My jaw is on the floor. That was great!Phew! It's been a while hasn't it? But I've got a big update today, and that's the beginning of Knick Knack's adventure through Foenum! This is something I kind of just wrote on a whim, and hope that it at least entertains you; and maybe gives you a little bit of insight as to how Knick Knack gets involved with the infestation of the predators! Just as a warning, I'm not the best at grammar. So, I wouldn't be surprised if this whole thing is riddled with mistakes (I apologize in advance!). Anyway, please enjoy the read!
From the sands of the harshest deserts, to the foliage of the lushest forests, the Pack Mules have been through it all; and there’s still so much more to see. They are a travelling society that carries their homes and most precious belongings on their backs. A herd built around the concepts of family, unity, and wanderlust. The elders of the Pack Mules have passed these ideas down for generations, and every member of the herd is dedicated to doing their part to support their way of life. The doctors carry their hospitals, the chefs carry their kitchens and food, so on and so forth. Over the years, the desire to see the rest of the world seems to have diminished amongst the herd. Life appears to have become an endless cycle of work and misery. However, they continue to push on and persevere as per their elders’ wishes. The oldest members of the herd have grown bitter, yet headstrong; and no mule would dare go against them and their duty to press forward just as their parents did all those years ago. Whilst every mule goes through great lengths to stay strong and pull their weight, there is but one member of the herd that has become a growing concern for the rest of the community.
Whilst every member of the herd carries only the most important and meaningful things to carry with them on their lifelong journey, this one is a bit different. One of the youngest members of the herd carries only the most mundane, and useless items with him, much to everyone else’s dismay. He’s always the one that falls the furthest behind, scrounging up everything and anything that may catch his slightest interest. From rusty, old kitchenware to toys of a most childish sort, he will most certainly take it along with him. Due to his love for worthless objects, his peers coined the perfect nickname for him: Knick Knack. Today, on an otherwise perfect summer morning, Knick Knack’s family has finally decided to try and talk some sense into him. Knick Knack’s Mother and Father travel closely with the herd through the thick forest they’ve found themselves in so as not to get separated. However, attempting to break Knick Knack’s collecting habit might prove to be the least of the herd’s worries.
“Are you finally going to have that talk with him?” Knick Knack’s Mother asks her husband.
“I will soon,” he replies.
“And how long is ‘soon’?”
“Well . . . tomorrow.”
“You said that yesterday.”
“I don’t see what the big deal is. Why can’t we just let him do what he wants?”
“Have you not been paying attention to what others have been saying these past couple of days?!” she exasperates.
Her husband groans and rolls his eyes. “You don’t know if that’s true.”
“Well, call me crazy, but I’d rather not take any chances!” Her husband sighs. “If he gets too distracted and strays away from the herd, and one of those . . . ‘things’ is out there; how are we going to protect him?!”
“He’s always with his friends. Besides, I’m sure he’s smart enough to—”
“Do you honestly think he’ll be thinking straight in a dangerous situation like that? Or even his friends?” Her husband pauses, pondering the idea she has thrust into his head. “I don’t know about you, but I’d rather keep our son alive than take a risk like that. I’m positive their parents feel the exact same way.”
“I know; you’re right.” He gives in. “I’ll go talk to him.”
“Thank you, and please, make sure you explain to him how important it is—”
“Hon, trust me. I know what to do.” As Knick Knack’s Father turns and goes against the crowd, Knick Knack is yet again scouring the perimeter of the forest for anything that might tickle his fancy. His two friends, who have also taken a liking to Knick Knack’s habit, join in on the excavation. Knick Knack crawls on his hooves, sniffing the grass like a hound as his friends watch confused, but entertained. They look to each other, hoping maybe one of them understands what he’s doing, but they both end up shrugging. Knick Knack’s eyes widen as he sets his eyes on a brightly colored insect perched on a blade of grass.
“It’s a butterfly, Knick Knack,” one of the friends sarcastically teases. “Ever see one of those before?” In one swift motion, Knick Knack traps the butterfly in a glass jar. Tightening the lid, he observes the beautiful creature in awe. “H-How did. . ?” The friend’s jaw drops.
“You just gotta learn to stop asking questions, Tart. He just . . . ‘does’ things.”
“Oh yeah, Fritz!” Tart reaches into his bag, and pulls out a glass jar of his own. “Well, I’m gonna go out there and catch somethin’ even better!”
“Tart, it’s probably not a good idea to go too far. We’re already behind, and—” Tart, armed with his jar, leaps through the bushes further into the woods. “—don’t listen to a thing I’m saying. Great. . . Knick Knack, we should probably. . .” Fritz turns to Knick Knack to ask for accompaniment, but he appears far too enthralled by the butterfly fluttering inside his jar. “Or just me; I’ll go get Tart. . . Why do I always have to finish my own sentences?” Fritz rolls his eyes as he goes after Tart.
Struggling to forces his way through the thick brush, Fritz calls Tart’s name relentlessly into the wind. After a few moments of searching, Fritz finds Tart sitting on the ground. “There you are,” says Fritz. “What happened? Trip over a branch?” Fritz’s teasing comes to a halt once he notices the fear struck in Tart’s eyes. “What’s the matter with you?” Tart points his hoof, and Fritz is instantly overwhelmed with fear by what he sees.
Tart’s and Fritz’s screams fill the air, snapping Knick Knack out of his trance from taking in the beauty of the butterfly. His ears flare up, and he looks to the brush where his friends had entered. Confused and concerned, he stuffs the jar into his backpack, gets to his hooves and gallops into the brush. Knick Knack’s Father, still trying to force his way through the herd to reach his son, is stopped by a fellow member of the herd. “Woah, where do you think you’re going?” The herd member asks.
“I’m looking for Knick Knack,” says Knick Knack’s Father. “He’s sure to be in the back of the herd with your son.”
“Oh, had me worried there. I wasn’t sure what you were doing going against the flow of things.”
“Why would you be worried?”
“Well, with all this talk that’s been floating around, I’m surprised you’re not worried at all.”
“Look, rumors are rumors. My wife’s scared to death though, but hey, who can blame her? Say, uh, you didn’t tell your son about them, did you?”
“Of course not, I don’t want to scare Tart with stuff like that. He’s a bit sensitive when it comes to that type of stuff.”
“Good. I figured Knick Knack didn’t need to know about them either. We don’t need to scare the kids, but she’s right, it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
“Agreed. I should probably get Tart too, and I’m sure Fritz’s parents are gonna want him back up there too.” Together, the two mules make their way to the back of the herd, and are instantly struck with worry. Their children are nowhere to be found amongst the lush foliage, causing the two Fathers to stammer and sweat.
“W-Where are the kids?”
“I-I don’t know. Th-They couldn’t have lagged too far behind, right?”
“I don’t believe this—Knick Knack! Where are you?!”
“Tart! Where are you, son?!” The both of them gallop down the pathway their herd have trekked through the forest, hearts racing as they desperately search for their sons.
Knick Knack gallops headfirst through the branches that dangle in his way, and skids across the ground until he comes to a complete stop. Both Tart and Fritz are holding each other tightly as they stare into the solid, gleaming eyes of the threat. “Oh! K-Knick Knack!” Fritz calls. “H-Hey buddy! We’ve got a . . . a little bit of a problem here!” Knick Knack looks at the dark, almost shadowy figure creeping up towards his friends. Knick Knack stomps on the ground, and the four-legged figure whips its head around to glare at him. The creature growls, showing off its sharp, jagged teeth. Knick Knack’s eyes widen once the creature’s eyes meet his, and a shiver of fear crawls up his spine; but as he glances to his trembling friends, he stands his ground. The creature paces the ground without breaking eye-contact with him, and a smile emerges on Knick Knack’s face. “Knick Knack, what are you doing?! What’s so funny?!” Without warning, the creature leaps towards Knick Knack with a bark, ready to sink its teeth into him.
Knick Knack turns his body as one of the pockets of his backpack open up. From the inside, a wooden bird with googly eyes attached to a wooden arm pops out and extends towards the creature. The bird’s beak strikes the beast, knocking it out of the air and tumbling onto the ground. The bird retracts back into Knick Knack’s backpack, and the beast scrambles to its paws looking even more furious than before. It races towards him, and with Knick Knack unprepared, it slashes at one of his legs. He falls to his knee, and his friends gasp at the gash. Before the creature can strike once more, Knick Knack reaches into his backpack and pulls out something that grabs the beast’s full attention. Knick Knack holds a rubber, toy ball in his hoof, and the beast’s eyes stay locked onto it. With a nervous smile, Knick Knack teases the beast by moving the ball around in the air, causing it to pant and bark with excitement. The beast watches happily as Knick Knack tosses the ball up into the air, and from the top pocket of his backpack, a wooden paddle flips outward. The paddle smacks the ball, sending it flying between the trees further into the forest. Eagerly, the beast chases after the ball, leaving Knick Knack as he sighs with relief. “H-Hey!” Tart calls. “How did he—?”
“What did we ‘just’ talk about?” Fritz asks. “Don’t ask. Just be glad we’re still alive.”
“What even was that thing?”
“I don’t know, but I don’t care. We need to get back to the herd and let them know!” Just as Fritz and Tart get to their hooves, they stop and freeze as a bone-chilling screech echoes through the trees. They look up to the sky as flocks of disturbed birds fly overhead.
“Oh, come on,” Tart whines. “W-What is it now?” Before they know it, a shadow envelops both Tart and Fritz as an enormous bird swoops down. Its talons scrape and bend the surrounding trees before scooping up the two of them. Ignoring the cut on his leg, Knick Knack helplessly chases after his friends as scream for their lives. He follows the dark, shadowy bird for as long as he can, but the thicket of trees and bushes make it difficult to keep them in sight. Eventually, their screams fade away, but Knick Knack presses on without taking his eyes off the sky. Suddenly, Knick Knack slips and falls face first into a cold pool of water. Lifting his soaking wet head out of the water, he looks up solemnly at the sky in disbelief over how quickly his friends were taken away from him.
“Well, what do we have here?” Knick Knack’s sorrowful eyes look down from the sky to see a tall mare walking toward him. Her coat of fur is pure white, and her long, pinkish mane droops all the way down to her knees. “You must be lost, little one.” The mare’s curved horn glows with a reddish light, and Knick Knack’s body is enveloped by an aura of the same color. He can feel some sort of force lifting him up, but despite his struggling, he is unable to set himself free. “Ah, just a measly Pack Mule.” The mare approaches him, intimidating him with her piercing, feminine gaze and ruby-red eyes. “You must belong to the rest of the ‘filth’ that just passed through our forest. Why would you make the foolish mistake of leaving your herd to contaminate my drinking spot with your flea-infested fur?” Desperately, Knick Knack points his hoof to the sky. “Oh, you’re looking for that bird that flew overhead, are you?” Knick Knack nervously nods. “Yes, I saw it too; and judging by the sounds, it seems it’s taken one or more member of your herd. Is that right?” She smiles, then chuckles at the thought. “Isn’t that just wonderful? The way I see it, the less of you there are, the better.” Furious, Knick Knack flares his legs in a vain attempt to strike the mare. “Look at you, simply pathetic. However, you’re lucky you’re not the one I’m searching for. So, you won’t be harmed, but let this be warning to you.” The mare’s horn erupts with an intense greenish glow as Knick Knack shields his eyes from the blinding light. “If I ever see you again, things won’t end up well for you. I promise you that. Oh, and if by some chance you come across another Unicorn such as I by the name of Oleander; inform her that ‘Alandra’ will be coming for her.” Then in a flash of light, Knick Knack disappears.
--Continued on next post---