The following story was created by attempting to combine a bunch of ideas people posted on Facebook (at my request)
- Me (Cat Mercer) marrying you (Brook Jensen)
- Badgers on a honey heist
- The private lives of board game pieces when they come alive at night
- Cats vs. Ninjas
- Some story involving me (Steph Smith) because you don't really know me
- A cow falling from a plane
This was the best I could do.
"You think we're gonna find any honey in this place?" said one badger, carefully examining the chessboard as he spoke. His opponent, a honey badger with more white hair than black, shook his head.
"As I have said quite clearly before, this is not a honey heist. This is much bigger than that," he said while moving his queen.
"But Fory, what about-"
"That's High Badger Forest the 6th to you."
"But Fory, what about when he gets hungry? He's gotta have his own stash or something. Bees love their stashes."
"My goodness Honey Gatherer Darl, however is it possible we emerged from the same womb. Both in chess and life you've only survived this long purely on serendipity. Look at that black pawn you keep moving every few turns subtly as if I will not notice. Do you think I will really let it reach the other side? Do you think this poor, filthy, lonely, weak pawn will really be able to defeat me? It won't, and you won't. Now no more of this nonsense."
"But- but- but- bees!"
High Badger Forest the 6th sighed and began to look for something within his fur.
"Have you even seen the intelligence documents we've collected?"
A third badger, staring intently at a doorknob about five feet away, dropped a set of lockpicks. The sound echoed through the deserted office corridor. He impatiently crouched down to pick them back up, and scowled at the two chess players.
"Can you two please stop? I'm trying to focus over here."
"Well perhaps," said High Badger Forest the 6th, still searching for something, "if we had brought your good friend Mike the racoon with us, that door would already be open and there'd be no time for idly bickering over chess. But no, we are stuck with you instead."
"He taught me everything he knows."
"Yes, and in return you filled his head with dreams of chicken hunting and now he's off with the other badgers raiding a local human poultry farm. Meanwhile, probably the most pivotal mission in our entire history is happening right here and I'm stuck with the two of you. Chess is the only thing that will allow me to retain my sanity in this mess, and without it, between the three of us, we'd have none at all. Now, get that door open!"
The lockpicking badger raised his nose and snorted, then went back to work. High Badger Forest the 6th finally pulled a sheet of cardboard from his fur and laid it before his brother. He pointed at the picture on the front.
"This bee, this bee here does not have honey. He does not make honey. Look at his hands, do those look like the hands of a worker bee? Look how clean, smooth, and perfectly yellow they are. They've been manicured! He's probably never worked a day in his life besides the five seconds he spent holding that giant honey server over that bowl. And that expression on his face, with the huge smile? Have you ever seen even the queen bee with a smile that large?"
"Well no, Honey Gatherer Darl, no you have not. This is a pandered bee, a bee so human-washed that his attempts at a waggle-dance would offend every bee in a ten mile radius. This "Buzz" bee is living, somewhere in this headquarter office, a comfortable, carefree life of excess which we will rob from him. After that, General Mills will fall, their honey farms will go bankrupt and we'll move in, securing an infinite supply of free honey. Then we'll be the ones who won't have to work a day in our lives."
The badger put the cardboard back within the confines of his thick fur coat and pulled out a newspaper while he waited for his brother to take his turn. He perused the entertainment section looking for something of interest, but found only shallow gossip on the shotgun wedding between Brook Jensen and Cat Mercer. One reporter remarked that it was the first recorded marriage in history where the bride was forcing the groom into wedlock at gunpoint.
"Done!" The lockpicker exclaimed, putting away his tools and reaching for the handle.
"Stop," said High Badger Forest the 6th, standing up and leaving his chess set behind, "I shall be the one to enter first. I will not allow you to blunder forward blind and haphazardly ruin this entire operation. Move aside. Ehem. Are you both ready? Three, two, one."
He pushed open the door, and a relatively bland room containing only a desk, two filing cabinets, and a massive 7 foot tall safe built into the back wall greeted them. High Badger Forest the 6th looked to the lockpicker and motioned his nose toward the safe. The lockpicker nodded and rushed to obey.
"Honey Gatherer Darl?"
"Yes bro- High Badger Forest the 6th?"
"Let us search through this desk and cabinets for clues."
The cete of badgers nosed about for a good two hours to no avail, the lockpicker still struggling with the safe and his two companions sifting through piles and piles of paper. Suddenly, their search was interrupted by a loud banging sound. High Badger Forest the 6th looked up to see his brother pounding his fists against the desk, holding a black queen.
"You've been cheating!" he yelled.
"You've been cheating! You took my queen off the board and hid it in this room, thinking I wouldn't notice. Thinking I would be too dumb, but no! Not this time! You think you're so smart, but you're nothing but a phoney!"
"How dare you accuse me of cheating," said High Badger Forest the 6th, "I need not cheat to beat the likes of you. I took no queen from that board."
"Then how do you explain me finding it on the floor? The queen didn't just grow legs and walk in here. You took it!"
"I most certainly did not!"
Both badgers raised their backs as high as they could go and stepped toward each other, never breaking eye contact. Their noses came within an inch of each other, and their glares fumed hotter than the fires of badger hell.
They both turned around to see the lockpicker pulling open the safe door. They quickly dropped back to all fours and scurried over. Instead of finding a cheery bee, though, the badgers instead found a woman inside.
"I am Steph Smith," she said, "Master of Chess."
All three badgers heard a faint noise behind them and quickly turned around. Every piece of the chess set was now standing at the doorway, completely motionless, blocking their escape. They turned back to Steph.
"What?" said the lockpicker, utterly confused.
"When I was two years old my parents had already discovered I was special. Chess pieces near me would move as if on their own. At first they believed the house was haunted, but when the problem persisted across three countries and two continents they started looking deeper. One day I was begging them to get into the cookie jar, but being parents they refused until after dinner. A king quickly darted from my fathers chess set and knocked over the jar, spilling cookies right at my feet. I feasted, and they realized I was the one commanding the chess pieces with my mind.
"They tried to hide it from the public, but a major incident in 1937 brought an end to that, and my freedom. General Mills was, at the time, about to release a new line of cereal featuring mini-marshmallows shaped as chess pieces. Their marketing campaign: to give a box to Amelia Earhart so that she could sit down for a bowl after successfully crossing the Atlantic. It was to become the cereal of the feminists, a symbol of freedom and empowerment worldwide. That box was in the plane when she disappeared."
"Wait," said Darl, raising his nose inquisitively, "are you saying you made Amelia Earhart crash?"
"No, that's what General Mills didn't understand. They came after me and locked me in this stasis box for decades because they thought I used to chess pieces to crash her plane. That wasn't it, though, that wasn't it at all. I was trying to use them to warn her about what was coming."
"A cow that fell from the sky. Neither her or the cereal made it, and General Mills was forced to make Lucky Charms instead."
The prisoner and the three badgers simply stood there a few minutes, each thinking over the situation. High Badger Forest the 6th finally broke the silence.
"I don't buy it," he said, "your story has some nice details and a solid pace, but every single element reeks of fabrication. It is as if your entire life was a lie, made up by someone who knows nothing about you and simply threw in a bunch of details to make a character. At no point in the tale did I feel a sense of it being grounded in reality."
"Did I mention I use tumblr, own tarot cards, and am studying something to do with media, news, or journalism at Conestoga College?"
High Badger Forest the 6th furrowed his brow.
"Humpf. Well, it's of little consequence. We're here looking for a bee, so you may go on your way and we shall get back to our important business."
"I don't think so," she said, "after being trapped here for so long the only things left of me are bitterness, bloodlust, and a thirst for revenge. I shall see every living thing destroyed, starting with you."
High Badger Forest the 6th felt the lockpicker nervously tapping his shoulder. He looked back to follow his gaze, and saw the chess pieces were now five feet closer.
"Ha, is that your plan? Honey Gatherer Darl!"
Without further instruction his brother ran to the pieces and knocked them over, scattering them about the room. High Badger Forest the 6th stood up on his hind legs, raising himself to about a third the height of their adversary.
"We are badgers. It is only because of us that the Ninjas won the Feline Wars. The three of us can easily handle you and your dozen or so plastic allies."
"Perhaps... but you've neglected one important fact."
"And that is?"
"General Mills has a chess club."
An instant after the words left her lips the ground exploded. Hundreds of pawns, both black and white, blasted at high speed through the concrete floor and filled the air. Like bees they flew wildly about, swarming around the badgers and pelting them with their round bulbous heads. The badgers, unable to move due to the sheer density of flying plastic, were only able to vainly swipe at the pieces with their eyes glued shut for protection. Within minutes High Badger Forest the 6th, his brother Honey Gatherer Darl, and the unnamed lockpicker were reduced to a pile of blood, tissue, and fur, never to be heard from again.
Steph Smith, no worse for wear, left the building, a swarm of blood covered pawns following in her wake.