Chapter 1: Life At The Pet Shop
Julian was born on the eighteenth of December. He is a reddish-brown Chihuahua with dark-brown eyes. His mother and father where Julian II and Lisa. He had two beautiful sisters named Julie and Lila; they all had the same reddish brown fur but had varied shades of brown eyes. They lived on a farm in Mortlake, where until the start of April later that year the family went on a camping trip, a four-hour drive from their small home in the country. The two days of camping weren’t fun for Julian, as on the last day chased a rabbit for half an hour before he lost it. He then followed his scent out of the forest to the very empty and vacant campsite where his family was, he continued to follow the scent home. After three days of walking and scavenging for food, he found it empty and abandoned, they were gone. Julian sadly walked on as a storm began to brew. Lightning struck and thunder rumbled but it never helped his broken heart. Julian whined as he was alone and afraid. After another hour’s worth of wandering in the rain, he finally wandered into the small town of Mortlake. He found a small playground where he crept into a dry tunnel and there he slept for the night as the storm went its course.
The next morning Julian searched for food and found a half-eaten hamburger still on the restaurant table. Unfortunately, a worker chased Julian away just as he finished the burger, he did not get to lick the plate clean. He explored more the small yet growing town in hopes of more food. At around midday, Julian felt tired from walking for so long. So he found a nearby alleyway and slept out of sight from the street, beside a large and smelly dumpster. He woke when he felt himself get picked up all gentle like he had with his family and he opened his eyes to see a woman with brown hair tied into a neat bun, and green eyes. She walked out from the alley and took him into a store. It was a pet shop; it was also very loud inside. She gently placed him into a carry cage while the kind woman took off his collar and went to her desk to look up his details from the tags. As she did so Julian stared at the people passing through the store while thinking about his family and if they were looking for him. He saw a young girl with light brown hair and golden-green eyes stop at the front of the shop.
When she walked in she asked “Who’s this Mama?” she queried the child, gesturing towards Julian, who was staring at the two, while lost in thought.
“I found him asleep next to the dumpster outside. I’ve done some research and his house was robbed a few days ago. The family lost their dogs in the robbery, but the other puppies are fine, so he’s here until they come back to get him.” The woman told her calmly. “But he’s ours if that nothing happens by the end of the month, his name is Julian,” She finished as Julian began to wine in the crate, now knowing his parents are gone and never coming back.
Rosina looked down frowning, so Julian put his paw up on the carrier door and she smiled, but it quickly went away.
“I know you miss your mother and father but the past is the past, and we can’t change it no matter how badly we want to,” the woman told Rosina, softly, trying to calm her down. “Rosina at least be glad you have a home and place to sleep. Your parents were very well off people in this town and had money to support you even now after they are gone. If you like Rosina we can go to the town festival and go on as many rides as you like, to take you mind off of the sadness” she told her gently as Rosina’s eyes began to water.
“Ok mama,” sniffled Rosina happy.
“Why do you call me mama anyway Rosina?” her mother asked in confusion.
“I don’t want the kids at school to know my mum and dad were famous. I just don’t want them to be my friends because of my parents Auntie Belka,” she replied calmly looking at her aunt.
“I understand Rosina and I shall keep your secret for you,” Belka replied as Rosina left to get her bag. “I’m sorry Julian you must have reminded her of her parents,” Belka told him gently.
Seeing her sadness for Rosina in Belka’s eyes, Julian lay down and watched the people walk by. 10 minutes later Julian fell asleep still a little tired from his journey.
He woke up the next morning seeing a man and a woman at the door. The dark brown haired and gold eyed woman knocked madly at the door with a piece of paper in her hand. Julian barked loudly and Rosina came out sleepily still in her nightgown.
“What is it, Julian?” Rosina asked sleepily. “Oh no, Aunty Belka!” she yelled recognizing the people.
“I’m coming dear what’s the ma! Oh, it’s my evil sister in law,” she said as her expression immediately went from fearful to angrily, as she opened the door. “What do you want Miriyamana,” asked Belka angrily as the woman marched in with a black haired, teal eyed man behind her.
“Where here to pick up Rosina, we have her parents will and according to this, we have full custody of her,” Miriyamana spoke greedily.
“I don’t think so Miriyamana! Rosina should be the one and only person to decide who her caretaker is. So you and Jake better get out of here and go home before I call the police!” Belka screamed in annoyance.
Julian watched them arguing and Miriyamana opened the door to pat him. He growled immediately sensing the evil in her, “what did you do get this dog from the streets!” screamed Miriyamana almost loud enough to wake the neighbors.
“LEAVE JULIAN ALONE, YOU WITCH!” Rosina screamed even louder stepping between her and Julian; Miriyamana stepped back and angrily stormed toward the door, Jake in tow.
“You’re lucky Jake can’t talk or he’d really wake the neighbors,” Miriyamana told them both sternly slamming the door as she left the shop.
Belka shook her head, “I really think that evil woman needs to learn a lesson, don’t you Rosina? Rosina?” she asked again her niece didn’t answer; Rosina was staring angrily out the window with Julian in her arms being held tightly. “I’m just going to go back to bed, let me know if you need anything,” she added. Rosina nodded and then Belka left quietly to go to her bedroom.
“I’m sorry you had to see that Julian,” Rosina apologized in a calm and soothing tone. “That aunt of mine want’s nothing but money,” Julian looked up at her tilting his head to show he was confused. Rosina sighed and began to tell her story, “you see my dad, her younger brother was an opera singer and my mother, a songwriter and they fell in love in university, got married a year into their careers; and had me, but last year they had a car crash on the way home from a performance. They only found my mother’s body and my father is presumed dead. There was no sign of a will, so I stayed in my aunt Belka’s custody as she’s my godmother and I chose to go with her; so until they find a will or something saying my rightful guardian; Aunt Belka is my mother’s little sister. All my Aunt Miriyamana wants though is my parent’s money,” she told him angrily making a mockery of her Aunt Miriyamana’s name. “The stupid evil witch,” she mumbled in anger.
Taking a deep breath to calm herself down Rosina put Julian back into the carry cage, locked the door and went to feed other animals in the store as the sun began to rise. Julian could see the other pups in the store loved her, but he already knew why; Rosina had already demonstrated her kind, caring and selfless nature. It was easy for Julian to tell that Rosina loved the store and the animals. When she finished went out the back door into her home. He had a feeling her classmates knew her as the pet shop owners smart daughter but never knew who her real parents were.
Twenty minutes later, Rosina and Belka came back to the shop dressed for a day at work. Rosina came around and put half of the store’s pups into a playpen in the middle of the store, including Julian. Rosina sat in the chair within the pen to assist the pups and Belka opened the store. Julian met two pups, and the three quickly became friends, a brown and white Beagle-Jack Russell cross with green eyes, named Brownie and a dark brown almost black Jack Russell with light green eyes named Darky. They played the day away. Until at four pm, a 5-year-old girl, walked into the store and straight to the playpen, and started to play with the puppies.
“Good morning Garla,” Rosina said as the young girl as she began to play with the puppies.
“Morning cousin,” replied Garla with a giggle.
Garla was Belka’s, other niece, her elder brother Gregory’s daughter, but a spitting image of her mother’s golden blond hair and vibrant green eyes.
“Who’s the new pup, Ro?” Garla asked her cousin lovingly.
“That’s Julian his sisters have owners, and his parents passed away,” replied Rosina sadly.
“Another one with an upsetting past?” she asked Garla sadly.
“Yeah the 3rd one this year, and were not even half way through the year,” Belka replied her upset clear in her voice.
“It’s ok Ro besides you two are the kindest people I know,” Garla told her cousin cheering her up.
3rd. I’m the 3rd pup here with a troubled past in this shop, Julian thought to himself in confusion and sadness. He looked up and around trying to spot the others, but who are the other, Julian then realized something as he scanned the store, Brownie, and Darky were the only ones of their breeds. Oh. That makes sense why I don’t get along with the other pups, Julian looked up again to see the three staring at them, and why Belka, Rosina, and Garla are staring at us. We are all on our own.
The 3 pups fell asleep a half hour later huddled in a corner of the playpen. The only thing in Julian’s dreams was the memories of when he last saw his family and when he was alone, out on the streets; as well as the horrible things that his friends may have gone through. He woke from his nightmare around two hours later to see his friends still asleep and that Garla left but there were children playing games with and cuddling the other puppies in the pen. He stretched and yawned. Rosina was sitting beside the three pups. When Rosina saw Julian she picked him up and began to give him a scratch behind his ear. Julian loved it, after a while he rolled onto his back and Rosina moved to rub his belly. He could see her happiness and joy in making the pups happy, clear as day in her eyes.
Then a mean Golden retriever pup jumped onto Rosina’s lap pushing Julian off and hurting his left hind leg, so he chased his tail for a while and until he felt better. The pup grinned at Julian meanly. Julian heard moaning behind him and turned to see Brownie, tossing and turning and he could tell she was having a nightmare.
Brownie woke with a frightened pant and Julian hurried to her side, “Brownie, Brownie what’s wrong?” Julian asked when he reached her side.
“Nothing Julian Just a, a, nightmare, a common nightmare,” replied Brownie still shaking in fear.
Julian could tell it was more so he thought hard before replying. “You can tell if you want, my mother once told me that ’talking about things can help the pain go away,” Julian told brownie making her smile a little.
Brownie could see the worry in Julian’s dark brown eyes, so she took a deep breath and began to tell her story while Julian lay down; ready to listen to her every word. “My owner hated dogs, she slapped us and kicked us every chance she could get, every time we disobeyed the smallest of rules,” she began. “One day she took all the males away, even my dad. They all came back the next day, but they were all injured. Our parents disappeared the next day. Afternoon Darky,” Brownie started noticing Darky now awake and listening to. “My brothers and sisters disappeared one by one. I was the fifth to go. I remember being in the car in a box and when she picked up the box, she tossed me into the drain, I heard the rats scurrying towards me and I ran; against the breeze to find the way out. I reached the end of the sewer drain fell into a lake. The water was cold but I swam to the bank and walked to a hollow log on shore and slept. When I woke up I was Rosina’s arms, with Garla and Uncle Gregory beside her. I was placed in the playpen; I am the first stray. I stayed away from the group because they disgusted me for the fact that I did come from the streets. Until Darky came along I had no friends, but now I have two,” Brownie finished happily. “Every time I close my eyes I’m reminded of the drain and the rats. That was the nightmare a mere memory,” explained Brownie sadly.
“How did you get here Darky?” asked Julian calmly.
“Oh everyone knows that story,” growled the mean retriever grumpily, he still lay on Rosina’s lap but he frowned at them cruelly. “Little Darkies dada and mama breeders for profit selling pups illegally and dad ran away with eight and got shot simple Ian!” he growled.
“It’s Julian the third and you are?” Julian asked frustratingly growling the ian loudly to state his annoyance.
“Silver, the boss around here; you three belong out on the streets in the dumpsters where you were,” growled Silver.
Julian and Darky walked away in fear as all the pups stayed away they could tell he wasn’t to be messed with, but Brownie growled angrily, ready to pounce back to defend her friends. Hearing the Growling Rosina placed a barrier between them and Silver.
“Is there something going on between you two that we should know about,” asked Julian shyly.
“Call it a war of words if you must,” Brownie scowled as she and Silver glared daringly at each other through the lattice of the barrier.
“Is he right about your parents?” asked Julian shyly, trying not to offend his friend.
“It’s half true. When my papa got caught by the dog catcher family and I ran away. One by one we stayed away from the group. I am the runt of my litter and I was the second last to get lost. I wondered around for days and eventually I bumped into the Mayor Gregory’s leg he was surrounded by cameras as he was just a candidate then. He brought me here and I was put into the pen I tried to make friends with Brownie. She rejected me the first couple of times, though,” answered Darky.
“I had a reason for that Darky,” Brownie told them. “I’ll tell you both later you’ll probably be in our capsule tonight Julian,” she added glaring at Silver.
“Mayor Gregory?” Julian asked knowing it was the name of Garla’s father.
“Garla’s father he’s the town mayor,” Brownie explained calmly.
The three friends did nothing but play games the rest of that evening. That afternoon Rosina began her nightly chores. Brownie was correct; Ro had put Julian in their capsule. The 3 friends watched her sweep the floors and feed the pets. When she got to their capsule Rosina gave Julian a treat.
I’ll split it between the three of us, Julian thought to himself, not wanting to be selfish.
They second Brownie noticed what he was trying to do, she tried to stop him. “Don’t worry Julian there is no need she always gives treats to the newbie’s and the well-behaved pups,” explained Brownie.
“After what happened today we all deserve a treat,” Julian replied shaking his head.
They ate their dinner in silence. Then the three waited for the rest of the store to fall asleep before Brownie told the rest of her story.
“Ok I rejected you because of Silver,” Brownie began gesturing to Darky. “It was my second night at the store and all I could think about was my family. I lied I didn’t ignore the others at the start; I tried to make friends but Silver always tried to stop me, being the stubborn pup I am I barked at him, and every time he tried to prove the ‘Big Boss’ I made sure I got in his way. I helped everyone out I could in the first two days and by the end of the second, most of the pups began to see me as a savior, Silver made sure I would hate him forever that night.
He and four of his brothers somehow got over his wall; before we had capsules we had boxes with an open top, this night changed that. His eight sisters were asleep. I asked them to go back to their own capsule, and I said it politely, the first time, then they began to corner me so I started with the fighting words. Then Silver walked around, glaring at me, his brothers circled us staring at me. Then Silver completed his circle of me, to face me he gave a speech of how ‘he was the boss and all should listen to him and only him.’ I told him the truth; that I would never bow to anyone like him, animal or human. Then Silver and his brothers attacked me, I fought back with all I could but the odds were in his favor I gained several scars all landed on my right hind leg; they were trying to take me down. Eventually, the plan worked, and I was too weak to fight anymore. Then Rosina came in, at the precise moment that I collapsed my leg burned but all they did was encourage me; they hurried over the wall but Silver lay smiling it took me an hour to stand; but from that day forward we’ve been enemies. Rosina saw me and grabbed the first aid kit. Then she renovated all the capsules and kept me and Silver apart; far apart. I rejected you because I needed to see you weren’t like the others, Darky, mean and cruel, I had to be sure first,” Brownie finished showing them her scars, both her friends kept by her side night helping her to forget all her troubles, pain and cares for the night.
The next morning they sat and watched as Rosina fed the dogs and ate their breakfast. Today she placed other puppies in the playpen while yesterday’s stayed in their capsules and happily played with their families or in their case friends. Julian noticed Silver staring at them with his brothers and sisters playing happily behind him. He barked twice sadistically, Julian growled back. Brownie shot him a death stare and Julian backed off. Then the three continued to play.
“Why does he glair at us like that?” Julian asked eagerly.
“He wants attention, he’s evil Julian. A bit of advice doesn’t get on his bad side. Trust me it’s as evil as Rosina’s aunt, the stupid witch,” replied Brownie angrily, Julian thought through her words and remembered her warning.
Julian climbed to the third level a part of the capsule that went through the roof. Starting the exercise course, Julian began to walk through the tube he followed the curves as he neared the end he walked up a ramp then slid down onto a cushion then stood to try and navigate a tricky maze of mirrors, often winding up at a dead end. After half an hour of wandering through the maze he found the exit; tired and panting. He couldn’t read but he could see he was in the third quarter of the capsule. They all seemed to be numbered on the top of the right wall.
“Julian, you in here?!” Brownie called worryingly from the start of the course.
“Yes, I’m at the end of the mirrors! ARE YOU OK?” Julian asked in a confused tone.
“I’m fine but Darky and I got worried about you! I’m coming, I mean we’re coming to get you, we’ll help you get to the end, we just on the cushion, so we’ll meet you at the U-turn it’s not far but it ends at a pulley with small, wooden carriages. We’ll see you there!” Answered Brownie as her and Darky entered the maze.
Julian continued when he realized there water in front of him that led to the last capsule. He took a deep breath and jumped into the water; it wasn’t too deep only deep enough that they could swim. As he got near the end, Brownie and Darky were nearly finished in the mirror maze.
“I guess it’s a good thing you do this every day,” panted Darky tiredly.
“Yeah, I know this thing like the scars on my leg D,” replied Brownie as they exited the maze. “Julian are you down there?” asked Brownie.
Julian gave three short barks as a reply. In fifteen minutes they were all on the other side.
“Whoa Brownie you’re a fast swimmer it took you five minutes to get here!” yelled Julian in astonishment.
“Julian she does this after lunch, dinner and any other random time of day when were in the capsules that are, though. I only do it when I’m mad a Silver or usually between lunch and dinner,” panted Darky as he climbed out of the water and dried himself.
“I’ll do it with Brownie after lunch so I don’t get lost and if I get back in time I’ll do it again with you Darky. When I think I’m ready I’ll start doing it after breakfast,” Julian replied with both his friends smiling at him.
“Let’s go together,” Brownie replied happily.
“How do you do this, thing again?” Julian asked in a confused tone looking at the odd boxes that hang from two ropes on the ceiling. They were in a row along the ropes one after the other.
“You pounce on it and lean backward to go forward, the trick is keeping your balance. If you fall off just follow the arrows. We’ll eventually be down there anyway,” Darky explained.
Then with Brownie in the lead they started. Julian and Darky fell off half way through landing one after the other one backside.
“Just follow the arrows Julian,” Darky told him as Julian led the way.
At the end, Brownie had jumped off of her platform and landed atop of Julian by accident. Darky laughed as Julian lay squashed beneath Brownie.
“Sorry Julian I didn’t see you there!” Brownie barked jumping off to help Julian up.
“Apology accepted,” Julian replied arching his back after standing up.
“Are moving or what? It might help Julian’s back,” Darky said after a short but eerie silence fell afterward.
“Like it helped my leg heal, and get away from Silver,” Brownie growled angrily.
“Let’s continue,” Julian suggested after a while, and then in silence, they walked on. “Why is the water so shallow?” Julian asked in the second half of capsule three.
“It’s for our paws. You have to jump out of the box and onto the floor, or you go upside down and have to do it all over again. That and if you fall or jump off, your paws get a bit saw,” replied Darky as they neared the end.
“What now?” asked Julian as they reached a platform that had ropes from a pulley either side of it.
“You have to hop the platform and pull yourself up, by biting the rope and or twisting your tail around the other and pull down to lift yourself up. I prefer to bite then tail, bite than the tail. See it’s easy!” Darky growled as he hauled himself up. “When you get to the top you push the ever and it goes back down…”
“Otherwise your stuck up here till Belka, Rosina or a customer realizes you’ve been gone for a while,” Brownie finished for him.
“It looks difficult but I’ll give it a go,” Julian replied looking at it up and down.
“If you want I can help you up Julian,” offered Brownie softly.
“Can I go next?” Julian asked hearing the concern in her voice.
“Ok, but if you need a hand give me a bark ok,” answered Brownie as Julian stepped on the platform.
Julian struggled to get up, but he didn’t give up. He pulled and tugged. With a grunt of relief, he reached the top. Panting as he pulled the lever.
“Where did she go?” asked Julian staring at the empty capsule below.
“I don’t know but she always does that. When I’m resting from my lunchtime go she just appears right behind me,” replied Darky as he scanned as far as he could see. Then he added, “It’s kind of creepy.”
Julian stared at Darky with a confused face to say ‘how is Brownie creepy’. Meanwhile, Brownie was walking through the ventilation system, while the boys were splashing the shallow water above her.
“Where does she go?” asked Julian half way through the capsule.
“If you’re talking about Brownie I’ve no idea, all I know is that it’s an unknown shortcut,” replied Darky. “She’s good Julian. You can’t deny it; sometimes I could swear she was a half cat. That and she’s the shops best hide ‘n’ seeker. We play every Saturday she has gotten first place ever since she got here!” added Darky
Down below Brownie walked through the vent, “I wonder how the boys are going,” she asked herself as slowly walked through the vent. “Probably wondering where I am as always, but I am not gonna tell them, or show them, not unless it’s an emergency,” she added as she finished the vents upward climb by jumping through a hole in the vent and sliding down until she landed in front of the exit to the exercise capsule. Brownie saw the boys come out of the exit with wet paws; they had their heads bowed in wonder so they didn’t see her. “You know you could’ve run right?” asked Brownie sarcastically.
As she did so the boys jumped and Darky slid back to the platform with a loud thud that the whole shop heard. After a minute the shop was buzzing again. Rosina made her way to the main ventilation hole with a ladder and climbed in. She followed the sound of Julian’s and Brownies splash’s as they ran to Darky’s aid. While Rosina commando crawled to the emergency hole in the exercise capsule.
Julian was the first to reach Darky, “Are you ok Darky?!” he asked worryingly from the top of the wall.
“I’m ok it’s just a small scratch, nothing to really worry about,” cried Darky but the pain was clear in Darkys’ voice.
Rosina had just gotten there and she lifted the platform, and gently grabbed Darky. He yelped but Rosina calmed him. Then she slowly crawled out and climbed back down the ladder, with Darky against her chest the second her hand disappeared he ran the other way, once he passed Brownie she turned around and followed suit.
“It’s ok everyone he’s just injured,” Rosina told the children and parents with worry in her voice. Julian and Brownie had just got to the sleeping capsule and stared at Darky and Rosina with worry in their eyes. “It’s ok you two I’ll take care of him I promise,” Rosina told them gently seeing the worry in their eyes.
Brownie smiled happily knowing that she would do just that. Julian stared at them, confused when Brownie sat down with a small breath of relief. Then he looked at Rosina and then at Brownie and back again, then he realized.
I forgot about that, she must have done the same thing. Tending to the wounds that Silver’s brothers had created,’ Thought Julian as he watched Rosina tend to Darkies wound. ’Come to think of it how did, where did? “Hey Brownie, how did you get there? How did you get to the exit so fast?” asked Julian with wonder and confusion.
“Julian I shall not tell you unless it’s an emergency,” replied Brownie cheekily with a proud look on her face.
Julian was still confused but remembering what Darky had said. He didn’t bother to try and persuade her.
Silver still stared at them with his brothers and sisters playing cheerfully behind him. ‘I don’t like him, but I don’t hate him either. He just intimidates and creeps out everyone. But the only question is why does he do it? Why does he try to be the boss of everything and everyone? Why does he feel the need to be a boss and a bully?’ Julian thought in wonder and curiosity. “Brownie do you know why Silver try’s to be the boss of things?” He asked softly.
“I don’t know Julian. I’ve also wondered why he does it, but he never answers the question. That’s why he scared me. I asked him why he had to be the boss but he just growled and walked away. That was my first day and you know what happened that next night,” Brownie replied shaking her head, before she added, “I still wonder why he does it, but it is one mystery that’s not easy to solve.”
“Ok but I’m gonna try to solve it,” replied Julian now determined to get his answer.
Eight minutes later Darky was returned to the capsule with a bandaged leg, “is he gonna be ok Rosina?” some of the children in the shop asked.
“He’s just hit his leg quite hard so it should be fine in a day or so. He also may get a bruise but otherwise, it’s just a little damage I hope,” she replied with concern. “A little more exercise and he it will be better in the morning,” Rosina added to cheer up the children, Brownie and Julian. Rosina took one last look at Darky before going back to her chores and helping customers.
“You ok Darky?” asked Julian and Brownie worryingly.
“I’m fine it’s really just going to be a bruise. Sorry Julian I may not be able to do the exercise with you today. You might have to go with Brownie instead,” replied Darky sadly. Then he walked over to Julian and whispered, “maybe you can figure out where she disappears too.”
“Sure but I don’t think she’ll budge. Remember how she said she used to be a bitch to mess with? I think she still is,” Julian asked in a whisper. “She also said she would only tell us if it is an emergency,” he added confused. “I asked her earlier and got nowhere anyway.”
“Just try again. If not, we’ll have to find out ourselves,” Darky replied with a nudge of encouragement.
Brownie suddenly yawned sleepily, “I’m gonna get some sleep before lunch time, you boys can come up if you want to,” she yawned as she walked up to the resting capsule.
Two minutes later they joined Brownie and slept for five minutes, huddled together and warm. When they woke up Rosina was coming around with lunch; a cup of dog biscuits and five hidden Schmackos.
Once they had finished their lunch, Brownie and Julian went up a level to begin the exercise capsule.
“Uh ladies first,” asked Julian, shaking.
“If you think this bitch is a lady J you’ve got another thing coming,” replied Brownie as she ran into the tunnel.
“Hey wait, up!” cried Julian as he raced in after her.
“Come on slow poke. I love this part of the slide!” Brownie replied as she cried, ‘wee’ on the way down.
“Ahhh! Uf!” screamed Julian as he fell on top of Brownie, “Sorry Brownie, but I guess were even now, you fell on me and I fell on you… are you ok Brownie?” asked Julian fearfully, as he saw Brownie staring at him.
“Ok let’s get one thing straight, I didn’t know you were there and I apologized!” replied Brownie angrily, already sounding intimidating.
“Sorry Brownie, but it really hurt!” yelled Julian fearfully in reply.
“You knew I was here but I didn’t know you were there! Either way, we should get going, Rosina will be worried to hell if we’re up here too long. She’s been through enough already with her parents dead and others problems with her aunt and uncle, this shop and the three of us!” Brownie screamed in anger as she began the mirror maze.
Julian followed scared and silent from Brownie’s words. ’She really is a bitch to mess with,’ Julian thought to himself in fear. “Sorry Brownie. I thought you had moved forward, and you know the slide is slippery,” replied Julian in a gentle tone, but with fear in voice she simply looked at Julian and smiled before she quickened her pace.
With Brownie in the lead they reached the exit within half an hour and dove straight into the water, it was a silent swim, as was the ride that came next. Julian fell off half way through the capsule and ran to the end. He narrowly missed Brownie as she jumped off the end, stopping and gaping at Brownie speechlessly at Brownie as she landed on all four paws.
“What are you half cat?” Julian asked shocked.
“No, but you’ll learn that one reason why I was a pup to mess with was the fact that I’m, stealthy, sneaky and quite acrobatic. Or at least I am when I want to be,” Brownie replied stubbornly.
“So you’re like a cat?” Julian asked, still confused.
“I can do what a cat can do, well sort of if that’s what you mean,” she replied kindly. “I just don’t have nine lives. I have one. Just like you, Darky and all the other pups,” she added. “Except for the purebred part,” Brownie added to herself.
“Sorry Brownie I didn’t get that last one,” asked Julian confused.
“It’s nothing Julian, don’t worry about it,” Brownie replied without looking at Julian.
I hope she’s ok and not up to mischief or anything like that. Still, I’ll stay up tonight and try to figure it out for myself. I’ll pretend to be asleep, yeah that should work’ Julian thought to himself as his curiosity about Brownie deepened.
“Hey, Julian you can go first. Sorry but I won’t leave you down here alone,” Brownie told him as he jumped in surprise at the sudden sound.
Julian gulped and stepped onto the platform, and began to haul himself up. He struggled but made it to the top, panting even though it only took five minutes. “Are you going to pull that lever or what?” Brownie asking staring at Julian as lay down tired from the effort.
“Sorry, I just needed a rest. That and my teeth hurt, and tail is sore,” he replied as he pushed down on the lever.
Brownie shook her head at the complaint but step onto the platform and began to haul herself up. It only took Brownie a minute to get herself up. She wasn’t panting as she pushed the lever and the platform lowered to the bottom. Julian stared with his mouth and eyes open wide with astonishment.
“Ah you can stop staring now and I do this twice a day remember,” Brownie reminded as she gently shut Julian’s mouth with her paw.
“Ah yeah let’s go,” he replied still amazed at how easy she made it look.
“There’s no reason to be scared and before you ask I spelled it out before, loud and clear,” she replied hearing the fear in her friend’s voice.
Julian took a deep breath and walked on in silence. A third way through the capsule Julian kindly asked, “So where did you go this morning.”
“As I told you before Julian I’m not telling you unless an emergency, remember that,” Brownie replied gently. “Next time you ask I might not be so polite,” she added sternly.
Julian remained silent about it for the walk but his thoughts weren’t. I wonder what it is. I wonder where she goes. Let’s see she wanted me to go onto the platform first. Where could she go the only way out is, Then he remembered how Rosina grabbed Darky when he injured his leg. Does that go to the entrance? Is that where she goes all the time, down and back up again? “What’s underneath the platform?” asked Julian with numerous memories rushing through his head.
Brownie knew he was getting closer to discovering her secret, so she came up with an answer she hoped he couldn’t decode, “I think it may some part of the ventilation system. If you look at the ceiling of the shop you can see were Rosina got out when she helped Darky it may be connected to that,” she replied.
“Ok but why would it be connected to that again,” he asked not understanding her.
“For emergencies, of course, why else,” she replied softly. The rest of the walk was silent.
When they reached the exit, Julian stopped and looked around. Hoping to find an answer to find an answer to how she appeared out of nowhere.
“Are you coming down or what?” Brownie asked from the resting capsule with worry and concern.
“I will but I just, just want to take a minute of rest here ok Brownie,” he replied shyly.
“Yeah that’s fine with me, see you when you come down,” she replied calmly
As Brownie walked down to the resting capsule Julian began to sniff out Brownie’s scent. Hmmm that’s odd her scent goes towards the funny hole in the roof, he thought to stare at the hole. She said she can do what a cat can do so, did she jump down from there or fall? He asked himself with curiosity. The next twenty minutes he continuously attempted to jump up into the hole with no avail, so we went to the resting capsule and slept.
At five o’clock he woke, noticing that Rosina’s aunt Miriyamana was in the shop once more with her husband two police officers and a tall man with green eyes and dark blonde who stood beside Garla.
“I’m sorry Bell but there is nothing on it to show it’s a forgery; even the signatures show no signs of being forged and they’re not exactly easy to write, I have nothing that can say it’s wrong, I have to follow the law,” The tall man gestured to Belka.
“Who’s the tall man,” asked Julian when he saw Brownie and Darky watching the chaos.
“That’s Rosina’s Uncle Gregory the mayor and whole reason I’m here,” replied Darky not taking his eyes of off the lot of them.
“How long has this been going on?” Julian asked still watching the conversation.
“At least 10 minutes now quiet both of you I’m trying to hear this,” Brownie replied annoyed at Julian and Darky.
“So can I take my niece away from this horrible place yet?” Aunt Miriyamana asked impatiently.
“First, we take this will to the real crime solvers, and then we’ll see,” Uncle Gregory replied sternly. Rosina sat watching them with her arms crossed watching the conversation along with all of the pets in the store.
“Belka, when will you be rid of this wretched shop and have a proper life,” asked Miriyamana in disgust.
“If your idea of life is a lady-like beauty parlor pedicure and manicure, then I want no part of if your wretched old hag of a sister in law,” replied Belka angrily – she loved her shop. Some pups were shocked at Belka’s words others cheered her on, Brownie included.
“Well, Bell Bubut! This is no life for a rich girl like Rosina over there nor is certainly ladylike! Neither are chores!” growled Miriyamana angrily.
“YOU CAN’T TALK TO MY AUNT LIKE THAT YOU EVIL WITCH…GET OUT! AND TAKE YOUR FIANCE WITH YOU TO YOUR SILLY LITTLE UGLY COTTAGE OF YOURS!” Rosina yelled in anger, pointing to the door. “AND LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!” She added throwing a dog toy at her as she stared at her furiously. Her evil aunt tried to hit her but Brownie barked a warning and Rosina pushed Miriyamana backward into her fiancé, the cops between them, stopping her stumble. “Thanks for the signal Brownie,” Rosina called looking aback at her friend with a thumbs up; Darky and Julian both looking at Brownie in confusion. “Oh and PS at Miriyamana I like doing chores, I love this shop and all its contents you witch!” The cops stared at the scene unsure of what action to take. Garla grabbed her father’s hand with fear in her green eyes.
“You treat me and Rosina like ugly old cows, just like most people you see,” Garla yelled as tears formed in her eyes.
“Hey, hey, it’s alright it’s ok,” her father was saying as he bent down and gave her a hug. “Is ok my little angel it’s ok, I won’t let her hurt you I promise,” he added trying to calm his daughter. “For the time that the will is being looked at, I suggest Rosina stay’s at my place until we get the results,” He added looking between Miriyamana, Rosina, and Belka. Belka nodded in agreement knowing Ro would prefer it, “know Rosina I’ll let you take a maximum of 5 pups to my place, it may help you forget about all this for a minute, I’ll give you a minute or two to choose,” he finished looking at his niece.
“Choose wisely Ro,” her aunt Belka told her warmly.
Rosina looked around the store. Many of them shook their heads as most knew the best three for her to take; the three that knew her and that she knew the most of all; while Silver pranced around like a prince, but Rosina listened to the others who all gestured towards Brownie, Julian, and Darky. She chose them, a thing that Silver growled at for a few seconds before his oldest sister pulled his tail and he backed down though still frowning a the three pups.
“Good choice I think we all know Brownie has quite a bite,” Belka told Rosina winking at her.
Rosina winked back and put the 3 pups into a basket with a blanket. Then she walked hand in hand with her Uncle Gregory and Garla out of the store and into his car, fastening her seatbelt before they set off to her uncle’s place and Rosina closed her eyes to rest.