Getting Caught Up

A Review of Preparations for the Long Journey.
by Electric Keet

When I finally reached Crescent Mall, he’d already been at the cafe for at least a quarter-hour. Evver’s Herbals had a row of tables with teal parasols over them, and Yaz sat at one with a scroll in one hand and a steaming cup in the other. I quietly eased into the opposite chair and watched him scan the scroll with incredible focus. Every few seconds he would tap the surface of it with his thumbclaw and then weave his eyes down the column again. I sniffed and smiled a little; roasted kaflet and coconut milk, same as he always drank. It was good to have him back.

Finally, he spoke. “Sorry, Falda, I’ll just be a moment. Catching up on news.” He sipped at his drink, tapped the scroll once more, nodded, and then rolled it up. “I swear, it’s a miracle that anything works on Callisto… or Mars, for that matter. Enough about that. Let’s talk about you.”

I laughed. “No, no, I am here to help you out, so we should talk about you.” I motioned. “That yellow is not your colour.”

He frowned and tugged at his blousy top. “I’ve seen plenty of people wearing this shade!”

“They all had green fur but you do not. Or were you planning on a change?”

He jerked slightly as though I’d scalded him. “No! I mean, uh…. Not anytime soon. I’ve had more than enough of that. So, can I get you anything from here before we get started?”

I shook my head and grinned. “Thanks, but no. I will let you buy me some lunch later, though.”

He chuckled, “Glad I have permission,” and motioned toward the main area of the shopping centre. “Lead on, m’lady.”

“Phanti. Professional wear first,” I said. “So, how did the talk with Tesser go?”

As we made our way to the store I had in mind, he explained. “About the same as before; inexplicable and still changing forms frequently. This time he was some kind of wallaby. I told him what had happened in the hospital, and he just nodded like it was everyday business. I mean, I figured that Basil had already talked to him, so I expected him to know what was going on, but I wasn’t expecting him to be so… indifferent about it.”

“So, he is okay with it?”

“Entirely. We talked business for the rest of the call, and he sent about a billion forms and legal documents for me to pore over. I guess this is the glamorous part of the job.” He shook his head. “I really hope I can do this.”

I blinked. “Of course you can! You have management experience now. Now, here we are. We can see what they have for styles.”

He stared at the store hesitantly. “Hotel management. Slightly different, though I’m sure some of it will come in handy.” When we entered the store, a serious-looking raccoon nodded silently from behind the sales counter to acknowledge our presence. Yaz smiled in return, then turned to me. “Oh, that reminds me. My boss at the Blue Teapot was kind of weird, too.”

“How so?” We browsed through a sea of mannequins, taking time for him to stand next to quite a few so I could imagine how the outfits might look.

“He seemed a little disappointed, but – no, this one’s a little too staid – he just asked if it’s what I really wanted to do and then wished me luck. I’ll be staying on for four more shifts and then that’s it. And definitely not that blouse, the neck’s too high.”

I ran a thumbpad along the tweed cuff of a rather handsome jacket. “The blouse can be swapped out. Do you think you will go back after the Thirteen?”

He paused for a few seconds, then shrugged. “I don’t know. Probably. Fildyn…. Sorry, that’s the manager’s name. He said that he’d be glad to take me back on, but you know how Ionian natives tend to be. Honest until the next em lands in their hands.” He sniffed another mannequin. “Too gimmicky.”

I put my paws on my hips and huffed, “That is a horrible stereotype!”

“I don’t hear you denying it, though.” He posed next to a classic style and hummed. “Too retro.”

I shook my head. “Yaz, that one would be perfect for Mercury. You know how the darksiders are.”

He simply shrugged.

“Listen, you have to settle on something. Anyhow, this was your idea.”

“No, it was the squid’s… helpful suggestion.” He always got that same distant look when the subject came up. “I just don’t want to look absurd, that’s all. Er.. I don’t mean to say you don’t know what you’re doing, but…. Um.”

When that embarrassed flush came back to his ears, I stepped close to him and turned on the charm. “Would it help if we got a second opinion from a professional?” I nodded to the raccoon to signal her that we could use the assistance.

“Oh! Uh… no, it’s okay. I trust your sense for this.” He scratched behind one ear. “This one, then? What, just for Mercury?”

I pointed at various models. “Silly! Change the blouse, change the accessories, and that suit will change completely. Maybe we can get slacks to match it so you have more options. Come on, this is perfect for you!”

He softly objected, “I don’t know about… slacks….”

By that time, the storekeeper was present in a very soft and unobtrusive way. “What may Phanti do for the both of you today?”

I spared Yaz the awkwardness of having to explain. “My friend here is looking for a business suit, perhaps two. Since they will be for a lengthy tour of thirteen worlds, they should be very adaptable. We were considering this style.”

Her tail swished in a very procyonid smile. “That’s an excellent choice! As you see, this is a very modular style with a number of options….”

  1. Yaz Lenslight’s avatar

    Women’s clothing is complicated. Seriously. You think it’s slightly mad when you’re eagerly helping them out of it, but then trying to buy it and wear it is a whole other matter. Fellas… I don’t recommend it. Learn from my unfortunate example!

    It’s startling how well it works on me, though. But Falda keeps bugging me about fur conditioner….


    1. Nicky’s avatar

      And it’s so very you, hon. You look absolutely stunning in a nice blouse!


      1. Yaz Lenslight’s avatar

        Oh, fraz it all, now there are other people pitching into the conversation? May as well get used to it, I suppose, now that I’ve hit the sports pages again.

        Anyhow… thanks. I figure that if I gotta do it, I may as well do it right.


      2.’s avatar

        Complicated, yes, but worth it. =3


      3. privatkredit testsieger 2015’s avatar

        Michael Phelps doesn’t have a high metabolism rate. Yeah he eats 12,000 + calories a day, but thats because he trains he ass off in the pool every day for hours. Swimming is one of the best ways to burn calories super fast. Michael burns so many calories in the pool so he eats so many as well.