All Dogs go to Heaven
Little Memories of a Beautiful Life
Episode 4: "Massive Confusion"
Charlie B. Barkin & Sasha La Fleur
Balto & Jenna
San Francisco, California
Charlie B. Barkin was at Sidney's General Store buying a few things that he needed at the Cafe. It was a clear day, with no morning fog, and the streets stirred with people walking and buying. Charlie was not buying in the store itself, which was meant for humans. The owner's dog, Lester, was in charge of selling things to the other dogs, of course, without the knowledge of the owner. Lester was a middle aged Scottish Terrier with a droopy moustache and a jolly voice. He spoke in a faint English accent, and wore a small hat. Charlie was a well known customer, and there was a lot of chatting and laughing when he arrived.
"Hello, Mr. Barkin",said Lester",what is it you need today?".
"Well, some detergent",said Charlie",toothpicks, paper napkins and a few garbage bags, please."
"On the double",said Lester",hey, Randy, ye heard Mr. Barkin."
Randy was Lester's son, a polite, teenage terrier, who worked with his father at the store. He placed the items on the counter, which was really an upturned box.
"Oh, and a few sponges too, please",said Charlie.
Lester reached for them and put it with the other things.
"How much is it all together?",asked Charlie.
"That sums a total of 24 coins, Mr. Barkin",said Lester",do ye want to pay at the end of the month?".
"Naw, I'll pay you now",said Charlie, handing him the money.
Dogs have a different currency than humans, and it consists of small silver coins with a special curly design on them.
"Payment recieved!",said Lester, putting the things in a small paper bag,"see ye later, Mr. Barkin."
Charlie left the store and walked down the sidewalk with a paper bag in his mouth. He walked until he came to a Flower Shop, where there was another teenage dog, named Ralph, at the doorstep.
"Good morning, Ralph",said Charlie.
"Good morning, Mr. Barkin",said Ralph",shopping at Sidney's?"
"Yes, a few things that we needed",said Charlie.
Charlie looked at the flowers, and saw some roses that smelled as good as they looked.
"How much are those roses, Ralph?",asked Charlie.
"Five coins, Mr. Barkin",said Ralph.
"I'll take a bunch, please",said Charlie.
"Of course, Mr. Barkin",said Ralph.
Suddenly, there was a siren booming in a building nearby, and a masked man with a gun and a money bag ran out of it. It didn't take Charlie very long to realise that the man was an armed criminal, and was running off with the loot from a juicy hold up at the Bank.
"Here",said Charlie, giving Ralph his paper bag",hold this for a second."
Fearlessly, Charlie ran to chase to the fleeing bandit.
The man was going towards the park, where he thought he could get away in the confusion while the police searced for him. He didn't realise he was being chased by a huge German Shepherd with big teeth, at least not until he reached the gates of the park.
"Huh?",said the man",away, mutt! Don't mess with me!".
He shot his gun, but Charlie was persistant. He wasn't afraid of a lead bullet.
The man was now in the park, and racing through the trees and shrubs.
With a terrific leap, Charlie jumped at the man and pinned him to the ground, grabbing his gun and hurling it away.
"Have you forgotten the 6th Commandment",asked Charlie, taking the bag away from him",Thou shall not steal?!".
The man opened his eyes like two cartwheels, and made little grunting sounds in his throat. He was stupified by a dog that talked, and he thought he had gone crazy.
After a while, the chief of the San Francisco Police Department came to arrest the thief, he found that Charlie was the one responsible for the capture.
"Please!",said the thief",lock me up and throw the key, but get me away from that mutt!".
The chief was delighted.
"Congratulations, boy",said the chief, patting Charlie on the head",you have served our nation very well; we could use a dog like you in the force!".
"Thank you, sir",said Charlie politely, and ran off to where he had left his things.
The chief was transfixed for the same reason as the criminal, he stood there stupefied, until a police officer tapped him of the shoulder.
"Are you ok, sir?",asked the officer.
"I...I've been working too hard, I...think I'll take a day off",mussed the chief",make sure you lock him up".
"Yes sir!",said the officer.
Charlie went back to the flower shop to get his stuff.
"I'm back, Ralph",said Charlie.
"My, that was quite a chase, Mr. Barkin",said Ralph, handing Charlie his things",congratulations! Here are your roses."
"Thanks a lot, Ralph",said Charlie", good bye!".
"Good bye, Mr. Barkin",said Ralph",have a nice day!".
Charlie walked down the city sidewalk, saying hello to the dogs he passed, until he arrived to his destination, the one and only Flea Bite Cafe.
Flea Bite Cafe
Sasha La Fleur was cleaning the counter-top, sitting on one of the tall stools and looking at the reflection that the counter left when clean. Usually, Sasha looked at herself on the shiny counter and thought about everything that had happened to her up to now. Her childhood, her life before meeting Charlie and after, and her present life.
Sasha was happy. She was even happier now than before. She would have never imagined back then what awaited her.
Her most treasured memories flowed through her mind in those moments. When she and Charlie walked on the Golden Gate Bridge together; the first time she kissed Charlie on the front steps of David's house; the day Charlie gave her as a gift no less than the title deed of the Flea Bite Cafe itself, naming it hers, and which afterwards she named theirs.
Yes, all these memories came to her in these moments, and she seemed to treasure them more and more as time passed.
"You're very fortunate, Sasha",she said to herself as she gazed at her reflection",you're the luckiest girl in the world to have found Charlie."
Sasha smiled, and her reflection smiled back at her.
Suddenly, another reflection appeared on the counter. It was the well known and loved reflection of Charlie, who had just arrived from the street. Charlie got up on one of the stools, and gave Sasha a sweet kiss on her cheek. Sasha looked up, and her eyes met his. It was a beautiful moment.
"Hi Charlie",said Sasha with a sweet smile.
"Hello Sasha",responded Charlie. He layed the things he had bought on the counter beside them.
"How was your errand?",asked Sasha.
"Fine. I got everything we needed",said Charlie",detergent, napkins, toothpicks, trash bags and sponges."
"You're a super guy, Charlie",said Sasha.
"Oh, and... I, got you something",said Charlie, looking away.
"Really?",asked Sasha eagerly.
Charlie took the bundle of roses from behind his back, and held them out for her. Sasha gazed at the beautiful flowers.
"For me?",said Sasha, looking delightfully at Charlie's gift.
"Yes, Sasha. I, thought you might like them",said Charlie, a little timidly.
Sasha smiled beautifully and accepted the flowers.
"Oh, Charlie",said Sasha",that's so sweet of you."
Sasha gave Charlie a big hug, and kissed him on the cheek.
"Thank you",said Sasha.
"You're welcome, Sasha",said Charlie, hugging her too.
Carefully, Sasha placed the roses in a slim vase with water, and put the vase on the counter.
"They are so beautiful, Charlie",admired Sasha.
"Beautiful flowers, for the most beautiful flower in my life",said Charlie with a smile.
Sasha went a little rosy in the cheeks. She was so happy with Charlie's gesture. She held Charlie's big paw in both of hers, and nuzzled his nose with her own.
"You are the most fortunate girl in the entire universe",thought Sasha.
They sat there, holding paws and looking into each others eyes, feeling warm and happy together.
However, little did they suspect that trouble was lurking nearby, and this is how it all started.
San Francisco Bay
The port was quite busy that morning. Killer was at work with a big cargo ship that recently arrived from England. It brought tea and other goods for the local merchants.
Killer was just moving around the crates, making sure everything was in order, when he saw something. A little figure jumped out of one of the crates. Killer thought it might be a rat, but it was somewhat different. He got a closer look, and the creature started to walk away.
"Halt!",said Killer",who goes there!?"
The creature turned around, and Killer almost jumped. It was a little man! About ten inches tall, the man was dressed in a shabby red and green outfit.
"What is it ye want, stranger",said the man. He could understand what Killer said.
"How did you get on board?",asked Killer",and who are you?".
"M'name's Mratti, and I'm from t'high lands. The Grawnhoe Tribe o'elves is me home",said the man",got on board just cause I dandy well wanted too, like."
Killer didn't like this guy, he was rude and arrogant.
"Me want's to look 'round and find a nook",said the elf", but that's none o'your business, so git lost."
"I'm the boss around here, elf",said Killer",and you can't travel in a cargo ship for free."
"I just did!",said the elf",and if ye excuse me, I'll be on my way t'the town, like."
Before Killer could do anything, the elf ran lizard-like down the gangplank and went towards the city. Although concerned, Killer returned to his work.
"Perhaps he'll be run over by a car",said Killer to himself.
Unfortunately, this didn't happen.
Flea Bite Cafe
Charlie was getting things ready for the first customers to arrive, usually at 10:00 AM or there about. He placed napkins, salt and pepper trays, and toothpicks on the tables. Sasha was meanwhile filling the fountains with soda and the trays with finger food.
Just then, light filled the place, and Anabelle the angel whippet appeared. Her face was not very happy.
"Charles! Sasha! We have a problem",said Anabelle.
Charlie & Sasha dropped everything and ran to where the whippet was.
"What is it, Anabelle",asked Charlie",another hell attack?"
"A magnitude 5 earthquake?",asked Sasha.
"Even worse",panted Anabelle.
"A meteor is about to strike?!",said Charlie & Sasha at the same time.
"Far, far worse",said Anabelle.
"What! What is it then!",they asked.
Suddenly, a ball of fire came in her direction. Anabelle managed to dodge it, and it crashed on the wall behind them.
"Belladonna and I got in a fight, again!",exclaimed Anabelle.
Charlie and Sasha gave a sigh of disgust.
"Anabelle",said Charlie",can't you just ignore her! You two look act like little girls!"
"She started it!",said Anabelle",she called me a 'flying nun'."
"And what did you call her back",said Sasha.
"Well, uh...nothing much. I was never good at swearing",said Anabelle.
"Anabelle, I know you very well",said Charlie",now, what did you call her!"
"Uh,...well, come closer and I'll tell you",said Anabelle.
Charlie & Sasha got closer, and Anabelle told them something quite sharp. It made their eyes go wide.
"ANABELLE!",exclaimed Charlie",where in Heaven's name did you hear a word like THAT!"
"It doesn't matter now Charles",said Anabelle",but I promise you'll never hear it from me again!"
"We sure hope so",said Sasha.
Belladonna appeared out of nowhere. She seemed ready to clobber her cousin and anyone else too.
"Come here, preacher",she shouted, hurling another fireball",I'll show you what's good!"
Anabelle went and responded to her fire. She batted it away, back at Belladonna, who dodged it easily.
"You started it, Belladonna!",shouted back Anabelle",you shouldn't have called me 'flying nun' and you know it!"
"I though that was what you are",mocked Belladonna",or maybe I should have said 'feather-winged sissy' instead!"
Anabelle growled. She made an orb of light in her paw and flung it at Belladonna. The devil whippet just stepped aside. This infuriated Anabelle.
"Face it, cousin",sneered Belladonna",all that sappy kindness and preaching had turned you into a whimpy whippet!"
"Shut up",snapped Anabelle.
She gathered energy in both paws, made another orb of it and let Belladonna have it, right on the face. The devil whippet just laughed, although she was quite in pain.
"You can't hurt a fly with that!",mocked Belladonna",in the old days, you had a better one!"
"Grrr!",Anabelle growled",I'll give you a better one."
Charlie and Sasha just held their peace. It was useless to try to stop them.
In the shadows, moving about, a little figure appeared. It was Mratti, the elf that had escaped from the ship.
"My, my, such a quarelling pair, those two",he said, looking at the two whippets,"I think I'll have to come into action!"
The elf had a little satchel on his belt, and from it he produced a handful of strange looking powder. He blew gently at it, and the powder flew like sparkling specks of moon dust towards Anabelle and Belladonna.
Charlie noticed the powder. He pointed at it.
"What's that",he asked.
"I don't know",answered Sasha.
The thin powder surrounded the whippets.
"What kind of trick is this, Belladonna",demanded Anabelle, meaning the dust.
"I thought it was yours",snapped Belladonna.
Suddenly, a cloud of dense smoke covered both canines, and a sound like an explosion deafened the ears of everyone about.
Charlie & Sasha clapped their ears shut with their paws and fall to the ground. When the smoke cleared off a little, they got up.
"What was that?!",asked Sasha.
"No idea",said Charlie.
Looking forward, Charlie could see a figure. It looked like Anabelle.
"Anabelle?",said Charlie",are you alright?"
The figure answered.
"Fine Charles",she said.
Charlie and Sasha started to walk towards Anabelle, but they stopped dead in their tracks!
The smoke had cleared, and they saw Anabelle clearly. But they saw something else! It was a head! Right beside Anabelle's head was no other than Belladonna's head. It was a two-headed whippet! Sasha was speechless. Charlie was outraged.
"ANABELLE!",gasped Charlie",WHAT IN GOD'S NAME..."
"What is it, Charles?",said Anabelle startled.
"L-LOOK TO YOUR SIDE!",Charlie managed to say.
Anabelle turned her head, and saw Belladonna. She tried to step aside, but Belladonna was still there. Then, looking closely, she realised that Belladonna's head was actually attached to her neck!
"Oh my God!",gasped Anabelle.
She looked at her back, and saw even worse things. One wing was white and feathery, and the other was black and demon-like. She was wearing on her neck her angelic pendant, and Belladonna had her spiked collar. It was a horrible sight!
"Belladonna, you undo this wicked spell this instant!",Anabelle said sharply.
"Hey, I thought you were responsable for this!",said Belladonna.
"Me?! You know me better than that!",snapped Anabelle.
Suddenly, from the main entrance, two newcomers arrived. Balto & Jenna walked in cheerfully.
"Good morning!",said Balto.
Charlie and Sasha ran towards them with a worried face.
"What's wrong?",asked Balto.
"Balto, Jenna",said Charlie",don't get scared. Things like this happen once in a while, so please don't be too startled."
Charlie & Sasha stepped aside, revealing the two headed whippet. Balto & Jenna nearly screamed.
"Oh, my God!",exclaimed Jenna.
"What in the world happened to you!",asked Balto.
"Ask her!",said Anabelle and Belladonna at the same time, pointing at each other.
"Don't point at me! You're responsable for all the mischief around here",said Anabelle.
"Well, if you're so sissy-kind, why did you listen to my mocking in first place",said Belladonna.
"Ah! So you admit that you started it now!",said Anabelle triumphantly.
"No, I don't",snapped Belladonna",you did!"
"Did not!",yelled Anabelle.
"Did too!",yelled back Belladonna.
They began to argue like little kids again. Sasha, Jenna and Balto didn't know what to do. Charlie lost his patience.
"QUIET! BOTH OF YOU!",Charlie boomed.
The whippets ceased the noise.
"Now",said Charlie calmly",we have to settle this in a Christian manner. Shouting your heads off won't help."
He looked straight at Anabelle.
"Anabelle",said Charlie",did you do this?"
"Charles!",said Anabelle",what a foolish idea..."
"Well, did you or not!",insisted Charlie.
"Of course I didn't!",protested Anabelle.
Charlie looked at her a while longer.
"She's telling the truth",said Charlie finally",Anabelle wouldn't lie."
Next, he looked at Belladonna.
"She would lie",commented Jenna.
Belladonna gave her a dirty look.
"Belladonna",said Charlie",are you responsable for this?"
"Of course not, you idiot!",said Belladonna.
"Are you sure?",asked Charlie.
"Look!",said Belladonna angrily",I wouldn't want to be siamese with my sappy cousin ever in my life. I pulled up some pranks in the past, true, but this is not one of them. It's not my style, anyway. In fact, this is the stupidest one I have ever seen in the world. Understand, I didn't do this!".
Charlie was finally convinced.
"Ok",said Charlie",maybe she's right."
"Then, who did this?",asked Sasha.
Just then, Flo came into the Cafe.
"Hi everyone",said Flo cheerfully.
"What's wrong?",asked Flo.
Sasha and Charlie signalled her to come closer. Flo did, and suddenly, she saw the two headed whippet. Flo's eyes went wide, and she clapped her paw over her mouth.
"Oh my God",said Flo in startled astonishment",what happened here?"
"No one knows for sure",said Balto",but, it's just as you see it."
"Anabelle!",said Flo",and Belladonna, wrapped up and rolled into one?"
"Very funny, Florence",grumbled Anabelle.
"The worst part is",said Jenna",that we don't know who did it."
In that moment, yet another dog arrived. It was Killer.
"Excuse me, everyone",said Killer",but have you perchance seen a little man, about this size, a pixie-like creature. He travelled free in one of the cargo ships, and he's gotta pay for it. I followed the scent, and the trail ends here."
Everyone was baffled.
"Pixie-like creature?",said Jenna.
Please don't forget, that all this time, Mratti the elf was hidden in the shadows, laughing at the prank he pulled up on the whippet cousins. He couldn't stand it anymore, and stepped out, still laughing.
"Oh, you so silly,"laughed Mratti",so daft."
Everyone looked in his direction.
"That's him!",said Killer",that's the imp creature!".
"Haha, hoohooohaa",the elf was laughing his head off.
"So, you're responsible for this!",said Anabelle.
"Oh, indeed I am",said Mratti",me 'n my magic faerie dust, of course."
The elf was still laughing.
"It's not funny",snapped Balto",you did a silly thing. Put them back how they use to be this instant!"
"Aww, I'd like to, but I can't do that",said the elf.
"Can, but won't",said Jenna.
"You'd better undo this stupid gag",said Belladonna fiercely",or I'll burn you to the bone! I swear!".
"Really?",said Mratti mockingly.
"We're serious, imp",said Sasha.
"Aye, well. If ya wanna see'em like they use to be",said Mratti",ye gotta catch me. I'm gone!".
"You're not going anywhere until you fix up your mess",snapped Charlie, running towards him.
"Hah!",laughed the elf",try t'catch me, mutt!"
He started to run, swift as a lizard. Charlie ran right after him, but the elf was too fast.
"Oh, no you don't!",said Balto, sprinting after him.
Balto and Charlie almost caught him, but the elf ran straight up a wall, and over a building. They had to give up the chase, and went back toward the others.
"Well",said Charlie",I hope you two are satisfied."
Anabelle just lowered her head. Belladonna frowned.
"Now, the only one that can undo this magic is the elf",said Balto",so, we're going to have to follow him."
"And we'll need help finding him",said Jenna.
Anabelle looked up in determination.
"You can count on me! This mess is in great part my fault, so I have to mend my mistake",said Anabelle.
Everyone smiled, and looked at Belladonna.
"What about you?",asked Sasha.
"I don't care a blaze what you're gonna do",said Belladonna",just get me back to me regular self again. Ok?"
"You don't seem to understand, Belladonna",said Flo",you can't just sit down and wait for results. You're going to have to come along."
"Heck no I won't!",said Belladonna.
"You have no choice",said Charlie.
"What's more",said Sasha",you and Anabelle must put your differences aside for a while, and work together for a change."
Belladonna protested fiercely, but she really had no choice.
"Come on, you two",said Balto",either you have a truce, or you'll never return to your normal selves again."
Belladonna glared at Anabelle, and Anabelle glared back.
"Oh, all right, all right, just this once!",growled Belladonna.
She and Anabelle shook paws(actually, it was like shaking paws with yourself), and stopped arguing, for a while anyway.
"It's nice to see you at peace for a change",said Charlie.
"Don't push it, Barkin!",snapped Belladonna",it's just until I get my self free from this stupid siamese stuff! Then I'm back to my good old bad self again".
"In the meantime",said Balto",I think the best will be to address you two as, Anabelladonna".
"BALTO!",yelled Anabelle",that's not funny! Wipe that smile off you face!"
Everyone burst into peals of laughter. Everyone, except the two whippets. They just frowned.
And so, it was settled.
Charlie placed a 'closed' sign on the Cafe gates, and they all set off to search for Mratti the elf. Killer returns to the docks, and the others continue.
San Francisco Streets
Charlie, Sasha, Jenna, Balto and Flo had searched everywhere for the elf's scent. Anabelle and Belladonna tried to help too, but they always wanted to go in different directions. Since they couldn't walk around the streets looking like that, they stayed in the alleys, out of human sight.
They all decided to meet at the park at 10:45 to see if anyone had found any clues, except for Anabelle and Belladonna, of course.
The time came, and they all met at the park.
"Any luck?",asked Charlie.
"Same here",said Charlie.
Everyone felt a little discouraged. Maybe the elf ran away to a different part of the city. Or maybe he placed some sort of spell on himself so that he would leave no scent. Anyway, none of them found any clue.
"Let's ask Anabelle",suggested Jenna",maybe she can use her powers to help us".
"Good thinking, Jen",said Sasha.
They all went to the alley were the whippet cousins were hidden. They found them, arguing as usual.
"Hey there",said Balto",peace. What happened to the truce?"
"Oh, go to blazes with your truce",snapped Belladonna",I'm sick and tired of it! I'm sick and tired of all of you!"
"Well, you're going to have to put up with it a while longer",said Sasha.
"Anabelle",said Jenna",we need your help. Can you use your powers to help us find the elf?"
"That's what we're arguing about!",said Anabelle",none of us can use any power on our own. We have to use our powers both at the same time and for the same cause for them to work. I'm trying to convince my cousin here to put aside her grudges and work together. And as you can see, that is almost impossible".
"Well",said Flo",so much for that idea".
"But, maybe Charles can help",said Anabelle",that is, if he has any tags left."
Charlie shook his head. He didn't have any left.
"Then, we do have a problem",said Anabelle glumly",unless..."
"Unless what?",they asked.
"Maybe I can help after all. Charles, give me your angel wing emblem",said Anabelle.
Charlie gave her his emblem, and she examined it.
"Now, I think I can make this emblem sensible to the elf's presence",said Anabelle",it's a simple angelic spell. Now, if only I could get Belladonna to help me."
Everyone looked at Belladonna.
"What are you all gawking at?",she snapped.
"Cut that out, Belladonna",said Flo",we need your help. If you want to become yourself again, you'll have to cooperate."
The devil whippet glared fiercely at all of them.
"You really have no choice",said Jenna.
"Come on",said Balto",don't you understand? You'll never be able to free yourself from this prank if you don't help us."
Belladonna still didn't budge.
"Please",said Anabelle",we both need to return to our normal forms again. Stop being such a ridiculous little baby."
Belladonna gave up.
"Oh, alright! Alright!",said Belladonna",but just this once."
"Did I ever hear that before?",commented Sasha.
"Shut up, La Frump!",snapped Belladonna",It's just until I'm free again".
Belladonna and Anabelle combined their energy. It was curious to watch, a clear blue light and a vile red glow combining, and concentrating their power on the wing emblem that Anabelle held. The emblem glowed for a moment, and returned to it's normal self after a while.
"Now, Charles",said Anabelle", the emblem can feel the presence of the elf, and when it does, it will vibrate. The more it vibrates, the closer we are to the caper. Understand?"
"Clear as water",said Charlie.
Charlie replaced the emblem on his chest.
"Well, Charlie",said Flo",looks like you're our metal detector now".
"Right",said Balto",take us to the silver, brother."
"On the double",said Charlie.
Equipped with new hopes, they set off to search for clues. Anabelle and Belladonna just sat down and waited, trying not to argue, but without success.
San Francisco Streets
Charlie, Sasha, Flo, Jenna and Balto searched for any sign of the wretched elf. It wasn't until late morning that Charlie felt his wing emblem shake violently.
"Hey everyone!",said Charlie",I found something!"
Everyone went to where Charlie was.
"I felt something just now!",said Charlie.
"Do you think he's close?",asked Sasha.
"He can't be far",said Charlie",Hey! I feel it again. It's stronger this time! He's definately somewhere near here."
Charlie walked around, and felt stronger vibrations from direction of the park.
"He's probably at the park",said Charlie",it's a good place for an imp to hide."
Charlie signalled to the others to follow him, and they went to the park. Everyone was nervous by now. The effect of the emblem was very precise, because surely enough, Mratti the elf was near.
"The emblem shakes more as I go closer to the bushes",thought Charlie",maybe he's hidding behing them."
He decides to crawl through the bushes.
"Wait here, everyone",said Charlie",I think I got him."
Charlie crawls through the bushed, following the rumbles of his emblem, and spotted the elf at the other side, drinking from the edge of the artificial lake in the park.
"Aha!",thought Charlie", there you are!"
But then he faces a problem.
"How do we catch him? If we just chase him, he'll surely run away again like he did before, and we'll have to start all over again",thought Charlie",but, maybe we can corner him..."
Charlie crept back to where his friends were.
"Guys, he's there",said Charlie.
"Alright!",said Jenna",let's nab him".
"It won't be so easy",said Charlie",he could escape again if he sees us. I've got an idea."
Charlie told them his idea, and they agreed.
There was a hedge of thick bushes surrounding half of the lake, from north to south in a half-circle. Sasha and Jenna would creep behind the bushes to the north end. Charlie and Balto would go to the south, and Flo would wait in ambush, right in the middle of the semicircle. Balto and Charlie would chase the elf towards the north, where Sasha and Jenna would surprise him. After that, they would all chase him to where Flo was hidden, and Flo would capture him.
So the stage was set. The great plan was about to take place. Everyone was in position.
Charlie and Balto leaped out of their hidding place and sprinted towards Mratti the elf.
"What t'heck! A surprise attack!",said Mratti",well, me would have expected no less from a bunch o'mutts like ye all".
Mratti starts to run lizard-like towards the north exit. Balto and Charlie manage to keep behind him. Then, when Mratti thinks he's out of danger, Jenna and Sasha emerge from the bushes.
"What the!",stammers Mratti",you all tricky, but I the fastest elf of all."
Mratti runs towards the middle of the half circle. The canines chase him until he's quite close to the hedge.
"Hehehe",mocks Mratti",you just no good, feeble mutts".
Suddenly, Flo leaps out of her ambush and pounces on the elf. Mratti is so surprised, he trips falls to the ground with a thud.
"Surprise!",said Flo, grabbing him in her jaws by the tunic collar.
"Hey, now",yells Mratti",let go, you silly thing! Let go or I'll curse you all".
"I don't think you'll be able to do that anymore",said Flo, taking his bag of faerie dust away from him.
She walks with her victim to where the others are.
"Here's the little freak",said Flo.
"Well, looks like we nabbed you good, huh?",said Balto.
"Don't bet on it, ye mutt",snapped Mratti.
"Ok, pixie",said Sasha",enough fooling around. Tell us how to return our friends to normal."
"What if I refuse?",said Mratti.
Charlie looked straight at him.
"Anyone for lunch?",asked Charlie.
"Yeah",said Jenna",I want fried pixie head and cream, please."
Mratti shrieked in terror.
"Ok, ok",said Mratti, giving up",I'll tell."
"That's a wise choice",said Sasha.
Everyone sat down and listened to the elf, still dangling in mid air.
"Me can't return them to their normal selves, like. They have t'work together for at least once t'be able to return t'their original forms",said Mratti.
"I don't believe a word of what you're saying",said Balto",they already worked together once, and they haven't returned to normal".
Mratti looked away. His lie didn't work.
Charlie got up and grabbed the elf's legs in his teeth.
"I have ways to make little imps like you talk the truth",said Charlie.
Charlie pulled Mratti's legs, and Flo pulled his arms. Mratti yelled in pain and fear.
"Ooooh",howled Mratti",enough. I'll tell, please."
"Do you swear!?",demanded Sasha.
"Yes! I do!",screeched Mratti",please, let me go!!"
Flo let go, leaving Mratti to dangle in Charlie's teeth.
"Now you'd better tell the truth, or I'll bite you legs off",said Charlie.
"Fine, then. I can change them back",said Mratti, turning to Flo",but I must to have my faerie dust first."
"Don't give me that",said Flo, clutching the little satchel",you'll just hex the lot of us if we give you back your dust."
Charlie had another idea.
"Let's take him where Anabelle and Belladonna are",suggested Charlie",and give him a chance to turn them to normal again. If he refuses, or tries anything funny, we'll have to make his days come to an end."
"Good idea, Charlie",said Sasha.
"Let's go!",said Jenna.
And so, Mratti was taken to the whippet cousins, under the watchful eyes of out friends.
San Francisco Alleys
Anabelle and Belladonna were restless. At last, Charlie came towards them with Mratti dangling from his teeth, followed by Sasha, Flo, Jenna and Balto.
"We've caught the caper",said Charlie.
"Just as we promised",said Sasha.
"What took you so long, Barkin!?",demanded Belladonna.
"Now, Belladonna, he's done his best. And he has caught the elf",said Anabelle",you should be grateful that they didn't come empty handed."
"Bah! He's useless",snapped Belladonna",if I was free, I'd catch that little runt in five minutes flat. He's a slowpoke, that's what he is. And a preacher as well, just like you."
"Watch you toungue, cousin!",Anabelle said",no one talks that way about my angels."
Balto was fed up with their arguing.
"BOTH OF YOU",yelled Balto",PIPE DOWN!"
They quieted down, but still glanced fiercely at each other.
"We've got the imp",said Jenna",and he's going to put you back the way you belong."
"Cause if he doesn't, he's gonna regret it,"said Flo, running her finger across her neck to show what she meant.
Anabelle was pleased to know that. Belladonna said nothing.
"Now",said Flo",I'm going to give you your satchel of faerie dust, and you must put them back the way they were. Understand?"
"Aye, me do nothing funny",said Mratti",do as ye say?".
"You'd better",said Sasha.
Charlie put Mratti on the floor, and Flo gave him his satchel of faerie dust.
Mratti opened it, and took some of the thin powder in his hand.
"Ye all stand back",ordered Mratti.
The others back off, but only enough as to not give him any space to run.
Mratti took the dust and pronounced some weird magic words.
"Assami mael quetzal mwuatta. Azzada quetzal mwuatta. Quetzal mwuatta",said Mratti.
But, all too fast to react, he spread to dust on his own body.
"Hey!",said Balto",you dirty liar".
"Hehehe",laughed Mratti",now you'll be sorry."
He started to grow, fast. In less that three seconds, he was a giant thirty-foot tall elf.
"And now",said Mratti",say bye bye."
He started to change shape. Like the ancient Devanos(from Episode 1), he twisted and morphed into a big demon with horns. He looked down at the tiny canines, fit only to be crushed under his giant foot.
"Now, who'd the tiny one, mutts",laughed the giant elf.
"That's dirty play",yelled Anabelle",I'll take care of that brute."
But she forgot she couldn't use any powers on her own.
"Hahaha",laughed Mratti malignantly",you so daft. I can't be defeated. Now you'll see who boss!".
He lifted his huge foot, but everyone scattered in different directions.
"Let's make thing easier",said Mratti, opening the now tiny bag of faerie dust. He spread it around, and suddenly everything around them disappeared.
"What's happening!",said Sasha.
Everything went dark around them. And suddenly, they realised they were being transported to another place! They all appeared in a dark, open plain, with a single cliff looming above them. Everything was silent.
Mratti was no where to be seen.
"He has taken us to a world of his creation",said Belladonna.
"You know about that, don't you",said Jenna.
"Are we all here",asked Sasha.
"I think so",said Flo.
"We've got to find out",said Sasha.
She started counting her friends. Then, she suddenly stopped.
"Oh no!",she exclaimed.
"What's wrong, Sasha",asked Anabelle.
"Charlie!",cried Sasha desperately",Charlie's missing!."
She ran around, looking for him.
"CHARLIE!",yelled Sasha",WHERE ARE YOU!
"There he is!",said Balto.
In the distance, very close to the cliff, Charlie was looking for them too.
"Sasha!",called Charlie",I'm over here!"
Sasha was relieved. She started running towards him.
"Charlie",yelled Sasha",we're over here!"
"I see you",yelled Charlie, running towards her",I'm coming".
But suddenly, the earth shook violently under them. And out of the ground bursted no other than Mratti the giant himself.
"Hahahaha, you're all gonna pay. But I'll get rid of you first",yelled Mratti, pointing at Charlie.
He started to walk towards Charlie, who was cornered by the cliff.
"CHARLIE",cried Sasha, sick with fear.
She ran towards him, but Mratti made a wall of flames between him and the others. Anabelle and Belladonna ran towards Sasha, followed by Balto, Jenna and Flo.
"I've got to help him!",said Sasha, ready to jump through the flames.
But Anabelle held her back with her only paw.
"Let me go!",cried Sasha",I have to help Charlie."
"Don't jump through! It's not ordinary fire, it's cursed fire",said Anabelle",if you touch it, it will burn you to the bone in less than a second."
Sasha stopped to think.
"I'll help him!",said Anabelle",come on, cousin."
"If you say so",muttered Belladonna.
Jenna and Flo tied to confort Sasha. Balto tried to look through the flames, but it was very difficult.
Meanwhile, on the other side, Charlie was trapped between the cliff and the huge monster. There was no place to hide or run.
"There ain't no escape, mutt",said Mratti",you'd better start sayin' yer prayers. Let's see how you like being pulled by the legs 'n arms."
Suddenly, Charlie saw Anabelle and Belladonna flying above the beast.
"Help!",cried Charlie",Anabelle, Belladonna, help!".
Anabelle thought this a good moment to reveal him a great secret.
"Charles, fly!",yelled Anabelle",Fly Charles. Use your wings!"
"My wings?",said Charlie.
Mratti lumbered closer.
"You've messed with Mratti the elf for the last time! Prepare to die",yelled the giant elf.
"Your emblem! Use it Charles. Hurry!",cried Anabelle.
Charlie put his paw on his emblem, and it shined brightly. Then, all of a sudden, a blinding flash invaded the darkness, and Charlie grew angel wings from his back! Not small ones. Big, elegant, silvery golden feathered wings!
Mratti was about to crush Charlie with his massive foot. Charlie didn't think twice. He beat his huge wings, and in two seconds he was up in the air, barely missing the wretched giant's foot. He flew up to where Anabelle and Belladonna were. He flew very well and knew exactly what to do, because he had already done it before in Heaven.
"Charles",said Anabelle",now your new power has awakened."
"Anabelle?",asked Charlie",did you know this all the time?"
"Yes, I did, Charles",responded Anabelle",and, I know something else too."
The monster was furious. He roared in rage at Charlie and the whippets, jumping in the air to try to grab them with his hands. Loosing his cool made the wall of cursed fire disappear.
"Hey, preacher",said Belladonna",don't you think we should get rid of that nincompoop once an for all, and leave the preaching for later?"
Belladonna was right.
"Now, Charles",said Anabelle",do what I tell you. Gather energy in your paws, focus your power into them. Go on!"
Charlie raised his paws in front of him, and focussed his energy into them. Suddenly, he saw a bright, blue glow coming from them. He was surprised.
"That's it, Charles!",said Anabelle",make an orb out of that energy."
Charlie did as he as told. His mind did most of it. He focussed all his power in his paws and made a glowing orb out of it.
"NOW! THROW IT AT THAT IMP!",exclaimed Anabelle.
While this was happening, Sasha and the others watched the happenings, since the wall of fire was gone. Sasha's eyes went wide when she saw Charlie fly up in to the air with his elegant wings, and her jaw dropped when she saw a bright orb of energy in Charlie's paws. Her heart was pounding. She was spellbound.
Mratti roared and jumped high into the air. Charlie didn't think twice. He hurled the blazing energy at Mratti, and it crashed into him like a ball of lightning. The wretched creature howled in pain. The orb acted as a kind of snare, keeping the giant elf in one place and draining his energy.
"Now, Belladonna, we must put this elf back where he belongs",said Anabelle.
Now, Belladonna was quite excited seeing the elf completely in rage. She was willing to use her power with Anabelle to make him suffer even more.
"Both together now!",said Anabelle.
Anabelle and Belladonna gathered a huge amount of energy in their paws, and held it overhead, creating an enormous amount of power.
"Eat this, you filthy imp!,"yelled Belladonna.
They let him have it! The huge orb broke up into thousands of little bolts, and they striked Mratti all together. He howled and yelled and roared, and slowly returned to his own, small self. Then, it was over. The wretched imp was defeated.
Suddenly, the dark world around our friends seemed to vanish completely, and before they knew it, they were back in the alleys of their beloved San Francisco.
San Francisco Alleys
Strangely enough, the sun was setting when our friends returned. They had been only a few minutes in the dark world, but time had passed in their own world. It was one of those things that happened. Time runs different in every realm.
"We're back!",exclaimed Jenna",we're all okay!"
"Is everyone alright?",asked Flo.
"Yup! Everyone is just fine!",said Balto with a smile.
"Wait a minute",said Sasha",where's Charlie?"
"Uh, look behind you",said Jenna happily.
Sasha suddenly looked behind her, and saw three vague figures, covered in a dense smoke. When the smoke cleared, she saw who they were. Anabelle and Belladonna, no longer siamese, but both with their own body once more; and her beloved Charlie, with silvery gold wings on his back.
Charlie came to where she was, and they hugged each other. Sasha could feel Charlie's wings close to her, and they felt very soft and feathery, they gave her a cozy feeling of security and affection. Sasha and Charlie looked into each other's eyes and smiled.
Jenna, Balto and Flo came up to where they were.
"Chucky! I didn't know you could grow wings!",said Jenna.
"Neither did I",said Flo.
"To say the truth, I didn't know it myself",said Charlie",but Anabelle taught me. And together we could defeat that silly elf."
"By the way",said Balto",where is that little runt?"
It didn't take them long to hear him groaning in pain closeby. He had been unconscious, but now he was back on his feet.
"Ooo, where am I?",muttered the elf.
Then he remembered.
"Ah! you mutts again! I'll fix you for good this time",said Mratti, reaching for his satchel of faerie dust. Unfortunately for him, he had used a lot of dust in making himself big, and had spilled the rest when he was defeated by Charlie, Anabelle and Belladonna.
""Looks like your faerie dust is out of order, eh?",said Flo.
"Oh no!",gasped Mratti",I must escape!".
But just as he turned around to run, be bumped into someone. That someone was Killer.
"Aha! Now I've got you, you sneaky rascal!",said Killer, scooping him up",and I've got ways to make lil' thieves like you pay their tolls."
Killer turned to the others.
"If you folks don't mind, I'll be taking this little guy with me, and I'll show him what it feels to scrub the deck with wire sponge and soap",said Killer.
"Go ahead and take him, Killer",said Jenna",we had enough with imps for one day."
Killer marched away with Mratti wrestling for freedom.
"I'll get you for this! I'll hex you all! I vow it! ",yelled Mratti.
"Shut up, or I'll make you scrub the crow's nest as well",said Killer.
And so, that was the last they saw of Mratti the elf.
Belladonna and Anabelle were still standing side by side.
"Well",said Belladonna",I guess I'd better be going back now."
"So, what do you think about all this, cousin",asked Anabelle.
"Hmmm",said Belladonna",well, I admit it. You're not as weak as I thought, Anabelle. It's was a real good blow you and I gave that crummy elf. I admit it, I was kinda impressed. Kinda."
"Good and kindness is okay for some people, I guess, but it's not for me. Rudeness and trickery is my style. So, it's so long. The next time, it's gonna be diferrent. Now I gotta go before I get infected with so much sappiness."
Belladonna started to walk away.
Belladonna looked back.
"Thank you",said Anabelle.
Belladonna snorted and turned away. But she didn't ignore Anabelle.
"You're welcome, I guess",muttered Belladonna under her breath. And with that, she disappears in a blast of flames.
Balto and Jenna comes to where Anabelle is.
"She's not all that bad",said Balto.
"Deep inside her, in the most deepest of her heart, there is still some kindness",said Anabelle",but it's concealed almost completely by her exterior."
"Kinda sad",said Jenna",she knows, but she will never admit it."
Flo, Charlie and Sasha came up to where the others are.
"Anabelle",asked Charlie",did you really always know about this? That I could use my wings?"
"Yes, Charles",said Anabelle',I always knew. And you can conceal the again as well. Try it."
Charlie does as Anabelle tells him, and his wings seem to retract again into his back. It was like a miracle.
"Thank you, Anabelle",said Charlie",thank you for helping me and my friends".
"You're welcome, Charles",said Anabelle.
Everyone was happy, but also quite tired after all the excitement.
"Oh well",said Anabelle",I guess I'd better get back to Heaven. See you all soon".
"Good bye, Anabelle",said everyone.
The angel whippet disappeared in a bright light, and was gone. They all smiled.
"Chucky",said Jenna",that orb of light that you hurled at the elf was incredible!"
"Yeah!",said Balto",and the way you soared into the sky was awesome too!"
"But how did you manage to fly so easily? Without practicing before?",asked Flo.
"I flew before",said Charlie",when I was in Heaven I use to fly. But back then my wings were quite different. They were smaller and less potent; these new ones are bigger and far more powerful. It felt quite different indeed."
Everyone was happy for Charlie.
"Well, we'd better get home and take a nice rest",said Sasha",we had a really tough day, huh?"
"You bet",said Flo.
"Why don't we all celebrate our little victory at the Cafe",suggested Charlie",we can take a nice break and them conmemore this day. How's that?"
Everyone agrees. After a while, they all go their way, to their own alley houses. Sasha and Charlie go to their own house, and Sasha opens the door for Charlie. It certainly was a great day! And everyone agreed on that.
Later that night, Sasha and Charlie were ready to go to the Cafe to join the others. They were sitting for a while on the balcony of their house, looking at the bright moon above them.
Sasha smiled and gave Charlie a sweet look.
"We sure had a quite active day, huh?",said Sasha.
"We sure did!",answered Charlie.
"Charlie",said Sasha",I'm very proud of you."
"Proud of me?",asked Charlie.
"Yes, you proved once more that you are a true angel",said Sasha",a brave and caring angel."
Sasha snuggles closer to Charlie.
"And you proved that you truly love your friends, and would give your life to protect them",said Sasha",and that's very valuable, Charlie."
Charlie smiled, stroking Sasha's head with his chin.
"I, I was afraid that elf would kill you, Charlie",said Sasha",he was so mean and powerful. He frightened me."
"I was afraid too, Sasha",said Charlie",I was afraid of what he would to to you."
Sasha looked straight at Charlie.
"But, then I saw you grow wings,",said Sasha", and I was spellbound. I was even more astounded when I saw you create an orb of light and hurl it at that beast. It was so powerful! I couldn't believe it."
"I couldn't believe it myself, Sasha",said Charlie, stroking her soft fur",It was like being another person for an instant. But it was me."
Sasha thought for a moment.
"Now that I think about it, it's not very surprising that the orb you made was so powerful",said Sasha.
"It isn't?",asked Charlie.
"No",said Sasha",considering that the orb was made with the power of you heart, the power you have within."
Sasha looked into Charlie's eyes.
"And the greatest power you possess is the power of your heart, Charlie",said Sasha with a smile.
Charlie smiled back. Sasha layed her head on his shoulder.
"You know, Charlie",said Sasha",being a guardian angel's girlfriend is very special, you know why?"
Sasha smiled beautifully.
"Because you are very special, Charlie",said Sasha, kissing Charlie on the cheek",I love you."
Charlie felt so happy. He also kissed Sasha's cheek.
"Oh, Sasha",said Charlie",I would never have become what I am if it wasn't for you; you're also a very special little person, and I love you too."
The moon shone brightly over them, etching their shadows with the lights of Heaven itself.
"Come on, Charlie",said Sasha happily",let's go with the others."
"Okay",said Charlie smiling.
And so, Charlie and Sasha went to he Cafe to celebrate a glorious victory with their beloved friends. Another strange memory is treasured in our friend's hearts, but there are much more beautiful little memories to come. And that is the best part of all.