I've been playing a lot of Candy Land with my kids lately, so I got the inspiration to write up some Candy Land fanfic (fan fiction for those in the know). It just occurred to me that with Halloween coming up that I should have tried to write something scary or spooky or something for the holiday, but at least the story has a candy theme to it. Right?
My last story (The Road Warrior) received a lot of reads (it's my top read blog post now), so I hope that those of you linked from filmcritic.com have returned to see what my Story a Week thing is all about. I really enjoy sharing my writing with people on this blog and I hope that you enjoy my stories too.
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So, you want to hear the story of the missing King of Candy Land? Well, alright. It's a long tale, kids, so you'd better have a seat. It all started while I was walking to the grocery store and I got a call on my cellphone. The caller ID said that it was Plumpy. I hadn't spoken to the little troll in a while, so I answered it. "Hi there, Ap," he said when I answered.
His voice sounded different somehow, like he was worried or scared about something. "What's going on, Plumpy?" I asked him.
"Well, Ap, it's like this," he said, speaking very quickly. He was definitely agitated about something. "The King's gone missing."
I knew right away that this was serious business. The kingdom had been in a bit of trouble as it was running out of viable farmland. Without the King and his five year farm plan, things could go downhill quickly. "You got more information for me, Plump? That's not much to go on."
"Yeah, Ap, I got more..." He hesistated for just a moment before blurting out, "The castle is gone too."
I almost dropped my phone right there. I looked around, but didn't see anyone. I didn't want to cause a panic by someone overhearing me. "What do you mean the castle is gone too?"
Plumpy's voice got really quiet as he said, "It's just gone. Someone's coming. I've got to go."
He hung up on me. I just stared at the phone for a moment before turning and running back to my office. My receptionist was still there. She was startled when the door flew open and I charged through. She said, "Wow, Mr. LePie. You really startled me. Something wrong?"
I internally debated on whether or not to tell her what was happening. He was her King too, so I guess that she had the right to know. Plus, I could trust her to keep it quiet. "Well, Ms. Snap..."
She interrupted me, smiling as she did so, "Mr. LePie, I told you to call me Ginger."
I appreciated her flirtations, but this was not the time. "Ginger, then. As I was saying, the King and his castle are missing."
My revelation seemed to utterly confuse her. "Missing? What do you mean missing? How is that even possible?"
I strode across the room to the door to my office and opened it. "I don't know, dollface, but I'm going to find out."
I crossed over to my desk and pulled out a couple of items: my trusty revolver, some toothpaste bullets, a notepad and pen. I loaded the gun and started to leave when Ginger's voice stopped me short. "You be careful out there, Ap."
I looked over my shoulder to her, smiling as I said, "Ap LePie is always careful."
I had to hurry to the Gingerplum Tree Forest and find Plumpy. I got there as fast as I could, but when I arrived I found that the place was deserted. Last time I had been there, the forest had been the happy-go-lucky home of the Plumpa tribe of trolls. Now, it was a spooky and scary place. Not a single Plumpa troll was anywhere to be found. There were Gingerplums scattered all over the forest floor. That, in itself, was a sign that something was wrong, as the Plumpa trolls were very good at tending their trees and wouldn't let a single plum sit on the forest floor without being harvested. Yeah, they were like that.
Suddenly, I heard a strange noise coming from up ahead. I stopped and listened. It sounded like someone was crying. I quietly pulled out my revolver and crept closer to the noise. As I approached, I heard the sobbing more, but it was often being interrupted by the sounds of that same person noisily eating something. I crept behind a bush to get a clear view of the sobber so that they couldn't see me too. As I looked, I saw Plumpy sitting against a tree, eating a Gingerplum and sobbing. Littered all around him were plum pits and half-eaten plums.
I sighed and put away my gun as I walked around the bush to face Plumpy. He'd always been a heavyset guy, but now he looked bloated from eating so many plums. "How many of those things have you eaten, Plumpy?"
He looked up at me, shame and sadness in his eyes. "Oh, who cares, Ap. It doesn't even matter anymore."
I looked around again, where had the other trolls gone? "Plumpy, you have to tell me what's going on here. I want to help you, but I also have to find the King."
Plumpy swallowed the bite he'd been working on and wiped the tears from his eyes. I'd never seen such a jolly guy like him be so glum. "They're all gone, Ap. All gone..."
That's when it dawned on me. Whoever was responsible for the King's disappearance had made all the Plumpa trolls disappear too. This was getting very dangerous. I had to be sure though, so I asked, "What happened to your tribe? Did whoever made the King disappear also make your tribe disappear?"
He nodded and picked up another plum. I crouched down and held his hand before he could get it to his mouth. "You have to give me more than that, Plumpy. This mystery is getting more and more dangerous if the perp can make kings, castles and tribes disappear."
Plumpy sighed heavily and dropped the plum into his lap. "He didn't make them disappear, Ap. He turned them into Bitter Chocolate Bats."
"Bats?" I said. I instantly knew who it was. Only one person in all of Candy Land liked Bitter Chocolate Bats. "Lord Licorice," I growled.
Plumpy nodded. "He knows that I called you, Ap. He's expecting you. He left me here alone as a warning to you," Plumpy moaned as his eyelids fluttered.
I knew that this whole ordeal had been rough on the little troll. I patted him on the head and said, "Sleep, old friend. Sleep with the knowledge that everything will be right again when you wake."
I stood up as Plumpy fell asleep. I only hoped that I wasn't lying to him. It would be a tough journey to Lord Licorice's castle, but it looked like he was making a move for the crown of Candy Land and I would have to stop him. I knew that there were only two ways to get to the Lord's castle, the Rainbow Road and Gumdrop Mountain Pass. Unfortunately, on my way to the Gingerplum Forest, I saw that the Rainbow Road was out, probably thanks to the errant Lord. I would have to take the long road through the Peppermint Forest and the Gumdrop Mountains.