The Couch’s Last Laugh

Hi Readers,

Last week, our Newsletter-Dragon took our Scribe’s phone and disappeared into an evil couch. (We have no proof that it’s evil, but it does have an evil laugh, so…)

Melinda’s phone holds the latest copy of our latest novel, so you understand why we need to get it back. This is Ran, Sarn’s son and sidekick from the Curse Breaker series, your host and narrator for this strange adventure.

Papa and I have faced many foes, but this is the first time we might have to battle a piece of furniture. So, let’s get to it!

***

The couch laughed again and kept laughing when the hammer fell. Its arm cracked, but didn’t break off.

“Stop! You might hit the dragon or Melinda’s phone! We need to get her phone back. preferably undamaged.” I shouted. Shouting was all I could do from inside Papa’s shield.

Melinda’s dad raised the hammer again for another blow. Was he ignoring me? I just told him to stop. It was time to appeal to a higher power.

“Stop him, Papa! Use your magic.” I pointed to the hammer. It had a metal head, and metal came out of the earth, so Papa could send some magic to wrap its green-glowing fist around that hammer and pluck it out of Melinda’s dad’s hands, startling the poor guy.

Papa could have walked over and taken out of his hands too. Melinda’s Dad was about five foot ten, but my papa was about eight or nine inches taller with correspondingly longer arms. Papa was also fifty years younger that Melinda’s dad. But Papa went the magic route because I’d put the idea in his head, and his magic was already shielding me. Extending it a few feet further to grab a hammer was an easy solution.

“Where’d the hammer go?” Melinda’s dad looked about in confusion. His gaze skipped right over me scowling at my glowing prison/shield, my uncle circling the possessed couch, and the hammer floating into Papa’s hands. Apparently, our Scribe’s dad couldn’t see us either.

That might make things complicated because we’d have to anticipate his moves and keep him out of the line of fire if this devolved into a magical battle. Sometimes, real people couldn’t see us. I didn’t know why some people could and others couldn’t. Maybe it came down to imagination.

Our Scribe had one to write about us. Papa had an imagination to work magic. Uncle Miren and I had one because Papa did, and he’d raised us both. Right now, that imagination was my superpower. Maybe not everyone had one?

It was a chilling thought, but anything was possible. I put that distracting thought aside for later when Papa wasn’t walking right into trouble. While I was woolgathering, Papa had put the hammer down on the far side of a weather-beaten picnic table. He approached the couch with that resigned look he gets when people unnecessarily complicate things.

“Papa, what are you doing?” I rushed toward him and slammed into the shield he’d put over me again. I’d forgotten it was there even though it was glowing away right in front of my face, and that shield turned malleable enough to bounce me back a few steps into its rear wall.

“Getting that phone.” Papa stopped before the couch and had to crouch down because its back came up to his waist. Magic rolled down his hand, covering it in a green-glowing glove as he shoved it into the crack where the two attached seat cushions met.

“But it might eat you too. Stop him, Uncle Miren!”

“Bro, maybe you should listen to your son. It was just laughing, and couches don’t normally do that.” Uncle Miren circled the couch, stepping over tools in his path, but he was too late.

“It’s still a piece of furniture.” Papa’s left arm disappeared into the couch. His whole arm. But his arm was longer than the couch was wide.

If that concerned Papa, his face didn’t show it. That wasn’t unusual. He’d lived a hard life and had grown up without positive role models. No one had raised him, not like he was raising me.

“What if it’s possessed like my stuffed bear? Instead of by a good spirit, it could have a bad one inside it.” I padded as close to the shield wall as I could get.

I couldn’t reach Papa. I wasn’t even on the patio where the couch was. I was stuck on the grass next to it because that was as close as Papa would allow me to get.

The couch laughed, but it was muffled by Papa’s arm until its cushions puckered up and spat his arm out. Papa landed on his backside, but he still had two arms to hug me with when he let me out of my glowing prison.

“Are you okay?” I tapped on said prison.

“I’m fine. I didn’t find the phone though.” Papa picked himself up, and the hammer flew into his hand, carried by a cloud of green magic.

“Don’t break the phone,” Uncle Miren cautioned. “I’ll take that.” He took the razor from our Scribe, Melinda.

She was typing on her dad’s phone anyway and hardly noticed the razor wasn’t in her hoodie pocket anymore.

Uncle Miren pushed down on the metal cover to reveal the blade then covered it again and gave Melinda and her dad a gentle push toward me. “You should both go stand over by my nephew. He’s little, so keep him out of trouble.”

“Hey, I don’t get into trouble.” Not on my own anyway. I fumed at that unfair assessment as Papa’s shield expanded to cover Melinda and her dad too.

Melinda didn’t give that shield a glance. She kept taking notes. But her dad looked around like he saw something but wasn’t sure what that something was.

I tapped his leg. “Hi, I’m Ran. That’s Papa and Uncle Miren. Tell them I can help.” Maybe they’d believe a stranger? Because I wasn’t getting through to them.

Melinda’s dad didn’t reply, but she did. “Don’t bother. He has selective hearing.”

“What does that mean?” I eyed Papa and Uncle Miren. They were off to one side conferring in quiet tones. What were they talking about?

Melinda shrugged. “He tunes out anything he doesn’t want to hear.”

“Like Papa and Uncle Miren are doing right now? Because I can help. I have experience with possessed items.” I pitched my voice to carry as the couch laughed again.

But Uncle Miren and Papa continued their whispered conference as if they hadn’t heard me. My uncle had though because he winked at me. Uh-oh, what did he have in mind?




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