It Was All Pumpkin’s Fault: Chapter 12

Chapter 1: Cookie of Consolation
Chapter 2: Sam
Chapter 3: Who Stole the Cookie?
Chapter 4: Tradam’s Warning
Chapter 5: The Yellow House Again
Chapter 6: Treffellem Tagge
Chapter 7: Ambushed
Chapter 8: The EPA Chase
Chapter 9: The Ghostly Chapter
Chapter 10: The Frigid Urchin
Chapter 11: The New New Chapter

Chapter 12: The Things That Happened (At Last)

A madness that leads to the greatest success, is sure to be followed through with headstrong heedlessness of consequences by the fortuitous victor of circumstances. 

“And that’s what I always say,” said Johnnie disagreeably, after the adventure was over. But then, the adventure hasn’t happened yet, so she hadn’t said it yet; so Pumpkin was following through with headstrong heedlessness of consequences as the fortuitous victor of circumstances.   

It was not many moments since Pumpkin knocked on the door, when it swung inwards and an official beckoned them in. 

“You have accreditation for entering without security checks, I presume?” he asked, carelessly. 

“Ah, Treffelem Tagge!” exclaimed Pumpkin, slipping past him into the agent reception room eagerly. “I see you have been pro – ductive, recently?” he added, nervously, swallowing the word “promoted” in a flush of fright as he noticed Treffelem gathering his eyebrows of storms from the four corners of his face. 

They dissipated quickly at the fine rounding of his sentence, and Pumpkin saw he had steered clear of shoals on one hand and land on the other. 

“Certainly,” said Treffelem, tersely, but amiably inviting the rest of them into the agent receptive room. “Let me stamp your hearts quickly as you come in,” he added on second thought, taking a long stick with a camera on the end and preparing to fire it at Sam’s heart. “I’m security here. Big deal though.” 

“What does that stick thing do?” asked Rosy suspiciously. 

“It double checks the accreditation of personnel,” said Treffelem, pausing slightly. “And checks their heart rate, maybe. But I’m not completely sure about that.” 

Sam coughed. “I wish you were,” he complained. “I’m allergic to it.” 

“Excuse me. You’re allergic to – what?” asked Treffelem, slightly perplexed. 

“Yes, very allergic,” repeated Sam. “I went to the hospital once.” All of which was strictly true, as Johnnie afterwards remarked. 

“I’m also allergic,” volunteered Rosy. “To sticks.” 

“It’s electric,” observed Treffelem. 

“To electric sticks,” added Rosy. 

Treffelem looked a little dry. “Any more excuses?” he asked, turning to Pumpkin and Johnnie. 

“Look, Treff,” began Johnnie, warmly. “We need a favor. We saw Tradam out there behind the Pell Gallery, in his office. We’d sorta like a word with him, if you could do that for us.” 

“You want me to let you past security so you can get a word with president Tradam?” asked Treffelem, skeptically. “How much will you pay me?”

“Come on man,” interrupted Pumpkin, crossing his heart. “You on the good guys team or not?”

Treffelem pointed a finger gun at Rosy. “You doubted me all along you little mouse,” said he, grinning. “But I’m the goods all right. Something’s wrong with this federation, and if any one can fix it, it’ll be you. Have a care though, President Tradam’s in a pretty mood tonight. Go straight on to Pell Gallery and knock direct to get a word with him. Otherwise, slip into the observatory next door and dog him when he gets out. Fight villains with their own weapons and all that, you know.” With which parting wisdom Treffelem swung open a second door, crossed his heart in response to Pumpkin’s trump call, and disappeared from their view, melting into blue light in such a creepy way that Rosy’s feet wandered towards it as though fascinated. 

“Bright Snakes! You’ll melt,” cried Johnnie, pulling her back by the hoodie. “Come on, let’s go, guys,” she added, flying out the door like a madcap. 

“I’ll take control!” yelled Pumpkin, sliding down the hall. “Johnnie, you duck.”

Johnnie ducked in surprise as Pumpkin whirled a missile over her back that struck right into the crack between the door and the wall at the end of the hall. 

“Sam and Johnnie, you wedge that observatory room open and watch for Tradam. Once he gets out, Rosy and I will dog his footsteps. You two rummage his office for condemning material.” 

“There’s got to be a better way to say things than the way Pumpkin does,” whispered Johnnie derogatorily to Sam, as the latter kicked in the door to the observatory and retrieved the sticking missile, which was indeed a metric ruler belonging to Treffelem Tagge, afterwards putting the remaining pieces of door carefully in place. 

“I’m no expert on doors but I would say it looks… almost normal,” whispered Johnnie, doubtfully. 

“Yeah, well, let’s hope Tradam doesn’t notice,” whispered back Sam, nursing a cut on his hand. 

Meanwhile Pumpkin and Rosy flattened themselves against the wall next to Tradam’s door and waited for him to come out. 

“I’m going out,” said a deep voice from inside the room. 

Rosy looked at Pumpkin in desperation. 

“There’s another person in there!” responded Pumpkin in an agonized whisper. “What’ll we do?”

The silence stiffened.  

“Well, come along with you, Tudlums,” added the deep voice, opening the door and emerging from the room in a nice tuxedo suit. “As if he were going to a ball!” said Johnnie to herself, peeking through a cheeto size hole in the door.  

Pumpkin sighed in relief as a little kitty cat followed him out and pranced down the hall with him. 

“We’re good,” he said, patting Rosy’s tummy. They both rushed off after Tradam, and there we shall leave them. Nevermind, we haven’t left them quite yet – Rosy’s talking. 

“Do we… do we…” panted Rosy, as they followed Tradam down another long hall. “Do we put on disguises so he doesn’t recognize us?” 

“You bright mop of hair!” exclaimed Pumpkin. “The very thing! Pass me your wig and I’ll pass you mine. We’ll be unrecognizable like this,” he added, pulling off a wad of hair. 

“You’re BALD?” exclaimed Rosy, in horrified consternation. 

“Don’t shout so loud!” exclaimed Pumpkin hurriedly. “What’s so weird about being bald? Now pass me your wig.”

“I’m not wearing a wig!” retorted Rosy, indignantly, holding onto her hair protectively. “And don’t try to take it off!” she added, shuddering. 

Pumpkin rolled his eyes and smoothed down his head. “Come, hurry up or we’ll loose Tradam,” he said, grabbing Rosy’s hand and rushing around a corner at the speed of a light bender. 

“There he is!” exclaimed Rosy, pointing towards an elevator. “What is he -”

Tradam was sitting in a beach chair inside the elevator, with the doors open, reading a newspaper. 

“How did he even get there so fast?” whispered Pumpkin, retreating around the corner again. 

“I don’t know. Where did he get the chair from?” whispered back Rosy. 

Pumpkin shook his head. “What should we do now?”

“Figure out what he’s reading,” declared Rosy. “That’s first. But how?”

“You dress up as a cleaning lady, and pretend to be mopping out the elevator. Ask him to lift his feet up, and read his newspaper as he does so. There, with my wig on your head,” replied Pumpkin, suiting the action to the word, “and a broom stick,” taking an inflatable one out of his pocket and putting in her hand, “and a big nose,” he added, pulling out a container of makeup and smearing her nose with mysterious condiments until it looked twice it’s natural nose-size – “because,” remarked Pumpkin, “cleaning ladies always have big noses. There you are, he’ll never recognize you. Especially if we add stilts.” Pumpkin pondered a moment. “Here, take mine,” he said, pulling off some tin cans hidden by his pant legs, his height lowering considerably as he did so. 

“Goodness me, Pumpkin!” cried Rosy in grief. “I didn’t know you were so short!”

“Bah! Being short is nothing to being smart,” said Pumpkin, grinning as he arranged the stilts effectively onto her feet. “There, as tall as anything.”

Rosy did look quite taller with them on, and her strange wig of face-effacing orange hair with frosted tips left nothing but her nose and her broomstick to be seen. 

“Am I ready to go?” she asked, intrepidly. 

Pumpkin pretended to add a halo around her head. “You are ready,” he remarked, condescendingly, once the rite had been performed. 

“Go on my child, and take down the WAS!”

Rosy dashed around the corner, and was seen no more. 

Continue to Chapter 13

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