Friday, August 9, 2013
Gil admired the change that had taken place all over Talbot’s Peak. Rides, booths and assorted attractions filled the town.
The finishing touches were going on now under foreman Hank’s critical eye, including the assembly of a dirt ring the equine residents in town requested for riderless barrel races and other rodeo skills.
Though the fair was a go and tomorrow they’d kick it off with a ‘please let it be tasteful’ bang, still Gil watched and worried.
“Arnold!” Foreman Hank yelled. “Get your ass over to the G&B kissing booth. They have a holding pen they need setup.”
“Ah, send Andy over there would ya?”
“I told you to go, boy. Fencing is your thing, is it not?”
Obvious trepidation filled the young oxen’s face as he nodded. “Yes, sir.”
“Then get on up there.”
Gil’s nuts climbed up high even as his inner squirrel screamed out a warning that trouble was imminent. He followed the young beast of burden up the street, wondering what could make him so apprehensive about helping Nick out and whether the green and yellow bruises around his eye had anything to do with his current state of worry.
“Oh Lupa.” Ziva moaned. “No way, go on Arnold, get.”
“I can’t.” Oxen boy snorted. “Hank sent me.”
Ziva threw her hands up and growled. “One black eye will mean nothing if Nick finds out.”
“I’m not going to say anything!” Arnold’s voice climbed several pitches making Gil cringe.
This was like watching a horrifying accident. You knew you should look away or do something to help, but you just couldn’t muster up the juice to take action. Nick was closing in on the pair, but neither of them could see him coming.
“Damn straight you won’t or, trust me; you’ll be wishing all you were getting was a black eye.”
“I know, I know, Ziv…ah, Ms. Wilk.” Arnold touched the eye as he spoke. “I still say you’d make a fine tight end in the Legends League, or a blocker.”
“YOU!” Nick roared. His lion imitation spot on if you asked Gil.
“Nick no!” Ziva threw herself on top of her irate man and looked over to the panicked ox/man who was still too young to control his shifts. “Arnold, run!”
Gil watched the nightmare ensue. Nick threw Ziva off, gently, of course, the way he did everything that pertained to Ziva and shot off, in wolf form, after the bellowing oxen. He nipped at the beasts hooves, knocking him into one booth after another.
Java Joes lost the bottom of the J on the fluttering banner and now looked like lava Joes, Miss Elly and Vernon’s Cake and Steak booth had a huge hole in the front and the ladies of the Doomed Love clubs booth, well that was one actually improved by the mess. Their sign went from ‘Snap up you match’ to
‘Sn atch’ a sure winner in Gils mind.
Hank blew past him to tackle Nick mid-leap and two of Arnold’s brothers grabbed the skittish ox by the horns and dragged him down. A crowd gathered around the rodeo ring hooting and hollering, and making bets on the side.
“What the NUTS is going on here?” Gil yelled, hands on hips and stomping one foot.
Ziva limped over to the growling wolf currently underneath the fair foreman. “Nicholas Taggert McMahon, I told you that had been taken care of now shift back and stand down.”
Nick came back to his naked human form and pushed at six-foot-six of laughing horse. “Get off…” came a wispy demand, followed by the gulping of air when Hank moved.
“Are you okay?” Ziva whispered.
“Fine. A black eye?”
“Not enough.” Nick pointed over at the cowering oxen. “Now it’s my turn.”
“ENOUGH!” Gil thundered, as much as squirrel shifters could thunder anyway. “I don’t care what’s going on here. All I want is the mess cleaned up and you…” he pointed at Nick. “And you…” again he pointed at Arnold. “Will be here every day of the fair at prime kiddie ride time with a bucket and mop.”
“What?” “How come?” Nick and Arnold spoke at once.
“Welcome to the Bucket Brigade. Stop by my office later for your official name tags.” Gil smiled for what seemed like the first time today. He couldn’t wait to see their faces when they got a load of the name tags he was dreaming up just for this occasion.
Have a great weekend and enjoy our upcoming Talbot's Peak Fair.