Shields Up! -- Oh Myyy -- George... Voices in his head; where were they coming from? He was on foreign soil, amongst aliens and other creatures. An irritation tickled his face - it was an insect of sorts - bugging him. He took his hands and swatted the pestering flying object away. Wait! He has hand hands? They were light brown in color on the outside and plain white to the palm.
"Nice to see you in action one more time", a man without a face said to him.
Mystic tried to reply but no words were spoken. His mind spun in circles as he thought to himself, "wasn't that my line at one point - in some point? What's going on here?"
Closing his eyes in hopes that it was all just a dream, he slowly raised his eyelids and noticed nothing of the same. Confusing. Where was Gypsy or Fruity? He began to walk, yes walk, full strides, in search for them. Ah, there's Nikolai, smoking a cigar - drinking vodka. He was playing with hand painted nesting dolls and yelling for his babushka to bring him morozhenoe; Russian ice cream. Mmm, that looked yummy. Mystic approached his brother and asked him to share, but once again, no words came out. Hmm, last time this happened to him he was being harassed by Sawtooth.
Mystic slowly folded his eyes to darkness, elapsed a moment of peace, and when he restored his vision, Sawtooth was breathing down his neck with a jaggeder sneer. His razor sharp teeth surrounded him like a barbed wire fence with no escape. Fear shrilled panic through his spine...
"Close your eyes", a blissful whisper from yonder haled to salvation. "Shh", the soft blessedness of heaven calmed his pulse.
"Gypsy", Mystic beckoned? He followed her instructions and awoke at warp speed traveling through the universe embracing the helm of the USS Enterprise. In a flash, he was transported to a gloomy marsh where it was cold, wet and the mist of fog restricted perception. Snarling sounds of wallowing splashes lurked nearer. Glowing red eyes penetrated like laser beams through the murk. Closer, trepidation lingered. Louder, a distressing pique shattered Mystic's veins. Sawtooth! "Beam me up Scotti", Mystic screeched!
...And then nothing. Bitter cold, blankets of sweat, an awkwardness of realization. Outside the Coliseum, Mystic awoke from under shredded strips of flour waste and particles of his own feces. He lived like a vagrant succumbing to the balm of flatulism that he had created.
Each day since the Clobberanium he met up with Gypsy and Fruity but he didn't let on to the verisimilitude of struggle. He enjoyed their company immensely and hinted once to hang out with them after hours - a sleepover. But, Fruity lived in a banana and explained to Mystic that he would not survive in this tropical fruit. In fact, Mystic learned that the only reason Fruity was able to play with him in Flourville was because he carried bags of banana chips and munched on them all day. Meanwhile, Gypsy lived with the girls and since Mystic was a boy, well...
"I wish I were a girl", Mystic said to himself, or so he thought...
"What was that sir", an Ant Patrolman asked?
"Oh", Mystic startled. "Oh myyy, umm... I think I need to hurl."
The antman studied Mystic for a moment and determined that he was not inebriated. Perhaps odd - eccentric, but definitely not intoxicated. "Well", the ant said. "There's nothing illegal about being strange. That said, you are on the streets during curfew." He writes something down on a small tablet and then hands it to Mystic. "You'll need to take care of this infraction by Friday to avoid further penalty. I suggest you go home, get some rest and <~whiff, whiff~>, take a shower!" The police ant plugs his nose and strolls away.
A groggy start to yet another pointless morning - or was it still night? No way to tell being cooped up in this cabinet between the Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour and the C & H All-Natural Sugar Cane. Forced to vacate the streets, Mystic climbed back through the northern tunnel of the flour bag being sure to avoid Beetle Haven. Whistling inconspicuously, he crept down a passageway and poked his head through various doorways. Mostly everyone he encountered was sleeping, but there were a few who were not.
"Go away you slug", one abhorrent larva irked! The antisocial caterpillar was performing a covert ritual with candles and other paraphernalia. Mystic took his advice and kept slugging along. He passed through a narrow archway dressed with a pink privacy curtain leading to yet another corridor. The fancy hallway was lined with several long wall tables displaying dozens of decorated knickknacks and pictures. Faintly in the distance a murmuring croon of elation could be heard. As he approached closer, the eloquent drone emanated from a concealed chamber. Mystic tapped his cranium against the visible walls to help reveal where the sound was chanting from. Frustration flustered the auspicious caterpillar because the discovery came to no avail. Remembering how he chewed through the beetle tunnel, Mystic thought that perhaps he should attempt an equivalent movement. He began chucking away at the flour where the sound infiltrated at its highest vibration. Carefully prying the flour surface away, Mystic did not want to chip another tooth.
Suddenly, a large female caterpillar caught him off guard which zaunted him into a shuddering convulsion. "Just what do you think you are doing", she angered!? This larva had a web like vale streaming over her face and was nearly fully bloomed - an adolescent soon to blossom. She gawked at Mystic while he collected himself and as usual, Mystic was lost for words.
Several other girls floundered about, joining this voluptuous teenager. Mystic was backed into the corner of dread. Ah, but to his delight, a majestic solvency of reason passioned through his heart. His sister - the harmonious vex of Gypsy. She was his Earth above deep waters and although one may fathom that all these caterpillars were of relation, none was greater than her.
"Lady, it's okay", Gypsy said and then concerned her attention to Mystic. "What are you doing here my lost brother?"
Awe-struck like a lightening bolt on fire, Mystic pronounced, "Say hello to your next starting Streaker at the Clobberanium!" It was true. Mystic received the draft notice from the ant patrol. Apparently living displaced as a vagabond without purpose warrants such extradition. At least, that's what the ticket read. If he did not voluntarily participate in the upcoming event come Friday he would be taken to the dungeon which would eliminate any chance he had of becoming a butterfly.
"Oh My", Gypsy cried.
'Hmm, isn't that my line', Mystic thought. 'Where is this all coming from? Who am I - or what will I become?'
"MYSTIC", Gypsy yelled! "Come back to Flourville!"
"Huh", Mystic found himself in a trance. Bewildered, transparent - deja vu - or has it not happened yet?
No doubt Mystic was suffering from insomnia. Sleeping on the streets will do that. The constant fear of the unknown - tragedies around the corner without shelter - Sawtooth! Mystic had questions and as always, Gypsy had answers of reason. She invited him in to the girl's nest. which by the way was obscured by a secret bookshelf. With one yank of a book, Mystic was invited in. Good thing for them he was not a vampire moth.
Sitting around a soft cozy rug in the middle of the floor, Gypsy explained the history of the Sawtooth Beetles. Unlike the flour beetles, and their Evil Weevil larvae, male sawtooths never learn to fly. They are brown in color, feed off grain and have shark-like teeth. Years ago one of the kitchen chefs left a bag of grain open which essentially invited the pests in for the harvest. However ever since the infamous Back Room was constructed, the grain supply became limited, forcing the sawtooth to the trenches. Fortunately to their aid, the evil weevils paid top dollar to import the food source to help last the burly beetle relative. No credit cards accepted - but payment in moth eggs was. It has become quite the epidemic until the ants intervened. If the truce of the Clobberanium was not implemented, devastation to the caterpillars would have been immanent - abomination to the point of extinction of the Pantry Moth; in these parts anyway.
After the lecture, the girls rejoiced in celebration. It was the graduation party for Lady who had begun pupating. She was blatantly upset with Mystic's disruption but she found her way to cozy back to her nest for hibernation. Unlike the males, who rush the process at the games, the girls took their time embellishing the precious moment with song and dance.
"Want to help me Mystic", Gypsy asked as she began mixing a bowl? It was a concentrate of flour, sugar, butter and eggs with a hint of vanilla extract.
"Sure", Mystic replied. Posturing as if he had hands on his hips, knee forward and chest out, Mystic lisped in a soprano tone, "Can I spread the frosting?" They were indeed making a cake. It was a glorious endeavor for Mystic to accomplish.
The activities continued all through the morning and into the afternoon. By the next evening, Mystic learned to knit and he weaved himself several new colorful outfits. The absence of time was not present, nor did it phase him, at least, not until nightfall. It dawned on him that he forgot to meet up with Fruity as promised. He felt guilty with transgression for dissing his friend.
Fruity and Mystic had plans to see the next show that day. Together, with Gypsy, they had been exploring beyond the cabinet boundaries. Discovering openings through the nooks and crannies, life led them to unknown terrains where others considered forbidden. As each day passed, their courage and bravery strengthened and soon they realized that there was much more to life than just flour.
On the day after the Clobberanium, they witnessed a most remarkable, astonishing phenomenon. Like being on top a mountain overlooking the valley below, a zing of bright light casted ambiance of curiosity. It was their Colorado rushing through the Grand Canyon. In the distance, a kitchen island rose magnificently like the Channel Islands singing off the Oxnard Coast. Upside down Clobberaniums along with other pots and pans hung from the heavens above like clouds in the sky. Ant highways winded around the pass and formed a single lane mountain road to the foothills below.
The first extraordinary happening they watched involved larger than life creatures - human beings - men. They wore tall white hats fluffed with poof tops. Vigorously assembling dish after dish, these aggressive insect slayers sifted through nearby cabinets and tossed various ingredients over a hot fire. In some cases, bags of sugar and flour culminated for the sacrifice. Fortunately, Flourville was spared on this day.
On the following afternoon the young enthusiastic minds trekked off the cabinet summit and followed a ridge trail beyond the wall of disguise. The long exhausting journey brought them to a dim lit cathedral where coughing smoke vaporized musk of cigar steam. They made it to the Back Room where party goers lived up a social life with eats and drinks. One distinguished gentleman with a caterpillar styled mustache attracted the center of attention. He sported a black hat and cane yet ironically, the man could walk completely normal and used the handicap device to perform neat tricks.
On their final escapade, the day before yesterday, the kids stretched their limits past a unique crescent shaped object with a dial. They found it peculiar that these large beasts would speak to themselves while holding the instrument to their mouth and ears. Bizarre! Mystic led the charge and waltzed outside the restaurant to the stars of daylight. They spotted the funny man with a cane on horseback racing down the boulevard against another.
The early evening sky began sectioning the blinds which gave way to an abundance of electric nightlife. Just then, before Mystic's eyes, a monarch butterfly appeared out of nowhere. His idol was living free without a care or worry above the metropolis. In a glance, his inspiration swooped lower to establish contact. Eye to eye, it was like looking in the mirror and reflecting his future. Although the meeting was no longer than a flash of a camera, an eternal awakening had warmed Mystic within. Life had purpose - He was ready to live...
***Check Back for Chapter Four...
DAYS (1015 - 1021)
Thursday December 5, 2013 - Wednesday December 11, 2013