Chapter 10: New Travel Buddy
The next afternoon, SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward walked down a grassy field to continue their journey. SpongeBob decided to lead the way in place of his late boss, Mr. Krabs, but this didn’t seem to affect him with the burden of having to carry a cursed spatula as well- not that the latter ever burdened him. Though none of this helped since without a map, they had no idea where they were supposed to go.
“I’m bored.” Patrick announced, blurting the previous moment of silence. “Can we play another game?”
“No.” Squidward immediately answered.
But SpongeBob happily answered, “I’d love to. We hadn’t done that in a while now. How about I Spy?”
“All right! I wanna go first!” Patrick then quickly tried to think of an object around them that he could see. “Okay, I spy something that’s green.”
SpongeBob scratched his chin, trying to spot an object around them that fit the description of ‘green’, but Squidward beat him to it.
“It’s the grass.” Squidward answered, deadpanned.
“Darn!” Patrick exclaimed in disappointed, and then continued with the game. “Okay, I spy something green…and wide.”
SpongeBob raised his hand to answer, but Squidward already answered, “Grass.”
“Aw, you got it right again.” Patrick groaned, and then quickly thought of something else, “Oh! I know one you’ll never guess. I spy something green and…fertile.”
“Grass.” Squidward answered once again, sounding rather annoyed.
“Barnacles! That’s right again!”
“Hmm, and I was gonna go for ‘tree’.” SpongeBob muttered to himself.
Then Patrick came at it with another round, “Okay, I spy…”
“Grass.” Squidward answered already. “And the next one is grass.”
“Hey, that’s cheating!” Patrick accused, pointing a finger. “You can’t guess until I spy something!”
“Well, this is nothing but pointless!” Squidward yelled back. “There’s no reason to play stupid childish games while we’re running around in the middle of nowhere!”
SpongeBob tried to come between the two with reason, “Hey, hey, guys…there’s no point in arguing about it. Besides, we’re not running around nowhere, we’re just fine.”
“SpongeBob, do you even have the slightest idea where we’re going?” Squidward asked, looking sharply at him.
SpongeBob giggled at this. “Oh, Squidward, ha ah ah ah, do I even have the slightest- ha ah ah ah- No.” then he slumped over with a sad frown. “Honestly…I’m still working on that plan that’ll help us find a way to get to the Arctic.”
“Yeah! Whoo-hoo!” Patrick suddenly cheered until he noticed the other two not as amused as he was. “Wait, is this a bad thing?”
“All we’ve been doing is going around in circles!” Squidward angrily pointed out.
But SpongeBob just brushed away this idea. “Oh, don’t be ridiculous, Squidward.” He said, waving his hand as he smiled. “No, we haven’t.”
“Uh, actually, SpongeBob, I think Squidward might be right.” Patrick pointed out. “I was wondering why we kept seeing our footprints when we were walking.”
SpongeBob looked down to see they were both right, and that their footprints were walking in one big circle.
Squidward then covered his face as if he were about to cry. “We’re gonna die out here.”
“No, we won’t, Squidward.” SpongeBob assured as he comforted him by patting his back. “Why don’t we rest here for a bit? I’ll gather up some firewood and we can have some lunch.”
With this, SpongeBob ran off, leaving Squidward and Patrick to relax while he went to gather twigs for a fire to cook lunch.
SpongeBob was happily skipping through the wilderness, carrying a couple sticks in his right arm that he had gathered up while humming a little tune. He looked around the trees to see if any twigs had fallen off the branches, and once he found one, he picked it up, and did not expect who he saw.
“Ow!” Plankton yelled after falling backwards, presumably since he was lying on the stick SpongeBob had picked up. “What the barnacle was that all about?”
“Plankton?!” SpongeBob shouted in shock as he dropped his sticks on the ground.
“Oh, SpongeBob, it’s you.” Plankton said in a now friendly tone. “Fancy seeing you out here.”
SpongeBob bent down on his knees to get a closer look at the single-cell organism. “What are you doing all the way out here?”
“Oh, you know…just getting away from city life to get some fresh air.”
“Oh really?” SpongeBob replied, obviously buying the lie. “I sure wish I can say the same. Patrick, Squidward, and I are on a mission after Mr. Krabs wanted-” but before he could finish, his eyes bulged out and he suddenly broke into tears, “Ohhh! Mr. Krabs!”
Plankton stared at SpongeBob in agape as the sponge broke down onto the floor and sobbed violently over the loss of his boss.
“Uh…hey, kid,” Plankton asked in a calm tone over his sobs. “You’re kinda creeping me out here.” He said, reaching out to him.
But SpongeBob sat up and calmed down a bit. “I’m sorry, Plankton. It’s just that ever since we lost Mr. Krabs…”
“What?” Plankton asked in surprise when he began to understand what SpongeBob was trying to say. “You mean Krabs is…”
SpongeBob began to sob again. “It’s just too horrible to think about! Mr. Krabs sleeping with clams!”
But Plankton didn’t seem saddened by this news and instead grinned. “This is better than I thought!” but then he caught himself before SpongeBob did and put on his best sympathetic look. “I mean, that’s terrible, SpongeBob. Why don’t you tell your ol’ friend Plankton everything that happened?”
Even though Plankton was anything but a friend to him, SpongeBob decided to open up to the single-cell organism. “Well…Mr. Krabs took Squidward, Patrick, and me on a journey to destroy a cursed spatula that held the soul of a deceased fry cook into a volcano at the Arctic Ocean, and along the way… we lost Mr. Krabs forever. But despite all that, I decided that we have to finish the journey to free Hoagie Grindulas’s soul from the spatula like Mr. Krabs would’ve wanted.”
“Yeah, yeah, that’s fascinating.” Plankton nonchalantly said, annoyed from having to hear more than he wanted from SpongeBob’s long-winded explanation. “About that cursed spatula…” he began asking interest.
But SpongeBob went on, not noticing Plankton’s disinterest. “I just wish we knew where we were.” He said in a sad tone. “I don’t even know which way to go to the Arctic Ocean. If Squidward and Patrick find out, they’ll be so disappointed.”
An idea suddenly lit up in Plankton’s eye. “You know, SpongeBob,” he said in a smooth tone, “I think I might know the way to the Arctic Ocean.”
SpongeBob eyes suddenly lit up in happiness as he regained his old giddy smile, “You do?”
“Of course I do.” Plankton answered with a smile, knowing SpongeBob was buying his new lie. “I…go over there every two months to ski.”
Then Plankton suddenly turned around and began walking away. “Well, see ya.” As he began to walk away, he smirked and muttered, “Three…two…one…”
“Wait, Plankton!” SpongeBob called as he got on his hands and knees to get as close as he can to Plankton height. “Please will you show us the way there? We need your help! You’re the only one who can get us to the Arctic Ocean!”
Unfortunately for Plankton, SpongeBob was a little too close that his rancid breath was puffing all over his body. Plankton tried as hard as he could to fan it away. “First you should do something about your breath.”
“Oh, sorry.” SpongeBob apologized with a giggle as he stood on his knees. “It’s been a while since I brushed my teeth.” Then he whispered loudly to him, “There’s no bathroom out here, you know.”
“Yeah…” Plankton groaned in an annoyed tone until he coughed in his hand and put on a friendly smile. “But to get back on topic, I’ll be glad to go to the Arctic Ocean with you, SpongeBob. I’d just love to help a friend in need.”
“Thanks, Plankton.” SpongeBob said with a warm smile, and he sniffled as if about to cry again. “You don’t know how much this means to me.”
“Yeah…just stop crying before you drown me with your tears again.” Plankton requested in a deadpanned voice.
At the campsite that Patrick and Squidward had set up, Squidward was rummaging through Patrick’s mini fridge. “When was the last time you cleaned this thing?”
“Oh, fellas!” SpongeBob called as he walked back over. “I’m back!”
Squidward looked over at SpongeBob and crossed his arms. “About time. Where’s that firewood.”
“Oops,” SpongeBob peeped with a sheepish giggle, forgetting the job he had volunteered to do. “I kinda forgot the firewood back there.” He got an eager grin, “But…instead, I picked up a new travel buddy!”
He held out his hand to show Plankton standing on his palm. He gave the sponge an annoyed look as he dully said, “Try to stop saying that as well.”
Squidward was surprised to see Plankton all the way out here in the middle of nowhere. But Patrick just smiled and waved. “Hi, Mr. Plankton!” he greeted. “Are you really gonna be traveling with us?”
“You got that right…Patrick is it?” Plankton answered with a calm smile. “I’ll be your new guide on our journey to the Arctic Ocean.”
“Do you have a map?” Patrick asked.
“No.” Plankton dully answered.
“Do you have marshmallows?”
“Do you know any road trip songs?”
While Patrick kept Plankton occupied with his pointless questions, Squidward pushed SpongeBob away to the other side of the campsite and quickly asked, “SpongeBob, can I have a word with you?”
Once the two were alone, Squidward began saying, “Are you really expecting someone like Plankton to lead us to a volcano in the middle of a snow-covered wasteland?”
“Of course I do, Squidward.” SpongeBob nodded with his positive smile. “I told you I’d find a way for us to get to the Arctic Ocean.”
“For all we know, he could be planning something right now, and you’re too ignorant see that.”
“That’s silly, Squidward. Everyone knows I’m not arrogant.”
Squidward sighed in defeat and walked away. “I give up.”
SpongeBob did not notice his sour attitude, so instead, waved and called out, “Okay then! I’ll just go get that firewood and start cooking with Hoagie!” he took out the golden spatula.
While Plankton continued to be bothered by Patrick, his eye widens when he spots the golden spatula sparkling in SpongeBob’s hand.
“It’s beautiful…” Plankton said to himself as he watched SpongeBob walk off with it. “It’s precious…” he quickly shook his head to snap out of his daze. “Get it together, Plankton. I gotta find a way to get that spatula from the boob’s possession.”
He tapped his chin for a minute, and then snapped his fingers with a smile. “I got it! All I have to do is lead them on for a while, and when the time comes, I’ll take that special spatula and leave them to wander around nowhere for decades!”
He finished concocting his plan with an evil laugh until he noticed Patrick staring at him, having listened to the whole thing. He coughed in his hand and added, “Which is what I would do if I were evil and secretly plotting to dupe you all.”
“Oh, okay,” Patrick said, nodding in understanding. “Boy, you really had me for a second.”