Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Miss Pickles has strange friends

As Mason waved the dust swirling around his face away, he peered at the darkness around him. In the small crack of light from where he had fallen, he could see the deep rich reddish brown of pure earth. There were soft piles of dirt and jagged plateaus of a pinkish-brown rock that sparkled in the soft light. Rugged columns of a thick white rock stabbed the earth in random patterns, like toothpicks through a tortilla. It was the strangest place he had ever seen--completely natural but entirely otherworldly.

"Mason!" Miss Pickles bellowed from above. Mason looked up and saw her frizzy head bobbing up and down several miles up. "Are you all right?" Her voice echoed in the cavern around him.

"Yes," he called up. "I'm not sure where I am."

"Of course not!" Miss Pickles shouted, sounding shocked. "This is an adventure after all. Give me a few minutes, duckie. I have to outfit everyone with parachutes. No, Ralph, don't eat that. That's not candy."

Mason grinned and returned his attention to his surroundings. He took a few steps forward, gingerly tiptoeing across the cinnamon-colored Earth. Roots twisted from the ceiling and brushed the top of his head as he crept across the dusty rock. He was surprised that there weren't any worms or giant bugs scuttling by him. Not that he was complaining.

Suddenly, he saw something green sparkle in the darkness. Without thinking, Mason rushed forward after it.

"Look out below!" Miss Pickles bellowed from above. "I'm sending Ralph and Don down first!"

"Ok," Mason called, his eyes focused on the shimmer of green. His feet sank in the soft earth as he loped towards the captivating light.

"Masssoooonnnn!" he heard Ralph scream behind him. Cursing, Mason turned around to see Ralph floating to the ground under a large parachute. Don was right behind him, muttering something silently to himself.

"Don, what are you saying?" Mason yelled.

"I'm simply making a note of how many safety and environmental regulations we're violating," Don yelled. "I've got to figure out a defense while we're still down here in case they call the police while we're gone." Giving the green sparkle a longing look, Mason moseyed over to his friends.

Ralph shrugged out of his parachute and unbuckled his harness with a gasp of relief. "Gosh, that was tight," he breathed, rubbing the thick lines embedded into his stomach. He held out a mass of silver paper and black goo. "Chocolate bar? It melted a bit in the sun."

"No thanks," Mason said. Ralph shrugged and scraped the goo into his mouth, plucking out the offending wrapper from his lips. Don crinkled his face in disgust as Ralph searched for the Twinkies his mother had zipped somewhere in his shorts.

"Hey guys, come look at this!" Mason led his friends over to the green light as one student after another floated through the hole. They stood over it, staring down at the tiny green twinkle nestled into the darkness.

"What do you think it is?" Mason whispered, ignoring the chatter of his classmates as they shed their harnesses and began to explore.

"Could be a rock," Don said, looking around at their surroundings.

"Maybe it's food," Ralph whispered, licking his lips with anticipation.

"I don't know," Mason said uncertainly, squatting down. "It feels like something....different."

"Different?" Ralph asked.

"Different," Mason repeated, nodding. He reached out towards the light, leaning down until his fingers touched something rough and warm. A scream rumbled under them and the ground began to shake.

"Run!" Mason yelled, scrambling to his feet. He jerked Ralph away from a thick root and rushed over to where his classmates were circled. Don followed on his heels, shouting, "Evacuate! Evacuate!"

The class of O.E. gathered close to one another, watching as the roots over their head jiggled in the soft light.

"What is it?" Beatrice yelled.

"I don't know," Mason yelled back.

"It's definitely not food!" Ralph shouted.

"Hopefully it doesn't think we're food!" Don muttered. Everyone pretended not to hear them. Suddenly, the ground split and a form began to climb from the molten lava below. Hot steam scalded their faces and the smell of sulphur filled the air. Mason watched in horror as the figure freed itself and started their way. Just as the creature reached them, Miss Pickles floated down from the ceiling using a large pink parasol. She landed, looked at the creature, then looked at the children and smiled.

"I see you've met my friend."

Mason had never been more terrified in his life.

6 comments:

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

Who's the friend? Who's the friend? Who's the friend!! ;-)

jenjen said...

I love that all Ralph thinks about is food. So funny! Now you have me hooked. Can't wait to see what happens next!

Marie said...

Oh gosh . . . you have me gripping the edge of my seat here Duckie! Like JenJen, I can't wait to see what's next! I think there's a little secret part of each one of us in your lovely characters Duckie. You are so brilliant, I am almost blinded by your lovely light! (((hugs)))

Lore said...

"I'm simply making a note of how many safety and environmental regulations we're violating" - that is so funny when it comes to an adventure but hey you can mess with genes ;)

Prudy said...

Ok, we're caught up now and moving upwards to the next installment....
You should be selling these on candy wrappers or something and making millions.

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