Story Game from the Old Forum

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Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fiffur on Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:41 am

I edited the entire thing so there's only the story (to save space here), no who wrote what when. Here it is in about a dozen posts since it's quite long. This includes today's continuation by me in the other forum. We can continue the story here now:

Once upon a time, in a verdant land of gentle green hills rising from the shores of a wide blue lake, there lived a rather melancholy creature who had no name. One morning a small child came along talking to her ragged doll about how annoying her brother was when they got up that morning.

The ragged doll called Marilyn said to the small child, "Well if you hadn't torn up the comic section of the paper, before he had a chance to read it, maybe he wouldn't have been so cranky you know how he gets when he can't read the latest Mutts strip in the comics section!"

The creature with no name, going about his dreary yard chores, stopped still when he heard the word "Mutts." He slowly turned and stared at the child, who continued to amble along, grousing to her raggedy doll, Marilyn. The creature wondered "I've heard that name before............." and stopped to think of when and where he'd heard it last. "Mutts... hmmm," said the bedraggled creature to himself, 'was that the new meat sensation at fatty snax deli last week?" Smacking his lips, the bedraggled creature pondered some more. "Maybe it was the new meat dish at the pizza place cross town....."

Suddenly, the small child called out to the bedraggled creature, 'Hey you Bedraggled creature why don't you join us over at Veggie Heaven for a healthy snack... it looks like you could use one!"

"Healthy? Veggies? what no meat?" he snarled.... the girl batted her most cutest look at the creature and he softened his voice..........."Well, maybe having veggies won't hurt me just this once....................." And the company might not be too bad to be around either.............. He agreed to the offer and went along.
As they were walking the creature kept glancing at the girl sideways, trying to look more closely at her without her knowing. After they had walked a while, the creature cleared his throat and addressed the doll. "Excuse me, Marilyn, is it? What was that you were saying about Mutts? Seems I've heard that word before. I know I've heard Mutts before, but I'm having a lil trouble placing just where I heard it. Maybe you can help me."
Marilyn asked, "Do you read the comics in the newspaper on a daily basis?"

"I try to whenever I happen to find one lying around." the creature replied. "Why, is that where I've seen it, in the paper? I'm not sure that's it," the creature continued. "It's more like a memory, very hazy, of a name..." He stopped and gave a little laugh. "But of course, what would I know of names? I have none."

Suddenly a cute little dog ran up to them and said 'Hi Marilyn. Hi little girl. Hi strange bedraggled fellow,' and the bedraggled man looked stuptified while surveying the cute little dog who was panting at him curiously. The creature gave himself a mighty shake, as if to clear his head. "Do I know you?" he asked the little dog.

The dog replied "I don't think so but you look sooooooo familiar................"

"But you know Marilyn's name!" cried the bewildered creature.

"Of course he does!" laughed the little girl, bending down to pet the pup. "Don't you know who this IS?"

"Hmmmmmmmm.............. I'm not sure."

"Well, perhaps you don't, since you don't read the comics every day," mused the little girl, looking up at the bedraggled creature, "but I've known this little guy for as long as I can remember. Marilyn knows him, too, although she's from another......."

But the little girl's words were cut off by a sudden huge BOOM!! off in the distance.

"What was THAT?!?" they all cried together as the ground began to shake. They all crouched down, covering their ears, as dirt and pebbles rained down on them from the sky. "What is happening here?" the scared bedraggled creature cried. "What was that?"

A very large boulder had fallen off of a cliff and the dirt and pebbles were the remenants from the aftermath. "Everybody okay??" asked the creature as they picked themselves up out of the rubble. "Little Girl? Marilyn? Little do.... where the heck is he going?" And they all stared aghast as the little dog raced toward the boulder at the bottom of the cliff.

The little dog cried "I think I saw this land on someone! Come down here and help me move it!"

They all went with the dog to find out if anyone was trapped underneath the boulder. Just as the others caught up to the little dog at the bottom of the cliff, they saw the boulder shift, then start to move..........the boulder moved over just enough and came out of the pile was a very muscular mouse.

"Okay" said the mouse as he was brushing the dirt off his shoulders, "who rolled that boulder onto me?" He was glaring at no one in particular but looked at everybody.........

"Hey, it wasn't us!" cried the little girl, "we just came to rescue you!" The little dog pranced forward and sniffed hard at the mouse, who drew back abruptly and glared at the dog. "What do you think you're doing?" he squeaked gruffly. The little dog looked the mouse in the eye, cocked his head and asked, "Do you have any enemies, Mr. Mouse?"

"Oh, I have many enemies" said the mouse. "They all envy my unusual strength." He was now flexing a few muscles........"Here comes Mighty Mouse to save the day!"

Marilyn rolled her eyes at this posturing. (Perhaps that's because Marilyn is a doll and the little girl had tilted her back in all the excitement. But perhaps not.) "I must admit, you must be very strong to have survived that boulder crash," she said to the mouse grudgingly. "How did you get so strong?"

The mouse looked around, like he was expecting someone to be eavesdropping on them. "Well," he started "I was always a bit different than my siblings. Born that way in fact................I was quite famous in my lil mousetown, but I got tired of all the stares and rude comments. Then I discovered how strong I was, and everybody became afraid of me." The mouse looked a bit sad when he said that. "I suddenly had no friends."

The creature with no name gave him a knowing look. "Yes," he said, "Well. And I expect you bullied them a bit when you realized how strong you were and could get back at them for all their rude comments, didn't you? Don't blame you. Thing is, once you fight back like that, no one likes you. I should know." And he sat down heavily in a big, bedraggled lump.

"Yeah, you're right." said the mouse. "And sometimes I really regret I did that, and wish they'd listen when I try to apologize." He sat down next to the bedraggled creature. "Would you be my friend, and I'll be yours?"

"Why, of course he will!" cried the little girl, growing impatient with all this sad sacking. "We're all friends here! Now buck up, you two, I'm hungry." The startled pair looked at the little girl, blinked at each other, smiled shyly, and shook hands. "Excellent,' declared the little girl. ("Finally," said Marilyn under her breath.) The little girl turned to the Mouse. "We were on our way to Veggie Heaven to have a snack. Will you join us?"

"Oh yes! A snack sounds wonderful right about now. I'm hungry too. Let's go!" They set off walking to Veggie Heaven, unaware of someone in the crowd there who wouldn't be too happy to see the mouse.............

As they approached Veggie Heaven they realized it was lunchtime and there was a big crowd gathered at the take-out window, and many others seated at the picnic tables in the surrounding field enjoying their tofu, taters and peas. But Marilyn grew wary. "Who's that over there staring at us?" she asked. The mouse followed her pointing finger, and saw who it was staring at them from across the room. The mouse let out a big gasp, turned a bit pale, and nearly stumbled into the bedraggled creature at the shock of who he saw. "Ohmylord, that's my sister!" he managed to say.............the sister started to come towards them starting to shout above the crowd.

"What are you doing here?" she practically growled. Then she grabbed a glass off a table, slammed it back down again, and continued stalking towards them. "You have the nerve to show your face in here?"

The mouse, still pale, fell back a few paces, then rallied and went forward to meet his sister. "I traveled a long way to be here," he said, looking her right in the eye. "Did you think I wouldn't come?" His companions looked at each other, unsure what to do. "Are we gonna eat or what?" grumbled Marilyn, but even she didn't dare grumble too loud and the little girl quickly shushed her.

His reply seemed to soften his sister's mood a little. She looked at his companions "Sure you're gonna eat, you're welcome here anytime. Have a seat. What'll you have?" Turns out the mouse's sister was the restaurant hostess. She looked at her brother..."Are you here to pay your bill finally? They took it out of my paycheck when you skipped out on it, and I nearly lost my home because of it."

Suddenly, Marilyn started to figget at hearing this and shortly thereafter, she pulled out a big wad of money. Marilyn's companions stared. The creature looked hopelessly confused. The mouse seemed dumbfounded, but there was a glint in his eye. His sister seemed taken aback, but somewhat mollified.

"Whoa, that's a lotta cash," said the small dog, giving it a sniff. But the little girl had gone very red in the face.

"Where did you get all that money?" she demanded of her doll. The doll merely shrugged, "I just found it lying around somewhere." Even the unworldly Creature looked at her askance at that, and the little girl was having none of it. "And just exactly WHERE might that have been that you found all that money lying around?" she demanded. Marilyn gulped and decided to come clean.

"Well, it was like this you see," she began shifting nervously from one foot to the other. Marilyn gulped again and nervously began to speak. "You know how we all ran to help the Mouse after his gigantic fall from the cliff?" Her companions nodded. "Well," she continued, keeping a wary eye on the angry little girl, "I happened to notice a small bag lying amid the rubble nearby and, while you were all helping the Mouse to his feet and brushing him off, I picked it up. It was full of money! I've never seen so much! I didn't know what to do, so I tucked it away quickly and said nothing about it. I'm really sorry! It's just... I thought it could help us!" And with that, Marilyn burst into tiny doll tears.

"Please don't cry Marilyn. You only did what you thought was right at the time." the lil girl said, putting an arm around Marilyn. "Why don't we find out if anyone has reported any money missing? It must belong to someone."

"Would it be a good thing to report this money to authorities of some kind today?" said Marilyn.

"Yes it would, and the sooner the better. Somebody out there is really upset because they lost so much money.......and probably need it badly for something." said the creature. "Yes," said the mouse, "maybe it was their tax refund and they need it for paying bills, or something like that." "You're right, I don't feel right spending any of this even if I am hungry." Marilyn said with a growling tummy.

The Mouse's sister had been watching the Mouse narrowly throughout this exchange. "Yes," she mused, "it would certainly be a shame if the rightful owner of all that money never got it back. Funny how Marilyn found it just at the spot where you landed, isn't it, Brother?" She shot the Mouse a look and he ducked his head. "Tell you what," she said. "I'll put the bag of money in the restaurant safe until you folks can make inquiries. How's that?" The Mouse started to rise, but seeing his new friends all nodding in agreement, he subsided. "In the meantime, pancakes for everyone! On the house, in honor of my Brother's return! What do you say?" The small group cheered! The Sister gathered up the bag and moved off, calling to her wait staff. Soon they were all tucking in to tall stacks of fluffy pancakes with strawberries, whipped cream, butter and syrup. The mouse however suddenly didn't have much of an appetite. He glanced around to see if anyone was looking at him, and a flicker of worry crossed his face. What if they found out..................

"I think I'll take a little walk," he said, getting up from the table, "and see what there is to see in this place." The little dog jumped up. "Walk? Did you say WALK??" Tail wagging, he ran to the Mouse and executed a few backward leaps. The Mouse looked down and couldn't help but smile. "Okay, you can come with," he said, "but you have to behave yourself." And the two set off together into the crowded fairgrounds. "You think they'll be alright?" mumbled the Creature with his mouth full. "Oh yes, he's a very good dog," said the little girl, wiping whipped cream from her upper lip. Marilyn watched the pair disappearing into the distance and frowned. "Yes," she murmured, "but is he a very good mouse?"

Marilyn was worried, she'd gotten a glance of the flicker of worry that crossed the mouse's face. She hoped the dog would be alright alone with the mouse. They'd already walked out of sight of the group..........a loud roar was coming from outside of the building along with a series of barking. Marilyn started to cry out..............

"WHAT was that?" she said looking towards the door. Everyone had stood up and turned towards the sound. "Let's go see what that was, Mouse and Dog might be in trouble!" said Marilyn. "Who's coming with me?"

Last edited by fiffur on Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fiffur on Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:41 am

The Creature hastily wiped his mouth and threw his napkin to the table. "Come on!" he yelled, and the group of friends rushed off towards the noise. Parting the crowd, they spied the Dog running in circles yapping his head off. The little girl took charge.

"Dog!" she said in a loud but calm voice. The Dog glanced at her but continued to bark and run. "DOG!" she said sternly. He stopped and stared at her, panting. "Use your words," she said. "What is it?" "He's there, he's there!!" cried the little Dog and broke into a fresh round of yaps, running in a big circle around....

"There, there? Calm down and tell us where!" Dog was beginning to tire, and wasn't running in circles quite so fast. "He's there! He's there!" Dog kept saying. The little girl finally grabbed Dog and held him close. "Please calm down and tell us where or we can't help him." Dog panted and gasped.................

"There! There in the hole I dug!" gasped the Dog. "Mouse and me, we came out here to this field on the far side of the restaurant, and Mouse told me to STAY, said he had business to do. Well, if a guy has to do his business, he doesn't need an audience, right? So he went around the the back of the building and I stayed, but after a while I got bored and started to dig a hole. It's a good hole, too! See? See? It's really big!!" panted the little Dog wagging his tail.

"Yes, it's really big," said the little girl kindly, and the little Dog licked her nose. "But tell us now, what did you find?" she asked gently.

"Well, that's just it," said the little Dog, starting to tremble in her arms. "I think... I think it's the Mouse."

"Nonsense!" declared the Creature. "How can that be?" He strode forward, followed by the group. They all peered into the big hole and saw that it connected with a small tunnel that went deep into the ground. "Hello in there!" shouted the Creature. It echoed, and echoed, and echoed....................

"That tunnel must go into a lot of chambers down there." Marilyn said. "Are you sure Mouse is down there Dog?"

"I'm sure I saw him turning around and going back in there" Dog said.

"Well, let's not just stand around here, he might be in trouble, let's go!" said the Creature as he disappeared into the tunnel at the side of the hole's bottom.

"Yeah, he might be in trouble," muttered Marilyn, "or WE might." But, since she was a doll and was being carried by the little girl, she had no choice but to follow the others into the tunnel. "Can anyone see in here? It's so dark." said Marilyn, squinting into the darkness.

"I can a little bit" said the Creature. "I don't see Dog yet but I think I can hear him up ahead, watch your head, the ceiling drops a bit right here." They continued on, each keeping a hand on the shoulder of the person in front of them. The only thing Marilyn or the girl could hear was the dripping of water. The further they went, the louder the dripping appeared to be to the girl. Then the girl noticed the ground was changing in consistency, which was odd since the ground started as compacted dirt and now it was squishy mud.

"I think we're heading towards an underground river everybody, so watch your step. It's getting slippery here." said the Creature. Just then the girl's foot slipped, and she started to fall, the Creature tried to grab the girl's hand before she slid out of reach, but the Creature was too late. The girl let out a long cry as she slid on down towards the water and then there was silence followed by a big SPLASH!

"Let's GO!" cried the Creature and threw himself down the tunnel. Even so, the little dog was ahead of him. Having neatly caught Marilyn as she flew from the falling girl's arms, he had already bounded down the incline towards the underground river, clutching the doll in his mouth.

"I've got her!" cried Dog as he ran back towards the group. They continued down the slippery slope, more carefully now, towards the underground river. As they got closer, they could hear another sound up ahead in the darkness. The Creature tried to listen harder to figure out what the sound may be, but all the Creature could think was that it sounded so much like a thumping sound. Then he realized the thumping sound was the sound of his own heart pounding in his ears. He would never admit to the others how scared he was of closed in dark places.

Marilyn said, "Can you hear that? It sounds like footsteps up ahead somewhere. Could it be Mouse?" "Hello, Mouse, is that you?" the little girl called out. She heard what sounded like scratching in the distance and the only shape the girl could make out was the faint outline of Mouse not too far away, but the girl wasn't so sure at what she saw.

Mouse didn't reply, and it was too dark for anyone to be sure if he was what the girl had seen up ahead. The scratching got louder as they continued down the tunnel. Suddenly the Creature stepped on something and they all heard a huge "OUCH!" nearly underfoot. He'd accidentally stepped on the tip of Mouse's tail as he was crouching over the spot he was digging at. The Creature could barely make out the edge of a huge box being uncovered in the hole Mouse was making.

"What are you doing there Mouse?" Marilyn asked. Mouse looked up briefly but kept digging.

"Hello, my friends," he said, "I heard you coming. I would have preferred to do this on my own, but now I'm glad you're here. The 100 year floods are upon us and the underground river is rising. I've GOT to get this box out of here before it's too late. Will you help me?"

The girl said "Sure I'll help, but I will not speak for everyone else that is present. What are you using for digging? Shovel? Bare hands?"

"At the moment I'm using my hands, but the ground's pretty soft. Just have so much of it to move............." Mouse hesitated for a moment, still digging. "Will you help me with this? I promised my great-grandfather before he died that I'd keep this safe. My sister has no idea I have this." The others started to crowd around Mouse, and started to dig...............the box edge started to emerge from the hole.

"My, how big is this?" asked the Creature, trying to hide his nervousness. He didn't like small enclosed dark spaces.

The Mouse had stop to think about how big his great-grandfather said it was. Suddenly he remembered and said rather quietly, "1 1/2 feet wide by 1 1/2 feet wide by 2 feet deep." Then he went back to digging with his hands.
The others crowded around and starting digging with their hands, and the box started to emerge from the soft ground. Soon they could see the hinges and heavy lock on it, it was nearly free. "What is in this box Mouse?" the creature asked.

"A precious family heirloom I promised on his deathbed to keep safe." replied Mouse.
"It must mean a great deal to you to go to all this trouble," said the Creature, who was sweating freely now, both from the hard work and the enclosed space. Suddenly he stopped and raised his shaggy head. "Listen," he said, "what's that?" The noise of the underground river had been growing steadily louder as the friends worked at freeing the box, and now there came a gurgling, bubbling sound from the area sloping away from them into the darkness.

"It's the river!" cried the Mouse. "It's rising! We've got to get out of here or we'll all be drowned!" With one final heave the Creature tore the box from the ground, tucked it under his huge hairy arm, and yelled "RUN!!!"

They all took off back the way the others had come in, as fast as their slipping feet could take them. Mouse kept shouting, "Hurry, hurry, the water's nearly caught up to us!" The sound of the water was now a roar right behind them. The Creature was terrified of drowning, and nearly dropped the box in his haste. They all burst out of the hole, heaving and gasping, dripping with water, just as the water completely filled the tunnel and shot up out of the hole as a huge geyser, knocking them all back onto the grass and showering them with river water. The box flew out of the Creature's arms as he fell, and tumbled down the hill towards the restaurant where the crowd of merrymakers had all turned toward the sound of the watery explosion. Both the Creature and the Mouse saw this happen. Both immediately got up and started running towards the box hoping that one of them will get the box before anyone realized what was tumbling down the hill. And who should they see running towards them from the restaurant, at the head of the pack of people, but Mouse's sister!

"Hurry, get the box!" Mouse cried out. "It belongs to us!" The geyser of riverwater was still gushing, water flowing down the hill in all directions, making running harder to do. The Creature slipped on the wet grass, the girl grabbed his hand and hauled him to his feet as she ran by. Mouse's sister had no clue what Mouse was talking about and was clueless at how to help him out only to then realize she was going to be hit in the head by the flying box. She barely managed to jump up high enough to somewhat catch the box only to realize it was much too heavy for her to catch easily. She did get it in her hands, only to have the weight of the box knock her over backwards on her back, box now on top of her. She couldn't move. Just then Mouse, the Creature, the girl, Dog, and the others finally got to her, and together they lifted the box up and helped her to her feet.

"Mouse, what were you yelling at me? I couldn't quite hear you over the roar of the geyser up there. And speaking of geysers, we'd better get to higher ground." Nodding in agreement, the Creature took the box again, lifting it to his shoulder.

After everyone got to higher ground, Mouse started to tell his sister about the box he and everyone else managed to dig out and why he had to get it. Mouse's sister was appalled that she wasn't told of this box, so she started to run after Mouse only to have him turn around abruptly so that she ran smack into him, knocking them both to the ground. As they lay there panting,

Mouse said, "Look, sis, I didn't know myself about this box until a few months ago when I met an old geezer in the wilds of Outer Slobeenia who had known Grandfather. When the old guy realized who I was he took me back to his hut and, after a long night of drinking and storytelling, he told me one important story, all about him and Grandfather when they were young, and the treasure map they found. The old geezer had a good long laugh about that, said it was surely just a hoax, but that his mouse buddy took it very seriously, said he would bury the map by an underground river on his family's property and, when he could, would dig it up and find the treasure. I guess Grandfather never came back for the box, but when I heard the old geezer's story, I knew I had to try. It's taken me this long to work my way back here. I only hope the map is really in there, and in good enough condition to read." Mouse said. "We really need the money from the finder's fee, or we'll lose the old family home to the taxman. I promised Grandfather I'd keep the house in the family. And that's not all that's supposed to be in this box, there's supposed to be a family heirloom in it too." Mouse's sister looked at him a long time, not saying anything.

Finally Creature spoke up, "Well then, maybe we should see about opening this box."

The girl said, "Well, Mouse or his sister should be the one to open it and get to decide when to do it." Then everyone nodded in agreement. The Mouse looked at his sister, then down to where the revelers had gone back to their revelry, having lost interest in the little group up on the hill. He looked around at his friends, who stood by respectfully, awaiting their decision. He looked again at his sister. She was dishevelled, a smear of mud on the soft grey fur of her Mousy cheek, but her eyes were clear and bright as she met his gaze.

"Shall we?" he asked. "Let's see our future, brother," she answered, and slowly lifted the lid of the find a map still in halfway decent condition, a thick book, and a smaller box inside, along with some really old pictures of members of Mouse's family they didn't know. The pictures were labeled on the back however.

"Wow, these are pictures of our great great grandparents Mouse!" his sister yelped. "And this looks like either a big diary or a really old family bible."

The Creature looked inside the box and just said to no one in particular "I wonder what's in the little box?"

Mouse took the smaller box and opened it to find an old cloth. When he picked it up, he realized something was in the cloth. Mouse unwrapped the cloth only to reveal a small jeweled pendant in a filagreed gold setting, along with a tiny picture in a frame.

"Who's that in the picture Mouse?" his sister asked.

"I'm not sure," Mouse replied. "It might be great-grandma, and this was her necklace. I think I remember seeing it in an old picture of their wedding when I was very small, you weren't even born yet. Great-grandpa once told me he gave his great-grandmother's necklace to his bride on their wedding day."

Creature looked into the small box, and saw another lil fabric wrapped package, and reached for it only to draw back, embarrassed. "Sorry," he said, "that's not mine to open. But really, Mouse, the suspense is killing us. What's in it?" Meanwhile, the little girl, who had crept closer to peer into the box, gently lifted out the old photographs and was looking through them.

"Look, Mouse. This must be the wedding picture of of your great grandparents. See? She's wearing the necklace! But... who is that in the background, staring at them so hard? Kinda creepy, isn't he?"

"Maybe there's some mention of who that is in the book." Marilyn suggested. Mouse's sister opened it, and discovered it was a diary written long ago by a then-young great grandmother she never knew. Gently thumbing through the pages, she looked and gasped.

"Here's a mention of her wedding day! Seems she had another beau who wasn't happy about the wedding, wasn't invited, but showed up anyway trying to stop it. Maybe that's him."

Mouse reached for the other little package and opened it. There were other little packages in the box. Everyone crowded around to see what was in the package Mouse was opening. As Mouse unwrapped the small package, something shiny fell out and dropped in to his hand. "Why, it's a key!" he exclaimed.

"A key to what?" asked Marilyn. Mouse and his sister both looked puzzled, neither had any idea what the key was for.

The creature spoke up, "Maybe it's explained in the diary what it's the key for?"

"Hmmmm, guess I'll be doing a bit of reading tonight." Mouse's sister commented softly, holding the diary.

"What else is in the box Mouse?" the little girl asked. "Oh, maybe I shouldn't have asked...............they may be personal things meant for your eyes only." She looked a little embarrassed.

Mouse decided to look at the diary and started at the beginning only to find some sort of piece of paper that was folded attached to the inside front cover. Mouse started to unfold the paper to only discover that it was written in another language he didn't understand. "Maybe you can read this Sis," he suggested, handing it to his sister. "You took foreign language in school."

Everyone crowded in closer while she looked at it, silently trying to translate it before speaking. "What I learned in school won't help me with this," said his sister. "It's written in Mousese, the original language of our people. Great-Grandmother wrote her diary in English, but not this. We've got to get it translated. This letter may explain mystery of the key and the map. Brother, who do we know that might remember the old language?"

"Oh, now let me think........." Mouse was absentmindedly stroking the tip of his tail while thinking. "Maybe Scooter, he used to teach at our old school, remember Sis? I wonder if he's still alive back in the old hometown. It's been a while since I was there last."

Marilyn spoke up, "Maybe we should go there and ask. Would you mind so terribly if we came with you?"

Mouse replied, "I don't mind at all! Maybe tomorrow we can leave to back to the school to find out if anyone can provide information on Scooter."

"Great, so we'd better start packing." said the little girl.

"Oh," Mouse's sister cried, "I have to ask for time off from the restaurant. Shouldn't be too much of a problem, I have vacation time saved up, but it might take a couple days."

Creature spoke up then, "That just gives us a little more time to get packed then. Agreed?"
Everyone agreed and Mouse's sister went back inside to inquire about getting time off. Creature said, "How will we get to this school where Scooter may still be at?" Then Mouse realized they needed transportation and wasn't sure how to go about getting it. Mouse's sister showed up all out of breath, stuttering.

"I can't believe they're making me wait a week before I can get time off! I told them it was very important." Mouse's sister looked a bit sad. "Guess that delays our trip Mouse."

Mouse said, "That's okay Sis, we have to find some transportation to get there anyway. I have to find something big enough to hold us all."

Marilyn spoke up, "Don't feel badly about the delay, it gives us more time to pack."

The lil girl asked, "Okay, we need transportation. Where do we start looking?"

Mouse's sister said, "I think a neighbor across the street from us has a 15 passenger van he no longer wants, so maybe he'll let us rent it for a week or two. No harm in asking him about it. How much money do we have on hand?" Everyone started going through money pouches, pockets, and purses.

"I have $5.23," said the lil girl.

The creature just shrugged, "I only have a cough drop and a stale M&M." Dog was still sitting there thinking............

"I think I have some money in my house, but I don't remember how much." Mouses' sister said, "I haven't been paid yet for the week, but I think I can lend some to anyone who doesn't have any to pitch in." She was looking at Creature with a bit of sympathy.

Mouse started to brainstorm about any of his books, movies or games that he can part with. Then Mouse said, "There might be a box or two of my books, movies and games that I can sell to the second hand bookstore at the corner near us. I may not get much for them, but at least it be a little more than what we have now."

"Let's go to my doghouse and see how much I have, then ask that guy how much he'd charge to rent that van." said Dog.

"Good idea Dog, then we'll know how much more money we need to raise. We also need money for gas too." Creature looked a bit more sad, hanging his head down a bit. "Wish I could help," he muttered softly.

Mouse's sister spoke up, "Creature, I think the cafe could use a little extra help this week. Our dishwasher is out on sickleave, and we're swamped. That's why I can't get any time off yet, we're just too shorthanded right now. Interested?" Creature's expression brightened greatly and he started to smile....................
Creature said, "I have done some minor repair jobs in the past. I can look at the dishwasher and go from there and I don't mind helping to catch up on the dirty dishes until the dishwasher is repaired or replaced."
Mouse's sister said "Then come with me and I can get you the job. Can you start immediately? They're really getting short on clean dishes."

"Sure" Creature said, "the sooner I get started the sooner I'll have some money to help pay for renting the van." So they both headed off to the restaurant.

Mouse said "I guess that settles it, shall we go ask that guy how much to rent his van?" The others nodded in agreement, except for Marilyn.

"I should stay behind in case Creature or your sister wants to know where you all went." As Sister and the Creature went off to plumb the depths of the steamy restaurant scullery, the little girl looked at her doll doubtfully.

"Are you sure you'll be alright here alone?" she asked.

"Certainly I will," said Marilyn. "Just prop me up against this shady tree on the hillside, and I'll wait here until you get back. Besides, I need to think about this puzzle. The key and the map and the diary. Hmmmm...." Seeing that her doll was already deep in thought, the little girl reluctantly agreed. She settled Marilyn comfortably against the tree and, looking back over her shoulder once or twice, ran to join Mouse and Dog, who were already striding away down the hill on their mission to raid Dog's piggy bank and talk to the owner of the van.

It didn't take long to get to Dogs' House, and they quickly gathered up his money and counted it. "Hmmmm, not as much as I'd hoped," said Dog, "but every little bit helps, right?"

Mouse shook his head, "Yes, it does Dog. Shall we go now to ask how much that man wants to rent that van?" Mouse replied, "The neighbor should be home from his job now and it should be okay asking about the van now. If everyone is ready, we can do it now. Then we can go from there about how much more money will be needed."

"Sounds like a good idea, let's go." said the girl. So everyone started walking toward the neighbor's house, while Mouse was thinking of how to phrase their request. Mouse knocked on the door and when the door finally opened, the neighbor almost collapsed he saw Mouse. Mouse apologized for the unintended scare and explained the situation carefully.

Then the neighbor finally said, "I guess I could help you and your sister after all the help the both of you gave me over the years without complaints."

Mouse replied, "Thanks so much, this means a lot to us. How much will it cost to rent your van?" Everyone looked a bit anxious, hoping the price wasn't too high.

"Well," the man said, "since you've been so good about helping me out I'll let you use it for free, you only have to put in gas and oil, and make sure it's tank is as full as when you got it, okay?" Without realizing they were holding their breaths, everyone heaved a hugh sigh of relief.

Mouse said, "Thank you for letting us borrow the van. Since my sister is coming and it may be a few days before we can set off. I or my sister will come to let you know when we are ready to set off."

"Okay then, just make sure somebody lets me know, so I won't report it stolen." laughed the man. "Besides, you won't have the keys if you don't." Everyone started chuckling a little nervously. "Won't you all come inside and have some iced tea with me? You look like you've walked a long way to get here. I'd like to know what you and your sister have been doing lately Mouse, and I'd like to get to know your friends a little better." the man said.

The girl said, "Someone should get tell Creature and your sister that we'll be a while, and get Marilyn."

"I'll go! I'll go!" barked the Dog, leaping about. The Little Girl looked at him and laughed.

"You're too silly to go off on your own!" she said indulgently. "Come on, I'll go with you. We'll go back to the restaurant together and tell the Creature and Mouse's Sister we have the van. Besides, I want to check on Marilyn." As they set off, Mouse turned to his old neighbor.

"I guess it's just me, sir," he said, "but I'd like very much to come in and have tea with you."

The old man smiled and said, "Perhaps it's just as well your friends have left us for now. I have several questions for you, and there's something I want to show you." Mouse followed the old man into the house. Mouse was very curious. What did the old man have to show him? Why did he want to talk to him alone? He followed him into the house and sat down in the chair he was offered.

"If I remember right, you take your tea with only a little sugar. Am I right Mouse?" the old man said as he crossed the room, heading for the kitchen.

"Yes," Mouse replied, "thank you, I am a bit thirsty. It's been quite a day for me today." The old man looked a bit curiously at Mouse, but said nothing as he left the room.

Returning to the room with two large mugs of hot strong tea, the old man sat down and took a long look at Mouse. "You say this has been quite a day for you, my young friend, but I'm thinking it's been harder than just today, eh? You've been gone from this neighborhood for quite some time. I've often wondered what you've got up to, and frankly I'm wondering just why you're back. Now, I mean." Mouse squirmed in his chair. He was intensely curious about what the old man might know, but realized the old man would have to trust him before he would speak. Should he tell the truth?

Mouse was conflicted, he really did want to tell someone the truth, but wasn't sure if the old man was the right person to trust with it. He took his time sipping the tea, thinking............. "Well, I had to leave for a while....." he started.

The neighbor replied, "Oh? I hope I didn't do anything offensive."

Mouse replied, "No no, it wasn't you! I guess I do owe you the whole truth then. I know if I ask you to, you'd never repeat what I'm about to tell you. You see, I spent money I didn't have, and I felt so ashamed by it I just had to leave for a while." Mouse looked quite sad at the memory. "I thought what I did would make me money, but it did the exact opposite......." The old man just looked sympathetic at Mouse, sipping his tea, waiting for him to continue his story. Mouse took a sip of his tea, took a breath, let it out, and continued. ".........I never should've trusted that guy. He promised me nothing would go wrong if I went in on that deal with him. And worst of all, I took that money from my sister and then left her to deal with the mess I'd left."

The neighbor said, "I remember your sister coming over to tell me about the money part. She didn't want to deal with the mess that you left behind and she sure was very angry with you. I'm not sure if she still is though."

"Oh, she seemed to be plenty angry when I first saw her when I got back" Mouse said. "But I promised to make it right, so I guess she's forgiven me. Now we're going to see about something our great grandfather and grandfather left for us. But we need it translated first. That's why we need to borrow the van, to go home." The old man sipped his tea and nodded, taking it all in.

"Sounds like you're on the verge of an adventure Mouse, hopefully a good one" he said. The neighbor said, "What do you need translated and by chance do you know what language it's in? I still had a contact in the foreign language department at the local college few years ago. If the contact is still there, he may be able to help."

Mouse's ears perked up and said, "Well you know, we do have a few days before my sister can get time off from her job, we could go see if your friend can translate this for us. it would save us a trip. Do you think he'd try?

The old man took another sip of his tea, "I can call him and find out, maybe he can look at it today."

"I did manage to bring it with me" said Mouse as he was putting it on the table. The neighbor nearly choked on his tea when he saw what was on the front of it. Mouse was pounding on the old man's back, trying to help him stop choking. He really didn't expect that kind of reaction from the old man. What was so shocking about that letter they'd found? "Are you okay?" Mouse said.

"I'll be fine," the old man replied "do you have any idea what this is Mouse? It's so ancient, the letter itself must be worth a small fortune."

"It was found in a small chest that was left for me to find and I wasn't told of the contents of the chest", said Mouse. Then Mouse told the story of how he found the chest and the contents of it.

The old man listened to Mouse's tale quite closely, nodding his head from time to time. It sounded so familiar......... "Listen Mouse, if you have the time I suggest we take this letter over to my friend right now and see if he can translate it. I know he'd be very interested in what it says." Mouse was a little nervous, the old man seemed quite excited.

"We really should get my sister before we go, she has an interest in this too." Mouse insisted.
"Fair enough. Last I remember, your sister worked at a restaurant somewhere and if it's the restaurant I think it is, it's on the way. It's possible that your sister's shift is over now. We may as well get going." said the old man.

"Okay." Mouse said as he helped the old man put the teapot and cups in the kitchen sink.

"Shall we take the van, to make sure it runs okay?" asked the old man. "Just in case you still have to borrow it?"

"Sounds like a good idea, do you want to drive or shall I?" asked Mouse.

"You can drive this time Mouse, and if your sister isn't finished with work yet, we can just sit for a while in a booth and talk a bit more about this whole adventure you've been on today."

So Mouse and the old man set off with the mysterious letter to pick up Mouse's sister on their way to the University to consult the old man's friend, the Professor of Ancient Languages.

Meanwhile, back at the restaurant, the Creature and Mouse's sister were just finishing their shift. Sister put down the last tray and turned to Creature, who was folding his dishwasher's apron and swiping sweat off his shaggy brow. Sister ducked as beads of sweat flew over her head, and grinned at Creature. "You are a prodigious worker!" she said. "You kept up with this big crowd of customers, and those pots have never been so clean!"

"I'm happy to do honest work, and even happier to do it for friends," said the Creature and, tired as he was, he grinned back at her.

"You know, that's the first time I've seen you smile, Gloomy Gus," said Sister, nudging him with her elbow. If the Creature could have blushed, he would have.

Suddenly they heard frantic barking from outside. "That's Dog!" they cried together, and rushed outside. The Little Girl was coming down the hill with the doll Marilyn in her arms, and Dog was jumping around them, too excited to speak in any way but barks.
"Whatever is making Dog so excited? It can't just be because Marilyn and her girl are coming back here." said Creature, still moping the sweat from his brow (trying to make himself more presentable--he'd never admit it but he cared about his appearance with his new friends). Sister Mouse put her apron and order pad in her small locker, and Creature stowed his in the laundry hamper. Both checked in with the shift manager to make sure they wouldn't be needed back today, then went out to greet Dog, Marilyn, and the Little Girl. Just then Mouse and the old man drove up in the van. Mouse's sister was baffled at the sight. Before anything could be said, Mouse told his sister what took place at the old man's home.

Sister said, "Wait a minute here. You mean that we might not have to take that trip to the hometown after all? I was kind of looking forward to that, and taking our friends around to see the place. I haven't been home for a long time to see mom and dad."

With all their new friends looking at the both of them, Mouse now looked a bit sheepish..........."We could still go on the trip, but wouldn't it be nice to have this letter translated now, in case we need to do something here first?" Sis looked at him, thinking and nodding.

The old man said, "Now that I'm thinking about it, there is something I need done in that town anyway. This may work out yet."

Mouse replied, "How about we pay for gas if that is going to be the case?"

"Sounds fair enough to me" said the old man. "And if you drive part of the way I can get to know your new friends a bit better along the way."

Sister Mouse looked around, and asked "Is everyone ready to go now then?" Everybody nodded yes, but just then Dog spoke up.

"We should get some snacks and drinks to take with us before we leave town."

"We can pick those up after we've been to see my friend at the university, and hopefully have a bit more of your puzzle solved." said the old man.

Everyone started getting into the van. Little Girl said crying, "How am I to get in the van when I'm too short?". Creature gently picked Little Girl and put her in a seat near the front of the van.

"Thank you Creature," said the Little Girl, as she gave him a thankyou hug. Creature looked a bit surprised to be getting a hug, but only whispered a "You're welcome" as he surrepitiously wiped a tear from his eye. Everyone got in and sat down.

"Buckle up now," said Mouse, "here we go." Looking at the old man, he said "You'll have to tell me where to turn, I'm not sure I remember the way to the university after all this time away" After everyone was buckled, Mouse started the van and off they went. Mouse was glad that the Old Man remembered how to get to the university. After arriving there, Old Man's went white since he noticed that the university workmen were removing his friends parking space sign.

"What happened, why are you removing this sign?" the old man called out the window. The old man looked worried, his old friend hadn't been well lately.

The workmen spoke up, "His space is being moved closer to his new office, up there." They pointed up the hill at a red brick building, surrounded by trees and benches. With a huge sigh of relief, the old man motioned for Mouse to continue to drive up the hill. Luckily there was a parking lot for visitors near the brick building. Everyone started getting out of the van which was when they ran into the very person they were after.

Old Man said, "You are the very peron I was hoping see." Then Old Man and Mouse told the story of why help was needed.

Old Man's friend scratched his head and said, "I don't know how much help I will be, but since I do owe a favor here I will do what I can. My health isn't what it used to be."

They were walking slowly across the lawn in front of the building when they came to a picnic area with tables and benches. "Why don't we sit here in the shade and you can show me this letter, Mouse." the old man said. "It's such a nice day outside anyway." Everyone found a place to sit under a huge shady tree, and Mouse carefully took out the letter and handed it to the old man. The old man's eyes widened as he started reading it, then he gasped. Everyone was waithing to see what was discovered. Then old man replied, "I remembered reading about this catastrophe that relative was in. What a dangerous experiment that was. Then without warning, no one talked about and I have a theory on that." Now everybody was confused, concerned, and sitting on the edge of their seats. What catastrophe? None of them could remember reading in the newspapers anything about a big catastrophe, except the old man and his friend. Both looked a bit uneasy about it. "It was a long time ago when this happened, Mouse. Your Greatgrandfather was a lab assistant here at the college then, a youngster working on his degree, when the explosion occurred. I had no idea what sort of experiments they were doing in the lab he was working in, but I heard there were rumors it had something to do with time travel. Where exactly did you get this letter?"

"It was in a box that was buried near here, I knew it was there and dug it up just before the area was flooded. I'd gotten it years ago after my father died, and I'd promised to keep it safe, but I had to leave town suddenly and didn't want to chance losing it, so I buried it."
Now everybody was watching Mouse and the old professor, curious and intent.

Sister spoke and said, "We don't remember reading about any explosions in the paper or anything. Why would...."

Professor interrupted by saying, "The college president at the time and he's still the college president, which is another story, sent out a memo to the entire faculty that if we ever to talk about it, we would immediately be fired and possibly killed before we could leave campus. I was in high school at the time, but when I got my job here my mentor let it slip one day about that incident. Some of the oldest professors here were had only taught here for a few years at the time this happened, but we're all sworn to secrecy. The Dean was afraid if word got out the college would lose a lot of money and be liable for the deaths and disappearances. But this letter is from your greatgrandfather telling all about what happened to him after that explosion."

Mouse and Sis were silent for a moment, taking all this in. The others were just watching them and thinking, trying to absorb all this. "No wonder greatgrandma was so hush-hush whenever we asked about greatgrandpa," Sis said quietly, "now it makes sense. He disappeared, and she didn't know what happened to him."

Now they looked at the old professor. Mouse asked him, "What does the letter say? We have to know what happened to him."

"Well," the old man started, "it says here he was thrown back in time, into another place far from here but he didn't mention how. He came across an midwife who gave him something for what she thought was an headache. Again, didn't what that item was. He came back with and used in the experiment that resulted in the explosion. What baffles me is that there is a mentioning of an secret passage from that very building to the basement and I don't see how that could be possible. But then I do recall seein a section of wall that didn't quite match the rest of the wall and I now wonder if the Dean had that wall put there to cover up whatever he's hiding behind it."

Dog was quiet through all this, then sat up with a happy expression, "I could go sniff that wall for you, and tell you if anything is behind it. I have a very good nose you know."

Creature then spoke up "And I'm strong enough to take part of that wall down if you want me to."

Mouse and Sis looked at each other, then at the professor and the old man. "What do you think we should do? Our greatgrandfather disappeared, and grandfather was so quiet and sad every time we asked about him. This might be our chance to find out what really happened to him."

The professor looked at his old friend, then at Mouse, Sis, and the others, deep in thought.
Then the professor said, "I'm torn. I would like to know what's behind that wall too and at the same time I'm worried that this would cost me my job. How can I know what's behind that wall without risking my job?"

Everyone was deep in thought, trying to come up with a solution to the problem. Then Dog's face brightened, "Maybe I can sniff out another way inside whatever is in that wall. After I get a good whiff, I can sniff around until I find that particular scent again. Didn't you say rumor had it a tunnel lead to somewhere else? Maybe I can find that somewhere else so we can get in without tearing open that wall."

Creature exclaimed, "That just might work Dog! I can go with you and we could just say we were taking in the sights if anyone asks what we're doing."

Now everyone was smiling...............then the professor spoke, "That may work. It may also want to include that you are walking the dog in additon to enjoying the scenery. It may be less obvious of the real reason why the dog is with you. If I ever get questioned about what you and the dog are doing, I'll pretend I didn't hear about this plan."

"Okay, sounds like we have a plan here. Shall we go to that wall to get started, or would all of us draw too much attention to ourselves?" asked Dog.

The old professor thought for a moment, "I could always say I was giving you a short tour of the place. Then we'd have to split up to draw less attention to ourselves."

"What will the rest of us do while Dog and Creature are looking for that other opening?" asked the Lil Girl.

The old man looked at his old friend, then at Mouse, Sis, and Marilyn. "How about we stop in at the snack shack? We could wait for Dog and Creature to join us when they find that entrance."

"I don't think that will entertain us long enough while Dog and Creature are searching. Is there an historical society or possibly go to the campus library for research of the town's history or something of that nature?" said Lil Girl.

The old man said, "Now that sounds like a better plan. There is a historical society nearby and the campus library can be used as well. You guys can split into two groups and do research if you wanted to."

"Yes, maybe we can find out something more about this explosion you told us about." Mouse said.

Sis spoke up "Maybe I can find something more about Greatgrandfather in the old school newspapers."

Marilyn looked up and asked, "Is there any chance the Historical Society might have some of those old newspapers too? Maybe we'll find something there about the experiments that were being done at the college back then."

The old professor knodded his head, "Perhaps, good luck my friends." He led Mouse and Sis towards the campus library, while the old man started towards the van. "We'll have to go back towards the way we came to get to the Historical Society, it's about 4 blocks from the entrance we came in."

Lil Girl said, "Who's going where then since we are splitting up? I don't mind researching, but I want to go where I will be the most helpful?"

The old professor answered her, "Perhaps you should come with Mouse, Sis, and I to the campus library. We'll need your help if we want to read through all the different newspapers in the archives of that time, especially if we don't want to be reading for the next two days. Besides, it's a lot less walking, I'm sure you're starting to get tired after all you've done already today."

"Can Marilyn come with me too, and help?" the lil Girl asked.

"Of course she can," the professor replied. "Shall we go then? It's this way." He pointed towards the building on the next hill. When the professor and his group arrived at the campus library, he noticed something wasn't right about the building. Then he started hearing voices in the distance and his face went white with horror.
"Oh No, that's the Dean and his "assistants""he said. "I can't have them see me here. We have to split up so we don't attract too much attention. Meet me over there............." he pointed at the far wall "...........and then we'll decide where to start looking." They quickly split up. Mouse, Sis, Lil Girl, and Marylin decided to go down one of the aisles of books hoping that may provide enough distraction for the professor to slip by without detection.

The professor was nearly caught by the Dean as he slipped down another aisle and quickly turned a corner to go down another aisle. He was gasping and shaking by the time he got to the spot near the far wall he'd pointed out. He sank down into a chair and hid his face behind a big book which turned out to be a reference book and the random place the professor opened to happens to cover the history of the college. He was reading with great interest about the college getting a major grant to do a scientific research for a pharmaceutical company until he was startled.

Mouse and Sis had just walked up to the old professor, and Sis had tapped his shoulder to get his attention. "I'm sorry, did we startle you?"

"It's okay, look at what I found just by chance." the old professor showed them the book. They both sat down on either side of the professor when Marilyn and the Lil Girl came from the other direction.

"I think we're okay now, the Dean just left as we came down that last aisle. Where do we start looking?" Lil Girl was shown what the professor was reading and she seemed a little surprised by it. "Was it made public at the time that the college got this major grant for the research?" asked Lil Girl.

The professor said, "Well you know, since you asked and now that I think about it, I didn't see or hear anything in the local media about it. That makes me wonder why that was. '

'I'll bet the government had something to do with that grant, for military applications if it worked. They would keep something like that very hush-hush." said Sis.

Mouse nodded his head in agreement, then spoke up "Professor, is there anything more on that pharmaceutical company? Maybe we'd get a clue from info about them."

Marilyn asked, "Should we use a computer to look that up? Do they have them in this library for public use?"

The professor said, "I do know that the login page is setup for college students, but I don't know about everyone else. I do know there are old technology that this library has that may provide that information. I do know the public library by the middle school has computers that the general public can use as long as they have a public library card."

"Oh! I forgot I have a public library card. I wonder what I can dig up there." Marilyn said.

"Let's finish searching here, then go to the public library and see what info we can find there." said Mouse. "I'll go along if you don't mind," said the professor, "but I'll have to leave a note for my friend and yours in case they get back before we do."

"Maybe we can stop by the Historical Society on the way, in case they're done? Then they can help us look." suggested Sis. "I have the keys to the van," said Mouse.

"You won't need those Mouse, the school isn't that far from here and the Historical Society is only a few blocks. We can walk that far easily unless any of you is tired already."

Everyone agreed to walk to the historical society and started to hear a lot of commotion and started to see that the Dean was coming back into the library, obviously upset about something. The old professor, Mouse, Sis, Marilyn, and the Lil Girl all ducked behind a huge display of magazines.

"Now what do we do? We can't get by him without being seen." asked Mouse.

"There's another door at the other end of the library, if we hurry we might get out before he sees us." said the professor, pointing off to the right back corner, opposite of where they were by the main door. Everyone started heading very quietly towards that other door when the Lil Girl tripped which happened to be the same time an library staff person had tripped in the doorway which sent the armful of books and an unrecognizable bottle of drink went flying towards and did hit the dean. During this time, Lil Girl got up and Mouse and company quickly and quietly went back to the hiding spot. The dean had quickly turned around to see who had caused the books and drink to hit him.

"I am so sorry about that," said the librarian. "It was an accident, I tripped. Here's let me help you.............." she struggled to help the Dean to his feet, while trying to wipe off the drink from his expensive suit. Everyone could see she was nervous and upset, the Dean was angry.

The Professor, Mouse, Sis, Marilyn, and the lil Girl peeked from their hiding spot to see if the coast was clear. "Let's go while he's busy with the librarian, we might not get another chance this soon." said Mouse. "Quietly now.............." they all creeped towards the other door again, this time trying to stay low and silent. Mouse and Sis were holding the Lil Girl by the hands, to prevent any further mishaps.

They finally reached the other door and quickly slipped outside, hurrying towards the campus' hedge maze. They ducked inside the maze.

"You little weasel!! Explain why I smell alcohol in the room?!!" as the dean asked the librarian. Fortunately there were few visitors that came to check out the commotion that no one paid any attention to Mouse and his friends sneaking on by.

The librarian was very nervous now, and fidgeting. "I don't smell any alcohol Sir." The Dean was no happy at all. "I know I smell alcohol, and I expect an explanation right now or you're fired!" Now several patrons were edging away from the commotion, hoping to not be noticed by the Dean.

Meanwhile, our friends were in the maze, catching their collective breaths. "That was close!" exclaimed Mouse. "Now what do we do?"

"We can quietly cut through the maze and walk to the Historical Society. Now which direction do we go in? It's been a long time since I've been in here." said the Professor.

Lil Girl said, "Where do the staircase in the back go to? I thought I saw an a door to what look like a basement to the library."

"I have no idea where that door goes, the basement probably. Most likely they store old books in there they don't have room on the shelves anymore." said the Professor.

Mouse said "Maybe the Dean is gone now, and we can go investigate that door. Some of those old books might have information on the explosion."

Then Lil Girl said, "It looks like that the door is alarmed. I can go to the front ask about where the door leads to."

The Old Professor quickly said "Don't do that! They might alert the Dean about what we're up to. We'll have to find out on our own how to bypass that door. Maybe there's another way in."

"We need Dog to sniff around and see if he can find another way in for us..........." said Mouse.

"So let's go find him," said Sis. "It will soon be dark if we don't hurry." They decided that they were better off going out the front door and be casual about it. As they approach the front door a loud commotion just started outside the library. There were several older students yelling and arguing, and the Dean was coming back across the compound to see what the commotion was about. The old Professor, Mouse, Sis, Marilyn, and the Lil Girl hurried out the door and started down the sidewalk away from the library which was when Creature and dog was coming around the corner from the opposite direction. The professor said quietly to Creature, "Please distract the dean for us. We can meet at the historical society." Creature nodded and took dog towards the commotion. Creature and Dog did a good job distracting the Dean, with Dog sniffing and barking and jumping up, and Creature appearing to have a little trouble containing his pet's enthusiasm at meeting new people.

"Terribly sorry about this sir, he just loves meeting new people." said Creature, trying to look sheepish.

"Just get him away from me. I've had enough trouble today without having to deal with an unruly dog." said the Dean, annoyed.

With a small wink Dog let Creature know their friends were now well out of sight of the crowd, so Dog made a big show of dragging Creature away tugging on the leash towards some other people in the distance. When they were out of the Dean's sight, they changed direction and headed towards the Historical Society on a different path than their friends had taken. Dog and Creature finally arrived at the historical society to see the professor sitting at the bottom steps.

The Old Professor said, "Well, did anything come up?"

"I did notice something not quite right around the basement of the library when I started to get light headed. Then we went to the building your office is in. There was something not right there either."

"Perhaps we should see what the others have managed to find here, then go back to the university when it's starting to get dark. The Dean will be gone, and most of the students will be inside their rooms studying." said the Old Professor, "Then we can investigate the building your office is in and the library basement a bit closer."
Shtinky's Shweetheart
Shtinky's Shweetheart

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Join date : 2010-06-21
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fiffur on Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:42 am

"That sound's like a good plan. We may as well go see the rest of the group then." said Creature. As they were going up the stairs to go in, another commotion started behind them and they quickly went inside without looking back. The Professor, Mouse, Sis, Marilyn, the Lil Girl, Creature and Dog, had little trouble finding their friends.

Dog took one sniff at the entrance and said "Follow me!" They found them in the very back of the building, sitting at a table with several large dusty volumes of books and a big box of archived newspaper microfiche. They were all crowded around the reading machine looking at an article on the microfiche......................

"What did you find?" asked Marilyn, addressing the Old Man whose van they'd driven there in.

"It's a small article about the explosion. We nearly missed it, it's only mentioned the previous day in a single paragraph under 'Fire engine runs'". he explained. Everyone crowded around to read the followup article only to find out that the current dean tried to explain the explosion as a chemistry experiment for a upcoming advanced chemistry class that went wrong. The fire chief at the time didn't buy it and asked about how the college got the grant from the pharmaceutical company. Of course the dean wouldn't answer the fire chief's question and then the dean tried to remove the him from the campus. The story went on to say that the police had to be called to break up the fight that resulted from the Dean trying to evict the Fire Chief. Charges were filed and a court date was set. And a further investigation into the explosion was to continue.....

"Hmmmmm, that's where it leaves off?" said Mouse. "Is there anything about what happened in court?"

"I haven't been able to find that information yet,' said the Old Man.

Then the professor said, "I don't remember reading anything else about the explosion in the papers after that. Anything is possible as to why nothing else was released. But now that I'm thinking about it, there was the science department head that no longer showed up to work after that and I always wondered why. He was trying to tell me that the dean was wanting to find a way to get your grandfather fired for something. Only if I can remember what that was though."

"Maybe he disappeared along with our grandfather as a result of that explosion. They were trying to tinker with a time machine........perhaps it worked better than they thought it would." said Mouse.

Sis said, "I have tried to find out how our grandfather died and I never got an answer. But then no one talked about him around us, which I always thought was strange. It seems that no one in the family knows when he retired from the college."

The professor said, "I do remember him mysteriously leave at the end of the school year and he wasn't too happy. I did get a note from him about something he left for me, but never really said where it was."

"Left something for you?" said Mouse. "It couldn't be in his office since that's long since been given to someone else. Is there some dusty corner of your own office that might hide a message? Some old book you haven't opened in years, perhaps?" "Well, I don't know," mused the professor, "But we might as well go look, eh?"

Back in the Professor's office, they all looked around uncertainly at the tiny cluttered space with the big wooden desk, overflowing bookshelves and piles of paper everywhere. "It's all just as it always was," said the Professor dejectedly. "I don't see anything different." Suddenly there was a YELP from the corner as a stack of old folders slid into a heap. The small mountain of paper trembled then parted as Dog emerged from the pile.

Shaking himself vigorously (sending dust flying everywhere!) he barked excitedly, "I think I found it!"

"Where? What did you find?" the old Professor asked excitedly.

Dog spoke up, "I smell something strange inside this bookcase bottom." The old Professor cleared out the debris now in front of the bookcase on the floor, bringing into view the ornate carved kickplate that seemed to flow into the carved edge going up to the top. "Hmmmmm, I don't see anything.............."

Just then Dog accidentally slipped on the folders, knocking his front paw into the kickplate, and the corner of it moved. "Hey, this moved!" he exclaimed. Now everyone was getting excited as the Professor felt around, pressing here and there, trying to open that kickplate. finally with the kickplate opened, Creature brought a flashlight to look and noticed some object that had an unusual shape. Dog was being observant and tried to use one of his front paws to see if he could bring it closer to them with little success. The professor grabbed his yardstick and gave it to Creature to use. Finally when the object was brought out, the professor gasped and his knees buckled.

"I can't believe that was in there all these years!" he exclaimed as he half fell into a chair, brushing the heavy coat of dust off the object. "I had no idea that bookcase had a secret compartment. But your grandfather did since he's the one who gave it to me as a present when I was granted tenure."

"Is that object the message or is there one inside somehow?" asked Creature. The old Professor was turning the object over in his hands carefully, trying to see if it opened or not.
Finally along one edge it looked like there was a little space where the object could be propped open with a knife, letter opener or similar object. The professor grabbed his letter opener and finally was able to open the object to reveal several pages of old stationary paper, yellowed and brittle with age, all rolled up and tied with a string. The Old Professor sat down at his desk and removed the paper roll very carefully from the object, then untied the string, and started to unroll it even more carefully. Slowly flattening the paper on his desk, everyone crowded around to see what was on the paper then the professor said rather quietly, "I think this about what was really going on during that experiment that caused the explosion. I hope this will provide more clues." Very carefully he spread the pages out, and turned on the lamp since it was now getting dark outside. Taking a pair of reading glasses out of his pocket, he put them on and began to read out loud ........."Today didn't go so well with the dean. We were doing what we suppose to do by the guidelines the pharmaceutical set in place and the dean wants to do it his way. I heard him mumbling about wanting to use this experiment to form a treatment for his sick and dying son. That may be why he applied for what he did. He didn't want to help the pharmaceutical company out, he wanted to do it for greed." The old professor paused, and nearly inaudibly said to himself "So that's why everyone was so edgy then.........."

Mouse gently asked him, "Please, continue. What else does he say?"

The professor continued, "The ones who know better do try to cover themselves while working. They do each test twice with one of them providing false results or just simply lying about the results to try to please the dean."

"Wait, wait. In other words, they were telling the dean what he wanted to hear about what was going on instead of telling him what he needed to know?" said Creature.

The Old Professor responded, "The dean always demands everything to go his way and he demands to have his way if people try to resist. For the most part, none of us professors know what he will do if someone refuses to give into his ways."

"Couldn't that be dangerous, giving him false results like that?" asked Marilyn. The Old Man and the old Professor both nodded yes.

Creature obviously wasn't happy about what he was hearing. "If the Dean is like that, how did he get to be Dean of the college in the first place? By making these unreasonable demands, he was putting everyone here in danger. No wonder there was an explosion....."

Mouse asked, "What else does that say?" gesturing towards the old stationary in the Professor's hands.

The professor continued, "The current dean was named and made public in said position on the very same day the previous dean died. This made me suspicious and I think the previous dean knew who would succeed him, which explained why he never retired. The group of people just below the dean must be friends with the current dean and decided to be biased and give their friend the position. Of course there was an outrage and most of the students transferred and the enrollment has decreased each year that the current dean is in his tenure."

"Considering how he treated that poor librarian, Creature, and me I can understand why enrollment is down." muttered Dog.

"Sounds very suspicious to me how he got the job, maybe he had something to blackmail the old dean and the board of directors into giving him the job?" pondered Sis. Mouse glanced at her, seeming to agree.

The old Professor continued reading. "There have some complaints by some colleagues to the board of directors, but they mysteriously no longer work here. This makes me wonder if the dean has something immoral in mind to the point where he will get rid of anyone who will stand in his way. So far, the board of directors won't do anything about what the dean is doing. Which means that there may be no way to get the dean fired and he won't step down because no one will pressure him to do it. There is no way to tell if he has any connections to local police or even judges or lawyers. I have noticed unusual behavior in others that are working on this experiment. There have been new people to work on this and the dean may have had a hand in that. Things are being done improperly, chemicals that shouldn't be mixed with may get mixed with now. I don't even know why I was put in charge of this whole experiment anyway. Only if I knew how to make the dean look bad....."

Mouse, Sis, Creature, Marilyn, the Little Girl, and Dog all looked a bit shocked at what they were hearing. Was something Mouse's grandfather did the reason the explosion happened in the first place?

"Please continue," said Creature. "I want to know how the explosion happened........."

The professor continued, "When I came in this morning, I found out that everyone but me in the science department got replaced. Something fishy is going on. I did try to find out where the dean was previously and I got ignored. I decided to quit spending time in the lab since everything is being done improper. The new people have already started to mix chemicals that shouldn't be mixed and it won't be long before there will be a chemical explosion. While in my office with my door closed, I over heard the dean in the hallway telling someone that he is friends with the CEO of the pharmaceutical company and he got the grant without having to apply for the grant. I have been in the process of looking else where for a new job and no one wants to hire me let alone interview me because of the dean. I have started to consider about going overseas somewhere and landing a job over there. I think there is a history professor at a nearby college whose wife's family is from Europe. I haven't found a way to make the dean look bad and I don't think anyone can unless there is some secret about him that someone can use against him later."

Everyone was silent, intent on listening to the professor reading. Suddenly, they heard footsteps coming down the hallway.........and thankfully they passed by the office door without stopping. A huge audible sigh could be heard in the office, everyone had been holding their breath in anticipation without realizing it.

"Sis, did grandmother ever say anything about grandfather going to Europe when he was young?" asked Mouse.
"I don't think so," Sis replied. She gestured towards the stationary, "Please......."

The old professor began to read again. "There was elderly woman that for some reason was visiting my office about donating money to rename the science building. I told her about what was going on. Then she changed her mind and mumbled about that sounding like the same dean who managed blow up some college in England few years back doing the same experiment for the same reason. She asked for the dean's name and I told her. Then she told me she knew him by a different name and he was suppose to show up for court to face charges for purposely blowing up the college, but he went missing. I gave her the description of the dean and that was when she gasped. She walked out commenting that she was going to get him back for some violent crime. I did manage to find a European college that was desperately needing someone to lead some research and I may in fact go."

"If that woman recognized him and turned him in, why is the Dean still here?" asked Creature. "Did he manage to pay someone off to stay out of jail?"

"I don't know," said the old Professor, turning over the page to begin reading the other side. "I'm not sure if the woman will follow through with turning the dean in or not. I think the dean has been in the lab checking in on the experiment. I heard him yelling at someone that he was mixing the wrong chemicals and should have used completely different chemicals. When I heard him say which chemicals to use instead, my head shot up from my grading and realized he was asking for the building to blow up. I no longer have anything to do with the experiment at the request of the dean, which was fine with me. I have decided that today will be my last day and heading for Europe. I haven't told anyone here about my final decision. If I did tell anyone, the dean will probably make sure my plans won't happen."

Mouse and Sis looked at each other, then at the paper in the Professors hands. Then the footsteps in the hallway returned, and hesitated at the door. Without realizing it, everybody was holding their breath, hoping the footsteps would continue down the hall and leave them alone. After a moment, the footsteps retreated, and an audible collective sigh could be heard in the room. The professor continued reading, more quietly this time. Everyone was leaning in, straining to hear. "As I was getting ready to go to the airport, I heard about the explosion at the college. I'm not sure how this will play out. I hope that I won't have to deal with such people like the dean while in Europe. Oh dear, I'm hearing sirens in the distance and it sound like they're coming this way. I have to be on my way to the airport and I hope the dean isn't out to get me for not showing up."

The footsteps returned in the hallway, this time there was a knock at the door............ "Professor, are you in there? I need to talk to you."

"Who's that? whispered Mouse.

"Not the Dean, it's a colleague of mine." answered the Professor.

The knock came again, a bit more insistent this time. "Are you in there?"

Professor said, "Come" as he was putting the pages in the open desk drawer. The door opened and the professor's colleague was baffled by how cramped the office was. The colleague said, "I'm sorry, I didn't realize that you had company but there was some unusual commotion inside the dean's office and his secretary was screaming nonsense about...."

The professor interrupted by saying, "Wait a minute, you mean that the Dean is having another conniption fit over something or other? Any idea what set him off this time?"

The student teacher answered, "I have no clue what could have set him off." Then there was some voices outside the office and someone popped in the professor's office to mention that he overheard that some lady sued the dean for something he did some years ago.
Everyone in the Professor's crowded office looked at each other with startled looks in their eyes. This was an interesting development, but why had it taken that woman so long to file her lawsuit?

The Professor spoke up, "Come in, I want to hear all about this. It could affect all our jobs here." The student teacher stepped in, looked around, then started to tell them all he'd overheard. He started to stutter a lot. The professor helped the student teacher to calm down. The student teacher started saying, "I went towards the dean office to let him to recommend that one student in one of my classes be dropped for poor performances. As I got closer to his office, I was hearing that he was dean of another college that had an science experiment that went wrong and some women was suing him for unethical use of funds that was intended for the experiment only. The dean was saying he was never at that college and never heard of the incident. Then someone that I didn't recognize called the dean by some other name and the dean exploded with anger."

"Oh my.........." said the old Professor. "Is he still on a rampage as we speak? Has anyone called the police yet?"

Now Mouse and friends looked worried. What if this new development got their old friend and the professor in trouble somehow? They tried to be inconspicious, not wanting to draw attention to themselves, just listening intently. This tied in with what was in the letter that was in the hidden object. Creature spoke up, "What about the hidden object that contained the letter?"

"Oh yes." said the professor as he went to grab the object. That was when the dean could be heard in the hallway demanding to know where the student teacher because he wanted to deal with the student teacher right then. There was screaming and then the dean started to demand to know what was going on. That was when there was a crash of glass that was caused by the Dean slamming a door a bit further down the hallway, breaking the pane of glass in it, angry that he hadn't found the student teacher yet. The Dean was beyond furious. The Professor hid the object and letter inside his jacket, and grabbed his coat from the hook on the wall. "We'd better leave before he gets here" he told his friends. Everyone got up and headed for the door, dashing out and away from the sound of the Dean approaching around the corner. They managed to get into the stairwell and lock the door before the Dean could see them. The student teacher let out a huge sigh of relief, to everyone else shushing him, not wanting to take the chance the Dean could hear him. Silently they decended the stairs. Then they heard what they thought was a door opening into the stairwell and was not able to figure out which door it was.

The student teacher became terrified that it might be the dean and then Creature spoke quietly, "I hear someone whispering and I wonder if someone entered the stairwell."

"Maybe we better go down a floor and exit through the stairwell door, just in case it's somebody helping the dean look for you." the old Professor said to the student teacher. "Then we can all make ourselves scarce until he calms down." Silently they decended down the flight of stairs, and as quietly as possible opened the door and got out of the stairwell. Everyone heaved a sigh of relief.

"We have to go, he might come down here any moment." said Mouse. Everyone headed for the nearest exit from the building, the student teacher going one way, the Professor and friends headed in another direction.

"Let's go to the cafe by the bus station, nobody will think to look for any of us there." said the Professor. So they quicly headed for the van and got in. Creature, the Lil Girl, and Marilyn slid over as far as possible to make room for the Professor. The Old Man turned his head from the front passenger seat, "How do we get to the cafe from here? I don't remember one near the bus station."

Mouse started the van and drove as quickly out of the parking lot as he could without arousing suspicion. "Now," he asked, "which way do I go from here?"

The professor gave the directions and when they got there, something didn't seem right. It seemed like that the area had seen a tornado. Also, there was no student teacher. Then there was some unusual sound that reminded Mouse of a huge machine falling to pieces. "What on earth is that sound? And what happened here, everything is such a mess." asked Marilyn, a lil fear showing in her voice.

"I don't know" said Mouse. He spotted some people milling around nearby, looking at the cafe building. "Maybe they know, I'm going to ask them." Mouse walked over to the group of people, and his friends could see him talking to several of them, all of the people shaking their heads. When Mouse returned to his friends, he had little new information for them.

"They all said they were in the cafe, eating, talking, relaxing, when all of a sudden that sound started in and the building began to shake. They all ran out to find all this mess outside. No one has any idea what caused it."

"Hmmmmm, seems we have another mystery on our hands here, but do we have the time to really deal with it now?" pondered the old Professor. They could hear sirens off in the distance, heading their way.

"Shouldn't we go somewhere else to talk Professor," asked Creature. "It's going to get very busy here soon, and the Dean might find out we're all here with you and get suspicious." Before the Professor could answer, the student teacher ran up to them panting from the running he'd just done.

"We better get out of here!" he gasped. "The Dean just did something to this building trying to get to that woman who filed that lawsuit, and I don't want him to do whatever it was to us!" The student teacher looked scared.

Sis said, "Is there a place just off campus that we could go to that college students usually don't hang at?"

Pondering, the professor said finally, "There is the conference room in a nearby building the Rotary club uses for its meeting and we may be able to that." Everyone came to an agreement and went there. Fortunately, they were able to get to the conference room without coming across anyone and the conference room was unlocked. The professor said to the student teacher, "Now, are you willing to tell us more of what you know?"

By now the student teacher had calmed down somewhat and regained his breath. He paused, then seemed to be gathering up the courage to tell what he knew. "I was walking down the corridor, heading to my next class, when I heard all that shouting coming from the Dean's office. And that woman was shouting back, very angry, she was threatening to expose him for what he did. I could hear things being thrown and glass breaking, I got out of there as fast as I could. I didn't know who else to come to Professor, you've been my mentor for so long now." He paused, trying to calm himself down a bit more before continuing. "I heard someone who was running away from the cafe say he used some sort of machine in the college basement on the cafe.............." He looked off, a faraway look in his eyes. "I knew the Dean could be dangerous when he was angry, but I never suspected he could do something like this............"

The old man and his friends were silent, looking at the student teacher with sympathy. The old Professor put a hand on the student teacher's shoulder, trying to comfort his protege.

Then the student teacher said, "I kind of suspected the dean was going to do something bad, but I didn't have any sort of evidence to support it , so I didn't report it."

The professor responded, "The dean seems to have a way of hiding his tracks or is able to blackmail people so that nobody knows what he is doing. Getting evidence will be tricky."

And dangerous too I suspect." mused Creature. "I wonder if there's any way we could somehow help without getting either of you in any further trouble."

Mouse and Sis seemed to be gathering their thoughts, then asked "I wonder if any of this has anything to do with our letter? We went through quite a bit to retrieve it."

"What letter?" asked the student teacher.

"A very old letter we were left by our great grandfather and grandfather but couldn't translate. Our friend here (gesturing to the Old Man) was hoping the Professor here could translate it. We kinda got sidetracked........."

The Old Professor looked up, and asked to see the letter. Mouse took it carefully out of his pocket and handed it to him. "It seems to be written in ancient Mouseese, quite archaic in fact. He started reading it to himself, and came to a part he couldn't make out. The Professor gestured to his protege, "Can you make that out?"

Then the protege read slowly to make sure he was translating it right. When he came to the part that the professor had trouble with, he started to turn white. Finally he spoke, "It seems that there was a friend who was working on collecting evidence that may be used against the dean when the right time came. But only for someone who was close to the dean got suspicious and tried to expose what your grandfather and his was trying to do. There is a mention of some rare book store on the outskirts of town that was also helping on this case."

Then Sis said, "I vaguely remember going to a store that sold old books, but don't remember who owned it."

The Old Man chimed in "I think I remember who used to run that bookshop, he's been gone now for the past eight years, a car crash if I remember right, and his son runs the store now. They've expanded to include a lot of new books. I wonder if he knows anything that can help us."

Creature asked, "Would it be a good thing if we go to this bookstore now to learn more?"

The professor replied, "That will be the best thing to do right now. I should stay behind and try to catch up on paper work that needs to get done." Everyone agreed with the professor and went to get the van.
The student teacher decided to go along with Mouse and friends, to show them the way and maybe learn a bit more about Mouse's letter and the goings-on at the college with the Dean. Maybe he'd finally find out why the Dean was so nasty to everyone all the time. After awhile, they found the bookstore and parked the van. Mouse indicated to the student teacher that he wanted a word with him. They let rest of the group get ahead before Mouse turned to the student teacher and said, "How long have you been student teaching at the college?"

"Since the begining of this semester" he replied.

Then Mouse asked, "How often have you encountered the dean?"

"I haven't encountered him personally, but I have seen him in the same area or building I was in on occasion" the student teacher answered. Mouse decided to go inside the bookstore to catch up with the rest of the group.

The student teacher was right behind Mouse when they caught up with the others inside the store. Everyone was introduced all around, and the nice storeowner invited everyone to sit at a big table surrounded by comfy chairs to talk. People were scattered here and there in the store, browsing the books, or sitting to read a bit before buying. "I encourage folks to check out what they're thinking of buying, and the snack shop is doing well too despite the economy around here these days. Now tell me, why have you come to my shop today?"

"Well, I knew your father and we were wondering.........."

"I was afraid this day may come" the store owner mumbled.

Mouse said, "Well it's mainly for me and my sister's sake so that we can better understand our family history."

The store owner said, "There is a room in the back that we can use to discuss this but...."

Sister said, "I will be more comfortable if it can wait after the store is closed for the day so that you don't have to worry about any customers."

"You have a point there. How about having a look around and that will give me an opportunity to gather my thoughts." the owner said.
So everyone started separating, spreading out across the store, looking at whatever books they were interested in, finding one and sitting down in a comfy chair to read a while. Dog of course ended up in the Pet Books aisle for a while, Creature in the New Fiction aisle, the Old Man and the Professor just got a snack and sat at a lil table chatting about old times when they were young. After a couple hours the customers started thinning out, it was nearly dinnertime and the sun was starting to set as the last customers were on the way out, the group gradually went to the back room and wait for the owner to lock up.

After the owner came to the back room room, he looked at Mouse, then at Sister and said, "There have been things that were told to me that I wasn't glad to hear and it has been bothering my conscious that I couldn't tell it to the ones that has the right to know. I think I should start before the explosion at the college." Everyone was leaning forward, straining to hear as the shopowner was using a low voice, as if he somehow thought they could be overheard. Eyes were glancing here and there at everyone else, curiousity and apprehension clearing showing in their expressions. "It all started on a clear spring day........" the shopowner started, "and your grandfather wasn't too thrilled when the new dean was named and was suspicious about how it happened. There was some changes that took place among the staff that surprised most people. The dean decided he would appoint people into positions instead of letting the department head or whoever do the interview and hiring. The people that were put into some of the positions were suspected to be friends of the dean and others were trying to stop this. The dean had to have his way on everything."

Mouse said, "Isn't it wrong to give someone a position without some sort of interview? I'm wondering how the dean came to the college in the first place."

"You're not the only one who was wondering that Mouse," the shopowner said, "many people in town were also wondering how he even got the position after the old Dean died so suddenly."

Mouse said, "What else do you know?"

The owner continued, "I thought it fishy how the dean got the grant to do the experiment in the science building. One theory is that he blacked mail someone to get it and another theory is that he was good friends with the CEO of the pharmaceutical company. The CEO did get exposed for giving a grant to someone without that person applying for it and he did publicly say who got it. Unfortunately, that detail got blown over."

Creature spoke up, "Was the person he named the Dean?"

The owner told the name that was mentioned and Sister asked, "Was that the same name that woman mentioned who is trying to sue the dean?" The owner's eyebrows went up and tilted his head. The student teacher confirmed this and explained to the owner what took place at the campus that day.

The student teacher said, "I did hear what happened to a college that was overseas."

Now Dog spoke up, "Please, please tell us all about that!"

Marilyn said "What happened at this college years ago might've been the same thing that happened here, so please tell us what you heard."

The student teacher continued, "Well, that woman said she knew what happened at the last college he worked at since her late husband worked in the science building. There was a grant that was given to the college from some pharmaceutical company for some cancer research. The woman made it sound like that the dean was trying to run the experiment himself."

The professor said, "He did the same here."

The owner said, "So, this means that the dean is trying to get some sort of personal gain from this. What was he trying to gain by getting grants he never applied for, only for some explosion to happen?"

"Probably millions of dollars and a prize for coming up with a cancer cure himself. Would get him in the history books......" remarked Creature.
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Shtinky's Shweetheart

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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fiffur on Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:44 am

The Little Girl asked, "Didn't anything happen to him because he caused all those deaths? How did he get away with that? It just doesn't seem right."

"It isn't right............." started the student teacher.
"If this is the same dean, then is the name he is using now an alias? If he is the same one then it seems like that he could have chosen an alias and done who knows what else so that he would be suspected of what happened to the other college." Mouse said.

"It's more than possible he did just that, but how can anyone go about proving it? Was there a picture of the Dean who caused that explosion at that European college in the newspapers?" asked Sis.

"Well," started the student teacher, "it seems that now that I am wondering, it's possible that he may have an identical twin and it's easy for most people to get identical twins mixed up. But then there is also plastic surgery that people have done to change appearances. Is there any way to find out if any European papers covered that explosion? I don't know if that will provide more clues or not."
"We might find something online. We'll have to go to my home to use a computer, the one here is only for inventory and keeping track of the sales, it's not hooked to the internet. Do you have a big enough vehicle to follow me home?" asked the shopowner.

"Yes we do, it's right outside in fact. Shall we go then?' asked Mouse. Everyone agreed to this and followed the shop owner to his home.

Marilyn asked, "Does anyone know the name of the city that European college was in? It's possible that the city or region the city is in has its own newspaper and there could be an online version of it."

Everyone was gathered around in the shopowners den, sitting in whatever chair they could find and bring into the room. Creature and Dog both ended up sitting on the floor, there were no more chairs and the room was quite crowded by this time.

The shopowner turned on his computer, and started doing a search under "college explosions". Several links popped up, he turned around and asked the old Professor, "Do you remember the year that was supposed to have happened? And the country it was in?"

The student teacher chimed in, "I heard that woman yelling something about the 1950's.............could that be the year?"

"Let's see................" the shopowner said as he started looking at the various links.

"Now that I'm thinking about it some more, the college was in London, England if that will help to narrow down the search, but I didn't catch the name of the college though," said the student teacher.
"Okay, let's try a search under London, England explosions around that time. Maybe that will make the story pop up, unless he somehow managed to keep it out of the newspapers."

"Is there a way to access police or fire department records? Aren't those a matter of public record?" asked Dog.

"Good idea, if this search doesn't work, we'll try that next." answered the shopowner. Several of the shopowners new friends sipped their tea quietly, not wanting to disturb his train of thought. "Hmmmm.....there are some small stories of fires at some local businesses. Oh wait, how interesting. A story about a college that blew up due to an science experiment that went wrong and a pharmaceutical company gave the college a grant to do this. But the pharmaceutical company had just become part of a larger investigation for big companies that had given out donations, grants etc without making some of the recipients applying for the grants or whatever the case may be. There isn't much on the explosion, it seems that there was a focus on the investigation." said the shop owner.

Marilyn said, "I wonder if the dean, whoever he may be, knew about the investigation and had timed the explosion to happen when the pharmaceutical company made news so the focus wouldn't be on the explosion." This made everyone think.
The old Professor and the Old Man both looked troubled. How would they find out the truth about all this, and how it connected with Mouse and Sis's letter?

"If there's a mention of this in the London paper, maybe the story was big enough to be picked up by other countries newspapers? Maybe they managed to find more out and put it into their articles?" mused Creature, stroking his chin absentmindedly.

"What information is there about the investigation? It may be possible that we can learn something from that. I don't know if any major newspapers in this country would have covered that same story that was in the London paper." Marilyn said.

"Maybe not the US papers, but certainly the Irish and Scottish papers might've printed something. But let's look at what's in the London paper first, then expand the search to the rest of England. There must be something in there we haven't found already." said the shopowner as he typed in another search parameter into the computer...............
the shop owner gasped.

Mouse asked, "What did you find?"

"Well, there is an article that goes some more into the investigation. The article claims that the CEO of the pharmaceutical company owed favors to certain people and figured that if he gave grants to those people, they may see it as favors. Apparently, enough people noticed something wasn't right about who was getting the grants and looked into it. Blackmail was suspected and the CEO wouldn't talk about it. It seems that no one knows what happened to the CEO after that. The article also claims that the local police has some documents, but those are sealed and classified. I can't find an date for this, which makes me suspicious." the shop owner responded.

"Can you use the date of the newspaper article to narrow down the search in other papers? There must be something more somewhere about that incident." said Sis. Mouse nodded in agreement.

"I'll try, but no guarantees." said the shopowner. "Let's see now...........I'll try a general search under college explosions for the entire country............." he said while busily typing away. Several pages of results were popping up, and one by one, they started going through them, our friends looking over his shoulder to read what was on the screen.

Then Creature spoke, "There is a link to an article that is from 1953 about misuse of grant money. I wonder if that will lead anywhere."

"Let's find out" said the shopowner, while clicking on the link. "OhMyLord!" he exclaimed as the page came up .

Creature spoke "The CEO of a pharmaceutical company that is part of an on going investigation was found dead and no cause of death has been released. A dean of a local college is wanted as part of the investigation for misuse of grant money, but has not been found."

The professor added, "That's interesting. What else is there?"

The Shopowner continued, ".........the police are expanding the search for the missing dean, they think he left the country. He is now wanted as a fugitive, on a charge of possible accessory to murder."

"Oh my............" the Old Man said practically in a whisper. The others fell silent as this bit of news sank in.

The shopowner continued paging through the article, "It says here that they've already searched half of Europe for him and are investigating his role in the explosion at the college no signs of the dean. It is possible he may have left the country, but there have been no leads to his whereabouts. The pharmaceutical company that was under investigation has filed for bankruptcy cited major decline in drug sales. There has been some evidence that there was no grant money that people could be applied for. Instead, it was more like personal loans to certain people or groups with the condition that the money was to be repaid within one year."

Sis said, "This sound a bit odd to me. Why fuss over personal loans to help a few people out?"

"I have no idea............." said the old Professor. The Old Man didn't say a word, just shook his head.

The Shopowner spoke up "Maybe those people who got the 'loans' had something on the CEO they could blackmail him with to get that money? And the grants were a way of paying it without it being suspicious?"

"Anything is possible. It can be amazing what someone will do for greed. Is there anything else that can be found relating to this?" said Creature.

The shopowner was busily paging through more search results. "There seems to be something in the French newspaper, I'll have to find that website that we go." His face registered surprise and shock, and so did everyone else's. Right there on the screen was a picture of the European college building that exploded, surrounded by rubble, ambulances, and bodies being carried out on stretchers covered in sheets. The shopowner started reading aloud, "..........the explosion's cause is still unknown, but the death toll continues to mount as those injured are dying in the hospital. Those responsible are still being sought only to find out some time later that those interested persons are nowhere to be found."

Marilyn responded, "How is it to do something like this and still not get caught? I would think that in time there would be enough evidence and some sort of trail that leads to at least one person that is connected to all of this."

"The Dean must've covered his tracks pretty well not to have been caught until now, and it seems he's getting desperate to keep his role in that explosion hidden. How he can continue to do that after what happened at the college and the cafe I don't know................" mused the Old Professor. "We'd better be very careful how we proceed here."

Mouse and Sis shook their head in agreement, as did everyone else. Dog scratched his ear, then asked, "Is there anything in Mouse's letter that could help get the Dean arrested for what he's done?"

Mouse took out the letter and let the shop owner look at the letter. He seemed to be a bit surprised by what he read. He had wondered if there was anything in the box of books that he kept that had mysteriously showed up years ago that he could never figured out where they came from. The shop owner decided it was time to tell someone about this mysterious box of books.

"Just before my dad died, he told me about this box of books he'd gotten quite by surprise. Told me to keep them safe and hidden, no matter what happened to him. That someday they'd be very important to somebody who'd come asking for him......" the shopowner said.

"Where are those books now? May we see them?" asked the old Professor. "I have a feeling they might tie in with all this."

"They're in my bedroom study, locked away in a compartment. I'll go get them." the shopowner said as he left the room.

Mouse said, "I do wonder if there will be any clues in those books that can answer some nagging questions." Shortly after, the shop owner did reappear with the box of books and started to pass some of the books out so that several people could look at once to find some clues. Creature became very startled and quickly sat down.

"My, this one is quite old," Creature remarked, as he carefully opened the cover. "At least it's not in a foreign language so I can read it. Hmmmm............."

The others were all busy also opening their books and reading, sometimes comparing what they thought was a clue with the person next to them. This went on for awhile. Marilyn asked what a word meant and the professor went to see what the word was, then went white. He started to stutter, but not much came out. He continued to sputter and stutter, not able to get much out at all. The old Man patted his old friend on the back, hoping it would help calm him down. "What is it?" the old Man asked. "What did you find?"

Then Creature pointed to the last page that he read and Mouse picked up the book. Then Mouse started to read from the top of the page, "There has been new advances in the medical field involving cancer treatment. The process involves mixing dna from an animal species with the patients, then inserting that into a virus and injecting it."

" does that tie in with everything else that's been going on?" asked Marilyn.

Then Creature indicated to Mouse to read on. Mouse continued, "It doesn't. Then the virus mutates over time and became ineffective for any medical use, so it was discarded. There has been some testing done recently involving some chemistry experiments to see if a new line of treatments could be made for a rare form of childhood cancer."

"Let's try another book," Creature said reaching into the box for another, "maybe there'll be something in this one that ties into what's going on here." He opened the book and started looking at a few pages, then found something and showed it to the old Professor. The professor looked at the paragraph Creature showed and he looked mystified. The professor indicated he vaguely remember something of the nature in a high school chemistry lab. Then the professor sat down muttering to himself and no one could understand what he was muttering about.

The Old Man leaned closer to his old friend and asked him "What's wrong old friend? Please tell us."

"Well," the old Professor started, "it's all about some experiment I vaguely remember doing in high school chemistry class and I can't exactly remember what it was. But something did make me think of it. I wonder if the explosions are an result from some common chemistry test gone wrong or if someone who didn't know any better about what chemicals that was being used. I wish I could remember better, but I'm getting old and my memory isn't what it used to be."

The old Man patted his old friend on the shoulder. "We all get older and have problems we didn't used to have. Is there anybody from highschool you still hear from? Maybe they might remember more?"

"Can't we just look that up online somewhere?" asked Dog. "Chemicals you shouldn't mix because it explodes?"

"Well, now that I think of it, there is someone that I do run into at the hardware store once in awhile that I went to school with. I'm not sure if he took the chemistry class since it wasn't an required class. Unfortunately, I don't have any contact information from him. It be worth asking around in the store to see anyone had seen him lately." The old man said, "Actually there are some plumbing supplies that I need for repairing the kitchen sink. Maybe the two of us can go over there."

"And the rest of us can stay here and keep looking in the books and online, maybe we'll find something out while you're gone." remarked Mouse. With that agreed on, the two left for the hardware store. It did get awfully silent quickly and no one spoke for quiet some time.

Then there was a horrified scream from the computer and Marilyn started to say, "How can some perverted man like him do something horrible and get away with it? No wonder he hasn't been caught." This was when the two came back only to see scared faces looking at the computer.

The old man asked, "What did we just miss?" Marilyn just gestured at the screen, too horrified to speak at this point. The old Man and the old Professor looked at the screen, and a strange look came across their faces. Both drew in a sharp breath at the same time in surprise, and the old Professor started coughing hard.

The old man responded, "Why on earth would anyone try to scam the pharmaceutical companies just to get an grant or whatever just to have experiments for personal use and not try to help out the medical field? This dean has some nerve. It seems that he is so self centered that he may be trying to get money from whoever he can so that he doesn't have to use his own money." Marilyn tried to respond by telling how the dean was able to avoid charges of scamming others and arrest for doing it.

Marilyn stammered, "Look at this, I think it explains how he's gotten away with it all these years." Everyone crowded in to read, but couldn't fit. So the Old Man and the old Professor leaned in first to read the page, then the others took turns. Dog scratched his ear, puzzled.

"If they all know he's behind this, even though he's hidden it well so far, they still have evidence linking him to it. Why don't they arrest him?" Creature asked noboby in particular.

The professor responded, "It be that concrete evidence is needed to make an arrest as well as charging someone with whatever crime. Since he isn't required to pay back the money, it may be difficult if not impossible to proof what he did. I don't know if there is a paper trail indicating that he ever received the money."

Dog spoke up, "All this is getting so complicated. It's starting to make my head hurt just thinking about it."

The Little Girl agreed, "This is getting so much more involved than we'd planned on when we made this trip. All we wanted when we came here was Mouse's letter translated so he could find out about his grandfather and greatgrandfather, and his inheritance."

Mouse said, "That's true, but this is tied into all this. How can we simply get the letter translated and not try to do something about the Dean? He may very well have killed my greatgrandfather and had something to do with my grandfather's leaving."

His Sis chimed in, "We have to help put this man in prison. Otherwise our family won't have justice for what he's done to our family."

"Let's see what we can find, compile it all together, and send it to the detectives who are still working on the case." said the shopowner as he paged through yet another book, while Creature tried to work the computer to look online for more information. He was learning fast how to go from one screen to another. He paused on one page then drew in a sharp gasp. Then he spoke up, "The dean was denied a grant while employed at a community college because of the possible connections he may have had with the other explosions." By this point, everyone else was interested in this detail.

Sis said, "Anything else?" "The company was never mentioned, but apparently the company's lawyer tipped off the CEO about the dean and it was decided not to let the dean to have anything to do with the grant money that was to be given out. It was also mentioned that this lawyer and the dean knew each other, but had an falling out. I wonder now if they are now enemies."

"Is there anyway to find out who that lawyer is? Does the article happen to mention his name?" asked Creature.

"It didn't mention the lawyer by name, but it did mention the law firm but I never heard of this law firm. Now that I'm thinking of it, I should check the date of this article." replied the shop owner. "Hmmmm, seems to be dated from last year. I wonder if that lawyer still works for that law firm or not?" the shopowner mumbled as he was reading the screen. The others were paging through their books, looking for more clues.

Marilyn asked, "Would the law firm have its own website? Maybe you could find out if the lawyer is still there."

"Good idea, let me bring that up.......................ah, here's the directory." the shopowner said as he scrolled down the page, looking............. "Here he is, he's still working there, and he has an office not too far from here. Shall we try to make an appointment to see him tomorrow? I can do that from here online. It's getting late and I'm sure all of you are hungry, I know I am."

"Come to think of it, we never did get to eat much at the cafe before the explosion there." said Mouse.

"I'll go see if I have enough in the fridge for a dinner for all of us." said the shopowner. "And I have plenty of room if you'd all like to stay the night, so we can get an early start tomorrow."

"I'll help if you don't mind," said Sis and Creature at the same time. They looked at each other, then smiling Sis said "We both work at a restaurant so we're experienced."

The Little Girl chimed in, "And I can help set the table if someone will help with the chairs."
"Thank you, my dear," said the Shopkeeper, bowing to the Little Girl. "You'll find plates and napkins in that cupboard." He pottered off happily to forage in the kitchen followed by Sis and Creature, while Dog started nosing chairs into place around the big table.

"Well!" said Mouse to no one in particular. "We are getting on!"

The Old Man replied to Mouse, "Well, we do need to take a break, and I am hungry. We can all look some more after dinner, maybe gather up all that we've found so far, and make our plans for tomorrow. Let's see if there's anything we can do to help." They both got up and headed towards the kitchen.

The Old Man and Mouse went into the kitchen, only to leave it a few minutes later, heading for the stairs. They both were carrying an armload of towels, and telling Dog and Marilyn they were going to get the guest rooms ready, and everyone would have to take turns taking a shower.

"We'll have to double up for the night, I hope nobody minds." said the Old Man. "He only has one guest room, a den with a hideabed couch, and a couple of cots for the home office."

After everyone settled down for the night, everyone wanted to know what everyone else found out. Creature decided to go first. He indicated that he didn't find much of anything, but he did find that there was a pharmaceutical company went under because of multiple large payouts to families of the victims who were killed in some explosion. Dog went next. He'd found out another college had a similar explosion to the one here and in Europe, about 20 years ago. A bit of further digging had turned up the info that the dean had been a student there at the time of that explosion. He and several other students had been arrested, then released, then expelled from that college. Then the shop owner indicated that he sent an email to the law firm. He mentioned that other than what he shared, he find anything else. Then Marilyn went next. "I found that the Dean came here nearly 10 years ago to take the position at the college, and almost immediately there were rumors of things going on in the lab. People were quitting or getting fired very shortly after that."

Then the old Professor spoke up. "I do remember hearing some of those rumors. The ones I was hearing at the time had to do with finding some cure for some cancer that a family member had. What didn't made sense to me at the time was, why would someone conduct something like that at a college or university while parts of it was known to the general public? Anyway, I did find that whoever had given out the grant money to various organizations aren't obligated to say what the organizations planned on doing with the grant money. I don't know if organizations that are applying for grant money have to say what they plan on doing with the money, if they are awarded with it."

Then it was Mouse's turn. "This isn't making any sense. How can the Dean only be here for the past 10 years, yet he's mentioned being here at least 30 years ago?" said Mouse.

"I think he was an associate Dean 30 years ago, I saw something about that in one of the books I looked at today." said the Little Girl. "Then it mentioned he left for a time, then came back to take the job of Dean."
The professor responded, "I do remember him being associate dean. I don't know why he left for awhile. He has been main or head dean for the past ten years." Then that started to make some sense for everyone since they started to nod indicating some understanding.

Then Mouse continued with what he found. "Everything I've read so far has some sort of disaster going on shortly after the Dean showed up there. It can't be just coincidence." said Mouse.

Then Sis spoke up, "There were people that tried to corner the dean to give an explanation of events on that college campus. He wouldn't cooperate and then shortly left the college for another position."

"Is there anyway to let those authorities know he's here now, so they can catch up to him and make him explain himself?" mused Creature to no one in particular. Dog shrugged his shoulders...........

The shop owner replied, "That is easier said than done. It is possible that he is behind what took place overseas, but you would have to deal with the authorities overseas as well as the authorities in this country. Also, is some of this just by chance happened while the dean was at that particular college or did he really have a hand in everything that took place?"

"Well, from my letter here it implies he's behind what happened here for sure." explained Mouse. "That's why we came here in the first place, to get it translated properly, then all this chaos started happening.................." Mouse's friends were all nodding their heads in agreement. The shopowner appeared to be thinking, taking in what he'd just heard.

The shop owner spoke up, "When I get an response from the laywer or the firm he works for, I can ask about what action someone can take to bring this to the attetion of the apporpiate authorities. I would hate for someone to do something only to find out that it was the wrong way to persue it."

"Agreed," said the Old Man. "Now shall we just relax for a bit before bed? Otherwise none of us will be able to stop thinking enough to get any sleep. Anyone in the mood to watch a movie?" the Old Man said as he was eyeing the shopowners extensive dvd collection.

"Sounds like fun, we need to unwind a bit." said Creature.

"Who'd like some popcorn?" asked the shopowner, heading for the kitchen with Sis at his heels.
Everyone else joined the old man to decide on a dvd to play. By the time Sis and the shop owner got back with the popcorn and drinks, the movie was picked. When the shop owner saw what movie was picked, he started to laugh silently. "Just perfect! A disaster movie spoof! I can see all of you have a great sense of humor!" said the shopowner smiling.
The movie was put in and everyone got settled down with the drinks and passing around the popcorn. The group did laugh through out the movie and after it was over, everyone started to claim spots to sleep. Dog circled a few times before settling down on a blowup mattress on the floor, and pulled a blanket over himself. He was soon snoring by one everyone fell asleep. The next morning everyone woke up to an strong vibration of the house. The shop owner suspected that it was an aftershock.
"What was that" cried Dog, still halfasleep in his bed.

"An aftershock I think," said Mouse, who was sleeping nearby on a cot. "Is everyone okay?" Everyone indicated they were okay. The shop owner decided to have the t.v. on to see anything was being said about the cause of the aftershock. Some reports indicated an huge explosion while some indicated an earthquake. Everyone was confused on the cause until an report came in indicating that the nearby college had been at the epicenter of whatever had caused the huge vibration. Reporters were swarming all over the campus, the police had cordoned off every entrance and exit, and firefighters were battling a huge blaze. Everyone was crowded around the tv watching the reporters trying to get more information, with the fire behind them on the screen. Then there was footage that was shot earlier that was being shown. Then everyone gasped as they thought they had seen the dean walking out of a building being surrounded by police. Mouse said, "I wonder what if he will be in trouble for anything."

"Maybe they finally caught him doing something, so he won't get away with it this time." said Marilyn.

"Should we gather up what we found and send it to the police anonymously?" suggested Creature.

The professor spoke up, "Maybe we should wait and see what gets said about this. I'm not against turning someone in for wrongdoing, but I would hate to rush and then find out that this recent development wasn't we thought it was. We don't even know the reason why the dean was surrounded by police. We can discuss what approach should be taken before taking action. To me, it's silly to do something like turning someone in without giving it some thought."

"Maybe we'd all think a bit more clearly with a little food in our tummies. Is anyone ready for breakfast yet?" said the Old Man. Everyone nodded their heads yes, and headed for the kitchen. While Dog and Marilyn set the table, Sis and Creature started making the omelets and pancakes.

"Please sit down, you've done so much for us already and we want to repay the favor." said Sis as she cracked eggs into a bowl.

"Yes, we can take care of breakfast so you can relax and visit with the Professor." said Creature, chopping bits of ham and cheese for the omelets while Mouse measured and mixed ingredients for the pancakes.''
He gave in and sat down with the professor. Shortly after, food was being brought out and put on the table. Everyone ate quietly. When everyone was done, Sis and Mouse took the empty plates to be washed. Gradually everyone's attention gravitated towards the t.v. Sis suddenly gasped as she turned to the channel to get more news.

"Come here quick!" she cried, "The Dean is being lead away in handcuffs on tv!" Everyone ran into the livingroom, even Mouse and Creature who were finishing up the dishes, drying their hands hastily on dish cloths.

"Oh My..........." the Old Man exclaimed.

"SSshhhhhhhhh, I can't hear what they're saying." said the Little Girl.

".........and police believe this man is somehow responsible for the previous explosion at the college..........." said the reporter, ".........and they also believe he may be somehow linked to other explosions at other facilities elsewhere in the world. Reports at this time are sketchy, and are being investigated. If anyone has any information at all about these events, please forward it to the police and INTERPOL immediately."

Creature finally said, "Since a request like that for help, it should be okay to report what we know to the police and INTERPOL. Maybe someone should be a spokesperson for the group to prevent everyone reporting it at once and possibly avoid conflicting information."

"Good idea, and since we don't want to get the Professor, the Old Man, or the Shopowner in trouble just in case the Dean knows them, it might be a good idea to just gather it all together and put it in a big envelope. Then one of us can drop it off in the police station's mailbox so we all stay anonymous." pondered Mouse.

"Since the Dean has proven to be quite dangerous to those who've crossed him, not a bad idea." said the Old Man.

Everyone shook their heads in agreement, and got busy gathering up all the information each had found. The Old Man and the Professor were busy putting the various pages in chronological order, to make it easier for the police investigators to follow the chain of events they'd found. The Shopowner was using his scanner/printer to make a copy of everything to send to INTERPOL, to make sure at least one of the packets found their way to the authorities.

After the packet was finally put together, Little Girl asked, "Who will drop the packet off at the police station?" Then everyone stared and blinked at each other, not knowing the best person to do this job.

"I believe Dog and I can do it best. We are both quite quiet and quick on our feet, and can slip in and drop it off after dark with little trouble." said Creature.

"Well, I believe we should at least give you a ride as close to the police station as possible, so you won't have far to go." said the Old Man. The Old Professor nodded his head in agreement, "And that will also leave our new friend here (indicating the shopowner with a wave of his hand) out of it, just in case the Dean tries to take revenge later."

Everyone by this time was quite hungry, as putting all the information together into two packets had taken most of the day. The Shopowner was busy looking up INTERPOL's closest address online, to put on one of the packets to be dropped off at the police station. The Old Professor was looking up restaurants in the phone book, to find one somewhat close to the police station where they could all meet for dinner after the packets were dropped off. When the shopower finally got the address to the nearest INTERPOL address, the professor had found some resturants to choose from. After everyone decided on a resturant, they got into the van and were able to drop off the packets with little trouble and went to the resturant to eat. While the group was leaving after they were done eating, Marilyn was suddenly fascinated with what was on the t.v. Then she quietly gasp and Creature heard this, so he turned to see what the deal was only to hear "...police have just received a huge amount of information in a packet concerning the recent explosions that have rocked the city. No details have been released as yet to the press, but police and INTERPOL wanted whoever gave them this information to know they have been very helpful in this case. They may wish to interview the individual(s) who gathered this information at a later date ."

Everyone was looking at one another, not saying anything. They hastily left the restaurant and got into the van. Only then did a few of them let go a huge gasp of relief. Little Girl asked, "Should one of confess to the authorities now?"

For awhile no one spoke and finally the shop owner said, "We should go back to my place and discuss this." Everyone was in agreement and went back to the shop owner's place.

"Now we should wait and see if they actually do want to talk to us. The reporter only said they might want to talk to us at a later date." said the old Professor.

"We should give you a phone number to contact us if that should come up after we've gone." said the Old Man.

"Yes, we really have to be getting back, my time off from the restaurant is nearly over," said Sis. Mouse nodded in agreement, as did Creature. He was hoping they'd want to keep him on as dishwasher, since he'd enjoyed working at the restaurant with Sis.

"Wait, didn't you need that letter translated first?" asked Marilyn. "Wasn't that the reason we all came here in the first place?"

Mouse replied, "Yes it is and I did forget. Now only if I can remember where I put that." After some searching, it was found and was giving to the shop owner. The shop owner indicated that it may take some time to translate it. Mouse was wondering to himself what he should do in the meantime. As he was thinking it over, Mouse decided maybe he could do some more research online about the Dean, to help the investigation along while he waited for the letter's translation. The shopowner graciously invited Mouse to stay with him until the translation was done, and he accepted on the condition that he could help out somehow to earn his keep. The Old Man was going to take the others home, then come back and stay with his old friend the Old Professor, and help in whatever way he could. Phone numbers were exchanged, and everyone was packing up the van to leave when another report came over the tv.

"...............investigators have uncovered a number of incidents around the world in which this man (showing a pic of the Dean) was involved in explosions and misuse of grant money that was intended for research. Also, there is some evidence that he was given such money without having to apply for the grants itself. There have been a few people that have stepped foward and have told how the so called research was conducted, only to reveal that this man managed to manipulated chemicals that ended up creating an explosion."

Little Girl said, "I hope this will cause some more people to come foward to tell what they know."

"I hope so too," said Sis. "We really have to go back home soon."

"I can stay for a while, in case the investigators really do need more information from us. I can always call you if they also need to talk to any of you." said Mouse.

"Maybe we should go in now and tell them what we know, and how we found the information we did." exclaimed Marilyn.

"Maybe we should," chimed in Dog.
"Since some of us really need to go back, it may be best that we do go back. I am one of those who can't stand being idle. It may be good for all of us to have something to do while this whole police investigation is going on." said Creature. Then the professor spoke, "I'm curious to find out what is going on campus and it's possible someone there noticed by not that I'm not there. I have to go back."

So it's settled then: Mouse will stay here with the Shopowner, and the Old Man will come back here after dropping the rest of us off back at home." said Sis.

The Old Man spoke up then, "Is the van already packed or does anyone have more packing to do yet? We really should leave just after lunchtime if we want to get back home before dark. Then I can come back here tomorrow morning."
After everyone left to go back, Mouse was pondering what he should do that will let him stay occupied. The shop owner noticed how gloomy Mouse looked and decided to ask questions to better understand the letter that needed translation. The shop owner asked Mouse about what he could remember about his grandparents.

"I vaguely remember my grandpa being around, He used to work at the college in the labs and he disappeared quite suddenly when I was very young. My grandma was always a little sad after that, and she said there was a big explosion, and a big coverup, and they somehow made him disappear. She said lots of strange things had been happening in the area around the college, and grandpa said something once that he thought they were trying to invent time travel in the lab next door to his. She never knew for sure." said Mouse, looking off into the distance.

"Time travel? That's a new one for me. I'm not suprised that there was a cover up. I haven't heard any former or current college staff talk about exactly what was going on at the time this happened. As for your grandpa sudden disapperance, I have heard rumors that the dean had his own mob of men to kill or do whatever they wanted to some of the former employees. I can't prove or disprove that. Sometimes I wonder if some of the former employee went out of the country. Now I'm wondering if that's what your grandpa did."

"I'm hoping this letter will tell me, the Old Man could only translate a little of it, but it seems maybe he did leave the country to escape the Dean. I don't understand why he would do that though without taking Grandma with him." said Mouse. "So far, we can tell the letter is from my Great-grandpa, and he mentions Grandpa in it and something about an inheritance for Sis and me. The rest is not translated yet. We think the Dean managed to find Grandpa and he was somehow transported back in time to when Great-grandpa was young, so he couldn't interfer with the Dean's plans."

The shopowner looked quite surprised at this. "I guess I should get started on translating this then. Hopefully we will learn more. You look like you need a distraction, so do you mind helping put those books we went through back in the boxes?" said the shop owner.

Mouse replied, "I guess I could use a distraction after all and of course, I don't mind helping putting the books back in the boxes for you." Mouse went to pick up the books while the shop owner started to gather what he needs to start translating the letter.
"Where do you want me to put these boxes when they're full?" asked Mouse. He was rapidly getting them into the boxes. The Shopowner was amazed at how quickly Mouse could put them in those boxes.

"Perhaps over in that corner (waving his hand to a corner under the stairs), I might want to go through them again later." said the Shopowner. He was sitting down to his desk and spreading out various old texts of ancient languages, leafing through them for anything on Ancient Mouseese. Mouse started to put the boxes of books under the stairs when Mouse caught a glimpse of a box that was in the corner. Mouse was able to bring that box out from under the stairs and put the rest of the boxes under the stairs before informing the shop owner of the box that was found. Before Mouse could move the box towards the nearest chair, it fell apart. Then Mouse noticed oddly shaped objects and asked the shop owner about them only for the shop owner to gasp. Then Mouse asked, "Did I do something wrong with this box?"

"Oh No, no, you didn't do anything wrong Mouse. It's just I'd forgotten all about that box. My father left it to me, and I must've put it under there just after the funeral. I had no idea what was in it, I was just so busy settling his estate I didn't have the time to look. These objects are quite old, and probably valuable. I had no idea he even had these." said the Shopowner, coming over to help Mouse pick them up and put them into a different box.
They both looked at each object with great curiosity then the shop owner saw a big book on the bottom. He picked it up, only to realize it was a dictionary to help with translating Ancient Mouseese. Then Mouse saw a smaller book that may have fallen out of the dictionary and opened it to see what it was since the cover was difficult to read. The smaller book turned out to be a brief history of Ancient Mouseese. The shop owner was excited about this discovery.

"I think with these two books I can completely translate your letter for you Mouse!" the shopowner exclaimed happily. While the Shopowner sat at the desk with the bigger volume, Mouse sat and tried to read the smaller book on Mouseese, without much success. He handed it to the Shopowner, hoping it would help him with the translation. Mouse could see the Shopowner was indeed making good progress on the letter, he already had the first paragraph translated and was working on the next one. At the pace he was going, if all went well, the letter would be completely translated by the time the Old Man returned from dropping off the others at home.

The Shopowner's face was creased with concentration, translating Ancient Mouseese was not easy. Many words had several meanings, and only when he read the rest of the sentance did it make sense. Suddenly he looked up, somewhat surprised, and motioned quickly for Mouse to come over.

"You won't believe what I've already read here.................." he said. "Your great-grandfather has written here that your grandfather appeared in the past, when your great-grandfather was a youngster. Seems maybe your grandmother was right about that rumor she heard him talking about." Upon hearing this, Mouse's ears perked up and the shop owner knew he wanted to learn more.

"What else have you learned so far?" asked Mouse.

"In addition to visiting your great grandfather, your grandfather was curious as to why he was told not to get into science as a profession. He figured he might want to see how your great grandfather lived and maybe see if there were any clues. I haven't translated enough to know what clues though. Now I need to get back to translating and if you want, you can help yourself to the kitchen if you are hungry."

Since you mention it, I am a little hungry. Can I fix you anything while I'm in the kitchen? A sandwich maybe?" asked Mouse.

"Yes, a sandwich would be fine. Oh, could you hand me that book over there please?" asked the Shopowner, indicating another old text on Ancient Mouseese. After Mouse handed over the requested book, he went to the kitchen to make some sandwiches. While Mouse was in the kitchen, the shop owner gasped rather loudly. Mouse decided to ask the shop owner what it was about when he brought food out. As Mouse came out of the kitchen with the food and drinks, the shop owner started to talk so rapidly that Mouse couldn't understand a single word. Finally Mouse got the shop owner to calm down enough to talk more slowly.

"As it turns out, your grandfather found out why he was being discouraged as kid not to get into science as a living. That reason was that your great grandfather had some experiments that went wrong from the improper training he received as well as bad information. It seemed that he believed that your grandfather would suffer the same fate. Then I came across something troubling. Your grandfather was accused by the dean for the cause of the explosion and therefore he left on his own to Europe." said the shop owner.

"Is there anyway to prove my Grandfather didn't cause that explosion so long ago? Is there anything in that letter to prove that?" asked Mouse anxiously. The possiblility of his grandfather's name being tarnished by the evil Dean was disturbing to Mouse
"I don't have answers for those questions yet. I'm not done translating yet and I don't blame you one bit for wanting to a lot about your grandfather and great grandfather." replied the shop owner. After they were done eating, Mouse took the dirty dishes to the kitchen so that he could wash them. Mouse felt exhausted and decided to take a nap on the couch. The Shopowner worked all afternoon on the translation, occasionally getting up to stretch or get another volume on ancient languages. Mouse finally woke from his nap, feeling better than he had in days. He hadn't realized how tired he'd gotten with all the excitement of the past few days. He heard a honking in the driveway and went to the window to see who it was. It was the Old Man and the Old Professor, coming to see if the Shopowner and Mouse had had their dinner yet. They were carrying a large basket in from the van. Mouse opened the door to let them in while the shop owner hurried to clean off space for the basket. Mouse started to go the kitchen when the professor indicated there were plates and silverware.

Mouse asked, "What about drinks?" The Old Man held up a small cooler and cups, which Mouse didn't see when they came in. As they made place settings, the shop owner updated them with the findings. Mouse became confused about the mentioning of his grandfather taking some time machine to Europe with him. Then the shop owner realized that he needed to explain in more detail to Mouse.

"Your grandmother wasn't aware of this machine because it was a secret pet project of your grandfather's. He was hoping to back in time a few more times to learn more from your great grandfather. Only to realize that if he told your great-grandfather who he was, he could change history and his own life in the future. He had to be very careful what he did and who he talked to. It was quite a dilemma to figure out how to get some information without making someone suspicious about it. Then your grandfather did find out where and how your great grandfather received learned about science from and decieded not to learn about science the same way he did. Well, your grandfather didn't trust this dean from the begining and did what he could to get around doing what the dean wanted without getting caught. He mentioned an conversation he overheard the dean had with someone about how to manipulate test results without much effort. Naturally this scared your grandfather." said the shop owner and he started to rub his eyes. "I really need to take a break, my eyes are getting a little bleary. How about we have our lunch and maybe take a little walk around the block?" the Shopowner said. "There's a little park around the corner, we could sit and talk a while before I go back to translating more of this letter."

"Sure, and I can tell you what I found out this morning at the college, quite by accident." said the Old Professor.
Then everyone's ears perked up. After lunch, they went to the park for some walking. The Old Professor didn't waste much time by saying, "I did over hear that someone at the main office did let go of the dean and naturally there was some uproar. Then there was a demand to reinstate the dean and it didn't happen. Of course, everyone on campus knows what happened so far to the dean and the majority does not want him dean. There was someone accidentally mentioned that he gave the dean his position in exchange for funding for a future experiment. This got people more outraged. The uproar on campus is unlike anything I've ever seen before, and it looks like it will be going on for quite a while yet. The police have even had to place the Dean in protective custody, while they carry on the investigation. They were afraid they'd end up having to stop a lynch mob." said the Old Professor.

The Old Man nodded his head. "Yes, there were quite a few upset and hostile people running around when I came to pick you up today, and they almost stopped me at the gate." said the Old Man. "Will it even be safe for you to return to work tomorrow?"

The Old Professor shrugged his shoulders, "I really don't know. They may close the college temporarily until this is all straightened out, and a new Dean is hired."

"Perhaps you both should stay at my place, it might not be safe for you to go home if anyone knows where you live and the fact you work at the college." said the Shopowner.
"Here's what he's managed to translate of my letter so far," said Mouse, handing the translation to the Old Man and the Old Professor. Both looked quite surprised at what they were reading. Neither said a word when they were done reading. Mouse didn't know what to say to either one of them and he didn't know what to do either.

Old Man broke the silence by saying, "Why don't we let this rest until tomorrow? It might do all of us some good not to be focused on this for awhile."

"Yes, good idea. A fresh mind is able to see things more clearly." said the Old Professor. The Shopowner had to agree, his eyes were quite tired from all the reading he'd done that day.

"Why don't we relax for a while? We could take a leisurely walk around and I can show you some of the sights people come here to see." said the Old Professor to his friend. "You haven't been here in so long, and there are new things to see."

"I think I'll go with you." said Mouse.

"I want to check on the store tonight, and maybe get to bed early." said the Shopowner. "I am rather tired and I want to get an early start on finishing up that translation for you. The store is only closed again tomorrow, then I have to be there to run things."
Everyone was fine with the plan. The shop owner pointed some things out that are popular with people and took time to explain some history of the park. After they were done with the park, they went back to the shop owner's place. Mouse went towards the movies and started to look at them. Then the professor and the Old Man joined him. The shop owner quietly went to the kitchen to gather some snacks and drinks. The movie was picked out by the time the shop owner came out with the food and drinks. When the shop owner saw what movie was picked out, he rolled his eyes and chuckled.

"Just perfect! We need some humor and laughs after the last few days we've had." he said, still chuckling a bit.

Everyone took their seats and the drinks and snacks were passed around. Mouse popped the movie in, and shut off a couple lights. Not long into the movie, the phone rang...................and the shopowner answered after pausing the movie.

"Yes, who is it?" he asked. Everyone else remained quiet and were worried about the shop owner. When the shop owner got off of the phone, no one spoke out of fear about what the phone call was about. The shop owner started to talk by saying, "Well, that ended up being one of your friends who somehow got my number. Anyway, there has been a new development about the dean. It ends up that there has been more evidence that came from overseas that links him to the various explosions that happened over there. Also, the college is getting pressured to close because of it recieving inappropiate funds for the science department."

On hearing this, everyone turned wordlessly to the Old Professor. They were worried he'd lose his job but he hadn't done anything wrong.

"What will you do if they close the college?" asked the Old Man of his friend.

"I think I'll be taking a long vacation until they resolved this, and reopen the college. But I do have a few contacts elsewhere, maybe I can get a job at another college, but then I'd lose my seniority I've built up here. They might only close the science department, temporarily, and maybe the college too until they get a new Dean and root out all his cronies at the college. Who knows?" the Old Professor said with a shrug.

Mouse said, "I want to get back to the movie and not focus on this for awhile." Everyone else agreed and went back to the movie. After the movie ended, everyone slowly went to bed. The next morning, the phone rang and woke everyone up. The shopowner quickly answered it, only to find out it was Sis checking on Mouse. During the phone conversation, Sis revealed that some people at the college got arrested for knowingly assiting the Dean in his evil deeds.
"Oh my, this is just getting so complicated." exclaimed Mouse. The Old Professor asked who was arrested, and Mouse told him what Sis had told him.

"I don't know those people very well, they generally avoided me for some odd reason." mused the Old Professor. "Just as well, I won't be under suspicion."

"At least not yet anyway. Hopefully there will be enough shake up at the top that some others that are lower ranked may come forward or leave on their own." said Mouse. The shop owner had quietly gone back to translating more of the letter and everyone else decided to watch some t.v. There just happen to be some breaking news about the dean and about the college. The Old Professor was in shock that the college was closed indefinitely until further notice and there was a long list of charges against the dean.

"Looks like I'll have to start looking for a job, at least a temporary one, or I'll end up losing my house." he said sadly. The Old Man laid a hand on his shoulder, a sympathetic look in his eyes.

"We'll help you if we can" the Old Man said. "They can't hold any of this against you, so it shouldn't prevent anyone from hiring you. We can look online a little later and see what's out there, to get a better idea of what's closeby. There must be some school out there who can use a teacher with your experience." They both settled in to watch the movie Mouse had found on tv, and it wasn't long before they were chuckling a bit.

The shopowner interrupted, "Look at this Mouse!" he said waving the latest page he'd translated. Mouse went over to see what had been translated. Mouse read that his grandfather had a contact in Europe and the contact told him about some top secret research and his help was needed to help the research to move forward. But then there was a mentioning of his grandfather trying to get back to his grandmother since he started to get ill, but there was always someone preventing him from going back home.
"Maybe that was why Grandfather never did come home again, somebody was always stopping him. Poor Grandma never knew." sighed Mouse sadly. "Is there much more to translate?" he asked the shopowner. Mouse seemed so sad, even his shoulders were sagging a bit. The shop owner indicated there was much left. The Old Professor mentioned that he could contact some of his colleagues that were at other colleges about any opportunities they may know about.

You can use my computer if you want to if it will speed up the process," the shopowner said, "most universities let you apply for jobs online now."

"Thank you so much," said the Old Professor. "That should speed up things considerably. Let's start with the local paper online................" he said more or less to himself as he typed. The Old Professor was going away at the computer and the shop owner left to check on the store. Mouse decided to go to the kitchen to do dishes and started to figure out what food was there. Then the Old Man went to help Mouse out in the kitchen. They came out of the kitchen with pancakes. The shop owner came back when the Old Professor applied for two positions. The shop owner was struck with horror.

Mouse asked, "What's wrong?"

"I.....I just heard on the car radio that there was another explosion at the college, a bigger one this time." the shopowner gasped. He looked so pale and shocked, he was trembling. Hurriedly, the Old Professor and Mouse got him into a chair to sit down. The Old Man quickly got him a cool glass of water to sip, very concerned.

"Calm down and take your time, then tell us what you heard." the Old Man said.

Mouse went to turn on the tv and see if there was anything about this latest explosion on the news. After flipping through a few channels "...........and now this latest development in the strange happenings at the college: another explosion rocked the campus less than an hour ago. The blast collapsed two buildings near the center of the campus, details are sketchy at this time. It is believed no one was in the buildings at the time of the explosion and we will pass on more information along as we get." Mouse turned off the t.v. Then the shop owner mentioned the radio report indicated a rumor was floating around that the dean escaped from the police and may have something to do with this explosion. Everyone was shock at this latest development.

The Old Man finally spoke up, "We should wait to find out if there is any truth to the rumor that was heard on the radio. It's too early to come to any conclusions about what or how this could have happened."

"Let's take a break and have some dinner, and I'll continue on the translation." said the shopowner. Mouse seemed particularly anxious to have the translation finished, and the Old Man and the Old Professor were also interested as it seemed it tied into the current events surrounding the college and the Dean.

"We should be careful in case it's true the Dean escaped police custody. Who knows who he's out to get even with now." mused the Old Professor. "So far I don't think he knows we're involved at all, or know anything that can get him into deeper trouble with the authorities." he continued.

"I hope he doesn't know. I go start to figure out what we can eat in the kitchen." said Mouse. The Old Man decided to join Mouse in the kitchen. The shop owner decided to finish translating after dinner. The Old Man and Mouse came out with dinner some time later and everyone ate in silence. After everyone was done eating, the shop owner went back to translating and Mouse and the Old Man went to the kitchen to do dishes. The Old Professor decided to contact some of his colleagues at other colleges about job opportunities.

"Now this one looks promising," he muttered to himself. "Not very far from here either so moving won't be too difficult." He quickly dialed the phone to call his colleague, and soon had himself an appointment the next day to interview for the position. His colleague understood why the Old Professor wanted to change jobs, and agreed to speak up for him as a reference.

Mouse and the Old Man returned from the kitchen with a cool drink for everyone, and settled into the couch to talk quietly with the Old Professor. He told them about his job interview, and the Old Man said he'd drive him there and put in a reference for him too. Even Mouse said he'd put one in for him if it would help. They looked over the tv listings looking for something to watch while the shopowner continued with the translation. There wasn't anything interesting on t.v. to watch. The Old Man had pulled out a deck of cards out of pocket and started to shuffle them. Mouse asked, "Does anyone know a card game that we could play?" The Old Professor pulled up a chair and the The Old Man handed out cards to everyone. Before any rules could be explained, the shop owner jumped out of his chair with some joy. Mouse asked, "What did you discover?"

The shop owner started by saying, "Your grandfather was finally able to leave Europe while most everyone he worked had some time off work. He was able to leave without getting stopped and returned to attempt to contact your grandmother."

"How can that be?," exclaimed Mouse. "Grandmother never said that he returned, so maybe he didn't manage to contact her after all. Is there more to the letter?" he asked anxiously.

The shopowner said "Yes, there is. He indicated that he wasn't able to find her. He learned from one of her friends that she died some months before. Also, your grandfather was able to find out that the dean was trying to get some funding from donors so that he could do drug trials that was through some pharmaceutical company. Well, no one bought his story and refused to give money. Then it was discovered that none of the pharmaceutical companies in the area were doing drug trials for new drugs at that point in time."

Mouse replied, "How can someone have the nerve to lie to get money for what may have been selfish reasons?"

"I don't know, but the Dean seems to know no bounds for audacity when it comes to getting what he wants." said the Old Professor knowingly. "I'm coming to the conclusion that he is even more dangerous than even the police and INTERPOL believe him to be."

"He may have methods or know people that the rest of us don't know about. It's scary to think about what will be the next thing to occur." said the Old Man. Mouse turned the t.v. to the news to only discover that the dean really did escape the authorities, but only to be caught again some time later. There was a report that someone was able to get the dean out without anyone noticing it at first. Everyone was hoping this time, the dean will be watched a lot closer.
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Shtinky's Shweetheart

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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fiffur on Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:44 am

"But who?" said Mouse, pacing. "Who could have whisked the Dean away, and why did he return again, only to get caught again? It makes no sense!"

"Unless...," mused Mouse's sister, frowning.

"Unless what??" cried Mouse.

"Unless," said Sister, "he was using... time travel! And somehow got his settings wrong. Oh, I know, it sounds crazy!" Sister blushed and started clearing up the debris from dinner. The creature rose silently and helped her. But both the Old Man and the Professor stared at her intently, then looked at each other with growing comprehension.

"It would explain a few things," one said. "Yes, it would," said the other. "We must get those translations finished! The answer may be there!"

The shopowner worked late into the night on the translation, and Mouse fell asleep on the couch while he was waiting. He'd helped quite a bit fetching books, drinks, a snack, anything the shopowner needed or wanted so he could keep working on it. In the middle of the wee hours of the morning, the shopowner shrieked waking everyone up.

"YES!!! Now it all makes sense............" Everyone was waking up baffled and was coming out to see what the shop owner was so excited about. Without being asked, the shop owner started to explain that he was working with someone on time travel while in Europe and was able to make his own time machine without anyone knowing it. This may explain how he was able to escape the media attention after each explosion. No one knew about the time machine and it didn't leave any hard core evidence. He had told someone at this college after he took over as dean, but didn't report it since there wasn't any evidence that the dean still had the time machine. There is know way in knowing if this mysterious time machine played a role in the dean's brief escape from prison.

It certainly seems likely considering the strange circumstances surrounding his escape." mused the Old Professor.

Mouse asked, "How can we go about proving he has this machine without the Dean finding out and stopping us? We can't let him continue to destroy so many lives like he did my grandfather."
"I'm not sure if we can prove that he has this machine, since no one knew about him having it. There was no mentioning of the man's name that he worked with in Europe. I don't if it be wise to research who was at the college that may have known what the dean did in Europe. Also, there was no mentioning of the name of the person he told at the college either about the time machine. It may be easier said than done to prove him having the time machine." said the shop owner. The Old Professor was trying to remember who he saw that was pale and nervous after coming out of the dean's office one afternoon many years ago.

"Oh my, if only I could remember..............." he muttered to himself, trying in vain to remember the young man he'd seen so long ago. His name was on the tip of his tongue...................then he had an idea. Maybe he'd recognize the face in a college yearbook, but which year?

"I must get my yearbooks from home, I think I might have someone who can verify this time machine's existance if only I can recognize him from the book so I can remember his name." the Old Professor announced. "He might be able to help us and the police put a stop to the Dean's madness once and for all."

"I'll drive you, and we'll return here as soon as possible." said the Old Man.
Mouse looked worried, "Please be careful, he could have accomplices everywhere."
The Old Professor agreed and they went off. In the meantime, Mouse went to the kitchen wanting breakfast. The shop owner followed Mouse to help him with breakfast. After they ate, the shop owner indicated that he must go to the shop to check on it. After the shop owner left, Mouse didn't know what to do to pass the time.
So he started re-reading the translation from the beginning, trying to picture in his mind all that his grandfather had written, and comparing it to the stories and memories he had. He was lost in this reverie when the Old Man and the Old Professor returned. Mouse helped them carry in boxes of college yearbooks going back nearly 40 years. It was quite a lot of books.

"How will we find one face out of all these and know it's the right one?" asked Mouse.

"I'll describe him to you as best I can, and you can look for anyone who matches my description, then show it to me. That way I can go through these much faster, with your help." the Old Professor said.

They began searching through the faces in the yearbooks. "Do you remember what years this person was there at the college? I don't know if that will help narrow down which yearbooks to go through." suggested Mouse.

Then the Old Professor stopped to think and finally said, "Well you know, I do remember seeing this person for the first time towards the end of the fall semester and I think the students were trying to have a competition for the best snow fort. The students did this only the one year though. Which means that I saw this person between 1995 and 1997. I could be wrong, my memory isn't quite what it used to be these days." he said, looking a bit sheepish at this confession.

Suddenly Mouse had an idea............."How about I do an online search for the snow fort competition on the college's website? There might be something on that in there, at least maybe the year it was held." So while Mouse was trying to get something to come up on the computer about the competition, the others were concentrating their searches to the yearbooks between 1995 and 1997.
"That's him!" exclaimed the Old Professor as he recognized the person. He told Mouse the name of the person so he could do a search on the person. The shop owner seemed a bit puzzled. He seemed to remember a name similar to the one the professor mentioned. He confessed this to see if it would spark more memories.

"Perhaps he worked for your father in the store to earn money for college, I know he did hire a couple young men for several years to help with inventory." said the Old Professor.

"That must be where I remember the name from, the old payroll ledgers." said the shopowner. "But how did yo know him?"

"I did know that the history department had an intern who was working on a graduate degree and interning was a requirement for the specific degree that was being pursued. I never did find out what the intern was getting a degree in though. Once in awhile he would come to the science building to ask some questions about how final exams were done. I couldn't answer that real well since each department sets its own way of doing finals." replied the Old Professor. Mouse chimed in by saying, "I did find multiple entries for that name and some with variations of the name. I wouldn't think it would be a common name."

"Let's see if we can find where he lives now online, do you have his first name and the exact spelling of his lastname?" asked Mouse.

"I'll check some of the old ledgers for that spelling, you can start on the other spellings we've found. Hopefully, one of them will be him." said the Shopowner.

Mouse started typing away at a name they'd found in one yearbook while the shopowner went into his attic for the old payroll ledgers. After some time, the shop owner came back with what payroll ledgers he could find and Mouse didn't have success on the computer. Mouse decided to help with the shop owner with the ledgers. Then the Old Professor stepped in to help. After awhile, there was a gasp that came from the shop owner. Then the shop owner finally spoke up, "There are two entries, but with different spellings."

"Let's try both spellings on the computer and see if one of them is the right one." said Mouse, settling in a chair at the computer.

"I'll try the phonebook, in case he still lives nearby." said the Old Man, picking it up and opening it. The Old Professor decided to watch some t.v. When he turned it on, there was some breaking news about the dean. There was some mentioning that someone came forward to tell about how the dean was able to avoid capture in Europe. It was obvious that the media wasn't buying the story about the time machine. By this point, everyone else joined the Old Professor on the couch.

"How can they discount the theory he has a time machine? How else do they explain all he's done, and how he was able to get away so easily?" said the Old Man, shaking his head.

"I know it may be hard for them to believe, there's never been a working model before so they're very skeptical." said the Old Professor to his friend. "They'd need hard proof such as the machine itself before they'd believe it exists."

Mouse shook his head in agreement. "Perhaps the Dean has angered some people who worked on the project, and maybe they'd come forward to testify this machine in fact exists and he uses it to his own ends."

"How can we blame people for not believing that the time machine exists? Even if someone can proof a machine does exist, then it would be difficult to prove time travel can happen." said the shop owner. Then everyone was quiet as they watched more t.v. The reports indicated that the person that came forward indicated that he was told by the dean about this time travel device that was supposedly made in Europe under secrecy. It wasn't reveled whether or not if the dean mentioned were the machine or the plans for it was kept.

"I suggest we just wait and see what happens with the Dean. How did the online search go for that man Mouse? Did you find him at all?" he asked. Mouse shook his head no. "Did you find him in the phone book Professor?" he asked.

The Old Professor also said "No, but I did find a few other people with the same last name. Perhaps one of them is a relative?"

"Hmmmmm, maybe................." mused the Old Man.

"I don't know if it would be a good idea to start contacting the people with that last name for information." said Mouse.

Then the shop owner spoke up, "I feel the same way."

"Perhaps if we only said we were looking for an old friend, and was hoping they could tell us where he is now so we can go look him up and reminisce............... maybe that won't be so suspicious?" asked the Old Professor. Then there was a report on the t.v. about the person who reveled about the time machine has been identified. The Old Professor and the shop owner recognized the name. They were both taken aback about what they heard.
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fiffur on Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:45 am

"Is it possible that he told enough for someone to look for the machine?" asked the Old Professor.

Mouse was quiet for a moment, then said....."I sure hope so. He's done a lot of harm to a lot of people over the years."
"Maybe we shouldn't try to find this person yet. I do try to prevent trouble or grief whenever possible. If the people in the phone book are family, they don't want to deal with any more people than they have to deal with." said the Old Man.

"So we'll just keep a low profile, keep our eyes and ears open, and see what happens." said the shopowner to everyone's agreement. "Now, I'll finish up this translation for you. I'm sure you're getting a bit anxious to get back to your home and regular routine." Just then the phone rang, it ended up being Sis checking in on Mouse. The shop owner went back to the translation. The Old Professor suggested getting take out for a change. Everyone else agreed. After everyone decided on the place to go, the shop owner wanted to stay and continue working. When the food was brought in, the shop owner noticed everyone else seemed quieter than usual.

"We heard more news about the dean on the radio. We heard that someone in the latest explosion has died from his injuries, and now the Dean will now be charged with involuntary murder when he is found again." said Mouse quietly. The Old Professor seemed especially sad, he had known the young man slightly since he was one of his brightest students. They ate quietly and Mouse thought he heard the shop owner mumbling about some hidden plans. While the Old Professor and the Old Man cleaned up, Mouse decided to ask the shop owner about what he thought he heard.
The shop owner responded by saying, "Apparently the Dean had hidden the plans for the time machine when he came back from Europe and wrote in code where he had hidden them for future reference. I'm not sure what he meant by the code."

Do you have any idea where he kept that code? Maybe we can break the code and find the machine plans to prove it really can be done, and maybe they will believe the stories and look to find the real one he had built." said Mouse.

"There is no mentioning of where the code is, unfortunately. I have one more paragraph to translate and I can give a summary of everything else I discovered." said the shop owner.

Mouse, the Old Man, and the Old Professor sat quietly sipping on their drinks and reading sections of the newspaper while the Shopowner worked on the rest of the translation.
Suddenly, the shop owner jump out of the chair and started to talk rapidly about Mouse's grandfather theory of where he thought the dean was keeping the time machine. After the Old Man was able to calm the shop owner down, he said, "Your grandfather mentioned he overheard a conversation the dean had about where he may store the time machine until he could repair it. He never did find out where it did end up being." The Old Professor told about an area in the basement of the science building that was used for storing various science equipment and then suddenly it was closed off with a wall of brick. Unfortunately, he could never found out why it was closed off and what had happened to the science equipment.

"There must be a way into that room, I doubt the Dean would've permanently walled off his machine so he couldn't use it." mused the Old Professor.

"There must be a hidden entrance somewhere then," said Mouse, "But how do we go about finding it?"

The Old Professor said, "I should go back and see if I can get to my office. If I'm able to access my office, then it's possible I can explore the basement some to see if there is some sort of entrance. It wouldn't be wise if all of us went looking as it might look suspicious."
"Please take my cellphone then, to call us that you got there safely and in case you run into trouble." insisted the Shopowner. "My number is already programmed into it." Mouse and the Old Man agreed it would be best if he took the phone and went alone.

"We'll be waiting for your call, please be careful." said the Old Man. Mouse agreed to drive the van into town to drop the Old Professor off at the college gate, and drive off in the opposite direction of the shopowners home and shop. He wore an old hat and overcoat that the shopowner had from his father, to help disguise Mouse in case anyone saw them on the road. After the two left, the shop owner and the Old Man were a bit worried about what may come out of this. They didn't hear anything for quite some time. Few hours later, Mouse and the Old Professor came back.

The Old Professor said, "It looked like that it was completely sealed off in the basement and no access was made to get to the blocked off area. I did noticed some loose bricks in one corner and I'm not sure how long those bricks were like that. I did take some of the loose bricks away and used a flashlight to see if anything was there. What I did find was another brick wall with an open doorway in it. I couldn't get the light through that doorway so couldn't see what was in the other room behind there. Very curious, the mortar for that wall was very brittle and crumbling, looked quite old. I don't think it would take much to get through that wall at all. Spring Break is coming up, and the college will be mostly deserted. Perhaps that would be the best time to try to get through that wall for a closer look at what's in that room." he said.

"Why didn't you call us to let us know you'd arrived safely?" asked the Old Man, obviously a bit worried yet. "When I didn't hear from you.........."

"I tried old friend, but couldn't get any reception down in the basement. Something was interferring with the signal." the Old Professor explained.

Mouse suddenly got excited, "Maybe it was the time machine interferring with the phone signal! Could that be possible?"

The shop owner answered, "Generally, one gets no signal with cell phones in the basement. It's possible the machine is in the basement, but I'm not sure how it would interfere with the signal of the phone. Spring break may be the best time to do some exploring the basement."

We'll need to make a list of stuff we'll need to get through that wall, we have about a week before spring break begins," said the Old Professor, "and that way we'll be ready. Do you think Dog could join us and help with that? He's smaller so we wouldn't have to make that big of a hole to get to that door."

"I'll have to call my sis and ask her to ask him." said Mouse. "We should have an alternate plan, in case he can't come, so we'll still be ready by next week."

They sat down to make the list of things they thought they'd need to get through the wall. The shopowner had several of the items already in his garage: several shovels for digging, a trowel for scrapping at the old crumbling mortar, buckets to move the debris, safety goggles, and a camera for taking pictures. Mouse made his call to his sister only to hear Sis constantly begging him to return. Finally Mouse was able to tell Sis about why he was calling. Sis indicated that she will let Dog know the situation and ask him about it. Mouse finally got done on the phone and told everyone what Sis told him.

"While we wait to hear from Dog, we need to finish our list and make our plans." said the shopowner. "I can have my assistant run the store for a week and tell her I'm on vacation."

"I have a small assigned storeroom not far from that spot in the basement, I can look more closely at the wall off and on with the pretext that I'm going to my storeroom for books or supplies." said the Old Professor.

The Old Man said, "I have a crowbar in my car, we can use that for removing stubborn bricks."

Just then the phone rang and the shopowner answered it only to find out it was Sis. She indicated that Dog is willing to help as long as there is a cover story for him being in the basement. The Old Professor confessed to noticing an odd odor that was coming from behind the closed off wall when he took some of the loose bricks away. "I wonder how sensitive Dog's smell is. I did get a little concerned about that odd odor. If he has a very sensitive smell, then maybe I could say that he was checking out what the source of the odor was and determine whether it's something to worry about." said the Old Professor.
"That cover story might work. I wonder what that smell could be, a body perhaps?" mused the Old Man.

"I sure hope not." said the Old Professor. "That would be too unsettling, and the police would have to be called in. How strong was that odor, what did it remind you of?"
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fiffur on Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:45 am

"It was kind of like a cigar room that multiple people threw up in after too much drink." Everyone gave a very disgusted look. "Well I hope that isn't a sign of a dead body. I guess we could use Dog to find the source if no other cover story is thought up." said Mouse.

"And if it smells that bad, we'll need some sort of filter mask and I personally plan on putting some aftershave under my nose to cover up the smell." said the Old Man.

"Not a bad idea, I think we can get a few masks that would do the trick from the chemistry department. Since classes will be out for two weeks, no one will miss them being gone a couple days." said the Old Professor. "How long until Dog can get here?"

"Just as soon as someone can go pick him up." said Dog.

Everyone blinked and Mouse said, "Dog, how did you manage to get here so quick?" "Well Mouse, your sister had errands to do in thins area and I decided to come with her and have her drop me off here."

"What a surprise! We didn't expect you to be here for at least a few hours!" said a startled Mouse.

Smiling, Dog said, "Well, I thought this was important so we left as soon as your sister hung up the phone. She had errands to do out here anyway and thought it was as good a time as any to get them done."

"Let me tell you all about the plans we've made so far." said the Shopowner, getting out the list. He went over the plan with Dog, who agreed when the college was nearly empty was the best time to try to dig through the walls. He did ask if he could do a little snooping beforehand late at night, to see if he could get in behind the first wall without digging.

Dog agreed as long as the Old Professor was able to find some reason to be down there every time. The Old Professor was okay with this, since there were some things that he needed to put down in the basement for storage anyway. The Old Professor asked Dog, "When do you want to start doing this?"

"Would tonight be too early? The sooner I can look and smell it over the better. Then we'll know better what we're dealing with and how to go about getting in that room behind the second wall." he replied. Everyone agreed that sounded like a logical reason to go that night, but the Old Professor wasn't so sure the place would be deserted enough.

"Perhaps we can go late and it would be easier?" asked Mouse.

"Maybe we can try to go late. Most of the students are leaving campus now to go home for the weekend. There is something I can get from my office to put in storage and that may be the best time to look around some more. Hopefully I can get to the building before the campus security closes the buildings for the night." said the Old Professor.

Then we'd better hurry so we'll have enough time to snoop and get out before they lock it up." said Dog.

Dog, Mouse, and the Old Professor got into the van. Mouse was wearing his disguise and driving, Dog huddled under some blankets in the back seat so he wouldn't be seen. The Old Man sat by the phone, in case they got into trouble and called.
Mouse dropped off Dog and the Old Professor before parking the van to wait. The Old Professor quickly went to his office to get what he needed and then went to the basement with Dog. Dog immediately started on the scent while the Old Professor was storing the items he carried down with him. Suddenly, Dog made a strange growling noise as he went behind the second wall. The Old Professor went as close to Dog as he could to talk to Dog. Dog wasn't answering and instead came out a bit frightened. The Old Professor asked, "What frightened you?"

"The odor you described may be coming from a strange looking machine that may have come out of a science fiction movie. I wonder if it's the time machine and I may need some light next time to look at it bit more closely." answered Dog.

"Can you take this flashlight and take a picture with my camera? It's very easy to use and the flashlight is square so it won't roll." asked the Old Professor as he removed them from his overcoats large pockets. He was worried, what if it were the time machine? What if the Dean came back to use it before they could prove to the authorities it actually existed?

"I could try, but I must be quick. We don't know how much longer we can stay and not be caught." said Dog, taking the camera and flashlight and putting them around his neck, then going back between the walls to the hidden doorway. Dog seemed quite nervous as he ducked into the second walls' doorway, it was a tight fit for him and the dust made it hard to breathe. The Old Professor listened for both any intruders approaching and to Dog's pawsteps. He heard Dog turn on the large flashlight and set it down. Dog whispered out to the Old Professor, "Which button is the one I push to take the picture with?" Dog sounded quite nervous to the Old Professor's ears.

"It's the biggest button on the top right and the flash is the default setting." answered the Old Professor. Few minutes later, Dog came out and let the Old Professor take the items from him. Both quietly left the basement separately in case someone happened to be passing by. After Mouse was flagged down, they left to go back to the shop owner's place. The Old Professor asked, "Does anyone know how to download pictures from a camera? I have the cord that came with it, but I never learned how to do it." The Old Man offered to do it. While downloading the pictures onto the shop owner's computer, he went white in the face.

"Oh My Lord.................." he exclaimed as he looked at the background of one picture. There, ever so faintly behind the huge strange machine Dog had photographed, it looked like another door with a skeleton beside it.

"Is that what I think it is?" asked the Old Man. The Old Professor looked closer, squinting. "That skeleton might be from the biology department. I wonder where that other door is accessed from? It would be helpful if we had the blueprints for that building."

"Wait, won't those be on file somewhere? Whoever built that building would have a copy." said Dog.
"How do we know that it is an actual door there and not some makeshift door that leads nowhere?" asked the shop owner.

"Besides, it may be possible that the blueprints for that building is kept in some government building. I don't have an idea how to go about finding that out though." said the Old Man.

Mouse spoke up, "Dog, I have an idea, but it's your call. Do you want to find out more about the door the skeleton is next to?"

"If I'd had more time I could've already checked it out, but I didn't want us to get caught. Maybe when spring break starts we can spend a bit more time, and be better prepared?" said Dog.

"I'll see what else I could put in storage or even get from storage. Those will provide more opportunities for exploration." said the Old Professor.

"Perhaps you can put a few of my things in your storage area, and then take them back out a few days later. That will give you an extra reasons to be down there in case somebody is around." said the Shopowner.

"Not a bad idea, but it will have to look like something I'd have, like books." said the Old Professor.

"Not a problem." said the Shopowner smiling. "I have plenty of those."
"I'll do mine first so that you will have time to put something together for me. Dog, when do you want to do the next exploration?" said the Old Professor.

"Tonight, I should be able to go a bit faster now that I know exactly how to get through the wall and that door. If you put the lights, camera, and other things in a bag I can carry them easier too." he said. "The sooner we find out if that is really a door the better. And we can go a little earlier tonight so I'll have more time."

"Okay, let's leave an hour earlier. If there are still people around we can always kill some time in my storeroom until they're gone." said the Old Professor.

Everyone was fine with the plan. When it was time, Dog, the Old Professor and Mouse left to back to campus. Mouse dropped of Dog and the Old Professor, then went to park the van. The Old Professor did notice some people walking around on campus and decided to take his time to collect what he needed. Dog followed the Old Professor to his office to get some things and then to the storeroom. While in the storeroom getting some items, there was a loud crash that both startled Dog and the Old Professor. Dog indicated he was going to casually search the source while the Old Professor continued to get what he needed. Shortly after Dog left, the Old Professor thought he was hearing loud whimpering, only to realize that somehow Dog had gotten stuck somewhere inside the wall. The Old Professor tapped lightly on the wall and got a whine in response and a whispered "I'm stuck" from Dog. The people had left so he was free to go to the door in the hall and called out to Dog.
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fiffur on Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:46 am

"I went through the second door beside the skeleton only to find myself in a very narrow passageway. I followed it and now I'm stuck tight in here!" Dog cried.

"Don't panic my friend," the Old Professor started, "just take a deep breath and slowly wiggle a little and see if you can shimmy backwards." He could hear Dog moving around trying to get unstuck.
"There are some loose bricks in the wall. Any possibility to get the loose bricks out? I'm curious to find out if that will help me get unstuck." said Dog. The Old Professor went to were Dog was and was able to get enough loose bricks out that Dog was able to squeeze his way out. After making sure Dog wasn't seriously hurt, the Old Professor remembered what looked like a toy remote control car with a light on it that a former student brought to class years ago. He decided to quietly leave the basement to call the shop owner to see if he could help to get something similar made up.

"............and if you can attach a small video camera to the top of the car, we can see where it's going and record everything." the Old Professor said to the Shopowner over the phone. He was knodding his head as he listened to the reply. "Good, the gate guard will be on break at 10 so we can get back in without being seen."

Dog was anxious to know what he'd said so the Old Professor filled him in on the plan. Mouse would drive back to the shopowners house and pick up the prepared toy car with video camera, and return. Dog left quickly to tell Mouse the plan, sticking to the shadows so he wouldn't be seen by campus security. It was only about an hour before Dog returned with the car/camera combo.

"Mouse is staying in the van, and will pretend to be asleep if anyone comes to check why the van is still in the parking lot." Dog told the Old Professor. "We'd better get going, this may take a while and everyone is anxious to find out what we find in there."

The Old Professor agreed and they quickly went back down to the basement. Dog was willing to operate the car/camera combo, but wanted the Old Professor nearby to help him if needed and watch out if anyone came in the basement. After some time, the Old Professor heard some noise coming from where Dog was and thought he heard footsteps overhead. He decided to come to Dog to tell him about the footsteps. The Old Professor helped Dog to bring the car/camera back.
The two of them barely got out of the back stairwell when the footsteps went by downstairs.
"Whew, that was close!" exclaimed Dog, panting with relief they hadn't been caught.
"Let's get to my office, pick up my coat, and get out of here before they lock the campus down for the night." said the Old Professor.

They left and rejoined Mouse in the parking lot. They remarked that Mouse looked very convincing pretending he was asleep, open book lying in his hand on the seat. Mouse drove carefully out of the parking lot when the guard left to make his rounds, so they weren't seen. They headed back to the shopowners house without being followed and everyone was relieved that they came back safe. The shop owner took the camera off of the car to see what was recorded. It didn't take long for the shop owner to get startled. The Old Man then took the camera to see what shocked the shop owner. "Oh dear!! This looks like spare parts for the machine." said the Old Man.
"It sure does." said Dog, looking closely at the video picture. "And over in the corner in the next room was the machine itself. I wish the picture of that was a bit lighter, it was so dark in that room even the flashlight wasn't enough." He sighed heavily.

"Now, now, you did a great job Dog," said the shopowner. "I think this is enough evidence for the police to investigate that hidden room."
"Since it's late enough, why don't we wait until tomorrow and think about it before doing anything?" asked Mouse.
"Yes, we can all think and plan a lot better after a good night's sleep." agreed the Old Professor. "How about a snack before we go to bed?"

"Sounds good, let's see what's in the fridge." said the shopowner as he led the way.
While everyone went to the kitchen to figure out to eat, Mouse got drinks ready for everyone. When everyone had what they wanted to snack on, they left the kitchen. Mouse asked while holding his deck of cards out, "Does anyone know some card games?" The Old Man answered, "There is one card game I haven't played in years. I can show everyone how to play it." Everyone gathered at the table to play the game until everyone was getting tired and went to bed. Early the next morning they were awakened to the sound of sirens in the distance.............Mouse hurried downstairs and got the tv on, flipping channels to get the local news. The shopowner came down the stairs, all excited.............breathlessly he told everyone what he'd heard on his radio.

"............they caught the Dean this morning early trying to get into that room in the basement, the same one Dog was filming in last night. The police have sealed off the campus, classes are cancelled for the day, and they're bringing in equipment to get into that room. I think we did all that with the camera for nothing. They're going to find everything for themselves."

"Won't they see my footprints in the dust?" asked Dog. "Won't they know those are recent, and wonder about it?" Dog looked a bit nervous.
"We hope those won't get noticed. But then, they may have been busy getting the Dean to even notice if there were any footprints or even paw prints." said the shop owner. "The video that Dog got may not be in vain. We haven't even seen what Dog got." said Mouse.

"Here, let me put it in the vcr............" said the Shopowner. Everyone crowded around to watch the tape, and were surprised at the video quality.

"Dog, you did a great job! The lighting was fine, we can see everything clearly. Perhaps we better send this tape to the police anonymously, in case anyone does notice your footprints in the dust. Then they will investigate that room more thoroughly and find the machine." said the Old Man.

"If we're going to do that we'll have to do it under cover of darkness tonight, and only one of us should go. Less chance of getting caught that way." said Mouse.

"What do we do until then, dusk is hours away." said the Old Professor. "The campus is sealed off, and the police are everywhere."

"I really need to check in on the store. I'm fine with everyone looking around the store as long as we pretend that I don't know you guys and vice versa. After that, you guys are on your own." said the shop owner. "It will do us good to be away from here anyway. I do have some things around the house I need lots of help with and this is a good time to do it." said the Old Man. Everyone agreed to this. Everything went without a hitch: nobody suspected a thing. The tape was delivered to the police, and they soon announced on tv that the machine was found. Scientists from all over were coming to examine it more closely. They also announced that the Dean was being prosecuted for murder, conspiracy to murder, fleeing justice, witness intimidation, and general mayhem.

"Looks like the Dean will be going to prison for the rest of his life." said the Old Professor. The Shopowner, Mouse, and Dog all shook their heads in agreement.

"Good thing you got that job at the university near me," said the Old Man to his friend. "You won't have to worry about the Dean having friends in high places coming after you or anyone else. And everyone is welcome to stay at my place until things settle down a bit. I could use all the help I can get around the house for a little while, and I've found I enjoy the company. I've been alone for too long. Will any of you stay at my place?" he asked to nobody in general. Dog immediately started to pant with joy and Mouse indicated he would go and help, but not live there.

"It wouldn't hurt me to help you out and I do need to get a place closer to my new job. I'll stay with you until then." said the Old Professor.

The Old Man looked at Dog and asked, "Where do you live at anyway?" "I've been a stray for a long time." "Do you want to live with me then?"


"Looks like Dog has found a new home, and close to his new friends too." said Mouse with a big smile. The Old Man looked happy, he wouldn't be alone anymore either, and he was sure Dog would make sure he didn't just sit around but get out and enjoy life. Everyone started packing up, cleaning up, and wishing their new friend the Shopowner goodbye. He made sure to get their phone numbers and addresses, in case he needed to get in touch with them.

"After all, the police [i]might[i] still need a bit of help prosecuting the Dean. And I will want to invite you over now and then for cookouts or just to hang out." said the shopowner. "It sure will be quiet around here after all of you leave."

Mouse said, "We'd be happy to come visit. It's not that far from where we all live. I'll be staying with the Old Man until I can find my own place and a job, you already have his number."

The shopowner asked Mouse, "How would you like a job at my shop? I could use more help, and you could stay here until you can afford a place of your own." Mouse accepted on the condition the job didn't start for another two weeks. He wanted to help the Old Man and the Old Professor, and visit with Sis, Marilyn, and the Little Girl and tell them all about what's happened with the Dean.

"I'm sure we'll be seeing each other again very soon.............." just then the phone rang. It was the police..............

"My shop's been broken into!" cried the shopowner.

"It would be good if only the shop owner goes over. In the meantime, the rest of can go to the Old Man's place, and wait for a phone call." said Mouse. Everyone agreed to this and left. Some time later, the shop owner was relieved when the police finally left his store. The only thing that was stolen books that was used in translating Mouse's letter. The shop owner called the Old Man and informed him of what happened. The Old Man had brought everyone else over to help with the cleanup and placing an order to replace the glass that was broken.
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fiffur on Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:46 am

"I'm sure glad we got that translation done before the breakin, I wonder if it was somebody working for the Dean that did this." mused Mouse as he swept up some glass.

"Possibly, the police are processing the fingerprints they found on a couple of the other books. I hope they find whoever did this." said the Old Man.

The shopowner knodded as he was dialing the phone, calling his insurance company and the glass company for a delivery date on his new windows.

The Old Professor said, "We have to wait to see what the police comes up with on the fingerprints. It can be anyone that did this." At this point, the shop owner came back told them that the replacement glass would be delivered by the end of the week.

The Old Man said, "I have some plywood that I can bring over to use until then, if that is okay." The shop owner nodded. Mouse and the Old Man went to get the plywood. When they came back, they were able to put the plywood in place. Everyone was tired and went back to the Old Man's place for the night. Everyone was so tired they didn't even bother to watch the news, but went straight to bed. The next morning they were up a bit late, having slept through not one but several alarm clocks.

"Wow, I didn't think I was that tired." said the Old Man.
"I think it's the result of the past few days, we're all tired out." said Mouse, Dog knodding in agreement as he got a drink.

"I don't know about the rest of you but I'm famished, let's have brunch." said the Shopowner, "Then we can get the rest of the cleaning done at the shop if the police are done with the crime scene."

"That fingerprinting powder has got to be the worse stuff I've ever cleaned off of anything in my life," said the Old Professor, "did the police tell you what to use to remove it without damaging your inventory?"
"No, I didn't think of asking. I was still in shock of what had happened. Let's get going on that food." replied the shop owner. Everyone went to the kitchen to fix brunch. After everyone ate and cleaned up, Mouse decided to turn on the t.v. to see if there was anything new going on. There was an report that had linked the Dean with the break in at the shop owner's place. Since the Dean was still in custody, he still managed to oversee it. Someone was identified from the fingerprints taken at the scene and more details was coming in.
Sounds like the Dean has more friends than we thought if he could have a breakin done at your shop while still in police custody." said the Old Professor. "You'll have to be careful in case he has more friends who might decide to come after you next."

"Maybe we should tell the police everything we know, and they can help protect you." offered Dog. "Get all this secrecy out in the open. Keeping all these secrets hush-hush is keeping me up at night."

think we should be careful in what we say and when if we do let the police know more." said Mouse.

The shop owner said, "I think we should wait and see what the police comes back with before deciding to give the police more information or not. I'm not against providing more information, I'm more concerned with finding out more and thinking things through before making more decisions."

"We have to be careful here, if we wait too long we could be charged with obstructing justice by withholding vital information." said the Old Man.

"Let's see if there's anything more in the news," said Mouse changing the tv channel.

"And I'll check out the newspaper and see if there's anything more in there about the Dean." said the Old Professor.

The shopowner looked a bit upset..............this situation was fast getting complicated and potentially dangerous. He'd only met these new friends of his less than a week ago.

Mouse and the Old Professor didn't find anything new on the Dean. "From what we do know, what is there that we haven't told the police that may help them?" asked Mouse. This got everyone thinking. The shop owner went to get paper and pen to write down so he could write anything down that came up.

"Hmmmmmm, not much on the list." mused the Shopowner. "Is any of this information really important enough to take to the police?" he asked.

"Perhaps not, maybe we should just wait and see what happens." said the Old Professor. Mouse and the Old Man nodded in agreement.

"When do the new windows go in your shop?" asked Mouse. "Will you need any help with that?"

"The windows are coming tomorrow. I could use the help with moving things away from that area to make it easier to install the new windows in." answered the shop owner.

"Is it okay that we move things now?" asked Mouse.

"I'm fine with that since it would be one less thing to do tomorrow." replied the shop owner. They went over to the shop to move things over and came back to raid the kitchen.

"Boy, we sure got a lot done in a short amount of time!" exclaimed Dog, panting happily. "I bet even Creature couldn't have done better if he'd been here."

"I think we all should go back to our usual lives and routines after the windows are installed and everything is put back, and just keep our eyes and ears open about the Dean." said the Shopowner. "I think we've had our lives disrupted enough for now, don't you?" he asked no one in particular.

"I do need to get things in order at my new teaching job......." said the Old Professor.

"And I need to start learning my new job at the store," said Mouse "and start looking for an apartment nearby."

"I can help you with that Mouse." said the Shopowner.

Everyone was tired, so after a hearty snack they watched a short movie on dvd, then headed off to bed.

After everyone woke up the next morning, they went to make breakfast. Shortly after eating and cleaning up, Mouse turned on the t.v., only to find out that the person who broke into the shop owner's store had been arrested. The reports hadn't indicated if the person was charged or not or even confessed to doing it.

"I suppose the police will eventually want to talk to me," said the shopowner with a sigh, "about possible motives why someone would want to steal translation books on ancient languages."

"At least now you have someone to watch the shop for you and help the customers while you're gone," said Mouse with a grin. "And I can always back up whatever part of our experiences they care to question."

The Old Man and the Old Professor gathered their things, and started loading them into the van.

"I'll be right back after I see how my Sis is doing, and get my things together to move here. I have so much to tell her. Should only be about two days." said Mouse. The shopowner told him he could have all the room he needed in the basement, garage, and attic that he needed to store the majority of his things until he could afford an apartment of his own. The Old Man volunteered the use of his van for moving everything. He also invited the shopowner to his home for a cookout the following weekend.

"We all could do with a bit of relaxation away from all the chaos here. It will be good for you to get away if only for a day." the Old Man chuckled. Everyone parted ways. The shop owner went to the shop to check on it. Mouse stayed with Sis for a few days and the Old Man helped with the Old Professor as he got situated with his new job. Dog did guard duty at his new master's house.

Dog also was quite a joy for the Old Man, helping him live life to the fullest. The Old Professor enjoyed getting together quite often with his old friend and Dog on the weekends. One Saturday afternoon their phone was Mouse.

"The police would like to talk to all of us, to fill in a few gaps in what they know. Can you and everyone else come into town here Monday morning? They said it would only take a couple of hours, and we'd like to invite you all to a barbecue after the shop closes."

"I'll have to check with the Old Man, Creature, the Little Girl, and Marilyn. I'm sure you'll want to ask your sister yourself." said Dog.
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fiffur on Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:46 am

"I will let my sister know. I hope to meet everyone on Monday." said Mouse. Dog went to visit everyone else to tell them about what Mouse said. They were a little saddened, but all decided it needed to be done. When Monday morning came around, everyone came early to the police station.

One by one they were taken into a little room and questioned by an FBI agent, then they were all brought together in a larger room to talk with the FBI man in charge of the case.

"I'm so glad all of you came in today. You've been very helpful and now we know where that tape came from. That tape really helped us to break this case and to close a few open cold cases overseas. You are to be commended for your part in bring this man to justice." the FBI man said.

Everyone was so relieved, it seemed their part in all this was finally over.

"The trial will start next week, we'd like to take statements from all of you to use in the trial, your names will be kept confidential. I don't see why any of you would have to come in to testify." he continued.

There was more sighs of relief. "I'm glad that we helped a lot with the case. Would we be contacted if we were needed to testify?" asked Mouse. "Generally that is the case." said the agent and he released them since they were done being questioned.

After leaving the police station, they headed for the nearest grocery store, and got a few things that were still needed for their planned cookout at the shopowners home, plus a lot more. Loaded with bags and bags of groceries (everyone agreed they should restock the shopowner's pantry for all the food they ate while staying with him), they put them into the van and headed to his home. The shopowner had just arrived at the house as they were pulling up in the van.

"What have you got there?" he asked as he saw all the bags being pulled out of the van.

"We just wanted to repay your kindness by restocking your pantry. We practically ate you out of house and home last month while staying here." the Old Man replied.

"Is there anything I can do to help get things started? Maybe I can put some of these groceries away for you." asked Sis.

The Little Girl said "I can set the table." Mouse went off to go start the charcoal for the grill. The shop owner was speechless and didn't know what to do. Everyone else put away what groceries that wasn't needed or set the table, while Mouse started the grill. The shop owner finally joined Mouse at the grill. Little bit later, everyone else came out with the food that will be put on the grill. The shop owner started to thank everyone for restocking his kitchen.

"I really didn't expect you all to do this.........." he stammered, "I was happy to help out. It's been a long time since I've made such nice good friends like all of you have turned out to be. Running my shop alone like I've been doing since my dad died leaves very little time for a social life." The shopowner seemed to be a bit overwhelmed by their gesture. "I'm very glad you don't live very far away, I'd like to get together with all of you quite often I think."

The others looked at him with varying looks of happiness, surprise, sympathy (at his obvious loneliness).........Marilyn was so moved by his words she reached out and hugged him as hard as she could. The shopowner nearly had tears in his eyes at this gesture. Clearing his throat, he said "Let's get this cookout started!

He started putting steaks and chicken on the grill, hiding his face for a moment so they wouldn't see his misty eyes. Sis came up with an armful of seasonings and barbecue sauce, the Old Man pulled up a small table for her to set them on next to the grill. The Old Professor brought out the potato salad, chips, and other assorted side dishes and put them on the picnic table while Dog brought out a cooler full of assorted drinks in cans. Mouse pulled out the lawn chairs and set them up. The Little Girl turned on the radio for some music and said "This is really turning into a party!"

There were jokes and stories being told through out the night. Everyone ate very well and when it got late, everyone went their own separate ways. As the trial of the Dean was being covered on the news, no one was called in to testify, since there was enough evidence that was brought forth and the witness statements were used in the trial.

The Old Professor settled in fairly quickly in his new job, and spent a lot of his off hours with his old friend the Old Man and his new friends. They all got together quite often with the Shopowner, and the Shopowner started coming to visit them all in town too. Creature got the job at the restaurant permanently thanks to his previous temp job dishwashing, and got a little place to live near Sis. They walked to work together, and sometimes would see Dog and the Old Man around town shopping. Marilyn and the Little Girl visited a lot too.

One day, there was a story on the tv about the Dean's trial, his sentencing was scheduled for the following week.

"I wonder how long they'll put him away for?" mused Creature to Sis.

"I don't know. It will be interesting to find out. I should call my brother to see if he knows about this." said Sis. After she called Mouse, she went back to the t.v. with Creature. "My brother happened to stumble upon it and told the shop owner. He seemed a little nervous." said Sis.

"I might be a little worried too, if I were him." said Creature.

"Considering the source of all that information that helped to nail him might come out after the sentencing." said Creature.

The phone rang, it was Mouse. Sis talked with him a long time, then seemed a bit worried after she hung up. Creature looked at her a moment, concerned. Sis let out with a sigh, then said, "Mouse is worried about the shopowner. Seems his shop was broken into again last night, and they have no idea who was behind it though they do have their suspicions. He's starting to think of closing his shop and moving."

Creature said, "That is unfortunate that he had another break in. Is the building down the street from the restaurant vacant? I don't know if he will be willing to consider moving. I know he might be dealing with a different clientele if he moves there. Would it be worth mentioning it to him?"

Sis pondered about this for a little while and finally said, "I'm planning on calling my brother tomorrow to see how things are doing. I can bring it up then and see what he thinks."

"He might find a bigger customer base here, and the town's a bit quieter than where he is now." said Creature. "And Mouse can tell him he'd be a lot closer to his new friends, we could see each other several times a week if he likes. He'd be right down the street within walking distance. That might appeal to the shopowner."

Sis agreed with Creature's reasoning, there hadn't been a bookstore in several years in town so there were plenty of potential customers. And she'd prefer Mouse to be closer too. Since it was a close knit community there was little chance he'd be broken into again. When the next morning came, Sis called her brother to see how things were doing and told him about Creature's suggestion. Mouse indicated he would bring it to the shop owner's attention when he gets an opportunity. Later in the day, Mouse called Sis and told him that the shop owner really didn't want to move, but still sounded upset. Then Sis got an idea that all of them could meet at the restaurant for a get together in the next few days. Immediately Mouse realized where Sis was going with this and told her that he has errands to do in that area anyway. He would ask the shop owner for help, but not tell him right away about meeting at the restaurant.

After a couple of days Mouse worked up the courage to ask the shopowner to accompany him on one of his errands, on the pretext that he could drop in on the Old Man and Dog to visit for a while along the way. After he was done with the errand he picked up the shopowner and suggested stopping at the restaurant for some lunch before heading back to the shop, he wanted to say Hi to his sister.

They walked in the restaurant door and didn't see Sis right away, but they could hear Creature humming loudly in the kitchen as they sat down at a table. The shop owner realized immediately how laid back people were in the restaurant.

"Are people in this area usually this laid back and friendly?" asked the shop owner.

"For the most part, yes." replied Mouse. "Since that is the case, then why is there an vacant store down the street? The owner thought people in the area had money floating around, but couldn't figure out why no one was buying. Without warning, he packed up and left. No one has been able to figure out what would do well in that space. Funny thing is, people complain about going out of town to the nearest bookstore and no one has bothered to try to put a bookstore in there." said Mouse. At this point, Sis showed up.

"Hi! I'm so glad to see you again! I didn't know you were in town." she said as she set two glasses of ice water down in front of them and handed them both menus.

"I had some errands to do nearby and the shopowner visited with the Old Man and Dog. We stopped for lunch, what's today's special?" Mouse answered. He looked at the Shopowner and said, "The food is great here, and the service is wonderful."

The Shopowner put in his order, and so did Mouse. Then the Shopowner asked Sis if she knew who owned the empty space down the block. This made Mouse smile a bit and Sis too. She told him and jotted down the phone number for him on a napkin. Creature noticed they were there and waved to them through the kitchen door. He had his arms full of boxes, heading for the grill area.

"Mouse, would you mind staying here for a little while? There's something I want to check out here before we head home." the Shopowner said. Mouse raised one eyebrow a little, Sis noticed but the Shopowner didn't.

"No problem, I'd like to catch up a bit with Sis and Creature." Mouse said. "And who knows who else might walk in I know while I'm here?"

The shopowner left, and went down the block. Mouse and Sis could see him peering into the windows of the empty store, checking the space out, then headed across the street to a payphone.

"Looks like maybe he might move his shop here after all. It sure looks like he's very interested judging on what we just saw out there." Sis said.

After some time, the shop owner came back. "The person I talked to was very eager to unload it and was willing to met me in person to show me the inside of it. This may be a better area anyway and I will consider moving my store here if I think the price isn't too bad." said the shop owner. Then the food came and since Creature was break, he ate with Mouse and the shop owner.

"Do you know when you are going to meet this person about the store?" Mouse finally asked.

"First thing in the morning," the shopowner said between bites of his meal. Mouse and Creature both exchanged glances and subtle smiles, their plan was working. Creature nodded his head slightly in Sis's direction. She started to walk over to their table.

"That's great, the shop is closed tomorrow anyway so it won't interfer with sales. Do we have to drive all the way back only to drive here again in the morning? I'm sure we could find a place to spend the night." Mouse said.

Sis walked up just then and couldn't help but hear Mouse's last sentence. "You could spend the night at my place if you don't mind sleeping on the couch and the rollaway bed. I only live a few blocks from here and I'd really like to see more of my brother while he's here."

"Are you sure you don't mind? asked the Shopowner.

"Not at all, I'd enjoy the company." she said. They all made plans to return to the restaurant when Sis got off work, and Mouse and the Shopowner left after they were finished with their lunch. They spent the rest of the afternoon walking around town, taking in the sights, sitting in the park for a rest, and the Shopowner seemed to be more and more impressed with the town and it's people. Time seemed to fly, and it was now time to meet up with Sis. They hurried back toward the restaurant, arriving just as Sis was punching out for the day on her timecard.

"Let's go, my apartment is that way. I have a wonderful dinner planned for us. " she indicated which direction with a finger pointing north. They walked together in silence. Only a few minutes later they arrived at her apartment building. It had many overflowing flowerboxes, several birdhouses, and trees on the surrounding property. Several of her neighbors waved to Sis from their windows. One neighbor from down the hall was coming outside and walked up to them.

Who are your guests?" asked the neighbor. Sis introduced them and the neighbor was glad to meet them, but was in a little hurry to meet her female friends for bowling. The shop owner was a bit surprised how friendly most of the neighbors are. They finally made it in Sis's apartment. Mouse asked what he could help out with. Sis then realized that the dishes were still dirty and Mouse went over to clean. Sis didn't know what to do other than get out of her work clothes. The shop owner helped Mouse out. Then Sis started on dinner, only to insist they stay out of the way.

So Mouse and the Shopowner stayed in the livingroom, sitting on the couch. The Shopowner told Mouse he'd been thinking more and more how much he liked the area and the people in town.

"From what I saw from the window of that shop, it looked pretty spacious. Lots of room for shelving, lots of natural might make a great place for a bookshop. There even seemed to be room for some comfy chairs so people could sit and read a little before making up their minds which book to buy. I've always wanted room to do that." said the Shopowner.

"We'll know more tomorrow when we can actually go inside and see it," said Mouse, "and see how much room there is in back for extra inventory."

Just then Sis announced dinner was ready. Mouse and the Shopowner got up and went into the small dining room. Mouse helped his sister carry a few dishes to the table. It smelled and looked wonderful.

"I'd forgotten just how great a cook you are Sis," said Mouse between bites, "this is just great."

"Do you know if there are any apartments or houses for rent here?" asked the Shopowner. "I was just wondering......."

"There have been some deaths and some moved out into nursing homes. You could always check with the apartment manager for more information." said Sis.

"Why don't we see how tomorrow morning goes first and go from there. I hate to plan too far ahead and then something doesn't go as planned." said Mouse. The shop owner mumbled in agreement. After dinner, Mouse and the shop owner helped Sis clean up. Then Sis wanted to watch a movie and suddenly, there was a knock at the door. It was Creature and he was in a mood to watch a movie with them. After the movie, Creature left and everyone else was tired. Mouse offered to take the shop owner home to get a change of clothes so that he could spend the night with Sis. The shop owner took up on the offer.

On the drive back from the shopowners home they were talking about the possibility of moving the shop. The shopowner was more and more in favor of moving since the break-ins (the police had no leads on who did the second one), and because he liked the town Sis, Creature, the Old Man, and all the others lived in.

"The town has such a friendly, nice atmosphere, the people are so nice and helpful." said the shopowner. "Did you grow up there Mouse?"

"No, I grew up in another smaller town about 30 miles from there. Our family moved when I was still in school, just before I graduated." Mouse said. "I moved away for a job and haven't been back there in so long. I didn't realize how much I missed it until recently." he mused.
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Shtinky's Shweetheart

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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fiffur on Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:47 am

They arrived at Sis's place, met a few more of her neighbors in the hallway, said their goodnites, and settled in for the night. Early the next morning, to the sound of birds singing merrily in the trees outside, the alarm clock went off. The shop owner quickly got up to get ready. Sis quickly made breakfast for the shop owner while Mouse quickly got dressed. The shop owner quickly ate and he left with Mouse. Sis got ready and left for work. Around lunch time, Mouse and the shop owner came to the restaurant. The shop owner couldn't contain his excitement. While the shop owner went to sit down for lunch, Mouse saw Sis taking a break and went to her.

"How did the appointment go this morning?" asked Sis

"It went well. The shop owner actually liked the space. When the subject of price came up, he was willing to buy on the spot. For a good part of the morning was spent dealing with paper work to get the store and he got it. I never seen him this excited for anything before. The place does need a lot of work before he can open up here. While it's be fixed up, he told me he will still keep his current location open until it's time to move. Do you mind if you can pretend for the moment that I didn't tell this? He wants to tell everyone himself." said Mouse. Sis didn't mind pretending not knowing for the moment and went to see the shop owner. Then Creature realized that Mouse and the shop owner was there and went over. The shop owner told them all the details of that morning.

Creature and Sis were quite happy that the shopowner was moving his shop to town. They were all grinning from ear to ear at the news. The Old Man, the Old Professor, and Dog came in just then and spotting them from the door came over to join them. The shopowner couldn't contain his excitement, he told them about moving his shop. Everyone quickly made plans to go to the Old Professor's new home to celebrate.

"I could help with the renovation work," Creature said, "I'm very strong and I work hard. I can put in several hours a day after my shift here is over." The shopowner gladly accepted Creature's offer. Mouse and Sis would also help when they could, since Mouse would be taking care of the old store whenever the shopowner was at the new store. Sis volunteered to help the shopowner find whatever he needed for the new store, shelving, chairs, lamps, etc. The Old Man told them about a house that had a For Sale sign posted on it's lawn just that morning. It was down the street from his house.

The shop owner was interested but also unsure. The shop owner expressed his interest in the house and his concerns of not being able to afford a new house at the time. He indicated he may be able to buy a house after selling his other shop and current home. The Old Man offered to show the shop owner the house that was for sale the next day and the shop owner took up on the offer. Creature asked, "Can we take a quick look at the new store before we go to the Old Professor's home? It may give us ideas of what needs to be done and what is needed to get the job done." The shop owner agreed to this. After Sis and Creature were done with their shifts, everyone met the shop owner to get a look at the new store.

"Wow, it sure is a lot bigger than your current shop!" exclaimed Mouse. "We'll have plenty of room for books, tables and chairs for browsing, even a section for other stuff like bookmarks, gift boxes, and tags."

Sis looked around, remembering the store that was there last. The place looked so bare, and so much bigger, than it had when it was occupied. She was a little disappointed to see the last resident had left a bit of a mess in the storage areas in back.

That didn't seem to bother Creature at all seeing that mess in the storage rooms. There were several large garbage bins in back of the building, plenty of room for the debris to go. Creature looked around the entire place and was making notes, muttering to himself..................."needs paint, new carpet maybe over there, fix the plaster here.............." The Shopowner was also making a few suggestions, having Creature write it down in his lil spiral notebook. Dog was sniffing everywhere, every single corner, and went up the stairs.

The Old Professor looked around. "Doesn't look too bad, won't take much work to fix it up and get it ready for you to move in. I have a friend who works construction, I'm sure he could get you everything you need pretty cheaply." He wrote down the name and phone number for the shopowner in Creature's notebook. The Old Man agreed, they could all help, nothing was so bad that a professional would be needed to make repairs.

"Let's go to my place, have some dinner, and decide what needs to be done and the materials needed to do it." suggested the Old Man. "Where's Dog got himself off to?"

Just then they heard a huge thud upstairs. They quickly went upstairs to see what Dog was doing, only to him pushing things away from the far wall. The thud they heard was result of a huge box that fell from the top of a big piece of furniture. "Dog, why are you sniffing along the wall?" asked Creature.

"I noticed what smells like something is rotting and I want to find the source of it." replied Dog. Everyone was opening boxes to looking them and opening whatever furniture that was up there. Also, almost everything was pulled away from the walls. Mouse was in a corner checking boxes when he noticed a raunchy smell coming from overhead. He looked up to see a vent of some kind. Mouse indicated to everyone where the smell was coming from.

The Old Professor said, "It be worth it to have all the ducts checked out while the place is getting cleaned up. I wonder if some animal tried to get in from the outside and got trapped."

"While I'm at, I may as well get the electrical and plumbing inspected as well. This will be a good time to update such things anyway." said the shop owner.

"I do know some people that may help with the inspections of the plumbing, electrical and the ducts. I may as well contact who I know tomorrow and go from there." said the Old Man. They agreed they should leave to go to the Old Man's place.

The Old Man made his calls, arranging for the people to come the next day to inspect and make plans for all the updating the building needed done. They all gathered in his backyard, and after setting up for a cookout they were sitting in lawn chairs under the big shade tree, enjoying the beautiful weather. Several people were walking by (the Old Man's house is on a corner lot), smiling and waving in greeting as they passed by. The Old Man suggested he take the Shopowner past the house for sale up the street while they were waiting for the charcoal to get hot enough to cook. It only took a couple minutes for them to walk there, and they walked around the property looking over the outside of the house and the grounds that came with it.

"Plenty of space for me and Mouse could convert the garage into an apartment for himself easily." said the shopowner. "I wonder how much they want for the place, and whether they'd hold onto it for a while until I get things settled with the new shop and the bank?"
Before the Old Man could offer an opinion, they heard Mouse calling to them from the Old Man's house. He was waving, the charcoal must be ready. They headed back to the Old Man's house, talking about the neighborhood and it's residents. There was a nice park on the block, adjoining a patch of woods that ran for miles. A bus stop was on the next corner. The entire neighborhood was neat, tidy, and the landscaping showed the shopowner that people here took care and pride in their homes. A very nice area to live in and he would be closer to his friends and Mouse would be closer to Sis. When they finally came back, Mouse served the Old Man and the shop owner their meal.

Sis asked, "When do you think you could put your old store on the market?"

"Hopefully when I am almost ready to open the new one or at least when I'm moved out of it." replied the shop owner. The rest of the evening, everyone talked about various things and enjoying being around each other. Finally, it was time for everyone to part ways. The next morning, the shop owner came a little early so that he could be there when people start showing up to inspect the place. Even Creature came over to be with the shop owner and explained it was his day off. Creature asked about Mouse.

"He offered to stay behind to run the store for the day." replied the shop owner. When people start to arrive to do the inspections, Creature decided to take notes. Finally, it came to inspection the ducts upstairs. Suddenly, there was a loud scream, followed by a loud thud. Creature and the shop owner went upstairs only to find that one of the people had opened up an air duct in the attic and out tumbled a very big, very rotted, very dead raccoon. The worker had been so surprised when the corpse had tumbled out that she'd screamed, fallen off the ladder, and landed on several empty boxes. Apparently the attic space had been used for box storage for seasonal giftwrapping. Now the stench the Shopowner and Creature had smelled the day before was overwhelming and filled the entire shop. They quickly opened every door and window in the place, hoping to air it out some. Creature got an uncrushed empty box and removed the dead raccoon from the building. He was gone for a while, and the Shopowner asked him where he'd went.

"I buried that poor raccoon in the woods, where it belonged. I wonder how it got in that duct in the first place? What was it doing here instead of in the woods?" Creature answered.

Just then another worker walked up and told them he'd found what appeared to be an knawed opening just under the eaves. That must be where the raccoon had come in and started to build a nest out of the attic insulation. There was a tree just outside that hole. The worker also handed the Shopowner a list of what was needed to repair the roof damage, fix up the attic, and repair the heating/cooling system. The Shopowner was relieved it wasn't going to cost as much as he'd feared to get it repaired.

Within the next hour they got the rest of the repair/work estimates from the rest of the workers. The Shopowner and Creature went over them sitting in a booth at the restaurant, where Sis had served them some lunch. When she went on break she asked how the inspection had went.

The shop owner told Sis about what needed to be repaired and the amount. He also told about the dead raccoon that was found. Sis asked, "Would it be worth while to trim the tree some?"

"I didn't get to look at the tree, so I don't know. I was more concerned about finding out what I would have to replace or to repair and the costs to do it." replied the shop owner.

Then the Old Man showed up and the shop owner filled him in on what happened. Creature asked if it would be better to replace the entire roof instead of repair only one section of it. This got the shop owner and the Old Man to think. Finally the Old Man said, "In the long run, it will be better to replace the entire roof. That will be the best time to look at the rest of the roof and address any potential issues." The Old Man continued, "My son has a small construction business a few towns over. Perhaps he can cut you a deal on the re-roofing job."

The Shopowner agreed, it was worth a try to ask anyway. And take a few bids from a local contractor in town too. He hoped it wouldn't cost too much, or he wouldn't be able to afford the nice house down the street from the Old Man.

Creature spoke up "We could do some of the work ourselves if you don't mind heights and ladders. That could save you some money." Dog and Sis were enthusiastic about that idea. Mouse called just then and the Shopowner filled him in on the day's happenings. He was also enthusiastic about the idea of helping with the repairs to save on the costs. It would give him a chance to put to use some of the skills he'd learned since leaving home. Sis suggested a small business loan to cover the costs of the repairs. His current business was successful and the town needed a bookshop. Sis said she'd speak to her boss about it, since he was on the board of the local Chamber of Commerce. If they recommended the Shopowner, the bank loan would be no problem.
The shop owner was fine with Sis talking to her boss about what he could do. Then he got up and mentioned going to the store to start throwing things and invited everyone to help if they wanted to. The Old Man and Creature followed the shop owner. Sis called Mouse before she went back to her shift. Since Mouse opens and closes the old store almost everyday, but he may be able to get a pickup truck that could be used haul things to and from the new store. Sis asked him to check on that and went back to work. While Sis was clocking out for the day, she went to her boss and told him briefly about the shop owner. He was willing to help out a small business and indicated that he will do what he can and let her know by the end of the week. Then Sis went over to the shop and was amazed with what got done. They got the bigger stuff out and was sweeping the smaller stuff out. The shop owner was mumbling about what repairs should be made first.

Creature was checking his list, and noting which items were to be done first. It wasn't long before every bit of debris was gone, the bins out behind the building were brimming full, and everyone was tired but happy to have that particular job done. The Shopowner called to make sure the bins would be emptied, and suggested they stop work for the night. He also called a local paint store and ordered enough paint to do the entire store top to bottom (luckily it was on sale!). Then Mouse called and told him he could come the following evening after he closed the shop for the day and help with the repairs to the new store. The Shopowner filled him in on the days happenings, so Mouse told him he'd come all prepared to paint. Since the store was closed the following day he could spend the night at his Sis's and resume painting the next morning. The Old Man and Dog walked in then, and commented on how nice it would be to have a bookstore in town. The Old Professor was pulling up to the curb as they were leaving the new store. He'd wanted to invite them all to come to his new home, and they happily agreed AFTER they had a chance to clean up. Chuckling, he said he'd wait for them and drive.

After they cleaned up, they went to the Old Professor's home. He asked about the progress and the shop owner filled him in. Creature mentioned the list of repairs that needed to be done. The Old Professor told them about an outreach group at the college that does similar work in the community at no charge. The shop owner was interested to learn more and got the contact information. Sis noticed there was something set up in the backyard and asked about it. "I was about to start the grill up when you guys came over." answered the Old Professor. Everyone went outside and help to get things going.
"You have a very nice place here," commented Mouse as he helped carry food out to the grill, "how did you happen to find it?"

"My old friend helped me." said the Old Professor, indicating his friend the Old Man. "He knew the guy who inherited it wanted to sell but hadn't advertised it yet. So I got first chance at it. And it's only a short bus ride away from the school where I'm teaching. I really like the town, the people, and my students. Wonderful people. And to think I moved here because of the Dean............"

"Well, I don't think we'll be hearing much about the Dean or his cronies anymore. The court has ordered them into prison for life for what they've done." said Creature. "I heard it on the radio as I was clearing out the debris from the storeroom."

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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fiffur on Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:47 am

Everyone seemed relieved to hear this. They all settled in to have a nice grilled dinner, visiting with the Old Professor, catching up on what he'd done since they last saw him.

"And I'm buying the empty store downtown and moving my bookshop here." the Shopowner told him.

"That's wonderful news! When will you be done moving?' he asked.

Not any time soon. I may start to move when the minor things are being taken care of." answered the shop owner.

"I don't know how I can help out, but I could fix a meal or two for anyone working on getting the store fixed up." said the Old Professor. This sounded good to everyone. After everyone was done and cleaned up, the Old Professor brought out dessert. Everyone was surprised to see what it was.

"Oh My.............I haven't had one of those in a long time!" exclaimed the Shopowner.

"Wonderful, how did you know it was my favorite?" Mouse asked with a huge smile.

"Mmmmmmm, that sure looks good." said Dog licking his lips in anticipation.
Sis just looked and smiled, and the Old Man just winked at the Old Professor. His suggestion for dessert was turning out to be a huge hit with their friends.

"I was just trying to think of what everyone would like and what you might not have had in a while....." the Old Professor started, ".....and I thought 'What if I made whoopie pies. I had some help getting all the needed ingredients together and I had fun making them. I did double the batch to make sure everyone who wanted one, will get one." said the Old Professor. Silence fell when everyone started to eat the whoopie pies. Since there were some extra, some went to get another one. The Old Professor was shocked to see how well the dessert went, since he didn't know how few he would have left. When everyone was done eating whoopie pies, no one wanted to get up. Finally, Mouse got up to help clean up and soon, everyone else followed suit. Sis noticed how late it was getting and told everyone. It was decided to leave to go home. They thanked the Old Professor on the way out.

"Please keep me informed as to how the shop repairs are progressing. I may want to be your first customer here!" the Old Professor told the Shopowner with a big smile.
Everyone left for their individual homes. The Shopowner went with Mouse back to the big city, to check on the shop before he went back to work on the new store. It would be several days before the contractors could come to fix the roof.

The next day, the shop owner made some calls at the college the Old Professor works at to see if there were any programs there that can offer some help. He was surprised to find out that there was a group of college students that need community service hours and have some previous construction experience. The shop owner gave the info that was needed and was told when someone would get back with him. Then he left for the new shop to see what he could do that day.
Then the phone rang, the Old Professor wanted to know if the Shopowner would mind the students coming that afternoon to help with the repairs.

"Well, I do need some work done to prepare the shop for painting and new carpeting. Stuff like scraping paint, removing the old torn wallpaper, taking up the old carpeting and padding. The bins out back are empty again so there's plenty of space to put it all." the Shopowner replied. "The roofing guys are coming tomorrow, so it would be best to either get this done today or next week when the roof is done. I don't want anyone hurt by falling shingles."

"That sounds fine to us, I'm sure we can get the wallpaper, peeling paint, and carpeting all taken care of today. We can be there by lunchtime." said the Old Professor cheerfully.

The shop owner had remembered paint was ordered for the store and called to see if it was ready to be picked up. After learning that it was ready, the shop owner left to get the paint and needed supplies. Then he went to the Old Man's place to see if he had any old sheets he could use while painting. The Old Man came back with two trash bags full of unwanted sheets. The shop owner briefly told him about the college students and invited him over if he wanted to help. The Old Man said, "I should be able to help tear out the old carpet, and I may bring a surprise for everyone." The shop owner thanked the Old Man and returned to the shop.
The students arrived with the Old Professor at lunch time, as predicted. They were all dressed ready to work, and wasted no time getting wallpaper stripped from the walls and scraping off peeling paint. The Old Man arrived with a batch of Whoopie Pies so everyone took a small rest break to eat them. Then the students helped the Old Man tear up the old carpeting and padding underneath while the Shopowner made a few phone calls and pitched in helping them himself afterwards. The floor was a bit beaten up in places but in very good shape otherwise.

"Perhaps I should leave some of this wooden floor uncarpeted, and just have it refinished instead. Hardwood flooring isn't very common these days. It would be a shame to hide it all under carpet." said the Shopowner, thinking out loud to himself.

The Old Professor couldn't help but overhear and he pointed out that it would be very hard to keep a hardwood floor free of mud in the spring and puddle free from melting snow in the winter. The Shopowner seemed a bit disappointed, but brightened when he thought of only carpeting the main walkways and entrance, leaving the rest of the floor bare to give the store some 'character' with tacked-down area rugs. That would take care of the mud and puddle problems.

Tired but satisfied with a job well done, the students all left for their homes while the Old Man, the Old Professor, and the Shopowner talked. The bins behind the store were all full again so an appointment was made to have them emptied again. The students planned on returning the next day to start priming and painting the walls. The Shopowner told everyone where he was planning on putting the new carpeting, and they agreed it would look nice that way. After a quick dinner at the restaurant, where they filled in Sis on their plans, they all went their separate ways for the night.
The next day, the shop owner came to the store to put the cloth down on the floor. Then he put the cans of paint, primer and supplies out in the areas that needed to be painted. The shop owner wondered if any of college students knew anything about refinishing wood floors. The college students came at lunch time and went straight to work. The Old Man came over some time later with cookie sandwiches for everyone. Everyone took a short break. The shop owner took the time to ask the college students what they know about refinishing the wood floor. One of the college students mentioned a science history professor that does woodworking as a hobby.
"I could ask him about it at breaktime tomorrow morning," offered the Old Professor. "maybe he can instruct these students on the proper way to refinish hardwood floors. It could count as furthering their education." he said with a grin.

The students worked all afternoon, assisted by the Shopowner, the Old Professor, and the Old Man. All the painting was done with a lot of laughter, some joke telling, and a little painting ON the students as well, all in fun since everyone was wearing old jumpsuits to protect their clothing. Later while everyone was washing up with the hose outside in the back alley, the Shopowner was gathering up all the brushes and paint trays, to take them outside and wash them out. As he exited the building, he got sprayed with the hose.
"Oops, sorry about that!" a student called out. "Didn't see you coming......"

"That's okay, I needed to cool off a bit anyway." the shopowner said with a chuckle. "But you can make it up to me by helping clean these brushes and trays."

The Old Man and the Old Professor came out with armloads of old towels so everyone could dry off. Creature came over after his shift was over to check on the progress. The shop owner filled Creature in on the day's progress. Creature asked about the roof.

"I forgot all about that. The roof will be replaced tomorrow. I need to tell the students so they won't come and I need to figure out when the next time they can come over." answered the shop owner. The Old Professor looked at the wood floor after the cloth was taken up so he would able to describe the condition of it to his colleague tomorrow. Creature reminded the shop owner about the other repairs that needed to be done. "It may be better that I get the major repairs done first before I start moving furniture in here. I will let the students know I will call when the next time I can use them. There won't be much for them to do until the wood floor can refinished and carpet to be put down." said the shop owner. He went to the students as they were finishing drying the brushes and themselves off and told them his plan for the shop. They were fine with it and understood his situation. Everyone left their separate ways.

"Let's have some dinner my friends," said the Shopowner as he locked the new shops' door. Creature agreed to join them at the restaurant. Sis was just getting off work so she joined them and got them a nice discount too. The Shopowner, the Old Man, and the Old Professor signed up for the frequent customer club.

"At the rate I keep coming in here to eat I'll earn my first free meal in less than two weeks!" joked the Shopowner. Just then his phone rang, it was Mouse.
Mouse told him about other stores that were broken into not long ago and he was closing up for the day. Mouse asked, "Would it be alright if I start packing up books here? It will let me take my mind off the crime that's going on."

That gave the shop owner an idea and he told Mouse, "You can pack up what you can. I will start asking around for boxes and start bringing them over. I'm at the restaurant for dinner, if you want to come over." They hung up. The shop owner told them what Mouse said and about his idea about letting the college students help with packing the books for moving. They agreed that Mouse should start packing and expressed concern over the safety of the college students in that area. The shop owner asked the Old Man, "Do you mind if you were at the other store helping to pack?"

"I do have some empty boxes and containers I can give to use. It may be a good idea if there was more people over there helping. I'll help pack and also to help supervise those students."

The Shopowner called Mouse back and found he was still at the store, packing books as rapidly as he could. All the recent close break-ins had him a bit edgy. The Shopowner told him the students would be there in the morning to help him with the packing, along with the Old Man and Dog. The Old Professor had to teach a class so couldn't come along. Mouse was relieved to hear he wouldn't be alone all day with the store closed packing. The Shopowner also told him he'd be home that night so he could check on the old store. He didn't tell Mouse he could hear a bit of fear in his voice when he talked about the other break-ins, so he didn't want Mouse to be alone overnight there. He could drive to town to check on the roofers progress a bit later in the day, so he could help pack too. Mouse seemed relieved to hear the Shopowner would be home for the night.

At this point, the food came and everyone ate in silence. They were too stuffed to have dessert. When everyone started to leave, the shop owner asked Sis if it was okay to get food to go for Mouse. Sis thought this would be a good idea and they agreed to meet in the back. The shop owner arrived at the old store only to find Mouse packing and didn't hear the shop owner come in. Mouse finally smelled food and realized that the shop owner had arrived. "This is the least I can do for you. You should take a break. Besides, with the help you will be getting tomorrow, you don't have to worry about doing this by yourself." said the shop owner. Mouse thanked the shop owner and sat down to eat his dinner. After some time had passed, there was some scratching at the back door. The shop owner went to check it out, only to discover it was Dog.

"Don't worry, I did ask permission and I thought it be good to have a security dog over here. My master is okay with me doing this." said Dog.

"DOG! I am so glad to see you!" exclaimed Mouse. "I've missed you my friend." Dog sat there with a huge grin on his face, and gave Mouse a doggy hug of excitement.

Dog then said, "I'll be here all night and all day tomorrow. I've seen how hard those students work and I think you'll be done with all the packing in no time with their help. You should see the new that smells good. Are you going to eat all of that?"

The Shopowner grinned, then pulled out a lil styrofoam container and handed it to Dog. "I thought you might be hungry after all that walking to get here, so I got you this." It was a nice juicy hamburger, and Dog wasted no time starting to eat it. "thanks so much........I really am hungry........mmmmm..........this is good..........**smack**" licking his lips between bites. He had Mouse and the Shopowner chuckling softly.

"I think you've done enough for tonight Mouse, we should all get some sleep. Tomorrow will be a busy day for all of us. I have a nice thick cushion for you to sleep on Dog, and you can come upstairs if you want anything."

"Thanks, it will be nice to rest a bit between patrols around the store." Dog stood there with his chest puffed out, trying to look the part of the ferocious guard dog.

Mouse started to doze off and the shop owner aided Mouse to an area where he could sleep. It didn't take Mouse long to be in a deep sleep. The shop owner and Dog talked quietly about the best way to organize the students. Right then, the shop owner's phone rang.

It was the Old Professor. "I did talk to the professor who does woodworking on the side. He is interested in doing the floor in the new store, but wants to look at the floor first. Also, he is a Boy Scout troop leader and there are some scouts that are learning about woodworking." said the Old Professor.

"I am fine with him looking at the floor and it would be a good project for his Boy Scout troop. I wonder if the scouts could use this towards a badge." said the shop owner.

"I will let him know tomorrow and I can ask about the badge idea." said the Old Professor. They hung up. The shop owner didn't see Dog right away and after a brief search, he found Dog sleeping next to Mouse.

With a sigh the Shopowner settled in to keep watch until either Mouse or Dog woke up. Somebody had to keep a lookout for potential burglars, and he'd feel terrible if he slept and Mouse or Dog got hurt in a scuffle with a burglar. About two hours into his vigil he heard a loud thump......................

"What was that?" cried Dog, rubbing sleep out of his eyes, suddenly alert and sniffling, and a little embarrassed he fell asleep.

"Huh?" Mouse muttered sleepily as he woke up. The Shopowner was already on the move toward the source of the thump with Dog right at his heels............and found that a box of books had tumbled from a pile of boxes onto the floor.
Just as the sun was coming up the next morning Mouse woke up, yawning and stretching. He remembered he had been talking to the Shopowner and Dog and then.................he hadn't realized just how tired he was. He hoped they understood why he fell asleep on them like he did. Very quietly he walked across the shop and he found Dog lightly snoozing in the corner on the pillow, so he tiptoed past him on his way to the upstairs kitchen. Soon the Shopowner and Dog were awakened to the smells of bacon, eggs, and coffee. Wiping sleep from their eyes, they found Mouse in the kitchen setting the table. They got their drinks and sat down to eat. The shop owner and Dog thanked Mouse for breakfast. Mouse blushed a little, but was glad they appreciated the effort. After everyone ate and cleaned up, they went downstairs to get ready for more packing. The Old Man arrived with more boxes to use. The Old Professor called the shop owner to let him know that the students will be there around lunchtime to help.
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fiffur on Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:48 am

They packed books for a while then the Old Man decided to leave for a little while but didn't tell anyone why. An hour later the students and the Old Professor arrived, and the Old Man came back shortly after that with his arms loaded with covered dishes.
"I thought everyone would like a nice snack buffet when you take a break from packing." he said. He set everything out on a long empty table, along with a cooler of iced drinks in cans. He then put a trash can next to the table and a few chairs, then started helping Dog pack a box of books. A few hours later people were taking breaks a few at a time. Everyone was chatting and telling jokes as they packed. The Shopowner got a phone call from the roofers, the repair wasn't as extensive as first thought at they were finished with it already. When the students stopped for the day they were surprised at how much they'd gotten done.

"Thank you all for the help you've given me today! It would've taken me a lot longer doing it by myself." said the Shopowner.
Then the shop owner got another call and it was about the floor. The professor informed him that he can refinish the floor with the help of the boy scout troop and wanted to know the weekend would be a good time. The shop owner was relieved at this and they sat up a time. The shop owner talked some more with the students before cleaning up for the day. Creature had come over to check on the progress and was shocked to see how much was done. They started to clean up and the Old Man took the students back.

It's amazing how much you got done in one day!" Creature exclaimed again as they finished up the cleanup. "At this rate you'll be able to open the new store within two weeks."

"Perhaps I should be planning out the layout of the store already, and see if I need anything else beyond what I have." mused the Shopowner.

"I'm a bit hungry, and tired. We should all get something to eat and get to bed early." remarked Mouse.

"You're right my friend, let's go to the cafe around the corner before we take Creature back home. He has a shift at the restaurant in the morning, and I have an appointment with the realtor tomorrow about the house." said the Shopowner.

They went to the cafe and ordered their food. The shop owner filled Creature in about the roof and the floor. Creature asked, "How will you move everything to the new store?"

"I thought of using the van for moving the smaller things. The seats would need to come out. I don't know about everything else." answered the shop owner.

"Do you mind if I help with planning the layout?" asked Creature.

"No, I don't mind. That would be a big help." replied the shop owner. At this point, the food came.

"Mmmmmm, this food sure looks and smells good. Almost as good as the restaurant I work at." said Creature as he took a bite of his meal. "Don't tell the chef I said that."
The Shopowner and Mouse chuckled and knodded, mouths full. After they were finished eating, they took Creature home, and stopped at the restaurant. Sis was just getting off work and invited them to spend the night at her apartment, so they wouldn't have to drive back to the city and then drive again back to town to the new shop. They told her about the moving plans and she said she might know someone with a large moving van that they could borrow for moving the bigger items. The shop owner told Sis he would her know about the moving van when he gets a better idea of when he will move. They took Sis up on her offer and went to her apartment. The shop owner told Mouse and Sis about his appointment with the realtor for the next day. They let the shop owner know that they hope his house sells quick. Mouse asked if anyone wanted to play a game. They agreed on a game and started playing.

After a few hours of playing, they decided to stop for the night with nobody winning. Yawning and stretching, they all prepared to go to sleep. Before Sis and Mouse left to brush their teeth, the Shopowner said he was debating on not selling his old house, but rent it out instead. That way he'd have some income to help with the startup costs of the new store. After a few minutes of discussion on this, they all went to sleep.
The shop owner woke up early the next day and quietly got ready. Sis got up while the shop owner was still getting ready and decided to fix breakfast. The smell of the food woke Mouse up. The shop owner told them that he decided that he would still keep his appointment with the realtor. He thought there might be options that he doesn't know about. Mouse and Sis both agreed to this. After they were done eating, the shop owner left for his appointment with the realtor.

"Maybe I could see if there are any openings in this building. I know some of the residents have died recently and it would be a short walk to the store." said Sis.

"I'm not against that, but it may be good to wait to see what he comes back with. I don't know what he has in mind for a home. It could be brought up after he lets us know what he found out." said Mouse.

"You may be right. I'll wait to check on the openings." said Sis. Sis got ready and went to work and Mouse went to the new store before checking on the old store.

The work on the new store was progressing very well, and after conferring with the contractors Mouse left to check on the old store. When he got there an hour later he was relieved to see nobody had broken into the store overnight. He busied himself packing up the last of the books. But when he stopped at lunchtime for a sandwich at a cafe around the corner there was another report of a breakin just down the block. Troubled, he called the Shopowner and left a message on his voicemail. Since the new shop was nearly ready to be moved into, Mouse thought it might be a good idea to plan on moving the stores' inventory as soon as possible. The shop owner came to the cafe while Mouse was eating his lunch and sat down with him. Mouse was a little surprised that he knew where to find him.

The shop owner said, "It looks like I may have to move sooner than expected. I haven't stopped at the new store yet, so I don't know what the progress is on the floor. I did mention that I was moving my business and I did put the old store on the market to see what happens. I would like to get together with everyone so I can tell what happened this morning with the realtor." The shop owner did order his lunch since he hadn't eaten yet. After lunch, they went to the new store to check on the progress on the new floor.
The new floor was progressing quite rapidly, and at the rate they were going it would be finished within the next day. The Shopowner was surprised and pleased at the progress they'd made.

"Looks like moving earlier than you'd planned won't be too much of a problem, this store will be ready by the weekend." said Mouse. "We should see if we can borrow that moving truck on Saturday and if everyone would like to pitch in moving all the boxes we've packed. That gives us time to get the shelving all set up and ready."

At this point, Creature and Sis showed up and both were amazed at the progress. The shop owner's phone rang and it was the Old Man. The shop owner told him about the floor and about wanting to get everyone together so he tell about his meeting with the realtor. The Old Man said he would get back a little later.

Later that afternoon, everyone got together and made plans for the big move into the new store, including the Old Professor and his students. The new floor was nearly finished, the shelving all ready to be moved, the books all packed, the floorplan for the new store already drawn out.

"I think we can get it all done in two days if we all pitch in." said Mouse.

"Yes, we have the big moving truck and my van, plus the students and all of us to do the work. What time should we start?"

"Weather permitting, how about right after an early breakfast?" asked the Shopowner.

"Sounds good to us," said the students enthusiastically. "We can be ready to go at 7am if you like." They seemed practically bursting at the seams with enthusiasm, the shopowner thought they'd start the moving process right that moment if he'd let them.

"Okay, 7 it is on Saturday everybody." said the Shopowner.

"And I'll bring the bulk of our lunch." volunteered the Old Man.

The shop owner was eager to tell about his appointment with the realtor. Mouse said, "I almost forgot. Is there something you wanted to tell us about your appointment with the realtor?" This got everyone's attention.

"I did put my old store up for sale. I mentioned that I was going to rent out my house to bring in extra money. She told me about a house in the same area as the new store with a walk in basement and it may be possible to rent out the basement. I did make an appointment to go see it." replied the shop owner.

Mouse was quite interested at this point in the conversation, his ears literally got more alert. And the Shopowner noticed.

"I was thinking you would be the perfect tenant for my basement apartment Mouse, as soon as it's turned into one that is. Would you be interested?" asked the Shopowner.

"Of course," he said cheerfully, "It would be so nice and it's close to the store. I'll even help with the renovation into an apartment. I don't really need all that much to call it a home."

The Shopwner was chuckling, "We're getting a little ahead of ourselves, I haven't bought that house yet but I would like you to come with me for that appointment tomorrow. Just to make sure it will suit our needs."

Everyone seemed excited for the shop owner and Mouse. Mouse and the shop owner agreed on a time to meet tomorrow and everyone gradually went separate ways. The Old Man told everyone that was left that they were invited to dinner at his place. At this point, everyone was hungry and went to the Old Man's house. Dog was so excited to see them that he bolted out the front door to greet everyone.
"Hi, oh my it's been so long since I saw you all!" Dog exclaimed.

"Dog, it's only been a day since we saw you." said the Old Professor chuckling. "My, what enthusiasm. Do you get that sort of greeting too?" he asked the Old Man.

"Yes, and it makes me feel so good." the Old Man replied.

Everyone gathered in the backyard and the Old Man fired up the grill. Soon the smell of grilling food was wafting all over the yard, making everyone's mouth water. There was much laughter and happy conversation while they ate.

After everyone finished eating and started to clean up, the Old Man had gone in without being noticed and came back out with dog bone shaped cookies. Dog was so excited about helping with making the cookies. "Let me guess. You came up with the idea for the cookies to be in the shape of a dog bone." Mouse said to Dog.

"Yes, I did. How did you figure it out?" asked Dog.
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fiffur on Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:48 am

"You are the only dog that I know that might think of something like this." answered Mouse. Everyone started to eat the cookies, then help to clean up. After everything was cleaned up, there were games being played.
They played games and had fun late into the evening. Time flew by. When the clock chimed midnight, it seemed to surprise everyone. "Guess we better get some sleep, there's a lot to do tomorrow." said the Old Man. So everyone went to bed. Early the next morning, the Shopowner and Mouse were up early, excited about seeing the new house. Mouse hoped it was just what the Shopowner was looking for. They got breakfast ready with Dog's help (whose sharp ears heard them and awakened him). The smells of pancakes and sausage woke everyone else up. After breakfast, the Shopowner and Mouse left for their appointment.

The house was perfect for what they wanted and the basement was in great condition. Little would be needed to convert it to a private apartment. Everything seemed to be falling into place. The contractors called to say the floor and roof were done, and the carpet folks called to say they would be finished installing the carpeting by noon that day. The Shopowner called everyone and asked if they could start with the move that afternoon by helping put the shelving all into place. He would treat them all to a well-deserved dinner afterwards.

Everyone was eager to help. Someone got the moving van and the Old Man went to get the other van. The carpet was indeed done by noon that day. The shop owner did hear about the house he and Mouse saw that morning from the realtor. He couldn't contain himself. After lunch, he went to the old store to help with loading. Creature noticed that the shop owner was busting at the seems about something. "What got you so excited?" asked Creature. This got everyone's attention.

"When Mouse and I saw the house this morning, I did put a bid on it and I did get. Also, I put my house on the market and someone put a bid on the old store." answered the shop owner.

Well, well, things are certainly falling into place for you today." remarked the Old Man. "Seems like confirmation to me that you're doing the right thing by moving here." he said smiling from ear to ear.

The good news put everyone in a great mood, and the shelving was put into place in a short amount of time. The Old Professor arrived with the first vanful of boxes, Creature and the Shopowner carried them inside and everyone started putting them on the shelves according to the floorplan the Shopowner had drawn out. The Old Professor left to get another vanload just as Mouse pulled up with the other van. Creature and the Shopowner was very busy unloading the vans as they arrived, no sooner did they finish with one when the other would pull up ready for unloading. The Old Professors' students were making short work of loading up the vans. After about a dozen trips for each of the vans all the boxes had been moved and the students came back with the last load to help at the new store if it was needed.

"That certainly didn't seem to take very long." said Creature, wiping sweat from his brow as he unloaded the last box from the last vanful. "The floorplan you made has made this go so smoothly we should be all done with the unpacking by tomorrow night."

"I can't take all the credit, Mouse labeled the majority of the boxes so we'd know what section they go into. That has helped with this immensely. I can't remember when I've had a better assistant." said the Shopowner. Mouse was blushing a bit at this unexpected praise.

After calling it quits for the night, everyone left to shower and have some dinner, making plans to meet the next morning to finish the unpacking.

Everyone met at the store to finish unpacking. The Old Man quietly left mid morning to get his surprise. When it was lunch time, the Old Man just showed up with a cooler and a box on top of the cooler. Everyone helped the Old Man and started to unpack to set up for lunch. Then Dog came in pushing a smaller cooler for drinks. Mouse got the cooler from Dog and put it near the food. Everyone fell silent while eating lunch. Dog started to work on opening the big, but needed help from Mouse. Dog told Mouse to be quiet about what he was doing and Dog started to pull out dessert. Mouse smiled and nodded at Dog. Mouse could tell Dog was proud of himself and realized that Dog didn't want the surprise to be told.

When everyone was finished eating lunch, they let the other discover their surprise. Bone-shaped cupcakes with sprinkles! Everyone was laughing, smiling, and very suprised.

"Dog, these are wonderful!" exclaimed the Shopowner. Soon the only sound to be heard was quiet munching. After lunch break was over they all worked hard to finish the unpacking. The Old Man and the Shopowner helped several students flatten all the empty boxes, putting them neatly in the newly setup storage room. After a few hours, everyone stood back and admired what they'd managed to accomplish in a single day.

"Who would've thought we could get so much done in such a short time." said the Little Girl.

"We certainly got this job done faster than I thought we could," remarked Mouse, "and we can plan on having our grand opening for the new store even sooner."

"I haven't even decided on a opening date yet. I need to move to my new house before I can even have it officially opened. So far, I only got one bid on the old store and I may end up taking that offer." said the shop owner.

"I forgot due to the excitement about the new house. You may have a point. It will be less stress for you if you do get moved and sell the old store before having a grand opening for the store. Will you let us know if you need help packing?" said Mouse. 'Some have offered to help if needed. '

"That would be wonderful Mouse, but I think so far you and I can manage it. It should only take a couple of days to pack everything and the Old Man already said he and Dog can help too. We can use the van. Let's go home, get some sleep, and get started first thing in the morning packing." said the Shopowner.

They left for home but along the way the Shopowner's cellphone rang. He pulled over and after a few moments of quiet conversation hung up.

"That was the realtor, I just got another bid on the old store that is even higher than the other offer. Let's hope I can get my asking price." he said.

They reached home and after brushing their teeth went promptly to bed.

The next day, the shop owner was wakened by the phone ringing. It was Mouse telling the shop owner he was coming over to help pack. The shop owner grumbled to Mouse about the phone waking him up. Mouse suddenly felt guilty. The shop owner suggested that he could come over around lunch and he would fix lunch for both of them before starting to pack. Mouse started to feel better and agreed. Mouse showed up near lunch with Dog.

The shop owner said, "When you called this morning, I could tell you were eager to help me, but I wasn't ready to start right then."

"I guess I was a little too eager and should have asked when you would be ready." said Mouse. Dog was begging the shop owner for some attention. That was when the shop owner noticed something hiding in Dog's collar and took it. Dog quietly indicated not to let Mouse know.

"I will go and get some boxes out so we can start after lunch. You can help yourself to a drink from the fridge if you want Mouse." the shop owner said. Mouse helped himself to a drink while the shop owner got some boxes. The shop owner took the note from Dog's collar and read it. The shop owner chuckled to himself and came out with some boxes. Then the shop owner started to fix lunch with the help from Dog.

"I'm ready to start packing anytime you are Mouse, shall we start with the study?" he said as he headed in that direction. Dog followed closeby with a child's wagon, ready to wheel out any filled boxes out of the room and out to the garage for loading into the van. After a couple of hours the study was emptied of all books, all that was left was the furniture. The Shopowner went out to start loading the van with the boxes while Mouse started carrying the furniture to the garage.

"I haven't lifted this much heavy stuff in a while," said Mouse, muscles bulging, "it feels good to use my unusual strength." He lifted bookcases, the desk, and the easy chair easily by himself into the van. The Shopowner was impressed.

"I didn't know you were that strong Mouse, have you always been this strong?" he asked.

"Oh, yes. I was born this way and used to be teased about it but I don't mind the occasional stare anymore." Mouse replied.

They headed for the new house to unload the van. When they opened the front door the Shopowner went in first followed by Dog, smiling to himself. When Mouse got inside the room was dark. Suddenly, the lights came on............

"SURPRISE!" Mouse nearly jumped to the ceiling with surprise. Standing all around the perimeter of the room were all his friends, and a table that held a huge birthday cake and presents.

Mouse started to cry and said, "I can't remember when the last time someone remembered my birthday." Sis went to hug Mouse. When Mouse got himself under control, he asked, "How did all you guys know that today is my birthday?"

"I told them and I put a note for the shop owner underneath's Dog's collar before you picked him up today." said Sis. Mouse thanked everyone who showed up and was able to get through the party.

Mouse got some wonderful gifts from his friends: a tshirt from Dog that said World's Strongest Mouse, a gift certificate for the local furniture store from the Old Man, a set of books on Mouse Culture and History from the Old Professor, another gift certificate from Creature for the restaurant, and some nice things to decorate his new apartment from the Little Girl and Marilyn. Mouse was overwhelmed by the gesture.

Soon enough the cake and ice cream were gone, and the festivities were over. Mostly everyone left for home late into the day.

"We didn't get a lot done with our moving." said Mouse.

"That's okay, this was important and we've done so much lately we all needed a break and some fun." said the Shopowner with a smile. "Let's go home and get some sleep. Our real work moving is tomorrow." So they went home and straight to bed.

The next morning, the shop owner got up early and put more empty boxes out before making breakfast. Mouse woke up to the smell of food and came out. When they were done eating, they started to pack. Few hours later, the Old Man and Dog showed up to provide more help with the packing. Finally, everyone was ready for lunch. The Old Man let Dog outside and helped with making lunch. The shop owner let Dog in when everyone was starting to eat and noticed a bag around his neck. Dog went to the kitchen to put the bag down and the shop owner and Mouse knew not to ask Dog what was in the bag. As they started to clean up, Dog started to pull out the mystery contents out of the bag. Then, the shop owner took noticed and laughed. "Dog house shaped cookies complete with icing!" exclaimed Mouse and started to laugh. Everyone ate the cookies and went to pack the van to take over to the new house.

Several hours later........."Whew, I am so glad we got that finished. Now to start the unpacking..........." exclaimed the Shopowner, wiping the sweat from his brow. He was surrounded by boxes and furniture. Mouse and Dog were both taking a short break, sipping cold lemonade. The Old Man came out of the next room with two more glasses of lemonade.

"I am so glad we were able to help you with the final moving," said the Old Man. "If you don't mind, I'll go get us something at the restaurant for lunch, then if you feel like it we can help you start arranging the furniture and unpacking."

The Old Man returned about an hour later with a big box filled with yummy smelling food. Dog was practically drooling at the smells, eager to dig in.

They all sat down for lunch and took their time eating. After cleaning up, they started to arrange the furniture in all the rooms. Then they sorted all the boxes by rooms to make unpacking easier. They were so busy that they didn't even noticed that Sis, Creature, the Old Professor and Marilyn came in with food. When Mouse went to get a drink, he was startled and almost jumped through the wall. Dog and the Old Man came rushing only to see that there was company. Mouse finally calmed down and apologized. Everyone made room for the food and started to eat.

After they finished with their meal and the cleanup, Mouse and the Shopowner showed everyone how much they'd accomplished in one day. Everyone was impressed. The Shopowner took everyone on a tour of the new house. Creature was making notes in a notebook while they were looking at the basement. Creature was making some preliminary plans for the renovation into an apartment for Mouse, thinking Mouse had been too busy to start brainstorming it for himself yet.

"I knew my brother could be very helpful with this," sais Sis, "his unusual strength makes moving the heavy things quite easy." Mouse blushed a bit at this praise. Creature showed Mouse his preliminary plans for the basement apartment and he seemed quite pleased with it. The Shopowner liked it too, and patted Creature on the shoulder.

"Seems besides being a hard worker with an eye for detail, you are also turning into quite a renovation expert Creature!" the Shopowner remarked. "What you have here is very nice, and it will be quick and easy to do too."

Creature asked, "When do you want to start on the basement?"

"After we get more unpacked and hopefully get the new store opened. I don't want more stress than I can handle." replied the shop owner. Creature put his notepad down, looking rejected since he wanted to start right away.

"You may have a point there. Moving to a new house and a new store, unpacking associated with both, selling both the old store and old house. That would definitely cause a lot of stress. Creature, I can tell you want to do the basement now, but it may be better to wait awhile. We don't even have the supplies needed yet." said the Old Man.

"I forgot about you needing to sell the old store and the old house. I was so excited about doing something for Mouse." said Creature. Mouse finally spoke up by saying, "I think we can call it a day. If it's okay with the shop owner, anyone who can help unpack tomorrow, can come over." The shop owner agreed to the idea. Everyone agreed on a starting time and those who can help can show up. Then everyone left for the night.

The next few days were a flurry of activity, both at the new store and the new house. Meanwhile, unknown to Mouse or Creature, the Shopowner had ordered all the building supplies needed for the basement apartment renovation. When those supplies arrived a week later and were stowed in the garage and backyard, everyone but the Shopowner was surprised.

"I wanted to be sure we had everything we needed before we started anything here. And I've arranged for the Old Professors students to help us too, so it will go much faster. After all your hard work and help you deserve this Mouse." said the Shopowner. "And I knew you wanted to get started as soon as possible Creature, so I didn't want you to have to wait too long." he said smiling.

Everyone was appreciative of the shop owner for doing what he did. They went to the basement to figure out the order of what needed to be done. "When are the students coming over?" asked Mouse.

"Tomorrow afternoon." answered the shop owner.

"How is the sale going on the old store and old house?" asked Creature.

"One offer that I did accept on the store somehow went through the cracks on the buyer's end. I did accept an offer on the house yesterday afternoon, but haven't heard anything on it yet." said the shop owner.

"Maybe you'll hear more about it today," said Creature, "and it will be good news. If you don't mind I think I'll start clearing out the basement, sweep and dust, then wash it all over so it will be ready for work tomorrow when the students get here to help me."

"That's very thoughtful of you, I don't mind at all if you will stay for dinner after you're done." said the Shopowner.

Creature worked for several hours, and borrowed the shower upstairs before meeting Mouse and the Shopowner at the new store. They were ready to leave for the day, and noted that Creature looked tired but satisfied with his work that day. They all went to the restaurant and met up with Sis for dinner. The Shopowner filled her in on what they'd accomplished that day.

Sis was amazed at what was accomplished that day. They ordered food and continue to talk. Then the shop owner's phone rang. He answered and took the conversation outside so he could he better. Few minutes later, he came back trying not to smile. Sis asked, "What's the news?"

"The house is sold and there is another bid on the old store. I did accept the offer on the store and if things go well, I may find out tomorrow about the store." said the shop owner. At this point, the food came. They ate quietly. When they were about to leave, there was some scratching at the main door. It turned out to be Dog holding a big bag in his mouth.

Creature quickly went to Dog and took the bag. Everyone else came out and they went to the nearest bench. "Dog, why are you panting?"

"I did a lot of running to locate you guys and this was the last place for me to look." answered Dog. Sis left the room and Creature decided to wait for her to come back. Sis came back with a big bowl filled with water for Dog. Then Creature opened the bag and pulled out a chocolate chip cookie.

"Here, have a drink and catch your breath. Then tell us why you wanted to find us so badly." said Sis as she set the bowl down. She took a cookie from the bag to munch on as she and Creature waited.

After Dog had a long drink and a short rest, he told them why he'd come looking for them.

"Hmmmm.....we would have to get creative with the surprise then. Fortunately for you, they haven't started on the basement yet. The supplies are at the house and college students are coming tomorrow to help. There is something I want to do for the shop owner and Mouse if I can get help from Sis." said Creature.

Dog asked him what he had in mind, and Creature told him. Sis agreed to help in any way she could, it was a nice surprise that would make her brother and the shopowner very happy. They all agreed to get to bed early and rest, there was a lot to be done very early in the morning before Mouse, the Shopowner, the Old Professor, and his students arrived for the day to work on the apartment.
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fluffnstuff on Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:55 pm

The next morning, the shop owner woke up to scratching at the bedroom window. When the shop owner got up to check the sound, only to see that it was Dog. He opened the window to let Dog that he will open the front door for him. When Dog came in, Mouse was just coming into the kitchen to see Dog was there. "What are doing here this early?" asked Mouse. "I want to help with the basement. I may be good at getting small tools for people or help holding things." said Dog. The shop owner could tell that Dog was up to something, but wasn't telling. The shop owner decided to play it Dog's way. "There may be some things that you may be good at Dog. I prefer you try not to get in harm's way." said the shop owner.
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fiffur on Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:53 am

They all went into the basement to begin working. Creature had already cleaned the place very well. They began sorting the materials into piles, to make the work go faster. They started on putting all the hangers in place for the new drop ceiling. Several had to be trimmed for lighting fixtures that were attached to the ceiling. When those were in place, they started adding insulation and putting the tiles into place. They heard a loud honking coming from the driveway, it was the Old Professor and his students.

"I'll go, I'll go! Don't stop what you're doing." Dog said as he raced up the stairs to let them in.

When he reached the van the Old Professor smiled at Dog and whispered, "I have exactly what you wanted me to bring Dog. Are you sure he'll like it?"
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fluffnstuff on Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:17 pm

Dog panted and wagged his tail. There was laughter. The students were led to the basement so they could get to work. Dog and the Old Professor were able to sneak out of the basement to the van. They figured out a plan to get the surprise to the basement. Dog told the Old Professor that he thought the shop owner knows that he is up to something.
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fiffur on Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:59 pm

"I'm sure he does suspect something, the shopowner is a very smart man with a great eye for details." said the Old Man. "Let's sneak this downstairs when everyone is busy taking a break."

Dog and the Old Man sneaked the surprise into the basement, nobody took any real notice of the large box they were smuggling in. They joined the group and had a snack with them. When the break was over and everyone started working again, Mouse saw the box...........
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fluffnstuff on Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:27 pm

.......there was a loud thump. The shop owner quickly went down to check on Mouse, only to find him against the ceiling. Then the shop owner saw the box and laughed. "It's just an air hockey game." said the shop owner. At this point, Mouse started to calm down and suddenly fell down from the ceiling. Dog and the Old Man had come down without them knowing it. "Did you know about this?" Mouse asked the shop owner. "No. I suspected Dog was up to something when he came here awfully early and very eager. " said the shop owner.
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fiffur on Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:31 pm

"I wanted to be the first to give you something fun for your new place!" said Dog wagging his tail so hard it nearly knocked him over. "Do you like it? Do you like it?"

"It's very nice Dog. I never would have expected a housewarming present before the apartment was even finished being built." said Mouse laughing. "It sure surprised me."
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fluffnstuff on Sat Jul 17, 2010 3:25 pm

"Let's get back to work. I guess we can leave this hockey table box where it is. Don't worry Dog, you can help put it together when we are ready for it." said the shop owner. Everyone quickly went to work getting a lot done. Then the Old Man came down to the basement with snacks few hours later. Everyone stopped to get a snack.
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fiffur on Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:26 pm

When they were done with their snack, everyone went back to work for next few hours, joking and laughing all the while. When they were ready to quit for the day, they stood back and admired all they'd done. The new ceiling was in place, the outer basement walls freshly painted, and the studs for a couple interior walls were up ready for wiring and drywall to be installed. Several students were finishing putting up the new staircase railings.

"This renovation is going very fast Mouse," said the Shopowner. "and I think you should be able to move in within a week if we can keep up this pace. That is, if everyone here would like to continue helping us with this project."
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fluffnstuff on Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:16 pm

Upon overhearing this, the students made it known that they intend to come back everyday until it done. They even offered to put the air hockey table together. The shop owner was pleased with this response and told them they can work as much as they can on the project. Everyone cleaned up and parted ways for the day.
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fiffur on Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:39 pm

After a few more days of concentrated effort the apartment was finished except for the installation of the kitchen appliances. The place was neat, tidy, and well organized with a mostly open floorplan. Mouse loved it. He was already planning on where to set up a couple of bookcases as a partial wall to give the place more character. The new windows let a lot of natural light into the apartment. The air hockey table was assembled, put into a well-lit corner of the livingroom, and used for the first time to the amusement of all. It didn't take Mouse long to get the hang of the game. Since the stove and refrigerator were due to be installed the next day, they decided to celebrate the end of the renovation by getting together for a potluck dinner at the Old Man's home.
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

Post by fluffnstuff on Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:13 pm

After everyone arrived at the Old Man's home, it was time to get things started. Someone started the grill while some started on the food prep. Then everyone was playing games while the food was going on the grill. There were some house warming presents that had shown up for Mouse that he didn't know about. When the food was ready, the Old Professor thought it was fitting to congratulate the shop owner and Mouse on their accomplishments up to that point.
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Re: Story Game from the Old Forum

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