lizardgirl: Why, thank you! Seriously, I’m overjoyed right now.
Presenting: Chapter Two. This is, I think, my favorite chapter to date. I really like how it turned out,
simply because it is the longest chapter, and I love to write long, engaging stories. There is only one part I
really hate, and that is the talk between Remy and his dad. I only left it in because my sister cracked up when
she read it, and begged me to leave it in. Just be warned that I am not very pleased with that particular section
of the chapter; I’m thinking of deleting it, actually…
As a side-note, I would like to mention that I
do not mind scrutinizations, accusations, or
suggestions. If there is something in my story that you think could use an improvement, then please don’t
hesitant to tell me. My objective is to make this novel as smooth as silk and as enjoyable to read as possible.
So bomb away!
9]CHAPTER DEUX: 15 EUROS FOR A PAIR OF WHISKERS[/i]
At first glance, it seemed just like any
other day. The chefs were cooking, the waiters were serving, and the customers’ bellies were plenty full. Remy
had just added the finishing touches to his cheese souffle’, which he was going to serve to his family as a
surprise Christmas dinner. All the ingredients were in and ready for cooking. All except for one. The main
It’s not that Remy was stupid or fool-hardy or any of those other things; it was
just that cheese was very hard to get. The chefs were very serious about their cheeses; they’d guard them with a
fork and knife and keep them locked in the refridgerators at night. But he had to get some sort of cheese
tonight; his family depended on it!
Poised in the kitchen, tapping his greasy fingers on his match-box
counter, Remy considered the situation. His mom, kind-hearted and a little fussy, wouldn’t worry about his going
out; he was always leaving the house, and coming back alive, so she didn’t fret whenever he left the sewers. His
father, on the other hand, would panic at the least little thing, which made it very hard for Remy to escape
whenever he was around. His brothers and sisters, on the other hand, didn’t give a care about where he went…as
long as he brought back food. Remy tapped his fingers on the counter faster and more anxiously.
“Mom? Dad?” Remy half-heartedly called. “I’m going out…”
In came his mom,
with an only partly-finished pink tail-glove that she had been knitting. She seemed in a good enough mood…
“What was that, dear?” his mother asked sweetly.
"I’m…uhh…going out for a little
while, if it’s ok with you."
"Oh, of course, dear. Go right ahead. But…you know…you really
should take this with you," and she shoved the glove into Remy’s greasy hands. "It’s only
half-knitted, but it will keep you warm."
Remy thanked her kindly, while quietly thinking to himself
that he wouldn’t wear that repulsive thing even if he was paid. He slipped the glove over his tail anyway, just
to please his mom. She smiled at him, then walked off into another room while singing "I’ll Be Home For
Christmas", probably to knit more gloves, Remy thought.
Figuring that his mom would tell his dad
where he went, he skipped breaking the news to his father and hopped out the door. Down the drains, across the
main waterways, and into the many sewer passageways he went, taking his usual route leading to the floorboards
under the kithens. He finally reached his destination: Mimi’s Cafe’. Poking his noise out of a rat hole he had
sneakily chewed into the tasteless wall, Remy scanned the area for any sign of human activity. Judging by the
rustling of many feet and the distant mumbling sounds of chattering customers, tonight was turning out to be a
very busy one. He should have known; it was Christmas Eve.
By pricking up his ears like a radar dish,
Remy was able to catch every single sound in the cafe. Even the simple “clink” of a dish or the jingle
of a doorbell couldn’t escape his superb hearing. This he used very wisely, while, as silently and as stealthily
as posibble, he crept up to an unsuspecting waiter pushing a trolley full of delicious-smelling
Under a fancy, low-hanging cloth draped over the trolley and into the cart he jumped, unkown to
anyone but himself. Slowly, but surely, the waiter pushed the trolley out into the diner, while Remy, with his
back against one of the trolley’s legs and his arms set comfortably around his head like a cushion, enjoyed a
free ride…while indulging in the overwhelming smells of the mouth-watering delicacies whafting around the
entire cafe: creamy porrige with blueberry syrup; sweet cranberry tarts; lemon merangue pie with a sprinkle of
wine on top…
“Ahh…how clever and cunning I am!”, Remy thought to himself. How the chefs
and customers would scream if they ever knew that a rat was right under their noses, nit-picking their precious
morsels! Remy chuckled at the very thought.
‘Thump, thump, thump’ went the waiter’s feet as he rolled
the cart full of food out of the kitchen, into the main diner, and around tables busy with customers waiting for
“Ah, here’s my stop!” Remy muttered softly to himself, as the cart came to a halt
beside a window table. He jumped off the cart, stuck his head underneath the table, and came face-to-face with
three pairs of legs hanging from their chairs. Remy watched as the little legs were swung back and forth by their
owners, rocking their chairs more vigorously with each swing.
“Kids,” thought Remy. "And
three of them, too!" Remy wasn’t very fond of rambunctious, scwermy little kids very much, since he had to
put up with twelve brothers and sisters of his own at home. All the same, kids, especially the really impatient
ones, almost always equalled a good supply of food…since they were prone to dropping crumbs all over the
carpet, much to the dismay of the chefs.
That night, though, Remy didn’t feel much like nabbing his meal
in the company of “little screamers”, as he called them. So, he picked up his tail and scrambled under
fancy table after fancy table, each time using his sniffer to target something cheese-filled and tasty. But to
Remy’s dismay, nowhere could he find a table with any cheese on it. It was all just soups and salads on the menu
“Oh, blast it all!” thought Remy angrily. “Where’s the–” He sniffed.
“–the–” He sniffed again. “–the food…?”
Ahhh…what a smell!
Cheddar…harvarti…gouda…swiss – all just three feet away from him on a nearby trolley! Remy grinned
maliciously. “It’s all mine…” he sniggered.
Ever so carefully, Remy poked his head out from
under the table he was hiding in. “Fwoop” - he looked left. “Fwoop” - he looked right. No one
in sight. Pat pat pat. He took three steps forward. Nobody around.
Pat-pat-pat-pat-pat-pat-pat…“swish”! Remy scurried under the trolley and pulled in his tail just in
time…as a shoe stepped down right where he had been moments before. Phew! Remy was in shock. He would have to
be more careful when foraging around humans…
Praying that the human didn’t see anything suspicious,
Remy pricked up his ears again as best he could – the space between the floor and the trolley was very low – so
as to catch any sound of voices (or shoes) in the immediate area. To his annoyance, someone, presumably a chef,
was speaking to two guests at a second table up above – he knew there were two because he could see their legs
sticking out from beneath the table.
“Pfff… Looks like I’ll have to make it quick,” Remy said.
So, without further ado, he hopped his little blue self out of the trolley and up its legs…very quietly…
Up above, he could hear the chef speaking fluently to his guests in French.
"Hmm. I wonder if
I’ll be able to-- Oh! Umph!" He’d just realized that he had been talking out loud, and in the open! As he
quickly stiffled his squeaky mumbles by clasping both paws over his blabbering mouth, he remembered something his
dad had once told him…
"Son, I know this may sound very harsh to you at eight years old, but
remember, if you ever come close to a human, make sure to remember these two very important words: 'Shut
up’." - Dad
“Huh? But I didn’t say anything, daddy!” - Remy
"No no no, I’m just
sayin’ that if you should ever meet a human, those are the two words you should remember. O.K.?" - Dad
“O.K.? Are those the words I should remember?” - Remy
"No no. ‘Shut up’, not
‘O.K.’" - Dad
“What? What did I say now, daddy?!” - Remy
"You didn’t say anything,
son! I’m just trying to say that…umm. That I…uhhh… Oh, blast it, what was I sayin’?" - Dad
“Would you like some help, daddy?”- Remy
"Uhhh…no no, son. It’s alright, I’ll think of
it!" - Dad
"Maybe you should eat a yummy banana? It’ll help to make you smarter! I’ll go get
one…" - Remy
“Son–” - Dad
“Or I could call mommy instead.” -
“Son?!” - Dad
“Yeah, dad?” - Remy
“Shut up.” - Dad
talking about the humans now, daddy?" - Remy
“Ugh…” - Dad
Yep, he would definitely
have to watch out for himself, otherwise his dad would start lecturing him again…
underneath the trolley and proceeding to shake himself free of the shivers that were running down his spine, Remy
jauntily got back up again and crawled up the side of the trolley’s leg.
Boink! A sharp pain ran through
his skull as he banged his head against the top of a cheese tray that was sticking out above him. Rubbing his
aching cranium, Remy poked his nose over the top of the trolley, trying to take a peek at the guests without
being seen. “Ahh…the unusual guests today! The mayor and his wife…” Remy quietly remarked.
Up and over the trolley he flipped, landing right beside one of the biggest rolls of cheese he’d ever
seen. “Man, this thing is as big as my house! Bigger!” he thought. He took a bite out of the prize
cheese. It was as good as gold. He took another bite. It was definitely the cheese of choice for his souffle’
dinner. He just had to have it! Looking to his left, Remy saw three little slices of the same type of cheese
lying on the tray, as if they were waiting for him to pick them up. Greedily, he stacked one, two, three of the
miniscule tidbits onto his back, only to realise that, altogether, they were too heavy for him to carry. He could
only pick one. But which one? Remy would have to make sure that the one he picked was the tastiest, freshest,
most perfect piece for his soufle dinner, or things wouldn’t be right!
As he contemplated with himself
on whether or not he should choose one piece of cheese over the other, he also listened to the chef boastily
present his superb cheeses to the mayor and his soulmate:
"And tonight before the desert course we
present for your pleasure the traditional…cheese trolley. To start, we have an excellent clochette. Creamy.
Very nice, very light. Next, a brebis. Hearty, with a surprising bite! I think you’ll find… And finally, the
piece de’ resistance: A very special, very rare…"
But at that moment, everything went horribly
“RAAAAT!!”, screamed the mayor’s wife. Remy was caught red-handed! Why, oh why, had
he ever paused to spend sooo much time choosing which blasted piece of cheese he wanted?!
“Run…run…RUN!!!,” Remy’s panicked brain thought. Remy snatched one of the cheese
pieces, jumped off the trolley, flew between tables, and ducked under people’s feet as he raced toward the only
exit he could think of: The kitchens!
As he ran towards them the kichen door swung mercifully open, as a
chef carrying a tray full of food emerged through it, yanking up his foot just as Remy ran under it and into the
Boy, did he run! Remy didn’t think that he had ever ran faster in his whole life as he
lost his balance and slid underneath a cupboard, loosing his cheese in the process. He bumped his head a second
time…against the cupboard, scrambling all the while to pick up his cheese and get to his rat hole as fast as
possible. Whiz! Bang! Crash! Several kitchen utensils and knick-knacks flew by the panicked rat’s head as Remy
skidded around the corner of the cupboard; two pans, a pizza cutter, and a shoe landed in a heap beside him.
“Oh, hallelujah!,” Remy cried, as he spotted a broom before him that had been left to lean
alongside a counter. Up the broom he climbed, just as Remy realized that the place he was now on top of was where
he was most vulnerable. Poor Remy was in plain sight of the outraged chefs and their utensils…
“Get le rat!”
“Kill ze rat!!!”
“They’re all gonna murder me!!”
he thought. Remy screached out loud himself as another shoe flew over his head and splashed into the sink right
behind him. In one last attempt to escape, Remy jumped off the counter and flopped down onto the floor below,
earning himself two sprained knees and a stomach cramp in the process.
As he raced through the door that
led into the second kitchen, thanking God that he’d made it through the first half of the storm, Remy distinctly
heard a dozen large cutting knives fling into the door behind him, and one of the chefs yelling:
zat rat ever shows his face in my kitchen again, ze customer complaints will go through ze roof! Mark my words: I
would gladly give fifteen euros for a pair of his shiny whiskers! I’ll get zat rodent, if it iz zee last thing I