Did he really go back to sleep?’ the vet asked himself in his mind. He shook his head, sighed, and started to close the door…

“Wh-who’s there?”…but stopped when he heard that voice. Art started to shift in the bed, sitting up and looking over towards the nearly closed door. “Fido?”

The vet opened the door again, entering it fully this time. “Sorry, it’s not Fido, but he did ask for me to check up on you a little bit after he left. May I come in?”

Art’s ears dropped a bit, but he figured he shouldn’t decline him since it was Fido that asked him to check up on him. “Y-yea… Sure.”

The vet closed the door behind him and walked over to Art. “Let me just say it’s great to hear you’re feeling better after your ordeal and that you trust us enough to speak to us,” the vet started. “First talking with that police dog sure helped out, didn’t it?”

Art tensed up again. “Yea… I didn’t know he was a police dog until right before he left… but… it was nice talking to him.” Art drifted his vision back out the window, to the sight that Fido chose to awaken him by, and relaxed again. “He’s a really great dog,” he added, smiling.

“I could tell he was worried about you the moment he came in with you. Some sort of bond you dogs must have with each other or something, but I could see it in his behavior. That wasn’t all police instinct working that night.” The events started to play in Art’s mind again, but he shook them out before he got distressed by them again. He held the piece of paper Fido gave him tight in his paw, as a reminder that there was a possible future for him. “So, how do you feel right now? Do you have your strength back?”

“Oh, uh… I think so…” Art slid out from under the blanket and onto the floor. He stood up straight but almost immediately started to fall over from a slight head rush. His vision started to black a bit, and the room wouldn’t stop spinning.

“Hey, whoa! Take all the time you need! Don’t push yourself,” the vet warned, reaching over the bed to grab Art’s shoulder to help him keep his balance. Art grabbed onto the bed before shaking his head clear. He didn’t notice at first the helping hand on his shoulder until his vision came back. His eyes went wide and he started to hold his breath, but he willed himself not to react further. “You alright now?”

Art felt the vet’s hand leave his shoulder and let out his held breath. “Y-yea. Th-thanks…” Art clenched the scrap of paper in his paw.

The vet smiled and walked over to the sink, grabbing a plastic cup from the cupboard and filling it with water. “Here. This should help,” he said, offering the cup to Art. He took it and quickly downed the small cup’s contents. “Well, that little deal aside, I’d say you’re good to be released. I’ll go call the animal shelter and arrange for a ride to take you there.”

“Wh-what?” Art’s ears and tail dropped a bit, the tone of his voice filling with fear. “A-animal shelter..? B-but… I-I got an offer to g-go live somewhere already… by Fido,” he replied, holding up the paper Fido wrote on. “Do I… still have to go there?”

The vet now had a confused look on his face. “Fido didn’t say anything about offering you a home. Do you know who it is that’ll be taking care of you and where?”

“Oh, uh…” Art knew where, but he didn’t know who. He looked at the paper and saw the number to call and then the words ‘Ask for Keene Milton.’ “Keene Milton, I guess…”

“The Milton’s, eh? So you’re going to live in Babylon Gardens? Henry Milton, who initially started that neighborhood, loved animals and wanted to create a paradise for pets and owners alike. And I suppose that since you’re calmly talking to me about it and haven’t displayed too unusual behaviors, I’m sure I can clear you on the behavioral aspect of being a pet. So I suppose all that remains is to see if they’ll accept you.”

The vet’s last line started to worry Art. “But… Fido said he’d call ahead… Why wouldn’t they take me..?” His body started to shake, fears of denial starting to flood his mind.

“Hey, easy, Art… I’m sure they have room for you,” the vet replied, kneeling down to be eye level with Art. “You’ll be fine. Though I guess one thing I should note is you’re very easily distressed. I can also tell that you’re still not a hundred percent trusting of humans. You froze up a bit when I just had my hand on your shoulder.” Art froze up again. He wanted to retreat into a corner upon hearing that. He didn’t want to act like he still had a problem with humans… But he was.

“S-sorry…” he replied timidly, scratching his ear.

“Relax, Art. That shouldn’t affect anything, but they’ll at least know not to put anything too taxing on you and to take it slow with getting to know you. And for the other pets you’ll meet, I’m sure Fido will help you out there. Everything will work out. You’ll see.” The vet simply smiled. “Well, let’s go out to the lobby. There’s a phone there you can use to dial that number. I’ve got to take care of the paperwork you’ll give them.” He got up and walked to the counter, pulling out a few files and attaching them to his clipboard before he noticed a manila folder on the counter. “Heh, it seems our friend Fido was in too much of a rush to take this report with him.” The vet opened the folder and took the contents out.

Art sidled up to the counter to see what the vet was talking about. “A report..? On what?”

“You. Though I’m not sure if he still wants it or not. Why don’t you take it to him? I’m sure if you’re going to live in Babylon Gardens, you’ll meet up with him again.” He put everything back in the folder and handed it to Art before grabbing his clipboard and opening the door. “Well, let’s go,” he said before exiting the room.

Art just stared at the folder. He remembered that Fido didn’t accept that he was just a stray. He was adamant in believing there was something else to him… ‘But… that is all I am…’ he said in his mind. He shook his head again, clearing it of thoughts on the matter. Once again, he simply held tight the piece of paper with a potential home on it. He took one last look over to the window, looking out at the tree line before leaving the room as well.

---

Out in the lobby, the vet stood behind the counter while Art was in front of it. He handed a cordless phone to Art to use before working on the release forms needed for Keene Milton to take Art with him. With how many times Art gripped the piece of paper with the number on it, it was very crumpled up, though not enough for it to be unreadable. Art dialed in the number Fido wrote down and let it ring once… Twice… Three times…

“Milton residence,” a very British accented voice replied.

“Uhh…” Art was a bit dumbfounded and intimidated by the massive accent. “K-Keene Milton?”

“May I ask who is calling? Master Keene is quite busy right now,” the voice replied curtly.

Art was getting increasingly worried, afraid that he’d already messed up his chances at having these people accept him. “It’s, uh… Art. Did… did Fido call you guys yet?”

“Ah! So you are Art. Officer Fido called not too long ago to expect a call from you. I did not expect this to be so sudden; else I would have had Master Keene delay his request to be scul-”

“Whoa, whoa, WHOA!” The voice Art was talking to was interrupted by someone screaming in the background of the call, followed by a loud crash.

“Duke! What do you think you’re doing!?” Art heard a different voice say. “Jeeves!”

Art just looked at the phone for a second before saying into it, “What… just happened?”

“Please excuse me for one moment,” the voice replied. Art just stood there, not really sure what to make of what he just overheard. He looked back across the counter at the vet, who was still just filling paperwork out. “Suh? Are you still there?” the voice, who Art now assumed was ‘Jeeves,’ asked.

“Yes…”

“We will be at the veterinary clinic shortly.”

“Jeeves, if you’re making me do this, then hurry up! And get someone to clean up all this ice!” The phone was hung up before Art heard any more. He just set the phone on the counter and stared out the door, slightly disturbed. He started to wonder if these people were really gonna be his housemates…

“There. The paperwork is all done, Art,” the vet said from behind the counter, snapping Art out of his thoughts. “How did things go on your end?”

“Uh… They’re on their way…” he replied hesitantly.

The vet smiled. “The Miltons are known for their eccentric natures. But Babylon Gardens remains one of the best places for cats and dogs to live.” He put the paperwork he finished into a separate folder and handed it to Art. “Just give this to them and their steward will do the rest.”

“Right… Thanks…” He hesitated for a second. “…for everything.”

The vet simply smiled. “You’re very welcome, Art. Hopefully your life in Babylon Gardens will be better than whatever it was before. Take care. We’ll see you later.”

Art nodded and actually smiled as well. With the two folders in tow, he walked outside for the first time since the night before. Just being outside again had an effect on Art. He felt free – free from what has happened in the past. The air was slightly chilled, but it felt so good and served as a reminder that none of this was a dream. It was all real. Though he was still wondering what exactly was in store for him, he was strangely anticipating it. A new home, new friends… He’d already made a friend in Fido, and with how he described Babylon Gardens, even more friends were possibly waiting.

Art had kept the scrap of paper with him and continued to hold it tight in his paw, a smile on his muzzle.


Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:18 am
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
A good read. I hope you continue with it.

I wonder what Art's real name is, and who cut his ear like that...

No real problems. You just mix your tenses up every once in a while.

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Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:59 pm
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
Chapter 4 - First Impressions

-----

About ten minutes into waiting, the wind started to pick up a bit. The chilled, December air was manageable before, but with wind added in, Art was now wishing he had a scarf or jacket or anything to help with some heat. He thought about going back inside the vet’s office, but he didn’t want to miss his ride… or waste their time.

“…But they’re sure taking their time getting here…” Art muttered, hunching his shoulders up and crossing his arms. He just sat at the bench on the sidewalk, waiting. Another ten minutes flew by, worrying Art. He didn’t know how long it took to get from wherever Babylon Gardens was to here, but with each passing minute, he got increasingly worried. Another five passed, and his mind started to race. “They weren’t… just joking… were they?” Over the phone, they sounded like big-shots… Maybe they decided they didn’t need to waste their time with the likes of him… He brought his knees up onto the bench, hugging and wrapping his tail around them. He gazed at the piece of paper in his paw… “No… Fido wouldn’t let them ignore me. They’ll be here…”
¬¬
Another fifteen minutes passed, totaling forty minutes since he got off the phone with them. He was sure he could’ve walked to wherever he was going in that time. Art now had his forehead resting on his knees. A few damp streaks ran down his muzzle, his paw tightly clenching the paper. He was too lost in his thoughts now to notice a large limousine pull up in front of the vet’s office. He heard a car door opening and closing, but paid it no mind.

“Excuse me, suh, but are you Art?” Art’s head shot up hearing that. Not so much from hearing his name, but from the accent the one saying it had. Such an accent Art would never forget.

Throwing better judgment to the chilly wind, Art threw himself at the man, wrapping his arms around his waist. “I thought you guys weren’t gonna come!” he near-shouted, a few tears falling from his eyes. Quickly afterwards, the man cleared his throat, causing Art to freeze up. He slowly released his grip and backed up a bit. He looked up at the man, complete fear in his face. “I-I… uhm… S-sorry…” he meekly yipped out, his eyes wide and mind thinking he severely messed up.

The man just straightened himself out. “Yes, well, I apologize for being so late. A matter had to be attended to before we could pick you up. I requested to call the vet back to inform you of this, but Master Keene was impatient.” He walked back to the limo but to the rear this time, standing near the door. “This way, please.”

Art shook his head clear, wiped his eyes free of tears, grabbed the folders off the bench, and walked over to the limo. The door was opened as he got to it, so he hopped inside and reached to close it himself, but it was closed as he was reaching for it. Art just looked out the window, scratching his head. He wasn’t used to this kind of treatment, that’s for sure.

“So, you’re Art. Where’s the paperwork?” another voice he recognized from the phone call asked.

Art checked the two folders, making sure to grab the right one, before replying, “It’s right… here…” He handed the folder to the direction of the voice to see a brown ferret wearing sunglasses sitting in the seat next to him. “Uh…”

The ferret took the folder and opened it up, flipping through the files inside. “Are you really ‘easily distressed?’” he asked, looking over at Art, who had a completely stunned face. “…I’m going to say ‘yes.’”

“K-Keene Milton? You’re a ferret?” he asked, dumbstruck. Keene did not seem amused at that comment. He removed his sunglasses and gave a completely stoic stare towards the dog. Again fearing he did something wrong, Art tried to catch his mistake. “I, uh… mean, uh… I am not from around here?” Art laughed sheepishly afterwards, slowly droning out at Keene’s unshaken expression.

After what seemed like an eternity, Keene spoke up, “You’ll have to tell me where you lived so I can make my presence there known.” He put his sunglasses back on. “Now then, you want a home, right? That’s what I was told, and why I’m doing this for you, I don’t know.”

Art shook his head, again clearing his racing thoughts. “Right. And… I appreciate this… I really do.”

“Yea, yea… don’t get all mushy on me…” Keene slid all the papers back into the folder and hopped off the seat, moving towards the front. “Jeeves!” he shouted. The screen between the front and back lowered. “Get this to Mr. Steward when we get back,” he ordered, handing the folder up front.

“Yes, suh,” Jeeves replied, taking the folder and setting it on the seat beside him. The screen rose back up.

Keene walked over to the mini-fridge and pulled out an orange soda. “Want something?” he asked quickly.

“Oh, uh, I’ll pass.”

“Suit yourself.” Keene popped the tab on the soda and drank a bit of it. “Ok, easily distressed. That doesn’t make this next part easy…” Art tensed up again, wondering what Keene was talking about. “Your living conditions: we’ve got a house with some other ‘pets’ living there… but they’re not dogs or cats or anything like that. Well, one of them is a dog, at least… and the rest of them are canines…” He took another sip of soda. “Sure you don’t want anything?”

Art nodded his head, anxious. “So… who will I be living with..?”

Keene let out a large sigh, taking a much larger sip of soda this time. “Wolves,” Keene said simply. “But they’re certified tame… most of them… two of them…” He trailed off before looking at Art… and subsequently taking another drink.

Art’s face was near-petrified. “W-wolves? Wh-what..?” he stuttered out.

“Hear me out?” Art slowly nodded. “Meet them first, then decide if you freaking out is needed or not. A few of them work as night-guards for me, so they’ll be out on some nights. And I did say there is another dog living there, and he does fine.” Keene staggered back to his seat, taking another drink from his soda.

Art noticed Keene’s erratic walking. “Uh… Are you ok?”

Keene thrust the soda can towards Art. “Hold this.” Art did, and Keene scrambled up onto the seat again. Art sniffed the can he was given, seeing if there was anything special about it, but it just smelled like orange soda. Keene was now fumbling with his seatbelt. “So, you fine with the whole wolves thing?”

“Uh…” From what he was told, there was another dog living with these wolves… Maybe they wouldn’t be so bad… “I’ll, uh… meet them first…” …but he still wasn’t sold.

Suddenly, the limo pulsed to a stop. Art was held in place by his seatbelt but nearly lost the can he was given to hold. Keene, still trying to figure his seatbelt again, was instead sent flying forward, slamming into the dividing glass. Art winced at the sound of ferret on glass… but also couldn’t help from giggling. He tried to keep it silent, though failed miserably.

“JEEVES!” Keene shouted angrily, slowly getting up off the floor, his sunglasses misaligned on his face. The divider lowered again.

“My sincerest apologies, suh,” Jeeves simply said in reply.

Keene seemed prepared to unleash a myriad of threats, a finger pointed at the butler, but instead he dropped it down and settled on one. “Get us back home without that happening again and maybe you’ll keep your Christmas bonus.” Keene stomped back over to Art, forcibly grabbed his drink and downed its remaining contents, throwing the can away and scrambling back onto the seat.

Art, meanwhile, was just laughing, silently this time. As fearsome as this ferret seemed to be, there was just something else about him that made him not so threatening. Maybe there’s a not-so-threatening side to the wolves, and he should give those wolves a chance. Maybe they’ll prove that inside the shell of a feral beast, another friend is waiting to be made. Making friends with wolves is the last thing Art would have considered doing, but here he was, about to move in with a pack of them.

Keene seemed done talking with him, or anybody for that matter, so Art allowed his mind to wander again. Something the ferret said made him remember something: Christmas was only a couple days away! With all that had happened, both now and in the past, he completely lost track of how close Christmas was. Even if Fido didn’t get him in that Secret Santa gift exchange thing he told him about earlier, he wouldn’t mind. He already got an early Christmas present. Art just stared out the window, waiting for the limo to stop at his new home.

---

Not long after, they pulled up to a quite large, green house. The dividing screen lowered again. “We have arrived, Master Keene,” Jeeves stated.

“Finally!” Keene shouted out, having downed another can of orange soda during the trip. He slumped out of an upright position and splayed out on the seat. “Ok, Art. Go have fun,” he stated simply.

“Wait, what?” Art blurted out in reply. “You’re… not gonna introduce me? You’re just dropping me off?”

“You want us to hold your paw and walk you up there?” Keene said sarcastically, irritated and irrational due to the soda. “You wanted a home, here it is. Get going before I change my mind…” he threatened. “…Still don’t know why I’m doing this…”

The threat scared Art right out of his fur and didn’t press the ferret any further. He jumped when the limo door opened up. He looked over to see that Jeeves was already outside and waiting. “They should have been alerted to your coming,” he said as Art climbed out. “As Master Keene has said, we do not have the time to accompany you further. Master Keene has other appointments today, plus we need to get your paperwork in,” he explained.

The wind had died down, but it was still a bit nippy out. “Yea… alright…” Art replied, shivering a bit. He was both cold and now afraid again because there was no one to look to for support when meeting these wolves. It was just gonna be him…

“We must be going now,” Jeeves said as he returned to the driver’s seat. The limo pulled away shortly after, leaving Art alone on the sidewalk. He looked around the neighborhood a bit, but didn’t really see anyone outside. It did look very inviting, though. In front of many of the houses, including the one he was led to, there were snowmen built on the lawns, or some variation of snowmen, at least. He started to wonder what kind of people or pets lived in each of the houses, but quickly stored that question in favour of wondering how the wolves are gonna react to him.

Still very nervous, he walked up the sidewalk to the door of the house. He raised a paw to start knocking… but the door suddenly flew open, causing the dog to freeze completely. He didn’t see anyone at first, until his eyes trailed down a bit. There he saw a tan, white, and black furred dog with a black scarf holding a bunch of red flyers.

The other dog looked back up at Art. “Who are you?” he asked, crossing his arms.

Art slowly lowered his paw back to his side. “I’m, uh… Art… I’m gonna be living here?” he replied, unsure if they were actually informed now.

The dog gave Art a skeptical look before shaking his head. “Maybe Miles know something, but I don’t have time for this. Could I get by?” Art took a second to register the dog’s request before stepping aside and letting the dog pass. He ran off down the street, but Art didn’t continue to follow where he was going. The door was now open and he slowly entered, closing it behind him.

The inside of the house was very warm and seemed welcoming, albeit the smell was a bit… strange – very strange… Though now he didn’t know what to do. “H-hello?” he called out, though admittedly very quietly. “Hello?” he called out again, a bit louder this time.

“Who’s there?” a voice replied through one of the other rooms. Art’s mind went AWOL again, too frozen to respond to the voice he assumed was of a wolf. A few seconds later, his suspicions were confirmed as a large gray wolf walked through the doorway. “Oh, hello. How may I help you?” he asked, smiling.

Art was a bit disarmed by the wolf’s surprisingly cheery demeanor and greeting… and also the fact he was wearing reading glasses. His senses returned and just after that one glance, he calmed down substantially. “I’m Art. Did… did you get a call about me?”

The wolf looked up in remembrance, a paw on his muzzle. “Hmm, I don’t recall any mention of you today.” Seconds later, the phone in the house started to ring. Being right next to one, the wolf quickly answered it. “Hello? …Ah, Mr. Steward. …Yes, he’s right here. …Oh? …No, it’s no problem at all. …What’s that? …Alright. He seems fine now, though. …He should fit in fine once he meets everyone. …Alright, but I wouldn’t worry. Thanks. Bye.” He finished his conversation and hung up the phone. He turned back towards Art. “Well, now I’ve heard of you,” he stated, laughing afterwards.

Art started to chuckle a bit too, “So I guess that was the phone call you were supposed to get before I got here,” he started, scratching the back of his head. “They’ve been a bit slow today…”

“It’s the holidays. What can ya do?” the wolf replied, shrugging. “Oh, where are my manners. I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Miles,” he said as he walked over to Art, extending his paw. Art extended his as well, even further calmed at the situation. “Did you meet King on the way in?”

“King?”

“Yea, the corgi. He went out to go deliver some invitations for a party we’re hosting on Christmas,” Miles explained. “Hopefully the short notice won’t put people off from coming.”

“You’re having a party here? You wolves are hosting a party?” Art asked, dumbfounded.

Miles nodded. “We’ve been trying to get the humans of the neighborhood to acclimate to us, plus we had such a great party last year… Hey! It could also serve as a good place for you to get to know everyone else too! That is, if you’re wanting to. On the phone, I was told only one thing about you. ‘Easily distressed,’ though you seem fine talking to me.”

“That’s because I…” He paused for a second, thinking of how to say his next words. “I thought you were… vicious. I mean… you’re a wolf.”

Miles smiled again. “Fallaces sunt rerum species,” he simply said, causing Art to shoot a confused look at the wolf. “It means ‘appearances are deceptive,’ are they not?” he stated, chuckling.

“Oh. Hehe, yea…” Art replied, scratching the back of his head. “You really are nothing like how I thought you would be… Sorry…”

Miles gave a quizzical look towards Art now. “Why are you apologizing? You haven’t done anything wrong.”

Art’s ears and tail dropped down and he hunched his head down a bit. “But… I had thought you were gonna be vicious or something… but you’re not. You’re… really nice, actually…”

Miles placed a paw on the dog’s shoulder. “Don’t let stereotypes get to ya. We’re still wolves, but we’re not evil or mindless,” he said, a smile still plastered on his muzzle. “Well, why don’t I show you around? I can introduce you to my family. That is, if you want to meet them now.”

A small smile appeared on Art’s muzzle now. “Alright.”

Miles gave Art a simple tour of their, and now also his, home. The first other wolf who Art met was Miles’ mate, Lucretia. And just like with Miles, she welcomed Art with warm regards… even though she was currently butchering a deer carcass. Miles did say they were still wolves…

…But they were also adapting a modern way of life too. In their living room, Art was introduced to Daryl, Poncho, and “Four-Finger Discount” Jack, who were all watching television. Their idle chatter drew the rest of the adult wolves living there to Art, and none of them were threatening towards him. They all welcomed him like he was a part of the pack.

After formal introductions, Miles took the opportunity to shoot some more ideas about their upcoming party to the rest of them. Art just stood aside and let them discuss it freely. Everything was nothing like how he imagined it would be. He just kept a smile on his muzzle as he listened to Miles’ party ideas… except the part about naked partying…

Art was completely unaware that there were still a few wolves he had yet to meet. He was completely oblivious as a trio snuck up on him. One clamped his muzzle shut and blindfolded him, one bound his arms, and one bound his legs together. The three then silently drug him away from everyone else. Art had no time to react to anything and was completely helpless. He wanted to react, but his body was completely frozen with fear.

And with that fear, his mind went out the window again. Thoughts that everything was just a set-up filled his mind. He wanted to call out, but his muzzle was now clamped together with something and all he could muster was a weak, quiet whimper. He had no idea where he was being taken or what was gonna happen to him, so he just let his body become paralyzed with fear.

Eventually, he felt a chill blow from behind him and then his paws dragged through snow. He was outside was all that registered. He felt his paws drag quite a while until whatever force was supporting him suddenly dropped him into the snow. Art’s first reaction was to try and get up, but as soon as he tried, he was held down and in place. Seconds later, he felt the cold snow start to cover his legs. Soon, more and more snow started to cover his legs, being packed down and becoming too much weight to break through with his bound legs. His torso was next on the list to be covered and packed down with snow. It was extremely cold, being buried in snow, but also oddly soothing. The cold seemed to numb his body as well as his mind.

The numbness allowed Art to focus on the last sense he could rely on, sound. It was quiet, but he managed to make out someone whispering instructions. The voice sounded... young. Fits of laughing also caught his attention, which also confused him. The dulled state also allowed him to realize that little to no snow was being placed near his head, meaning he wasn’t going to be buried fully.

Young voices… Laughing… Maybe it was just some kids he didn’t know about having a bit of fun with him, though dognapping him and completely binding and blinding him wasn’t exactly his idea of ‘fun.’ But after feeling a few more pounds around his stomach, the blindfold was taken off and he saw three wolf pups, each with ear-to-ear grins, sitting on top of the mound of snow he was buried under. The binding over his muzzle was also removed, allowing him to speak again, but he didn’t really know what to say.

“Art? Are you out here?” Miles had now noticed Art’s disappearance from the inside of the house and was looking for him. He saw his three kids sitting on a mound of snow but didn’t see Art’s head. “Kids, have you seen a dog with dark fur out here..?” Miles could tell by the look on the kids’ faces that something was off. He gave a stern look towards the trio. “Kids… Where is he?” The three pups moved aside and revealed the buried dog’s head. “Art!”

With someone he knew around now, words finally formed for Art. “Hey, Miles… Could you… help me out, here? Please?” Art shifted around a bit, but the snow was too firmly packed for his bound arms and legs to really shift it any. Miles wasted no time in digging the trapped dog out of the snow. Once Art was able to sit up, Miles took the bindings off his arms and legs. Art was free to move again, but he just sat on the ground. “Thanks…”

“Are you alright? Not hurt or anything, right?”

Art let out a small sigh. He could tell the pups didn’t mean him any harm and were just joking around… but it was still a heavy way to joke with someone. “I’ll be… fine. Could we… go back… inside?” Miles offered a paw to Art, who grabbed it and got off the ground. His fur was a bit messed up again from being buried in snow, but he didn’t really care at that point. Just some form of sanctuary is all he wanted right now.

Miles led them back through the house and to the upstairs. They walked down the hall a bit before coming to a door a ways down. Miles opened the door, and Art caught a glimpse of the room. It was void of anything except for a nightstand and a bed… but not a dog bed or anything like that. A full mattress bed. “Is… this my room?”

“Yes. This will be your room. You can arrange it however you care to,” Miles explained. “Listen, I’m sorry about the kids. They did something similar with King when he first moved in as well… Hey, you ok?”

Art didn’t really listen to Miles. In fact, all of what had just happened was being shoved into the back of his mind. All he could think about was how he was just given a full bed to sleep in. He had always expected because he’d be coming into a full house that he’d be just somewhere on the floor or something… But the house had surprised him yet again. It wasn’t as full as he thought, and there was an empty bed right in front of him.

He walked inside and flipped the light on. It was a fairly small room but still spacious enough for a desk or something similar to fit comfortably. But all Art cared about was the bed. All throughout his life, he’d always slept on a floor, with the exception being his time at the vet’s office. That was the first time he was allowed to sleep in a full bed, but he knew that was just temporary housing. But this… wasn’t temporary. This bed… was his.

Miles just watched as the defeated air that surrounded Art vanished as amazement overtook him. Art’s tail was wagging rapidly. He ran a paw across the bed before hopping up on it and laying spread eagle across it. “So, can you forgive the kids for what they did?”

Art sat up, feeling completely alleviated. A smile was again on his muzzle. “Yea, I can.” He collapsed back down on the bed. “I… I can’t believe this is actually mine!” he called out, grasping the sheets. A few tears started to form in his eyes. “Miles… I can’t thank you enough for this…”

Miles shook his head. “No need to thank me. I’m just glad you’re feeling better again. If you need anything, Art, don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll be downstairs if you need me.” And with that, Miles exited the room and closed the door as well.

Art crawled across the bed and plopped his head onto the soft pillows at its head. A few more tears streamed from his eyes. The comfort of the bed, coupled with all that had happened during the day, drew him towards sleep. “I have my own bed… A true bed…” He scratched his ear as a few more tears fell. And not long after, he fell asleep.


Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:28 am
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
I see a friendship coming between Art and King. They surely have had a distressful life in common.
Heartwarming and cute update, yay... Wait! What if Art falls into insta-crush with Bailey too??? :shock: :shock:

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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
Chapter 5 - The Greatest Gift

-----

A knock came at the door to Art’s new room, stirring the sleeping dog slightly awake. The door opened slightly as Miles poked his head in. “Hey, someone’s here to see you,” he said, flicking the light on. Art’s eyes were slowly fluttering open, but they shut quickly at the blinding light. Slowly, he sat up, rubbing his eyes and getting them adjusted to light again.

Art shook his head to try and wake himself further. He let out a yawn. “How long was I out?” he asked, stretching his arms in the air, yawning again.

“A couple hours; not too long,” Miles replied. “Again, you have a visitor. It’s Fido.”

Hearing that woke Art up and put a smile on his muzzle. “Fido’s here? Tell him I’ll be right down.” Miles nodded and left, while Art hopped off his bed and stretched some more. After sufficiently loosened up, he started to leave but stopped a few steps in. He looked over his shoulder at the bed and noticed he made a mess of the covers. He walked back to it and ran his paw over the sheets again. “It’s really real… It’s my own bed…” he affirmed quietly. He deftly started to smooth the covers and pillows on the bed, making it as neatly as he could and as quickly as he could. After a bit, he stepped back and nodded, happy with his work. He flicked the lights off and closed the door behind him.

---

Fido was standing idle next to the door, making small-talk with Miles. Art came down just as Miles finished talking about what happened earlier that day. “Oh… How is he doing?” Fido asked, not noticing Art.

Miles just pointed towards Art. “Ask him yourself,” he said, grinning.

“Hey, Fido!” Art exclaimed, startling Fido quite a bit.

He was pleasantly surprised that Art didn’t really seem shut down or anything. He was more cheery than Fido had ever seen him. “Heh, you’re energetic. Save some of it for the party later tonight, why don’t ya?”

Art tilted his head. “Party? But isn’t the wolves’ party Christmas Eve?”

“Yea, but to accommodate that party, Bino relented and we’re having the Good Ol’ Dogs Club’s party tonight so that we can go to their party too,” Fido explained. “Speaking of which, I have an early present to give you.” Fido reached into a bag he had with him a pulled out a deep blue scarf. “Here. I don’t think you have one for yourself. This is just an old one we had laying around our house, so I think you’ll make more use of it than we ever would.”

“Wow… Thanks, Fido!” Art took the scarf and wrapped it around his neck, letting the excess drop behind his back to get pummeled by his wagging tail. “So what else is in the bag?” he asked, admiring the warmth the scarf gave him.

Fido put a paw up. “No peeking. They’re more gifts we’re handing out, but that’s for at the party. The scarf was because you didn’t have one and it is cold outside.”

Art smiled slightly. “Right… Thanks again…” He seemed to gain the timidity he displayed earlier in the day again. “Uhm… I have to go to this party… right?”

The question confused Fido. “Well… I’m not forcing you, but also…” He crossed his arms and tilted his head. “…why wouldn’t you want to go? This is a great opportunity for you to meet everyone.”

Art shied away from the question. He didn’t know if he was ready to meet everyone yet…

“You should go,” Miles said from across the room before getting up and walking over to the two at the door. “There’s no sense in waiting. Besides, you’ve already met with a pack of wolves. How can a bunch of dogs be any worse than that?” he stated, chuckling afterwards.

Fido also started to laugh a bit. “Yea, and trust me, they’re all pretty cool. You’ll fit in perfectly.”

The encouragement from the two helped to steel Art’s nerves. “Alright. I’ll come.” A low rumbling sound suddenly became audible, originating from Art’s stomach. “Uh…” He gained an embarrassed smile and scratched the back of his head. “There’s gonna be food, right?” he asked sheepishly.

Fido burst out in laughter again. “Yes, yes there will be food,” he managed out, staggered with laughter.

“Then it seems we don’t have to worry about dinner for you tonight, Art,” Miles chimed in. “You’d best be getting to your party. The door is always unlocked, so spend as much time as you need getting to know everyone. And don’t forget to enjoy yourself.” Miles smiled wide.

Fido shouldered the bag he brought. “He’s right. Let’s get going.” Fido opened the door back up, bathing the entrance to the house in a chilling breeze. Art’s new scarf helped to curb the cold a bit. It didn’t do much for his arms and legs, but he actually didn’t mind that so much. It was always his head that got annoyingly cold.

“Right. Thanks, Miles.” Art made sure the scarf was tightly wrapped around his neck before walking towards the door. He followed Fido and closed the door behind him. “So where is the party?” he asked, jumping ahead to catch up with Fido.

“We’re holding it in the clubhouse. It’s a large shed we repurposed when the club first began. We’ve made it bigger over the years, though.” Fido looked ahead and smiled. “Just letting ya know… That scarf isn’t the only gift you’re getting tonight.”

Art’s ears perked up and he stared at the bag Fido had with him. “You’ve already given me so much today, Fido… It’s hard to believe that just this morning I was shelled up in a bed…” Art’s mind wanted to drift back, but he didn’t allow it. “A home, friends, this scarf… What more do you have to give?”

“Something that will make you a true resident of Babylon Gardens.” Fido grin grew ear-to-ear. “You’ll just have to wait for when we give out the gifts during the party.” Fido continued to lead Art towards one of the house’s backyards, where the clubhouse resided. “Here we are.”

Quite a few dogs were standing outside the large shed, while loud noises could be heard inside, though another sense or Art’s caught track of something else. It was his nose that picked up the scent of charcoal and grilling food from the air, and his stomach growled immediately afterwards. He wrapped a paw around his belly. “Is it alright if I eat first, and then meet everyone?” he asked, slightly embarrassed again.

Fido just laughed and shook his head. “Yea, sure. We’d best get something before Tiger starts to claim everything.” Fido led them around to the side of the clubhouse where the smell was even stronger and tormenting Art. Alongside the wall was a large table filled with plates, plastic ware, an assortment of snacks, and some dog treats. At the end was a large bulldog cooking on a grill, lightly humming.

Art’s eyes were lit like the moon at the impressive spread. “Wow…” was all that he could mutter out.

“Yea, we go all-out during these parties. Everyone chips in and we make it into a blast. I’m actually surprised that it’s this organized even with the short notice we gave everyone,” Fido explained, but he started to wonder if any of it registered with Art. He was still gazing at all the food. “Eat to your heart’s content, Art.”

Art didn’t hesitate. He picked up a paper plate and went down the line, falling into place with everyone else. He picked up some chips, crackers, and a couple treats before reaching the end. He could see the grill glowing with charcoal, cooking a myriad of hamburger patties and hot dogs. He started to get mesmerized by the glow and smell.

The large bulldog in charge of it looked over at Art, noticing him gawking at the grill, but also noticing he wasn’t familiar. “Hey, you that new dog everyone’s been talking about?” he asked, his voice fairly gruff.

Art snapped out of his trance to answer. “Oh, yea. I’m Art.”

The other dog just smirked. “I’m Rex. It’s nice to meet ya. So, what’ll you have, hamburger or hot dog?”

“Uhm… I’ve never had either of them… I’ve only seen them,” Art admitted. He looked back down and saw the patties looked more appealing than the hot dogs. “I guess I’ll try a hamburger.”

Rex nodded and grabbed a bun from the table, before picking a well-done patty and placing it on the bun, handing it to Art. “Here you go. And just for you, as my way of saying ‘welcome,’ if you’re still hungry, come back and I’ll give you a hot dog to try.”

Art smiled wide at Rex’s offer. “Thanks!” Art walked away and looked around and noticed Fido wasn’t around. At first this worried Art, but then he started to realize that he couldn’t expect Fido to hold his paw the entire night and with every encounter. He’d be around for when he needed him, and right now, all he needed was his two paws and his mouth to eat the food he had on his plate.

He leaned against the back fence and held his plate in one paw. Wondering where to start, he decided to go with the hamburger that was fresh off the grill, not wanting it to get cold. He could feel the warmth of the burger through the soft bun. The smell was torturing his senses and he just couldn’t wait any longer. He took a small bite out of the burger and his tongue went to heaven. The meat had a nice, crunchy crust on it, a few juices seeping out from the tender meat inside. It contrasted perfectly with the soft bun that held it. It was unlike anything Art had ever had before, and he couldn’t wait to take a second bite.

---

Art finally sated his rumbling stomach for the night, finishing its growls with a few crackers. He took Rex’s offer fairly quickly, though discovered he didn’t much like hot dogs that much. It was still good, though.

Every-so-often, someone would come up and introduce themselves to Art, realizing he wasn’t familiar and must be the new dog they had heard about. And everyone he met was nice and not really threatening to him at all. Art became increasingly glad that he came as the minutes passed. Sated and familiar with most of those who were outside, the inside of the clubhouse still held more for Art, including that other gift Fido mentioned. “I wonder when that’s gonna be…” he asked himself quietly.

He was so lost in thought that he accidentally bumped into someone’s arm. He quickly turned to apologize, but before he could say anything, the one he bumped into turned and spoke first, “You’re fine.”

“I’m s… wait, what?” Art was caught slightly off guard. “Uh… I didn’t even say anything yet…”

“I foresaw what you were going to say,” the Pomeranian replied. She looked past Art a bit and replied, “Thanks, hon.”

“…What?” Art turned around to see another dog running towards them with drinks in his paws.

“Here you go, Tarot,” he said as he handed a drink off. He then took notice of Art. “Hey, you’re that new dog everyone’s been talking about, right? It’s nice to finally meet you! My name’s Peanut Butter Sandwich but just call me Peanut, and it seems like you’ve already met Tarot.”

“Uh…” Art was still confused from what happened earlier. “Does she… always reply before you’re about to say something..? And how does she do that?”

“Not always. You get used to it.” Peanut’s smile never faltered from his muzzle. “And she gets help from the spirits of the world. That’s how she knows everything.”

“Oh… That makes sense…” Art replied sarcastically, still unable to wrap his head around what he just heard.

“So… You gonna introduce yourself?” Peanut asked, sidling up against Art and giving him a nudge.

“Oh, sorry… I’m Art,” he quickly replied. He scratched the back of his head in embarrassment again. His eyes drifted between the two dogs he just met but focused on Tarot. He noticed something strange with her eyes. Before they were yellow but now they were green. The moment he noticed, they changed back to yellow. “Uh…”

“Art, would you mind speaking with me after the party?” Tarot asked. “I have something I want to ask you.”

“Ask me? Why not now? And did your eyes just change colour?”

Peanut replied to that last question. “They do that when she uses the spirits’ power.”

“Right, and besides, now’s not the time,” Tarot added. “Fido and everyone else are waiting for you inside. I don’t want to hold you up any.”

Art had nearly forgotten he was about to head inside. “Oh, right! Thanks. I guess I’ll find you after the party, then.” He started to walk towards the clubhouse and turned and waved towards the two. “Nice meeting you two, Tarot, Peanut.”

“You too, Art!” Peanut exclaimed back, sending an over-enthused wave of his own back towards Art. “Welcome to Babylon Gardens!”

Tarot gave a wave too, but she also seemed distracted. Art wondered what she wanted to ask him but quickly stored that thought, remembering a point she brought up. Fido and everyone else were waiting inside for him, and he’d spent all this time sauntering around outside. There wasn’t any sense in waiting any longer. He made his way over to the clubhouse and opened the door.

---

The loud noises coming from inside were amplified tenfold upon opening the door. He quickly shut it behind him, not wanting to cause any of the warmth inside to be lost to the chilly outside. He unwrapped his scarf a bit so that it wasn’t so tight but enough so that it didn’t go anywhere on his shoulders either. He looked around the impressive clubhouse, taking note of the stage at the far end of it, a few groups of dogs playing poker, another table spread with snacks and such, and another overall friendly atmosphere.

“Hey! Art! Over here!” His ears barely caught the mention of his name. He scanned the general direction he heard it called from to see a table with Fido and two others at it. He quickly made his way over to them and recognized one of the other two dogs as the corgi he met earlier. “Hey, how’s your night been so far?” Fido asked.

“It’s been really fun! Everyone outside were all nice,” Art replied. “And the food was delicious!”

Fido just shook his head, chuckling. “Great to hear. I’ve got a few here you should meet,” he replied, pointing towards the two at the table.

The corgi had his head on his arms on the table, a paw grasping a can of orange soda, seeming to be upset about something, but the husky next to him got up and walked over to him. “Hey, nice to finally meet you. Name’s Fox.”

Art nodded his head quickly in acknowledgment. “I’m Art. And is he alright?” he asked pointing towards the sulking dog he briefly met earlier.

Fox shook his head and shrugged. “Don’t mind him. He’s just a bit upset because he had a falling out with my cousin.”

“Please don’t talk about Bailey…” the corgi grumbled out, sinking his head further into his arms.

“The least you could do is introduce yourself, King,” Fox called out, causing the corgi to glare towards the husky.

“It’s fine,” Art quickly replied, not wanting to upset anyone. “Besides, if I’m living with him, I’ll get plenty of chances to get to know him.”

Fox just shrugged again. “True.”

“Anyways,” Fido started, getting away from the topic of King’s bane at the moment, “it’s almost time for the gifts. We’ll call you when we’re ready, Art.”

Art’s tail picked up and he started to smile wide. “Ok! I’ll just go around and meet everyone else.” Fido nodded and went off to go start the preparations. Art, meanwhile, went off in his own direction. After a few minutes of interacting with other dogs, he started to get a bit thirsty. He aimed for the snack table but more specifically, the punch bowl.

He had just poured himself a cup before someone came up to him. “Hey, new dog!”

“Hmm?” Art turned around mid-sip to a dog who had a plethora of bandages over his snout and a little ‘X’ bandage on the side of his face. “Uh…”

“You got a problem with something?” the dog replied in an irate tone. Art jumped at bit at the curtness of this dog but quickly shook his head, not wanting to get on his bad side. “Good. Anyways, I’m the founder of this club. The name’s Bino, and if you want to be in the club, you have to tell me: what’s your stance on cats? Are they annoying, evil, or both?”

“Huh? Fido didn’t mention anything about needing to dislike cats to be in the club…” Art replied. His answer garnered only an annoyed expression from Bino. “Well, the thing is… I’ve never really known any cats, so I don’t really have an opinion on them. But I don’t think they’re bad or anything…”

Bino wasn’t amused with Art’s response and was about to speak up but another voice behind them reached them first. “Bino! What are you doing?” Art turned around to see Fido and Fox.

“None of your business, Fido!” Bino barked back before storming away.

Art was extremely confused at what just happened. “Uhm… Is there some rule about cats and being in the club?” Art asked, slightly anxious because of the answer he gave Bino.

“Gah, I should’ve figured…” Fido muttered, placing a paw on his face. “No, there’s no such rule. He just dislikes cats and tries to get everyone else to.”

Art breathed a sigh of relief, glad he didn’t mess everything up. “So, what’s up?”

“We’ve already spread word that everyone’s to give their gifts. Which means…” Fido pulled the bag he had with him earlier around and started to dig into it. Art was shaking in anticipation, wondering what Fido was gonna pull out of that bag.

But before he could, Bino returned. “Hold on! I’ve got a special gift to give the new guy,” he started, an unusual smile on his muzzle. He started to usher Art towards the stage. “C’mon. It’s courtesy of the Good Ol’ Dogs’ Club!”

Fido tried to stop him, but Bino already had him on the stage. “Do you think it’s…” he started, directed at Fox.

Fox just crossed his arms. “Yea.” The two quickly moved to try and stop Bino.

Up on the stage, Art just stood idle, a bit disappointed he didn’t get that last gift, but he also didn’t want to disregard a gift from the club’s founder. Bino, meanwhile, was trying to get the attention of everyone, to varying success.

Eventually, he just went with a tried-and-true method… “HEY! SHUT IT NOW!” …which was yell at the top of his lungs, gaining everyone’s attention if only because of how annoying it was. “Thank you. Now, as most of you know, we have a new member among us.” He pointed over towards Art, who just shyly waved. “So, as a way of saying ‘Welcome’ from the Good Ol’ Dogs Club, I wish to give this gift to… uh…” he slid over and whispered, “Hey, what’s your name again?” hiding his mouth with one paw.

Art gained a look of disbelief as the apparent leader of the club didn’t even know his name. “Art…”

Bino slid back to the center of the stage and exclaimed, “Art!” he then went and procured a small gift box and presented it to Art. “Here you go!” He placed it specifically in Art’s paws and stepped back.

Art looked at the box a little before moving to open it. “Wait! Stop, Art!” Fido and Fox started to climb up onto the stage from the other side.

“I said back off, Fido!” Bino immediately yelled back, stepping in between the two and Art. “Can’t I give a guy a welcoming gift without you breathing down my back!? Do you not trust me enough to give a gift?”

Fido crossed his arms and his expression went stoic. “Frankly, no, Bino, I can’t. You pull this stunt whenever possible!”

“Seriously. It’s getting a little tired, Bino,” Fox added. “This trick of yours – we’ve seen it a hundred times and some of us have been on the receiving end. Why anyone who knows you would ever accept a gift from you, I don’t know. But Art doesn’t know you, so we’re not gonna let you pull the same stunt on him as you have others!”

Art, meanwhile, just looked at the box he was given. “A trick..?” he muttered quietly. “Hmm…” He just let Bino argue with Fido and Fox while he examined it more closely. He was able to tell that it was weighted unevenly, like it was heavier towards the end pointing towards him. Also, there was a faint but extremely strange smell coming from it. It was even weirder than the wolf house when he first walked in.

With what he had overheard and examined, he had a good idea of what the ‘gift’ would do if it were opened. So he decided to play a trick on Bino. He looked around for a little before spotting a pen on a table. He grabbed it and scrawled a couple words on the side of the box. He then slid back to where he was initially.

The three were still arguing on the stage. “I’d be more than happy to add a few more bandages to your face, Bino!” Fox shouted angrily.

“It’s fine, guys. I’ll open it,” Art replied afterwards, startling the three.

“Art, don’t. Please,” Fido pleaded. He started to walk over to take the gift…

“But, Bino? What’re these words here supposed to mean?” …and stopped when he heard that.

“Huh? Words? Lemme see…” He turned around, and Art presented the box to him. He looked at the box and read out the words… “Hmm… ‘Nice… try.’ …What?” …and immediately after, Art pulled the string on the box. A short but loud pop echoed throughout the room as Bino’s rigged gift released its payload… on him. The catnip that exploded from the gift splattered all over Bino, causing him to freeze up like a statue.

Everyone else in the room stood silent, eyes wide. Even Fido and Fox couldn’t believe what just happened. Everyone’s eyes were just on Art and Bino. The entire room was dead silent, the only sound being a treat falling from someone’s paw and onto the floor, and that worried Art. He did just pull a reversal on the club’s leader. There may not be a rule about having to dislike cats… but he didn’t know if one couldn’t pull a trick on the leader and still be in the club. He was close to apologizing… but heard something before he could.

“Heh heh… Haha…” Behind Bino, Fido hadstarted to laugh. His laugh started to gain in intensity and very quickly, everyone else in the room started to follow suit. Some even started to cheer for Art. The entire room that was silent seconds ago was now filled with more laughter than it had ever seen.

Art just set the remains of the box on the ground and looked out on the crowd of dogs cheering and laughing. He turned his head to look at Bino and started to laugh too. Bino was still in the same state as earlier, but his expression soon started to change… to that of pure rage. He stared at Art with a look that instantly ceased Art’s laughter and caused him to back away. Bino took a step forward, but before he could get any closer, Fido and Fox stepped in between him and Art. Bino stared at the two before just standing straight, trying to regain his composure. He started to walk away, attempting to leave with his dignity… whatever was left of it, at least. He just ignored everyone as they started to yell jokes about how the new guy pulled his own prank against him.

Seeing how Bino reacted, Art did start to feel a bit sorry for doing that to him. “He’s… gonna be ok, right?” he asked, watching as Bino stormed out of the clubhouse.

“He’ll be fine. It’s about time someone knocked him down a notch,” Fox replied, wiping a tear from his eye. “I just can’t believe it was you, Art. Your first day and you’ve probably gained the respect of every dog here. You’ve definitely earned mine.” Fox looked towards the door and started to laugh again. “Plus I don’t think I need to beat Bino up for this. He’s beaten enough.”

“Fox definitely has something right. You’re the first one to ever give Bino a taste of his own medicine. Maybe now he’ll stop that gag once and for all,” Fido stated further. “Now, then… now that you’re done giving everyone here probably the best early Christmas gift ever, why don’t we get to the one you were about to get?” Fido pulled a small box from the bag and handed it to Art. “Don’t worry; this one isn’t rigged to explode.”

Art just shook in anticipation, holding the small box. “I know. You wouldn’t do that.” He stared at the box before he finally caved in and opened the box.

Inside was a small paintbrush. Not a real one, but one meant to be a dog’s tag. The handle looked wooden while the white bristles looked like it had a dab of black paint on it. “Can’t be a pet without a pet tag, can you? Custom made just for you, Art,” Fido explained. Art just lifted the tag out of the box and stared at it. His name, residence, and a phone number were lightly etched into the handle.

“I… It’s…” Art was at a loss for words. He just silently attached it to his collar. Just like Fido said – he was now a resident of Babylon Gardens. A few tears started to well up in his eyes.

“C’mon, everyone! Let’s give Art one final welcome!” Fido shouted out, to which everyone just cheered. “Ready! Three… Two… One!”

“WELCOME TO BABYLON GARDENS, ART!”


Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:19 pm
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
Art is definitely one great addition to the cast! First day and already is a legend :D

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Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:45 am
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
He is a legend indeed! Yeesh, Bino finally gets sprayed with catnip. Seems he will do well in the club.

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Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:36 am
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
So..... This isn't dead. X3

Haha, it's amazing how much time and energy it takes when you're in a musical production. Two months have passed since I posted the last chapter. And now it's April... and my story is still in December... I still find that kinda weird, but I'm trying not to let it get to me. I just need about half a chapter more before I can do a time lapse. I just feel like I should have the season of the story coincide with the actual season we're currently in. X3

Aaaaand, I'm gonna be a bit more active in regards to replies to comments and such. I don't know why I thought I couldn't do so before. Though I will endeavor to have posts containing chapters to just contain the chapter. Meaning I hope this double post isn't gonna net me any trouble. ^^;


Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:34 am
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
Chapter 6 - Revelations

-----

The uproar Art caused earlier in the night had died down, and the party had returned to the state it was in before. Art had been introduced to basically every other dog in the room and was now just wandering around, munching on a treat. It was pretty late then, and he was fairly tired. He thought about finding Fido, telling him he’d be heading home and leave, but he remembered that someone wanted to talk with him after the party. “Well, I guess I’ll still go find Fido. I’m getting tired…” he mumbled out, finishing off the treat in his paw.

He wandered around, looking for Fido but actually found someone who left a while ago. Bino was sitting at a table, his face clean of anything but those bandages. He was reclined back in the chair, a drink in his paw. He seemed to be calmed down and just trying to enjoy the rest of the party. Ever since he stormed out, Art did feel a slight pang of guilt for what he did. He knew that Bino planned for him to be covered in that catnip, but he didn’t know that by pulling his own prank on him, he opened up everyone else to throw jokes at him.

He seemed calm enough, so Art strolled over to him. “Hey… Bino, right?”

Bino just listed his head back and upon seeing who just talked to him, gained a very aggressive stance. “What do you want, huh?! Come to rub your shining moment in my face or something?!” he barked out, glaring at Art.

Art’s ears dropped. He was taken aback at how Bino reacted to just him greeting him. “N-no. I… I came to apologize,” Art replied. Now he felt guilty for riling Bino up after he seemed calmed down.

“Apologize? I don’t need your sympathy,” Bino snapped back, jumping out of his chair and getting right in Art’s face. “I just want. You. Gone,” he said coldly, poking Art in the forehead at each emphasis and ending it with a flick. “If it were up to me, I’d kick you out right now… but my goody two-shoes brother would just let you back in.” Bino grumbled and swung back to his chair, taking a swig from his drink.

Art rubbed where Bino flicked him and continued to feel guilty that he had angered Bino so much, but his ears twitched at a certain thing he said. “Wait… brother?”

“Yes, Fido. Y’know, the one who always comes to everyone’s rescue. The one who constantly overrides my decisions. The one who everyone praises at every possible moment!” Bino got increasingly irritated as he went on about Fido, flailing his arms in the air.

Art, meanwhile, just felt worse and worse. “Urf… I… didn’t know he was your brother…” he yipped out quietly. “Sorry…”

“I told you, I don’t need your sympathy,” Bino retorted. “Just get outta here.” He turned back in his chair and took another sip of his drink.

Art obeyed Bino and left him be. He already felt bad at how he ostracized Fido’s brother earlier; he didn’t need to feel worse by continually pestering him. He went back to wandering around, looking for Fido…

“Hey, something the matter, Art?” …but Fido found him first. Art managed to walk right by him, too engrossed in his thoughts to actually have noticed if he did see Fido or not. He turned around and faced him, guilt on his expression. “What’s wrong?” Fido looked in the direction Art came from and saw Bino at a table, still wearing an irritated expression. “Did Bino start something again?”

“N-no. He didn’t. But, Fido? How come you didn’t stop me earlier?” Art asked meekly.

Fido tilted his head. “Stop you? From what?”

“From opening Bino’s rigged gift.”

“Well, I would have stopped you if you opened it on yourself, but you pulled it on Bino, and that was a great prank, Art.”

“Yea, but… he’s your brother, right?”

A slight grin appeared on Fido’s muzzle. “Is that what this is about? Yea, he’s my brother, but does that matter, Art? I mean, brothers are allowed to pull each other’s tails every once-in-a-while, right?”

Art’s eyes popped open. He scratched his ear and smiled a bit, looking up at Fido. “R-right… Sorry… It’s just…”

“Why are you so concerned now that you know he’s my brother?” He paused for a moment, his expression turning. “…Do you have any brothers or sisters? Ones who you are close to?” Fido asked with a stern look.

Art tensed up at the question. His head dropped down again and a few tears fell. “…Y-yes… My… older brother… but…” He turned his head away from Fido. “…not any more… I don’t… deserve to be his brother…”

Fido reeled his head back a bit. “Don’t deserve to… What? Why? What happened?” he asked. Inside, he was glad he got more info on Art’s past but also felt saddened and worried because of how Art was reacting to the subject.

Art now turned his whole body away from Fido. “I… I…” Art sighed and tilted his head back. “This was a great party, Fido. Thanks for inviting me, but I’m gonna head home now.”

Art started to walk away, but Fido put a paw on his shoulder to stop him. “Hold on. You still haven’t told me what happened. Maybe it’s something I can help you with.”

“No… Please…” Art grasped his chest. “The memory… hurts too much…” His paws dropped to his sides. “…I don’t think…” he winced, “…know if he’s still with us anymore…”

Fido froze up hearing that. His eyes were wide and his jaw slightly dropped. “Art…” Now he felt extremely guilty for surfacing such a bad memory for Art. He hadn’t even considered the possibility…

Art slid off of Fido’s paw, who just kept it suspended mid-air. “Thanks again, though, Fido. I’ll see ya later,” he said, leaving Fido to collect his thoughts on the matter. Art tightened his scarf before he got to the door to the clubhouse and left.

---

The moon was high in the sky, obstructed by a few clouds. Street lights illuminated the darkness, their light reflecting brightly off the snow. A slight breeze blew across the neighborhood as Art started to walk back to the wolves’ house.

“He is only trying to help, y’know,” a voice stated as Art passed the fence gate. He turned to see the Pomeranian he had forgotten wanted to talk with him leaning against the wooden fence. “Keeping it all inside hurts you more than telling it.”

Art just stared at her. “How did you..?”

“The spirits tell me everything,” she replied, closing her eyes.

“Right…” He remembered what he was explained earlier that evening but still didn’t understand it. “So what did you want?”

“Just to talk.”

Art stared at her for a few moments before sighing and shaking his head. “Look, I already told Fido-“

“You shouldn’t blame yourself for what happened,” Tarot interrupted, looking directly at Art. “I know what you have been through, what happened to you and your brother. I read your mind earlier this night, but I didn’t want to bring a bad memory up so early in the night.”

Art thought back to when they first met. Her eyes had changed colour at one point, and Peanut said that happens when she uses the spirits’ powers. “So… you know… everything?”

Tarot nodded. “Yes, but that is not important at the moment. I’m not going to – and for that matter, can’t – interfere with that as it would interfere with your Fate. But I can tell you this: your brother knew what was at stake and sacrificed himself so you could have your life back. And you know this as well.”

Art froze again but his body started to tremble. “He was my brother… He was the only one I knew… He was always with me…” A steady flow of tears fell from Art’s eyes. “And I just left him… I don’t deserve to call him my brother…” Art collapsed in the snow. “I left him to die!”

“He didn’t care what happened to him. All he cared about was you. He wanted to protect his little brother and was willing to do anything to do so. You should know more than anyone how much you meant to him, just as he means a lot to you. You may say you don’t deserve to be his brother, but you know in your heart you still are. That’s why you kept going, even after you were separated. If you gave up, it would’ve meant what you both fought for would’ve been a waste.”

Art was still on the ground, tears falling steadily. He knew that all of what Tarot said was true, no matter how much it hurt to admit. But it still hurt… “Just… leave me alone… Please…”

Tarot sighed and started to walk away, but she stopped next to Art. “One last thing: are you so sure your brother is gone from this world?”

Art’s eyes zeroed in on Tarot, disbelief on his face. “B-but, I heard…” Art winced at the memory, unable to finish his sentence.

“You heard but didn’t see.”

“What are you saying..? Are you..?” A new well of tears formed in his eyes. “Y-you mean… he’s..?” Tarot started to walk away again. “W-wait! You didn’t answer me. My brother… He’s alive? You know, don’t you? Tell me, please!” Art pleaded. For so long, he thought his brother to be dead, but this psychic dog gave him hope that he’d see him again. “I’d give anything… to see him again…”

“Let Fate run its course… Art,” she replied and finally left.

Art watched Tarot walk away for a few moments before falling backwards into the snow. “He’s alive… He has to be… She wouldn’t have mentioned it otherwise… So my brother… is still alive!” he whispered to himself, tears sliding down his cheeks, a smile on his muzzle. But his smile soon faded as other thoughts filled his head. “He’s still alive… but where is he?” Art sat up, looking up at the sky. “Is he still…?” Art quickly shook his head, not wanting to give that thought any more time in his mind. All he wanted to focus on was the fact that his brother was still alive.

A weak gust blew across the street; the cold snap nipped at Art’s body. He got up off the ground and brushed the snow he took with him off. He re-adjusted his scarf and buried his muzzle in it, protecting it from the chilly wind. He started to walk again back to the wolves’ house, his scarf hiding a slight smile. It had been over four months since he was separated from his brother. Art had given up all hope of seeing him again, but now, he had it back.

Art quickly made it back to the house, and just like Miles said earlier, the door was still unlocked. He silently made his way inside and shut the door as quietly as he could, so as to not wake any of the house’s other residents. Slight sounds of snoring could be heard throughout the house. He made his way upstairs and down the hall to his room.

He flicked the light on in the room only for a second to get a mental picture of where everything was and first noticed a folded blanket with a small note on top of hit. He flicked the light on again, having to shut his eyes due to the brightness. Once they adjusted, he walked over and read the note: “In case you get cold. ~Lucretia”

Art smiled warmly as he took his scarf off and set it and the note on the nightstand next to his bed. He went back and flicked the lights off, sending the room into darkness again, but a small glint of light from the moon beamed through the window as it emerged from behind a cloud. Art crawled under the covers, leaving the blanket at the end of the bed for if he needed it. He curled up under the covers and closed his eyes. The thought that his brother was still alive and out there rang through his mind again, his final thought of the day before he drifted to sleep, a paw resting on his tag.

---

Art had gotten in pretty late the night before, ending up in bed at around eleven-thirty. Now it was close to seven in the morning when someone started to rouse Art from his sleep. It took a little effort, but Art finally started to come around. He gave a yawn from under the covers. “Who’s there?” he asked as he sat up, stretching and yawning again.

“King,” the corgi replied quickly. “Thought I’d come grab you since you’re new here. It’s best to eat breakfast before the wolves do.”

Art shook his head clear and looked towards the corgi who was in a completely different mood from the night before. “Why do we have to eat before them?”

“Because you’re likely to lose your appetite if you eat with or immediately after them,” King replied quite bluntly. He shrugged and started to walk out of the room. “But I guess that’s your choice,” he said as he left the room.

Art started to wonder why he’d lose his appetite but decided to listen to King, seeing as he’d been living with the wolves for a lot longer. He hopped out of his bed and stretched out again before making his bed neat again. Once satisfied with its look, he ran to catch up with King. They had met a few times in the past and each time was just for a few moments. Now was a good time to finally get to know him.

King was already in the kitchen, munching on a bowl of cereal he had already gotten. He noticed Art and swallowed. “Help yourself to anything in the cupboard,” he said, pointing to where the cereal was kept. He then pointed to two other locations. “Bowls are over in that cupboard, and spoons are in that drawer.”

“Thanks.” Art wandered over to the first cupboard he was directed to, opening it to reveal a few different kinds of cereal. He really didn’t know what any of them were or what they would taste like. He looked over his shoulder to see another box already out, the kind that King had gotten for himself. He figured that since King liked it, he’d give it a try too.

He got a bowl and spoon from where he was told they were and sat at the table beside King. The milk was also still out, so Art just poured out some cereal into his bowl and filled it with milk. The golden flakes of cereal darkened as they were doused with milk. Art took a spoonful up and started to munch on it. It was both nutty and sweet, and it was pretty dang good too!

Art and King silently ate their breakfast for the next few minutes, but after Art finished, he decided to try and spark up some conversation. “Hey, King. We’ve met a few times before, but we haven’t properly met.”

King quickly set the cup of water he had mid-sip back on the table. “No, you cannot sniff my butt,” he said sternly, getting very defensive.

“What?” Art asked, confused. “Ok… Well, there are other ways to meet. I’ve talked with a lot of dogs last night, but I never got to talk to you. So, how’d you end up living with the wolves?”

King lowered his guard and took another sip of water. “It’s because my old owner was a jerk and decided to just leave me.”

Art winced, upset he brought up a bad subject. “Uhm… Sorry. I didn’t mean to bring that up…”

“Are you kidding? I didn’t much care for him, either, so him leaving me was a blessing,” King replied. “So, what’s your story?”

“Oh, uh…” Art didn’t consider the fact that how he came to Babylon Gardens wasn’t a discussed topic. “Well, I was nearly run over by Fido. He told me I passed out, and when I woke up, I was at the vet. Fido stopped by again and offered me a home.” Art leaned back in his chair, realizing that what he just explained started a mere two days ago. “It really doesn’t feel like I’ve only been here a couple days…”

“What about before that?” King asked curiously.

“Well… Before that, I was just a wandering stray. I got separated from my brother, and without him, I didn’t really know what to do…” Art’s ears started to drop.

“Dang. That’s rough,” King replied. He hopped out of his seat and took his bowl over to the sink and plopped it in, after using a stepstool to reach the sink. Art snapped out of his thoughts and decided to follow suit and put his bowl in the sink as well. “So, have we met to your standards now?” King asked.

“Uh… Yea… I just wanted to get to know those who I’ll be living with.” Art scratched the back of his head. “Hey, mind if I ask another question? What do you do for fun around here?”

King’s ears dropped down and he slouched over a bit. “For me, it involves hanging out with my girlfriend, but…”

Now Art’s ears dropped. “I heard something about that last night… Now’s probably a good time to apologize, right?” King nodded his head. “Sorry…”

King just shook his head. “I just hope she isn’t still mad at me…” A few moments of silence passed between the two. A few rumbling noises could be heard above them. “Seems like everyone else is waking up. Now is a good time to leave the kitchen,” King stated, walking back to the stairs. Art followed quickly behind. “Really, if you just wander around, I’m sure you’ll come across someone who’ll show you around or something.”

“Oh, ok. Thanks.” Art went up the stairs as well to get back to his room. King turned into his own room, and Art stole a glance inside it. Similar to his, but there was a strange golden statue of a fox sticking its tongue out and pulling an eyelid down. “Interesting…” he mumbled out but gave it no other thought. He passed a few wolves, including Miles, who bade him good morning, and he returned the greeting.

Back in his room, Art sat on the end of his bed, wondering what exactly to do for the day. His mind momentarily drifted to wondering if Miles had a chair or something he could add to his room but quickly stored that question for later. He looked over at the scarf he got last night. “Guess the best thing to do is to wander around until something happens…” he muttered to himself. He hopped off his bed and grabbed his scarf, putting it on as he walked out of his room and back down the hall.

A weird scent assailed his nose as he descended the stairs. It smelled like rotten something and seemed to be originating from the kitchen. Art dared not enter, thinking that this was the reason King got him up earlier and was quite glad he did so. Instead, he just called out from the front door, “I’m gonna head out and wander around the neighborhood.”

“Alright. Have fun, Art,” Miles responded, yelling back through the house as well.

---

The chilled morning air washed across Art’s body as he opened the front door and exited the house, tightening his scarf. The sun was almost fully across the horizon, shining its brilliant light down on the snow-laden land. Art wandered to the end of the walkway and gazed at all the houses around him. Those residing in each house were no doubt starting their days as well.

Art turned his gaze to the town Babylon Gardens itself was housed in, and it too seemed to be waking up and starting its day. Art just smiled warmly. He hadn’t had the time in the past to appreciate the mornings as he had today. His smile slowly started to fade as his mind wandered to the past. He couldn’t even remember a time when he and his brother had the time to admire a sunrise.

Thoughts of his brother started to fill Art’s mind. Tarot had given him faith that he was still alive, but he still had no idea where he was, and he had no way of finding out. In his thoughts, Art’s eyes drifted to the ground. He looked back up at the horizon, the town, the neighborhood – and smiled again. He knew the life he had now was the life his brother wished he could give him, and did. All Art could do now was just hope that their paths crossed again.

Art shook his head clear of its current thoughts and started down the sidewalk, wondering who he’d run into and if he’d be able to find something to do with the day with them. He didn’t have to wait long before he saw someone he met last night walking towards him, and he noticed Art as well. “Morning, Art!” Peanut called out from a ways away, waving a paw in the air.

Art didn’t immediately return the greeting. He was tensed up at the sight of who was walking with Peanut. The thought that humans also lived in this neighborhood slipped his mind, but the one walking with Peanut brought that fact back to him. Peanut had dropped his paw and tilted his head, causing Art to force himself calm as he quickly replied, “H-hey, Peanut! Morning!” He willed his feet to move, still afraid of the human next to Peanut.

When the two met up, Peanut couldn’t tell that Art was a nervous wreck, dismissing the earlier hesitation as mere distraction. “Did Tarot meet up with you last night?” he asked. “I left before she did. What did she want to talk to you about?”

“Uh, yea. She did. And just… something about my brother,” Art replied. He tried to remain calm but started to shiver a little when the human who was walking with Peanut caught up to him and was also standing next to Art as well.

Peanut was still oblivious. “You never said anything about having a brother. Where is he?”

“I, uh… don’t know. We were separated a while ago, but don’t worry about it. We’ll meet up again.” Art looked up at the human and quickly shied away. “Uh… who is..?”

“Oh! Sorry, this is my dad.” He turned to introduce Art. “Dad, this is Art. He’s new to the neighborhood!”

The human nodded and extended his arm. “Hello. I’m Earl. Earl Sandwich.”

Art just stared at the offer of a handshake and slowly moved to return it. He didn’t know what would happen when he grabbed the hand, but nothing did except the motion of a handshake. “Uh…” Art couldn’t really process anything and just returned his paw to his side.

Earl, meanwhile, just chuckled. “Guess you’re a shy one, aren’t ya?” Art jumped a bit, realizing his hesitance around humans was still noticeable. Both the vet and this random person he just met picked up on it. His ears and tail dropped, and he turned away a little. “Don’t worry; I’m not gonna hurt ya.” He offered his hand again, but this time for Art to examine to show he meant no harm.

Art tried to force his fears down, but in the end, he just couldn’t and turned away again. “S-sorry…”

“Hey, you can trust him. He’s my dad!” Peanut explained, trying to boost Art’s confidence but was actually just making him feel a bit worse.

“Peanut, it’s alright. Some dogs are just a bit shy sometimes. He’ll come around eventually, but you can’t push him.” Earl took a few steps back. “I’ll keep my distance until you’re comfortable, Art.”

Art’s mind was now contradicting itself. He knew that just by how Earl and Peanut were interacting with each other, he could trust him too; but his innate fear overtook him each time he tried to convince himself.

Peanut, not one to like all this tense business, tried to change the subject. “So, Art, what are you doing out here?” he asked, stepping between Art and his dad.

Art snapped out of his thoughts and focused on Peanut. Earl was still standing and staying a bit away, and the fear part of his mind was at ease knowing that. “Well… I don’t really know what to do today… I thought I’d just wander around and hope someone could give me something to do.”

“Something to do…” Peanut put his paw to his muzzle in thought for a bit before an idea popped into his head. “Oh! I got it! Why don’t you come back to my house? You met a lot of dogs last night but not any cats! I can introduce you to Grape!”

“Grape? A cat?” Art scratched the back of his head in embarrassment. “I’ve never actually met with a cat before. I never had the time to,” he admitted.

Peanut just laughed. “Well, there’s a first time for everything!” His boundless energy never faltered, even this early in the day. “But would you mind if we finished my walk first? Then we can meet back up at my house.”

A smile made its way onto Art’s muzzle. “Sure.” His eyes drifted behind Peanut to see Earl, still standing in that same location he had said he’d stay in until Art got comfortable. His smile did wane a bit, but he decided to try something to help rebuild his trust in humans. “Hey… do you think I could… tag along?”

“Sure! The more, the merrier! And it can’t get any merrier than on Christmas Eve, either!” Peanut exclaimed.

“Wait, it’s..?” Art hadn’t even realized, and his face sure showed it. No one seemed to act that differently, but it was Christmas Eve.

“Well, c’mon!” Peanut started walking down the sidewalk, beckoning Art to follow. Art quickly snapped out of his shock and followed. He momentarily looked behind him to see Earl following as well yet still keeping his distance. He never got too close to cause his fear to start acting up. If anything, it did start to alleviate it a bit knowing that he was keeping his word.

Most of the walk was passed by Peanut rambling on about his Christmas wishes, random ideas for his own comic of “Spot, the Superdog,” and other subjects. Art chimed in a bit, but Peanut always had something to say. Art did get a chance to talk a bit when the subject became Art’s turnabout on Bino the night before, but even then he didn’t have much to say on the matter. He did feel a bit better about it as just a prank, though, and not the fact that he did it to basically his best friend’s brother.

After a lengthy walk around the neighborhood, they returned back to the Sandwich home. Peanut turned around and rushed towards his dad, wrapping his arms around his waist. “Thanks, Dad!”

“You’re welcome, Peanut,” Earl replied, scratching Peanut behind his ears, causing Peanut’s already wide grin to grow even larger.

Art’s internal conflict continued while watching the two and his fear was the one on the losing side. All the humans he had met so far haven’t been threatening to him in any way. The vet’s helping hand on his shoulder was just that – a helping hand. When he accidentally hugged Jeeves in blind happiness, he wasn't scolded or anything of the sort. And now, Earl and his interactions with Peanut were completely benevolent. Every human that he had met were kind.

Art steeled his nerves as best he could and started to slowly walk towards the two. Earl noticed this and stopped scratching Peanut’s head, who turned to see Art slowly make his way towards them. He let go of his dad and stepped a bit aside. Earl just smiled as Art stood in front of him. Art was a bit more confident but a few artifacts of fear remained. “Could…” Art scratched the back of his head. “Could we try again..?”

Earl lightly chuckled and replied, “Sure, Art.” He crouched down and offered his hand again. Art hesitantly inched closer to it, and when it was within range, started to sniff and examine it, and Earl didn’t move his hand at all. After a moment, Art nudged the hand with his snout. He felt Earl’s hand against him and it set off a slight alarm in his mind. The alarm started to take over when he felt Earl’s hand move along his head to the top, closing his eyes quickly, afraid of what was to come…

“Good boy. Nothing to be afraid of.”

Art’s eyes popped back open. He felt Earl’s hand start to scratch along the back of his ears, and it felt good! It wasn’t rough but incredibly light and easy. He looked up and saw a wide smile on Earl’s face. All alarms in his head were silenced, and all remaining hints of fear and apprehension vanished. Art gained a smile on his muzzle, closing his eyes and focusing on the great feeling of having someone scratch his head.

After a few more moments, Earl gave Art a few parting pats on the head before standing back up. Art was a bit disappointed, but he knew that he made a great breakthrough in regaining his trust in humans, as he knew he could trust this one. “Thanks,” Art simply said – his smile unfazed.

“You’re welcome, Art. I’m glad I could earn your trust,” Earl replied. He walked past Art to head back into their house, leaving Art and Peanut to follow.

Peanut had just stood idly by the entire time and sidled next to Art. “Told ya you could trust my dad!” he stated, chuckling.

Art just turned his head and scratched the back of it, embarrassed that he ever considered Earl a threat. Scratching his own head definitely didn't feel the same as when Earl did it. “You were right, Peanut. Thanks.”

Peanut quickly turned to head into his house as well. “Well, c’mon! Let’s go meet Grape!” he shouted out, running towards the house. Art quickly followed, anticipating meeting and getting to know a cat but also exhilarated and rejuvenated. A heavy burden he’d been carrying for so long had finally been lifted from his heart. He was slowly making his way towards the life he knew his brother wanted him to have.


Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:35 am
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
Well, that was a nice little moment! Glad he can trust people again.

I wonder how Fido and Art will meet the next time, heh. Seems every time they meet is eventful.

Meeting Grape for the first time... that is a scary thought!

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Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:06 pm
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
I'm really liking the fanfic so far. Also this might be stupid of me for asking this, but what does Art look like?

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Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:58 pm
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
Saturn381 wrote:
I'm really liking the fanfic so far. Also this might be stupid of me for asking this, but what does Art look like?

Haha, yea... I kinda went into a slight detail about that in Chapter 2, but as for a physical image of him... I can't draw it right now. ^^;

Basically, he's about the same height as Joey. A good reference to compare between Joey and Bino would be this strip. A comparison between Bino and Fido would be this one. He's just a slight, slight shorter than that (could be considered negligible. X3). Colour of the fur I described as an almost chocolate colour - I used this when coming up with the colour, and I liked how dark the one titled "chocolate" was, but just thought a bit lighter was better. He also has it gradient to a lighter, tan-ish colour on his belly and the underside of his muzzle. Design kinda looks like how Tarot has her muzzle, but just a bit more in-line with where his mouth is/where the colours split.

As for breed... Ya got me there. I actually don't have a defined breed for him, but then again, quite a few dogs in the HP! universe are still breed unknown (though we are getting most of them down. I'll come up with one eventually. X3)

Also, don't forget the little scar he has on his right ear. :3 It appears as a light line running down his ear. They're the floppy ones, like Peanut's.


Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:41 pm
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
Aw... I've caught up. It's always a little bit sad when I catch up to the current and realize I'll have to wait for the next installment. (Not saying anticipation is entirely a bad thing...)

I really like the story so far. When I first read Art's description I thought, wait, that's not what King looks like... Then I realized you were introducing a new character and started enjoying things even more. I really liked the complete lack of Mary-Sue syndrome.

You seem to have a real knack for (as it's been said) cinematic-style writing. *Nit-Pick Alert* I notice you sometimes slip on the tense. You go from "Art thought" to "Art thinks" and then back again to "Art thought" a few times. Not bad, but something you could think of working on a little as you progress. *END Nit-Pick Alert*

I really look forward to the next installment. You seem to have a great sense of plot and a good sense of where to put things in the timing of the plot.

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Thu May 02, 2013 6:39 pm
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
*to some sort of tune*
Waiting for an update.
Waiting.
Waiting.
Waiting for an update.
When will it come?

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Mon May 27, 2013 6:04 am
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
Ok, I knew that could happen, but it was really annoying it did so just as I was done... For the past month or so, my laptop has been experiencing "fatal hard-drive errors," which basically has it freezing up every time I load my laptop. It seemed fine right after I got the notification, and I did do a backup to my external drive as recommended. Then about two weeks ago, it started these freezing spells. I had tried to post this update using it, cuz I hate using my iPod to post forum stuff, but I'm left with no choice now. It froze right at the end of typing it up.

So, anyways, as for my progress with the story, chapter seven has been written and rewritten about six times now. I'm at the point where I know where I want to go but have no idea how to get there. Ideas have been coming and going, and I think I know where to go with it. Problem now is I can't access the files because of the freezing. I can't do anything without it freezing up. I may have found a bypass, as running the computer in Safe mode seems to fix the freezing, but while in Safe Mode, I can't access the Internet. It's just really annoying, to be honest. My best option is to just get a new computer (cuz I think a new hard drive would be about the same as a new computer), and if I'm doing that, I'm going full-force and getting a desktop/tower. When that is going to be built, however, is up in the air.

So, in short, no, this still isn't dead, but I'm now unable to update due to the files being a slight inaccesible. If I go over that new six month period where un-updated fics get moved, I'll have no quarrels with this being moved. I just thought I'd give an update since nothing's been added in three months.


Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:07 am
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
And it is a good thing! I was wondering what happened to this, heh. Well, I hope you can get a great new computer! :D

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Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:14 pm
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
If I could I would buy you a laptop because this is a Great story and I don't want it to end.

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Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:26 pm
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
Legotron123 wrote:
If I could I would buy you a laptop because this is a Great story and I don't want it to end.

Oh, it's far from over, and I'm not about to let this computer stop me. I've got a few friends whose computers I could commandeer for a moment. The Safe Mode trick did work to an extent, at least, and I've got a thumb drive to put the files on. It's not optimal, but it'll do what I need it to. I may also be getting another laptop from a friend who's upgrading his own.

I've got my data on an external drive, so no matter what, the base files are safe. Thanks for the thought, though, and worry not. Once I get the few last touches on seven, it should be good to upload. Then comes the hard part of starting eight. X3

And I always have my iPod for everything else. Only thing I'm sad about is I can't play about 70% of my game library. ^^;

EDIT: Well now! It never even occurred to me that there are multiple levels of Safe Mode. What I was using before was just Safe Mode. Now I'm launching Safe Mode with Networking, meaning I can again access the internet from my laptop! It's horridly sized due to primary graphic drivers being offline, but that's just an aesthetic issue. As far as functionality, this is perfect. Maybe MS Word will work properly again as well now...

EDIT2: So Word still doesn't work, but Notepad does. Thing is, Notepad doesn't have any autocorrect or spell-check capabilities, so if there are any errors I overlooked, please tell me so I can correct them. Also, Safe Mode will still freeze up if I leave my computer on for too long, so no more leaving my computer on for ease of access. Ah well. Hope you enjoy! Please yell at me if I mixed tenses anywhere too. I'm trying to improve on that. ^^;


Last edited by TarkaTarquol on Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:32 am, edited 2 times in total.



Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:41 pm
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
Chapter 7 - Memories

-----

"C'mon in!" Peanut exclaimed, beckoning Art to follow and entering his house, leaving the door open for Art. He quickly caught up to Peanut and closed the door behind him. This was the first house owned by another resident of Babylon Gardens that he had been in, and he took a minute to examine it a bit. The first thing he noticed was that it didn't have the same smell that persisted in the wolves' house, but then again, that's probably because no wolves lived there.

There were quite a few scents he picked up on initially. One wafting from the kitchen was that of eggs and bacon, causing his full stomach to rumble uncomfortably. He was already full for the morning – anything else and he'd make himself sick. Peanut's scent was prevalent throughout the house, as to be expected. Every other scent was foreign to him. He could only assume one of these scents belonged to the cat he was about to meet.

Turning away from his sense of smell to that of sight, the house was decked out for the holidays, quite a bit more than what was in the wolves' house. That is, if he had even noticed anything in the wolves' house. He was still a bit embarrassed that he completely lost track of the day and that it was Christmas Eve. He knew it was close – the scarf he was wearing and the tag on his collar were early Christmas gifts, after all – but his mind always got sidetracked and the actual date never stuck. He didn't even notice lights on the houses.

Peanut had hung his bright red scarf on the rack on the wall and noticed Art still standing at the door, staring around his house. He smiled and strolled over to the gawking dog. "Do you like the decorations? I helped Mom put them up!" he stated, snapping Art out of his thoughts.

Art smiled back and replied, "They're great, Peanut." He didn't want to waste any more time and walked over to the rack on the wall Peanut had just come from and hung his own scarf on it. "So… now what?"

Peanut placed a paw over his muzzle in thought. "Well, Grape was awake for breakfast, but I don't know if she has gone anywhere while we were walking… Let me ask my mom." Peanut walked towards where their kitchen was, and Art hastily followed. He stopped at the doorway to the kitchen, though, while Peanut entered it fully.

Mrs. Sandwich was finishing off drying the dishes they had used for breakfast earlier when she saw Peanut strolling up to her. Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted Art standing idly by and smiled. "Hello, Peanut. Who's your friend over there?"

"That's Art. He's new to the neighborhood and hasn't met a cat, so I thought I'd introduce him to Grape. Where is she?" He turned around and beckoned Art to come over, to which Art swiftly replied.

With his newfound confidence that Earl had given him a bit ago, there was no hesitation in his movements or his voice. He even had a smile on his muzzle. "Hello."

Mrs. Sandwich returned the smile. "Hello, Art. I'm Jill Sandwich. Pleasure to meet you." She looked back at Peanut. "I think Grape went back to her room. She may be getting a bit more rest for the party later tonight."

Peanut just nodded his head and was already off in another direction, again beckoning Art to follow. Art, meanwhile, was caught a bit off guard by Peanut's quick reaction. Beckoned in and already getting directed out? Peanut never stopped moving. He followed for a bit until they came to a closed door. Peanut turned the knob, but Art stopped him from pushing it open. "Hey, Peanut? If Grape's asleep, I can just wait and meet her when she wakes up," he said, actually not wanting to interrupt anyone's sleep.

Peanut just smirked. "Nah, it's alright. I do this all the time," he replied, chuckling and entering Grape's room.

"That still doesn't…" Art started to reply, but Peanut was already sneaking up on the sleeping cat. He poked his head in to see the dog slowly make his way over to the lump of purple resting in the bed, and his ears fell flat in worry. He contemplated stopping Peanut, but before he could process any method of doing so, Peanut took a deep breath…

"GRAPE!"

…and barked out Grape's name as loud as possible. Both Grape and Art were startled by Peanut's outburst. Art just winced, but Grape let out a yell of surprise and rolled onto the floor, landing with an audible thud that made Art wince again. His first meeting with a cat has started with her face down on the floor…

Grape let out a sigh of frustration. "Can I never get any sleep in when you're not asleep as well, Peanut..?" she said from the floor. She was primarily fixed on Peanut, but her eyes caught sight of an unfamiliar dog poking his head into the room. "Hmm? Who are you?"

"He's new to the neighborhood, Grape," Peanut responded instantly. "He hasn't met a cat before, so you're the first one he'll meet!"

Grape had now picked herself up off the floor and brushed herself off. "Oh, is that so?" She walked over to Art, who was still in the doorway, slightly surprised that Grape took to being woken up so abruptly quite well. Like everyone else aside from King, Grape stood taller than Art. She slowly started to circle around him, causing him to feel a little uncomfortable. It seemed like she was circling him to size him up as prey or something… She eventually stopped in front of him. "He is a bit short, isn't he?" she commented.

Art's expression turned to one of confusion. His size was never brought up before, so why Grape did it out of the blue just confused him. He started to say something in reply, but Grape started again first, "A new dog who's small with dark brown and tannish fur, and…" She leaned to the side to look at one of Art's ears and smiled. "And has a small scar on one ear. You're Art, aren't you?"

"Wait, you've heard of him before?" Peanut asked, unaware that she had heard of Art before. Art himself was now even more confused. The first cat he was to meet knew of his description, even down to the scar on his ear, which he unknowingly put his paw over. The smile she had kept him calm, though. No one who meant anything ill willed would smile like that.

"Yea, from Max. He told me last night that Bino came back to their house covered in catnip." From that, Art knew exactly where this story was going and simply turned his head in embarrassment. "Max asked Marvin who asked Zach to go and ask Tiger what the story was, and Tiger explained that a new dog pulled Bino's little exploding box trick back on him. Tiger described him as short with dark brown and tannish fur, as well as a little scar on his right ear." Grape noticed Art's embarrassment and stuck her tongue out. "And it seems I hit the nail on the head, right?"

"Y-yea." Art chuckled sheepishly. "I guess that pranking Bino is the best way to get on everyone's good side around here, isn't it?"

"Everyone's except Bino's," Grape remarked, laughing. "I wish I could've been there and see it."

"Right…" Art's tone was one of uncertainty again – an artifact of guilt, and Grape picked up on it immediately.

"Don't tell me you're feeling sorry for Bino," she asked, crossing her arms. "If you hadn't pulled it back on him, you would have been the one covered in catnip, y'know."

"I know, I know… I…" Art replied. He started to continue but stopped and shook his head. "No, I've been told too many times that it was just a harmless joke. I don't need to hear it again." His ears dropped, feeling like that came off as a bit harsh. "Could we change subjects?"

Grape just smirked. "Heh, you're going to be the talk of the town in the cat community for quite a while because of that. I'm sure Max will want to meet you too. Sorry, but you're gonna be hearing a lot more about it for a while, I'm sure." She looked over at Art and noticed he really wasn't too thrilled to hear he would continually be bothered about it. Grape just sighed and shook her head. "But… I guess I could tell Max and everyone else to take it easy on ya. They may not listen but maybe they will."

Art's ears perked up and he looked up at Grape. "I'd appreciate that… Thanks," he replied. "And… sorry… It's just-"

"Don't worry about it," Grape interrupted, a wide grin on her face. "I can at least claim bragging rights to being the first to meet you. Max is gonna be so jealous." She started laughing to herself, leaving Art confused yet again.

"Just be sure you tell them before the party tonight!" Peanut jumped in and exclaimed. "He lives over there, so you're bound to be there, right?"

"Uh, yea. I guess so," Art replied.

Grape stopped laughing for a moment to respond, "Yea, I'll let them know. Don't worry." Grape recomposed herself and picked up a few sheets from the floor. "Now, then, if you two wouldn't mind leaving so I can get a bit more sleep? Thanks."

"Yea, yea… C'mon, Art," Peanut said, exiting the room.

"Right. Thanks, Grape. It was nice meeting you," he said, waving a little.

Grape stopped rebuilding her bed to return the wave. "Yea, you too. See ya later."

Art nodded and exited as well, closing the door behind him. Peanut was leaning against the wall opposite the door. "So, did you have any other plans for the day?" he asked, shifting back and forth.

Straight to the next topic, Peanut never stopped or slowed down. "Not really… Why? Is there something else you had in mind?"

"Well, maybe. That is, if you wanted to stay and hang out here for a bit."

Art didn't have anywhere else to go or be right now, and Peanut seemed to have an idea on his mind already. "Sure. What did you have in mind?"

"Great!" Peanut started walking down the hall, and Art followed right behind. "Have you ever played any video games before?"

"Video games? I… can't say that I have…" he admitted.

"Really? Well, I can teach you! C'mon, they're really easy to learn, and I'll go easy on ya!" Peanut grabbed Art's arm and started to drag him through the house. Art was astonished by Peanut's enthusiasm and his energetic nature, but that's just how he was. Peanut's enthusiasm reminded Art of a time when he, too, was that enthusiastic…

---

"Daw… Brother, do we have to go to sleep now? I still wanna play!" The squeaky voice of a young puppy pierced the evening darkness as he and one other older dog settled into an alleyway in a small town.

The older dog simply chuckled. "Your energy may be boundless, but mine has its limits. We'll play some more on our way to the next town." He set up a cardboard box he found in the alley to act as a temporary tent for the two. "Now c'mon. Let's get some rest." He slid into the box and made room for the younger pup to curl up next to him, beckoning him to do so.

"Ok, Brother… but you better promise to play with me tomorrow!" the puppy exclaimed, rushing over to the box that was to be their bed for the night. He slid up next to the older dog and rested his head on his paws. A large yawn escaped his muzzle, as if a switch had been flipped to turn off his energy reserves. "Good night, brother…"

"Good night, kiddo…" The older dog rested his head down, too, ready to fall asleep as well.

"…Brother? Why do we travel all over again? How come we don't have a home like all those other dogs we meet do?" the puppy asked, looking over at his brother.

"I've told you: we're trying to find the best home possible. A home where you can run around as freely as you'd like and there would always be someone to play with."

"Oh, right." The puppy smiled and rested his head back down. "I can't wait until we find that kind of home. Maybe I'll even have one of those cool collars those other dogs were wearing!" He trembled in excitement at the thought but quickly calmed back down. "You'll be there with me, right, Brother?"

"Of course I will. I'll always be there for you."

"Thanks, Brother…" He nuzzled up against his brother. "You're the best brother in the world…" All was quiet again, so the older dog again dropped his head to sleep. "…Brother? Do you remember anything about our mom or dad? I think I keep seeing them in my dreams, but I can't tell… I can't remember them…"

"Yes… I do remember them, and all you need to know is that they love you and everyone else as well."

The puppy snuggled closer to his brother. "I wonder where they are or if I'll ever meet them…" His eyes started to flutter shut.

"I'm… sure we will meet them again…" He tensed up a little. "Now no more questions. Go to sleep."

"Okay…" The puppy let out a final yawn. "I love you, Brother…"

"Heh, I love you too, kiddo…" The older dog set his head down again, finally sure he wouldn't be interrupted again and finally fell asleep… though not before a single tear fell down his cheek.

---

Hours had passed since Peanut introduced Art to the wide world of video games, and he had caught on pretty quickly. He even managed to win his very first race of Mario Kart Wii thanks to a lucky blue shell. About halfway through their gaming, Grape had emerged from her room and left the house. Art hoped that she would keep her word about telling the others not to bombard him with questions, but the thought was quickly stowed when a warning went off on the TV that needed him to react to.

The two were in the middle of another game when Mrs. Sandwich came into the living room. "Don't you think that's enough video games for one day, Peanut? Finish up soon."

Peanut's ears fell down a little in disappointment, though his eyes never left the TV screen. It was always more fun to play with someone else, and playing with someone entirely new was even better. He knew better than to argue, though. "Ok, Mom…"

Art was focused as well, but he could hear Peanut's disappointment. "It's fine with me, Peanut. It's not like this is the only day we'll have to play these games together, right? Besides, it is getting kinda late…" Art jerked the controller around to dodge an incoming attack. "I should probably be getting back to the wolf house to see if they need any help. A party doesn't just set itself up, and since I'm living there, I should help out too."

The game finally ended with Peanut as the victor, to which he celebrated but calmed down quickly. "Yea, ok." Art offered his controller for Peanut to put away, and Peanut took it and shut the console off, stowing the controllers back in the entertainment centre. "You're getting pretty good, though. I told ya it was easy to get the hang of!"

"I'm still nowhere near as good as you," Art replied, walking towards the wall where his scarf was hanging. "That was still a ton of fun, though. I've never played anything like that before. It was always just…" He paused and sighed, smiling softly. "…Just me and my brother, out on the streets. We were each other's fun. He always kept me safe and entertained while we traveled." Art took his scarf off the hook and wrapped it around his neck, letting the excess drop over his shoulder. He opened the house's front door and the entrance was immediately encompassed in the chilly outside air. "Thanks again, Peanut."

"Yup, and don't worry about your brother, Art. I'm sure you two will meet up again soon." Peanut shot a smile and a thumbs-up at Art. "See ya at the party, Art."

"Yea, see ya then." Art exited and closed the door behind him, heading down the walkway back towards the wolves house a few blocks away. His mind drifted as he walked – back to his brother. Thoughts of where he was, if he was ok, and what he was doing filled his head. He tried not to, but when the question of if he was ok popped into his head, he briefly remembered when they were separated. The sound he heard rang in his ears again, but the words of Tarot the night before affirmed his belief that he was still ok.

The straight walk from Peanut's house to the wolf house was a short one, so Art's thoughts didn't have enough time to get too deep. In front of the house sat a small car with its trunk popped open, and Miles emerged from behind it moments later, a few bags in two. He quickly noticed Art and motioned his head towards the trunk. "Hey, Art, great timing. Think you could give us a hand with these bags?"

Art gave a quick smile and a nod, rushing off to the back of the car to assist.

The hours following were filled with preparation and arrangement. After all the bags of snack food and cooking materials were unloaded, the rest of the house needed to be cleared for all the guests that would soon pack the house. From moving furniture to cleaning, Art did his best to help in any way he could. With the combined effort of him, King, and all the wolves, the house was ready to open the doors for the party. One by one, guests started to arrive – humans, dogs, and cats alike. Within a short time, the party was in full swing.

Art watched as the guests gathered into groups and started chatting about whatever subject they wanted. He could never follow any of it, being so new to the neighborhood. He just watched in silence as everyone enjoyed all that the wolves, King and he set up.

Art just wandered around the house, and it wasn't long before he ran into a group of cats. The odd thing about them was that they all looked exactly the same and even had similar collars. Art started to wonder if Grape kept her word and told the other cats to take it easy on him regarding him and Bino. To his relief, all that they did was give a friendly smile and wave. He returned the same and also put a mental note to thank Grape the next time he saw her. The cats turned back to each other and continued their discussion, leaving Art to continue his meandering.

Though it wasn't long before an odd feeling started to flow into Art's mind. Looking around at all the guests having fun and the fact that he was still not involved in any discussions got to him a bit. He went around and tried listening in on a conversation, hoping to find something he could add on to, but there was nothing of note. The humans all were talking about stuff he didn't know about, the dogs he already had plenty of discussions with, and he knew the cats would only want to talk about the one thing he didn't want to talk about.

The feeling started off small, but as more and more time passed with him idle, it grew larger and started to annoy him. He didn't have any clue as to how to rid himself of the feeling, though. He couldn't just jump in on a conversation he had no idea about, and he sure didn't want to talk about stuff he didn't want to. He started feeling more and more out of place, like he didn't belong there...

Not long after that last thought entered his mind, he went in search for Fido, the one dog he knew he could turn to for help. Fido had always helped him before, and Art thought now would be no different. But after scouring the whole house, he couldn't find him anywhere. He even overheard one of the other dogs remark that he was acting strangely. He was about to go ask Miles if he saw him but stopped. This was a party, a lighthearted event. He knew he couldn't trouble Fido or Miles with his thoughts right now. He figured they were having too much fun and he didn't want to ruin anything for them.

Art had another idea pop into his head and just smiled. He navigated the crowd to return to his room and grabbed his scarf. He figured a walk in the cool outside air would help clear his head.

With his scarf on, he navigated back through the crowd but not before Miles caught sight of him. "Hey, Art, where you off to?"

Art simply smiled. "Just going for a walk. I need to clear my head a little. This is a bit much for me..."

"You sure you don't want to stay? The party's going amazingly!" Art just smiled and nodded his head. "Well, alright. If that's what you wanna do. Just be careful, then," Miles replied.

"Yea, thanks." Art continued towards the door and exited. On the porch, King and another dog, who he assumed was the Bailey he heard of the night before, were snuggling on the porch, both with extremely happy faces on them. He just passed them by, noting not to disturb them. Art walked for a while along the sidewalk until a path of trampled snow branched from the pavement. It led into the forest that accompanied the neighborhood.

Art moved onto the trail, heading into the forest. The foliage above was thick throughout the path, blocking most of the moonlight. It was dark, but enough light shone through that Art still could find his way around and back if he needed to. He just continued down the path, admiring the beauty of the snow-laden trees surrounding him. It had been a long time since he was last able to traverse a forest and have the time to admire it.

Eventually, a clearing appeared where the sky was completely visible from the ground. Art looked up at the sky, the stars, the moon; and smiled. The sight brought back thoughts of the past, thoughts of his and his brother's travels. Art's eyes dropped from the sky just slightly to see a tree branch jutting out a ways from the trunk of a fairly large tree. Still smiling, he wandered over to the base of the tree and looked up, eyeing the branch he viewed earlier. Stretching his arms, he took a moment before leaping up and grappling a low-hanging branch, lifting himself up. He continued climbing from branch to branch until he reached his goal.

It was a thick branch and easily supported his weight. The rest of the tree grew in such a way that the view of the sky was not obscured in any way from where he sat. Art just panted and kept the smile he had while on the ground. So many memories he had forgotten were coming back to him. His brother always scolded him whenever he climbed up a tree, telling him that he'd get hurt, but he never did, and eventually, his brother moved to just cautioning him while climbing. One time, he even convinced his brother to climb up with him, though his brother wasn't as natural a climber as Art was.

Art always did like seeing the world from above. Whenever he climbed, he always got to a point where the view was incredible, and where he was currently was no exception. The clear sky revealed all that the night sky had to offer - a brilliant display of an immeasurable number of lights, and the brilliance of the moon to top it all off.

Art rested against the trunk of the tree and closed his eyes, allowing the cool winter air to soothe his body and the afterimage of the sky to ease his troubled mind. More forgotten memories about his brother came back as he rested, including one that was slightly reminiscent of the night before.

---

"Why do I have to keep my eyes closed, Brother?" the puppy asked, curious as to where his brother was taking him.

"It's a surprise, kiddo," he responded, ushering his younger brother along. "Besides, you don't want to ruin the surprise, right?"

The pup's ears dropped at the thought of ruining a surprise. "No... I'll make sure not to ruin it, then!" he exclaimed, shutting his eyes even more so than before, creases visible on his face.

"Just don't hurt yourself," the brother responded, laughing. "We're almost there. Duck down a little here." He placed his paw on top of the pup's head to make sure he didn't smack it against the fence they were going under. The two treaded through the snow a bit more before he directed them to stop. "Okay, kiddo. Open your eyes."

Eagerly, the pup opened his eyes as quickly as he could. His vision took a moment to focus, but in front of him was another dog holding out something in his paws and exclaimed, "Merry Christmas!"

A few more moments passed before he realized what the object was and immediately turned and latched onto his brother. "Aw, thanks, Brother!" he shouted, turning back around to examine the object that was actually a bright green collar.

"You were always saying how much you wanted one of these, so I went out and asked around if anyone had one to spare," his brother explained.

"This is an old collar of mine," the dog added, "I didn't like it that much, but it seems like it will finally get some use after all."

The pup walked over and took the collar offered to him. He immediately tried to put it on but fumbled and dropped it in the snow. Quickly, he picked it back up, brushed it off, and tried again, but this time, his brother offered his assistance. The two finally got the accessory on, and the pup reveled in the feeling of having it on. "How does it look?"

"Much better than it did on me!" the original owner proclaimed.

"I must admit, you do look pretty good with that on," his brother supplied. "Merry Christmas, kiddo."

"Aw, thanks, Brother..." He turned to the random dog. "And to you too. Thanks so much!"

"You're quite welcome," he replied with a smile.

The pup turned back to his brother and gave him another hug. "You've told me that Christmas is a happy time and one for giving gifts, but I don't have a gift to give you, Brother..."

"Don't worry; I don't need one. You happy is the best gift I could get right now." The two brothers hugged one another. The random dog had started snickering at the cheesiness of the older's last statement, which earned an irritated glare from the older brother. He quickly put his paws up and mouthed apologies.

The pup didn't notice any of it. He was too happy to care, anyways. All he could and wanted to focus on was the feel of the collar around his neck and the embrace of his older brother.

---

Art had fallen asleep on the branch he climbed up to. One of his elbows rested on his lap while that same arm's paw acted as his head's pillow. Subconsciously, his paw grasped at his collar and a small smile crept onto his muzzle.


Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:27 am
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Game Master
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
So many daaaaaaaaawwwwwwws.

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Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:54 am
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
Awww, very sweet! Also, a good brother indeed.

So Art learns of video games. Nice!

Just a couple of instances of tenses, like in the first paragraph of that first update...

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Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:55 am
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Post Re: Artistic Endeavors (PG-13)
copper wrote:
Awww, very sweet! Also, a good brother indeed.

So Art learns of video games. Nice!

Just a couple of instances of tenses, like in the first paragraph of that first update...

Well, inside the story. ^^; I was irritated when typing that one up a second time, and on my iPod to boot, so keeping everything in line wasn't too much a priority. Getting an update out was my main goal. But I actually do see where I bugged up. X3


Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:29 pm
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