If You Give a Bird a Bicky...

((Approximately one week after the events of The Lying, the Witch and the Xenophobes))

"Ok, one last time before they get here," Briar said, adjusting her hat nervously. In preparation of her parents arrival (and subsequent lifestyle judgement), the goose had replaced her usual frilly choice of wardrobe for a slightly more traditional look. "We all know what the plan is..? And what to do..?"  The target had selected, the costumes picked out, Gladstone's protests over the short-short lederhosen had been ignored, what else was left to worry about? Oh yeah...

"Lilly, you going to be ok, hun?" she asked, directly addressing the honest elephant in the room. "You have the emergency cue cards?"

    • Gladstone Gander
      Gladstone Gander

      Hanselstone tugged on his uncomfortable creeping lederISaidNosen but at least he hadn't sacrificed one of his suits for this travesty. Silver linings.

      "She's good." He said confidently. "I've been quizzing her all week. She's going to be the evilest little Gretel to eat you out of house and home." He paused for a moment. "In... not a dirty way. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN." He waved his hand irritably. "You'll both be fine.  Just-" he demonstrated breathing in deeply and exhaling the same way. "-breathe okay?  We've got our plan. We'll be in and out faster than you can say 'Does mein butt look Greatle in zeze hozen'? Hypothetical question because I know it does." Well, there was no helping the shortness of these shorts. "And can I just say you ladies look-" finger gun number one at Briar. "-bad in an eighties slang kind of way." finger gun number two at Lilly. "Zank koodness you're not acdually mein zisder." 

      Pew pew.

      "Now we gettin' masks to complete this whole bad guy getup?"

      • Lilly Teal
        Lilly Teal

        Briar really seemed to be making a habit of putting Gladstone in tight clothes, or short clothes or both. And Lilly wasn't sure what that said about anything, but she had more important things to worry about. She tugged at her twin braids a little nervously, taking a deep breath. Yes, she'd been given a very cute costume, but that didn't change the fact that, however pretend, they were essentially going to be conning her friend's parents.

        Giving Gladstone a grateful look, that quickly turned into amusement at his ridiculous accent and behaviour, she nodded. "Yes, I've been practicing. But just in case." The little lace apron had a pocket in the front, she fished her cue cards out of it, held securely together with an elastic band. "I do have them. Hopefully I won't have to use them."

        We've GOT this.

        • Mother Goose
          Mother Goose

          "Es ist mir so peinlih dich zu kennen..." Briar muttered at Gladstone's atrocious accent. That was why Lilly got the adorable costume and the gander got the hilarious costume. "And yes, Arnold Swanzenegger, masks are on the table. Nothing fancy this time, I know it goes to your head," she said, gesturing to the black domino masks. To prevent any possible magical/luck problems, they'd been bought at the local costume shop, one for everyone in their little crime family.

          "Breathe, right..." Whoo. Ha. Yeah. They'd get through this. It'd be ok. She patted Lilly's shoulder reassuringly. "It's all for a good cause..." A little lying to make everyone happy was surely ok. "You got this. They'll love you. Plus- free cookies!"

          The goose looked at the clock again.

          In three...

          two...

          one-

          POOF.

          The Grimms had landed. Repeat, the witch is in the house! Battle stations, Dorothys!

          "Ah, children!" Gary cried happily, sweeping the trio into a big group hug. "How are my favorite group of imps doing? Gladstone, my boy, you're looking much better!" he said approvingly, ruffling Gladstone's hair, ignoring attempts to squirm away from the overabundance of affection. "Girls, you look lovely as well~" he assured, kissing each of them on the cheek.

          "Awww, Gary, they're wearing little matching outfits, how precious!" Hagatha gasped, already fishing out a camera. "This could be our Christmas card! Quick, everybody say Felonyyyy~!" Click, click.

          "MOM!" Briar protested.

          "Shh, you look beautiful, gummy-worm..." Click click click. "Now! Come give your mother a kiss~" the older witch said as Gary released them from the cuddling, only to sweep them up in quick maternal snuggle of her own. "Hello, darling, minions~"

          "Oh, I almost forgot, I brought souvenirs for everyone," the warlock said, slapping his forehead. He began pulling gift bags from inside his coat.  "One for you-" Gladstone's giftbag contained a snowglobe of a tiny witch holding a sign that read 'Welcome to New Salem" while dangling from a noose. She winked at the viewer and escaped in a cloud of glitter if you shook it. "One for you-" Lilly's had a cuddly skeleton in a raven costume and a bag of candy.

          "One for you- And of course, some bleh blossoms for my bleh blossom~" He finished by passing a huge bouquet of the fanged flowers and a luridly pink teddybear to Briar. "Oh, pops...! You didn't have to-!" All of these were gifts better suited to a three-year-old than a thirty-something, but that didn't stop the squeal of joy as Briar hugged the teddybear.

          "You'll spoil them, Gary," Hagatha said without any actual scolding in her voice, leaning on her husband's shoulder. "So... what have you been up to while we were away?" she fished, clearly hoping to hear about the fun day they'd planned.

          • Gladstone Gander
            Gladstone Gander

            Not even messed up hair, or uncomfortable lederhosen, or photographic evidence of him in said uncomfortable lederhosen (not that he'd look anything less than amazing in the pictures. He ALWAYS photographed exceptionally well), or... well anything that was going on could reach the gander as he stared at the snow globe. Once the insides reset he shook it again watching it with a guarded expression but a ragged little inhale nearly exposed him and he cleared his throat quickly  to reset his own insides.  The snow globe was clutched to his chest protectively with a genuine happy smile.

            "Thank you very much. This is great! I know exactly where I'm gong to put it." 

            Right next to my Best Boyfriend Ever trophy.  Aka a place of great honor. 

            But yes... back to business.

            "The Boss has been baking up a sweet plot, one of her best I think." As he spoke his eyes slowly drifted back to the snow globe in his hand and he gave it a little shake again. He so rarely got gifts. Free things sure, all the time. But things picked out specifically for him?  Focus. "Uh-" he looked at the table. "-we have masks!" 

            He picked one up to present it to the gathered company.  Then realizing that this probably was not dramatic enough he put his own on. Which was tricky as that snow globe was not going to be put down anytime soon. 

             

             

            • Lilly Teal
              Lilly Teal

              Briar's squeal of joy wasn't the only one as Lilly wrapped her arms around the plush skeleton like an octopus herself. It was so cute! It was so soft! So nice!

              Is that candy?!

              She was an adult. And yet she had already fished a small piece of chocolate out of the bag of candy, and was nuzzling the soft, soft toy with her cheek. They didn't have to! But they did, and she hadn't been given a soft toy in so long! There was General Huggy, of course, but she still missed the rabbit she had as a child. So just being given one of these... oh! Surge of familial love!

              "Thank you! Thank you!" Looked like Glasdstone wasn't the only one having trouble of letting go of their gift. Somewhere in the middle of the conversation, she had managed to get the mask on her face, and if anyone were to look at her, they'd see a very delighted looking, masked young lady whose braids and skirt were swinging slightly with each bounce.

              • Mother Goose
                Mother Goose

                Yes. They were totally a group of adults, ready for an elegant evening of crime. Not a bunch of excitable kindergartners on their first Halloween outing. Might be easier to tell the difference if they put their toys down first... 

                "Huh? Ooh, yes!" Briar said, reluctantly setting down her gifts. They did have a plan. "We're going to knock over this awful cookie factory Grandma ChunkyWunky's? It's just so sappy and icky and sweet- bleugh! So I figure we can pop over, smash a few racks, swipe the secret formula, and be back in time for a nice dinner. I booked us a table at the Shadow Chateau."

                "Oh, I've heard good things about that place," Hagatha said approvingly. "It sounds like a wonderful plot, darling,"

                "What fun!" Gary agreed. "But what are the masks for?" Not that he was disapproving of a masked caper, just curious.

                "Disguise! Don't want the cops to spoil the game." Or her friends to end up on the evening news. "Gladdy assured me these are enough to fool everyone in town," Briar said doubtfully, passing out the remaining masks.

                • Gladstone Gander
                  Gladstone Gander

                  Yes. Yes. He supposed he could find a safe place to put his gift.  Like up on that book shelf there. Yes. Very safe looking spot. He dusted off his hands and put them on his hips.  The overall effect of a Hamburg Burglar not even the least bit intimidating.

                  "Trust me, these masks are all the rage back home and no one ever knows who is who beneath them."

                   

                  Gladstone that was probably because they were almost exclusively worn by Beagle Boys who if we're being honest, all pretty much look the same masks or not. But as he looked around the room at the other other tall masked avians he started to get the sinking suspicion that he'd over looked his own circumstantial face blindness when masks were involved.

                   

                  ... uh. He knew Lilly was in here... somewhere. Oh right she had the skeleton bird thing! He took his place beside her. Making a nice little line up of Wicked Witch and her Snacky Lackeys.  

                  "But yeaaaaah! Let's do this! That recipe is as good as yoinked Boss!" He tugged on the stuffed raven's foot. "Better put your new friend down dear, or he might get dough on him." 

                  • Lilly Teal
                    Lilly Teal

                    But.

                    I don't want to.

                    At the tugging, Lilly tightened her hug on the stuffed toy briefly, and then sighed, turning to settle him on the nearest chair before bringing her attention to the group again.

                    "The masks will be fine," she agreed, speaking from experience. "Nobody will know a thing about us." Also effective is a hat and a trench coat. Somehow nobody sees that as suspicious, either.

                    "Shall we?" Bright optimism that was only slightly forced. "We thought... er, well Briar thought that we should get there when the first round of delivery trucks are coming back, it might be easier to sneak in that way...?"

                    Right? That was the plan, right?

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