Monday, I wrote about the connection between miniature painting and writing for me. At the end I included the first part of Puddles and Whiskers. Today, the first part from Monday along with the next section. Each phase of writing, improves the story a bit more. The wash and drybrush phase is all about messing up through expansion and revision, in both sections I added new details, cleared up some writing, and worked to tie everything together better. Its a process. 🙂
At the sound of a frying pan bouncing off a skull, everyone in the ramshackle room stopped fighting, for a brief second. Pouncing back from her fallen foe, golden furred Puddles brandished her frying pan above her head, drawing her heavy pistol at the same time and shooting a charging black and red clad mook.
“Give up will ya!” Puddles shouted at the room full of mooks.
Gray and white furred Whiskers knee-slid underneath the sloppy punch of a mook, gutting the mook with his katana. Popping up from the slide, Whiskers flicked his katana clean of blood, and sought another challenger. Whiskers did not have to wait long; knocking smaller mooks aside with swings of a large pipe, a giant over-muscled mook lumbered straight towards Whiskers. Adjusting his grip to a low-position, Whiskers waited for the moment to strike the perfect blow.
Three large bloody holes appeared on the over-muscled mook’s chest. For a brief second, the mook looked surprised before falling over. Curved knives drawn, three more mooks jumped over his body to take his place.
“You’re welcome!” Puddles shouted at Whiskers.
Whiskers shot Puddles an irritated glare before returning his attention to the mooks. The perfect moment gone, Whiskers charged the mooks. Sidestepping right at the last second, Whiskers swung his katana upwards, gutting the mook on the right as they passed each other. A half step forward, a downward stroke, followed by a quick slice to the right and the other two mooks fell clutching their wounds.
…other than their labored breathing, the room was silent. Puddles strolled over trash and dead mooks to Whiskers. Wiping his blade clean on a dead mook, Whiskers faced Puddles, his ears back giving extra body English to his irritation with his longtime partner.
Pointing at the over-muscled mook, “What was that about?”
Puddles shrugged. Her spotted tail waving lazily in an S-pattern that Whisker’s knew so well; her “Oops, did I do that,” when she knew what she had done shrug.
“I couldn’t let you have all the fun,” Puddles said over her shoulder, holstering her pistol while stepping over mooks on her way to the doorway, her tail swishing away as if she did not have a care in the world.
Tail lashing, Whiskers stood for a moment, gripping his katana tightly the holo-etching flaring bright along the blade, before sheathing in one smooth motion. He gave the over-muscled mook one last look before following Puddles out of the room into the refuse and graffiti covered hallway. The floor cocked downward, ceiling tiles hung ready to fall at any moment. Halfway down the hallway, alarms began to sound and the few hallway lights went from white to emergency red.
Ears upright, alert, Puddles looked at the ceiling, “Seems like and odd security system for a gang.”
“Took them long enough,” Whiskers said to Puddles.
“I thought we made more than enough noise,” Puddles replied.
Whiskers caught Puddles making her infamous, to him, “Who me” gesture; ears forward, eyes wide, and arms held out. He smirked.
“If you weren’t such a push over we wouldn’t be here,” Puddles said while peeking around a corner.
Three days ago...
“I need your help to find my daughters,” Doctor Dan said.
“Please, have a seat and tell us,” Whiskers said gesturing towards his side of their shared desk.
As soon as he shuffled through front door looking pathetic and desperate in his disheveled tan wage slave clothing, short white hair a mess and unshaven face, Puddles mentally nicknamed him Doctor Dan. No idea why, but nicknames for new people was a habit of hers.
Puddles could not make up her mind what bothered her more. After listening to him for five minutes, she understood why Doctor Dan looked disheveled; still have some self-respect, especially when seeking out help. A quick shake of her head to snap herself out of her current headspace. Doctor Dan was a potential client after all and her feelings about the client, as Whiskers was fond of saying, was not important…or something like that. Doctor Dan reeked of desperation, a very sharp tang in the air. Yep, that was what bothered her more. Whiskers elbowed Puddles in the ribs. She did her best to look attentive.
“…and where did you say your daughters are?” Whiskers asked.
“With their boyfriends,” Doctor Dan mumbled at Whiskers clean desktop, “somewhere in Tumbledown.”
“What?” Puddles asked a bit too loud; she was losing her patience with him.
“What my associate meant to say, was could you repeat that,” Whiskers coached Doctor Dan.
Puddles let out an exasperated noise, “Yeah that.”
Doctor Dan looked at both of them, desperation obvious, “Their boyfriends live in Tumbledown. Near the corner of 5th and East Kira. My girls,” his voice caught as he tried to contain his emotions, “left a week ago. I haven’t heard from them. The police…”
“Won’t do a thing,” Puddles interrupted eager to get him out of the office. “Familiar story. Okay, we’ll take your case.”
“You will?” Doctor Dan surprised.
“Yeah. So let’s talk fees,” Puddles irritation pushing her past his surprise.
Whiskers put a paw on her arm, a sign to slow down or stop. “Perhaps we should look into his case first,” Whiskers said in his calm, “I know something you don’t” tone that irritated the hell out her. Puddles cocked her right ear at him while flattening the left. “Fine, we will talk bill later.”
“But…” Doctor Dan started.
“Yeah, we got this Doc,” Puddles interrupted.
“Some preliminary work and we will have a better idea what we can do for you,” Whiskers said in his business tone, “Is there any additional information you can provide? The more we know the better job we can do for you.”
Puddles loved listening to Whiskers in business mode. Doctor Dan shook his head no. Whiskers stood up gesturing towards the door.
“Allow me to walk you to your car,” Whiskers said.
Watching Doctor Dan’s tan flyer merge into traffic from their office window, Puddles looked at Whiskers, the end of her tail snapping back and forth, she was irritated. “Look into his case? What the hell?”
Leaning against their desk, one-half immaculate, the other half distressed, Whiskers calmly replied, “Did you even pay attention to the location he gave?”
“Yeah I heard, Doctor Dan said something about Tumbledown..”
“Doctor Dan? Another of your pirate nicknames?” Whiskers asked amused.
Puddles turned from the window waving off Whisker’s questions with a wave of her paw. Grabbing her favorite “Mother’s Favorite Kitty” coffee mug, Puddles began to make coffee, “Okay, so he said something about Tumbledown. Want some coffee?”
“A cup sounds great,” Whiskers followed Puddles to the coffee machine, “Name a part of Tumbledown not home to a gang, criminal organization, unregistered, ghouls, or about to collapse at a moment’s notice?”
“Oh that,” Puddles began trying to sound like she knew that all along, “we should look into his case first. I’ll call Chuck to pull data.”