“Mom! Dad!” I called for what felt like the millionth time. Speedy put his arm around my shoulder. “It’s okay,” he said. Then he broke down and started holding himself. I was startled to see him like this-Speedy was the calm one of us. “What’s wrong, Speedy?” B.F asked. Oh, sure, now he’s being nice too him. Speedy started to tell the story.
“Run!” said the father. He had a slash across his chest, his unconscious wife over his shoulder, and his baby son cradled in his arms. The baby cooed in his sleep and reached out his chubby little hands to grab at the pretty little sparks flying in the air. The father carried him over to a stash of bricks and leaves hidden by vegetation. “You’ll be safe here, son. Speedy, that’s what your mother wanted to call you…maybe I shouldn’t talk about her in the past tense. It’s okay, just get away from our home. Monster Carnival is a wretched place. P-please, Speedy, just go. We’ll see you again.” The baby cried as his father uttered his last word and was consumed by the fire.
The house, almost knowing what it was supposed to do, floated away after the island sank, with the baby inside. It traveled to Cryptids Island, where Harold Mews took him in and taught him everything he knew, from manners to algebra. Seriously. He knew how to calculate the value of x by the time he was five. And every day, the memory did not go foggy and disappear, as most do, but it stayed glued in his brain. If anything, it was becoming more vivid. That’s why he was so eager to join them. Because maybe it would shove the memory away, and he could start a new life with me. [I am NOT blushing, B.F, shut it!] Plus, after Cuddly Lion had recovered all of the cryptids, Mews no longer cared for Speedy. He kicked him across the floor when he was walking into the kitchen (and so did the butler). What could he do? Speedy ran away. He came to Shark Tooth Island, where he worked for the next couple of years, shifting islands and transporting people. And…that was it. That was his story.
I sat there in shock until Nameless asked, “What’s it like?” Speedy looked bad. “Horrible,” he croaked. “It gets worse every day.” I stomped my foot in outrage. Now it was their turn to be shocked. “Your parents are alive, Speedy,” I said. He looked startled. I didn’t know where that came from. And then I remembered the dream. The masked face. He must have started that fire. He sent the message to me that Speedy’s parents were alive and well. I closed my eyes and tried to see. A very different view came to me. A woman banged her wrench against the car she was working on. A man stepped out of the shadows. “Sweetie, there are customers coming. She smiled and put down the wrench. In a hushed voice, she asked, “When do you think Speedy will realize we’re alive?” The father, whose nametag identified him as ‘Friendly Tomato’ put his finger to her lips. “They will find out, Slip. But we must rest.” She nodded and yawned, then flipped the open sign to closed a midst the cries of “Come on!” and “It’s supposed to run 24 hours a day!” and yet more of “Where will I take a shower?!” Ew. The mother, who turned out to be named Slippery like me, unfolded two beds in the back room and they fell asleep. I opened my eyes again. “They’re on Monster Carnival, Speedy.” He gasped. “Impossible! My old home? That place burned down and sunk into the ocean!” I shook my head. “Well, it’s back, and your parents are auto repairman.” He frowned. “That is what they did before they died…what are their names?” he asked. “Friendly and Slippery, but your mom goes by Slip.” His mouth formed a perfect O. He sat down slowly. “You’re right! They are alive!” But then his face turned dark again. “But we need to save your parents first,” he murmured. I shook my head. “No, we don’t.” I said. He looked at me. “What?” I started to explain. “When I had that vision, there was a scar in the pavement, jagged. And you know what was next to it?” B.F stepped up. I seemed to have triggered a memory. “Lemon drops,” he said. “Wait, what?” Nameless asked. She had been quiet so long, I had forgotten she was there. “Back when we were little kids, our parents made a deal. We had to always carry around lemon drops with us, even them.” Speedy frowned. “The point is…?” he asked. I shot him an exasperated look. “Still don’t get it? Those lemon drops weren’t for eating. They were for emergencies. If there was ever a problem, we would leave a stack of lemon drops there. We actually made a whole language with lemon drops, so we could even give messages like what happened, or where we are. And they were used for trails if we got lost. Those lemon drops said, ‘He’s got us underground.’ I didn’t understand it. But now I do. A masked face has been appearing in my dreams. And I never noticed his surroundings, but they look almost…undergroundish.” B.F said under his breath, “Spoken like a true scientist.” I glared at him. “But we can’t up and go to Monster Carnival,” Speedy pointed out. “No, but we can find out who did it. I’ve been seeing a strange flash of silver-it threw the rope when I fell out of the blimp, and it went into the crack with our parents.” Nameless frowned. “Um, Slip? Isn’t there only one villain who could possibly have silver?” she asked. I stared at her. “Duh.” B.F was confused. “I have no idea what’s going on here,” he said. “Spoken like a true scientist,” I muttered. He punched me in the arm.”The point is, I know which villain did it. Binary Bard.”