Sing Crackshells All in a Row

Finally, finally, the weather was changing and spring was starting to win the fight for St. Canard. Nothing but sweet sunshine and warm breezes ahead. Mother Goose sighed happily. Spring was simply the most wonderful time of the year. 

In fact, the only thing missing were flowers, and Mother Goose intended to set that right with a little gardening. After all, who could possibly object to planting seeds? she thought, ignoring the various 'keep of the grass' signs in her way as she rummaged through her bag.

    • GizmoDuck
      GizmoDuck

      "PARDON ME MISS." An amplified boisterous voice boomed from behind her.

      Was it a bird? Was it a plane? Well.. yes and kind of ... if helicopters counted as a plane. It was actually Gizmoduck! Fearless hero and stalwart upholder of derring-do, currently he was stalwartly upholding on the designated path beside the little garden in progress megaphone in hand and held derring...ly to his mouth.

      "GIZMODU~CK HERE!" Sung for emphasis, little wave. Hello! "I WONDER IF PERHAPS YOU HAVE MISSED THE SIGNS?" Unlikely as there were currently eighteen of them that she'd plucked out of the ground to make room to for her prime primrose plot. "ONLY YOU'RE BREAKING THE LAW AND I'D BE MUCH OBLIGED IF YOU WOULD SEE TO IT TO REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THE FAUNA FORTHWITH. FOR YOU SEE IT WOULD BE RATHER WITHIN MY LIMITS TO GIVE YOU A CITATION FOR SUCH A VIOLATION AND I'D MUCH RATHER LET YOU OFF WITH A WARNING AS IT SEEMS YOU ARE INTENT ON BEAUTIFYING THE NEIGHBORHOOD. WHICH WITH PROPER PERMITS IS A VERY NOBLE CAUSE. BESIDES... YOU HAVE ME AT QUITE A DISADVANTAGE AS I'M NOT QUITE SURE HOW I'D APPREHEND YOU WITHOUT BREAKING THE LAW MY VERY SELF."

      It was a conundrum of the deepest kind. How does one arrest someone who who has stepped on the grass without stepping on the grass oneself??

       

      Mind boggling.

      • Mother Goose
        Mother Goose

        Jumping Geppetto, was the megaphone really necessary?! She was only a few feet away!

        "Shouldn't you arrest yourself for noise violation? " Mother Goose said snidely, recovering from the heart attack on wheel, waving her hand at the offending noisemaker. "The nerve of some people!" the villain added, not moving from her grassy tuffet. "...Wait, do I know you from somewhere?"

        Something about this shiny tin-soldier seemed really familiar... could it be the giant billboard behind her adverting his book? The stand selling 'offical' Gizz-Buddy brand merchandise, with heavily marked down Darkwing 'Dude' merch on the side? Was it his bombastic introduction mere seconds beforehand?

        "Oh!" she said, snapping her fingers. "I almost didn't recognize you without the pigtails, Dorothy!"

        • GizmoDuck
          GizmoDuck

          He was about to comment that he had a permit for regulated amplification but then the unthinkable happened. 

          She... she didn't recognize him?? How?  Maybe his PR team had started slacking? Or he had been out of the lime light too long?? Or-or -  oh! No here she's coming around! Maybe it was just shock. That was probably it.  Probably too dazed to realize that such a hero as him would take an interest-

          "Yes and Aunty Em I think that we ought to think about storm proofing-hey wait no. Dorothy?" He titled his head to the side to better give the woman a once over. He lifted his thumb for scale, then framed her in his hands. "Ah! Glinda the Greedy witch! Or rather Mother Goose, is that right?   I see you're up to your usual schemes. Although I very much appreciate the subtle sinister spin of your current plot.  And you would have gotten away with it too if not for THIS-" He jabbed his finger at himself. "-meddling kid! So if you would be so kind-" he motioned  for her to extract herself from the grass to join him on the sidewalk.

          • Mother Goose
            Mother Goose

            Mother Goose giggled at his little, involuntary drift into the land of Oz. She liked a man with a good sense of character. It made everything more fun. The witch curtsied at her own name, as it was all a performance piece and she was the star.

            "Ah-ah, no can do, tin-man. The second I step off, you're going to slap me with a citation!" she said, wagging her finger at the do-gooder.

            "Besides, I'd much rather sit here and admire the view." Was- was that a wink? Was she flirting her way out of a ticket? She patted the ground next to herself. "You could come over and join me~" Ok, she definitely batted her eyelashes that time.

            • GizmoDuck
              GizmoDuck

              "Well perhaps I could let you slide with a warning..." not very convincing when he had already filled in the name portion of the write up pad with "Goose, M (probable alias)".   Admire the-? Was that a-? Patting the ground like-? Seductive ocular eyelash fluttering-? Ahaha. ha. His neck went a little pink as it was the only part of him that was visible it was the best she was going to get as far as indication of any physical response.

              "Now you know I can't do that." He admonished her lightly. "For previously stated reasons. I'm sure that you will find that the garden path is much more accommodating and presents no threat of grass stains to your lovely attire.  Although I must admit I am failing to see the nuance in this no doubt nefarious scheme of yours.  The Ozian escapade was very opulent and fit a panache with the costumery and theme.  I would be very surprised if you had merely just had an itchy green thumb.  So are you-" He tried to crane up on tippy tire to see what she was planting. "-plotting a perennial problem?  Burying bombastic bedazzled beans for befuddling embiggened stalkage? Or... introducing an insidious new invasive species that will choke out the local flora in a fanciful fest of foliage futility?"

               

              Tell me woman! What foul deed will soon need to be undone?!

              • Mother Goose
                Mother Goose

                Aww, he liked her dress! And he complimented her themed schemes! Wasn't that sweet. It was so hard to find a hero that really appreciated the hard work that went into a plotting such particular pilfering...

                "So suspicious, Giz-booty!" she giggled, covering her seed packets with her bonnet. The goose may or may not have secreted a few magical beans into her basket that morning, but that was besides the point. It really was mostly harmless flowers and cockle shells, but his utter conviction of her serious crime-committing was so adorable it would spoil the game if he found that out too quickly.

                "If you really want to see how my garden grows, " Mother Goose singsonged, curling a loose lock of hair around her finger in her best kittenish pose. "You got to come closer~"

                 

                • GizmoDuck
                  GizmoDuck

                  "Giz...boo..." Now  that's just- just-  And even he couldn't deny that innuendo.  He cleared his throat timidly.  Despite his rampant heroism it seemed as if the robotic champion hadn't encountered this tantalizing tactic as much as... well... say outright physical violence and heavy fire power. Sure there were female members of the fan club but as any hero or side kick can tell you those wily villainesses did pose an interesting quandary.

                  "I see that you are resistant to negotiations." He concluded. "It appears I'll have to use my wits to bring you to justice." ...get comfortable this could take a while. Hours. Days. Years. "Maybe there's a hot air balloon I can commandeer and when I'm over head use a shepherd's hook... nah. Oh, what if I construct a giant claw machine apparatus over this little patch of... hmm no, think of how large the quarters would have to be."

                  He tapped his bill in thought.

                  "You know, I come to realize I don't know much about you.  Mind filling in your origins and powers to complete my dossier? P-purely for future arching and scrapping I mean." 

                   

                  • Mother Goose
                    Mother Goose

                    It was amazing how pink his neck was. Just how far did that blush go? She giggled, making herself comfortable on the grass. Seemed Gizmoduck had a major weakness to flirtation. 

                    "Oh, of course! All business, very official," Mother Goose winked. "Let's see... I'm a witch, a Leo, a natural blonde-" Wait a second, this wasn't her origin story at all. "I like sunsets, candlelight dinners, long walks on the beach-" This was a dating profile. What a dastardly trick!

                    "But I really love curling up with a good book." Or a good man her tone implied to the cybernetic hero.

                    • GizmoDuck
                      GizmoDuck

                      "Hmm, aha.. yes, Oh I see-"He was taking diligent notes until his brain caught up. (Huffing and puffing from inactivity as it was.)"-hey! Now see here I was being sincere and you hoodwinked me! I thought you villainesses always liked to air your dirty laundry or rather... costumery. Capes? It's not a perfect metaphor is what I'm saying. But allow me to offer you my professional opinion Madam, it never hurts to have a solid backstory.  Something a hero can really get behind! There needs to be some kind of motivation to do such dastardly deeds as this! Think of the children!"  He paused his passionate pitch. "What do you think of children?  Push any into an oven lately? Or... was that the children pushing the... hold on let me start that again-" He crossed out what he'd written in his notepad so far. He wrote 'weaknesses: ovens?German diabetic children?' "Have you been overtly shoved into any ovens as of late?"

                      • Mother Goose
                        Mother Goose

                        "That's how my grandmother died!" You should be ashamed, Gizmoduck. "Those little maniacs, all hopped up on sugar and Turkish Delight..." The witch shivered. "Thank goodness Grammie passed on her gingerbread recipe before the attack."

                        • GizmoDuck
                          GizmoDuck

                          "Oh... Oh my... I... my sincerest apologies! I had no idea. I am terribly sorry for your loss!" 

                          In his own backpedaling he accidentally rolled onto the grass his arms extended as if to comfort her but then he let out a cry as he looked down at his own felonious self. 

                          "Egads! " 

                          • Mother Goose
                            Mother Goose

                            Gizmoduck's honest and complete horror at breaking his own precious code of law was truly stunning.

                            "Aww, hun, it's ok," Mother Goose said, giving him comforting squeeze. "Besides, you turned to a life of crime for me," she laughed.  She wasn't entirely sure he could feel that hug through the suit, so she leaned forward and kissed him on the corner of his mouth, almost on the thin sliver the cheek the helmet didn't quite cover. She would have kissed him on the lips, but he was such a sensitive type... that might blow a fuse.

                            • GizmoDuck
                              GizmoDuck

                              "No, no this is a minor infraction! I'm sure I can let myself off with a warning! Yes with my clean record I'm sure that's perfectly permissible!"  

                              Wait. 'Hun'?  Wait did she just? He let out a nervous little laugh but, oh my what's this?  His hands fell on her waist. And he turned his head to look at her full on, his visor catching the sun with a prismatic lens flare that would make J.J. Abrams weep with envy.  And with steady ease, he lifted her in the air as if in an 80's movie about dancing of uncertain cleanliness. The wind picked up, fluttering her skirt and the tendrils of hair that framed her face.  It was so perfect. Almost TOO perfect, which it was. Because the romance was short-lived when he rather robotically twisted his torso and plopped her down on the garden path.

                              "There." He said firmly and wheeled himself off the dented grass. "Maybe I should leave my insurance information?  Ah well regardless!" He wagged his finger at her. "Now Ms. Goose I hope you've learned your lesson. And if not I'm sure I have some literature on it in his as well as one on consent and personal space." He started digging through his compartments. He was very stoic but that neck was looking more red than pink at the moment.

                              • Mother Goose
                                Mother Goose

                                Poo. She was so close to getting away with it too.

                                Mother Goose pouted at the hero. Then a lightbulb clicked. Not metaphorically, Gizmoduck had a lot drawers to dig though and there was quite a bit of junk in the way of his good citizenship pamphlets, but still, an idea dawned on her.

                                "Mmm... I don't think that's going to be enough," she said, rocking on her heels like a naughty child. "Maybe we should discuss it over dinner?" You do eat, right? The goose was pretty sure he did.

                                • GizmoDuck
                                  GizmoDuck

                                  Not enough?

                                  "No? Well, I may have a few encyclopedia sets in my tricep trunks if that's at all appealing-" Oh. He paused mid rummage.  Hidden eyes blinked rapidly before he lifted his head to look at her directly again.

                                  "Pardon? Do I... yes I am known to sup on various sustenance on a regular basis.  Multiple times a day if I find the time.  Under all this metal beats the heart of a living mallard of course, and grumbles the stomach of one as well on occasion. But I... well that is... considering the..." He closed the drawer he had been investigating. "-are you suggesting that you'd be interested in discussing reformation over roughage? They do say the way to salvation is through the stomach..." did they? "-I suppose if that's the incentive then I really can't refuse. But-" he put his hands on his hips. "-if this turns out to be another opportunity to deploy your womanly wiles in another attempt to lure me down the venue of villainy then ... well, I'll be rather disappointed in you Ms. Goose."

                                   

                                  • Mother Goose
                                    Mother Goose

                                    He- really, encyclopedias in his triceps? She did kind of want to see how he pulled that off without magic, but there were more important things at stake than impossible filing systems.

                                    "Well, I was thinking more along the lines of 'one milkshake, two straws' but we could shoot for womanly wiles if you really want," the goose said coyly.

                                    • GizmoDuck
                                      GizmoDuck

                                      "This uh-"He tugged at the collar of his suit as if that would aerate him. "-this conversation has gotten a bit away from me I'm afraid. What exactly are we talking about here? It seems to have slipped my mind."

                                      Something about... heroic... uh... speeches? Erm... gardening tips?  It shouldn't be allowed for villaineses to be so coquettish! It was the dirtiest of the dirty tricks, not to mention her entire villainous persona was crafted to harken to the innocence of childhood whimsy! Was there no justice in this world!? Well... other than himself of course. He let out a deep breath and tried to get himself together.

                                      "Ms. Goose... I suspect you might be trying to lure me into a trap.  And... while I'd gladly discuss reformation with you I will only do so if there is a sliver of sincerity in you to the idea."

                                      • Mother Goose
                                        Mother Goose

                                        Yes, she was trying to lure him into a trap. The worst trap of all- a public display of romantic intent, which must be expressed in a strict yet convoluted series of socially expected performances that leave the victim feeling uncomfortably aware of their own awkwardness and yet powerless to stop the soul-crushing cringe that ensues. It was a downright medieval method of torture, known in the common vernacular as a first date.

                                        "Whaaaat?" she said, all wide-eyed innocence. "I only wanted to get to know you better. But I guess you don't trust me..." He was a hard nut to crack, that Gizmoduck. "Oooh, maybe we could make it a double date instead!" She'd always wanted to go on one of those. "And go full civilian mode. No wand for me, no suit for you-" Dare she dream for a glimpse of the sure-to-be drop-dead gorgeous hunk inside that tincan?

                                        • GizmoDuck
                                          GizmoDuck

                                          "Double.."

                                          "No sui-"

                                          Secret identities au naturale? 

                                          This was very dangerous trail of bread crumbs he'd found himself wandering along.  But wasn't there something sweet at the end of that trail?  Sweet and potentially life threatening. 

                                          "Now let's not put the pumpkin carriage before the mice-" he actually wheeled a little bit away from her. "-not that I don't think you're a lovely young woman but Ms. Goose you must understand my hesitation to reveal myself to you-" phrasing? "-after all we've only just met and I have quite a lot of people relying on me. Besides-" you  will most definitely be disappointed. "-my secret identity is a secret after all. I hope you understand I mean no offense. But... I would like to get to know you, if that means at the very least that you're willing to steer clear of felonies while we are conversing. You may find I'm very persuasive, why... you could be reformed by supper time! Wouldn't that be nice!?" 

                                          • Mother Goose
                                            Mother Goose

                                            Ok, maybe she was moving a little fast. A smidge. She couldn't help it, she was excited.

                                            "You heroes and your secret identities," she muttered. Villains really had heroes beat when it came to streamlining the whole work-life balance equation- just dump your former boring life to live entirely in a world of pure imagination! No downsides, aside from the occasional prison sentence. 

                                            "OK, Giz-booty, I promise to be good for our date," she grinned. "And when I'm good- I'm very, very good." It was incredible how the witch could turn such an innocent quote into something almost dirty.

                                            • GizmoDuck
                                              GizmoDuck

                                              He made a strained little noise in the back of his throat. 

                                              "Ms. Goose.  I must underline that this is not a date.  Unless of course, you mean that it will occur on an actual date on the calendar.  Because then yes it would be a date.  But so would every day.  So before we arrange to meet again, I request that you give me a brief background of yourself and your rap sheet."

                                              Right to the sweet nothings?  Giz you devil.

                                              • Mother Goose
                                                Mother Goose

                                                She was simply overcome with that flowery language, truly.

                                                "I see what you're up to~" she nearly sang, poking him in the chest plate, not letting his adamant and clear denial get in the way of their date-planning. "A nod's as good as a wink, eh Giz?" She smiled at him. It was sooo cute how he kept trying to be professional. "Most people would ask that kinda stuff at dinner, but you're clearly a man who takes act~ion!" The witch absolutely sang that last part. "If you really must know, I used to be a librarian until I wasn't." Very informative. "And mostly I make dreams come true, fairygodmother style, no biggie~" She was very helpful. So what if those dreams were mostly her own. "And sometimes that involves a little theft, a little destruction, a little attempted murder-" Wait, what was the last one? "See, I'm not so bad." She snuggled up close to the hero.

                                                "Now, tit for tat, Gizby, what's your background~?"

                                                • GizmoDuck
                                                  GizmoDuck

                                                  He looked as if he wanted to back away from his own chest, but unfortunately it was kind of attached.

                                                  "I think perhaps you may be under a strange interpretation of the word 'bad' Miss. As most if not all the things you've implicated yourself in are in fact by most definitions 'bad'."  At least it was attempted murder.  That was a very slim silver lining. "My-?"

                                                  Ah. Well that was a problem. A moral dilemma.  He could of course lie or flat out refuse to divulge anything but... that was not very chivalrous.

                                                  "Well I come from humble origins.  But one day my ambition outgrew my station and I blazed my way to being the hero you see before you.  With trial and error of course.  ... a few costume changes as well.  Lots of dime trouble.  But regardless I have been a pillar of multiple communities and a column of several others, perhaps even a plinth in a few for a number of years now. I am an accomplished author and spokesman and even have my own grocery line in Japan.  I hear it's very popular." 

                                                   

                                                  Did that answer any questions or just present more?  

                                                  • Mother Goose
                                                    Mother Goose

                                                     It was probably to Gizmoduck's disadvantage that the suit showed so little reaction on the outside. It wasn't like she could see his panicked face under that mysterious visor after all.   

                                                    "All for good causes," she protested lightly. Just ask her good friend Gladstone, why, she'd helped him charm his girlfriend several times now. The last time they didn't even have to call the fire department!

                                                    Her eyes light up at his rags to riches tale. It was positively the stuff of Arthurian legend. He was practically a real knight in shining armor! And- "An author~?" Brains and beauty. "Where do you find the time to do all that?"

                                                    • GizmoDuck
                                                      GizmoDuck

                                                      Somewhere in St. Canard Gladstone Gander was having a sudden urge to gather up a pile of riches and sleep on it... and also to powder his face until it resembled a talcum factory floor. Mother Goose must have been thinking about him.

                                                       

                                                      "Good causes?  Like, feeding the elderly and homing the homeless?" He asked hopefully, although pretty certain he already knew the answer.  "And time is only an illusion. " he said mysteriously then shattered the, well, illusion by continuing on. "Or so my editor told me after it took him three months to filter down all the affirmations I assembled to compile my self help book! Poor man I should really send him a fruit basket at the sanatorium. Oh I know I'll write a little personalized affirmation for him! He loves those!" He seemed to remember he was currently in conversation with a now wide eyed Mother Goose. "Ah-where was I? Well yes I do have excellent time management skills.  Although it does leave my 'personal' time rather lacking.  I can't imagine it's much different for you. I'm sure you spend hours on hours scheming and then meticulously planning out the itinerary for your dastardly deeds!"

                                                      Sure...? 

                                                       

                                                       

                                                    Related blogs

                                                    Once Upon a Scheme

                                                    Once Upon a Scheme

                                                    Lily needs, no, deserves a Prince Charming, so...
                                                    Matters Of The Art

                                                    Matters Of The Art

                                                    Treble wants to bring her girlfriend back from...
                                                    Just Glitter and Go Play

                                                    Just Glitter and Go Play

                                                    If you're blue and don't know where to go, why...
                                                    Flute To The Finish

                                                    Flute To The Finish

                                                    Treble Clef wants to steal a famous,...