Pot O' Gold
You know how sometimes you see something, or hear something, that just sticks with you until you do something creative with it?
So it was with this picture.
This little bit of fun serves no particular purpose other than to bring a smile to your muzzle.
It is not canon to anything, at least not until one of the other amigos decides to build something from this.
The character of Aslaug is copyright © Joan Jacobsen.
The characters of Tigermark and TL are © Tigermark.
The character of Aramis Dagaz is © Araims Dagaz.
The characters of Joe Latrans and Annie Latrans are © The Silver Coyote.
Characters are not to be used without prior written permission of their authors.
No part of this story may be reproduced or placed on any web site without the written permission of the author.
This story is copyright © The Silver Coyote, 2006.
The sigh wouldn't have been quite so troublesome had most of it not gone straight up his nose.
Tigermark squinted, calling resources of patience he hadn't used in quite some time. His blue eyes watered slightly in the close, musky air. The tiger stood stock still, his normally expressive and active tail pointing at the floor, motionless. His paws were at his side, likewise still. He drew short, closely spaced breaths through his slightly open mouth, the better to tolerate the fetid smell.
“This isn't funny...” the coyote grumbled. Joe Latrans stood in a very similar manner, feeling very much like the proverbial bull in a very tiny china shop. The malodorous, humid air wrapped closely around them.
Joe's nose was centimeters from his own, and thus the grumbling, too, was primarily Tigermark's to enjoy. The two furs stood nose to nose in the close confines of their transporter.
“You want to trade?” Aramis' voice was slightly muffled in the tiger's ears, blocked as it was by the furry bulk that was Joe Latrans. “I've had better things to look at.” While the voice carried a note of irritation, it was nowhere as unhappy sounding as the coyote's. Tigermark tilted his head to the left and peered over Joe's right shoulder towards the source of the voice. He grinned.
Perhaps two inches from the knife hanging at Joe's hip he could just make out the ears of his feline friend and fellow warrior.
“Are you all right, Aramis?”
The kitty chuckled. “I'm just praying that our canid fellow here hasn't enjoyed any of his native culinary delights recently, that's all.”
The coyote's head swiveled and tilted to look down at the top of their companion's head. “What are you saying, Aramis?”
Another quiet chuckle. “You know what I'm saying...”
“I don't know what you three are complaining about. On my home world this smell is quite common.”
“I don't think we're concerned so much with the smell, Filly,” Tigermark explained. “I think this is a proximity issue.”
“'Proximity' hell,” Joe said. “I feel like all three of you are inside my own skin.”
“At least you don't have a half a roll of toilet paper pressed into a personal part of your anatomy,” Tigermark said quietly.
“Oh come now, Joe, there's got to be a good paws width between your stomach and Tigermark's,” the equine warrior said.
The coyote grinned in spite of himself. “Now what,” he spoke to the tiger, “do you figure she's trying to tell us, T?”
The tiger chuckled in reply.
“Actually,” allowed Aslaug, “I don't find the view terribly objectionable. In fact, I'm rather enjoying this trip.” She smiled, her nose almost touching Tigermark's left paw.
“Who's idea was this, anyway?” Aramis' muffled voice asked from near Joe's belt.
“Guess...” Joe replied shortly.
The two standing furs nodded.
“Why, for His sake?”
Tigermark shook his head. “I feel like I'm talking to your shoulder,” he muttered to the coyote before raising his voice to answer.
“Dominic watched an old movie the other night. Remember Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure?”
“Yeah...” Aramis said uncertainly.
“This is our phone booth,” Joe finished for the tiger.
“What?” Aslaug asked. “This most certainly is not a phone booth.”
Joe started to laugh heartily, in the process bumping into all three of the other furs assembled.
“What's so funny?” Aramis demanded, rubbing his nose with a paw.
Tigermark smiled. “Out with it, Joe. We could all use a laugh about now.”
The coyote's eyes locked with his and Tigermark could see the humor flashing in the steel blue.
“When the Filly said what she said, I couldn't help it,” he sputtered through his laughter. “The first words that popped into my head were no shit!”
Aramis sighed comically, Aslaug nodded with a smile of her own, and Tigermark winced at his friend.
“I see Jess hasn't progressed very far in getting you towards a more civil demeanor,” the tiger said with a frown. Anyone else would have thought he was speaking sternly, but Joe just continued to laugh, placing his left paw on the tiger's right shoulder.
Aramis tilted his head back, attempting to take a breath that wasn't filtered by his friend's clothing before it entered his lungs. He looked past the coyote's head to a small placard above the door.
Johnny On The Spot
A Division of
A Little Bit Of Heaven Industries
Under this he spied a smaller tag with the words “last cleaned on” stenciled on it. Below this, in very faded ink, was the handwritten scrawl 4/5/06.
“What's the date today?” Aramis asked, even though he knew all too well already. There was a very slim chance he might be mistaken...
“November 7th, why?”
“Uh...” Aramis wrinkled his nose. “No reason, Joe. Just asking...”
A period of silence greeted this exchange. The small edifice they were in swayed slightly with their travels. There were no windows and only one door, which was latched shut. They could not see where they were going, and had no idea how long they would have to stay in their little transporter. For that matter, none of them wore a watch, so no one had any real idea how long they had been in transit. The assignment was in a technologically backwards society that approximated medieval Europe, or so they had been told.
Aramis' gaze drifted over the hilt of the broadsword strapped to Joe's back, across the cloak he wore over his other garments, to the handle of the black tanto hanging at his belt. His right paw fingered the arcane wands tucked into his own belt at his side.
Meanwhile Aslaug was contemplating their assignment. Freja had said that her knowledge and skills would come very much in handy on this mission, as their destination shared much in common with her home world. She was eagerly looking forward to the experience.
Tigermark was ruminating about the price of jet fuel and idly wondering if his eldest tinx had achieved first place at the national competition she had been preparing for when he was called away. He had been thoroughly briefed about the mission and was confident that this would be a quick turn-around. A memory of his lovely wife wearing a sleeping bag flitted across his mind, and he suddenly smiled, all teeth and fangs.
“Penny for your thoughts,” the coyote in his face muttered.
Tigermark attempted to casually exterminate the smile on his face and assume the air of professional warrior. He almost made it, but couldn't maintain the stoic stare when Joe grinned at him, nodding.
“Right,” he continued to mutter quietly. “Tammy Lynn again.”
Tigermark opened his mouth to voice a grudging assent at being so transparent, but Joe cut him off. “Me too. I have a hard time not thinking about Annie, especially when we're in transit.”
The tiger nodded. “Sometimes it scares me how much alike we are,” he said soberly.
“Me too,” Joe nodded. “We are very different to the casual observer, but in here...”
Joe closed his right paw into a fist and attempted to move it up to his chest, to thump it above his heart. Unfortunately, he neglected to consider the proximity of their friend Aramis, who took the glancing blow on the side of his muzzle, proceeding to fall over sideways into the lap of the equine.
“Ah damn!” Joe exclaimed, looking down at his friend. “I'm sorry, Aramis! Are you alright?”
The feline lay with his head in the filly's lap, rubbing the side of his muzzle with a paw. “Oww...”
Aslaug's eyes rose to those of the tiger as she laid a soothing arm across the feline's chest. “There – there,” she said as she tried not to laugh. “You'll be OK.”
Aramis lay there for a few moments, slowly rubbing his muzzle. Joe stared at him while Tigermark and Aslaug exchanged a long look of conspiratorial mirth.
After a few moments Joe smiled slowly. “Well well, don't we look comfortable.”
Aramis suddenly stopped rubbing his face and scrabbled to pull himself out of the filly's lap. He blushed slightly beneath his fur and said not a word.
Tigermark looked at Joe. “I guess he prefers your tail to the Filly's lap.”
“So it would seem.”
“Hey!” Aramis said indignantly as Aslaug began to laugh.
Joe began to laugh again, and once again placed a paw on Tigermark's shoulder to prop himself up.
“Now what?” the tiger inquired patiently.
“Something I once heard an uncle say,” the coyote sputtered. “La caca que verá en el retrete.”
“The shit you see in an outhouse!” Joe barked his laughter, and the others joined in a chuckle.
It was enough to help them with their proximity and olfactory issues. It was good to suffer a bit as a team, it kept an edge on things. Perhaps, Tigermark reflected, this was exactly why The Boss had chosen this particular form of conveyance for them. It was a message as well, maybe, telling them not to get too full of themselves. Take them down a notch, so to speak.
A soft rushing noise slowly increased in sound level. After a moment Tigermark realized he was hearing rain hitting the top of their box.
“I think we're here,” he said. As if on cue, the latch in the door to his right slid open. Still giggling, Joe side-stepped into the door, pushing it open, and stumbled out.
Into the mud. A gentle rain was falling, and sun shone into the open door. Tigermark could see green hills, small buildings, and various smaller signs of sentient habitation.
Suddenly his attention was drawn to Joe, who had stopped laughing and was staring above the box.
“What is it?”
“C'mere and see...”
Aslaug and Aramis rose stiffly from their seated position in their box and followed the tiger into the soft rain and sunshine, turning to look in the same direction the coyote was already staring in.
The most gorgeous rainbow any of them had ever seen arched high above them.
# # #
“Now there's a sight you don't see every day,” Samuel said quietly to the kitsune standing next to him.
“The pot at the end of the rainbow,” his wife giggled.
“I wonder who those guys are?” Samuel mumbled. “They sure are wearing old-fashioned clothing. They're about a hundred and fifty years out of date.”
The wolf patted the Colt Peacemaker at his hip. “Lets go introduce ourselves.”
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