Recall that Flying Fingers is the official LYS* of the Totally Knitting Universe. Here is a link to our photo essay detailing our trip to Flying Fingers.
Presented now, for the first time ever, is the untold story of how they captured Wooly-Wooly.
Kevin took a long drag off his cigarette and leaned into the dim light over the table. These secret meetings in darkened speakeasies were beginning to wear on him. He’d decided to tell Elise that he was giving up if this one didn’t pan out. He knew it would crush her, but how much more energy could one man dedicate to an endeavor such as this? He turned a sickly green and coughed heartily as the smoke escaped from his lungs.
“Have some water,” said the man across the table. “Get it all out.” He patted Kevin on the back. “You okay?”
Kevin nodded, his eyes watering. He heaved a little while he coughed.
“What the hell are you doing anyway? You don’t smoke. Your face is all red there. Here take this napkin; you’ve got a little spittle. Little more on the left. There you go.”
Kevin labored with the words, his breathing shallow. “You’re sure?” he asked. He thumbed tentatively through the dossier he’d just been given. “Is this—confirmed?”
The man folded his arms across his chest and smiled broadly. “This time,” he said, “this time it’s real.”
Two hours later Kevin stood in front of his team and began to brief them on the situation. “People, I need your attention.” He handed out a page he’d photocopied. The top half had a fuzzy photograph, the bottom a physical map of the area. A Sharpee had been used to put a big red X on each map in an area on the edge of the woods. An area that bordered prime grazing land. “We’ve had a confirmed sighting and we’ve got to move fast on this.”
Amber collapsed her portable swift and pressed a lever. In the center of the swift a mechanism unhinged and a length of chain unspooled. She deftly manipulated the weapon, her hands a blur as she swung the nun chucks with frightening ferocity. She came to rest in a purposeful stance, her arms at the ready, her eyes taking every thing in as they surveyed the shoppe over the top of the rims. Then she bowed deeply to Kevin and said, “What’s the mission, Kevin-San? Bag and tag?”
Kevin was glad Amber was around this time. Her ninja skills will come in handy if this isn’t another hoax, he thought. “No, Amber. This is a kill. We go in quietly. A surgical strike, we take the target only.”
Elise felt her face flush as she realized that last statement was aimed at her. “Jesus, Kevin,” she hissed. “I thought it was the target, ok? How many times do I have to apologize? Besides it wasn’t my fault. I mean, what the hell was that sheep dog doing corralling all those dime store Indians? What was I supposed to think?”
Kevin walked over and took Elise’s hand. He kissed her gently on the forehead and breathed in her scent. To be so close to her—every time he fell in love all again. “I know. I know. I just—I just don’t want to lose it again. We’re close, Babe. We’re closer than we’ve ever been.”
He looked back over his shoulder and addressed the whole group. “No mistakes this time, people.” He tossed the keys to the Yarn Bus to Red. “Fire it up,” he said. He slapped a clip into his pistol and felt a tingle at the familiar click.
He sighted a basket of Lambs Pride Worsted and tensed his finger around the trigger without releasing the safety. He pretended it was a basket of Debbie Bliss Soho and, remembering the time Debbie made his mother in law cry, felt a rage boil up inside him. It was a rage he could use, a rage he had always used when he’d been on a hunt. “Everybody lock and load! We’ve got a giant fiberglass yarn ball sheep to bag.”
A few seconds later they were underway. Red, Elise, and Kevin rode inside the Yarn Bus. Amber clung to the exterior and scaled it like an insect. Her ninja senses were alive in the open air and she reveled in the world around her. She drank it in as only a ninja could. She closed her eyes and reached out with her other senses. She could feel the wild life all around her humming along in the never ending search for food and sex. Subtly she eliminated the gophers and the deer and the sparrows in her search for just one creature.
Red thought it a little unnerving that she could not hear Amber on the roof of the Yarn Bus. Is she even still up there? she thought. She glanced into the rear view again, looking for anything (or anyone) they may have dropped along the way. Red had a Midwest charm that belied her stunt driving skills and wicked accuracy with a hurled knitting needle. She fingered the size US thirteens she kept in the quiver at her side. She’d stocked up on the purple ones, her favorites, before they’d left the shoppe. Her quiver could carry sixteen needles, but she’d never needed more than one. It was a point of pride for her, but she was much too polite to brag about it.
It seemed to take no time at all before Red was smoothly pulling off the road near the sighting. Amber vaulted off the roof in a graceful arc, landing silently in front of the Yarn Bus. “Is it here? Can you feel it?” Elise was tingly and impatient.
Amber’s eyes narrowed to slits as she surveyed the area. “Something is here,” she said. “Something I have never felt before.” She sniffed the air. “Something ancient.”
“Is it purple?” asked Elise. “Maybe with orange flecks?”
Amber cocked her head to the side in a gesture few had seen from a ninja. “I do not know, Elise. It’s colorway is blocked to even my ninja senses.”
Kevin strapped a crossbow across his chest with a strap he’d crocheted with Yarn Bus stash yarn on the short journey. He kissed his lucky size G hook and holstered it snuggly around his ankle. He felt safer with it there. “Alright, people,” he cautioned. “Let’s button it up. Get your heads in the game and head out.” He took point and strode confidently toward the grazing area, the rag tag team of hunters close behind.
They rounded a hill and Red was the first to spot their prey grazing lazily in the valley below. Instinctively she drew a knitting needle and readied it in her hand. “There it is!” she whispered excitedly. “It’s a big one!”
Kevin took a knee and produced a pair of binoculars from the binocular cuddly Elise had knit for him on their last anniversary. He absently brushed a stray fiber from the lens cap. He placed the binoculars up to his eyes and adjusted the focus until a beautiful yarn ball sheep in a stunning blue/yellow/green colorway popped into sharp relief. He gasped a little. Rare, he thought. Three colors.
“Alright people. There she is.” He passed the binoculars around to Red and Elise so they could get a better look. Amber’s heightened ninja senses had already provided her with all the detail she needed. He motioned for Amber to position herself behind the sheep and she dutifully complied. He motioned to Elise and Red to flank it on the left and he would break right. They all knew what to do.
It stood still, motionless in fact, as Kevin and his team positioned themselves. Was it aware of them? Did it know what was happening? Would it bolt, charge, shoot laser beams from its eyes? These questions plagued Kevin. He worried more for the safety of Elise and the others than for himself. He knew that if it ever came to it he would sacrifice himself for any of them.
Through the binoculars he could see his team in place. He was preparing to give the signal, when he first caught glimpse of Elise charging the prey. What was she doing? Was she trying to get herself killed? She’d lifted two of Red’s needles and wielded one overhand in each paw. Her long black hair flowed wildly behind her as she charged. “For the dime store Indians!” she shrieked.
Kevin stood paralyzed as the love of his life neared the yarn ball sheep, leapt into the air and with a sickening slap landed sidelong across the back of the sheep. She kicked wildly and pounded it with the needles in her hands. Kevin heard a snap as one of the acrylic tips broke off with a glancing blow against the seemingly impenetrable fiberglass. Each of Elise’s kicks landed a gut wrenchingly hollow thud against the creature’s midsection. She struggled valiantly against the creature for what seemed like minutes until, exhausted, she slipped off it and lay in the grass beside it.
“Is it…did I…is it dead?” she asked her approaching team mates?
“Hard to tell,” said Amber. She examined the fiberglass yarn ball sheep noting it hadn’t moved an iota since they first spotted it. “Such a delicate balance between the life and death of fiberglass creatures.”
Kevin gave it a shove and it toppled over onto its side raising a cloud of dust.
“I’d say it’s dead enough,” said Red. Everyone laughed, even Amber whose ninja sensibilities rarely permitted her such a human reaction. “I can tell you one thing for sure, though.”
“What’s that?” asked Kevin.
“There’s no way you’re bringing that filthy thing onto my yarn bus!”
“Way ahead of you, Red. I’ve already radioed for the SUV.”
As if on cue an SUV rounded the bend and approached the hunters. It took the strength of all of them to hoist the yarnball sheep onto the roof of the SUV and secure it. Kevin couldn’t resist feeling proud of Elise and he gave her a bear hug when they were ready to take off.
“I’ve got to get a picture, Kevin.” said Elise. She produced a disposable camera from her fanny pack. You two smile now! Say, ‘Wooly-Wooly!’”
*Local Yarn Shoppe
** Fan Fiction