The Grin Paws - Chapter 2: The Grin Revealed by FriskeCrisps

<<CHAPTER TWO>>

"Ne'r will you stop th' merry jig ye learned in Chanterry...thru hill n' dale, you'll prance without fail until yer old n' gray!" The wolf dry-heaved, sickened by his choking horror, though his sparkling, happy paws never ceased their endless dance, the scuffing and clicking of his silver, metal-like pads mocking his pleas to stop...to have quiet, to be able to have a drink or a morsel of food....he felt his beard waving in the wind.

"P...pleaaase..." Crisp rasps...."It's been years....please stop...." Just as they always had, they greeted his begging with more fervent dancing, throwing their attached wolfen body into a frenzy of thrashing and crying...throwing his weight around violently, desperate to upend his enchanted appendages shuffling.

With a great heaving Crisps threw his weight back, pulling his tapping paws from the road and hurling himself to the ground...he hit his face hard, and then rolled to his back, scraped up and bloodied, but there was silence...sweet, unmoving silence....

"Thank gods...." Crisps wept in relief, "Thank you..." His eyes widened as his toe pads quivered and suddenly slid back onto the road surface...their tapping anew....

"NOOOOOOO!!!!"

Crisp quickly stood up in his bed, breathing heavily and beads of sweat sliding down his face. That was the most terrifying dream he ever had. "Man...what a nightmare...wait..." The images of the other night came rushing back into the wolf's mind. The green shoes, the leprechaun, his paws, they were all coming back. The wolf quickly looked down and pulled back the covers. He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw his normal black and white paws at the end of the bed. "Thank god...it was just a dream..." He wiggled his toes in happiness, unaware of the camouflaged horror. He put his head back on the pillow and reminisced about the dream he had just had. Though it was a dream, it seemed too real to him.

"Hey...you wakin' up or what, Crispy?" Boquard's tail batted from side to side as he reached over and scritched his best friend's ear to rouse him from his sleep. "From the way you sounded last night being conscious might be the better alternative..." He shook his head. "Sheesh, now I'm beginning to sound like Maynard...heh heh!" He chuckled a little and then grinned. "You missed a GREAT party, Wolf, we easily took first place at the costume contest, even without your awesome dance, so go us!" He slipped Crisps one of the hundred dollar bills. "You still get an equal share of the win, though...you were there in spirit...and we stick together, right?"

"So, you finally decided to join us, Crisp?" Fox padded out of the bathroom, scratching his armpit and yawning loudly. "Too bad you missed the excitement, but glad you're back...so did you have fun by yourself? Hmmmmm?" He made a hand motion that made the skunk groan.

"Get your mind out of the gutter, Fox..."

"It's not in the gutter dude...It's in the SEWER!" Crisp was trying to recollect what he went on doing last night but all he could remember as what happened in his dream. He figured that he must've went out drinking.

"Umm...yeah...nothing special happened. Just had a little too much booze and woozied back here, heh. Though the shoes really put an interesting touch on things..." When he mentioned the shoes, the thought of why is shoes weren't on his feet struck some curiosity.

"Man, you shoulda come with us, Crispy, you woulda gotten free drinks and these little green bratwursts that were just awesome....and corned beef sandwiches..." Fox shook his head. "Dude, you don't know what your were missing!" He trotted over to the television and looked through the programming list.

"So, you have finally exited your slumber, our lupine companion?" Maynard grinned a bit, pulling on his shirt. "Glad to see you back...you missed a most fortuitous night..."

"He KNOWS Maynard," Fox glanced back, "Sheesh, let's ALL rub it in next time." He peered at the card and grinned. "Hey, this dump has cable....wow! Music TeeVee!" He looked toward his friends. "I've not tuned into that since they stopped playing music all the time...this brings back memories!" Crisp needed to get his mind elsewhere. The dream from the other night was really getting to him. The tv would help dumb away some of that.

"Yeah, it's nice to get some spacing between the music now. Hearing music nonstop can really get annoying." Fox rolled his eyes at Crisp.

"Yeah, Pul-leaze! Music TeeVee was called Music TeeVee because of that silly stuff called....get this, MUSIC! They didn't name it Music and a Bunch of Other Pointless Crap TeeVee, right?" He flipped through the channels to 17, and he grinned. "Sweet! The Safety Dance!"

"You are one of only 4 people who actually like that!" Boquard joked throwing a pillow at the vulpine.

While the intro to the song played, Crisps' attention was immediately ripped to his paws...which were beginning to twitch and writhe in anticipation...and to his shock, his black fur from the mid-shins down was beginning to lighten to a more greenish color...and his paw-pads seemed to tighten and harden as they ticked as if warming up....

"N...no...this can't be happening...that was just a dream..." The wolf thought to himself but it was hard to debate that it was just a dream when what was happening to his paws right then and there was pretty real. His paws begin to motion tapping motions as if they were ready to put themselves on the ground and tap away. "Oh man...what am I going to do..." Just then the wold remembered what O'learhme said about the curse, that music is what activated. Crisp quickly got up and shut off the TV.

"Dude! The Hell?!?" Fox jumped out of the path of Crisps' mad dash to shut the television, not see the wolf's paws fade back to their natural black. "You don't like Men Without Hats?!? What sort of lame-o are you?!?"

"He's the cool sort that can't stand the safety dance," Boquard snickered. Crisp made a quick look back at his paws and noticed that they changed back to their colors and breathed a sigh of relief. His secret was safe for the moment.

"Uhh...sorry guys..." he stammered to try and think of an excuse. "I...I just have a wicked headache from last night and the music just made my head start to throb. Actually...I think something from last night might be coming back up..." The wolf dashed off to the bathroom and closed the door. He sat on the toilet and stared down at his paws wondering what the hell he was going to do next. Fox shrugged.

"What's gotten into him?" He leaned against the television cabinet and sighed. "He's been actually all weird since this morning."

"Well, he's weird, but that's why we like him." Maynard admitted. "But I don't recall that he was here when we got back...but he was out doing his own thing."

"Whatever...he's in the bathroom now, turning it back on..." He grinned when 'Dancing on the Ceiling' came on..."Classic!" He bobbed his head to the music and smiled, closing his eyes. In the bathroom, the crooning of Lionel Ritchie drifted through the door, and slowly, but surely the fur on Crisps' foot-paws began to regain their emerald tint...as they began to tap to the rythym of their own volition he could feel his pads tingling and hardening again until they were emitting a stuccato tap with every beat. The wolf looked down in horror as he saw his paws turn back into that horrid emerald green color and began to tap themselves in merry-ment. "I said be quiet!" Though the wolfs pleas for his feet to be silent only seemed to make them want to dance even more. "I gotta do something..." Crisp grabbed onto the sink as he tight as he could to try and still his body and paws though it only seemed to offer little resistance. The music played on and Crisp's body was bounced in place as his paws shuffled and pranced in place merrily before gravitating toward the door, drawn toward the source of the music. Over the song the wolf could hear his friends banging on the portal.

"CRISP?! What's goin' on in there?!?" The emerald and silver paws seemed to respond to the voices also, attempting to drag their attached wolf body along to get to them. All Crisp could do for the moment was hang onto the sink for dear life....

"N...Nothing! I just...just spilt some water and it made it very slippery in here! Don't worry!" His reassurances were thinly-veiled lies, however; what would become of him if his friends found out what happened with his paws?

"WHAT?!?" Fox yelled over the music, "SPEAK UP IN THERE, DUDE!!" Crisps' paws began to twinkle and sparkle as they gathered more energy, their dancing growing more energetic by the second...their pull putting strain on the young wolf's arms to the point where they began to hurt. What seemed even more disconcerting about the entire experience is that even as they tapped and bounded fervently, each time the touched down it felt both soft and wonderful, even if the tapping was as his paw pads were made of high-quality steel.

"CRISPY!?!? SERIOUSLY DUDE, ARE YOU OKAY?!?"

"YEAH, YOU'RE SCARING US, WOLFIE!" Boquard yelled over the music and the tapping and thrashing from beyond and cast a frustrated look back to Fox. "Chummer...Friggin' TURN OFF THE TV!!" Fox shrugged and sighed angrily, but did as he was told. The second the tv went off, the evil green color from the wolf's paws began to fade and he could feel his paw pads slowly begin to soften up as his feet began to get less and less energetic by the moment until finally his paws were back to their normal black and white colors. The wolf sighed in relief as he managed to catch his breath.

"Y...yeah! I'm fine! I just told you I spilled some water and it was slippery in here!" He had hoped his friends would by that story. He grabbed a towel and wiped his face before walking out of the bathroom. When he opened the door, his three friends were peering at him.

"Must have been some major slipping up you were doing...you were slapping up against the walls and floor pretty heavily," Boquard replied, a bit apprehensive, "But it looks like you're okay...he looked at the relatively dry bathroom floor and back to Crisp, noting that his paws were practically bone dry. "Your fur must be real absorbent," he quipped.

"Yeah...for a moment I thought you were doing that Zombie Pond-Dancer bit....you were all Michael Flatline and stuff...but you're not dead...." The vulpine chuckled, "Ah well, at least you're out...I gotta take a dump before we hit brunch...wait up." He breezed by Maynard and the skunk as they facepawmed.

"T...M....I....Chumwayde..." The lizard sighed.

"HEY! I HEARD THAT!!" His angry voice was punctuated by a very uncouth noise. "Ahh...feels like I'm giving birth..." Boquard shook his head and walked back to the main room of the suite.

"Why do we hang out with that schmendreck again?" He asked and Maynard snickered.

"Because his cool factor ultimately outweighs his asshole factor."

"Heh...that must be a big cool factor since you didn't factor in the smell." Crisp wanted to try and throw off the trail of his suspicious bathroom activity.

"Good one, Crisps," Boquard chuckled, "Good thing none of us are the toilet." Maynard shook his head and turned on the television again.

"ENN...EEE....DUBYOO...ESS!!! N...E...W...S!!!" The telegraph noise and the voice of the announcer greeting everyone's ears as Maynard tossed the remote on the couch. "This is Music TeeVee Correspondent Jack Hoffman. Just two weeks away from the Rightous Hog Tour in Harleyton and there are still new acts being signed, including for the first time on American soil, the French Heavy Metal Group: Crashee Bangee will be performing, and also Blue Tongue joins the growing cavalcade of rock acts to be performing...."

Crisps paws glimmered slightly as the background music from last year's motorcycle concert played, but they mercifully didn't seem to have enough energy to break into full dance....

"And finally just in time for the Summer Blockbuster Movie Season, Martial Arts Master and actor Yak Li's newest adventure film, 'Dance of the Ninja Monkeys' will be out...sounds like it'll be quite a romp....this is Jack Hoffman for Music TeeVee News..."

"MUSIC TEEVEE NEWS....IF IT ISN'T HERE, IT'S A BUNCH OF CRAP...."

"Good 'ol Hoffman...he's been with things since the very beginning...eww, and it shows too..." Boquard's ears perked when he heard the toilet flush. "Finally...I'm STARVING..." He tossed Crisps his shoes. "Well, suit up, Crispy, we're about to go and get brunch at The Harp.” The wolfen's paw pads throbbed uncomfortably as his shoes landed nearby. Crisp flinched a little when his paws started throbbing.

"Umm...you know...I...I think I'll try going bare pawed today..." The instant Crisp mentioned that, the pain in his paws subsided. Almost as if they were telling him, "Good boy." The sparkling also seemed to subside from his paws as well.

"Did I hear that right?!?" Fox's voice from behind the door was very surprised. "This coming from Mr. I Get A Hard-On When I'm In A Sexy Pair Of Shoes?!?"

"FOX," Boquard hissed, very defensive, "Leave Crispy alone already! You've been on his case the entire weekend...or would you prefer me calling you by your actual name in public, CHUMWAYDE?!?" Immediately the ears on the vulpine wise-ass flattened and he sighed.

"Aww c'mon, you know I'm just raggin' on him!" Maynard stood next to Crisps and shook his head.

"No, this is prickish even for you...it's obvious he's been not sleeping well, and been getting eaten at ever since we got here..." He looked to Crisps. "I don't know what your opinions are, 'Quard, Fox...but I think we should depart for the next down after brunch....honestly, I've been getting this ill-omen feeling since last night...I can't place my tail on it, but I just don't like the thought of spending tonight here, too." Fox shrugged.

"Well, let's talk it over after we've had some chow...we're all kinda been on edge since the costume contest...and Crisps seems a bit skittish...more than his candy ass usually is." Boquard hissed again.

"Chumwayde...no more insults, okay? Seriously...let's just get some brunch and then regroup..."

"Th...thanks guys...yeah I agree. The sooner we get out of here the better." Crisp looked down at his paws and covered one on top of the other. Although they looked normal, he knew what evil secret that lay underneath. Boquard led the quartet out and down the street toward The Harp.

"I spoke with the owners there, and they really loved our costumes, in fact, they were the main sponsors, and invited us back for the champagne brunch...promising the best this town has to offer."

"From the way things have gone, this settlement is a well-kept secret of culinary delights," Maynard admitted, "I am anticipating their Shamrock Mint Pancakes with Cinnamon Syrup with bated breath." Fox listened to his Ontheego Portable CD, head bobbing to the music. From time to time a car full of teenagers or college kids would drive by, their bass music blaring....much to Crisps' horror, every time one sped alongside them, he could see his paw-pads sheen over, as well as his fur...occasionally they would tap a few steps of their own volition...but to his relief, nothing truly set them off...

"Hey Crisps, you okay?" Boquard snapped the wolf out of his worried thoughts. "You were kinda skipping a little, like you were tripping over your own feet," His expression softened. "It's a bit different going shoeless, huh?"

"Umm...yeah...that's it...after wearing shoes for so long, it's weird going cold turkey just like that, heh." he still hoped his friends didn't suspect anything about his paws. The drive by teenagers still had him worried as well as Fox listening to his music. He knew any type of music would set off the curse and anything that might have a tempo would be dangerous.

Boquard led the quartet out and down the street toward The Harp. "I spoke with the owners there, and they really loved our costumes, in fact, they were the main sponsors, and invited us back for the champagne brunch...promising the best this town has to offer."

The quartet finally made their way into The Harp and already there was pleasant conversation and the sounds of silverware clinking into plates. "Welcome To The Harp, Costume Contest Winners," A young SheepMorph curtsied to Fox and his friends. "We already have your table set up and ready with fresh juice and fruit." She led them over to a stout oak and leather booth, and the settings were already decked out with carafes of orange juice, apple cider, and niagara grape juice, and slices of cut up apples, pears, whole cherries, peaches, and grapes. "Enjoy your breakfast, boys." She smiled and walked off to get the drink waitress...

"She seemed nice," the wolf said as he looked down at the bountiful banquet that was laid out for them. "Jeez look at all this food...we'll have to take some home with us." The waitress stopped by and delivered some sourdough toast and spicy sausage links first.

"Just figured you'd enjoy some starting specialties along with your menus," She plunked down a large leather portfolio-like menu for each of the young men. "You're covered for whatever you wish, hons." The pudgy human grinned, "Take your time on deciding, we'll bring more toast as you need, and muffins." She headed off and Fox grinned.

"I'm thinking the Triple-Stack Belgian Waffles and Irish Oatmeal...and the 1/3-inch bacon strips...."

"Hmm...I'm having trouble deciding what to get here, " said Crisp as he glanced over the menu several times. He was a pretty picky eater. Most times he'd just get things plain. "Maybe just some pancakes and sausage..." As the wolf deliberated he felt his paw pads beginning to tighten and warm over...

"Yeah, the pancakes look pretty awesome, too..." Boquard grinned, "And the Chicken-Fried Steak is HUGE!"

"We could select a bunch of items, like carnivore delights, and eggs, and hash browns and grits...." Maynard pointed out. The warm feeling coming over the wolf's paws caused him to

become a little jittery.

"What the...I don't even hear music...what's going on down there?" The wolf thought to himself. Music was nowhere to be heard so he was trying to debate what could be giving his paw pads the sudden sensation of warmth.

"Good to see you fine young lads again," The voice of the shopkeeper loomed up behind Crisps and Boquard, "I just wanted to stop by and give you one more my personal congratulations on your victory...I am tickled to my gold cufflinks that your win was such a thorough one!" His gaze settled on the wolfen as he smirked. "Conspicuous by yer absence, boy-o, but regardless, seems like your friends didn't need your dancin' foolery after all, they held their own quite well all by themselves..." As he spoke Crisp's paws grew warmer and squirmed their toe pads, beginning to ever-so-slowly slither toward the speaking leprechaun in disguise. The wolf could feel his paws start to drift towards the leprechaun. He gripped onto the table to keep himself from moving any more towards the magical being. He looked back at him with an almost scowl like look. Crisp wanted to rat him out right away, but he wasn't sure of what the consequences might be or if even his friends would believe him. All he could do was hold on to the table and return a cold glare.

"Yeah...they fared pretty well on their own..." The shopkeeper grinned and nodded.

"Well, I'm not one for abandoning my pals and all, but I'm sure you had your reasons..." His words dripped hidden malice, "I am certain that your three boys here would do the same for you, isn't that right, laddies?" Fox and Boquard both nodded in between bites of pancakes and sausage.

"Absolutely!" They said in semi-unison, "Crisps is a great friend, couldn't see it being the same without him." Maynard nodded, but said nothing as he occupied himself with a chocolate chip scone. The shopkeep grinned.

"As I expected, wouldn't see it any other way, really." He looked at the wolfen as he tightened his grasp on the table, "is something troublin' you, boy'o?" The gleam in his eyes carried a certain warning to them, "Or tis everything right as rain?" Beneath the surface, however, Crisp could feel his paw-pads pattering against the floor as if laughing at him again, though the were far quieter for some reason...frequently the waves of warmth would wash over their surface and they would tug gently toward the man who gave them their own magical lives..

Crisp could hear the laughter is head of his paws mocking him as they tapped on the floor and the wolf trying his best not to make his cursed paws noticeable.

"Yeah everything's fine. Just a lot of noise last night so couldn't really sleep." The wolf kept returning glares at the shopkeeper. The disguised imp nodded cordially and chuckles.

"I'm sure that it is...well, you boys have an enjoyable rest of your stay here, stop by if you need anything more." He turned and strolled off, whistling an Irish folk melody, to which Crisp's paws responded by dancing in place a bit, punctuated by forcing one of his knees banging into the underside of the table, upturning his glass of apple cider.

"SHIT!!" Boquard squawked in surprise, quickly slapping his napkin to interrupt the stream from splashing off and onto the wolf. "What was that all about, Crispy?!?" Crisp grabbed his knee as it throbbed in pain but his paws kept tapping away. Once the shopkeeper was out of earshot, the paws quieted down and went back to normal.

"Oh...I...ummm...thought I saw a bee..."

"I didn't see any insects fluzzering about..." Maynard shrugged, "Must have been your imagination I suppose...or you're hitting a sugar high..." Boquard shrugged.

"Whatever it was, it's gone now," he replied before settling back into the booth, letting himself slide down a little. "Wow...I'm STUFFED....this was awesome."

"Save some room for round two, guys," Fox snickered, "I just ordered a Waffle Hot Fudge Sundae!" The wolf needed to occupy his mind with something else until he left the village. Food would be the best option at the moment. "Jeez Fox, you eat anymore we're gonna have to get you on a treadmill." Fox smirked and shoveled another bite of the breakfast sundae into his muzzle.

"Midn't mfee any mfym cluffs amyfrere!" The lizard rolled his eyes.

"Say, don't Spray," he scolded, wiping whipped cream off his cheek, "Keep your gorging enjoyment to yourself." He looked into his wallet and nodded. "I almost forgot, this meal is a gratuity for our victory last night...we should still leave a nice tip for our servers, though."

"Yeah, 50%....of zero bucks is still nothing! I'm all for it." Boquard sighed.

"I would leave fifty dollars if anything to put up with your shit, Chummy..."

"Boquard...." Fox hissed a little and flicked the cherry at him. "Don't make me chuck the rest of this sundae at you!" The wolf giggled as his friends seemed to want to get into an all out food fight.

"I guess leaving a tip wouldn't be a bad idea in the end..." Fox shrugged.

"Well, don't cry to me if you want something cool and kick-ass and you're fifty bucks short."

"I think we can manage, Fox, finish up and let's jet." The skunk stretched and patted his stomach. "I don't know about you, but I think an afternoon of just relaxing a bit and maybe some billiards and pinball after a nice nap sounds pretty darn good, in all honesty." He looked to Maynard and Crisp and grinned. "You know I'm a sucker for the Vintage Tables, and I spotted a 1967 Circus of Animals machine in the inn's lounge...and a Clatter Box, too..." He bobbed his head to the heavy bass beat of the stereo system belonging to the convertible outside. "Sweet ride," He grinned, not paying attention to the tapping that was keeping perfect time to the rhythm. Crisp's paws pulsed with warmth as they slowly began to awaken, though the music was still mitigated thanks to the walls of the pub.

"Oh no..." the wolf thought to himself as he took a quick glance down and saw his paws tauntingly tapping along to the bass. He grasped back onto the table to keep him from moving about more. "Why can't I go somewhere without music..." Fox looked up to Crisps as the convertible drove off, his paws settled back down.

"Did you say something, Wolf?" He shrugged before Crisps could answer. "So, we all ready to go?" Maynard and Boquard nodded to each other.

"I'm good."

"My appetite is sated for now."

Fox smiled and then peered back to the last member of the group. "How about you, Crisps? You get enough to eat?" Crisps patted his belly to avoid arousing suspicion about his paws. "Yeah, I'm full up..." He took another quick look down and saw his paws back to normal. He gave a small sigh as he wondered if he'd ever be free from the curse. The quartet of young men rose from the table and Boquard smiled, waving back to the cashier.

"Thank you for all the food, it was amazing!" Maynard nodded in agreement.

"We shall most definitely be back to break bread for the evening's meal....we anticipate the prime rib dinner with whetted tongues and empty stomachs."

"Don't mind the lizard, ma'am," Fox quipped, "he likes to be a Word Schmuck."

"Hug off Chumwayde..." Crisp just gave a fake smile has he followed the group out and his mind was preoccupied with the cursed paws. Before long the group approached their inn, Maynard and Fox continued to argue the meaning of 'word schmuck', but Boquard loped back to walk with Crisps.

"Hey, what's eatin' at you, Crispy?" The skunk looked worried, "You've been actin' kinda weird since this morning..." He patted his friend on the shoulder. "Do you feel like talking about things?"

"Wh...what?" Crisp was only half listening as his mind was still focused on his paws. "Oh...umm...it's nothing...I guess I'm just homesick is all, heh." Boquard nodded.

"Well, this is the first long trip both of us have taken, and we'll be back by the end of Summer...so a few months on the road as we go and find ourselves..." He looked down at his own paw-feet, grinning. "It's good to see you not wearing sneakers, Crispy...you look more...I dunno, natural that way." He shook his head. "I guess I'm biased, never having put on a pair of shoes in my life...my parents kinda raised me barepaw, and I never took a desire to wear 'em...." He looked to Crisps, his eyes bright, "Maybe I should try a pair on, just to be fair, huh?"

"Heh..." Crisp wanted to take his mind of his paws for a little bit. "Yeah...who knows. You just might end up a sneaker lover like me.” The skunk chuckled.

"Maybe I'll start with some of those sandal-boots, they look harmless enough." He walked with Crisps through the doors of the inn and looked back to him. "You know, I'm glad you decided to come along with us on this journey...it's made it a lot more fun and fulfilling for me." Boquard looked down and then back to his best friend, and suddenly hugged the wolf tightly. "Love ya like a brother from another mother, Crispy...you're the world to me." The skunk meant every word of it. The wolf blushed a bit as the skunk complemented.

"Heh...yeah I thought i needed to get away from home for a bit but it turns out I miss way too much, ha" Boquard chuckled softly.

"Well, we'll be home in about five months...it'll be over and done with before we know it...and then we start the rest of our lives...but hey, there's comp-mail and cell phones, right?" He looked down, and even sniffed a bit. "I wanna promise you something, Crisps..." The skunk took a breath and sighed. "No matter what happens, we're gonna get together and hang out for a few weekends each year...and maybe we'll take vacations together...maybe just us, or perhaps once we have a wife and cubs of our own, right?" He smiled. "As one of my uncles said to me once....'Our Paws May Carry Us Down Different Paths, But It's Up To Us To Make Sure Those Path Intersect....'....I won't let our friendship end after this journey, okay? Will you do the same?" As the skunk said this the wolf momentarily forgot all about the curse that was on his paws and just wanted to comfort the skunk.

"Yeah..for sure mate. We'll both keep this friendship alive forever." Boquard hugged his best friend tightly,

"Thanks...it means alot to me...Maynard and Fox may be friends, but you're as good as family...." He smiled and made a head motion toward the stairs. "Why don't we see what the other two are doing...probably harassing a maid or something...wait, that's more like Fox's department." He bounded up the steps two at a time, his tail swishing happily as disappeared upstairs.

Crisp laughed at the skunk's humor and followed him up the stairs. His mind seemed to ignore his cursed paws and he seemed to be enjoying the vacation again.

"So were you two huggin' one another down in the lobby?" Fox smirked as he watched Crisps enter, "I didn't think you and Bouq were the publicity types." The skunk mock-scowled and smacked the vulpine smart aleck. "Hey! I'm kidding! I'm just kidding! Stoppit!" Boquard chuckled a little.

"Well, we DID hug, but it was a family thing..."

"If you can't keep it in your pants, then keep it in the family?" Maynard smirked slightly, "Sorry...even the Brainpower Class had those wise remarks...I know how you and Crisps are..." The lizard nodded and sighed a bit as his grin became more genuine. "I really do envy your relationship...and am proud of both of you to have stuck together regardless..." He looked over to Crisp. "Thank you, kind sir, for having Bouqard's back all these years...your comradarie hasn't gone unnoticed." Fox nodded, still a little dour from the smacking he took from the skunk.

"Yeah...I kinda hope once this whole trip and walkabout ends, we don't forget each other...it's easy to do once we fully go into our adult lives and have to be all responsible and shit." He chuckled a bit. "I don't have any doubt in my mind that I'll wind up with one smartass like me in my first class..." Maynard blinked and stared at Fox.

"You actually ARE going to be a teacher?!?" The lizard gawked out, obviously shocked and the vulpine blushed and smiled a bit.

"Hey...who better to have a handle on kids other than a guy who acts like a big manchild, himself? Really...I relate to the little shits, and yeah, it IS a term of endearment."

"Yeah, one that'll get you thrown out of school before you say 'Oh Shit! I should watch my Fucking language!', right?" Boquard snickered..."Actually, I think you WOULD be an awesome teacher...you got the right attitude for it underneath all your smart-assery."

"Yeah he'd be teacher of the year with his students with all that swearing, heh."

Maynard snickered a little to himself. "Profanity 101, with Professor Chumwayde Foxx..."

"Hug you, you little flargin' lizard-asswipe douchepole..." Fox muttered under his breath and found the remote. "Can we talk about our futures a little later, please? We still got over three-quarters of our trip ahead of us...we can worry about all that crap later on, right?"

"Yeah...yeah right!" Boquard nodded, "this is kind of our last hurrah as 'young adults' here, and I want mine to be as real-life hassle free as possible." Fox nodded enthusiastically.

"Friggin A, absolutely!" He pointed the remote control at the television. "And as Grand Wizard of Thine Boob Tubery, I summon forth for us, Music TeeVee!!"

The wolf's ears perked up as the word "music" went in and out his ears and panic begin to set in as he knew that the second that tv went on, the secret would be out. "No! Let's go do something else! We don't need TV!" The wolf quickly rushed up to try and block the tv from getting turned on.

Fox grinned and clicked the television on, and the logo for Music TeeVee popped up, the station was identifying itself, and the vulpine grinned and stood in front of the television, holding the remote control up like a magic wand. Just like from one of their Corridors and Crab-People games, Maynard and Boquard stood by Fox's side and grinned, all the oblivious to what they were about to visit on their best friend.

"And the mighty Wolf Dragon attacks!" Fox bellowed out in his most over-dramatic voice he could muster. "Fellowship of the Remote, we must stand our ground!" He pointed a finger from his free hand to Crisps. "THOU SHALT NOT GET THROUGH, FELL CREATURE!!" The skunk and lizard made whooshing noises, casting their 'spells' at Crisps, all enjoying the fun of it as if they were still in their teens....

Crisp desperately tried to get the remote away from his friends. He knew everything was over when they saw the evil transformation to his paws happen. "C'mon guys! Let's do something else besides watch TV. Please!" The wolf kept trying to reach for the remote but it was just out of reach, even when on his tiptoes.

"We are repelling the beast, Fellowship! One more spell should do it!!"

"Sha-WhaZAAAMIE!!" Maynard proclaimed in a high-pitched voice, just when Cindee Gopher's 'Girls Need To Have All The Fun' began to play behind them. Boquard burst into hysterical laughter.

"Oh that's CLASSIC!! You couldn't have planned that!" Fox joined in on the laughter and the three never noticed that Crisp's paws had begun to sparkle and gloss over, and the wolfen watched as his fur from the mid-shins down turned to a bright emerald hue, his toe pads pattered on the floor of their own volition, and one turned itself to show that the paw pads had become pure, hardened silver....

"No...no..." the wolf kept trying to reach the remote, but his paws now seemed to have Crisp stationary and unable to move his legs. They were not fully transformed and now started to tap away at the beat of the music. Crisp tried using his hands to hold his legs still, but it didn't work.

Just as the first vocals blared from the speakers, Crisp's transformation was complete...his paws were now the same shade of green as the shoes that he had escaped from just last night, but his muscles and tendons now moved by themselves, instead of any article of footwear to force their stride. To his horror, the wolfen's paws began to tap out energetically to the music issuing from the television, his pads making a very soulful clicking noise each time they touched down on the wooden floor. Unlike any pair of magical shoes, Crisps found each individual toe pad, along with those on his sole and heel, all contributed to the magical percussion that forced him to prance to the 80s Girl Rock hit. Each step forced a wave of near electrical warmth through the enchanted feet, which would have made the experience somewhat pleasant had the poor fellow knew that they would slavishly and ceaselessly caper and prance until they could no longer sense the music...

"Ha Ha Ha Ha!!" Fox high-fived his friends, still celebrating their in-joke with Maynard's 'spell'. "That was classic! Did you hear that, Crispy?" The vulpine's ears perked when he finally noticed the happy clicking and tapping behind him. "Crisp, what ARE you doing-" He turned around and gasped, dropping the remote on the floor, he silently prodded his cronies to turn around, and all three stared at the wolf, desperately pulling at his ankles as his emerald green paws danced and clicked about the room, gleeful in their prancing despite Crisp's look of sheer panic....

"Holy Hug..." Fox whispered...

The Grin Paws - Chapter 2: The Grin Revealed

FriskeCrisps

25 November 2012 at 20:25:30 MST

Yup. Second chapter on its way lol. Not as long as the first thankfully XD

All characters belong to the writers of this story

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