Ally & Oz: Two Buckets and a Conversation

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Snookems
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Ally & Oz: Two Buckets and a Conversation

Post by Snookems » Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:32 am

Two Buckets and a Conversation
~By: William LJ Galaini

The air had a dry nip to it, and the cold had made William’s cheek’s rosy. Oz, however, was no more pink than usual, and he stood at William’s feet, looking up at him.

“It’s uh . . . It’s kind of cold out here . . .” William said, scratching his chin. Both of them were covered in mud from head to toe. They had spent the warmer part of the day looking for truffles, trekking into the wide fields beyond the castle walls to search at the bases of whatever trees they could find. Yet no truffles had been found.

The day had been fun, and both of them were exhausted. When their quest had started, Oz kept asking if everything in sight was a truffle. Clouds, rocks, bugs, roots, and field mice were all suspect as potential truffles until William explained things some more. After a short lesson, Oz felt ‘in the know’ in regards to his favored prey: the truffle.

“We is dirty, Mr. Williams.”

This jarred William from his introspection. “Oz?” he spoke gently, placing his hands on his knees and leaning down. “Oz, you can call me William, without the ‘mister’ part, if you like. You sleep on my head. I think we’re past salutations.” The last part was spoken with a smile.

Oz looked a little perplexed. “Okays.” He said, his little black eyes looking off into the distance. “But we is dirty.” Oz continued. “And we will tracks mud and get in troubles with Ashey!”

“Right. There’s a hand pump by a well in what used to be some stables. That way we can wash up well enough to go inside. Sound good?”
Oz agreed.

The stable was a wooden structure, slightly rotted and gnawed, that leaned on the side of the castle. A small arcade led to it, and after passing through some doors they entered it. Inside was dark, save for long lines of light that came through the deteriorating ceiling. In the center of the stone floor stood the pump, and next to it a well covered with wood planking.

“Alright, little oinker!” William said. “Let’s get you clean or else I’ll get in trouble.” William gripped the pump’s long metal handle, and began thrusting it down and up with all his might. Water began to spout. “Okay . . . Oz . . . go . . . under!” William called out between thrusts, the water splatting on the ground.

Oz however, backed away slowly.

William stopped. “What’s wrong, little oinker?” he said, catching his breath.

“That water, well, is cold. And it smells funny.”

“Well, uh . . .” William wiped his hand over his face, clearing his mind to think. “Which bothers you the most? The smell, or the cold?”

Oz thought for a time, sitting back on his haunches while fidgeting with his hooves. “I do not likes the cold!”

“Got it! I have a plan!” William straitened up and ran out of the stable. Oz waited patiently, listening to the structure creak and groan with the nudging of the wind. Soon William came back with two wooden buckets. “Okay!” he said while he huffed and puffed, filling them full with the pump. “Right!” he seemed to explain, in some sort of reduced language made purely of affirmations. Placing both buckets side by side, he flopped his large body on top of them!

Oz burst out with a giggle at the bizarre site of it all. “Mr. Williams, what is you doings!?!?”

“Well, Ashley says that I’m the warmest thing in the world. So, given that, nothing can warm this bucket faster than me!” he was breathless, and obviously uncomfortable, but undeniably delighted. “Besides. This gives us a chance to chat.”

Oz’s smile of amusement immediately faded to worry. With caution, he asked “What is we goings to chat abouts, Mr. Williams?”

“Whatever you like, Oz. So, what would you like to chat about.”

This clearly made him feel better. “Uh . . . TRUFFLES!” he burst. “What do we do whens we catches them!?”

“Oh. Well, we eat them.”

Oz gasped in shock. “We eats them!?”

“Oh sure.”

“But-but . . .” Oz walked up close, nose-to-nose, to William’s face, whispering. “But they would screams!” He spoke with hushed horror.
William laughed. “Oh, Oz! Remember how I said that they were a fungus?”

“A fungus?”

“Right, remember? Do you know what a fungus is?”

With a drooped head, Oz was clearly too embarrassed to answer.

“A fungus is just like a plant. It’s a plant that we’re hunting.”

Oz digested this, and seemed to feel better. His little cotton mind wandered as he thought of all he had learned in regards to truffles, and finally a question came out at random.

“Williams, do you loves me?”

Despite being surprised by the question, and the wavering little voice behind it, he did not hesitate to answer.

“The only time I’ve loved so quickly was Ashley. Do you know what I mean by that?”

Oz nodded, seeming to be even sadder. “Why, uh, why is it that you loves me but my . . . Mommy and Daddy do nots?” The second half of Oz’s sentence was spoken with tears and choked sobs. William, delicately balancing himself on the buckets stomach-down, reached out a hand to hold Oz’s fore-hoof. He was at a loss for words, watching the little stuffed pig cry, each sob ending with a little snort. “Do you loves Ally?”

“Of course, ‘Ashey’ and I love you both. We do. You’re both so sweet, and clever, and kind, how could anyone not love a little pig and a little alligator like you two?”

Oz was really crying now, and he collapsed into William’s outstretched hand. Pulling him in close, William kissed the little pig’s forehead.

“I do not understands!” Oz squealed. “Why do they not loves me! Whats did we do!?”

They snuggled, William holding Oz fast to his shoulder, and Oz just crying and crying and letting out everything pent up inside. Eventually his sobs eased to a whimpering, and his whimpers eased to a long sigh. Finally he was quiet.

William was in some pain, from his weight thrusting two-buckets into his midsection, but he cared little. “Oz, I can’t give you any answers for such a hard question. But I can give you cuddles. And, I think, that may be what matters most.”

Oz straightened himself up, with what dignity a small stuffed piglet could muster, and wiped his eyes. “I loves you too, Williams.”

“I know.” William smiled. “When you asked me you dropped the ‘mister’ part of it.” Getting off of the buckets, he presented them to Oz. “Piping hot, right from the furnace.”

Oz approached them, but with a single flex of his snout his face turned sour. “Uh, Williams? I change-ed my mind. I thinks the smell bothers me more thans the cold.”

“Hmmm.” William thought some more. “I bet the water from the well itself doesn’t have that metal smell.” Gathering up a nearby chain, William attached one of the buckets to it. Pulling the wooden cover of off the well, he peered in and lowered it down until a splash echoed from the dark. After some tugging and rattling of the chain, the bucket emerged. The water was warm to the touch, and lacked any odor whatsoever.

“Heh. Must be somehow connected with that fountain water somehow. Perhaps a hot spring somewhere . . .”

Oz’s tiny eyes narrowed, and he tapped his back hoof in precise thought. “Williams, truffles can be founds in dark places, yes?”

“Yup.”

“Dark wet places?”

With this, William understood Oz’s point, and they both looked down into the well as though an unseen treasure was just beyond the darkness.

“I’m not sure if it’s safe for us to go down th-“

Oz raised a hoof sharply to interject. Still looking in the distance, he spoke. “I happens to know the greatest swimmer ever to lives!”

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Gorth
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Post by Gorth » Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:44 am

Wonderful :)

Now, I just have to go shake off that warm fuzzy feeling that I got all of a sudden and work hard to become my old cynical self again...
A dyslexic walks into a bra...

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Phosphor
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Post by Phosphor » Sun Sep 19, 2004 9:20 pm

Oz is getting brave!
That was a very sweet tale, Choyrt. Well done!
There are worlds out there where the sky is burning. And the sea's asleep and the rivers dream … People made of smoke and cities made of song … Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, somewhere else the tea's getting cold!

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