In about two minutes, Mr. Todsnout had guided Stella, Poppy, Willow, and Luca to there destination. And when the birds saw it their jaws drop!
It was a large wooden three story house, it had big elegant Windows, dark velvet curtains inside could be seen, purple shingles, a long fancy stone porch with stairs leading up to two beautiful doors with carvings in them. Mr. Todsnout walks up on to the porch, looks over his shoulder and chuckles when he sees the flock's shocked and awed looks.
"Quite impressive, wouldn't you say?" he asked. Everyone nodded silently still in awe as they stepped onto the porch. The pig pulled a gold key out of his pocket and unlocked the front doors. He opened one side and held it open and gestured the flock to come in. They walked In with Stella going last, she looked suspiciously at the pig as she entered. once she was in Mr. Todsnout entered himself and closed the door.
The foyer was huge and magnificent! It had a tan marble floor with a velvet rug on it, the walls had Golden wallpaper with a Victorian floral design. to the left were huge curving stairs leading up to the second floor, And on the wall to the left was a bronze framed mirror with a decorative brown entryway dresser under it. there was a pair of oak wooden doors to the right, and a painting of a bowl of fruit. the ceiling was peach colored and had a beautiful candle chandelier was hanging from it, and in the center of the room was a Brown table with four neatly folded white towels on it. Mr. Todsnout turns to the birds and gestures towards the table.
"I was just doing laundry before I came and got you, but you can use those towels to dry yourselves off." He said politely. Luca, Willow, Poppy and even Stella went rushing up to the table and each grabbed a towel. Luca wrapped himself in his towel like a cocoon
"It's so fluffy!" he squealed happily as he snuggled into it. Willow was wiping her face with it.
"Yeah! These towels are some of the most softest things I've ever felt!" she slightly lifted up her hat, slipped the towel over the top of her head under her hat, then set her hat on the table so she could dry off the rest off her hair. Poppy had her towel wrapped around herself (not like Luca was) and sighed in relation.
"Ahhh… These towels are the best! Mr. Todsnout, you have GOT to tell us where you bought these!" the elderly pig chuckled at Poppy's compliment. While Stella on the other hand was standing by the table, just holding her still folded towel and looking it suspiciously…
'Hmmmm… he said he was doing laundry before he came and got us…' Stella pondered 'But, if he was in here how did he notice us all the way in the forest outside in all the rain, thunder, and lightning? And, not only that but… if he really was doing laundry, wouldn't there be a basket of towels and clothes sitting around here? Just the fact he happened to have four towels just sitting here, folded neatly, and waiting seems a lot like he was…' she narrowed her eyes. 'Expecting us…'
"Is everything alright miss?" a voice asked interrupting Stella's thoughts. She looked over her shoulder and internally panicked when she saw that Mr. Todsnout was standing right behind her. Stella giggled nervously and put on a fake smile.
"Oh yes, I'm fine sir. I'm just so amazed at how soft this towel is!" She lied as she rubbed her cheek against the fabric to demonstrate. Mr. Todsnout nodded and walked over to Willow's hat that was sitting on the table and went to pick it but turned to Willow first.
"Would you like me to hang up your hat for you, madam?" he asked her politely Willow quickly shook her head.
"No! No, thank you sir…. I would feel better wearing my hat…" She explained as she took her hat back, and quickly switched her towel out with it. Mr. Todsnout raised an eyebrow at her when Poppy slipped over to him.
"you see sir, Willow here is… pretty shy, and she feels safer wearing her hat because she can hide in it. Which by the way, is super cute!" She whispered, Mr. Todsnout nodded and walked away. Then poppy went over to Willow.
"Hey Will, If you don't mind me asking… why did you take your hat off and on really weird like that?" she asked in a whisper.
"Well, I didn't want him to see my head feathers…" She whispered back " You know I get embarrassed when people I just met see that mess!" Poppy just raised an eyebrow at her.
"Uh, didn't you willingly take of your hat for an acquaintance at the time back on-"
"That was different! She needed encouragement, and I didn't know how else to do it!"
"Okay, whatever you say buddy." Poppy sighed then took of her towel looked down at herself then groaned in annoyance. Her fake gunshots were almost completely washed off from the rain!
"Aw man! It took me forever to do those!" she wined. Willow saw Poppy's faded gunshots and quickly rushed to the mirror to see if the same thing happened to her fake blood on her face. A groan of disappointed was heard soon after.
"Well… so much for trying to be gruesome and bold this year…" Willow sighed glumly as she walked back to poppy after seeing the fake blood on her face was also nearly gone. Luca gave his towel to Mr. Todsnout after he was all dry and looked at them.
"Well, my costume is just fine!" he stated naively.
"Well, probably because yours is just some ears, a tail, and a fake nose…" Poppy huffed lounder than intended, in which Willow nudged her in annoyance. Poppy then realized what she had said and quickly apologized.
"Uh, well… not that It's a bad costume! It's really neat! It's just that… well… there's only a few pieces to it and uhh… there's not much to get wet and…" Poppy stuttered until Stella shushed her.
"Poppy…I know you're trying but, please… just stop…" she sighed. Luca look down at the floor a bit sad. Mr. Todsnout saw his sad face and decided to say something to cheer him up.
"Well, regardless of how many pieces your costume is, you make a terrific puppy!" he complemented. Luca slowly glanced at him and said very plainly
"I'm a wolf." Then walked away from him.
"Errr… I mean wolf!" the pig called after him but sighed knowing it was a terrible save. He regained his posture and set the used towels on the table.
"anyway, I have a fireplace going in the living room. It's a perfect to warm up and I'll serve you some refreshments." Mr. Todsnout announced to the four. Willow and Luca smiled happily at the thought of sitting in front of a warm fire. While Stella and Poppy on the other hand were a bit uncertain by this offer.
"Really? That's a bit generous…" Stella said with an eyebrow raised.
"Really, I insist! Please, right this way!" he walked over to the closed doors and opened them wide, the birds once again looked in awe and Stella even said,
Mr. Todsnout guided them down a long hallway. On the walls were large painted portraits of, forests, flowers, mountains, critters, beaches, and even of birds and pigs. Stella and the others looked at them in awe.
"Wow! These are beautiful!" Willow complimented as she looked at them.
"Well, they were painted by some of the most talented artists in England and France!" Mr. Todsnout explained
"But, Willow is the best artist in the whole world!" Luca chirped and looked up at the older bird who blushed.
"Aw, Luca you're so sweet." She smiled sweetly, while Mr. Todsnout looked back at her with an intrigued look on his face.
"Ah, so you're an artist yourself my dear?" he asked.
"Why yes! I… do really enjoy painting mostly, I also like to sketch, and every so often I sculpt." Willow explained.
"Hmmm… do you have a favorite artist at all? An inspiration perhaps?"
"Well… there are a few favorites… like," as Willow was talking to Mr. Todsnout, Stella walked over to Poppy and began whispering to her.
"hey, poppy… what do you think about this place?" she asked,
"Well, it seems pretty fancy and this Mr. Todsnout guy is alright… but I don't know, I just have a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach."
"Okay, so it's not just me. Because, it seems pretty odd that this large fancy house was sitting in the a middle of a jungle and no one ever noticed it… and not to mention Mr. Todsnout seems a bit too hospitable…I mean he's just letting a bunch of random strangers in his house"
"Yeah, something did seem kinda weird about that… but then again do seem to be acting a bit paranoid about this."
"what!? No I'm not! It's just that something just rubs me the wrong way about this."
"Well, believe me! I'm a really creeped out about this too! But hey, remember where I was all paranoid and weirded out by Misty and-"
"Poppy, I know you're trying to make a point but, do NOT bring Misty into this! You should know better!" Stella growled in annoyance. "Besides, I'm picking up more sinister and creepier vibes here. It's not mysterious yet pained like Misty, or deranged and freaky like the shaman pig." She shivered a bit.
"I just don't like it… it doesn't seem natural… and not in a good way!"
"Yeah, I guess your right…" Poppy sighed. They eventually reached a pair of oak doors, with a yellow knob and a keyhole below it. On the doors were some carvings of a forest of pine trees, oaks and deer.
"*sigh* Ever since he bought the house he's had pictures carved in all the doors. It's a nice detail and I know it's technically his property but, he enjoys interior designing far too much…" Mr. Todsnout muttered under his breath. Luca over heard this and looked at him curiously.
"He bought the house? Who's he?" he asked.
"Hmm? What was that my boy? I didn't quite hear you." Mr. Todsnout said politely
"You said 'he' bought it. Isn't this your house Mr. Todsnout?" Luca asked innocently as they approached the locked doors of the room. Mr. Todsnout pulled out a key ring, held a specific key, and put it in the key hole.
"No, this isn't my house. I live here, but I'm just a humble Butler. This entire building is in the ownership of my master." He explained as he unlocked the door.
"Master?" Stella asked surprised. She had assumed he was the owner of the house, but to be fair he never said he owned the house, he only said he lived in it. Mr. Todsnout had opened the door and held it open once again gestured the birds to walk in first, then closed the door behind him. The living room had bronze wall paper, a green carpet, by the back wall there was a few tall bookshelves with books in them (obviously), a few windows all closed and locked, with red curtains, two loveseats with pillows, some potted plants, shelves with valuable knickknacks on them (antique dolls, small sculptures, even a few fine China) in the center was a low table with floor pillows around it and had a single lit candle in a candle holder in it. And a stone fireplace with a roaring fire.
"Why yes! Mr. Daniel Sparking! Are there any specific drinks you would all like?" Mr. Todsnout asked
"Oh! Uhhh… just water thank you." Stella requested, she looked to her friends who also agreed on just water. Mr. Todsnout nodded, and gestured towards the table and pillows around it.
"Here, you all can sit over by the table over there, While I go get it." He turned and began to leave but turned around,
"Just, please try not to touch anything." He said before leaving. The birds exchanged glances with each other before deciding to just go over to the table. They each sat down on a pillow and looked around the room when they saw something they didn't notice before…
Hanging over the mantle of the fireplace was a golden framed painting of green and grey bird. He looked to be in his early thirties and was quite handsome. He had dark green head feathers that wear combed down and went down to his shoulders, he had a grey chest feathers, brown eyes, and an orange beak. He was wearing a maroon bowtie and was wearing a thin black top hat with a dark purple ribbon around it. He was sitting in a large elegant scarlet cushioned oak wood chair. He was reading a book of some sort in it. The birds looked at the painting in awe. By then Mr. Todsnout came walking back in with a tray of a pitcher of water and some glasses, he set it on the table.
"Wow! Ain't that a good looking guy!" Poppy complimented
"yes, master Daniel is a quite attractive bird," Mr. Todsnout began as he poured the pitcher of water into the guests glasses. He even poured himself a glass and took a drink and continued.
"But he is much more than dashing appearances. He's actually a one of if not the most successful business man known to England and France! He is very wealthy indeed." Stella picked up her glass and even though Mr. Todsnout drank some, she peered closely at the water inside and even sniffed it . When she saw nothing wrong with it She took a small sip and glanced at the painting again.
"You don't say… He must be rich if he can afford all this nice looking stuff." She stated as she put her glass down then looked at Mr. Todsnout "Where is he anyway? Is he out or something?" Stella asked the butler.
"No… actually he's upstairs at this moment." After he said that Stella's eyes grew wide and shouted
"WHAT!?" While Poppy and Willow started coughing immensely and put down their glasses Stella and Luca looked at them concerned.
"Are you okay?!" Luca asked frantically.
"Yeah…*cough* just went down *cough* the wrong tube…" Willow explained between coughs.
"Same *cough* *cough* here…" Poppy nodded. After they stopped coughing they looked at Mr. Todsnout with nervous looks on their faces.
"Does Mr. Sparking e-even -k-know we're h-h-here?" Willow stuttered out nervously. Mr. Todsnout was about to answer but stopped and thought for a bit. His eyes glazing over the floor, after a few seconds he looks up at her and says,
"No, He doesn't." with that answer the young birds exchange nervous and a bit scared looks.
"So, let me get this straight…." Stella began "you let us, a bunch of strangers, in your Master's house without telling him, let us use some of his towels, and just causally told us about him?"
"Well, first off there's nothing wrong with showing a bit a chivalry in this day and age. It's raining out and you we're all bound to get ill. And second off, Master Daniel won't mind your presence. Infact he loves having guests!" he explained. Everyone looked surprised at this.
"Really?" Poppy asked
"That's a relief!" Willow sighed.
"Yes! He really has a joy of entertaining them, and himself. He's quite a charmer!" Mr. Todsnout explained without missing a beat.
"Entertain?" Stella questioned "you mean he like, puts on a show and sings or something?"
"No, not quite that… It's more of a game he plays with them."
"a game?!" Luca squealed excitedly "what kinda game? Like, go fish? Tag? Hide and seek?"
"No no… nothing like that lad. It's more of a…. Hmm…" Mr. Todsnout pondered at how he should describe it, then thought of one " an adventure game."
"Really?" Stella asked now intrigued. "could you elaborate?"
"No, I'm afraid not. I'm not really allowed to talk about it with guests… that's Master Daniel's job…" but then he lowered his voice down to a whisper.
"However, I can warn you… that Master Daniel can get a bit… intense and carried away with his entertainment and game."
"Intense and carried away?" Poppy scoffed. "C'mon! How can someone possibly get 'intense' or 'carried away' with entertainment?"
"Spoken by the bird who relentlessly pranks other birds and is up till 3am playing her drums on full blast, therefore not allowing her neighbors to sleep!" Stella stated with irritation.
"Not to mention she also tricked me and Dahlia into thinking she beat a monster all by herself just to look cool, only turning out to be the scared one in the end!" Willow added.
"and she got really mad at Mister Smokey monster after he called her a 'Yellow blob' and tried to beat him up, and got stuck to a tree by some goo he shot out of his hand!" Luca finished. And he got a very confused and a bit concerned look from Mr. Todsnout.
"I'm sorry, what was that last one?" he asked.
"N-nothing!" Stella quickly answered and pushed Luca back a bit.
"But the point is Poppy here, is a bit of a show off… and tends to exaggerate sometimes."
"well, it's true! I can't count how many times I've had to step in and sort things out because you were being dramatic or getting carried away!"
"ah, so I'm guessing you're the responsible one." Mr. Todsnout pointed out. Stella actually blushed a bit when hearing that.
"Well… I am the leader, so yeah… I am required to be responsible and deal with things like, sorting out fights my friends get into, coaching for training, stuff like that. My choices always seem to work out in the end." She beamed, but her friends gave her unamused looks. Poppy cleared her throat and pointed out,
"Uhhh… didn't you have the brilliant idea to make us all go night swimming, only for you to get us all lost and-"
"I thought we all agreed to never speak of that again!" Stella growled cutting her off. Mr. Todsnout chuckled a bit.
"well, don't all of you have quite the stories. I'm sure Master Daniel will be quite interested! Oh and speaking of him! if you would excuse me, I must go see my master!" Mr. Todsnout said as he got up "all of you stay here." He began to exit the room but stopped when Stella called "wait!" he turned to look at her and she asked.
"Are you going to introduce us to him?" Mr. Todsnout sighed and looked at her warmly
"Don't worry you'll meet him soon enough." He said gently, then he turned around and walked to the door. Stella looked to her friends and began whispering to them.
"so, what do you guys think about… all this?" she asked
"Well, we're about five minutes in and nothing bad has happened… and the butler seems pretty cool." Poppy whispered.
"Yeah, this place seems alright…" Willow nodded, then cocked her head to the side. "Why do you ask?" Stella sighed at the question.
"Well, ever since we came here I've been getting a strange feeling like something bad is going to happen… but maybe I'm just over analyzing this whole thing and-"
They were in interrupted when they heard a metallic click. Everyone froze and looked at each other with fearful expressions as they knew what that sound was and what had happened…
Mr. Todsnout had locked the door…
Outside the room the butler removed the key from the keyhole, put the key ring in his pocket and walked down the hallway and greeted a mysterious figure.
"so, I take you've done what I asked of you Stewart?" the figure asked as the elder pig nodded.
"Yes Daniel, I have them all ready for you. And I even found out some information about the older ones that you may find interesting Mr. Todsnout proceeded to give him a brief rundown about Stella, Poppy, and Willow.
"One's the leader who takes responsibility , the other a showoff and Prankster, and last one is timid…" he chuckled a bit "Good. Mr. Todsnout, dismissed. I'll take it from here."
"Yes sir." He nodded and began to leave but turned to look at the figure.
"But, do be a bit easy on them. They do seem very nice."
"Oh, don't worry…they are guests of honor. And I'll try not to get carried away but… no promises."
Meanwhile back in the living room…
"Did he just…" Willow began to ask trying to process what just happened. Stella walked up to the door jiggled the handle and the doors wouldn't open. She gritted her teeth and stormed over to her freinds
"THAT OLD HOG JUST LOCKED US IN HERE!" she yelled furiously. Everyone looked at each other in a panic.
"Okay! Okay! Umm…. Maybe there's a reasonable explanation for that!" Willow began, "Maybe, he doesn't want Mr. Sparking to get mad at our unexpected visit?"
'That's Willow for you…' Stella thought to herself 'Still always trying to see the best in people'
"Really Will!? That's not the case and you know it!" Poppy snapped. While she and Willow were arguing Stella glanced up at the painting and gasped in horror. It had changed! Daniel Sparking wasn't reading the book anymore. Infact it was closed and Daniel was looking down at them. His eyes had changed from brown to glowing red, and he had a sinister grin on his face. Stella gulped and stepped back a bit in fear. Her eyes were glued on the portrait. The others noticed Stella's expression and looked to where she was looking and made some quick screams totally freaked out!
"Okay! He did NOT look like that five minutes ago!" Poppy blurted out. "What happened!?"
"Uhh… uhh…" Stella looked nervously up at the painted bird his eyes ripping a hole into her soul… Stella took a few deep breaths and looked away from it and back at her friends. Luca quickly ran up to her and hugged her.
"Stella I'm scared…" he whimpered.
"now, don't worry Luca…" Stella assured him "we've delt with worse! I'm sure we'll be fine." Just as she said that a gust of wind blew around them and blew out all the candles except for the one sitting on the table. Everyone stood still in silence.
"Um… whe-where d-did that br-breeze come from?" Willow whispered breaking the silence. "n-none of the w-windows were o-open…"
"Alright! I've seen enough!" Poppy declared as she sprinted to the locked door and began banging on them frantically.
"LET ME OUTTA HERE!" She shouted. Stella, Willow, and Luca rushed over to her and began to do the same thing. Unbeknownst to them a dark figure that looked something like a bird wearing a hat with blank glowing white eyes began rising from the floor behind them.
"Okay! That's it!" Stella growled as she began to charge up her pink flash and Willow charged up her vortex spin.
"we are busting that door down!" She shouted as sshe and Willow launched themselves at the door. They were only inches away from it when a orange beam hit all four of them freezing them in there places as if something was holding them still.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you…" a voice warned. "Those doors are of prime quality, and I would hate for them to be damaged!" then after the voice silenced Stella and Willow fell face first to the floor. Stella got up and adjusted her wig and crown, while Willow just gently looked up with a scared expression on her face.
"Who-who said that?" Willow asked nervously.
"I did… I believe the question you should be asking is…" Everyone turned around and saw the shadow figure standing there. "Who's there?" Poppy screamed at the sight and pathetically hid behind Stella who gave annoyed groan.
"Gee, thanks for the backup Poppy!" she muttered sarcastically. Then looked back at the shadow.
"Alright…Who's there!?" Stella asked the shadow. The shadow walked over to the table, picked up the candle, and held it up to their face… It was Daniel sparking, the bird in the picture. He looked at the small group like a lion staring down some gazelle, and a smirk appeared on his face. He whispered
"Boo.." then gently blew out the candle leaving them in complete darkness…
And they were never to be seen again… The end.
I'm kidding! I'm kidding! I'm pretty sure you wouldn't forgive me if I tried to pull off that ending. Sorry, this took so much longer than I thought! As you can see I added a few references from my other story "Angry birds Stella: The Ruby Ring" however I didn't add too many because I didn't want to spoil things for the Ruby ring. Anyway, I'm already at work on the third chapter and I'll see you all later! Ciao!