(This excerpt from “The Cookie” is the intellectual property of Forgotten Lore Publishing, llc) – continued from A Story’s Chapter Two Has More.
“I am a worker, like you.” Dab said.
“You’re not like us.” The worker replied. “You work for the witch.”
“We all work for the witch,” Dab said. “That’s why she baked us.”
“We dig for rocks at the witch’s order.” The worker said. “But you have her favor. We can see that you work FOR her.”
“I’m just a worker like you,” Dab repeated; then he asked, “What’s your name?”
“Names? Why would we have names? The witch only names her favorites.” He answered.
“Not always,” Dab responded. “Sometimes she names her victims.”
“If that were true, every gingerbread man would have a name.” He said.
“Maybe you have a name and the witch just didn’t tell you.” Dab said.
“The witch gave you a name, didn’t she?” He asked.
“Yes. I am Dab,” said Dab.
“Did she send you down here to find us?” He asked.
“No. I’m lost too.” Dab replied.
He noticed the other cookies were slowly moving farther away from them. Soon they began whispering to each other again. Although he couldn’t make out what they were saying; something about the way they acted made Dab uneasy. Meanwhile, the worker he was talking to continued asking him questions.
“The witch must like you a lot to trust you with a magic rock.” He said.
“No.” Dab insisted. “I… found this stone.”
“Why is it in your chest?” he asked.
“I fell on it, and it stuck to me,” Dab told him. “Now I’m trying to find a way out of the mine before she finds me.”
The worker scoffed. “Out of the mine? There’s nothing outside the mine except the witch’s kitchen! At least, nothing worth having that I’ve ever heard about!”
“I’ve heard different,” Dab said.
“Did the witch tell you that you could leave the mine?” He asked.
“She never said I couldn’t,” Dab answered.
The other cookies called out to the worker talking to Dab. When he looked toward them, they motioned for him to join them. The worker sighed, and seemed annoyed with them; but he turned to Dab and said, “Wait here.”
Then he rejoined his companions, and they continued talking to one another. From the length of the conversation, Dab decided they must have a strong disagreement about something. Suddenly the long discussion came to an end; and all five of the gingerbread men turned to look at him. Without a word they began walking towards him, slowly.
“What is your plan?” Dab called to them.
The workers did not answer; instead they silently closed in on him. Dab immediately feared that they were under Strelia’s command. For all he could guess, one of them might be the witch. He turned and ran away, as fast as he could. The workers chased after him, and it was clear they could run as fast him. In fact, one of them could run faster.
Dab tried everything he could to avoid them. He ran wildly; abruptly changing directions when one of them came close. He raced up the sloping path, then back down again; twisting, jumping, and turning, in desperate efforts to get away. But they matched his every move, and he saw that he couldn’t escape them; no matter what he tried.
He ran up the slope once more, as fast as his legs would go; in one last attempt to flee. However it made no difference, and eventually the fastest of his pursuers caught up with Dab and grabbed him. They struggled briefly; but as they were both running at top speed, they lost their balance and hit the floor in a rough fall.
The worker cried out in pain, as a piece of his arm broke off from the impact of the fall. Dab managed to get free of him; but as he regained his feet the other workers reached him. They knocked him back to the floor, and held him there.
“Let me loose!” Dab shouted, and he struggled to get free. However there were too many of them, and they held him fast to the floor.
“What’s your hurry?” One of them asked.
“We can’t let you tattle to the witch about us,” said another. “It’s clear that she sent you; but you’ll never tell her where you found us.”
When Dab heard those words he struggled all the harder. “I’m not a spy!” He shouted. “The witch has no love for me!”
“She has no love for any of us,” another said. “But that don’t mean you’re not a spy!”
Dab continued struggling, mightily.
“He’s too strong,” one of them said.
“There’s a way to make him quit wiggling,” responded another. “Quick, go find us a heavy rock.”
The injured worker went off, in search of a rock, while the rest of them fought to keep Dab pinned to the floor.
“I tell you I’m NOT a spy!” Dab repeated.
“Of course not,” a worker said. “You just happen to be down here, in the only dark place in the entire mine; with a light that somehow likes you so much, it can’t let go of you!”
“I’m down here because I fell down here!” Dab insisted.
“You fell down here? Fell from where?” Yet another of them asked him.
“I fell off a path in the mine!” Dab told them.
“Sure you did!” Was their response.
“What did the witch order you to do down here?” One of them demanded.
“I have no orders from the witch!” Dab wailed. “Why don’t you believe me?”
“Tell us the real reason you have a magic rock in your chest!”
“I did tell you!” Dab shouted. “I fell on it, and it got stuck to me!”
“Don’t worry,” Quick said, as he came over to where they held him. He carried a large rock in his remaining hand. “We’ll get it loose for you!”
Once he said that, Quick stepped forward and slammed the heavy rock down on Dab’s head, with all his might.
To read more of the story, follow this link: A Story’s Chapter Three Begins.
J. A. Stubbs, Editor-In-Chief
Forgotten Lore Publishing, llc