The objects hid behind the main steel door. They shivered with fright.
“Wait. We have to calm down. We have to get out of here,” Rocky Road said.
“Yes but we have to stick together. We’re pals after all,” Athlety Footy said.
“That’s right. We’re one pack of pals. Pal Pack!” Kiki enthusiastically said.
“I like that. Pal Pack. We’ll call ourselves Pal Pack.”
“And you can lead us Rocky Road!” they chorused.
Rocky Road nodded humbly and said,”Quick! We have to get out.” Then he noticed something. “Hey! Kiss Me is missing! Where is she?”
I-cool saidly answered, “She opted to stay.”
“WHAT?” everybody said in disbelief.
“We can’t do anything about that. Now let’s get out of here before she catches us.”
They looked up and down but could not find a way out. Then Spiky said, “I can dig our way out.”
They excitedly watched as he started digging the ground. They helped him pull out the soil and weeds to make way. After few seconds, they were all inside the hall. They fell down.
An ear defeaning, head turning, eye popping and mind bending scream was heard after the Pal Pack landed on an organism. They landed on each other’s back. Rocky Road, who was the first one to land, groaned in pain. I-cool got our first and pulled out their leader under their comrades. They scanned the moist place with their eyes hoping to see other living things other than the tall trees and shrubs covered with slime. But they failed. They bowed their heads after finding no one to ask for help.
“Boss?” I-coll turned to Rocky Road to ask about his plans.
Rocky Road knew what it meant. As the leader, he had to help decide the fate of their lives.
“I know…” Rocky answered with his sight fixed at nowhere. “We should leave this place of… I don’t know. Maybe, we can call this place LUMOT since a league was made under this moist slimy organism thingy. Now, we have to get away from this wretched place before that abominable woman catches us and lock us down in that cold place.”
“Refrigerator boss?” I-cool shivered.
Rocky Road, Athlety Footy, Ismagol and Kiki just raised their eyebrows or looked like they were raising eyebrows if they ever had one.
“I don’t think so. I will die in that cursed place,” Geiting added.
Spiky placed his hands on his waist and looked above the sky to ignore Geiting’s pathetic remark.
“What?” Geiting exclaimed after seeing Spiky’s reaction to what he and I-cool said.
“OK Pal Pack! Our objective is to run away from that formidable scientist and seek aid from other creatures. Understood?” Rocky spoke with authority.
“Yes boss!” the Pal Pack replied in chorus.
Then they marched through the sunny and slimy path led by Rocky Road. Minutes passed and they felt like they’ve been traveling for decades not knowing where to go. They jumped, slide and guided through objects covered with the sticky substance.
“Halt!” Rocky Road suddenly commanded. “We’re going to have a break.”
They were about to rest when to their surprise they started bumping on the back of their comrades. Rocky dived on the log covered with slime as Geiting bumped behind him.
“Sorry!” Geiting apologized to Rocky while pulling him out the slime from Rocky’s body.
“Apology accept-” then Rocky screamed as he fell in a hole covered with slime. Geiting tried to hold unto him using Kiki’s body but it was too late. He was gone. Then the ground where Geiting was standing started to crack.
“Oh! God Colgate and Goddess Happee, save me from this terrible misfortune!” Kiki panicked as Geiting tried not to move for it might create another crack.
Their comrades were petrified by the sudden events. The loyal I-cool hopped towards the hole where Rocky fell and he was gone in an instant. With the force that I-cool made by jumping, the ground inevitably began to crumble and the Pal Pack fell towards the huge, deep hole.
A soft thud came. Bog! The Pal Pack was surprised to find themselves in an ocean of white sand. Where could have they landed this time? That slimy island was too disgusting to even think about. They were quite relieved to escape from that place and to see Rocky Road and I-cool waiting but weren’t too relieved because of the uncertainty that this white dessert could bring.
“Alright Pack! We don’t know this place so be on guard.”
“Yes Boss!” I-cool replied.
They started walking towards East though they were unsure if it was really east.
“Where are we?” Spiky wondered.
Kiki who had been quietly following everyone suddenly complained.
“I’m tired. Why are we running anyway?”
Before Ismagol could answer Kiki, I-cool shouted.
He pointed to a large, green line ahead. As the Pal Pack drew nearer, they realized that the large, green line were actually a group of cacti bending in odd ways. Instead of a cactus with branch, these cacti were curled. Every cactus curled. The Pal Pack walked loser to the plants out of growing curiousity.
“Don’t you think they look strange?” Ismagol asked.
Rocky started speaking.
He was cut off by a strangely frilly but masculine voice.
“In fairness! What’s so strange about us?”
All the plants suddenly moved gracefully like dancers. Some were swaying and some were walking gently as if doing a ballet dance. The cacti surrounded the Pal Pack. Surprisingly, the group didn’t feel any fear, only an unknown fascination for the strange creatures.
“In fairness! Who could you be little friends?” said one cactus.
“We’re the Pal Pack!”
“In fairness! What are you here for?”
“We’re running away from…ummm…” I-cool started saying.
“Ssshhh! We don’t know them yet,” Geiting said.
“In fairness! Ooohh! You’re one distrustful bunch,” another cactus spoke.
“Oh no! It’s just that we’ve been through a lot of trouble and we don’t know where to go next!” Ismagol hysterically explained. She tried to cover her tears. Her comrades stared at her.
“In fairness! Where did you come from and what trouble are you saying?” a swaying cactus asked.
“Ummm… It’s a long story and don’t have enough time to tell our horrible experiences,” a sudden, surprising, authoritative voice came from Ismagol.
“I’m Rocky,” Rocky extended his right hand if he ever had one. “The leader of the Pal Pack and we badly need your help to get us out of this mess.”
The cacti were all mesmerized and started to sway, sway and sway. They were dancing to the silent tune in the air.
“What was that for?” Kiki whispered.
“I-don’t know,” I-cool replied in a low voice.
They straightened themselves as they watched the weird, dancing steps in front of them. The cacti turned around and swayed and repeated this over and over again. After few minutes, the Pal Pack were in full concentration and were hypnotized as their eyeballs turned right, left and rolled. Suddenly, blows of heavy wind were thrown at them. Ismagol heard one cactus’ final words.
She twisted her lips and said to herself, “He forgot to say ‘In fairness’.”
Then the Pal Pack found themselves on soft, white sand. They realized what they were standing on was quick sand.
The seven creatures screamed for their lives after being sucked down by the quick sand and thrown down to another world.
“BRACE… YOUR…” Rocky shouted to his friends while he fell on the beach sand. Before he could finish his sentence they hit the ground. Toinks! They groaned in pain.
After brushing the sand away from their bodies using Kiki, they were amazed by the splendid beauty of the beach. The sand was white as milk. The pebbles sparkled as the sun’s rays hit them. Maybe they were trying to show the foreigners the treasures possessed by the sea. The trees on high ground were green and lush. The flowers bloomed majestically as it greeted them while waving and swaying to the soft wind. Then something disturbed them from exploring the secret of the island. Splash! They turned their heads to catch the creature that made the splashing sound.
They were shocked to find a woman emerging from the water. The Pal Pack had to admit she was more beautiful than Dr. Stemajojuaishe. Her sky blue eyes mirrored the color of the ocean. She was the most beautiful creature they have ever seen. As the woman fully emerged from the water, they were horrified at what they saw. A woman’s head, arms and legs but a turtle’s shell covered her back and front body. She wiggled what looked like a fish’s tale.
“Ewww… Such a wasted beauty,” Ismagol whispered to Athlety.
All of them started to laugh so loud that the creature burst into tears after being humiliated.
“How dare you! How dare you insult a mertle. I’m a mertle, the most beautiful creature in the island of RABCEVMSJY! You putrid and vile creatures!” she shouted while weeping.
“Ha! Ha! Oh, beautiful and sexy mertle. You’re no better than our dog, poodle!” Rocky Road boasted and they burst into laughter again.
Now seething with anger, the mertle screamed for her father with a force that made the ground tremble in fear and the sea rolled in huge waves. Suddenly, terror enveloped them as they saw a ten foot man mertle with armies at his back.
“Exterminate the pesky creatures!” the man mertle pointed with his spear.
The Pal Pack trembled.
“Run for your lives!” Rocky shouted pointing to the trees where he and his comrades could find refuge. They ran and hopped as fast as they could. Unfortunately, they were immediately surrounded by the mertles.
“To apologize or not to apologize, they will be eradicated!” the king mertle angrily spoke.
A mertle poised to strike the defenseless Geiting with his spear when someone shot an arrow in front of them. They turned their heads and saw four feet dwarves and six feet fairies standing beside the trees. Each of them was holding a weapon. The female leader faced her warriors.
“Save the creatrures and defeat the mertles! Dwarves and fairies of RABCEVMSJY! CHARGE!!!”
The fairy leader pointed her hand to the mertles. The battle began. While theother creatures were busy fighting, the Pal Pack grabbed their chance to escape their captors. They sneaked, crawled, rolled, and hopped until they reached the heart of the island.
“Oh men! My stomach is killing me. Where could we find some food around here?” Geiting complained in a quirky voice.
While walking beside the sea, they heard a teeny, weenie voice saying, “Hey! Hey! Strangers! Down here!”
Their heads wandered around looking for that unfamiliar sound. When Spiky made a step forward, he felt a soft, cushy, five pointed thing under his foot. Struggling and squeaking to get some air, “El- Wacharstep!” squeaked the starfish.
Spiky aplogized to the starfish. The starfish accepted his apology and gave them a riddle. If they could answer his riddle, then they would be able to fill their empty stomachs.
The starfish said, “I follow after the rain. I seep through your window pane with colors that reign. No one knows where I begin and no one meets the end. What am I?”
Their eyes rolled and their brains stormed considering the riddle was the only way for them to fill their grumbling stomachs.
“RAINBOW!” Spiky answered with great pride. It was correct.
The rainbow appeared and they hurried to it. As the rainbow drew closer, it instantly snatched them and brought them to the Cloud of Sweetness. It was a place where they all dreamed to be. Upon entering the gate, they were amazed by the astounding view. On their right was a chocolate fountain with marshmallows floating around it. Then they realized they were stepping on a cloud of cotton candies. They tasted the fruit candies and lollipop sticks growing on plants and trees. All that they could see were sweet and edible. They helped themselves to the food but before they could get one more bite…
All food before them turned green and spoiled. They were terrified when the huge Cloud Guardian appeared before them with an angry face. No one knew why. She casted a spell on them on when she pointed her index finger on the Pal Pack. In an instant, they were on brown, solid and rocky ground.
The Pal Pack got up and went on with their journey. There was tension in the air and one of them had to speak. The venture was getting on Kiki’s nerve. After several minutes of stillness, Kiki decided to spit out what she had to spit.
“Will this escapade ever end? I mean, we’ll run. We’ll take part in the battlefield. We’re like filthy criminals! I have plans you know. Now that I’ve been brought to life, I will do nothing but enjoy and explore this world. Now like this!” Kiki exclaimed.
“Oh come on Kiki! We can do this! We’re all in this together, remember?” Geiting said.
“Quit it, will you! Your big mouth won’t do any good if you want to live. Now get a grip on yourselves and prepare. Not one us will die, I promise you that, okay?” Rocky said sagaciously.
Everyone stopped pacing and looked at each other’s eyes.
“Hey guys! Rocky’s right. We are all in this together. Remember those times we went through? We fought together and look! We’re still here, still alive and strong,” I-cool said.
“Thanks guys! I really needed those words to strengthen me up. I’m just a coward you know,” Kiki said.
They laughed and continued their journey. They walked and walked and talked silly conversations. On their way, Rocky had a weird feeling about their path.
“Hey guys! I think we’ve been here few minutes ago. Don’t you think?”
“Ha! Ha! Ha! Getting paranoid perhaps?” Geiting said.
“Say it twice and I will blow your guts out!” Rocky angrily answered.
“This place is getting creepy. I think we… we should go back.” Ismagol sid.
“No. We lost tracks already. It would be worse if we trace back our… our…” I-cool stammered.
“Right I-cool…sooo… I think we should keep moving. Carry on guys!” Rocky said before I-cool could finish what he was trying to say.
They followed Rocky who led the way. It was foggy and warm moisture filled the air. They began to sweat and sweat and heavy sweat leaked from their flesh.
“What the? Where are we? Are we in some sort of… hell? It’s getting pretty hot in here!” Spiky complained.
“Sssshhh! Silence. Hear that?” Athlety Footy warned them. He heard someone talking in the distance.
“Everybody, in here.” Geiting led them to hide in a huge, dark cave. The fog didn’t enter the cave instead it was hotter than it was outside. Everybody tiptoed inside the cave. They stopped and looked for a glimpse of light but couldn’t find any.
“We’ll die! We’re gonna die!” Ismagol screamed.
“Oh stop it Isma! You’re getting into my nerves already,” Kiki told her.
“Oh, I’m sorry Ki. It’s just that it’s getting spooky around here… here in this cave. I don’t want to die.”
“We’re not going to die. Pull yourself together Isma. We’ll be fine.”
They walked in one line holding on to each other’s shoulders. Rocky was at the head of the line. At the back of Rocky was I-cool, then Spiky, Geiting, Kiki, Ismagol and Athlety Footy. Rocky was alert and ready for whatever would happen next. I-cool and the rest of the Pal Pack shivered and pretended to be brave. They sweat heavily. All were quiet until… BOOM!!!
“We’re falling!” Rocky screamed in a trembling voice. Everybody screamed.
BLAAAGGG!!! They fell unconscious. Few minutes passed and Geiting was the first one to wake up. His whole body hurt like he was beaten by hundreds of lashes. He tried to stand up.
“Holy chicken of Peter! My body aches like… aahh!!! It really hurts! What in the world? Hey! Let me out of here! Guys? Where are you? Help me!”
“What’s that noise all about? Hey! Someone’s trying to sleep here?” Kiki yelled.
What happened? Did Kiki forget what happened? Amnesia perhaps? Kiki was in a cell trying to sleep.
“You rascal! What are you talking about? We must get out of here!” Geiting shouted after finding himself in another cell.
“I said someone’s trying to get some sleep here! Now zip it! Big mouth!” Kiki answered back.
Geiting was getting mad when he heard the others waking up. He heard someone calling for help, a girl’s voice. It could probably be Ismagol. He heard someone yelling and calling foul names to the one in charge of the prison. The cell’s rims were made of thin, red lasers. The place was extremely hot and there small monitors around. Geiting saw videos of the path they have been through and more videos of the Pal Pack. Who’s behind all these evil stuff? And… magma? There was magma pouring everywhere like a giant pouring beer in his giant mug. The heat caused their eyes to sting. Their skins were getting warmer and warmer every minute. They must be inside a volcano. Huh! They were inside a volcano! They heard clicks of a heeled shoe. A woman.
“Oh, you’re all awake now! My poor, poor, little darlings! You must be exhausted from your silly adventure. So, how was it? Was it fun? How does it feel to become a living thing?”
“You witch! Let us out of here or I will…” Rocky stopped.
“Or you will what? Kill me? You? You must be kidding. Hmmm… Oh! Look Kiss Me! This bunch of fools will kill me. Oh my poor darling. Stop dreaming! All you have to do is show the world that you’re alive. I made you breathe and speak. Come to your senses! Was that hard for you?”
I-cool suddenly spoke.
“You can’t make us! You’re insane!”
“He’s right! You’re insane and you’ll end up nothing but insane!” Geiting added.
“Silence! What should we do doctor?” Kiss Me asked.
“Relax. I’ll leave for a moment. I need to rest after these dummies made me chase them. I’m exhausted follwig their tracks. Be sure to keep an eye on them,” Dr. Stemajojuaishe left.
“What is this place?” Ismagol asked Kiss Me.
Kiss Me didn’t answer. She just stared at them one by one. Ismagol kept on asking that the lipstick got fed up and spoke.
“Listen you! This is the doctor’s laboratory. I mean, another laboratory. It was made right after her home lab was built. She built these for some reasons I can’t tell. We are inside a volcano and calls this place Hell Lab,” she explained scornfully.
“And how could we get out of here?” Rocky asked trying to soften Kiss Me’s heart. “Don’t you want to be with us? Join us! We’ll take care of each other and be a family.”
Kiss Me was getting soft. She thought of the doctor who was old enough to live on her own. After all, she was just a lipstick. The doctor was just using here. She was nothing to the doctor. Then Kiss Me smiled. She pressed the red button and the lasers were off. The scientist heard the happy cheers and hurriedly ran back to the lab.
“Traitor! After what I’ve done for you!”
Kiss Me trembled with fear. She ran behind Rocky who stood bravely to protect her. Dr. Stemajojuaishe grabbed a mug and dipped it in the magma. She threw the mug at Rocky but Kiss Me pushed him. Kiss Me faced the magma and…
She felt the molten fire burning her flesh.
“Aaaahhh!!!” she screamed loudly.
“What are you doing?” a woman’s booming voice came like a thunder.
“PATRICE!!! I said what are you doing?” she repeated.
“Huh? Nay!” a little girl’s voice came. “AGUY! AGUY! AGUY!”
Patrice quickly dropped the burning stick she used to poke the garbage.
“See what you’ve done?” Nanay Opal pointed to the trash. “You’ve been daydreaming again. Pay attention to what you’re doing!”
The little girl nodded and said, “Yes Nay.”
Her mother left her and the little girl stared at her reflection in the broken mirror among the trash. In her mind, she could see Dr. Stemajojuaishe’s beautiful, haunting face, the Pal Pack’s adventures and the joyous feeling of owning a secret laboratory. Patrice sighed. Rocky Road’s just a rock which she’s now kicking back and forth. Athlety Footy, the pairless shoe she salvaged from the garbage. Ismagol were her own bottomless slippers. Kiss Me and Kiki… well, she found them burning with the rest of the pile. I-cool was just a piece of plastic. Geiting was the rat salvaging food from the garbage. Spiky is Spiky, the stuff toy she saw from a clean, shining, air-conditioned store she’ll never step into.
She had been looking at the distance for countless times now. Maybe, it’s time to return to her own reality. It’s time to return to poking garbage in the site, selling candles in the afternoon and making sure her siblings could eat. Maybe tomorrow she could build Dr. Stemajojuaishe’s laboratory. Minus the attitude, maybe tomorrow she could be Dr. Stemajojuaishe.