"How's that dinner coming along, Carl?" Van Helsing called over his shoulder as he finished tying the horses up. The horses nickered slightly, but remained calm as they bent down to nibble on the fresh patches of grass. Van Helsing gave his stallion a good pat on the neck and walked over.
"All most finished Van Helsing." Carl called, "It should be superb." He smiled happily as he added a little more seasoning to the stew and stirred it a little more. Van Helsing rolled his eyes. Carl was not exactly the best cook in the world... in fact, he probably was no where near the cooking field. But, Van Helsing admitted that he knew very little about cooking himself and last time he had offered to cook, Carl treated him to an hour long lecture about how just because he could kill three vampires at once, he knew nothing about cooking.
Carl finished laying the place settings and the extra little bits of their meal. Truth be told, it was actually a very good setting. Carl had found a large tree stump, big enough to set the food on and two logs to sit on. The "sliver ware" was just the regular tin cups and plates they always used, but it was nice to sit down and have a meal once in a while... without having to worry about something trying to dismember them. Van Helsing saw him take out a bottle and smiled and shook his head.
"Does the Cardinal know you go into his private stores?" He asked. Carl looked at him and puffed out his chest,
"I'll have you know Van Helsing, I have never stolen anything in my life!" He said and poured the red liquid into two glasses.
"But I thought monks couldn't drink." He said, knowing the response he would get.
Carl groaned, "How many times, Van Helsing? I am a friar! I can drink as much as I please. I happened to make a stop in that bar before we left and purchased a bottle of wine." He explained. He looked over at the stew he was making and smiled, "Ah, almost finished. Now Van Helsing, where is that loaf of bread I set out?" He asked.
Van Helsing looked at him, "I don't have it. Last time I checked, it was back with the plates."
Carl turned around and looked at the stump. The bread was missing. He rolled his eyes and looked at Van helsing.
"You couldn't have waited?" He asked. Van Helsing's eyes narrowed.
"Carl, I never touched that bread." He said and walked over to find a small trial of crumbs, but nothing more, "Something must have taken it... probably, just a squirrel or something like that."
"Awfully big squirrel." Carl mused aloud as he set the pot down next to them and smiled happily, "Supper's ready."
Van Helsing rose from his place and walked over to where Carl was sitting. He took of his hat and set it beside his seat. Carl said a small prayer to God, thanking him for the food and then picked up his napkin,
"Van Helsing, pass the ham will you?" Van Helsing looked at him,
"Ham? How much shopping did you do?" He asked. Carl shrugged,
"We were low on supplies, I thought I might as well get some food as well." Van Helsing shrugged and looked Carl's bag,
"I don't see any ham." He told him. Carl shot up,
"What? That's impossible! I just saw it!" He went over and looked through his bag. "How is this possa... Van Helsing! Your hat! It's gone!"
Van Helsing spun around. Carl was right, his hat was gone. He rubbed his chin, it was obvious now that these missing items were not just "vanishing." He reached into Carl's bag and pulled out a couple of ginger snaps. Carl loved those. He went over to where the food was set and placed them down on the ground. Carl raised an eye brow.
"Van Helsing, just what in the name of the good Lord are you doing?" He asked. Van Helsing beckoned him over to a small little area, covered with bush and told him to get down.
"We're gonna see who or what our little visitor is." He said and motioned for him to be quiet. They waited in the clearing for a moment until they saw what they were looking for. Both men started in shock.
A young wolf pup gently stuck her nose out her hiding place and sniffed. She couldn't smell the two men hiding in the bush and seeing the ginger snaps, walked forward. She was a small pup, but she was certainly cute. She had white furm with a little gray tuff of fur at the end of her tail. She had light brown eyes and a gentle face. She looked about and then went over to the snaps, sniffing the gently before she nibbled on one.
Carl looked at her, "A wolf cub?" He asked Van Helsing. Van Helsing smiled and rose to his feet. The cub looked up and lowered her self to the ground in fright. As quickly as she had appeared, she dashed into one of the hollow logs and hid. Van Helsing smiled kindly and walked forward. He knelt down next to the log and looked inside. The little pup was shaking slightly, but made no move too attack. He smiled warmly at her and reached his hand in. The pup whimpered for a moment, but then, feeling his touch, leaned her head against his hand. She whined happily and after a moment, left her hiding space. Carl emerged from where he was as well.
"Poor little thing must be on her own." He said and came beside Van Helsing, "She must have smelled our dinner and thought she could get an easy meal."
Van Helsing nodded, almost laughing as she jumped forward to give him a big kiss. Carl reached into his bag and pulled out an extra plate.
"We probably won't finish this all." He
said, "Maybe she would like to join us." He poured some of the
stew onto the plate and placed it down beside the cub. She looked at
the dish and sniffed its contents. She suddenly began to eat
vigorously, enjoying her meal greatly. Van Helsing and Carl sat down
and joined her, enjoying their dinner as well... maybe a little less
as Carl realized he'd added too little spice the the stew.
Afterwards, the pup licked her lips and stood up. She stretched and
suddenly dashed off into the bushes. A moment later she was back, Van
Helsing's hat in her mouth. Van Helsing smiled as she placed it
down in his lap.
He smiled and reached out, giving her a friendly pat. It was nice just to relax once in a while.