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#97692
Mariposa Aristeo
@mariposa

@jessi-rae @daeus-lamb @j-a-penrose @supermonkey42 @karthmin @savannahgrace @maddiejay @catwing @brandon-miller @josiah @anne-of-lothlorien @scribbles

Why does it seem like every time I post one of these that I’m apologizing for my lateness? 😂 I guess I should stop apologizing and just say I’ll write when I write and you can die from suspense in the meantime. But I’m too nice for that, so I’ll just keep apologizing and letting you die from suspense anyway. 😉

Sorry for the delay, and without any further ado, may I present…

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARC II: LEGEND OF THE FORBIDDEN BURIAL GROUNDS, Part 6

(For those of you who have missed portions of this story, you can click here for the first installment, here for the second, here for the third, here for the fourth, and here for the fifth.)

Pennsylvania tapped his feet and pen, Nebraska counted his spare balloons, Martin peered at the ceiling, Cinders secretly poked holes in Nebraska’s balloons when he wasn’t looking, Morrow grounded up some mud and put it in a mug (coffee), Grabber sprinkled glitter on herself, and Savannah deconstructed her holster while everyone was wondering what would happen to them in a few hours.

Indian drums beat to the deathly chant of the Raspberrian tribe.

“Hey, we’ll be able to regrow our beards at least,” Pennsylvania muttered, looking on the bright side.

Morrow shook her head. “Nope, I’ve heard of this here Shortbeard, and he ain’t never let nobody wear a beard but himself,” she told them, looking on the gloomy side.

Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Martin stroked their beards tenderly.

Morrow continued, “And if I know him, he won’t stop there. He’ll probably make ya eat breakfast tacos.”

Pennsylvania gasped in horror.

Cinders shivered. “I heard him mention something about burning them at the stake.”

Nebraska covered his face. “I always knew I was going to die getting fired!”

Martin patted Nebraska’s shoulder. “You’ll have a warm departure.”

The opening to the typee flapped, and everyone became alert as Princess Brown Squirrel entered with her maidens. One had long dark hair and a bionic arm holding a dagger, and the other was a blonde-haired girl who Brown Squirrel referred to as Evelyn Kermit.

Brown Squirrel and her maidens set some of their native food before the captives. The food consisted of a floury base topped with wild crushed tomatoes, thick stringy milk, and fresh cow and boar meat (in other words, Indian pizza).

“You must keep up your strength. You will have to endure much.”

Pennsylvania sighed. “If only we had more time to convince your people about the arc…”

“I have a whole month in my closet if that will help,” Princess Brown Squirrel offered.

Nebraska gasped. “You have a whole month in your closet? How is that even possible? Indians don’t have closets!”

Pennsylvania shook his head. “We’d need half a year before Shortbeard would change his mind.”

“I’m afraid I only have months and days, no half-years.” Princess Brown Squirrel frowned sadly.

“Maybe you could help us escape!” Grabber suggested.

The two maidens stared at Princess Brown Squirrel. She instructed them to leave. She looked around cautiously, humming a tune from the Newsies. “Listen carefully…”

***

“Out of the typee!” The Indians grabbed them up and yanked them out into the night. A bonfire sizzled, threatening to fry their brains as the Indians chanted. Chief Shortbeard sat regally on his exercise ball, holding a staff with a lamb carved on the tip. He stood up and everyone silenced. “The games are about to begin!”

The Indians cheered, waving their hands like crazy writers. Shortbread turned to Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Martin. “If you can survive these tests of creativity, I will set you free—if you fail, you and your friends shall die!”

At the sound of death, the Indians cheered as if they enjoyed killing their characters.

“Savages,” Cinders muttered as they pushed Pennsylvania into a chair at a desk with a typewriter across from another typewriter a few feet away, where a fierce-looking Indian sat.

“Write!” Shortbeard ordered, and Pennsylvania and the Indian pounded the keys like their lives depended on it, because it did. One minute passed, then five, then fifty, and not once did either of them pause. Sweat dripped down Pennsylvania’s forehead. He couldn’t keep up this pace much longer. The Indian started to tap each key slower and slower, then fainted from brain exhaustion.

“You disgrace our people! Dispose of her!” Shortbeard clapped his hands, and braves hauled her away. “On to the next challenge!”

Someone kicked Nebraska into the ring along with an Indian. Someone tossed a knife to them both, gave them each a person to stab, and instructed them to do so without enraging readers. The Indian simply slashed his victim, but Nebraska buried his and respectfully set up a marker.

“Well, that was easy,” Nebraska commented as they dragged off the Indian.

Next, Martin competed to see how many big words he could use in five minutes and won with flying colors. Meanwhile, Princess Brown Squirrel signaled Pennsylvania. “Almost time.”

Pennsylvania nodded. They pulled him back into the ring again and sat him by the typewriter. “Hey, I did this challenge already—”

“This is the challenge of writing concisely,” Shortbeard announced.

Pennsylvania paled. He wished Storm was there. He stared at the screen, blinking. He wrote one sentence: “I shall try to write and type as briefly and succinctly as possible in a quick manner.”

The Indians took one look and shouted, “He dies!”

“No!” Princess Brown Squirrel stood up, holding a pile of paper over the fire. “Or I will burn your work-in-progress!”

Shortbeard pulled on his beard so hard he nearly became clean-shaven. “You can’t do that—it’s my only copy!”

“Let them go free!”

Shortbeard glanced from the prisoners to his manuscript. “They aren’t worth it—they may go!”

“Yippee!” Pennsylvania, Martin, Nebraska, Morrow, Grabber, Cinders, and Savannah cheered, skipping off to where the horses were tied.

“That was close!” Grabber sighed, leaning against a horse.

Savannah climbed up. “I know! I almost thought—”

“Raspwait!” someone shouted. “Berrthey iestole raspthe berrarc!”

A ruckus came from the encampment. “What are they saying?” Pennsylvania looked at Cinders.

“They think we stole the arc!”

The Indians bellowed war cries and stampeded after them. The girls hopped on the horses and galloped off, leaving the guys with the llamas. Martin leapt on Crazy and Nebraska on Kooky. Pennsylvania jumped on Cranky, but he wouldn’t budge. An Indian burst out from behind with a raised axe. Cranky didn’t like him, so he kicked him in the shins, then dashed off.

“I know a shortcut!” Morrow turned onto a beaten road, and within minutes they saw Snark Valley. They charged into the streets so fast they stirred up enough dust to cloud a person’s mind for a week!

“Hurry, everybody! We’re under attack!” Pennsylvania had started stacking up barrels and boxes to blockade the street when Storm trotted out of the saloon. “Oh good, maybe you can convince these people to—”

Storm whipped out a pair of handcuffs and clamped them on Pennsylvania and Nebraska. “You are hereby under arrest for defying the rules of grammar and assaulting an officer of the law.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

I think dinosaurs are cooler than dragons. 🦖

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