Gangrene Queen

Adventures in Wal-Mart Part Deux

The Powerpuff Girls sat in their cozy living room that afternoon watching the news so they could bask in their most recent accomplishment of foiling Mojo Jojo’s most recent plot to hypnotize the citizens of Townsville via telephone messages. Of course, once the news anchor finished that story, the girls were in for the surprise of their lives.

“And in national news,” the news anchor continued, “Arizona residents spotted a convertible out of control on the highway heading for the Arizona-New Mexico border. However, the speed of the convertible, traveling at approximately one hundred and ten miles per hour, is not what has captured the attention of authorities and bystanders.”

“Holy cow!” Bubbles cried. “Look how fast that car is going!”

“That car looks awfully familiar,” Blossom said suspiciously as she watched the footage of a red blur zipping down the desert highway.

“Witnesses have described the convertible as being occupied by six adolescents with green skin,” the anchor continued. “Arizona Highway Patrol officers are currently pursuing the convertible, but no other information about the convertible or the occupants is available at this time.”

“Green skin?!” Buttercup spat. “It’s got to be the Gangrene Gang! They’re the only idiots I know with green skin!”

“Weird,” Blossom muttered suspiciously. “I'm pretty sure that car they’re driving is stolen, but why would they be going to New Mexico?”

“Wait a moment!” Bubbles chimed in. “The anchor said there are six of them! Aren’t there only five members of the Gangrene Gang?”

“That’s because my embarrassment of a cousin joined them!” Screeched a sickeningly familiar voice. The girls turned around and saw Princess Morbucks standing in their living room. What she was doing here was beyond them.

“Princess!” Blossom gasped. “What’re you talking about?”

“I'm saying my cousin Angela has been hiding with them the entire time!” Princess explained furiously. She continued in a slightly calmer manner, “She stole from my daddy and since I know how to deal with my own cousin better than you ever could, maybe you’ll let me be a Powerpuff Girl!”

“Princess, we already tried letting you be a Powerpuff Girl when we tried to defeat the Rowdy Ruff Boys!” Buttercup told her impatiently. “But you had to get all crazy with your super-expensive weapons so we’ll never let you be a Powerpuff Girl again!”

“Wait a second Buttercup, even though she really didn’t help us last time, Princess might be on to something,” Blossom said. “Princess, you said your cousin Angela was living with the Gangrene Gang?” She asked.

“That’s what I just said!” Princess shouted. “My cousin changed her hair and ran away from home and went around telling people her name was Angie. She started stealing from people and then she stole from my daddy so she and her friends all decided that they were going to leave Townsville!”

The Powerpuff Girls all gasped in unison, thinking back to that fall night they rescued a young teenage girl named Angie.

“Psh, why would anyone wanna waste their time hanging out with the Gangrene Gang?” Buttercup asked bitterly.

“You did!” Bubbles reminded her with a giggle.

“No time for that,” Blossom said, playing the mediator. “Princess, you’re coming with us and we’re on our way to New Mexico.”

“Wait a second!” Princess said. “We’re going back to my place first! I need to get my weapons!”

“Not this again!” Buttercup groaned.

“Princess, sweetie,” Blossom said trying to soften her words, “We don’t need weapons to defeat the Gangrene Gang. They’re easy to handle since they don’t have superpowers, and they’re just juvenile delinquents! Even with your cousin on their team, we should have no problem with them!”

“But! But! But!” Princess stammered in protest.

“You don’t need weapons,” Bubbles said sweetly. “You can help us out by telling us more about your cousin!”

“Psh, why would I care about that stupid, immature…?” Princess scoffed before Blossom interrupted her.

“You can just tell us what you know,” Blossom assured her as she laid a sympathetic hand on her shoulder. She hated being nice to Princess, but if they were going to get anywhere at all, she didn’t have a choice. “Where would they possibly go?”

“How would I know?” Princess asked impatiently. “All my cousin does is talk and talk and talk and she never shuts up and most of the time, what she’s saying makes absolutely no sense!”

“Like someone else we know,” Buttercup said snidely to Bubbles who giggled.

“It must run in the family!” Bubbles agreed.

“Girls!” Blossom scolded. She then turned back to Princess and said maturely, “Now, Princess you just told us that you’d know your cousin better than we ever could, so we need your cooperation. Has Angela ever told you where she would want to go? Does she ever talk about taking a fun trip some place? Has she ever wanted to go somewhere but for some reason, couldn’t?”

“Well, she does talk about how fun it would be to go to New York because she’s always wanted to see a Broadway show,” Princess remembered. “She keeps talking about how fun it would be if she could be an actress, and she’s always watching old movie musicals. But I don’t get it. My daddy takes me all the time. The only reason Angela doesn’t get to go is because her parents won’t take her since she’s rotten and evil and she never does what she’s told. Besides, my aunt and uncle aren’t nearly as good as my daddy and…” by now, Princess was rambling on and on and on.

“All right, we’re heading east!” Blossom announced. “Come on Princess. You’re coming with us!”

Buttercup and Bubbles each took Princess by the arm. She protested as loudly as she could, but her protests were ignored. Blossom led the way with her sisters and their temporary partner in crime-fighting following behind her.

Out in the desert, the Gangrene Gang continued to zip down the highway at breakneck speed. The police had long given up following them; they were just too damn fast and they had already crossed the state lines into Texas. Finally, the car came to a slow, sputtering stop as it ran out of gas once again.

“Thanks Billy! We made good timing!” Angela said approvingly. “We should be in New York in no time!”

“Don’t thank Big Billy! Thank chilli!” Big Billy repeated joyfully.

“Yeah, but now we gotta figure out how to get the car going again,” Ace said. “Billy, you got any more of that in you?”

“Nope,” Big Billy said in disappointment. “It’s all gone.”

“Damn,” Ace swore softly.

The sun slowly began to sink behind the western hills.

“We gotta find ssssssome gassss ssssssoon,” Snake pointed out.

“We only have one other choice other than panicking like chickens with their heads cut off,” Angela said. “I mean, we tried that already and look how well it worked. We gotta push the car.”

“Big Billy can push!” Big Billy offered.

“Billy, if we ever needed your strength right now, this would be a damn good time,” Angela said.

Ace watched Angela direct Big Billy. Being the leader of the gang, he couldn’t help but feel a little threatened. But being head-over-heels for Angie, he couldn’t help but watch her approvingly. If they were in this situation without her, Ace totally would’ve gone crazy and an all-out bloodbath would’ve broken out. But Angela handled herself, and the others, with such finesse.

Yeah, if we ever wanted a queen, Angie would be perfect, Ace thought to himself with a smile.

Big Billy hopped out of the car and raced around to the back where he began to shove the car down the highway, making gaping holes in the pavement as he ran. He gleefully laughed as the others hollered and shouted with the excitement that they were continuing on their way.

However, Big Billy, being very fat, could only run for so long before he ran out of breath.

“Big Billy tired,” Billy moaned. “Big Billy wanna go to sleep.”

“Come on Billy!” Arturo coaxed. “Can’t you go for just a little bit longer?”

Big Billy collapsed onto the road.

“Oh man, that’s not good,” Ace said, trying to hide the panic in his voice.

“Guysss, we’re running out of food,” Snake pointed out.

“What?! We’ve only been on the road for two days! How can we be outta food already?!” Ace asked in exasperation. He got his answer when Big Billy belched as loud as he could. Ace smacked his forehead in disgust. “Ah that’s just great. We’re gonna starve out here in the middle of the desert and it’s all your fault!”

Grubber began to wail out of sheer panic, blowing raspberries as tears shot out of his eyes like a sprinkler system until Ace smacked him.

“Get a hold of yourself, man!” Ace snapped.

“Both of you get a hold of yourself!” Angela cried. “Let’s just keep pushing the car until we find something!”

They got behind the car and continued to push.

“Oh man, I'm so hungry right now,” Arturo groaned.

“I hopesssss we find ssssssomething soon,” Snake agreed. “Or we’ll have to eatssss each othersssss.”

“We are not gonna eat each other,” Ace assured them, growing impatient as they continued to push the car through the desert.

“If we do, I say we eat Big Billy first,” Arturo suggested. “I mean, he did get us into this mess by eating all our food.”

Luckily, Big Billy was passed out in the back seat and didn’t hear Arturo.

“What’s that over there?” Angela pointed out.

“There’s nothing out here except desert!” Arturo cried. “How can you see anything?”

“No! I'm dead serious!” Angela argued. “I see something way out there that looks kinda like a building. I can see a flat roof.”

Grubber blew a raspberry.

“See?!” Angela shouted. “Grubber sees it too!”

“You see the building too, Grubber?” Ace asked. “How do you know you aren’t seeing one of those garage thingies?”

“It’s called a mirage,” Angela corrected. “And besides, you don’t see mirages in the desert at night let alone this time of year. Let’s follow it.”

Angela and the others hopped out of the car. They helped Big Billy to his feet and somehow got him in the convertible where he rested. That in and of itself was no easy task and they still had to push the car towards the mysterious building. As the author of this story, even I don’t know how they did it. But as the building came closer and closer into view, the giant neon blue and white lettering on the building was their saving grace.

“Look! We found Wal-Mart!” Arturo cried joyfully.

“That’s the best one of those garage thingies I’ve ever seen,” Ace pointed out. “Too bad it’s probably not real.”

“Ace! It’s called a mirage!” Angela repeated. “And I know that this is not a mirage and I swear to God it’s real!”

The gang moved faster as they continued to push the car towards the giant superstore oasis in the middle of the desert.

“It is real!” Arturo cried. “And there’s a gas station across the road so we can fill the tank up!”

So the gang fueled up the car with some of the money that Arturo owed Angela. Big Billy regained his strength as he joined the others who stood outside of the Wal-Mart.

“We can just get some food here,” Arturo suggested.

“Yeah, but how we gonna do that if the store is closed?” Ace asked. “There must be some way we can get in.”

“Watch and learn,” Angela said as she took out a hair pin and picked the lock used to hold the automatic doors together. Slowly, the automatic doors creaked open.

“That’sssss pretty awesome,” Snake complimented. “But ain't wessss gonna get caughtsssss?”

“Snake, if there’s anything I’ve learned from spending time with you guys, it’s that life’s way too short to worry about getting caught,” Angela said confidently. “Now let’s go!”

The gang ran inside the dark store like a pack of wild animals that had been released from the zoo. Chaos ensued all through the hours of the night as the gang looted as much prepackaged, process food as they could for the next leg of their trip. But the madness didn’t end either. As Ace walked down one aisle with boxes of donuts and KY jelly (don’t ask me what he was doing with the latter…I don’t wanna know), he was nearly knocked off his feet as Snake and Grubber raced each other down the aisles on shopping carts. He merely shook his head in disgust at his weird friends and kept walking when he passed by Arturo and Big Billy having duels with giant rolls of wrapping paper. He ignored them as he saw Angela dressing up the mannequins in the clothing section in outlandish outfits.

“Hey Angie, did ya get any good stuff?” Ace asked her. He didn’t need to. He always knew she was good at looting the best stuff.

“You know it,” Angela said devilishly as she pulled several pocket-sized electronics out of her bra. That’s when Ace’s teenage guy brain went straight for the gutter as he asked himself what other awesome stuff could be hiding in there.

“Oh, and by the way,” Angela said, her voice hushed. She leaned in closer to Ace as he began to feel very warm, “Tell your pants it’s rude to point.”

Ace’s green complexion turned so red you could land a plane on it as Angela burst out laughing. For having spent most of her life around other girls, it sure didn’t take her very long to figure out the one-track mind of a teenage boy.

“Mmm, I could let you have your way with me, but we’re in the middle of a Wal-Mart and according to this awesome watch I took out of the jewelry department, there’s only two hours until the store opens. And do you really wanna run the risk of getting caught? I didn’t think so,” Angela said demurely as she planted a soft kiss on Ace’s cheek, which was still bright red.

“Yeah,” he stammered. “Let’s go find the others and get outta here.”

Ace and Angela searched the Wal-Mart until they found the others in the toy aisle playing soccer. Snake and Arturo were beating Big Billy and Grubber. Arturo was glad that he and Snake were winning and even happier that he wasn’t the ball.

“Come on! Let’s go!” Ace urged.

“But Ace! We’re winning!” Arturo protested.

“The store opens in two hours and I’d really rather we didn’t get caught,” Angela told them. She and Ace walked away together, their hands in each other’s back pockets. The others followed behind them pouting.

They walked back across the street to the gas station and hoped in the convertible as they prepared for the next leg of their epic adventure.

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