“Now would be a good time to get out of here, John William,” Ferdinand yelled through the chaos. John William scurried toward the exit dodging flying chairs, tables and even bandits light enough to toss. In a table just off to the side sat a possum wearing an eye patch and tattered coat with miscellaneous items pouring out of the pockets. He seemed to be completely oblivious of the tussle going on around him. A familiar leather pack with a padded shoulder strap hung from his chair. “My bag!” John William blurted and made a hard turn toward the table.
“What are you doing, boy? We were so close to the door!” Ferdinand cowered deep into the pocket.
“That is my bag; I’m not leaving without it!” John William approached the table and stared the possum down.
“Who’s there?” The possum squinted through his good eye. He put his paw out, grabbing at the air.
“Over here….” John William waved his arm awkwardly.
“Oh! There you are! Are you here to try your luck?” The possum slid three mugs around on the table.
“What? No, that bag hanging on your chair is mine. I want it back.” John William replied.
“Sorry, finders, keepers… I won it fair and square. You can wager for it if you want,” said the possum, raising his eye patch. “What have you got?”
“Um, I have this pet hopper.” John William pulled Ferdinand out of his pocket.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa; wait just one minute; I am no one’s pet!”
“Ooh, he’s feisty; I like him! Okay, all you have to do is guess which mug the nuts are under.” He lifted the mugs to show the nuts then quickly swirled them around with his hands. “They call me Hawkeye; how about you, fella?”
“Um…J-Jammer, yah… Jammer,” he replied, dizzy from watching the swirling mugs. “That one….” He pointed to the mug in the middle. The possum lifted the mug exposing the nuts underneath.
“Nope! Sorry, Jam-Jam; nothing there,” Hawkeye declared, sitting back with satisfied look on his face.
“Yes there was! I saw the nuts!” John William shouted.
“I saw nothing!”
“Oh, this is nonsense….” Ferdinand jumped out of John William’s pocket and yanked the bag off the seat while they argued. “Jammer, let’s go!”
“Yes, okay! Thanks, Hawkeye….” John William perked up and followed Ferdinand out the door with his bag stuffed in his coat.
“Hey! I want my hopper pet!” Hawkeye stood up and tapped his cane out the door behind them. “Come back here!”
“Keep walking, possums have terrible eye sight. We will lose him easily,” said Ferdinand.
“Hawkeye!” A bandit with a deep, raspy voice marched over to the possum clutching a matted feather. “You told me this empyrean feather would give me magical powers! Now I’m going to have to beat you with my fist!”
Hawkeye placed his hands over his heart and closed his exposed eye. “It’s happening!” He fell flat on his back and threw his legs in the air. “I’m moving toward the light!” His paw twitched. He opened one eye, glanced around, and then quickly shut it again. “Good bye, Azra’s Pith.” He let out one last pitiful groan.
“Pathetic display…,” Ferdinand muttered. “There is no way anyone would believe that… not even a big, oafish bandit.”
The bandit nudged the possum with his boot, and with a defeated shrug of his shoulders sauntered into The Garbage Pail to join the scuffle.