My Exploding Cat

Just stories and drawings really, no actual fissile felines.

Chapter 7

Dolls were a staple toy in the Peterson household. When Maya snuck in with Nua and Hika in her backpack, along with about twenty dollars’s worth of quarters, and dressed them in doll clothes, she claimed that they were the newest toy in the toy store, and she’d bought them with her allowance. Her parents found nothing unusual about this.

“These weird leaves,” Hika said.

“Not leaves,” Maya said with a laugh.

“I like better. This soft,” Nua said.

“They’re warmer, too. Much more comfortable than leaves.”

“Pretty soft warm things,” Hika said.

“Then I’ll get you more.”

Hika gazed admiringly at what she was now wearing. It was simply a pink T-shirt that belonged to an old teddy bear and a jean skirt. Nua was wearing an old red and white T-shirt with jeans. To the Chikik, this was strange and mysterious clothing. But oddly comfortable. Strange as it was, they liked it, and they trusted Maya.

“What about Ukiki?” Maya asked.

“She at friend log for week,” Hika said.

“Do you like carrots?”

They nodded.

“Do you like lunch meat?”

“What lunch meat?”

“Okay. Ever had chicken?”

“Chicken is animal!” Hika said.

“Sort of. I’ll make sure to get you some. Would you like to come with me?”

“But we are Chikik! We be in danger.”

“Of what?”

“Getting caught!”

“Not with me around. A bonnet and a baseball cap should disguise you two, because give or take pointy ears, right now you look pretty normal.”

She took the old pram and a bonnet for Hika, along with an old cap for Nua, out of her closet.

Plunk, went the cap and bonnet. The Chikik climbed into the pram. Maya found some shoes for each, and set off for the grocery store.

If you ever asked someone who was at the store at the time she was there, they would have told you the same as she did: She was babysitting. Babysitting toddlers, who still liked the stroller and spoke broken English.  Then out she came, with chicken, chips, carrots, lunch meat, bread, oranges, strawberries and apples, and then out of the toy store with an outfit for each Chiki in the whole village, along with two beds for Hika and Nua. Nua showed her a secret compartment in the oak tree for luggage.

For the longest time, she kept taking coins from the compartment, buying stuff for the Chikik with it. They liked the change of living. Hika became a very good cook, and often the meeting log was crowded with Chikik waiting to be fed. Hika loved her job. Nua’s grammar improved with Maya’s help, and he started a school. Everyone’s grammar improved. Maya started buying school supplies for them, and started teaching math and PE. Just in case, Maya started an army. Since the Chikik were not too hard to make armor for, Maya readily bought custom armor for them from the fairies, not with faerie currency, but with human money. This was also accepted by the fairies, for human’s food is just as good as any other. Chikik were good fighters.

One evening Nua and Hika seemed kind of nervous.

“What’s wrong?” Maya asked.

“Uh, I haven’t found many coins in the street lately. Neither has anyone else.” Hika said, not  finding any better excuse. No longer was she speaking broken English.

“You know I can support everyone here.”

“Yes, but…”

“What is it?”

“Ukiki wants to join your army.”

“So? It’s not like there’s going to be any real battles. It’s just something to pass the time.”

“Don’t be so sure.”

“What?”

“Ep– never mind.”

“What is it?”

“Um… A little girl saw Nua last time he went out on tooth errands.” Hika wasn’t very good at lying.

“Yeah.” Maya raised an eyebrow with a mischievous grin on her face.

“The green guys attacked us!”

“This isn’t a revival of Toys Come Alive,” Maya laughed. Lila just lost a tooth, and she kept the supplies for Armies in her room. (Leo’s was too cluttered with science projects.)

“This tooth wasn’t in my house, was it?”

“Yes!”

Hika looked confused when Maya burst into hysterical laughter.

“You mean that Nua cocked his gun at the supplies for Armies?” Maya got the giggles.

“Armies? Then it was a big fight!”

“No, no, Armies is a game!”

It was Hika’s turn to burst into a giggle fit.

“Spit it out, Hika. You aren’t fooling me.”

“Okay… Story time. Once upon a time there was a bad Chiki.. He married a bad mermaid. She had lots of children. Nua was her only good son. He did some bad things too, but he was much better than his siblings. Along came me, and we fell in love. The bad mermaid didn’t like me. Hated me. The bad Chikik’s name was Havark. Nobody knows what the bad mermaid’s name is. Some call her the Drearie queen, or D for short. You remember your sister Lila and how she defeated the Drearies,” Hika reminded her. The Drearies were a group of rebel fairies and your sister defeated them.

“But Havark survived the warriors that Lila sent out to the other kingdoms to protect them from him. He ruled us until he got word that Lila had sent out warriors to capture him. Then he had to leave us to go hide. He said right before he left that until he came back, our next ruler would be called Maiai, meaning good in Chikian.

“Then you came. Nua must have mistaken you for D, who would probably claim to be ‘maiai’ and come to wreck everything. That’s what we think now. I’m very glad Nua made that ‘mistake’, or we’d probably be fleeing from D as I speak.

“We’re afraid that D might come and attack you. You’ll probably have to get your DNA splattered on her somehow, but don’t be surprised if the way to do that is stupid, dumb and ridiculous.”

“Why my DNA?” And what is it, Maya thought.

“You’re Lila’s sister. All females in her family have a certain power over D.”

“When is, er,… D coming?

“She will come within a month. She and her minions are building trebuchets, catapults, crossbows and things like that. YOU need to go sneak in and fight magic with destiny, before she’s ready. Element of surprise, all that. You… no, that’s impossible. Whatever. You just have to sneak in and not get caught. ”

“How the heck do I do that? I’m not trained for battle! I don’t even have any armor. I don’t stand a chance!”

“You don’t need armor. You need magic,” Hika said.

“Magic?!”

“Hook your thumbs together.”

Maya did.

“Now outstretch your fingers.”

There glowed a disk of green, in front of Maya’s hands.

“That’s your shield. Cross your arms in front of you and tuck your thumbs in your armpits.”

“So incredibly weird,” Maya said under her breath, too quietly for even Hika to catch it.

There was her armor.

“Those are your defense. Your instincts are your offense.”

“What?”

“Just do whatever you need to. What you want to do. Remember, we’re up against a very proud enemy, so she’ll use more mental weapons than physical. We’re magic folk, so she’ll be shielded by magic, not physical armor. She can only do magic, though. Physically, she couldn’t beat you up if she wanted to. But she’ll show off her magic, ho boy. And whatever she throws at you, you can block with those two spells. They’re very simple, and she will get VERY angry when they block all her fancy stuff. You also may want to take someone with you, from the army. Don’t take someone who doesn’t want to go.”

Maya went outside. She headed for the army camp and ordered all soldiers to line up so that she could choose who went on a dangerous journey. When all of them were out, they were shaking in their leather boots. All but one.

Maya said to them, “I am going on a very dangerous spy mission. I will choose one, let me repeat, ONE soldier to come with me. This individual must be small and fast, strategic and smart, and not afraid.”

Half of the soldiers took a step back, and almost half stood their ground, hoping they would not be chosen. Only one stood firm, a daring and adventurous look in her eye.

“I do not want a companion who does not want this job. I want one to stay with me. If you don’t want to do this, leave.”
Almost all soldiers whirled on their heels and slowly left, one by one. Almost all.

All but one.

“Ukiki! Will you come on this journey?”

Ukiki said with a cocky expression, “When do we leave?”

This entry was posted on Saturday, July 18th, 2009 at 10:33 am and is filed under Maya and the Chikik. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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