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Octobear: The Candyland War
♠ 01 Libra 15, Thor's Day ♣

My old Octobear notes. Not sure where I stopped posting.

Septembear updates daily on Facebook.

They walk across the green hills of Candyland, with lollipop trees and chocolate rivers and a rainbow arcing across the sky.

 
“Look,” says Septembear, “there’s someone ahead. We could ask them for directions.” // The girl sits reading by the chocolate river. She’s clear gummi, with long straight hair shimmering like rainbow and a heart, red as maraschino cherry, visible in her chest.

“Hi,” says Septembear. // “Argh!” yelps the gummi girl. “Get back you demon!” // “I’m not a demon!” // “You could be!” // “You could,” nods Turtle.

“You could be a bandersnatch,” says the gummi girl. “You look like a bandersnatch.” // “What does a bandersnatch look like?” // “I- It… has tentacles, and things. Demonic-like.”

“I don’t look demonic,” says Septembear. // “You kinda do,” says Turtle helpfully. “Your arm is too long. Tentacle-length, really.” // “But I’m not a bandersnatch…”

“Do -you- know what a bandersnatch looks like?” asks the gummi girl. // “No.” // “Then you could be a bandersnatch, couldn’t you? A bandersnatch wouldn’t say it were a bandersnatch.”

“You have hair all over,” says the gummi girl slyly. “That’s not normal. And sort of icky.” // “That’s normal for a bear.” // “Aha! You were about to say ‘bandersnatch’!” // “I wasn’t!”

“I’m a bear,” says Septembear patiently. “A soft toy bear.” // “So you admit you’re a demon!” // “What? No!” // “You said you’re a soft toy!”

“Soft toys aren’t demons,” says Septembear. // “They are! And they aren’t allowed! Because of the murder!” // “Murder?” // “Murder!”

 
“What murder?” asks Septembear. // “A long time ago, a soft toy – like you, except it was a rabbit – came across a gummi, sitting by the road, like I was… This doesn’t seem to bode well…” She backs away.

<@Se7enExV> gasp Bun Bun…Dun DUN DUN!

A sinister past!
“Tell me the story,” says Septembear. // “Err… the rabbit hugged the gummi, and the gummi died,” says the gummi girl.

 
“The gummi dies because his flesh got caught in the fur…” muses Septembear. “I never thought that hugs could kill.” // “Nobody thinks so,” says Turtle. “Until someone dies.”

<@ShuzzieSchanpps> Oh please. That bearhug (and my suggestion) started a chain reaction that got poor Stew killed. Death by cat… :”(

As Turtle said…
The gummi girl says: “Soft toys are no longer allowed here, so the tragedy of Ta’beybii will never happen again.”

 
“He only has one arm,” says Turtle. “He’s not going to be hugging anyone. And neither am I. So you’re safe.” // The gummi girl hesitates, then nods. “I trust you. You’re helpful.” She smiles, causing her cherry heart to explode with sparkles.  
“I’m Lolli,” says the gummi girl. // “I’m Turtle,” says Turtle. // “I’m Sept… tem… bear…” says Septembear. Lolli is so happy to have made a new friend that she isn’t listening to him.

<@Se7enExV> What is wrong with her?! Remember that theory that guys toss around about gals liking bastards?! Enabling!

Maybe it’s the authoritarian attitude, maybe it’s not being covered in body hair, maybe he was born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline.

I haven’t read Hunger Game of Thrones, but, as I understand it, people like it when characters keep dying. #RabbitStew&TurtleSoup

<@ShuzzieSchanpps> Bear claw. Oh that was in poor taste, wasn’t it?

I know, I thought of it too. Surprisingly, no one made any 2nd amendment jokes during The Disarming.

<@ShuzzieSchanpps> Well… The bear still has an arm. Thus the bear is armed. Just less armed than before.

“I know what a bear is,” says Lolli. “Our king is a bear, a gummi bear who has grown to a great size. The Gummi King rules all of Candyland.”

They walk through the lollipop forest, by gumdrop rocks and along the chocolate river. Lolli listens with rapt attention as Turtle tells their story.

“Happy new year,” says Turtle. // “You too,” says Septembear. “I hope it will be. Should auld acquaintance be forgot?” // “And never brought to mind?” // “For auld lang syne, my Stew, for auld lang syne, we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.”

 
Finally, they arrive at a gingerbread village, sparsely peopled with gummis going about their day. White chocolate horses pull logcake carts.

 
They’re walking down the street when Lolli says: “We need to hide! Quickly!” // She leads them down an alleyway, where they see a pair of gingerbread men walk by. They’re carrying poles with the white and red stripes of candy cane, but these are spears… they very pointedly did not look sweet.

<@ShuzzieSchanpps> Gingerbread men can be hugged. just saying

“Those guys you can hug,” says Turtle. “Oh right. You need two arms to hug.”

“I can hug fine with one arm,” says Septembear. “It’s the warmth that matters. It’s the closing of distance. Hugs are a bridge between ♥s.”

Lolli says: “If the gingerbread army could be defeated by hugs, there wouldn’t be a gingerbread army. And… and my sister wouldn’t be dead.”

Turtle looks at Lolli’s cherry heart, remembers the glow from Septembear’s chest. He looks down. “Perhaps,” he thinks, “I don’t have a heart.”

Lolli says: “Thanks to narrative convenience, I have a friend in the resistance. They may be able to help you get home.”

“This is Madeleine,” says Lolli. Madeleine is a gummi girl, whose heart is a white shell. She is shorter than Lolli, as is her hair. She gives a little curtsey and tries very hard not to stare.

They go to the Secret Meeting of the Resistance (tm). There are about ten people: eight gummis and two gingerbread men.

One of the gingerbread men says: “You can’t bring them here! This is a secret meeting! Says so in the name: SMR(t). You can’t let people in. The whole system would break down if too many people come in.”

“It’s bad enough,” says one of the gummis, “that we have gingers.” Stares are exchanged. “Everyone knows the gingers work for the Gummi King.” // “He’s a gummi King!”

“And the King is a bear! How can we trust another bear?” // “Isn’t it worse that he’s a toy?” // “What’s wrong with being a toy?!” says Lolli.

“Toys aren’t natural,” says a gummi. // “Then neither are fairies,” says Lolli. She takes hold of Turtle’s hand. // “Fairies are plants, which are carbon-based, like we are.”

“You can’t judge people based on molecules!” snaps Lolli. “That’s chemist!”

“Elementary, my dear Lolli,” says Turtle. “We’re made from cotton, that’s a plant.” // “He–” the gummi points at Septembear, “looks synthetic to me.”

“He is synthetic,” says Turtle. “He’s made from hydrocarbons, and sugar is a carbohydrate. It’s the same thing, really. Hydro. Carbon. Carbo. Hydrate. See?” // “You got him!” whispers Lolli, who appears to almost be swooning.

The gummi argues but Turtle turns away. He says to Septembear: “When presented with facts, the believer redoubles their belief. It is nearly impossible to change someone’s mind.”

“You’re so lucky,” says Lolli to Septembear, “to have a friend so wise and clever.” Her cherry heart sparkles like a gently shaken soft drink.

“The thing about resistance movements,” says Turtle, glancing at Lolli from the side of his eyes, “is that they are made of disparate groups, so you get the far left and the far right in one room.”

“In that case,” says Septembear, “I know how we can all get along.” He steps forwards into the unfriendly circle.

“Is there anyone here who supports the Gummi King?” The room hushes. “Then are we not agreed that ginger… and gummi… and toys… Together we have common cause? We have come. From a land. Far. Away. To help YOU! To REMOVE oppression! To RESTORE justice! To speak FORCEFULLY!”

No one is looking at Madeleine or they might notice: As she raptly watches Septembear’s speech, the white chocolate shell that is her heart is melting ever so slightly.

September roars “JUSTICE!” // The small crowd returns “JUSTICE!!!” // “HOPE!” // “HOPE!!!” // “ET CETERA!” // “ET CETERA!!!”

The crowd settles, speeches are made, and the meeting is over. A gummi walks towards them. “That was an impressive speech, toy bear.”

“Do you know the Muffin Man?” asks the gummi. // “The Muffin Man?” // “The Muffin Man.” // “Who lives on Drury Lane?” // “No.”

“The Muffin Man leads the resistance,” says the gummi. // “Then why isn’t he here?” // “Oh, no one gets to see the Muffin Man, it’s just safer for all concerned. But I think… perhaps you should meet him.”

“The Muffin Man,” says Madeleine, “used to be captain of the King’s Guard. They say he hunts the most dangerous game.” // “Le gasp,” goes Lolli.

“What is the most dangerous game?” asks Septembear. “People?” // “Ninja dinosaurs,” says Madeleine. // “I’ve never seen a ninja dinosaur.” // “If you did, they’d just be dinosaurs.”

Lolli slides close to Turtle: “You must be a dinosaur, being cunning and dangerous.” // “And cold-blooded,” thinks Septembear. He feels guilty at once for thinking this.

“We didn’t always have a King. We had a Queen but she disappeared ten years ago. Candyland slowly fell to chaos during the interregnum. The King took charge a few years ago. But not all are happy with his rule.”

“I’d like to talk with the Muffin Man,” says Septembear to the gummi. // “Come to this address tonight.”

Says Turtle: “I guess we don’t have other options. But this resistance is just a ragtag bunch of disgruntled souls making empty speeches. It’s just not very Zen.” // “Zen?” // “Oh yes, resistance is measured in oms.”

“Hey,” says Septembear to Turtle, “is it true that toys and candy are the same? What you said about hydro and carbon?” // “True-ish. Diamonds are made from carbon too. A diamond has more in common with a grain of sugar than one of sand. It’s all the same thing, we’re just carbon powered by soul.”

The little panel opens after Septembear knocks. “Do you know the Muffin Man?” // “The Muffin Man?” // “The Muffin Man.” // “Who lives on Drury Lane?” // “Is there another Muffin Man?” // “Well, actually, no.”

Before they’ve finished speaking, Septembear is roughly pulled into the alley by Turtle. “Guards!”

 
 

 

   
   


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(Octobear: The Candyland War)
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