The Adventure Before Dinner: Part One
Why, hello there.
I am your narrator. I am narratoring for you a grand story, full of drama and action and food that is all about me, your beautiful, brave, inspiring hero. And my Lupe, Puppy, but he really doesn’t count because he’s more of a supporting role, like a side-kick. And there are other people, too, but I don’t really feel like telling you their names right now.
Now, most stories, they begin with the words “Once upon a time” and an incredible tale of somebody awesome doing something great, like the prince saving the princess from the terrible monster. They usually meet someone great, like a wise magician, and that person usually teaches the hero something great, like “never fear anything but fear” or how to make really terrific pancakes. Then they go vanquish the clever villain and the hero gets his reward and the whole story is great, great, great.
But not this story. I am the only great hero, because everybody else is dumb and wouldn’t do like I said, and no one does anything great except me. There are no wise magicians and no great pancake recipes, and the villain is anything but clever. I am the only great thing in this entire story, but as the narrator, I really should not say that for the sake of objectivity, or something like that.
So in other words, don’t expect.
Now, I’ll begin this story at the beginning, which is where I’m supposed to start, as we sat in our unbelievable, moderately-priced new house (that Puppy warned me was a shaky investment, but look at us now!), eating breakfast...
“Umbreon, what did you do to this toast?”
Puppy held up his toast on his fork. It looked very black all over. Usually toast has a sort of yellow-brown tint to it, but not this toast. It was just black.
I stabbed my fork into my own black toast and held it in the air like him and jiggled my fork. The toast did not jiggle with it. It just hung there, like a black, dead piece of toast.
“I think the Babaa toaster killed it. I did not know Babaa toasters could kill toast. I thought that was only Red Toasters.”
“I don’t think it’s possible to kill toast,” he said. “And I doubt it was the brand-new toaster.”
“Just because it’s new doesn’t mean it works,” I said as I followed him to the counter. “That salesman looked pretty shady. He could have been a Babaa toaster in disguise, trying to kill all the toast in the whole world.”
Puppy grabbed a cup off the shelf and set it down on the counter.
“I’m pretty sure Babaa toasters aren’t alive, and aren’t selling anything, just like toast isn’t alive and impossible to kill. Is the orange juice in the fridge?”
“You’re in the fridge.” I was getting very good at the “You’re – whatever – the – person – just - said” insults.
He grabbed the carton out of the fridge and started pouring his orange juice. “Why don’t you just go to the store and buy toast at the Food Shop like the rest of Neopia?”
I gasped. “But they sell evil, awful, terrible banana-pudding there!” I shouted. He scowled.
He griped at me about buying stupid, pre-made, packaged food from that evil Food Shop that stocks banana pudding (which he claims doesn’t technically exist) for FOREVER, or until he’d finished his first glass of orange juice and poured himself another.
“I’m going to my room.”
“What?” I shouted. “You mean your brand new, humongous room in this house that you told me not to buy that is SO big, if I yell at you from one end you can’t even hear from the other?”
“Or I’m just ignoring you,” he responded. He was kidding. He always kidded.
Before he made it to the stairs, though, his feet suddenly stopped moving and his arms went flying and he landed flat on his face. It was a very epic fall, the sort that they make whole Neovision shows about because you can’t help but giggle afterwards.
But I wasn’t laughing this time.
“AHHHHHHHHHHH!” I shouted. “YOU JUST GOT ORANGE JUICE ON MY BRAND NEW FLOOR!” But he ignored me and started lifting up the rug.
“There’s something underneath here,” he said. He folded the rug over and underneath, in the floor, was some sort of broad, wood door, with random, old-looking pieces of wood and a big brass ring.
“Is that a trap door?” he asked.
“OH MY GOSH!” I shouted. “THIS HOUSE EVEN COMES WITH A BASEMENT! IS IT THE BEST THING EVER OR WHAT?”
He ignored me again and grabbed the ring and pulled. It heaved open with a heavy creak and thudded onto the floor.
“Hey!” I snapped. “Don’t put a dent in my brand new floor!”
“I didn’t! Go get a flashlight!”
“You go get a flashlight.”
But I wanted to see the basement in my awesome house that I bought with my own money. So I went and got a flashlight.
I don’t like holding flashlights because this kid down the street told me that flashlights can explode in your hand sometimes. So I gave it to Puppy, and he flicked it on.
“Oooh, it’s a Meridell-dungeon-themed basement.”
There were these big stairs and stone walls and torches with Spyder webs on them. It went so deep, we couldn’t see the bottom with the flashlight. I always get the low-power flashlights because that way, if they DO explode, they’ll only explode in Puppy’s hand and I won’t get caught up in the aftermath.
“Maybe this is where Valrigard escapes from Meridell Castle,” Puppy said and he started climbing down the stairs.
“Don’t be ridiculous!” I told him. “The Korbats would have flown at us by now!”
He kept walking and I kept following, and there was water dripping somewhere and everything felt cold.
Puppy stopped walking suddenly and bumped my head into him.
“Do you hear that?”
“Is it your breathing? I hear your breathing. I think I smell it, too. Maybe later we should go to the pharmacy and get something for that.”
Puppy turned around and shone the light in my eyes angrily.
“That is NOT my breath you’re smelling! It smells like... rotten milk.”
“That’s what your breath smells like,” I mumbled, but quiet enough so that he wouldn’t shine the light in my eyes again.
“Hey, look, there’s the bottom!”
The light was shining on a stone floor. We hurried down.
“This is an incredibly deep cellar,” Puppy said.
“Maybe it’s a two-story cellar,” I suggested.
“Yeah, Umbreon, that’s it. A two-story cellar.”
He waved the flash light around the cavernous area. At first all we saw was more stone walls and floor, but then it changed and there was this white, metallic sort of wall, the kind they have in laboratories and space cafeterias.
It stank like a space cafeteria, too.
“Geez,” Puppy said as he covered his nose-mouth-muzzle area with his arm. “Maybe this is why the house was so cheap.”
His voice echoed all over, like we were standing in a big room or a very large closet.
“Hey! I want to try!” I exclaimed. “I AM DR. SLOTH. I WEAR PINK HEART UNDERPANTS AND AM ALWAYS HALTED BY THE FORCES OF GOOOOOOD.”
A huge whirring sound came on.
“BWAAAGGG!!!” I shouted and leapt into Puppy’s arms. “DR. SLOTH HEARD ME AND IS FIRING UP HIS LASER CANNON!!!”
“Umbreon, I just turned on the lights!”
I looked over, and one by one, the giant hanging lights were whirring on. They were the sort that are so big, they took a few seconds to turn on and make that whirring sound. They hung way above our heads, at least... five feet above, and they showed that the cellar was positively ENORMOUS, even bigger than the house over us.
And best of all, it was completely full of cartons of ice cream.
“I LOVE THIS HOUSE!!!” I screamed and dove towards the ice cream, imagining all the wonderful free snacks and desserts I could have for years afterwards and bathing in ice cream and buying a cannon and making my own version of Ice Cream Machine.
I landed on top of them, and for a brief moment, I was floating on ice cream, but then the cartons groaned, and kind of whined, and they collapsed beneath me with a small “pfffffff” sound coming out the sides.
“They’re empty!” Puppy said as he picked up one.
“That is the worst practical joke EVER!” I yelled.
“They used to have ice cream in them.” He popped the lid and poked his nose in. “What was someone doing with all this ice cream?”
“They were eating it!” I told him.
“They had to have been doing something else with it,” Puppy said.
“What else is there?”
“Nobody can eat this much ice cream in a LIFETIME!” he yelled and threw his arms out to display the many and many, and tons and tons, and tanks and tanks, and mountains and mountains of ice cream cartons.
Then he looked over at me.
“Okay, nobody outside this room could eat this much ice cream.”
“There are other people who like ice cream, too, Puppy,” I informed him.
“Maybe,” he said. “But look at what’s drawn on marker on these.” He pointed to the top of one of the cartons. “Ice Cream Domination Plot – Carton #879.”
“Maybe Sloth is going into the ice cream business, and he knows that people who like him and think he’s funny and cool will buy them in order to support him.”
“I don’t think it’s as innocent as that,” he said. “This looks suspicious.”
To be continued...