Muffins on the Move

by Michael Bard

October, 707 CR

Roger was curled up in his shell trying to get some sleep — it is what you do at night after all — when something slammed into his shell at high speed. Scrolls rattled around inside, and he could feel his foot flailing at the ground before he felt himself tip over and *thump* onto his side on the grass.

That killed the last of the sleepiness clogging his eyestalks.

Grumbling, the giant snail gardener pushed himself out of his shell, felt around with his foot, and slowly pulled himself upright, happy again to be standing on something.

What happened?

He looked around in all directions with his eyestalks until one found a full form cheetah out cold on the ground beside him, and another found a crack, a crack in his shell!

"What the? Ow. Ow! Can't a guy sleep in peace? And it hurts .Ow!"

With one hand he gingerly touched the hairline crack in his precious shell. "Ow!"

The cheetah groaned.

"Bloody—" Roger slowly pulled himself around so the horrific crack was safely hidden and examined the quietly moaning cheetah. He was wearing a harness— and a badge. Guess he was one of the keeps— umm— couriers—

There was something in the air. Not that Roger was really smelling it, there was something tickling his feelers— Something— MMMmmm! With his hands he felt around the pouch on the cheetah's back and felt something soft and squishy. He pulled it out.

A muffin!

Roger hadn't had a muffin for months!

Omomomomomomomomom!

He grabbed a second.

Omomomomo—!

Holding a half eaten one in one hand, he reached—

Then the damn cheetah blinked its eyes open. "Rrrrr—?"

Hiding the occupied hand behind him, Roger burst out: "What the hell were you thinking? Don't you look where you're going?" He wiped a last few crumbs from his lips with his feelers. "You could have killed me! In fact, I'm in pain right now.Ow! Pain I tell you! I need a doctor!"

The cheetah shifted, becoming an anthro form. "But—" He shook his head. "I have an important muffin delivery—"

"Important? What's more important: some horrible muffins, or my life? Get Coe here right now! I'll die if you don't! Ow! And hurry! Hurry! It hurts so much! Ow! Ow!"

"But—"

"Do you want my death on your conscience?"

"It's an important muffin delivery—"

"I'll die! Die, you hear me? Die! You're my only hope. Ow! The pain! The pain!"

"But—"

"Go! Save me! Save me!"

The cheetah got up and fled back towards the keep as Roger moaned. When the courier was out of sight he omomomomomomed the rest of the muffin.


The sun was warm on his shell by the time the raccoon Coe came waddling over. The cheetah wasn't with him, must have ran off with his muffin delivery. Roger grumbled about wasted time and blind couriers as Brian Coe examined him. The snail made sure to moan at opportune moments.

"Roger, it's just a hairline fracture."

"But it hurts!"

"Don't give me that! Just rub some excretion over it for a few days and it'll heal. Not that kind! You know what I mean!"

"Oh, fine—"

"And one more thing, Roger—"

"What?"

"If you're going to steal Misha's muffins, don't do it when your skin's transparent."

Roger started looking for places to hide as Coe walked off.

END

"Muffins on the Move", copyright Michael Bard