Poony Finds Twee, Part One
Poony watched from a tall, thick, fir tree at the edge of the border road overlooking the guard post. He was high enough and far enough back so neither the guards, nor Nickie and Twee knew he was there. Twee had told him to get lost, and he did. But not far.
After she said those hurtful words, Poony had gone to his nearby pack and got some night things, a fur warp for his shoulders and some fur pants and he parked himself in the tree. The nights could get chilly this time of year. He had made sure his hunting knife was snug and secure at his waist, covered his pack. He watched as Nickie drove her little scooter out of Wirishiem with Twee at her side. She drove into the human land of the Southern States of America, the S.S.A., and into danger, he was certain.
He had no papers to cross the border, and return, so he crawled down a short distance on the large trunk limb of the sycamore tree, measured the effort it would take to clear the razor-sharp live wire on top the border fence. His pulse raced.
During the Great War, the twins, the Living Ancestors Kaitee and Meann, stood beside the wire and sang it alive – and deadly – to protect the perimeter of Wirishiem. This evil wire stopped U.S. Special Forces, and Seal Teams trying underwater egress in the Ohio River, from reaching Wirishiem City and the Palace. Elves and others with teleportation magic could pop over it.
But sadly, today there was no more magic. At least Poony had no teleportation magic. He was aware this wire could kill. His hope was through years of dormancy, it slept.
He moved as far out to the edge of the limb as it would bear. His heart raced. He bounced a couple times to get the limb going like a spring board, crouched, and as the limb lifted him, he took a deep breath and sprang.
The live wire, razor sharp, lashed up at him as he lunged head first over it. It whip-cracked his belly drawing some blood. His plan had worked, to a degree. He was alive, but the wire was crafty and inflicted its wrath. The wound stung!
He landed on the asphalt-paved turn-around loop. Looking back, he knew he would not be able to do it again. The wire would be on alert. He checked his wound again. Some blood on his palm told him the depth of the wound. It was not bad, but not good either. But it was better than getting an entire limb sliced off, which the wire was capable.
He shook off the pain, crossed the turn-around loop out of view of the guards, and into some thick brush. He circled far around the border guard through the forest. Now, back on the road, he squinted and could discern the little scooter and sidecar. He ran as hard as could run. He leaped. He ran and leaped, following Nickie and Twee far behind them.
Poony caught up with the gray scooter and sidecar as it sat rider-less outside the wrought iron gate of the mansion. He managed to drag the machine over to shrubbery at the right side of the gate and hid it. He studied the closed gate. Twee was in there, Nickie too. There was nothing else to do. He took two steps, hopped over the ten-foot gate, and trotted down the long, paved drive toward the house. Crickets chirped and fireflies danced over the tall unmown grass in the waning sunlight. He crossed the overgrown lawn to the immense house. He heard voices at the front.
“Load them all, Frederick. This was to be Mother’s grand payload. This will put us on top again,” the older, graying human man said.
“A damned elf caused all this,” the man called Frederick said. They prodded Elves with what looked to Poony as electricity on sticks to get them up into the back of a big truck. There were two benches in the bed of the truck and a brown canvas stretched over wooden ribs covered the entire bed and tied with rope.
Now Poony knew it was true. Bobby’s mother was the witch he knocked over the falls. He swore that they would not get away with becoming wealthy enslaving Elves. He would make sure the Craf’ter’fech knew of this.
Twee came out last but there were too many men around her to make a move. They carried Nickie and threw her up in the truck like a little sack. She didn’t look good.
They made Twee climb the gate of the truck in her short skirt and they laughed at her little butt. They laughed! He watched Twee struggle up and over trying to keep some dignity and his chest cinched up. Time slowed to a crawl. Pain ripped through his arms to his fingertips. He couldn’t help himself. He had to let tears fall. Oh, he loved her so!
Poony gritted and bared his teeth at the men. He growled and gripped the hilt of his blade wanting to strike, but he had no idea how many more humans were inside the house.
The human men got inside the vehicles. There was a long black automobile leading the truck. They both rolled down the driveway. They would need to exchange batteries soon, being night. Humans did not have the technology to capture the sun’s power at night as did the Elves – to send the sun’s electrical energy from the bright side of the earth. They wanted the technology, but the Grand Council would not budge. During the Great War, the United States launched a nuclear strike at Wirishiem City, unsuccessfully, and the Kingdom never forgave. Poony followed them out the gate where he crouched beside Nickie’s scooter until they turned onto the road.
Poony straightened the scooter and straddled it. He had no idea how to run it, or any other vehicle. He put his palm over the controls, closed his eyes and concentrated. He whispered.
The small control panel blinked to life! He didn’t need to know how to work it, the scooter conformed to his will. He wanted it to follow the truck, so it followed the truck, throwing him back.
The wind blew his long ears back and he grinned, exposing his crooked tooth. He laughed. He looked down at the sidecar, picked up a helmet, strapped it to his head, and laughed some more. He opened his mouth and laughed harder than he had laughed since…since he had met Twee. He put his hand over the controls, palm down, and the scooter picked up speed.
Poony sped along behind them, surprised they turned the opposite direction from the town of Harrison. Soon, they were on the dark highway deep into the State of Georgia heading northeast. Poony was glad he put on the helmet. There was much more human traffic on this road than he had expected. The helmet hid his ears.
He raced on after the truck, past road signs, headlights, and places of business foreign to him with their garish advertisements and bright lights. He bent forward and followed, ignoring all he saw. Relief came when the long black automobile signaled a right turn and the truck did the same. Poony slowed the little scooter and stayed far behind watching their movement.
They turned off the paved road onto a gravel road and he followed into their dust. It was not far until the car turned left into a farm. The big truck drove into the waiting open doors of a big barn and two humans shut the barn doors behind it. Bright lights shined in the barn, and some lights were on in the house to the left. He walked the scooter close enough to see humans exit the automobile. One of them was Bobby, he was sure. Two of them went into the house with Bobby and two humans went to the barn. There were four humans in the barn, those two and the operator of the truck, and one more. Poony looked for a place to hide the scooter.
Inside the truck, Twee and Nickie cuddled as the truck stopped and the barn doors swung shut. Humans busied themselves with changing the truck’s batteries. The humans hadn’t warmed the “temperance” collar around her neck in some time and her senses faded back to her. This place was familiar ground for Twee. The barn was part of her everyday chores. The smells, the dust and heat was all too familiar. They kept cows, horses, and pigs on this farm. She smelled the muck, and the pens.
The human men untied the rope and loosened the canvas drawstring. They let the tailgate on the huge truck down and one of the human men grabbed Twee’s and other Elves’ collar chains. Her collar warmed. The other human man pulled three Elven girls from the truck. They lumbered down behind him and followed him, heads down and despondent, out of sight around the truck.
Twee’s head hung. The human who held the chain tugged some and she obeyed, as did the other three in his grip. Nickie was limp and immobile.
She had the little Pixie cradled in her arms. She stiffened her resolve. “She’s dying,” Twee said, head low.
“You may not speak, elf,” the man said and pulled her chain. “Put the Pixie on the bench and come out of the truck.”
“No, not without Nickie,” Twee said. Her words slurred and spittle came out from the corner of her mouth when she said “without.” It hurt her head to say those words because he commanded her not to speak. She winced at the pain behind her eyes. The man pulled her chain harder. Her collar heated. Twee gritted her teeth. She tried to stop her arms but the command was to put Nickie on the bench. She fought it and it made her nauseous. The human pulled out his cattle prod from his belt and yanked on Twee’s chain. He pulled her and Nickie toward the sizzling end of the stick. The three Elven girls still in his grip cowered in the front left corner.
Twee plopped down on her butt and fought with her feet, kicking as hard as she could as the human pulled. The pain in her head was so intense sweat poured down her face. She held to Nickie. The human pulled her chain and pushed the sizzling stick at her face when the human man’s eyes went wide.
Two strong hands grabbed the electric cattle prod.
Those hands turned it and pushed it into the chest of the human man. He wiggled and jerked and fell to the ground.
Humans had a dumb tendency to forget the fact, although small in stature, Elves were strong.
Poony stuck his head into the bed of the truck. Twee stopped, dropped her arms, and sat relaxed, never so glad to see someone in her life. She burst into tears. Poony jumped inside the truck and turned her head to find the latch. He couldn’t find it. The metal of the collar looked smooth all around. It was another witch spell, he was sure. He put his palm over the collar and closed his eyes. It popped open.
Twee scrambled to her feet and threw her arms around his neck and hugged him. He smiled so big he thought his face would break, feeling her warmth and her breath on his neck as he hugged her back. “Hurry, she said. Nickie!”
Poony put the electric stick in Twee’s hand and tended to Nickie. She blew on the end of it and it sizzled. She didn’t know how, or even why she did it. He got the collar off her, but she still lay limp, listless. “She needs healing herbs,” Poony said. “We need to get her to Deench.”
“What happens next? How do we get out of here?” Twee asked.
“Get the collars off the rest of the Elves,” Poony said.
“There’s more of them,” she said.
Poony sighed, “Where are the rest?”
Twee gathered with the three girls and worked the collars off their necks. She had seen it done before. “All I know, the human men took them out of this truck,” she said as she worked. The collars fell to the floor of the truck and one of the girls, a dark-haired girl, kicked it.
“Stay here with Nickie,” Poony said. “I’m going to find the rest. How many are there?”
“Three young girls,” Twee said. She stood in front of Poony. “And if you think I’m waiting here for humans to come and snap a collar back on me, you are mistaken, Mr. Poony!”
He stood in the truck in front of her and grinned. It was the longest, nicest sentence she ever said to him.
“What are you smiling about?” she asked. He smiled broader.
“He’s in love with you,” a girl said. “I wish a nice man looked at me that way.”
Embarrassed, Poony turned away, hopped off the truck, and looked around for footprints in the dusty barn.
“But Poony? He’s…” She shook her head looking for the right word.
The girl spun her by the shoulder. “I wouldn’t care if he had hair all over him like a gorilla! If he loved me enough to risk his life to save me. I’d jump his bones here in this truck!”
Twee looked down at Nickie, “Twice,” she mumbled.
“Are you telling me he’s come to rescue you twice? Girl, if you haven’t mated this man, your head is all screwed up.” The Elven girl jumped off the truck and followed Poony. “Shit,” she said over her shoulder, “I’m from Meer. I know Poony. If you don’t want him, I’ll take him!”
The other two girls followed her.
“Wait! Help me with Nickie!”
One girl turned around. “Look,” she said in a deep woman’s voice, “you stay here and help your Pixie friend. That’s what he told you to do. We’ll go help your man rescue the rest of the girls.” The other girl giggled.
Twee sat down at Nickie’s feet. “Phooey!” she said. Nickie stirred and moved her legs. She raised her head.
“Where are we, Twee?”
“You’re alive!” Twee said and went to her. Twee kissed her forehead. “The bad news is, we are still captured by the humans. The good news is, Poony’s here to rescue us.”
“Poony?” She said.
“Well, yes. He might turn things around for us.”
“And he might not,” Nickie said. “My Dad calls him a no-good, lay-about.”
“I know. These other girls here don’t know Poony like we do. They think he’s some kind of hero,” Twee said. She was sorry she said it as soon as it came from her mouth. But, she didn’t recant it, not in front of Nickie.
“I don’t know about these other girls, but your face is red,” Nickie said. “You just lied.”
Twee rolled her eyes. “I hate being blond. Come on. Do you feel up to standing?”
“Now the collar is off me, I’m better, still woozy, but better. But, Twee? What did you say? You think he’s a hero, too, don’t you!”
Twee spun on her, “Okay, yes! He’s the bravest elf I’ve ever seen and it makes me cry to think he’s gone off and put himself in danger again! So there!”
Nickie moved around in front of her. She got in her face, in her eyes. “Twee?” Nickie asked as she put her hand on Twee’s heart. “He’s broken your heart, hasn’t he?”
“No!” Twee said and turned her head. “Yes,” she said softly. She turned back to Nickie and a tear fell. “Look, I don’t know! I don’t want to, not with him!”
Out of the darkness, outside the barn, an Elven girl screamed! A commotion ensued like fighting. Twee leaned out of the truck to try to see out the door.
“Go, Twee! See about your man! I’ll pull this canvas flap around me here and hide. I’ll be fine!” GO!” Nickie said.
Twee gave Nickie the stink-eye for her choice of words. He’s not my man! She looked down at the electric stick. She realized Poony had handed her a weapon to defend herself. Damn! Did he have to think of everything? Her eyes teared up again. She jumped down on the ground. “Are you sure?”
“Yes, Twee, go!”
Twee circled around the truck the way Poony had gone and to the side door of the barn. It was the direction of the fighting noise. She opened the side door and ran out into the darkness, into the fray.