<xmp> <body> </xmp> The Witch, The Tooth, And The Dragon

A Sticky Situation

~Coming Un-stuck In Time~

The hungry trio, still glowing from their encounter with the Giant Goliath and safely plopped back into their own gray world... began to hear a LOUD, LOUD 'BUZZZZZZZ'. In fact, it was the buzzing itself that finally woke them.

"Wait a minute!" declared Hooblinka.

"Didn't we just get back from some biblical sort of 'Ultimate Fighting Contest'?" she said, glancing down at her skinny frame fairly cocooned in dusty spider webs.

"And weren't we following our ears and bellies to one of the sweetest sounds in the world which is that 'BEE noise' that always means HONEY is nearby?"

She again checked out her gauzy fingers, then turned her gaze on the similar cocoon suits her two friends were wearing. She scrinched up her pointy features in puzzlement. Looking at Scatcat was especially alarming.

"Scat!" she screamed, "you're covered in PLAQUE! How did that happen!"

Scatcat looked down at his yellowing roots (which WERE quite unattractively coated) and said, alarmed: "I have no idea what's been going on, Hoobie! All I know is I'm stiff as a board!" he yalped as he made some poor attempt to walk around and loosen up. "Ouch!! I can't move an INCH without an OUCH!."

"Me too," Feebles chimed in. "And I'm so famished I could eat my own tail!. Scat," he said while creaking his stiffened appendage into a half-hearted curl, "I appear to be SHELLACKED in place! And covered in dusty webs!"


All three heard it, and louder than before. "What day is it?" asked Hooblinka. I feel older, guys. And NOT just a day's worth either!" Hoobie spit into her palm, grabbed some of the webby stuff and rolled the whole thing into a ball. She held it up to the pale sun in their gray sky world and squinted mightily. STEAM came off the little globe, then a glow.

Scatcat drew closer to the moaning dragon and whispered, "What's she doing, Feebs, playing with spit like that?"

"I have NO IDEA Scat, but listen...... she's snicking! Something's up!"

And indeed, Hoobie had rolled her very own crystal ball out of dust and spider webs- and inside it, she saw a calendar with its pages flying off, month after month. "Guys!" she declared.

"We've been sleeping for ... EIGHTEEN MONTHS!"

"What???" the two stunned sidekicks sputtered. "That's IMPOSSIBLE. We would have DIED....WE HAVEN'T EATEN!"

"OH..... NO WONDER I CAN BARELY MOVE!" said stricken Feebles, staring sadly at his horribly locked tail scales.

"Oh, you two, " said Hooblinka. "We're MAGIC, you knuckleheads. A little TIME and hunger can't kill us, " and as she said it, she did indeed hear the VERY LOUD, VERY ANGRY, "BUZZZZZZZ!! BUZZZZZZ!! BUZZZZZ!!"

It suddenly DAWNED on her!

Hoobie looked down at the yellow and black fuzzy ground, and because their gray world had never before been black and yellow striped, she was just putting things together in her mind when the ground MOVED! And it didn't just 'move'..... it LIFTED.

Hoobie and a very startled Scatcat and Feebles began to rise up as though they'd snagged a ride on a magic carpet! And the BUZZING! It was deafening. They were flying on the backs of GIANT BEES and the sound rose as well- from a steady pulsing hum, to every instrument in an orchestra played all at once and at full throttle!

They held on to one another tightly and allowed the fuzzy moving carpet to carry them to a funny-looking, rippled sort of golden mountain with a smallish black hole for a door. Their 'carpet' tipped...... and off they rolled and down inside the biggest BEEHIVE in creation- as big as the hall of a great palace.

The walls DRIPPED honey. They shone in buttery deliciousness... and just then, a small drone bee, one more their size, stepped up and handed them some overshoes.

"Wear these!" he said, "or you'll be stuck in here forever and we'll be constantly having to un-stick you from things!"

(He wasn't very friendly, but the overshoes DID allow them to walk about without getting glued to the floor.) "EAT!" he said. "NOW."

So they did.... and until bellies were bursting. Scatcat in particular was in heaven with sweets all around him. "Oh.... this is the BEST! THE BEST!" he kept repeating between burps. Feebles ate his fill as well, and Hoobie just beamed and looked at her two friends.

"I'll never know what wormhole we dropped down that kept us asleep for a year and a half," she said, still beaming, "but all that matters is... we're HERE.... we're TOGETHER... we're feasting FABULOUSLY, and......."

She never got a chance to finish that sentence.

Just then, the floor gave out. The honey was forgotten as ICICLES formed on each falling friend, their smiles still frozen in sticky dismay.

"Oh, good grief, " Hooblinka thought, "what next?" - as a large, soft blue hand caught each of them in its palm.

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