||I wrote this for my Dad on Father's Day. I'm so wierd. xD
Casey stared at the box. Long and wide, but thin, she hadn’t a clue what it might contain. She hadn’t mail-ordered anything, so…what was this? There were no identifying labels on the box. Apprehensively, she reached for the corner of the box, attempting to tear it open, but the strong tape held fast, unwilling to budge.
She frowned. Then, flipping it over, Casey saw a strip of cardboard that said ‘tear here’. She did so, pulling the box open to reveal… Oh my God. She began to laugh out of surprise and shock.
A book titled ‘EXTRA EXRAORDINARY CHICKENS’ lay before her, the remnants of the cardboard box surrounding it like a shrine. Who had sent this to her?
She checked the box, but the label that listed the sender had been torn off. Still half-laughing, she gasped “Oh my God,” again and continued to search for anything that would identify the sender. Then, lifting the book, she uncovered a piece of paper! There was a note on it: Casey, I saw this and just had to buy it for you =] Love, Dad.
Casey burst out laughing again. Of course. Who else could it have been? She picked up the phone, nimbly dialing his number. It rang once… twice.
“Hello? Paul LastName speaking.”
Casey grinned. “Dad, you’re so weird.”
She could hear him give a short laugh on the other end of the line. “What’s your reasoning this time?”
“Woooooow Dad, she said, stretching out the first word. “A book about chickens?”
And then, all of the sudden, her dad’s voice was not so light. No, now a new importance, an air of great seriousness, could be found in his undertone as he said, “You never know when a book about chickens may come in handy. The world could end tomorrow, and you, with your great chicken-knowledge, could be the only one to save it from possible calamities! And all because of the chicken-abilities-ness you will have learned!” He boomed the words with great drama.
Casey raised an eyebrow. “Right… that’s nice… Can I talk to Lisa for a moment?”
“Of course!” The normal cheerful tone was back in his voice.
There was a short talk with Lisa in which Casey asked her not to let Dad have so much caffeinated Starbucks, especially during their trip to Alcatraz that weekend. After all, the only thing worse than parents being embarrassingly dorky is parents being embarrassingly dorky in public.
“Are we there yet?” The question was repeated for, literally, the 109th time.
“No.” Hands gripped the steering wheel tightly.
“Oh. How ‘bout now?”
“Ten more minutes.” Dad gritted his teeth as Lisa watched, amused, at this for of child-parent torture.
“Hey Dad, how long ‘til we get there?”
“Ah. Now how long?”
“Ten minutes.” Dad clenched his eyes shut in annoyance.
“Paul, you should probably watch the roa—” Lisa was cut off as the car veered off the roadside and into the water. Everyone swam out and climbed onto a conveniently placed island. The sunken car then promptly burst into physics-defying flames, drying everyone instantly, except for Dad’s left pocket.
There was only one thing left unknown. “Are we there yet?”
“We… are not… there.” With a dramatic sigh, Dad opened his eyes. Before him was… Alcatraz.
“Psst. Dad,” Casey whispered. “We’re here.”
“Yes. I noticed.”
Brooke frowned. “Who spit in your pancakes?” she began, but then—“Jack, NO! Put that stick DOWN!” She ran off to make an attempt at taking the pointy object from her brother.
Casey looked quizzically at her father. “You have pancakes? I want some!!!”
Lisa shook her head. “It’s a metaphor,” she explained.
“Actually…” Dad began, pulling several soggy pancakes from his pocket.
A large stick came hurtling through the air, coming from the direction of a sheepish-looking Brooke and Jack. It skewered the pancakes; one end of the stick plunged into the ground, the other end proudly bearing the pancakes, like a pancake-flag on a stick-flagpole.
Casey whistled. “Jeez! That must have been one sharp stick!”
“Told you so,” Brooke muttered.
Jack ignored her, for he was already climbing like a monkey up a wall that bore a sign proclaiming ‘DO NOT CLIMB’.
“Well!” Lisa clapped, making an attempt at restoring some sort of order. “Let’s see Alcatraz!”
Dad scratched his head, looking down at the ground. “Isn’t that what I’m doing?”
Lisa rolled her eyes, grabbing them all by the backs of their shirt collars and beginning to haul them up the steep stone path.
“But… shopping…” Brooke looked wistfully at the far-away docks.
“YEAH! PIER 39! PIER 39!” Casey chanted.
Jack bit a small rock with his crooked tooth. The rock cracked into two pointy halves, and he stuck them into his mouth, grinning with his new ‘fangs’.
Dad looked sadly back at his pancakes, stuck high atop the stick, getting further and further away with each step Lisa took. He missed them. He imagined them, nice and dry, on a plate. The imaginary him poured a large blob of ‘adult maple syrup’ on them, so yummy-looking, all warm… It made the un-imaginary Dad sad, fantasizing about what could have been.
“Here we are!” Lisa declared, overly-cheerful, letting go of them all.
“Did you get into Dad’s coffee/caffeine stash?” Casey asked as Jack ran off.
Lisa never got a chance to answer, since Dad shouted for Jack to come back and then ran after him. The rest of the family followed.
After Jack ran into the Alcatraz jail-cell building, everyone else dashed in behind him. Upon first glance, as their eyes adjusted, the long-unused facility appeared dark, dank. Jack was nowhere to be seen. The group started down the passageway.
Bgawk! Casey paused. What was that? She ran up the stairs after the rest of the family, and then…
Bawk! Casey grabbed the sleeve of the t-shirt Dad had received for free. “Did you hear that?” she whispered to him.
“Yeah. What do you think—” he never got a chance to finish.
“AAAHHHHH!!!” Brooke yelled as she and Lisa were dragged into one of the cells.
“Oh no!” Casey and Dad dashed into the cells, and as the cell door clanged shut forebodingly, they turned to see… chickens. Lots and lots of chickens.
BGAWK-GAWK! BAAAAWK! BGAWK! The chickens shouted excitedly as Casey and Dad realized that not only did the cell have no back—it sloped into a downward passage—Brooke and Lisa were already being forcibly led into it by chickens who looked to have watched quite a few exercise videos.
“Baaawk take them bgawk to the god!” Casey’s eyes widened as she realized the poultry were speaking Language a la Chicken. She had learned this language from Extra Extraordinary Chickens! But she had no chance to ask what was happening before she and Dad were pulled along after. As they plodded along the black corridor, illuminated by torches strewn here and there at chicken-height, Casey was able to make out only three sentences: The sign has come!, It is the god! and Bring them to the god!
Soon the tunnel began to level out, revealing a giant cavern—Alcatraz was hollow! And before them, chickens clustered, flapping and clucking. The top of a throne rose out of the midst, though the bottom half was obscured behind the moving wall of feathers, beaks and wings.
Dad tried to concentrate on the situation at hand, but all he could think of was his pancakes, flapping in the brisk wind, so far away…
“Excuse me,” Casey said loudly in Language a la Chicken, “BUT JUST WHAT IS GOING ON?”
All the chickens froze, turning to her in astonishment that she knew their language. “It must be... it must be…” The whispers were not subtle.
“WHAT THE TURTLES ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!!!” Casey demanded.
A deathly silence. And then, “The Prophecy.” A lone chicken made its way through the crowd, the sea of chickens parting as the chicken-leader made its way up to Casey, Dad, Brooke and Lisa.
“Yes. The Prophecy of the Pancake.” The chickens nodded. Dad’s mouth watered at the word pancake.
The group stared down at the foot-high chicken as it explained. “You see, many years ago, Beaknose the Redfooted had a vision: When pancakes arose from the sea to tower above the land, the sharp-toothed god would come and save us from the Pancake Monster that would come. With them would arrive three, and one a translator of the great Language a la Chicken. This dysfunctional group would band to stop the terrors of the Pancake Monster and return Chickentopia to the chicken haven it once was!” The chicken gasped for breath; quite an unusual sound.
Dad’s eyes glazed over each time pancakes were mentioned.
“…What did it say?” Brooke whispered to Lisa, who shrugged. All they’d hear was an unintelligible mish-mash of ‘bawk’s.
Casey translated, and then they nodded. “But… who’s this ‘god’?” Brooke asked.
“Hm. I don’t know.” Casey repeated this question to the chicken.
The chicken’s answer was to utter a single word, “Part!” Immediately, without question, the chickens waddled away from the throne, and the ‘god’ was revealed.
It was Jack.
Casey and Brooke looked at each other. “We’re doomed,” they both moaned.
“Hey!” Lisa scolded. “That’s not nice.”
“But, I mean,” Brooke complained, “how are we supposed to save the world from the pancake menace or whatever? And, come on, pancakes. What do stupid pancakes have to do with anything?”
Dad froze, eyes glowing a strange pancake-color as he said, voice deep and dramatic, “DO NOT INSULT THE… PANCAKES.” With the last word, everyone took a giant step back, as Dad had somehow begun to grow, stretching to a giant size, until his head bumped against the rock, high above everyone else.
“BEHOLD!” the chicken-leader shouted. “IT IS THE PANCAKE MONSTER!” And then the chickens all ran away in fear, for people who are scared are called chickens for a reason.
“…Oh my,” was Lisa’s only comment.
“PANCAKES!” Dad the Pancake Monster roared, stomping about the island as he searched for his beloved pancakes.
“Yup. Doomed,” Lisa finally agreed as Casey and Brooke nodded.
But no one noticed Jack as he walked up to Dad the Pancake Monster, and using his pointy ‘teeth’, bit him on the ankle. Momentarily diverted from his pancake hunt, Dad the Pancake Monster squinted down at Jack.
“No syrup,” Jack said simply.
Dad’s eyes began to lose their pancake-glow as he shrunk back to normal size. “…None?” He looked sad.
Jack shook his head, and Dad was resigned.
“Well that was… easy,” Casey commented. Brooke and Lisa just gaped. Soon all that was good and pancake-y was restored as the chickens returned to Chickentopia and Dad who was no longer a Pancake Monster pocketed his pancakes because he had found them and was later able to use the magical power of microwaves to reheat them and when he got some maple syrup for his beloved pancakes he ate them and they all lived happily ever after except for the time someone ate Dad’s stash of emergency pancakes which was very sad and tragic the end.
Eaten By Cheese
· Sun Jun 17, 2007 @ 11:54pm · 3 Comments