Author's Warning: Like everything else, this takes place in my series, set up by the events in my first story "More Than My Friend" where the big event is that Frankie adopts Mac as her "little brother". If you haven't read that story yet, I strongly suggest you do so now, or else you might get terribly confused.
"Hey! Hey, mister? Over here! Hey! Hey!"
Despite the panicked imaginary blob's persistence, he was unable to attract the attention of a passing zoo worker.
"HEY!" Bloo continued to shout over and over, leaping up and down and waving his blobbish stubs frenziedly. "Mister, a dog fell into one of the habitats! Didn't you hear me? No lie, somebody's dog got into one of the-YOWCH!"
His ludicrous display came to a swift, undignified end as a nearby redhead roughly nabbed hold upon the side of his head, pinching a piece of gelatinous skin like a stern mother grabbing the earlobe of a naughty child.
"Oh knock it off, will you?" Frances "Frankie" Foster scolded as she forcefully dragged him back towards the rest of the group. "I swear, it always has to be something with you, doesn't it? One outing, Bloo, that's all I want, just one family outing where-"
"But I'm not making this up, I swear!" Bloo wailed in protest. "You can see for yourself! Someone's dog fell into the dingo habitat! We gotta get it out of there!"
"Bloo," Frankie grumbled, settling the hysterical little creature up onto the cement wall bordering the pit-like enclosure. "That's -"
"We gotta get some help, quick!" He yelped, jabbing frantically at the ginger-furred canine sniffing about below them. "Before the dingoes in there try to attack it, we need to-"
"We don't need to help it because that is a dingo!" The caretaker snapped, forcing the poor little thing's eyes to nearly bug clear out of his sockets in his dizzying bewilderment.
"…Huh?" he managed to squeak hoarsely. "Wait…but I…I thought we were lookin' at some type of tree frog…"
Rather than dignify him with a response, Frankie just rubbed her temples and groaned in exasperation as she plodded over to join the curiously lanky imaginary friend and two eight-year-olds where they examined the Australian dog.
"Aw, that's sweet." Wilt chuckled as he read the small informative plaque. "It says here her name's "Mitsy." Well isn't that nice…"
"Hey girl! Hey girl! Hey girl! Hey girl!" Goo chirped, waving furiously at the animal from her perch upon the cement barrier, while the object of her intense attention just gazed back curiously at the madly giggling pigtailed creature with dark amber eyes.
"See? See?" The child whooped ecstatically. "She's lookin' at me! She's lookin' at me! Hiya, girl! You're a smart dog, yes you are! Yes you are! Yes you are soooo smar-"
"Whoa, easy, easy!" Wilt suddenly elicited a panicked yelp as she tottered a bit too much for his liking. Instinctively a crimson hand shot out and tugged her back a bit by the overalls.
"Awww, what's wrong?" she whined.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" he instinctively began to apologize profusely "Sorry, but you need to be more careful up there, we don't exactly want you to fall in or anything nasty like-"
"Don't worry!" Mac just chortled, craning his neck to flash a reassuring grin from where he sat perched next to his companion. "It's okay Wilt, we'll be fine up here…at least with her around…"
"Hmm?" Frankie murmured absentmindedly, catching the boy's mischievous wink. "Who, me?"
"Who else?" Mac laughed. "I mean c'mon, if we lost balance, we wouldn't even fall one inch before you would-"
"Oh?" The redhead replied dubiously. "Really? You absolutely sure about that?"
"What? Wait…well…would you?" Mac inquired softly, looking slightly puzzled by her response.
"Me? Go in there after you guys?" Frankie murmured before breaking out into a playful smirk. "No way."
"Frankie-" Wilt attempted to reprimand her. Before he could get one word further, the young woman whirled about and grabbed on tightly to his arm, allowing her verdant hade eyes to dart back and forth wildly as she broke out into a bout of expertly faked quivering.
"Y-you serious?" she mewled piteously. "Wilt, that's a wild animal down there, I could get hurt!"
"Hey, hey, wait, what're you-" The lanky creature yelped as she suddenly darted behind him, taking refuge behind his towering scarlet legs and cowering in mock terror.
"YEEEEK! I'm scared just lookin' at them!" she wailed. "Help me, Wilt! Save me from the nasty doggy! Save me!"
The sight of the fully grown young woman acting like a spooked toddler was just too much to resist, and within seconds the children were quaking uncontrollably with laughter.
"Heeheeheeheehee!" Goo giggled uproariously. "Hey Frankie, you want your teddy? Maybe a juice box? Will that make you feel better?"
"Nuh-uh!" The caretaker whined. "Pwease, just make the mean nasty doggy go away! I'm so scawed!"
"Oh c'mon, people are starting to look-" Wilt protested as he glanced about, but much to his dismay all he earned was a tighter vice-grip upon his legs as the redhead began to fake a few sniffles.
"I want my Grandma! Wilt, I want my Grandma!" she whined piteously, nuzzling up close all for the benefit of her small audience. "Please, Wilt, I'm so fwightened!"
"Oh, for the love of…" he groaned, struggling in vain to try and pry her off.
"Hahaha!" Mac snorted with mirth. "But if you're too scared to jump in, then who's gonna save us?"
At this, Frankie temporarily broke character as she peeked out from behind Wilt to flash a devious grin.
"You just better hope the staff here is quick on their feet, or else it looks like eight-year-old little boy is going to be on the menu tonight."
Goo's glee was instantaneously rocketed to record heights as she nearly shrieked with merriment at the ridiculous mental images she conjured up.
"Hahahahaha! Y'want any fries with your Big-Mac?" she teased while prodding Mac roughly upon the shoulder.
"What?" Mac whined indignantly. "Wait, what about Goo? How come I'm the one who gets ground up into a patty? Why not her?"
"Nah, too skinny." Frankie answered rather bluntly with a fiendish chuckle. "She'd barely make a mouthful…might do pretty well as a toothpick, though…"
"Better a toothpick than a five-course meal!" Goo tittered like mad.
"Five course?" Mac repeated dumbly.
"Yup!" she giggled, playfully rapping his head. "And they can make four of 'em entirely out of your head alone! Heeheeheehee!"
"Oh, like you're one to talk!" The boy snapped, jabbing angrily at the girl's own disproportionately-sized skull. "You-"
"Yeah, yeah, say all you want." She scoffed, sticking out her tongue. "But that won't make that fat noggin of yours any less tastier! They'll be snackin' on the leftovers for a week!"
"Frankieeeeee…" Mac moaned, glaring pleadingly into his guardian's eyes and silently begging for assistance. The redhead only snickered and flashed a crafty wink, still obviously enjoying the joke for all it was worth.
"Don't look at me, bucko." She sniggered. "Better make up with her soon, because if you two are fallin' down there, she's your only hope."
"Mac, pwease, don't make me go!" the twenty-two-year-old whined, doing a repeat performance of earlier. "I'm so scawed of the nasty doggy! I don't wanna!"
As she threw in a few faked sobs, Boo who had been silent since his foolish mistake earlier, plastered an ugly scowl upon his features as he positioned his little appendages upon his hips. "Hey, c'mon, you don't really mean that, do you?"
"Nuh-uh! Keep the mean wild doggy away from me!" she replied, hugging Wilt's leg's, while meanwhile, the lanky creature couldn't help but chuckle weakly at her comical performance.
"Oh, no way!" Bloo countered, unale to realize that she wasn't being serious. "You'd so be in there in like, two seconds! We all know that, don't tell me you wont-"
"Oh yeah?" the young woman responded with another mock horrified whimper. "Well, prove it mist-OH MY GOD!
Sadly, Frankie, along with everyone else there, had thought that the little blob was merely trying to join in on the silly joke. It was only when Bloo unceremoniously shoved Mac and Goo off into the enclosure below did the caretaker realize she had just made possibly one of the biggest mistakes in her entire life.
Wailing in horror, the mortified girl nearly bowled Wilt aside as she bolted forward in a last ditch attempt to try and grab them before they plummeted down below. Alas, even with her frantic burst of near-superhuman speed she didn't have a chance, and was forced to watch the pair tumble out of her reach.
"NO!" Frankie shrieked at the top of her lungs, nearly deafening every horrified onlooker in a fifty-foot radius as she grasped frantically at thin air. Nearly going as white as a sheet, for a few agonizing moments, the redhead couldn't help but just watch the horrible scene as she became temporarily petrified in her blind terror.
"Huh…guess you weren't foolin' around…" Bloo calmly muttered to her absentmindedly as he peeked down below. "Hey buddy, you doin' okay?"
"Blech!" Mac spat out a mouthful of dirt as he removed his face from the ground. "Yeah, with no thanks to you!" he snapped, peering upwards. "Hey Goo, are you...uh, Goo?"
It took only a matter of moments for the eight-year-old to realize that although Goo had been unharmed by the fall, his normally bouncy and immensely chatty companion had gone as still and silent as a small statue, other than the rapid rise and fall of her chest and her harsh, ragged gasps of fright.
"N-nice…d-d-doggy…" Goo whimpered, pressing her back against the cold cement barrier as she went wide-eyed with fear. While she trailed off into a bout of pitiful whimpering, as soon as Mac glanced into the eyes of the dingo standing only a few feet away, immediately he felt the icy cold hand of absolute panic grab hold of his heart and strike him mute, giving him little option save scooting over next to his friend, allowing themselves to embrace one another in a terror hug.
"Help! Help! HELP!" Wilt wasted absolutely no time in attempting to draw attention to the hideous spectacle, leaping up and down like a gigantic ten-foot-tall jack-in-the-box as he waved his gangly arm wildly, all the while bellowing frantically at the top of his lungs.
"Please, someone! Anyone!" he begged, clearly flustered out of his mind as a rapidly growing crowd began to arrive on the scene. "Get help! Tell the staff! Get a ladder! Find a rope! Dial 91-"
Before he could get any further, a massive chorus of horrified screams erupted from the gathered onlookers behind him.
"AAAAA! Oh God!"
"She went in! She went in!"
"Oh, Christ almighty, what's she doing?"
Instantaneously, Wilt could feel his heart sink like a rock in his horrific despair as he prayed desperately that a certain friend of his didn't just do the unthinkable.
"Oh no, please, Frankie, don't-"
"Hey, well what'd you know!" he could hear Bloo triumphantly whoop and thus effectively destroying whatever shred of hope there was left. "Haha! I so called it!"
Taking an anxious gulp, the poor lanky imaginary friend turned about and confirmed his worst fears; as carefully as he scanned amongst everyone, he was able to spot neither crimson ponytail jutting out nor familiar emerald sweater, only a horrified mass peeking down below, breaking out into another round of panicked cries.
"AUGH! Put her down! Put her down!"
"She's going to get killed! Someone, stop them!"
"Oh Lord, I can't watch!"
"Leave her alone!"
"FRANKIE!" Wilt let loose with a hoarse cry, bolting through the pack mass like a hot knife through butter.
"Sorry! Sorry! Please, move? Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!" he yelped as he stormed his way to the front, breaking through and peering over with a yell of,
Just like that he went as silent as a corpse, absolutely dumbstruck by the scene down below. True, the entire thing was a horrendously one-sided battle, as he originally anticipated; but much to his shock, rather than calling out what he thought was the name of the helpless soul, he had actually in fact been crying out for the vicious attacker.
"Please, stop it! The poor girl's had enough!" a nearby woman sobbed hysterically, in obvious reference to the poor dingo currently struggling to break free from the enraged redhead's hold. With her tail tucked between her legs, "Mitsy" howled in fright as she clawed hard upon the ground in a desperate attempt to escape.
"Oh no you don't!" Frankie snarled fiercely as she grappled with the terrified canine and struggled to reconsolidate her hold into a tight headlock. "I saw how you were looking at them! You want a free meal? Huh? Is that it, you miserable excuse for a golden retriever? Not on my watch! How about a meaty morsel that fights back? Eh? Not so tough now, are you? Are you?"
The horrendously spooked dingo only let loose with another frantic yelp as it desperately tried to wriggle free, not even attempting to even so much as fight back against the young woman with so much as a little nip. Not as if that probably was a wise idea to begin with anyway, as Frankie looked like she'd be more than willing to bite back.
As he watched the entire spectacle unfold from above, Wilt couldn't help but struggle furiously to keep himself from averting his gaze; the fight wouldn't have been half as painful to watch had not the two formally helplessly trapped children actually lunged in to join the brawl, clinging to their rescuer to try and save the dingo from Frankie.
"Let her go! Let her go!" Mac shouted, yanking desperately at her arm. "Frankie, look! We're okay! Just let-"
"Pal, get out of here!" The caretaker only begged, completely oblivious to his pleas as she wrestled the canine to the ground with laughable ease. "Don't worry about me! Just get help!"
"Help? Get help for who?" Goo squealed while she strove to detach the young woman's fingers from around the dingo's tail.
"Run!" Frankie only wailed, ignoring the fact that she had effectively pinned the terrified animal to the ground. "Go! Go! GO! I'll try and hold it off!"
As the entire calamity swiftly escalated to a point of unfathomable lunacy, Wilt couldn't help but watch helplessly from a distance, until he suddenly felt a sharp tug upon is good arm.
"Excuse me, sir?" a frantic-looking zoo worker sputtered in inquiry. "Do you know any of those people down there? A few here said that you were yelling one of their names earlier, and-"
Glancing one more time at the ludicrous sight, the imaginary friend just forced a weak smile upon his features, followed by a pitifully forced chuckle as he slowly began to back away.
"Um….I'm sorry, but I think you're mistaken…"
The ride home was eerily silent. Not a single sound could be heard inside the Foster's bus as it cruised down the highway, save the driver's frantic heartbeat as she still struggled to calm down by focusing on the road. Other than that, though, there wasn't a peep to be heard. Even Goo suddenly seemed to be unable to find the need to suddenly break out into a fast-paced chatter, opting instead to quietly hug her knees and stare out the window at all the passing cars.
"Uh…" Bloo suddenly murmured, forcing all eyes upon him. "So, what's for dinner tonight, Frankie?"
Coming up upon a red traffic light, the young woman slammed hard upon the brakes, bringing the bus to a screeching halt and nearly sending everyone spilling out into the aisle.
"SHUT YOUR TRAP!" she shrieked angrily, nearly shattering the bus windows as she glared at the miscreant with a look that could kill. Taking just one glance into the twin infernos blazing away in her eyes, the little blob instantly paled and scrambled pell-mell to the back seats, screaming shrilly with terror.
Rather than continue wrecking vengeance, Frankie just face forward again to rest her head upon the steering wheel with a weary groan as she waited for the light to turn green.
Sensing her embarrassment, and seeing that her still brilliant blush nearly illuminated the entire bus, Mac clambered up in his seat to give her a reassuring pat on the back.
"It's okay…" he whispered with a wan grin. "You were just-"
"Just trying to do what? Kill off one of the zoo attractions? I almost did." She muttered ruefully, pressing down upon the gas.
"Frankie, you were-"
"Don't sugarcoat it, I nearly strangled the poor thing she moaned. "You saw it! Oh God, what am I saying, you actually tried to stop me from-"
"Yup…it was so COOL!" An ecstatic squeal rang out from behind. Sorely puzzled, the redhead glanced up into the rear-view mirror to catch the gaze of the toothy-grinned little girl bouncing up and down excitedly in her seat.
"Huh? Goo, did you just listen to me? I-"
"Yeah! Yeah! We were all "oh no, what're we gonna do now?" and the dingo was lookin' at us like she was thinkin' "Yum, you two look good, I'm gonna gobble you up like a bunch of chicken nuggets", but you were all like "oh you did not just think that," and she was all "yeah-huh" and you were all like "Oh, nuh-uh" then you jumped in and did that thing where you tackled the-"
"Goo, you tried to help Mac force me off-"
"Yeah!" Goo only chirped happily, nodding her head furiously in complete agreement. "That was AWESOME! I never, ever get to do anything like that when Momma takes me to the zoo! She says I'm only allowed to watch the animals, but you actually let me…"
"It was pretty cool, actually…" Mac laughed softly in confession as the little girl began to jabber incessantly, her lips going a mile a minute. At this, Frankie couldn't help but break out into a giggle or two.
"Well…" she murmured with a modest grin. "Stupid as it was, I was only doing what I thought was best…"
"At least the zoo thinks it was only natural of you." Wilt reminded with a chortle as he plodded to the back of the bus to check on the whimpering Bloo. "Good thing they let you off so easily."
"Yeah…" Frankie agreed, reaching back to give Mac a quick pat on the head. "Now, if only those jerks at the stupid aquarium could be as understanding…"