Stand behind yer sheriff Circulation: 195,899,031 Issue: 883 | 15th day of Storing, Y21
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Colourful Opinions


by ikiracake

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     "Oh Martha, your scones are a delight, as always.”

     “Why, thank you, Constance,” the Kau said graciously, pouring her guest a cup of tea. One would think it would be difficult to handle a teapot with hooves, but the numerous wrinkles on Martha’s face hinted to her many years of practice to master the art. “I tried adding a bit of almond extract this time to give them a little pep.”

     “It worked,” said the third guest at the table, a diminutive and greying Bruce, adjusted the hat on her head, before selecting another scone from the tray for her plate. “I do declare, you must give us the recipe!”

     Martha simply laughed and shook her head. “Once I’ve perfected it, Agnes, and not a moment before!”

     “I doubt you can make them any better than this,” Constance the Yurble scoffed. She gave Martha a dry look over her thick glasses. “Unless you start using magic, that is.”

     Immediately all three elderly ladies started to titter and laugh as if Constance had made a very funny joke.

     “Oh Constance, you are so cheeky!” Martha chortled, wiping a tear from her eye with her hoof. “Magic! For baking! Could you imagine?”

     “Such a frivolous waste,” Agnes agreed with an upturned beak. “Magic shouldn’t be used for such things.”

     Constance smiled wryly and pushed her glasses back up. “Oh I agree, Agnes, I agree. Have you seen what they use magic for these days? Completely wasteful if you ask me.”

     Agnes puffed up in indignation. “So much of it goes into that uncivilized fighting pit!” she spluttered.

     “The Battledome, dear,” Martha corrected absently, sipping her tea.

     “Toys!”

     “Magical plushies, I believe is what the youth call them.”

     “Scrolls and books!” Agnes continued to rant, too worked up to hear Martha’s mild commentary.

     “Oh my, Martha, I would love to have another of your scones, but I’m afraid there won’t be any left for Barbara when she gets here,” Constance told Martha, the two friends ignoring Agnes for the moment, well used to her antics.

     “Don’t you worry about that,” Martha pushed the tray of scones closer to Constance, “there’s more where those came from.”

     “And worst of all!” Agnes burst out, her rant coming to a crescendo. “Those...potions.”

     Immediately Martha and Constance stilled, looking at Agnes before sharing a conspiratorial look.

     “Oh my,” Martha said quietly. “My, yes, those potions.”

     “Quite unnatural,” Constance chimed in, taking a sip of her tea.

     “Most peculiar,” Martha offered.

     “Hmm.”

     Agnes fussed with her pearls, which had become lopsided while she had been shouting. “Don’t you remember ladies, back in the good old days? It used to be so rare, so unique to have a little work done. You were blessed with a magical paint brush, and that was the colour you got, no fussing about it. Nowadays I swear any pet can go out and change themselves if they want to. And the colours! Have you seen these pets walking around with those newfangled colours?”

     “Ugh, I know what you mean, Agnes,” said Constance, rolling her eyes. “My nephew just got himself done up as one of those neon pets. ‘Dimensional’ he calls it. ‘An eyesore’ is what I call it, but apparently it’s very ‘cool’ these days.”

     “Bah, give me a nice, tasteful stripe any day of the week,” Agnes scoffed. “Better yet, don’t paint me at all. Did you hear about Margaret? Managed to get her hooves somehow on a pink paint brush, and now she doesn’t have time for us old fuddy duddies anymore.”

     “Is that why she stopped coming to our bridge games?” Martha mused.

     “To be fair to her, pink looks great on her,” Constance muttered to Martha under her breath, quietly enough that Agnes wouldn’t hear her over the slurp of her tea. “She looks years younger, like a whole new Peophin.”

     “Oh my, does she now?”

     “I’ve never been painted in all my years,” Agnes continued, “and as far as I’m concerned I don’t need to be.” She nodded firmly to punctuate her statement, and then calmly poured herself some more tea.

     “Oh, but you’re so right, dear,” Martha said sagely. “In fact, I think most would agree with you nowadays, apparently our look is very ‘in’ as the kids would say. Did you know that there’s a paint brush out there that can make you look - ehem - distinguished like us?”

     “No!” Constance gasped, sounding like she had just heard the juiciest gossip.

     Agnes was much less amused. “You must be joking!”

     “No, I heard someone mention one was being auctioned when I was at the market the other day.”

     “Preposterous!” Agnes blustered. “How absurd!”

     Constance reached over and patted Agnes’ flipper “At least it’s a paint brush,” she comforted her friend. “Not one of those...potions.”

     “Ugh! Don’t even mention those!” Agnes screwed up her eyes and flapped her flippers in agitation. “So unnatural!”

     “Imagine, changing your colour and species!” Constance whispered in horror.

     “I told you not to mention it! Oh, now look what you’ve done, you’ve gotten me worked up into such a state!”

     “Oh, I don’t know,” Martha cut in calmly. “So many people buy them these days, surely these morphing potions can’t be all bad.”

     “It’s unnatural!”

     “It would be rather strange,” Constance, ever the diplomat, offered.

     Martha chuckled. “Oh please, ladies, haven’t you ever been at least a little bit curious? Imagine, being able to fly as a Korbat or swim as a Koi!”

     Constance looked thoughtful. Agnes clutched her pearls in horror.

     “It would be tricky to get one, of course. Although they’re more affordable than paint brushes, they’re certainly not cheap.”

     “Martha, you wouldn’t!” Agnes cried. “Tell me you didn’t go looking at those awful things!”

     Martha merely laughed. “Well of course I did! I went to visit my niece at her work, and you know she makes them, don’t you? Of course I was going to take a peek.”

     “And?” Constance leaned forward in her chair in anticipation, while Agnes recoiled in horror.

     “I thought about it,” Martha admitted. “Maybe just a colour change, just to try it out. It would be much less drastic than changing species! And I ran the numbers; if I dipped into my savings a little, I could certainly afford one.”

     But then Martha finally sighed, finishing off the tea in her cup. “But I decided not to. I’d rather spend the money on gifts for my family.”

     “Good gracious, Martha!” Agnes groaned as Constance sunk back into her chair in disappointment. “Don’t scare me like that! As if one of us would be foolish enough to take one of those dreadful potions!”

     “Dreadful? Ha!” Martha shook her head. “They’re just like paint brushes, my dear. And you know very well that if one fell into your lap, you’d take it, just like you’d have used any paint brush you’d stumbled across back in the day!”

     Agnes spluttered indignantly, but notably did not actually deny what Martha was saying.

     “I suppose it could be worse,” Constance eventually spoke up. “At least those potions turn you natural colours. Have you heard what that dreadful Dr. Sloth has apparently cooked up?”

     Even Martha looked fearful this time. “Mutants! Now those pets are unnatural,” Martha shuddered.

     “Completely horrifying!”

     “So utterly distasteful,” Constance agreed. “Why, I say, mutant pets are - ”

     Whatever she had been about to declare was cut off as a knock came at the door. Immediately all three ladies perked up.

     “Oh, that must be Barbara,” Agnes gushed, clapping happily. “About time she got here!”

     “I know, we can finally get the cards out!” Constance agreed.

     “I’ll get the door if you ladies don’t mind putting on a fresh pot of tea,” Martha said, hopping out of her chair and heading to the front door. “Coming! Coming, Barbara!”

     With a flick of her hoof, she unlatched the door, letting it swing open. “Well, hello, Ms. Barbara, it’s about time you - eep!”

     Both Constance and Agnes looked over at the sound of Martha’s gasp. Immediately they both shrieked as well, the teapot in Constance’s paws dropping to the ground and shattering on the tile.

     “Oh my goodness!” Constance squeaked.

     “Hello ladies!” the figure in the doorway greeted them cheerfully, waving. “Sorry I’m late!”

     “B-Barbara?” Martha stuttered, looking up and up at her friend. Her eyes kept darting between the thick spikes, the long curved horns, the huge claws, the glowing eyes and sharp teeth, unsure where to focus. “Is that...you?”

     “Of course!” the mutant Acara said, giving what might have been a grin. “Surprise! Do you like the new look? This strange, kind young man gave me a potion, and so I decided to go for a little change,” she added happily, doing a little spin. “What do you think?”

     “A kind young man?” Constance repeated, agog.

     “A little change?!” Agnes wheezed.

     “It’s not too much, is it?” Barbara asked, giving them all an uncertain look.

     There was a very pointed pause as her friends took in her new look. There was a lot to take in, after all, and most of it was...sharp.

     “No! No, not at all!” Martha said quickly.

     “You look incredible!” Constance added.

     “Makes me jealous!” Agnes cried.

     Barbara broke out into a wide grin, showing off her new serrated teeth. “Oh good, I’m so glad to hear you say that! Now, I smell Martha’s baking, and my mouth is already watering. Where are those scones?”

     “R-right this way.” Martha led her into the house on shaking hooves, hiding a wince when Barbara forgot her new height and cracked her horns against the doorway. “W-watch your head.”

     “Oops! Silly me!”

     As Martha and Barbara moved towards the back of the kitchen to gather more scones, Constance leaned over to Agnes with wide eyes and whispered. “Oh my heavens, Agnes. Our Barbara, she looks...she looks…”

     “Amazing,” Agnes breathed, watching Barbara stumble around the kitchen with wide eyes. “Good gracious, Constance, I’ve got to get my flippers on one of those potions!”

     The End.

 
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