Author: Breloom PM
Tawny Lea becomes a victim of circumstance one bitter night and must fight with all she has to see the sunrise. But what caused this attack in the first place?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure - Chapters: 7 - Words: 9,312 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 03-11-13 - Published: 09-16-12 - id: 8530189
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It was the silence that woke her.
Startled and not quite sure why, Tawny Lea's waking thoughts were a bleary realization that everything was still. The night had been torn apart by lightning and noise; menacing wind whistles and great crashes of thunder with the occasional thunk of falling ice.
She felt a dark chill in the room that always seemed to settle after something awful happened, or perhaps before….
That woke her up, and without really thinking the dog pulled off her blankets. She grimaced at the freezing feeling that settled on her seconds after.
Cringing and sucking her breath in Tawny Lea attempted to hide under the covers to get the heat back. She failed to regain any warmth, which only served to further exaggerate the strange dread that seemed to slink through the shadows.
She tried to ignore that, but it worked as well as getting warm again did. So instead of sitting there Tawny moved to the side of the bed and listened to the house, worried that something had happened while she slept. She heard only a slight wind and her sleeping Doodle, nothing more.
Tawny stood up and shivered in darkness; she wondered if the heater gone off.
She pulled a thick pair of Toon gloves over her trembling hands and slipped a slightly wrinkled jacket on in a vain attempt to ward off the terrible cold.
After a moment she started to pace, saying nothing to the nothingness of the room. Her friend had left early for the day; her job at the local hospital had called her away in the middle of the night. Some emergency case or another, she didn't say. Probably someone near froze over or maybe a slip on a banana peel.
Tawny sighed and thought over how she ended up in the middle of the Brrrgh. This visit was certainly not in her plans (and arctic storms weren't her idea of a good time) but she had come anyway. She could recall her friend trying to get her to stop by even though it was close to the start of another unforgiving winter. She had accepted the offer after the bear Toon had gone quiet trying to express a plea that couldn't be put into words. That silence from her friend had made its own noise -a sort of exaggerated absence of sound that hurt her head. After a moment of that she accepted the invitation because Tawny Lea knew that hidden in Snow Swirl's head was a lonely Toon that came out on the worst days. The darkest and most bitter cold days where sometimes everything wasn't enough…
Not even Snow's Doodle was there to help her feel better since her since he had left with the bear Toon. He liked to tag along to cheer up the Sad or hurting Toons doing tricks
It must've been a bad case…
Tawny's own pet was buried in a basket. The normally lively red Doodle August was sleeping so deep and slow that, nestled in her blanket, you could scarcely hear her breathe. Even putting a jellybean under her spotted nose failed to rouse her after a day of hard training.
Tawny saw in her peripheral vision a soft light beckoning her to the window. And since the sparsely furnished guest room was otherwise totally dark she went to seek some form of comfort or at least something to distract her.
She shuddered and hesitated a few feet from the window, which, softly illuminated by some unseen source began to frighten her though she could not exactly say why.
She listened hard for any footsteps, clicks, hushed whispers, or even the wind.
Still nothing stirred within or without the house.
Unable to handle the mounting unease she drew the curtains back quick as she could. To her relief it was the frozen moon and burning stars that made everything glow. Whiteness covered the entire estate; from here Tawny could see the pond had frosted over with a light skin of ice. From her vantage point she saw nothing out of place for the Brrrgh. Shaking again with renewed uneasiness she was jolted far from sleep; miles and miles from it in the eye of the storm.
The dog suddenly felt very much alone. She didn't want to be here with no one at all, not which the distant bangs and roars of an angry blizzard. Sure August was a warm body, but she was gone to the world 'til sunup at least.
Moving as quickly as she could to the spare Wardrobe she put on her heaviest snow gear and debated her options. She could turn on all the lights and crank the heat to full blast; she could watch pointless shows on the small television in the living room. And she could shiver in the warmth that staved off only the low temperature…
And I could run up Snow's bills like crazy doing that. She gave a pained smile to no one as she thought that.
The crack of electric zigzags flashed brilliant illumination through the uncovered window. For a long moment everything turned harsh white-blue. After a second that seemed to run too slow, the blackness returned.
She had another option, though it sounded crazy.
She could go out.
The idea seemed ludicrous, and although the storm seemed to have passed the temperature must be in the negatives... And even more importantly, where would she go?
Well, there were always stores that stayed open all night, a few hardy hotels also glowed their availability through the darkness. Some local gathering places were open 24 hours and perhaps she could visit the hospital to see her friend. Unfortunately that plan hinged upon things being slow enough for Snow to be allowed to be torn from her work.
Tawny was still worried, and dreadfully cold. Moving as quickly as she could through to the other room she tried to flip on the living room light. There was a click, a click that should have marked the room flooding with light. To her quiet panic and confusion, nothing happened.
The power had gone out.
For a moment she started blankly at the switch, and then started slowly moving to the living room window. Everything still shone silently.
Struck with an idea, she walked quickly to the phone. She recalled somewhere that phones usually still stayed on even during power failures, especially the old phones that came with every Toon house. These old model phones meant relatively few people to call. A few switches and a rotary dial was all it had. Of course there was always Clarabelle's Cattlelog, and some emergency numbers along with friends that used similar telephones. Tawny told herself that she'd convince Snow to get a more modern system, like the one she got installed in her home, when she saw her again.
She started at the archaic device, trying to remember how to call anyone on it.
Tawny Lea eyed it a moment before she started flicking switches. Tawny punched some numbers in, hoping her muscle memory would come through, turned the crank and put the ear piece to her head. If she was honest with herself she knew she didn't recall which line (if any) she was calling because she had never memorized the number and switch combinations, she had begun to rely on her own sleek phone's quick dial. Consequently she had pretty much forgotten the ones she thought she would remember.
Her hopes rose for a moment as the phone let out several shrill rings before crashing as an automatic operator told her she had dialed an invalid or out of service number. She tried several times with other variations, even at one point opening the curtains to let the feeble night glow in so she could see slightly better. After several frustrating minutes without a successful connection, she gave up.
Cursing quietly she knew her options had become even more limited than before. She could stay in a house without heat or electricity until Snow Swirl returned and they could figure something out. Or she could suck it up and venture out to find another Toon to report the outage to, all the while worrying about the blizzard swinging around to attack again.
Both choices sounded terrible, but hurrying out was the lesser of the two evils. And while it wouldn't be pleasant, it had to be done.
But of course, in hindsight, everything is 20/20.