One sunny day, a green bear named Flippy is sitting on the park bench when a familair red porcupine walks by him and stops. She is Flaky.
"Afternoon, Flippy." Flaky said.
"Hey, Flaky. Hey, wanna go get some Ice Cream?" Flippy asked.
"Okay." Flaky started to walk off but Flippy stopping, groaning.
"What's the matter, Flippy?" Flaky asked.
"I don't know, I just had a really wierd feeling inside my body." Flippy said.
"Are you alright?"
Suddenly, Flippy fell over.
"Flippy!" Flaky runs to him, worried, "Are you okay?"
That's when Flippy pushed Flaky over and she got up to see him groan in pain and his eyes are closed and then he stopped shaking and he smirked evilly and his eyes glow an errie color.
Flaky screamed and raced off, with Flippy behind her running and growling. She dodged him at every turn she could find but he still kept coming after her. At last she found a hiding place and rested, catching her breath.
"Hello!" Flippy suddenly appeared from behind her.
Flaky screamed again and ran until she reached a dead end and turned, looking scared as Flippy towered over her with his fist, ready to strike her.
Flaky sat on her bed crying into her pillow. She had just been stood up by Cuddles at the movies. She felt like no one cared about her. She was alone most of the time and never went out much. Even when she did, she would get killed in some horrific event. But the pain she felt at that moment was the worst she has ever felt.
During her moment of anguish, she could hear the sound of a guitar outside her house. Flaky opened her bedroom window to find Flippy playing a guitar.
Flaky: Flippy? What are you doing here?
Flippy: Hi Flaky, I heard what happened with you and Cuddles and decided to come over and play you a song. This song always cheers me up when I'm depressed. I hope it does the same for you.
Flippy: *begins playing his guitar* Well, I know the feeling of finding yourself stuck out on the ledge. And there ain't no healing from cutting yourself with the gagged edge. I'm telling you that, It's never that bad. Take it from someone who's been where you're at. Laid out on the floor, And you're not sure you can take this anymore.
Just give it one more try to a lullaby and turn this up on the radio If you can hear me now, im reaching out to let you know that you're not alone And if you cant tell, Im scared as hell cause I can't get you on the telephone So just close your eyes well, honey here comes a lullaby your very own lullaby......
Flaky's eyes were filled with tears.
Flaky: Flippy......that was beautiful.
Flippy: I want you to know this. I love you and I will always be there for you.
If you don't like FlakyXFlippy, then I suggest you don't read this story (Yes, Flaky is a GIRL). Characters' thoughts start at one star and end at another star. 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
Chapter 1: The Question
Flippy's black pac-man pupils stared at the shy, red porcupine sitting alone in the small corner of a booth, silently eating her strawberry ice-cream. He came into Cro-Marmot's ice cream parlor to enjoy a nice, cold chocolate ice-cream, but his appetite disappeared once he caught a glimpse of her. He was just sitting at the bar, watching. He liked Flaky ever since he met her. Her beautiful smile, her cute laugh, her wonderful warm presence, her shy and sweet demeanor- everything about her made his heart melt. Every minute that he spent with her made his feelings grow stronger. What really made his feelings expand was when she organized a surprise party on his birthday, although she knew that he was mentally unstable. That event deeply touched his heart and shed a bit of light in his life. They were obviously the best of friends, but he wanted to be more than that. He scanned the area. No one was here, only him and her. He stared at his feet, pondering over whether to take the risk and ask her out.
Flippy: *It's a piece of cake. Just go up to her and ask her out. Simple. Easy. Yeah until she turns me down. She's never going to go out with me. I, the infamous murderous bear, don't deserve someone like her. It's worth a shot though. What have I got to lose? Maybe my reputation and my friendship with her. I should at least try. It's worth the risk. The worst she could do is say no. And tell the whole world how much of a loser I am. I have to try. I like Flaky very much. I need to get this weight of my shoulders. I have to be brave. So what if she says yes? What if I flip-out and hurt her on our date?*
Flippy's mental argument with himself was interrupted when he felt a familiar warm presence around him. He looked up and saw Flaky, standing timidly next to him looking at him. This was his chance. This was going to be one of the only opportunities he could get.
Flaky: H-Hey Flippy. Umm . Is anything wrong? I was thinking that maybe you were ill because you had your head down. So . are you ok?
Flippy was speechless. The girl of his dreams was right there, waiting for his answer. Flippy's tummy was filled with butterflies, constantly bouncing off his stomach's walls. His question for her faintly echoed inside his mind. He had to ask her. He had to give it a shot. He had to try; otherwise he'll never be able to live with himself. He had to ask the question he had been longing to ask. It was as if his life depended on it. He took a deep breath, calmed himself down, swallowed up his fear, and bravely began to speak.
Flippy: Flaky, I'm not ok. I have wanted to ask you something for the longest time. Flaky .. Would you like to go out with me?
Flaky was stunned. She didn't know what to say. She did feel close to the tattered war veteran, but never knew he had feelings for her. She felt comforted by his company and knew she was in safe hands with his attendance, despite his constant flip-outs that result in her death. She highly appreciated his kindness and sweetness. Her heart pounded as she wondered what her answer should be. She finally made a decision that would shock Flippy.
Flaky: I would love to. Flippy: Really? Flaky: Why not? Flippy smiled warmly. Flippy: So does tomorrow at seven sound good? Flaky: Sounds lovely.
She gave Flippy a small kiss on the lips, which made him blush. She giggled at his cute expression, waved goodbye, and left the parlor. Flippy watched her leave. When she was completely out of his sight, he jumped out of his seat in joy.
Flippy: I've got a date tomorrow!
He constantly said that to himself as he stepped out of the parlor and walked home, feeling confident and content.
Here's my first Deviation and the first chapter of my story. I'm not very good at titles *smacks myself in the face*. Yes, Flaky is a GIRL and this story starts off very dramatic (maybe too dramatic).People who don't like FlippyXFlaky plz, just don't read. No bad comments please. Other than that, enjoy!
The old golf cart screeched to a hault. Benson had finally finished making his rounds. Everyone, well almost everyone was working (Mordecai and Rigby were nowhere to be found. Which explained his bad mood). All the people visiting the park were happy, and it was a nice autumn day. If not for the two slackers, Benson would probably be in a good mood.
With nothing else left to do, the gumball machine decided it was about time for a break. Looking over his shoulder, he was about to back up when he saw a familiar sight. Pops was sitting on the swingset, gently swinging back and forth. The lollilman looked up and, when he saw Benson, gave a bashful wave.
Wait. Bashful? Pops? The guy who acts like complete strangers are people he knew for years? Something was up. Putting the cart in 'park' and taking the keys out, Benson then got out and began walking towards Pops.
"Hey Pops," said Benson. Pops gave Benson a small smile, but didn't say anything. "Sooo, nice day, huh?"
"Mhm," said Pops, nodding a little. It was silent for the next few moments. Benson hated awkward silences. They were just so, well, awkward! He also hated being the one to start a conversation, since he could be so awkward sometimes.
"Uh, what's up?" Benson asked. Pops blinked at Benson, and then pointed up at the sky. "I mean, what's going on? It's everything okay." Pops simply shrugged his shoulders, and became very interested with the blades of grass underneith his feet.
Why isn't he talking, Benson thought, usually he would be talking my ears off by now. Something must be wrong.
"Pops, if something's wrong, you can tell me," said Benson. Then he remembered the reputation he had around the park. "I promise I won't get mad, okay?"
Just by looking at Pops' face, Benson could tell there was something he wanted to say, but wouldn't, or couldn't.
"Did Mordecai and Rigby ask you to keep a secret?" Last time that happened, Pops covered his mouth and wouldn't talk for two days (thank goodness Rigby accidentally spilled the beans). But Pops shook his head.
"Is something broken? Or did something happen?" Pops shook his head, but he acted as if Benson was close to solving the mystery. The gumball machine tried to read the lolliman's face, trying to find some sort of clue.
"Are you," Benson thought for a moment, "Embarrased about something?" Benson then noticed a slight blush in the man's cheeks, and he turned away and continued looking at the ground. "Pops?" He simply shrugged his shoulders.
Benson sighed. He wasn't good with things like this, trying to make people open up to him, especially when he didn't usually open up to anyone except for Pops or Skips. Questioning was getting him nowhere, and he was starting to get a little annoyed. But he wasn't going to yell at the lolliman. No, he couldn't do that. He would have to try being a little more sensitive. It wasn't exactly the first thing he wanted to do, but Pops was his friend, so he would do whatever it took.
"Look Pops," said Benson, "I don't know why you won't talk to me, or what's wrong, but I wish you would tell me. Look, I..." Pops looked up at Benson. "I care about you, okay. You're my friend, my good friend. I'm not sure what's wrong with you, but if you just tell me, I'll try to help." Benson looked up and smiled. "Okay?"
At that, nearly tearing up, Pops reached over and gave Benson a huge hug. "Uh, thanks Pops," said Benson, trying to breathe. Pops gave a happy giggle, only it was muffled because he didn't open his mouth. Now that he thought about it, Pops hadn't opened his mouth the entire time Benson tried to talk with him.
Benson tried to ask why he wasn't opening his mouth, when he was interrupted by the sound of two people running. It was Mordecai and Rigby, and said bluejay was carrying a bottle of water, most likely from the Snack bar.
"Yo, Pops!" said Mordecai, not noticing Benson at all, "Here's your water." Mordecai tossed the bottle at Pops, who caught it with no trouble at all. He made a noise that sounded a little like a 'Thank You', twisted off the cap, and chugged nearly the whole bottle in ten seconds flat.
"Thank you Mordecai and Rigby," said Pops with a grateful smile. The two just simply said "No problem" and, once they noticed Benson was there, ran towards the job they were supposed to be doing.
Pops then turned to the dumbstruck Benson. "I'm sorry I couldn't tell you earlier, my good man, but I had found a bag of miniature peanut butter cups. They're so yummy, I guess I ate too many. They were so thick and peanut buttery and I couldn't talk, so Mordecai and Rigby volunteered to get me a bottle of water. I suppose it is a little embarrasing."
It was just too many peanut butter cups?
Benson blinked. But then he smiled. A soft sound came from his throat, almost sounding like laughter. It was laughter. He was chuckling, then it went to giggling, and then he was just simply laughing. He wasn't sure if it was just because of the pure ridiculousness of the situation, or just because he had gone too long without a break, but Benson was laughing.
And pretty soon, Pops started laughing as well. "I guess it is funny when you think about it. Ha ha ha!" After a couple minutes, their laughter died down a little, but Benson's pleasant mood stayed the same.
"Maybe next time you should eat only two or three at a time," said Benson.
"Oh yes, of course," said Pops with a smile, "Oh, and Benson. Thank you my good man, for being so considerate."
"No problem, Pops."
The two sat on the swings, rocking just a little. Pops then reached over, and picked up a bag. "Peanut butter cups?"
Flaky was in the park, sitting on a bench. She looked around and saw everybody having fun. Petunia was having a tea party, Toothy was on a swing and Nutty was eating a candy cane. Flaky sighed. She felt that nobody ever cared about her, even though they tell that they do. She was always so shy, timid and a coward.
She looked around again and saw Flippy under a tree, feeding some birds. She stared at him and felt her cheeks begin to blush. She had developed a crush on him ever since she first met him, even though he had attacked her multiple times, she knew he didn't do it. It was his evil side that killed everybody that was near him.
She felt bad for Flippy. Because of his evil side, he hardly ever left his house, the last time he did was to help set up the carnival. On that day, he killed about eleven people, and it was only the first time in a month he had gone outside.
Flaky was jolted from her thoughts by a sudden noise; a truck had crashed into a tree nearby. Flaky jumped up from the bench and began to back away slowly, only to bump into someone. She turned around and wished that the truck had hit her instead; in front of her was Flippy, his eyes were neon green and his teeth were pointed. He looked at Flaky and grimaced at her menacingly.
"Well, well, well, look what we have here! It's the little porcupine bitch!" Evil Flippy said, taking out his bowie knife and putting it to Flaky's neck.
"Please don't kill me." Flaky whimpered. Evil Flippy just laughed. He pushed her to the ground and headed towards Petunia. Petunia screamed when she saw him and began running, but Evil Flippy managed to seize her. He looked around and saw a metal pipe sticking out of the wreckage of the truck.
He walked towards it and impaled Petunia on it. She screamed and writhed with pain, desperately trying to pull herself off the pipe. Evil Flippy took out a hand grenade, pulled out the safety pin and forced it down her throat, causing her to choke. The grenade went off, causing pieces of Petunia's insides to go flying in every direction. He turned around headed for Toothy next.
Evil Flippy sneaked up behind Toothy, and pushed him hard, causing him to go flying off the swing and into a conveniently placed woodchipper, shredding him to pieces. His next victim was Nutty.
Nutty, all jacked up on sugar, was blissfully unaware that Evil Flippy was advancing on him. Evil Flippy punched Nutty in the head, causing him to fall to the ground. Next, he grabbed one of the lollipops stuck to Nutty's fur and drove it into his eye, gouging it out, and followed suit for the other eye. Flaky was terrified; all she could do was watch. Evil Flippy turned to her.
"It's your turn now, bitch!" he said, advancing toward her. Flaky, returning to her senses, scrambled to her feet, but collapsed when she felt a sharp pain in her left leg, making her fall back down again. She looked at her left leg to see that Evil Flippy had thrown his bowie knife at it, piercing her ankle. Evil Flippy reached Flaky and bent down; he grabbed the knife and drove the blade up Flaky's leg, slicing it until he reached her hip, causing Flaky to wail loudly with pain. Evil Flippy pulled the bowie knife out of her leg and held it up to Flaky's neck.
"Any last word's before I kill you?" Evil Flippy said. Flaky began to cry.
"Please come back, Flippy! Please!" she begged. "You don't mean this! I'm your friend!"
Evil Flippy stopped, he clutched his head and staggered backwards. His eyes faded to black and his teeth returned to normal. He looked around at the damage he had caused.
"Oh no, not again!" Flippy gasped. He looked down to see Flaky on the ground, her leg sliced open, bleeding profusely. He put the knife away and cradled Flaky, who had fainted shortly before. He lifted her in his arms and carried her towards his house.
Flippy lay Flaky down on his bed and sat in a chair next to her.
"I can't believe I flipped out again! Damn it!" Flippy yelled, banging his head against his fists. "I know I shouldn't have gone out today! I killed three of my friends!"
Flippy turned his gaze to Flaky; a small smile crept on his face. "Well, at least I didn't kill her." He said, relieved slightly.
"I think I'm going to be sick!" He heard his evil side say in his head.
Flippy groaned in annoyance."Why can't you just go away?" he said.
"Because you need me." His evil side said.
"Why do I need you? The war is over." Flippy asked, heading to his medicine cabinet.
He opened it and pulled out a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a rag. He closed the cabinet, only to see his evil side grimacing at him in the mirror.
"You need me to survive. Those little pricks have made you soft! You're an elite soldier!" His evil side yelled at him.
"Listen, the war is over. There is nothing that I need from you! There is no threat here! So just go away!" Flippy yelled back. His evil side started to laugh.
"There may not be any threats, but the reason I kill is because I love it." His evil side gloated.
"Why do you like killing? These people haven't done anything to you!" Flippy yelled at his evil side. His evil chuckled evilly and disappeared. Flippy took a deep breath and splashed some water on his face. He grabbed the alcohol and the rag walked back to his room, where Flaky was finally starting to come around
"Good to see you're awake." Flippy said, relieved. Flaky turned and saw Flippy. "W-What am I doing here?" She stammered, rubbing her eyes.
"Well, I saw how terribly I injured you, so I brought you here." Flippy said, sitting down on the bed next to her.
"Why didn't you take to the hospital?" Flaky asked.
"Since it was my fault you got hurt, I decided to take care of you until you recovered." Flippy said, putting some alcohol on the rag. "Alright, this may sting."
Flippy held the rag on Flaky's leg wound. Flaky clenched her teeth and screeched in pain, accidently kicking Flippy in the face.
"Flippy!" Flaky exclaimed, shocked at what she just did. Flippy got up, rubbing his chin and laughing a little.
"That was one hell of a kick Flaky!" Flippy said. Flaky laugh's nervously.
"Sorry Flippy, I didn't mean to." She said.
"It's alright Flaky. Here, bite down on this." Flippy said, handing her his bowie knife. Flaky put the blade in her mouth and closed her eyes. Flippy again placed the rag on Flaky's deep cut leg. Flaky stop's yelling and moving around, but began to cry, whilst biting down on the knife's handle. After about ten minutes, Flippy removed the rag from Flaky's leg. Flippy shifted his gaze back to Flaky, who looked as if she would pass out again.
"Are you okay?" Flippy asked, slightly worried. Flaky nodded slowly. Flippy grabbed his bowie knife and took it out of Flaky's mouth. He was surprised to see a couple of dents in the handle, where Flaky had bitten it. He put it away and returned to the bathroom to retrieve a roll of bandages. He returned to Flaky and sat down next to her.
"Sit up please." Flippy asked. Flaky sat up, and Flippy lifted her leg up. He began wrapping the bandage around it, making Flaky wince slightly. After a short while, Flippy had finished bandaging Flaky's leg.
"There, all done. That leg should heal just fine." Flippy said.
"H-How long until I can walk again?" Flaky asked. Flippy shrugged.
"I don't know. Maybe a week or so, but don't worry, you'll be fine." Flippy said. Suddenly, Flaky's stomach started to growl. Flippy chuckled.
"I suppose you're hungry, huh?" Flippy said. Flaky nodded and lay back down."Why don't you get some rest and I'll get you something to eat." Flippy said, pulling the blankets over Flaky. Flaky smiled.
"Thank you, Flippy." she said.
"No problem. That what friends do, help each other out." Flippy replied. Flippy left the room and headed towards his kitchen. Flaky closed her eyes. She thought fondly of Flippy, how she viewed of him as the father she never had. He takes care of her and is kind to her, not like her own father was. She soon fell asleep, a smile on her face.
Consider this a mini version of what 'A Fresh Start' was. Basically, a bunch of smaller Benpops drabbles, varying from friendship, romance, hurt/comfort, humor and more. Enjoy!
"Come on Benson, run through the sprinklers with me! It's so refreshing!"
It was no secret Benson hated snow. But when he woke up and saw a message shoveled into his driveway, he forgot all about the cold and the ice and the hard work he would have to do.
He only felt warmth.
"Pops, I've told you before, we use paper and metal for money, not lollipops."
On the outside, Benson was cold, hard, and strong. He was made of metal after all. But Pops saw past all that, and he knew what a softy Benson really was, despite the gumball machine's embarrassment.
Even though it was extremely rare, Pops did get mad, angry even. It was at these times that Benson was reminded that Pops was Mr. Maellard's son. Because he looked exactly like his father when he was mad.
But Pops would only be mad for a few minutes, half an hour at the very most. It was at these times when Benson knew that even when Pops was as old as his father, he would never act like him. He would always be the same old, childish, fun lolliman he knew.
"... And then, we jumped into the next interwebs video! It was so exciting, but frightening at the same time. In this video, there was a hog driving a sports vehicle. And then... Benson, are you alright? You're turning red again."
Benson blinked as he was presented with a bouquet of yellow roses. "It's awfully gray outside, so I thought you could use some sunshine!"
Benson smiled and thanked the lolliman. It was only when the lolliman left the room when Benson noticed the small red rose hidden underneith all the yellow ones. And blushed.
Benson had never seen Pops even hurt a fly before. So, when he wrestled two men to the ground who tried to mug Benson while he and Pops were on the way to a cafe, to say Benson was surprised would've been an understatement.
No matter how quiet Benson would be at times, Pops always seemed to get a conversation out of him.
America was such a strange place. So many different things. A new currency, new activities, and not a horse-drawn carriage to be seen. But Pops knew that Benson would be there to help him with any of the troubles he had, and he was definitely grateful for that.
"Ooh! That one looks like a rabbit! What do you think Benson? Benson?" The tired gumball machine was out like a light. But Pops simply smiled, took Benson's hand, and closed his eyes as well.
"Good show! Jolly good show!"
"Pops, other people are trying to watch the movie. Please sit down."
"My appologies. ... Popcorn?"
Benson scowled at his reflection. He was wearing a suit, complete with a bowtie and a starchy dress shirt. "I feel so awkward."
"Nonsense," said Pops, "You look like a handsome, young gentleman."
"Yeah right." Pops sighed.
"You really do need more confidence, my good man."
"... I know."
"Pops is fine," Benson told himself as he tossed and turned, trying to fall asleep. He was safe in his bed, at the house, with Mordecai and Rigby... Unless they disobeyed him and went to the wrestling match. "They may be stupid, but they aren't that stupid."
Despite telling himself this, Benson still found himself in his car twenty minutes later, driving towards the old green house.
Benson never did care too much for sweets. But despite this, whenever Pops offered to share cake with him, he almost always accepted.
"Oh my! B-Benson! I think I used too much soap in the washing machine! Oh dear! I'm sorry!"
"It's alright Pops. Accidents happened." Pops gave a relieved sigh. Thank goodness his friend wasn't mad at him. Such a good friend.
"You know Benson, you really should smile more often. It's such a nice smile!"
Pianos are famous for their beautiful melodies. They can make quiet, beautiful music, but they can also be quite powerful.
Drums are loud, and can sound angry. Crash! Bang! Boom! These are the words people think of when they hear drums. But drums can be quiet too, and provide a steady heartbeat for any piece.
Two different instruments, but when combined, they didn't sound half bad together.
"Oh my! Benson, your head made a rainbow!" Indeed, when the sun hit Benson's head just right, it made a small rainbow like any piece of glass would. Benson hated this, but Pops thought it was the most amazing thing in the world. "Good show!"
As soon as it happened, Benson ran and slammed the door. He was red the rest of the day, as was Pops. The two couldn't even look at each other for the rest of the day. He really needed to teach Pops how to use the lock on his bedroom door.
Benson stood in front of the tombstone. He still felt guilty about it, even if he did defeat Chong. He would always feel guilty about his friend's death. Which is why Pops wouldn't let him go to the grave alone.
The lolliman wrapped his arm around the gumball machine, and allowed him to cry.
"Pops, you really don't need to do this. I'm feeling a little better." Despite this, Pops stayed by the gumball machine's side the rest of the day.
23. Letting Go
Benson and the woman saw each other at one of the park's parties. A song played, and Pops encouraged Benson to ask the lady to dance. And he did.
As the two dance, Pops couldn't help but wonder if the two would meet again. Maybe they would fall in love. Benson would be so happy. Maybe they would get married. Maybe, maybe Benson and his new wife would move away. And he would get a new job.
Just the thought of this brought Pops nearly to tears. But he held them in. He didn't know if Benson would ever marry and leave Pops and the park, but if he did, Pops knew he would have to put on a smile for his friend. He loved Benson, and you know what they say: If you love something, set it free.
24. Hand in hand
As the two walked through the park, Pops grabbed onto Benson's hand and smiled. It took the gumball machine almost three minutes to notice this before he got embarrased and quickly pulled back. But Pops simply giggled and wrapped his arm around Benson instead.
"Oh Benson, may I please just have one?"
"Pops, no! I told you, I don't give out gumballs!"
New Years. Valentines Day. Easter. Fourth of July. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas. No matter what holiday it was, Benson knew he would get at least one card, from a certain lolliman.
"Oh! Good evening Skips! Um, I was wondering, if perhaps I could talk to you about, er, certain affairs. It's, it's about Benson."
"Hey Skips. Sorry, I know it's late but, can I ask you something? It's, well, it's about Pops."
No matter how angry Benson was, no matter how red his gumballs were, just the sight of Pops or the touch of his hand made him instantly calmer.
Pops was a skinny as a person could be. His arms were like happy, wavy noodles, and yet Benson still couldn't figure out how they could give such strong hugs. But after a while, Benson decided to stop questioning, and just enjoy the hug.
His bandmates had left town in search of other opportunities. Veronica left him for a businessman. Dave... he didn't like to talk about it. Skips gave good advice, but they while they were friends, they weren't really personal with each other. All the other employees at the park varied from acquaintances to annoyances.
There was only one person Benson would really consider a true friend, and he was so happy sometimes, he could do the work of ten friends.
"Er, Benson. Doesn't it hurt hitting your head against the wall?"
"Bon appitite, my good man!" Benson looked at the food in front of him. It looked slightly burnt, and a cross between beef and chicken. But nevertheless, Benson put on a smile and ate it. And honestly, it wasn't half bad.
"Oh my, how wonderful!" Pops cheered, clapping at the magic trick being performed. That is, until he thought Benson really was gone.
When the gumball machine 're-appeared', Pops didn't leave his side the rest of the day, just to make sure he didn't disappear again.
"Papa! I really wish you wouldn't be so hard on Benson. He works so hard. He's smart, kind, a little grumpy, but a really great friend. And, and I don't appreciate you talking so negatively about him!"
As Benson listened from the other side of the door, he was surprised. He'd never heard Pops yell, and now he was hearing him yell at his father. But what was more surprising, was what he said about Benson. The gumball machine could feel himself blushing.
"Say cheese, my good man!"
"Oh Benson! You looked so cute as a child!"
"Hello!" The lolliman said happily as he passed a rather peculiar looking man on the street, or rather gumball machine.
"Um, Hi," he replied, a little weirded out that a random guy on the street was being so friendly to him. As Pops waved goodbye, he had a funny feeling that he and the gumball machine would meet again.
After years of working at the park, he never did find a new job. All the other employees eventually left and were replaced with new ones. One would think staying at the park would get boring and depressing.
But as far as Benson was concerned, thanks to a certain lolliman, his life was perfect.
When Pops opened his tired old eyes, the first thing he noticed was that he was in a hospital room. The second thing was Benson, who was sitting on the floor, resting his head on the bed next to Pops.
Smiling, Pops placed his hand on the gumball machine's cool head, silently thanking him for being so concerned about him.
No matter what they were doing, Pops always enjoyed himself, giving a loud happy laugh and almost transfering happiness to everyone else, and 'everyone else' was usually Benson.
"Um, Pops?" Pops turned, and smiled at the gumball machine. "Yes?" he answered, his blue eyes sparkling.
Benson took a deep breath. "Um Pops, I was wondering if, you wanted to, we could, maybe, go out tonight?"
Pops looked at Benson in silence... and then gave him the biggest hug of his life. "Yes! Yes! Yes! Jolly good show!"
"Oh my, there certainly are a lot of fireflies out tonight. Look how high those fireflies are!"
"Those are the stars, Pops."
He heard a giggle from beside him. Benson looked as saw Pops next to him, looking about ready to burst from happiness. "Do you need something, Pops?"
"No no, I'm fine," Pops replied, smiling. He felt a little suspicious, but shrugged it off and turned back to his notes. As he did, Pops quickly kissed Benson on the cheek. He giggled at Benson's surprised expression. "Ta ta, my good man!" And with that, he ran away.
Benson pressed a hand against his cheek, and smiled. Just a little.
The day of his father's funeral, Pops was a shadow of his former self. He didn't giggle, or compliment anyone. He didn't even smile. But he didn't cry either. "Pops," Benson said, walking into Pops' room. He was sitting on his bed, looking out the window. He turned his head slightly to look at the gumball machine.
"I know it's hard," said Benson, sitting down next to him, "But it'll be alright." He heard a sniffle. "I'm here for you, Pops." Finally, Pops wrapped his arms tightly around Benson, and sobbed. Benson rubbed the lolliman's back and told him it would be alright.
After all the times Pops was there for him, it was the least he could do.
"Oh my, snow tastes so sweet this time of year, wouldn't you agree, my good man?"
Benson heard the yells to get out of the way, but he was so frozen in fear, everything seemed in a haze. Everything except the giant ball of fire heading right towards him. When he finally realized what was happening, all he could was close his eyes and hope death didn't hurt too much.
But it never came. When he opened his eyes. He found himself only five feet away from where the ball had landed, on the ground, with Pops on top of him, making sure the gumball machine was safe.
Benson thought. He looked back on past memories. He thought, if this were to happen, all the positives and negatives. But most importantly, he wanted to make sure that if he did admit this, if he did return the feelings, was there any chance of him getting hurt?
Benson didn't even have to think about that one. They needed each other, so they would never hurt each other. When he realized that what he was feeling was true, he became nervous and scared, but also excited and happy. And he knew that whatever happened, Pops would be right beside him to help him get through it.
Giggles and Petunia were dancing along to the rhythm of the pop music blasting through the large speakers next to DJ DB. This was the celebration of Happy Tree Town's 50th anniversary, which happened to be on Halloween. Petunia was dressed as a devil with a short, red, tight dress, small red horns, red high-heels, and a cute red tail while Giggles was dressed as a motorcyclist with a tight, black, silky, short, black dress, black boots, and flaming red lipstick. Everyone was laughing and having a good time. DJ DB then changed the mood into a slow, romantic song. Toothy took Petunia by the hand and waltzed their way away from Giggles. "Good luck!!!!" Petunia called out to her friend. She searched everywhere for someone to dance with, but couldn't find anyone. She began to feel envious of all the happy couples dancing around her, but it soon turned into sadness. She was about to head home when she felt a tap on her back. She looked behind her and saw a guy who looked like he was dressed up as Zorro, wearing a black cape and a matching shirt, pants, hat, mask, and pair of shoes. He stuck out his hand and said smoothly, "May I have this dance?" Inside her head, she swooned over the masculinity of his voice and his loving presence, but, on the outside, she confidently grasped his hand. "Yes, you may," she replied. The stranger shot her a strikingly beautiful smile. He placed his hand on her waist while she placed hers on his shoulder. Their hands clasped together and they began to move to the sound of the soothing music. To Giggles, their dance was amazing. He calmly and gently led their non-stop dance, never skipping a step. It was if they were one. Their souls bonded together. They began to know each other more and more with each step they took, as if their moves were conversating. His bright eyes looked into hers the whole time with an expression of happiness. At one time, he brought her close and sang the lyrics of the song quietly and softly into her ear. Unfortunately, the song ended. The man released her, but still had his hand in hers. He placed her hand on his heart and said, "It'll always belong to you." Then, Giggles quickly flicked his hat off his head and swiped off his mask. She was shocked when she laid her eyes on his yellow face, pink cheeks, and tall ears, yet at the same time she was thrilled. "Cuddles?" Giggles asked. Cuddles replied, "Yes, it's me, baby." With a smile, they brought their faces closer together until their lips met. They savored the romantic moment until they parted. Then, they danced again slowly as the night grew later and everyone disappeared, even without the music.
"Check the area surrounding the lake," one man ordered. Clearly, he was the leader of this troop.
One soldier, obviously his subordinate, protested. "But, sir, we've already checked "
"Don't you dare talk back at me!" the other screamed, smacking his subordinate up the head. "What we're up against is a female, true, but she's outwitted us so far. Do you think we can afford to get hoodwinked again?"
Flaky had been up on a tree, watching the men look for her. She had heard enough about her, though. She stopped peeking over the leaves and withdrew, leaning her back on the thick bark. She forced herself not to breathe too loudly, and, when she guessed that the soldiers weren't close to her tree anymore, she stretched out her left arm and winced.
She was injured, all right, but not too much. While in the water, she had been hit by one of the few bullets that flew in with her. Fortunately, this was only a superficial wound, only a graze. But she was losing blood, albeit in minimal amounts.
She whimpered and gingerly got the first aid kit in her backpack. The branch she was on was about as thick as her whole body, and so she put her supplies on the next branch, which was fortunately within reach. Then she got out what was necessary for treatment, and began.
Flaky bit her lip as she cleaned the wound with a clean cloth. The bleeding was receding, but it was still there. She got out the next material alcohol and, groaning, she poured a bit of the substance into another cloth. Then she cleaned the wound.
She couldn't help yelping in pain, and she almost fell out of her tree. Luckily she had steadied herself in the last moment. She panted. The alcohol left a burning sensation on her exposed skin. But she knew it was necessary. She gulped in air for a minute, balled up her soaking beret, stuffed her mouth with it, and continued the cleaning, occasionally emitting whimpers and small screams that only she can hear.
After the self-torment, she raised her left arm, with her right pressing another cloth to the wound to stop blood flow. She sighed, wincing. While waiting, she assessed her possessions.
Her backpack was intact. It wasn't the least bit wet, both outside and inside, for the cloth was covered in some kind of waterproof material that made the water slick off in droplets. Inside the pack were her rations, an extra change of clothes, the first aid kit, a sleeping bag, her notepad full of important details she had written down during past briefings, two large flasks full of clean water, a bottle of iodine, and, of course, the letters and the dog tags Flippy had given her. She sighed. Well, at least she was as prepared as ever
Her fifteen minutes were up, and she carefully wrapped the wound with clean bandages, which she hid under her jacket. She checked the surrounding are for another five minutes and, when she decided that the coast was clear, she slid down the tree carefully, landing in what was hopefully a catlike fashion. She figured she'd have enough water for a little walk, and so she followed the enemies, whose voices were so painfully distant, all the while keeping close to the lake and an eye out for flowing water.
On and on she went, it seemed like an hour, but no luck. She was too far away to overhear anything. For the last ten minutes, the voices had completely died away. She thought about giving up, but she shook her head. If she wanted to rescue Flippy as soon as possible, she'd go to the base. Right away. She consulted her map of the island Flippy had sent to the Staff Sergeant some months ago before he was captured. It was very detailed. Red spots showed where the enemies were clustered or scattered. A spidery line of ink wove its way down, almost splitting the map into perfect halves. This would represent the river. On the west of the end of this line was a red rectangle, signifying enemy base. She trudged on, panting and guessing where she was now.
She wondered if she was starting to hallucinate from the heat of the dense jungle foliage and her uniform, so she zipped open her jacket and dwindled down a quarter of one of her flasks. She grimaced and, deciding that it was enough of a start for the day, walked back to the lake dejectedly, following the edge to see if there was any source of flowing water in an arm's reach.
"Ha," she said triumphantly to herself as she caught sight of a little creek, the water as clear as day. The little bugger seemed to give way to a stream as Flaky's eyes roamed, then the river on the map if she pressed farther. She smirked and, since she wasn't really low on water yet, she picked a nearby tree tall enough to avoid predators. She climbed it, and, since the sun was beginning to set, she began making the necessary preparations.
She got out her sleeping bag and slid in it, thankful that it reflected body heat. She needed the warmth. It was still too bright to sleep, though, and she pored over some notes she researched before settling in. She grabbed her notepad and recited them carefully to herself voicelessly. It looked like she was lip-synching.
"Video stated that he was alive " she mouthed, tapping a finger to the sheet. "Although that was well over ten months ago. Anything could've happened." Her lower lip trembled and she shook her head of any grisly thoughts. "No. I know he's alive. S-s-somehow " She shuddered and resumed reading. "Possibly being tortured for information But Flippy is smart enough. He could find a way to defeat them all like he did in the previous war wiped out a whole base single-handedly before There's no way he can't do it "
Flaky stared long and hard at the paper, as though the words suddenly didn't make sense. "And what was that 'Doctor' thing about?" she whispered to herself. "Is that a kind of witch doctor, or something? A kind of professional? No, that guy mentioned torture So, this 'Doctor' specializes in torture?" She racked her brains again, but no luck. She would have to get more clues tomorrow.
She sank her body down halfway into her sleeping bag, and she crossed her arms on her chest as she looked at the scene. The sun shone like a bright orange beacon as it slowly sunk in the west. She closed her eyes for a moment, sighing.
How she loved sunsets back then. She'd spend the end of the day with Giggles, Petunia, Cuddles, Flippy, and Handy, maybe after a fun baseball match, or going to a kind of evening picnic at the park. Those were good times not caring about anything. Blissful oblivion. No restraints. You could do anything, anytime. Flaky smiled sadly and drifted for a moment, the faces of the friends she had left behind swimming before her eyes. Then she let loose of everything she regretted at the moment with a dry sob, and sank into a deep sleep.
Everything was a blur. The foliage around her seemed to thicken and thin and thicken again all by itself. The leaves seemed to hurl themselves at her all at the same time, then when they were an inch from slicing into her skin, they'd back away. And the taunting continues.
She ran forward, not waiting for anything but for this bizarre nightmare to stop. Flaky suddenly escaped the leaves, and when she looked back, they stood there as unmoving as a rock. She sniffed haughtily and kept walking, trying to calm down her racing heart. The scene shifted.
She was now walking down an invisible path; somehow she knew that if she didn't follow it, she'd fall into oblivion. Her feet trudged on without her thinking about it, as though somebody else controlled her limbs. She dared look up, expecting pitch black nothingness, but what she saw was something, and it was something horrible.
Flippy was there, bloodied and bruised, hanging to some surface with his arms roped above his head. He was so close Flaky could see the sweat glistening on his bare torso, the half-healed lacerations on his back, and the past bruises that were a sick shade of yellow.
"F-Flippy?" she croaked nervously.
Flippy's head flicked back, and he gasped, as though he was holding his breath all this time. He heard her and looked down, his eyes boring into hers. They were different, though. Instead of those startling green orbs she was expecting, they were a sickly yellow, dilated in fear.
"Flippy, I came to get you!" She said weakly, and she kept walking forward, to no avail. The path just went on and on. No matter how far Flaky would go, whenever she stopped and looked up, there still was Flippy, panting.
"R-run," Flippy muttered, his voice hoarse of disuse. He coughed, and out his mouth came blood.
"Run!" he shouted, the voice growing more feral. He looked at her again with those yellow eyes, although this time there was sadistic euphoria in them.
Flippy opened his mouth as though to scream, but instead, another sound came out. Inhuman. Constant. High.
Flaky twisted in her sleeping bag, her legs flying. She almost fell if she hadn't grasped the tree trunk she was leaning on. She panted, squinting at the dull orange glow the rising sun was giving off. It was the next day.
The siren was real. She began to panic when she assessed the source. It was somewhere in the distance. Somewhere northeast from where she was. She wriggled free from her sleeping bag, packed it hastily, and stood up on her branch.
Even if it was a bit far, there was, no doubt, the enemy base. It was, in her eyes, like a marble, shining like a beacon. It was as though it wasn't even trying to go incognito with the white color that was in stark contrast with the jungle foliage. There was a thin strip of pavement leading into it. The river, as she had guessed correctly, was only a few hundred feet from the base.
There was a kind of commotion, though. Or some plans for a big event. There was a kind of pell-mell stage in front of the base, with a hundred or so chairs in front. Soldiers in blue uniforms were filing out and marching to their seats in small groups of two and three. As they sat down, with their backs straight and with their gazes directed to the empty stage, Flaky had the urge to go down there and see for herself what was going on.
She arrived by the base, watching a good distance away from the event itself. She wasn't too near to be spotted, or too far not to know anything. She was hidden with the jungle foliage. Flaky suddenly became thankful that the foliage was thick.
All the while she was running to the base, the soldiers had doubled. Now, as she settled down on the ground and tested out her injured arm, she took in the scene.
Flaky wasn't mistaken of the stage she saw. It was made of wood. It looked creaky, but the way the senior officers sat down on the chairs grouped to one corner, it was sturdy.
There was a podium on the center of the stage. There was no microphone, obviously. Just a podium. The officers seated on the stage looked at their watches impatiently.
Apparently, the guest speaker was running late. All of the soldiers, except the ones who were still inside guarding the base, were assembled in front, not so much as moving a muscle. They were very silent. It made Flaky's eye twitch. The silence was deafening.
Luckily, one of the senior officers stood up and took his place behind the podium. He was a heavy-set man, an eye patch over his left eye. His silver hair was in a buzz cut. His hat was between his right arm and his body. His face was a decoration of scars and stitches, probably left from the last war. He walked with a kind of limp in his right leg. When he spoke over the crowd, his voice was low and feral, like a tiger's growl.
"Listen up," he roared without so much as a good morning. "As you all know, this island has been raised to Code Red. We have an intruder." He grimaced, his lopsided mouth twisting. "We have a woman."
No one moved. Flaky could've heard a pin drop. Literally.
"Objectives are not yet concrete, but we have some guesses," the General continued. "However, this is a public meeting. These guesses will be kept in secrecy for a while longer." He stopped and looked far away, as though imagining where Flaky could be. "Our territory is no longer safe. One little slip from an officer has jeopardized our plans. Do not make another mistake." He eyed every one of them beadily. "Prove to me that I haven't been training pussy-cats for war.
Flaky's head twisted to the side along with countless others, to the source of the sudden shout. After some rustling in the leaves, a scrawny soldier came out of the foliage, his hat askew and his face dazed. He ran to the General, bowing so low Flaky was afraid he was going to collapse into a dead faint on the General's boots. But he arose again, panting heavily, and whispered something into the General's ear.
The General listened for a bit, his one good eye widening slightly, and he nodded curtly. He then turned his back to the podium and sat down with his other officials, shrugging. The soldier had gotten a bit of his bearings and cleared his throat. He fixed his hat and started to speak, his face glistening with sweat like a beacon.
"A message," he said nervously, "from the Doctor."
There were murmurs in the crowd and between the officials. Flaky's ears perked up instantly. What the hell was up with this Doctor, to instill fear even in the hearts of his own team?
The soldier slammed a hand down on the podium, and all of them instantly silenced. "The Doctor apologizes for not being here on time. I believe he has found a lead on the island's visitor. He simply cannot leave it, or else, he says, the trail might run cold."
Flaky swallowed silently, goose bumps erupting on her arms and legs.
The soldier continued. "The Doctor instructed me to warn all of you that everyone is not allowed to tell anyone about the Doctor's whereabouts, personality, lifestyle, likes and dislikes, or even physical description." He looked far away, squinting. "No one is authorized to tell anyone about where he came from and when he arrived. All of this is top secret. He also said that the General had agreed upon these terms."
As though for support, he looked back at the General, who nodded. He turned back to the audience, flustered.
"And also," he muttered seriously, clearing his throat. "He has a message to our visitor."
Flaky almost gasped, but her voice was muffled by a gloved hand on her mouth. She couldn't resist, since there was a bowie knife on her throat.
The soldier smiled cynically, quoting the Doctor's last message: "Checkmate."
----------------------------------------- After a long debate with myself, I decided that letting Flaky get captured during the meeting was the only thing I can do to make this a respectable chapter. Please excuse if you are confused by the repetitive description, I'm lightheaded. I might edit it. Or not.
Time was of the essence, he thought as he packed up his things in an old rucksack. As he passed the old grandfather clock to pick up his toothbrush, he looked at the time: 1:00 AM. Cursing himself for his tardiness, he doubled his pace, and was at the door in ten minutes flat, his necessities inside his rucksack for another journey.
When the doorbell rang, he sighed. There was only one person who would risk hypothermia just to try and stop him from going. When he opened the door, he wasn't disappointed.
There stood Flaky, shaking in a thin jumper, rubbing her hands for warmth and coughing.
"Flaky," Flippy said, remorse coating his voice as he lightly shook his head. "I told you, I have to go. Now come on in for some hot cocoa."
Flaky shook her head hard, making her quills fall like missiles. It missed the pavement and landed on the soft snow, however, saving Flippy from any unnecessary flips.
"Y-you d-d-don't have to go!" she whined, her voice awfully high-pitched. Once Flippy got a better look, he realized she had been crying.
"I have to, Flaky," he said, putting both of his hands on her shoulders. "I have an obligation to this country."
"T-then what about y-your obligation to your f-friends?" she rasped, sniffing. "W-what about me? A-are you going to leave us again? Leave me again? J-j-just like that?"
Something snapped inside him, and Flippy found himself hugging Flaky tight, and for once, he was regretting having joined the Army. He could've led a normal life. Could've settled down and actually confess his feelings for her. But the pull of war had had a permanent impact on him. He even found bombing a Vietcong base easier.
"F-Flippy?" Flaky whispered, making Flippy's strong arms get a bit tighter around her form. She silently wrapped her arms around his neck and nuzzled into his chest, sighing. "Please don't leave "
Just as he was going to answer, the truck tasked to bear him to war appeared, honking angrily. Flippy was the only war veteran in this part of the country, and so he was the only one going to be escorted to the battle fields. The driver sighed when he arrived at the cozy scene, tapped his watch impatiently, and snorted. Flippy so wanted to run his bowie knife into his gut, but, then again, he wouldn't want Flaky to see such a show so early in the morning.
He reluctantly broke away, and Flaky looked up at him, confused.
"You're still going..." she said, sadness reflecting in her eyes. It wasn't a question, but Flippy nodded.
"I'm sorry... I..." he started, but Flaky cut him off.
"Don't apologize," she said, smiling sadly. "Just... come back, okay?" The first tear fell, and he instantly brushed it away, but more were streaming down her face. "Come back soon."
"Shh," he said, sweeping her hair up. "I will. I promise."
"And if you don't," she continued, putting on a determined face. "I'll go to that island and drag you home, if I have to."
Flippy laughed, but it was short-lived. The idea of Flaky, who was easily scared of heights and imaginary things, going into battle was ludicrous. But when he saw the hard look of someone who was willing to face her fears for him just made him smile again.
"Okay then, my little soldier," he said, ruffling her hair, and she squealed like a child. He then shrugged off his dog tags and put it around Flaky's neck, to her surprise. "If you're lonely, just hold on to these. I'll come home soon if you miss me to the point that you can't take it anymore, okay?"
"Yessir," she said, doing a little salute. Then she stood up on her tiptoes and kissed him on the cheek. "See you later, Flippy."
His cheeks burned. "Y-y-yeah," he stuttered, and walked back. He tripped on the snow on his way to the truck, which made Flaky giggle. "Stay safe. And sleep in my house tonight, yours is on the next block. You'll freeze to death."
"Will do," she said, waving.
He let out a nervous laugh as he stumbled into the army truck. He sat just behind the driver, who snorted and rolled away from the driveway. In no time, Flaky's waving figure was gone, and Flippy sighed.
"That's some lass you got there, son," the driver commented. "You oughtta get back to her."
"I will," he said curtly. "I promise."
And although he said those words truthfully, there was no mistaking the heavy feeling in his chest that he may not see home - or Flaky - for a long time.