|The Story||The Authors|
|Like Geraldine, Hadley was prone to such nonsensical reveries and hallucinations. These did absolutely nothing to remedy his current predicament, however: bound and gagged, he hung upside down in the Ruth's kitchen, scheduled to be eaten.|
|The imperious presence of Ruth Goldsteiner herself, with half-her-size husband Augie in tow, had in fact manifested in the kitchen earlier that afternoon, to sharpen her favorite cleavers and boning-knives under Hadley and Potter's suspended noses, and poke and prod at them, making cutting and insensitive comments on the two men's respective fat-to-muscle ratios.|
Her chickenlike husband Augie had taken pity on the two men and removed the tennis balls and tape gagging them before scurrying away after Ruth. When Hadley then suggested that he and Potter chew through each other's bounds — a trick he'd learned in the Special Forces — Potter looked at Hadley as if he'd suggested not a means of escape but some unnatural homosexual tryst, before turning violently away. In doing so, both men became aware that the hooks from which they dangled were set in mobile tracks; Potter's response to this revelation was to jerk his body away from Hadley and down the ceiling track until he hung adjacent to the kitchen counter. From there, it was short work for his resourceful dipsomaniac instincts to use his chin to turn a large bottle of Manischewitz onto its side and his teeth to unscrew the cap. In this way his happily glugged up the contents of three entire bottles of kosher wine before falling into yet another dead snore, ropes of purple drool extending from his mouth to the cold flagstone floor like the burgeoning web-attempts of some new species of glutinous arachnid. For his own part, Hadley fumed and sulked, waiting for a plan to appear in his mind... |
But what has become of dear Geraldine and Adam?, the reader must be wondering by now...
Well, you'll have to wait to know that, because Hadley was about to do something very important...
Hadley jerked himself to the counter. He rummaged through the drawers until he found what he was looking for - a knife! He quickly cut his bonds, and fell flat on his face and blacked out.
|When he woke up, he was again tied and bound. This time he was bound with steel handcuffs. The bagel gnomes had a large pot water boiling and were preparing add the main ingredient... Hadley! He noticed that Geraldine and Adam were also bound, and were dangling over each of their own private kettles. A small, old gnome entered the room. It was Granpa Gnome, Cylde the great. He began muttering, "Look at this, what a sorry excuse for a feast. What have these younger gnomes done now. Looky here, electric kettles...BAAH! Hand cuffs...BAAH!, and an electric carving knife. What a sorry excuse for a feast. These long-pigs are so skinny, not an ounce of meat on their bones. I'm sure they didn't put up much of a fight. When I was a young gnome we had to fight for our meals, tooth and claw. We never had these new fangled instruments of death. The end was near when they started fashioning weopons from wood and metal. I would have nothing to do with such things, they are the evils of this moderm world. All a gnome needs is a good rock and a nice set of claws! Now with these high powered appliances taken from the world of the long-pigs. They make us weak, and a weak gnome is as good as a dead gnome!! "Why my father once said, 'Someday Clyde you will lead the gnomes to great victory over the long-pigs'. What a fool that old man was, but he could brew up a great batch of onion stew. What an old gnome like me wouldn't give for some of that onion stew. I'd sit right down and dip my bagels in it, and I'd be one happy old gnome." Geraldine interupted, "I'm sorry old man, what does this have to do with us? Are you going to set us free or not?" "Well of course I'll set you free my little apricot!" "My name is not Apricot, it's Geraldine, you old gieser, Geraldine, got it old man?" On that note, the old gnome grabbed his chest and fell over dead.|
"Oh, very nice!" spat Assistant Principal Hadley. "You've just killed our last chance for escape, Geraldine!" |
"That's right, my name is Geraldine. Geraldine to the very end so don't call me long pig!" Geraldine felt someone approach her from behind and unlock her shackles. She turned and saw that it was Muff Potter.
"How did you get free?" she asked.
"No time to explain, we have to get you out of here before the gnomesses return." Muff removed Geraldine from her hook and then freed Adam.
"Follow me." he said to the teenagers. "I know the way out of here."
"Hey! What about me?" cried Hadley.
Muff just looked at him and grinned and began herding the slightly disoriented Geraldine and Adam out the door despite their protestations.|
Just before he shut the kitchen door for the last time, Muff looked back at the helpless Hadley. "Good luck Houdini, I want to remember you just like this." and then was gone.
Time and Hadley hung in a similar stasis... Hours crept past, as he spun slowly back and forth on the groaning hook, the circulation long-gone from his poor feet... In and out of dreams where strange cowled figures demanded of Hadley an account of his life... But when he tried to mention some of the too-numerous-to-mention services he had rendered to the community over his lifetime, all that came out was a stammer, a broken record... "I was an Eagle Scout!" he tried to say but all that came out was "Eeg" — "Eeg?" snickered the hooded figure, scanning the screen of an Apple Newton. "Sorry, but that's not on the list. Doesn't count." — And so on like this, through all of Assistant Principal Hadley's virtues and accomplishments, until it seemed there was nothing left to him, it had all been a farce, no matter how many years he taught Little League and Sunday School, he had essentially accomplished nothing, had transcended nothing of himself through passion or suffering or sheer abandon, and now he was about to die... Betrayed by Muff Potter, then eaten by Bagel Gnomes at a post-bar-mitzvah luncheon... Why me, Lord? he shouted at the ceiling, and would ahve shaken his fist at the heavens too if his hands hadn't been bound... |
And then — though he'd seen no one enter the kitchen — a small voice piped up from where-he-could-not-say. "I seenk, monsieur, zat eet ees fair to say zat you are up ze creek du merde wizzout ze paddle, no?"
"Who the hell's there?" roared Hadley, surprised and shamed at the barely-disguised choke-sob which his current predicament had lent to his voice. "Show yourself!" No one stepped into the circle of light so aptly dramatically cast by the overhead light. "I said show yourself! What are you, a man or a cockroach?"
"I am afraid, monsieur, zat I am a lettle beet of both. My name ees Gregor," said the voice, hopping onto the upside-down Hadley's nose and regarding him with undisguised amusement from over the rims of Hadley's gaping, hairy, and extremely ticklish nostrils. "I seenk I make you ze offer of a lifetime. I seenk you are in no poseetion to refuse, oui?"
|What offer could this be, coming from a German cockroach with a wooden leg. Or was Hadley's mind finally staring to play tricks on him. But it couldn't be! An eagle Scout's mind was always as sharp as a swissarmy pocket knife. So he decided he would listen to Gregor's plan. They all concurred, it was the only plan they had. So what ever the cockroach wanted they would have to give him. It had the makings of a perfect plan, but could they make it work? Just then, as they finalized their plans, there was a loud bell alarming. The thunderous sound echoed through the dark hall of the underground lair. Bagel Gnomes scurring this way and that, some taking arms, some taking cover. "What is going on?" Hadley thought. The scream were muffled by the echos of all the chaos. But the one scream they could make out, made the situation much clearer. One loud Gnome Soldier ran right by their door, screeching from the bottom of his deep breast, "THE DOUGNUT DWARVES ARE ATTACKING!!!!!!!!". This could be the distraction that they needed to make their misterious plan work.|
"Don't listen to heem," clucked Gregor. "Eet ees only Hyram Golub, ze lunateek of ze Bagel Gnome community, driven mad zey say by ze wearing of hees yarmulke eenside out. He ees always eenventing zees eemaginary eenvasions." |
"Just tell me what the hell you want from me!" said Hadley.
"Well monsiuer, I untersahnd zat you are ze aseestant principahl ov ze school, non?"|
"Yes, get on with it!"
"Weel monsiuer, I am ze fameely man, you zee, I haff a large brood with many many more on ze way, yet again. Zay are fairy expenseeve to feed. You haff a cafeteria at ze school, non?"
"uh, yeah" Hadley didn't like the direction this was taking.
"I am only asking for ze after-school hours, Monsieur. We weel not make our presence felt during ze school day..." |
"But — my cooks get in there to stir the cauldrons at six-fifteen every morning! And if they're there, that means the health inspector could show up, too..."
"My brood can accommodate any schedule you weesh. So long as we can feast during ze night."
"Weeeelllll — alright, Gregor, cut me down from here and you've got yourself a deal!"
Meanwhile, Muff Potter was leading Adam and Geraldine through a labyrinth of corridors. |
"Are you sure you know your way out of hear?" Adam panted. "Yes, you two were out for a long time. I found Joe and he showed me the way out."
"Just how long have we been down here?" Geraldine asked. "If my parents find out that I snuck out of the house again, I'm going to be in beg trouble!"
"I think you better start thinking about what you're going to tell them." suggested Potter and then he stopped short. Adam and Geraldine bumped into him in the darkness.
"What is it?" Adam asked.
"Sshh! Some one is coming. Quick, we can hide behind that boulder." The three crouched behing the boulder and watched as what looked like a small platoon of midget soldiers marched past them.
"Were those Bagle Gnomes?" Adam whispered as the last of them marched out of sight.
"No, they didn't look like Bagel Gnomes." Geraldine said.
"You're right, they aren't. I think they must be Doughnut Dwarves!"
"WAEHDNTWREADEOEOIL!" screamed the Doughnut Dwarves. "ADHTENYUOSOS WAEOTAPRIUAYUNWPEAEOI!!"
"What was that?" asked Adam in surprise.
"DYUATNBOSA NIOO!!!" screamed the Doughnut Dwarves.
"It's obvious," said Potter. "They're doughnut dwarves! No one else can scream in that language. Ecxept me. I think they are giving us a warning that twenty hydrofoils are daunting them and saying 'no'."
"That makes no sense," said Adam.
"NIDENT TA'WYERGIGOILO!!" screamed the Doughnut Dwarves.
"Um - um - " Potter was obviously making this up as he went along. "They're riding to Wire Giga Ill Low!"
"YARGTOMRN YURVRSUI!" screamed the Doughnut Dwarves.
"They're - they're - something about the universe."
"Your name is Muff Potter so I'm not calling you translator."
"But I am a translator!"
"I am SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Muff Potter's screaming had brought them to the attention of the Doughnut Dwarves. Screaming, "WWLMKYUA!!" they charged the helpless threesome.
Little did they know that they weren't quite helpless...
|...for at that precise moment an angry horde of thin, hairy creatures bore down upon the fast approaching Doughnut Dwarves. Eyes wide, mouths twitching, arms and legs shaking like Jell-O on springs, the new arrivals began gibbering in a language almost as incomprehensible as that of the Doughnut Dwarves. "MMGGUDTOTHLSTDRP!!!" TUBLCKONECRMNOSGR!!!" "Good Lord!" screamed Muff, voice cracking from the strain,"It can only be the Koffee Kobolds, the hereditary enemies of the Doughnut Dwarves!" Adam grabbed his head as his knees buckled, "I CAN"T TAKE ANY MORE!" Had the din of the clash between to the two rival tribes not been so deafening, the sound of Adam's mind snapping would have been easily heard. "HEE! HEE!" he giggled insanely as he curled up into a fetal ball, "Doughnut Dwarves and Koffee Koboldss and Egg 'n Cheese Sandwich Elves..." Looking down, Muff thought, "Christ! Imagine if they had to give birth!" Turning to her still lucid companion she said, "Look. Don't you go to pieces on me! We can still get out of this alive!" Meanwhile, the Kobolds looked to be gaining the upper hand on the Dwarves, while the Dwarves, knowing what defeat at the hands of the Kobolds meant, fought on with impressive tenaciousness. For to be captured by the Kobolds meant being sacrificially dunked in boiling vats of acrid brown liquid and ceremonially sacrificed and eaten in honor of the Kobold's beastly god, Javah. Of course, the moment was lost on our brave trio: Adam, rocking to and fro, arms pulled tightly around his sides, muttering something about Egg McMuffins; and Muff trying desperately to figure out how to use the confusion to her advantage.|
|What or heros didn't know would someday be tought in the schools of the underworld. Their names would be remembered for all time, at least by the citizens of the underworld. Little did they know, they were in the midst of one of the greatest of battles of all time. This battle would bring an end to the condiment wars. Their part in this battle, little did they know, was much more then just escaping alive. They would be the one's to bring this war to an end. The condiment wars had raged for eight generations, and the underworld had grown tired and weary. The three races had been battling for food and for survival. These battles have used up what little resourses the underworld could contribute. This only made the situation snowball. Who would have though that three long-pigs would bring it to a peaceful end. Their involvement was not by choice. Their desire to escape, to survive, and live in peace, was what would end the conflict. For Muff the idea was just a means to create a distraction. For the underworld it would be a salvation. Just three days ago Muff's boss, Assistant Night Manager Brian Horowitz, decided he could trust her enough to give her the key to what would someday be known as "The Room of Never Ending Feast". In Muff's bloody palm she held the key to that salvation. It was the key to the Seven-Eleven supply room, and she knew she had to lead them there.|
|What our heros didn't know would someday be tought in the schools of the underworld. Their names would be remembered for all time, at least by the citizens of the underworld. They were in the midst of one of the greatest of battles of all time. This battle would bring an end to the condiment wars. Their part in this battle, little did they know, was much more than escaping alive. They would be the one's to bring this war to an end. The condiment wars had raged for eight generations, and the underworld had grown tired and weary. The three races had been battling for food and for survival. These battles have used up what little resourses the underworld could contribute. This only made the situation snowball. Who would have though that three long-pigs would bring it to a peaceful end. Their involvement was not by choice. Their desire to escape, to survive, and live in peace, was what would end the conflict. For Muff the idea was just a means to create a distraction. For the underworld it would be a salvation. Just three days ago Muff's boss, Assistant Night Manager Brian Horowitz, decided he could trust her enough to give her the key to what would someday be known as "The Room of Never Ending Feast". In Muff's bloody palm she held the key to that salvation. It was the key to the Seven-Eleven supply room, and she knew she had to lead them there.|
"WWLKLYUOADOWNTELVOJDEETA!!" screamed the Doughnut Dwarves, closing in.
"WHO GOES THERE? KILL THE DOUGHNUT DWARVES!!" screamed the Bagel Gnomes, closing in on the Doughnut Dwarves.
"WE'VE GOT YOU NOW, YOU LONGPIG KILLERS!!" screamed the koffee kobolds, closing in on the Doughnut Dwarves and Bagel Gnomes.
Muff, Geraldine, and Adam were in the centre of what was going to be the biggest melee they had ever seen. Make that the biggest explosion, thought Geraldine as 25 Bagel gnomes, 65 Dougnut Dwarves, and 89 koffee kobolds took out Icing Grenades.
"PLEASE!! DON'T HURT US!!!" screamed Adam (who thought screaming in capital letters was really cool).
Muff knew that was not enough, there had to be a bribe... "I'LL GIVE YOU THIS KEY IF YOU DON'T HURT US!!!"
The room suddenly fell silent.
"What is it?" asked one Bagel Gnome.
"It's - it's - the key to the 7-11 supply room! With all the bagels, doughnuts, and cupcakes you could ever want! I'll lead you there if you stop fighting and lead us out of this cave!"
|A faint glow was seen at the mouth. Slowly it grew to the size of a large crusty french loaf|
"There!" yelled a koffee kobold. "Follow that light and you will get out! But first give us the keys!"
Muff threw the keys to the doughnut dwarves. They let him pass with Geraldine and Adam. But he had doubts about following the light. What if it was a trick? And how would Hadley get out?
|He can't, if we are traveling at the speed of light, so we must warp slowly.|
|As she passed, Geraldine looked one of the donut dwarves in the eyes. She tried to ascertain whether they were likely to lie. She hadn't noticed their smell before, and her head recoiled slightly in surprise.|
|Dirty socks, fried eggs, and rotten pasta covered with powdered sugar,it really was quite powerful. Her eyes began to water a bit from the proximity of one particularly odiferous little bugger.|
|After a mass exodus of kobolds, gnomes, dwarves, and several rats (which must have a sense for am oncoming feast, or maybe it was the smell of dwarven saliva that they followed), Geraldine and the others started to follow the light. Muff wondered, "Why didn't we notice this bright light before?". Adam added, "..And all these brightly lit 'EXIT' signs?" Geraldine concluded," It was fear, the fear in our hearts kept us from seeing the light." Once to the surface, they could hear the cries of Assistant Principle Handley, but they knew they could never find him in there again. Handley was just another casuality of war, a victim of his of fear. He would taste good with bean and cheese burritos. One question reamains, would the Gnomes be able to operate a microwave, or would they have to use the conventional cooking instructions?|