Chapter Seven
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Chapter Seven

New Cities

1562-1608

During this time, the rather small, but lovely and scenic city of Terisithia was acquired. Terisithia is positioned on a small hill with lots of shade, and is a good vacation or tourism target. Even so, it only has a population of 1.262 (as of 1990 census). However, during this time, Terisithia was even smaller, with a population of 780. As you may have guessed, Terisithia was the biggest of these listed towns. It had a school, a supply store, and apartments, a lot of things, which other cities in the area lacked. Also formed in this time period were:

Maien

Oak City

Camp Farmer

North Camp Farmer

Sunville

Black Mountain

East Black Mountain

North Black Mountain

All these, as well as many other little, tiny, perhaps forgotten or even shrunken towns were created during this time, as said. Take Sunville, for instance. In 1564, it consisted of 3,280, which was big in Ellieville in those days. Presently, however, it consists solely of 2 houses. The population of Ellieville is growing immensely; that is why, as the years pass, more and more cities are created.

This time was, however, a big leap in literature. One of the most widely anticipated, widely bought, widely read and highly praised book series of the time was Raffy Tells his Story, a childrens mystery set written from a stuffed giraffes point of view. Here is an excerpt from #1, The Case of the Cows Duct Tape, by Auni Rodeway, if you were slightly curious about the series.

INTRODUCTION

HEY. I AM A Beanie Baby toy named Raffy. As you may have guessed, Im a giraffe. My best friend is a flamingo named Flammy who, trust me because (trust me) I know all, has serious issues. But still, shes an ok friend.

Our owner is Arania Johnson who is 13 years old. You may wonder why someone that old likes to keep us as toys, but she does, and its cool because she knows were alive because she once walked in on one of our secret Beanie Club meetings and since then shes been our clubs president. Her best friend is Emmy and we go to her house about every day (literally) and she comes to our house every Friday and Saturday because all their parents are best friends.

Anyway, once this really, really, REALLY weird thing happened.... And I got all wired up about it.

WELL, HERE GOES:

ONE DAY Arania was sitting on the couch reading her book with Flammy and me when the phone rang. Without looking away from her precious Goosebumps, Ellen picked up the phone.

Hello?

Pause.

What the-----! said Arania. Flammy laughed. I smiled in spite of my self. Aranias mom yelled, Watch it!!!

Arania hung up after saying bye, looking depressed. Someone sliced Emmys cow in half with a butcher knife.

WERE GOING TO EMMYS.

Emmy has this toy doll she calls Harmony that she plays with all of the time, shes not stuffed, but shes still an awesome friend. Shes has red hair and is amazingly cute!!! Really adorable, to quote Flammy. Ugh, Id absolutely hate to be that cute.

She could at least unzip us, said Flammy, irritably. Arania had yet again forgotten to unzip the backpack, and believe me, I was about to suffocate, as was Flammy, judging by her annoyance. Suddenly, Arania peeked in.

Ola, yall, she said cheerfully.

I have absolutely no clue as to how you can be so cheerful, sassed Flammy. Were in here suffocating, and youre out there chatting and gossiping with your best friend. Im afraid that someday youre going to kill us all off, slowly, one by one---

Arania was looking very skeptical now. Bull, she said in a false French accent. Zat is totally, tut tut, crazy, dude, I dont know you can possibly think such things!!! Tut tut tut.

Flammy looked extremely exasperated at this point. Oh, shut up and let us out, she whined agonizingly.

Arania let us out with a huge grin.

As soon as I got out, I went to look for Harmony, as she is a great pal of mine (dont ask me what Flammy did, she probably went somewhere to cuss out Arania to some of her gossipy friends). However, Emmy said that Harmony was taking a nap, and wasnt likely to come out any time soon.

EMMY AND Arania play these games that are kind of like soap operas, they just go on forever. They take TV and book characters and change their personalities so that hey seem to be like demented people, and then they make up their own plot and settings, and it gets really sick and twisted sometimes, especially if you know the character that theyre supposed to be playing.

What they are in the middle of right now is The Escape and Wounding of The Orphans Anne and Andy and How They Are Chased Endlessly by Orphanage Authorities and Never Seem to Find Any Sympathy From Anybody. See, Arania plays Andy and Emmy plays Anne, and they escape this horribly abusive orphanage, and travel pretty much around the country, all the while evading the orphanage authorities as well as the law. They fall for a lot of traps (that is where the Wounding part comes from) and find themselves pretty much near death, sometimes captured and tortured, and with no sympathy anywhere-- it would make a pretty gruesome book, but chances are, pretty interesting too.

Well, anyway, at Emmys that day we didnt really do anything, Emmy and Arania just played T.E.W.T.O.A.A.H.T.A.C.E.O.A.N.S.F.A. S.F.A for hours, and those hours seemed like a daylong PG-13 movie, I mean, gosh.

I AM REALLY GETTING CURIOUS. It is time for a big time, major investigation of this cow portioning. Some ideas include that somebody kidnapped Puffy and took him along to Emmys in Mrs. Nicoles (Aranias mom) purse, so that he could easily be framed, or Puffy just went, of free will, in order to commit the crime.

Theres also Jacques. But I dont really know, the more I think, the more puzzled I become, the faster it happens, and then Im just spinning in circles, trying to figure everything out, but it keeps steering itself into a rapidly flooding swamp, and then I just sink and it all starts over.


RAFFY, said Jacques. It was around 1:00 am.

Yeah? I asked sleepily.

I have something to tell you, he said, calming down slightly.

Yeah? I asked again. I couldnt help but remind myself of Cowy.

Well, you know about Cowy? Speak of the Devil, she appears.

Yeah, I know, how could I help but know? Jacques frowned for a minute.

Well, I took part in it, he said, looking downward. I didnt think it would really hurt anyone.

Oh, Jacques, I breathed, thinking harder than ever, my mind spinning in high gear.

Its not ok, though, he murmured.

How was it done? I asked, ignoring his last comment.

I dont know, he said nervously.

But Jacques--

There is no buts about it, I wasnt intended to do such a thing, nobody ever was, and I dont know why youre all so comforting, this is not nice--

Jacques, stop-- But Jacques turned and left the room.

I DONT THINK THAT PUFFY DID IT. Now that Ive thought harder about it, I dont think that Puffy would do that; hes just too sweet. I know that I suspected him before, but not anymore. I have a sneaking suspicion that someone else is trying to solve this with me, but they are not a goodhearted person, and they have a deceitful motive, nothing that will get anyone anywhere, or get anything done, just something to help them get worse and worse until they become so corrupt that they dont have a single hope, but die laughing horrendously anyway.

Why was I curious anyway? I didnt know why that mattered to me so much, it was only a little silly thing that didnt really do any harm-- but it did, I mea, look at Cowy! But couldnt I have just left the case alone? But it had seemed so appalling, hurting a kind, sweet, pretty, innocent toy cow. Then again, who ever said that Cowy was innocent? asked that nasty little voice inside me.

THE NEXT DAY, I was fit to explode from all of the tension and apprehension. I couldnt for the life of me understand who would want to hurt Cowy, or with what aim. Those two questions seemed to never leave me alone, or have an answer. By then, of course, I had pretty much deducted that the plot mostly revolved around Jacques, but of course I knew no more and had no way to prove it.

So I was just pacing around by the toy trashcans (Barbie laundry baskets) by Aranias door, when Flammy came up to me.

So, Raffy, are you immersed in the lawsuit of the Cowy shooting, too? she asked, putting a lot of emphasis on the word immersed.

I hid a chortle and replied that yes, I was.

Well, I supposed that chances are you were, but I never mentioned it to you, I was too immersed in my own investigations well-being, but now I do suppose that you could probably help me, especially since I have been facing forbidding obscurities recently.

Of course, I was about to crack up by then.

So what are you puzzled about? I asked, simplifying, abridging and paraphrasing what she had mentioned before.

What weapon was used? She asked me interrogatively, and in her case, rather bluntly.

I thought you said it was a shooting, I replied, laughing to myself.

Flammy scowled. You know what I was implying, she growled.

Ok, ok, well I personally think it was one of those big knives that Aranias dad uses to cut pork chops, I said. Flammy looked shocked and amazed (not about the pork chop part though).

But no toy could even, by any chances, possibly handle one of those theyre just way too big for us to use, she said in a rush. I was quite surprised at her very brusque vocabulary selection. Even I was doing better than her at that point.

Well, whoever did this certainly could, because I cant think of any other weapon that could achieve such a feat,

Well, scoffed Flammy, Just because you cant think of one doesnt mean that there isnt one,

Ok then, you tell me what you propose they used, I said matter-of-factly.

Flammy pulled an idiotic face so her eyeballs appeared to be in her hair, and her nose behind her ear, and said, Oh, a windmill was used to chop her pelvic bone off, sure,

I sniffled loudly-- and triumphantly. Flammy ruffled her stuffed wings and scowled, very much disgruntled.

I thought that you came here to talk to me so we could help each other, not frown at each other, I said.

Oh, fine, she humphed.

We discussed all of our foggy points and obvious I know s of the case, but I didnt gain any info on the case, though I expect that Flammy did. After about 15 minutes of endless discussion (which is the case of any discussion with Flammy), Stinky the skunk came over to visit with us. Having made a silent agreement, somehow, Flammy and I suddenly began to pour out everything to Stinky. Stinky appeared to be severely taken aback, but nonetheless he listened without interrupting.

All of a sudden, in the middle of our lengthy description of our findings (and dead ends that were quite dead), something white dashed past behind the trashcans and knocked a few over. None of us had any idea who it was, however, because they ran by so fast. As soon as they were gone, our extreme puzzlings continued, but we had to puzzle as we cleaned, because we couldnt leave a mess like that lying around. We really werent paying attention to what we were picking up, but that mustve just been me, because after about 6 seconds, Flammy screamed. Look, Raffy!!! Look at what I found!!! She held up a book bound journal with a red cover. There was a yellow ribbon and a single yellow stripe straight down the center of the front and back covers. Flammy opened it for me to see. On the front page was printed professionally, in red letters, Jacques Van Lehoy.

My mouth opened in deep surprise. Flammy turned the page, and we saw:

July 17

Today we went to Emmys. It would mostly uneventful as always, if I had not had an encounter with Cowy, Emmys toy cow who normally acts rude anyway. I was walking past her, she said hi to me and since I didnt really feel like being rude, I said hi in return. But she just had to go on talking to me.

I wanted to tell you that you should say that you are sorry for being nasty to me last time you were here. It took me a moment for this to sink in, as the last time I had been there was several months ago, and it wasnt info that I was required to remember, like for a test or something. After a few moments of highly concentrated eye rolling, I remembered that I had told Cowy to shut up last time when she had kept on uh -ing to me, as it is her favorite word. I grimaced irritably and said, Ok, whatever, I guess Im sorry. Cowy frowned slightly and I walked away, shaking my head cantankerously. Whatever that means. It was in my thesaurus, anyway, and I didnt want to overuse irritably.

July 19

Cowy is really annoying me now. I got picked to go to Emmys again today, and there was Cowy, complaining about how last time my apology wasnt sincere. Like I care. If she doesnt quit, Im going to do something about it.

July 20

Jake the mallard got picked to go Emmys today, and I bribed him to stab Cowy with a knife. I told him where Mrs. Donnas (Emmys mom) knives are. At first he wouldnt accept, but eventually he said ok. I am kind of apprehensive now, afraid of what Ive done. But Cowy is such a ----

Flammy gasped, I snickered, and Stinky burst out laughing. Intrigued now more than ever, I read on:

July 20

Jake told me exactly how he did it, and it makes me feel all the worse.

I took the knife how you told me too, and I sliced her nearly all the way in half, shes pretty much a goner, he said. Theres just a bit of plastic holding her together now. I dont know how shes going to get repaired, it looked really bad. I shuddered. Why have I done this?

July 21

I cant believe this, I think that I am going crazy--- why did I hurt Cowy? What did she do to deserve to be hurt so badly? Nothing. I dont understand myself anymore, I dont, I dont, I dont.

The diary ended there. Everyone stood, gaping at it openmouthed. This had to have been the best--- and worst clue yet.

STINKY WENT TO GET Arania, while Flammy and me itched uncomfortably in our pants. I felt that I could have died during those long and horrid moments. But Stinky soon returned with Arania, Jake and Jacques. Jacques looked very sullen and Jake looked extremely ashamed, and was muttering something under his breath. Arania seemed immensely irritated, like this was a mere scuffle or something. I wondered how Stinky had portrayed the story, whether in a dumb way or not. J I wondered if he had even told her the whole thing.

I want to know what is going on here, Arania told us impatiently.

Jacques told Jake to chop Cowy in half because Cowy was sassing him, Flammy told Arania, lacking her normal vocabulary skills. Arania frowned slightly.

So Jacques, she said, What do you have to say? Jacques looked at the ground. I dont deny it, he whispered. Everyone stared at him.

What? echoed Flammy. I mean, sure all the hints indicate that it would be you, but why would you commit such a misdemeanor?

I hid another smile. Jacques looked towards the ground again. Cowy was such a smart alec, he complained.

Still, Arania said, now deeply annoyed. That is no reason to try and kill something. Jacques seemed fascinated with the carpet.

I know, he whispered. I dont know what I was thinking.

I dont either, Arania said crossly. However, she seemed to have reached a little satisfaction in questioning Jacques, because she now turned to Jake.

Well? she asked angrily. Why would you agree to do such a thing to anyone, for any reason?

Jacques made me, Jake trembled. I didnt want to, I really didnt.

Arania sighed deeply. Im sorry, Jake, but Ill have to punish you too even though you were forced to commit the deed, you still did it. Jake, unlike Jacques, stared at the ceiling, as if requesting help to come from the heavens. Which was, of course, quite funny.

Arania sighed again.

You will both be banished to the darkest, deepest corner of the closet for 6 hours. I will send in food when necessary, but you may only go to the bathroom for complete emergencies. Arania said in a sad tone, like she was issuing a death sentence.

Jake and Jacques opened their mouths wide in horror. I flashed Flammy and Stinky the thumbs-up.