Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Tree (10/09/08)
TITLE: Captain Thesaurus and The Case of the Crystal Asterisk
By Tiffanie Chezum
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Meanwhile, at the secret headquarters of the Grammar Allies Guild, Captain Thesaurus burst into Commissioner Conjunction’s office. “We just received a message, a communiqué, a memo.” He waved a piece of paper. “The Christmas tree is in peril, in danger, at risk.”
“And?” the commissioner queried.
“And we must stop this villain, this culprit, this fiend.”
“But?” Conjunction asked.
“But we don’t know the plan, the scheme, the agenda.”
The Librarian snatched the paper from the Captain’s hands as she strolled into the office. “Let me see this.” She paused as she peered through the spectacles perched on the tip of her nose. “It’s from the Terrier … oh this is terrible.”
The commissioner stood up. “Because?”
“Because of all the spelling errors,” The Librarian huffed. “He needs someone to proofread…”
A small commotion from the adjacent room interrupted her rant; the trio scrambled out of the office. The television across the guild’s teleconference and internet game center blared, “This is a V-C-A-B special report…”
Captain Thesaurus chimed in, “We seem to have breaking news, a bulletin, an announcement.”
“Shhhhhhhh.” The Librarian quieted the room.
“This is Ann Alogy reporting from the Vocabula town square.” The raven-haired reporter gestured to the plaza. “The crowd gathered near the giant tree like moths near a flame. Out of nowhere a giant airship swooped down, like a vulture gathering its carrion and scooped up all the Christmas decorations like a street sweeper after a ticker-tape parade … including the prized crystal asterisk which perches atop the tree like an eagle on a mountaintop.”
A buzz spread through the crowd.
“This is outrageous, loathsome, contemptible,” Thesaurus barked. “The Christmas tree decorations must be retrieved, salvaged, rescued …”
An alarm blared. A large screen videophone appeared from behind a hidden panel.
“Umm … Hello.” A small, freckled face wearing large horn-rimmed glasses appeared on the monitor. “Didn’t you get my note?”
Guild members stared in silent confusion.
“You know,” he continued. “The one about the Christmas stuff.”
The Librarian stepped forward. “Are you the Terrier?”
Laughter spread throughout the room.
“Not the terrier,” the nerdy scoundrel snapped. “The Terror.”
“That’s not what this says.” She held the note up.
“Man, I hate typos,” he grumbled. “Hey … Don’t try to sidetrack me. You better send me the money.”
“Or?” Commissioner Conjunction tugged on the Lapels of his yellow plaid leisure suit.
“Or … Well I hadn’t thought about that.” The Terror looked perplexed. “Maybe I’ll post your precious Christmas decorations on eBay, or something.”
“Give us the Crystal Asterisk you thief, you robber, you bandit.” Thesaurus pointed an accusing finger at the perpetrator. “We won’t stop until you’re apprehended, arrested, detained.”
The outlaw let loose a sniveling laugh. “You’ll never find my stealth blimp.”
“There’s a red dirigible flying low directly overhead,” the Modifier called from the nearby control-room. “The sloppy name is hardly legible … I think it’s the Crimson Tilde.”
“Crimson Tide, not tilde.” The Terror rolled his eyes
“Your shoddy decal doesn’t say that,” the Modifier chortled.
“Darn, another typo.” he whined. “If you won’t take me seriously, then you can have a dark and dismal tree. I’m out-a here.”
“Enough of this nonsense, poppycock, tomfoolery.” Captain Thesaurus stepped to the front of the room. “Ready the Capital Cannon, the big gun, the secret weapon.”
“Uh-oh.” The Terror’s eyes bulged with surprise.
A loud gust of air shook the building.
“I think his blimp just popped, burst, rapidly deflated.” The Captain ran to the window to survey the situation. “We must return the tree decorations to the good people, the townsfolk, the citizens.”
A throng of Vocabularians gathered as guild members parked a large rental truck in the midst of the town square.
“The Typo Terror is in custody, under arrest, in captivity.” Captain Thesaurus opened the doors of the truck revealing the stash of recovered ornaments. “You may begin the tree decorating festivities, revelry, celebration.”
“But where’s the Crystal Asterisk?” a voice called from the midst of the grateful crowd.
Captain Thesaurus pointed up. “Look into the sky, the heavens, the atmosphere.”
The group gazed skyward as the guild’s Syntax-copter hovered high over the giant evergreen lowering the prized Crystal Asterisk to its rightful spot atop the majestic Christmas tree.
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