|The Story||The Authors|
"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.|