Keeper of the Spatula

Chapter 3: Company Road Trip

The next morning, SpongeBob, Patrick, Mr. Krabs, and Squidward left to begin their long journey to the Arctic Ocean to destroy the cursed spatula of Hoagie Grindulas. They were now sailing across the sea on a small tugboat that was supposed to take them to the first spot on their journey.

Mr. Krabs was standing on the bow with a fancy walking stick in his right claw. Squidward was standing next to him, wearing a large knapsack.

“This is the boat you rented that’s supposed to take us to where we’re supposed to go to destroy the spatula?” Squidward asked in a disappointed tone.

“What?” Mr. Krabs asked with a shrug. “It was the cheapest one I could get.”

From the top of the tugboat, a large pipe was releasing black smoke as it sailed from the water. Then Mr. Krabs got close to Squidward and whispered, “Besides, Mr. Squidward…with the four of us, getting to that volcano is snap.”

“And letting SpongeBob carry the spatula is a good idea?” Squidward questioned, skeptical of letting someone he thought was a careless idiot carry something so precious.

While the tugboat continued to pollute the air with smoke from its stack, SpongeBob and Patrick were standing at the stern of the boat, watching the world they were leaving behind. SpongeBob was still wearing his Krusty Krab hat as well as a small travel pack while Patrick wore a mini fridge on his back.

“Isn’t this exciting, Patrick?” SpongeBob asked as he jumped up and down in eagerness. “It’s like a vacation, only with exhausted traveling.”

“You said it, pal.” Patrick replied with a smile. “I haven’t been this far from home since last Tuesday.”

“Wow, where’d you go?”

“The mailbox.” Patrick simply replied as SpongeBob raised an eyebrow.

“Land ho!” a voice called out as the boat pulled up to a dock next to spot of land that had a trail leading into a forest.

SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, and Mr. Krabs got off the boat before the captain began to sail away.

“That’s it?” Squidward asked with a frown. “You mean we’re supposed to walk the rest of the way?”

“Of course.” Mr. Krabs answered like it was nothing. “You know how much it would cost to take a boat all the way from Bikini Bottom to the Arctic Ocean? Besides, a little walking will do ya some good.” then he turned to SpongeBob. “You still got the goods, boy-o?”

SpongeBob immediately pulled out the golden spatula. “Right here, sir!”

“Good boy!” Mr. Krabs then looked at the map in his claws. “Now all we have to do is just take this path right into town.”

They all look down to see they were right on top of the path that leads into the forest. SpongeBob cheered and began to walk ahead, “Arctic volcano, here we come!” he shouted in excitement, but then Mr. Krabs grabbed his shoulder to stop him.

“Whoa, hold on a second there, lad.” His boss was sternly saying, “As navigator of this here journey, I’ll be the one leading the way.”

“Oh, how silly of me.” SpongeBob replied with a giggle before extending his arm. “Go right ahead, navigator.”

Mr. Krabs went ahead while looking at the map, leaving SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward to follow behind. “Well, as I was saying; arctic volcano, here we come!” SpongeBob shouted as he began walking.

As the group followed the path, they began to head deeper and deeper into the forest. Patrick sighed tiredly and said to his best friend, “SpongeBob…I’m bored.”

“Now that you mention it, I am too.” SpongeBob said in the same tone. But then he perked up, “I know what we can do! How about a song?”

“A song? Really?” Patrick asked, also excited over the idea.

“Yeah! I know just the song to sing on long trips like this one.” SpongeBob cleared his throat and began singing loudly, “Ninety-nine bottles of kelp juice on the wall, ninety-nine bottles of kelp juice…

Squidward cringed in anger, highly irritated by having to listen to SpongeBob’s singing. But the sponge, of course, didn’t take the hint and just continued singing merrily, “You take one down, pass it around, ninety-eight bottles of kelp juice on the wall!

He pointed at Patrick, and the starfish took off from where he had left off, “Ninety-eight bottles of kelp juice on the wall, ninety-eight bottles of kelp juice…

Squidward repeatedly banged on the sides of his head, hoping to drown out their singing. “You take one down, pass it around…nine…fi…forty…

SpongeBob helped him out by whispering, “Ninety-seven.”

“Oh! Ninety-seven bottles of kelp juice on the wall!

SpongeBob began singing the next line, “Ninety-seven bottles of kelp juice on the wall, ninety-seven bottles of kelp juice! You take one down, pass it around, ninety-six bottles of kelp juice on the wall!

Ninety-six bottles of kelp juice on the wall, ninety-six bottles of kelp juice! You take one down, pass it around, ninety….twel…seventy-seven, no…”

(Thirty bottles of kelp juice later.)

Squidward’s eyes looked ready to fall out of his sockets from all the listening he had to endure from SpongeBob and Patrick’s singing the past hour as they continued down the long ‘painful’ path.

Sixty-five bottles of kelp juice!” SpongeBob sang at the top of his lungs, “You take one down, pass it around, sixty-four bottles of kelp juice on the wall!” he pointed at Patrick for his signal.

Then the starfish took off from that part, “Sixty-four bottles of kelp juice on the wall, sixty-four bottles of kelp juice! You take one down, pass it around…Uh…Sixty…twenty-billion…Oh, this song is hard, why does it have to be backwards?”

SpongeBob put his arm around Patrick and happily replied, “It’s okay, Patrick. We can sing something else. I know, how about the reverse version on the song!”

“Oh, okay.” Patrick happily agreed with a nod. “That sounds easy.”

“Then let’s start over from one bottle of kelp juice on the wall!” SpongeBob cleared his throat and began singing, “One bottle of kelp juice on the wall, one bottle of kelp juice, you pick one up, put it up high-

“NOOO!!!” Squidward yelled over them as he panted heavily, looking rather steamed. “We are not starting from one, we are not starting from zero, we are not gonna start from ninety-nine!”

While Squidward stopped for a moment to catch his breath, Patrick merely asked, “Can we start from fifty?”

Squidward got even angrier and shouted, “MR. KRABS!”

Just then, Mr. Krabs stopped and removed his headphones that were connected to a walkman he was listening to. He turned around and asked, “Did you say something, Squidward?”

Squidward, SpongeBob, and Patrick rushed over to him, and the octopus asked, “Mr. Krabs, how long until we at least reach civilization?”

“You need patience, Mr. Squidward.” Mr. Krabs proudly answered as he held the map. “Arctic Ocean ain’t exactly next door.”

SpongeBob looked ahead of the road and noticed something. “Hey look.” He called, pointing forward, “There’s a fork in the road.”

“Where?” Patrick asked as he looked on the ground. “Keep away from it, it’s mine! I saw it first!”

The other two saw SpongeBob was right, and look to see two paths that led in different directions.

“Well, Christopher Crustacean,” Squidward started saying to Mr. Krabs in a sarcastic tone. “Which way are we supposed to go now?”

“Uh, let’s see here.” Mr. Krabs looked back at the map, but stammered, “Well…I suppose we just have to, um…”

But Squidward swiftly snatched the map away and looked at it himself. He was surprised by what he saw. “Mr. Krabs! This map is totally out of date!”

“How is that?” Mr. Krabs asked with disbelief. “I’ve had it for about forty years. The world hasn’t changed in that long.”

“You idiot!” Squidward yelled in fury. “Don’t you realize what you’ve done?!”

“Hey, that’s no way to speak to your commanding officer!” Mr. Krabs snapped in anger by how his employee was speaking to him.

SpongeBob quickly got between them. “You shouldn’t be fighting like this. We can just stop and ask someone for directions.”

“Ask who? The trees?” Squidward asked with a glare. “In case you haven’t noticed, we’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, far away from any civilization.”

“Well, how about that guy?” Patrick asked, pointing off to the right.

The others follow his finger and see an eerie black-cloaked figure on a green seahorse, standing on top of an equally eerie large hill. From the look of his appearance, they could tell that he didn’t look friendly enough to help them.

Mr. Krabs tried as hard as he could to hide his nervousness. “Well, that’s perfect. We can just ask him which direction to go.”

“I don’t know, Mr. Krabs.” SpongeBob said cautiously as he shook his head. “He doesn’t look too friendly.”

“I agree.” Squidward also said, nervously. “Let’s just head the other way and forget we ever saw him.”

Then Mr. Krabs started sweating. “Don’t be such a snail, Squidward. Just go over and ask him.”

However, Patrick was the one who decided to make the move. “HEY MISTER!” he called over to the figure, “WE’RE LOST! CAN YOU SHOW US THE WAY OUTTA HERE?!”

After hearing him, the cloaked figure turned his head toward them, and from their view of him, he appeared to have piercing red eyes from under his hood.

The four yelp in fright and shiver in terror. “Who do you think he is?” SpongeBob asked in fright.

“Oh no,” Mr. Krabs gasped and realized with fright, “He must be one of those personal belongin’ thieves I hear about on the news all the time. He’s gonna wanna steal that spatula.”

“A guy dressed like that and you’re worried about the spatula?” Squidward asked, equally scared.

The figure pulled on the reigns of the seahorse, and it whinnied loudly into the sky before galloping down the hill toward their direction. The four scream at the top of their lungs before Mr. Krabs yelled, “RUN!”

They both head down the left path and run as fast as they can with the cloaked figure following them on his seahorse. As the four ran through the forest, they all split up with SpongeBob going in one direction, Patrick going in another, and Squidward and Mr. Krabs running one way.

SpongeBob climbed over tree roots and panted in exhaustion as he hid behind a tree and saw the cloaked figure ride past him.

Mr. Krabs and Squidward stopped to catch their breath once they were sure they had lost the cloaked figure. “I think we lost him, Squidward.” Mr. Krabs said as he panted.

“Yeah…” Squidward agreed in the same breathlessness. “And luckily we lost SpongeBob and Patrick too.”

“Wait a minute…” Mr. Krabs suddenly remembered, looking in both directions. “SpongeBob has the spatula! Where is he?”

“How should I know?” Squidward replied bitterly. “Watching SpongeBob wasn’t my first priority when being chased by a lunatic.”

“Hey guys.” Patrick greeted as he walked over. “I don’t wanna alarm you, but…I don’t think that guy chasing us is gonna tell us where to go.”

“Patrick,” Mr. Krabs asked in a desperate tone, “Have you seen SpongeBob anywhere?”

“No, I thought he ran away with you.”

Meanwhile, SpongeBob was still running around, trying to find his way back to the others. “Oh, tartar sauce, where are they?” he asked until he momentarily stopped running.

He reached into his pocket and pulled out the golden spatula. “I wonder why he would want something like this.”

But then he felt a puff of warm air on the back of his neck, and he turned around and saw it was the green seahorse with the cloaked figure riding on it. SpongeBob screamed in horror and ran away just as the figure took a swipe at him.

SpongeBob pocketed the spatula and kept running until he slipped down a small hill under a large tree. He sat up and noticed he had landed right on top of Squidward, Mr. Krabs, and Patrick.

“Guys!” SpongeBob cried happily. “I found you!”

“Great, you found us, NOW GET OFF!” Squidward yelled in anger.

SpongeBob quickly obeyed, and once everyone was up, they heard the winey of the seahorse coming closer to them. “He’s coming this way.” SpongeBob franticly whispered.

“What’ll we do?” Patrick quietly asked in fright.

Up on the hill, the cloaked figure jumped off his seahorse and walked over to the edge of the hill. He stood by the tree and looked around, not realizing that Patrick, SpongeBob, Squidward, and Mr. Krabs were all huddled together, hiding under the tree roots beneath the hill.

The four shivered in fright as the figure crouched down by the edge of the hill, looking around for them. During which, SpongeBob grabbed Patrick’s hand for comfort.

The figure started to sniff around as if he smelled something or was even trying track them, unknowingly approaching closer to the four beneath the tree. SpongeBob quietly reached into his pocket and pulled out the golden spatula. It shook in his hand as it began to glow a ghostly green. This seemed to almost catch the attention of the figure, but Squidward quickly placed his tentacle over the spatula and stopped SpongeBob from doing anything crazy with it.

Afterwards, the cloaked figure stood up and walked back to his seahorse, getting on it and riding away. Once he was long gone, SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, and Mr. Krabs came out of their hiding spot.

“Oh, Neptune…that was close.” SpongeBob said as he shivered, still frightened by what had happened.

“Uh huh,” Patrick also said as he held SpongeBob. “I’ve never been so scared in all my life.”

“Well, this is just great.” Squidward groaned with an angry frown. “Now we got a homicidal maniac on our tails. Can’t we just go home now?”

Mr. Krabs walked back along the path and smiled. “Hey, now I remember. This old path leads to a town a couple miles from here.”

“Really?” SpongeBob asked with an excited smile.

“Of course.” Mr. Krabs held out the map. “See? It’s right here.”

“That map is forty-years-old.” Squidward pointed out. “How do we know the town is still there?”

“Would you rather stay here with a black cloak-wearin’ maniac runnin’ around?”

He, SpongeBob, and Patrick began to walk down the path, leaving Squidward to stand there until he growled in frustration and reluctantly followed them.

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