To keep things interesting (and to give me an excuse to go completely crazy with this story), I decided a while back to integrate the blog chain with my Nulli and the Leprechaun web series. We're now on the fifth installment. And yes, I did play hooky the last couple of months.
While each episode of Nulli and the Leprechaun is self-contained, links to Part 1-4 of the series are below.
#1 What the Leprechaun Said (AWBC March 2013)
#2 Wrong Place, Right Time (AWBC May 2013)
#3 Child of the Devil (AWBC August 2013)
#4 Lions, Tigers and Bears–Oh My! (AWBC October 2013)
Previously, on Nulli and the Leprechaun...
She pointed at the shiny gold collars circling each animal's neck. "I think we need to take those off. [...] I have a feeling these are all trials." She wished she sounded more confident than she felt. "Luc appeared to tempt me–I had the perfect excuse to sleep with an extremely hot devil's child. I didn't. I passed test number 1."
Shawn didn't budge. "Let's pretend for a moment I believe you. What, pray tell, is the point of test number 2?"
She licked her lips. "Courage for me, and trust for you." Once the words passed her lips, she was overwhelmed by a sense of certainty. "Both form the foundation of a good relationship."
Shawn scratched the back of his bright blue ears. “Bollocks. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any weirder… I swear someone is coming up with random ways to torture us and that person has no idea where they’re heading.”
“This better not end up being some twisted version of limbo.” Nulli groused. “I still haven’t forgiven the writers of Lost for that. “
She dropped her gaze to her gloved hands -- paws, if she wanted to be more specific. Orange fur covered her entire body. Her disproportionate head weighed her down like a ton of bricks. With a sinking heart, she twisted her neck around and looked over her shoulder. A pair of white-tipped tails filled her vision. “Gold rings…right. This makes complete sense.”
Shawn’s black nose twitched. “It does?”
She rolled what felt like comically large eyes. Her field of vision seemed to have increased by a significant margin. “I’m guessing you’re not a Sega fan?”
Her spikey companion rolled his shoulders. “I’m an equal-opportunity gamer. All I have to do is snap my fingers for a console to appear.”
“Uh huh.” She lifted a claw and drew a circle in the air. “I have yet to witness this all-powerful magical side of yours. Want to give it another try?”
Shawn pinched his thumb and forefinger together. A flash of light accompanied the sound of sliding fabric. But when her vision cleared, she discovered their predicament hadn’t changed. It was more or less what she had expected.
Her leprechaun, however, seemed to be slow on the uptake. “Bloody hell! This is all your fault.”
Needing an outlet for her frustration, she stomped her red-booted foot over Shawn’s similarly-clad toes. With a yelp, he jumped. “What was that for?”
Nulli prided herself on being a level-headed woman. While she wasn’t a saint, she usually managed to keep her anger in check. But being blamed for something she didn’t do was one of her pet peeves.
She counted off her claws as she spoke. “You magicked me out of a restaurant before I could have dinner. Then you took me to a pink dungeon at the bottom of a pot of gold.” Marching forward, she jabbed her fist into his chest and pushed him back. “Then your creepy cousin Lucifer showed up, and left behind a lion, tiger and bear.” She closed all ten fingers around a handful of beige fur. “Now we’ve been transformed into retro gaming icons, and you have the audacity to say it’s somehow my fault?”
The leprechaun had a panicked look on his cartoonized face. “Umm … Nulli … sweetheart … your tails …”
There were perks to having a built-in helicopter. Having elevated a foot and a half off the ground, they now saw eye-to-eye. She narrowed her lids. “You should run, hedgehog-boy.”
Shawn raised his white paws in a gesture of surrender. “It wouldn’t do me much good in here. Why don’t we put our heads together and figure a way out? I think your ‘trials’ theory might have merit.”
She bared her fangs. “Really? What possible reason could the Devil have to turn us into…this?”
Shawn squinted. “I’ve got a theory.”
“Then start talking.”
He gulped. “A lesson on friendship? It’s one of the cornerstones of marriage and Sonic and Tails were best friends.”
She wrinkled her nose. “They were 16-bit videogame characters whose sole reason for existence was to pick up gold rings.”
He shook his head. “Didn’t you watch the cartoon? They fight evil red-needled hedgehogs together and save the world.”
She took a deep breath. “There’s a Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon?”
Shawn’s head bobbed up and down. “We can watch it together sometime.”
A low growl erupted from her throat. “Let me make one thing very clear. As soon as we get out of this, I never want to see you again.”
“I know for a fact that we will spend eternity together,” he countered with utmost sincerity.
Feeling all strength drain out of her, Nulli unwound her tails and lowered herself to the floor. Dropping her padded bottom to the carpet, she hugged her knees into her chest. Tears misted her vision as Shawn’s blue shadow closed in.
For once, the leprechaun’s voice wasn’t laced with an undercurrent of self-assurance. “Please don’t cry.”
She blinked. The act sent two wet lines down her overly puffy cheeks. “Do you know what I wanted to do tonight?”
“Have a grand adventure and find your one true love?”
She glared at him. “I wanted to have nice dinner. This all happened because I wanted something better to eat than Lean Cuisine. For the sin of gluttony, I’m stuck in a pot of gold with Sonic the Hedgehog.” She looked up at the endless black above. “We’re never going to get out, are we?”
He patted her shoulder. “Don’t be silly. I would have brought you here regardless of your dining choice.”
She resisted the urge to slam her fist into his spikey face.
Perhaps realizing his mistake, Shawn added, “Besides, you’re the badass heroine who just stole gold rings from a lion, tiger, and bear. If anyone can figure out a solution to this…err…slight detour, it’s you.”
She wiped her cheek with the back of her glove. “Sure. That’s why I’m the sidekick and you’re the main character.”
His smile bared two rows of jagged teeth. “I always thought Tails was the cooler character. After all, all Sonic could do was run really fast. Tails can fly.”
Her brows snapped together. “What did you just say?”
“That Tails is the cooler character?”
“No...after that.” She craned her neck back and stood. A delighted grin spread over her face. “I think I just discovered our way out.”
Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 - http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
Ralph Pines - http://ralfast.wordpress.com (link to post)
meowzbark - http://www.lizzylessard.com (link to post)
pyrosama - http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Anarchic Q - http://anarchicq.com/ (link to post)
AndreF - http://lounge1506.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes - http://www.taraquan.com/ (YOU ARE HERE)