Christmas Cookie Conundrum
Written by Joshua Croyle
Illustration by Noah Ridenour
This past Christmas at SuperVillainy High was a long one, and not only because I battled with a time-traveling trinkleberry tart.
Hi, this is Mike. I’m SVH’s honorary cook, baker, and overall culinary artist. You may also know me as the Chocolatier. I was once partners-in-creme with Jackson Cooke, aka The Whisk. (Now known as Robo-Master, but that’s another story). After a messy, maranguey confrontation, Jackson left the Specialists’ kitchen for the other eligible faction’s: Evil 101. So it’s a great understatement to say I was surprised when he returned to my kitchen, oven mits and whisk in hand.
“What do you want?” I seethed.
“At the moment? Two teaspoons baking powder.” Jackson smirked smugly. Gosh, I wanted to deck his halls.
“Whatcha cookin’ up?” I glanced at the large mixing bowl Elijah wheeled through the doorway on a gerny.
“Principal Royman wants 50 gingerbread men, 200 trinkleberry tarts, 1 super-sized doughnut and 14 donettes, a pepperoni roll, 135 sugar cookies…”
“And a partrige in a pastry!” Simon pitched in as he walked down the hall.
I blinked. “Wait… Royman gave YOU the Christmas party gig??”
“You gotta problem with that?”
“When it messes up my position within the school? Heck yeah, I do!”
Jackson grabbed the mixing bowl and smashed it over my head. I lunged at him blindly with a butcher’s knife, wiping gooey batter from my eyes. Jack’s arm retracted, and in its place, a brilliantly lit electronic whisk whirred an inch from my heart.
“Don’t tempt me, Chocolatier,” he growled. “Lest you be boiled in your own pudding!”
“Bah, humbug…” I murmured, turning to the oven and setting it to 475°F.
“Now…” he extended a hand.
“Here.” I rolled my eyes, handing Jackson a weathered, white-dusted box. “Need anything else?”
“This is baking soda. I needed baking powder.”
“You’ll take what you can get. Or have you forgotten I have cybernetic enhancements, myself?” My hand turned into a flamethrower as I melted away a cupboard littered with baking powder. The last tube of it landed in my palm. Walking away from my visitors, I tossed the tube over my shoulder.
Jackson sighed heavily. “That’s not the only reason why I’m here.”
My stride slowed to a stop.
“I need your help, Mike.”
I grinned, turning around. “My old friend, you know how much I love to hear those words. Now…” I licked my lips. “Let’s get cooking.”
The next 50 minutes felt just like old times. Jack and I would swap off baking, taste-testing, and decorating the various Christmas treats. I even made a little fruity friend, Timmy the Tart, to keep us company. As always, Jack was stoic.
“C’mon, man, lighten up!” I sniggered. “It’s Christmas!”
No reply. Just a tuft of flour thrown in my direction. I bit my lip, chuckled to myself, and grabbed an extra (not to mention off-recipe) can from the cupboard. I tipped the can, and dastardly drops of liquid landed on each and every baked good.
“The Fizz-o’-Life?!” Jackson cried, finally breaking the silence. “You know what that soda does to people!” He scrambled over to the incomplete batters and finished trays of sweets, throwing them all on the floor.
I shrieked. “WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING???”
“I should ask you the same thing!!” Jack swung his fist at me. I dodged, accidentally bumping the soda can. As if in slow motion, I tried in vain to stop from spilling the rest of its contents onto the eager pile of pastries.
Note to self: Never cook with Fizz-o’-Life.
Four hundred bakery behemoths rose high above us, circling around the demonic, dark form of a donut. He had millions of tiny jimmies for eyes, and a long-collared cape twirled from chocolate icing. His donut-hole mouth distorted into a wily grin.
“After years of morbid oppression on our kind…” The Master-Donut spoke raspily. “…WE, THE SUGAR SQUAD, SHALL HAVE OUR REVENGE!!!!”
“Oh…” Jackson started.
“…No.” I finished.
We bolted down the halls, screaming in terror as an army of shortbread beasts plowed their way toward us. Students ran in fear. Simon ran towards the hellacious hot-fudge hurricane everyone else avoided.
“Come to papa!” He opened his mouth and arms wide, only to be washed away in a delicious demise.
My fellow students in Evil 202 and Specialists’ Cooking Class were also in dire need. Adverse was in the middle of a brawl with a gingerbread beast. Lovebug’s sixth and seventh legs were coated in marshmallow, slowing her down as Heartburn (the pepperoni roll’s evil alias) swooped in for the kill.
I shrugged and ran forward. “Every villain for himself!!”
“Hey!” Mira and Adverse yelled. Jack’s arm changed from a whisk to a ray gun. He fired ferociously at my feet, tripping me so I’d fall into a pile of bloodthirsty donettes. Automatically switching out my hands for knives, I slashed the donettes to pieces.
“NO!!” The Master-Donut screamed. “My minions! My munchable minions! You’ll pay for this!!”
Bursting through the ground, a giant mass of chocolate chip cookies formed into the shape of a large man. This cookie… er… monster smashed the ceiling above us, sending rubble on top of our heads for, like, the fifth time this year.
“COOKIE CRUMBLER… CRUSH!!!” The Cookie Crumbler slammed his fists into the floor, knocking me and Jack off of our feet.
“I didn’t remember baking any chocolate chip cookies…” Jackson held his head in pain.
“I… I think he did.” I pointed a finger at the Master-Donut. He was maniacally laughing as he cranked out more and more of his sinister sugar squad from five ovens in the kitchen.
“Great.” Jackson rolled his eyes as he raised his arms into the air. An army of cybernetic beings fell from the sky, landing on top of the irritated Cookie Crumbler.
I gestured to the legion of robots which all bore the same logo on their chests as Jackson did. “Your handiwork, I presume?”
“Like you didn’t know!” Jackson nearly grinned. “You helped me make the first prototype, remember?”
“Wait,” I grinned. “These are Lunchborgs?”
“I like to think of them as Cyber-Androidal-Nexo-Drones, phase Y.”
“You named your robot army C.A.N.D.Y.?” I snickered.
“You got a better name?” Jackson shot out a laser sword and slashed at a cream puff’s legs. Syrupy filling oozed from the wound.
“None that come to mind at the moment.” I hopped to my feet.
“We need to stop these things, and fast. The school’s messy enough as it is.”
“Agreed,” I helped Jackson stand up. “Where do we start?”
“Well, it’d be great if we could take out their base.” Jack’s eyes zeroed in on the kitchen and the Master-Donut within.
“Leave that to me.” I winked. Switching my hands into flamethrowers, I melted all treats that stood in my way, plowing through the hall until I stepped inside the kitchen.
Everything was quiet. Isolated. The Master-Donut and his lackies were nowhere to be seen. The ovens? Empty. The pantry? Stocked with normal supplies. I slowly spun around in a 360° turn, taking in my surroundings. I opened the kitchen door, and, surely enough, the wild atmosphere of battle still encompassed the rest of the school. I closed the door again, and sighed.
A hand gripped my shirt collar from behind, whirling me to the ground. I activated my knife-hands.
“Michael Jessie…” A C.A.N.D.Y. bot addressed me calmly. “You would be pleased to know Master Jackson sent me here to eliminate the Master-Donut. Therefore, your presence here is unnecessary. He also sent you this message.”
A slip of paper ejected from the robot’s mouth. I pulled it out.
I’m always one step ahead of you. Goodbye, Mikey.
The robot raised his arm into the air, holding a frying pan over his head. I stabbed at the drone in rage, causing it to drop the pan. I grabbed it and slammed it into his face. The robot was no more.
I scrambled from the room. Dashing through the hall, I hoisted up the pan and swung it at Jackson, who was preoccupied fighting Cookie Crumbler. Jack crumpled to the ground, unconscious. All the C.A.N.D.Y. bots followed his lead. Now there was nobody besides me left to face the Sugar Squad.
“HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!” A voice bellowed. The Master-Donut hoisted himself atop the Cookie Crumbler. “Thanks for the help, Mikey.”
“You rigged that robot?” I wiped my brow and sighed, breathlessly.
“I’m not one for monologues…” The donut licked his chocolatey lips with a fruit roll-up tongue. “…But yeah.”
My breathing shallowed. I kicked my heels together, activating my rocket boots. The Master-Donut was now at eye-level.
“Don’t try to intimidate me, child…” The donut’s voice was soft as dough. He threw a candy cane like a boomerang at my feet, knocking out the thrusters in my soles. I fell to the chest of the Cookie Crumbler. The Master-Donut’s many eyes gleamed. “We have you outsmarted, outmanned, and outmaneuvered. In other words… we win.”
“I wasn’t going after you just yet…” I murmured, plunging my face into the Cookie Crumbler’s molten heart. Chocolatey, gooey goodness gushed from the wound. The monster fell, and the Master-Donut with it.
“NO!” he screamed, as I opened my mouth into a wide, welcoming grin.
“It’s just desserts for you!” I swallowed him whole.
The hallway cleared in seconds. Sugary minions hurried to the lower levels of the school as I breathed a sigh of relief.
“Just desserts? Really?” Jackson stood up, rubbing his head. “That’s all you could come up with?”
I laughed. “Says the guy who calls his evil minions C.A.N.D.Y.??”
“Touché…” Jackson’s gaze wandered down the hallway. He frowned. “Wait, where’s that tart going?”
I spun around. A trinkleberry tart was bounding toward the history classroom…
…Where the time machine was held.
“Oh, no you don’t!” I ran down the hall, pursuing the persistent pastry. We collided, tumbling into the door and knocking it wide open. The time machine lay before us, unsupervised and glinting with infinite potential.
“You haven’t won this battle, yet!” The tart cried, running into the cockpit of the machine. “The Master-Donut will rise again, with a bigger army than ever before! We will conquer SuperVillainy High before it’s even created!”
“Yeah… About that, little guy…” I feigned disinterest, while in my head calculating how to properly and instantaneously disable the device. “Don’t bother. This time machine hasn’t been functioning in eons.”
“My name is Timmy,” said the tart. “And I think we both know this time machine is in peak condition.”
“Timmy?” I paused. “Hey, you’re the friend I made for Jackson!”
“I’ll get you a card for Father’s Day,” the tart shrugged, pulling the lever closest to him. The time machine whirred to life. “Actually, make that the first Father’s Day.”
“No!” I leapt on top of the time machine as brilliant flashes of light overcame my vision. I saw the hazy outline of Jackson as he ran into the room, screaming my name.
I blinked and realized I’d already teleported somewhere in time and space. Judging by the skyscrapers towering over me, I was definitely still in Superknack City. But the whole place seemed brighter, with vibrant colors of red, yellow, and blue.
“Christmas past,” I sighed. “Goodie.”
“1993, to be more precise,” Timmy’s gumdrop eyes glinted. “This was the day your principal, Robert Royman, was inspired to create SuperVillainy High… I’m gonna make sure it doesn’t come to pass.”
“You’re deranged.” I bolted toward him. He ran ahead of me, surprising me with how spry he was–for a cookie.
“Run, run, run, as fast as you can…” He taunted.
“Caught you!” I leapt into the air and tackled him just shy of reaching city square, crunching off one of his arms.
“I’m one-quarter gone,” The tart feigned a gasp, then snickered. “And I’m bored of playing Gingerbread Man, now.”
He grabbed my cybernetic arm with astonishing strength, aiming it at the well-dressed man delivering a speech in the center of the crowded plaza.
“No!” I cried.
“Yes.” Timmy gripped my arm tight until it fired a blast of molten chocolate at the unsuspecting man. Robert Royman fell to the ground, coated in quick-hardening cocoa.
Gasps rose from the group surrounding Royman. A few ladies tried cracking the chocolate shell, but stopped for fear they’d break the man within.
“Never fear, dear citizens!” Timmy soared into the air with a grin, leaving me gobsmacked. “I am the Impeccable Tart-Man! I have defeated my wily foe, the Chocolatier, and now I will free your poor man from this tasty trap!”
“Why, you little–!” I trudged up to him, firing my chocolate blaster in the air. He dodged every shot with ease. I tried flying into the air with my rocket boots, but fell on my butt as I remembered the Master-Donut had disabled them. The crowd of people swarmed me, throwing coffee cups, popcorn bags, and other assorted trash. Little old ladies whacked me with heavy purses anytime I gasped for air.
“SuperVillains…” One muttered. “They think they rule the place.”
My eyes narrowed. I fired a stream of chocolate at the civilians, freezing them in place. Timmy looked at me in what was either fake or genuine horror.
“They’ve got about ten minutes. You’re the hero, now,” I winked. “Save them.”
While Timmy broke the citizens free, I hoisted Royman’s frozen form into my arms and ran.
As I got closer and closer to the not-so-secret volcano lair of MagmaMan, the chocolate shell began to melt away from Royman. I set him down with a heavy sigh.
“Thank you, good sir,” Royman nodded his head. “Now, if I might ask, who was the troublesome SuperVillain behind this attack?”
“Actually, sir,” the words came out of my mouth before I could stop them. “It was me.”
Royman’s eyes flared with disgust. He must’ve hit me with something hard, because before I knew it, I was flat on my back and recovering consciousness.
I rubbed my eyes. Superknack City was overrun by an army of Cookie Crumblers. The Master-Donut stood triumphantly atop Mahogany Tower, his booming laugh echoing through the borough. I stood to my feet, only to be knocked back down by Timmy and his tart army.
“It stings, right?” Timmy glared into my eyes. He was close enough that I could smell his sugary breath. “Imagine being pushed around like this all day, everyday. Imagine being crunched into a thousand pieces by 32 razor-sharp blades, and swallowed into the darkest recluse that eats whatever’s left of you. That’s what my brethren are put through, every day. Now your world will understand.”
“Don’t do this, Timmy,” I gasped. “I made you to be a friend. Not this.”
“You create us just so you can selfishly feast at our flesh!!” Timmy snarled.
“Eww,” I got up, stood in front of Timmy’s legions, and activated my flamethrowers.
Timmy ran, a pile of fruity sludge at his feet. I chased him, melting every sweet in my way.
“How’d you do this? Huh?!” I shouted at Timmy, gesturing to the Sugar Squad’s attack when he turned around.
“I time-traveled while you were asleep,” he murmured. “Got the Master-Donut to join me before you killed him. We created a new army. We’ll take out Royman, stop SuperVillainy High from being created, and maybe destroy a good chunk of the city while we’re at it.”
“This plan of yours ends here.” I retracted my hands for knives again, and swiped at Timmy’s remaining arm. He didn’t run. He stood in place. Smiling.
“Go on. Kill me,” he taunted. “It won’t change anything. The Master-Donut has already won. SuperVillainy High will never exist. We will give our lives to stop you tyrants.”
I thought about what he was saying. He had no doubt in his mind that I was going to destroy him. In his eyes, I’d already proven myself to be irredeemable. I’d threatened innocent lives, eaten his candy-coated comrades, and hadn’t, until today, tried to reconcile with my best friend.
I stabbed my knife-arms deep into the gravel below, and, with a twist of my arms, snapped the blades from my wrists. Returning my hands to their normal positions, I stood defenseless before the tart.
“Look, Timmy,” I said. “I’m sorry. But I need to stop the Sugar Squad. I need the time machine.”
Timmy’s gummy eyes flickered with surprise, then returned to anger. “No. You’re on your own.”
Timmy ran off, and this time, I didn’t follow him. I turned my attention to the Cookie Crumblers and their Master-Donut, who was busy gloating about his apparent victory.
“Merry Christmas, fools! Thanks to my master plan, Christmas cookies are off the menu! But don’t worry…” He licked his icing-coated lips. “We have a healthy alternative option. We’d love to have you for dinner!”
“HEY, M.D.!” I screamed at the beast from the bottom of the tower. “You’re looking kinda doughy! You could lose some weight! Maybe as your New Year’s resolution?!”
The Master-Donut’s many eyes grew wide with rage. In a heartbeat, he’d crawled like a spider and landed in front of me.
“Poor, confused child,” He brushed some sprinkles off where his shoulder would’ve been. “You should know better than to pick a fight with me.”
“Why? I killed you the first time.” I took a page from Jack’s book and gave a smirk of superior smugness.
The Master-Donut’s expression changed. “W-what?”
“You heard me.” I lowered my eyebrows.
The donut was furious. With the snap of his ladyfingers, the Cookie-Crumblers surrounded me.
I sighed, trying to seem as bored as possible. “You know what goes great with cookies?”
Changing my hands into dual blasters, I drenched the cookie creatures with ice cold milk. As the baked behemoths drifted away, I refilled my blasters… With coffee.
“Oh, no. No. No!” The Master-Donut scrambled up Mahogany Tower. I fired steaming streams at the building, trying and failing to hit my frosted foe, but oddly managing to stain the material that made up the tower.
“Oh, my gosh!” One spectator nudged her friend. “The new tower…”
“It looks like it was made of Mahogany!” Her friend gasped. “Slammin’!”
My face dropped. Did I…?
The Master-Donut roared. I looked up. He was stepping inside the cockpit of the time machine. “You destroyed my minions! You ruined my plans of destruction!” His eyes, legs, and drops of icing began dripping from his body, landing in a puddle of coffee below his feet. The air smelled like the inside of a café.
I switched my hands to their knife setting. Stabbing into the building with the fractured remains of the blades, I began my trek up the tower. When I made my way to the top, the time machine was gone.
“NO!” I fell to my knees, exhausted. Defeated.
A hand touched my back. I turned around. “Timmy?”
“Don’t worry. I got the M.D.,” His arms, glued back onto his body with icing, were holding the beady eyes of the beast. He sprinkled them at his feet and stomped them to dust. “There’s been enough carnage for one day. Now, I can only hope the humans give us a chance at survival.”
My gaze was fixed on my feet. “Have you ever considered… That you’re making people happy?”
“Yeah. The gluttons.” He scoffed.
“No, I mean,” I looked into his eyes. They may have been red gummy candies, but they registered such complex emotions. My chest felt funny. “When little kids come home from school, do you know how much joy they get when their mom greets them with warm homemade cookies? Or when a shy girl finds comfort in the snack table at a party?”
“I… I never really thought about that.” His brow furrowed as he twiddled his thumbs.
“Look, we never meant to hurt you,” The words leaving my mouth seemed foreign. Far too apologetic for a SuperVillain. “We were just trying do make something nice for our friends to eat. I’m sorry. Really.”
“I know. I just needed time to think,” he smiled. “And… I think you’re right. Me and my army were focused on the wrong thing. You guys should be allowed to enjoy yourselves. It’s an honor to bring smiles to your faces. I’m not bitter.”
“You’re sure as heck not bitter,” I chuckled. “You taste like cherries and frosting.”
Timmy laughed sarcastically. “Don’t push it. I was just starting to warm up to you.”
I scanned around the top of the skyscraper.
“Not that I don’t love this mushy-gushy conversation,” sarcasm oozed from my lips. “But where’s the time machine?”
“Um…” Timmy rubbed his neck. “It’s gone. It left without anyone inside it.”
“You mean I’m stuck here??” I cried.
“Not necessarily,” Timmy pointed down to a building by the pier. “You see that warehouse?”
“The time machine was built back in 1985. And, if my super-soda’d memory serves me well, it remained in storage until it was transported to SuperVillainy High in 1998.”
“Excellent. This’ll be a piece of cake. Figuratively.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Timmy turned to face me. “A device like that typically has some sort of protection. A dispatch of Sigmas, at the least.”
“Perfect.” I seethed through gritted teeth.
Getting to the pier was the easy part. Timmy flew me over buildings and streets until we landed a street away from the warehouse.
“This is where we part ways.” Timmy said, solemnly.
“What? Where are you going?”
“I have to figure out what comes next for ol’ Timmy,” He rubbed his belly. “And… I’m getting kinda hungry.”
I shook Timmy’s hand, and slipped into the shadows. It was time to go home.
If there was some sort of security guarding the warehouse, you’d never be able to tell from looking at the outside. The paint on the walls was chipping, a deserted minivan was lazily parked next to the building, looking untouched for years. The door was rusty. I lightly pushed the lock to the doors, and it fell from the door handles with a puff of dust. I coughed, then stepped inside.
The doors slammed behind me. I jumped. Scrambling to open the doors, I turned my back to the interior of the warehouse. Big mistake.
“Halt!” A Sigma (the super-powered policemen of Superknack City) aimed his weapon at me. The red dot of a laser was aimed right between my eyes. “Start talking.”
I gulped. Looking around the man, I saw a dozen other Sigmas, suited up in their sleekest, heaviest armor. Even nowadays, the Sigmas don’t look as good as these guys. They were circled around the time machine. Another being– a much smaller one– was sitting within the cockpit.
“Hurry up, Epsilon,” Timmy rolled his eyes. “We don’t have all day, here. And that man is the wanted criminal, The Chocolatier.”
“That’s all I needed to hear.” Epsilon fired his gun. I deflected his shot at lightning speed with my metal arms. The bullet ricocheted and hit another Sigma, who crumpled to the floor.
“Kill him! Kill the SuperVillain!” Timmy hissed. He pressed a few buttons in the console and pulled the lever which would send him spiraling through time.
“No!” I shot milk from my arms, aiming it below my feet. I flew through the air for an instant. As the milk sputtered away, I landed atop Timmy, inside the time machine.
The world disappeared, only to be replaced with a jungle landscape. I only had a moment to register the pterodactyl darting towards us before the world shifted again, this time into an icy abyss.
“Stop this!” I wrestled with Timmy over the controls. “I thought we were all good, man!”
“We’re not.” He pulled the lever, and the time machine lurched forward as we tumbled out of the cockpit and onto a lit platform where men in gleaming armor were confronting strange alien beings with laser-swords.
“Oops, the future.” Timmy hurriedly turned the lever back toward him.
In a blinding flash, I was back in Mr. Tic’s history classroom at SuperVillainy High. It was abandoned, crumbling into nothingness. Flames ate at the floor. Outside, a few students were scattered along the parking lot, battered, bruised, and bloody. I didn’t have the heart or the time to look for familiar faces. Before I could learn if this was the near or distant future of the school, Timmy’s voice rumbled. “I failed?!”
“Failed what?” I slapped him. “There it is. The school’s in flames. Just like you wanted. SuperVillainy High is destroyed.”
“I didn’t want the school to exist in the first place, idiot!” He gripped my throat with superhuman strength. With a sickening chomp and a delightful taste, I bit his fingers off.
Timmy howled. “You’re going to pay for that!”
“So, wait a sec,” I put my hand over his face. “You’re a past version of Timmy. That’s it! You haven’t had the time to see the error of your ways, yet. I don’t know if you’ll believe this, but…”
“It’s me, Michael,” Timmy whacked my hand aside. “I remember our conversation at the rooftop. I sent you to the warehouse so me and the Sigmas could ambush you. It was a simple bait-and-switch. And soon enough, when I return to ’93, and they’re all worshiping the mighty Tart-Man… I’ll let them reward me with their abstinence from sugar.”
My heart sank. “You duped me?”
“I’m not one for bragging… But yeah.”
“I hate to say this,” I said, punctuating my words with punches. “But you. Deserve. Props. For that!!”
Crumbs littered the seat of the machine. Timmy chuckled, weakly. “You deserve some credit, too. I’d never have been able to convince you, if you weren’t so desperate for your old friend Jack back. It’s pathetic, really. A SuperVillain who doesn’t want to be left out in the cold? I mean, it’s–!”
The time machine returned to my time. SuperVillainy High, Christmas of 2018. History class.
Jackson stood in the doorway. “Mike…”
I licked the crumbs from my lips. “The one and only. And hungry.”
“You flickered out of the room for a moment. You time-traveled.”
“I went to stop Timmy. He tried to prevent the school from being created…” My voice trailed off. “He failed?”
“I guess,” Jackson shrugged. He gave me his hand and helped me out of the time machine. “C’mon, man. You gotta tell me more about this later. We have a lot of cleaning to do.”
Christmas at SuperVillainy High was a lot of things. Dangerous? Yep. Chaotic? Absolutely. Fun? Heck yeah!
Students were dancing to remixes of our favorite holiday tunes. Elijah and Hope had the gymnasium decked out with tinsel, lights, boughs of holly– the works. Lovebug webbed some mistletoe above the door to Evil 101. Christmas specials were playing on the dinky TV in the science classroom, managed by Rupert and Luther. Principal Royman actually left his office, for once.
Our baked goods didn’t disappoint. Large trays of cakes and cookies fed the merry masses. We decided to leave out the tarts, this year.
Jackson was having a merry time of his own, serving pepperoni rolls with his out-of-school girlfriend, Penelope.
“Merry Christmas, man,” I clapped his back. “Hey, I’ll be right back, okay?”
“Sure thing,” Jackson said. He offered me a plate. “Here, I made you something.”
A gingerbread man sat on the plate and gave a sinister wink.
“I made you a friend.” Jackson smiled.
“I already have one, bro,” I sent the gingerbread man down on the ground for a run. “I already have one…”
Even on the outside, SuperVillainy High looked festive. Snow fluttered through the air and blanketed the ground. Blinking blue bulbs were strung along the satellites. An inflatable Christmas Dragon eyed his cauldron of candy greedily. A laser-cannon was pointed to the sky, waiting to shoot down Santa Claus, should he try to give us coal again. The gingerbread man eyed a snowball launcher, mischievously.
The one thing that didn’t seem typical, though, was a sign firmly plastered into the ground. It only had three lines of text engraved on its marble surface. But it was more than enough to chill me to the bone.
“Where the Incarcerated are Educated.”