Scar and the Wolf, Chapter 14

June 21, 2021

Read Chapter 13

Chapter 14. The Best Things are Ings

Daisy and Sigmund did indeed give Scarlet the dreams-cape.

“You can wear it to Rotburg next month,” said Dr. Sigmund. He leaned close and whispered. “Don’t tell Mr. Sever, but I’m taking you out of class for a week, young woman.”

“We’d already put a down payment on it,” smiled Daisy. “There was no way Dame Lurk was going to be selling it to anyone today. Especially not you.”

Grandma handed the box with Pokey and Sniffy. Scarlet hugged her grandmother, then looked to Daisy and Dr. Sigmund. “Can I keep them?”

“You can,” said Dr. Sigmund.

“Until you find their owners,” said Daisy.

The townzombies then crowded around Scarlet and plied her with gifts, jars of bug jams, skull-embroidered scarves, tins of skin spackle, and one blue checked handkerchief.

Scarlet was overwhelmed. “Thank you, everyone,” she said.

Her many friends filled the room with hoots and whoops.

“Now it’s time for MY gift,” said Grandma Bone.

“But you gave me Pokey and Sniffy,” said Scarlet.

Grandma bone cackled. “Nah. The best gifts are ings.” She nodded toward the front of the great room, where Abercrombie, Winthrop, and Bash Stubbs had set up their musical instruments.

“I don’t understand,” said Scarlet.

“Well, the best times I’ve ever had have been when I’ve been do-ING something. Cook-ING, eat-ING, macrame-ING, surf-ING, and … she held up one of her timeworn hands and gave the OK sign to the Stubbs boys, “rock-ING!”

At that moment, the twang of a guitar, a rhythmic pounding on the drums, and a voice as mellow as beach waves filled the room. The Stubbs boys became the Stubbz Boyz.

And the Stubbz Boyz were ready to rock.

“This is for you, Scarlet,” said Bash, “written special for you by Grandma Bone.” He launched into song.

“Dreaming of new cloaks,
couldn’t hear your folks,
telling you to just follow the rules.
You should have acted.
You got distracted,
looking at beads and at dreams-capes and jewels.”

“It’s true!” laughed Scarlet, shaking her head.

The Boyz kicked into the chorus:

“Wastin’ away down there inside of Barnaby.
Project Haggis was under assault.
Scarlet might claim
that others should be to blame
‘Cause she knew … it was so not her fault.”

The zombies of Plainfield got up and began to dance, ducking under the drying coats and dresses.

“Feeling at wit’s end,
she found a new friend
with boas to help her accessorize.
She got the haggis,
entered the forest,
and forgot all about that strange gleam in his eyes.”

“Don’t talk to strange strangers, remember?” yelled Dr. Sigmund, whirling Daisy around the dance floor.

“Wastin’ away down there inside of Barnaby.
Project Haggis was under assault.
She wanted to claim
that others were to blame
Then she thought … ‘Well it could be my fault.’ ”

“Last verse, everyone,” said Bash. “Repeat after me.” He led them through, line by line.

“She found a new way,
Scarlet saved the day,
and learned that there’s something
she just hadn’t seen.
You, too, can live large.
If you just take charge
without forgetting the things that you’ve been.”

“Everybody now,” sang Bash.

“Wastin’ away down there inside of Barnaby.
Project Haggis was under assault.
Scarlet could claim
that maybe she was to blame,
and she’s right. It so was her fault.”

“Happy unearthday, Scarlet,” said Bash.

The Stubbz Boyz launched into their next song, called “Hungry Like the Wolf.”

The party went on and on into the night, with everyone eating and feasting and drinking and dancing and too many other INGs to mention.

Sometime in the wee small hours, the partygoers shambled back to Plainfield in one ragged cluster.

Scarlet wore her dreams-cape beneath her cloak, her beautiful, warm, enduring, squirrel-pee-and-wolf-stomach-smelling cloak.

She fell in alongside Moldylocks. “Want to know what I wished for?” asked Scarlet.

Moldylocks nodded.

“I couldn’t think of anything for myself, so I made a wish for you.”


“Yep. I wished you’d meet a bear.”

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