"She is insufferable!" He shouted.
"Don't be so hard on Pinkie," Ferret said.
"Why not?" Pepper cried. "I have no idea where I am, no idea when I'm getting home, and it's all her fault."
"You don't know anything about her," Ferret replied.
"She won't tell me anything!"
"But I'm afraid it's a little more complicated than that." Pepper heard him stand, and walk across the room to a small kitchen area, where he picked up a teapot and began making tea, a process more fascinating watching it happen as if by itself.
Pepper watched in silence as the pot was filled with water, then set down on the stove. He watched the stove flick on, then heard Ferret coming back to sit across the table from him.
"Did you know Pinkie lost her mother?" Ferret asked seriously.
"No," Pepper said, "I didn't." He was a bit taken aback by it, in fact. Pinkie seemed like a strong murffle, someone who didn't let anything get in her way, no matter how obnoxious she was about it. He never would have guessed that she had suffered a loss like that.
"It wasn't too long ago, either. We all had to watch her go through it. Nothing was really the same after that. She hasn't been herself."
"How often does she visit here?" Pepper asked.
"Quite often," Ferret said. "She practically lives here. If it weren't for how much she loves her father, she WOULD live here."
"How does she know about this place? Why does this place exist, anyway? Why do YOU live here?"
"I'm afraid I'm not the one to answer any of those questions, except for the last one. I live here because I've always lived here."
"Well, what about Mr. Morggison? Why does everyone seem to know him?"
"I CAN answer that one," Ferret said happily. "Mr. Morggison is the local wiseman. Essentially. That's not his official title or anything, but there is very little he doesn't know. He is also a local provider, if you need or want something, you can usually get it from him."
The teapot had started whistling, so Ferret stood up to fetch it. He turned off the stove, picked up the teapot and brought it back to the table, along with two teacups and saucers. Ferret added the teabags and continued, "The fact that he gave you that book leads me to believe that he saw something special in you."
"Like what?" asked Pepper, picking up his cup even though it was currently empty. It was smaller than he would have expected, and it had very delicate designs painted on it. The designs were also on the saucer. He wondered what kind of person Ferret would have to be to have teacups like these.
"I couldn't say, but Mr. Morggison does not hand out books frequently. Or much of anything, really. If he gives you something without you having to ask, you shouldn't take it lightly. And that book was clearly intended for you, as Pinkie cannot read from it."
Pepper glanced at the book, which was still lying on the table from when he'd set it down. "I want to look at it again," he said, "but I'm afraid of what might happen."
"You're afraid of another incident like the Pound ball."
"I wouldn't let that keep you from opening it, Pepper. It does no good to fear the unknown, it is better to face them head first. Because that way, they aren't the unknown anymore."
Pepper stared at it. "I'm not too sure how ready I am to get in another adventure."
"Why don't we wait for Pinkie to get back, and then you can have another look at it."
"What if she has other plans?"
"That's not for me to say," Ferret said. "Pinkie tells me very little as well these days." He poured himself a cup of tea, and Pepper took the cue to follow suit.
Suddenly, the door burst open and Pinkie appeared. "Okay," she said, "I'm better."
"Did you have a nice walk?" Ferret asked.
"As nice as is to be expected," she said. She looked at Pepper. "Are you ready to go?"
"Are you going to tell me where we're going?"
Pinkie sighed. "We're going to visit Vanessa."
"Oh!" Ferret exclaimed, "Will you tell her hello for me?"
"Of course," Pinkie said.
"Who's Vanessa?" Pepper asked.
"She's one of the best Pound players around," Pinkie explained. "Maybe she could tell us some more about your glowing ball."
"And she has a rather well-formed backside," Ferret said.
Pinkie turned to stare at him. "Ferret!"
"I'm sorry, Pinkie, I can't change facts!"
Pepper saw that Pinkie was blushing deeply. "Okay," she said, "Come on, Pepper, let's go. Ferret, you've been more than hospitiable, thank you."
"It's always a pleasure to see you, Pinkie, visit any time."
"Of course," she said, and Pepper picked up The book and followed her out the door.
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
Chapter 12: Pound
Chapter 13: Aerodynamics
Full Story at pepperadventure