Anyone ready for RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARC PART 4? Here it is!
For those of you missed the first part, go to page 1 of this topic. For part 2, go to page 4. For part 3, go to page 6.
“A mug of Ghirardelli hot chocolate and make it strong,” Pennsylvania grunted, entering Iliara’s Tavern. The waitress sloshed it down as Storm, Zikergirl, and Sierra sat next to him.
Pennsylvania stared into his empty mug. Christi was gone. Cindy was gone. The clue to the arc was gone.
“Another mug.” Pennsylvania pounded the counter. Taking another swig, he walked over to the window and stared into the street. The girls followed him because that’s what followers typically do.
“I don’t understand it. Why was the curd woman in the truck? She said she was going to help us… It’s like…like…”
“A plot twist?” Storm finished.
Pennsylvania nodded, squinting at a girl who’d just come in. Red braids stuck out from under her top hat and freckles dotted her face. She scanned the room cautiously, then moved toward Pennsylvania.
“Hey, who are you and what do you want?” Pennsylvania growled, spilling some hot chocolate on his shirt. He sniffled. First the rip, and now this.
“I have information regarding…” She lowered her voice as Gnatsees patrolled the street. “This.”
She lifted her hat and pulled out a golden disc.
“The inciting event!” they chorused. That was supposed to be found near the entrance to where the arc was kept.
“The curd woman told me to give it to you…that is, before she defected to the raspberry side.”
Pennsylvania lifted an eyebrow. “And what’s to keep you from doing so?”
“Raspberries give me hives.” She shivered, scratching her skin. The Gnatsees neared the tavern.
“I’ll be back.” She backed away, tossing a velociraptor tooth into Pennsylvania’s palm. “If you need assistance, blow into that and help will come.”
“Hey, this isn’t Narnia!” Pennsylvania hollered as she slammed the back door.
The people scrambled out as the Gnatsees scrambled in, waving their guns around. “Put your hands up!”
Pennsylvania put his hands down defiantly. The Gnatsees charged for him, yanking his licorice whip out from his belt. They grabbed Storm, Sierra, and Zikergirl. Edna twirled her tail, trying to summon a tornado, but one of the Gnatsees snatched her up by her tail before she got the chance. They knocked Pennsylvania to the floor and started to lead his friends away. He couldn’t let this happen again. He blew as hard as he could into the velociraptor tooth and a deathly shrill pierced the air.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
A glass of water vibrated on the table and the Jurassic Park theme song started playing in everyone’s head.
A large shadow encased the doorway and a long, scaly, green tail appeared outside. Monstrous teeth tore into the ceiling.
Someone screamed as the rafters caved in to reveal a smiling theropod. A person in a mask slid down the theropod’s back, spraying bug spray at the Gnatsees. They coughed, fumbling outside for fresh air. Pennsylvania fanned the fog away and stepped forward as the person removed her mask. She brushed her herself off.
“Hey, who are you—“
“People!” she croaked, fainting.
“What’d I say?” Pennsylvania asked.
Stormed stepped beside him. “You spoke to her.”
“She’s probably an introvert.”
“Oh,” he mumbled as the girl’s eyes blinked open, recovering from human interaction.
She leaped up, straightening her sea turtle backpack. “You called?”
Pennsylvania squinted at the theropod. “This is an action-adventure story, not a comic book.”
She tilted her head back indignantly. “I’m writing the story; I can do whatever I want.”
The theropod frowned.
“I mean Aberdeen is writing the story,” she corrected herself.
Pennsylvania stared up at his grinning green author, horrified at the idea that their future was in the hands of someone with such short arms. What if he doesn’t have enough arm length to type out the rest of our story?
“But he can’t be in the story; that’s author invasion!” Pennsylvania protested.
Aberdeen flipped open his pineapple computer, pounding the backspace key. Suddenly, Berfurd disappeared, then Storm, then—
“Stop!” Pennsylvania yelled. “Alright. I’ll comply. Just get us out of this mess.”
“The only reason he wrote you into this mess was to write you out of it.” She smiled, hopping back on his back. “C’mon, we’ll take you to your friends.”
“You speak now or I will turn you into mailboxes!” General Raspberry shook his fists.
Christi and Cindy blinked.
“Don’t you got nothing better than that?” Christi popped a piece of gum in her mouth.
“Besides.” Cindy crossed her legs. “You can’t do that; this is an action-adventure story.”
General Raspberry laughed, stuffing a chocolate chip scone in his mouth. “Ha! Villains aren’t subject to the normal laws of literature.”
Christi smirked, eyeing his raspberry-shaped hat. “Yeah, I’ve noticed.”
“What do you mean by that?” he fumed, gingerly taking his hat off and stroking it.
“Nothing.” Christi shrugged.
General Raspberry squeezed his hat back on, squirting some juice across the tent. “Guards, bring in the woman!”
He opened the curtain and the curd woman stepped in, eating a piece of strawberry cheesecake.
Christi and Cindy narrowed their eyes. “How dare you betray us!”
The curd woman shrugged. “They offered me more cheesecake.”
General Raspberry handed the curd woman a gun. “You know what to do.”
The curd woman smiled, stepping forward. “We have ways of making you talk.”
Christi blew a bubble, spitting it on the curd woman’s boots.
“That’s it! Naomi, bring in the torture device!” the curd woman ordered. Naomi wheeled in a crate and pried it open. A giant furry leg popped out, followed by seven more as a man-sized tarantula burst out. Naomi held it firmly on a leash as it stretched to reach them.
“Aw, it’s so cute!” Cindy cooed, bending down to pet it.
“What?” The curd woman smacked her head on the table. Suddenly her eyes lit up. “Bring in the cup!”
Corissa lugged in a steaming-hot mug. The stench of coffee sifted into the air. The guards picked Christi and Cindy up, tossing them in.
“Ooh, it’s like a hot tub!” Cindy exclaimed.
“Ugh.” The curd woman frowned. “I know!” She grinned deviously and lifted the latch off a trap door that led into a deep, dark cellar.
“No! You can’t do this to us!” Christi screamed, recognizing the theme song playing from inside. The guards dragged her and Cindy to the door and threw them hard on the floor.
“No!” Christi clawed the door as an episode of the Teletubbies started playing on the TV screen. She and Cindy collapsed on the floor, covering their ears and eyes.
“It won’t do any good.” Ben Putty crawled out from the shadows, holding his toeless feet. “The more you try to fight it, the louder they play the show.”
Ben Putty patted their shoulders. He glanced around the room, then leaned next to their ears and whispered. “I may know a way out of here.”
Pennsylvania, Storm, Aberdeen, and the sea-turtle-backpack girl snuck along the rocks as two Gnatsees marched back and forth in front of the encampment. To Pennsylvania’s displeasure, Sierra and Zikergirl had stayed behind to keep an eye out for whatever needed kept an eye on. To his further displeasure, Berfurd had stayed behind because he’d been offended by the fact that Pennsylvania would ever trust another dinosaur’s judgement.
Pennsylvania squinted up at the glaring sun. How were they ever going to sneak past the guards in broad daylight? One of the guards said something to the other. Pennsylvania stepped closer, accidentally triggering a landslide of pebbles.
He ducked behind the rocks as the guards whirled his way. Edna glared at him for his incompetence. One of the guards uttered something unintelligible. Edna’s tail twitched and she grew alert.
“Hey, what’s she—“
“Shh!” Storm hissed. “They’re speaking Spanish!”
Edna whipped out a sombrero and stuck it into her ear like a hearing aide, listening intently. The minute the guards ceased talking, Edna leaped up and down, chattering frantically.
Storm bent down toward Edna. “She says if we don’t hurry, Christi and Cindy are going to be executed in twenty minutes!”
Pennsylvania gasped. He couldn’t—he wouldn’t let that happen. He yanked out his licorice knife, tip-toeing toward the guards. He was just about to hit one over the head when Aberdeen stomped over and sat on them.
“Hey, that’s cheating! You’re supposed to let the characters figure a way out of their problems!” Pennsylvania raised a fist.
Aberdeen stuck his tongue out at Pennsylvania.
“C’mon, Aberdeen will keep them suffocated until we get back,” the sea turtle girl told them, creeping into the camp. Gnatsees swarmed the area, guarding every tent. It wasn’t long before they came across a huge supply depot. Their eyes widened as the Gnatsees rolled out dozens of barrels of writetro glycerin. They could explode dozens of libraries with that stuff.
They covered their ears as a gust of wind tossed their hair every which way. Brandon stepped out, holding some glow sticks as he guided a plane to land.
Pennsylvania gulped. They’d have to pass by the explosives, Gnatsees, and Brandon to reach Christ and Cindy—and there was no cover between here and there.
TO BE CONTINUED…
I think dinosaurs are cooler than dragons. 🦖