"So, how do you get out of here?" Pepper asked, looking around for the first time. He had no idea how anyone had thrown anything through a window, as there were actually not any windows in the place. It was basically a big hole in the ground. It was surprisingly well lit for a hole in the ground with no windows, but there also appeared to be no doors.
"You can't see it," Pinkie said, "But Ferret is pointing that way," and she pointed to a spot on the dirt wall. "There's a door there, it just blends very well."
"Okay. Do you want to come with me?" he asked her. It seemed that it would be better to have someone along for this.
"Why don't I go along with you, Pepper?" came Ferret's voice, "As it was your dot and my window that were involved."
Pepper didn't know quite how he felt about having someone he couldn't see along with him, but he supposed it was better that going alone. Plus, he felt rather awkward about approaching this mysterious door he couldn't see.
He felt a hand touch him on the arm and push him gently in the direction of the wall. "Come on," Ferret said, "This way."
They approached the wall, and it opened, theoretically because Ferret opened it. Walking through it, they were suddenly outside. If asked later to describe how it happened, Pepper wouldn't be able to begin. But there it was, the vast expanse of emptiness that was the Dune.
Except, this time, it wasn't entirely empty. "Look," he said to Ferret, who, he could only assume, followed his gaze to a small group of children. They were playing with lots of the orbs like the one Pepper held, in all kinds of colors.
"What do you suppose they're doing?" Pepper asked. "Have you ever seen anything like that before?"
"It looks like they're playing Pound," Ferret said.
"Oh, you've never played Pound?" he asked, surprized. "It's a great game. The ball you're holding, though, it doesn't really look like a Pound ball." He remained silent, as if expecting Pepper to reply.
"Oh," was all he could think of.
"Well, should we go ask them if they know anything about that?"
Pepper guessed he was pointing to the green orb. "I suppose so... will they be able to see you?"
"I don't know," Ferret said. "It depends."
"On them. Maybe you should be the one to introduce us and ask the questions, what do you say?"
Pepper nodded. It couldn't be that difficult to talk to a group of kids, now, could it?
He walked up to them. They appeared to be kicking the balls around in an undiscernable pattern. It didn't look like that fun a game, but maybe it was one of those things where you had to be there to enjoy it.
"Excuse me," he said, and the kids looked up. There were four of them, all boys. When they heard him call, they all looked up expectantly. "Do you happen to know what this is?" He held up the green orb, and their faces lit up.
"Oh, hey!" the tallest one said, smiling and reaching out for it. "You found our ball!"
"It came through my friend's window," Pepper said.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize anyone lived around here," the boy said, looking around as if trying to see the house he accidentally kicked his ball through.
"Well, he lives underground, I think," Pepper explained, "And he actually doesn't have any windows, so it's kind of a mystery as to how-"
"WOW, Mr., I've never seen that ball do THAT before!" shouted one of the smaller boys, a somewhat chunky fellow with dirty blone hair.
Pepper looked down at the ball in his hand. It was shimmering gently, as if suddenly filled with a thousand tiny fairies.
"How are you doing that?" The dirty blonde boy asked, incredulous.
"I really don't know," Pepper admitted.
"Excuse me for butting in," came Ferret's voice out of nowhere, "But do you boys mind if I ask you a thing or two?"
"Who said that?" said the tall boy.
"It was that man right there," the smallest one said, pointing. He was most likely the youngest of the group, his clothes seemed to fit him a little large.
"What man, Roy?" asked the fourth boy, a lanky, thin brunette with freckles all over his face.
"That man right there, can't you see him?" Roy insisted, continuing to point and wiping his nose with his free hand.
"I can't see him," the lanky boy said.
"Me neither," said the dirty blonde.
"Me third," added the tall boy.
"Well, I can assure you that is not entirely my fault," Ferret said, "But if you wouldn't mind indulging an invisible person for a moment or so... I must ask. Where did you find that ball? I've never seen anyone use it for Pound before."
"It's from my own special collection," the dirty blonde announced, puffing himself up with pride, which only made him look chunkier.
"Oh, is it really?" Ferret asked with interest. "You play Pound a lot, do you?"
"Yes, sir!" the plump boy said proudly. "I'm the best Pound player in town!"
"Are not," said the Roy, the younger boy.
"Well, I'm better than you, anyway,"
"That's just 'cause you cheat so much, Joey."
"I do no. Such. Thing." Joey said inignantly.
"Boys, I'm not concerned with who is the better player, I'm sure you're all equally skilled," Ferret declared, interrupting what could have turned into a long argument. The boys in the group all beamed at the idea that they were all talented Pound players. "What I'm curious about, is what sort of Pound ball lights up like that?"
"Well," said Joey, "I got it special in the mail. I sent away for it, and it came special."
"Special from where?"
"From Mr. Morggison."
Pepper sucked in a sharp intake of breath. Mr. Morggison sure does a lot around here, he thought to himself.
"Interesting, interesting, I didn't know Mr. Morggison manufactured Pound balls," Ferret said thoughtfully.
"Oh, yes, invisible man, he does!" said the tallest boy. "He's let us see his own collection, it's very impressive."
"But I didn't know when I got it that this one would glow!" Joey said excitedly. "Let me see it!" He took the sparkling orb from Pepper and held it. It stopped glowing. "Hey, it stopped!"
"Maybe you just can't work it right," said Roy, who reached for it. Joey held it up over his head, out of his grasp.
The tall boy snuck up from behind and snatched it.
"Lenny!" Joey shouted at him.
"Huh, it won't glow when I hold it, either," said Lenny. "Here, you try it, Ben," and he handed it to the skinny, freckled boy, who also seemed to be the quietest of the bunch. It still remained dormant.
"Maybe it's busted," said Roy.
"Would you boys mind handing it back to Pepper, please?" asked Ferret.
Ben didn't seem to mind taking instructions from someone he couldn't see, and handed the ball back to Pepper.
It lit up. The four boys gasped.
"You say Mr. Morggison made this?" Ferret asked them.
"Yes sir, Mr. Morggison. Made it special," Joey boasted.
"Well," said Ferret, picking up the ball from Pepper and handing it back to Ben (which caused the three who couldn't see Ferret to let out a collective "ooh" at the seemingly floating Pound ball), "You boys have been most helpful. If we ever find out why Pepper can make it light up, we'll be sure to let you know."
He took Pepper's hand, and Pepper followed him.
"Thanks for bringing our ball back, Mr.!" yelled Joey from behind them. Pepper turned and waved at them, and before long, without really being aware of how, they were back in Ferret's house.
Chapter 1: Pepper
Chapter 2: Pinkie
Chapter 3: Dune
Chapter 4: Mugget
Chapter 5: Deltiology
Chapter 6: Umbrella
Chapter 7: The
Chapter 8: Exsanguination
Chapter 9: Oubliette
Chapter 10: Ferret
Chapter 11: Defenestrate
Full Story at pepperadventure