Chapter 9: Stand By Me
Later that afternoon, SpongeBob, Squidward, and Patrick were sitting in a forest after escaping the Middle Caves in the mountain that was home to the dangerous snakehead, Kobra. However, one of their group members did not make it out with them and went down with the cave and monster.
SpongeBob was sitting in the dirt with a depressed look on his face from losing his boss. “Poor Mr. Krabs…” he muttered until he broke into a sob as tears ran down his cheeks, “I never wanted this to happen!”
Squidward was leaning against a tree, moping at the events as well. “Yeah…me neither.” He said in a dull tone, “He dragged us out here and then left us. How did it ever come to this?”
Patrick walked over to the weeping SpongeBob and asked, “So SpongeBob, do you know when Mr. Krabs is coming back so we can know where to go next?”
“Oh, don’t you understand, Patrick?” SpongeBob hysterically asked, “He’s gone forever out of our lives! A brave man like him suffered the fate of being crushed underneath tons of rubble and a vicious Kobra!”
He began sobbing again as Patrick offered the end of his cloak to him which SpongeBob proceeded to blow his nose on.
“So Mr. Krabs isn’t coming back?” Patrick asked clueless.
Squidward then sighed and began to walk away. “Well, it’s been a real nice experience with all of you, so let’s start our journey home.”
“Squidward, wait!” SpongeBob called, stopping Squidward from going further. “We can’t quit now. We have to keep journeying until we reach the Arctic Ocean. We still have to toss Hoagie’s spatula into the volcano.”
“Are you crazy?” Squidward asked in an angered tone. “After everything that’s just happened, you still wanna keep going to a frozen wasteland just to toss a piece of junk into a volcano?”
“Of course I do.” SpongeBob responded with a determined look as he took the gold spatula out of his pocket. “I promised Hoagie and I’m keeping it. And I sure am not gonna let Mr. Krabs down either. That’s not what he would’ve wanted.”
“Oh, gimme a break.” Squidward scoffed as he walked over to SpongeBob and pointed at him, continuing, “If you wanna risk your life going to some frozen wasteland to throw a piece of junk into a volcano, then be my guest. I’m heading back home, so give me the map.”
“I can’t do that, Squidward.” SpongeBob defiantly responded as he crossed his arms.
“And why not?” Squidward angrily asked. “Because Mr. Krabs would’ve wanted you to have it so you can continue the journey in his honor?”
“No,” SpongeBob replied as he looked down sadly. “Because Mr. Krabs was the one who had the map.”
Squidward suddenly got a dumbstruck look as SpongeBob turned around and began marching forward with the spatula in his hand. “Well, then.” He spoke in determination as he pressed forward. “I’m going to finish this journey…even if I have to do it myself.”
“SpongeBob, wait!” Patrick called as he rushed over to his best friend before the sponge could leave. “What about me? What do I do?”
“You should go home too, pal.” SpongeBob reluctantly responded as he placed a hand on Patrick’s shoulder. “I wouldn’t wanna lose you forever too.”
“But what about you?” Patrick asked, looking like he was about to cry.
He stopped for a moment and looked down at the spatula in hands. “I’m sorry, Pat.” SpongeBob replied, looking sad as well. “But I have to keep going. I have to finish this journey to the Arctic Ocean. Not just for Hoagie…but for Mr. Krabs as well.”
He then pocketed the spatula and ran through the woods as he waved back and shouted, “Goodbye, friends!” leaving Patrick and Squidward behind as they stared blankly at the sponge running off.
When SpongeBob reached the edge of the forest, he stopped when he spotted a large lake ahead of him. He pondered to himself about what he would do to get across. Then he moved his eyes to see a rowboat conveniently sitting on the shore.
SpongeBob began pushing it into the water, using all the strength he had to move it from the shore. Once it was all the way into the water, he hopped into the boat and began using the oar inside to row across the lake.
When SpongeBob had rowed himself almost toward the middle of the lake, he heard a familiar voice shout, “SpongeBob!”
He turned his head back to the shore to see Patrick jumping up and down to get his attention while Squidward stood behind him, not doing anything.
“Patrick? Squidward?” SpongeBob questioned until he shouted back to them, “What are you guys doing?!”
“We’re coming with you!” Patrick continued to shout back to him. “We’re gonna help you destroy the spatula!”
SpongeBob didn’t look happy by this statement, and he gained a sad expression again as he replied, “But Patrick, I told you to go home with Squidward! It’s too dangerous and I don’t wanna lose you!”
“But SpongeBob, we’re best friends!” Patrick shouted as he ran into the lake. “Wherever you go, I wanna go too!” once he got deeper into the water, he began to flail his arms. “Best friends are supposed to stick together no matter what!”
SpongeBob began to gasp in shock at seeing Patrick flailing in the water since he obviously couldn’t swim. “Patrick!” he cried out in worry.
But Patrick continued waving his arms around as he struggled to stay afloat. “Help! Help! I’m drowning! I can’t swim!”
“Patrick…” Squidward dryly said as he simply walked through the lake with the water only coming up to his knees. He looked at the starfish with an annoyed frown and said, “Stop swimming.”
When Squidward continued walking through the water, Patrick stopped flailing around and stood up, now realizing he was still in the shallow part of the lake. “Oh yeah.” He said upon realizing this.
Squidward then climbed into SpongeBob’s boat along with Patrick, nearly tipping the boat over with his weight.
“Oh, Patrick…” SpongeBob said with a warm smile as he sniffled, close to tears. “Thank you for always being there for me- even with the danger coming closer.”
He hugged Patrick as the starfish smiled. “Anytime, good buddy.” He replied as he hugged him back. “‘Danger’ is my middle name.”
“It is?” SpongeBob asked as he let go.
“Nah,” Patrick answered, still smiling. “I think it’s ‘Richard’…or maybe ‘Daryl’…‘Mary’?”
SpongeBob then turned to Squidward with a happy smile. “And thank you, Squidward.” He hugged him as well as he cried tears of joy. “I knew you would always be there for me.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Squidward irritably replied as he pried SpongeBob off. “The only reason I’m going is because I figured since you both dragged me all this way, I might as well finish what I started.” Then he crossed his arms and frowned. “Though I don’t see how we’re gonna do that without a map to show us which way to go.”
“Don’t worry, Squidward.” SpongeBob assured with a smile. “We’ll find a way.”
Then as if
things couldn’t get any worse, while Patrick continued to run down a list of
names, SpongeBob started to sing again as he swung the oar around.
SpongeBob: OHHHH! Me, Pat, and Squidward
We’re going along
Down the long trail
Though we might be wrong
Me, Pat, and Squidward
We’re all a great team
With Hoagie’s spatula-
But Squidward covered his mouth to stop him from finishing. “Please don’t even think of doing anymore singing.” He warned the sponge.
As they continued to float down the lake with SpongeBob merrily rowing the boat as he hummed the song to himself, Patrick began to hold his stomach as a nauseated look appeared on his face. “Ughhh…I don’t think I feel so good.”
“I’m sorry, Patrick.” SpongeBob said in concern. “I didn’t even think you get seasick.”
Squidward crossed his arms and told the starfish, “Well, don’t even think of blowing chunks while you’re in this boat.”
“I don’t think it’s chunks, Squidward.” Patrick replied as he swayed back and forth in the boat, looking even sicker. “I think it might be the kelp jerky I had for lunch.”
When Patrick covered his mouth, signifying that he was about to vomit, Squidward quickly backed away to the other end of the boat with SpongeBob. Then the two franticly begged the sick starfish to hold his lunch in until they reached land. But when it looked like Patrick wouldn’t comply, the sponge and cephalopod quickly grabbed the oars and rapidly paddled their way through the lake.
Once they reached their destination, SpongeBob and Squidward got off the boat and started panting in exhaustion as they heard a loud burp from behind them.
They turn to see Patrick get out of the boat, looking much better. “It was just gas…who knew?” he said with a smile and shrug.
Patrick began walking forward onto the trail while Squidward growled and steamed with anger until SpongeBob attempted to calm him down. “Relax, Squiddy.” He said with a cheerful smile as he waved his hand. “The important thing is we’re now all happy and healthy.”
He took out the golden spatula and waved it around as he skipped forward. “Hoagie’s ready, so let’s go!”
With no other choice now, Squidward reluctantly followed along on their continuing journey to the Arctic Ocean.