It's dark under the piano. Indigo!
It feels heavy enough to be a Steinway Grand. INDIGO!
I think some of its eighty eight black and white keys are in my mouth.
INDIGO?! Where are you? Are you all right?!
Daylight bursts into view as Abbey lifts the shattered, black-lacquered wooden lid. The charming brunette leans over me in stunned silence. Her upside-down-but-very-pretty face is framed by blue sky as I gaze upwards through the wreckage; it’s a nice look on her.
Hey babe, I mumble with a smile, spitting piano keys feebly. I think there’s piano wire flossing between my front teeth.
Oh, thank Heavens you’re okay! She looks around the deserted street, and briefly up at the the office building behind us. Is there a balcony ten floors up? What on earth happened?!
Hard to say, I cough, I was headed into town to, um, buy some supplies...
Abbey huffs, interrupting. Another pizza? There's a healthy dollop of accusation; she knows I’m dieting.
I don’t recall, I fib, but on the way I was interrupted by, well... by a falling piano. This one. I give her a cheery grin; I don’t want her to worry too much. Or press me on the subject of pizza. But you’re here to help, which is nice. How come you’re downtown?
She gives me a look, probably in response to my changing the subject. Well, luckily we were headed here to meet King. Really? I’ve not seen our resident lion for a few days. Yavin is with me. The whole gang was supposed to meet here. The concerned black-and-white snout of the Chief Engineer badger peeps into view; he’s trying not to climb on the piano. He taps the brim of his cap with his smoking pipe in greeting.
Hey Yavin, nice to see you, I slur, and turn my gaze back to my neighbour. So, why were you meeting King?
Because we were invited, old boy! booms a new voice. A shadow crosses my face as Max Tunguska - Lunatic-In-Extraordinary to the House Of Windsor – strolls into view. He’s come from the opposite direction and is the right way up, at least. The arch-genius wears a fresh crewcut, and a smirk that would startle a police horse. His tall, athletic figure is looking rather trim today; good grief, the piano must have hit me harder than I realised. Max waves a hand affably, Its okay, Roth, don’t get up.
I suspect this might tell us something! says an American voice. I have a vague impression of an envelope fluttering at the bottom my vision to the left of Max. It can only be the diminutive Eolist Petite. There’s a few seconds of clicks and clanks as she noisily erects her personal stepladders, and then Michigan’s finest edges into view. Just. The tiny redhead waves the envelope more clearly, This note was attached to the piano!
Well, the gang really is all here. Or are they? Is anyone missing?
With a rustle of paper and a louder slurping of coffee, Eolist finesses the letter open with one hand and hands it to Max. There’s a moment’s silence before he reads:
Indigo, congratulations on your 300th blog entry. I look forward to your next entry with keen interest! Regards, King. P.S. Duck!
Abbey smiles, It's so like him to remember! She's very fond of the old rogue. So am I, if I'm honest. The lion has class. If a questionable sense of surprises.
That handsome alpha feline is something, isn’t he? offers Eolist with obvious admiration. There’s a general rumble of agreement.
They seem to have forgotten me. I clear my throat.
Is it really three hundred entries? Wow, Max issues a whistle, oblivious to my plight, That's a lot.
No kidding, adds Eolist. Though of course, that 30 Days Of Roth series made for some fast re-runs that would have pushed that number up.
The pair nod and hmmm. Max looks sideways at her.
It's lucky we’re here to provide a bit of extra colour and necessary exposition; he waves my way, Roth's not that talkative right now.
The Dinky Dynamo seems to consider this, but then looks down as brief series of creaks heralds the arrival of Yavin at the top of the stepladders. They stand together; I’d forgotten how similar in height they are. Hey, Yavin. Ms. Petite pops a kiss on his nose; the badger's eyes wrinkle and he cheeses happily as he puffs on his pipe.
I cough a little louder. Max glances my way, and looks at me guiltily. Right, he says definitely, we should get the piano off Roth right away. Finally! Some action. My friend sighs, If only Bear were here.
Of course, it’s Bear that’s missing. The seven-foot black bear would have this off me in a trice, and would probably throw in some words of wisdom. He never fails to illuminate me.
I can see him in the distance. He’s heading this way. I can hear a rich growling baritone giving a familiar Stevie Wonder tune a welcome airing.
He won’t get any dialogue, whispers Max, we’ve run out of the usual colours.
I scream in frustration as much as pain. I love these people, but they’re so damned odd all the time. And I laugh, despite myself.
I guess I’m always in good company.
Well, I shan't forget this day in a hurry, I grumble, to myself as much as anyone else. There's a faint scent of burning martyr.
Oh Indy, purrs Abbey, you know how Kingy is; he adores you secretly. He knows you can handle yourself in a scrape.
Or a squash, I mutter sourly as she continues.
And besides, you love a good joke! I’m struggling to see the funny side, but I’m suddenly jolted back to reality as the piano starts to rock. I curse and struggle to look up. Ah. The young badgers Hoth, Sollust and their sister Dantoo have appeared, and are bouncing on the exposed piano strings. It’s musically painful.
I turn back to Abbey. You realise OW I was OW nearly killed, right?
Abbey leans close and gently kisses me on the forehead.
Nearly is the same as Not, honey. She sounds grateful, which is something.
I cough. I'll let my ribs know, thank you.
She giggles and touches her nose. It's quite endearing.
I forget my name.
Stay put. We'll have you out in time for entry 301.
This blog entry is dedicated to everyone who reads this.
This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2012