Vol. 3 No. 6 December 2012
What is Past is Past
The day was cloudy and grey. A cold wind blew across the surface of the lake whipping the water into whitecaps with the cold spray of mist hitting Fuzzy in the face as he stood waiting for the boat to return to ferry him across the lake to Pax Sanctuary, after a recent visit to his parents. His father had suggested a visit to Pax might do him a world of good, help him put things in perspective.
The last year had been more than Fuzzy could stand, but the last straw came on Halloween when he was sought out by the bird Nevermore. After some investigation he found the owner of the bird with the help of the wilder brother, and to Fuzzy's dismay it turned out the bird is enchanted and doomed to seek out the most for depressed or obsessed.
It was at that moment he realized his actions had been less than his best over the past few months. And he made up his mind right there and then he was going to stop searching for his airship and stop dwelling on the what if's and the could have been. He needed to get back on track. He ignored his job, his friends, his family all over an idea. He had big dreams to travel the whole AW universe in his ship, seeing all the wonders and having endless adventures. He would never forget the airship Lenore, after all, it was the very first thing he bought with his own money, and he was sure he would never forgets that bloody leprechaun!. But revenge seemed out of sight like the leprechaun. And after all, dreams are for cubs and it was time he gave up the fantasy and the anger.
The ride across the lake was no pleasure trip; the icy winds of winter seem to cut right thru to the bone. The sun peeked out thru the clouds now and again but its light held no warmth this day. Fuzzy dwelling in his internal conflict felt the day was well suited to his mood.
But as they reached the docks just before sunset the sky seemed to clear and patches of blue sky and sunbeams laid out a picture of beauty before them, something even Fuzzy could not ignore. He felt his heart if nothing else warm a bit.
As he made his way off the boat and getting his gear arranged for the walk up the hillside, he heard a voice call his name "Theodore Fuzzybottom, we have been expecting you" the voice was soft but strong. Fuzzy was taken aback. How could anyone be expecting him? He had only decided to come here this morning.
"Do not ponder the wonder of my knowing young one, it is a simple thing. Your father sent word to me, he is most concerned for you and asked me to have a word."
Fuzzy had been listening but had yet to look up to see exactly who was speaking to him, and when he did he nearly fell off the dock. It was no one less than Master Chen, the head of all Pax. Overwhelmed Fuzzy did his best to regain himself and bowed with respect. His gesture was responded to with a simple smile.
"Allow Devi to see to your belongings" Master Chen motioned and a small young cub stepped forward and began trying to lift Fuzzy's packs. Master Chen watching seemed amused at the cub's struggle and simply placed his hand on Fuzzy's shoulder directing him toward the path saying, "Worry not; he is stronger of will than he looks."
As they made their way up the path to the temple Fuzzy could hear poor Devi behind them huffing and puffing the whole way but he said nothing, and soon they reached the shrine at the entry of Pax. They all give an invocation , and then Master Chen instructed Devi to go check and see if the tea was ready. Fuzzy nearly laughed seeing the relief on Devi's face as he dropped the bags and ran off. But his attention was soon drawn back to Master Chen who was speaking now to a very plump young woman who seemed unable to stop giggling herself, but clearly for a whole different reason. Master Chen finished speaking to her, bowed, and the girl skipped off still giggling when she met up with two other girls and all three turned and looked at Fuzzy and then disappeared still giggling into a doorway.
"It seems you have a few admirers Theodore," said Master Chen. "Who Me??" blurted Fuzzy. "Sorry'" he said, "but really me??"
"Come. Let us have some tea and enjoy a warm fire," said Master Chen. He directed Fuzzy to the small tea room at the center of the complex. It was a great comfort to remove his heavy winter shoes and coat.
The room was wonderful, filled with a mixed scent of flowers and wood smoke; the cushion were soft and comfortable but did not aid him in his attempt to sit with the dignity he had intended. Master Chen seemed to almost be floating his posture was as one would expect from a being like himself.
Looking at Fuzzy and seeing his struggle Master Chen smiled and simply said: "Yes,it takes a bit of practice, try to not so much sit on the cushion as allow the cushion to support you. In other word do not fight it."
Great advice. As soon as Fuzzy stopped trying so hard it seemed as it the cushion itself found just the right position. Moments later Devi returned with a tea and a tray of steamed buns. He placed the tray on a small table between them and begin to ladle the tea, into small cups. When Master Chen placed his hand over his cup and stopped him, Devi look confused but said nothing.
"Devi, you need not serve the tea. We can manage on our own. I would like to talk with Theodore alone if you do not mind. How about you go spend a nice evening at the baths, I hear Lita is working." Devi blushed then smiled and bowed and was out of the room in a flash. "No one had to tell him twice," remarked Fuzzy.
"Yes a bit of romance does wonders for the spirit," said Master Chen." The look in his eye reminded Fuzzy of the look his mother gets every time she asked him if he had a girl friend. Feeling a need to avoid that topic, he sipped his tea.
The tea flavor was unlike anything he had drunk before, much like the room it seemed to be a combination of flower and honey and some type of wood spice. A very pleasant and relaxing concoction indeed. It was not long before Fuzzy noticed he was feeling very relaxed much like he did after two or three honey beers. But this was different; instead of feeling bumbled he felt relaxed but awake and clear.
Just as he was about to comment about the tea, Master Chen Turned to him and asked, "So my boy, what is that is troubling you?"
For a flash of a second Fuzzy was disappointed. Great, someone else wanting me to explain myself. He just spent last few days with his parents who would not give it a rest. But some how it passed, and before he knew it he was telling Master Chen everything from the first day he decided to strike out on his own to the awful moment the realization of the bird became clear.
All the while Fuzzy had been recounting his tale Master Chen had said nothing; simply sat listening and taking the occasional puff on his pipe.
The cold and blustery weather had not been at all a good time for working on a Yellow Builders Guild construction site. The boss let everyone off early, and Shakey made a bee line for the Sleepy Bear Playhouse for some hot spiced honey beer to thaw out, and of course, to meet with his girl Nora who was still working with the Cub Reporters Band.
He parked his pickup in the lot and stomped into the warm, snug confines of the Playhouse, looking for Nora. The music had not yet started, but the band's gear was on the stage and the roadie was testing out the mics. Shakey spotted Dora at a table on the side and walked over to her.
"Hey babe, how's it going" he asked as he rubbed noses with her.
"Hiya, big bear, going good here" she grinned. "Wanna honey beer?"
"Sure, a hot spiced one if they got it," said Shakey. "Very cold and windy on the site today."
Nora waved a paw in the direction of the bar and the barkeep nodded in reply. A minute later a hot honey beer was being quaffed thirstily by Shakey. "Ahhh, that's better," he sighed happily. "And I should tell you some interesting news."
"Oh, I'm all ears," said Nora.
"Well, y'know that Fuzzy's been having a lot of troubles lately, and the leprechaun that stole his airship has never been found?"
Nora nodded, and put on her best concerned girlfriend face, all the while thinking how tired she was of Shakey worrying about Fuzzy. Fuzzy needed to get his act together, she let out a slight huff.
Shakey paused,"what was that, you say something?"
"No, nothing sweetie You were saying, Nora said with a smile. Shakey then continued, "As I was about to say. Guess what? I found the leprechaun."
"Oh wow, Shakey, what did you do?" said Nora with some surprise. And an internal hope for a conclusion to the drama.
He took another slurp of his drink. "I was on the site, you know, next to the forest. I was toward the back of the block and I saw something move in the bushes. Something was trying to sneak into the site, from the way the bush was moving, kind of quiet and stealthy like, you know? I froze in my tracks, and luckily I had an axe in my hand 'cause I wanted to cut out a couple of the scrubby trees.
"And sure enough, in about a minute a head popped out of the bushes and I recognized that leprechaun. I yelled 'Hey!' And went into the bushes after him. Well, he scampered pretty fast, but I -- well -- just about caught him. Must have been the cold slowing him down a bit. And I would have got him too, 'cept that I tripped over a tree root. But I did see where he went, and he was panicked and so left a pretty good trail. But by then the shift was over and I wanted to get here to be with you."
Nora was listening wide-eyed. "Geez, he's a sneaky little critter. Do you have to tell Fuzzy? I mean you would not want to give him, false hope."
Shakey nodded. "Sure will, as soon as I see him. He's still tied up with stories for the Gazette, and I know he was going to visit his parents; that whole business with that blasted Bird really shook him to the core, I have not seen nor heard from him in weeks, not since he asked us to watch over the cabin."
Nora smiled and had a warm thought for Fuzzy, Shakey and she had been so happy living together at Fuzzy's cabin. It really was sweet of him to offer up that. "Maybe I should not be so hard on him. I am sure he will be coming to our anniversary party No way he'd miss it. After all if it was not for Fuzzy's courage we might never have found each other. "Ah, yes, two whole years," sighed Nora dreamily. Who would have thought?"
"Well it was fate my sweet," said Shakey leaning over to give her fast peck on the cheek. "Ok Love, I am off. I promised to meet Rufus and Randy back at the cabin, just a little farewell drink with the boys to say goodbye to Randy. He is off in the morning to the University so he will not be making it to the party."
Nora gave her best fake pout, then smiled and said: "All right, but you better not be late, tell Randy I wish him luck."
"I will do that and see you back here later. I am sure we will all have great time, said Shakey. "I just hope Fuzzy shows up. I sent word to his dad and I know they will be there. Maybe Rufus has heard something?"
"Don't worry me, I'm sure it all works out," said Nora. "After all he is a big boy, he will sort himself out." She giggled and smiled. "After all look how much you have changed in the last two years. We all end up were we need to be, right?"
Shakey knew she was right, and he loved her all the more in that moment.
So how will it all turn out? Will Fuzzy find his way? Will the party be a success? Will anyone ever catch that leprechaun? More will be revealed in the next episode.
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