Melodramatic Stories and Tales for the Soul
It was a somber and savage night.
The residents of number 63994 were willing away
the hours doing a most precarious task: cleaning out the refrigerator. It had
been several years to the day since the back of the Idle's avocado-colored refrigerator
was clearly visible. Since then, a thick layer of plasma had grown through all
the cracks and crevasses of the grille.
Today, the Idles were waging war on that plasma.
Yoko, a white Aisha, pulled out a carton of
what was once hummus. She sniffed it delicately. "Well," she declared, "this
certainly has passed its expiration date. Excuse me for a second while I pass
out." Yoko's head suddenly rolled back and she fainted onto the tile floor of
Jon, a red Eyrie, woke her up by dousing her
in cold water. "You can't say that I didn't warn you," Yoko said, as she shakily
stood up again.
Gioacchino, a mutant Kacheek, clicked his tongue
in amusement. He reached into the refrigerator and pulled out a can so archaic
that the original label had turned into yellow grit. "Wonder what this was,"
"Open it," urged Jon.
Gioacchino pulled the tab off of the can easily
(it had rusted through). He peered inside. "I'm still not sure what this was...
but whatever it is now has the beginnings of a cardiovascular system."
"Toss it," said Erika, the guardian and mother
of Gioacchino, Jon, and Yoko. "You know the rules. It's not good if it has changed
color, state of matter, is moving, or evolving in some shape or form."
Gioacchino tossed the can into the rather full
garbage can. He pulled out a second can. The contents of this can easily broke
all of his mother's rules. What once was a bratwurst now was a puddle of green
gelatin, wriggling and making coughing noises.
Jon looked over at the bratwurst. "Wow... I
didn't think that anything could beat that piece of cheesecake Yoko found...
but this takes the cake."
"I'll give you my Morguss plushie if you eat
"Get me a fork."
When Erika's back was turned (Yoko had fainted
again at the sight of a very warped slab of ham), Jon dug his fork into the
bratwurst and took a bite.
"Well?" asked Gioacchino breathlessly. "How
does it taste?"
"Was the wallpaper in here always so psychedelic?"
Jon giggled through his mouthful.
Gioacchino stared at his brother. Jon's eyes
were rolling and out of focus. His front talons that were holding the fork were
shaking involuntarily. His ears and wings were twitching violently. And he was
still giggling. He didn't stop giggling - even when he passed out on the floor.
It was Erika who came to the rescue this time.
She grabbed the bucket of cold water and thoroughly soaked Jon. He sat straight
up, as rigid as a board.
"No problem," she replied, glaring at Gioacchino.
The Kacheek cowered in fear.
"So... out of curiosity... what's for dinner?"
Erika stared at the bleary unpromising contents
of the refrigerator. "That piece of cheesecake looks promising," she said, with
as much cheerfulness as she could muster.
Gioacchino licked his lips hungrily, trying
to ignore his grumbling stomach. He coughed loudly. "Is that green fungus I
see growing on the edge of it?" he lied.
"Right there, on the corner."
Erika sighed, dumping the cheesecake into the
trash can. "Well, I guess we can always skip dinner," she said sorrowfully.
"I'll just buy some hot dogs at Hubert's Hot Dog Stand tomorrow." Her stomach
rumbled in unison with Jon and Yoko's.
Erika sighed. "Let's just call it a day," she
said. "We'll tackle the rest of the refrigerator and the icebox tomorrow. Until
then, how about a nice story?"
Jon and Yoko followed their mother into the
den. Gioacchino hung back, however, and peeked into the garbage can. The perfect
cheesecake gleamed back up at him. In three swift gulps, the deceitful Kacheek
had devoured it. After wiping his mouth clean of evidence, he quickly rejoined
his family in the den.
Erika was just pulling a heavy green volume
off of the bookshelf and settling herself down in front of the fire when Gioacchino
slipped in, unnoticed.
"What story is it today?" asked Yoko.
Erika flipped through the pages at light speed,
her eyes closed. Finally, she jabbed her thumb in between pages 301 and 302.
She opened her eyes and read outloud, "Kalora the Kau."
"Who's she?" asked Yoko.
"Perhaps you should listen," Gioacchino said.
"Listen to the story and behold, for you will be enlightened in such trivial
Erika cleared her throat and began to read outloud.
"Name: Kalora the Kau," she read.
"I feel enlightened already," Jon muttered.
"Age : How rude! You wouldn't dare ask."
"Dare I say that somebody has hit their midlife
crisis with a tad bit too much velocity?" Gioacchino said.
"Occupation : On permanent holiday, but if
the right job comes up," continued Erika. "Hobby : Making macaroni sculptures
and collecting false finger nails."
"Oooh, I bet this Kalora thinks she's pretty
ingenious with her avant-garde linguini renditions of the Colossus," Gioacchino
growled sarcastically. "Talent is just an unfair advantage to modern artists
"Is somebody feeling a little spiteful?" Yoko
"No!" retorted Gioacchino. "Just because I happened
to receive second prize at the county fair's Budding Artists Talent Competition
right behind some stupid Jubjub who made a throw pillow stuffed with wet noodles..."
"Let's just leave it at this," Jon said, interrupting
his brother's rant. "If I can do it, it's not art."
Erika coughed loudly. "Back to the story?" she
suggested. "Quote : "What are you talking about? It wasn't me..."" Flipping
over a page, she began to read the serious text of the story about Kalora the
""It's my personal opinion," Kalora said,
"that your tiara is totally overrated and, not to be crude or anything, but
it makes your head look very wide. However, I do think it would look much better
on me. May I try it on?""
"It's just that... you're obviously an autumn,
and I'm a natural summer," Yoko said, imitating Kalora.
""Excuse me? I don't think so, Miss see-through
visor," Princess Fernypoo shot back."
"Can't touch this!" Yoko declared, snapping
her fingers in a very flippant fashion.
""You better not lay a hoof on my tiara!","
Erika read as Jon and Gioacchino made annoying hissing and yowling sound effects
in hopes of making the story even more dramatic.
""All right, all right, I'm not going to
argue with you. I got the message. You are the prettiest of all the Cheat! Players.
Plus, it looks better on you and, sadly, I'll never be able to afford a tiara
such as yours...""
"I'm just a poor Kau, from a poor family," sang
"She's just a poor Kau! From a poor family!"
cried out Yoko and Gioacchino in perfect chorus.
""Well, I'm off to get my 14 hours of beauty
sleep," the princess said as she left and closed the door to her bedroom."
"Oooh!" cried Yoko. "Dee-nied! That's a slam
to the face, K-Kau!"
"Since when did Yoko go 'West-Side' on us?"
whispered Jon to Gioacchino. Gioacchino snickered.
""Yeah, it's pretty late," Kalora said, pretending
to stretch and yawn, "I better be going. I've got to get up early and see the
doctor about this twitching in my ear.""
"It's not twitchy ear, Kalora," Gioacchino explained.
"It's what happens to jealous obsessive-compulsive eavesdroppers like yourself."
Erika, who had used Gioacchino's interjection
to pause and examine Mr. Next-Door fighting with the milkman, quickly turned
back to the book, coughing loudly and not very plausibly. ""Yeah, whatever,"
Fernypoo yelled from behind her bedroom door, "Just make sure you lock up when
"...and so concludes Princess Fernypoo's Least-Likely-To-Be-Followed-Information
"What? Lock up! Oh, yeah! Right... lock up...
mmm-hmm... sure thing..."
""Okay, buh-bye." Kalora slammed the door,
but stayed inside."
"Bye, Dodger!" Gioacchino said, waving mockingly.
"A few hours later, Kalora popped her head
out from behind a plant in the corner of Fernypoo's living room."
"Sowwie for ze int-er-uption, Prinzezz Fernie-Poo...
but... hhhavve you a rrrr-ooohm? For mei... mmminkie?" Jon slurred.
"Slowly, she crept along the creaky wooden
floors, stopping occasionally to make cricket sounds (don't ask)."
"I wasn't going to!" Jon cried out in indignation.
"Then don't!" Gioacchino retorted.
"I wasn't going to!"
"I wasn't going to!"
Gioacchino and Jon's battle was interrupted
by soft 'chirrup' noises issuing from the corner by the fireplace. They stared
in awe at Yoko, who was grinning. She made her trademarked cricket noise again.
"Sorry," she smiled, gazing at her brothers' faces. "I couldn't help it."
"As she opened the bedroom door she saw Fernypoo
fast asleep under a pink quilt with lace ruffles."
"Obviously Fernypoo took several leaves out
of Yoko's book of home decoration..." Jon muttered.
"Where could it be? Where does she keep it?"
She glanced back at Fernypoo and noticed that she was wearing the tiara." "Poppycocks!"
she accidentally yelled aloud."
"Oh, crudmuffins! I just shouted 'poppycocks'
outloud!" Jon yelled.
"Oh, flibbertigibbet! I just yelled 'crudmuffins'
outloud!" Gioacchino cried.
"Oh... sod it all," Yoko grunted.
"Fernypoo rolled over onto her back and began
to snore. The tiara had lifted off her head just enough that, if Kalora was
a careful Kau, she could remove it and split town before Fernypoo could say
"She cautiously removed the tiara from Fernypoo's
head and situated it between her own ears just so. She admired herself in the
mirror beside the bed and creepily whispered to herself, "Nice to meet you.
I'm Princess Kalora. Yes, I would love to dance....""
"You make me feel like dancing... wanna dance
the night away!"
"Two hops! Two hops! Now, cha-cha real smooth..."
"I couldn't ask for another! No-no-no-no-no...
I couldn't ask for another... groove is in the heart!"
"Let's go! Let's go! Discotheque!"
"Shake your tail-feather!"
Erika rolled her eyes, rhythmically whacking
herself on the forehead with the thick, hardbound edition of the Neopedia as
a result of her pets' antics. Nevertheless, she continued her story after she
shot a very annoyed glare at her three pets.
"Then, as if bad luck walked in and introduced
"Allow me to introduce myself," Jon said. "I'm
"...both of Kalora's ears began to twitch
like mad, sending the tiara straight to the ground. The tiara clanked as it
hit the floorboards, and Fernypoo leapt from her bed screaming like a whistle..."
"How can you scream like a whistle?" Jon pondered
Yoko screamed very loudly, causing everybody
in the room to jump. Finally she stopped screaming, and whistled a jaunty little
tune that sounded suspiciously like "Summertime Blues." She stopped whistling
and suddenly started screaming again, causing everybody to clap their hands
to their ears from the earsplitting din.
"I didn't ask for a demonstration!" Jon howled,
covering his ears. "...or your rhetorical answers!"
Once Yoko had settled down again, Erika continued
the story, talking slightly louder than she had previously. ""Kalora! How
could you?" By that time, Kalora had made like she was sleeping at the foot
of Fernypoo's bed."
"I am disturbed," Gioacchino said.
"She pried her eyes open and let out a fake
yawn. "What? Oh this, erm... it's not mine. I mean, it's quite ugly actually.
I don't know how you wear this horrid thing....""
Slamming shut the Neopedia, Erika beamed down
at Jon, Gioacchino, and Yoko. "So? Did we pick up any hidden morals in this
The three sat in silence. Gioacchino looked
slightly nervous. His brow was sweaty, and his face was a flushed pink. He avoided
Erika rolled her eyes for the second time that
evening. "How about... oh, let's see... the greatest crimes are caused by surfeit,
not want?" she proposed.
Yoko blinked. Jon scratched his ear. Gioacchino,
however, looked skeptical. "That's very... wise... of you," he said, putting
much emphasis on the word wise.
Erika's ears and cheeks burned visibly. "I can
surprise," she mumbled, almost inaudibly.
"It sounds like... well, almost a political
statement..." Gioacchino mentioned with all the delicacy of somebody handling
"Why yes, I suppose it does," Erika said, fidgeting
in her chair. "Forget the fungus - who feels like eating the rest of that cheesecake?"
she shot suddenly, jumping to her feet and racing to the kitchen.
"WAIT! Come back here!" Gioacchino yelled. "I
know that's not your quote! Don't deny it!"
"It is TOO my quote!"
"Blatant plagiarism, that's what it is! DON'T
OPEN THAT REFRIGERATOR!"
Yoko and Jon smiled at each other, following
Gioacchino and their mother's now-raging fight into the kitchen, at what looked
like an extremely enjoyable and particularly amusing evening.