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Urban Fantasy Fiction

“That’s the thing about this city, no pets allowed under any circumstances,” explained Janice, the very peppy realtor. 

“Are you serious? I have never heard of a town that didn’t allow pets in,” replied Harris as he looked over at his wife. 

“I am unfortunately telling you the truth.”

“Well, I wish you would have told us that before we bought the house,” mentioned Willa.

“I am sorry, I didn’t think it was pertinent information. Most people who move into Garrison are aware of this stipulation.”

Janice then handed the keys off to the new homeowners and went on her way back to her office. Leaving the couple slightly annoyed at the fact that they were just hearing about this moratorium on pets. 

“Well, what are we supposed to do with Richard,” asked Harris?

“I don’t know, maybe we could give him to your sister, she already has a couple of iguanas,” suggested Willa.

“If she will even take Richard, plus we will have to drive two provinces over to drop him off if she does decide to take him.”

On the way back to their apartment in Sasha, British Columbia Harris got on the phone with his sister. 

“Hey Celeste, so we didn’t know that our new home in Hyacinth didn’t allow pets.”

“They don’t allow pets? I’ve heard of that kind of stipulation in apartments but never at a house.”

“True but it’s a city thing.”

“What?”

“I know we were shocked too but the house is so nice and we decided it is worth it.”

“Well, what are you going to do about little Richard?”

“Um, I was hoping you would take him.”

“I guess I could take him off your hands, maybe he will be a good companion for Cornelius. He has been so lonely since Hamilton died.”

“Thank you, sis! I was wondering if you could come out and get him, we could show you the new house.”

“I suppose I am overdue for a little road trip. I can even bring my work with me, I’ll head out tomorrow. Just let me check and see if my neighbor will watch my pets.”

“I really appreciate it, Celeste.”

“Say no more, I can’t wait to see Richard.”

He hung up the phone and told his wife,

“She is going to do it.”

“What a relief, and I have to say, asking Celeste if she could come out and get Harrison was a good idea.”

“I thought of it last minute. I just thought with the move and everything that it would be easier on us if we didn’t have to drive out there.” 

“I’m just glad she is going to take Richard but I’m sure going to miss him.”

“Me too, I always wanted a lizard as a pet when I was a kid, and having Richard has been great.”

Celeste made the journey the day after she spoke on the phone with her brother. Bringing along with her a nice enclosure for Richard. She also planned to have him roaming around with the others from time to time in the house. Harris had sent her a picture of what Harrison was residing in and Celeste figured that was not good enough. She knew that Harris loves lizards but she was often regarded as the crazy lizard lady, similar to her neighbor Dana who is considered a crazy cat lady. 

After what seemed like forever, she pulled up to their small 70’s style apartment building that they were going to vacate soon. She lugged her enclosure and a small duffle bag up the thin stairs to the third floor, then rang the doorbell. Harris came to the door and answered it.

“Celeste, hey, come in.”

“Thanks, I can see you guys are all packed up for the most part.”

Willa poured pink lemonade into some glasses and brought it over to the couch they planned to switch out for a more plush and comfortable one. Celeste took one and said in her high pitched voice,

“Thank you, Willa. You are looking great, by the way, is that a new hairstyle?”

Willa twisted her red-dyed curls and replied,

“Yes, it is, I got so bored with the old look. So, is that for Harrison because he has an enclosure already?”

“It is but I thought this would work better for him.”

Willia just nodded her head and said,

“Well, should we go on over to the new house?”

“Sure, I want to see this new fancy house my big brother here has been talking about.”

They decided to just take one car and made their way to their new house on Roberts Street. 

“Well, it sure is charming.” 

“You like it,” asked Harris?

“I sure do but the porch could use a little pizzaz.”

“I agree, that’s why I am trying to convince your brother here to let us have planters and little sculptures.”

“Hey, I compromised on the windchimes you wanted, so don’t push it.”

Celeste just rolled her eyes thinking about how he had always been annoyingly stubborn. They went inside and showed Celeste what the layout was like and what they were planning on doing with the extra space. 

“It looks great but no pets huh? I sure wouldn’t live here.”

“Well, it’s too late sis, we already got the house. I think it is worth the sacrifice.”

“If you say so.”

They went back to the apartment and loaded Richard and his new enclosure into Celeste’s van and she was on her way.

“Well, at least we know she will take care of him,” mentioned Willa.

“Yes she will, I guess we will have to adapt to that no pets policy.”

“Yep.”

They finished doing the packing that night and the next day stocked the moving truck they rented. The plan was to move everything into the house and then replace certain things they want to as they go along with making it their own. A few days after they finished the big move, one of the neighbors came by bringing some delicious-looking cookies. 

“Thank you, this is so thoughtful. I’m Willa.”

“Oh yes, anytime, I’m Ren. Some of our fellow neighbors are going to have a little get-together Friday night, would you like to join?”

“That would be great, when and where?”

“At my house across the street and it will start at like seven.”

“Great, thank you for the invitation.”

With that, Ren went back to her house and Willa brought in the plate of cookies that had saran wrap around the bright blue plate. She set it down on the new oakwood table and unwrapped it to have a cookie. She discovered that a piece of paper had been placed underneath the cookies. Thinking that it would just be a nice little note, Willa grabbed it and read what was on it. It said in dark blue sprawling cursive,

I am sure that you were told about the no pets law here in town. If you want to actually be able to keep one, join us at the Trell’s house on Wednesday at 4:00 pm. Just call me at 236-852-8769 to discuss this further if you’re interested. 

 P.S. don’t breathe a word about this. 

Willa inhaled deeply with surprise and then called out to Harris,

“Honey, you should come to see this, one of the neighbors brought us cookies.”

“I’ll be down in a minute.”

Harris with his heavy footing came down the all-white stairs and came over to see what Willa was talking about.

“Yum, these look good.”

“Yeah but look at this note.”

Harris read it and then looked at his wife with wide eyes saying,

“This is kind of crazy but maybe we should give her a call.”

“We already gave Richard to your sister.”

“I know but we could get another lizard or ooh maybe even a cat. You’ve always wanted a cat.”

“If we get caught though I don’t want to pay that ridiculous fine.”

“We will be discrete just like this neighbor is, what is their name?”

“Her name is Ren and she also invited us to go to her place on Friday for a little get-together.”

“Look at us already making friends.”

Willa rolled her big brown eyes at him and then took a bite out of the cookie she had in her hand. They decided that they would in fact call Ren about this and also find out more about the party that was going to go down on Friday. Willa made the phone call about an hour later and found out that there is this group in the neighborhood that gathers all of these pets so that everyone can still have one. They just don’t have them in individual houses to avoid being detected. Willa relayed what was talked about to Harris and they agreed that they should go on Wednesday. 

On Wednesday, they went over to the Trell’s to see what this whole thing was really all about. When they arrived, they used the small golden knocker to announce they were at the door. 

“Hello, you must be the new people in the neighborhood,” said a woman with warmth in her voice. 

“Yes we are, I am Willa and this is Harris.”

“Nice to meet you both, come on in.”

“Thank you. You have a nice home.”

“I know right, my husband and I moved in here five years ago and we have just adored this house and the city in general.”

“It does seem great so far,” replied Harris. 

“Oh, you will love it here as you get more acquainted with the area.”

They followed the homeowner down the hall to their kitchen and saw that there was a small group gathered in front of the all-black table. 

“Hey guys, this is Willa and Harris.”

Everyone said hello and Willa and Harris did the same in response. They helped themselves to a few appetizers and took the deep red colored wine that was offered to them. It tasted to Willa like an expensive brand and it was absolutely delightful. It took some time for the conversation to move onto what Willa was informed of by Ren. The woman who had opened the door, Sammy said,

“How about you guys follow us down to the basement and we will explain more.”

Downstairs there was a cacophony of animal sounds inside. 

“We have very well insulated walls so that you can’t hear them elsewhere.”

Harris thought for a moment that this environment was not all that suitable for pets but Sammy reassured him by explaining,

“We sneak them out every morning just before dawn to a farm outside of the city to let them walk around and get fresh air.”

“You haven’t been caught? I would think it would be hard to transport all these animals without being detected,” postulated Willa. 

“We were worried about that initially but it has been successful so far.”

“How long have you guys been doing this?”

“We started it up about four years ago.”

Sammy then gestured for them to come in closer to see the variety of pets and explain more about how they could have their pet housed here. She explained that everyone comes over when they want to in order to spend time with them. 

“You can even join us when we take every pet here out to the farm.”

“Well, we had a lizard before we came here but we gave him away to my sister when we found out we can’t have pets here,” mentioned Harris.

“Well, if you want to get another pet you certainly can.”

Willa then turned to Harris and said,

“We could get another lizard and maybe a cat or something.”

“I would like to have another lizard but if you also want a cat we can do that.”

“We have a friend that lives in the neighboring city that helps us get pets and even gives us a discount. I’ll give you both the number and you can call him up. I am not sure if they have lizards there but you could find out. As you can see we mainly have cats and dogs, some rodents too.”

They followed Sammy back up to the main floor with the rest of the small group. Then they were on their way to go home and discuss this plan. 

“I say we call this guy tomorrow,” suggested Willa.

“I would say let's not be rash and be cautious but I really want to get those pets we want and this may be our only chance to have some while we live here.”

“Well then let’s do it.” 

The next day they were able to get a hold of Ralph; Sammy’s friend, and were instructed to come that afternoon to peruse the selection of pets. They drove out to see what they could find. The shop had quite a variety of pets to choose from, even lizards. Willa thought about how she would love to own all kinds of animals but that would be unrealistic. In the end, they had decided to get an orange tabby cat and an amazing-looking bearded dragon. They named them Orange Blossom and Seaweed respectively.

Back in their own city, they went to drop off their new pets at Sammy’s place. Although both Willa and Harris really just wanted to bring them back to their own house. It was not an option though, so they went to her house and didn’t even get caught on the way there. They knocked on the door again and when Sammy opened the door she ushered them in hastily with their pets. 

“I see you were able to get a lizard. A bearded dragon no less, what a cool-looking animal. You have everything this creature needs right? Also, this cat is darling. Have you given them names?”

“Yes we have everything for the lizard right here in the bag,” replied Harris.

“We named the bearded dragon Seaweed and the cat Orange Blossom,” explained Willa. 

“I just love those names.”

Sammy helped them take their new pets downstairs and they set up the enclosure for Seaweed. There were already cat kennels there and for the most part, they were just allowed to roam around. 

“Well, I think you are all set, let me know if you want to come with us to let the animals roam sometime.”

“Thanks, we will,” said Harris.

With that Harris and Willa had found a way to skirt the ridiculous mandate about there being no pets in the city. It wasn’t exactly ideal but it was better than not having animal companions. They enjoyed the party that was thrown on that Friday, allowing them to make new friends and share in the joy of having secret pets. 

March 18, 2021 00:54

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