I wanted to say thank you to all that reviewed including The Lady Morana, geebabbie, and ahilty.
Chapter #6: The Amazing Flying Cartman
The next day passed relatively normally, only it was clear that Kyle was worried about his brother. He'd wanted to go search for him and, after school, Kyle successfully managed to drag Stan with him around town to question people and look in every cranny that a kidnapper could possibly hide. Stan tried to remind Kyle that the police had most likely already looked in all of these places, but Kyle wasn't really hearing anything.
When that day passed without the two finding even one scrap of evidence telling them where Ike may have gotten to, Kyle finally settled down and was mostly content to sit by his family's side by the phone, waiting for the police to call them and say that they had finally found Ike and the Great Ones kidnapping case had been solved.
This behavior worried Stan and so that Saturday he came by the house to collect Kyle and take him out to Stark's Pond.
"Not now, Stan," Kyle said, waving him off. "I need to be here."
"No you don't," Stan replied. "All you're doing is making yourself sick worrying. Come on. I thought you wanted to see the fat ass fail miserably. You were looking forward to it all week."
"I just . . ." Kyle trailed off and shook his head. "Not anymore, okay Stan?"
But Stan didn't give up and eventually Kyle said he'd go but he wouldn't have fun just to make Stan shut up and go away. So the two of them made their way down to Stark's Pond where they found a pretty good crowd already there, waiting for Cartman's big stunt.
"Oh boy," Butters said excitedly when they found him in the crowd. "Can you believe it, you guys? He's actually going to jump the whole pond!"
"Yeah, it's really exciting," Kyle said, sounding more bored than he'd ever sounded before. Stan rolled his eyes and they left Butters behind, pushing through the crowd to get a spot at the front where they could better point and laugh.
The set up seemed safe and realistic enough. On one side of the pond there was a rather large ramp that sloped downward then sharply upward again and on the other side was a rather similar ramp that Cartman was supposedly suppose to land on. Stan wouldn't make any bets that he actually would though. This whole thing was destined for failure.
Eventually Cartman appeared on the top of the ramp wearing a ridiculous outfit similar to those outfits that the daredevils wear. You know, the ones with the blue and red racing stripes and the red fringe along the arms. He'd also apparently been unable to find rollerblades that would fit his feet as he was holding his old skateboard in his hands. He stood there and held his arms a high as he called for the crowd's attention. Nobody was listening to him though and he eventually got tired of screaming at them and brought out his megaphone.
"HEY! YOU GUYS!" he shouted. "PAY ATTENTION!"
Everyone stopped talking and turned their attention to the fat kid in the crazy get-up.
"ALRIGHT!" Then Cartman turned off the megaphone, stored it away, and began his carefully written speech. "Thank you all for coming to this glorious event!" he said loudly, opening his arms to the people like he'd seen people on TV do. "Where I will bravely attempt a stunt that hasn't been done in years!" That obviously didn't seem impressive enough so Cartman added, "In decades!"
Standing next to Stan, Kyle rolled his eyes. Seeing this, Stan grinned.
Formalities apparently out of the way, Cartman obviously decided to just get on with things without his usual playing to the crowd. "So . . . Who wants to see me jump this pond?"
There was silence from the crowd.
"A-hem," Cartman said, clearing his throat before saying, louder and with more emphasis, "I said, who wants to see me jump this pond!"
There was a rather weak reaction from the crowd this time. Some people clapped, two or three people whistled loudly, and one person very clearly shouted, "YEAH!" and then there was a rather embarrassed silence from that corner.
"That's not good enough," Cartman said, "I said," then he whipped out the megaphone again, "WHO WANTS TO SEE ME JUMP THIS POND!"
That got a stronger reaction from the crowd as they apparently realized that Cartman would keep doing this until he was satisfied. There was a lot more clapping, more whistling, a few loud shouts, and one very distinct catcall.
That apparently satisfied and Cartman said, "Alright, then let's get this show started!" More clapping and whistling as Cartman prepared to jump. He put on his goggles and tightened the strap then put his skateboard down and got into the starting position. Making a few test rolls to make sure the wheels worked, Cartman then pushed off, put both feet on the board and zoomed down the ramp and into the air. For a weightless few seconds it appeared as if Cartman was suspended in the air, but then that second passed and Cartman's trajectory failed him and he began to plummet into the pond. His skateboard continued to fly, flying off into the woods surrounding the area as Cartman landed with a loud splash in the pond meters from the landing ramp, sending water spraying everywhere. The people at the very front of the crowd got splashed, which included Stan and Kyle and they laughed while others let out loud and annoyed shouts.
Shouting incomprehensible nonsense, Cartman struggled in the water, eventually swimming to the shore as Kyle and Stan continued to laugh themselves silly. Crawling onto the shore, Cartman lay back in the grass and panted for breath. Stan and Kyle, their laughter dying down, went to go see how he was as the disappointed and slightly angry crowd started to dissipate, murmuring to themselves about the wasted five bucks they had just spent to see some kid fall into a pond.
"You okay, man?" Stan asked, looking down at Cartman's fat face with an amused grin.
"Shut . . . up . . . faggot," Cartman said between drawing in deep breaths.
Coming out from underneath the ramp, Kenny joined them at the edge of the pond with his own smile. "I told you it wouldn't work."
"Shut up . . . you poor . . . piece of trash. My plan . . . was genius."
"Well apparently it wasn't as genius as you thought," Kyle said with a grin, his worries about his brother apparently gone for the short moment. "You didn't exactly make it over the pond."
"It would've worked," Cartman said, getting his breath back and starting to struggle to his feet. "You jinxed me," he said, pointing at Kyle accusingly.
Kyle started to look a little offended, but couldn't hold on to emotion in his amusement. "I did not."
"Then you used your Jew-mojo to make it so I failed," Cartman decided angrily.
"Cartman," Kyle said as patiently as he could though now he looked truly irritated. "There is no such thing as Jew-mojo."
"Yes there is!"
"No, there really isn't."
"Come on, you guys," Stan said, trying to avoid a fight. "Let's just leave."
"What about the ramp?" Kenny asked. "We need to take that down."
Cartman was more concerned with other things, busy looking around the clearing. "Where's my skateboard?"
Stan answered Kenny. "Let's just leave it. Somebody will take it down eventually. Or not."
"You guys," Cartman whined, "Where's my skateboard?"
"I think I saw it go into the woods," Kyle answered.
"Then go get it," Cartman said, looking straight at Kyle.
Seeming almost surprised at this somehow, Kyle pointed to himself and said, "What. Me?"
"It's your fault," Cartman said, not at all logically.
"And how is it my fault?" Kyle asked, almost afraid to hear the answer.
"It was your Jew-mojo that made me fall into the pond and lose my skateboard. It's your fault!"
Before Kyle could say anything to that, Stan had grabbed him by the arm and started tugging him in the direction of the woods. "Come on. Let's just all go find Cartman's stupid skateboard and then we can go back home." He gave a nod to Kenny who went off in a different direction, leaving Cartman to stand, dripping, at the edge of the pond.
"But Stan, I— Kyle started.
Stan stopped him with a look. "Did you have anything better to do?"
"Well, yeah, I—
Stan interrupted him again. "And by better I mean anything besides sit in your house and mope."
Kyle frowned. "I wasn't moping."
"Then worrying. Whatever. Point is, there's nothing you can do about Ike so you might as well distract yourself, okay?"
Stan interrupted again, knowing that whatever Kyle would have said it would not be what he wanted. He shot Kyle another look. "Okay?"
Kyle sighed. "Okay. Okay, fine. You can let go of my arm now."
Stan looked down at where he had wrapped his arms around Kyle's and blushed. He hadn't even realized he was still doing that. "Right. Sorry."
Stan and Kyle walked deeper into the woods, looking this way and that for the elusive skateboard. Stan was about to speak up and tell Kyle that if they hadn't found it in five more minutes then they should walk back in the direction of the pond when Kyle noticed something.
"Look!" Kyle said and Stan looked. Coming up in front of them was an actual log cabin. Stan didn't think they had log cabins any more. At least not since the settlers.
"What's that doing here?" Stan asked, looking curious. He didn't remember anybody ever mentioning a log cabin out in the woods. He was sure he would have remembered something like that and probably have discovered it years ago.
Kyle shrugged, obviously just as curious. "I dunno. Wanna see?" He turned to Stan with a grin, the excitement about a new adventure coming into his eyes.
Stan grinned back, loving that look, and the two decided to come closer. Looking around the corner of the cabin, neither boy could see any signs that anybody was home, but all around were signs that somebody actually lived there. Hanging on a line were thick woolen blankets and there was a chopping block with evidence that somebody had recently chopped wood there. The two were just looking around behind the back of the cabin when a voice spoke up.
"Well, hello there."
Both boys jumped, not having expected the voice, and turned guiltily to find that it was just an old man, standing there in oversized overalls and an old, stained t-shirt.
"Um, hi," Stan said, deciding to be the spokesperson for them this time. "We're sorry. We didn't think anybody was around."
"Well there's no harm done. Do you like lemonade?"
Stan and Kyle exchanged a look, each obviously wondering just why the man had asked a question like that.
"Oh now don't look like that," the old man said, smiling slightly. "I just don't get much company out here in these woods. I was just wondering if you'd like something to drink."
"Oh no," Kyle said, trying to get out of this situation gracefully. "We couldn't."
"Nonsense," the old man said, pushing between them to head for the front door. Opening this door, he beckoned them in. "Come on now. Don't be shy. I'm just a lonely old man. I don't bite."
Stan and Kyle exchanged another look, but neither could figure out a way to turn the man down. And he did seem nice enough. And it was kind of hot out here in the woods.
Following the old man into the house, they were surprised to find that it was nicely furnished inside, with thick blankets covering the couch and armchair, and a rug laid out on the floor by the fireplace. And all around were machines, gizmos, gadgets, CD-players, and other miscellaneous things. They were on the walls, on the shelves, on the tables, partly open mechanical bits left out of gadgets as if the old man had been in the middle of either taking them apart or putting them back together and had just forgotten. The whole place seemed like a workshop, an inventor's play place.
"Come on. Sit down now," the old man said before walking through another door, supposedly to the kitchen. Stan and Kyle carefully took a seat on the couch, still not quite sure about what to think about the situation they were in. Then the old man reappeared with a tray holding three glasses of lemonade. He set this down on the table and let the boys each grab one for themselves.
"So," the old man said as he settled himself down in the armchair. "What's your names?"
Stan swallowed the mouthful of lemonade he had taken and lowered the glass from his lips. "Well I'm Stan and this is Kyle," he said, pointing at the other boy who had finally decided it was safe enough to take a tiny sip from his glass of lemonade. "Who are you?" That sounded a bit rude so Stan hurried to say, "I mean, if you don't mind."
The old man just smiled. "I'm Samson, but you can call me Sam. Everyone does."
"Okay . . . Sam," Stan said hesitantly, trying out the name on his tongue. He wasn't used to old people telling him to call them by their first names. "I'm sorry, but why are you living out here in the woods?" he continued curiously, knowing it was rude but having to ask. "Can't you get a house in town?"
The old man, Sam, just smiled again. "I don't want a house in town. I like the privacy out here in these woods. Out here everybody leaves me alone. What were you boys doing out this far?"
Stan and Kyle exchanged another look, each wondering just how much about themselves they could say. This guy was still a stranger after all. "A . . . friend of ours lost his skateboard," Stan eventually said, turning back to the old man. "We were just trying to find it."
"Well I haven't seen any skateboards around," Sam said, looking thoughtful as if he really was trying to remember if he had seen any skateboards, "And I know these woods like the back of my hand."
"Well he just lost it this morning," Kyle tried to explain. "It went flying off into the woods after a, um," he tried to find a nice word for the hilarity that Cartman had attempted and finally found it, "demonstration," he said.
"Well, I'm sorry, but, again, I haven't seen anything even close to a skateboard around here," Sam said with a shrug before taking a sip of his own lemonade.
"That's alright," Stan said, "Thank you though."
"It's quite alright," Sam said in reply and then there was an awkward pause.
Finally Kyle couldn't take it anymore. He had to ask. "What are all these machines? Are you an inventor?"
Taking another sip if his lemonade, Sam paused as if to think about how to answer that. Eventually he said, "You could call me that. I'm more of a . . . tinkerer really."
"But all these machines . . ." Kyle said, looking around the room. "There's so many of them. What do they do?"
"Well that there," Sam pointed at some random piece hanging on the wall, "That one right there is a bit like a barometer."
Kyle looked at it. It didn't look like any barometer he'd ever seen. "So it takes the temperature?"
"And other things," Sam said mysteriously before moving on to another piece. "And that there," he said, pointing in a different direction at something on one of the shelves. "That piece is a bit like a toaster. I'm still working on that."
"So you're going to improve on it?" Kyle asked, looking back at the old man with wonder.
"Something like that," Sam said again. "But here." Here he got up and actually went to retrieve a specific gadget. "This," he said, returning with something that looked almost like a video game controller. "This is my masterpiece."
"What's it do?" Stan asked somewhat curiously. He wasn't nearly as interested as Kyle was though. Kyle himself was wide-eyed in amazement at each new curiosity. An inventor's workshop!
"This," Sam said, holding out the video controller-like thing with a certain intensity. "This is going to fix that kidnapping business once and for all.
Kyle stopped all movement and stared. He couldn't have heard that right. "What?" he asked.
"Yep," Sam said, looking at his invention with pride. "This'll stop those pesky "Great Ones" from ever coming into this world again."
"What?" Kyle asked again only this time with a lot more confusion. This world?
"I've figured it out," Sam said, sitting back down in his armchair, obviously thrilled to have somebody that would listen to him. "These kids, they're captured without anybody knowing it, right? Being sneaked out of houses right under parents' noses and all that. And I was wondering—How? How can they do that? And then the answer hit me. They're from another dimension."
Kyle just stared at the old man, feeling all of his hopes, which had been built up so very quickly, tumbling down and disappearing into dust. "What?" he asked yet again. Stan, at his side, said nothing, only staring at the old man as if he had lost his mind, not wanting to say anything in case he insulted the wacko.
"From another dimension," Sam repeated before holding out his invention again. "And this. This will take me to them. This'll take me to that other dimension. It can take me anywhere and all I had to do was figure out the coordinates and—
Kyle abandoned his lemonade on the side table and stood up to leave. "I think we need to leave."
Sam looked confused. "What? But I was just getting to the good part. I can take those figurations and—
"I really think we need to leave. Thank you for the lemonade but I have to get home to babysit my little brother. Come on, Stan." Kyle grabbed Stan by the arm and started pushing him out the door, just wanting to get out of there as quickly as possible.
As soon as the door had closed behind them, Stan turned to Kyle. But Kyle was already hurrying away from the cabin as fast as he could. Stan jogged a bit to catch up and then put a hand on Kyle's arm, trying to get him to slow down.
"Hey, man, are you alright?"
Kyle nodded tensely.
Stan didn't believe him. "You sure? Cause you don't look alright."
At this, Kyle stopped and sighed. "It's just, I really thought for a second there that I had found some way to save Ike. And then he starts going on about alternate dimensions and how he can travel through them with a video game controller and really, what did you want me to say?"
"Nothing," Stan assured him. "It's alright, okay dude? And Ike's coming back soon."
Kyle put a hand to his forehead and gave a half-choked laugh. "Yeah, without his mind."
Stan still tried to sooth him. "It'll be alright though. That no mind thing? That can be fixed. Your parents have the money for the best psychiatrists and doctors. Everything will be alright."
Kyle took a deep breath in and tried to calm down. "Yeah. Alright, yeah. I'm just being a little hysterical right now. Everything will be fine." Then he looked to the side and laughed, still sounding a bit hysterical.
Stan immediately looked worried. "What? What is it?"
Kyle pointed. Over there by the side of the road was Cartman's skateboard.
TBC Do you think this chapters okay? I wasn't sure about Sam, but it's the best I could do with him.