I was really low leaving the faerie king. I had directions to this place with too many eyeballs written on my arm and a nagging feeling that Rufus would have been eating whatever he found the whole time he was here—let’s be honest, who among us doesn’t think he snacked on baby mastodon poop?—so I might not be able to get him back even if I did find him. And, even if I did find him and get him back, just how in the holy hell was I supposed to find my way back to my house?
I walked along feeling sorry for myself when I felt something brush against my leg. I looked down, fully expecting it to be something unrecognizable—a parrot with the body of Hulk Hogan, a centipede with Hot Wheel cars instead of legs, an open wound that could quote Shakespeare, a piece of cake that looked like a dachshund, a foot carrying an umbrella, Shoeless Joe Jackson, but with shoes—but it was Pumpkin. Just regular Pumpkin, who must have come looking for me because Bart never remembers to feed her breakfast.
I explained to her my whole situation and showed her the directions on my arm. I waiting for her to say something or to sprout wings or anything that would suggest that she’d been changed by her time here on the back side of reality, but she just blinked up at me and walked beside me, occasionally darting between my legs to rub up against my other ankle, which caused me to almost trip, repeatedly, but, again, this was her usual behavior.
So, I went on and she came with me.