~ Thank you lostfairy for the prompt! ~
"Berry and friends explore the undiscovered top left corner of the map!"
• • •
It had been during the heaviest snowfall of the season that Happy decided it was too cold to stick around Jamaa.
Now, we'd argued that the snow was too high to even move around safely outside. I mean, c'mon, the thick shoji screen we used as a door had collapsed inwards from the sheer force of the winds. We had to stack up furniture against the door, so even leaving would take effort. And I'm not one to expend a lot of effort.
However, despite all of the difficulty involved, Happy insisted we go somewhere warm and wait out the storm there.
"C'mon, Berry! If we don't leave soon, we'll be ice sculptures by Spring." Happy seemed visibly irritated with me and Rainy's resistance. Mysterious, on the other hand, had other ideas.
"Yeah, Berry," she said, "If the snow becomes a problem–– and by "if" I mean IT WILL–– I can just melt all the snow for you."
"The last time you used magic, it ended up with both me and Berry getting trapped in an alternate dimension of spaghetti monsters." Rainy criticized.
Mysterious suddenly shook her head. "No, magic won't be needed."
"Then how do you propose we fulfill Happy's wish?"
The magician snapped her fingers and a hairdryer materialized out of thin air. "With this here hair dryer. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to melt us a path through the sn––" She walked towards the door but halfway there the wire tugged her backwards. "Darn it."
Happy seemed really distraught. He was sick of not being able to do anything other than sit around a haphazard fireplace wrapped in blankets. I couldn't blame him–– while I may like doing absolutely nothing all day, Happy was full of energy at all times. When he couldn't do anything to expend that energy... well, if he couldn't get outside soon, things weren't going to be pretty.
I saw Happy sigh and stare out the window sadly. "If only... sigh." he sighed dramatically as snowflakes coated the glass. Wow...
He was beginning to accept his inability to leave the den. If something didn't happen soon, Happy would switch from his acceptance stage to his bitterness stage. And from then on to apathy and writing depressing poetry. That sounds a lot like a regular day for me! Maybe Happy being bitter wasn't such a ba––
"GUYS COME LOOK!!!" Oh boy, salvation has arrived! Grrr...
The sudden voice belonged to the lioness who had attempted to melt the winter away with a hairdryer. Now it seemed like she had seen a better idea outside the window.
"The height of the snow drifts has decreased dramatically!" She called to Happy.
"Huh... what?" the pink elephant broke away from his moping. "But when I look out the window, all I see is white!"
Suddenly, the whiteness in the window broke away to reveal a rainbow-patterned snout. Happy and I jumped as it spoke.
It turns out that the snout belonged to Rainy. "That's because it was covered in snow from the storm! Let me help you clear the rest off..." he brushed the remaining snow and ice off to reveal bright green plant life preparing for Spring. Snow still clumped in corners, but it was mostly navigable.
At this moment, Happy flipped a complete 180° from mopey and mournful to jumping for joy. "Oh my gosh! Thank you so much, Mysterious! Now we can go to Crystal Sands and wait out Winter with banana smoothies and sand castles!!!" I would be happy that Happy was so overjoyed if he hadn't yelled it directly in my ear. Jeez... there goes quietly sitting in front of the fire.
"Well... maybe not Crystal Sands. Or anywhere in Jamaa, really. According from word sent in telepathically from the Temple of Zios, everywhere in Jamaa but here is still clogged with snow. Huh, isn't that strange?"
I prepared for another onslaught of moping, but Happy was still bright-eyed. "Wait, someone told you telepathically? Were they also a wizard? Do you have some kind of telepathic chat room?"
Mysterious rolled her eyes. "You could call it that... but I'm a magician, not a wizard. There's a difference."
"There's a difference?"
"You know what––– *sigh*" Mysterious rolled her eyes once more. "Never mind. So, where do you want to go, Happy? It looks like everywhere in Jamaa is still under the storm... unless..."
"Unless what?" I asked. I wondered if she'd attempt to build a giant magic hairdryer to melt the snow away.
Mysterious pulled a rolled up sheet of paper out of her messenger bag. At first I thought it was some blueprints for a giant hair-drying disaster until I realized it was a map of Jamaa. An area at the top left corner had been circled, despite not even being part of Jamaa.
She pointed to the circled area with her forepaw, but her forepaw was rather stubby so it looked more like hovering. "This area of the map is uncharted, yet its climate is reportedly even more tropical than Crystal Sands. Even if there is snow, it's likely not to be as much of an issue given the location."
I was fascinated, but skeptical. "Are you sure we can travel out of Jamaa? Isn't there a rule against that or something?"
Mysterious opened her mouth in a wide and toothy grin. "Nope! Not one single rule against it. C'mon, I go out of Jamaa all the time! It'll be easy and we can all hang out in the tropics while everyone else in Jamaa is still digging out their dens."
"It'll be easy? Have you any idea how far away that region is?"
The moment I said it, a blue flame encircled Mysterious. Me and Happy gasped as wings sprouted from her back like a gryphon.
She flexed her new wings and grinned smugly. "I don't think travel will be a problem."
Suddenly, a frustrated knocking sound from the window drew our attention. Oh right, we completely forgot Rainy...
"C'mon, let's go outside." Said Happy, with a bright new light in his eyes.
Now the only problem was how Mysterious would carry me, Rainy, and Happy with her stubby arms.
*TO BE CONTINUED!*