There was insanity out there. A craziness he didn't wish to bother himself with.with. He adjusted his glasses with a sigh. It was pointless, really. Words make so much more sense. Plain and laid out in tidy little sentences.

The first time she'd come in, out of breath and freckles washed out by the blush in her cheeks, he simply told her to scram. He really didn't have time to play one of her games. Her pockets didn't seem to have the typical bulge of ants, or snakes. She was a bit dirty; but then she always was. She had babbled a bit, but Clever was very good at ignoring her chatter. She'd cried a little, but still he'd sent her away.

He took off his glasses, and rubbed at the bridge of his nose. Pointless. Still, Clever couldn't fight the empathy that pulled at him. He could still hear her in the hallway. He leaned back and sighed.

Shen. Shen? Why don't you come back in?" Again he rubbed at his nose.

Shenanigans was one of the strays Wenys was forever playing guardian too. They made their rounds in and out the doors; feed, clothed, made happy and ready for the big mean world. Shenanigans, she was aptly called, was the worst yet. Typically Wenys' wards were quite things: frightened even of their own shadows. Shen though had a knack for trouble, both diabolical and distasterouse. She was a slight and pale korbat, more bone than meat. Green hair pulled into a neat side pony-tail. She didn't look like the demon Clever knew she was.

The subject of his thoughts padded into the room, head low, green eyes amiss of their typical mischief and instead brimmed with tears.

I didn't know why you don't believe me, Clever!" Shen sobbed while crumpling onto the floor.- she also had a flare for drama. "I really did see a ghostie out in the moors! It was little, like me; and crying and crying! There was even a big ol' whoot what tried to steal away Growly!" She clutched a stuffed polarchuck to her chin. "I fought him off though! Growly is mine- that mean whoot can't have him! He can't!" her voice became shrill, and Clever winced- both at the volume of her voice and the thought of two Shens.

First off, darling," Clever moved onto the floor, shaking his head. "What were you doing out on the moors? You know Wenys doesn't like you going out there…" He wiped away one of her tears and rubbed it on his jeans.

Cause'...." She turned her chin up at him and pouted. "Doesn't change what I saw, if I was allowed to be there or no…" She couldn't think of a good reason to be out there.

Clever gritted his teeth. "Fine. You saw what you saw. I don't really know what you expect me to do about it. "

Shen stood up, putting fists to her hips. "Scare it off… duh." She shook her little head at him. "You got all these books I'm sure at least one of them will tell you how to run off ghosts."

Clever took his glasses off and rubbed at his eyes; he did that a lot where Shen was concerned. She looked at him expectantly.

None of my books contain information on the exerization of ghost." He stated planly.

Grr! I don't want to take the ghost out for a run, Clever! I want to run it off! Aren't you even listening to me?!" Shen stomped her foot, the plushie slipper she was wearing flopped around a little.

I just meant…" Clever trailed off. "I don't know how to "run it off" or "take it or a run". I don't think I can help you. Maybe, just maybe," he stood up and dusted his pants, "you just stay away from the moors. Then you won't have to worry about ghosts." He put his glasses back on and looked at her over the tops.

Shen narrowed her eyes and let out a little scream of flustration. "You're worthless, Clever! worthless!" She then stomped out of the room with surprisingly powerful foot falls.

Clever shook his head and turned back to the books spread out on the desk. Accounting wasn't really his strong point. Numbers didn't talk to him the way print did. Still, someone had to make sure there was money for the numerous things Wenys' household required.

He adjusted his glasses and picked up his pen. Carry the two, add a grand here, no, take away 750 for the watering can Shen broke…. a ghost in the moors? What silly thing. There really is no such thing as ghosts… but wait… He sat the pen down and pushed the ledger away from him. I think I remember reading a book. Clever stood up and put a finger to his chin, mentally scanning the books in his library. He nodded sharply and turned toward a bookcase. Up there a think, a Dark History of the Moors I believe it's called.

A few hours later Wenys walked wistfully into Clevers' study. "Whatcha got there?" She quickly moved behind him and rubbed at his shoulder blades. "Dark History of the Moors? Is that our Moors? Or some other moors?"

Clever leaned into her a little and nodded. "Our moors. Yes." His eyes scanned a bit more of the book, then he half closed it using his finger as a bookmark. "Your little Shen was out there today, said she saw a 'ghostie' …"

So, you're looking for something spooky to scare her with?" Wenys' tone was distasteful.

Clever scowled. "No, I wasn't going to scare her. She was already upset. It just... " He huffed and stood up quickly. "Nothing. It was nothing. Did you get those eggs to the market okay?" He turned back to his forgotten ledger book. A bit of blush on his cheeks at having been caught playing instead of working.

Wenys laughed. "I did… but I want to know more about the" she wiggled her hands in a ghostly way "dark history of the moors!"

Clever rolled his eyes. "Really, we need to get to work…" He looked up at her and sighed. He'd known Wenys since they were both little cubs he a little lutari and her a round fat kougra. She was forever coloring her fur this way and that, and she'd lost her childhood chubbiness. Those pink eyes, bright with optimism, never changed. "You're not going to give up, are you?"

She grinned and pushed a lock of pink hair behind her shoulder. "Nope."

Fine." Clever stretched a little and walked in front of his desk and started to pace while he spoke. "Your Moors out there have a nasty little history, bandits, marauders, once even pirates." He looked at her over his glasses at this last, daring her to say anything. His own tail was dyed with a skull and crossbones- it's a lot more fun (and less deadly) to read about being a pirate than to go out and be a pirate… "So, suffice to say, it's seem some pretty terrible stuff. Murders mayhem and the like."

He moved back over to his desk, opened the book and flipped back a few pages, "I really didn't think anything of what Shen was talking about until she made a comment about a whoot trying to steal her stuffed bear." He held his book out to Wenys.

She scanned the page, moving into his chair while reading. She furrowed her brow and handed the book back. "That's pretty grizzly. A bunch of bullies taking a kid out there and leaving him. Don't understand what it has to do with what Shen saw."

Clever took the book back, closing it with a sharp thunk. "He had a pet whoot that enjoyed stealing the other childrens toys." He shook his head. "I told you it was stupid.

Wenys shook her head and laughed. "I thought you'd learned your lesson about trying to relive your story books, Clever..."




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