Gangrene Queen

A Walk in the Park

Nearly two weeks had passed since Angela ran away from Morbucks Mansion. It was the first day of autumn, and on this particularly lovely morning, Angela was the first one awake. She was combing her hair using a comb she found lying around on the table where the gang was playing poker the night before (and predictably, Grubber won, as always). As she attempted to flatten her hair, which was starting to curl back into waves of brown and gold, she began singing “Pocket Full of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield at the top of her lungs.

Lil Arturo came in from the other room and upon seeing Angela using his comb as a microphone, his jaw dropped.

“Maria!” Arturo cried out in horror. No one ever used that comb except for him. He loved it more than anything else he owned. He swiped thee comb from Angela’s possession, noticing strands of her brown and gold hair caught in the teeth. “I'm sorry, Maria,” Arturo whispered affectionately to the comb. “Mi corazón, mi amor,” he added. He was about to walk away to go give Maria her daily polish.

“You’re in love with a comb?” Angela asked. “That’s mildly disturbing.”

“You have no respect for other people’s belongings, do you?” Arturo asked, growing annoyed.

“I’ve learned from the best, Shorty,” Angela said as she stuck her tongue out at him.

“Clever, did you think of that one yourself?” Arturo asked in disgust. He was used to people making fun of his size, but it got old quickly.

Ace walked in, an irritated expression on his face.

“Would yous guys keep it down?” He asked impatiently. “Some of us like to sleep in!”

“Good morning, hardware store,” Angela greeted in the sardonic manner which she’d grown accustomed to using.

Hardware store?” Ace asked in deep irritation. “Hardware store?!”

“Yes,” Angela nodded. “How do you go around thinking you’re so cool when you share the same name as a hardware store?”

Ace wanted to slap Angela. But then again, he knew that you just don’t hit a girl. He knew how much of a jerk he was, but that was a level he would never allow himself to sink.

Instead, Ace clocked Arturo on the head.

“What was that for?” Arturo asked. “You’re mad at her, not me!”

“The both of ya need to shut up,” Ace said. “I'm going back to bed.”

“I dunno how you do that,” Angela said. “You’re the only person I know who can sleep until three in the afternoon. Besides, I just had a random thought.”

“Not now,” Ace groaned. “It’s too early for that!” But Arturo was intrigued.

“What’s that?” Arturo wanted to know.

“It’s been two weeks since I became your queen,” Angela pointed out. “And I say we celebrate my jubilee with ice cream on my dime, especially since the word ‘jubilee’ sounds like an ice cream flavor anyway.”

Ace liked that idea. Ice cream on someone else’s dime was always a good idea to him. This was a perfect example to him of how Angie was absolutely annoying, yet impossible to stay mad at.

Forty minutes later, the gang walked out of the Townsville Ice Cream Parlor after completely annoying the guy at the counter who was wishing he had a different job. They jumped into their car and drove off down the road.

Grubber, as usual, drove. Surprisingly, he was the only one who could drive the gang from point A to point B in one piece. Ace could drive, just not in a straight line, Arturo was too short to reach the pedals, and the rest of them couldn’t drive their way out of a paper bag. Ace usually sat shotgun and Arturo sat on Angela’s lap (since there was only room in the convertible for five people) as Angela sat sandwiched between Big Billy and Snake.

“Sssssooo now what do we do?” Snake asked as he ran his forked tongue over his chocolate ice cream cone. Grubber drove past the Townsville Park with one hand on the wheel and the other hand on his double-scoop ice cream cone.

“We could have a little fun at the park,” Ace suggested with a mischievous smirk on his face.

“Oh no,” Arturo protested. “Every time we go to the park, we end up getting our asses kicked.”

“That’sssss why we have a car,” Snake pointed out. “So we can get away if we have to!”

Grubber pulled up at the curb as the Gangrene Gang and their female accomplice hopped out of the convertible. It was one of those sunny fall days where the last breaths of summer were on their way out and the trees were a colorful palate. Families had brought their children to enjoy the playground while the weather was still nice. Of course, the parents had to take one look at the Gangrene Gang and realized that a nice day was too much to ask.

It took a little under ten seconds for the chaos to unfold. Grubber had pushed a preschooler off one of those little springy horses. He got on and began riding it as the three year old began wailing like a siren.

Arturo and Snake were holding a competition to see who could climb the jungle gym backwards the quickest. They ran up the slide and down the steps, knocking over a bunch of little kids. They laughed as they swung across the monkey bars. Snake’s long, gangly legs touched the ground as he crossed the monkey bars while Arturo’s short arms struggled to reach the next bar.

“Wanna climb the monkey bars!” Big Billy cried excitedly as he jumped up and reached for the bar. Of course, he was so big that he pulled the monkey bars downward. “Oops,” he said slowly, realizing the monkey bars were indented towards the ground under the impact of his size and his grip. “I think they broke.”

Angela sat on a swing trying to make herself go as high as possible. She called Big Billy over.

“Billy! Come on! Gimme a boost!” Angela cried.

“Okay!” Big Billy cried eagerly. With all of his might, he pushed Angela so that she swung over the bar several times. She screamed at the top of her lungs like she was on the biggest rollercoaster in the amusement park, adrenaline all the way.

“OH YEAH BABY!” Angela cried. She didn’t realize the impact was so great that some of the other kids on the swings fell off.

Ace went over to the merry-go-round where some kids were already playing.

“Hey kids,” he began in his usual mock charm we all know and love, “you want me to make this thing go faster?” The kids looked to be no older than six, and they all looked up at the teenager in terror.

Ace swung the merry-go-round so fast that it became a colorful blur. When the vicious cycle from hell finally stopped spinning, the kids all hobbled off the merry-go-round, most of them vomiting in the bushes.

“I can’t believe this,” fumed a morbidly obese woman as her child ran over to her, crying in fear. “Don’t those kids realize that they’re too big to be playing on the playground?”

“And don’t you realize that you’re too big for a park bench?” Angela pointed out. She was still dizzy from her joyride on the swings.

Angela realized that this was probably one of the meanest things she’d ever said to a stranger. She wasn’t used to talking crap, just pulling pranks on people and starting fist-fights with preps. But Ace came over and high-fived her.

“Nice!” Ace said approvingly. Angela didn’t like being intentionally nasty, but she would do anything for Ace’s words of praise.

The morbidly obese woman whipped out her cell phone and dialed 9-1-1 with her sausage-like fingers. Angela wandered off into the bushes where she hurled up swirls of mint and strawberry.

Sirens from up the road wailed, growing louder and louder.

“Oh, you boys are asking for it,” the morbidly obese woman threatened. “The cops are gonna put you away for a long time.”

“Uh-oh,” Ace said. “Let’s get outta here!”

The Gangrene Gang jumped into the convertible as Grubber put his foot on the gas. They sped off down the road with the police hot on their trail. The morbidly obese woman walked away with her child and Angela finally came out from behind the bushes. She glanced around, realizing that the gang left her behind. She shrugged her shoulders. She had a pretty good idea of where to find them, and so she didn’t worry.

Meanwhile, the police were hot on the pursuit of the Gangrene Gang.

“Man, can’t you go any faster?!” Ace demanded as Grubber blew a panicked raspberry. “What?!” Ace panicked. “The breaks are shot?!”

“We’re all gonna die!” Arturo cried.

“Big Billy no wanna die!” Billy blubbered.

“Look out for thosssse guysss!” Snake cried as Grubber sped past a marching band. Apparently there was a parade in Townsville to celebrate Oktoberfest.

“How does this get any worse?!” Ace asked in frustration and horror.

Grubber tried honking the horn in desperation, but to his dismay, the horn didn’t work.

“The horn’s not working either?!” Ace groaned. “It’s because you kept playing it for Arturo and Angie’s sick amusement!”

“Speaking of Angie, we forgot her!” Arturo pointed out. No wonder there was more room in the convertible and he didn’t have to sit on Angie’s lap.

“Sssssomeone call 9-1-1!” Snake suggested. “We’re gonna crash!”

“You idiot!” Ace snapped as he turned around. He reached back and socked Snake in the face. “Who do you think is chasing us?!”

“Honk! Honk!” Big Billy yelled. “Get out of the way! Honk! Honk!”

“What are you doing?” Arturo asked.

“Big Billy wants to be the horn!” Billy cried. “We gots no horn, so Big Billy wants to be the horn!”

Suddenly, the car stopped moving. Instead, it was levitating. Ace looked over the side and noticed the police cars were coming to a stop. Someone was lifting them up.

“It’s the Powerpuff Girls!” Arturo cried. He had been looking over the side as well. “They saved us from crashing!”

“Yeah, and now we’re gonna make sure you’re locked up where you belonged!” Blossom declared. She, Bubbles, and Buttercup dropped the convertible as it came crashing down on the pavement. If that didn’t hurt enough, the Gangrene Gang found themselves beaten to a bloody pulp by the girls as they lay in a heap on ground. Ace moaned in pain and realized that getting his ass kicked by three little girls was more and more humiliating each time around.

“We’ll take it from here, girls,” said the police chief. “Good work!”

“Not a problem!” Blossom said. “We do what we can to protect the good people of Townsville from creepers like these guys. Come on girls,” she said to her sisters. “Let’s go home!”

The Powerpuff Girls took to the skies leaving their signature colored streak behind them. The cops attempted to put all five gang members in handcuffs. Lil’ Arturo tried to use whatever strength he had left to get away, but the cops handcuffed him. They had already handcuffed Big Billy who was crying about not wanting to go to jail.

“Please, we can explain!” Ace begged as the officer handcuffed him.

“Don’t even try it,” the officer said sharply. “You boys are going away for a long time!”

Meanwhile, Angela was still up the road on her way to the Townsville County Jail. That was the first place she thought to look for the rest of the gang. Suddenly, she heard music playing from behind her. Coasting down the road were a bunch of brightly colored parade floats for Townsville’s Oktoberfest Parade. People all around her dress in lederhosen and wore hats with little feathers in them. Across the street, people stood in line to grab German sausages. Angela turned around and noticed the parade had stopped in its tracks. Angela managed to sneak onto one of the floats where she grabbed a microphone and hid amongst a group of girls wearing brightly-colored dirndls.

On the float was a girl with an accordion who played a tune that Angela recognized. To the delight of the crowds, Angela sang “Danke Schoen” much to the delight of the parade spectators.

Eventually, when reliving scenes from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off got old, Angela finally arrived at the jail. She walked inside where the warden sat at his desk, staring her up and down.

“What do you want, girlie?” He asked gruffly. “Visiting hours are over.”

“I'm looking for my friends,” Angela said. “I'm looking for five green guys,” she added, not knowing how else to describe them.

“Ain't you got ears?” The warden asked. “This ain't a freakin’ tea party. Visiting hours are over! Go home and come back tomorrow.”

Angela sighed. “Maybe you misunderstood me,” she said. She reached between her cleavage and pulled out several hundred dollar bills. The warden’s eyes widened. “I'm not visiting. I'm here to bail out my friends.”

“That does make a difference,” the warden said as he pocketed the money. “Follow me,” he said as he grabbed a big, bulky set of keys and led Angela behind a huge metal door and down a cold hallway past criminals sitting in their jail cells. Some stared at Angela as though she were an alien, and others stared down at the floor as though they’d given up. The set of keys jangled and clank with every step, the criminals in the cells wondering if that sound would mean freedom. Angela felt a chill run up her spine. She had a difficult time believing that her little cousin had spent a little time in this place.

“Those are the guys,” Angela said as she pointed to the cell at the end of the hallway. The Gangrene Gang rested in a heap on the ground, still reeling from their recent beating.

“This little lady just paid your bail,” the warden said as he unlocked the cell. “You’re free to go.”

“That was fast,” Ace said. “How long were we in here for?”

“A little under two hours,” the warden said. “Now go home.”

“Thankssss for doing that,” Snake said to Angela. “Ssssorry we have to walk home. We lost our car.”

As the gang left the jail, Ace realized that there were a lot of advantages to having Angie around. He didn’t recall ever spending only two hours in a jail cell. One of these days, he would have to do something to thank her.

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