Henningtom: Part 2

The first thought I had was “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

A little green deer came up to me just then and said, “Excuse me, miss.” I gasped and jumped back. Deer aren’t supposed to talk, are they? Was I going insane?

“Don’t be frightened,” the deer said. “I am Jiggleweed, Head Minister of Henningtom. You must be Maya.”

“Um… Yes, I am,” I said, moving a little more towards the deer. It was small, but not miniature like a doe. It had stubs of what must have been antlers growing from it’s head but they weren’t round stubs like they were supposed to be-they were square, and they were red, very suspicious looking in contrast to the green of the deer’s body.

“We’ve been expecting you,” Jiggleweed said. “You’re late; three months late to be exact.”

“I’m…sorry?”

“No matter. We can go through all the necessary precautions later. Right now, we need to get you to see the queen.”

“I must be dreaming,” I said. “I’ve got to be. There is no way I could be talking to a little green deer in a purple forest with a blue sun.” The deer started to look at me in a way that made me self conscious. “Alright, I’ve decided I’m not dreaming. Instead, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have gone as mad as a hatter.”

“Is that supposed to be a joke?” the deer asked me. “Just because Frogbeetle only has one eye, does not mean he is mad.”

“I’m sorry, who?”

“No one.” The deer sighed and started to walk away. When I didn’t follow, he asked, “Aren’t you coming?” I nodded my head yes and we started to walk into the dense part of the forest. “Mind your back in these woods; you never know where a higgenbottom could be lurking.”

“A what?” I asked, confused at the unusual language they spoke here.

“A higgenbottom. Don’t they have them where you’re from?” As I furrowed my brows in confusion, he just sighed and launched into an explanation: “A higgenbottom is a type of insect that sucks your blood for its nutrients.”

“A mosquito?”

“Sort of, but bigger. Much, much bigger. The size of a…oh, what are they called in your world…? A car.”

I thought of the scream I had heard back in the forest and suddenly became very, very aware of my surroundings.





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