Stories-part two

This is the second story of the Daughters of Bast trilogy.

Daughters of Bast #2:

When Death falls in Love

Madeline todd

It was a normal day at Bast’s mansion. Bast was fixing bacon and eggs for breakfast, the girls were trying to get in more sleep on the couch, and Sekhmet had gone out that night to run an errand. She wouldn’t say what it was, but Bast and the girls knew it meant something good. Bast piled the fried eggs and bacon on plates and breakfast was served. As the foursome wolfed down their meal, they heard the doorbell ring. Ding-dong. Bast looked up from her half-eaten bacon and raced to the door. She opened the door to find Sekhmet. But she was not unaccompanied. Three girls stood behind her. One of them had the same color skin as Sekhmet and Bast’s human forms, and she wore a turquoise headscarf. Her eyes were like dark chocolate. The second girl was tall and skinny and had long, dark brown hair. The third girl had red hair tied in a bun. She was in a wheelchair. “Mornin’, everyone!” said Sekhmet in a cheery tone for this early in the morning. “Hello, Sekhmet. Who are these girls over here?” asked Bast in a tone just as cheery.  “Girls, get over here,” whispered Sekhmet to the threesome. The girls walked over (well, the third girl wheeled herself over), and Sekhmet introduced them one by one. “From left to right, these are Namidah, Phoebe, and Elsa,” introduced Sekhmet. The three girls gave shy waves. “Alright, newbies! Let me introduce you to your new room-mates/classmates. Girls! Get over here!” said Bast. Deirdre, Ainsley, and Bebo came running. “From left to right, these are Ainsley, Deirdre, and Bebo,” introduced Bast. The three girls gave more shy waves. “For the time being, I’m going to pair each of the newbies with buddies to give them a tour. First, Elsa, wheel yourself over to Deirdre over there,” instructed Sekhmet. Elsa pushed herself over to Deirdre. “Need any help?” asked Deirdre. “Naw. Heck, I’ve been in this darn thing for more than half of my life!” laughed Elsa. “It’s a long story.” “Alright then. The tour begins here. Now, I’ll show you the kitchen,” said Deirdre. So, Deirdre proceeded to do the entire house. After the tour, Elsa was in awe. “I had no idea that goddesses lived in mansions,” she gasped. “I’m sure not all of them do,” laughed Deirdre. The two girls shared a laugh as the tour came to a close. They reentered the living room to find Bast and Sekhmet chatting on the couch. Bebo and Namidah had already come back and Bebo was shoving earbuds into Namidah’s ears. “Do I really have to listen to Taylor Swift? This stuff is terrible,” she moaned in an accent similar to Bast’s and Sekhmet’s. “You aren’t truly a woman if you haven’t listened to Taylor Swift,” claimed Bebo. Namidah rolled her eyes and yanked out the earbuds. “You know what? I’m gonna go sit over there with people that actually have functioning brains,” she retorted as she walked over to Deirdre and Elsa. Namidah sighed loudly as she plopped down on the silky couch. “Bebo is just sad. All she showed me was her room, the pool, and that dumb ‘Fruit Ninja’ thingy,” spat Namidah. “Chill, girl. You get used to it. Sort of, at least,” soothed Deirdre. Namidah snickered. “I have an announcement to make! I am now officially anti-Taylor Swift!” she laughed. Deirdre and Elsa cracked up while Bebo did a face palm and grunted. Bast leaned over and gave

Namidah a hearty high five. Just then, Ainsley came back with Phoebe. “What’s the cause for celebration?” asked Ainsley. “I’m anti-Taylor Swift now!” shouted Namidah. Phoebe and Ainsley pumped  their fists in the air. “Alright, girls! quiet down. Let’s have a little welcome pool party. Sound good to you, Bast?” asked Sekhmet. “I don’t see why not!” said Bast with a mischievous smile. “WAHOO!” cheered the girls. After everyone had changed into their bathing suits, the girls and goddesses jumped into the pool. Bast proved to be the master of cannonballs, and Sekhmet was skilled at Marco Polo. Bebo kept pulling Sekhmet’s furry, white legs out from under her, making her bowl over into the water. This caused Bebo to be an easy target because she always lingered near Sekhmet’s legs.  The goddesses and girls partied until the sun began to set in the early March sky. Sekhmet made ginormous burgers on the grill and the girls ate outside. After a delicious cookout, the girls went to bed.

When Deirdre settled into bed with Ainsley, Ainsley said, “I have something to tell you.” She opened up the dresser drawer and pulled out a pale yellow post-it. Scrawled on the note in black pen where the words Help Me!!! “I’ve kept this note for a special occasion. I have a feeling I’ll need this tonight,” whispered Ainsley as she placed the note on her pillow. “I hope you don’t. I just want you to be safe. You’re my best friend,” whispered Deirdre as she pulled the covers over her torso. “Me too,” Ainsley sighed. The girls pulled the covers over their heads and fell asleep.

***

Deirdre woke with a start in the middle of the night to the bedroom window being unlocked. A robed figure snuck inside. It appeared to have the head of a black German Shepherd and it’s eyes glowed a brilliant gold. The figure leaped onto the bed with canine agility and took the sleeping Ainsley by the arm. Ainsley blinked and discovered she was being taken. She screamed and began to struggle in the creature’s grasp. Deirdre leaped out of bed and tried to grab Ainsley’s leg, but it was too late. The creature had locked the window and had escaped into the night. All that was left was Ainsley’s note. “She was right,” murmured Deirdre. Sorrow overtook her mind, and she fell asleep once more.

***

The next morning, Deirdre woke up to a silent room. She suddenly remembered that something had taken Ainsley in the night. Oh, it must have just been a bad dream, thought Deirdre. But then, she looked over at Ainsley’s side of the bed. It was empty, with only the yellow post-it there. Deirdre’s eyes widened. “It really was true,” she gasped quietly. She rushed to get her clothes on and threw open the door. “I have to tell Bast and Sekhmet!” she shouted as she ran down the hall. At last, she skidded into the kitchen. There, she found Sekhmet cooking breakfast. The smell of bacon and pancakes filled the air. The St. Vincent tunes echoed through the room as Sekhmet cooked. Unlike Bast, Sekhmet did not sing to the music. She merely swayed her hips and hummed, clearly more dignified than Bast. She seemed clearly more groggy as well. Her eyes had dark circles around them as if she had not gotten enough sleep. Meanwhile, the music played for more cheerily. “Am I the only one in the only wo-o-orld? Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah, ah,” sang the music through the small iPod speaker. Sekhmet turned around to face Deirdre. “Oh! Good morning, Deirdre,” purred Sekhmet. “Sekhmet, I need to talk to you and Bast this morning. It’s urgent,” panted Deirdre, still exhausted from running down the hall. Sekhmet turned of the burner and loaded the pancakes on plates. “Alright. Everyone should be getting up soon. Where’s Ainsley? She’s usually with you,” asked Sekhmet. “That’s what I wanted to talk about,” answered Deirdre. Sekhmet’s formerly cheery face turned worried. Unfazed, she put the pancakes on each seat at the table. With a sigh, Deirdre sat down and poured syrup onto her pancake so that it overflowed and dripped off the plate a little bit. Then, Bebo and Phoebe walked down the hall. “Just my luck that I got stuck with the beanpole as my roommate,” Bebo muttered under her breath. Phoebe sighed and speed walked towards the kitchen, avoiding Bebo and her spiteful comments. She appeared hurt as she sat down next to Deirdre. Phoebe only poured the slightest bit of syrup on her pancake and began to eat slowly. “Bebo  getting on your nerves?” asked Deirdre. “Heck yeah. Just MY luck that I get stuck with the idiotic, rude Taylor Swift freak as a roommate,” Phoebe groaned. “Sorry. She gets on everyone’s nerves,” soothed Deirdre. Phoebe nervously looked around. “Where’s Ainsley?” she asked in a panic. “I’ll explain later when everyone arrives,” muttered Deirdre. Just then, Namidah and Elsa came through the hall. Elsa looked over at the pancakes. “PANCAKES!” she shouted and wheeled herself faster than ever before towards the kitchen table.  Namidah followed close behind and eventually, everyone was there except for Ainsley and Bast. Eventually, Bast lumbered down the hall and sat down to breakfast. “I have something to tell you,” Deirdre addressed. “Ainsley has gone missing. She was taken in the night by this guy with a black dog head or something,” she continued. Bast put a paw to her chin in deep thought. “I should have known. Anubis,” she grumbled. “For the record, Deirdre, that was specifically a black jackal head,” Bast continued. “Anubis is the god of the Afterlife. He weighs dead people’s souls to see if they should go to paradise or….well…..bad stuff, basically,” explained Sekhmet. “But what would he possibly want with Ainsley?” asked Namidah. “I don’t know. But whatever it s, he clearly has bad intentions,” said Sekhmet in a worried tone. “We need to delve deeper. Girls, Bast and I will be studying today.” The five girls looked at each other with confusion. They shrugged their shoulders and finished breakfast. After the pancakes were devoured, Bast and Sekhmet went to the study and the girls separated. Deirdre dejectedly went to her room. She stared at the posters on the wall, Ainsley’s abandoned iPod and laptop that they shared, and the “Help Me!!!” note on the pillow. Deirdre turned on the iPod and    found it paused on Ainsley’s favorite St. Vincent song. It was paused near the end of the song. Deirdre resumed the song.  But now I’m not afraid. I know I’m not a stranger. As the song played, Deirdre felt a surge of hope from the lyrics. “I’m not afraid,” she said with a deep breath. The music rose to a crescendo and Deirdre began to dance just like she and Ainsley did back when she was here. Suddenly, Phoebe threw open the door. Deirdre awkwardly paused the music and froze in mid-dance. “I need a break from Bebo,” announced Phoebe. “Alright. Let me start over the song. Do you like St. Vincent?” asked Deirdre. “Uh huh. I heard it when Sekhmet drove us home. Is it Bad Believer by any chance?” said Phoebe. “Yes! Let’s dance,” cheered Deirdre as she fast forwarded to the beginning of the song. The music once again rose to an electronic crescendo. Watching it go, I’m just a bad be-lie-ver, watching it go, watching it go-o! Phoebe and Deirdre danced until the song was over. Deirdre turned off the iPod and sat down in front of Phoebe. “Whatcha wanna do next? It’s your call,” asked Deirdre. “Dunno. Maybe we can have a drawing contest. Where are the colored pencils?” answered Phoebe. Then, Phoebe searched the room and finally came across a pack of “professional” artist’s colored pencils. “Here. Let me get some sheets of paper, Namidah, and Elsa. I’m sure Bebo’s off playing Fruit Ninja, so I’m sure she wouldn’t want to join in,” announced Bebo as she went out the door. Deirdre arranged a desk with four chairs and the colored pencils in the middle so everyone could reach. She proceeded to turn on the iPod and put on some music. Deirdre scrolled down to a Yeah Yeah Yeahs song. She turned the volume lower and played the song. Oh despair, you’re there, from beginning to middle to end. Phoebe, followed by Namidah and Elsa, poured into the room. “Background music! Perfect, Deirdre,” said Phoebe as she put the pile of blank paper on the table next to the pencils. Phoebe stood in the middle of the room. “Who wants to be contest judge?” she asked. Namidah raised her hand. Deirdre noticed that Namidah’s fingernails were painted a pretty shade of green with little sparkly, pink daisies. Namidah sat across from the three other girls. “My first drawing challenge is roses. You may start,” she announced. Deirdre grabbed a fistful of pencils and began to draw. She drew and drew until she was finished. Deirdre was sure that she wouldn’t win because her rose basically looked like a bowl with a little swirly thing inside. The stem was perfectly straight and devoid of leaves. Deirdre peered over to her competitors. Phoebe was sketching madly with a “I know I’m gonna win this thing” look on her face. Elsa on the other hand was carefully tracing lines and coloring smoothly and swiftly. Deirdre looked over to Namidah. She was impatiently drumming her fingers on the desk. With a swift stroke of her pencil, Phoebe shouted, “I’m finished!” and began pumping her fists in the air. Namidah rolled her chocolate brown eyes. Elsa deftly drew the individual thorns on the rose’s stem before setting her pencil down. Namidah laid the three drawings out on the table in front of her. Phoebe’s rose looked pretty good, but it was lacking detail and it looked rushed. Elsa’s looked almost like it was a real rose that you might find in a garden. “The win goes to Elsa. The next challenge is monkeys,” announced Namidah. So, the girls drew on, pushing through the challenges with ease. Elsa won most of the time, with one exception when Phoebe’s willow tree turned out like an exact copy of the real thing. “My final challenge: draw Bast,” announced Namidah with a giggle. “Go!” Deirdre grabbed more pencils and began to sketch Bast’s feline face. Then, she continued onto the golden robes, the tail and paws, and the single, gold hoop in Bast’s left ear. Then, she posed her in the kitchen flipping pancakes and waggling her hips.  Deirdre set down her pencil and waited. Phoebe was finished and was smiling smugly. Her drawing didn’t look too realistic. Elsa was finished as well. Hers looked realistic, but she was standing straight with no background or expression. Namidah examined each drawing closely. She laughed when she got to Deirdre’s. “My winner is Deirdre. Contest over!” announced Namidah. After the cheering and clapping died down, the girls put some of the pictures on the bulletin board in Deirdre’s room. The others were taken to Namidah and Elsa’s room. Phoebe couldn’t risk putting her drawings in her and Bebo’s room for fear of them being ripped to shreds and thrown out. So, she hid them in a black folder with little sparkly cupcake stickers on it. Out of the blue, Phoebe asked, “Namidah? Do you have your phone on hand?” Namidah pulled a shiny iPhone with a Grumpy Cat case that said “no” in bold lettering at the bottom out of her pocket. “Alright, girls. We’ll go to the arcade and film Bebo playing Fruit Ninja as long as we can,” whispered Phoebe. “Great idea. Afterwards, lets text it to Bast and Sekhmet,” laughed Elsa. The girls snuck into the arcade and arrived at the Fruit Ninja station. Bebo was once again furiously yanking the joystick around, slicing little fruits into minuscule pieces. Namidah set the iPhone’s camera to video and began filming. Elsa, Phoebe, and Deirdre watched in anticipation. At one point towards the end of the video, Bebo missed a watermelon and screamed, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” She appeared to be keeping herself from cussing as she began slicing more fruits, only this time more slowly. Namidah seemed to be growing bored, so she stopped the video and pressed the stop button with a short, audible ding. Bebo let go of the joystick and looked over. Upon seeing the girls she growled like an angry leopard that got pinched in the toe. “You……..will……pay….” Bebo growled. The girls rushed out of the arcade and back into Deirdre’s room. By then, it was 2 p.m. The girls decided to hit the pool. So, they got on their swimsuits and went to the pool. In honor of Ainsley, Deirdre wore the hibiscus swimsuit that Ainsley adored with all her life. The girls played Chicken in the chlorinated water. Sitting on top of Namidah’s shoulders, Deirdre stretched her arms out to knock Phoebe off of Elsa’s wheelchair. She waved her hands wildly like a cat batting a toy. But Phoebe had the upper hand in being very tall and skinny and with a slap, she sent Deirdre flying into the water. Deirdre careened through the air and landed with an echoing splash in the pool. A little bit of water managed to escape the pool from the impact.  Deirdre poked her drenched head out of the water. “Let’s stop playing Chicken, okay?” she gasped, water streaming down her face. The others laughed and they filed out of the pool, their swimsuits dripping wet. After drying off in the spring sun, the girls went inside. Bast was checking iMessage on her laptop. Sekhmet smirked as she looked over the feline woman’s head. Then, the two goddesses laughed so hard tears streamed out of their feline eyes. “Namidah, this is so funny!” laughed Sekhmet. From the laptop, the girls heard Bebo’s cry of “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Everyone laughed until Bebo stepped into the room. Luckily, the video stopped just in time and the goddesses tried their best to act casual. “Like I said, peeps. You will pay,” growled Bebo. Deirdre quickly changed the subject. “How did the studies go, guys?” she asked. “They went great. Bast actually talked on the phone, doing her best imitation of Nepthys, Anubis’s mother, the goddess of the river. It was great. She got Anubis to tell her what he had done with Ainsley. He was taking her prisoner and in a matter of days, he would force her to marriage. We have to get her back,” explained Sekhmet. “Now sonny, you know that’s no way to treat a gal,” squeaked Bast in her Nepthys voice. Although the voice sounded more like an eighty year old woman than a goddess, the girls and Sekhmet roared with laughter. “Tomorrow, we set out to  the Hudson River. There is a passage that leads to the Underworld,” explained Bast. Deirdre crossed her fingers behind her back, hoping that she would not set the terrible alarm that she had last time. Then, Bast set off to make dinner. After an hour or so, Bast came back with a steaming plate of bean burritos. Deirdre’s mouth watered as Bast set the plate down. The girls devoured their burritos, beans and salsa spilling out of the tortilla as they took huge bites. As Deirdre ate, she thought of Ainsley and how much she would of enjoyed dinner. All of the happiness from that day slowly faded away and Deirdre hung her head in sorrow as she pulled out her Familiars book. It was a heated battle in the book. Paksahara, the evil gray hare, was in a heated battle with Aldwyn, Skylar, and Gilbert, sending ruby darts from the tips of her paws. Aldwyn had just unleashed a newfound power of telekinesis and was moving weapons off the dungeon wall to attack the evil creature. Although the book had entered an exciting climax, Deirdre was still weighed down by sorrow. She placed the book back in it’s tote bag and flopped facedown on the fluffy pillow. Deirdre tossed and turned and then had the idea of turning on music. To keep the good memories of Ainsley, she scrolled back up to Bad Believer and made it so that it repeated all night long. She plugged in the charger so it wouldn’t run out of battery and put it on the part that lifted her heart. I know I’m not ashamed, I know there is no da-anger, Give me life, Give me life, Give me life. Deirdre sighed and fell asleep.

***

Are you ready? Are you ready,ready? Are you ready for the ride? Deirdre woke to the alarm going off. Bad Believer was still playing, but the alarm, playing a Luscious Jackson song, drowned it out. With a groan, Deirdre pressed the snooze button and changed into a zebra-print t-shirt and denim shorts. Sleepily, she walked down the hall. Sekhmet was impatiently gripping the handle of a pot. “C’mon, just be ready already, come on, eggs, BOIL!” she muttered, clenching her fangs. Deirdre giggled under her breath. Then, she slumped onto a chair and watched Sekhmet. As the eggs boiled, Elsa wheeled into the kitchen and scooted herself next to Deirdre. “What was that Luscious Jackson alarm all about?” she asked. Sekhmet snickered in the background. “Oh, they do it when we have a big day ahead of us. Last time it was worse though,” murmured Deirdre. Elsa shrugged. Then, Phoebe walked down the hall, followed by Namidah, Bast, and Bebo. By then, the eggs were successfully hard boiled and the girls had breakfast. Everyone enjoyed it, with the exception of Phoebe, who nervously poked the slimy egg with her fork. After breakfast, Bast ran to the basement. She emerged a few minutes later dragging an immense boat. It looked just like a boat that the Egyptians used thousands of years ago, Eye of Horus and all. She and Sekhmet pushed it out the door and tied it to the top of Bast’s car.  The girls piled into the car and they set out for the Hudson River. Sekhmet pushed a button and the playlist that Bast had made for car trips began to play. They began to sing to the music. “I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love with a strict ma-chi-i-ine!” they sang. Deirdre smiled and danced to the music, thinking of how brave these goddesses were under the stickiest of situations. Bast continued wildly steering the car and dancing along to the music with Sekhmet. Bebo moaned, begging the goddesses to turn on some “good music”, which to her meant annoying pop. Bast, Sekhmet, and the other girls ignored her pleas and they drove on without the endless torture of listening to Taylor Swift.

***

After a few hours, the girls and goddesses arrived at the Hudson River. Bast unstrapped the Egyptian boat from the top of the car and loaded it into the water. Sekhmet pulled a tote bag from the trunk and pulled out swimsuit cover-ups. “Girls, put these on. We might get wet for more reasons than one,” she instructed. Deirdre pulled out a purple one and pulled it over her t-shirt and shorts. Bast helped the girls board the “Blast From the Past Boat” as Bebo called it one by one. She and Sekhmet steered the boat offshore and the boat glided through the rushing waters. The girls got some odd looks from the shore. A couple on a riverside walk stared at them with sunglass-covered eyes. A homeless man by the river’s edge watched them with glassy eyes as they glided past. Once they were extremely far from shore, something strange began to happen. A huge, blue figure rose from the water. His hair was like slimy seaweed and he wore Hawaiian-patterned swimming trunks. “‘Sup, ladies?” he said. Deirdre cringed. This guy seemed like he thought he was a “lady’s man”, but clearly, he was nothing of the sort. “Oh. Hello, Hapi. Get out, we’re on an urgent mission,” grumbled Bast. “Aw, come on, guys! You didn’t even let me show you my newfound talent! Here, I’ll do it anyway,” Hapi continued. Sekhmet began to steer the boat faster than ever before. Hapi got down on his belly and began doing “The Worm” in the middle of the river. Murky, dirty water splashed everywhere and everyone got very wet. Bebo cringed and tried to shake the water out of her blonde hair. With wide eyes, Deirdre stared back at Hapi, who was still making a scene. “He’s got some serious issues,” she muttered under her breath as the Egyptian Boat tore through the river. “Just our luck that Hapi was here today. Bimbo,” Bast panted as she rowed through the murky river water. Sekhmet nodded her soaked head in agreement, shaking water drops. Trying to shake the memory of the weird god, the girls and goddesses continued their search for the passage into the Afterlife.

***

After another hour of sailing down the Hudson River, Deirdre grew bored. She decided to look for fish from the boat. When she looked down, she did not see fish. But what she did see was stranger than fiction. The water had taken on a blood-red color. Confused, Deirdre looked up. The sky was red as well and odd shapes flew across the sky. “Is that me, or is everything turning red?” asked Deirdre nervously. Bast’s eyes narrowed. “We’re extremely close,” she explained grimly. “Whoa. This looks like the Crimson. You know, from Terraria!” exclaimed Namidah. Elsa did a face palm as they slowly advanced through the strange reality. Soon, the boat entered a dark cave. The boat came to a rocky, black shore. Sekhmet and Bast carefully docked the boat and the girls climbed out. The sight of the black rock and the red rivers and skies made for a hair-raising surrounding. “I know where Anubis is hiding. Let’s go,” instructed Bast. The girls followed the goddess’s lead into a smaller cave. It was completely dark inside, and the only source of light was the eyes of Bast and Sekhmet. Their footsteps echoed as they made their way through. Suddenly, a faint light began to show at the tunnel’s end. The girls and goddesses quickened their pace and reached the light. The end of the tunnel opened into a small room. The room resembled a man cave, complete with a boom box, a cabinet full of junk food, and Led Zeppelin posters. In a corner next to the boom box sat Anubis. He was draped in dark, iridescent robes and was wearing earbuds and nodding his canine head. Next to him was Ainsley, who squatted in a tight corner. She looked grumpy enough to punch Anubis in the face. If she did, she certainly had good reason to. She also looked considerably skinnier, even though it had only been about two days since she was taken in the night. Bast peeked around the corner and prodded Ainsley’s chocolate-brown arm. “Ainsley, it’s us!” she whispered. Ainsley blinked slowly. “Am I dreaming?” she muttered. “No. Come with us. We’re here to take you home,” Bast whispered again. Ainsley’s face lightened up. “Really! Whatever you do, do it quick! Anubis makes me want to barf!” exclaimed Ainsley. Sekhmet helped Ainsley to her feet and began to lead her out of Anubis’s man cave. When they were two steps out of the entrance, they heard the sound of the plug of earbuds being pulled from an outlet. Anubis had noticed them. The girls and goddesses whipped around to face the jackal-headed god. A wide snarl spread across his black-furred face. Sekhmet growled and Bast hissed slowly. “What are you doing with my girl?” demanded Anubis. “Your girl? She’s only eleven! Why do you intend to marry a girl who isn’t even old enough to go to middle school yet?” snarled Sekhmet. “Oh, I only intended to give her a little aging spell to make her old enough. Then I would marry her,” Anubis replied with a sly grin. Suddenly, Ainsley jumped out of the throng of girls and goddesses and faced Anubis. “Some husband you’d make!” she shouted as she threw a punch to his face. Soon, the god and the girl were locked in deadly combat, wrestling with each other on the rocky floor. “How dare you challenge a god! Who do you think you are, Ra?” spat Anubis as they rolled around the floor. “I challenge who I want! Now leave me alone or the goddesses get it!” screamed Ainsley. Despite the threat, Anubis still tangled with Ainsley. With a blur of gold and orange, Bast jumped onto Anubis’s back and began to scratch and hiss at him. Anubis let out a yelp and backed away. With a final scratch in the face from Bast, Anubis scampered away into another cave. Bast picked Ainsley up in her furry arms and carried her over to the other girls. Her arms and legs were covered in scratches and her  green heart pajamas were in tatters. She was hyperventilating and clearly still recovering from the shock. “Ainsley, are you okay?” whispered Sekhmet, her lion eyes softening with worry. “Yeah. I just wanna go home now,” rasped Ainsley. Deirdre put a comforting hand on Ainsley’s bloodied shoulder. “You have no idea how much I missed you,” she whispered. Ainsley cracked a smile. “For now, put this extra swimsuit cover up on. We’ll get on the boat home soon,” comforted Bast, handing her a pink cover up from inside the tote bag, now wet with river water. They slowly walked out of the cave, Bast and Sekhmet supporting Ainsley’s arms. After going back through the dark tunnel, the girls and goddesses boarded the boat and they set off for the shores of the Hudson River.

***

After about an hour and a half, the girls and goddesses had reached the river bank. On the journey back, there was no sign of Hapi and his strange dancing, so no one got wet. After Sekhmet and Bast tied the boat to the top of the car  and they got in the car. Towels were laid out on the seats to prevent them from getting wet. “Ainsley, since you have been through a lot and need some comfort, you can ride in the front seat and get the pick of the songs,” Bast said. Deirdre smiled and gave Ainsley a comforting pat on the back as she climbed into the passenger’s seat. Bebo groaned at the thought of listening to even more of the music that she hated with all of her life. Sekhmet plopped down in the backseat next to Deirdre and Bast started the car up. Ainsley opened up the glove compartment and fumbled with the iPod until she settled on a song. Surprisingly, it was not St. Vincent, but a Yeah Yeah Yeahs song. “Woo hoo, Ainsley! Wise choice!” cheered Bast as she began nodding her head to the beat and crazily steering the car. Out of control, Y control, you oh oh oh oh oh! Sekhmet and Deirdre danced in their seats, ignoring the constant groaning from an annoyed Bebo as the music played.

***

Soon, they were home. The girls went back to their rooms to change back into dry clothes and Bast and Sekhmet did the same before plopping down on the couch. When Deirdre and Ainsley got into their room, they sat down on the bed. “Do you know how much I missed you?” Deirdre said as she opened a drawer and pulled out a box of Muppets bandages. Ainsley nodded slowly. “Really? You know that to comfort myself, I had to listen to Bad Believer nonstop?” snickered Deirdre as she began placing the bandages on Ainsley’s scratches. Now, Ainsley’s arms and legs were covered in Kermit, Ms. Piggy, the Swedish chef, and even Gonzo shooting himself out of a cannon. “No! You really did that?” laughed  Ainsley as she began inspecting the bandages. “Muppets? You really know me, Deirdre. I missed you too.”

~End~

Epilogue

The evening of Ainsley’s rescue, all of the girls were crowding around Ainsley, giving her a form of therapy. To them, this meant putting her on the pull-out bed of the couch, putting on St. Vincent, and giving her a hand massage.
(This was done by Phoebe, who basically was lightly karate chopping her.) Bast was fixing spaghetti in the kitchen. Meanwhile, Sekhmet was looking out the kitchen window. A look of worry crossed her face. The sky was an odd red color. Two, squinting yellow eyes peered out of a cloud. “Bast,” she said, “I have a bad feeling about this.”

Daughters of Bast #3 coming soon

Book #3: Chaos Rising

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