Story (c) 2000 by Keith Dickinson. All rights reserved.
Sabrina the Skunkette, Amy the Squirrel, Tabitha, Carli, Tammy Vixen
Vixen, Clarisse, and Carrie Squirrel (c) Eric W. Schwartz. Character
John Barrett. Character Thomas Woolfe (c) Michael Higgs. Characters
Susan Felin, Cindy Lapine, Debbye Squirrel, Clarence Skunk, Mr. Canis,
Collie, Angel Collie, Sarge and Endora Mustelidae, Wendy Vixxen, and
Vixen(c) Chris Yost. Character Florence Ambrose (c) Mark Stanley.
ZigZag (c) Max BlackRabbit. Character Cyberhorn (c) William Morris.
Terl Skunk (c) Rodney Stringwell. Character James Sheppard and Marvin
James Bruner. Character John Silverback (c) Himself Character Kittiara
restaruant "Callahan's" (c) "Kittiara" Character Katja (c) Herself
Mark the cheetaur (c) Mark White Eric W. Schwartz (c) Mr. and Mrs.
Michael Jones (c) Martin Pedersen. Arden Eastridge (c) Keith
Dickson. All rights to additional characters
reserved by their respective owners.
Sabrina had just finished up going over the prints that came in this morning. Sitting back, she thought about what to work on next, when she remembered the archivist at the University Library. Taking out his card, she gave him a call.
Sabrina: "Hello. This is Sabrina. I came to see you yesterday with some photocopies?"
Jacobs: "Oh yes, the pretty young girl and her wonderful pictures. Most interesting, yes."
Sabrina: "Were you able to figure anything out about them yet?"
Jacobs: "Yes, I was, yes, yes. I did some research on the front of the amulet. It refers to a Demon named 'Lakesh'. Now I say Demon as that's the most common translation, though I found an obscure reference to the symbol as being a Dragon, though I'm not sure if that's a translation error by the author, or an actual reference.'
A Demon eh? Well the face certainly didn't look like any Dragon Sabrina had ever seen, though she filed the fact away for future reference.
Sabrina: "Was there anything else you could find out?"
Jacobs: "Yes, the text on the back appeared to describe different people. It is strange how the text spirals out from the center, getting smaller towards the edge. It's something I've never seen before, almost as if it were chronicling a history or some kind of lineage, very interesting indeed. Were you able to talk to your friend about the originals?"
Sabrina: "No. I haven't had a chance to today. However I will ask her as she is working today. Thank you very much. Please let me know if you find anything else out."
Jacobs: "Certainly. Of course, it would help if I had your number."
DOH. She had gotten his card, but not given him hers. Giving him her work number, she rang off and then realized what she had done, 'Oh no. He's going to think I'm a performer here.' Giving herself a grimace, she tried to ignore the heat rising from her face and put it out of her mind. With Bjorn in town, she'd be busy doing the art for his work so he could approve it before leaving and she needed to get hopping.
Cleaning up the table after having worked over Leon, I got ready for whoever would be next. Clarence was in charge of the schedule. It really was a pain trying to write stuff down in a schedule book with oily hands. Fortunately that kid was pretty bright and not a bad organizer.
Turning as someone came in, I saw my next victim... er... customer was going to be Bjorn. I had gotten a chance to meet him as he and Sheila left for lunch. I had bowed out from the event. I'd give her some room. I had no right to get in the way of her happiness if I was going to be leaving in the near future.
Giving him a hand, up on the table, I got out some oils, "So, I understand you and Sheila go back a long way." Nodding his head slightly against the rest, he confirmed, "Ja. We have been performing for several years. She is one of my favorite actresses." Starting to work on his shoulders, I rubbed the oils into the fur, "Glad to hear it. It explains what happened yesterday at your apartment."
As what I said sank in, he tried to roll away. Pushing down, I pinned him to the table, "We aren't done yet. Don't squirm or this will take forever." Once he stopped resisting, I starting working my way down his back, massaging the muscles. "I know Sheila told you about us and our agreement. Right now there are only two things that are keeping me from breaking your silly neck. First Zig Zag would maul me, and second Sheila would kill me."
Hearing that he tensed up again, but didn't try to get away. "However I'm not an unreasonable sort of bloke, so I'll make you a deal. As long as you don't upset or otherwise hurt Sheila, then you have free reign with her. Just don't treat her like some play toy that you can dispose of when you're ready to leave. Does that sound reasonable?"
For a couple of minutes, he didn't respond, "There was no reason to threaten me. I would not do that to Sheila. We are friends, and have been so for a very long time. I would not do that her." Working on the pressure points around the base of his spine, I heard him grunt as I forced his tail muscles to relax, "Considering the state I found her in last night, I'd say that's not quite true." Hearing this he turned his head a little to hear me better. "She was in the shower when I got home. She was ashamed at what she had done. She had betrayed my trust and it hurt her as much as it hurt me."
His ears drooped at this. It hadn't occurred to him that Sheila would feel guilty, "Ja. I understand. Sheila told me she found someone special. When she said that you wouldn't mind her work, I thought that we would be able to just enjoy ourselves too. I didn't realize that she was that committed." Working on his left leg, I nodded, "We're very close, though we aren't engaged or anything." Pausing for a breath, I continued, "You two have been together along time. I understand that. I won't get in the way. Sheila's happiness is what I'm concerned about, and if she's happier with you, I won't stand in her way. Just make sure you're serious about her and not just toying around."
Having set the scene, I continued working on Bjorn, hoping that if I did jump soon, Sheila would have someone to fall back on that could give her the physical and emotional support she needed.
If he hurt her though, there wasn't any damned demon curse that would keep me from coming back and mauling his ass.
Taking a break from the shoot while they redecorated the set, Sheila slipped into Sabrina's closet. Sitting on the edge of the desk, she shoved some folders out of the way,
"Any word on those pictures?" Sheila asked in a conspiratorial low voice. Nodding, Sabrina took a sip of her cocoa, "Yep. I gave the copies to the Archivist at the University Library. He did some research. Apparently the face belongs to a Demon called 'Lakesh', though he found an obscure reference to this Lakesh being a Dragon, not a demon. Also the back appears to be some sort of history, almost like a lineage."
The shock of Lakesh being described as a dragon hit Sheila like a punch. Arden's diary talked about him walking the path of the dragon, but didn't talk about Lakesh! Did he even know that Lakesh might be related to the dragons? It was something she'd have to talk to him about.
Remembering where she was, Sheila thought for a second, "Does he have any information about this lineage? Or any other information translated yet?" Shaking her head again, Sabrina took another sip, "Nope. And he asked if you had the originals of the object. Apparently there was some detail loss when you photocopied it."
Sheila tried to think if she could smuggle the book out. She'd need to see if it had been moved since she put it back. If he wasn't reading it, she might be able to sneak it out. Or better yet, she'd make a copy of the actual amulet! "Sabrina, if I brought you the actual medallion, could you scan it into your computer for him? Make a real high quality picture?"
Thinking about it, Sabrina nodded, "Sure. But if you have the actual object, why not just let him work with that?" Sheila shook her head. No way was that going to happen, "Sorry, but it's something I can't let out of my possession. I could let you scan it though. Just make sure he doesn't know who has it. I think it may be very valuable."
Nodding, Sabrina could understand. If this thing was rare, it could be worth millions. People killed for less.
Finished up with Bjorn, I walked around towards the front of the building heading over to Philippe's. I was allergic to one of the new oils and it was driving me nuts, making my hand itch. I wanted to get something from him while Sheila cleaned up in the shower.
Passing by Sabrina's "office", I saw a young fox standing in the doorway. He was casually dressed in kaki pants and a Penguins hockey shirt. As I approached, he pushed the glasses up on his snout. I chuckled, remembering how often I used to do that on my old face.
Just as I was getting to the door, I saw Sabrina come almost bowl him over, wrapping him in an embrace and giving him a hard kiss. Freezing, I realized that this wasn't just any fox; this had to be Chris Foxx! If that was fox, then that means that Sabrina was going to die in a car accident. She was already dead. She just didn't know it yet.
Spotting me, Sabrina must have mistaken my look. She smiled and led Chris over, "Chris, this is Arden, he's the guy I was telling you about that was hit by Zig Zag." Leaning in close, she gave him a semi conspiratorial whisper, "He's also Sheila's current squeeze" and giggled. Sticking his hand out, he smiled, "Hi. Glad to meet you."
Numbly I took his hand and shook it, "It's.. uhmm.. nice to meet you too." Smiling at Sabrina, "You'll excuse me, I've got someone waiting in the back on me."
Walking away, I somehow managed to get to the back room. Staggering in, I followed the counters back to a corner between them. Leaning against the wall, I let myself slide down until I was sitting on the floor. Leaning my head against the wall, I closed my eyes and tried to get control of my emotions. I knew she was supposed to die come Christmas during a snowstorm. Killed in an encounter with a tractor-trailer. If I stayed I could potentially save her life. Again I was being forced to make a decision.
It took me a few seconds to realize someone was shaking me. Opening my eyes, I saw it was Sheila, standing in front of me with a towel wrapped around her, dripping, "Are you ok?" All I could do is nod. Concerned, she squatted, "What's wrong?"
Could I even tell her? Would it even come to pass? What if I'm wrong, and it doesn't happen. "I met Sabrina's boy friend, Chris Foxx." She gave me a confused look, "So?" Banging my head against the wall, I gave a sigh, "Don't you remember what I told you about coming from my world? How I knew things from this world that nobody should know?" Nodding, she waited. I was going to have to spell it out for her, "I know when and how Sabrina's going to die Sheila. I know that part of her future. Seeing Chris confirmed it for me."
I saw her rock back as if I had slapped her. She understood.
I really was sure I hated my life now.