14

The Adventures of Flooney and Brooney

Chapter One: A Rocking Gets Ruined

Almost every planet has at least one moon. Many people believe that moons are uninhabited, simply because they are moons and not separate planets. Some moons, however, have been known to be the homes of certain types of beings. One such moon is the moon named Astrolunadia. It is located in a far-off galaxy called the Korinowix Galaxy. The beings that live on it are called "Lunies". Lunies are very flexible, ball-like creatures who can turn themselves into any shape they want. The shape that they stay in normally is in the form of a round ball. They move around by bouncing, and they are capable of bouncing quite high. Other times, they may stretch out their arms and legs and walk around, if it is necessary to do so. Lunies are amazing beings.

Today happened to be a very important day on Astrolunadia. The Great Dunie of Eastquarter, Thorril, was getting "rocked" to the beautiful Duniette of Westquarter, Charlona. "Dunies" and "Duniettes" are wealthy and important people; they are something like a Duke and a Duchess. When Lunies speak of being "rocked" to one another, they are referring to the ceremony of marriage. The couple must join hands on the Holy Rock before they can be joined together by the Druid of Astrolunadia, who was known throughout the moon as Druid Dufferin.

Dunie Thorril and Duniette Charlona had invited every Lunie from Eastquarter, Westquarter, Northquarter, and Southquarter to attend the Rocking. Gourmet food was being served, and after the big ceremony, there would be lots of dancing and singing. Guests had gathered around from far and near, and everyone was waiting eagerly for the ceremony to begin.

The food was to be prepared by the two best chefs in the land, a couple of twin Lunies whose names were Flooney and Brooney. Flooney had bright yellow fur while Brooney, her brother, had brown fur. Both of them were busy cooking Moon-Burgers over a fire, as well as making Moonjuice, a favorite drink of Lunies.

"Come on, Brooney!" Flooney scolded her brother, "Stop spilling all the meat into the fire. We need to complete the cooking process by the time the ceremony finishes...and stop drinking all that Moonjuice! It's supposed to be for the guests. Let me tell you, if you let that Spaltchek burn..."

Flooney left her sentence hanging, allowing Brooney to imagine the dire consequences that would come upon him in the event of any Spaltchek-burning.

"Take it easy, Flooney Sweetheart," Brooney reassured her, "We got nothin' to worry about. These ceremonies always take two-million Megaduffies to get through anyways. I've asked Jax to help us—aha, here he comes with his newly invented Solar-Wave Oven. That'll get the Moon-Burgers baking nicely. Over here, Jax!"

Jax was a light-blue colored Lunie who was a close friend of Brooney's. He was a brilliant inventor and was always creating new gadgets.

"Hi, Flooney and Brooney," Jax greeted them, "I brought my new oven—it will have the burgers done in a jiffy."

"Okay," Flooney concurred, "You two can take care of the Moon-Burgers and Spaltchek, so that I can concentrate on this Bimbell pie."

"Right," replied the two Lunie-boys obediently.

"By the way, Flooney and Brooney," Jax warned them, "This new oven of mine cooks much faster than any other, so it's important that we only leave the burgers in for a couple of duffs."

"As long as you don't burn the Spaltchek!" Flooney exclaimed, "I must have worked on that meal all day. It's a pretty complicated dish to prepare...so don't you two mess it up!"

"Aw, Flooney," Brooney replied innocently, as he put the Moon-Burgers in Jax's Solar-Wave oven, "Don't you worry about a thing. Jax and I can handle it. Say, Jaxie, did you ever hear..."

Brooney had been about to tell another one of his silly jokes, but he was interrupted by a trumpet-like call, which meant that the rocking was about to begin.

"Let's go watch!" shouted Jax in excitement.

"Oh, no you don't," Flooney told them in a stern manner, "Charlona is depending on us to supply this extra-special occasion with food. She wants it ready by the end of the ceremony. So you two stay here and watch those Moon-Burgers, and especially my Spaltchek dish. Oh, I can hardly wait...it'll be delicious if it's cooked just right."

Flooney began to hum a good-luck song that Lunies sing at rockings.

"Boy," sighed Jax, "I wish we could watch."

"Oh, well," said Brooney, "Hey Jaxie, do you know where the most foolish folk in Astrolunadia live?"

"Oh, not another one of your idiotic jokes, Brooney?" Jax replied wearily, "I suppose I would have to say that the most foolish Lunies come from my home-town, Middlecrater Village."

"Those Moon-Burgers look a little overdone to me," Flooney interjected, "Keep an eye on them, boys! I'm going to get some more ingredients."

"No," Brooney said to Jax, ignoring his twin sister's warning, "The most foolish folk on Astrolunadia live right here in Eastquarter City."

"Eastquarter City?" echoed Jax, "But, Brooney, Eastquarter is the biggest, most advanced city on Astrolunadia. Where did you obtain your information?"

"Why, from a geography book," Brooney explained, "It says that in Eastquarter City, the population is the most dense!"

"Very funny," Jax muttered, unimpressed by Brooney's lame attempt at humor, "I wish you'd get some better jokes. Say...do you smell something funny?"

"Yes," Brooney agreed, sniffing the air, "I wonder if it's...it's...oh no! Not the..."

"The Moon-Burgers!" Jax and Brooney shouted in unison.

"Quick!" screamed Brooney, "Get them out!"

Flooney had gone to their nearby home-cave to find the needed ingredients for her Bimbell pie, so she did not know that the boys were having trouble.

"The oven's too hot to get 'em!" Jax yelled, "I must have made in error when I was inventing it...I forgot to put in a 'STOP' button!"

"Oven mitts!" cried Brooney in a panic, "I need some oven mitts! Ohhhh, Flooney is going to kill me when she comes back..."

Jax and Brooney were making such a racket that the Druid was obliged to come over to their cooking base and tell them to be quiet.

"Can you please tone it down a bit?" Druid Dufferin, an old orange-colored Lunie, ordered them, "I can't hear myself preach!"

"But Druid Dufferin!" yelled Brooney frantically, "The Moon-Burgers are burning!"

"No need to shout about it," Druid Dufferin stated calmly, "Just take them out."

"We can't," Brooney explained, "It's too hot! This is a specially created Solar-Wave oven that Jax invented and..."

"Oh, no!" cried Druid Dufferin, "May the Stars protect us from Jax's crazy inventions!"

"I found some special Solar-Wave Oven Mitts, Brooney!" Jax called, ignoring Druid Dufferin's lack of confidence in his inventions.

Brooney put on the mitts and touched the edge of the oven slowly.

"Owwwww!" screeched Brooney, "This darn oven of yours burned a hole right through the mitt, Jax!"

By this time, all of the Lunies had gathered around to watch Brooney burn the Moon-Burgers rather than watching the ceremony. Flooney also chose this moment to return with the additional ingredients for her Bimbell pie. As she drew nearer, she dropped the ingredients in horror.

"I knew it!" she exploded, "Brooney and Jax! Can't I leave you two alone with a task for even a moment?"

"Flooney, I'm glad you're back," Brooney stammered, embarrassed, "I...I can't get the Moon Burgers out of Jax's Solar-Wave Oven!"

"Can we please get on with the ceremony?" pleaded Druid Dufferin.

Dunie Thorril, a green-furred Lunie, had come over to see what all the fuss was about. He was holding Duniette Charlona's hand. Duniette Charlona was a pink-furred Lunie with a beautiful golden cone on her head, which was a sign to everyone that she was a Lunie of very high social status.

"What are these cooks doing?" she asked imperiously, "They are interrupting our Rocking! Thorril, I told you we should have used the Royal Catering Service."

"Yes, I know," Thorril agreed, "But your father, King Maycha, wanted to give these three peasants an opportunity to show off their cooking skills. Come on, everyone! Back to the cermony! And as for you, Chef Flooney and Chef Brooney, you had better have a decent meal for us at the end of this ceremony or we'll throw you into the Dark Cave for month."

"But now there are no Moon-Burgers for after the ceremony!" Someone shouted out, "The peasant chefs have failed us!"

The Lunies began to bounce up and down irritably. They tended to be very particular about having their meals prepared properly.

"Flooney and Brooney!" They called out angrily, "You've lied to us about being the best chefs on Astrolunadia! You can't even cook Moon-Burgers properly!"

"We have not lied!" Flooney screeched back, "We are the best Chefs in the land! It's just that...Brooney has trouble keeping his mind on things."

"Let us not waste any more time on these incompetent fools!" cried Thorril, "Back to the ceremony, all of you! We are the main attraction, not Flooney and Brooney!"

"Someone help me to get these things out!" shouted Brooney.

"Follow me, please," Druid Dufferin commanded the crowd, "I'm sure our cooks are competent enough to handle this disaster."

"No, we aren't!" Brooney yelled as the crowd followed Druid Dufferin, Dunie Thorril, and Duniette Charlona back to the area where they were having the ceremony.

"Shut up, Brooney!" Flooney snapped.

The ceremony re-commenced, but the crowd's attention kept wandering back to the sound of shouting and the smell of smoke over at the cook's stand. By now, flames were beginning to leap out of the oven.

"Fire!" shouted Brooney, grabbing a bucket of Moon-Juice and throwing it all over the oven.

"No, no!" protested Flooney, "You can't put a fire out with Moonjuice, Brooney!"

Flooney threw some special Moon-Dust over the oven. It seemed to douse the fire considerably, but it was unfortunately a windy day on this particular Moon-afternoon, and much of the sand blew over towards the ceremony. It then proceeded to get in everyone's eyes, fur, mouths, and noses.

The father of the bride was incensed by all these interruptions. He happened to be the King of Astrolunadia, King Maycha. He was a brown-and-white Lunie with a big golden crown on his head.

"This is intolerable!" He shouted, "Arrest those scoundrels that are creating such mayhem at this very important event!"

"Look!" cried Duniette Charlona, the daughter of King Maycha, "The fire is starting up again, and it's even worse! Call the Fire-Fighters!"

All of the Firefighters of Eastquarter City were at the ceremony, and so they had to rush back to their base to grab their equipment. They were more than a little annoyed to have to work on a special holiday. Nonetheless, they brought out their big Water-Dragon, whose job it was to carry the hoses and pumps as well as having the ability to shoot water out of his own mouth.

They all began spraying the fire with a special fluid which puts out Moon-fires instantly. Unfortunately, the wind again carried this fluid over to the ceremonial area, where it soaked all the guests. To Jax's dismay, the Fire-Fighters then began to break apart his Solar-Wave Oven.

"My oven!" cried Jax plaintively, "My brilliant Solar-Wave Oven that I built with my own hands!"

"Here are your Moon-Burgers," Fire-Chief Indrin, a Lunie with fiery red fur, said to them as he handed Brooney some charred pieces of meat.

"Thanks a lot," Brooney murmured sheepishly, shaking off the fire-fighting fluid.

By now, the guests and hosts were piping mad. No one was much in the mood for a Rocking ceremony anymore, but they continued it nonetheless. The Fire-Fighters helped Flooney, Brooney, and Jax clean up the mess until finally Chief Indrin and his crew were ready to go back to the ceremony. They were all dirty and wet, but they had saved the day...or at least, part of the day.

"Well, we still have the Spaltchek and the Bimbell pie left," Flooney consoled herself ruefully.

The Spaltchek was still cooking on the open fire, which had since been put out by Chief Indrin's Fire-Fighting Fluid. Flooney set to work trying to re-kindle it.

Brooney and Jax began to work on the Bimbell pie.

"Don't you two mess that pie up or I'll bop you!" Flooney growled at the boys irritably.

After the ceremony was more or less completed and the Royal couple had finally been rocked, the hungry Lunies made their way hopefully towards the food stand.

"The Moon-Burgers were burned and the Moonjuice was used to put out the fire," stated Flooney, "But the Bimbell pie is ready, and the Spaltchek will be ready in a duff."

She began serving the Bimbell pie.

"Yuk!" grumbled one Lunie, "There's Fire-Fighting Fluid in the Bimbells!"

"Oh, I forgot about the blasted fluid!" stormed Flooney, "But don't worry...the Spaltchek will be okay. It was a bit further away from the Fire-Fighters, and it has to be boiled anyways. There shouldn't be any fluid in it when it's ready."

"Humph!" snorted another Lunie, "It better be all right...I'm starved!"

"I'll go get some Pipspice to cover up the taste of the fluid in the Bimbell pie," said Flooney, "Brooney, look after the Spaltchek and don't let it burn! It's the only thing we've got left."

"Don't worry, Floon!" Brooney reassured her.

"Where have I heard that before?" Flooney murmured under her breath as she ran off to find the Pipspice.

Suddenly, the music started up.

"Time to dance!" Thorril cried out, hoping to salvage a bad situation with some festivities, "And I want to see everyone out on that dance floor!"

The Lunies all started dancing the Moonbounce, a popular dance on Astrolunadia. The song was called "Don't Moon Around, Get Up and Bounce!", a new hit by The Craters.

"Wow!" Jax cried, "Come on, let's dance!"

They rushed out and began dancing. Jax danced with a girl named Cinnel, and Brooney danced with a girl named Tiffy. They all began to sing along with the musicians.

"Boy, I sure am thirsty," Brooney said after they had danced for awhile, "I wish I hadn't spilled Moonjuice over the fire."

"Well, that's okay, Brooney," giggled Tiffy, "I just happened to bring along something better."

"Something better than Moonjuice?" asked Brooney.

"It's called 'Nesbitt'," Tiffy whispered, untying a flask from her belt, "Cinnel's got some, too."

"Nesbitt?" Brooney gasped, "That's a pretty strong drink, isn't it?"

Nesbitt was so powerful that there was a law which had been put in place by King Maycha which forbade anyone to drink more than a few drops of Nesbitt. There were, however, some Lunies who liked to disobey this law; and it seemed that Cinnel and Tiffy were among those Lunies. Like Jax, the two Lunie-girls came from Middlecrater Village. This particular village was well-known for being a wild party-town, one which brewed plenty of Nesbitt.

Brooney knew that the punishment for getting drunk on Astrolunadia was two days in the Dark Cave, and so he was wary of the Nesbitt.

"We'll only take a couple of gulps," Tiffy told Brooney, "It'll really quench your thirst, Brooney."

Tiffy took a couple of sips to demonstrate.

"That's all I take," she told him, "That much won't get you drunk."

"Okay," agreed Brooney, not wanting to seem as though he were afraid, "I'll try some."

He began gulping it down, since he was very thirsty. Jax tried a few drops of Cinnel's Nesbitt, as well.

"Yuk!" Jax exclaimed, "That stuff is awful. I don't like it."

Brooney, however, did like it, and had proceeded to drink the whole flask.

"Brooney, I think that's enough!" warned Tiffy.

"I love this stuff!" crowed Brooney, "The smoke from the fire made me thirsty! A little more won't hurt."

Before any of them could stop him, Brooney grabbed Cinnel's flask and drank it all down.

Meanwhile, Flooney had been searching around the Cave-Kitchen for the pipspice. It just did not seem to be anywhere. She finally gave up.

"I guess that's it for the Bimbell pie," she sighed wearily.

As she made her way up the slope back to the cook's stand, her little pygmyburro, Bonnek, decided to join her. He had been cramped in the cave all day and was eager to come out and stretch his legs. Bonnek was a little donkey the size of a small dog; and was very affectionate to Flooney and Brooney, his two cave-mates. He could sometimes be a bit mischievous, but Flooney felt that things could not get any worse back at the Royal Rocking Party; she might as well take Bonnek with her for some exercise.

"Now, Bonnek," she said to him, "If I take you to the party, I want you to keep out of trouble. Understand?"

Bonnek brayed to let Flooney know that he understood. As Flooney and Bonnek walked over to the Cook's Stand together, Flooney looked suspiciously towards the pot of Spaltchek. Where were Brooney and Jax?

"Hmm," she said, "This Spaltchek looks a little overdone to me..."

Suddenly, to her astonishment, she saw Brooney staggering about like an idiot. He was running around shaking everyone's hands and throwing moon-dust around.

"W-w-we n-need some c-c-confetti, y'know, hic! H-here it is, f-f-folks, no need to fear, Super-Brooney's here!"

"Brooney!" Flooney growled at her twin brother, "What's the big idea? What are you doing?"

She and Bonnek stalked over to him. Flooney was in no mood for foolishness.

"What's happening, Jax?" She asked the blue-furred Lunie, "What have you two been up to?"

"Er...he's drunk, Floon," Jax explained, embarrassed.

"Whhheeee-Ha!" Brooney shouted, jumping upon one of the tables which was displaying various Royal art treasures. He began to dance a jig. The musical group that was playing for the party, The Craters, stopped in mid-song to stare at Brooney.

"This is outrageous!" Flooney hissed at Jax, "We have to get him home, now. You should have known better than to give him an intoxicating drink, Jax!"

"It wasn't me!" Jax protested, "It was Tiffy!"

"Never mind who did it," Flooney yelled, "Grab Brooney before he breaks that priceless antique...oh, blast it, it's too late!"

Brooney had already toppled a beautiful crystal-blue vase, smashing it into millions of pieces. King Maycha came rushing over with Thorril and Charlona.

"What's that drunk doing here?" The King demanded angrily.

"That's not a drunk, that's my brother Brooney!" Flooney corrected His Majesty.

"Well—get him off the table before he breaks anything else!" shouted King Maycha,"That crystal vase was on loan to me from Seltar of Southquarter...and I'll have to pay him a fortune to replace it!"

Jax was already on the table trying to convince Brooney to get down. Fluffy rushed over to help.

"Brooney, stop dancing and come with me!" She commanded him.

"Come on, Flooney lass, let's dance the s-s-s-starlight...hic! The Starlight Waltz!"

He lunged towards his sister, pulling her up and waltzing her all the way down to the other end of the table, breaking countless objects and pushing Jax off the table.

"Put me down, Broon!" screeched Flooney, pushing him off the table on top of Jax. Brooney grabbed Flooney's arm as he fell, dragging her off the table on top of him.

"I want these three idiots arrested!" shouted Dunie Thorril, "They have positively ruined this Royal Rocking!"

Thorril called out his pet snippin, a brown-and-white, cat-like animal. Snippins are often used by Lunies to capture criminals and rowdy offenders.

"I want those three taken to the Dark Cave, Cilfur," Thorril commanded his pet.

Cilfur the snippin pounced on top of the three hapless Lunies. As he did so, Flooney's pygmyburro, Bonnek, charged Cilfur in order to protect his mistress. Cilfur and Bonnek began to chase each other around, yowling and braying all the while. Cilfur jumped up on the table, and Bonnek followed, knocking over a "Do Not Touch" sign.

Cilfur ran back to the three bewildered Lunies and began to wrap his long tail around all of them. Bonnek immediately bit Cilfur's tail and kicked him in the eye. Cilfur leapt up in pain, and as he did so he unwrapped his tail from the trio. The two animals began to claw, bite, and kick each other angrily. Finally, Cilfur gave up and ran in the other direction, tired of being kicked around by Bonnek's sturdy hooves. Bonnek decided to chase him, and he took off at a full gallop.

"Bonnek!" Flooney cried, "Come back!"

Flooney's cries were to no avail. The two creatures ran about, jumping up on at least six other display tables. When they were finished demolishing all the art treasures, they continued their merry chase right across the stage upon which The Craters had been playing their music. They dashed across carelessly, breaking all the microphones and expensive sound equipment, before they finally headed straight for the Cook's Stand, sending burnt Spaltchek in all directions.

"Arrrrrrggggghhhhh!" Flooney cried, "We let the Spaltchek burn!"