Copy Cat on the Pipes
Robin Pixie Pass
"Everyone have a seat. It seems we are having a small problem. Someone is either a practical joker or one of you is playing games on the pipes. This has gone on long enough and I want it to stop immediately. Now which of you would like to confess to this aggravating deed," Father asked.
Everyone remained mute sitting at the table. No one was willing to confess to the misdeed. Every time a message went through the pipes it was being repeated. The unrelenting messages were driving everyone crazy. One message would go through the pipes and it would be repeated. Another message would go through the pipes and it would be repeated. Everyone was going crazy because the pipes never stopped even for a moment. Even Pascal who was used to the pipes beating messages one after another was ready to retire.
"I can assure you if you confess right now the punishment will be minimal, but if it continues and I find out who it is; your punishment will be worse that your worse nightmare," Father threatened.
"Father," Vincent admonished.
"I'm very serious Vincent, this had gone on long enough. Father stated.
"It's not me father," Kipper defended.
"Nor I," said Eric.
"Okay good, Okay fine, not so good" Mouse said after seeing Father's frown.
"Mouse do you know anything about this." Father asked.
"Wish Mouse did, tired of noise, Father's noise too." Mouse carelessly replied.
"That's enough Mouse," Father reprimanded.
"So everyone is innocent and no one has a clue to this mystery surrounding us. I'm just amazed how one little incident keeps everyone tongues glued to their roofs. No one claims to know anything. This disturbs me greatly. All right if no one is going to confess to this incident you might as well return to your chores."
"Father do really think it is someone living below who is repeating the messages on the pipes," Vincent inquired.
"Who else could it be Vincent? We've never had a problem before and this has been going on for over a week now. I thought at first it was just a practical joke between the children, but now I'm not sure what to make of it.
No one would confess tonight, maybe it's because someone other than ourselves it playing the joke. Vincent I believe we have an intruder in the tunnels and whoever it is must be found and soon."
"I have to agree with you Father. I can't imagine anyone living below causing so much trouble. I quests we'll just have to catch this vermin whoever, or whatever it may be." Vincent replied.
"Vincent I think we need a plan. If we get everyone to meet in the great hall we can start a message on the pipes from there. If everyone is in the hall we can concede that it isn't anyone from below. Maybe we can trace where the second message is coming from by sending you and perhaps Cullen down the tunnel halls by listening to the second message. We will eventually find out where the second message is coming from by tracing it through the pipes. What do you think Vincent, do you think this plan will work?" Father asked.
"I'll send a message right away Father, I think the quicker we set this plan in motion the better. Vincent replied.
* * * *
"Now is everyone here gathered in the hall. Mary count heads would you please?" Father asked.
"Everyone is here Father," Mary confirmed.
"Alright Pascal you may start the first message. Father requested.
Pascal gently taped out the first message. His message said, whoever you are, we're going to find you".
Within seconds the message was repeated identical to the first one.
"Okay Vincent you and Cullen each take a different tunnel and follow the sound as it gets louder." Father replied.
Vincent and Cullen each took a different tunnel walking slowly and listening carefully as Pascal sent out a second message on the pipe. "You are a intruder in the tunnels". The message was repeated once again.
On and on it went as Vincent and Cullen slowly closed in on the intruder.
The third message sent through the pipes was "we're going to catch you very soon." the fourth," you are playing with fire and Father's angry with you." the fifth, you think you're very clever but Vincent will find you soon." the sixth, we're closing in on you and you don't have a clue. the seventh, Father's going to wring your scrawny neck and turn your face blue," the eighth, " when Vincent catches you I wouldn't want to be in your shoes.
* * * *
"Gotcha Vincent" replied in surprise. He couldn't help but laugh, this funny little creature wasn't wearing any shoes and he was probably the cleverest of creatures that Vincent had ever met. Reaching down carefully to pick the creature up, Vincent was amazed when he jumped on Vincent's arm and walked up to his shoulder with any sign of fear. "So you're the little copy cat on the pipes." Vincent surmised. "Father is going to be surprised to see you my little friend."
"Polly wants a cracker." the creature said.
The parrot was incredibly beautiful. His bright colored feathers were a vision for Vincent's eyes. He had seen many pictures in books but he had never seen a parrot up close. To Vincent's memory he determined the parrot to be a Amazon parrot and that she was very tame.
"So Polly wants a cracker," Vincent repeated. " A cracker you shall have ." Walking quickly to the great hall with the parrot on his shoulder, everyone was amazed when they realized a parrot had cracked the language code in the tunnels. Of course she was just merely repeating everything she heard, but it was humorous to say the least. This small parrot was driving everyone crazy with her antics for a whole week.
* * * *
"What shall we do with her Father" Vincent asked.
"She has to belong to someone who is very likely missing her. I think we should get a newspaper and look in the classified section to see if she has been reported missing. We'll have Kipper go above and get a paper and while he is up there, I also would like some mango tea, I'll have him get that as well, Father replied.
* * * *
"Father where on earth did you get mango tea." Vincent asked.
"Catherine knows how much I love earl gray tea so she decided to expand my palate with a little of the tropics and she brought me several different verities. The mango was my favorite. Kipper knows where to find it in Chinatown and every now and then I send him to bring me some. Having a parrot in the tunnels reminds me a little of the tropics so I might as well have the tea as well. If you like Vincent I could let you try a sample to see if you might like the mango?" Father asked.
"I would love to join you for tea Father, you know it is one of my favorite past-times."
"Excellent," I wouldn't be surprised if the mango turned out to be one of your favorites as well Vincent."
"Ah, here's Kipper now. Kipper I would like for you to buy a newspaper and no don't borrow like Mouse would. Here's some money to get the paper and while your at it.... " Father replied but was interrupted.
"I know, you want some mango tea too, don't you Father." Kipper asked.
Father laughing said," you know me too well Kipper, yes I would love some mango tea. Run along and hurry back. "
Vincent smiling replied," Kipper knows where to get all the good tea Father, I also send him for mine as well."
* * * *
"Father I can see why you enjoy this tea, it's smooth and it has a tangy fruity flavor but it's not bitter. I'll have to get Kipper to get me some next time he goes on a tea run." Vincent replied.
"I'd be happy to share Vincent," Father offered.
"As often as I drink tea Father you would be out in a couple of days, but thank you for offering." Vincent replied.
* * * *
Vincent had been working in the tunnels below on a water leak and he had just returned after bathing. Rather than risking getting his clean clothes dirty he carried and robe and wore it back to his chamber to change.
Polly had made herself at home in his chamber and she quickly learned Vincent's name.
Vincent's home, Vincent's home," she repeated.
"Yes Polly I'm home," Vincent replied.
Removing his robe, Vincent quickly got dressed to keep the evening chill from his still moist body.
Polly who had been studiously watching him from the time he came in started bobbing her head up and down. Vincent watched her for a few minutes puzzled by her reaction.
"What is it Polly," he asked.
He didn't really expect her to answer him but she did just the same.
"Virile Vincent is home", she said and then she repeated it. "Virile Vincent is home" and then she started whistling. It sounded like the whistling that comes from a construction sight when a cute babe walks by.
"Pretty Boy, Vincent is a Virile Pretty Boy." she said.
Vincent couldn't help but laugh at her antics. He wished he could keep her but he knew she belonged to someone special.
"Where's Papa Bear, Where's Papa Bear," she asked.
"Come Polly I'll take you to Papa Bear," Vincent replied.
She expertly climbed up Vincent's arm, up onto his shoulder.
"Someone has been asking for Papa Bear, when did you inherit the name Papa Bear, Father? Vincent asked.
"I visited your chamber while you were working below Vincent to check on her. The next thing I knew she was calling be Papa Bear. She seems to be very intelligent and I'm amazed at her vocabulary. "Father replied.
"Did you find anything in the paper Father." Vincent asked.
"No not in the paper Kipper brought back. It appears she will have to remain with us a little longer until we can find something out. Maybe Catherine could help." Father suggested.
"I'll send her a note to meet me at the threshold this evening. Vincent replied.
"I think that would be wise Vincent and maybe we should get Cullen to make some sort of cage, just in case we have to return her to her owner. I've never clipped a birds wings and I wouldn't want her to be unable to escape in case she needed to. I think she is safe here below but I can't say the same for above. I still wonder how she found her way here? " Father questioned.
"I believe it has something to do with the pipes Father. I still have the picture in my head when she was tapping on the pipes with her beak in the tunnels when I found her." Vincent replied.
"You could be right Vincent, there's hardly a time when I've not known you to be." Father responded.
* * * *
Catherine had received Vincent's note. (Catherine please meet me down below your basement threshold after work this evening around 7:30 please V )
She was early for a change and so eager to meet Vincent. Climbing down the ladder she knew it was still to early for him. Deciding not to wait she hastily ran to his chamber. She was just getting ready to relax on Vincent's bed when she was attacked by a flying animal. Throwing her arms up in defense, Catherine tripped and fell on Vincent's bed. Catherine carefully sat up and looked around the room," what in the Sam hill was that," she thought.
"Friday Cat, Friday Cat," echoed around the room.
Sitting perched on the back of Vincent's reading chair was a beautiful parrot. Catherine smiled in appreciation. "Where have you come from? she asked.
"Friday Cat, Friday Cat," the parrot repeated.
"I'm not a Friday Cat," Catherine denied. "I'm Catherine, my name is Catherine." she repeated and realized she was talking just like the parrot was in repeating sentences.
"Pretty Cat, Pretty Cat," Polly called Catherine.
"Well I have to say that's an improvement from Friday Cat." Catherine laughingly replied.
Vincent entered the room and eagerly claimed Catherine in a kiss.
"I've missed you my love. When are you coming to visit Catherine?" he asked.
"I'm almost finished with this assignment Vincent. I have one more witness to interview then I'm turning the case over to Joe, so I'll be gone for one more day and no longer."
"Joe said to tell you that he wants to go fishing with you again in the underwater river. I think if you would let him he would move down here and give up his job above and I also think he has feelings for Jamie if I've read him correctly."
"He's welcome to visit Catherine but Joe must remain above."
I'm almost positive Joe in in love with Jamie she replied.
"Catherine he's met her only once how could he be in love with her." Vincent asked.
"Possibly the same way I fell in love with you Vincent at second sight." The first time doesn't count. If you had warned me I wouldn't have shamed myself that day. I hated myself for hurting you." she admitted.
"Anyway that's water under the bridge, why have you summoned me or is she the reason you have brought me here." Catherine asked.
"Her name is Polly and we need to find her owner Catherine. We checked the local newspaper but nothing has shown up there," he replied.
"What about the pet shops have you checked with them?" she asked.
"No Catherine, to be honest I haven't even thought about the pet shops but if I were a pet owner, I think I would leave some kind of lost animal notice posted on their board. That's an excellent idea Catherine. We just might find Polly's owner after all. " Vincent replied.
"Virile Vincent, Virile Vincent loves Pretty Cat,"
"Pretty Cat, Pretty Cat loves Virile Vincent," Polly announced.
"Virile Vincent huh, how on earth did she come up with Virile Vincent?" Catherine asked.
Vincent sheepishly hung his head and answered ,"I don't know Catherine, at first she was calling me Vincent then she started calling me Virile Vincent. I'm not sure why she changed my name. Nobody has even mentioned virile around her, she came up with it on her own."
"I think she has very good taste Vincent. You look extremely virile to me as well and she's right, I do love you Vincent very much." Catherine bashfully admitted.
Smiling Vincent answered, "I love you back my Catherine."
* * * *
Catherine had been sitting on a park bench reading the classifieds when she heard a voice calling "Polly, Polly come to Mama Bear."
Communicating with Vincent through the bond, she sent him a message to bring Polly to the tunnel park entrance and that he was to hurry.
Walking over the small gray haired lady. Catherine inquired if she has lost someone.
"Oh dear, I've lost my Polly. I haven't seen her in a week and I'm afraid I'll never see her again," the small lady replied tearfully. She's my beautiful Amazon parrot. There's this nasty feline that chased her away, of course it was my fault for bringing her to the park in the first place. I was so busy looking at my chip and dale calendar my niece sent me in the mail , that I neglected to notice this cat eyeballing Polly. Why can you blame me,, those virile hunks on that calendar with their muscular chest and black tight pants. Lord what I wouldn't give to be forty years younger. Of course in my day, they didn't have calendars like they do now.
Anyway, I've lost my pretty Polly and I've been looking for her everyday in the park hoping she would return to her Mama Bear. She has to be here somewhere. I was hoping she would have heard the wind chimes and followed them home but she must be to far away from them. You see my Polly makes music with her beak on the wind chimes on my balcony and I was hoping she could hear them ,you see and maybe she would just show up on the balcony one day. Oh dear, I haven't even introduced myself and I'm just going on and on. My name is Eva Gordon and I live only a few blocks from here. Have you by any chance seen my Polly? Miss," she asked.
"Catherine, my nickname is Pretty Cat and yes I've seen her. If you wait here for one few seconds, I'll shall bring your Polly to you. Please remain here and don't follow me," Catherine asked.
* * * *
Running to the tunnel entrance and just a few feet inside Vincent handed Polly to Catherine in a small cage.
"Hurry Catherine she doesn't like the cage," he replied.
Walking quickly back to Ms. Gordon, Catherine could hear Polly profusely complaining. "Let me out, Let me out, you're a bad Purdy cat," Polly angrily replied.
Catherine couldn't help but chuckle, this parrot had been watching to much TV it seems.
"Here she is Miss Gordon, your precious Polly."
"Mama Bear, Mama Bear," Polly cried.
"Pretty Cat, Pretty Cat, Polly go home to Mama Bear. Polly asked.
"Yes my precious Polly, you're coming home with Mama Bear and as soon as I get you home you can get out of this cage until then, you're staying put. I'm not risking you getting away again. Mama Bear sure did miss her Polly. I can't thank you enough Miss. I don't know what I would have done without my Polly, she is all I have. Thank you so much and a precious star wish is coming your way. All you have to do is make a wish. Goodbye my dear, be well and don't forget to make that wish, it's good for anytime of the day.
Looking back towards the tunnel to see if Vincent had seen the little lady, Catherine was surprised to see the little old lady had practically vanished when she turned back to watch her leave.
"Now what was she suppose to make of that," Catherine wondered.
* * * *
"Vincent, would you do me a big favor?" Catherine asked.
"Tell me?" he asked.
Since they had returned to his chamber after giving Polly back to her owner, he had been reading to her while she watched him from the bed. Her curiosity got the best of her and she couldn't get virile Vincent out of her mind. Polly had obviously referred to him as virile Vincent because of the chip and dale calendar Miss Gordon had. How Polly could distinguish the difference between a picture and the real thing was amazing to Catherine.
"Take your vest and shirt off Vincent." Catherine requested.
Vincent's head snapped up from the book in an instant.
He looked at her in silence, waiting; finally hanging his head down upon chest his sucked in a huge breath.
"Catherine how can you ask this of me?" he asked.
"Because I love you and I've wanted to see you for so long Vincent," she answered.
He tilted his head back and exhaled .
"What you ask of me Catherine is not so simple, very few people know what I look like without my clothes.
I'm different, I'm not like other men ." he explained.
"I'm glad your not like other men. I love you Vincent and no other and I have no desire to see other men. Do you think they all look the same. Each of us are individual human beings, you included and we all look different from each other. My hair is brown, yours is a red, golden blond, Fathers is gray and we are all unique in our own way. You my love are the most unique and you are so beautiful to me Vincent. You could never be ugly or repulsive to me. Don't you know that I have fears Vincent. Afraid that you might not find me attractive naked because I'm not like you. Why would you want someone like me , I'm not beautiful Vincent, I'm just plain old Catherine Chandler. I desire you Vincent and I want so much to see you, all of you and if I can't see all you this time, maybe next time. Please Vincent," she begged.
Vincent hung his head down as tears fell from his eyes. She asked for so little, how could he deny her this one request. Reaching for his vest he untied it and held it out to her. Focusing on her face he watched her as he unbuttoned his shirt. Leaning forward to pull it off he tossed it on the floor. Bravely he sat back in his chair and let her look at his naked upper body waiting for her reaction. Would she find him repulsive or would she find him beautiful. He flinched when he saw her tears and misreading her emotions, he quickly reached for his shirt as she grabbed his hand to stop him.
"My god Vincent, how could you keep this from me." she asked. He was unbelievable and unspeakably beautiful. His chest was covered with fine light golden hair and his arms were so muscular.
"Hold me Vincent, please hold me," she pleaded.
"Catherine?" he questioned.
"Never hide yourself from me again Vincent. You are too beautiful to hide yourself and if this gorgeous chest is any indication, I'm sure the rest of you is even more beautiful and one day I intend to find out. Leaning over closer to him she sat on his lap and wrapped her arms around him, nuzzling her face on his chest. "You smell so good Vincent, never will I let you keep yourself from me." she declared.
"Why are you smiling Catherine, I can feel your humor and I hope it isnt' at my expense." he replied.
"Never Vincent, I just fingered out why Polly called you Virile Vincent. You didn't by any chance have your clothes off in front of her by any chance did you?" she asked.
"Only once Catherine why?"
"Polly was comparing you to a chip and dale dancer she saw in her Mama Bear's calendar. That's why she called you Virile Vincent because Miss Gordon called the chip and dale dancers virile hunks. With your clothes off you must have looked very similar Vincent, even Polly thinks so. So don't you think it's time you let me...... '
Vincent covered her mouth with his hand. "One thing at a time Catherine, now it's my turn to see you my love. "
Catherine reached up to pull off her dress. Vincent quickly stopped her in mid-stream, "Perhaps we should wait until later my love you seem to have more to take off than I do." he replied.
"Chicken." she replied laughingly.
"I love you Catherine. "
"I love you more Vincent," she replied.
* * * *
"Well Polly what do you think, it's a start in the right direction isn't it?" a sweet little voice whispered above the loving couple.