Someone has declared war. And in this prank war, no one is safe.
Sheldon rolled his eyes as Howard and Leonard argued about which one of them the cashier at the theater was smiling at. The movie had been boring and unimaginative. The entire evening had been a waste. He unlocked his door and walked over to the closet. He took off his jacket and opened the door. And then he screamed.
Sheldon struggled on the floor under the weight of the cougar. It's teeth were inches from his face. He could feel it's claws digging into his chest. He fought back valiantly, doing his utmost to power the wild animal off him. Leonard and Howard sprang forward to their friend's rescue. Leonard hit at it with the sword he had grabbed from the wall. Howard kicked at it with his feet. All three men were shrieking in terror.
"Excuse me," called a voice from the hall. "Whatever this is, could you keep it down?"
Sheldon turned his head and yelled out a warning. "Run, Penny! Save yourself!"
She frowned at the men. "From what? A toy?"
The men slowed their movements and eased away. Sheldon looked up and found himself staring into glassy golden eyes. He poked the muzzle gingerly and the cat toppled over. Howard walked over to the closet and looked inside. Sheldon scrambled up to his feet and turned red.
"Wow," Howard said with awe. "Someone set up a spring loaded trigger in here. The moment you opened the door, the trigger released and launched the stuffed cougar at you."
Sheldon turned to Penny furiously. "You did this!" he bellowed. "I could have had a myocardial infraction!"
Penny gasped. "What the hell are you talking about! I didn't do anything!"
Sheldon poked her shoulder with his finger. "Don't lie to me! This is just the sort of thing you would do!"
Penny smacked his hand away. She pushed him back a step. "First of all, I didn't do this…this, whatever this is! Second, you apologize right now for calling me a liar!"
Sheldon sneered. "Oh? No one else could have! Leonard has been with me all day, and you have the only other key!"
Penny smirked and crossed her arms. "No I don't. Leonard locked himself out three days ago and he has the spare. I haven't even been in here for four days."
Sheldon opened his mouth and then closed it. His expression turned from anger to confusion. "What?"
Leonard nodded. "I still have the spare, Sheldon. Penny couldn't have done this."
Sheldon looked from Penny to Leonard and then back. "You don't have a key?" he asked hesitantly. Penny shook her head angrily.
"No I don't. And you owe me an apology!"
Sheldon glared at her for a moment. "I apologize for suspecting you of a prank you did not do, even thought it's just the sort of thing you would do," he growled.
Penny glared at him fiercely. "You know what, Cooper? If that's the best you can do, screw you!" Penny spun on her heel and stormed away. Sheldon glowered as the door slammed behind her. Then he kicked the taxidermy nightmare. Someone had set this up. If it wasn't Penny, then he would find out who.
Sheldon sighed and walked across the hall. He couldn't ignore the tears that had sprang into Penny's eyes. He knocked on Penny's door and called her name quietly. Penny ripped open the door and Sheldon jumped back. He hung his head and sighed. "I apologize for my inadequate apology. I allowed my temper to get the better of me. I am truly sorry for my accusation."
Penny's expression softened and she nodded. "Thank you, sweetie. I really appreciate it."
Sheldon raised his eyes and looked at her for a couple of seconds. He opened his mouth but quickly closed it. He nodded and hurried back across the hall.
The phone buzzed and a text appeared. It's begun. Your turn, now.
A reply was quickly typed out and returned. Excellent. I am looking forward to tomorrow. Sleep well.