Cutscene One - The Picnic
Nice breezy, sunny day among the pines. A pale, little girl of no more than eleven years carefully smooths her pretty white dress, with its frills and cute pink belt that matches the ribbon in her blond hair. She knows her guests lack the mathematical aptitude to notice the geometric equation she has formulated on the spotless white tablecloth. Even so her blue eyes sparkle with satisfaction at the splendid array of saucers, cups, tasty morsels, steaming tea, soy-milk, cubed sugar, napkins, and Wendy’s favorite, itsy bitsy little silver spoons that twinkle in the sunlight. At the center of it all a simple cream vase demurres to the beauty of a single daisy. Freshly grown by the the senior biology class, each petal a different unnaturally vibrant hue. Another of Wendy’s favorites, brought just for her by Mr. Delgado. Who, as too often, is looking protectively towards her. She brushes a lock of hair from her eyes and favors him with a reassuring little smile. Mr. Delgado removes a black wool hat, revealing his short cut but handsome, dark and stiff head of hair. Graying at the temples in the most gentlemanly of manners. He bows deeply, returning Wendy’s greeting and places his cane carefully within easy reach. He hadn’t even completed removing his fine gloves before an illmannered attempt to pilfer a buttery cookie was halted with a quick eep and stern look from Wendy. Mr. Delgado would have to sit, patiently, until Wendy said it was time to have cookies. What could he have been thinking? The tea hasn’t even been poured yet! But, she must attend to that shortly, Queen Pickles had started chewing on her napkin! Wendy sighed, accepting that her dress was as smooth and straight as it possibly could be and poured Mr. Delgado and herself each a hot, rich brown cup of [dragon] tea. From some hidden place she produced a cherry tomato. Queen Pickles ceased her unseemly napkin chewing and fixated on the shiny treat waved in front of her. The Queen’s attention was soon rewarded and she was sloppily and noisily in sweet tomato bliss. Giggling, Wendy next provided several bright green leaves of lettuce to the distinguished Mr. Shuffles. Nearly as distinguished as Delgado for he also had a fine hat and gray fur, lacking only a cane. Queen Pickles was already nudging Wendy for another tasty treat.
Owl had to admit that this was a very pleasant party and the nice little girl was definitely of the white side of things. But, Owl couldn’t very well leave unmolested such a plump rabbit peacefully munching away right underneath his branch. He was after all, Owl. So, Owl unfurled great brown wings and silently left his piney perch. Mr. Shuffles stopped chewing, he had that feeling. The feeling that only the hunted get, the feeling that only the hunters give. He hopped once, getting all the way onto the table. Then turning three quarters of the way around pushed as hard as his hind legs would be pushed. On the way to the ground, something yanked off the stoopid hat Wendy made him wear and his left ear stung painfully. He heard Wendy screech and call out his name. But, there was no time for any of that. Mr. Shuffles was busy executing his famous “Hippity Hop This way an That” maneuver.
“Oh no!” Wendy thought, that naughty owl scared Mr. Shuffles. Scared Queen Pickles too, but she had sense enough to hide under the table. No doubt curled up tight, spines all out. With a quick twist she threw her tea cup up after the owl but he was already lost to sight, even a slayer’s. Wendy forward flipped out of her chair, over the table and was off running after the rabbit. She ignored Delgado’s warnings, pleadings, and lastly his admonishments to return. Her pretty pink ribbon caught on a branch and was yanked from her hair. It swung briefly in the ocean breeze before Delgado retrieved it. Folding it neatly and sighing, he placed it in his vest pocket. Checking his watch he was extremely alarmed to find it suddenly after dark.
Wendy stopped, her hair did not. With a hefty puff from her lower lip she blew the blond mess clear from one eye. Forgetting she brandished only a tasty carrot, she held it pointy end towards the trenchcoated figure that had halted her chase. She didn’t recognize this one but she knew the type, heavy boots, lots of black, lots of leather. Not much trouble usually, but this one had it’s clawed hands wrapped round a quivering mass of grey fur. She was preparing a suitably threating threat when Mr. Trenchcoat burst out laughing.
“Lil miss, did you not get the memo? Carrots, do jack all against us vampires.”
This prompted a laugh from another just walking up. His laugh was guttural, the kind that only comes from being raised in “Asswipe” Mississippi. This one Wendy knew all too well.
“Uh huh, get it boss? Leading with carrot, hitting with stick. Huh huh.”
“Shut up Cleetus.” said the trenchcoat.
Wendy said to Cleetus “Thanks for reminding me.”
Wendy let go of the carrot and started toppling forward into a cartwheel. When her shiny black shoe was far overhead she grabbed a stake strapped to the back of her thigh. Ending her tumble with the splits; right leg out, toes expertly pointed, right arm perfectly parallel. Coach Byers would be proud. The stake, propelled with all her forward momentum, penetrated more than halfway into Trenchcoat’s chest. A small puff later he, fashion crime outfit and all, turned to dust. Wendy jumped up, not even pausing to brush away the dirt and needles her gymnastics had attracted. Cleetus was dumb, dumber than dirt, but he knew when to run. By the time Wendy was hugging Mr. Shuffles safe and sound he was long gone.
Ewwh! There was slobber all over Mr Shuffles ear, that nasty trenchcoat had been licking all the blood off Mr. Shuffles talon wound.
Back at the picnic area everything was smashed and scratched into the table was a note from Cleetus:
“We gots D. who dummest now”
Wendy burst into tears. Queen Pickles didn’t quite know what to do with Wendy so upset. So, she rubbed her tiny wet nose on Wendy’s wrist.
Wendy woke up with a frown. Mr. Shuffles was hidding under the warmth of the covers as usual and Queen pickles was nudging her wrist impatient for morning treat. “What a poopy dream. I won’t pay it any mind at all. Today is my birthday! la la my birthday! me me birthday la da dee.” she sang all morning getting ready for school.