Sunday, August 7, 2016

Berry Explores the Unknown – Pt. 2

Despite my doubts, Mysterious managed to fly all of us to the dark side of the map. That's what we've been calling that unknown region in the upper left corner of the world map. Well, Happy started it, and it stuck. 

However, when I said that Mysterious managed to fly all of us across the map, I don't mean all at once. As I'd said before, she can't carry all of us at once with her tiny paws. Her paws are like nubs, they can't hold three other plushies.

Our solution? Using a rope tied to Mysterious's nub-like paw, and the other end tied to one other plushie, she'd fly each of us one by one across the map.

Of course, it was a little hard to hold onto the rope.

And, as you'd imagine, carrying an elephant across the map wasn't so fun, either.

"Ugghhh, why do y'all have to be so heavy!?!? This was a dumb idea." Mysterious groaned.

Happy, not seeming to hear her, kept on screaming. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!! THE ROPE IS SLIPPING!!!!!!!! SAVE ME!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"Why do you all have to be so loud, too?!?!?"

Surprisingly, our method was just barely successful at getting us to the dark side of the map. Mysterious dropped us all off one-by-one on top of a tree so we wouldn't climb down and get lost and make everything difficult. In her exhaustion, she didn't take into account that I was a koala and climbed trees easier than I walked, but I understood her reasoning and held my snarky comments back.

Once we all got there, we realized we weren't in the middle of nowhere as we thought. From the top of the tree, we could see a treehouse up ahead.

Mysterious wanted to collapse in the treetop and take a nap, so we let her and went on ahead. She'd probably use magic and turn us all into grapefruit if we said no. Besides, the treehouse wasn't very far away. 

As we walked on, we started noticing the heat. It was definitely hotter here than back in Jamaa, almost tropical. In fact, it was very tropical. Wild banana plants were everywhere in this lush-looking jungle. It seemed to have recently rained, streams were high and water pooled in the hollows of leaves. 

There were puddles everywhere, too. We practically splashed through the forest.

Upon arriving there, everything burst into even more color. A blue tiger sat at the top of the tree house above a string of rainbow-colored pennants.

At first, we tried to sneak up on him, but Happy wouldn't let that happen.

"HI BLUE TIGER!!!!! HOW ARE YA?" Happy called up the canopy.

The blue tiger glanced down from beneath his dark sunglasses. "I'm fine, thanks." We saw he was holding a tea cup –– equally blue –– from which he leisurely sipped from. "We don't normally get visitors."

"We're from–– wait, what do you mean 'we'?" said Rainy.

We looked all over and found a very familiar orange crocodile sitting behind a lemonade stand, right in front of our faces.

"Alex! It's you!"

"hiya, guys," said Alex, "want some lemonade?"

"We'd wondered where you'd gone off to after the crocodile-lion war."

"I've just been traveling around jamaa... with my lemonade stand, of course." Alex said, gesturing toward his lemonade stand with his sword. "sadly, no one's bought any lemonade from me before. i wonder why."

"Maybe it's because you're so short. You were right in front of us and even I, a tall elephant, couldn't see you!" said Happy. "The thing you need is a chair or something to sit on. Y'know, to make you taller."

"hey," said Alex. "that's a pretty nice idea! i'm sure Pineapple here has an extra chair lying around."

The blue tiger, presumably named Pineapple chimed in. "You can borrow a chair once we've properly introduced ourselves. I haven't seen another plushie since Alex here, and I'd like to talk with you before you're on your way."

It sounded fair. Alex gave us a thumbs-up with his lil' nub-like claw and we went up the ladder to the inside of this blue tiger's treehouse. 

When we reached the inside of the treehouse, it was considerably cooler. All the shade from the thick leaves of the tree made it pretty dark, too.

"So," began Pineapple, "where did ya come from?"

"We've traveled here from Jamaa." I said.

"Huh... Jam-AAH? What a weird name. Never heard of it."

"What about you? What do you call this area?" 

"Jamaa 2: The Sequel" answered Pineapple, without missing a beat.

We started to think the lion was kidding us. I mean, c'mon, who names their child Pineapple? Then again, who names their child Berry? We all had stupid names. 

Maybe Pineapple was a popular name in this part of the world. I vaguely remembered meeting a lion named Pineapple during the crocodile-lion war.

"How far away is your planet, Jam-AAH?" asked Pineapple.

"Err... Jamaa isn't a planet of its own. It's just a few hundred miles away."

"On this planet!?" cried Pineapple.

"...on this planet."

"That's insane. And are there... people there, like you?"

I was starting to get freaked out. "There are!"

Pineapple sat in an awed silence. 

"" He gasped.

After a while, he spoke again.

"On my planet, I was the only one. There were nothing but banana plants for as far as I could see. I chose to come live here because the environment was similar, but I had no idea... Other people? That's incredible." 

"There ain't just banana trees, Pineapple!" cried Happy. Rainy, who was slowly edging towards the door, nearly fell out of the tree. "There are mountains, and rivers, and deserts, and... and lots of other stuff!"

"I'll have to see this sometime." replied Pineapple, glancing out the little window. "Until then, I think you'd wanna get back to your home outside. Not because I wouldn't let you stay, but because the stars just look so pretty tonight. Also, there's a flying lion knocking at the door."

We turned around and Mysterious was floating there with the dreaded rope tied around her paw. "Time to go home!" she said. 

Happy groaned. "Couldn't you just use magic and give us wings so you wouldn't need to carry us with that flimsy rope? Why didn't ya do that in the first place?"  

Mysterious paused, considered that a moment. "Wow... I really should have done that in the first place." 

"Ahem, before you go, here's the chair you promised Alex." said Pineapple, offering a step stool. "It's pretty much all I got. I prefer sitting on the floor."

I thanked Pineapple, and carefully carried it down the ladder outside. He was right, the stars were really pretty!

Alex was still there, short as ever, behind the lemonade stand. "oh thank you, Berry!!" He put the step stool behind the stand and sat on it. Alex was visible enough.

"I'll be your first customer," I said. "How much per glass?"

"that'll be 500 dollars." replied Alex plaintively. "ya heard me, 500 dollars."

Maybe that's the real reason why he can't sell any lemonade...

"Err... Sorry, I don't have enough money."

"suit yourself" Alex huffed.

I looked up and Mysterious, Happy, and Rainy were already flying overhead. "C'mon, Berry!" called Rainy. I noticed I already had a tiny pair of stupid-looking butterfly wings sprouting out my back. Magic.

As I flew away to join them, I waved goodbye to Pineapple, and he waved back. 

"I'll see you later!" he called.

Before I turned around, he took off his sunglasses to clean them on a cloth, revealing one large eye at the center of his face.

"...See ya!"


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