Encounter
Story by Sarlakk



Apples. I like apples. But that doesn't make a difference. Me, Doo, Ed, and Dramy were hanging out at the Apple Tree, munching away on our pre-late-post afternoon snack. Heh. Hey, don't you eat when you get munchy? Thought so.

"Saaar...you have Pinch?" Asked Ed in his Hood-Head way. His eyes lit up in hope.

"Actually... sorry. I haven't seen him since I met you the other day. Sorry, Eddo," I said. I could see the hope flicker out of his eyes.

"Hey, Ed...I'll find Pinch by tomorrow, OK?" His eyes sparked again.

"Hey, Doo," said Dramy, "Pass that apple-dippy stuff you and Sarlakk made, would you?"

"It be called 'applesauce', Drames," I chuckled at him. "You can make it too,"

"I'll show ya how," Doo put in.

Suddenly I felt a strong hand tug on one of my stems and a high pitched whiney voice go, "Hey, shorty!"

I turned around, grabbing the hand away from my stem. I spun to meet - Maloon. JUST who I needed to see. I could hear the collective foot-shuffle as Doo hid behind Dramy, who hid behind Ed, who hid behind the Apple Tree. I glanced back at Dramy, in time to see his eyebrows shoot up in panic. I looked back at Maloon. or Maloony, as I call him.

"Hey, Shorty," He repeated, "Whatcha got for me?"

"Go away, Maloon," I said flatly. A couple of "Yeah"s blew up from the small crowd behind me. "Nobody wants you here," I added.

"Aw, but why? I just wanna have some," He grinned evilly, "fun!"

"Maloon. Go. Away. Now." I said, and for good measure, stared at him with my piercing deep blue eyes. He backed down a little bit, then got up even taller. "Make me, shorty."

Now, a guy can only take so much of this junk. So, I turned around for a second of thought, then, in one deft move, spun around, and, get this, I decked Maloon in the stomach! He fell down flat on his back. I stared at him. "Now when I say leave me alone, you do it. Ok?"

He crawled backwards for a minute, then got up and ran away. Served him right. The others peeked out from behind the tree.

"He's gone," said Doo.

"Yup," added Dramy. Nothing from Ed. Yet.

"Yay Sarlakk! Make bye of Maloon!" he cheered. "That big brave, Sarlakk. You good friend." He smiled a big hoop head grin.

A hoodian I didn't know ran up to me, breathless.

"You...Sarlakk...Hoborg...go see him," Word travels fast in the hood.

"Uh oh...good luck, Sar. Just give them name, rank and serial number," said Doo to me. I was reminded of Earth for a moment.

I reached Hoborg's throne room, and carefully peeked inside.

"Ah, Sarlakk," Hoborg's deep bass voice boomed. "I've been waiting for you,"

I gulped.

"I hear that you hit Maloon. Is that true?"

I nodded a couple of times, and gulped again.

"Well, Sarlakk, I only have one thing to say to you,"

I prepared for the worst.

"Well, Sarlakk...thanks."

"Thanks? You mean...you're not gonna punish me severely?"

"By Quater, no! I never liked Maloon, and someone had to get him back, even if it was just once. So, thanks!"

As I left Hoborg's room, I was thinking one thing: Next time, I get him in the face.


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