(Parts 1-5, start from the bottom!)
“Don’t come any closer,” said Jane, snapping her hand and the cardboard in a sharp sideways royal wave.
The Grand Fermenter chortled. “What do you think you’re going to do with that, meat-based creature?”
Jane stood still, her cardboard blade hand falling to her side. “Meat-based crea– Nope, no, never mind, I don’t care.” She brandished the cardboard again. “Get any closer to me and you’ll find out.”
“If ice cream cones ate popcorn,” said Barry, now on the very edge of the bottom of its cone, trying to get the best view through the rip in the top of the box, “I would so be eating popcorn right now. Best show ever.”
“Shut up, Berry,” said Jane, trying to keep track of all of the Tofurati. But especially the one with the pimento eyes. That one just didn’t look right.
“BArry BAAArrrryyyy BAAAAARRRRYYY,” it bellowed, and with the momentum of the last one, Barry lost its precarious balance and tumbled head-first through the hole, landing on the bottom ice cream down with a soggy splat.
“Ouch,” said Barry.
“Serves you right,” said Jane. “If it wasn’t for you,I wouldn’t be in this mess.”
“Your mess has only just begun,” the Grand Fermenter said, his eyes gleaming in the now-brighter fluorescent light making its way through the top of the freezer and into the hole.
Barry struggled to right itself, its cone pointing straight up. “Help? Anyone?”
“I’m warning you,” Jane said, cutting air with the cardboard, “I’m not afraid to use this thing.” The Tofurati advanced, undeterred, as Barry tried to lurch its way free.
“You fool! What do you think we are, silken? We’re firm tofu, meat-based creature. Super-firm tofu. We’re the rubber bands of tofu. That thing will bounce right off of us!”
“Do you really want to find out?” Though her tone was confident, her heart pounded, and a hot fear kept the her from feeling the cold. They were close enough now to poke at her with the asparagus spears, which bent with every wet nudge.
The one with the pimento eyes was right on her, the red glowing softly in the shaft of light from above. Jane jabbed at the Tofurati with the tip of the cardboard. Her hand rebounded sharply back at her.
“I told you so.” The Grand Fermenter’s smile left her colder than the freezer did.
“Seriously? Just a push? One push?” Barry said.
“Seize her, Iris!” commanded the Grand Fermenter with a stately brandish of his spear.
And then Jane felt the jiggly stickness of malevolent tofu surround her.
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