Today is M-Day for the A-Z Challenge, and Wendy Ryan's Blogaversary Blogfest. Since I'm powering through the Happy Acres tales, I'm going to try to combine them. For Wendy's fest, participants are supposed to incorporate these M-words: misty, mambo, moon, musk(y), mongrel, myth. I asked the Happy Acres characters' namesakes for ideas about how their characters ended up in Happy Acres, and they've come up with some pretty great tales! So read on....
"Okay, Tessa. Tell us your tale," I said.
"Though I suspect it will be difficult to top puppets," Artie added.
"Oh, nosies!" Mia chimed in. "Do not mistakenly underestimate Tessa! I think her story will be fabsies!"
Still standing in the middle of the room, and with all eyes on her, Tessa sighed and smiled as if remembering a fond memory in the misty past, not one that landed her in the looney bin.
"It all started with a poppyseed raspberry rum meringue tart," she said. Tessa used to be a pastry chef. "Most people believe the perfect tart is just a myth. But I know better. And my dream was to create perfection"
We all nodded dutifully.
"But they can be very, very tricky. I'd been working at it for hours. First, I tried the ground poppyseed dough, but the first attempt was a stinky musky mess. Too many poppyseeds. But after I finally got it right, the raspberry custard refused to achieve the proper consistency. AT ALL!" she said, stomping her foot. A little red glitter drifted from her pocket to the floor.
"Did you get it fixed?" I asked.
"My boss told me to leave it, that I was taking it too personally," she said, crossing her arms. "But I had to get it right, didn't I? I mean, I'd already used like a gazillion eggs. I couldn't waste it now. Besides, it was me or that silly tart, and I wasn't about to let the tart get the better of me. No way!"
"I can totes relate to that, for certain," Mia said.
"So even though it was after midnight and the moon was mocking me, I had to try again. And I did. But this time it turned into eggy raspberry jello! Completely useless! I tried again and again, until sometime the next day, I finally got it right. But then Jeff happened."
"Who's Jeff?" Bill asked.
"My boss's mongrel nephew. He's a big stupid head and used some of the egg whites I needed for my shiny meringue, FORCING me to weigh the eggwhites to figure out how much sugar I needed. Can you imagine? But I kept on going. And the tarts would be magical when I was finished. I just knew it. So I whipped those eggwhites to perfection, plopped them in a bain marie until everything was a beautiful shiny whiteness, and I teased up loverly soft peaks."
She closed her eyes and sighed her delight. I could almost picture the tarty goodness. But when she opened her eyes again, her brows came together and I knew something big and bad was on the way.
"But then when I reached for the little torch I use to make my meringue a perfect golden color, that awful evil Jeff had stolen it off to whatever lalaland he'd vanished to. I was left torchless! Two days. Two days I'd been working on these tarts, only for Jeff to ruin everything. Well, I wouldn't accept defeat. Uh uh. So I tried the oven, but I couldn't control the temperature and...."
Tears rolled down her face and her shoulders slumped, just before she collapsed into a heap on the floor. We all rushed to her side.
"What? Tessa, what happened?" I asked.
"They burned," she sobbed.
"You ended up here because you burned some meringue?" Artie asked, confused.
"I think someone decided it wasn't so healthy that three days later I was still trying over and over to make the perfect meringue," she said, wiping her tears. "But I never gave up. Even when they traded my pretty white chef coat for another pretty white coat, I was still determined."
"You have seen the enemy, and it is meringue," T-Bone said.
"It is Jeff," said Simon.
"Maybe I should have just made cupcakes," Tessa said, defeated.
"Or donuts," I added.
"It is tres okay," Mia said. "You are safe from the evil meringue monster in here with us. The zombies will for defs be super happy to protect you. It is what they do, after all."
"Is that how you ended up in here, Mia?" Artie asked, "because of the zombies?"
"Oh no, it was totes not their fault," Mia said. "All they wanted was to dance a little mambo at Burger King."