"Skitty? Can you hand me the ribbon?"
"Of course! Here you go!"
Elca gratefully took the lustrous green ribbon, and after running in on the edge of a scissor blade, she tacked the twirly decor pierce on the arch of the doorway. She climbed off the chair to get a good look at how their decorating had gone. "Is it looking good?" Skitty asked, standing on a ladder on the other side of the arch. "Nothing crooked?" Elca gave her a satisfied smile. "It looks great! You can come down now!"
Skitty climbed off her small ladder, and with a small hand on her hip, she gave the room a quick scan. The room was given a green makeover of decorations. Green ribbons intertwined with black ones were stung up around the room, lining the arches of doorways and and hung from the ceiling. A large green banner with black writing hung from an arch in full view of the from door, so anyone who entered would know it was their friend's special day.
Elca turned to Skitty with a grin gracing her lips. "Thanks for helping me out on such a short notice. I couldn't have put all this stuff up on my own. Electro was going to help, but he got arrested at the last moment." Skitty waved her gratitude off. "Girl, it was my pleasure. What kind of friend would I be if I didn't help celebrate Nina's birthday?" The purple haired cat gave the lavender hare a broad smile before looking around once more. "I don't know what it is, but it feels like we're missing something." Her partner nodded in agreement. "Balloons, maybe?"
"Balloons? Of course! What kind of party doesn't have balloons?"
"A boring one!"
They both giggled in amusement before Elca went to the kitchen to prepare her cake. Skitty, finding the balloons tucked away in the bag of supplies, went to go outside to get the helium tank. Once she threw open the door, she was surprised to see a familiar black haired wolf behind it, his fist raised as if he was about to knock. The white wolf put his hand down as he gave the bunny a kind smile. Behind him was the all too adorable Daxx, holding a wrapped present in his hands. "Daxx! Cloud! Glad you could make it. Come in! We're still preparing for the surprise!" Skitty said, stepping aside to let them in. The wolf and hare stepped in and got a look around. "Nice job, anything we can do?" Cloud offered. "Ask Elca," she said. "She's in the kitchen baking." He nodded. "Can do."
The lavender rabbit gave her nose a wiggle before walking out the door. She brought out the tank of helium and began to fill up the green balloons. As she worked, she spotted a lion-fox duo approaching the house. "Tolik? Karma? Is that you? You came! Great!" Skitty said with a grin. Tolik just sighed and lit a cigarette. Karma returned Skitty's kind smile and said, "Well we could miss it. Birthdays aren't celebrated all too often around here. It wasn't easy, though." She jabbed a finger playfully into the lion's arm. "She wasn't all that eager to get out of bed and walk all the way here." Tolik just shrugged off the poke and exhaled a breath of smoke.
Skitty nodded in understanding, before adverting her attention to a faint ringtone coming from her pocket. Answering her phone with a cute "Hello?", she listened to the rundown of how Nina was doing from Ares.
Tolik and Karma were beginning to go inside the house, when there were stopped by the rabbit. "Hey, can you two help me with something? I need to go take Nina shopping. Can I count on you two to inflate balloons and decorate the house?" The two nodded and Skitty ran off. "I'll inflate the balloons," Karma offered. Tolik shrugged and waited to be handed the balloons.
Karma inflated several balloons, gave them strings, and handed them to Tolik. The lioness went inside and stopped when she saw all the green decorations. "Geeze, you guys. It's Nina's birthday, not Saint Patrick's Day."
No one heard her little mumble of criticism, so she just sighed and looked around for a good place to tie the balloons. As she was placing them here and there, she decided the banner could use some, too. She got onto the chair Elca previously used to put up the banner. She found a good spot right in the middle, where a lone nail had been hammered into the wall. She attempted to reach as far as she could to get to it, but the chair wasn't having any of that. The wooden dining room chair beneath her tilted a bit too much when she leaned in for the nail, and thus fell onto its side. Tolik, who had been prepared for the chair to slip, landed safely on the ground. She gave a frustrated growl before giving one of its legs a good kick. The ladder became the better substitute. After she had finished, she returned outside to grab a few more ready balloons.
Meanwhile, Elca chatted away with Cloud as she chopped up strawberries for the cake. Daxx busied himself by looking through all of Nina's stuff. As Elca moved on to stirring the dry ingredients, she noticed a ribbon had fallen off of the wall near the counter. She handed Cloud the whisk. "Can you mix these dry ingredients up for me? I need to do put something back up." Cloud obliged and began to mix the flour and spices.
Elca went and grabbed the knocked over chair in the living room and brought it to the kitchen to use as a stool. She stood in front of the wall, climbed onto the chair, and began to put the ribbon back in place. Unfortunately, the chair under her seemed to be bad in one of the legs, and she was too busy humming the happy birthday song to notice the sound of splintering wood. More weight was put on the second front leg as the first began to break, making it begin to crack as well. Elca hadn't even put in the tack when the chair lurched her forward and dropped her, making her slam her face into the counter. Cloud heard her fall and rushed over, while Daxx suppressed his laughter.
Elca got up with a pained moan, lightly touching her face. "You okay? You took quite the fall there," Cloud asked. The cat nodded, but the movement forced her to realize that there was a stinking pain in her neck. She put a hand on her neck and let out a gasp of pain and regret. Cloud noticed this and looked at her throat, only for his jaw to drop at the sight of the problem. "Um, you've got a-"
"Yeah, I know," she gasped out, hobbling over to the sink. Her fingers shook as they gently nudged the thumbtack that had been painfully lodged into her neck, piercing right into her jugular. Daxx watched gleefully as she quickly plucked it out, causing blood to spray all over the sink. She grasped her throat to try and stop the blood and turned to Cloud for help, but a little stream of blood squirted out in an angle, getting blood all invest the wolf. She quickly turned again, this time scoring the stream in a bowl of strawberries that we're going to be used for baking the cake.
Cloud panicked and ran to find something to stop the blood. By the time he found a cloth, Elca was deathly pale from blood loss. He smothered the stream with the rag, but that didn't work either. The cloth just got soaked in blood. He went and got a much sturdier hand towel and pressed it to her throat once again. This time, the blood actually stopped flowing. He sighed in relief, but his temporary relief was crushed when he saw that the blood had only stopped flowing because Elca had died. He sighed and went to drag her body into the backyard so no one would freak out over it. When he returned, he had Daxx help him clean the mess.
"Now what?" Daxx asked, throwing away the last blood-soaked rag. "Well I guess we should finish her cake," the wolf replied. "Really? You sure you can do that?" the rabbit asked, his brow raised to express his skepticism. "Pfft, of course! It's a cake! How hard can it be?"
Cloud walked over the the ingredients. Not realizing that the red pool the strawberries were soaking in wasn't supposed to be there, he dumped the strawberries and all that crimson liquid into the dry ingredients. He stirred it all together, before realizing that the batter needed eggs. Or milk. Or water. Butter maybe? Something wet, he assumed. He looked at all the wet ingredients that had been packed onto the counter next to the stove, and he soon found himself staring at them for about a minute. He rubbed the back of the neck as he looked from the bowl to the ingredients.
Tolik was getting careless with her balloon placements, as she had been handed so many balloons that she was having a hard time finding good spots to put them. As the was tying a string to a lamp, she heard a thunderous crash and the sound of debris flying everywhere. She growled in annoyance, knowing that Daxx had just made something explode. She spun around, her fists clenched, but was surprised to see that there was no wreckage whatsoever. What she did see was a shocked Daxx just standing there in the middle of the room. "Damn it, Daxx! Did you blow up the house next door?" she growled between clenched teeth.
Daxx quickly shook his head, his floppy ears moving to and fro. "Than what the hell was all that noise?" Tolik questioned, her arms crossed. "I broke it!" He exclaimed. "Broke it? Broke what?"
"The wall," he said, pointing at a random area in the room. The lioness walked over and examined all the walls. Not a crack in site was spotted. "What wall, Daxx?" she asked. "The fourth one," he explained. She gave the room a quick scan. "All the walls are fine. What are you talking about?" Daxx kept pointing in the same direction. "Can't you see it? The thing staring at us?" Tolik blinked in confusion and walked over to where he stood, trying to get a good look at what he was seeing. "It's right there! The thing with no tail or ears. It's right inside that rectangle up there. See it? It keeps staring at us!" Tolik stared but saw nothing. Feeling just a bit uneasy, she chalked the whole thing up to Daxx just being Daxx.
Just then, Karma came in with the last few balloons. She hadn't known how many balloons Skitty wanted, so she had decided to just inflate all the balloons in the bag. After viewing the living room, though, she realized she kind of went overboard. Balloons were everywhere- tied to chairs, tables, lamps, doorknobs; hell, there was even one tied to a stand of carpet on the floor. Karma let the balloons in her hand float to ceiling and she witnessed the coffee table rise and float away. Everything else seemed to be struggling to levitate as well. The balloons she had let got caught in the ceiling fan, though, and the long strings began to swing around wildly in time with the fan. Tolik was caught off guard by this, which allowed the now death devices to wrap around her neck and bring her along for the ride. The strings got tangled more and more in the fan, causing her to be lifted up higher and higher until she was being strangled while being swung around the room at the same time. Tolik desperately clawed at the strings to get them to release her. They were too tough for her though, and not even Karma could save her. Her windpipe was completely crushed by the time Daxx was able to throw a knife and cut the strings. Tolik died from lack of oxygen just moments after they were able to remove the from around her crushed throat. Karma sighed and began to pop some of the balloons with Daxx's knife.
After Daxx had dragged Tolik's body out, he went to answer another knock at the door. There to greet him with smiles and bearing presents were Ambrose and Flame. Standing behind them was some raccoon guy he'd never seen before. He let the girls in, but stopped the raccoon.
Who're you?" The rabbit inquired, looking the raccoon over. He had shaggy light gray hair and fur with black stripes and mask. He wore blue clothing and a matching hat, and in his hand was what looked like a large golden cane.
The raccoon gave a sly smile before opening his mouth to answer, but was quickly cut off by Daxx saying, "I think you've got the wrong house, buddy." And with that, he slammed the door closed.
Ambrose walked over to see what Cloud was doing. The wolf had finally finished with the cake batter and had stuffed the pan into the oven. Cloud looked relieved to see her once again, and gave her forehead a kiss. They continued to talk and every so often checked up on Skitty via phone to see how much time they had. The cake was pulled out once the timer went off. The treat in question was a deep velvet, very pleasing to the eye. Cloud was proud at how great it looked. Ambrose licked her lips, and retrieved the vanilla frosting she had seen on the counter. She helped him frost the cake and decorate it with strawberries and candles. The cake looked absolutely delectable, and soon everyone who was in the room practically drooled over it.
Being the troublemaker he is, Daxx couldn't help but cut just a sliver of cake for himself when no one was looking. Going out into the backyard to enjoy it without hassle from the others, he sat down in front of the patio table and took a nice big bite.
He then promptly fell face first into the table and died.
Karma was continuing to pop balloons in order to stop objects from floating away. She took the knife in her hand and went to chase after the floating armchair. Once she was able to hold it in one place, she got a chair, stood on it, and began to pop them. There were eight balloons, two on each corner. She popped the four on the left, immediately causing the armchair's unsupported side to swing down, using the other four like hinges, and slamming right into Ambrose, who had been standing just a bit too close. She was knocked back into the counter, forcing a vase to tip over and fall. The shattered glass of the vase cut deep into and exposing a wire that plugged into the wall. Ambrose fell back forward and onto the ground after such a hard collision. The armchair's remaining balloons popped from sudden strain, and Ambros was crushed underneath it, splattering blood all over the floor.
They all winced in shock at their newly dead friend. Cloud and Karma moved the chair back, while Flame mopped up the blood. "Do you think she'll notice the stains?" Karma asked, pointing at the chair. Cloud looked down at the small drops of blood that littered the arms of the chair. "Nah. It's not too bad." The fox shook her head. "No, I mean that." The wolf followed her pointing finger until he discovered the mother of all bloody stains (about the size of a night stand) on the side of the chair. With how much blood there was covering the spot alone, it was obvious that even the most heavy duty of fabric cleaners wouldn't save that couch. He grimaced at the damage, but just shrugged and said, "I can get her a new one for Christmas." He was given a skeptical look. "And you can afford that?" Karma inquired, only to be answered with an uneasy shrug. "Well, I'm sure I can. The only difference will be that the chair I'll giver her will be much smaller, have no armrests, made of wood, and will be called a 'stool'"
Karma's phone suddenly rang, and after seeing it was Skitty, she gladly answered it. The conversation was simple and brief, with Skitty talking for most of it. After hanging up, she quickly turned to Cloud. "They'll be here any second! Let's light the candles and hide!" He nodded and went behind a couch while she went to light the candles. She took a lighter and lit all the candles, catching Flame's attention.
Mesmerized by those small flickering orange dancers on each wax stick, all the orange fox could do was stare in awe. She was so awestruck in fact, that she didn't even notice when the female next to her suddenly and unexpectedly caught on fire. Cloud quickly came to her aid by filling up a nearby bucket and chasing her flaming body around the kitchen until he was able to dunk it on her. This put out only some of the fire, as her right shoulder and right leg were still burning. This required a second bucket, but by the time he doused out the last flame, Karma had already suffered severe third degree burns that she died only moments later from.
Cloud sighed in frustration. "So much for a good birthday party," he grumbled. He stepped forward to go get the mop, but when he stepped into the spilled water, he was electrocuted. The water he had poured had come into contact with the exposed wire that Ambrose had accidentally cut open, thus sending volts upon volts of electricity throughout the wolf's body. Flame's attention snapped away from the pretty flames on the candle to the twitching body of her friend. After all the electricity had been run through his body in a painful manner, Cloud stood there, eyes wide and still twitching. He looked up to see his hair standing straight on end and as white as snow. He looked back down, gave a cough, and then fell forward into the now safe water puddle.
Flame gasped upon witnessing his demise. She quickly ran out of the house to get help, only to be run over by a car once she stepped foot into the street.
"Dang! I think I hit something!" Nina said, looking over her steering wheel to get a good glimpse at what she had hit. Skitty merely smiled. "Whatever it is, it's dead now! Now let's get these heavy bags inside." Nina nodded and pulled into the driveway. Upon exiting the car, she looked down at range bloody orange mass that was strapped in her wheels. "I think I hit a person," she said, rubbing the back of her neck.
"Whoever it was, he or she'll be back by tomorrow," Skitty assured her. "Now stop worrying! It's your special day!" Nina looked at Flame's dead corpse just a bit longer before nodding and heading inside with the bags.
Unlike what Skitty had planned, there was no surprise waiting for them. Instead, they saw that the door had been left wide open, blood was splattered on her armchair, remnant of balloons were all over the place, and not a single person was in sight. Yet despite all this, Nina was able to overlook it all in favor of the beautiful Devore and the big banner. They walked into he kitchen and saw Cloud and Karma's dead bodies. Skitty gave a huff of annoyance at the sight. "A surprise party?" Nina asked knowingly. "I see it didn't go so well, eh? Well I will give you one thing, I definitely am surprised!"
Skitty smiled at her friend's attempt at optimism. "Sorry about the mess." Nina shook her head. "Nah, I can clean all this mess up, and hey, there's still a cake! It as a piece missing, but it still looks great!" They smiled at each other.
"Well, happy birthday," Skitty said with a smile, as she began to cut two prices of cake for the both of them to enjoy.