by Rocky the Diabolical Cat

Angie placed the smelling salts beneath Diana’s nose, and the latter slowly awakened. “Theodore, Theodore ...” she murmured softly. “Where am I? Is that you, Rocky?”

“Don’t you remember kidnapping me, Diana?” I inquired peevishly.

“I’m your biggest fan, Rocky. Why would I do that to you?” she asked weakly.

“She was brainwashed, Rocky. Montgomery the Mole informed us that Theodore, Evangelina’s new boyfriend, was behind all this,” Ikey squeaked.

“Theodore! I should have known he was involved with the Ashcroft Youth!” I growled.

“Rocky, you need to come home. Everybody’s been asking about you — the alley cats, Greg at Utrillo’s, ol’ Cook at the produce stand, everybody,” Ikey squeaked.

“That’s right,” Angie added. “All the homeless guys, the down-and-outers, anybody who’s had the count get to nine but somehow managed to get to their feet again before it hit 10, they’ve been asking: Where’s Rocky? Only Rocky will stand up to the junta, and he’s abandoned us!”

“Hmmm ... well ... but I am an internationalist ...” I said.

“The other day J’s mother said, ‘I can’t believe Rocky let himself be chased out of his own country,’” Ikey squeaked again.

Tears welled in my eyes. “Mrs. Williams said that? Why, she’s like a second mother to me!”

Everyone was silent while I thought.

Finally I said, "I cannot let her think that about me! I'm going back!" I exclaimed. "Ikey, give me my motorcycle goggles. Here's J's debit card — enjoy yourself here in Canada for a few days, then catch a flight home. Diana, please act as Ikey's guide while he's here in Canada. I promise I will visit you soon, Diana."

I put on my goggles. "Come, Angie," I said. "Let us ride back down to Indianapolis — to take care of business!"

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