Keeper of the Spatula

Chapter 13: Taste-Testing Trial

Inside a small hut, two warriors were standing outside with their spears in hand; keeping guard to make sure the prisoners didn’t try to escape.

Patrick was wandering around inside the dark hut, looking around. “The lighting in this haunted house is pretty spooky, but I still don’t see any candy in here.”

But Squidward was too sour to notice as he sat back against the wall with his elbows resting on his knees. “So it’s come to this…” he said in a glum tone, “Captured by a tribe of native idiots run by a crazy old geezer; and my life rest in the hands of SpongeBob.” Then he shouted at the top of his lungs, “Why can’t they just kill me now?!”

“Aw, it’s not so bad, Squidward.” Patrick assured with a smile. “Maybe SpongeBob found the candy. He’ll definitely share with us.”

“There is no candy and it’s not Halloween!” Squidward angrily pointed out. “What’s really happening is we’re trapped here and SpongeBob isn’t gonna save us with the way he’s been acting lately. He wouldn’t save us even if he were acting like his normal moronic self.”

Patrick thought about this and added, “Do you think maybe it has to do with Hoagie’s spatula?”

“Spatula?” Squidward questioned, looking skeptical. “Are you saying you really believe what Krabs said before this whole thing started?” but then he placed his tentacle on his chin and pondered over this, “But then again, there is what that old bat at Mertopia said. What was it again?”

“I think she said zeh cofoozoza ar sinno and-”

“In English, you bilingual boob!”

“Oh, I think she said the spatula is evil and that it could make your heart all evil and not nice.”

“Well, that makes about as much sense.” Squidward responded, leaning back against the wall. “All SpongeBob has been doing lately is obsessing over that stupid spatula. Am I really supposed to believe that the piece of junk he’s been carrying around really is cursed and is taking over him as we speak?”

But Patrick just had a blank look on his face, “Who take over what?”

Squidward just went back to sulking about his predicament. “Forget it.”

Meanwhile, Plankton was standing on the other side of the dark hut, avoiding Patrick and Squidward as he watched them from afar.

“Okay,” Plankton said to himself. “This is taking longer than I anticipated.” He growled in frustration. “Nothing’s working. That fool SpongeBob seems to be glued to that spatula. He won’t let it out of his sight for even a second. And if Squidward is starting to believe in that curse nonsense, then it must be true. What the barnacle am I supposed to do about that?”

Then he paused and heard voice outside the cloth door. He quietly peeked outside through a crack to see two warriors standing outside, keeping watch.

“So, did you hear about what happened to Jerry when he went up Payne Mountain?” one warrior asked the other.

“Oh yeah,” the second one replied. “I heard he ran into ‘her’.”

“‘Her’?” Plankton questioned to himself.

Not knowing he was listening, the two warriors just continued their conversation. “We tried to warn him not to go into that cave.” The first warrior explained. “But he was certain he could finally defeat her. He was certainly shocked when he realized he couldn’t.” the warrior finished with a chuckle.

“Everyone in these parts knows better than to enter her domain.” The second commented. “Anyone who acts otherwise ends up being lunch for Eli.”

After hearing this, Plankton gets a perplexed expression at the explanation of this creature known as ‘Eli’ who resides in a mountain cave and was apparently very deadly.

Back in the Chief’s hut, the old eccentric Chief was waiting in his throne until SpongeBob walked out of the kitchen, pushing a cart with a large plate covered by a silver top and was escorted by two warriors.

“Well now, SpongeBoy-Bob, I assume that you brought me my supper.” The Chief asked.

“Oh, yes, Sir.” SpongeBob answered with a smile. “My spatula and I sure got the job done with no trouble at all.”

The Chief cackled and responded, “Well, that’s what I like to hear, yellow boy. Because if I don’t like what I taste, your friends won’t like what I’ll make them taste.”

He pointed in one direction, and SpongeBob followed it to see two warriors standing by Patrick (who smiled and waved), Squidward, and Plankton.

“Guys!” SpongeBob called out to them.

But the Chief cleared his throat and shouted, “Be silent, little yellow square boy! I believe our deal was that I taste what you cook for me; and if I like what you make, I’ll be lettin’ your friends go free. Now what is it that you chose to make for your chief?”

SpongeBob hesitated a bit until he lifted the lid off the plate to show that he had cooked about a dozen fresh krabby patties.

“What is this?” the Chief questioned as he stared at the patties. “I ain’t never seen this before.”

Squidward gulped in fright, fearing that the worst was about to begin. “They’re called krabby patties, Sir.” SpongeBob explained in a shaken voice, “Where I come from, they’re the most delicious thing to eat.”

“Is that so?” the Chief asked as he suddenly grinned and chuckled. “Well, why don’t I just be judging that?”

As he reached out for one, SpongeBob suddenly grabbed his wrist and stopped him. “Wait!” he shouted.

The Chief, Squidward, Patrick, the warriors, and even Plankton gasped at what they saw SpongeBob doing.

“Sponge,” the Chief asked with a cynical chuckle. “Just what are you doing?”

“I can’t just let you eat the krabby patties.” SpongeBob explained as he placed his arms around the patties as if trying to hoard them. “You have to observe their beauty and preserve their wellness.”

Squidward groaned and mumbled, “What is that idiot saying?”

The Chief stood from his throne and shouted, “I can’t believe what I’m hearing! I order you to cook me a meal and instead you refuse to let me eat and demand I pree-serve the beauty and not eat ‘em!”

SpongeBob gasped nervously and nodded. “Well…yes.” He squeaked.

But then, the Chief’s anger disappeared and he laughed out loud as he put his arm around SpongeBob. “Well, that is the most glorious thing I ever heard!” his laughter was joined by SpongeBob, who thought he had no choice but to join in if his life depended on it. “As much as I love eatin’ food, I never thought that my eatin’ ‘em all would keep ‘em from lookin’ as good as they taste.”

“I’m glad you feel that way, Chief.” SpongeBob happily replied.

“Now, genius frycook,” the Chief began asking, “Mind if I have a bite of one? I still need to see if their taste is worth preservin’. Also, I won’t be lettin’ your friends go if I don’t and you’ll clean my bathroom.”

SpongeBob took this into consideration and glanced at his captive friends before answering, “Okay.”

The Chief contently turned to the plate of krabby patties and grabbed one. SpongeBob looked in horror as the Chief took a bite of the sandwich. He covered the spatula with his palm as if to keep it from viewing the horror of the Chief chewing his food.

When the Chief swallowed, he grew a smile on his face. “Why…I never tasted something so delectable in all my time as ruler of this here village.” He turned to SpongeBob. “This is the best food I ever eaten!”

SpongeBob smiled in joy along with Patrick, Squidward, and Plankton, who cheered for joy at their freedom.

“Well, thank you for being a great customer.” SpongeBob said with a smile to the Chief as he bowed. “Now I guess my friends and I better be going. We still got a long ways ahead of us.”

When SpongeBob turned around and began to take a step forward, the Chief suddenly yelled, “Now hold up there, yellow chef!” SpongeBob turned back around as the Chief continued, “You ain’t leaving!”

“Huh?” Squidward questioned in confusion while Plankton and Patrick had puzzled looks as well.

“But- But I thought you liked my krabby patties.” SpongeBob pointed out. “We had a deal.”

“Why, I did like your meal, boy.” The Chief explained with a smile. “Your friends are free to go wherever they please. But I want you to stay here forever and be my new personal chef. I want you to make me those krabby patties, as you call ‘em, whenever I want.”

SpongeBob stood there in shock at the Chief’s backstabbing move. But Squidward just smiled and waved, “Well, SpongeBob, it’s been a real pleasure.” He contently walked away from the warriors. “Have fun with your new job.”

“Wait!” SpongeBob’s voice shouted as he talked with the Chief. “I have you be honest with you. Yes, I do make krabby patties. But I didn’t make the ones you loved so much.” He pointed at the spatula in his hand. “It was him. He is the one who makes the most delicious patties in the whole sea and its original maker.”

The Chief stared blankly at him, but then chuckled, “Heh, heh, well…since you tell me that…” he pointed his staff at SpongeBob. “Guards! Take that spatula and throw these inferior bein’s outta here!”

The warriors pointed their spears at SpongeBob and began to slowly approach him to take the spatula for their leader. SpongeBob gasped and turned around in an attempt to make a run for it. But he tripped on a crack in the floor and stumbled forward, losing his grip on the spatula. He gasped as the spatula flew through the air.

But it managed to land in the hands of Squidward Tentacles. “What the…” he asked, staring at the spatula.

He turned his head to see the warriors charging at him with their spears pointed. He screamed in horror and ran off. Squidward looked at the spatula in his hand and decided to quickly get rid of it by tossing it in the air.

“I’m open! I’m open!” Patrick shouted as he saw the spatula flying in the air and he quickly caught it.

He then ran away while chuckling excitedly, and then stopped in front of a warrior who pointed his spear at him. Instead of resisting, Patrick willingly tossed the spatula into his hands. “You’re it!” he pointed before running away, laughing.

The warrior just stood there and stared at the spatula until SpongeBob shouted, “No!” and tackled him to the ground, causing the spatula to fall out of his grip and slide across the ground.

It was caught by Plankton, who lifted the spatula above his head. “At last!” he shouted in triumph. “It’s finally mine! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!” he began to quickly make his way to the exit, “Now to make my hasty escape.”

But before he could get anywhere far, Patrick suddenly belly flopped on top of him. The starfish then grabbed the spatula and stood up. “Steal!” he shouted before running away, giggling.
Plankton just laid there on the ground, crushed by the Patrick’s tackle. “Oww…” he ground in pain.

As Patrick ran away with the spatula, chuckling, he was suddenly whacked across the face by one of the warriors with his spear. The starfish fell to the ground and the warrior grabbed the spatula and ran away with it.

But then, SpongeBob slid underneath the warrior and pulled the spatula away. He ran away, hugging the spatula close in glee. But with his eyes closed, he accidentally bumped into Squidward and both fell backwards. Squidward held his head and glared at SpongeBob. “Watch where you’re going, idiot.” He told him.

But suddenly the two were dog-piled by practically all the warriors in the room in an attempt to steal the spatula. However, the spatula slid on the ground away from the group and came to a stop at the feet of the Chief, who picked it up in triumph.

“Yes! YES, I’VE GOT IT!” The Chief yelled in triumph as he held up the golden spatula. “My magical chef to make me all them krabby patties I want! It’s mine forever!”

“NO!” SpongeBob’s voice yelled out.

The Chief stopped gloating and turned his attention to SpongeBob, who had gotten out of the pile of warriors and Squidward, and was now standing and breathing heavily with an enraged look on his face. He clenched his fists and spoke in-between breaths, “My spatula…my precious spatula…it’s mine…mine…HOAGIE!!!”

Then he suddenly screamed and leapt forward and tackled the Chief down to the ground. Squidward and Patrick watched in shock and horror at the extreme measures SpongeBob took as he wrestled the elderly chief in order to reclaim his spatula. The three winced and averted their eyes at the punching, kicking, and muffled grunts and curses they were witnessing.

Afterwards, SpongeBob was standing on top of the defeated Chief with the spatula in his hand and the tiki crown that had somehow ended up on his head. Like last time, SpongeBob’s rage has somehow vanished as he snuggled the spatula closely.

“Are you okay, Hoagie?” He asked the spatula in a consoling tone, “I wasn’t gonna let that mean ‘ol chief take you away.”

The defeated Chief groaned in pain at SpongeBob’s feet, and then passed out unconscious. The warriors stared at this, and began to approach them. Squidward, Patrick, Plankton, and SpongeBob gasp at this. But instead of attacking, they got on their knees and bowed before the sponge.

“We are at your service, my chief.” The heard warrior told SpongeBob as he bowed.

“Chief?” SpongeBob questioned. “I’m no- Oh!” he quickly understood everything and cleared his throat before speaking out loud, “In that case, loyal subjects! Assist me and my friends in preparing for our journey!”

The next early morning, Plankton was waiting outside the village entrance while SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward prepared to continue the journey. Plankton smirked in satisfaction as an idea formed in his head.

“It’s now or never.” Plankton told himself. “I’m through playing games to get that spatula. It seems that as long SpongeBob is alive, he’ll never let go of that spatula. And I know just the thing to take care of that.” He laughed evilly, but quickly stopped, “But as long as he has his idiot bodyguards with him, this could turn out more complicated than I thought. Which is why in order for me to complete this plan, I must separate him from Patrick and Squidward.”

After he formed his evil plan to get the golden spatula, SpongeBob, Squidward, and Patrick arrived at the gate after regaining their bags and items. SpongeBob waved to the warriors and shouted, “Thanks for letting us out, guys! Good luck with your new chief!”

The warriors all waved their spears in goodbye along with the head warrior, wearing the tiki crown on his head after being named chief by SpongeBob. The three met up with Plankton, who sat at the entrance for them.

“Sorry to keep you waiting, Plankton.” SpongeBob apologized with a smile.

“It’s no trouble, SpongeBob.” Plankton said with a friendly smile. “I’m ready to keep going. In fact, I know a shortcut to the Arctic.”

“You do?”

“Yes,” Plankton nodded and began to lead the way. “Just follow me. It’s actually not too far from here.”

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