Tina’s story travels a bit further along the path this time on the Tale. We’ll eventually get where things are going, but before we can do so there’s a stop along the way that needs to be made. After all, you should know where to turn when everything is becoming a …
Gongshow – Part VII
For Justin, for always…
The Wicked One’s laughter faded away as Tina ran over hill and dale racing away from her. She didn’t dare stop or look behind until a fork in the golden cobblestone path that carried her far away from the castle brought Tina up short. Looking back, the young yellow-tail could just make out the tip of the tallest silver spire in the distance.
She’d managed to run away from that wicked silver-tail … and from Miriam. That really bugged her most of all. She knew what was going to happen to her cousin, and there wasn’t a thing she could do about it. She should have stayed no matter what Miriam told her, should have dragged her out of there with her … shoulda’ … woulda’ … coulda’ …
For the first time, Tina really understood what her brother, Lance, went through, and she didn’t like it at all. It sucked, and not in the way that her sister, Monica, had fun with. She kept running through what happened in her thoughts and tried to figure out some other way things could have gone. Frumping loudly, Tina found a patch of blue-green grass to rest and watched the clouds far above. She wished she’d been older. Then she woulda’ done something. The frustration was pushing Tina to march right back and save Miriam when she heard her great-grand-uncle’s voice: “Don’t be in a rush to get to your future. It’ll be there when you get there.”
Sitting up, she looked all around for him, but all she saw was the fork in the road waiting for her and no sign of him. Sighing, her eyes fell upon the silver heels that kept tripping her up, and Tina yanked them off and threw them as hard as she could into the distance. Stupid things anyway–runners were so much better–and she had no idea how all of the other succubi managed to do things while wearing them.
Wiggling her sock-covered toes, she looked at the paths leading away and considered what she could do, not what she could have done. She had to think things through and find a way to save her cousin from that wicked silver-tail. Miriam had said to find Auntie Tera, but not how to do that exactly. She didn’t have a map of this place; she didn’t know where Auntie would be.
All she had was the two paths in front of her and where they might lead to. One path was sort of a black stone that curled off towards a dark and forbidding forest. The other was made of greyish stones and seemed to be going in the direction of a wooden rose-coloured bridge that passed over a wild river and whatever lay beyond that. Neither seemed that appealing, Tina thought. She wished that she remembered all of the fairy tales that Mom had told her years ago; there would be a clue there. On the edge of picking using “eeny meeny miny moe,” having no better idea, Miriam’s warning that this place was very stereotypical made the choice a simple one. Standing on her socks, Tina shook her yellow-tail out and made up her mind: “A bridge over troubled waters. That’s so stereotypical that Auntie has to be that way.”
Starting off, Tina quickly decided that getting rid of the cursed shoes might not have been the brightest thing she’d ever done. The stones weren’t exactly kind as she made her way, but the alternative was a worse one. She’d gotten halfway to the bridge when the sound of heels clicking on stones made her look over her shoulder. There, in the middle of the path, were the damned shoes … and they were getting closer by the second. Deciding to make a run for it, Tina rushed towards the bridge, hoping that somehow the shoes couldn’t follow her to the other side.
She’d just gotten halfway, the river roaring in her ears, when she stumbled and fell, skinning her knee. Curling up and wincing from the pain, she didn’t see the shoes jump into the air and land next to her and then pounced back on her feet. Rolling over, Tina went to pull them off again, but before she could do so, they glowed brightly and then shifted into silver ankle boots, without a zipper, too tall heels, and there was no way she was going to be pulling them off. The river and bridge were both treated to a long series of hockey curses that Tina had learned that, while not turning the air blue, certainly would have made her mom ground her for a week, maybe longer.
Close to tears, the young yellow-tail directed her anger at the boots she was stuck with and whined, “The only thing you’re going to do is make me break my neck!” Tina didn’t expect anything to happen–this was the Wicked One’s doing. But then she had a thought. Digging out that pain-in-the-tail of a hockey puck from her jean pocket, she slapped him against the boots in anger: “Gimme me a break and at least make it easier for me to walk!” The shift to wedge boots wasn’t exactly what Tina wanted, but this was better than the stupid point heels they’d been before.
Deciding not to press her luck, Tina got back on her feet and finished crossing the bridge before the path meandered it’s way to a house that made Tina stop and stare at for a long time: a red brick house, with red brick horns sticking out of the roof and a red brick tail poking out the side. There was no mistaking the red colour, either. There was only one succubi with that shade of red tail. It sort of made sense, in an Auntie sort of way, though. She loved her tail, red was always her colour, too. It was a really weird looking house that Tina was still trying to figure out when she heard a gaggle of giggles and ducked behind a shrub that was trimmed into the shape of a book, hiding her from view.
It wasn’t long before a group of young succubi and incubi appeared, rushing down the path which lead to the front door of the house. The hyperactive group all wore red jumpers, even if their tails and horns were all sorts of different colours. The group all milled around the front door, pointing at each other and trying to decide who was going to knock. Still peeking out from behind the shrub, Tina was surprised by a young voice: “Hi!” Turning about, Tina found a very young purple-tailed incubi looking up at her. Her gasp of surprise caught the attention of those nearby and it wasn’t long before those who had been playing around the door were now gathered around Tina, looking at her with big eyes and swishing tails.
A bit overwhelmed, Tina managed to wave her fingers: “Um … Hi.” The brave little purple tail waved shyly: “Hi! Are ya’ a Tailkin, too?” A blue-tailed succubi considered Tina and mused: “Nah, she’s too tall to be!” Tina felt a little bad about that: “I’m just a little older than you are! Doesn’t mean that I’m not!” What followed was the group of younger tails arguing among themselves if Tina really was or wasn’t before the door to the house opened and a very familiar voice carried to them all: “Come along, little Tailkins!”
Tina found herself carried along in the rush of tails running towards the achingly familiar figure who stood at the doorway holding a basket of cookies. It was Auntie Tera! That ebony hair, red tail, and those horns were unmistakable. Her clothes, however, were something that Tina would have never expected Auntie to ever wear. But the latex, of course, and red, of course, were her style. The rest of the look really wasn’t, though it was really familiar: the stockings, dress, and look were completely fairy tale story. Tina decided that her Auntie looked like Snow White’s older and sexier sister, which made sense, considering Auntie was sweet, kind, cheerful, and everything that the Wicked One wasn’t. Being placed front and centre by the Tailkins, Tina asked her not-quite Auntie: “Are you wicked?”
Tera giggled at the question before hugging Tina in such a familiar way: “I’m not wicked. I’m the Naughty One.”
Wrapping her tail around her Auntie, Tina couldn’t argue with that. Auntie Tera was anything but wicked, no matter what.