A short chapter today (but don't worry, Bully-fans, there's still plenty of excitement a-hoof!) And if'n you missed 'em, Parts 1-7 are here!
Part 8: Pigs Will FlyBully blinked and wiped his wet hoof on his sweater as he stared down at the pig. She was bigger than Snuckles, but not huge; a pretty orange pig about the size of the bathroom wastebasket, and it took Bully a few seconds to realize why, aside from the size, she looked so much different than his best friend Snuckles.
She was real. This was no stuffed animal (not that there was anything wrong with that); she was a living, breathing, real live pig. Except for being orange and in the subway, of course. Bully had never seen a pig in the subway before. That performing bear, of course. And the rat brothers: Ratsy, Chuckles, and Depravo. But never a pig. First time for everything, he thought, peering over the edge of the platform at her, careful not to lose his footing and fall over.
"Hello," she smiled up at him, crossing over the first track and putting her trotters up on the side wall to press her snout up near his hooves. "I'm Effie. What's your name?"
"Hi hi hi!" Bully said excitedly. His snuffles and sniffles were forgotten in his fascination with the pig and the attention she was showing. "I'm Bully!"
"Hello Bully!" Effie inclined her head, her ears flapping up and down. "And I repeat: what are you crying about? What's to cry about on Christmas Eve?"
There were a million things, Bully reflected miserably, but he was still so ashamed of himself that he didn't even want to mention that, even to a pretty and friendly face like Effie. "I want to go home," he sniffled. "And I can't even get on the train."
"My, my, my," Effie wrinkled her snout in concern. "It's an awfully busy day for you to be out and about, little stuffed Bully. No wonder you can't get on the train." Her tail twitched in a familiar motionit reminded Bully of the same exact motion Snuckles performed when he was getting an idea: an amazing, wonderful, clever idea. "Where are you going?" she asked.
"Brooklyn," Bully said.
"Well, duh," Effie rolled her eyes, but she did it and said it with such kindness and humor that Bully didn't feel insulted at all. In fact, he giggled just a little bit behind his hoof. "Of course you're going to Brooklyn. Why else would you be on the Brooklyn platform? What station, silly Bully?"
"Seventh Avenue," Bully said.
"Easy enough!" Effie dropped down back between the tracks and lifted her head up to twitch her snout at Bully. "Hop on."
Bully stared in bemusement. "Huh?"
"Hop on!" repeated Effie, shrugging her back. "I'll take you to Seventh Avenue. And hurry up." Her ears perked and stood up on end. "There's a train coming. Hear it? Let's get a move on!"
Bully could hear nothing at all, but he shimmied down the dirty platform and plopped with a quiet grunt right onto Effie's back. "There you go!" she declared encouragingly, "Hold onto my neck tight now. And watch that your shopping bag doesn't bang into my legs. I need all the room I can get to move."
Bully secretly doubted, although he was much too polite to say it aloud, that a pig, even a friendly orange one, would be fast enough to get him home. But he was glad of the company and the kindness, and he leaned over and held tight to Effie's neck. "Okay, I'm r..."
Before Bully could even finish sentence, the pig's powerful back legs tensed like a pair of steel springs and they blasted ahead, running down the tracks, sprinting and dashing like a bullet out of a gun. Bully yelped and held on for dear life, wrapping his fuzzy arms around Effie's warm neck, and the station flashed over and past him and then behind, as Effie plunged into the darkness of the subway tunnel, dashing at top speed down the F Train line towards Brooklyn, her trotters raising showers of sparks on the tracks as she ran.
So why is there a pig in the subway? Find out in Part 9!