(This excerpt from “The Cookie” is the intellectual property of Forgotten Lore Publishing, llc) – continued from A Story’s Chapter Three Begins.
“I’ve filled my cart twenty-seven times since Supervisor Crumb brought me into the mine.” Dab said.
“Now I’m sure you’re lying,” Quick said.
“Why do you say that?” Dab asked, genuinely puzzled.
“You’re too clean,” Sly told him. “If you had really been working in the mine for as long as you say, you’d be as dirty as we are.”
“But you’re cleaner than a supervisor,” Quick added.
“I fell into some water, not long ago,” Dab mumbled, feeling more than a little embarrassed. “It must have taken all of the dirt off of me.”
When he said that, the others turned to look at him in amazement! No one spoke, as they stared at him in a stunned silence. Then they began looking at each other nervously; and Dab could see they were afraid. After a few moments, Bleak spoke; his voice was little more than a whisper.
“Is that true?” He asked. “Have you really been in water? How can that be true?”
“But you are dry!” Sly said, in awe. “No cookie can get wet and live! Not even a supervisor!”
“He must be lying!” Quick insisted. “We’ve never found any water down here; and if he’d been in water he’d be goo by now!”
“I can show you the water,” Dab said quietly.
“Maybe you should.” Sly said. “Show us the water.”
“I will.” Dab said. “But first, there might be a way I can help Quick.”
“What do you mean?” Quick asked suspiciously. “Help me how?”
“Find your arm.” Dab said.
“What for?” Quick asked.
“Just find it,” Dab told him.
“It couldn’t hurt to find it,” Sly said.
“I don’t see how it could help either,” Bleak said.
“We’ll look for it,” Sly told them.
The gingerbread men spread out in a close semicircle; and with the help of the gemstone’s light, they began searching the mine’s floor. They found the broken arm near where Quick tackled Dab. It was now in two big pieces: one piece, was from the elbow to the wrist; and the other was the hand itself. There were also some crumbs scattered about on the floor.
“You wanted to find my arm,” Quick said angrily. “Well there it is!”
Dab came closer, to study the pieces of Quick’s arm; and realized the plan he’d considered a moment ago might not work. He bent low for a better look at the broken forearm; and noticed that there were a lot of crumbs. He picked up the arm and examined it carefully, until he could tell which end was elbow and which end was wrist. Then he handed it to Quick.
He stooped again, and scooped up as many of the scattered crumbs as he could with one hand; while he grabbed Quick’s fallen hand with the other. Dab continued searching the floor for some time; looking for any more large pieces, or crumbs. Once he felt sure he’d found them all, he moved to Quick, and began looking at the stump end of his arm.
“What are you planning?” Quick asked nervously.
Dab did not answer. Instead he put Quick’s broken hand together with the crumbs he’d gotten from the floor. This took a while, for although his gingerbread hands were made to perform many tasks; cupping them to hold crumbs, was not one of them. Once he was ready, he took the forearm from Quick, and turned it to place the wrist-end of it against the detached hand.
“Stick out your arm,” Dab said to Quick.
Quick raised his stump of an arm, and pointed it toward Dab; who carefully placed the end of the broken forearm against Quick’s elbow. Then he pressed the hand, and crumbs, against the wrist. He paused for a long time as he tried to decide upon the right words to say.
Dab finally spoke in a voice which was as solemn as he could make; saying, “I wish that Quick’s arm was whole again!”
“Ow!” Quick cried out in pain; and he jerked away from Dab abruptly. They were all surprised to see his arm actually was whole again, including Dab.
“You did it!” Quick said in a pleased voice. However, his tone soon changed to one of disappointment, when he added, “I can’t feel it! I can’t move it! It didn’t work!”
“At least your arm is in one piece again,” Sly said.
“Yes,” Quick complained, “One useless piece!”
“I’m sorry,” Dab said. “I was only trying to help you.”
Quick did not reply; but continued attempting to move his arm, and hand: without success.
“At least you tried,” Bleak said. Then he added, “Can you take us to that water now?”
Dab hesitated before answering. He did not want to return to the water.
“I don’t believe it’s a smart thing to do, Bleak,” he said finally.
“He’s just saying that because there is no water,” Quick said angrily.
Dab sighed, and then said, “I’m saying that because I don’t want to be around any more water. And I am afraid if I stay here too long, the witch will come down here and find me. But if seeing the water will show you I’m telling the truth then I’ll take you to it. Just remember, you’ll need to be careful; so that you don’t fall in, like I did.”
The other cookies did not answer, but followed him back down the slope. Dab walked quickly, until he reached the spot by the wall where he first met them. Then he began retracing his steps more slowly, back along the wall.
Soon Quick became impatient with Dab’s slow pace, and ran to get in front of him. His right arm still hung loosely at his side.
“Where are you taking us, Dab.” He demanded.
“What?” Dab said, in surprise. “I’m taking you where you asked me to! To the pool of water I fell in!”
To read more of the story, follow this link: A Further Word About Chapter Three.
J. A. Stubbs, Editor-In-Chief
Forgotten Lore Publishing, llc