The Life and Lies of Fudgy
Today, we all know about Fudge Croissant, the youngest Eclair, who's a skilled pirate. But did she always used to be like that? What was she like before she met the other Eclairs? Was she as skilled as she is today or was she weak, and perhaps didn't want anything to do with pirating at all? If so, how did she become a pirate?
May 18, is her birthday. The remembrance of Fudge Croissant. She grows one year older every May 18, marking another year she survived, through all the dangers she goes through.
"Fudge Croissant, get down here, you have a visitor!" My mom called. I grumbled at my long name. I needed a nickname. Wondering who my visitor could be, I rushed down the stairs and saw a tall, brown-haired man standing at the doorway.
"Hi…" I stared at the man, running my fingers through my curly hair. "Have we met?"
"No, we haven't," the man said coldly. I stared at him in shock. "My name is Skylar Moore, and this is the first time I have met you...and it won't be the last either."
I nodded. "I see. Um, is there a reason you are here?"
He sneered. "You have been accepted into my school. It is a boarding school...only for the...best." He said best as though it was a specific standard he didn't think I met. "My board of directors thinks that you are a good fit for our school."
"What school is this?" My mom asked. "And would you like some cookies?"
"No!" Snarled Mr. Moore. "This school is for learning dangerous skills. For becoming a pirate. Pirate skills: from tying a boat to battling magical giants."
I scoffed. "Giants? Please. I'm not interested in going to any pirate school. I'm going to become a magical apothecary, and everyone will be safe from diseases and magical afflictions. Puh-lease."
He sneered at me again. "I'm glad that we won't be in the same school. But pirate school is not a playboy's school where you learn to row a boat. Tell me, child, do you know how to battle giants? Dock a cruiser? Cast a spell? I didn't think so."
I stared at him in disbelief. Didn't I have the right to my own education? I wasn't going to any pirate school. I wanted to open a hospital. I'd been preparing that all my life, and he thought he could force me to go to some pirate school.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Moore, but I am not interested in going to this pirate school you're talking about. I don't care whether you learn to battle sorcerers or learn to dock a boat. I DON'T CARE!"
He smiled in a sinister manner. "You will regret not coming to Mensa Academy. It is the best school for you to go to. We've been watching you, Miss. Croissant, and you would be a good fit for our school."
I stared at him. "I'm sorry if I haven't made this clear, Mr. Moore, but I am not going to Mensa Academy. And I would recommend you stop trying to force me to go."
He glared at me, anger clearly showing on his face. Finally, he said, "Fine." And he threw a golden brochure onto the table. "If you change your mind," he spat. "If you change your mind then give me a call. I will meet you at the coffee shop tomorrow at noon. And don't you dare use your cheek on me tomorrow. I will not be lenient."
As he turned to leave, I picked up the brochure, and I couldn't help but think it looked fun. The kids in the picture were holding up vials and ingredients and swords, and they had a big boat which looked really nice. I thought about living on that boat, and a smile spread across my face.
"Mr. Moore?" I called. Mr. Moore turned around, murder etched on his face. "I-I'll come to this school. Mensa Academy, right?"
He nodded. "Good. I expect you there on Monday. At seven o'clock sharp. I don't want anyone to be late."
He left, turning swiftly on his heel, and I couldn't help but smile. Maybe he would be a nuisance at this school, but the school sounded like fun. I just couldn't wait for Monday!
The day came. Seven o'clock. I was standing in front of a large, purple-bricked building. Slowly, I walked forward, and I found myself repelled and tossed backward, lying face-flat on the floor. Confused, I looked up. I didn't see anything except air. I tentatively reached out and I found there was an invisible barrier in the air. I looked around and saw other students experiencing the same thing. I saw a tall girl walk over to me.
"Hi, I'm Sprinkle Donut," she said. "Are you at Mensa Academy too? This is my first year, I'm really so excited."
"You're in your first rank?" I asked in disbelief. She looked much taller.
"Yeah, everyone says the same thing. I've never come before. Hey, do you know how to get through the barrier?"
"No idea," I admitted sheepishly. "I've never been here before either."
"Oh, no problem, we can ask somebody else," she said. We looked around and saw other people smacking the air too.
"Using force isn't going to work," I decided. "We have to use strategy."
Sprinkle Donut looked confused. I shrugged and started climbing the air - and trust me, it was a weird sight.
It was tough (and probably not the right way), but I managed to climb the invisible barrier and jump over to the other side.
"Wicked," breathed Sprinkle, and she jumped on the barrier and leaped over as well.
Sprinkle Donut and I set off into the school, and inside was much less uniformed and dark as the outside looked. A sweet smell of cocoa took over me, and an ocean aroma was overpowering. Excited, I looked around, wondering where to go, and I saw a purple-haired woman walking towards me.
"Good morning," she said pleasantly. "My name is Lilac Gagnon, and I'm the lead ruler of this place, if you may." She held out her hand and I shook, and so did Sprinkle Donut.
"Uh, do we go to a class?" I asked nervously.
"Yes, yes, you are going to boat class first. Down the hall, to the right, and in the second room. That is for you, Fudge Croissant." I wondered how she knew my name. "Sprinkle Donut, you also take the boat class, and then Theory of Dessert Magic." She swiftly left.
I waved goodbye to Gagnon and excitedly hurried to my classroom with Sprinkle. I saw a short, plump man with a goatee sitting at the center of the room.
"My name is Sir Bumfluff," he said. A few giggles went around the classroom. Ignoring the giggles, he went on, "I'm teaching you Boat Class 101! This class is to learn everything about a boat. Docking it, setting it, repairing it, everything! Let's get started. You all are first-rankers; you're new. We will start by learning different types of boats. You all know sailboats, motorboats, and cruise boats. But how many of you know about Skiffs? Dinghies? Pontoon? We will be studying these, and in our fifth week, we will put you in a real river and tell you to take off, and land, and break the boat so you experience repairing. That is a practical exam. UNDERSTOOD?"
"Yes sir," chorused the class, and Sprinkle whispered,
"What sort of a name is Bumfluff?"
Stifling a giggle, I listened as he pulled up diagrams of every boat. His class was okay, but a bit boring. I was more interested in the dessert aspect of this whole thing, dessert magic was my excitement.
Towards the end, he said, "Alright, I want everyone to partner up in thirty seconds, and then I'll give you a replica of a boat. You have to tell me what type of boat it is!"
I nervously looked towards Sprinks. "Partners?" I asked.
"Sure!" She enthusiastically pushed her chair next to mine as Sir Bumfluff handed out our 3-d models.
"What boat is this?" I asked. In all honesty, I hadn't been listening to his lecture much.
"Cabin cruiser," she said knowledgeably. "See this part?"
"Yeah," I muttered. I took the thin piping bag pen and wrote down our answer on wax paper.
"Done!" Sprinks cried, waving her arm in the air. Pleased, Bumfluff made his way over to us and looked down at the paper.
"Well done, well done!" He cried, quivering with happiness. "Oh, I'm so glad! You guys get a brownie!"
"A brownie?" I asked, confused. The other students in the class looked confused as well.
"Every pupil gets a brownie when they do something extraordinary!" He cried. "And you get a mushroom for everything you do bad. Each dorm has its own stash of brownies and mushrooms."
"Do we pick our dorms?" Sprinks asked.
"Certainly," he said pompously. "Actually, I have the list right here, I can make adjustments. Sprinkle Donut, you are currently with Toffee Crunch."
"Can I be with...ah," she turned to me questioningly.
"Fudge Croissant," I piped up.
"Yeah, can Fudge Croissant, and I be in a dorm?" she asked pleadingly.
"Why not?" He tapped the list with a licorice strand. "Good, so you guys have a brownie. Class dismissed!"
Happily, I smiled at Sprinkle. "You can call me, uh…" I racked my brain. "Fudgy. Yes, do call me Fudgy."
"Alright, you can call me Sprinks," she decided. "I go by that back at home, anyway."
We made our way to the Theory of Dessert Magic, which was much more fun. Though we just learned theory, she made up chocolate chip cookies for all of us, decked in whipped cream. She gave each of us two. Licking my lips, I bit in. It was scrumptious. The teacher's name was Aria Moore, and she was extremely nice.
"So, this class is for theory. We will stick with theory and I'm going to explain how to use dessert magic, how to curse candies and the countercurse. Everything you need to know - I will teach you. Our practical exam will be that every one of you needs to curse a bar of chocolate to make someone's skin turn green, and then you need to undo the curse. Alright, so let's get started. Pull out wax paper so you can start writing. And a piping bag pen, please, yes. Okay, so two major things: curses, and countercurses. People can use this for the good and for the bad. We will only venture to the good. Let's start with nougat."
The class was extremely fascinating to me. I couldn't wait for the practical exams!
Finally, it was time for lunch. Sprinks and I went to the cafeteria where they were serving lasagna.
Sprinks and I grabbed our food and sat at a table in the corner. Everyone had lunch at this time, it seemed. Even older people, in second-rank and third-rank.
"Welcome to another year at Mensa Academy!" announced Lilac Gagnon, the woman we had met earlier. "New rankers, let me explain a little on how this year is going to go. You each get a dorm with one other person. We have already assigned your people, but we can easily change them as per wish. I hope you make new friends and have fun.
"Our courses are difficult and we expect you to keep up with them. Please have fun with your friends AND try your best in classes. When you graduate, we will recommend to you the paths we wish you to go into. Even though this is a pirate school, you are not, in any way, obligated to become a pirate. You may do anything you wish, though these skills will be useful."
I smiled to myself. I could still do all the fun things in this school and become a magic doctor. My life would be great.
"As for rewards. As you do something extraordinary, your dorm gets a brownie. A chart in your dorm will mark the number of brownies you have, and the number of mushrooms. A mushroom is a negative mark. You get a literal brownie. You get to eat a brownie, and you must eat the mushroom if you get one. The top two dorms with the most rewards per rank win."
She looked really nice. Her hair was shimmery lilac - true to her name - and she was wearing a silver sleeveless gown, draped down to her shiny black boots. "Previous rankers, welcome back!" She declared a speech for the previous rankers, and I immediately dug into my lunch.
After lunch, we had a few more classes: Dessert Baking, Enchanted Self Defense, and that was it. When you went to second-rank, you got harder classes. Then, we had to go find our dorms.
"Number 582," Sprinks told me, as we raced down the halls talking loudly, trying to find our dorm. We bumped into a pair of two girls coming out of room 315, one taller than the other.
"Excuse me! Watch where you're going," exclaimed the shorter girl, looking at us. "You can't run in the corridors, and you're being rather loud."
"Sorry," I said. I felt she was being a tad rude. I hadn't done anything wrong that I knew of - it was our first time here! Alright, maybe we were a bit loud...but we weren't disturbing anything!
"I know you, you're first rankers!" cried the taller girl. "Remember, Lem, we saw them knock into the barrier?"
I rolled my eyes and gestured for me and Sprinks to come. They were clearly second-rankers who had been here before and were teasing us about tripping the barrier.
They looked at us for a moment and left, giggling together about something. Sprinks and I stared at each other for a moment, and we collapsed in laughter and continued walking until we found our dormitory.
It was beautiful.
For one thing, there were two twin-sized beds. One had light orchid covers, which had intricate floral designs on them, and the other was sky blue, which had detailed dessert designs. I immediately claimed the orchid one, flopping down on it and tossing my bag on the floor next to me. Mine had two pink pillows, and I was just thinking that this was bliss. We even had our own mini-kitchen and TV box set!
How I loved Mensa Academy.
Days passed by quickly. Sprinks and I became best friends. We had minor arguments at times but always got back together in the end. I had other friends too, like a girl named Blueberry Muffin and a boy named Banana Bread, but they weren't as good as Sprinks, who was the ultimate friend. She goofed around, and she was funny - and she managed to keep up my grades in Boat Class. I just could not memorize the types of boats. She managed to let me "peek" off of her paper a little bit, and we always partnered up.
And of course, I had enemies. Hazelnut Creme and I had gotten off to a nice start, and then we'd had a huge falling out. We now hated each other. She kept spiting me, but she loved Sprinks. Sprinks was loyal to me, though, and didn't budge when Hazel did her thing.
On the other hand, I helped Sprinks in Theory of Dessert Magic, my favorite subject, and her not-so-good one. Ma'am Moore made us coffee ice cream last time. She made us desserts every Tuesday and every Friday. I just loved Mensa Academy.
We even got to talk to our parents on Saturdays, which was fun. We talked through the Pixie Dust Portal for ten minutes, before it was the next person's turn.
A few weeks before our practical exam, Sprinks, Blueberry, Banana Bread, and I were sitting at dinner, sipping our soup, and talking about what we wanted to be after we graduated from school.
"What are you guys doing once you graduate?" asked Blueberry - who went by Blue. "I'm going to be a sorcerer. Maybe not a pirate, but definitely a sorcerer." She launched into an explanation of her future plans.
"You?" I asked Sprinks, after Blue had finished rambling on about her sorcerer ambition.
"I don't know," she admitted. "Probably a pirate. I want to be a famous pirate who sails the world."
I smirked. "No wonder you love Boat Class 101."
She laughed. "Yeah. Why? What about you?"
"An apothecary," I said firmly. "I have it all mapped out. I'm going to be a magical doctor!"
"That means we'll part ways in the future," Sprinks said sadly.
"Oh." I hadn't thought of it like that. "Well, we can still meet each other," I offered.
"Yeah. Maybe." The four of us jumped into a conversation about our Dessert Baking class.
After dinner, Sprinks and I went to our dorm, and I pulled out my notes. "Are you excited for the practical exams?" I asked. "I'm nervous, honestly, for the boat class 101 exam. I mean…" I flipped through my notes. "I still can't remember what a dinghy looks like!"
She stared at me. "That's my best subject! I'm great at that. It's going to be fun, don't you think? We get to ride a boat! I'm nervous about the theory, how do you curse a bar of chocolate?"
"That's my best subject!" I retorted, and we both laughed. "You can put a potion into it, or you can curse it with licorice or your hand. Hands are advanced though, they don't have desserts."
Sprinks and I immediately started studying for our classes - and when we got to study for Dessert Baking, we baked a batch of pecan vanilla cookies. And in Enchanted Self Defense - needless to say, we both were bruised for the night.
Practical Exam time. I have jumped out of my wits. First was boat class 101 test. I reviewed it in my head: Bass Boat, Skiff, and Runabout. Bassboat, Skiff, and Runabout. Sprinks looked like it was a piece of cake, she even showed up a minute late in a purple tank top and jean shorts.
"Fudge Croissant!" called the voice. Nervously, I walked up and saw the boat sitting in front of me on the large river. "Name this boat," Sir Bumfluff directed.
"Catamaran!" I said, relieved. I had studied this boat just the previous night. I made a mental note to thank Sprinks when I got out of this exam.
"Start sailing," he directed. I got on the boat and untied the ropes with a little bit of fumbling. "Steer left!" It took me a moment, but I steered left, and right, and wherever he told me to. Then, a motorboat zoomed and crashed into my Catamaran before leaving. I was hopeless at repairing the boat, but somehow: I managed it. Then I came back and landed. Sir Bumfluff took a few notes on his clipboard.
"93%," he told me firmly. "Good job."
I sighed a breath of relief. Sure, I'd been hoping for higher, but at least I got an A. I waited at the bank until Sprinks finished. She, obviously, got a 99%. Happily, she skipped over to me and we went to the Theory exam.
"Curse this chocolate so the consumer's skin turns green," Ma'am Moore ordered me. I took out my licorice strands and tapped it, murmuring the incantation. The chocolate shimmered for a moment and sat down, looking like normal chocolate. Ma'am Moore sliced apart the chocolate, nodded at it, then gave it to a tiny boy behind her who was clearly the tester. He ate it, and his skin glowed green. Ma'am Moore broke into a smile. "Undo it." I undid it. "BRILLIANT! 100%!" I was overjoyed. We went to lunch before we had our next two classes - and I was shocked as to what I heard. We would be taking our Defense class with second-rankers.
"Oh no," Sprinks said, staring at her pasta. "Second-rankers? Are they all as bossy and rude as those two we met in the hallway the other day?"
I grimaced. "I really hope not. I hope we don't have to run into those two." We laughed and rose for the baking exam.
In baking, we baked crepes, and I got 98% (hooray!)! Then, dreadfully, it was time for a defense.
"Today we will battle giants as the exam," Sir Marlo said. He was the teacher for Defense. "Now, these giants are restrained. We have tied them to the building so they don't run off and crush you and the entire school, but they will still be able to walk a few yards while stretching the ties. Let's go!"
Sprinks and I went last, and we were a team - obviously. I ducked, dodged, whirled, threw lollipop sticks, and Marlo was pleased. "Good job, very good job. 97% to both of you!"
I high-fived Sprinks and turned to see the two bossy girls we had met earlier chatting with each other at the opposite end of the grass. Shaking my head, I gestured for us to leave, when I heard a deafening roar. Nervously, I turned to see the giant had broken loose of his restraint and was just about to crush us. I stood in my spot, taking in the scene and not moving.
"RUN!" Sprinks yelled, and she pushed me against the wall, barely missing the giant. The giant turned and came after us.
"DUCK!" I pulled Sprinks down and the giant walked right over us. Breathing a sigh of relief, I beckoned Sprinks to follow me. I looked around for rescue as the giant turned around again, and I saw the only people there were the two chatterbox bossy second-rankers.
"They won't help us," mumbled Sprinks, as the giant ran after us again. We zig-zagged, ducked, dodged, ran, did everything we could until the giant had cornered us.
"You were a good friend while it lasted," I said.
"Ditto," she squeaked, and we closed our eyes, waiting to be crushed, when I heard a girl voice going, "YAHHHH!"
Incredulous, I looked up. Since when do male giants have feminine scratchy voices?
What I saw, I still remember today. The two bossy second-rankers had stopped talking and were hitting the giant with Twizzlers.
"Duck!" The shorter one cried, as the taller one cracked open the restraint. "Distract it!"
I was frozen to the spot. My feet refused to budge. Sprinks's quick thinking was the savior. She picked up a marshmallow and waved it around her head like a monkey, making clicking noises. The giant forgot about eating us and just stared at Sprinks.
"I can't keep this up for - click - much longer!" Sprinks muttered on the side of her mouth.
I was paralyzed. I couldn't say anything in shock.
The shorter one muttered something that sounded like, "Stupid giants," and stuffed something in the giant's mouth. It was an eclair. It also must've been poisoned, because the giant cried in agony and collapsed.
"Done!" Cried the older, taller second-ranked, snapping the restraint to the giant's foot, and he slumped to the ground, apparently unconscious. Sir Marlo decided to rush into the room at that moment, holding a popsicle sword over his forehead. "You restrained the giant?" He asked, a smile breaking into his face. "Well, good job! That was not part of the exam - he was not supposed to break loose. A brownie to each of your dormitories, I'm so proud of you guys. Nobody has managed to restrain a giant, I couldn't do it until two years ago when I took up this job!" He chuckled to himself.
It was our chillax period. There was an uncomfortable silence between the four of us. We didn't speak, but all four of us walked out to the candy playpark together and sat on the Skittle Benches, just staring at each other.
"Thanks," I said. "For saving us."
The two girls exchanged looks and looked back at me with smiles. I couldn't tell if they were fake or not.
"No, really," said Sprinks. "We would've died."
"It's no biggie," the taller one said, casually flipping her hair. "I mean, we learn to save people in need."
"I'm Fudge Croissant," I said suddenly, holding my hand out. "Fudgy, as I go by."
"Lemon Tart," the shorter girl said, accepting my hand. "I guess you can call me Lem."
"Raspberry Cheesecake, Raz."
"Sprinkle Donut - Sprinks!"
"Nice to meet you all," Lem said. "You're the ones who ran down the hall screaming, right?"
"We weren't screaming," Sprinks defended. "We were trying to find our dorm."
Lem exchanged a look with Raz and turned back to us smiling. "Okay, then. Are you guys hurt or anything? Nice moves, by the way. I don't think we could've survived a giant chasing us like that. Mainly because of the shock." She winked at Raz, who grinned.
"Sorry for snapping at you the other day," said Raz. "We were just - I don't know, sort of just enjoying the peace in the corridor when two girls start running and yelling out of nowhere."
"We're sorry for being loud," I said, laughing. "Running around screaming."
There was another pause, but this time - it was comfortable. I didn't mind it.
Slowly, like a bird hatching out of an egg, we all smiled. They were tiny, uneasy smiles, but genuine ones. We weren't faking them.
And then all four of us started laughing. I didn't know how that happened. There would be a silence, and then, without anyone cracking a joke, we would collapse in a fit of giggles.
And since then, the four of us became best friends. And we didn't need a reason to, either. We just couldn't live without the others.
Today, I still am age-compliant to Mensa Academy. Except I don't go anymore. I learned the skills I needed to. We dropped out after that year. Marked as 'cookie smart' on the smart-level ranker, I took advanced courses. As my friend Raz puts it, "I know final-rank material!" There's no need for us to go to school anymore. We are already the best pirates the world has ever, and the world will ever see. Sure, sometimes I wish I could pop into Mensa to see how my old school is. After all, I owe so much to Mensa. Without it - I just wouldn't have become a pirate. I wouldn't know Sprinks, Lem, or Raz. I would open a hospital. I would cure the world.
But today, looking back on my decisions, I'm glad that Skylar Moore came walking up to my doorstep that day, to what seems like so long ago. That changed my life forever. And I wouldn't be the same without it.
So thank you. Thank you to Mensa Academy, thank you to Sprinks, Lem, and Raz, and thank you to Skylar Moore (ugh) for inviting me to the school.
It made me who I am today.
"We need a group name!" called Sprinks, tethering the boat. I grinned in spite of myself. She was, and always would be the boat geek. "A pirate group name."
"It should be something with sentimental value," suggested Raz. "Something who made us... us."
"We'd better be good pirates," Lem said. "We have to do everything, save the whole world, and everyone should like us."
"Yes, yes," I laughed. "What should we be called though? What made us... us?"
There was a pause, and we all screamed, "ECLAIRS!" After all, Lem had shoved the eclair into the giant's mouth to save us all. It was the ideal name. We were...the Eclairs.
And that's how the Eclairs was born. That's how Fudgy, an ordinary young girl with ambitions to become an apothecary became an Eclair, a dessert pirate which everyone knows of today. That's how she met the other three Eclairs, through a school she never wanted to go to in the first place.
'Live for your ambitions, but don't be afraid to try anything new. You just might not regret it,' she quotes.
And life? It was perfect.
There was nothing more she would have wished for.
She was an Eclair.
Yay! Hope you loved the chapter. Written by Fudge Croissant. Stay sweet!