Checking on the Monster

Nym came over.  She an’ Wren were gonna work on making costumes for the Littles, somethin’ simple just so they could have fun during Halloween an’ pretend they were someone different.  She brought over the computer for ideas. When they were done checking pictures an stuff, I snagged it.  Remember how Vale set up a vid to keep an eye on the monster once it was caged?  I hadn’t had a chance to check on it. I kinda felt bad, worried that maybe it’d died or somethin’, especially if the witch hadn’t gone to take care of it.  Not too bad, though.  I mean, it was terrorizing us an everything.

I went to the website where the video streamed and entered a login and passcode.  It was like top secret stuff, really cool.  When the stream loaded, all I saw was a cage.  An empty cage.  The lid was open.


I took a deep breath.  That didn’t mean nothin’.  Probably the witch’d come and taken care of the monster and banished it to whatever realm it came from.  But I hadda be sure. I poked around on the website til I found copies of the older streams.  I rewound ’em to the beginning and watched.

It all started ok.  There was the monster, caged an contained and not hurting nobody.

It was there for a long time, days an’ nights an’ days an’ nights.  Long enough so I started to fast forward a bit through the streams, just so I wouldn’t be sittin’ there all night, waiting for somethin’ to happen.  Long enough so I really started to feel sorry for it. I mean, monsters gotta eat too, right?  An’ I’d put it there. But I hadn’t checked to make sure the witch took care of what she promised or nothin’.  Maybe the monster died an’ someone found it an’ they went ahead and dragged its dead body outta the cage an’…

But the witch did finally show up in the vids one night, so I slowed it back down and watched some more.  There wasn’t any sound, so I couldn’t hear what she was sayin’, but she approached the cage and watched the monster for a bit.  Her mouth was movin’, so I think she was maybe talking to it some?


The vids weren’t real good.  They were all grainy an’ dark an’ stuff.  But then I saw the witch raise her hands, like she was casting a spell.  An’ sure, I’d never seen her cast a spell before, but why else would a witch raise up her hands an’ look like she was sayin’ stuff?


Finally, I thought, she was sending it back!  Only then there was like this sudden flash of light, an’ I could see the witch clear as day on the vid, an’ she was starin’ straight at the camera like she knew we was gonna be checkin’ on it an’ watchin’ what she was doing.  I mean, really creepy-like!


It gave me shivers, straight down my spine.  I was kinda sorry that I’d taken the computer away an’ checked on the vid feeds on my own.  I didn’t wanna be the only one cursed by a spell through a vid feed, an’ I didn’t know how long it’d take Wren to find my body.  Maybe it’d be like a virus or somethin’.  Or maybe it’d be more permanent, like bein’ turned to stone or killed or…  I almost snapped the computer shut, but I stopped myself.  I was brave.  Someone would fix me.  I kept watching.

Then I leaned in close, cuz I wasn’t sure I was seeing right.  Was the cage lid really…lifting?


I rubbed my eyes.  The witch had told me she would send the monster back to its realm.  She promised.  Didn’t she?  Why wasn’t the monster disappearing in a cloud of whatever monsters disappear in when they go back to their home realms?  No. It wasn’t going back. It was climbing out of the cage. The witch was helping it to escape.

I had a teeny tiny bit of hope that maybe–maybe–this was all parta how the witch was gonna banish it.  But I watched her walk away with the monster.  An’ then all I saw was an empty cage in the clearing.  An’ I knew for sure that she hadn’t made it go away.  The monster was loose somewhere.



Oh my gumdrops.  I’ve gotta go talk to that witch.




Halloween is near!

I’m super excited!  Halloween is near!  Wren said we could finally decorate since we’d done the hard work to clean the house up.  Yay.  An’ double yay!    We don’t have much for decorating, but it’s enough to make our place feel halloweenier.  I like it.

We have a couple flat things: a cat and a skull.  Wren put the cat out against the wall.  I put the skull in the middle of the bench (we never sit all the way back anyway.  If we did, our feet would just dangle around the air like a little kid.  An’ maybe they should, but it’s kinda tough havin’ a bench remind you you’re a little kid when you’re already a little kid.)

When Meikiko saw the next decoration, she started to hop around, giggling and jabbering.  It was adorable!  So we let her take control and put it where she wanted.  She shoved it into a corner, plopped a skeleton on top, and tucked herself inside.

It made me wish I was a little again so I could fit inside too.  I guess that’s maybe why Meikiko likes it so much: she fits into it best, so it’s her own little hidey place.  Course, it’s kinda creepy, but it makes her happy.

An’ that’s about it for now.  We don’t have much, I guess, but it’s fun.  I’m gonna go out an look for more stuff soon, maybe a pumpkin or some gravestones or a black cat.  Somethin’ spooky.  Ooh…bones!  An’ cobwebs.  An’ … scary stuff.

After we got things set up, Wren an’ Vega an’ me played a silly fun game of eyeball-toss.

I love Halloween!  I’m gonna carve a pumpkin, an hand out candy, an maybe make a costume, an for a whole night nobody’s gonna make fun of me if I pretend I’m someone else!


Cleaning House

Wren finally put her foot down this morning.  We have to clean, she said. This place is too dirty.  There are footprints in the dust and dust bunnies in the corners.

Hmm.  She kinda had a point.

So we broke out the brooms and the mops, the feather dusters and the vacuum.  And we went to work.  Hazel lost and had to use the vacuum on the rugs in the bedroom.  None of us like the vacuum.  Poor Hazel.


Wren ran around with the feather duster, trying to dust things.  It made sense, cuz she’s the tallest, but she had some trouble reaching really high spots too.  She got so mad at one point, I thought she was gonna smash things with the feather duster!  But then she took a deep breath and tried again.

Juniper and Meikiko were sweeping, which left me running around with the dustpan.  Juniper wasn’t very good with her job, though.  I think she didn’t like sweeping too much.  Or maybe she’d never seen a broom before?  Dunno.  But Meikiko was good with it, and she did a funny little dance-thing that had us all laughing.  It’s good to laugh when you’re stuck trying to clean.

But I got tired of dustpans.  They’re boring, even when they’re pink.  So I started going through our extra papers and tossing out what we didn’t need to keep (like the half-done sketches or the lists of spelling words).  Paper, paper, paper.  Then I had a great idea:  we had a basket, and paper could be turned into balls if you crunch it up just so…  hey presto! instant game!  Loads more fun than sweeping!


That didn’t last too long, though.  Wren kinda told me I outta stop foolin’ around and pick up my mess and be useful.  So…yeah.  I stopped shootin’ hoops.  And put the rest of the pages back in the can, all nice and proper.


Then, cuz she didn’t want me gettin’ in more trouble, or maybe cuz I’d already been trouble, she told me to do the worst thing ever: sort the socks.  Ugh.  And there was no running away from it this time, cuz Hazel was still working in the bedroom too.  Double ugh.  I hate sorting socks.  I trudged off to the bedroom and dumped the basket on the bed and sat in the middle of the big sock pile.

I was good for a bit. I matched up sock one to sock two. I looked for socks that had friends.  I linked them together.  Then I got bored.  I mean…socks.  Triple ugh.  While poking through the pile, my hand just kinda slipped into one of them.  I wriggled it on.  Hmm…


This was more fun.   I pretended the sock was a princess, and she was stuck in a tower by her wicked stepmother.  The only thing she could do there was clean.  She had to clean all day, every day.  Every night, the stepmother would come to the tower and host a party, and she and her guests would make a terrible mess.  The next day, the princess would have to clean everything again.

One day, the princess refused to clean the tower.  Instead, she spent her day napping and drawing pictures and reading books.  When the stepmother came in, she started yelling at the princess about the mess that was still left.  There was only a little time before the guests would arrive!


The stepmother was so mad, she started to attack the princess, screaming and yelling and maybe even beating her…!


Suddenly, I heard Wren ask, “Kestrel, what are you doing?”

I hid my sock-hands behind my back.  “Nothing…”


Wren looked at me for a minute, then at the sock pile.  She picked up a long, blue sock.  Then she slid it onto her hand.


“What story are you telling tonight?” she asked.


I introduced her to the princess and the stepmother.  Wren slid onto the bed beside me, saying that her sock was a magical girl come to save the princess from the stepmother.  When the princess was near the magical girl, she would be able to use magic too.


And maybe, with the two of them working together, they would be able to defeat the evil stepmother and break the princess out of the tall tower!


We didn’t finish sorting the socks, but we sure had a lot of fun.



Sweet Treats: Spooky!

Last night, Wren said she had something to share.  But she told me I hadda sit down and shut my eyes.  What?  But I did, cuz Wren’s a good big sister and she wouldn’t do anything to hurt me. Just so ya know, I hate having to close my eyes like that.  It makes me nervous, like somethin’ bad’s gonna jump out at me.  I’ll tell Wren later. I don’t want her to feel bad.

I felt her sit down on the bed beside me.  I heard her giggle a little, then she told me to open my eyes.  When I did…whoa!


Even though she giggled, and I knew it wasn’t nothin’ bad, it still surprised me to see her sitting there with an oh-my-gumdrops-eyeball!  Wren’s kinda a squeamish sort, so I didn’t understand why she was holding something slimy and squishy.  Slimy and squishy doesn’t bother me, but I was still hesitant to touch an…an… eyeball.  A giant’s eyeball.

But I figured, if Wren was doin’ it, I was gonna do it too.  Besides, now I was worried about giants attacking the house and how I was gonna fight them off too.  One thing at a time.  So I took a deep breath and reached out.

Wren giggled again when I finally touched it.  And I knew why this was ok.  It’s a gumball!  I was so relieved then.  There was no giant.  Nothing to fight.  What a relief!


So here ya go: a  candy gumball eyeball, a fun spooky sweet treat.  Seemed like a fun thing to share cuz Halloween’s coming soon!


Practice Camping

This weekend, Smidge invited me to go practice camping!  There was a hurricane comin’ up the coast, so it wasn’t a good time to go outdoor camping (less we wanna get soaked).  But Smidge’s so smart. She set up her tents inside, where it was all dry, and we could have fun.  She invited everybody, too:  me, Wren, and everybody from Dolli Lane!  Even the witch came.

When we got there, it was super neat.  Smidge had set up a huge tent for all of us, then she had a little pink camo tent for Snip (cuz he was the only boy) and another sorta middle-size tent for her and her dolly sisters, Sippie and another new girl named Marika.  She goes by Riki.  I liked meeting her.  She was sweet and really funny.  I think we’re gonna be great friends too.


There were two picnic tables set up, with a propane stove for cooking food, and benches around a campfire (but Smidge said it was a safe fire cuz we were inside and all).  Smidge was our camp nurse.  She said every camp has a nurse in case one of the Littles falls down and skins a knee.  I didn’t point out she was kinda little too.  I like her big dreams and big thoughts.  It makes Smidge totally awesome.  ‘Sides, she’s right: sometimes big dolls get hurt too, and it’s nice to have someone who knows how to fix ’em up.  She sat with her first aid kit right beside her all the time, just in case.  Smidge is totally the bestest.


We sang songs round the campfire and told stories and roasted marshmallows.  They were totally yummy.  But I kept getting mine too near the fire, and it’d burst into flames.  Wren told everybody about the pie I made her after that.  Then she gave me a hug and said it was ok.  I’d learn to cook better when I got bigger.


After we were all full of marshmallows and hot dogs and hot cocoa, we all wanted to nap (cuz that’s what you do when camping, right?)  Smidge and her sisters went in their tent, and Snip crawled into his, and the whole lot of us piled into ours (and Smidge left us lots and lots of extra blankets, so it was all nice and warm and cozy!  It was so much fun to sit there and listen to the rain outside but to be safe and dry where we were).


Most everybody fell asleep pretty quick, but Aqua and Poppy couldn’t quite get there, so they asked me to tell the story about the monster again.  It made Angel-cat squeak with fear, so Kitty kept teasing her. Then Aqua took a turn telling a scary story, only she couldn’t think of a way to get beyond a road through the woods, so we started to pass the story round from person to person.  It was a funny story in the end, and Angel-cat stopped squeaking.  But then Lily and Smidge’s friend, Kitty, argued about their parts, and a catfight almost broke out!


They made up pretty quick and got back to being friends, so that was ok.  I was ‘fraid somebody would get hurt, and I’d have to take them to see Smidge.

Snip and Smidge both had these awesome sleeping bags!  Wren said she thought maybe she could figure out how to make some like that for us.  I told her I’d help.  I mean, I made some pillows.  For sure I can make sleeping bags too, right?

Smidge also said, before we went into the tents, that we should put the campfire out.  You should never leave a fire unattended.  She had buckets of water nearby for the flames and shovels to dig up dirt and sprinkle it on top of the logs.  She said that, if we were primitive camping, we’d need the shovels to dig latrines (when she told us what that meant and why, Wren got kinda green, and a bunch of the Littles got all big-eyed!) (maybe another time, tho, I can go primitive camping with Smidge and her sisters, if they wanna try).

So we wouldn’t have to put the fire out, the witch said she’d watch over it while we rested.  I peeked out the tent once and saw she was doing…something…  I think maybe she was using that time to practice her magic and cast spells?  Dunno.  Nothin’ bad happened, so she wasn’t casting bad magic.


I had loads of fun with Smidge and her sisters, and I can’t wait to go camping again!  Everybody from Dolli Lane had a good good time, and all the Littles really enjoyed their trip out.


Captured and Contained

Vale did an awesome job, capturing the monster and subduing it (I’m learning all these new words.  Wren’ll be proud).  The net was super strong.  I don’t think I could’a caught it on my own, tho, but you’ll see why.  Getting it in the cage was hard enough.

I’m  ahead of myself, tho.   I had the cage set up in another part of the forest, but I didn’t want nobody to know where it was.  I thought that’d be safest. For everybody.  Magic is weird. It does scary things sometimes.  Far away and unknown seemed good.

I met up with Vale in the forest, away from the house, once she captured and subdued the monster.  It took me a while to find her after she sent the first message. I’m not so good at reading a compass…  I’d been wandering through the dark for a bit, trying to use the compass and a map and find the right coordinates and having no luck.  Thank goodness Vale had a bright light blinking at her eyepiece.  I saw something flashing off between the trunks, like a firefly on caffeine.  Made my way to it, slipping through the mud.  Then there was Vale, standing tall with her foot on top of the squirming bag of monster.  She had some scuff marks on her mechanical parts, and a dent in another spot, and her boots were covered with mud.  I didn’t wanna know how the monster looked.

She looked down at me and asked again if I’d be ok doing this.  An’ I said yea, cuz I really needed to cage it myself.  I wanted to protect Wren and the Littles from the monster that scared us all.  I hoped that maybe, if I put it away, I wouldn’t be so scared of it either.  Vale said, if I needed more help, if the monster got to be too strong, I should just call and she’d hear me and come help.  I said ok, then picked up the bag and started to haul it through the woods.  I felt loads better, knowing Vale would help if I needed it.  But I hoped I could do it myself.


The woods were dark.  And cold. And wet.  I slipped and fell in the mud, and the monster thrashed in the bag behind me.  I dropped my flashlight, and it hit a rock and rolled off.  Then it was hard to see anything.  But there was a tiny sliver of moon to light the way.  It took forever to reach the clearing where I left the cage.  I was so tired.

I put the carry-bag down and untwisted one of the poles.  I dunno what I was thinking–that maybe the monster would just hop on into the cage like a good little creature?  But it seemed simple. I started to unzip the sack.  Then, alla sudden, there was a terrible roaring sound, and a ripping and a bursting.  Waves of bone-numbing cold swept out as the monster rose out of the containment sack. I tried to back up, but there was a tree right behind me and nowhere to go.


The monster was suddenly HUGE.  I’d never seen it that big before.  And it was glowing!  Or the cage was glowing.  I couldn’t tell which.  I think it was mad, super duper mad. It’d never been contained and subdued before.  It’d never been hurt before.  Oh my gumdrops…what was I going to do?

I turned quick to look for the stick I’d twisted out of the carry-bag.  Other than the cage (which was on the other side of the monster!), that was the only weapon I had.  The monster roared, and I took a step back, slipping in the dirt.  The monster grabbed for me, and all I could do was watch its hand getting closer…


My heart was pounding in my chest.  I was terrified. If I failed here, the monster would return to the house like this.  It’d attack Wren and the Littles.  I could imagine nothing worse.  I scrabbled in the dirt, my fingers thick and numb, hoping for a rock to throw at the monster.  My fingers closed over the stick from the carry bag!  I grabbed it and surged to my feet, stabbing at the monster to drive it back into the cage.


When the monster touched the iron bars, it roared again and lunged forward at me.  We were face to face then, its cold, rotten breath blowing straight in my face.  But I couldn’t give up.  I pushed it back again.


There was a sucking sound, like the ground opened up.  The monster started to get pulled into the cage, like one of the Littles slurping a noodle off her plate.  Those iron bars really worked!  It was screaming as it got pulled in, loud and fierce.  I slammed the lid down as soon as I could.  It kept oozing its parts out through the bars, and I’d shove them back in with my stick, worried it was trying to escape.


The monster changed as it was in the cage, getting smaller and stranger. When I realized there was no way it could escape, I sat down for a bit to catch my breath.  It watched me watching it.  It growled and hissed and stuff, but it didn’t seem half so fierce as before.

The witch needed to take care of it, though.  I got up finally to go find her.  I set up cameras first to make sure it didn’t escape or nothing.  (Vale’s idea.  If I’d been smart, I’d’ve taken her other idea and put a GPS tracker on the monster so I could be good and sure it was really gone).  Then off I went.  The forest didn’t seem so dark and scary on the way to Dolli Lane.


After I find the witch, I gotta find Vale to tell her thank you.  Then sleep.  I could sleep for a year.



Recruiting help

After asking for help and suggestions from Facebook, a friend, Kylie, suggested that I allow her very awesome cyborg, Vale, to help.  And she’s really something!  She’s so cool.  I wanna be like her when I grow up.  And she has an awesome wolf, Shylock.

She has captured the monster for me, so now I can drag it to the iron bar cage and trap it, and the witch can go put it back in whatever place it outta be at instead of our house.

An’ if I never see another monster ever again, I’ll be happy.

As long as I get to grow up to be kinda like Vale too.