HE CAME HOME
Snuggles could hear the cries again, they were quick to stir him from his slumber.
He leaned over towards Dawn, her head tossing and twisting on the pillow
“What’s the matter?” he asked.
Dawn carefully wrapped the sheet around her waist and got up from bed, heading towards the window close to the door, opening it and letting a draft pass through her body.
“He didn’t come home” she said, tears being blown from her eyelids by the strong winds.
“Which one of them?” Snuggles said, looking at two sets of newspaper clippings on the desk opposite the bed showing photographs of Danger Mouse swinging on a jungle vine, trying to avoid Snuggles in a loin cloth, and her father Augustus at a fancy social function, well dressed in a suit and tie.
“Does it matter?” she said.
“You can’t just sit back and expect me not to worry” said Snuggles.
“I tried phoning while you were out, I was looking for information”
“You used the phone without telling me? How long were you on for?”
“As long as they kept me on hold…the music must have looped fifteen times before I hung up”
“How long was the music?”
“Oh what does that even matter, it wasn’t exactly catchy” Dawn snapped.
“It matters to our phone bill” Snuggles replied, trying to keep his temper in check, now was not the hour to engage in heated conversation, his goal was to try and calm Dawn’s nerves so she could get her beauty sleep.
Dawn closed the window and walked over to a mirror; she grabbed a comb and began brushing her pigtails.
“I’ve never known such worry in my life, it’s so new to me…and it twists my insides like a pretzel, more so than rage ever does, is it any wonder why I get moody when I’m older?”
“That’s all part of growing up” said Snuggles.
“Whenever I’m a grown up, I’m selfish, I write off anything that annoys me before it has a chance to hurt me, or discipline me…maybe that’s why I tried to get rid of you that time, so I could be my own boss”
“I could never be your boss…boss” said Dawn, smiling as he noticed Dawn giving him a wink and giggling a little.
“Come back to bed Dawn, now’s not the need to worry, and you’ve got school in the morning”
“Can you check the news feeds for me to let me know if he came home safe?” asked Dawn
“What did I tell you about watching the news before going to bed? You don’t need to fill your head with all the chaos going on in the big bad world”
“He always said I was big and bad” Dawn whispered gently.
“And brave” Snuggles added.
“Just do this one thing for me, please? I can’t bear to look myself, so much for bravery” she said, slipping back into her bed and laying her head tensely on the pillow.
Snuggles sighed and headed over to the main living area and switched on the television.
The BBC’s lead news correspondent gave an update on a situation involving a fire at the International Fighting Flea Market Arena, which had broken during a fight between Danger Mouse and Dawn’s father riding what appeared to be a fusion of a flea and flypaper, with several gallons of oil attached to them, all having been ignited.
Snuggles listened to the news report intensely, as long as it took the update and interviews to wrap up before it moved on to the next topic, before switching off the television and walking over to the guest quarters.
Logic dictated he should have checked the guest quarters first, but he wanted all the details before proceeding, he wanted to be best prepared for whichever outcome awaited him.
There would no surprises with him, surprises were sudden, shocking, potentially damaging, and he did not want that inflicted on his young charge, she had enough baggage, and he had just as little patience for it.
Upon checking the guest quarters for signs of life, he came back to Dawn’s bedroom with a look of satisfaction.
“Well?” Dawn asked, almost succumbing to slumber but fighting against it until her curiosity was satisfied
“He came home” Snuggles said.
Dawn sighed in relief, and gently shut her eyes to go to sleep. Snuggles kissed her on the forehead and tucked himself in beside her, drifting off to sound and safe slumber himself.