Hope, Courage, Oranges, Pepper, Milk – The 39th Story in The #HankSaga – By: Dan Leicht (D.e.e.L) (@Deeliopunk) (@HankSaga)
The wind whaps against the windows of Blue Spaghetti’s Nook Home, everyone inside dares not travel out into the cold autumn day. Leaves, orange and red, float through the air as trees shed their summer cloaks. A single brave man travels through the winds in search of a good meal.
“Dude, narrator, why you have to tell everyone I’m single? I don’t even know who could be reading this. Oh no, hopefully not my ex… she’ll think I’m nothing without her. Quick! I need to find a date quick!” says Hank in a desperate panic.
He enters through the doors of Blue Spaghetti’s and starts scanning the crowd for a date.
“Hank, just sit down,” says Cinta from behind the hostess desk.
“You work here now?” he asks.
“Everyone in these stories has to work here. By the way, you’re late for your shift.”
“What? I don’t work here.”
“Then why are you wearing a green tie?”
“This tie is orange. And I wasn’t wearing this a second ago. What’s going on here?”
Blue walks into the foyer of the restaurant. Blue is the restaurant’s owner. He started this business himself and one day hope’s to pass it along to his son Turquoise, or Turq for short.
“Hello, Hank. Nice of you to show up. Nice green tie you have on,” says Blue in a frail voice.
“Thanks, but this tie is orange. Do I really have to work today? I was hoping to get something hot to eat. It’s awfully chili out there.”
“There’s chili out there? Is it good?” Blue says with a chuckle.
“Good one, Blue,” replies Hank.
“Oh, I have an excellent idea,” says Blue with a delighted smile, “let’s put chili on today’s menu! The dinner rush should be here any minute now and I’m sure they’d love to try something new and steamy with such cool winds outside.”
“Great idea. Cinta, go outside and get the ingredients,” says Hank.
“Why me? And I’m working. I can’t just leave the hostess stand. Today’s my first official day on the job. You should be the one to go, you’re late anyway. Think of it as a proper punishment.”
“I have to agree with her, Hank. But you won’t be going all alone. Pishlemtickens has been throwing a fit in the kitchen. Some fresh air will do him good,” says Blue with a soft tone of voice. “PISHY! GET OUT HERE NOW! YOU’RE GOING TO THE STORE WITH HANK!”
“I DON’T WANT TO GO TO NO STORE WITH HANK!”
“I DON’T REMEMBER GIVING YOU A CHOICE! GO OR YOU’RE FIRED!”
Pishlemtickens the fairy bursts through the kitchen doors with a look of disgust on his face, his beard skimming the ground as he floats three feet up in the air towards Hank.
“What do we need be gettin’?” he asks in an annoyed tone.
“You don’t have to seem so happy about it. You two are going to get ingredients to make some chili. Decide on the ingredients when you get there. You’re both capable enough to create a recipe aren’t you?” says Blue.
“You done can count on us,” replies Pishlemticktens with a mocking salute.
“Seriously though, am I getting paid for this?” says Hank as he’s being dragged out the door by the furious fairy.
There is a supermarket just on the other side of the parking lot from Blue Spaghetti’s. A minute walk at the most. Thirty seconds into their trip Pishlemtickens stops and pulls his wand from his pocket.
“What are you doing? Let’s get this trip over with,” says Hank as he rolls his eyes.
“I ain’t goin to no superstore. What we need is somethin’ fresh, somethin’ proper.”
“I can’t really understand you. You talk funny. Like someone with bad grammar.”
“Says you, cus we all know you done be the only one speakin’ proper in these here stories.”
“Yeah, still not getting it.”
“Just shut your mouth hole and let me do my thing here.”
Pishlemtickens draws a circle in the air with his wand. Once the circle is completed a bright light shines through it like a window.
“Well what?” asks Hank.
“Isn’t you comin’? I can’t be waitin’ on ya all day now.”
“But it’s evening now.”
“Quit your lolly gaggin’ and get a move on.”
Hank reluctantly follows the fairy into the portal. Once their both on the other side the portal closes. Hank looks around with a sense of boredom.
“Are we in a pantry?”
“Yup, this is my ma’s pantry. She done have some good stuff goin’ on here. Check the cupboard over there. She done used to keep pickled lemmings in there.”
“I’ll just assume those have gone bad by now,” says Hank as he makes his way to the cupboard.
The cupboards are all dusty and bound shut my decades of spider-webs. Hank opens his mouth and shoots a laser beam at the webs, stopping just short of hitting the cupboard doors. He opens the cupboard where Pishlemtickens was hoping pickled lemmings would be and is attacked by a crazed demon.
“Who are you? What you doin’ here, varmint!”
“What? Who are you? I’m with… wait, are you Pishlemtickens’ Mom?”
“Pish…lemtickens? Did you say…”
“Yeah, totally did. He’s right over there,” says Hank as he tries to remove her hands from his throat.
“Ohhhh, Pishy Honey. I’ve done missed you somethin’ fierce!”
Pishlemtickens’ turns around and grits his teeth.
“Dang, Hank! I done pointed to the cupboards a few feet over. You done let out a world o’ pain on us both.”
“Who is she?” asks Hank as she floats towards Pishlemtickens.
“Awww, surprised you done remember me after what you done did to Marshaltickens and me.”
“You done know you was my gal, Grentildickens. I done never wanted to hurt you.”
“Yet you done locked me in the cupboard for thirty some odd years.”
“It done be a very nice cupboard. I gave you pickled lemmings.”
“I ate them things the second you done put me in there. You know I done be eating when I’m upset.”
“You done must’ve been upset a lot then back when we was datin’.”
“What you say?”
“Nothin’. It was Hank done said it,” says Pishlemtickens as he points to the man eating pickled lemmings.
“These things aren’t too bad. What?” he says with a mouthful and a confused look on his face.
“You done say somethin’ you want to take back, Hank?” says Grentildickens fuming.
“I wasn’t paying attention. What did I say? I’ve been eating. You want some?”
She doesn’t take the time to listen to his reasoning. Soon Hank’s outstretched hand with his offering is grabbed and his body thrown into the back wall. He slams into a wall with numerous shelves built in, his impact causing most of them to break and fall on top of him in a heap on the floor. The shelf closest to the ceiling being the only one still hanging becomes slanted and from it rolls an orange. The orange falls and lands on Hank’s head, the outer casing tough but still making a plop sound on impact without breaking.
“Now, Grentildickens… we can talk this out we can. I done missed you. Hank! Tell her how much I done missed her! I talk about you every day I do.”
She turns her glare from Hank and makes her way towards her ex-boyfriend. Without any words she shoots through the air and tackles him into a barrel leaning up against the wall. The barrel shatters and hundreds of spiders scatter into the pantry.
“Dang, I was gonna use those in our chili,” says Pishlemtickens while shaking his head.
“Wait… you makin’ chili?” says Grentildickens as she loosens her grip on Pishlemtickens’ beard.
“We done have to make one for ol’ Blue. We be on the job right now matter o’ fact. You still know how to whip up your ol’ special recipe?” says Pishlemtickens as he gets up from the ground and grabs a comb from his pocket.
“I’ll done help you under one condition,” she says.
“I done get to eat some of the chili I be makin’ and you done get me a job at this here Blue’s.”
“I don’t think… uhhh, yeah. I mean yes, done sound like a deal to me.”
Hank gets up and grabs the orange from the floor.
“Don’t be touchin’ the green boy,” says Grentildickens as she grabs the fruit from Hank’s hand.
“But…it’s an orange.”
“Then why’s it green?”
“It isn’t…it’s orange…”
“You done be color blind. Get the ingredients on this list.”
Hank looks at the list and notices two ingredients are left other than the orange –pepper and milk. He grabs them from the debris and brings them over to Pishlemtickens and Grentildickens. Pishlemtickens is combing his beard as Grentildickens starts peeling the orange.
“Is this what we’re using to make the chili? Seems like it would taste awful,” remarks Hank as he hands the ingredients over.
“You done did it now, Boy,” says Pishlemtickens shaking his head.
“WHAAAAAAAAT DID YOU SAY?”
“I saaaaid, I can’t wait to taste you’re amazing cooking you’re so pretty and smart and smell like roses on a bright spring morning.”
“Awww, you done gonna break my heart talkin’ to me so darlin’.”
“Whaaa?” says Pishlemtickens looking on confused. “How you done do what you just did?”
Pishlemtickens continues shaking his head as he takes out his wand and makes the portal back.
“What? This is all we came here for? We could have just went to the supermarket!”
“Aint no superstore gonna have all them ingredients. Be smart now, Boy,” says Pishlemtickens before passing through the portal.
“It totally does!”
By Dan Leicht (D.e.e.L) October 6th 2014
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