|Trouble at the Valencommune:
Mr. Saaa Strikes Again!
It was a beautiful midsummer's evening, and the Valentines sat at the kitchen table admiring the sun's dimming handwriting scrawled in blood red on the clouds. Habanero and Karma lay in a warm, contented pile on the deep windowsill, contributing an aura of comfort and tranquility to the room. From under one of the chairs came the sound of purring as Anita kneaded her special pillow. Piquet, Sage and Todd sipped their coffee, while Kalaleq made occasional comments at them about the evils of caffeine. It was an evening of relaxation, and all problems seemed remote and unreal, something from another lifetime.
Suddenly, this idyllic scene was shattered by a brain-rattling shriek from outside. The Valentines looked at each other, eyes wide.
"That came from Christine's house!" said Piquet concernedly.
Cats galloping ahead, the ValentrioplusTodd raced over to Christine's lovely gingerbread house which bordered one side of the common garden. Racing into the house, they followed the sound of crashing furniture into Christine's tea-room, where they encountered a terrifying sight.
There, holding signs and wearing bad suits, were a whole herd of Gaggy Old Republicans. Christine was standing in the corner, shouting, "Help! Help! They want me to turn my tea parlor into an exclusive haven for old white American politicians! What can I do??"
Aghast, the ValentrioplusTodd gaped and gawked and shuffled their feet. Piquet, who isn't usually at a loss for words, said, "Er, ummm, hmmmm.... here!" and reached into her pocket. She passed handfuls of small toads to the others, whereupon they all began pelting the oldsters with them.
Immediately all eight cats bolted after the toads. Within seconds, Shelly, Jay, Cilantro, Habanero, Harriet and Karma all had toads of their own. Anita spun in circles at our heroes' feet chasing an imaginary toad of her own. Cat fur flew everywhere. The toadies (the big republican ones), began to sneeze uncontrollably. Meanwhile, back at the kitchen table Claire screamed to be picked up.
While Sage ran back to the kitchen to attend to the Crabby Thing, Piquet and Christine tied up the helplessly sneezing toadies while Todd and Kalaleq rescued the poor, innocent toads from the rampaging cats. Kalaleq, chasing an amphibian under one of the signs the republicans had been carrying, found something disturbing printed on the placard.
"Hey... hey!" he said. "It says here: 'Printed by Saaa Enterprises'! It's our arch-enemy, the evil and inbred Mr. Saaa!"
"Oh no!" SagenTodd and Piquet gasped in unison, while the cats mewed and Claire screeched. "Not Mr. Saaa again!"
Christine looked curious. "Oh come now," she said. "Mr. Saaa couldn't really be all that evil, could he?"
"Wull," said Karma, "I'm sure that Mr. Saaa doesn't mean to be horrible. Maybe he's just sad and lonely and needs friends. Or maybe his litterbox doesn't get cleaned often enough, or people don't give him his wetfood early enough in the day, or..."
Christine, patting Karma condescendingly on the head, said, "Yes, well, we'll be sure to feed Mr. Saaa soon, then won't we? As to the litter box... hmmm, (sniffs the air...) yes there is a tangible odor in the room. But perhaps it's just the smell of toadies.
"So who is this evil Mr. Saaa anyway, and should I be very, very frightened?"
Christine looked from Kalaleq, to Piquet, to Sage and towards Todd, or rather the place where Todd once was, where now there lay a note.
To Our Intrepid Valenheroes & Heroines: In order to preserve my best interests and further my evil plot, I have taken Todd as a hostage. You will not see him again if you interfere with me. Love & kisses,
Mr. Saaa P.S. Hope you enjoyed my Toady diversion. I enjoyed creating it for you!
Kalaleq looked at Christine. "Christine," he said, "there's very little time to explain. Mr. Saaa is an evil villain (distantly related to my sister, by the way) who once tried to enslave the world using his horrid talk shows."
Piquet chimed in: "We stopped him that time, but now it seems he's up to some nefarious thing again!"
"Well," said Sage, "it looks like we're going to have to save Todd, and quite possibly we'll end up having to save the whole world again, too. There goes the idyllic midsummer's evening!" She paused. "Christine," she continued thoughtfully, "how would you feel about helping us to thwart an evil villain?..."