Noodles & Co.

By @Smokinator

Noodles & Co.

By @Smokinator

Junior Alex Klee sets off on a quest to gather an army of friends to save the world from his escaped evil rabbit Smokey.

Chapter 1

Deepwood Shrine: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

THUMP

“What was that?” a groggy voice said from under his bedspread. He checked the time. 5:30. “I bet it was Nibbs,” he reasoned, convincing himself to ignore it. He still had half an hour before he had to wake up. He could check on the bunnies then.

THUMP

This thump was louder, seemingly more urgent than before. He sat up, brushing the hair from his forehead. The sun had not risen yet, not ready to wake up either. The teen checked his door. Darkness. His mother wasn’t up yet. “I’m coming Nibbs. Is Smokey bullying you again?” he said sleepily in Nibbles’ distinct accent: exaggerated deep southern.

He stumbled from his bed, pulling on his robe and grabbing his phone. He might as well stay awake now. After tripping on strewn shirts, he opened the door.

Apparently someone-err-something had the same idea. About a foot-high blob of blue jelly blocked the hallway. Its translucence was neither menacing nor intimidating, it was just there. It was like randomly seeing a celebrity in public, except instead of it being Ryan Reynolds in a McDonald’s, it was a Slime in your house. The teen began wondering why it was there and whether or not he was still dreaming, but his thoughts were cut short when he felt cold gelatin on his feet.

He snapped back into reality. “Get off stupid thing!” he yelled, kicking with his other leg. Despite his skinny stature, he had powerful legs from years of Track and Cross Country. At the very least, flailing half of his body weight seemed to be working as the Slime backed off a little. This gave the teen a second to locate a foam sword from his pile of textbooks, clothes, and Nintendo memorabilia. Would it be strong? No. Did he have formal training? No. But could he replicate moves from Super Smash Bros? Absolutely.

With this idea in mind, the Slime stood no chance. His Dolphin Slash sliced, his Dancing Blade diced, and his Aether struck the Slime down for good. All that was left was a blue puddle, as if someone had spilled Windex. The teen went to the bathroom to prepare himself. This situation was more dangerous than he thought, plus, he was sticky.

The mirrors revealed that this was no dream. It was the actual Alex Klee wielding a foam sword. It was his actual hair in its usual mess, his actual legs covered in goop, and his actual blue eyes taking it all in. Alex sighed, knowing this would probably be much bigger than his usual imaginative games with his brother.

Alex descended the basement stairs as stealthily as possible. Light emanated from the bunny room. It was bright, too bright considering that there should have been no light in the first place. He took a silent deep breath and proceeded around the corner, finding the door wide open. Inside, Nibbles and Bun Bun were racing about their cages, the whites of their eyes could be seen despite the light, the source of which was Smokey’s cage. The gray lionhead dwarf was seemingly undisturbed by the brightness and the frightened bounding of the other bunnies. Alex continued inside.

Smokey quickly turned to Alex as if she wanted a treat, but instead of pawing the front of her cage, she loudly grunted and began to speak in the high-pitched voice he had always imagined:

“How are you still here, stupid? I thought everyone was taken care of.”

   “Taken care of?” Alex thought. He began wondering what must have happened to his family. Were they taken away or-

“No matter. You and these idiots will witness firsthand the rise of Overlord Smokey!”

   With a satisfied look on her face (or as much as bunny could appear satisfied), Smokey hopped into her litter pan. Seconds later, shockwaves blasted from her cage, knocking down the towers of boxes and tubs filling the room. Alex himself was thrown back against the wall. Through hazy eyes, he saw the litter pan rise into the air, but with a flash and a deafening boom, Alex was knocked unconscious.

One minute, thirty-seven seconds later, Alex arose. Briefly, he thought it really was a dream, but the cold, hard linoleum and bodily aches told him otherwise. Nibbles and Bun Bun had calmed down, acting as if nothing happened. Standing up, Alex surveyed the damages. Toys from years past were scattered about and once sorted paperwork was strewn about. Most unsettling was the massive hole in the ceiling extending to the sky, which was much more ominous than before.

Alex stumbled over the mess to see the bunnies. Smokey was indeed gone, her cage lying dormant. Within the piles of hay, Alex spotted a foreign piece of technology. It looked like a stethoscope, but bunny-sized, and had a remote-like box near the middle. Too small to fit his head, Alex decided to put it on Bun Bun, ignoring the fact that it could’ve easily been a trap. Seeing Alex, Bun Bun began hanging on the side of his cage, hoping for his morning treat. Upon wearing the device however, he seemed to calm down, channeling his energy into it. The machine spoke in a similar voice to Smokey: “Legs! Legs! Legs! LEGS!” it repeated. It was as Alex suspected: a Bunny to English Translator. How she pulled it off and why she dropped it Alex knew he would never know. He pulled it off the excited bunny and tried it on Nibbles, albeit with more difficulty due to his lop ears. “Oh boy! Oh man! Oh boy! You gotta treat?” the machine bellowed in the same accent Alex spoke in earlier.

Despite its hilarity, Alex knew work had to be done. He gave the bunnies an excess amount of food, saying, “I’ll hopefully be back soon bunnies. Maybe try patching up that hole.” He left with a worried expression on his face.

Upstairs, Alex viewed the aftermath from his front window. He was speechless. Nearly every building nearby was leveled, except for his childhood friend Maddy’s. Everywhere, the grass was a dead brown and snapped tree limbs spread themselves across the road. There were no cars to be seen. Most alarming were the dozens of green figures marching through the ruins.

“They don’t look too strong,” Alex said to himself. They were short and skinny, with an almost cartoony appearance to them. The cleavers they carried appeared blunt, blunter than a butter knife even. Alex knew he could beat one, or at least outrun one if he needed too, but the sheer number of them made dashing through foolish.

“I’ll need help.” Alex’s first thought was Maddy. He looked outside again. The Goblins seemed to be concentrating around the remaining structures, presumably to find the darkness they thrive in. It would be too dangerous to waltz over there now. Jacob lived the next closest. He wasn’t as athletic as Maddy, but he could certainly be useful, especially with his cooking abilities. So it was settled, he would find Jacob and plan from there. Perhaps they could find Tyler to complete their N.O.O.D.L.E.S. trifecta.

With that, Alex began his travel preparations. He emptied his battered backpack. None of the textbooks or worksheets could help him now, even though his overburdened folder of papers could probably be used as a weapon. Inside went his phone charger, a box of Pop-Tarts, granola bars, first-aid kit, shirt, shorts… it certainly felt like packing for a vacation rather than a dangerous adventure. In a sense though, both involved traveling into an unknown land; Amherst would be much more different than before. Pulling on his lucky Pikachu dress shirt and strapping the foam sword to his back as if he were Link, Alex approached a side window and, when the coast was clear, climbed out. He would have to be quick, yet stealthy, if he wanted to reach Jacob alive.

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