Renowned Explorers: International Society

Renowned Explorers: International Society

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Challenge 146 - Why Did It Have To Be Cats?
This week's challenge was very, um, challenging but it was a lot of fun too. I had a smile on my face the whole time! Thanks to the challenge organisers, and especially thanks to Abbey Games for bringing out such a lovely new expedtition for free. You all deserve all the awards Steam has to offer :). Anyway I haven't written a story in a long while , it seems! But for this challenge , I was absolutely determined to find the time.

So please enjoy this little vignette paying tribute to the new expedition's very best enemy. Yvonne, Victor and Maria have just arrived at the Chamber of the Holy Grail, where, as it turns out, one last obstacle awaits them....
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“It belongs in a museum, you know.”

Victor gave a long-suffering sigh. “Of course it does. In the Renowned Explorers International Society exhibition hall.”

“Non, non, non. In the Louvre at the very least. Can you imagine it , hanging next to the Mona Lisa? Still Life with the Holy Grail and Large Smug Cat Sleeping in A Mysterious Beam of Light?”

Minet the Impressionist’s eyes were very wide.

Victor considered that. “Non”, he said after a long pause. “ I cannot imagine that.”

“Now, young man, what did I tell you about sarcasm?”

“Dad! Stop calling me young man! I’m thirty-seven years old.”

“Don’t take that tone with me , my boy, or I’ll-“

“I’m married! I have four children of my own! Anyway, why are you even here?”

“What a good question! I’ve always believed that I was placed upon this earth to elevate the souls of those around me by attuning their blunted senses to the aesthetics of-“

“I meant why are you here in this canyon on our expedition with us?” Victor took a breath and Minet looked sulky.

“Well”-he nodded at Maria- “She said there’d be secrets. And besides which, I heard this could be your climatic voyage. Your ultimate journey! Your last cr-“

“If you’ve quite finished,” remarked Yvonne “I’d like to collect the treasure some time this century.”

“What about the cat?”

Yvonne glared at Victor. “What *about* the cat? I assume, Victor, that you are a dog person.”

“Well, they are pleasant enough , I suppose, but-“

“Of course you are” continued Yvonne cheerfully. “Dogs are the animal of choice for tiresome children and ignorant loudmouths the world over, but cats are a different sort of thing entirely. Subtle, sophisticated and altogether superior. And , of course, they are far too sensible to dote on buffoons. Cats know a buffoon when they see one. Still, this one needs to be gone. Come along, kitty, get on with you.”

The cat stirred slightly. It lazily opened one eye. It gave a long hiss. And it settled back to sleep.

Yvonne glared at it as well, and behind her Maria hid a smile.

“Very droll. But if that’s the pinnacle of your wit then I may have overestimated you. Most cats are excellent creatures, but maybe you’re just a little bit below average for the breed, hmmm?”

The cat was certainly awake now. Its back was arched and every inch of its fur was stood on end. Yvonne clapped her hands.

“I knew it. Why, you look practically canine!”

With a howl of fury , the cat flew off the pedestal and launched itself at Yvonne. She struck back with vigour, and the others stopped to watch the fight unfold.

Victor’s moustache twitched very slightly. “I do believe she’s made a friend.”

“You don’t say?” Maria, Victor realised, was grinning from ear to ear. “ Actually, Victor? Do you remember back at the beginning of this , when we still hadn’t quite mastered producing cutting remarks to darling Yvonne’s terribly exacting standards and she found us a flock of sheep to practice on?”

“Oui, but-“

“And you remember that one of the sheep put me in mind of a certain beloved captain of ours, and she unaccountably called the practice session to a close when I pointed out the resemblance?”

“Oui, I remember that. Woolly Yvonne?”

“Yes, woolly Yvonne. Anyway, I was thinking that I may have spoken just ever such a little too soon. Look at that, Victor. Do you not think, that at long last, we have found Yvonne’s perfect counterpart in the animal kingdom?”

Victor looked from Maria to the fluffy ball of contempt and fury ahead of them, and finally to the cat. He smiled.

“You’re quite right, Maria. And if I may make so bold , I do believe this moment deserves commemoration. Now, where has that father of mine wandered off to? I think that against all the odds we've managed to find something for him to do on this expedition after all”
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Showing 1-1 of 1 comments
mouser12 Dec 16, 2018 @ 7:45pm 
You're amazing at writing these, always hilarious and everybody perfectly in character. (And not how I'd thought to interpret the "woolly teammate" event at all.) Just thought I'd comment in case you thought people weren't reading your stories.

I feel like trying to write one of my own adventures, even though I never participate in the challenges. Now if only I could think of a plausible reason for Victor and Phillipe to be traveling with a 14-year-old girl...
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