This page is rated G for Minimal Violence.

"—and you are absolutely sure that these party supplies are temporarily legitimately ours?" said Nate, sounding irritated.

"Of course, Nate!" said Cici cheerfully. "Would we steal them?"

Nate looked around. "Then why aren't the others here if we're definitely these items' legitimate temporary owners?"

"I think they were drawing a map," suggested Cici. "Maybe taking a nap, trying out some new app…"

"Let's make this a wrap," said Nate.

"Or a sandwich," cut in a male voice. "What are we talking about?"

"HIIII PHILIP!" screamed Cici, tackling a figure into a sofa.

"Relax, Cici!" said Philip. At least, that's what he meant to say. To most, it sounds like "Mffa, mrfbrf!"

Nate, apparently having heard the latter, chimed in, "Cici, have you forgotten that people don't talk well when their faces are in upholstery?"

"Apparently not," said another voice from the other room, accompanied by a sound of Cici being pulled off of Philip.

"Oh hi, Haven," said Nate, not bothering to look up from the box that she was unpacking. "So nice of you to arrive. Can you confirm that Cici didn't steal this?"

Haven came into Nate's field of vision and investigated the box. "This is the box of party supplies that we were loaned as an advertisement, right?"

"I thought it was supposed to be a wagon!" said another voice faintly.

"They call it 'the party wagon' because BRANDING," said Nate. "But yeah, Hayleigh. Everyone would be confused. Except me. I know everything."

Silence fell on the room as the other four stared blankly at Nate.

"Oh come on!" groaned Nate. "Can't you take a joke? Anyway, the box is unpacked now, so let's see what's in this. Confetti…more confetti…something weird…more weird things…a whole lot more confetti…" Nate let go of the box. "I bet these people are confetti vendors and OH MY GOSH CICI WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR FACE?"

"You mean these anime goggles?" said Cici excitedly. Due to the enormous goggles now on her face—one of the box's "weird things"—Cici's eyes and eyebrows were now huge, making her look bizarrely unrealistic.

"Cici, of all things," Nate said, sighing, "did you have to pick the one that lets you look like an anime character?"

"Well, they gave it to us for two reasons: to unpack and to wear!" said Cici. "And we're all out of ways to unpack it!"[1]

Nate closed her eyes. "Cici, I am going to look for ten seconds in the other direction, and when I open them, I hope that you are not going to make the giant eyes face at me. On your mark…7…"

"IT'S GONE!" shrieked Cici.

Nate opened one eye. "What's gone?"

"The party wagon has apparently disappeared," said Haven matter-of-factly.

"Ohhh bread rolls," said Philip. "The moment I walk into the room, the party wagon disappears."

Hayleigh reached up to put an arm around Philip. "If it helps," she said quietly, "I walked in later than you did."

"Yes," said Philip, smiling despite his best and most obvious efforts to repress his smile, "but I left for a moment to get—where's Cici?"

Nate looked out the window. "There goes ol' Cici," said Nate, "she goes running along quickly."[2] Then, turning to the others, "I suggest we go after her."

"Wait, Nate," said Philip. "You're not about to jump out the window, are you?"

Nate smirked. "Phil, it's a one-story building, and I have pyrokinesis. Who's gonna stop me, kid? You?"[3]

"I, uh…no," said Philip, followed by Nate being grabbed by someone else.

"I suggest you go out the door, which is ten feet away," said Haven.

Nate groaned. "The door. Fine," she said, and ran out the door, followed by the rest of the group. The rest of the group was so distracting that Nate nearly tripped over Cici.

"The confetti trail!" said Cici, intently looking at some confetti on the ground. "It leads to their lair!"

Philip looked dumbfounded. "Cici, are we in a movie again?"

"Every day's a movie with Cici," said Nate.

"Lairs?" said Philip.

"I mean, you know, villains!" said Cici. "Whoever stole the party wagon behind our backs! They must have a hideout, and we will get there pronto and post-haste, on the double! Walk in a straight line behind me, sentient beings!" Cici exclaimed, following the confetti trail.

Nate started to follow Cici, only to be stopped by Philip.

"OK, I don't want to sound stupid, but…" said Philip. "We're following Cici because she's decided that we're up against a bunch of villains just because our party supplies went missing?"

"Thank you for accurately assessing the situation, Mr. Factual," said Nate, continuing after Cici.

"But, Nate," said Philip. "Couldn't the wagon have fallen out the window and into the sewer, or have gotten taken away one block by someone who then tossed it into a mailbox out of boredom?"

"Not the way my life goes," said Nate. "Action, adventure, simultaneously. Probably exciting for anyone but me. Come on."[4] Nate broke into a sprint this time, catching up with Cici in a matter of seconds.

"Greetings, additional lifeform!" said Cici. "I've detected the—"

"ENGLISH," demanded Nate.

"I found where the trail's going," said Cici. "It's in the window over there. So, do we invade the building to get our party wagon back?"

"Not so fast," said a smug-sounding voice.

Nate looked up. There, in front of her, was another teenager smirking and wearing a backwards-facing cap.

"Because backwards-facing caps are so in right now," said Nate without thinking.

"Watch your mouth," said the cap kid. "You want your wagon back? Not gonna happen because you. Are facing. The all. Mighty. JAG!"

Nate looked at him in amusement for a few seconds. Jag picked up on this and stopped posing villainously. "What, I need to prove it?" he said.

"Yes please, villain of the week!" said Cici. "We'd love to get another opportunity to show off our totally rad superpowers!"

"NO!" yelled Nate. "Cici, what are you thinking?"

"I like her plan," said Jag. "Bullies, unite!"

Four other backwards-cap-wearing-teens appeared from the shadows behind Jag, and they all posed villainously.

Nate made a fireball.

Everyone stared at Nate.

Nate put out the fireball.

"Haha, now we get serious!" said Jag. Beams of light exploded from his hands towards Nate, temporarily blinding her.

"Oh now seriously dude," said Nate. "Did we have to get into a fight with superpowers? Not, y'know, some normal fight or just minding our own businesses but superpowers? Really?" Nate's vision came back at about this point to see that the bullies were running away, except for one of them, who grabbed the others and threw them at Hayleigh.

"Um, super strength dude?" said Cici. "Like what?"

Nate would have been concerned about four people flying at the weakest-looking member of the group if it were anyone but Hayleigh. Hayleigh just clapped her hands together and a wall of rock appeared in front of the bullies, which they slid down.

"Usual procedure?" said Nate.

Cici gestured at Haven, who used her plant manipulation to make vines come out of the ground and tie up the bullies. Philip then used his…

"I don't know what I'm doing here!" yelled Philip as obvious gusts of wind shot out of his hands and pushed Jag over to the group. "Am I doing aerokinesis or aeromancy or what?"

"Aerokinesis," whispered Nate around the others.

"Hey, no fair!" said Cici, making an overreactive anime pouty face (an easy task with her goggles). "I didn't get to shoot water at people because they're about to be all tied up!"

"Wait, wait!" said Jag. "This has all been a misunderstanding! Just let us go and we'll give you your mailbox back!"

"Mailbox?" said Nate amusedly.

"Party wagon!" said Jag. "Just let us go, okay?"

"Only if you tell us where it is, meanie!" said Cici, making a giant-eyed angry face at Jag.

"It's in a mailbox, one block away from where you started," said Jag, then ran away, followed by his now-freed cohorts.

Nate turned to Philip. "Five points to you, Philip," she said. "My life is apparently not a crazy TV show. Let's go back and get the party wagon."

Cici walked back with the party wagon. "It was in the window of the building that the trail led to," she said, beaming.

"One point redacted," said Nate. "Thanks, Cici. Let's—"

"—return it to the HQ!" said Cici, marching off with the giant box.

"Why does she get to give the orders?" complained Nate.

"Because she's the leader," said Philip.

"Oh yeah," said Nate, completely deadpan. "Right. Good point. Let's go watch Cici make a fool of herself with whatever weird thingies are in the box."

"As long as you're not doing this for sheer sadistic enjoyment, I approve," said Haven.

And so the group returned to fully utilize the party wagon.

"Y'mean the MacGuffin!" shouted Nate.[5]

"Please don't break the fourth wall," said Hayleigh. "That's painful."

Nate made an I-am-not-sighing-this-time-face. "I will stop breaking the fourth wall for you, Hayleigh," she said. "Now can we end the story?"

So the group returned to fully utilize the long-sought MacGuffin AKA party wagon, concluding their tale for the moment.

References[edit | edit source]

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