Molly - Back to The Box: Part Five
“A faerie meowclops! Ha, you will make a nice little bit of business!” said the all too familiar voice of the Test Your Strength owner. He picked her up, gripping her firmly so that none of her struggles would allow her to escape. He walked over to the front of the Test Your Strength machine so that he was facing all the customers.
“Step right up and prepare to Test Your Strength!” he shouted, holding Molly firmly in his arms. “This week I am running a special competition. You get all your normal prizes, but whoever does the best hit this week also gets an amazing faerie meowclops! Spread the word to all your friends and family! Who would want to miss a great chance like this? You have all week so keep coming back for more tries! That is right ladies and gentlemen, all week to Test Your Strength and win a wonderful faerie meowclops!”
Immediately everyone pushed forward, wanting to be the first to test their strength. The Test Your Strength owner held his arms as high as possible in the air, showing Molly to everyone and building up their excitement even more. “See!” he shouted over the noisy crowd. “Here she is! A lovely faerie meowclops that could be yours at the end of the week! Now if you could all wait patiently while I go put her inside I will be out with you in a minute. Why not tell all your friends while you are waiting?”
The Mynci pushed through the crowd, still holding a struggling Molly. He took her inside a small building behind the Test Your Strength machine. In there, he took her over to a familiar cupboard, which he opened. He reached out with one arm and grabbed a box, which he proceeded to open and place Molly inside. Molly heard him tape up the box again and lock it in the cupboard.
“Whew! That's the last poster!” exclaimed Albert, wiping his brow in a dramatic manner. “Do you want to go and get smoothies or something?”
“I suppose we could have a short break...” said Bernard, realising his friend was more tired than he was letting on. “I can always ask people at the food shop if they have seen or heard anything about Molly.”
“Alright, you do that,” said Albert with a sigh, heading off in the direction of the food shop. “How about after our 'short break' we check to see if she is in the trading post or something?”
Bernard's eyes widened. “I hadn't thought of that! Someone could be trying to sell her this very minute!”
“Well, we are not checking this very minute so you are going to have to be patient!” snapped Albert, feeling anything but patient.
“Sorry... but you know how I worry...” said Bernard, starting to feel a bit guilty. “Of course we can check later,” he added, following Albert to the food shop.
Three other meowclops sat in a box, somewhere in a cupboard. These meowclops were all staring at Molly in surprise, and Molly was staring back, more frightened than surprised.
“Don't be frightened!” said the first meowclops, getting up and walking a few short steps towards Molly. “We don't bite!”
“Much!” put in the second meowclops, pouncing on the first meowclops and bowling him over. He then proceeded to pretend to bite the first meowclops, 'chewing' on his ears. The third meowclops started to laugh, rolling around on her back. The other two pounced on her, forgetting all about Molly for a moment. They rolled around the box in a wild ball of meowclops and Molly was forced to leap out of their way.
“So anyway, what are you doing here? Since when did that guy give out painted meowclopses?” asked the third meowclops after managing to heave herself out of the wrestling match.
“My friend and I were trying to steal food around here and the Mynci guy caught me. I think he thinks I am good for business or something. He was shouting out that whoever does the best hit this week will get me as a prize...” said Molly with a sigh. “I really need to think of a way to escape...”
All three meowclops looked a Molly in surprise. “You can't escape from here!” exclaimed the third meowclops.
“Yeah, it's impossible!” added the second meowclops.
“We have tried everything we can think of, but it's just no good,” finished the first meowclops.
“I can think of a plan that has helped me escape places before,” said Molly after a moment of thought. “It could work.”
“Oh yeah, and what would that be?” asked the second meowclops. “We have been in this box a bit longer than you, you know?”
“I have been in this box before, actually!” exclaimed Molly. “And given out as a prize before. I don't want it to happen again.”
“Well, what's your plan then?” demanded all three meowclops, staring at Molly with bright, curious, yellow eyes.
“Well, listen very carefully,” said Molly in a whisper. “I shall say this only once.”
“Why only once?” demanded the first meowclops.
“Because I am tired! Now listen very carefully...”
“Ohh, what is it?” asked the third meowclops excitedly.
“If you stop interrupting we might find out!” snapped the second meowclops impatiently.
“Are you listening now?” asked Molly, just as impatiently.
“The suspense is killing me...” said the first meowclops.
Molly sighed. “If you keep on interrupting, I won't say this even once!”
“Oh my Sloth, did you hear about the Test Your Strength competition?” came a high, girly voice from the table next to Bernard's.
“Oh, you mean that meowclops that he is giving away at the end of the week to whoever does the best hit?” came another voice. Bernard started to listen in to the conversation – any news about a meowclops might, just might, be important.
“Yeah, that’s right!” came the first voice again. “I am playing as often as I can. How cool would that meowclops be as a prize?”
“Yeah, that would be cool. But isn't a meowclops a prize sometimes anyway?”
“Yes, a basic meowclops is a prize occasionally... but this one is painted!”
“Ooh, what colour?”
“I can't remember... I think it was something really cute though!”
“Wanna go try and win this meowclops then?”
“Sure, why not?”
Bernard watched as two Zafaras (who happened to be the ones talking) left the shop, heading in the general direction of what he assumed to be the Haunted Woods.
“Albert?” Bernard asked his friend, who was taking a giant sip of his smoothie.
“Bernard?” replied Albert, looking at his friend curiously.
“Did you hear their conversation just then?”
“Those two Zafaras!”
“Oh, them. I heard bits of it, but I wasn't really paying attention...” said Albert. “Why?”
“They said that there is a special painted meowclops being given out as a Test Your Strength prize at the end of the week to whoever does the best hit! What if that is Molly?”
Albert looked thoughtful. “It could be, I suppose...” he said. “We could always go and see anyway. No harm in trying. You want to?”
“Of course!” said Bernard, jumping up from his seat. “Let's go now!”
Albert sighed. “Can I at least finish my smoothie first?”
“Psst! Someone is coming!”
The voice of a meowclops woke Molly up from her doze. She opened her eye sleepily. “What was that?”
“Someone's coming! Now could be our chance to escape!” hissed the meowclops. “We are still going to try your plan, right?”
Molly was up in an instant. “Of course we are going to try! Now everyone be quiet!”
All four meowclops in the box went silent, and soon the sound of someone opening the cupboard could be heard. They felt the box being picked up roughly and then dropped on a table heavily. The sound of tape being ripped off the box was heard and all of the meowclops braced themselves. As soon as the box opened, all four jumped out and scattered.
“Guys!” the first one yowled. “The door is this way! Watch out!”
Three of the meowclops ran for the door and dived out while the other one, Molly, flew. Unfortunately, when he realised he couldn't catch all the meowclops, the grubby Mynci who had opened the box went for Molly because she was the most valuable – and the promised prize at the end of the week that was earning him so much money. He managed to catch her, diving on her before she could gain much height into the air.
“Right, you troublesome thing. It's back in the box for you! You little terror, causing me to lose three of my best prizes. What else can I give that guy now?”
The Mynci continued to talk to himself while he put the struggling Molly back into the box, taped it and placed it back in the cupboard. Molly heard him slam the door and her heart sank. 'What now?' she asked herself in despair.
To be continued...