The hours of Wednesday flew by for Minnie Mouse. She wished there was more time in a day! Sitting down and resting weren't in her schedule for today; even her meals were on the go. She went out to do a costume checkup, making sure they were on schedule and the measurements were all correct. Next were the grocers, assuring that the products she ordered are on time from outside city sources and in stock from local businesses. At one of the usual bakeries, Dessert Boss, Minnie picked up two large one sheet cakes from Buddy the Eagle Owl. She knew she wouldn't have the rehearsal's snack ready in time.

Minnie made it to her house with no time to spare after picking up Horace Horsecollar's needed cables and cords for the Club's media booth. She just had enough stretch to go in for a shower, a moment to feed Figaro and grab something quick to eat from her refrigerator, fasten her door shut, jump in her car and start it, and roundabout to the old Morison Manor. Not once did the female mouse think about her mail that day.

Despite being spent from earlier efforts, Minnie was in good spirits as she walked up the worn cobble stones and up the weary porch steps to the Manor's door. The toon mouse couldn't wait to see her new friend again. Last night she had opened the book Angela had let her borrow that she herself had written. The adventure, the fantasy, and the romance, Minnie had a hard time putting it down and forcing herself to sleep. She couldn't wait to discuss it!

A solid knock and a few short minutes later, the heavy door opened but only to a mere crack.

"Who-Who's there?" came Angela's hesitant voice.

The toon human wasn't in view and had the chain still latched on the door. Minnie raised her eyebrows, having a feeling her new friend was hiding behind the door. "Angela, it's me. Ohh, is everything all right?" She asked concernedly, taking a step forward. "May I come in?"

"NO!" responded Angela harshly, nearly slamming the door shut. She left it open just a smidgen to speak to Minnie. "I-I haven't been feeling well since last night and I was just sick… It was probably som-something I ate earlier…but if it's a bug, I don't want you catching it…"

Minnie had jumped back at Angela's outburst. It frightened her, placing a delicate hand over her heart. She looked up to spot Angela peeking through the crack of the door.

"I'm sorry…As much as I regret it, I won't be able to go with you today…" Angela shook her head sadly.

Voice caught in her throat, Minnie could only stare at her friend. But new ideas came to her head: she's only known her for a few days, and knowing she didn't having many friends, maybe this was how Angela acted and didn't know how to respond normally… Minnie would just have to accept that for now and perhaps help her new toon friend later on socially. Finally finding her voice, Minnie gulped and spoke up, "I und-understand, Angela… I-I hope you feel better… I'll check on you tomorrow if you'd like."

Angela answered the mouse with only a nod and let her be off, closing the door. After bolting the deadlock, the toon human slid down against the door, bursting into tears with Ebony watching close by.

On her way to pick up Mickey, Minnie's thoughts were on Angela… The poor dear, I hope she will be all right. She really mustn't have many friends and had been rejected so often to react like that… I'll check on her tomorrow for sure and maybe bring her something… I wonder how Mickey is doing and what he would say about this… Minnie stomped on her stop petal almost bumping into the car in front of her at a red light. She panted, hands planted to the steering wheel at eleven and two, "NO more distractions while driving!"

At Mickey's house, Minnie got out of her car and walked past the white picket fence, noticing it was very quiet. Not even Pluto was out in the yard.

"Well, well, well, if it isn't Minnie Mouse."

The female mouse froze at the voice. Though relaxed, she turned her head to find Mortimer Mouse, leaning over Mickey's fence, gazing at her. "Oh hello Mortimer, how are you doing?"

"Bored," he said, draping himself backwards over the fence, "and lonely. Say!" He straightened upright, smiling to Minnie, a sly look in his eyes. "You wouldn't want to be my girl on Halloween, would ya? We'll have a devilish good time." He chuckled.

"No thank you Mortimer. You know I'm busy on Halloween with the House of Mouse and all. By the way, do you know if Mickey is home?"

"D'aww, alright, but my question still stands," He grinned then frowned at the mentioned of Mickey. "Huh, oh, the runt, haven't seen him all day." Mortimer waved his hand carelessly. "He's gotta be out but why should I care." He shrugged and walked off toward his house.

Minnie raised her hand to her chin in thought. If Mickey was out at this time, that would be so unlike him and for him not to call her. Never the less, she better check if he's home. At the door, she gave a hearty knock and waited, hoping he would answer. Minutes after her second knock, Minnie considered using the spare key Mickey gave her. She was reaching into her purse to retrieve it when the door opened slowly, "Oh, Mickey…"

"H-Hey Minnie," Mickey said, forcing a tired smile. "I didn't know you were coming this early. I just woke up…"

The female mouse was appalled at her counter part's appearance. The flesh tone of his face was practically white as a sheet. His fur was matted down from sweat. Mickey's eyes were unfocused and he was shivering slightly as let the door hold him up, like he was unable to hold his balance much. "Mickey…" she said trying to hide her distress. "It's almost time for the rehearsal…"

"Oh, I slept all day?"

Minnie nodded in response to him and reacted quickly when he looked like he was about to fall by tucking her arms under his, noticing his fur was also clammy. "Come on; let's get you to sit down while I make something to eat."

"Sounds good, Min…"

Coming in, Minnie noticed Pluto was asleep in a corner of the living room… That's odd… She ease Mickey down into his arm chair, covered him with a blanket. "Just take it easy, Mickey." She'll make a home cooked meal for him, maybe that'll help, and he'll feel better soon, hopefully making the rehearsal. I'm not even going to rush… Minnie did give Daisy a call to get start without them; they might make it or not.

The female mouse hoped it wasn't anything serious…


Merry Belated Christmas and Happy Early New Year!

I just wanted to say thank you for all the reviews and the inspirations including the recent ones, especially the one from Kartoonfanatic! Your review inspired me to right this chapter and update now. To be honest everything has been down hill for my family and myself that I thought about giving up on my art and my writing but I thank all my family and friends, my fellow writers and artists, and my reviewers for keeping me going. So, thank you! I'll try to update as soon as I can. I'm not giving up. Your reviews and encouragements keep me going.

For me and everyone: Keep onward!