“The what?” Jane said, trying to gather her haphazard limbs into some semblance of decency. With her palm, she rubbed at the gloppy coating on the right side of her face, smearing it more than anything else.
“We ask the questions,” said the one who appeared to be the leader, as his hat — a stovepipe made of macaroni noodles, a wholewheat spaghetti ribbon and a carrot brim — had a fancy red pepper flourish.
“Mwaahhh haaaa haaa,” taunted the cone, whose name we recently learned was Barry. “Wait, what? What’s going on down there? I can’t quite see.” It shifted over the hole, blocking the light, narrowing the light, blocking the light, and narrowing it again.
“I said we ask the questions,” said the leader, jabbing his spear up in a wobbling arc as his hands were rather jiggly. “And will you stop doing that, because it’s kind of annoying.” His head landed back into a neutral position with a squelch, and he fixed his olive-slice eyes on Jane. “I will not ask you again. As the Grand Fermenter of the Tufurati, I demand you explain yourself.”
Jane flipped herself over and sat up, her hands behind her, the left one now in the puddle, the sauce oozing over to the back sides of her fingers. The leader’s lackeys loomed above her, appraising her coolly with their own olive slices. Except for the one in the in the corner. Jane got a glimpse of those pimento pupils and shivered.
“Hey,” said Barry, trying to maintain a tricky angle for a pointed cone, “I shrank her, so technically she’s mine.”
“Your what?” said Jane.
The leader straightened his non-shoulders and tightened his black bean lips. The growing rage floated from him, along with the tang of tamarind. “Pardon me, sir–”
“Uh, I would like to point out that I, like all ice cream cones, do not have a gender.”
“Fine,” said the leader, a flush of red pepper rising to his tofu cheeks, “Pardon me, Cone–”
“That’s better. But you can just call me Barry.”
“Berry?” said the Grand Fermenter of the Tufurati.
“BA-rry. Sheesh, why is this so hard?”
“Uh, hello?” said Jane. “Remember me? I just want to get out of this freezer.”
“That will not be possible,” said the Grand Fermenter. “As you have illegally crossed the border into Vegania, and from here there is no return.”
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