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Larry and Balki's Egg-cellent Adventure

Written by:
Cousin Aurora Lenore

. . . . Continued

Bianca felt better than she had in a long time as she walked down the city sidewalk arm-in-arm with an enthusiastic Balki.  Larry walked on the other side of her, but his arms remained to his sides, looking as if he’d eaten one too many lemons.  She wasn’t about to let his sour attitude ruin the night, however.

“Hey, you guys want to go in this coffee shop?” she asked as they passed Dulce Café.

“Fine,” Larry answered sullenly while Balki nodded his head.  “But just know that I never promised to have fun tonight.”

“Cousin, no need to worry.  You cannot have something you don’t.”

Thankfully, as they entered, hardly anyone was inside and the three of them were able to walk right up to the counter.  “Yes, I’ll have a double caramel mocha latte swirl with extra mocha,” Bianca ordered expertly.

Larry looked up at her, puzzled.  “Wait; what did you just order? I  thought we were having coffee?”

“Larry, coffee is still coffee, but there are other things on the menu.  Cafés have really gotten quite elaborate lately and with far more choices,” Bianca told him.

Balki scratched his head.  “I not know what I want, nor can I say half of this menu!  Bianca, can you help me?”

“Sure.  We’ll try something simple for you.  “Hey, Rob,” she told the clerk, “can I have a light French Vanilla cappuccino?”

“Sure thing,” Rob nodded before looking at Larry.  “What about you?”

“Cousin likes his coffee drinks strong,” Balki offered.

“Okay, then maybe you should try the Triple Morning Delight cappuccino,” Bianca offered to Larry.  “It’s coffee with a kick.”

“Fine,” Larry nodded, still sounding surly.

 *************************

Twenty minutes later, the threesome had finished their drinks.  “Balki, did you enjoy the French Vanilla?” she asked.

“Coffee from the future tastes wonderful!  Thank you for helping me.  Cousin, what did you think of your hot beverage?”

Bianca looked over to see Larry shaking from head to toe.  “It was fine; great!  Never had coffee like that in my life.  Do they have any more?  What time is it?” he gushed without talking so much as a breath.

“Um, I think the Triple Morning Delight might have had a little too much caffeine,” Bianca grimaced.

Balki reached over and felt of his cousin’s chest.  “Cousin, your heart is racing faster than a hamster doing a wheelie.”

“We better go,” Bianca told them, getting up and helping an unsteady Larry to his feet.

“Where we go to now?” Balki asked.

Bianca thought for a moment.  They needed to eat something, but she couldn’t think of a restaurant that would seem interesting to two people from nineteen-eighty-six.

Suddenly, a bus passed by with an advertisement plastered on the side.  “I know where we can grab something to eat!  There’s this new restaurant in town called Reece’s.  I hear it’s pretty nice and they usually have a show or something.  I think just last week they had a famous comedian perform.”

“Get out of the city!” Balki cried.  “Cousin, let’s go eat dinner and see a show.  Then maybe you’ll feel better.”

“Okay, fine.  But we’ll sit in the back.” Larry hissed, running a shaking hand through his hair.

“Why do you want to sit in the very back?” Bianca asked.

“So people won’t notice that I look one step away from having a seizure!”

Balki looked at Larry quickly.  “What kind of procedure are you stepping away from?”

Larry growled.  “Not procedure; a seizure…seizure…seizure!” he grabbed Balki by the arms, shaking him.

“Okay, okay, Larry; he got it!” Bianca pulled him away, praying she could get them to Reece’s before the man had a caffeine-induced nervous breakdown.

*************************

“Table for three?” the waiter asked politely as soon as they entered.  Bianca noded and looked around.  It was incredibly crowded for a weeknight, but everyone there seemed to be having a nice time.  She hoped some of their good vibes would rub off on Larry.

“I thought you said we could sit in the back?” Larry asked out of the side of his mouth as they took a table directly in front of the stage.

“They didn’t have a table in the back,” she growled in reply.

The waiter placed three menus and three glasses of water in front of them and smiled.  “Let me know when you’re ready,” he told them.

“Excuse me, but who is to be performing tonight?” Balki asked.

“It’s karaoke night,” the waiter replied before walking away.

“Oh goody!”

Bianca looked at Balki.  “You two know about karaoke?”

“Well, of course we do; don’t be ridiculous!  She from the Wild West!”

Larry nodded his head, his curly hair shaking.  “No, Balki; that’s Annie Oakley.  We don’t know what karaoke is.”

Bianca smiled.  “Karaoke is when people get up on stage and sing along to their favorite songs.  They mute the original artist’s vocals and you sing their part!  It’s a lot of fun.”

“That does sound like fun!  Cousin, we could do the Blues Brothers!” Balki slapped Larry’s shoulder.

“No, we couldn’t.  There is no way you’re getting me on that stage.  No way, no how.  If you want to embarrass yourself in front of all these people, go ahead, but I’m staying right here,” Larry told him matter-of-factly.

“Cousin, don’t be an electric blanket.  It sounds like fun.”

Bianca laughed.  “After we eat, you can see how it’s done.  Who knows?  I might even go up there and give it a try.”

*************************

Forty minutes later, the three had eaten until they were completely full.  Even Larry looked as if he had relaxed a little, the water reducing the effects of the caffeine.  As soon as the DJ announced karaoke had begun, Balki looked like a kid on Christmas morning.

“Okay, you see that woman?  She goes over to the DJ and picks a song from this big book.  They have all kinds of songs to choose from; new and old.  Then the DJ plays it and she sings alo–” Bianca stopped and placed her fingers in her ears.  “Of course, it helps if the person onstage can actually sing.”

Larry grimaced.  “Someone please hit the gong, already!”

Even Balki frowned.  “She sound like Mr. Twinkacetti when he’s in pain.”

Thankfully, Bianca knew this was a short song and as soon as the lady was finished, she was met with scattered applause.  “My turn.  I’m going to show this place how it’s done.”

Bianca swallowed her nerves and ran onstage.  She knew exactly what song to sing.  She wanted it to be a feel-good song that Balki and Larry had never heard before.  She just hoped all that practice in the shower had paid off.

“This song is for my two new friends,” she announced on the microphone before the song “Good Time” by Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen.  Once she started singing, she looked down at their table.  Balki was moving along to the music in his seat, while Larry was sinking in his.  How could two people be so completely different yet be so close?

Quickly, she reached out and took Balki’s hand, leading him onstage.  He didn’t hesitate to jump up beside her and move to the music, smiling at her as she sang every note.

“We don’t even have to try; it’s always a good time…” she sang, having one of the best nights she’d had in a long time.  At least Balki was feeling the same way–

Suddenly, she noticed Balki was no longer up onstage with her, but back at the table, trying to coax Larry to join them.  As expected, Larry shook his head fervently until Balki pulled back his chair with Larry still in it, wrapped his arms around his cousin’s waist and literally carried Larry onstage.  Larry was fuming, but once he was beside her and Balki, he knew he was caught like a deer in headlights.

“Doesn’t matter when, it’s always a good time then…” she sang, trying not to forget the lyrics with everything going on.  Balki was doing everything within him to get Larry to move, but Larry just stood frozen in fear until Bianca danced over to him, grabbed his hand and forced him to twirl her.

Suddenly, the spell had been broken.  Larry looked at her and actually smiled, his own body semi-swaying back and forth.  By the time the song had ended, Larry was moving as well – if not better – than Balki.

The applause was deafening, but Balki surprisingly held up his hand to silence them before turning to Larry.  “Cousin, are you happy?” he asked.

“Why yes, Balki.  I am happy,” Larry replied.

“We so happy, we do the Dance of Joy!” Balki cried.

Bianca watched as onstage, in front of everyone, Balki and Larry did a crazy jig that ended up with both of them lifting each other up before Larry jumped in Balki’s arms altogether.  Bianca laughed as not only the audience applauded, but they gave them a standing ovation!

As if the night couldn’t get any better, Balki grabbed Bianca’s hand and the three of them bowed in unison before jumping offstage and running out of the restaurant.

“Oh my, that was so much fun!” Bianca gasped, clutching her chest.

“I–I’ve never done anything like that in my entire life!” Larry said, surprised before turning to Balki.  “Thanks, Balki.  Thanks for getting me up on that stage and reminding me that sometimes, I just need to let loose.”

“Oh, Cousin; you’re welcome.  Anytime you need to watch Footloose and sing “Fancy Free”, you just let me know.”

*************************

“Whew!  Man, I am beat!” Larry stretched as R.O.B. entered his room with an extra blanket.  “Thank you, R.O.B.”

“Your welcome,” R.O.B. replied.  “Good night.”

Larry smiled as the robot left the room.  He almost felt bad for taking the guest room away from Balki and making him sleep on the couch.  Almost.  Bianca had flipped a coin for it and Larry actually won (he’d have to make note of that accomplishment in his journal when they returned home).  Not that Balki minded.  Balki would’ve been happy sleeping outside, come to think of it.  “You can’t keep a good Myposian down,” he said aloud, turning down the bed and climbing inside.  The coffee had worn off and after the unbelievable day they had, he was completely exhausted.  Normally, he would’ve been panicking at the fact that not only were they not home, but Bianca still didn’t know what was wrong.  Tonight, however, as he turned the light off and snuggled under the covers, he felt things would work out for the best.  He had learned so much about the future and tried new things.  For once in his life, Larry didn’t feel tied down to the monotony of the world.  He felt alive and willing to embrace new ideas and concepts.  It had been so long since he felt this much at peace.  Things couldn’t get any better.

“Cousin?  Are you asleep?” Balki’s voice whispered through the crack in the door.

Larry reached over and turned on the bedside table lamp.  “No.  What is it, buddy?”

“I–I can’t sleep.”

Larry sat up and looked at him empathetically.  “Hard to sleep in a new place?  Balki, I understand, but I’m sure if you close your eyes and pretend you’re back in the apartment, things will–”

“It not that,” Balki interrupted.  “I cannot sleep because Dimitri is not here.  Ever since I was a little boy, I have Dimitri to watch over me as I sleep.  This is the first night that I don’t have him and now I cannot sleep.”

“Balki, I’m sorry, but you’re just going to have to try and sleep without your stuffed sheep.  I’m sure if Bianca could, she’d try to get him for you, but the machine is broken and there’s no way to bring Dimitri here.  You’ll just have to sleep without him for one night.  I’m sure you’ll be just fine.”

“Cousin, you don’t understand.  Dimitri is not just some stuffed sheep.  He makes me feel safe.  I need him so I can fall asleep.”

Larry rubbed his hands over his face and tried to remain calm.  Sometimes, it was like living with a six-year old!  “Balki; I’m sorry, but Dimitri is stuck back in nineteen-eighty-six and we are stuck here in two-thousand-thirteen.  He can’t come here and you can’t go back there.  Why don’t you just ask Bianca if she has something you can borrow so you can pretend it’s Dimitri?”

“But–”

“Balki, talk to Bianca and go to sleep!” Larry growled, switching off the light and landing on his pillow with a plop.

“O-okay, Cousin.  Good night,” Balki replied softly, closing the bedroom door.

Larry exhaled, erasing the conversation from his mind before sleep enveloped him.

“Wha–?” Larry sat up quickly as a noise jolted him awake.  Was he dreaming?  He looked over at the clock to see that it was three in the morning.  He had been asleep for maybe three and a half hours.  Rubbing his eyes, he threw his legs over the side of the bed and wandered into the living room to check on Balki.  He knew he was probably asleep, but he wondered if Bianca had given him a stuffed bear or dog to sleep with instead of Dimitri.

Suddenly, Larry stopped cold.  The sofa was empty!  Only blankets and pillows remained, but Balki was nowhere in sight.  “Balki?” he whispered, walking towards the bathroom.  He knocked on the door before slowly opening it, but Balki wasn’t there, either.  Walking back down the hallway, he saw R.O.B. in the far left corner, charging for the night.  Turning back around, he headed for Bianca’s room.  Maybe he had fallen asleep in there or Bianca knew where he had gone.

“Bianca?” he asked softly, tapping on her door.

“Huh?  Larry?  What time is it?” she mumbled on the other side.

“It’s three o’clock.  I’m sorry to wake you, but have you seen Balki?”

Larry waited as he heard her stumble to the door and open it.  Her copper hair was tousled and she looked almost angelic in her cream colored satin pajamas.  “No, I’ve been asleep.  Is he not on the couch?”

“No.  I looked.  He’s not in the kitchen or the bathroom so I thought maybe he fell asleep in here after he talked to you.”

Bianca exited the room and gave Larry a strange look.  “Balki never came to my room to talk to me.”

Larry smiled thinly.  “Well, of course he did!  He told me last night that he couldn’t sleep without his stuffed sheep Dimitri and I told him to ask you if you had any stuffed animals he could sleep with.  He told me he would ask you.”

“Well, he didn’t,” Bianca replied, more alert now.  “Where on Earth do you think he could be?”

Larry scratched his head.  “Well, if he wasn’t in my room or the sofa or the bathroom or your room, then he might just be–”

The garage!” both of them exclaimed, dashing through the kitchen frantically.

As they reached the garage, Larry and Bianca instinctively grabbed each other for support when they saw that their worst fears had come true.  Balki–and the time machine–were gone!

*************************

“Mmph,” Balki moaned as he opened his eyes and rubbed the back of his aching head.  The last thing he remembered, he had been inside Bianca’s time machine, trying to see if maybe he could help he and his cousin return home.  He remembered as R.O.B. walked in on him just before he entered the giant egg.

*“Are you sure you know what you are doing?” R.O.B. had asked.

“Well of course I do; don’t be ridiculous,” Balki had replied.

“Then what are you doing?” R.O.B. queried.

“I have no idea,” Balki responded.  “R.O.B., can you help me?”

“Where do you wish to go?”

Balki typed in the word Dimitri on the computer and smiled as the word showed up in green letters on the black screen.  “I want to go back to Cousin Larry’s apartment so I can get Dimitri.  If I can bring him back, then Cousin Larry and I can go home when he wake up.  Do you know how to fix the machine so I can do this?”

“Dimitri is from Mypos?” R.O.B. asked.

“Yes!  Mama give him to me when I was a small boy!  R.O.B., you are smarter than the actual bear!”

“Type in Mypos as well,” R.O.B. told him and Balki watched as his homeland was now on the screen.  “Now just push the red button.”

“Oh, I cannot wait to bring Dimitri back from our apartment; Cousin will be so proud of me!” Balki clasped his hands together before pushing the button.

Now, as Balki slowly sat up, he could’ve sworn he remembered hearing R.O.B. say something else, but he couldn’t remember what it was.  Peeking over the blue wall of the egg, he looked out to see if he was actually inside the apartment or in the parking area.

“This doesn’t look like our apartment!” he gaped as he saw that he was in the middle of what looked to be a construction zone.  Something was being built about three yards away, but what was it?  How far was he from the apartment?  He had to get out and ask for directions.

Spotting someone a minute later, he ran over and flagged them down.  “Excuse me!  My name is Balki Bartokomous and I was wondering if you could help me?”

The man–dressed in a suit that resembled multi-colored aluminum foil–looked at him skeptically.  “Where did you say you were from, son?”

“I didn’t say where I was from and why you call me Son?  You look nothing like Papa.”

“Well, I’m asking now: where are you from?”

“I live in Chicago but I am from Mypos,” Balki replied, puffing out his chest as he mentioned his birthplace.

Suddenly, the Reynolds Wrapper man laughed loudly and looked up to where three more people were working on scaffolds.  Balki noticed that they, too, were wearing the same clothes.  “Hey, fellas!  Get a load of this!  This boy says he’s from Mypos!  We must’ve missed one!”

The three men laughed as well before making their way down to a confused Balki.  Where exactly was he and who were these men saying he was missing?

“You said you’re from Mypos?” a guy with cotton-white hair and sunglasses repeated.

“Yes.  Do you know where that is?”

The first man laughed again.  “Son, this WAS Mypos!  We don’t call it Mypos anymore, though.  We call this island Atropos!  The Ky-Dels took over this land a few years ago and got rid of all those goat-herders and land-lovers!  We ain’t seen a Myposian here for years,” the man told him before getting inches from his face and snarling.  “Until now.”

“No; this cannot be true!  I know nothing of Ky-Dels and my family being shipped away.  I would know if this were to be.  My cousin Larry would have told me.”

“Well, your cousin Larry is either stupid or lied to you, boy!  We haven’t had a Myposian set foot on this land for five years now and we’re not going to let one in now!  This here’s a metropolitan island and you bunch of sheep-loving foreigners aren’t welcome!  Now get off our land before we throw you in the ocean!”

“You tell ’em, Liki!” the white-haired man cried.

“Not until you tell me what happened to Mama and my family!” Balki snapped.  He wanted to be brave, but he was trembling more than Elvis when he was “All Shook Up”.

“We forced ’em off this land.  Told them they had to leave.  Do you really think we care where they went?” Liki growled.  “Now are you going to leave peacefully or are we gonna have to get rid of you altogether?”

Balki backed away slowly as the four of them moved closer like lions spotting a baby zebra.

“HELP!” he screamed, not knowing what else to do.  He only wished he had a chance to say goodbye to Bianca and his cousin.

*************************

“I can’t believe this!  He went back to the apartment to get Dimitri,” Larry cried, running his fingers through his hair.  “I thought you said the machine didn’t work?”

“It didn’t!  Larry, I don’t think he’s at the apartment.  I don’t know where he is!” Bianca squeaked.  “R.O.B.!  I need my iPad stat!”

In less than a minute, the robot wheeled into the garage, holding a large flat screen.  “Here you go, Bianca,” it said.

“Thank you,” she exhaled as she quickly turned it on.

“Exactly how many screens do you have and how exactly is that going to bring Balki back?” Larry asked.

“If I can communicate with the machine, I can try to pinpoint the location.”

“Bianca, if I may be of some assistance, I can inform you that Mr. Bartokomous is on the small island of Atropos,” R.O.B. stated.

Larry did a double take as a new wave of panic washed over him.  “What?  Did you say Atropos?  Bianca, we have to get him out of there!  He has no idea that Mypos is gone!”

“R.O.B., you saw Balki?” Bianca gasped.

“Yes.  He could not sleep and wanted to see a sheep.”

Larry moved towards the waist-high robot slowly, his hands up as if he were planning to choke it.  “You saw Balki and you didn’t try to stop him?”

Bianca grabbed Larry’s shoulder and gasped again.  “Larry, I’ve found him.  Now maybe I can communicate with him if he’s close enough to the machine.”  Larry watched hopefully as she placed the flat screen closer to her lips.  “Balki, can you hear me?  Balki, talk to me if you can hear me.  It’s Bianca.”

“Bianca?” came the static-filled response. “Is this an optical illusion?”

“Balki, get inside the machine and press the power button quickly!  I think I can get you back!”

“Balki, listen to Bianca; she can help you!” Larry chimed in.

“Cousin, I’m scared!  There are men here who want to hurt me!  I don’t wanna die!” he sobbed.

“Balki, get in the machine!” Larry urged.

“O–okay; I’m inside.  Please hurry!”

Bianca tapped a button on her flat screen and within seconds, the egg-shaped machine returned with a terrified, disheveled Balki.

Larry threw open the doors and grabbed Balki for an embrace.  “Oh, thank God you’re alright!”

Balki then hugged Bianca before turning back to Larry.  “Oh, Cousin, it was terrible!  I only wanted Dimitri back, but I entered Mypos on the screen.  Cousin, Mypos no longer exists!  They ran my family out and renamed the island Atropos!  When these men find that I am Myposian, they threaten me and say they want rid of me.  Cousin, I was almost mint meat!”

Bianca looked at Larry, wide-eyed!  “That’s why you didn’t want to tell him about Mypos!”

Larry glanced at her nervously.  “Wha-what are talking about?  I never said that.”

“Cousin, I ask you to look up Mypos and you say the machine is broken,” Balki reminded him.

Larry laughed nervously.  “Did I say that?  I really can’t remember.”

“You lied to Balki!  You tell me that machine is broken when you knew the whole time that Mypos no longer exist!  Why?  Why you do such a terrible thing?”

“Balki, I–” Larry started, but Balki quickly turned and fled the room.  Larry then turned to Bianca, fire in his eyes.  “Why…did you do that?”

“I’m sorry.  It slipped.  You never told me Mypos was his home!  I just thought maybe he knew someone from there!  How was I supposed to know?”

“Well, now Balki will never talk to me again.  Not that I blame him.  I should’ve told him the truth from the very beginning,” Larry turned away, his shoulders slumping miserably.

Bianca placed her arm around him.  “Larry, it’s okay.  You just made an error in judgment.  I’ll talk to him.  Things will work out again, you’ll see.

Larry looked at her and gave her a weak smile.  He was glad she was there, but he knew he had messed up big time.  He walked back to the living room and fell onto the sofa with a plop.  Last night, he’d felt on top of the world.  Now – less than six hours later – he felt as if he were falling and the world was crashing all around him.

Continue . . . .