The Legend of Archibal: The Phantom

Jimmie- “Wut’s de best way to teach a girl to swim?”

Johnny- “Well, yer want ter take her gently down to the water, you put yer arm ’round her, and–”

Jimmie– “Oh, cut it out. It’s my sister.”

Johnny- “Oh, push her off the dock.”

 

At first, Walter did not dare to move. What could possibly be causing those shadows and where was that sound coming from? Walter had to see what it was, he just had to. He slowly got out of bed and crept to the window. When he looks up into the sky, his eyes widen in astonishment. He could not believe what he was seeing. A flight of owls, hawks, fays, and many other odd looking birds and flying creatures, Walter did not know by name. There was one that was as large as Walter; Resembling a hammerkop, white as a ghost, emitting lighting from its wings as it flew away. Walter was awed by the large swarm. It was beautiful yet frightening.

Where were they going to and why? It didn’t end there. When he looked to his right he saw another drove of creatures heading in the same direction as the flying birds. He discerns an elusive parandrus; a large like caribou that can change the color of its fur for camouflage. A small unicorn the size of a Shetland pony is among the group, mice, squirrels, dogs, cats, and fury creatures scurry, off to an unknown direction. A brownie that wasn’t Jacobi was helping, guiding and prodding them to hurry up. In the jumble, a baby rabbit staggers behind, trying to avoid being trampled by the larger animals. The brownie notices the rabbit and rushes to protect it from the trampling hooves of some does. He carries the rabbit as he keeps driving the animals to safety. The stampede quickly ends with the brownie trailing behind. All that is left is their muddy footprints on the wet ground.

What is going on, Walter thought. What had scared them? They looked startled. He has never seen anything like it. He needed to tell Archibal, maybe he knew what was going on. He grabbed the Odyssey ring and was about transport himself when he heard footsteps approaching his room. He quickly dove under the covers and closes his eyes. The door opens and Aunt Edith appears. “Don’t you look peaceful when you sleep,” she mutters. “I didn’t get to say goodnight. I’ll see you in the morning. Sweet dreams,” she closes the door quietly. Before any more thoughts crosses his mind, slumber fell over him. Whatever was going on, had to wait.

By morning, nobody seems to have noticed the large drove of animals fleeing. Walter had even gone to inspect the muddy prints, but they had been washed away by the rain. He was alarmed by the episode. If the hunters saw it, they knew how to keep such recondite phenomenon undisclosed.  He then wondered if what he had seen had been a dream.

The next nights no incidents transpire and Walter fell back into routine, forgetting what he had seen. The inn was hustling with patrons that it was starting to wear on him. Even Uncle Obel was looking jaded. Mrs. Banny was irritable than usual and snapped at Walter more than often. Aunt Edith, wasn’t herself, she was frazzled and absent minded at times. Gertrude became grumpier and Mildred—well she was still her happy disposition. Uncle Obel had to hire more people to assist at the inn. That lessen the work for everybody. Aunt Edith retired early to her room and Mrs. Banny went to demonstrate the new hires how to clean the rooms. Uncle Obel stayed behind the bar. Walter swept the taproom as usual. People were still coming in with muddy footprints. From outside, Walter could hear thunder rumbling. He looked out the window and saw the grey clouds darkening and soon the rain started coming down. No matter how much he mopped and swept it got all dirty all over again. That didn’t deter his mother from telling him to continue with the boring task. It was better than cleaning the windows upstairs. Walter’s mind began to drift when he heard a couple of patrons talking in a hush whisper in the corner of the room.

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