“Run,” shouted Squigg as he pushed Fyonn back into the large hall. He saw Sprocket barrel into the other side of the corridor before the little pixie came hurtling at them. That was alright, Sprocket could handle himself. Fyonn was trying to slam one of the huge doors closed. He grabbed her by the wrist and took off towards the kitchen.
“No time for that lass,” he breathed. Fyonn buzzed furiously trying to keep up. A blur of motion flew by.
“Oh Digits gonna get ya,” it sang. They darted around it and carried on towards the kitchen. The small pixie caught up effortlessly and flew along side them. “It’s no use runnin’!” it shouted. Squigg kicked out at him sending the little pixie sprawling out of the air. “So that’s how ya wanna play?” it yelled picking itself up off the floor.
“What about Sprocket?” Fyonn yelled.
“Don’t worry about him, he can take care of himself,” Squigg answered as they dashed into the kitchen and under one of the counters, at least he hoped he could. The little pixie was close behind them as they weaved in and out of the counter legs, up and round past the freezer desperately trying to outrun him. “We need to get into the winter box,” Squigg shouted. Fyonn looked back at him in annoyance.
“It’s called a freezer!” she yelled.
“Does it really matter right now!” he yelled back trying to keep his feet out of Digits hands. The little pixie was grabbing at Squigg trying to drag them both out of the air. They tumbled and twisted, Squigg desperately trying to keep up with Fyonn who was getting further ahead.
“Tell me where you’ve got your loot stashed,” Digit demanded.
“Never,” Squigg shouted and poked the little pixie in the eye. Digit yelped in pain and let go of Squigg who took off after Fyonn. He made his way back up to the main counter, his wings buzzing like never before but behind him he could hear Digit catching up. Ahead he could see Fyonn using a teaspoon to scoop powdered coffee out of a tin. What in the world was she up to?
“Duck,” she shouted as Squigg flew by. He tucked his wings and fell flat the counter top and skidded to a halt. Behind him Fyonn heaved and Digit got a spoon full of coffee powder right to the face and went tumbling over the side to the floor below. “Yes!” Fyonn laughed and did a little dance with the spoon. He was right, he thought, she was barmey.
“No time to celebrate,” he said picking himself up, “bring that we need it,” he said pointing to the spoon. Fyonn seemed only too happy to keep hold of the teaspoon. They darted down to stand in front of the freezer, Squigg took the spoon from her and jammed it into the space between the doors.
“I want that back,” she said to him but he was too busy trying to pry open the door to really notice. After a moment of straining he waved her over.
“A little help?” he asked. Between the two of them they managed to pop open the freezer door, a blast of cold air fell over them.
“What are you doing?” Fyonn asked as he used the spoon to prop open the heavy door. He looked behind them to where they had last seen Digit.
“I’m getting my loot,” he yelled loudly and pulled her around the side of the giant machine out of sight. All he needed now was the greedy little pixie to show up. He was keeping an eye out around the corner when he felt a sharp slap across the back of his head. He turned hands up, expecting the little pixie, only to see a furious looking Fyonn. “What was that for?” he asked rubbing his head, “We’re on the same side!”
“You said you didn’t steal things,” she buzzed, “and now these horrible pixies are trying to ruin the school and all you are worried about is your ill gotten gains!” she began smacking him with both hands, “I should never have listened to you in the first place,” Squigg did his best to duck and dodge every blow she sent his way but she was surprisingly accurate. From the other side of the room they both heard Digit sneeze
“Right, that’s it, no more Mr Nice Pixie” he screamed. Squigg managed to grab hold of Fyonns’ hands and called out.
“Quick Fyonn, get the bags out of the Winter Box!” Fyonn scrunched up her face as she kicked him in the shin as hard as she could. He fell backwards and saw the small thief fly past him laughing, right into the freezer.
“Finders keepers” Digit sang. Squigg scrambled to teaspoon and knocked it out of the way, the heavy freezer door swung shut with a THUNK. He lay on his back trying to catch his breath. That was it, life was becoming a little too exciting. No more sneaking into places, it was time to find a place of his own, maybe set up a tinker shop somewhere. Fyonn kicked the freezer door.
“Serves you right you greedy little thief,” she shouted. He waved the teaspoon at her from the floor.
“Want your spoon back?” he grinned. She looked for a moment as though she might beat him with it but thought otherwise. She pulled him back to his feet but still looked angry.
“That was your plan all along” she kicked him in the shin again.
“You have to stop doing that,” he cried
“I don’t like being lied to!”
“When was I supposed to do, just stop and ask that little imp to hang on while I explain the plan to you?” The bossy little witch had some nerve, he had just improvised the entire plan on the fly and pulled their wings out of the fire. They wouldn’t be in this situation if she had kept quiet and left with him and Sprocket.
“And I don’t like your sarcastic tone!” she yelled.
“Well stick your fingers in your ears!” he checked about for his tool bag and found it near the Rumble Pot where had left it, the satchel with some of his tinkering bits next to it.
“Sprocket!” Fyonn gasped. Squigg rubbed his shin and then threw on his bags.
“I told you, he can take care of himself,” Fyonn narrowed her eyes at him as if he were lying. Why did everyone assume he was lying. “Look, Sprocket is a good ole lad, gentle as can be, but you can only push that hedgehog so far.” He poked his head into the great hall, “looks clear,” he said. They made their way back through the great hall towards the corridor, they stopped again at the large double doors. Squigg pressed his finger to his lips and quickly poked his head out and back in. “The crow and the leader are still by the books, I think Sprocket and the big one went that way,” he pointed across the hall.
“The bathroom?” Fyonn asked. Squigg shrugged, big folk had such odd names for things. That was where he had last seen Sprocket headed and despite his assurances to Fyonn, he was worried for his friend. He checked once more to make sure the crow was not looking their way and they quickly darted across.
Inside they found a large pixie, a very large pixie. He stood a good head and shoulders taller than Squigg, and he trying his best to get a hold of Sprocket. The hedgehog was curled into a ball, his spines the only thing stopping the big pixie from grabbing him.
“We’ve got to help him,” Fyonn whispered. Squigg just smiled, to the untrained eye it might look like Sprocket needed help, but that hedgepig had the big pixie right where he wanted him.
“Just wait,” he assured her. She didn’t like his answer, he could tell by the look on her face, but Squigg had known Sprocket a long time and he knew when his friend needed help. He had also been on the bad side of the hedgehog once or twice. He was slow to anger, but that hedgehog had a temper.
“He is supposed to be your friend,” She snapped at him. Always so bossy, was it really so hard for her to just accept that someone might know better than her, just once.
“I get it,” he said trying to get her to understand, he wasn’t abandoning his friend, “you think he is in trouble, but believe me Fyonn you do not want to be anywhere near that hedgepig right now.” Her angry face softened, “If I know my mate half as well as I think I do we need to be up there,” he said pointing to the top of the stall. He buzzed his wings and took off without waiting for her to follow. Below him the big pixie now had a hold of some of Sprockets spines and was trying to drag him about, the hedgehog squeaked in pain. Squigg settled on a large white surface next to a long silver lever overlooking a huge white bowl filled with water. Fyonn landed next to him and wrinkled her nose. He pointed to the lever “When I say so, we have to push the lever to activate the Vortex Bowl below us.” She looked at the lever, then down to the water below and back to him.
“That’s a toilet Squigg,” she said with a look of disgust. He shrugged his wings at her, it didn’t really matter to him what the big folk called things, all that mattered was that they were in position to help Sprocket. “Do you know what the toilet is for?” she asked.
“I know what were going to use it for now,” he smiled back pointing to Sprocket. The big pixie had a hold of his spines, trying to use his strength to hurl the hedgehog, but he had come to close. Sprocket, with a speed he rarely showed, unfolded and with his back legs kicked the large pixie square in the chest sending him flying through the air. The big pixie let out a cry of shock, turning end over end, unable to right himself before falling with a splash into the water. “Now!” Squigg yelled. He jumped with all his weight onto the silver lever, Fyonn a half step behind. There was a great roaring of water as the Vortex below began to swirl and churn. It only lasted a few seconds before everything was still and quiet again. Below them the water was clear, there as no sign of the large pixie. Down on the floor Sprocket grunting angrily and making rude gestures towards the toilet, he noticed Fyonn and quickly became very busy tidying his spines. Squigg felt himself pushed to the side as Fyonn flew past him.
“Oh Sprocket,” she cried and hugged his face, “you were amazing, serves that bully right.” Squigg dropped in beside them, glad to see he wasn’t wrong. He knew his friend could handle that pixie.
“I told you we had nothing to worry about. Never get on the bad side of a hedgepig,” he told Fyonn. Sprocket twitched his spines and looked very happy with himself. “Come on, we can probably make a run for it now,” he said to them both. Neither of them moved, Fyonn stood arms akimbo and foot tapping. For one of the rare times in his life Squigg didn’t know what to say, she still wanted to tangle with that crow out there. He looked to Sprocket, surely his best mate would see it his way, but the hedgehog had defiant look in his eye. Someone had started trouble with him, and now he was firmly in Fyonns’ corner. “You’re mental, both of you, stark raving bonkers if you think I am going out here to deal with that banshee and her crow!”
Sprocket squeaked at him.
“Oh is that so,” he said back.
The hedgehog snuffled and tapped the ground with his paw. Hedgehogs can be such stubborn creatures when they set their minds to things, or when someone upsets them.
“I know we’re two down but there is a big difference between two pixies and a crow. That thing will scarf us whole!” Was he the only one who was seeing sense here. They could leave, all three of them, what did it matter if they left the big building. Sprocket shook his spines angrily and squeaked once more. Squigg blinked in surprise, the hedgehog had never taken that tone with him before.
“You watch your language Sprocket Dewthistle, or I will let your mum know what you’ve been saying,” before Sprocket could respond Fyonn stepped between them. She tightened her hair back into its bun and made an attempt to smarten herself up. Great, he thought, I guess she means business.
“Look, I know it’s dangerous Squigg, but we can do this,” she said. “If all three of us work together we can stop that nasty little witch out there and save the School,” she put her hand on Sprockets snout and took his hand in her other. “Can you build something if I describe it?” she asked. What kind of question was that, he was Squigg, there was nothing he couldn’t build.
“Of course I can, so long as I’ve got the parts,” he said.
“Good,” she smiled at him, “I have a plan. Do you trust me?”