The Boy With Orange Hair
by Bill Bowler
Table of Contents
appeared in issue 244.
The adventures of a boy with orange hair, a friendly groundhog, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs as they chase arch-villains Crabby Crayfish and Q.Q. Quigley III from Mt. Everest, to outer space, to Idaho, to Miami Police Headquarters, to the Bermuda Triangle, to the Forgotten Sea, to the Land of Little, to Molecule World, to Earth-2, through the space-time continuum, to the bottom of the ocean, to Mrs. Groundhog’s house, to the Oval Office, making friends, rescuing people, having fun, in hot pursuit but never quite catching up, until right at the end...
The guys waved good-bye to their new friends and climbed back into the Saturn 9. To tell the truth, though they wouldn’t admit it, they were all a little tired and hungry. They thought this might not be a bad time to stop back at Gerry’s and see what Mrs. Groundhog might have in the refrigerator.
The rocket started slowly up towards the surface of the ocean with the engines on low and, when they broke the surface, went to full throttle and flew east to New Jersey.
Mrs. Groundhog was delighted to see them. “My goodness, where have you boys been?” she exclaimed. “Dinner’s on the table getting cold. Come in. Sit down.”
They sat down to a feast of cheeseburgers and french fries with ketchup and ate and ate and had seconds and Gerry had thirds and they talked and laughed and then, when it got dark out, it was time for bed. They tried to stay awake and talk all night but were so tired, their eyelids dropped and they fell right asleep.
In the middle of the night, something woke the boy with orange hair. He opened his eyes and, in the darkness, heard the sound of running water. He wondered what it was. Maybe someone left the faucet open? He stepped out of bed and his toes felt cold water on the floor! He walked out into the hall — squish, squish, squish — and there was even more water. It was up to his ankles now. He ran down to Gerry’s room — splash, splash, splash.
“Wake up, Gerry! Wake up! The house is flooding!”
“Wha’?” asked Gerry, still half-asleep. He pulled up the covers.
“The house is full of water!” yelled the boy with orange hair. “The brook must be rising! Get up! Get up!”
Everyone was awake now. Mrs. Groundhog was frantic, “Oh my goodness! Oh my gracious! Everything is getting ruined! My carpet! My furniture! Oh!”
They ran outside. It was pouring cats and dogs, a deluge, but, this was the weird part, rain wasn’t falling on the brook or on the backyard or anywhere else — only on Mrs. Groundhog’s house. They looked up and saw a hole in the sky directly above the house, with rain pouring through.
“There’s a hole in the sky!” shouted Gerry the groundhog.
“Get me the President!” cried General Rickrack.
“Look!” said the boy with orange hair.
They all looked up where he was pointing and saw a pair of giant scissors cutting another hole in the sky from the other side. More rain came pouring through.
“Someone is cutting holes in the sky!” shouted Gerry.
“We’ve got to get the Saturn 9!” said the boy with orange hair.
They ran to the rocket and blasted off. By the time they reached 5,000 feet altitude, the sky looked like swiss cheese there were so many holes. The brook was overflowing its banks and there were six inches of water in Mrs. Groundhog’s living room.
The boy with orange hair aimed the Saturn 9 towards one of the biggest holes. They flew through to the other side and came out over the Grand Canyon.
“Over there!” shouted Gerry.
Through the window to their left, off in the distance, they spied a very familiar looking Fokker tri-plane. Someone very familiar looking was in the tri-plane, cutting a hole in the sky with a big pair of scissors and laughing,
“Oh ho ho ho, hee hee hee, ha ha ha!”
The boy with orange hair looked through his binoculars, “It’s Quigley! He’s in Crabby’s tri-plane and he’s got a pair of spacers — scissors that can cut through space.”
They steered the Saturn 9 over and pulled up flying alongside the Fokker triplane. The boy with orange hair leaned out the window.
“Hello there, Queezy.”
“Hello,” growled Quigley.
“How are you?”
“Fine,” growled Quigley.
“What are you doing there?”
“What have you got in your hand there?”
“That’s funny,” said the boy, “because it looks like you’ve got a pair of spacers in your hand and I notice somebody has cut some holes in the sky here.”
“So what!” snarled Quigley. “It’s none of your business. Leave me alone. I wasn’t bothering anybody.” And the Fokker triplane banked left and sped away.
The boy with orange hair pushed the throttle and sped off after Quigley. Rockets are ten times faster than airplanes and the Saturn 9 was gaining on the Fokker. Quigley zigged left and zagged right but the Saturn 9 was closing fast. Up ahead, Quigley saw a big thick cumulus cloud and flew the Fokker triplane right into it.
“He’s disappeared!” shouted Gerry.
“Don’t worry,” said the boy with orange hair. “I’ve got him on the radar screen. See that little blip?”
Inside the cloud, Quigley slowed up, took out his spacers, cut a big hole in the sky, and flew through the hole.
The blip on the Saturn 9 radar screen disappeared.
“He’s gone!” said General Rickrack.
“How could that be?” asked Gerry the groundhog.
They flew the Saturn 9 into the cloud. It was just like being in a thick fog. They couldn’t see a thing but navigated by instruments to the exact spot where the blip had disappeared, and found a big hole in the sky. With no time to lose, they flew through and came out over Washington DC, directly over the White House. The radar screen was still blank. There were no aircraft in the vicinity. It seemed they had lost the track.
“Look!” said Gerry. “Down there. Behind the White House, near the fence.”
They looked down where Gerry was pointing and saw the Fokker Tri-plane parked beside a shed in the back yard behind the White House. They flew in for a closer look, but quietly, so as not to cause alarm.
Copyright © 2007 by Bill Bowler