Kelpy the Great and Wondrous stood soaked and muddy as the rain fell. The city with its hard stone walls and cold rough streets lay all around and above her, looming and mysterious. And the rain fell anyways.
It was a particularly nasty sort of rain, filled with grime and dust that had been floating in the air above the city all week.
She scowled happily and ran her fingers along a nearby park bench. He was here, of this she was certain. A giggle escaped and she frowned at it. Happy maybe, maybe not, but alive. Focusing on control of her feelings was important. If she didn’t control them she’d lose him.
A smell drifted out from under the dampening rain and she knew. Letting out a short bark she started jogging along the sidewalk, running yes but mouth open and sniffing the air for the scent.
A short man in a long business rain jacket jumped and yelped as she ran past. The umbrella he was holding caught the wind and flew up into a tree. This brought another grin to her face. A tiny sopped up, woman’s body wrapped in old cloths and covered in mud made him lose his composure. What would he have done if she’d been the other one? More than just water would wet his pants.
The laughter died as the scent changed. A mystery. It wasn’t gone, just changed, like the difference in dirt from the sky and dirt from the gutter. Her jog slowed and she scowled at the bright windows all around. Where, where, where, that was her question.
Pausing she closed her eyes and spun around, face to the sky, hands stretched out. A grating voice interrupted her thoughts.
“Does the little lady need a friend?”
Three of them stood from where they’d been crouching by the window. Threat and greed showing clearly on their faces. She smiled at them, or snarled; it was hard to remember which was which some days.
But before she could punish them for speaking to her the scent was back and she was off. Their yells faded behind her as she closed her eyes and hunted. She didn’t have time for vengeance, or hunger, or hatred or spite. If she stopped she’d lose him, and she dared not lose him. Not after getting this close.
It was the smell of stone she hunted. The smell of chalk in water. The taste of iron in sky. The sound of copper on fire. Faster and faster, street lights blurred, people shouted, vehicles slid, animals cried. Behind it all the sound of the city, above it all the roar of the rain, and through it all the scent.
She was glad she’d left the skirt and shoes, she vaulted another fence and was grateful her hair didn’t catch. The wind flew past and she scrabbled at the corner of a building to hold on. That the wind itself was near was a good sign. A fire barrel exploded as the fire tried to grab her and slow her. She ran backwards for a bit to make a face at it. Water formed and dove at her ankles but she skipped high into the air and danced over it with a saucy beat.
Elemental though they be they weren’t going to stop Kelpy the great and wonderous. Not tonight. Not ever.
The scent led her sideways and longways and then stopped.
Kelpy slid slowly to a stop and stared around. This wasn’t the right place. It couldn’t be. This green place? Grass and flowers and trees all neat and cut and pretty. The statue in the middle was plaster not stone, no hope there.
She walked long circles around and around the park and through it. She tore up flowers and sung to the trees. She lifted up a paving stone, sparkling violet orange with the effort but still no true stone.
Stopping the in the middle she roared her fury at the storm, at the city, at the unconscious policeman who had tried to stop her search.
She stalked some more. Growling, scowling. It was here…. Where though.
Coming back to the middle of the park she cleared a space, marking it off with discarded lilies and tulips, and one discarded nightstick. Standing in the middle she paced.
The thought came to her eventually, working its way through her emotions and into her soul. She scratched it and bit it but the thought persisted. Sighing she sat on the air. Tucking her knees in she pulled fire over herself and let the rain fall through all of it.
“SEEEEEEEEE? SEEE YOU STUPID THING? ALL THE OTHERS ARE HERE. WHERE ARE YOOUUUUuuu.”
Her call tailed off a bit weakly and she stopped her foot in fury.
It reverberated. The ground vibrated slowly and persistently.
Songs erupted behind her eyes, and Kelpy danced to the music in her head.
“La, la, la, La, la, la, La, la, la, La, la, la, La, la, la, La, la, la, La, la, la, La, la, la, La, la, la, La, la, la”
The ground rumbled again.
“I dare you!”
The green surf erupted and she sprang tackling him mid leap. Young woman met stone leopard and they went through a tree.
Dirt, mud and rain scattered from their path and they clawed at each other furious and joyful. Blood met grime and she sprang up and landed square on his back.
“HA! I HAVE YOU NOW! BOW BEFORE KEL——EEEEEP!”
He bowed as she spoke and she rolled forward through a bush. He dove after and her legs sent him flying high and into a light post.
“MUAHAHA! YOU’LL NEVER BEAT KEL—–AAAAAAAAAACK!”
He tore the post off in his jaws and swung it at her. She only barely ducked in time coming up with a rose in one hand and nightstick in the other. Snarling she jumped at him and beat him around the park with her instruments.
“RUN RUN RUN! I AM KELPY! I AM STRONG!”
He ducked into a fountain and she clipped his back paws taking him down. Her leap cleared the tiny cherub statues and she pinned him on the paving stones on the far side. He tried to paw at her before she could speak but she managed to free her own foot and shove his errant limb to the ground.
“NOW! NOW I WIN! YOU ARE MINE! MINE! I AM KELPY THE GREAT AND WONDROUS AND YOU ARE MINE THE KITTY!”
Stone eyes glowed green and he let out an answering roar. Kelpy smiled and shoved a rose in his mouth.
“Now, MINE THE KITTY, find us a book store. We’re hungry.”
And that’s how Kelpy the Great and Wondrous found her stomach.
Or her cat, it’s hard to tell the way she tells it.
This story is a fun little jig of a tale to describe a character I’m working on for Pathfinder. A secret is that Kelpy and T’kk’tck are going to meet. Their meeting makes me happy. Although I haven’t been told that tale. The only one I know is their …. well that’s later. I still really enjoy her and figured I could share with you.