Don't Touch My Llama

Chapter 5: The Day My Life Was Ruined By That Horrible Girl.

By: Emilou aka Hatashi Kitty

*Gasp* Gee, I wonder who that "mysterious woman" is? I totally can't think of who it could be.

Does everyone understand that I'm speaking sarcastically? Yes? Good.

I'd love to ruin Quillana's foreboding that she's been setting up for later, but the author says that I can't. I've been out voted.

But it's not like everyone hasn't guessed.

*Cough* Esma *Cough*

Now you see what I had to go through. Sure, I was able to out smart one crazy woman, but two. That's twice the crazy. You can't blame me for my behavior. I was completely set up on this one, folks. And you have to understand that it was blatant entrapment. Anyone in my position would have fallen into the same web as I did.

Let me take you back to the day after Pacha arrived with his family. We had a nice, early breakfast together, and I got to show off my theme-song guy to them. And then we had him sing "Happy Birthday" to Tipo. The kid got a real kick over that. Once that was over, Pacha told me that he had some business in town to prepare for the annual merchant's march, and that the whole family will meet me at El Burro's Cheezy Burrito for dinner around five.

I was very happy about that, since it gave me plenty of time to myself before I had to be packed into a small restaurant with a bunch of kids, germ infected play pens and greasy fast food.

So, I said a fond farewell to the family, and went down to inspect the army; my only duty for today.

"Hey, guys. How's it going?"

Most of the troops smiled, waved at me or gave me a wayward salute. Their Captain gave them all a glare, and they straightened up.

"Okay, what do you have for me today?" I asked the Captain while rubbing my hands together. "Do I get to see drills?"

The captain gave me a confused look. "I'm sorry, Your Majesty, but we seem to have made no progress since your last inspection."

I put my hands on my hips. "And why is that?"

"On account of some of the men are still animals," he told me dryly.

I looked back down the line. The cow looked down at his hooves.

"I know, but we're still looking for a cure. Esma didn't exactly keep a recipe book," I told them with an apologetic look. "What about the octopus guy? He's useful, right?"

"He is and he isn't," the Captain told me. "He's a deadly aim with all his arms." With a flick of his hand, he indicated the soldier to show his stuff.

The octopus soldier took a step forward. (Okay, not a step. It's like he slushed forward.) He picked up a javelin in each of his arms, and threw them at a target. They all hit the bulls-eye in the middle.

"YAY!" I cheered and clapped enthusiastically. "That is so awesome. Now what's wrong with that?"

"Unfortunately, if he stays out of water for over an hour, he'll die," the Captain told me bluntly

"Oh," I said, my emotions drooping from that bad new. "Hey, I'm sorry man," I called to my soldier.

"It's okay," the octopus called back as he slithered into a barrel of water they kept for him.

The Captain grabbed the back of my neck and led me away from the troops, his voice down in a secretive tone. "I don't mean to be critical, Your Highness, but it would have been really nice if we had Esma in custody. I don't feel that you're safe while she's still out there."

"Dude, are you serious? She's a cat," I told him. "If she were right here, I could drop kick her."

"All the same, Sire, I'd like to have a few body guards with you at all time," the Captain told me with a grimace. "Some human guards."

"No. Nooooo no. Having a bunch of guys in armor follow me around is waaaay too uncool," I told him with a nod of my head.

"How about one?"

"How about none?" I replied flippantly.

The Captain grunted. "I'm in charge of your safety. If I have to, I'LL follow you around myself."

I grimaced. "Okay, fine. I'll have one body guard. But I get to choose."

"As long as its anyone but the cow."

The cow soldier looked embarrassed.

"Fine by me," I said with a grin.

The Captain grinned back, feeling as if he won. (Well, he actually did, but I wasn't going to act as if he had.) "Well, Sire, then as long as you are here, perhaps you'd like to take a look at the Calvary." He gestured a rough hand at a group of men mounted on llamas. They were a tough looking group, trying to radiate danger as their mounts chewed their cud. (There had been many complaints that the Calvary would look better on horses, and I agree, but unfortunately, horses aren't exactly the best for mountain passes.)

I backed away, feeling a little nervous. The sight of those long faces sometimes does that to me. "Ahh, haa," I laughed in a high tone as I kept my eyes on the beasts. "No, everything looks great. You're doing good guys. Keep it up." I hurried away, keeping a nice distance away from the shaggy animals.

A few hours later, I was strolling through my palace with my new body guard at my side. I had just briefed him in my day's schedule.

"Oh, this is going to be so much fun. I haven't been to El Burro's in ages," Kronk told me, a bounce in his step. "Tipo will love it. They give out free brownies for birthday boys. I wish it was my birthday because I love their brownies."

By this time, I was regretting my decision. The only thing that kept up my spirits was the Captain's face when I picked Kronk (I never agreed to pick one of the palace guards so I guess he didn't win after all). Most of the time, I like hanging around with Kronk, oh yes, I do. He makes a mean souffle, and is a great guy to invite to a poker game (who'd of thought that Kronk would have a poker face. He's an open book for the most part). But then there are times he fixates on some childish ideas and won't let go. And then all he does is talk and talk. Sometimes he talks to himself. That's just Kronk.

"Chill out, buddy. We'll get there soon enough. I just have a few things to do first," I told him. Just at that time, my finance guru came in with the latest tablets. As I took them, the finance guy started talking to me in rapid speech. He seemed worried.

"What was that?" I asked, not paying attention the first time.

"Sire, I don't mean to impose, but I think you should turn away today's donation requests," he mumbled at me, looking down at his shoes.

"And let my people go without what they need," I chortled. "No, I will not let them down."

"Ah, charity. For the good of the people," Kronk said with a smile on his big pointy face once he realized what was going on. "Give til it hurts so good."

"Right. . ." Whatever that means. I quickly signed all the tablets and handed them back to a frowning finance guy. I didn't pay it no mind.

"Alright, Kronky. Time to go," I said with a pat on his back.

"YAY!" Kronk cried out, and skipped along in front of me.

I was in a good mood, so we decided to walk to El Burro's. I thought it would be kind of nice to walk around, say hi to my people, see how my donations are making them happy. However, I was completely surprised to see all the streets empty. Not a soul in sight.

"Cree-py," I told Kronk, who nodded and gulped. I was getting spooked and had almost decided to turn around, when El-Burro's came into view. I sighed with relief, feeling it would be so nice to see another human being. Even if it was a herd of snot-nosed kids.

"Hello!"

A face popped up in front of me, making me jump back and scream like a little girl. . . I mean, I was startled in a manly way.

"Oh, sorry," a feminine voice said, and the face back away.

Now that she wasn't right in my face, I could see that the owner of the voice was a young woman with big, round eyes. I was startled since I thought those dark eyes glared at me for a while, but then became amiable.

"No, it's alright," I told her, putting on a princely smile.

The girl played with her hair in a way that made her look younger than the sixteen years I initially thought she'd be. Her hair was long, thick and straight, running down her back in a black cascade. I would have thought she was beautiful, but she looked frazzled with hair uncombed. There was a smudge of dirt on her cheek and her hands were dirty. Surprisingly, she wore a nicer dress than I thought a peasant could afford, but it was just as dirty as she was, so I gave it no thought.

I looked down at her carefully, deja vu running through my brain.

"Do I. . .know you?" I asked suspiciously.

She bit her lip in a childish way. "Uh. . .well. . .you're Emperor Kuzco, right?" she said, almost as if she were remembering her lines in a script. Her words sounded wooden.

"Yeah. . ." I said cautiously, wondering if she were one of those crazy fangirls who was going to glomp me.

"Oh, I was just on my way to the palace with a message for you," she said.

I rolled my eyes. "If you're looking for a handout, you must fill out a form with my adviser," I said with my hands up. I was so not going to work on my afternoon off.

"No. . .no, that's not what I want. I'm here with an invitation for you," the girl said.

"An invitation?" I raised an eyebrow.

"Yes. Your people, who love you very much, wanted to do something for you in return," she said, her back straightening. She sounded much more confident at this point.

Now she had my attention.

"I was sent to tell you that there will be a parade being held in your honor," she said, a big smile appearing on her face.

"A parade?" both Kronk and I said together. Kronk clapped his hands.

"Yes, a big parade. It'll have floats, and balloons, and acrobats and. . .clowns. . .and all sorts of things," she told me, sounding more and more excited. "And fireworks at the end."

Part of me was telling me to run away from this girl. Run as far and as fast as I could go. That part of me knew exactly who she was, had remembered a time when the face was kindred to hatred and violence.

The other part of me was thinking about the most awesome thing in the world. My very own parade. It was totally awesome. I was blind to everything else.

"Wow, that sounds great," I said, grabbing the girl by her shoulders and telling it to her face. "I can't wait. This is amazing. Is it tomorrow? Or maybe next week? Oh I can't wait."

"Uh. . .well, you won't have to. . .because its happening right now," she told me with a big open mouthed smile.

Suddenly, my happy meter went waaaaaaay down.

"Wha- you mean right now, right now?" I asked, sounding like a total idiot.

"Well, yes. It was suppose to be a surprise," the young woman said, looking completely innocent (I should have been more suspicious).

My eyes drifted over to El Burro's, thinking about Pacha's family and Tipo's friends expecting me.

"I don't suppose this parade could wait until tomorrow?" I asked with a slight cringe.

The young woman's face fell. "But we've already hired the performers. Your people used their own money to prepare all of this for YOU," she told me, her eyes expectant.

If you put it that way, I thought, then I have to go to the parade. It's my duty.

"I suppose I could go for a while," I said thinking it over. "I can make a quick appearance, and still make it to Tipo's party."

I looked at Kronk for confirmation.

"I can't think of anything that could go wrong with this plan," Kronk told me with a shrug.

I shrugged back. "Well, alrighty then. Lead the way," I told the young woman.

She turned around and walked smoothly down the road away from El Burro's, her back straight and tall. Everything about her seemed wrong, but like the innocent that I am, I went along.

As you can see, I was completely duped into going along with this plot, the sneaky seductress. She offered me a big tasty apple, and you'd have to be super human not to take a bite of it. But guess what? That was a poison apple. Because she's a witch.

Oh, where was I?

"The parade," said Kronk.

Yes, the parade. Thanks Kronk.

All feelings of guilt for skipping out on Tipo's party when I saw The Parade. From that point on, it needed to be capitalized because it was amazing.

The floats were decorated with all colors of flower, the scent was exotic and intoxicating. It was refreshing. There were thoroughbred horses pulling each one, their coats shining in the brilliant sun and their feet dancing in anticipation.

The girl leading the way stopped and bowed to me, gesturing in a very graceful way to a float that had golden flowers all over it. The float had a wide flowing staircase and at the top was a throne almost an exact copy of my own.

"If Your Highness would take his place, we may begin the parade," the girl said, her voice darker and deeper than before.

I couldn't contain myself. I took the staircase two steps at a time like it was a race, and jumped into that golden seat. After I situated my rump onto the cushion, I looked up and gasped. Before me, there was a multitude of people lined up on both sides of the street, cheering and calling my name. They had flags and bouquets of flowers. Petals and confetti were being thrown all over as if it was raining color from the sky. In the streets, there was a cacophony of performers and animals. There were jugglers throwing all sorts of items around. Dogs, cats, jaguars, horses and all manner of animals were doing tricks to the orders of their trainers. Acrobats and contortionists were leaping about. Dancers pranced around, their clothing loose and covered with feathers so it looked like they were flying.

I know, I'm so good at description.

I was in awe, because it was so awesome. And it was all for me. Some part of me had desired this for a long time. Since I had become a llama, I had spent a lot of time trying to persuade everyone that I had changed. I went out of my way to be nice to everyone, and made sure it wasn't all about me.

I couldn't help but revel that this Parade was all about ME. It made me feel good. Marvelous. Stupendous. I was on top of the world. I was Emperor Kuzco. And everyone was . . .

"Uh, Kuzco. . ."

"Huh?" I asked, hearing my voice not being shouted in joy but plainly being shouted.

Kronk stood at the foot of the float, looking a little confused. "What do you want me to do?"

"Oh, yeah. I guess you should come stand on the float," I told him.

"Really?" he asked, his face full of incredulity.

"Yeah, that's what my body guard is for," I told him. "Get on up here and guard my body."

"Right!" he saluted and ran up to me.

Then the float started. It was a magical time. Everything went by so quickly. The longer The Parade went, the more there was to see. Every time I looked around, something new caught my attention. The people on the streets seemed to demand my attention, wanting me to wave back at them all the time. I barely noticed when my arms grew tired, I was in an ecstatic state of self-importance. I vaguely remember Kronk tapping my shoulder, and whispering something, but I didn't notice.

This was my time. I had spent a many unselfish months making up for all that I did in my past, and now I was making up for it. Whatever warning Kronk whispered to me, it fell on deaf ears.

In all the excitement, I didn't notice when the sun went down and all went dark until fire shot out from the earth and burst into the sky. Lights danced among the stars, drowning them out with flashes and bangs. It was a symphony of sound and brilliance all around me. For me.

I leaped out of my seat, waving my hands in the air like a conductor. The fireworks went off all around me, as if to my command. The crowd of my people oooed and ahhhed at the sight.

I looked down for an instant to see the awe on hundreds of faces, feeling the power of the moment rush through me. And then in an instant, it all vanished as I saw the face of Pacha looking up at me with a look of disappointment. And by his knees, little Tipo's freakishly large eyes filled with tears.

There were no words to describe how I felt at that moment knowing that I had let down my only friends.

. . .

. . .

. . .

I told you there are not words to describe it. It felt awful, okay.

I hated myself.

(Author's Notes: Sorry, everyone, for not updating any time recently. You know how life it, things get hectic and you can't get anything done. But I'd like to thank those who have sent me reviews, they really make my day whenever I get one. So keep them up. I'm going to try and get another chapter done this month, so if I don't, you can heckle me. ;)