Arnold and Cyan came out behind the undertakers home and the Trolley Stationed there. The larger cat waved goodbye to his friend, who wanted to explore more of that long abandoned Courthouse and thought they could use it for urchin trials and decrees about cookies.
As he walked out a mechanical voice cried out, “MUR-DER-ER!” Arnold jumped and turned to find himself confronted by one of Dr. Dinosaurs Watchers. It stared at him accusingly, “MUR-DER-ER!”
It flew off and Arnold chased after it curiously as it flew into an open door which said 221-B. Before he had time to wonder at what was going out it flew back outside, carrying a stack of papers with it. “THE CAT IS A MUR-DER-ER!”
It flew at him and released the stack of papers at him. He moved out of the way and then looked at them. They were headlines from years ago, English and German papers describing several men who had been killed by some creature with claws at night.
Arnold frowned as he considered the Watchers accusations and read one of the articles. He frowned and placed the passage into his pocket as the mechanical thing flew away. He adjusted his hat needlessly before he continued down Perdido Street, which thankfully resembled the real street at least until he came to the first intersection.
The road was longer, with several twists that he did not recall, but what he did not expect was to hear loud breathing ahead as a heavy white smoke filled the streets and made it impossible to see the buildings. He moved forward, coughing and feeling himself getting lighter headed as he made his way forward looking for the bridge.
Opium, that was what the smoke was! Realizing that he tried to move through quicker and made his way down the precarious pathways he saw someone approaching him, someone with red-orange hair.
“Arny!” Njal cried out with a friendly wave when she saw him. “How are ya?” She looked at his attire more closely and smirked, “Who’d you play cards with to afford that thing, and are they still in town?”
Arnold couldn’t help returning a grin, “I don’t think they’ll play again.”
“Oh well, I’ll win against Phae again someday,” Njal replied with a slight pout. “Anyways, I was just about to really start chasing the dragon. Care to join me?”
Arnold was about to shake his head when she took out a bag of something from her pocket that caught his complete attention, “I found this stuff the other day and the cats were rubbing all over it like crazy. I thought you might like it.”
He knew what it was even before the scent wafted over to him filling his nostrils with the scientifically altered catnip. It overpowered the opium and Arnold was unaware that his pupils had already started to dilate. “Come on, Arny, chase the dragon with me.” She grinned as through the billowing white smoke he thought he saw something scaly and red move. She offered it to him and he reached for it and accepted it, and then looked down at it, and then back up at the scaly thing moving behind her apprehensively. “Just pretend its a big fish.”
One other thing moved in that darkness with red hair, and Lisa seemed to step out of the mist–
–Lisa appeared out of nowhere as Arnold sat up with surprise. He was disoriented, but more relaxed than he had been after waking up other times. He shook his head and soon he made his way to the Meeting.