Once upon a time there was a city. And in that city there was a house, and in that house there was a dishwasher…
“Ah, and last of all, we thank our duchess, Lucy, for her work last week in fixing the router for the Christmas-Internet Theme.” King Sude, the head dish, smiled from his stance atop the podium. Applause echoed through the walls of the dishwasher. “And for what we’ve all been waiting for…” King Sude pulled out a piece of paper and opened it. “The theme of this year’s New Year Celebration is…Cosmic Intergalactic Space Eruptions! We will be sending Lucy, Roger, Alex and Bo to just go paint the sides of the dishwasher with some black liquid, I’m sure there’s some right outside the dishwasher so you won’t need to go anywhere.” King Sude gestured to the forks and spoons. “And the Housekeeper’s quirky family is away for vacation so alert responsibilities are not of as high regards. Oh, and Lucy, your paint staff can prop up the drawbridge so it won’t lock you out.” The King finished speaking and another round of applause went up throughout the meeting chamber on the second floor.
“Considering the fact that New Year’s DAY is in only 5 hours, you and Roger and Bo and Alex might want to get cracking,” The King whispered to Lucy as he stepped down from the podium.
“No problem.” Lucy replied. She bowed and went to collect her peers.
“Why are we stuck with the painting job,” Bo whined. He flung the wooden supplies on the counter outside of the dishwasher and roughly began to prop them between the drawbridge and the wall of the dishwasher so it wouldn’t close on them while Alex held the drawbridge out.
“And where are we gonna get black liquid?” The two forks snickered. “Yeah, Lucy.” Alex grinned. “Since you know everything, why don’t you go find us some black paint?”
“Shut your tines.” Roger glared at Bo and Alex.
“There’s black liquid right there.” Lucy pointed to a dark bottle. It was massive and very tall, so she decided it would make sense to knock it over from the above counter and hope it would break. Then the black liquid would spill in the Wash Tub behind it.A reasonable plan. She said to herself.
Lucy disliked the Wash Tub, however. The water was always too hot and the Housekeeper always rubbed this yellow foamy think all over her face. The suds tasted good, though. “Roger, you and I can move Aunt Cheryl over to block the hole.” Lucy gestured to the large ceramic pink bowl in the sink.
“I think she’s asleep,” Roger whispered to Lucy. “Let’s keep it that way. I don’t want her to wake up with black liquid inside her belly.”
Alex and Bo were pushing each other around, chuckling and snorting.
“You guys can climb up to the ledge above the bottle,” Lucy yelled. “Then knock it over into the Wash Tub.”
Jostling each other, Bo and Alex scrambled up to the above ledge and waited for Lucy and Roger.
With many grunts and sounds of heroic strength, Lucy and Roger pushed Aunt Cheryl over the hole.
“You’re going to wake her up you know,” Alex commented dryly.
“Just push the bottle already.” Lucy moved out of the Wash Tub and Roger followed.
“Here comes.” Bo shoved the centre of the bottle and Alex rammed his body against it. The humongous container tipped over with a loud crash and shattered on the counter, but most of the liquid poured into Aunt Cheryl’s belly. Lucy was so overjoyed by their success, she barely noticed the color of the liquid.
“It’s purple,” Alex spat.
“It’s red,” Bo snorted.
“It’s green,” Roger commented. Everyone turned to look at him.
“Look, you guys.”Lucy took a deep breath. “We’re gonna have to deal with this the way it is. I mean, we already smashed the whole bottle, and now Aunt Cheryl is full of liquid. We won’t be able to use black.”
“This is all you’re fault, Lucy.” Bo jumped down from the counter.
“Yeah, we’re gonna go tell the Prime Minister.” Alex jumped down as well.
He and Bo stalked off and pulled the wooden props out of the way. The dishwasher slammed shut behind them.
“We’ve got two problems.” Roger sighed and walked over to Lucy.
“What? I only sense one, HUGE issue.” Lucy glared at the purple liquid. “What other problem could there possibly be?”
“First, our paint for the Cosmic Galaxy Explosion or whatever is going to be purple.” Roger said with DUH in his voice.
“And second, the dishwasher has closed on us. We’re locked out.” His voice changed to an emotionless monotone.
“WHAT?” Lucy shrieked. “We’re…locked out?” It had always been Lucy’s worst nightmare to be locked out of her home. The cold, cinnamon-smelling air whipping around her. The strange noises, and the empty, vulnerable feeling. But even in her dreams the Housekeeper had come to put her back in the Dishwasher after the wash was done. Now, the Housekeeper was on vacation, and no one would be putting her back safely into her home.
“I’m trying to decide which problem is more pressing,”Roger added in an emotionless voice again. “The fact that our galaxy is purple or the fact that we cannot get back inside our own home.”
“Well, we ought to paint the dishwasher before we get back inside, as your Grandpaw, the Prime Minister- will surely punish us if the task is not finished. And besides, we have the purple liquid out now. And I think I have an idea to make this work.”
“What is it now?” Roger asked angrily.
“Well, we’ll need to split up if we’re to get this done in time. But, if I remember correctly, there’s some kind of black liquid up the Soft Hills called Shoe Polish. I think that will work for our galaxy. While one of us goes to push it down the stairs, the other person can try to find a way inside the Dishwasher.” Lucy calmly tapped her wooden prop against the Dishwasher’s surface.
“But how?” Roger sputtered. He sat down and heaved a huge sigh.
“Well,” Lucy said. “We’ll need a good mechanic…now if I remember correctly, the Housekeeper pulls the top of the Drawbridge to put in the Loads. So, all we’ll need it something as strong as the Housekeeper…or at least stronger than us…”
Lucy leapt down from the counter to the floor below. “STAY GUARD ON THE DISHWASHER!” She yelled. “I’LL BE RIGHT BACK!” And with that, she hurried across the hall.
Roger cringed at every small noise as he waited. The ticking of the clock, the sounds of the Giants through the humongous walls. He sat down and decided to survey his surroundings. Across from the ledge he was sitting on, there was another counter with nothing on its shiny top. And, farther along, another ledge could be seen. It seemed to be miles away, and as Roger sat all alone, he wondered how anyone could get there. Suddenly, cacafenous crashing sounds went up behind one of the walls. Lucy was struggling, somewhere! Roger wished he could help, but he knew not to move anywhere. He was awfully frightened, anyway.
* * *
“SIT!” Lucy commanded the massive, fluffy beast. As soon as she had realized that the Beasts were still roaming the Giants’ House, she had known they could pull open the Dishwasher. What she hadn’t realized was how hard it was to train one of these furry creatures.
There were 3 Beasts roaming the house, and Lucy had encountered the most mischievous of them. He had keen green-yellow eyes, fluffy white fur, and black splotches around his body. A black spot lined his nose, which was a triangular wet pink thing, and Lucy knew to stay away from that area.
The only progress Lucy had accomplished so far was keeping the Beast’s interest. Also, if she moved, the creature followed, which could also lead improvement. What Lucy really needed was a way to get on the organism’s back, and tie reigns around it, so when she pulled them it would follow her commands…
Roger was getting bored. It seemed as if hours had passed, and he was starting to get worried about Lucy. Throaty, high-pitched yowls were eminating from behind the large walls. “Lucy?” Roger cried helplessly. “I have to be useful,” Roger said to himself. “I’ll go get the black polish.”
Finally, Lucy had managed to scramble onto the Beast’s back. It attempted to shake her off, but Lucy clung to the tufts of fur. “Now,” Lucy panted. “I’ll need something to use as reigns…” She looked about wildly. And there it was. A long, fraying piece of white string hung from the small chestnut brown coffee table in the room. Lucy leaned forwards to grab it, pressing her lower body into the beast’s back so that she wouldn’t fall.
Roger knew he had made the wrong decision as soon as he hit the floor below the counter.
He had absolutely no idea which direction to head. Where were the…Soft Hills? Roger had never been outside of the Housekeeper’s Work Place before, so as soon as he reached the ground and hurried to the Giants’ cabinets, jumped down from the small step, and turned around the corner, he hadn’t the slightest idea where the Black Polish could be. All he knew was that it was somewhere up the Soft Hills.
“Let me think,”Roger said aloud, his voice wavering. “If I go into this big empty Giant Hall here, then I’m sure I’ll see the Soft Hills. But…how shall I go up them? And where is the Black Polish above them?” Roger scampered into the Giant Hall and skidded to a stop. He could still here Lucy yelling from the other Giant Room. “This is an awfully intense adventure for a fork.” Roger leaned against one of the Giant Walls. His spiky head drooped and his small metal arms felt like lead. But somewhere inside him, he knew he had to find the Black Polish. Lucy was way too busy with what she was attempting, and as the seconds ticked by New Years Day was getting closer and closer.
“I’m going,” Roger said with a determined expression. He began to tip toe down the furnished hall. He didn’t know why he was bothering to tip toe, but it just felt right for the situation. Roger was almost at the Giant Doorway to what he thought were the Soft Hills when he heard an eerily padding of feet. What could possibly be making this noise? Roger asked himself. It was all too soon when the sound came up right behind him. Roger turned slowly around. A huge, furry, grey and white face met his gaze.
Finally, Lucy had gotten hold of the white string and flung it around the fluffy Beast’s neck. Now, she lead it back triumphantly. “Forwards,”Lucy cried, pushing into the Beast. He began to pad through the Giant Doorway into the Great Hall. Lucy was so busy cheering silently to herself, she did not notice Roger’s predicament. In fact, she almost forgot she had left him alone at the Dishwasher in the first place. Lucy may have been a hero, but she could be self-centered.
The Beast ran the rest of the way home to the Dishwasher. Lucy still had not bothered to look for Roger. Instead, she pulled one of the reigns. The Beast reared up at the Dishwasher and leapt to the counter.
“Hi…?” Roger gulped at the huge creature. He was shivering all over, and his tines wavered. The Beast stuck out a huge hand-shaped thing, and wacked him in the side. Roger flung himself to the ground. “LUCY?!” He shrieked. The Beast snuffled at him. Then it snagged him with a sharp-hand-thing.
“HELP!” Roger squealed. He shut his eyes, waiting for Lucy to come by and save him like at the end of every book. Everything rushed around him, and he waited for his eyes to fly open and be lying, alive in a his bed. Roger opened his eyes. All he could see and feel was a huge, pink, wet, nose.
“Ohmy…Oh…my…” Roger stared at the wet nose. What this a trick or something? He tapped the nose, hoping for a magic portal to the Dishwasher again.
The nose swung away, and a big, sharp, green eye met his gaze. “Ahh…ehh…rrr…,” Roger stuttered. He closed his eyes again. The nose touched his back, all sloppy and wet and cold…
“Ew.” He gulped.
Lucy gleefully rode on the Beast’s back. Now all she needed was to get the Black Polish. “I ought to go check on Roger first,” Lucy said to herself, finally remembering about her comrade. As she leaned closer into the fluffy white and black fur, she was proud once again of her heroic skills. “I’m so cool.” Lucy grinned and her stomach felt like someone had blasted air inside. “This way, Mighty Beast!” She pulled on the reigns and the Beast made a sharp turn.
Roger was flung into the air. He wavered a bit, his tines and his feet bumping up and down. Then, he descended. Onto the Beast’s back. The fluff cushioned his landing, and he coughed. A lot. “BLARCH!” Roger spat. The Beast ignored him completely and bounded up the shiny hall. And, in Roger’s