Chapter Two. Weather Witch
Sogwa said, “First, some spare skins, just in case.”
So she went to the toy store. There she found two bean-bag cat dolls just her size, color and shape. She bought them and took them home.
Once home, she slipped out of her old doll and into one of the new ones. It felt good, like stepping into a new pair of shoes. She yawned and stretched. “Now, let’s see, my name is, oh yes, Sogwa.” Remembering one’s name is always the hardest part of settling into a new skin. Sogwa looked at the old Sogwa doll. It looked worn, so she put it in the blue basket with the other Old Favorites, in Sleepy Baby’s arms.
“I’ll wear you again later,” Sogwa promised. “But in the meantime, I’m off to visit the big kids, and they play rough. You keep safe,” she told her old skin.
Sogwa put the second spare doll in her backpack, along with a Swiss Army knife and a necklace with pendant. She took her backpack and her vacuum cleaner outdoors. She hung the pack on the vacuum cleaner, then she got on too. She turned the vacuum cleaner on full reverse, and it blasted into the air like a jet-pack.
Flying a vacuum cleaner is noisy and dizzy, but cool. It’s way more modern than brooms.
Sogwa flew long hours until she reached Lake Chimpy, the toxic waste dump formerly known as the City of Olde Phillippe. She landed on a muddy patch of ground at the shore of Lake Chimpy. With her Swiss Army knife, Sogwa cut a branch of weeping willow. She carved it into a magic wand, and she cut a notch in its side, so she could break it when the time came.
Sogwa put on her necklace. Its pendant was a tiny empty bottle, just big enough to hold a single drop of water.
Sogwa drew a wide circle in the muddy ground with her willow wand. She said, “I invoke the Four Elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water!” Then Sogwa drew a six-pointed star inside the protective circle. She said, “I invoke the Six Compounds: Fog, Dust and Neon; Ember, Booze and Mud!” She stood in the middle and planted the willow wand in the ground. She said, “I invoke the Void!” The wand, circle and star all flashed green, and Sogwa heard a loud
A voice from the air said, “Welcome to Gaia Wireless. Please enter your P.I. Number.”
“Three point one four one five nine two six five three five eight nine seven nine!”
The voice said, “Correct to fifteen digits. Please enter your party’s extension.”
Sogwa crooned, “Coreeeeenaahhhh!”
The voice said, “Please hold while I transfer your call.” Muzak sounded.
Mist rose up from Lake Chimpy and swirled towards Sogwa. It curled around the protective circle, faster and faster. It became a whirlwind, a small storm, and Sogwa’s circle was its calm eye. The wind buffeted, but the circle held, because Sogwa’s P.I. number was correct to fifteen digits. The Muzak stopped.
The whirlwind loomed over Sogwa. It was Coreena.
She bellowed, “YEAH, WHAT?”
“Hi there, I’m Sogwa the supercat, and I have information about Chimpy.”
“CHIMPEE?” Coreena roared.
“Yeah, but please tell me something first!”
The wind toned down a bit. “Whatcha wanna know?” Coreena grumbled, in a voice loud enough to shake window panes.
“What is it between you and Chimpy?”
“AN’ HIS BUDS!”
“Okay, you and him and his buddies. What’s the beef?”
“Ah’m mad on accounta WHAT THEY DONE TO MA MOMMA!”
“That’s terrible!” said Sogwa; for Coreena was a daughter of Mother Nature herself.
“Yeah, it is...” Coreena grumbled.
“But what did they do?”
“They try ta FOOL her! AN’ THAT AIN’T NICE!” Thunder rumbled. Then Coreena remarked, “ ‘sides, ya cain’t do it. MA Momma SEEN a thing er two! SHE bin AROUND! HEH, HEH, HEH, HEH, HEH!”
“Good old Mom.”
“But you got fooled.”
“You got fooled! Look; did you find Chimpy?”
“NO! WHEAH THEY HIDIN’ HIM?”
“They weren’t hiding him! They didn’t have him!”
“BUT MOMMA DONE TOLE ME CHIMPY HUNG OUT IN THAT OLE TOWN HAVIN’ A HAH OLE TAHM!”
“That was years ago! Your information is out of date!”
“Yes! You were looking for Chimpy in all the wrong places!”
“Yes! And the people in that town you smashed up, they don’t even much like Chimpy!”
“SAY IT AIN’T SOOOOOOOOO!”
“Sorry, it’s so! You messed up, big-time!”
“Oh yes!” Sogwa yelled. “You and your Judgement Day! I call it Snap Judgement Day! I call it Bad Judgement Day! You showed bad judgement!”
“BUT - BUT - BUT - AH DINT MEEEEN TOOO!”
Sogwa yowled, “You silly monster! You drowned the wrong people!”
Coreena wailed, “AHHMM SOOOO SORRRREEEEE!!!” She burst into a torrent of rain.
“Alright already!” Sogwa cried. “Don’t drown me too!”
Coreena tried to hold back her great hot raindrop tears, but she couldn’t. She was a giant, with giant emotions. She blubbered, “FERGIVE MEE, AH NEWW NOT WHAT AH DOOO!”
“That’s just it, you didn’t know!” Sogwa yelled, spitting mad. She was drenched, and cats hate to get wet. “You know what your problem is?”
“WHAAAAHHH???” Coreena asked, and cried, and rained.
“You’re just plain ignorant, that’s what your problem is! And you know what you need?”
“You need an education!”
Coreena jumped outwards ten feet. “WUH YOU SAY?!”
“You heard me, an education! And lucky you! You’ve come to just the right supercat!”
Sogwa took the tiny bottle off her necklace. She opened it and captured a single raindrop from Coreena’s stormy eye. Then she stoppered the bottle and put it back on her necklace.
Sogwa said, “Can you see?”
The rain stopped. Sunlight broke through the swirling clouds, shining on Sogwa.
Coreena said, “CLEAR AS CRYSTAL.” The raindrop on Sogwa’s necklace gleamed like a diamond. And since that raindrop was from Coreena, and of Coreena, everything that drop of water saw or heard, Coreena saw and heard too.
“And now I’ll show you around,” Sogwa told Coreena. The raindrop on her necklace winked. “Now you can see things from ground level.”
“MOMMA’S LEVEL,” rumbled the whirlwind.
“And that will be educational.”
“And I promise to look for Chimpy. And I’ll find him, and his friends.”
“And we’ll see them, face to face.”
“And if he deserves it - ”
“I’ll be the judge of that!”
“But if he does - ”
“ - then I’ll call you up - ”
“- and we’ll decide what to do.”
“YEEEESSSSSSS!!!!” Coreena roared.
Sogwa said, “Break?”
The whirlwind cried, “BREAK!”
Sogwa broke the willow wand in two, and the whirlwind flew outwards in every direction at once. The storm cloud dissolved into clear air with a hiss.
A voice from the air said, “Thank you for using Gaia Wireless.”