Continued from here.
After 7 days of pure retail mall hell, I once again have a permit to sell spice in the form of my super fudgy brownies. Production began immediately. Soon, all will be right in the universe. That is until I came home to see a new horror.
Every jar, every container, every orifice was opened through out penthouse. I had never seen its likes before. And there was Qui-Gon, huddled in a corner with wide frantic eyes repeating the same thing over and over…"Light is Green...Trap is Clean...Light is Green...Trap is Clean...Light is Green...Trap is Clean..."
Then I looked over next to him to the strewn apart wheelchair and sparking wires clutching the ground and inching his way closer to Qui-Gon. It was my I-SUC droid. At first I thought he was dead, or as dead as a droid could get. Apparently Qui-Gon’s need to open everything in sight didn’t limit itself to household droids.
His carafe had cracked and coffee was everywhere. Yet still it inched its way across the floor towards Qui.
“No. I’ll save you I-SUC. Qui didn’t mean it.”
“You…don’t understand….finish the job….damn you….finish the job…You were almost there….don’t make me…”
I scooped up the pieces of I-Suc and ran him to the droid work room. I gave him a new carafe of hot coffee and plugged him in to a droid electrical I.V. “You just relax, SUC-man, I’ll fix ya up. You’ll be all better by tomorrow.”
As I left I could have sworn I heard him sobbing and saying, “So….close….I was so….damn….close….”
When I walked back into the living room I discovered we now had two more visitors. Count Dooku and Jedi Knight and medic Barriss Offee had just come in the door and were surveying the scene very quietly.
“Oh, dear,” Dooku replied aghast. “I can’t possibly be expected to stay here under these circumstances. You do understand I have an image to keep.”
It was then that I realized ol Dookster wasn’t a Sleestak anymore. He was back to his old pompous self. And so, curiosity biting my toenails, I had to ask him how he got back to normal.
“Well, It wasn’t easy, I can assure you. If it weren’t for the medical help of Master Offee here I might have remained a sleestak forever…or worse. It seems while you two were out having fun with the public all last week, Master Offee kept blending potions and elixirs for me to consume in hopes that I would change back to my old self. At first I had my doubts that it would ever work. I was transformed into many a different shape until she got it right.”
“Fortunately after those first few test potions,” Barriss concluded, “I came upon the right chemical balance to restore Dooku to his normal state.”
I looked over to Qui-Gon shaking in the corner. “Maybe you can do something to help my buddy here. He hasn’t been the same since he came back from prison and I think the stress and toil of working at the mall finally pushed him over the edge.”
“He must be suffering from some post traumatic episode he experienced in jail. Perhaps the stress of being confined in one of those ghost-traps all those weeks manifested it’s self in an uncontrollable urge to open every closed container in sight.”
“Can you do anything for him?” I asked.
I needed to do something. Here was my best bud lying on the floor like a crazed weasel. Not to mention all the beer he opened up had grown warm and flat. This was just not going to do. I had to come up with something. But what did he need?
I walked over to him and his wide eyes shot up. He tried to force a smile but it came out more like a grimace.
“Light is green…trap is clean…” He whispered.
I shook my head. “Now come on, Qui. You’re talking crazy…take it easy now.”
He then grabbed a jar of picked herring he had kept hidden in his robes. “BACK OFF, MAN! DON’T MAKE ME OPEN THIS!!!”
“Easy, Qui. Take it easy now…” I took a step closer.
“THAT’S IT!!! NOW YOU’VE DONE IT!!!YOU FORCED ME TO USE THIS!!!”
He then opened the jar and poured the milky contents all over himself. “You’re FREE!! FREEEEEEE!!!!”
I tried to stop him but it was too late. He was covered in picked herring. “You poor crazy kid.”
And then it hit me. He wasn’t quite talking like himself. In fact, since he returned from prison his style of talking was more somber, more ponderous, more of a monologue. Not only that, but unless he had brownies in his system his speech was always in italics.
That was it!!! Qui had been so busy the past few days with the brownie store he wasn’t able to partake in his own life nourishing brownies. The very food that brought out the lighter free-wheeling hippy side of Qui. That soul nourishing spice that allowed that pure euphoria to course through his ether-like veins and be one with the universe.
I knew I had a fresh one in my robe. I grabbed it and ripped off the wrapper and held it to Qui’s eyes. He stopped mumbling and his pupils dilated. A shaky hand reached up.
“Is that…..is that….?”
“Come on….take it.”
He took the brownie. At first he only nibbled off the crunchy edges then he took bigger bites until the whole thing was in his mouth. I could see the return of the good clean shimmering glow that surrounded him. The shakes were gone. The eyes were clear. I thought I smelled fresh flowers in the air and the music of ‘HAIR’s Age of Aquarius” drifting on the wind.
When he was finished he took a deep breath and looked up at me with a smile. “Thanks dude. How did you know?”
“Cos you’re my friend, Qui. Cos you’re my friend.”
He got up and dusted his poncho off. He then took a good look around at the chaos. “Oh, wow man…Did I, like, do all this?”
I handed him a mop and broom. “Yup. And you’re gonna do it all again…with these.”
We all suddenly laughed; me, Qui, Dooku and Barriss, and froze in place while the credits rolled past.
Gods, I hate cheesy endings like that!