From A Night To (Almost) Remember
Excerpt by Jemmiah
|Leona's face rapidly drained of blood.
Don't panic don't panic don't panic don't panic! She thought desperately. Fear is of the darkside!
Who cares? Her inner voice shrieked.
She stood up so quickly that she appeared a shapeless blur.
"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaakkkk!" She yelled as if Simeon had set fire to Qui-Gon's over-long robe. "W-where is it? Get it off me, please!"
"Now you know how it feels." Mace grumbled unsympathetically, going cross-eyed as he attempted to stare at his tattoo.
Simeon tried to dodge the dancing arms. "Don't get flustered!"
"He tells me there's a savage creature trying to chew a hole in my clothing and then says don't get flustered?" Leona spun round swiftly in an attempt to rid herself of the beast.
A high pitched, frightened squeal followed shortly thereafter by an irritated hiss could be heard from the area of Leona's back.
"Don't!" Spider stamped her foot. "You're frightening him."
"I'M frightening HIM?!?" Leona hollered.
"And you won't like it when they get frightened." Rela added with a smile.
"I don't like it right NOW!" The healer struggled as she felt two needle-like instruments jab her lumber area.
"What the heck is that?" She screamed.
"It's just being friendly." Rela offered.
"There's no such thing as a friendly Dinko." Simeon replied as Leona pushed past him.
"That didn't help, Simeon." Letina warned.
"Gods, it's a DINKO!" Leona's voice became tremulous; remembering the razor toothed bundle of fur that had attached itself so tenaciously to Sal-Fina's finger. "Somebody get it off me!"
"Undo your cloak," Dimallie urged her master, "and drop it on the floor."
"CAREFULLY!" Spider warned.
No sooner were the words out of her mouth than the most horrendous stench was sprayed into the air.
"Nooooooooooooooooo!" Leona gagged. "This is horrible! What have I done to deserve this?"
"You woke up this morning." Muttered Sal-Fina.
"Won't anybody help me?" Leona pleaded as she wriggled out of Master Jinn's robe, remembering how tightly she'd knotted the waistband to keep it from trailing the ground. Her fingers fumbled at the belt.
"Help you?" Lilith shook her head adamantly. "You haven't seen the teeth on that thing!"
"Probably NOT the best thing to say." Krelo whispered.
Leona recalled suddenly the reason she was dressed in Qui-Gon's robes in the first place: her dress was pinned together only by six of Jemmiah's clasps. Carefully, yet with all expedition she stepped out of the heavy, dark garment.
The frightened chittering grew louder, almost by her ear.
"Where is it?" Leona could hardly draw breath.
Dimallie watched in horror as the little bat-like creature scurried round the back of her shoulder and into her hair.
"I never thought I'd see a healer cry." Jay smirked.
Dimallie kicked him in the shin.
"IT'S IN MY HAIR! IT'S IN MY HAIR!" Leona hyperventilated.
"Calm down!" Dex soothed.
"It's easy for you to say calm down. You haven't got a predator playing cats cradle with your hair!" She panted. "I can feel it moving!"
Leona closed her eyes and childishly wished the thing away.
It worked, but not in a way she wanted.
The poor little Dinko had become so scared that it had decided to resort to its final safety option.
In the wild the Dinko wouldn't stray far away from it's trap door like burrow, camouflaged into the ground and leaves. So when the animal began to fear for its own safety, naturally it tried to flee towards the nearest, darkest space available to it.
Simeon, Rela and Spider stood in a row, eyes wide and mouths agape as the fierce but beloved little pet made a beeline straight for Leona's chest…
"Don't move!" Zac insisted.
"I have a Dinko nestling in my bosom. It's not the sort of thing that would induce me to move." She shivered.
"What do we do now?" Lilith pondered. "Spider?"
"Why ask me?"
"You're the creepy crawly expert. And it's YOUR Dinko."
"I've never had to remove one from somebody's chest before." Spider replied. "I'd just leave it for the moment. "It looks happy enough."
"LEAVE IT!" Leona nearly passed out.
"If you think I'm going to retrieve it, you've got another think coming." Mace shook.
"Thanks!" snapped Leona. "It's at times like this you realize who your friends are."
"I've got an idea." Snickered Ambianca. "Why don't we send for Master Jinn?"
Leona closed her eyes again and promised herself that should she ever turn Sith, Ambianca would be right on the top of her hit list. The only saving grace to this whole affair was the fact that Qui-Gon was nowhere in sight…
"We can't just stand there all night." Grumbled Vernice. "Somebody's got to do something!"
An-Paj sighed and dug out the little medical kit from Leona's bag, picking up a pair of gloves. They weren't much protection but they would help, should it be necessary.
"What are you going to do?" Leona gasped.
"What does it look like I'm doing." He replied seriously. "I'm dressing for battle."
"You are JOKING!" Jay laughed.
"This I have to see!" Sybelle smirked.
An-Paj flexed his skilled fingers and put on the gloves, walking slowly over to Leona.
"Umm, I suppose I should apologize in advance for this…intrusion of privacy." He said almost shyly. "Think of this rather as a clinical extraction rather than anything more, er, intimate."
"I'll try my best." Leona looked away. "Please just get it out of there."
"OK." An-Paj breathed. "I'm going in slowly now."
The healer began to gradually slide his hands towards Leona's front, trying valiantly to ignore Meri hovering some distance away with the holocam.