Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Little Penny

"The City of Townsville can be so boring sometimes..", sighed Blossom.

The Girls were sitting on the edge of their bed, trying to think up something to do. 

"Well... let's talk", suggested Bubbles.

"About what?", asked Blossom.

"How about snakes?!", said Buttercup in a spirit of mischief.

"But what kind?", asked Bubbles.

"Sneaky snakes!", started Buttercup.

"Slimy snakes!"

"Striped snakes!"

"Spectacular snakes!"

"Sandwich-eating snakes!"

"Storytelling snakes!"

"Spinechilling snakes!"

"Ss... ss... oh, I can't think of anything", said a frustrated Bubbles.

The Girls floated up from their bed and through the house.

Outside the front door, they found all of the snakes they had been describing, crawling about on the lawn, doing all manner of things.

"What on earth?", said a disbelieving Blossom.

"That dirty old Him -- he's been listening in on our conversations!", scolded Bubbles.

"Hey!", Blossom called out. "I hear something..."

The three floated along the side of the house. They could faintly hear a high feminine voice saying, "I am a good finder, I am a good finder, I am a good finder..."

They turned a corner and could hardly believe what they saw. There, sifting through their garbage can, was Him, the evillest of evils.

"Ewww!", the three Girls called out.

Him's eyes popped open. He stared at the Girls.

"Hey", said Blossom. "What's that you're holding behind your back?"

"Oh, nothing", Him said innocently. 

Bubbles flew up behind him. She looked puzzled. "Is that what I think it is...?"

Him held it in front of him. It was a discarded doll in Bubbles' likeness.

"We threw that out", said a disgusted Buttercup. "What do you want with it?"

"Well, if you must know, I'm..."

Him's voice became almost silent.

"Huh?", asked Buttercup. "I didn't quite make that out.

"I'm... doing a good deed"

The Girls exploded in laughter.

"Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha...!!!"

When she caught her breath, Blossom had to complement him, tears still running down her cheeks. "That's a good one, Him. You -- doing a good deed! Bwah-ha-ha-ha...!"

"No -- truly. Even I do good deeds... when I'm forced to..."

The Girls slowly realized he was serious. He waved his claw and the four were magically transported to his den.

"This is the part of my den I prefer to keep secret", he said, swallowing nervously.

"It's a garden... a really pretty garden", commented Bubbles.

"Yes", Him sighed. "You see, the irrepressible Ms. Sara Bellum started turning up the heat... I faced the possibility of having to leave Townsville... so... (angrily) I agreed to set up this paradise garden green zone and in return I get to stay here in relative peace!"

"Oh."

"Okay."

"Works for me."

"Besides myself, this garden has one resident..."

The Girls could hear someone singing to herself. Him walked towards the voice. He reached the voice's owner and handed her the doll. She thanked him.

Bubbles flew up to the little girl.

"Hi! I'm Bubbles! What's your name?"

"I'm Penny Baxter."

"Baxter...?", asked a concerned Blossom.

"Yes, Girls", said Him. "She's Lenny Baxter's little sister. She grew up in her brother's shadow, and collecting things is all she knows." Him gestured towards a large number of workbenches. "These benches are where she collects broken dolls and action figures, and spends her days repairing them."

Blossom squinted at the benches and said rather critically, "I don't see many Powerpuff figures..."

Him was blunt. "Well, you know, Girls, Powerpuff merchandise is something of a fad that's passed."

Buttercup was blunter. "Yeah, but what about all those zillions of Powerpuff figures that got sold?!"

"Stuffed away in attics... or buried in landfills."

The Girls pouted.

Penny tried to be helpful. She pointed at a broken Buttercup doll with a missing arm. Somehow that didn't help.

"Boy, there's sure a lot of ponies", Bubbles finally said.

Him's eyes lit up. "Oh, yes, Girls! Ponies are currently the world's number one craze. Some people have gone quite silly over those little horse wannabes.."
 
"And you wouldn't have anything to do with that...?", said a lawyer-like  Blossom.

"Oh, well.. you know... mass insanity does happen to be my specialty", Him boasted.

"All I see is a sad, abandoned creature that needs help", Penny cut in. She held up a pony bearing a number of bite marks. "It'll take me a whole day to stitch that up."

"Of course", said Blossom quietly.

"Um, Penny...", asked Buttercup. "Do you understand all those ponies, all those characters -- Rainbow Dish and Pinkie Puff and Flutterspy -- can you tell them apart and figure out what they're likely to do?"

"Sometimes. There's sure a lot of them."

"I simply love mind games", Him said. "Perhaps you three Girls would like to create your own ponies?"

"Oh! Me! Me!", shouted Bubbles.

"Very well...", smiled Him.

"My pony is called Carpetsoft because her hair is all soft like a carpet, and she's sky blue, and her cutie mark is pretty flowers!"

"Your wish is granted", said Him in a deep serious voice. Sure enough, the pony was now hovering beside Bubbles.

"Hmmm...", said a thoughtful Blossom.

"Please don't make her a nerd", begged Buttercup.

"Shush! Okay... hmmm... my pony is a research scientist, and her specialty is brain DNA, and she's pink, and her name is Bookmark."

Two ponies were now hovering beside the Girls.

"Gee, this is tough", moaned Buttercup. "Okay... she's a martial arts expert... but she doesn't fight the other ponies -- unless she has to -- and she's bright green... and her cutie mark is..."

"Hey. I don't have a cutie mark!", Bookmark complained.

"It's a Nobel Prize Medallion. Now let Buttercup finish", said Blossom briskly.

"Her cutie mark is a karate belt, and her name is Kickbutt!"

"Buttercup!", scolded Blossom.

"What?!"

"Kickbutt's a terrible name for a pony!"

"Let Buttercup chose for herself", said Him, rather condescendingly.

"Can you think of anything better?", challenged Buttercup.

"Um... Wonder Pony?"

"Kickbutt it is."

 The third pony appeared.

"Hey, stop rubbing up against me",  warned Carpetsoft. "You're getting my beautiful hair scruffy!"

"Well, excuse me, Lady Royalty", sneered Kickbutt.

"Ponies, ponies, we were just made. Let's try to get along, shall we?", said Bookmark.

"Bookmark's right. I'm sure you three will become fast friends once you get to know each other", Blossom commented.

Carpetsoft and Kickbutt both pouted.

"So.. what kind of pony adventure would you three like to have?", Bubbles asked.

Bookmark picked up a tape measure from the workbench and started to measure Kickbutt's head. "It is a well known fact that there is a direct correlation between intelligence and and the size of the cranium which surrounds the cerebral hemispheres.. Hmmm... kinda small.... I hope you're keeping up on your reading."

Blossom grimaced. "Um, Bookmark -- that was kind of rude..."

Kickbutt's eyes started to tear up, and she pressed her face against Carpetsoft's flank.

"Stop that!", said Carpetsoft. "I'm not a security blanket.! Go dry your tears somewhere else."

"Remember", said Bubbles. "You're supposed to be nice, Carpetsoft. Nice."

"Oh, I'll try, but it's not easy."

"Yeah, and Kickbutt, what's with the tears? You're the tough one. Come on,Girl. Stick out that jaw!", ordered Buttercup.

Kickbutt swung her head around and stuck her jaw quickly out, striking Bookmark on the shoulder and sending her tumbling head over heels. As Bookmark got back to her feet, she said, "Hey, I think you did that on purpose! ... Ice breath! I hope I have ice breath!" She started blowing at Kickbutt, but all that came out was a stream of marshmallows.

"All you need now is a stick and a fire", mocked Kickbutt.

"Remember, guys,  you three are practically sisters", reminded Blossom. "At least try to get along."

"We were just created", Carpetsoft pointed out. "I think it'll take us a while to figure out how to behave."

"Okay", said Blossom. "Bubbles, why don't you and Carpetsoft have a flight around the garden and get to know each other?"

"Okay", said Bubbles.

"And Buttercup, you and Kickbutt go find a clear space, and you can show her some karate moves."

"All right! Awesome!", said Buttercup.

"So, I guess that leaves me and Bookmark and Penny", said Blossom.

"Don't forget about me", Him pointed out.

"Well, I think the thing to ask is, is it a good thing that Penny is living in a den of evil with a demon. Am I the only one who finds that a bit odd?"

"It's better than living with my big brother Lenny -- all those cold unloved boxes of dolls -- brrr...!"

"Yes, but... well, you should be meeting other people, mixing with other children --"

 "Well", Him cut in, "My den is on the edge of Townsville's magic forest, and near the zoo. I could build a doll hospital above ground. Penny could run it and meet with other children."

"It would be nice to meet the people who had loved their dolls... oh, and it would have to have a Batpole. I'd have to go up to it on a Batpole!"

Him grimaced. "That's so hero-ish... but -- sigh -- okay. It'll have a Batpole."

Buttercup and Bubbles returned with their ponies. Blossom gasped.

"Buttercup -- you've got..."

"A black eye", said Kickbutt with a bowed head. "It was an accident."

"Him?", asked Penny.

"I understand."

Penny started to lead Buttercup to a Batpole which had magically appeared.

"I'm an expert when it comes to cosmetic repairs", boasted Penny.

The two zipped upwards and vanished.

"A Batpole?", asked Bubbles.

"It leads to Penny's doll hospital", explained Blossom.

"Oh. Of course." 

The two started to float alongside Penny's workbench.

"So these ponies are what's replaced us", said Bubbles. "Do you recognize any of them, Blossom?"

"I think that one's called Applestrudel."

The End

















Thursday, October 4, 2012

Uh Oh, Dynabone

Uh Oh, Dynabone


The City of Townsville -- the sun is just beginning to rise -- shining down on Townsville's stone age.

"Wog!",  said stone age Buttercup, who was usually the first one to awaken. She looked at her sister Blossom, then casually gave her a poke in the ribs.

"Bog?!", asked a startled Blossom.

The three girls shared glances, blinked, looked around. Their language was primitive, but they'd learned to communicate their thoughts, so let's translate them.

"I'll get a fire started to heat up the mammoth meat", said Bubbles, who floated away.

Blossom began a conversation. "You know, Buttercup, I'm starting to get tired of studying conversational Neanderthal. All they talk about is hunting. I wish there was something more challenging to spend my time on..."

"Aw, who cares. Once we're gone it won't make any difference anyway. People won't even know we existed."

"Buttercup, you're brilliant!", shouted Blossom. "That's it!"

"The mammoth meat's hot!", called out Bubbles.

And so the Girls sat down together to eat and discuss Blossom's plan.

The City of Townsville -- today.

"Girls! Girls! It's incredible!", said the Professor.

"Huh? What?", asked Buttercup.

"A cave! They were digging a foundation on the edge of Townsville and they found a cave! An honest to goodness cave!"

"That's wonderful, Professor! We should go check it out", encouraged Blossom.

 "What if there's scary skeletons?", asked a timid Bubbles.

"Well, you know, Bubbles, skeletons can't really hurt you", said Blossom.

"Yeah, it's the ghosts that hurt you !", taunted Buttercup.

"Eek!"

Sure enough, there was a cave. The Utonium family  approached it, with hard hats on their heads. The Professor turned on a lantern and entered first.

"Gosh", he said, "There's been people living here. There's bones everywhere, and that's where they had their fire..."

"I'm starting to feel creepy, Professor....", said a worried Bubbles.

"Oh my gosh -- Professor -- swing that light back where you had it a moment ago!", said Blossom.

The light came to rest on a large contraption of bones and glowing rocks.

Blossom was starting to look worried. "Professor, why are those rocks glowing...?"

"Well, the ore that produces Chemical X glows when it's taken from the ground..."

Blossom continued, "But doesn't Chemical X make things superpowered..?"

The device floated upward and started towards them.

An astonished Blossom called out, "Professor, that kind of looks like Dynamo!" They ducked as it passed overhead.

"A cave man robot?", asked a puzzled Buttercup.

They went outside. The rock and bone robot hovered in midair, then briskly flew away.

"Come on, Girls, follow it!", said Blossom. The Girls flew off, leaving their hard hats spinning in the air.

"I wonder what it wants...", pondered the Professor.

"Pokey Oaks -- it's flying towards Pokey Oaks!", called out Bubbles.

"We've got to protect the children!", shouted Blossom.

It flew over Pokey Oaks and continued on.

"It must be headed for Townsville Hall -- it's planning to take over the City!", said Blossom.

The robot flew over the Town Hall and continued on. Finally it reached the edge of Townsville and showed no sign of slowing down.

"This thing just keeps flying!", complained Bubbles.

As the minutes passed, a sickening feeling started to rise up in Buttercup's stomach.

"Ohhh no...", she moaned. "This thing's headed for..."

"Citiesville!", said Blossom and Bubbles.

The vile town appeared on the horizon. It came closer and closer.

Finally the primitive rock and stone robot stopped and then floated down into the center of Citiesville. The Girls floated down beside it.

"Citiesville...", gasped Blossom.

"It's been...", continued Buttercup.

"Abandoned!" squealed Bubbles.

It certainly had been abandoned. The pavement was broken and cracked, with trees and shrubs growing upward, pushing aside pieces of pavement. One tree had a discarded car tire hung up among its branches.

 "The Mayor's office!", said Blossom in a commanding voice.

A moment later the Girls burst into the office of the Citiesville mayor. Nobody was there. A limp Citiesville flag had holes in it where mice had stolen pieces for their nests.

"The school!", said Bubbles.

The Girls flew there. They entered classroom they'd attended. The desks were still in place, but very dusty. A jacket was curled on the floor as if a cat had used it for a bed. Someone had rudely scrawled in chalk on the chalkboard, "Powerpuff Girls, drooling in the rain, lalala, they won't be back again."

Buttercup sneered, "Jeez, I sure won't miss those kids."

Blossom was thinking.

"Let's go back to that robot..."

They found the robot walking down Citiesville's main street. They floated alongside.

"Can you communicate, Ms. robot?", asked Bubbles.

"Bubbles, how do you know it's a girl robot?", asked a critical Buttercup.

"Just a feeling", said a wistful Bubbles.

The robot stopped, seemed frustrated, shrugged, then resumed walking.

"I'll tell you what", said Bubbles, "hold your hands up to say yes, and hold your hands down to say no."

Blossom asked, "Do you know what drove the people away from Citiesville?"

The robot answered yes.

"Are you on your way to fight it?", asked an interested Buttercup.

The robot shrugged uncertainly.

They continued along until they came to a newspaper dispenser. Blossom reached into a pocket in her suit, felt around, and brought out some money. She bought a paper. The headline read, "Citiesville's  Beloved Cave Man Chimp Villain Mojo Dodo passes away. 'Citiesville Is Doomed', Cries Mayor."

Blossom read the newspaper article out loud to her sisters. It told a tale of the evillest of evils running amok in Citiesville, playing the cruelest of mind games., driving people away in terror.

"Him!", the Girls declared, quite seriously. Strangely, the robot gestured no. This left the Girls puzzled. The robot resumed walking, then began setting overturned cars right side up. Buttercup and Blossom helped, while Bubbles started tying fallen power lines into pretty bows. Eventually the Girls said their goodbyes and began the flight home.

That evening the Girls discussed the robot. They wondered if the Chemical X in the cave had given its dwellers superpowers. The question arose if they should use the Professor's time machine to send some sort of gift back to the robot's makers, as a thank you and hello. Blossom suggested sending some fish hooks and an illustrated instruction sheet, as the cave dwellers were probably always hungry. At this point the Professor tucked the Girls in and they went to sleep.

The next morning --

"Ughhh...",  moaned Blossom. She sat up in bed.

"Blossom, what's wrong?",  asked Bubbles.

"You look terrible!", said a concerned Buttercup.

"I had a nightmare -- a terrible nightmare. The three of us had set a pile of school books on fire, and we were dancing around the bonfire like savages!"

Bubbles gave an impish glance. "Were there any math books in the fire?"

"Plenty of math books", confirmed Blossom. "Why do you ask?"

"Oh, no reason...", said Bubbles innocently.

"No reason except that you hate math", Buttercup pointed out.

"This had to be one of Him's mind games", said Blossom. "I'm paying him a a visit!"

An hour later the Girls crashed down into Him's lair. 

He was laid back on a couch reading a biography of Walt Disney. Blossom glared at him. "We just came back from Citiesville -- we saw what you did!"

Him calmly looked at her. "I've never been to Citiesville. As evil goes, it's a pretty low class place, or so I've been told. I have no desire to bolster the sagging villain economy of that little town."

"The papers tell a different story -- of a demon -- the evillest of evils!"

Him slowly caught on. "Ohhh...", he said. "So that's where he went..."

"Huh?!", asked three bewildered Girls.

Him sat up, collected his thoughts, then began addressing the Girls in a fatherly tone.

"You see, Girls , there are two kinds of evil. I specialize in evils of indulgence. There is another kind -- a very subtle kind."

Blossom gave a quirky look. "You mean you're not universally evil?"

"Oh, great heavens, no. Citiesville is clearly the work of my rival."

"What's his name?", asked Buttercup.

Him spoke the name.

The Girls exchanged glances. Somehow they recognized the name, even though they had never heard it before. Finally Blossom asked, "So what kind of evil does he deal in?"

"Well -- you know -- you never gain something without losing something else. Mark Twain said that after he had learned how  to navigate, the Mississippi River lost its magic" .He held up the book in his claw. "Walt Disney was sorry he never had a college education, but a friend told him that an education would've broken the spell of his magic..."

"That's the great evil? Education", gasped Blossom.

"Don't underestimate it."

The three Girls sagged. Buttercup was the most disappointed. No fight.

"Him", said Blossom, "They've discovered a cave in Townsville. A robot made of bones and Chemical X ore flew out, and right now it's cleaning up the mess in Citiesville. We think it may have been made by cave man Puffs like ourselves. We were planning to send them some sort of gift -- is there anything we could send them
that wouldn't destroy the magical world they live in?"

Three primitive Puffs were floating along in their savage world. A metal claw appeared and dropped something at their feet.

"Wog?", asked cave man Blossom.

She picked it up, turned it around in her hands, sniffed it. Eventually she saw that the box she was holding had a top she could open. She turned the box and a solid chocolate Him figure fell out. She picked it up, saw melted chocolate residue starting to form on her hands,and tossed the lump of milk chocolate quickly into the bushes in horror.

The box with the magic see-through front was given a place of honor in the Girls' cave. Inside it they placed seemingly supernatural pieces of tree bark that bore patterns resembling human faces.

The End














Powerpuff Girls fanfiction, also posted at fanfiction.net as rayb07

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From a part of the world that produced Donald Sutherland. Solemn. Victorian. A Bob Newhart world with a smug minority and a rate of childhood poverty matched only by Toronto. I survived. Sort of.