[I'm changing the last scene. Instead of Chris and Twitch walking away together, Chris picks him up, and cradles him.]
As Chris carried Twitch toward the gathering, a familiar pale golden light filled the room. As usual, it heralded the newest goddess in the Norse Pantheon. She had begun as a character in a series of graphic novels by Stanley Chester Brown. When she reached such heights of popularity that two of Stanley Chester Brown's comic books topped the New York Times bestseller list, dimensions shifted, the universe shuddered, a crack opened between worlds, and Blondhilda was born.
She was carrying her Sword of What, Are Your Legs Broken and For Odin's Sake You're 6 Foot Seven.
Twitch slipped from Chris's arms. "Blondhilda!" he said, clasping her hand. "I haven't seen you since that time Stanley got kidnapped!"
She ruffled his bald head as he licked her hand and smelled her hair. Stanley clapped him on the back. "You've got to be more specific than that, buddy," Stanley said. "When Chris pays any attention to me at all, it always means I'm getting kidnapped."
"It was that time I had a bladder stone and your Japanese anime character Hello Sailor used it to focus a laser and cut through the steel building where you were being held captive." Twitch fist pumped the air. "Bladder stones rock!"
Chris and Stanley looked at each other and shook their heads almost imperceptibly. They both knew the trouble and expense that happens when crystals form in a cat's bladder.
Twitch went back to Chris's side and squeezed her shoulders. "Stones! Rock! It's a pun, get it?"
She closed her eyes in apparent pain and Stanley groaned as Twitch laughed.
Blondhilda, however, curtsied to Twitch. Her gray eyes shone with admiration and a little sadness. "Your courage on our many adventures, and now, will earn you a place in the halls of Vallhalla," she said. "And your humor will earn you many friends. I am sorry to hear of her illness."
Twitch gave a courtly bow that charmed Blondhilda. Despite his casual speech, he had a streak of elegant dignity that showed itself most unexpectedly and endeared him to all people of sophistication and refinement. "Yeah, well, I'll admit it kind of sucks," Twitch said. "Going to the vet is the worst. I mean, all this technology, and they can't think of a better way to take my temperature than to stick a thermometer up my--"
"--But it's necessary, sweetie, to give you the best care possible," Chris interrupted.
Helen and Rico, two lawyers from an abandoned legal thriller Chris was writing, joined the conversation.
"We prefer to think of ourselves as 'on hiatus'," Helen added.
"Yes, we are still hoping you'll catch us on the flip side and finish our cool story to the max," Rico added. Rico was written as a foreign born lawyer who had learned English from old TV shows from the 1970's. "It's a slam dunk."
"It's so good to see you two, and to see you are still full of life and hope," Chris said. "But, of course, I created you as strong, resourceful characters who would prevail against nearly impossible odds, so it's not surprising. I'm sure your optimism will be rewarded." In her mind, she thought, "Sit on it, Potsi." She was tired of always having to do research for his dialog.
"We really are resourceful," Helen said. "In fact, were thinking, maybe you could bring the ear thermometer with you to vet visits."
"Thanks for the suggestion," Chris said, pleased and grateful that these characters had spent their time in the void thinking of ways to help her. We had forgotten about the pet ear thermometer. "But I wonder if the vet will consider it accurate enough, or if they'll really need a rectal measurement."
"You better get some grease," Rico said.
Twitch literally jumped back (although, to Rico's disappointment, he did not 'kiss himself'). "Oh, heck no, I hate that guy!"
Grease was the nickname of an evil character. He began as a kidnapper and murderer in Rico and Helen's story, but he had since played several cameos. As his crimes became less serious, his punishments became extravagantly excessive until he was now merely comic relief. Helen and Rico feared that if Chris ever did resume their story, they would have a hard time taking him seriously.
Twitch had confused 'grease' with 'Grease' and now he was getting bored. "Whatever. Chris, can you just lube my butt up really well next time?" he said, unnecessarily loudly. A passing waiter looked from Twitch to Chris and smirked.
Chris pressed her lips together and looked around the room to see who else had heard. The waiter winked. Twitch stared at her with innocent green eyes. Chris laughed. "You're so funny, Twitch!" she said. She gave him a squeeze and he passed wind. Chris just shook her head with a resigned smile.
Blondhilda took Chris' arm. "It's lovely the way you are so indulgent with him," she said quietly.
"I don't mind." Chris replied, equally quietly. "Despite all the joking around, it is my pleasure and privilege to take care of that little cat."
The two women turned to watch Twitch and Rico. "Gimme some skin!" Rico said, putting out his palm. Twitch made as if to slap it, then pulled away at the last moment. "Huh," Chris said. "That's exactly what he does to me. I never could teach him to 'shake.'"
Helen and Rico patted Twitch and wandered off to mingle. "Hey, sweetie," Chris said. "Why don't you find Ting Ting and then go tell Anton, you know, what you wanted to tell him."
"Okay, Chris," Twitch said happily. "But, just so you know, it was my idea. I'm not doing it 'cause you said so. Cats don't obey."
Chris' rueful smile came back. She knew.
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