Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun

It was a peaceful Saturday morning, perfect for a nice walk in the park, maybe get a little light reading in under the big oak tree.. or, it would be a peaceful morning if that dastardly damsel of distress, Mother Goose, hadn't loudly popped onto the scene and grabbed Ariana McCawber's arm.

"Ariana!" she shouted. "I can't find my poor snark anywhere! Oh~ if only I knew someone who help me find him..." she fake sobbed into her hand. Was the younger duckette buying it? She peaked between her fingers at Ariana.

    • DarkwingPsycho
      DarkwingPsycho

      Ariana started with a gasp, her purse and book falling to the dirt trail as she stared with wide eyes at Mother Goose.  Once she processed what had happened, she looked a lot calmer and smiled brightly.  "Briar!  Hello..."

      When she registered what the goose had said, however, her hands flew to her beak in distress - clearly buying it.  "Oh no!  That's awful!  I'll help you look; where did you last see it?!"

      • Mother Goose
        Mother Goose

        Yay, it worked! Briar hugged Ariana, a move that could be seen as being 'grateful' for the help. At the question of location, the witch faltered. She hadn't thought that far ahead.

        "Oh, um, gee, I'm not sure- my house maybe? Or a cafe...? We could go and get some cookies, try to lure him out," Briar said, now sounding far too perky for her supposed state of worry. "It could take hours to find him, you know, he's very sneaky."

        • DarkwingPsycho
          DarkwingPsycho

          Ariana hugged her friend back, but she still felt anxious now that she knew there was a missing pet on the loose!  ...It was a pet, right?

          Carefully, Ariana asked, "Um...Briar?  What...is a...a 'snark'?"

          She nodded at the mention of cookies.  "That sounds like a good idea!  What sort of cookies does it like?  I know a place that makes really great cricket...I mean chocolate chip..."  Kneeling down to pick up her things and brush them off, she added solemnly, "Does it run away a lot?"

          • Mother Goose
            Mother Goose

            "A snark? It's sorta like a possum, sorta not..." the witch improvised. "It's invisible most of the time?" There, that should explain everything. "Very self-reliant," she assured the other woman. "Usually comes home for bath-time... I think..."

            "Oooh, cricket chip? I love- cricket?" she stopped. "Wait... That's not a normal flavor..." The goose tilted her head quizzically at Ariana.

            • DarkwingPsycho
              DarkwingPsycho

              Ariana looked fascinated as they walked toward where she assumed a bakery was for cookies.  "An invisible pet?  Oh wow...I didn't know those existed!  You must have been very lucky to find one!  ...How did you find one...?"

              Ariana flushed and backtracked, having never been a very good liar.  "Oh - w-well, I...it's something I used to have...w-when I was little.  But...you like them too??"

              • Mother Goose
                Mother Goose

                "Oh, you know, tripped over it one day," the witch said, brushing off the questioning, much more interested in Ariana's cookie comment.

                "This would be when you were little... in Transylvania, right?" It might be stereotyping, but she got the impression the petite blonde might be... but she was so...? hmm... "Oh yeah, people say it's too crunchy, but there's nothing better than dunking a nice, fresh cricket-chip in a big glass of Betelgeuse's Beetle Juice, don't you agree~?" she asked, tone carefully neutral.

                • DarkwingPsycho
                  DarkwingPsycho

                  "Oh gosh...does it ever become visible again?" she asked curiously.  "What does it feel like?"

                  The continued questioning about her childhood made Ariana feel awkward and wishing she hadn't made the comment about cookies at all.  She watched her feet, wondering if she might accidentally step on Mother Goose's pet...

                  "Yes...Transylvania..." she said softly, trying not to let memories surface and ruin her good mood.  Not in front of this woman she wanted to still be her friend.  The very brief thought of lying surfaced, but Ariana was a terrible liar and even if she did make the attempt, she was almost instantly found out or ratted herself out because she felt so guilty about it.

                  "Oh, I...I never really liked beetle juice..." she said, and then very intentionally did not offer what her favorite drink was.  Instead she motioned ahead of them.  "The bakery I mentioned is...a few blocks up.  It's an extension of the Shadow Chateau...have you ever been there?"

                  • Mother Goose
                    Mother Goose

                    "Whenever it feels like being visible really," Briar shrugged. "It's really soft? Like a... uh... uh..." She cast her eye around for something useful. "Mop?" OK, taking inspiration from the windows of the shops they were passing was maybe not the best idea. "You know, the fuzzy stringy kind, aha..."

                    Oh good, a subject break.

                    "Oooh, no, I keep meaning to try it, but I never have anyone to-" Wait, wait, hold the bus. "HA!" Briar shouted in triumph. "You know what beetle juice is! They only sell that in Magic Mart!" she said gleefully. She should know, she'd looked everywhere for it in college. "And if you've been there, you must be-" She whirled to point dramatically at Ariana's face. "A VAMPIRE!" Yes?! Nailed it??!

                    • DarkwingPsycho
                      DarkwingPsycho

                      "Like a mop?"  Maybe it was like one of those sheepdogs the villagers had back home...

                      For a brief moment Ariana felt relieved that they could finally move on to another topic, but THEN.  She reddened and ducked her head.  "N-no...I'm not a vampire..."  Her mother had been, but she wasn't going to just up and offer that information.  Would Briar treat her differently - knowing about her history?  It was something she was always fearful of when the subject came up.

                      • Mother Goose
                        Mother Goose

                        "Drat," Briar said, snapping her fingers, oblivious the churning emotions inside the duckette and to tact in general. "Werewolf? Frankenstein? Duccubus? Ghost?" she pressed. No, none of the above? Not even ghost? But she was so pale!

                        "C'mon, don't hold out on me, Ari-" the goose coaxed. "You can tell me, this is a judgement free zone... Unless..." She lowered her voice to a whisper. "It's Loch Ness monster? Ooo, very clever, throwing off your accent like that..."

                        • DarkwingPsycho
                          DarkwingPsycho

                          That actually elicited a giggle from Ariana and she smiled shyly at the other blonde.  "W-well..."  Maybe since Mother Goose used magic, it might be okay to admit...  "I do know a spell or two..."  Or dozens.

                          Instantly she felt anxious, though, and rushed on, "But nothing bad! Mostly healing things...I don't use them hardly at all anymore, honestly!"

                          • Mother Goose
                            Mother Goose

                            "You're a witch?!" Briar exclaimed gleefully, twirling around with the smaller blonde. How exciting! "Me too!" Yes, that was clearly a big secret. No way anyone could have guessed. Really. "Why didn't you tell me, you big silly-"

                            "Oooh..." she said in realization. "Not out in public yet?" Briar asked sympathetically, lowering her voice. "Normals can be weird about magic, I understand. I keep it quiet for the longest time too..." And it clearly in no way affected her mental health to keep large, important parts of her real self hidden! She was such a healthy member of society, standing there in a frilly costume in broad daylight, with a perfectly normal super-villain career ahead of her.

                            • DarkwingPsycho
                              DarkwingPsycho

                              Ariana gasped in surprise and beamed when Briar twirled with her.  When they stopped, she nodded.  "N-no...I guess I'm not...'public' yet...I don't really...want to use my magic anymore.  I'd rather...be a Normal."  Or do her best to be one, anyway.

                              "...Please don't tell anyone," she pleaded softly.

                              "Briar...when did you move here?  To St. Canard?"

                              • Mother Goose
                                Mother Goose

                                "Oh? How come? You didn't kill anyone, did you?" she laughed, hooking arms with her friend as they walked.

                                "And of course not I won't, that be terribly rude!" the goose promised, crossing her heart. "But um, you should probably let Quivy know, if you wanna get serious with him. Those kind of secrets are relationship-killers."

                                "Hmm? Oh, well, I've been living in the normal world for like... ever. Since the end of high school, basically? Only moved to St Canard a few years ago. There was a really good job opening in the library and I figured, hey, why not go for it..." She smiled ruefully. "What brought you here?"

                                • DarkwingPsycho
                                  DarkwingPsycho

                                  Ariana paled at the thought.  "Oh no!  No, but I...I did...h-hurt someone."  She looked down at her feet but didn't attempt to remove her arm from Briar's.  Instead she reddened again, but didn't elaborate.  It wasn't something she was proud of or wanted to discuss.

                                  Thankfully Mother Goose continued to something else.  She looked at her solemnly.  "Oh, he knows...the first night we met, I...I used a spell to heal him...he got stabbed saving me from some muggers..."  The memory made a different sort of blush rise to her cheeks.

                                  "What made you come out here after...after school?  Which school did you go to?"

                                  • Mother Goose
                                    Mother Goose

                                    Really? Ariana hurting anyone was pretty hard to believe... it was probably a minor accident the poor thing was still beating herself up about. Squished a bug or stepped on a cat... Briar patted her arm comfortingly. Poor little ingenue. She'd have to get more details later, maybe the witch could help her get over it. Wouldn't that be nice project~

                                    "Now that sounds like Quivy," Mother Goose said, rolling her eyes. "Such a hero... and see, magic is good~!" Always look on the bright side. "I keep meaning to learn more healing stuff, maybe you can tutor me sometime!" she continued excitedly.

                                    "Oh, um, Gravesdale High..." Briar mumbled. "It wasn't... super great there." From the look on her face, high school memories were to be avoided. "-And then I went to Spoonerville University, of course, for my library sciences degree! Go Sparrooooows~!" She pantomimed waving a pendent wildly.

                                    "What about you, all magic schools?" she asked as they reached the bakery.

                                    • DarkwingPsycho
                                      DarkwingPsycho

                                      "Oh, I...I suppose..." she consented hesitantly, if only because she knew how dreadfully sick and tired she would feel after such lessons.

                                      At the mention of her school, Ariana looked curious.  "Oh, I've never heard of that!  But...I haven't really heard about any other schools except for Eldritch and...where I went."  It wasn't a happy time for her, either.  "What was Spoonerville like?"  She wasn't sure how a Normal university differed from a monster one, except for snippets from movies she had seen.  It seemed like a wild place where no learning actually happened.

                                      • Mother Goose
                                        Mother Goose

                                        "Yay, it'll be super fun!" the witch smiled. "Oooh, my mom always wanted me to go to Eldritch but I never had the grades," Briar said, recognizing the prodigious name. "Gravesdale was just the local school," she said dismissively. "Where's you go then?"

                                        "Spoonville was nice! Very comfy, good sports team, it's not like the movies with all the crazy parties," Briar laughed. "Well, ok, kinda like the movies during the X-Games, but mostly it's just a regular school."

                                        • DarkwingPsycho
                                          DarkwingPsycho

                                          Ariana hesitated, because it was one of the hardest schools to get into and very exclusive.  And the name often threw people off as to the curriculum.  "Um...The Webminster Academy for the Dark Arts..."

                                          She looked around briefly to see if an invisible something was menacing anyone.  No such luck.  They were coming upon the bakery, the delightful smells already reaching their nostrils.  "What made you choose...library sciences?  The, um...books you like?"

                                          • Mother Goose
                                            Mother Goose

                                            "Woah, Webminster?" Briar whistled. "Your parents must have been very proud of that!' Her little friend must be a serious brain to get in that. Probably loaded as well, that kind of school wasn't cheap... The goose felt pretty shabby in comparison now. For pity's sake, she still used a wand for everything, like a child.

                                            Briar nodded at the question about her degree, ignoring the envy in her belly. "I've always loved reading and stories and fairytales, and the magic in books is so overlooked... so much raw potential!" Imagine, literally escaping through fiction...! They were fools, FOOLS, not to see her- the, she meant the- potential. "No one at home else really agreed with my experiments, so I thought I'd blend in better if I ran away to the normal world..." All her favorite authors were Normans and Normas, clearly the mundane population appreciated strange and unusual choices (in reading material). "If I couldn't do magic right, I could at least do books."

                                            • DarkwingPsycho
                                              DarkwingPsycho

                                              Yet again Ariana reddened, but she didn't say anything about her parents.  It wasn't something she liked discussing...

                                              "But you do magic wonderfully!" Ariana said encouragingly.  "Sometimes it might not work as you expect, but that doesn't mean you're bad at it!  I'd love to read some of those books...if you're willing to let me borrow them.  I've only read a few Normal tales, and they are quite...unique."

                                              Unsurprisingly, like Briar, she was drawn to the fairytales, particularly if they involved a handsome prince rescuing a fair maiden.

                                              "But...why become a criminal?  Surely...there are other ways to use your magic.  Help you be more...understood."

                                              • Mother Goose
                                                Mother Goose

                                                "Oh, go on, you don't mean that," Briar blushed at the compliment. "And of course! Books are meant to be shared. Feel free to pop over and borrow anything you like!" The goose might stamp it first, out of sheer force of habit. "I have a huge selection~"

                                                "I don't want to be understood, I'm not a sad houseplant with a middle-life crisis," Briar scoffed. "I guess... I just want... to be happy..?" she said in slightly questioning tone. She hadn't really examined her motivations after getting a grudge match with a nine-year old and she didn't intend to now. "Ooh, this must be the bakery!"  A delicious distraction. " It smells so good, I'm buying everything!!" Briar said, pulling open the door.

                                                • DarkwingPsycho
                                                  DarkwingPsycho

                                                  Ariana moved inside with Briar, but despite the delectable surroundings, she inquired curiously, "Does crime make you...happy?"  It wasn't to put the goose on the defensive.  She was genuinely trying to understand.

                                                  The display case was full of elaborately themed and decorated goods, and behind said case stood a tall waif of a teen, dressed in all back with too much eyeliner and two safety pins jabbed through his eyebrow.  "Can I help you?" he asked cheerfully, breaking with the stereotype.

                                                  • Mother Goose
                                                    Mother Goose

                                                    "It is a lot of fun," Briar admitted. "Rewarding. And you get to set your own hours, which is nice..." The goose shrugged with a slight smile. "What about your job? Assuming you have one," she giggled. "You like it?"

                                                    "Oooh yeah, you can tell me what's making that delectable aroma," Briar said, mouth watering, eyes roving over the displays. "Is that mice cream filling?"

                                                    • DarkwingPsycho
                                                      DarkwingPsycho

                                                      "Oh yes," Ariana responded, showing no sign of judgment about Briar's prior statements.  "I get to meet new people every day, my coworkers and nice...I like my supervisor..."  At least her bank hadn't been robbed yet while she was working.  Whether that was due to outside prevention or simple luck was anyone's guess.  With a name like the Sitting Duck National Bank, it was hard to believe any criminal wouldn't at least be enticed.

                                                      "I work at a bank...helping people make deposits and withdrawals and things...Normal money is so funny, isn't it?"  Ariana felt a lot better now that she knew she could talk freely with Mother Goose.

                                                      The teen nodded.  "Yeah, fresh this morning!  And we've also got Batwing Mousse with Troll Truffles."

                                                      Ariana's eyes roamed over the treats.  "What sort of cookies does your snark like...?"

                                                    Related blogs

                                                    Goosey, Gooesy, Gosalyn?

                                                    Goosey, Gooesy, Gosalyn?

                                                    In which Mother Goose kidnaps the wrong redhead...
                                                    Sing Crackshells All in a Row

                                                    Sing Crackshells All in a Row

                                                    Ah, the Spring, when a young man's fancy lightly...
                                                    Wicked Witch of the Beats

                                                    Wicked Witch of the Beats

                                                    When Mother Goose sets her heart on stealing...
                                                    The Lying, the Witch, and the Xenophobes

                                                    The Lying, the Witch, and the Xenophobes

                                                    MG's parents drop by unexpectedly.