THE GREATEST STORY EVER MADE UP, PART TEN: OH, THOSE DOUBLE DIGITS

“Brawk! Must save the girl! Brawk!” Becky said to herself as she followed the river boat down the river. Higher above her, the housicopter loomed silently. Inside, Trentoteps twiddled one metallic and one cloth-wrapped thumb, cackling.

“Follow that boat, slave. I have a feeling it will come in handy for our impending take over.”

“You got it, Master,” Vincent Fishbein said in a voice devoid of feeling. His eye glazed over, pointed at the boat as it chugged along. But was there a hint of emotion there? Did he notice Becky, and was he secretly plotting to turn against his master? Hmm. I bet he was. But we don’t know yet, do we?

Back in the corn field, Lucinda hurried toward Leopold at his post. “She wasn’t at the river,” she said in a quavering voice. “And her paint supplies were still there. Oh, Leo, what could have happened to her?”

Leopold did something he knew he shouldn’t. He stepped down from his post. “I’ll find her, Lucy, don’t you worry,” he said. He placed a straw hand on her shoulder. “I’ll make sure she’s all right, and I won’t tire until I’m sure of it.”

“But, what will the farmer say? You can’t just abandon your post!”

“Some things are more important,” he said. “I’m sure the farmer will understand. And if not, there’s always other fields I can protect.” As he turned to walk away, he heard a grunt and a snap. He looked back. “Lucy, what are you doing?”

“The fields must be protected,” Lucinda said, as she lifted herself up to his post, wrapped her baboon arms around the cross bar and looked out at the corn field before her.

“You don’t need to do that. But thank you,” he said. Little seedlings fell from his gingham face. And with that, he ventured off into the world, following the river in search of his daughter.

Speaking of which, Cassiopeia Birnbaum was confused, scared and crying in the dark broom closet. She had just about given up hope, when a chorus of voices called out, “Why are you crying?”

“Who said that?” Cassie sniffled.

“We are the Count Hawkula Flea Circus,” they responded. Cassiopeia’s eyes began to adjust. A giraffe the size a thimble clomped forward. “Now answer our question. Why are you crying?”

“Your Count Hawkula has kidnapped me! And I’m scared of the dark,” she added.

“That sounds like him,” the tiny giraffe said. “I’m Walter. You can trust us. We’ll get you out of here. Everything will be all right.”

But will it? I mean, with the evil Space Mummy looming and Count Hawkula being a pretty bad guy, will it all be okay?

Ultimately, I’m sure it will, but you know, I gotta leave you on a cliffhanger.

END OF PART TEN

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