Today there are more people than usual, enraptured by the flute-playing of a young girl who showed up just last night, something that fills you with relief. You agilely dance through dining area, taking and serving orders, expertly balancing stacks of plates, making conversation with the patrons, while your father prepares the dishes. You make liberal use of your tail in carrying orders about the dining area, helping keep the patrons entertained. The atmosphere is cheerful, almost the way it used to be. Conversations swirl pleasantly around you, the aroma of food fills the air, the clinking of plates and silverware becomes an almost musical accompaniment to the soft tune of the flute.
All this is violently interrupted by an explosion in the kitchen. In less than a second all sorts of thoughts have blinked through your mind: What's happening? Where's father? - It came from the rear door! - I'm not hurt, but - Was it a gas line? - No! He was at the grill! - I've got to see if he's hurt! Tables near the entrance to the kitchen are overturned by the force of the blast, along with their occupants; you take a step for balance, while everyone else ducks to avoid the shrapnel flying out of the door and serving window. You yourself receive a couple of slashes on your upraised arms, but you barely notice that. Your concern lies with your father, as well as the now panicking diners. After making sure there are no serious injuries -the flute girl's stool is lying on its side, but she seems unhurt- and the place is emptying of people, you run to the kitchen, held back by a fire now roaring inside and fed by secondary explosions. Desperately, you right a nearby table and, grabbing two glasses of water from another table, soak the tablecloth and wrap it around yourself. You briefly pull a corner over your face to shield it from the roiling fire in the doorway, and leap into the kitchen. The tablecloth is already dry and you feel the heat beginning to sear your skin. The smoke is thick, but fortunately your eyes can see fairly well through it. The shape in the corner must be your father; you run to him, finding him only half conscious, and try to pick him up. He winces; you look him over and see that his left leg is bent at an odd angle in the wrong place.
His gray eyes open and look into yours, then behind you. His mouth opens, an expression of alarm on his burned face.
"Sh..." he starts, and reaches for your arm.
Wait, he's not reaching for you, he's pointing behind you. You start to turn--
Suddenly a thick cloth falls over your head, and a muscular arm clamps about your neck. You struggle, kicking and lashing out with your tail, finding only air. Then a hard object strikes you across the side of your head, and consciousness falls away.
The side of your head is very tender, and you'd like to touch it and find out the extent of the damage done to it, but your wrists seem to be tied securely to your ankles, and as far as you can tell, you are hanging from somewhere by your tail. Wherever you are, it is cold, and probably dark, though a shroud has been tied around your neck and you can't see through it. It is also silent, except for a few sounds issuing from behind you which sound a little like conversation, echoing in an odd manner. You guess you're in a cave, fairly deep if it's this cold. You wonder who would want to bring you here, and why? Why you? is less of a question, though it still demands some explanation.
You turn your attention to the issue of escape, since you're becoming a little dizzy from hanging head-down and having to breathe inside the confines of the shroud. Carefully you shift your arms to feel the ropes tying them; your captor has been somewhat careless and tied them with simple knots. One of them is already coming loose. Just as you free one end of the rope, you hear the echo of approaching footsteps. Maybe you have enough time to get loose and escape before they reach you, but if you don't you might be killed. It might be better to pretend to be still tied up and unconscious, wait for them to leave and make your escape then.