I love you all...
May I hopefully finish this story before it pulls me under.


Mabel. The sane one. The kind one. The one who actually talks. The perfect one. Somehow she got all the good and perfect and nice genes. And at least Labelle was pretty.

What the frik' had happened to her?

No no, she shouldn't be saying that. With her kind of social skills, Sable could never hold up the shop and she knew it. Labelle had offered Mabel a job with better pay than she got working with her sister, but Mabel insisted, "We're a team. I could never leave you."

Or maybe it's because Mabel let Labelle have the pride in knowing she worked for her. Yeah, that was probably it.

Looking from her blue sister's sleeping face to the clock on the wall, Sable groaned quietly. 4:00AM? How much sleep had she gotten? No matter, she'd just fetch a cup of coffee from the Roost after she finished sewing that gingham blouse and filled out and mailed that order for striped green patterns and dye that pair of glasses green and fixed that hole in Mabel's apron and try to get the sewing machine to stop making that ugly noise and... "Oh, dear Lord, I have so much to do..." Sable muttered under her voice.

Oh, she'd just ask Tom to get it for her...

Wait... What? Did she just think what she just thought she thunk? And... and thunk isn't a word!
Well, it's not like it bothered him... She wouldn't dare pester anyone else in all of Luropo, she realized. Whenever Sable said that she was hungry a little too loudly, Tom Nook would appear a few minutes later with a peach. And lately, as Mabel teasingly pointed out, she'd been saying that she was hungry a little too loudly.

Sure, it made her feel rather bad, and she'd always say something like, "Oh, no, I'm fine, Tom," "You didn't have to go through the trouble, Tom," "You can't leave your nephews to run the store alone, Tom, run along..." it really made her blush like a tomato. And Tom always looked delighted when she muttered a quick, "Thank you..."

No. She wasn't going to bother poor Tom; he just liked to be a good neighbor and she wasn't going to take advatage of that. Rushing down the stairs to get to her work, she glanced at the window that happened to look out at Nookington's.


Mabel was probably stuffy under her quilt.

She could open the window for her.

Before she could talk herself out of it, the morning breeze was carrying the scent of dew through her spiny fur, waking her up.
She was ashamed to feel her disappointment when she saw that Nook wasn't there. Nor was he even awake yet.
And it was a good thing too, because she realized she hadn't put her apron on yet. Giving herself a face-palm that would make even Kyon complain, she turned from the window and was about to start up the stairs when a warm current rushed just short of her ear, seeming to move so fast that the carpet under her feet grew hot and her spines stiffened. Sable swerved and shrieked. The contents of the store before her were disappearing like letters on a computer screen while holding down the Backspace key.

"What the...!"

She, with super hedgehog speed that may have come by animal instinct, adrenaline, or luck, rolled into a signature hedgehog ball, spines pointing out. A hedgehog's spines aren't like porcupine quills, contrary to popular belief. She couldn't make them come out unless under extreme stress or illness, let alone shoot them. But this stress was extreme enough for her.

Suddenly a force unlike any other whammed her into the wall. As hard and furiously hot as a clothing iron, Sable screamed from the impact and the searing pain she now felt on her side. Several of her spines lodged into... whatever, as she felt them rip from her skin.

And then it was gone.

Just gone, the pink curtains Mabel had sewn last Christmas swaying in the morning breeze.

Still in utter shock and not understanding what the flip had just happened, she seemed to go into autopilot as she trotted up the stairs to get an ice pack for the first-degree burn on her back where she had just been slammed into. No, not slammed, mauled. Halfway up the stairs she ran down and closed the window, fixing the curtains. She did not look at the store room behind her.

She wasn't sure what she was going to see, but she didn't want to see it.

"Saaaaay-ble, what was that noiii- ohhhhhhmigosh, WHAT the frik' happened to you!" Mabel's drowsiness and anger for being woken up at 4:00AM dissolved when she saw the large bruise on her sister's left abdomen. It was starting to turn an ugly reddish-black on Sable's pink skin, bare of any fur. A piece of gauze was soaking up the little blood on the wound, as it was somewhat cauterized by the extreme heat of whatever burned her.

"Well, don't just stand there. Fetch me an ice pack and I'll tell you WHAT the frik' happened to me, if only I got it myself." Mabel, always impressed by how calm Sable always was, even when trying to twist the right way to dress a pretty nasty looking wound on her back on their cold, bathroom floor, quickly obeyed and hobbled down the stairs.


Double take.
Triple take.

Have you ever moved a large piece of furniture, like a couch or a dinosaur skeleton, out of a room in your house after it has been there for a while? You get that weird feeling when you look at the room, like it's too spacious, or too empty, and maybe you should put something there to fill that space or else it will seriously bother you until you get used to it. Even when your roommate moves something small, like a houseplant, you can tell as soon as you walk in that something's missing.

Well, that was how it felt for Mabel, except times 1,300.

The store was clean nothing but floor and walls.

Quadruple take.

Not knowing what else to do, Mabel screamed. "SAAAAAAAABLE!"
For the fourth, no, fifth time that day, Sable stumbled down those steps to where her sister kneeled, dizzy with incomprehension and shock. She felt the wind knocked out of her when they walked into the store room hand in hand, as if with silent communication.

She almost keeled over when she saw the all too bare wall where her parents pictures once hung. She had told Mabel not to hang them there; they'd get too much dust on them, customers would ask who they were, she didn't want one to fall and crack. But she had insisted, they would want to be there, watching over us, working with us. They always loved working, all of them, even Labelle before she discovered the joys of makeup, prissiness, and being stuck-up to the sisters you're way-too-good for.

Quintuple take.

That was where Sarah and Celeste found here, huddled in her sewing corner that now had nothing to sew nor anything to sew with, mourning what felt like the death of those who were already dead, feeling dead herself, and wondering herself: What had happened to the store, to them, to their parents?

What the frik' had happened to her?