Sorry, this is really long, but brace yourselves…FOR THE WEIRDEST THING YOU WILL EVER READ.
(This is not an exaggeration.)
“Um. What’s about to come out of there?” Jason pointed to the shadows, where the bushes were rustling a little.
“Don’t know,” Cara-delle replied. “That’s why it’s so weird.”
Something poked its face out of the bushes. Cara-delle couldn’t really describe it, but it had a large nose, rough brown skin, and, for some strange reason, a moustache, unibrow, and goatee.
“JS!” came a voice from behind. “JS, where are you? AssassinGirl’s going to catch you if you don’t come back!”
Cara-delle stifled a snort of laughter. She knew who this was.
“Rhea?” she called out. “Is that you?”
There was a sudden silence, then a girl with dark black hair and brown eyes appeared behind whatever it was, which proved to have a tough brown-skinned seal body as it flopped out of the bushes. “Is that-” the girl began, her eyes falling on Cara-delle. “Hi, how’s it been?”
Cara-delle let out a small bark of laughter. “It’s been crazy. You?”
Rhea shrugged. “Oh, it’s been a long week. JS and I have been tracking down AssassinGirl for ages. She’s a tricky one. Also, BobTheBuilder, as my heroic sidekick revealed her real name as, went to go meet her idol, Nobody, who she said she got her nickname from. Now it’s gotten a whole lot harder to track down villains.”
“Uh, mind telling us what’s going on?” Jason interjected. “And what’s that?” He pointed to JS.
“That’s a fooble, of course.” Rhea gave Jason a weird look. “Haven’t you ever seen one before? Or at least its severed foot that was warmed by a nuclear heat lamp?”
There was a sudden crash deep in the woods, and Rhea groaned. “Oh, no, now I have to go full superhero on her. Be right back.” She scooped up JS and darted away.
There was a short silence, which Dee finally broke. “What in the big wide world around us just happened?”
Cara-delle stifled another bark of laughter. “You’ll see.”
Everyone took a step back as a figure clad all in black crashed out of the bushes. Cara-delle couldn’t really make out her features, but figured this must’ve been AssassinGirl; she’d heard about the strange villain before. Her informants weren’t exaggerating, Cara-delle noted, when they described her as (oh Lord, how do I say this) distinctly hourglass-shaped.
AssassinGirl waved a plastic butter-knife around in the air. “Where is she?” she yelled. “Come on, Bouncyman, face me yourself!”
A girl with blonde pigtails, blue eyes, and a blue-and-white superhero costume leapt out of the bushes, followed by JS, who was wearing a matching costume, complete with a little blue cape. “AssassinGirl!” she yelled. “It is I, Bouncyman, here to vanquish you!”
“There you are!” AssassinGirl turned to face Bouncyman. “It is not you who shall vanquish me, but I who will end you!”
Jason leaned over to whisper to Cara-delle. “Great Lord above, what’s going on?”
“Rhea is a secret superhero from a really weird community in which there are the weirdest villains,” Cara-delle explained. “It’s, like, another dimension where everything is messed up. She used to have a sidekick, BobTheBuilder, whose nickname was Nobody because her idol was Nobody, the guy we fought earlier. Now, she and her pet fooble fight the weirdest bad guys.”
Jason frowned. “Seems pretty messed up to me.”
Cara-delle laughed. “It only gets better.”
Bouncyman whipped out a device that looked sort of like the scanners one would see in a store. “You can’t end me! I have the power of randomness on my side!” She pressed a button on the back of the device and sheets of paper began flying out of a slot at the top.
AssassinGirl reared back dramatically. “No!” she howled. “Your pathetic weapons cannot stop me!”
Dee snatched a sheet of paper out of the air and read it. “These are ‘Vote for Jack’ flyers,” he mumbled, confused.
AssassinGirl hurled her plastic butter-knife at Bouncyman. The handle hit her in the shoulder, but didn’t even tear her outfit. Of course, Bouncyman still had to fall dramatically.
“You cannot defeat me!” Bouncyman cried out as AssassinGirl towered over her threateningly. “Bounciness will prevail!”
“Should we do something?” Amarantha asked.
Cara-delle shrugged. “Nah. Let it play out.”
She noticed fooble JS creeping up behind AssassinGirl. Suddenly, it opened its mouth and giant rainbows burst out of it, knocking AssassinGirl into a tree. Bouncyman stood up and patted fooble JS on the head, stopping the stream.
Jason rubbed his eyes. “What did I just see?! Is this a hallucination, or a weird dream, or something?”
Cara-delle grinned as much as a fox possibly could. “Nope. You just saw an everyday occurrence where she comes from.”
“That’s a really weird place.”
“It’s weird by our standards, normal by theirs. We’re actually pretty weird to them.”
Bouncyman pulled out her magic scanner again, aiming it at AssassinGirl, who was slumped against the tree, now distinctly rainbow-colored. This time, streams of toilet paper shot out of it, wrapping around AssassinGirl until she was all tied up.
Pocketing the scanner again, Bouncyman turned to Cara-delle. “See what I mean?”
“Wait, wait, wait,” Jason interrupted. “What in the name of the great Lord above is going on?!”
Bouncyman pointed to AssassinGirl. “I just defeated her.”
“Are you a girl?” Dee asked.
“Uh, yeah.” Bouncyman looked down at her costume. “What, does this make me look like a boy? I was told I look very girlish.”
“No, uh, I was just wondering why you have the name Bouncyman if you’re a girl.”
“Well, when I first became a superhero, I tried to introduce myself as Bouncygirl, but everyone kept calling me Bouncyman for some reason, and I suppose it just stuck.” Bouncyman shrugged. “Don’t ask me why. I never know what’s going on anymore.”
“So you fight with toilet paper and ‘Vote for Jack’ flyers?” Amarantha held up a flyer. “Do you know they aren’t real weapons?”
“Of course they are.” Bouncyman stared at Amarantha like she had two heads. “What do you use for weapons here, swords? Are they not measuring tools?”
“No, we use rulers for measuring.”
Bouncyman looked at Cara-delle questioningly. “Wow, your world is strange. Rulers aren’t weapons here? I can’t believe it!”
Cara-delle shrugged. “Welcome to the alternate universe.”
Bouncyman looked up at the sky. “Well, it seems pretty late,” she commented, even though the sun was still a good two hours from setting. “I’d better get back to Feuille 2. Who knows what’s happened since I’ve been gone.” She picked up fooble JS.
“Feuille 2?” Jason asked. “What’s that?”
“You’d know if you ever took Dimensional Study,” Cara-delle informed him. “Feuille 2 is a dimension in the Feuille set of 1, 2, and 3. It’s very complicated and takes a long time to explain.”
“I can see that,” he muttered.
Bouncyman gave them a little wave. “Well, bye!” She put a hand on AssassinGirl’s shoulder and vanished.
There was a short silence. “Maybe we should go find Arion now,” Artemis meowed finally, breaking it, and everyone instantly agreed.
As they walked, Cara-delle tried to explain everything again. “Rhea comes from another dimension where everything is completely random and backwards. She doubles as the secret superhero Bouncyman with her sidekick, BobTheBuilder, whose nickname is Nobody. Together, they fight the villains in their hometown. She fights with the power of randomness and bounciness, using toilet paper and ‘Vote for Jack’ flyers.”
“I never want to see that again,” Jason announced. “Too weird for me.”
Cara-delle laughed. “Then make sure to never be around when I talk with my interdimensional friends.”
“Caution duly noted,” he commented dryly, and everyone burst into laughter.
A sudden scream rang through the trees, silencing them. “What was that?” Nephthys asked shakily.
Everyone stared in the direction of the sound. “Well, that puts an end to the weird part of our day,” Jason sighed. “As for what made that scream, I suppose we’d better find out.”