((Another excerpt from a collaborative writing experience. All things "Bing & Bert" are written by me, the cat "Lorimar" is written by a girl named Dana and is indicated by italicized blue text. Bing & Bert are tiny Tighe Faeries and are about 2" tall with potbellies and nearly hairless heads. They are identical twin brothers and have a deathly fear of cats. This is original fiction. All Rights Reserved.))

Bing and Bert had partied non-stop for what seemed like weeks now. Oh wait. It HAD been weeks!

The two were drunk and exhausted. They'd been trying to find their rooms for well over an hour now, but the hallways all looked the same inside the palace.

"Wasn't there striped wall paper on that LAST floor?" Bert moaned as he trudged along beside his brother.

"No dummy," said Bing, "flowered wall paper was on the last floor. Striped was on the floor before that."

"WhatEVER!" Bert grumped loudly. His feet were throbbing inside his tiny leather shoes.

"Actually..." Bing had paused and was rubbing his chin thoughtfully. "Do you think we could have been on this same floor two floors ago? Or is this a different one?"

"ARGH!" Bert harrumphed. "You told me you knew how to get to our rooms!"

"I DO know how to get to them," Bing insisted. "They're right down this way," he pointed ahead of them, where the hallway seemed to extend onward almost indefinitely.

"But we already CHECKED this floor!" Bert griped. "Just admit it. You have no idea where we are or where we're going." He threw his hands up in disgust and sighed loudly.

"That is not true! We're going to our rooms! How could I not know that?"

"I MEAN," Bert had lost his patience, "that you don't know how to GET to our rooms!"


"Oh move out of my way!" Bert shoved his brother aside, planning to return to the stairwell to ask one of the servants for directions.

As Bert turned to go back the way they'd come, he froze, his breath caught in his throat and he coughed and gasped for breath. "C.. C... Ca..."

"Go on with ya then!" Bing was furious and refused to look at Bert. He stood staring at the door behind his brother, arms crossed, and toe tapping.

"C... Ca.." Bert lifted his arm and pointed weakly toward the stretch of hallway behind Bing.


"C... C..."

"What's the MATTER with you brother? Cat got your tongue?" Bing hayucked at his own silly joke, bending to slap one knee in merriment, but his hand froze in mid-air just before it connected. In slow motion, he turned to look the direction his brother was facing and saw a white cat poised only steps away from them, ready to pounce on them at any second.

"CAT!!!!" Bing shouted, grabbing his brother's arm and making a leap for the crack beneath the door behind Bert. He rolled beneath the door and into the room beyond, his hand still gripping his brother's, but Bert was still on the other side of the door in the hallway, now lying on his back but crammed up against the door and
not quite fitting beneath it in this position.

"GET IN HERE!" Bing shouted at Bert, tugging at his hand. "Squeeze under the door Bert! NOW!"

The muscles of the white cat's leg twitched three times, then pounce! He landed just as he'd aimed, a fraction of an inch short of touching the remaining tiny fae.

Bert let forth a series of terrified screams and lay there bunched up at the crack of the door with one arm stretched beneath and gripping at his brother's hand in the interior of the room. The other arm had been thrown across his eyes in a feeble attempt to block the hideously ferocious feline image from his view. Bert wasn't even yet aware that he had wet himself and a dark stain now bloomed across the front of his red party pants.

Lorimar let himself grin at the apparently terrified Bert, then dart his tongue out to lick at his whiskers.

Then he spoke. "Don't worry, I'm not going to eat you." He put one paw out toward Bert.

Bert, who'd been watching the cat through a crack between his fingers, screamed again and thrashed against the foot of the door trying to wrest his hand back from his brother so that he could attempt to make a getaway.

"Listen to me Bert," Bing tried to coach him from within the safe interior of the guest room in which he'd found haven. "Don't panic, brother. Flatten yourself against the floor and slide beneath the door. Bert LISTEN TO ME!" he jerked on his brother's hand.

"Let-go-of-my-hand BING! LET GOOOOO! Let..." Bert ceased to struggle and slumped into a limp pile upon the floor. He'd thrashed so violently against the door in his attempt to get away that he'd clocked his head against the heavy oak and knocked himself clean out.

"BERT?!" Bing shouted as his brother's hand went limp in his own. The increasing panic was apparent in his voice. "BERT! You answer me right this second, brother!" A pitiful sob escaped Bing's lips as tears coursed freely down his cheeks. "Bert?" this last was barely a whisper.

Lorimar felt a twinge of guilt over the exact timing of his chase. He had not meant to disturb Kalista's rest. He had not thought the critters could fit under the door -- well, only one could, but still. He tried to peer under the door while still watching Bert, but he couldn't see much of anything of what was happening inside.

Bing's sobs caught in his throat as he saw one huge golden eye peeking through the crack beneath the doorway. Peeking at HIM!

"Get away from me you.. you... YOU MURDERER!" Bing scrambled to his feet, wiping at the snot hanging from his nose with the sleeve of his shirt. "You killed... my... br.. br...BROTHERRRRR! My... " he collapsed upon the floor in uncontrollable sobs punctuated by several pitiful "Berts".

(I do a lot of creative writing on the side and I've decided to start posting some of it here. This is an excerpt from a greater collaborative writing endeavor which took place in a "faerie" fantasy setting. Bitsy is a tiny sprite-type faerie out alone on a scouting expedition. This is original fiction written by ME, all rights reserved.)

Bitsy shouldered a tiny knapsack with water and snacks and headed off towards the distant forest clearing. She was full of purpose and self-importance. She was determined to be out of these blasted woods and that clearing ahead just HAD to be the exit. She was sure of it.

She blinked out of sight and proceeded upon what appeared to her to be the shortest possible route to her desired destination. She peeled a thin strip from a dandelion stem and stuck it between her teeth and chewed on it while she walked.

The forest was the way the forest HAD been for the past.. how many days had they been walking in it now? Far too long, Bitsy'd decided. She continued uneventfully, sometimes taking note of unusual plant life or the presence of certain forest animals, or "game"
as Desh would call them.

Within a couple of hours the trees had begun to thin considerably. Bitsy had not encountered another faerie (to her knowledge) on the entire walk and of this she was thankful. Though her presence would not be questioned in these parts, she knew that once their party left the Woode it would be a whole new undertaking for Desh. The Woode
was inhabited by all sorts of creatures, not all of them savory. But south of the Woode was most definitely Seelie territory.

The Sun was dropping low in the sky and she hurried forward out of the forest so she'd be able to take a look around before darkness fell and obscured her vision.

The forest drew back and opened up upon a hilly expanse which stretched as far as Bitsy's eye could see. The terrain was not mountainous, but rather a gentle rolling hillside proceeding on and on into the distance. She cupped her hands around her eyes
and looked long and hard at the horizon. Nothing. Nothing but dag- blasted hills!

Bitsy spat in disgust.

She pulled a tiny mouse bladder filled with water from her knapsack and took a long drink from it before returning it to her bag and wiping at her mouth with the back of her hand.

"Oh well. Still beats no adventure at all," she mumbled.

It would be full-on night by the time she returned to her companions and she knew Desh would be anxious to continue under cover of darkness. Bitsy spared herself only a few minutes rest before collecting her bag and preparing to return the way she'd come. She
sighed wistfully as she looked back over her shoulder one last time.

What's that?! She spun around, leaning forward and squinting into the twilight. Is that a smear of *something* out there? She rubbed at her eyes and looked again. It was still there. A splash of gray upon the sandy horizon in the far distance.

"Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!" Bitsy popped into visibility and jumped up and down repeatedly in her excitement. "I wonder what it is?! Could that be it?! Could that be the Oracle's Tower?! Oh my GOSH!"

She ran forward hoping to get a better look, but the structure was a good day's journey from where she stood. The best she could tell, it was a structure made of gray stone or painted in gray and looked as if it might have a red roof. Was the roof pointed? Was it a tower? She couldn't really tell.

"Oh dear," Bitsy wrung her hands together. "I wonder if that's it?"

"Ya w'nder if wot's wot?" a strange voice asked from behind her.

Bitsy squealed and spun about in alarm before blinking out of sight.

An old man was hunched before her, bent and twisted and supporting his weight upon a gnarled walking stick. He was about four feet tall with a long scraggly gray beard and a corncob pipe stuck between his decaying teeth, of which he appeared to have a total of three remaining.

"I know yer still there, idget!" he exclaimed, his voice wheezy and gruff. "I'm not gonna hurtcha. Why wud I trubble m'self wi' tha likes o' you? Ya ain't even big enuf to be called a morsel!" He laughed long and hard at that, setting himself into a frightful fit of coughing.

"You alright?" Bitsy showed herself. The old man looked like he might cough himself into a pile of rags on the ground at any moment, but alas the fit subsided and he wiped at the spittle on his chin with the sleeve of his dirty homespun cloak.

"Yeh," he managed. "Don' mind yerself wit' me. I'll be fine."

"Alright then," Bitsy nodded. "I've got to be going. I've got some traveling to do and night's coming on fast."

"Headin' to the Pythia are ya?" the old man asked, gesturing with his walking stick in the direction of the structure Bitsy had spotted. It was no longer visible now, but she'd memorized its location.

"You know the Oracle?" Bitsy asked, giving the man her undivided attention. "I mean... her tower's that way? Is that the building I could barely see out there in the distance? The gray one?"

The old man chuckled which led to another spasm of coughs, this one much shorter in duration than the last. "That's the way," he nodded. "Ain't much a' nothin' else out here'n these parts."

Bitsy nodded up at him and smiled. "Yes Sir. And thank you Sir. I really must be going now."

He waved his hand at her in dismissal and began a slow painful shuffle into the hillside. Bitsy, overcome with excitement, headed back to Desh and Millie at a sprint.