Saturday, October 25, 2008

Miss Pickles faces a mutiny

To read the previous adventure, go here.

Mason couldn't believe it had only taken an hour.

In what seemed like a single instant, hundreds of Fireflies had mixed a vat of sand and tiny black crystals and blasted it with fire from their fingers. The blue flame was so intense Mason had ducked his head for fear of being blinded. He could feel sweat pouring down his face and the heat slamming in waves against his body, even though the Fireflies were hundreds of yards from him. Like an oven door being shut, the heat ceased suddenly. When Mason glanced up, the Fireflies were fluttering around a glass pyramid the size of a shoe box.

"Is that it?" he asked, peering down at it.

One of the male Fireflies gave him a wicked grin. "What is it your people are always saying--sized doesn't matter?"

Jasper turned red and coughed as Mason gave him a puzzled look. Miss Pickles giggled.

"I still don't think this is ever going to work," Beatrice interjected sourly. "It would take an incredible lens to define the light into the spectrum we need. Besides, this doesn't make sense. If Jasper buries through the rock, he can't do it in a glass bubble. Even a extremely powerful laser would emit a fine beam. He can't just blast through the rock like you're envisioning."

"What's your idea?" Mason challenged her.

"I think our only choice is to burn up down here," Beatrice snapped. "After you got us down here, we'll never be able to go home."

Ralph's chin quivered as he thought of all the wasted pies and strudels he would be missing. The Fireflies had tried to feed them their speciality of sulfur spaghetti, but he couldn't even get past the smell.

"I'm not qualified to compose a last will that's legally binding," Don informed everyone. "At least one that will stand up in court."

"Duckies!" Miss Pickles cried, clapping her hands. "Duckies, duckies, duckies! What is all this? Where's your sense of adventure?"

"This isn't an adventure, Mrs. Pickles!" Beatrice snapped. "This is a life and death situation."

Miss Pickles grinned. "Which makes it all the more enjoyable, don't you think?" The students of ordinary elementary stared at her like she was crazy.

The Firefly Queen floated into the room and gestured toward the lava pits. "We're ready."

Mason felt his stomach twist in knots. What if Beatrice was right? What if this was a dumb idea? What if he got them killed? He thought about his parents, his annoying little sister. He was pretty sure they wouldn't cry if he was dead. They'd just have another kid.

Mason's mind flashed back to Ordinary Elementary. He remembered the long days, the countless hours slumped over his desk praying for the end bell to ring. Now he was on an adventure. A true adventure with risks and glories and possible death. A grin spread across his face.

"Everyone, listen!" he cried. The classmates, fireflies and Miss Pickles and the Firefly Queen gathered around. "I know you're mad and you want to go home," Mason began, "But Miss Pickles is right. This is an adventure. We should have fun with it!"

"We might be killed!" Beatrice interrupted. "How is that fun?"

"I'm wasting away!" Ralph shouted. "I've had no mid-morning snack, no lunch, no dessert, no early afternoon snack and now I'm missing my late afternoon snack! If I miss dinner and my midnight snack, I'll probably fall over dead."

"I doubt it," Don muttered. He eyed Ralph's sweat and chocolate stained jiggling stomach.

"Remember before Miss Pickles came?" Mason cried. "Remember how we just sat at our desks and listened to our teacher blabber on and on and on? Remember how at recess we would get outside, start to run and get jerked back into the classroom before we could even breathe in the fresh air?" He turned to Ralph.

"What about all the lunches where all they served was old pizza and peanut butter sandwiches that looked like they had bugs in them?" Ralph shuddered. He turned to the others. "What about all the times you'd want to draw or read a book, only to have the teachers take it away with you? What about the tests?" All the children hissed in disgust. They hated tests.

"So which would you rather do," Mason asked, "Take tests all day, or possibly die on the coolest trip you've ever had?" The answer filled his ears before the words had rang off his teeth.

"AN ADVENTURE!" they cried.

"Then let's go, duckies!" Miss Pickles shouted. "Well done, Mason! Well done!"

"This way!" the Firefly Queen directed. All the children trotted after her, whooping and hollering as they ran. The Fireflies outfitted Jasper with the pyramid attached to his head by a tray like hat. They flew him over to a tall rock, where they plopped him down to begin burrowing.

"Smoky, I'll miss you," Miss Pickles said as she enveloped her friend in a hug. "Thanks."

"You're welcome any time," the Queen Firefly said. "And so are all of you." She bowed her head at the students. Mason was humbled as he gave her a low bow.

"Ready?" she asked. "Everyone stand together."

The class huddled together. The Queen raised her palm to her face and blew. A tiny flame leaped off her fingers and flew through the air around them. Suddenly, they were encapsulated in a glass sphere.

"It's time," the Queen said.

To be continued.....


I would be remiss in my duckie manners if I didn't think the talented Marjie for giving me this fabulous award!

Marjie is one of my favorite Invisible Friends. She cooks, she sews and she's got the greatest sense of dry humor. Plus, she has nine kids. And she's still married. Jon and Kate plus 8 copied her, people! Where's her TV show? That's what I want to know. I'd watch Marjie and her family any day over those neurotic numbskulls!

And she has a really cute dog named Thor. He could eat my Babies.

I'd like to give this to some of my favorite Invisible Friends:

1) Marie
2) Bunny
3) Prudy
4) Lore
5) Linda
6) Kellypea
7) Candy
8) Jen
9) Emily
10) Pam
11) Katherine
12) Alexandra

If you haven't seen these fine ladies' blogs, go look now! It's an order.

And Marjie, thanks again. When can I come over for dinner?

*** Remember, next week is Halloween week! Not only will you find out more about the ghost in the diner, but you'll have a terrifying recipe, more spooky tales and confessions from the other side!


kellypea said...

Well thank you for the award, my dear! I'm grinning ear to ear bright and early on this Saturday morning when I should be sleeping in my nice bed and not sitting at the computer. But you've put a grin on my face with your delightful story and I'm wondering who is doing your illustrations...I can just see them now.

kellypea said...

p.s. I swear your sussy is on its way. Snail mail...ugh.

Marie said...

Congrats on the award Duckie!! I think you more than deserve it. And also thanks so much for passing it on to me. Now as for the story, this only gets better and better my dear! I just love it to pieces. I can't believe a publisher hasn't snapped you right up. Nevermind...we will soon have them crying in their soup! :-)

Linda said...

Thanks, your sweet including me in this!

jenjen said...

Congrats on the new award Duckie -- you deserve it! I love the new installment of Miss Pickles and can't wait to see what will happen next. I'm also on the edge of my seat with your diner story -- so scary! Have a wonderful weekend!!!

wwwbunnysovencom said...

Congratulations Duckie!! Thank You for thinking of me!! I can't wait for Halloween Week, you have me very very curious!

Sandy Toes said...

Congrats on your award!!!! Have a wonderful weekend...I look forward to meeting your invisible!
-Sandy Toes

Lisa said...

Congrats on the award!

Heather said...

congrats on the award! terrifying halloween recipes and confessions from the other side?!? i am excited :)

Marjie said...

Duckie, you are very welcome. Stop by whenever you're in the neighborhood - I'll feed you and Ben, and even the babies!

noble pig said...

Wonderful installment and I can't for Halloween week...

Prudy said...

Why aren't you famous? Why doesn't everyone in the world know about Ralph? He's definitely every bit as endearing as Augustus Gloop. Congrats on the award and a huge thank you for thinking of me. This is one of my favoritests stops in the world! I'm so looking forward to Halloween week at the pond.

Andy Guo said...

Congrats on your award!!!! Have a wonderful weekend...I look forward to meeting your invisible!

Pam said...

Congrats on your award and thank you for passing it on to me...I appreciate it. I love the new installment of Miss Pickles - looking forward to the next one.

Emiline said...

Oooh, I'm looking forward to Halloween. Spooky stuff comin' my way.

Congrats to you! Well deserved.

Thank you for the award!

Katherine Aucoin said...

Congratulations Duckie on receiving this award and thank you for sharing it with me. I enjoy your blog so much and you I believe in you and your flawless writing talent.

The W.O.W. factor said...

You just amaze me...I don't know where you find to time to do ALL you do! Cook, work, write, play, attend name it!
You wear me out! ;)

Lore said...

Hey Duckie! Thank you so much for thinking of me :D. Please forgive me for not being able to come sooner and pick up your sweet award...I must live the most hectic days lately :(. I adore your blog, the fabulous characters and the delicious recipes you post about. In fact that bowl of chili has been on my mind these past days, perfect for the chilly weather we're having ;)

alexandra's kitchen said...

thank you thank you for the award. you are such a dear duckie in her pond.

freefun0616 said...