by: Flaming Trails
Lisa looked up as a bunch of leaves flew in through the stable door. Descending in front of her house was a familiar giant blue butterfly, beating up dust as it lowered itself carefully to the ground. “Ooops – looks like we have company,” she told Shada, petting his nose. “I’ll be back in just a little bit to finish restocking the hay, okay?”
Shada whinnied. Lisa chuckled, gave him one last pat, then went outside to greet her visitor. “Hi Victor! What brings you – ”
She stopped as Victor turned toward her. Uh-oh – judging by that expression, and the corgi cradled against his chest, this wasn’t a social call. “I-I’m sorry to just drop in like this,” he said, disembarking. “It’s just – when I w-woke up this morning, I realized I h-hadn’t heard Lightning barking at the alarm clock. And t-then when I went to see him in his bed…” He held out the sad-looking dog, lip quivering. “I know I’m p-probably panicking, it’s just…we’ve only had him for a year and…”
“I get it, I get it,” Lisa assured him. “We all get like that about our pets. You should see some of the other Touched who’ve blown in here. You’re practically subdued.” She took Lightning, frowning as the dog basically flopped into her arms. “Hey boy…funny not to see you running around at a million miles per hour.” She gently scratched behind his ears. “Can you tell me what’s wrong?”
My mouth tastes awful, Lightning reported – indeed, long strings of ugly green drool were hanging from his jaw. And I’m cold. Lost my breakfast too.
Lisa reported this to Victor, who nodded. “Yes, he threw up right before I got him on Ferdy…and I thought he was drooling a bit more lately, but I didn’t…it wasn’t green before.”
Lisa gently poked Lightning’s nose. “Ick – way wetter than it should be,” she said, wrinkling her own. “Well, that confirms it – poor Lightning’s picked up a case of Advanced Swamp Mouth.”
“Advanced?” Victor repeated, twisting his tie.
“Don’t worry, it’s almost never fatal,” Lisa quickly reassured him. “And he’s not even at the worst stage yet – that generally requires surgery.” She stroked Lightning’s head, getting a weak tail wag. “Fortunately, one of my homemade Medicine X biscuits should fix him right up.”
“Oh. Good,” Victor said, breathing a sigh of relief. He shook his head with a soft chuckle. “Swamp Mouth…you know, even after a couple of years in Secundus, I still have trouble believing all the strange diseases in the city. And I’ve been turned purple a couple of times by that stupid Prismatic Cold…” His expression turned curious. “Does that ever happen to animals?”
“Well, Frozen Mange generally makes cats and dogs blue – though I don’t know if that’s an actual color change, or just a result of their fur icing up,” Lisa said, walking with him over to the house. “And Magmafied Organs – just a name, I promise – makes their paws and noses glow bright red.” She smirked. “Though I think my favorite is Prismatic Poop Plague.”
“Pris – oh, it doesn’t,” Victor groaned, pressing a hand against his face.
Lisa giggled. “Yeah – be grateful you don’t have rainbow poop all over your house, is what I’m saying. Though it does make cleaning up after them a lot more fun.”
“I’ll pass, thanks.”