Chapter Eleven Part One: Now That's Funny
Worn out from last night's heart-to-heart with Azrealle and the others, David slept in the next morning. Even though he had no hangover, having process all of that alcohol had left him dehydrated to the point that he couldn't do so much as take his morning piss, causing him to run for the kitchen and quickly chug a gallon of purified spring water. When finished wetting his whistle, David went back to his room to change out of his Native American style pants and into his day clothes. Arriving at his room, he realized that the door was closed; he could have sworn he left it open when he hurried out to the kitchen so quickly.
"Hello," said David, as he opened the door, "I swear, if one of you guys jump out and scare the crap out of me I'll
" Before he could get his entire threat out he saw something on his bed, which had been made. He was surprised and confused, to say the least, when he saw it was Gahege's breastplate that he threw into the spring after they left the tribe. Not only that, but it was in perfect condition. Although it still retained its ancient beauty, all the flaws that David noticed before were gone without any trace that anything was wrong with it to begin with.
Trying to reason out who left it, David thought about what he could remember when he so angrily got in Launa's motorcycle. All he could remember is that they got going as fast as they could, that they were all in the air after his outburst against Gahege's aspiration and refusal to say answer his pleas, that he and Sabrina were riding in opposite side cars on Launa's crotch rocket with Azrealle
not flying next to them. It then hit him that she hadn't appeared next to him until moments after take off, which meant that only one of them could have possibly gotten a hold of Gahege's breastplate without him noticing. Quickly, David put it around his neck as he grabbed something out of his belongings and exited his bedroom without even bothering to put a shirt on.
"Azzy," David was standing outside Azrealle's bedroom, "Azzy, you in there?"
"Come in, David." Azzy was, surprisingly enough, reading one of her books again. "Is there something you need?" David answered with a gesture, pointing out the breastplate around his neck. "Yeah, I pulled it out of the spring
didn't seem like something that you'd truly want to throw away."
"Indeed. Thank you." Azzy gave him a slight nod with a warm smile. "But may I ask exactly what you did to it? It doesn't quite look the same as I remember."
"Oh that, I just more or less reduced it's age in certain areas that would've proved as a weak point. I also enchanted it to be harder than diamond, but sturdier than Japanese steel. So that your father can protect you even more." Azrealle then noticed that David had something in his hand. "What's that you got there?"
"This." David held up the journal that Azrealle gave him for his birthday; the one that automatically illustrated his entries. "I've been wanting to actually show you what my life was like before I met you guys: how I looked, what others were like in my life, when I first met Launa all those years ago, and other things to. It just seemed like now would be a good time, as long as that's okay with you."
"Of course. I would love to take a glimpse at it." Azrealle motioned for David to come sit next to her at the large couch against one of the walls. Eagerly accepting her invitation, he plopped himself close against her and opened his journal as Azrealle warmly and lovingly place her arm around his back with her hand on his shoulder opposite of her. "I'd also really enjoy seeing what you looked like as a boy."
David opened up his journal to the first page, showing his first memory of him when he was only three years of age in the library with Ms. Proulx encouraging him to have fun and play outside with the other orphans.
"You were a cute little boy, weren't you?" Azrealle gave David a small squeeze with her harm around his shoulders. As usual, he couldn't help but blush a bit whenever someone compliments him on how he looks.
He made sure to go quickly through most of the parts that would be less than pleasant, such as his physical conflicts with Camille, Ike, and Addison. The illustrations of when David and Launa crossed paths back in Churchill, Manitoba, along with the others, were much more vivid than Azrealle thought they would be, giving her a sense of pride that she truly outdid herself in her gift to David. Unable to contain herself, Azrealle couldn't help but laugh when she saw how Launa's roaring fart blew a toupee off the head of an old geezer and into the face of a waiter struggling to balance a tray filled with bowls of soup, causing him to dump it all on who could be considered the old man's date.
Moving on, David tried to skip the entry depicting when he nearly blew Camille's brains out, but when Azrealle saw the illustration she asked to get a better look. Despite the fact she knew it wasn't the real David, the image was most unpleasant for her to see him, one she has come to consider a brother, holding a gun in another's mouth with a dark smile. Seeing the look on Azrealle's face, David skipped to the first time he met Wyanet back at his cabin; he showed her everything he had entered into his journal, everything from his earliest memory to the time he left to find Launa. When he closed it, Azrealle saw a look of sadness on his David's face.
"You two really loved each other, didn't you?" Azrealle asked. "You and Wyanet." David opened the book again to their romantic day down by the spring, the day before he became a werewolf. She could see a few tears drip onto the pages.
"We do really love each other." David whipped away his tears. "I know I'll eventually move on, but I just don't have a clue how I will."
"Oh David, you are without a doubt one of the most strongly spirited persons I have ever been so blessed to have as a part of my life. From what I've seen of you so far, you've always pulled through and I know you always will, one way or another."
"Thanks, Azzy. But like last night, I find myself doing nothing more than wanting to believe that."
"Then believe it. I know that's much easier said than done, but if you at least want to, and continue to desire it, then you will one day. You just need to give it a bit of time."
"I guess." David took a long pause. "Azzy, there's something I've been wanting to ask you since last night."
"How did you deal with getting trapped in an unfamiliar world, away from those you grew up with and around? I ask because that's how I'm feeling
in an unfamiliar world away from my family and those who raised me."
"Well," Azrealle took a while to gather her thoughts and put them in order to come up with an honest, but comforting answer for David, "it wasn't easy of course. However, Launa and Sabrina were a big help. As you can see I've managed to find happiness and hope once again." Those were certainly two things that David knew he would have the most trouble obtaining after what has happened over the past couple of days. "On another note, despite that similarity you pointed out in our situations, there is also a very notable difference: you have an excuse of what happened to you."
"An excuse?" David was confused. "I'm not sure I understand."
"An excuse for why you left. You had fate on your side; no matter how unappealing the concept may seem to some, it still testifies to the idea that what has happened to you happened for a reason. Not by happenstance like it did for me, not by accident." Azrealle's voice seemed to gain a bit of speed as if she were building up to a rant.
"All I wanted was to no longer feel like a "joke" in front of my family, and look where it got me. It didn't matter how much effort and hard work I put forward in my project demonstration; I still screwed up and got stuck in this unfamiliar world, as you put it earlier. My family is likely mad at me for causing such a
"Azzy," David stopped Azrealle right where she was and took a firm hold of her hands, "you could never be a joke of any kind. I know I don't actually know your family, but if they're anything at all like you then they most certainly miss you just as much as you miss them and will be so very happy when you see them again; I know I would be.
"And as far as what caused you to get stuck here for the time being, maybe there's a bit of fate in that too. Lord knows that I wouldn't have been able to pull myself together last night if it weren't for you. You also had a great part to play for my success in learning to control my inner beast, and of course we can't forget the major role you had to play in the battle against those Wendigos. Also, maybe you were meant to save me from myself, in a small sense. However, even if what happened was completely on accident and by chance, it would still turn out to be a unique and wonderful blessing
for the both of us."
Azrealle couldn't help but shed a few tears at David's touching words of honesty and sympathy. Thanking him, she wrapped both of her arms around him and placed her head over his as she lovingly brought him into her warm bosom and enclosed her beautiful and large wings around the both of them.
"Hey guys," called Sabrina from outside the bedroom door, "Launa and I are gonna go sunbathing on the deck. Why don't you two come on and join us?"
"Sure thing, Sabrina," answered David, "we'll meet you out there in just a quick sec." Azrealle let go of David and brushed herself off while David did the same. "Oh, Azzy, before I forget I'd like to ask one more thing of you." He opened up the first page of his journal, showing that it had an elaborate title: Dark Silver. Next, he turned to the blank first blank page after his latest entry. "Here's the thing, I've more or less come to consider my journal as a story, one that'll be told in the future. However, I'm really not that good at making titles. Do you think you could help me come up with one, please?"
"Hmm," Azrealle scratched under her beak, giving it some thought, soon stopping to show she had an idea, "how about Double-Edged Legends. Does that sound right to you?"
"It most certainly does." David gave her one more, quick hug. "Well, how's about we go and join Launa and Sabrina." The both of them prepared and got their swimsuits. Being as modest as she was, Azrealle had a one-piece swimsuit, while David just kept his Tokalan pants and vest. He didn't want to wear his speedo swimsuit unless there would be water up to his waist. It wasn't until David walked to and onto the deck did he realize just how large Launa's yacht was and how all the doorframes, walkways and furniture were made fit for a ten-foot tall feline. Even Sabrina was able to fit into everything, though just barely, which likely meant that David wouldn't fit in his sixteen-foot were form anywhere else other than outside. Regardless, he was almost enjoying himself, sitting in the sun with his three dearest friends. It honestly surprised him that he couldn't consider himself happy, though he knew it was something he should have very much expected.
"Hey David," said Sabrina, as she reached into the cooler, "would you like something to drink." She held up a beer bottle, making David nearly throw up in his mouth; he could still taste all of that alcohol from last night.
"Thanks for the offer," he said, "but I think I'll just have a lemonade." Grabbing a towel, David laid down on the deck next to Launa while Sabrina and Azrealle were lounging back in their chairs. It wasn't long before the two of them were relaxed to the point that they feel asleep in the soothing warmth of the sun.
"Hey Launa," David made sure that the other's weren't awake to hear in on their conversation, "can I ask you something?" Although his earlier conversation with Azrealle helped out a fair amount, it most certainly wasn't enough for him.
"Of course you can," Launa reassuringly smiled at him as she turned on her side to face him, "ask me anything you want."
"Well, I would've asked Azzy about this earlier, but I don't think she understands what I'm about to mention as well as you would." David took a deep breath and slowly let it out. "I wanted to know what it was like for you when you became a goddess? How do you deal with the downsides of being an immortal?"
"That," Launa wondered when David would bring this up, "that's a very good question." She took a short pause to think of a good answer. "Well, becoming a goddess was something I had to earn when dealing with other tricksters and legends from around the world. Although you became a god under different circumstances, you earned it just as much as I did."
"Earned? I didn't earn anything. It was just given to me because my ancestors thought that I was the best choice."
"And were they wrong? It took your whole life leading up to only recently for you to be chosen to carry this heavy burden. For the reason that no one else can do it; you said so yourself.
"Now for as far as being an immortal goes, I've gotten used to it through the many years I've been one. However, I still feel the downsides that you referred to, watching those I love and care about grow old and die, not excluding my parents who lived their lives without their daughter."
"What about all that power?"
"I'll admit it wasn't easy to keep under control and not let it get to my head," Launa looked down at her hands and muscular arms, "but I had great teachers and valuable experiences to help me out."
good. But I can't help only feel scared of being a god. Just saying the fact out loud makes me feel uneasy, very uneasy. I really mean it, Launa. I'm so very scared of myself. I don't even know what my power is, other than growing to a great size and all that comes with it."
"It's okay to fear your own abilities, David. Personally, I believe it's a good thing for you to be afraid of what you're capable of; it shows that you'll be extremely cautious and not abuse your power. However, I don't think you have any reason to worry. I promise I'll do what I can to help you learn all you can, if that helps you feel any better."
but before we finish our little heart-to-heart here. How long was it before you could consider yourself happy again after Coyote betrayed you like Megedagik said?"
"A long time to be honest. It was nearly two hundred years until I met Rolo
the true love of my life. He reminds me of what it means to be human among other things. Also, it took me a good while to get over what that bastard did to me. Despite my age, after all, I'm still just a twenty-three year old girl, but don't you dare tell anyone, unless you would desire to suffer my wrath once again."
"Hehe," David hadn't laughed in what seemed like ages to him, "in that case I'm older than you, having become what I am at the age of twenty-five." The two of them shared a good laugh, after which David turned back to his serious demeanor. "So, you promise you'll do what you can, just like you did when I needed help with what I asked of you back in Amsterdam?"
"I swear. I swear I'll always be there for you throughout the ages that we survive together."
I swear, too." Taking in this warm moment, the two of them leaned in and lovingly gave one another a hug and a quick kiss, more or less sealing the deal. As expected, such a gesture left David with his cheeks turning a light shade of pink, to which Launa responded by playfully tussling his long wavy hair.
For the rest of the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to Amsterdam, David continued to write in his journal, telling all that happened up to their arrival back home. It felt strange now that he was calling Launa's apartment his home instead of the open wilderness of northern Quebec, that the guest room had become his actual room. He even had his own membership at the gym now, by which time they had been back for a few weeks and David still hadn't smiled while feeling any joy. David knew he was progressing, but every step forward seemed to take longer than the one before; the closer he got to happiness the more it felt like he would never get there.
However, it didn't mean that he was going to give up any time soon. He and Launa were back to pulling pranks and tricks on one another from time to time, though they were very minor and not exceeding the level of a whoopee cushion. Though eventually it was starting to become a bit repetitive and boring
until he found out that Launa was going to have a live interview on the news over the phone. Not much time passed after he learned of Launa's interview for him to come up with plan. Despite the fact that it was absolutely perfect, David didn't have the means to do the job. So the day before her interview went to Sabrina for a bit of help.
"Hey Sabrina, do you think you'd like to help me out in something a bit?" David had a big grin on his face; just the thought of what he was going to do to Launa made him chuckle on the inside a bit.
"Are you gonna pull another one of your amateur pranks on Launa again?" Sabrina had grown tired of the pranks that he and Launa were exchanging as well. "Laxatives and having someone shove shaving cream into their face while they sleep is only funny for a while."
"This is different, it involves Launa's interview tomorrow
which will air all around the city, among other places." Sabrina didn't have to say anything for him to know she was now interested. "There's something that I need, but I can't get my hands on without using the card that Launa gave me
I need someone who has an account she isn't monitoring."
"You need me to buy something for you?"
"Actually, I need things." He handed her a list of the equipment that would be a part of his diabolical scheme. As Sabrina's eyes grazed over the small piece of paper, a smile slowly grew on her face.
"David, you are a genius
but how are you gonna make it work without her noticing until we get the results we need?" Again he handed her another piece of paper, and again she commented on the shear genius of the prank he had planned out. "You call the cab and I'll grab my things." It took all day or them to get everything they needed. One of the things they carried in were a bunch of gas canisters, all of which had a sticker on the side with the letters "He".
Holding a bunch of boxes on her way out of one of her favorite bakeries, Launa had a big smile on her face. Interviews were certainly one of the many things she enjoyed when it came to being a celebrity, even if it was under the guise of a large muscular human by the name of Jennifer Aslan, the leader of the Dark Kat Racing Company. What made it even better is that it would be on national TV and over the phone, meaning that people would be listening to her words instead of looking at her figure; that and she wouldn't end up causing the news anchor, who she found out was very allergic to cats, to sneeze his brains out.
Returning to her apartment, she got everything she needed ready to go and started to pace back and forward next to the phone, waiting for it to ring. However, she wasn't the only one who was dying of anticipation. Sabrina and David were at a pub watching the news on the screen above the bar while Azrealle was listening to the news on her Walkman as she took a nice long jog around the track at the gym. The majority of the city was tuned in to the news channel to listen to their local idol and celebrity, but only two of them knew what was going to happen.
Soon, Launa's phone rang. Answering it before it could finish the first ring, she put it on speaker and sat down in her lounge next to the phone
and on the pressure sensor under the cushion attached to the five canisters beneath her Lay-Z-Boy, causing the gas within to be released.
and joining us here today for special interview over her phone in her apartment is none other than the great and amazing Jennifer Aslan, leader of the DKRC, or Dark Kat Racing Company." The news channel showed a picture of Launa's human guise in a pose showing off her amazing muscle structure. "Thank you for taking the time to be with us, Ms. Aslan."
"My pleasure, Dune," Launa couldn't help but feel even a little more anxious now that she was finally on the air, "and please, call me Jennifer."
"Alright, Jennifer. First off I'd like to ask you about what projects DKCR has planned. Is there anything you can tell us to
make us all even more eager to see what you have in store for your wide audience."
"Well, the company I represent and I will soon be working on our next project, which will be called "Trial By Fire" and show during our next continental for the DKRC." Suddenly, Launa's voice began to get more and more high-pitched. Trying to get her voice back to normal, she cleared her throat and moved on with her answer. "As for what else I can tell you about it, my audience will just have to use their imagination and
" By now Launa sounded like a little chipmunk with a Dutch accent. Back at the bar David and Sabrina were trying so hard not to start laughing, and Azrealle had to stopped jogging to get a better hear.
"Uhh, Jennifer," Dune had a tone of concern in his voice, "I think that there might be something wrong with our connection."
"No," Launa was starting to feel an adrenaline rush from the embarrassment, "nothing's wrong
what else was it you'd like to ask me."
"Okay," Dune was starting to chuckle himself a bit, "there's a rumor about you going on a tour in the US of A and a new member that will be on your team. Can you confirm any of this, or is it all just a rumor?"
"Truth be told, we are going to be going to the US in the near future and will be fully worked out before the fall." Now everyone who was listening in and watching the news were on the floor rolling in laughter; even Azrealle had to pull out her ear buds so she could breath again. "As for our new member, she may be good and more than worthy to ride with us, but she's no match for a veteran muscle like me." Finally, Dune burst out laughing at hearing Launa tell how strong she is with a voice that would make a munchkin jealous. When he finally gathered himself, the anchor moved on with the interview.
"Indeed, but before we end this
lovely discussion we have a caller on the line who would like to ask you a question of their own. Go ahead caller, you're on the air."
"Yes," it was David at the bar with everyone gathered around him and Sabrina with her head right next to his to hear the phone; however, he was speaking in a lower voice so that Launa wouldn't know it was him, "Jennifer, I know this question is a bit different from all other questions you've been asked, but someone told me you have quite the singing voice. Do you think you could sing something?"
what?" Of all the requests in the world it had to be this one.
"Oh Jennifer," said Dune, "I also would love to hear you sing. Caller, what song would you like for her to sing?"
"I was hoping that she could sing Bali Ha'i, it's one of my favorite songs." Sabrina gave David a high five at his requested song.
"O-okay." Normally this would have been a dead giveaway that David was the caller, but Launa was unable to think clearly the more and more she breathed in all that helium. As she began to sing, everyone who was watching the news was now on the floor laughing even harder than they had before. Not excluding Dune, who was on the verge of falling out of his chair, almost hitting his head on the desk. Granted Launa's singing was flawless and well toned, but that voice of hers was just too damn funny for anyone to realize it. Everything was going according to David and Sabrina's plan.
"David," Sabrina had tears running down her cheeks in her state of complete hysteria, "you
I haven't laughed this hard in ages."
" Launa overheard Sabrina over the phone, "David, Sabrina is that you?"
"What the hell Sabrina," David put his hand over the speaker, but didn't realize he failed to cover it completely, "if she catches on then I'm blaming the whole thing on you."
"ME!? This was all your idea. What happened to all of that I'm-gonna- take-responsibility crap on the boat ride home?"
"You could've said 'no'. Nobody said you had to help me out." While the two were arguing Launa could hear a hissing noise under her chair and looked down to see a rubber hose coming out from underneath the leather flaps.
"DAVID, I FOUND THE NOZZLE!!! I'M GOING TO KILL YOU
YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW FU
" before Launa could finish that last syllable she passed out from the lack of oxygen and crashed on the floor, knocking the phone off her coffee table, which broke on the nice wooden floor, ending her connection to the news studio."
"Well," said Dune as he recovered and got back into his chair, "that was most certainly an
interesting interview. And David, whoever you are, I suggest you leave town and change your name as soon as possible. Anyways, this is Dune, and I'm going back to my home to watch this interview on my large screen plasma TV over and over until I die of laughter. Have a wonderful rest of the day." The channel then moved to commercial. Everyone at the bar was now looking at David and Sabrina as if they were going to be on tomorrow's news under the headlines "Pranksters Gone Missing".
Azrealle was the first to arrive at the apartment to see Launa passed out on the floor; she quickly turned off the helium tanks and opened all of the windows before she too fell victim to the gas as well. "Launa, wake up," she grabbed her friend's shoulders and shook her until she opened her eyes, "oh thank heaven. You alright?"
"Ugh," exclaimed Launa, "what happened?" It didn't take her long to remember when she saw the broken phone. Immediately she got up to go find David and kick his ass back to Canada and Sabrina's back to Alaska, but fell back down just as quickly as she stood up.
"Easy there Launa, let your brain heal from all that lack of oxygen." Luckily, brain damage was certainly something that David and Sabrina had taken into account, knowing that Launa would easily be able to heal from that.
"They are so dead. Deader than a stuffed turkey on thanksgiving." A look of suspicion developed on Launa's face as she narrowed her eye at Azrealle. "You wouldn't happen to have anything to do with this, would you?"
"No, Launa, I swear," Azrealle held up her hands, claiming innocence, "I didn't even know David, let alone Sabrina, had anything planned."
"But," Launa sat up back up holding her head, "did you laugh?"
I was on the floor." Azrealle was never any good at lying. "But I didn't want to, I tried so hard to control myself by ripping out my head phones, but the TV screens at the gym were all changed to the news channel. I asked them to turn them off, but through my laughter they thought I asked them to turn them up." Launa calmed down a bit, but was still furious.
"I'm gonna go rest for a while. I'll get back at those two soon enough."
"Come on, David," said Sabrina, "are you really that chicken. It's not like she's gonna boot you out the door."
"Sabrina, it's not a matter of whether or not she'll let us in, rather what she'll do when she gets her hands on us. There's no telling what she'll do if we go back to the apartment tonight." David and Sabrina rented out a luxury hotel room later that day. "You are more than free to get a major ass kicking, or some kind of curse that makes you kick your own ass. I, on the other hand, intend to go to bed without Launa's wrath inflicted on me just yet."
"Whatever," Sabrina didn't exactly want to spend a night in a place not fit for her were form, preferring to be able to walk around as a fourteen foot hulking beast without creating a hole in the ceiling, "but I still wish I had some of my salt-cured ham to eat right now."
"And I wish I could have some Kobe beef tonight, but I doubt I'd be able to get within fifty feet of her stash and not spend the rest of the day healing from a beating." David stripped down to his boxer briefs and his breastplate, climbing into one of the twin beds.
"Wuss," mumbled Sabrina, as she too climbed into bed.
"I heard that, ass hat."
"Oh, ouch, I'm hurt, David. Gonna need a while to recover from that blow to the gut, ya douche."
"Whatever." David grunted as he shifted so that he'd face away from her, as did she. Shortly after he turned back around and chuckled. "But that was still one hell of a funny prank."
"Now I can most certainly agree with you on that." Sabrina also turned under the sheets to face David. "Can't remember last time I laughed so hard."
and Sabrina, thanks for helping me out. Couldn't have done it without you." David showed a half smile on his face.
"No problem, David. Glad to help anytime." She held up one of her hands to give him an air five, which he eagerly returned.
Back at the apartment Launa was rummaging through the room that she used to store her magical tools, weapons, enchanted chemicals, etc. "Ah ha," Launa reached behind a large cabinet and pulled out an elaborate and tall mirror, "I've been wondering where I put this." She found a place in her bedroom and set it up against a wall. Turning off all of the lights, a very faint light came from the mirror as Launa was preparing to use it. It had been so long since she had used it, for which she likely had Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves to thank; having felt that the flair had somewhat gone from such a rare item after she heard the words "mirror, mirror on the wall
" However, she couldn't care less about such things after what had happened earlier that day.
"Reveal the reflections of the light and darkness of David and Sabrina." Slowly, Launa's reflection began to fade and show what seemed like a distorted image of a large hotel; as if it were the slight mirror image of what one would see if looking at a window across the street. Looking for what Launa desired the mirror moved from image to image, each closer to her targets' location than the last until she could see two occupied twin beds. Launa then squeezed through the frame of the mirror and into the hotel room without making a sound. Kneeling down between the two beds, she placed a hand over Sabrina and David's heads. A strange and luminous mist emitted from out of their mouths and into her arms, Sabrina's being a light shade of gray and David's a dark silver. The two aspirations moved up and down her arms moved to opposite sides and slowly went back into their mouths.
Getting up with a devious smile, Launa walked back through the mirror on the back of the bathroom door, but not before looking back at David. Believing what she had done will serve to benefit both her desire to get back at him, and put a truly genuine smile on his face and give him the hope he so desperately needed.
Back in her apartment, Launa put the mirror away and climbed into bed, anxious to see how the next day would turn out.