Chapter Forty-five: Raja

Jasmine found Carole in the guestroom, crying. Raja came in beside Jasmine.

Carole looked up from the bed and wiped her tears.

Jasmine said, "Hey, Carole, I have two surprises for you. One is Raja. And tomorrow, well, that one is going to be a surprise."

Raja leaped nimbly onto the bed and nuzzled Carole's elbow.

Veronica walked in. "Woah! A tiger. That thing had better not have rabies."

Raja let out a roar and Veronica jumped back into the hall.

Sora walked up and put a hand on her shoulder. "Looks like Raja doesn't like you, Veronica."

Veronica said, "If I find that thing in my bed, I swear I'll shoot it."

At the word 'shoot' Raja jumped off the bed and ripped her pants apart, tearing off the buttons.

Veronica yelled, "You stupid fleabag!"

Stevie said, "Woah! What happened to you, Veronica? Nice pants."

Jessica asked, "Would you like me to patch them up for you, just like old times? A patch might say, 'I insulted the tiger.'"

Raja began to laugh. He rolled over onto his back with all four paws sticking up in the air.

Veronica gave everyone a murderous glare and dashed off before she could be given

embarrassing patches, or get her shirt ripped apart.

Carole smiled and laughed. Her tears forgotten, she went to pet Raja. "You're such a pretty boy, aren't you?"

Raja growled gently.

Aladdin came in. "So, Carole, what took you so long to return to the palace?"

"I saw a black colt. No blemish on him."

Jasmine said, "That's weird. A few days ago, Neera came home a few months ago, saying she had seen a black colt."

Carole asked, "Who's Neera?"

Jasmine said, "Neera is a granddaughter of the great sheik, Ben Ishak, who first owned Garnet when she was a foal. Then Garnet was sold, and now she's back. Here."

Veronica came back and said, "You mean to say that Garnet came from a different planet?!"

"Yes, I do believe so, if this is the different planet," Jasmine said.

"Guess the universe is still full of mysteries," Christine said.

Stevie said, "I knew there were such things as aliens."

Lisa laughed her head off.

Veronica said, "If you say that one more time, I'm going to scream."

Sora said, "That would be a relief."

Aladdin asked, "What's wrong with this paranoid girl?"

Stevie said, "It's Veronica. She tends to be high-strung."

Jasmine said, "Carole, I have a story to tell you. Have you ever heard of the legend of Shetan?"

Carole shook her head. "No."

"It's the legend of the black horse who rules the sky. Many fear him and put black colts to death. He comes down from the sky only for the finest mares. But Abu Ben Ishak wanted his bloodline in his herd."

Carole said, "Wait a minute. Is this the second surprise? When are we going to see him?"

Jasmine said, "Tomorrow. Would you like to ride Garnet again?"

"I'd love to!" Carole said.

Jasmine asked, "Alright. Would it be alright if I ride on Starlight?"

Veronica said, "Oh, puh-lease. What a bunch of rubbish. Who ever heard of a horse that comes down from the sky to find the best mares. Give me a break."

Raja had had enough of Veronica and chased her.

"AAHHH!"

Abu was digging into Veronica's purse and stealing lip gloss while she ran.

"Get your filthy paws off my lip-gloss, you little primate!"

Stevie said, "Aw, monkey took your lip gloss? That's too bad, Veronica. Maybe you can replace it at the market place."

"That's a good idea. Thanks a lot, Stevie." She went to dig her money out. "Time to go shopping." She paused when she didn't feel anything. "That stupid Curious George!"

Veronica chased after Abu. "Come back here, you little thief!"

Aladdin laughed his head off.

Veronica caught Abu by the tail. "Give me back my money now, before I call the police and they'll chop your head off."

She suddenly realized she was in the barn with the camels, and one of them spat on her new shirt without warning. Veronica let out a scream of fury. "AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! Gross! That's my brand new—"

One of the camels passed gas.

"EEEWWW!" She held her nose and looked for the entrance. One of the camels was blocking it. She tried to run past it. "Get me out of this stinking barn!"

The camel calmly stepped on her boots.

"Get off now! You dumb one-humped thing!"

Sora came in and asked, "Aw, what's wrong. Did you get some green saliva on your shirt?"

Stevie said, "Oh, look, I think I took a picture of it."

Kairi said, "This isn't your day, is it Veronica?"

"What are you all doing here?" Veronica asked them in desperation.

"Wherever you go, we go."

Abu chucked a banana at her face. She ducked and it hit the camel. The camel got angry and charged Veronica.

"What did I ever do to you?" She ran toward the entrance. "Get out of the way." She saw Raja. She ran faster. Her face was pure fear. She ran all the way through the market place, Raja in tow.

The next morning, when Veronica had finally calmed down, they left Agrabah to visit the desert. They came upon an oasis. There was one house. A girl wearing a white gown, riding a flea-bitten old Arabian horse, greeted them. Aladdin was riding on the magic carpet.