He decided to break the silence. "I didn't know your mom died," he said to Pinkie.
She stopped walking. "Who told you that?" she asked.
Pepper was suddenly afraid to rat out Ferret, but there was really no one else he could pin it on. So he just remained silent.
"For your information," Pinkie said, through clenched teeth, "she isn't dead. She's missing." She sped up, so that Pepper had to break into a light run to keep up with her.
He felt stupid. That's what Ferret had meant when he'd said she "lost" her mother. She literally lost her. "Hey," he yelled to her, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you!"
"Don't worry," she said, "you didn't."
"But you seem angry."
"Do I?" she snarled, whipping her head around and glaring at him.
"Please - please, can you slow down?"
"Okay," she said, stopping abruptly and turning around. "Number one, you don't know anything about my mom. Yes. She's missing. She's been missing for years. Everyone has pretty much accepted that she's dead. I haven't, I'm still looking, but that's not why we're here, if you're wondering."
"Are you going to tell me why we're here, then? Or, you know what, no. I don't even really care why WE'RE here. I'd just like to know why I'M here."
Pinkie stood still. She breathed deeply in and out. "You're here," she said, "Because I need your help."
"Help with what?"
"I don't really know yet," she said, her face falling. "I'm not sure why you're here."
"Wait a minute, you just said I was here because you need my help!"
Pepper could only stare blankly at her. "I can't even begin to say how vastly confused I am right now."
"Don't worry about it," Pinkie muttered, continuing her walking.
Pepper was tired. Tired of thinking, tired of arguing, but mostly, tired of not knowing what the heck was going on. Every time he asked questions, he seemed to only end up more confused, and angering the murffle more. So he chose to stop asking questions.
"I'm going to stop asking questions," he said.
"That's... that's good?" Pinkie said.
"I guess so. I'm just... I'm so frustrated, you know? And asking you to explain is getting me nowhere. So it's only statements from now on."
He looked to see if Pinkie was affected at all by his declaration, but she didn't seem to be. She did slow down a little bit, though, and she said, "That's fine with me."
"I'm starting to think that hermitting isn't the life for me," he said.
This caused her to stop walking again, so he almost ran into her.
"You have to stop doing that," he said.
"I'm sorry," Pinkie said, sounding legitimately sorry this time. "But, you just seemed so gung-ho on the whole hermit lifestyle."
"You're not the only one with secrets," Pepper said. "I actually change my mind quite a bit. Seeing as I've failed entirely at being alone in my first week of being a hermit, I'm thinking it might not be the life for me."
"Really?" said Pinkie. "So... what would you like to be now?"
"I haven't decided yet. A career is the sort of thing you need to think really hard about before making a decision."
"How long did you think about becoming a hermit?"
"Three days," Pepper said proudly. "Life decisions take time."
"Huh," Pinkie said.
"Maybe I'll be a cosmonaut," Pepper said. "Leave this place and go into space. See things that no one else has ever seen."
"People have already been in space," Pinkie said.
"Not too many people. There's still things to be explored."
"There's an entire world to be explored right here, why don't you do that?"
"Already been done."
"Well," Pinkie said, "If you decide to be a cosmonaut, I wish you good luck with that. I, for one, do not intend to choose a life path until I am old enough to have one."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Pepper asked indignantly.
"Nothing, just that-" But she didn't get to finish her sentance, because a figure appeared out of nowhere. A tall, wispy figure had emerged in front of her, and she stopped in her tracks yet again. Pepper ran into her, yet again.
"You," the figure said. It didn't seem to have any specific form, rather it was shifting from one shape to another, almost in a fluid motion. It didn't stay still for a single moment.
"Och," Pinkie said, her voice now possessing a distinctive quaver.
"You shouldn't be here," the wispy figure said.
"What's an Och?" Pepper whispered.
Pinkie pointed at the figure. "That's an Och."
"What does Och want?"
"I don't know,"
Och threw an arm up in the air. "SILENCE!" It shouted. "You should have stayed away from here, after what you did."
"What did you do?" Pepper asked.
"Shut. Up." Pinkie said through clenched teeth.
"I should banish you right now," Och hissed.
"I'm not bothering you, Och, I'm here on personal business."
"You know It's back," Och was letting out a low snarl. "It's ruining the Dune."
"I can't do anything about that," Pinkie said.
"Oh, yes you can," Och said accusingly, "You can. You can, but you won't. And for that, you should LEAVE." The figure flew at Pinkie, and she screamed, and then it was gone.
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
Chapter 14: Callipygian
Full Story at pepperadventure