Day 25 – 1135 words and a total of 44 553 words! Less than 5 days left!

Destick stared at the blank screen in front of him. A moment before, it had shown the laser cannon plummeting towards the sandy dunes of a desert. Then the console had gone black.

Destick stood up, his face white with fury. He didn’t need to know what happened; he was smart enough to tell. What he needed to know, was how?!

Storming down the staircase and along the passage towards the lab, he lifted his head and let out a roar of rage.

“HOW?!!!” He screamed, flinging the doors open and stalking into the lab. “How did they do it?!?”

Glaring at two robots who appeared through another set of doors opposite him, carrying a box beneath them, he pointed to the door they had just come out of and bellowed, “Get out!!”

Breathing heavily, he plumped down into a chair and swept blueprints, pens, ink, nuts, bolts, screws, and boxes off the table onto the floor around it, releasing the rage boiling up inside him as he did so.

Leaning back in the chair, he let out a sigh of relief as he began to get a grip on his mind once more.

“But how?” he asked in a voice so quiet only he could hear what he was saying. “How did a group of primitive stickmen defeat my laser cannon?”

Dr. Destray suddenly appeared beside him, making him jump. “I think,” the hunched doctor decided, scratching the tuft of white hair atop his head. “I think it is about time to realise that these stickmen are not so primitive as we assumed.”

Destick nodded slowly as he finally accepted the fact. “Well, what do we need to do?” he asked, thinking furiously.

“They’re smart,” continued Dr. Destray. “So we need to make sure we’re smarter. We need to think of something that cannot be stopped by anyone, no matter how smart they are!”

Destick grinned. “So… that means another plan.” he decided, rubbing his hands together in glee. “Um… like what?”

Dr. Destray thought carefully. “There’s only one thing I can think of,” he said slowly, his eyes widening. “We are going to build a bomb.”

 

Stikky took another shovelful of mortar, stepped down into the rapidly-shrinking hole in the top of the wall, and wiped it onto the bricks below him.

Stepping back, he leaned the spade against the parapets of the wall and began to level the cement off with his trowel.

Climbing up onto the undamaged part of the battlements, he took a drink of water from his flask as he watched two stickmen place bricks carefully in place, push them down into the mortar, then each grab more bricks and repeat the process.

Lifting his head, he turned to look at the two other teams of stickmen gradually repairing the other holes in the wall, all more than half done.

“Break time!” he called, his voice echoing across the castle head’s snapped in his direction and a ragged, tired cheer broke out.

Filing one by one down the staircase into the castle grounds, the stickmen left their tools leaning against the sides of the wall as they marched quickly across the courtyard and into the left tunnels.

“It’s like the sun wants us to stop working!” Someone exclaimed, panting heavily.

Everyone nodded in agreement. “It’s like being in Dehydration Desert,” someone else added. “Except there’s no sand…”

Stikky shrugged. “Well, at least we’re having a break now. Hopefully it’ll be cooler when we come back again. Now let’s go and see what McRhoddy’s cooked up for us this time!”

As they hurried down the maze of tunnels to the dining room, they met McRhoddy and a group of other stickmen coming out of the kitchens, carrying trays stacked high with food.

Stikky licked his lips. “I think we’re just in time for lunch!” he exclaimed, grinning as McRhoddy lifted the tray he was carrying to avoid having anything stolen.

“You lads c’n wait a few minutes!” The old stickman retorted in an annoyed voice, glaring as someone swiped a muffin from the plate he was carrying.

“But we’ve been working all morning!” Leddy complained, glaring back at him.

“Well, too bad!” McRhoddy decided, and he hurried forward, leading the other stickmen past the group of tired workers.

“Come on,” Stikky decided, tipping the last of the water in his flask down his throat. Wiping his mouth, he turned the corner and made his way into the dining hall, the others following behind him.

The table that sat at the centre of the room was already covered in food, various drinks—including lemonade—and a massive cake McRhoddy had baked specially to celebrate the destruction of the laser cannon.

Taking a seat at the half-filled table, the stickmen took their positions and waited as McRhoddy stood up.

“Well, we’ve faced many odds between us,” he began, putting his hands behind his back. “From robots, to sea serpents, to the ocean itself, and most recently: a laser cannon. It is all thanks to Stikky and his friends that we are alive now, so I want to say a hearty thank you to them!”

A burst of cheering and clapping erupted from the stickmen around the table as Stikky and the others blushed with pride.

“Next, I want to especially thank the group, also led by Stikky, who have spent all of their time repairing the damage done to the walls. From what I’ve seen, they’re making good progress—when you think about how little time they’ve spent on it—and are more than halfway. Now, without further ado, let’s eat!”

Taking their dishes, the stickmen began to fill their plates with the various food from the table as they licked their lips hungrily.

Biting into a hot pasty—suspiciously filled with meat—Stikky licked his lips before turning quizzically to McRhoddy.

“Ah!” the old stickman exclaimed before he could get a word out. “I see you’ve got one of my new inventions: a fish pasty!” he paused for a moment, held up a hand to stop Stikky from interrupting and continued. “I got a few lads to go fishing in that lake in the Abandoned Hills, and they brought back a heap of fish. Well, after a few tests, I managed to perfect it!”

Stikky nodded in approval as he finished the pasty.  “It tastes awesome! I say, Leddy, can you pass that jug of lemonade?”

Taking a butter-covered bun off the tray as it was passed around the table, he munched cheerfully on it as he thought over how successful their morning had been.

“Stikky, do you want some of this cake? It’s delicious!”

Turning, he saw that Stif and Stib had cut the enormous celebration cake, and were handing slices of it out. Leddy was offering one to him.

Grinning, Stikky nodded in reply. “Absolutely!”