A Day at the Food Club
Edna’s Shadow fell across the table as she turned to look at me. “So then,” she said, “am I to believe that The Search for Princess Lunara is pointless? That she really did try to Escape to Kreludor and now she’s Lost in Space Fungus?”
“Well, Techo Says she was last seen over by the Cork Gun Gallery. She said she would be along in a minute. She wanted to take The Last Blast at those Evil Fuzzles from Beyond the Stars. Do the math,” I replied. “Where else could she be?”
“I’ve tried, but it’s a Math’s Nightmare.” Edna shook her head sadly. “I just can’t imagine where she could be. One thing I do know, though; those searchers are going to be here soon and we’d better have plenty of food ready for them.”
I set some Gourmet Club Bowls on the Potato Counter and began gathering my ingredients. “You take care of the Berry Bash, although you may have to Pick Your Own,” I said, “and I’ll set up the Biscuit Brigade. This dough is Ready to Roll and I usually do that a little Better Than You.”
I picked up the Shapeshifter and began to cut out a Turmac Roll. As I turned to place it on the baking pan, my elbow bumped the bowl of neggs from the table. Dar-BLATT!!! The bowl crashed to the floor and broken neggs slid around everywhere! “Aw-w-w, Krawps!” I growled. “As if we didn’t have enough to do already, and now just look what a mess! Even though I aced the Imperial Exam, if the professors at the Island Chef Academy could see me now, they’d pull my license!”
“Let It Slide,” Edna said. “I’ll help you clean it up.”
“Please hurry! Go! Go! Go! It's running everywhere!”
Edna stepped around the corner to get the Neggsweeper. As she went by, she stopped and put in the Moon Rock Rampage CD and cranked the volume. As Spacerocked! blasted from the stereo, she danced through the slime on the floor and winked at me. “You know,” she said, “it’s always easier to clean when you can Mop ‘n’ Bop. Sometimes it helps if you can just Make Some Noise.”
I stepped over to the toaster and dropped some bread into the Scorchy Slots. “Have you seen the Cheeseroller?” I asked, digging through the utensils.
“Here,” replied Edna, handing it to me. “What am I going to do about dessert? I was planning to bake a pie, but I am one Coconut Shy.”
“Why don’t you Guess the Weight of the Marrow?” I asked. “Maybe there is enough of it so you can Cheat! and substitute that instead. And be sure to check the Fruit Machine. There may be something in there you can use.” I sliced some bread and started assembling a Hot Dog Hero. “Do you think our Wise Old King can handle leading the search for the princess?”
“Of course he can!” Edna replied. “He was a Shenkuu Warrior and led the Shenkuu River Rush in his younger days. He was also a Defender Trainer and led through the Skies Over Meridell during The Great Qasalan Caper when we had that Advert Attack on the Battledome. He drove the lead Snowroller and almost single-handedly won the Snowball Fight during the Snow Wars, and as captain of his own ship he sailed that Barf Boat right through the Eye of the Storm.”
She set a bowl of Sophie’s Stew on the table. “And don’t forget he is the CEO of the Warf Rescue Team and is the first one they call for a Petpet Rescue. I’ve even heard that he excels in Storytelling and Poetry Competition. Now, we’d best get this finished before they all get here or else he will be a Grumpy Old King. He is going to be one Hungry Skeith!”
I checked the Ice Cream Machine to be sure it was ready, then called to Edna. “Come and Test Your Strength. Help me move the Round Table Poker closer to the other tables. We can clear away the cards and seat some around this. We are going to have an unusually large crowd in here today.” I hurried to Fetch! an extra tablecloth I had found at the Igloo Garage Sale.
“They’re almost here,” Edna cried. “They’re just passing Nimmo’s Pond. Is everything ready?”
“I think so,” I replied. “I’ll serve the food and you can serve the drinks. You’re a much better Slushie Slinger than I am.”
The King and the Defenders of Neopia trooped through the door and settled in around the tables, putting away so much food I was beginning to wonder if we had made enough. Presently, as their hunger subsided and they began to relax, they talked among themselves. Bits of conversation drifted up from the various tables and I could hear pieces of everything from searching the Caves and Corridors for the princess to reminiscing about the good old days when they battled the Attack of the Gummy Dice, the Attack of the Marblemen, and the Attack of the Slorgs.
Suddenly a Crisis Courier burst through the door and hurried to the King’s table. The King wiped his mouth with his napkin and turned toward the courier. “You have found her? You have found the princess?”
“No, Your Majesty,” said the courier excitedly. “We haven’t found the princess, but while looking for her we stumbled across HIM!”
“Who, pray tell, is HIM,” said the King.
“Hubrid, Your Majesty,” said the courier. “We have found Hubrid! He has been wanted for a very long time for Hubrid’s Hero Heist, the Dubloon Disaster, Gyl’s Great Escape, the Jumpin’ Gem Heist, the Ruins Rampage, the Chariot Chase and even the Trouble at the National Neopian! We have questioned The Usul Suspects and they have all confirmed he is responsible for every one of them.
“Why,” he added, “I’d bet Double or Nothing that he even knows where the princess is!”
We heard a rattle of chains in the street outside. Everyone there clustered around the windows as Hubrid went by surrounded by guards. We watched the Wicked Wocky Wobble as he shuffled along in his shackles. They paused for a moment as a guard made a quick Key Quest through his pockets. Finding it, he unlocked a door that opened into a very long, very dark corridor. We heard his chains rattling as Hubrid disappeared down the Time Tunnel toward his Cellblock and we heard the clink of the key as the door was locked behind him.
“He used to be such a good kid,” someone said. “What a sad waste of a life. He will be very old when he comes back out of there – IF he comes out.”
Everyone was oddly quiet as they filed back out the door to resume their search for the princess. The King paused to thank me for the meal and remind me that they would be back around 3:00 for a Meepit Juice Break. “All in a day’s reign,” he said wearily. “All in a day’s reign.”
Edna and I began to clear the Food Club tables, each of us thinking our own thoughts, and outside The Search for Princess Lunara continued.