The mods for the most part were now all quite dead,
While visions of cookies still danced in one head.
The sprinkles on top added with a sharp rap
Had settled him down for a long winter's nap.
The considerably diminished group of surviving moderators raced down the hall, energized by dreams
' blood curdling screams coming from the living room. They burst through the door and saw dreams
... kneeling on the floor beside Nate the great
's now lifeless body.
"Look at his face! It's horrible!" shouted DaleDe
. "It's all twisted and .... awful!"
"And he looks like he died having convulsions" added WT Sharpe
. "His arms and legs are all twisted up and rigid. If Dame Christie was right in her descriptions, Nate
"But by what?" sobbed dreams
. "We all ate the same dinner .... poor poohbear_nc
.... we all had the same .... chicken .... and none of the rest of us died! And only pdurrant
drank his punch .... and died. How did this happen?"
began searching the room, still littered with stray, sticky Wiki
stayed on the floor, trying to close Nate
's staring eyes -- he seemed to be staring at her, even in death -- accusing her from beyond the grave! She had to somehow make him stop!
," crooned dreams
, "Now you'll never get to open your new gadgets on Christmas morning. Your face used to just glow when you ripped open the paper and saw a shiny new Kindle Fire
, or an iPad,
or your Nook Glow
"Look WT Sharpe
!" cried DaleDe
. "An empty plate with cookie crumbs next to an empty glass with drops of milk in it. Nate
must have stayed behind when we all ran to the library and eaten the cookies and milk he left out for Santa. I guess he figured that after all the deaths here today, Santa wouldn't risk a visit here tonight. Either the cookies or the milk must have had poison in them."
Both turned to stare again at dreams
, as they remembered that she had volunteered to bake the cookies for Nate
to leave out for Santa.
"Yeah, things were really naughty, not nice at all, here today!" agreed WT Sharpe
. "Wait a minute ... watch those ants ... they're eating the cookie crumbs and none of them are dying."
sighed in relief "See? I didn't do it this time! I mean I didn't do it again! I mean .... oh heck, you know what I'm trying to say .... right?"
"Right," agreed DaleDe
, "and the ants climbing out of the milk glass look OK too. Maybe we're wrong ... it wasn't Santa's snack. We'll have to keep searching."
"Wait a minute ... that ant just ate a green sprinkle and started convulsing! See his little antennae shaking? He's a goner ... in just seconds. That's some powerful poison!"
"What did you say WT Sharpe
?" quavered dreams
, "A green sprinkle? I found a jar labeled "Christmas Special Sprinkles" in a kitchen cabinet this morning while I was baking the cookies. They were all green and shiny ... and ... and .... and I shook them onto all the cookies ... to make them special ... *sob* .... so that Santa would grant Nate
's Christmas wish for a new Pocketbook
front-lit color eInk ereader. He was so worried because he waited too long to write his letter."
"And now it's too late for Nate
... and maybe for all of us ..." muttered WT Sharpe
"Let's go to the kitchen and find that jar of 'Special Sprinkles' before it vanishes too, like all the other 'evidence'" cried Dale
"Yeah, without that Jellby
character, we can conduct a proper investigation of Nate
's murder." agreed WT Sharpe
. "Put Nate
down and come with us dreams
... he isn't going anywhere now."
The three somber surviving moderators trooped into the kitchen, where ravenne
was in the middle of a heated phone conversation "Ja, Marc_liest
, you and mtravellerh
stay put ... it's too dangerous here ... they're dropping like flies ... at this rate the Deutsches Forum
will be able to take over MobileRead by New Years Day!"
"Oh, I didn't hear you come in madam ... sirs .... Can I help you?"
slammed down the phone receiver and whirled to face them, wearing a frightened, yet curiously exultant expression on her usually expressionless face.
"Would you like a snack? Some strudel? Cold chicken? A handful of cookies?"
"NO!" they screamed in unison ... "Nothing to eat! Ever again! Never!"
"Well OK then ... no need to shout at me. My hearing is just fine, thank you very much" huffed ravenne
, earlier today I baked cookies for Nate
," began dreams
"Ja, that's true ... and left me quite a mess to clean up before I could serve dinner .... all that flour and frosting smeared all over the counter tops ... and those shiny green sprinkles everywhere! They rolled all over the counters and floor. I had to use my vacuum cleaner to get them all up."
"What did you do with them? Where did you put them? ... Oh no! You didn't throw the crumbs out for the birds did you?" shrieked dreams
"Oh shush, you hysterical Weib" shouted ravenne
, losing control of her English as she grew increasingly fed up with dreams
"Ach, nein ... of course not ... all that Zucker would not be gut for the little birds ... not healthy at all." replied ravenne
"I put the vacuum cleaner bag in the trash bin with the rest of the 'stuff' I've been asked to dispose of today. And the trash truck just got here and emptied all the bins ... right before you interrupted my work here."
had begun to fidget during this drawn-out interrogation and began to edge towards the door.
! Where are you going? You know we have to stick together?" asked WT Sharpe
-Blocks are still scattered all over the living room floor ... I need to pick them up and clean them off before 'someone' has another 'accident'" replied Dale
. "I'll leave the door propped open - I'll be in plain sight while you finish your investigation out here."
reluctantly agreed and allowed Dale
to return to the living room. Soon the air was filled with muttered curses and cries as he crawled over the carpet gathering up his precious nuggets of wisdom.
then ran over to a row of cabinets and opened the door. Feverishly rummaging through the shelves failed to locate the jar of sprinkles. dreams
whirled to confront ravenne
"Did YOU throw the jar into the trash too?"
"Nein, nein. You're looking in the wrong cabinet. The jar is here ...." ravenne
opened the cabinet next to dreams
and pointed to .... an empty space on the shelf .
"It's gone!" screamed dreams
Sure enough, all that remained was an empty space on the shelf with a few twitching ants.
NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!
[End of Episode 9]