A fire sizzled on the hearth of the living room of the Baggaraggs. Grace was aware that the wood was frozen, wet and spitting, and not burning well. It occasionally spit out a mouthful of moisture with a sound of disgust. It was making a fair amount of smoke that sometimes tried to billow outward, before it was sucked up the draft in the chimney. Grace sat in a wing back chair and held her knitting in her lap. The needles went at a furious pace. Her brow was furrowed. Her thoughts were racing along, paced with her knitting. If she could have knitted what she was thinking, she would have formed a depressing knot. Occasionally she would glance over at the woman who reclined on the couch, Prunella Fig-Pink. She was partially covered with a crocheted Afghan, whose colors stood out like neon flags, joined by black. It was warm, and a bit scratchy.
There was little speech. If a bad mood could have been contagious, (and I think at times it is...)then Grace had caught it like a bad cough. Murrray stretched out his long legs and looked at the top of his paws like they were something new that had just sprouted from the end of his legs. He would occasionally glance at Grace with a nervous and anxious look on his face.
The war seemed over, if it could be called that. The Pie-Rats had not been seen in many days, make that three. The wounded friends in the healing room of the basement of the Baggaraggs had been tended to, and were off to their homes. There was only one who would not be healed and that was Prunella Fig-Pink.
Grace stopped her knitting and stretched her neck, rubbing her hands to ease the pain of hard use. She did not
like the impotent feeling of helplessness. By nature she was helpful.
Her effort to assist Prunella with her "stuckness" was met with resistance. Now Prunella had taken up residence on her couch. She was waited on by ALL of the residents of the Baggaraggs, and treated like a guest. She was reluctant to shower, yet complained about the animals being allowed in the HOuse: "They Smell Bad." She complained about the light in the house being too bright, and the food being to different and not to her liking. She frequently asked for something "else" when a meal was being served. She tried to talk with Murray secretly, complaining that Grace was treating him badly. MUrray was confused by this at first, considering this with his dog brain. His loyalty to Grace and their shared love for each other was an unbreakable bond.
He responded to her with a growl, and said "You try to make trouble where there is NO trouble."
It seemed there was no curative potion for her poisonous thoughts. Grace wanted Prunella to go back to her home in the middle of the woods. She thought of how this could be accomplished, short of asking her to go.
"Prunella," began Grace, looking up from her knitting. "Tomorrow, lets take a walk and see if we can have a look at your home...we can see what is going on there and..." Grace paused to watch the reaction that she was having on Prunella Fig-Pink.
Prunella reared up from her position on the couch. Her Oily hair hung in drips from her scalp. She scowled. "I am not stepping foot out of this HOUSE Grace. I am not risking being Attacked by those Pie-Rats. That's FINAL."
Grace rose from her chair. She clutched her knitting tightly in a fist that made anger a reality.
"I believe the Pie-Rats are gone Prunella. I am sorry to say this, but you cannot continue to stay here. Tomorrow you will go HOme."