The Legend of Blondhilda Story V:

Mr. Kitten in Valhalla
by Chris Hugh

Oroka thumped her elbow on her desk, propped her head on her hand, turned to her best friend Nakama and announced, "I'm bored."

Suddenly a Ninja burst into the classroom. The girls turned toward him sleepily as he waved his single-edge curved katana sword in a fiery blur. Oroka and Nakama rolled their eyes and Nakama smacked her gum. After a few seconds she caught Oroka's eye and used her chin to point at the Ninja, who was poised to behead Oroka's boyfriend, Taikutsu. With a sigh, Oroka used her fingernail to flick one of her magical sushi-shaped pencil erasers at the intruder. As soon as it touched him, he turned into a cute, plush toy and ran out of the room screaming something about hara-kiri.

The two girls giggled. "So, why are you bored?" Nakama asked as Oroka dispatched the next two Ninjas with a rubber Ebi and Tekka Maki.

"I don't want to be a magical Manga girlfriend anymore," Oroka whispered, looking sidelong at her boyfriend, Taikutsu, who was surreptitiously cleaning the puddle under his desk.

She gathered up her pet, Mr. Kitten, as he walked in carrying a small, black, vaguely pineapple-shaped object he'd stolen from somewhere. An evil-looking man in camouflage jumped into the classroom with a vicious look on his face. He snorted smugly, uttered a threat and reached for his belt. Then he patted around and looked down. He blinked a few times, muttered an apology for the intrusion and backed out of the room. Oroka hugged Mr. Kitten and slid the grenade into her pink plaid backpack.

"But you are a very good magical girlfriend with a very good magical helper," Nakama said, scratching Mr. Kitten behind the ears. She glanced over at Taikutsu, who was beaming. Their remarkably resilient teacher was passing back corrected papers and Taikutsu was showing off the "A+" he'd received due to Oroka's expert tutoring.

Roki, the Norwegian exchange student who sat in front of Nakama and Oroka, turned around. He had blond hair and pale grey eyes. He looked at them coolly, then turned back.

The two girls giggled again and lowered their voices. "I feel so uncomfortable and confused sometimes," Oroka confided with a pout. "I can't turn my head without the wind whipping my hair, and there isn't even any wind. I've always got a bright light shining like crazy off my retina, and I can't walk two steps without my skirt popping up and showing my striped panties."

Nakama nodded, the light glinting off her huge, blue eyes. "A lot of us girls have that problem," she said, the wind whipping her red hair.

"And my only purpose in life," Oroka continued, leaning toward Nakama, "seems to be to save this tawagoto-magnet"--she pointed to Taikutsu—-"from all his stupid problems. I mean, he's an ordinary high school boy. Why should someone try to assassinate him every single day? It's so contrived."

Taikutsu's mouth dropped open and a broad blue stripe of chagrin appeared across his face. Apparently, he'd overheard.

"And why do people turn blue when they get have a sudden, unpleasant emotion?" Oroka snapped. She sighed and plopped back against the back of her chair. "I wish I had something important to do for once. I wish I were a Viking warrior goddess like Blondhilda, carrying a great sword and righting injustice for the greater glory of Odin-San!"

As soon as the words were out of her mouth, a clap of thunder shook the room. A flash of light seared the air, and a high-pitched shriek of eerie laughter rose high and then faded as if to a great distance.

Oroka interrupted her rant to look around. Roki-san had disappeared, and so had Mr. Kitten. Oroka and Nakama looked at each other with impossibly large eyes, their faces completely blue.

* * *

Oroka ran out of the classroom, her thick black hair flowing behind her. Nakama trailed her down the hall and out into the sun. Oroka stopped suddenly, her skirt swaying, and looked up and down the street. "There's no sign of Mr. Kitten!" Oroka wailed, putting her hands up to her face. "Roki must have taken him, but why?"

"Roki!" Nakama cried, catching up to Oroka. "No, wait! Not Roki--Loki! It was the Norse trickster god Loki!"

"Oh, no!" Oroka cried. "If we had to have a Norse god come around, why couldn't it be Blondhilda, my hero?" Oroka shoulders slumped in dejection. "I wish Blondhilda were here," she said, staring down at the white sidewalk. "She'd know what to do."

Nakama hugged her as a large, glistening teardrop slid down Oroka's face. A light breeze plastered her short skirt against her back. "Let's think! Maybe we can find Mr. Kitten. Remember that Loc8tor gadget you ordered online from England?"

"Of course!" Oroka's brown eyes lit up and she started digging through her backpack, panting for breath. Mr. Kitten wore a radio beacon on his collar. "If he's within six hundred feet, line of sight, I should be able to find him with this!" she cried, pulling out a small grey receiving unit. She turned it on, set it to locate and slowly turned in a circle, as per the directions, trying to pick up a signal. After a few seconds, she deflated again. "He's out of range."

Nakama bit her thumb, thinking. Suddenly an exclamation point appeared over her head. "I know! Mr. Kitten has an RFID chip embedded in his skin! Maybe we can track him that way!"

Oroka had now recovered herself and was pulling out her cell phone. "That won't work. The RFID chip is only for identification," she said calmly, looking at her phone. "It doesn't emit a signal we can use to track him."

Now that Oroka had quieted, Nakama became more agitated. She jumped up and down, her modest chest bouncing. "You don't seem very worried!" she cried, theatrically stretching her arms out in frustration. "Maybe I love Mr. Kitten more than you!"

Oroka curled her small mouth into a wry smile. "Maybe you love him more, but I know him better." She held out her tiny cell phone, its numerous charms tinkling in the breeze and catching the light. There was a text message from Mr. Kitten: EVIL NORSE GOD TOOK ME TO VIKINGLAND. HALP! I CAN HAS RESCUE? KTHXBYE.

Nakama always forgot Mr. Kitten was magical. The two girls giggled for a few seconds and dumped the grenade into a handy trash can before running down the middle of the oddly-empty city streets, bouncing toward the airport to begin the rescue.

* * *

Hours later, the girls touched down at Asgard Interdimensional Airport, deplaned and ran out the gate. Suddenly a Viking security guard in a blue blazer stepped in front of them. "Excuse me, ladies, but you'll need to come with me."

"We don't have time for this! We're on the trail of a catnapper!" the girls cried.

"Catnap, huh?" The man scratched his greasy beard and looked sleepy for a moment. Then he shook himself and caressed the points on his horned helmet in nauseating manner. "Well, be that as it may," he said, his eyes glittering, "we're gonna have to screen you." He stared at their chests. "You might be terrorists."

"This is crazy!" the girls protested as two more security guards picked them up and carried them to the Whole Body Imager. The girls struggled vigorously, kicking their thigh-high stocking-clad legs nearly parallel to the ground, displaying both superhuman abdominal strength and cute panties.

The men plunked them down in front of the imager. The last image scanned was still on the screen-–a detailed geometry of the greasy Viking's dimpled backside, every feature highlighted in gruesome detail.

The girls' mouths dropped open and the security guards laughed roughly. Focused on the girls, they ignored the bearded, sweat-shirted bum mumbling to himself and pushing a huge cart of ammonium nitrite fertilizer. The head security guard hiked up his pants and adjusted his flashlight. "You can never be too safe, you know," he said to the girls, nodding to the angry group of robed men walking by. "Right back atcha! Allah Akbar, y'all!"

Oroka planted her feet apart and stood pertly. "I will not be imaged!" she shouted.

The security guys laughed and hooted. Nakama looked at Oroka beseechingly. "Come on, Oroka. Let's just get it over with. We have to rescue Mr. Kitten!" Other travelers started gathering around, curious about the disturbance.

"No!" Oroka cried. "This imager is just a stupid, useless gadget designed to do nothing but enrich security contractors while pacifying a cowardly populace. No, you may not use a machine to see me naked!" The crowd drew closer, intrigued by Oroka's cry for justice. "It is unfair to humiliate me because I'm a Manga character!" Oroka spread her arms wide in impassioned appeal. "No one would expect a human being to submit to this intrusion!"

The crowd shifted uncomfortably. A few people cleared their throats.

After a few moments of awkward silence, Nakama brought her hands up in a pleading gesture and raised both eyebrows. "Come on, Oroka!" she cried. "Who knows what they're doing to Mr. Kitten right now!"

Oroka wavered for a moment, worrying about Mr. Kitten. Then she thought about her heroine, Blondhilda. What would Blondhilda do? Oroka stood up straight and spoke clearly. "I will place my dainty Mary Jane-clad feet in the great footsteps of Benjamin Furankulin-San, who said, 'Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety'! I will never submit to this machine!" She took Nakama's hand. "Come on, let's go."

The crowd parted and girls ran out of the airport. The security men had no authority to stop them since they were supposed to be screening people boarding planes, not leaving them.

* * *

"What do we do now?" Nakama cried. The girls were in the airport parking lot, shading their eyes with their hands and peering into the distance.

"That way!" Oroka shouted, pointing. The girls ran up to a chariot in the short term parking lot. A black cat was harnessed to the front of it. The cat ignored the girls and calmly peed on the vehicle's front rail, scratched its exquisite finish, then walked a pace forward and groomed itself elaborately and intimately. The girls gazed at the chariot, still magnificent despite the recent assaults on its dignity. "This must belong to the Viking goddess Freya!" Oroka breathed. "She flies through the air in a chariot pulled by a magical cat."

Nakama tilted her head to the side. "Cats? Wow, how does she ever get anywhere?"

"It's not easy," a smooth voice answered. The girls started as Freya sat up from where she'd been reclining in the front seat, reading a romance novel. "Have you ever tried to tell a cat to do anything? I've been stuck here at the airport for two weeks."

The girls giggled, then put their hands on the fronts of their thighs and bowed to the Norse goddess. Freya gave them an offhand wave and continued. "But this new cat Loki gave me seems like he's going to work out. Look what the cat made for me." She showed them a MapQuest printout. "He's pretty good."

Oroka turned blue, ran to the front of the chariot and gave the cat there a closer look. "Mr. Kitten!" she cried, dropping to her knees in front of him. She hugged him and started unfastening his harness.

"Stop that," the goddess drawled. "He's mine now."

"Oh, no, he's not!" Oroka shouted back. She whipped out her school backpack and hurled a California roll sushi eraser at Freya. Freya batted it away contemptuously.

Oroka shouted, "He's my cat. I love him!"

"Well, I like him, and he's useful," Freya purred, flicking away an Unagi eraser.

"Mr. Kitten is my loyal magical pet!" Oroka cried.

Freya growled, "Mr. Kitten is my new GPS!" and evaded a Hamachi Handroll. It hit one of the animals on Thor's goat-driven chariot parked close by and turned it into a plush toy.

"That is unjust!" Oroka screamed.

"That's just too bad," Freya replied, backhanding the last of Oroka's erasers.

Oroka had no more magical erasers. Nakama's hands flew to her mouth in chagrin, while Oroka fisted her little hands in frustration. She squeezed her eyes shut and tried to keep from crying. She had encountered nothing but petty unfairness the entire day. "If only Blondhilda were here!" she muttered through gritted teeth.

Suddenly, a cool wind ruffled Oroka's hair and plastered Nakama's shirt against her training bra. A pale, golden light suffused the parking garage and Blondhilda floated into their midst, holding aloft the Sword of Justice and Convenient Transportation. "Oh, thank Odin!" Oroka cried. "Blondhilda will bring justice and solve our problem for us! Hooray!"

Blondhilda patted the girl's head and bowed to her fellow goddess, Freya. "Let me hear both sides," she said.

Freya calmly explained that she needed her transportation to be cat powered. Blondhilda nodded in understanding and turned to Oroka.

Oroka explained her claim of prior ownership. Blondhilda tsked. "Possession is nine tenths of the law," she said sagely. "Not to imply anybody here is possessed," she added, eyeing Nakama's red hair, which in Manga characters occasionally denotes enchantment by spirits. She rested her magnificent chin against her thumb and forefinger for a moment, regarding Oroka. Then she tilted her head. "Hark! I hear my lord, Stanley Chester Brown. He bids me hurry, lest our Jacuzzi water grow tepid." She knelt her statuesque form in front of Oroka and placed her hand on the girl's shoulder. "Did you girls fly here to Asgard on a commercial airplane?" she asked. The girls nodded. "Then, Oroka, you have all you need to solve this problem. You carry the answer with you." Blondhilda stood up to her full height, thrust the Sword skyward and gradually began to fade.

Oroka's mouth dropped open as she looked from Blondhilda's vanishing form to Freya's confident smirk, to her trusting sidekick Nakama and finally to her black cat, an otherworldly harness upon his gleaming back and a sardonic expression on his face. Steam suddenly gushed out of her ears. "Don't leave me, Blondhilda! I need help!"

Oroka ran to where Blondhilda had stood just as the goddess disappeared. Oroka waved her arms and wobbled in place as she looked for her heroine. Then she turned completely blue and purple, jumped up and down and stamped her foot, screaming. She got down on all fours, pounded the cement with surprising strength and ranted that her heroine had let her down. Car alarms started going off.

Freya and Nakama covered their ears against the full-on Manga meltdown.

* * *

The next day found Oroka and Nakama happily giggling away in their usual classroom. Oroka blew Taikutsu a kiss and he gave her an elaborate thumbs up as the teacher handed him back another A+ paper. The girls were happy to be back to their routine. Between cheerfully defending Taikutsu against hordes of giant snakes, zombies and more Ninjas, Oroka and Nakama were able to chat.

"Good thing you thought of the frequent flier miles after I calmed down," Oroka said. "Who knew flying to Asgard would rack up so many miles?"

"You're the one who thought to use them to buy Freya a magical cat car!" Nakama replied. "Freya thought she had to be pulled around by housecats, but she didn't. Any kind of cat works. You were pretty smart to see the loophole."

"I guess Blondhilda was right about us being able to solve the problem. We make a good team!" Oroka said, and the girls hugged each other. Mr. Kitten hopped up on the desk and let both girls pet him at the same time.

* * *

Meanwhile, in Asgard, the goddess Freya was tooling around in her new magical Jaguar XK8 convertible.

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