Mistica Chronicles

Welcome to Issue 34

bm1984 Winning Entry

“Cooties? Infestation? Yeah, I know all about that.”

“Wait. Were you even born yet?”

“Yes, I thought you were the youngest here…”

“Prove it! And do you want to know what happened or not? I thought so.

It all started when I was hanging out at the slot machines. I like to go down there and watch everyone drop their money. It always happens; someone hits the jackpot and credits come out so fast there’s shiny things bouncing all over the floor. I just love them… could spend all day chasing them around.

Anyway, I was just hanging out looking for a good place to sit when I saw her. She was the prettiest little bird…”

“Bird? Are you telling us you have the hots for a Nokwi?”

“What? No no no! As if. No, I’m talking about a LuvBird. You hardly ever see them loose, so I thought to myself, Hey, there’s a sign if I ever saw one. Somebody is about to get lucky!”

“Uh, I don’t think you can tell that kind of story Gambol.”

“Lucky? I thought you were looking for credits, not love.”

“Hey, whose story is this? You see luck your way and I’ll see it mine. As I was saying, I saw that LuvBird just twittering away. So I went over to that machine. No one was on it, but I have patience, and after a while sure enough, there came this guy who dropped a few coins. Inarbu, I think he was. Anyway, I was busy scampering about after the credits, when I suddenly found myself nose to nose with the prettiest girl I ever saw. She was chasing the same coin as me, and our paws just kind of closed over it at the same time.

So there we were. She was so embarrassed, she just stayed this purple color, and when I asked about it, she said she was a blush. Very sweet. Anyway, we stayed up late together, sharing fish, playing with toys, and seeing what colors look better mixed together. She was really good at mixing paints, and I told her she could use my tail anytime!”

“Aw, how cute. So then what happened?”

“I had to go home.”

“What? That’s it?”

“Oh, well, she had to go home too of course. But we decided we should meet again the next day.”

“Oh good! You did right?”

“Kind of. I could tell she really liked me you know. So, I did go back. I didn’t know what those ‘cooties’ were, nor that they’d mess you up so fast. Maybe she was already infected. Whatever it was, it was a good thing I didn’t catch any.”

“Uh… what?”

“Aren’t you paying attention? I showed up the next day to meet her, and she came about the same time. But she was different, frothing at the mouth, all ragged and bleeding. Everyone at the machines just grabbed their pets and ran away screaming about the plague! I hopped up on a chair and climbed up the machines and kicked the stool away before flitting to the top. Lucky for me she apparently forgot how to fly. I don’t think her wings were working right anymore anyway.”

“How horrible!”

“Yes I know! She kept reaching out to me, making these weird noises like she wanted to hug and kiss me. And here we’d only just met!”

“Uh, I don’t think that was…”

“Oh yeah. I’ve never seen such an infestation. It took hours for her to give up and go away. She was crying by the sound of it; I guess I really broke her heart. But you just don’t want to catch that sort of thing. Cooties… yech.”

“Uh, Gambol?”


“Uhm… I don’t know how to say this but…”

“Oh don’t thank me. I know you two don’t know about the world like I do. Just keep that cootie infestation in mind. First you’re friends, then you’re holding hands and mixing tail paints, then the next thing you know you’re chasing small animals and trying to eat them.

Yep, take it from me. You want something to love, get something shiny. Just don’t take mine!”