Friday, 20 January 2017

The Adventures of Lando Erif :: The Day We Wrecked the Lunch Machine (Pt. One)

Here we are again, another week done and gone past much faster than it had business to.

That said, it was a fun week nonetheless.

Now that it's back to Friday again, I too return to offer the first part of the next Lando story! You might have noticed the mentions of lunch duty in the first story? Well. Here you get to see more about it.

Also vegemite sandwiches.

A surprising amount of research went into this short story. Fun fact of the day: it takes approximately 120 jars to spread 5,238 sandwiches. 

The weird things writers can call research.


(if you missed on the first story, just hop over here and read!)

“The opening of this jar of vegemite heralds the beginning of the end.”

Thomas was standing on the long bench in the Dragon’s Lunch Kitchens. Holding up a vegemite jar in one hand, he continued his speech in a dramatic voice, “For three months, yes, three months – that’s ninety two days, if you wanted to know – my loyal brother and I have slaved away, making five thousand, two hundred and thirty-eight sandwiches every day, but no longer! After today we are free. No more Lunch Duty!” He glanced down. “How was that?”

I grinned. “Epic,” I assured him. I had decided to help the twins celebrate their release from their Lunch Duty punishment by lending a hand on their last day. “Now you’ll just have to do it when you’re next rostered on.”

“Wonderful thought isn’t it,” Titus said, surveying the huge pile of unopened jars. “I’d rather not see a jar of vegemite for another whole year.”

Thomas jumped off the bench and opened his jar. “There,” he said. “One down, one hundred and nineteen to go.”

“I guess this is why you start at morning tea time,” I said, picking up a jar. “How come there’s no butter?”

“Dragons are intolerant to dairy,” Thomas said, taking another jar off the stack.

“All the early starts were mostly so we could experiment,” Titus explained. “We’ve been inventing an ‘Automagic-Vegemite-Jar-Opener.’” These last words were said in an excellent salesman’s voice.

“Automagic?” I raised my eyebrows.

“We though it sounded more interesting than ‘automatic’, that was just too commonplace. Besides, the idea was magical,” Thomas answered. He was opening jars at the rapid pace that presumably comes from ninety two days’ practice.

“I do wish the dragons would ask for a change in their lunch,” Titus murmured. “Not that I’m complaining or anything, but after this long the very smell of vegemite makes me sick. At least today we’ll only have to open forty each rather than sixty.”

I placed my tenth jar in a socket on the Spreader, thankful that there was an invention that spread and sandwiched the bread for us.

Otherwise it probably would’ve been a good idea to start before breakfast.

Or maybe before midnight.

After we finished opening all the jars we started on the slices of bread. This was a little easier as it required less effort, but we needed ten thousand, four hundred and seventy-six pieces so it was a good thing that the twins were fast. If they were as slow as me we’d have been there all day, and probably all night as well.

And by that time the dragons would be feeling very put out.

“There,” Thomas let his breath hiss through his teeth. He turned to the controls and flicked the switches to ‘on’. The swishing clink of the knives scooping vegemite from the jars and onto the pieces of bread commenced.

“Right. Now for the—”

“We’re not finished?” I interrupted Thomas disbelievingly.

“I wish, we still have to collect the sandwiches once they’re made.” Thomas nodded with the knowledge of an experienced labourer. “It would be much better if the machine just dumped them onto a conveyer belt and then from there into the box. That’s one of the additions we’re planning.”

The sandwiches had to be taken off the racks and placed in wooden crates. I took the task of putting them into the box and the twins took care of grabbing them off the racks as they came past.

I had just gotten into the swing of things when things started going wrong.

Should’ve guessed it was all too easy.

I glanced up, ready for Thomas to hand me a sandwich, but he was empty handed. Titus passed me one, confusion written across his face. “It just stopped. The sandwiches are still getting spread but this part just stopped,” he said.

I frowned. “Has it ever done that before?”

“Not for the three months we’ve been here for,” Thomas said, peering into the mass of cogs and gears.

Titus went over to the controls. “Nothing wrong here,” he reported.

A crash sounded just after he spoke and the sound of vegemite sandwiches being made changed to one of grinding machinery.

“I guess there’s not meant to be smoke coming out of the Spreader.”

Maybe a stupid question, but sometimes things were a little on the strange side on Dragon Island.

Who knows, maybe they designed it to smoke?

“Not good,” Thomas stated. “There must be some kind of jam or breakdown. Switch it off, Ti.”

Titus pushed the switches to turn the machine off. Nothing happened. The Spreader continued to groan like something about to explode.

“I guess there’s also not meant to be smoke coming out of the controls?” I added.

“Really not good,” Thomas said.

Titus tried flicking every switch he could and his brother started looking around and fiddling with wires and screws.

I squinted through the equipment, a bright orange light caught my eye. Twisting to the side, I squeezed through a narrow gap. A metal tank stood behind the smoking mechanisms. On the side the orange light I’d noticed glowed at me. “Hey Thomas?” I called over my shoulder.

“Yeah?”

“Is the thing on this tank supposed to have an orange light and the numbers ‘196’?” I asked.

“196!” Thomas yelped. “Not good!” He grabbed the back of my shirt and dragged me back into the open. “You’re still alive,” he said, as if surprised by the fact.

“The controls are dead,” Titus cried. “I can’t get them to do anything.”

“The Arthur is under a serious amount of pressure,” Thomas said, rubbing his forehead. “Why does this happen today of all days?”

“Who’s Arthur?” I asked, wrinkling my nose.

“What. Not who. Someone called Arthur had a big ego and named it after himself.” Thomas copied my expression.

“Magic substance used to make this stuff work. If it touches dragons or other magic creatures it causes a massive explosion,” Titus said, frantically wrestling with leavers. “Basically, if that tank blows it at least half of the dragons here will detonate and that’s plenty enough to blast the entire ocean into steam. Not to mention the exploding vegemite.”

Well naturally. Dragons explode.

Just another thing you discover every day.

“Are there any backup controls?”

Thomas chewed his lip in an agony of uncertainty. “There may be some at the back of Sir George’s office,” he considered. “But if we ran all the way there and found out that there wasn’t we’d be in deep trouble.”

“We already are,” Titus pointed out. “But I’m not sure if we should…”

I looked back at the tank. “It says ‘213’ now.”

“Okay. We’ll risk it,” Titus said.

---

And boom. Everything blows up. The end.

Okay, maybe not. But you'll have to wait for next week to find out.

But just because I don't have options for you to pick and everything, don't hesitate to comment! It really excites me to know how you found my stories. :)

Do you think I should end this story with everyone blowing up kaboom and the end?
Or maybe something nicer?

11 comments:

  1. Well I know what the end is so I'd better not say anything, otherwise you would just not publish my comment anyway I guess. But speaking of the end I don;t know what the end of the Lando shopping trolley story is...

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    1. I could tweak the ending so they just blow up and the end of Lando and the twins. xD But then I'd have no idea what to post next Friday. :P

      Oh indeed, you don't. *mysterious nodding* It shall come though.

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  2. Uh oh, they be in trouble now xD (I have a feeling I may be repeating that a few times as this series goes on xD)

    Oh yes, maybe something nicer at the ending would be nice :D

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    Replies
    1. Hehe, yes. Every story is basically 'the day was going brilliantly and--BOOM something blows up.' xD

      Delete
  3. I'm enjoying your Lando stories. They are interesting and entertaining. I can't wait to see how this one ends.

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    Replies
    1. Eek thank you!! *jumps up and down*

      Delete
  4. Well maybe it's a good thing I'm so far behind. I don't have to wait in suspense for a week! :D

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    Replies
    1. Oh yes, such brilliant planning, that was. :P

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  5. Um, maybe something nicer. Heehee.
    I am so excited to find out what happens next!!!
    Yay!!!!!!!
    (I want to feed a dragon!!!) ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good plan, I like that plan. XD
      I'M SO EXCITED THAT YOU'RE EXCITED.
      Ahem.
      Anyways. XP

      Delete

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