Mossman was enjoying an afternoon nap on the mossy cliffs above the cave and the White Rock when he was roused by the singing. In his several days in the area, he had never heard the rock “sing” before so he didn’t know what to make of it at first — couldn’t tell what direction it was coming from. Finally he was able to get a bead on the source and came upon the the still sleeping T-Bonz.
“Wake up sleepy head,” exclaimed the moss creature in a ferocious but not-as-ferocious-as-you-would-imagine voice. “What did you do?” asked Mossman to the stirring T-Bonz, pointing to the white rock jut. “What is that humming or singing and why is it coming from that rock? Why are you here?”
All legitimate questions, of course, but when T-Bonz came out of his fuzzy headedness and looked around, he was more concerned about there being only *two* Mmmmmm’s on the rock below, and not the three he left there. “WHERE’S VERDI IMBECILES???” he roared to the remaining Mmmmmm’s Cherry and Berry below, who began to quake upon seeing their master up and about again.
“How dare you speak to an Mmmmmm in that tone?” the surprised Mossman then exclaimed, not as a reproving remark but just one of disbelief. “Why?” T-Bonz asked gruffly, turning back to the moss man. “How do you treat them? Like princes and princesses?”
“I treat them with the honor that elders should be treated, although I am not familiar with the dealings of the red strain of that species. I know the orange ones command much respect. You appear to be the master of those, but Lodi, the orange one I travel here with from, as for now, unnamed dimensions, is more my master than I his, although he wouldn’t put it that way.
“Well that’s just plain stupid,” T-Bonz retorts. “They’re just little pieces of plastic candy.”
“Are we not plastic as well?” responded Mossman thoughtfully in that loud but not-too-loud voice.
“We’re different,” T-Bonz says. “*I’m* different anyway. We are shaped like the man of the outer world. They are not.”
“Just because they are natives of the inner world and are more distant to the shapes and forms of the exterior does not make them necessarily inferior to us, um, what did you say your name was stranger?”
“I didn’t,” T-Bonz replied. “But since you’re asking it’s T-Bonz. But I haven’t got all day to stand up here yammering about philosophy of up and down and sideways and whatnot. I gotta find that stray Mmmmmm.”
“Yes, like you T-Bonz, I do not know the whereabouts of my companion Mmmmmm, one in my case. He disappeared inside that cave your red Mmmmmm’s stand on the edge of and hasn’t returned yet, although he promised he would as soon as he could. He said something about a, um, what was it? Portal. Yes, the cave is a portal. It is called The Cave of The Alphabet, he said. Have you heard of it? Is this by chance why you are here, to also deal with this portal, whatever it is?”
“Damn you ask a lot of questions green man,” replied T-Bonz in his gruff way. He turned and jumped down from the ledge, going up to the shaking red Mmmmmm’s and demanding simply, in about as loud a voice as he could muster: “WHERE?!?”
It took all of Cherry and Berry’s balance just to remain upright, so frightened they were, but one of them managed to point toward the cave. T-Bonz understood, then.
He stomped toward the mouth of the cave but then turned back to Mossman who had followed him off the cliff. “You don’t suppose, mossy man, that they’re in there TOGETHER??? (pause). What sex did you say your little orange buddy was?”
“Male, I think,” replied Mossman. “What’s yours?”
“I dunno… female I suppose.”
But before they could follow this train of thought further to its possible, logical conclusion, Cherry and Berry were excitedly calling them back to the rock they had remained on all this time. “We found her, we found her. Verdy is here!” they shouted, waving to Mossman and T-Bonz at the mouth of the cave. “Well, at least MY problem is taken care of,” exclaimed T-Bonz, actually happy to see Verdy in the distance. “Stupid things must have just imagined she went into the cave or sumtin.”
But when T-Bonz and Mossman went back to the rock, they found a green Mmmmmm who T-Bonz definitely knew was not Verdi. Like T-Bonz, he only had one arm, while Verdy most assuredly had two.
“Who are you?” demanded T-Bonz in an unflattering voice.
“My name is Salad Bar Jack,” came the response. “And I am the last of the green Mmmmmm’s.”