And so… the next day…
Molly had taken down her ponytail, washed her hair, brushed it out, scrubbed up her face, bought and put on a new black robe, and put about three pounds of makeup on.
Yeah, she was pretty!
It seemed that Molly also had a way with scissors, shampoo and hairspray. Of course, she never bothered with it before, but she was now determined to keep herself and look pretty for her crush.
As for Sophie…
… she knew that Daniel liked her, which was more than she could say for Molly. The problem was that she had a tomboy reputation to keep up in front of peers, while Molly didn’t give a rip. Actually, Molly, when combined with makeup, seemed to give off the “deadly and beautiful” impression, whereas Sophie was pretty naturally and simply didn’t know how to put on makeup. When combined with makeup, she gave off the classic 80′s “I really don’t know how to put on makeup, so I threw my makeup drawer at my head” look. On a normal day, she gave off the “Not a Morning Person, and No, I Wake Up At 12:35 So Don’t Mess With Me and Do Not Tell Me to Brush My Hair Unless You Wanna Die Because I Don’t Care How I Look, The Fact That I’m In PJ’s Doesn’t Prevent Me From Kicking Your Butt And If You Flirt With Me I Will Kick It Harder” look. And few people can pull off a look that takes up that much space to type.
Sophie’s reaction? Ignore everything and get on with life.
Molly’s reaction? Flirt every chance you get.
Which made life interesting.
* * *
So then they went back into the forest. But this time, they had Daniel dump them back where they were, because something said to them that they couldn’t let the thing in the forest live. However, instead of taking them near the slave market where they left off, they ended up right near the cause of the tremor in the fabric of the magical balance. In other, simpler, vaguely English-speaking words, they got dumped in front of the huge hulking monster they’d all worried about in the back of their heads.
Since Keith now had a better weapon, actual clothes and armor, and had been well fed by the fairies who were cheering for him, he was the first to bravely step out of the startled group and face the gigantic ball of fur. No other features were yet distinguishable.
Keith drew his weapon, but it made a sound and the creature stirred. Keith stepped forward and the creature woke up entirely. It sniffed, then started toward him. Keith dived into the undergrowth and the monster followed. Molly drew her machete, being intentionally loud as she did so. The monster sniffed the air and tried to follow the sound.
“It can’t see,” Molly whispered. “Nobody move. It can feel the vibrations in the earth. It can smell and hear, but not very well.”
The blob of fur rolled over near Molly.
“This is risky, but I have to do it. Angel, fly away and take someone with you. Anyone else, leap away quickly and quietly, in all directions. It won’t be able to decide which path to follow, and they’ll all be muffled. It’ll buy me enough time.” Molly paused. “What are you waiting for? GET ON WITH IT!” she scream/whispered.
They scattered. Daniel grabbed Sophie and took a running start to a flying leap and then kept running. Molly allowed herself two seconds to stare at him, dragging Sophie along. There was something odd about his gait after that, but Molly couldn’t and had no time to put her finger on what was weird before she had to turn back to the monster. She reached out, extending her fingers, palm out, and stared straight out at the monster, unblinking. There was a flash tinted with green, but not too bright that Molly couldn’t keep her stare ahead. And the creature was no more.
It took a lot of work to extract the molecules of a creature the size of a two story house out of the universe, but Molly had practice and managed it easily. Some of the wielders who tried it the first time blinked, and they found themselves in the Void Dimension instead of the monster they were trying to defeat. Molly smirked with satisfaction. Keith, who had missed Molly’s latest whispered memo, was still hiding in the bushy undergrowth, let his jaw drop and made a mental note never to challenge her to a magic match. He came out, dusting himself off.
“Well then. How do you intend to get them back?”
“I hadn’t thought of that,” Molly said.
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