Well, time to start writing. Now a word from our sponsors... TOOTHPASTE! It keeps you from looking George Washington!... Thank you. Now, a word if I may... "Sand Dollar." Okay, if you haven't guessed already, I have no news. This is kind of awkward. Okay so... I guess we're done here. This chapter will be emotional. Enjoy the plot...
Ed, Edd n Eddy's Quest for the Pure Hearts
Seven: Wasn't Yesterday Beautiful?
"Isn't it beautiful?"
"Your folks own this place?"
"Yes. I like to be here when I'm sad."
"Sad? Why would you ever be sad."
"I don't know really... I guess- I just don't know..."
"It's a lovely waterfall."
"I guess so, but, I that's all there is to it."
"What do you mean girl?"
"I don't want nice things. I want a place to be happy."
"Where is that?"
"I'm not sure, but one day, I know will find it."
"... You're an odd human."
"You're not exactly normal yourself."
The old town, or "Yold Town," as it was called, was a small dusty village on the edge of a desert. It was stuck inbetween ravines, only accessable by two bridges that faced towards the east and towards the west. The legendary heroes walked on toward the first bridge. A small peasant guard, who struck everyone oddly as looking like Mario, guarded the gate. Red, as he was called, lived in a small red house next to a draw bridged operated by a system of levers and pulleys. As he took a liking to Mario's looks, he flipped a pully and rolled out the bridge, no charge or questions asked.
"By the way," he asked Mario. "What's the most manly color in the universe? Answer right and I'll give you all fifty coins each."
Just as everyone was about to respond red, Ed blurted out, "The answer is PURPLE!"
Ed was spiraling over the ravine with a footprint in his butt, laughing all the way to the other side. As he smashed down onto the hard, rocky earth, he responded, "Fly pussycat, fly!" He got up, his face in the shape of a frying pan. "Just like Christmas with Sarah at my Aunt Edna's."
"Unless the rest of you guys would like to share your friends fate, I suggest you all cross the bridge and never speak me again..." Red said, storming with blistering anger. Everyone lowered their heads and walked across the rickety old bridge.
"Well, he was an interesting character." Double D muttered.
"He-a booted Ed just-a for saying that purple was o' manly color." Mario noted.
"He's got more fire than Eddy," Tippi compared.
"Shut it Tinkerbell!" Eddy shouted. The pixl huffed and flew over to Mario.
The four crossed the bridge, eager to be across the ravine and away from Red the gatekeeper. From what they could see, Red began reversing the order of levies he pulled and drew the bridge back up. "You know, that may be the most technologically advanced thing I've seen on our venture so far," Double D commented.
"That's not true," Tippi rebuttled. "Flipside had light fixtures!"
"Come on guys, follow me!" Ed yelled. They turned to see their dimwitted friend riding on a blue spring with eyes, all the way to the town. "I have made piece with the machine gear people. I shall call my partner, Sproingy!" He began bouncing into the dusty village.
"Ironically, those creature are called Sproings," Tippi pointed out. "I came across them once while reading through a book of creatures in Merlon's study."
"No amount of magic, religion, science, or hooblah could possibly make sense of why that dismal little being is alive." Double D muttered. Sighing, he began to stroll along Ed's trail.
Yold Town was much like Flipside, apart from being set in a desert with a tangible ground. The people were extremely similar to the blocky inhabitants of Flipside, but they however appeared to be of a more rounded sort, being made more of circles and octogons. The culture also seemed to resemble that of a desert, western society. The streets had vendors who sold the same meat of the blocky creatures Double D had shot (which turned out ot be called Squigs and Squiglets) and dealed off other encentricies like attack items, fire wood, and charms.
The buildings in Yold Town were large adobe style huts. Most of the buildings appeared to be small family owned properties, with the exceptions of the inn, item shop, and the mayor's estate. You couldn't really call it an estate. More like a larger hut with extra space for political meetings. The group decided today would be the drawing point for them. They'd go rest, and tomorrow ask the Mayor for permission to lower the second draw bridge.
The inn was probably the largest building in town, but not by much. It only had four rooms, a bar, and a receptionary entrance. It only just surpassed the item shop's size. "Oh, visitors!" said the yellow, round woman at the desk. Her hair was strung up in square braids and she was coated with dust and sand from head to toe. Probably a staple of living in Yold Town. "We don't get much visitors around here. Especially at midnight!" she giggled.
"Well, how often do you guys get business?" Double D asked politely.
"I'd say we average three or four customers a year." she said without flinching. "However, we did recieve a new patron about a day or two ago. And you guys would bring the total up to six, I suppose."
"But then how-a do you pay o' yer bills and-a such?" Mario asked, confused.
"Oh, around here everyone supports each other, with food, water, medicine, and all those other things. To be honest, not much need for money here. What little money we have usually just sits in safes," she explained. "This is a kind of old fashioned family town."
"What a charming little place," Double D told the woman. "Not much family economics in the society we hail fro-"
"Can we get some rooms already?" Eddy yelled crankily. "I'm dead tired and I want SOME sleep before Mr. Italian here wakes us up at six a.m.!"
"Eddy, that's very rude!" Double D snapped.
"Hehehe! Why sure," the woman giggled. "It'll be ten gold coins per person, plus fifteen coins for each room."
"Does the glow moth count?" Eddy asked.
"I'm a pixl!" Tippi shouted in distaste.
"Yes, I'm afraid so." the woman replied. Eddy muttered angrily and rummaged through his money, calling Double D over to help him figure out the price.
"You wouldn't need my help if you actually paid attention when the teacher went over fourth grade math Eddy," Double D replied sarcastically.
"Would you all care for a drink?" The woman asked. They politely nodded. "Honey, would you bring our guests something to drink! They've been wandering around up that mountain of death!" she called to an unknown server behind the bar.
"We are the parchiest!" Ed exclaimed, still bouncing on Sproingy.
The eds heard a scuffle and a door open. A small figure stepped out from behind the bar, a plate lined with drinks. "Okay dudes, I got some fresh smoothie stuff from the back so I hope you like strawberries and-" She looked up, froze, and the plate and glasses collided to the floor with a crash. The heroes turned round. Mario and Tippi were unsure what was transpiring, but the Eds knew exactly who the girl in the bartenders uniform was.
"Nazz." Double D muttered.
"NAZZ!" Eddy yelled, confused.
"Rolf!" Ed yelled for no reason.
"GUYS!" Nazz yelled in delight. She ran forward and sprang her arms around the trio. Eddy and Double D blushed. Ed laughed and said something relating to his hygene, making Nazz cringe and release them. "H- how did you guys find me?" She asked in a happy voice.
"Well, you know," Eddy said, leaning against the wall as he tried to be cool. "It's never any trouble scouting out my woman in the endless fie-"
"We came upon you by chance actually." Double D explained, interrupting Eddy's cool guy act. "We've been traveling across the Linelands with Mario and Tippi here." He pointed towards the red palate Italian and the rainbow butterfly. "How did you get here?" he asked.
"Well... after that swirling thing devoured the cul-de-sac, I passed out, I think..." she paused. Somewhat unsure of what happened next. "The next thing I knew, I was awake and in a bed. I thought I was at home, but then these shape people came out and I'm like all freaking out, but then the nice dudes me calmed me down, and showed me around. Long story short, they gave me a job and I prepared to live the rest of my days in Yold Town."
"Well, we're on a mission!" Eddy told Nazz in a masculent voice. "To save the world."
"Don't you mean, 'all worlds,' Eddy!" Ed shouted pointy Sproingy at Eddy, as if he were a cane.
"Shut up Ed!" Eddy yelled.
"Wait a sec'!" Nazz stopped them. "Save all worlds? What does that mean? What's going on!" The questions flew out of her mouth like bullets, but she recieved no answers. Even Eddy couldn't hold his cocky grin. The Eds' faces cast dark shadows of anguish, pain, and unspeakable horrors through their dark perspectives. Nazz didn't like that. Nazz didn't want to know what was coming.
"L-let's get our rooms first." Double D said grimly. "This is a long and sad tale."
Once, when Nazz was a little girl, she'd just come home from kindergarten to find out her father whom she loved so much in her whole entire world had passed away. A drunk driver had smashed into his car on the way to work, killing him. For three days, Nazz locked herself in her room, crying herself to sleep, and waking up again in tears. Her mother could do nothing to coax her out. She only came out to sneak food from the pantry.
On the third day, the young Nazz heard knocking at her door. Expecting her mother, she yelled to "GO AWAY!" Instead, she heard a soft, gentle voice reach out. "Well now sweetie pie, why in the world would I do that?" Nazz let her grandmother in the two sat together, exchanging glances.
"Now sweetie pie, you listen," Nazz's grandmother told her. "This is gonna be hard on all of us. I loved my son so much... I haven't felt this bad since your grandfather passed." She paused. "We don't want to lose another member of the family. You shutting yourself out is just the same as that sweet little angel being gone." Nazz felt slightly better, but still felt empty inside.
"Here," Nazz's grandmother said. She reached into her jacket pocket, and pulled out a silver locket with a sapphire heart in the center. "This was my son's; your father's. I was burrowing it from him before he died." Inside the locket, was a small picture of Nazz as a baby with her mother, father, and her grandparents on her father's side. "Promise me you'll never shut yourself out, and you'll always find us beside you. K'?"
Nazz nodded and hugged her grandmother. "Wouldn't be any fun if our Nazzy girl weren't there," she told Nazz. Nazz squeezed tighter into the hug. There was always someone to hug. No. Not this time. There was no one left to take her pain. They were all gone, except the Eds and her friends who'd been flung off to who knows where. She was truly along this time.
"Excuse me." She told the Eds as they finished their account. Tears were welling up in her eyes. Nazz didn't want them to see he weep, she wanted to be alone.
Nazz dashed off to her small bedroom where she'd been given a place to stay. She sobbed for fifteen minutes, but she stopped. Pulling the locket out from inside her shirt, she stared at it, looked at the picture inside, and stopped crying. 'I promise Grandma. I won't shut myself out,' Nazz told herself. 'I will help the Eds stop this Count Bleck dude. I'll find my friends and save my family. I will be strong. I will not lose anyone else ever again!'
Wiping her eyes and nose, she stepped off her bed. She practiced her breathing and pulled out the straightest face she could muster. Finally feeling slightly better, she went to the door. Exiting her room, she made her way back to the Eds room.
Eddy hated four things more than anything. When his scams go a wry and backfire, when Kevin made him look uncool, when Kevin wowed Nazz (like usual), and when Nazz was in pain. 'Why'd Double D have to blab about everyone being dead?' Eddy thought to himself. 'Now Nazz is off crying in her room, and she'll probably hate us for telling her!'
Eddy knew exactly what Nazz was going through and he didn't want her to suffer that. Deep down actually, Eddy was suffering worse. True, he'd been teary eyed when he'd learned of his parents' and relative's deaths, but he felt nothing when he came to the realization that his brother Anthony was dead.
Was something wrong with him? Why didn't he feel any pain for his brother? 'Sure, he wasn't the nicest guy in the world. A bully even...' Eddy thought. 'But come on! Did I hate him that much to really wish that he was dead!' The pain was eating away at him. He felt guilty for not being sad, angry that he felt nothing for Anthony, and confused as to why he didn't feel anything for his dead brother.
'COME ON!' Eddy yelled to himself, mentally. 'There's gotta be something! Some happy memory that could possible prove there was some kind of bond between us!' Eddy pondered long and hard like Double D during his Algebra exams. Finally, after five minutes of thinking, he dug up a brotherly connection somewhere in the recesses of his mind.
Eddy was about four or five. Anthony was around the age of fifteen. The two were down by the creek on a lazy summer day. The two brothers were down by the creek, trying to catch tadpoles... wait, was it minnows? Eddy couldn't remember, the memory itself was so hazy. Well, whatever they were catching, Eddy was being to get cranky because the things wouldn't stay still long enough for Eddy to catch them in his tiny net.
Eddy's brother noticed his little brother's frustration and replied with a smirk, "Yah know, I'll bet we could figure a way to make 'em swim into the net."
"W'eally?" the yound Eddy asked, mystified. "'Ow do we do 'dat big b'wo?"
"With some bait," Anthony replied. He scooped up Eddy and the two went down to the local pet store in Peach Creek. Anthony purchased a cannister of fish food. Wait, did he purchase the fish food, or did he smuggle it out in his sleeve. Eddy couldn't remember that either. It was a fifty, fifty chance he paid for it, so Eddy cared less. Whatever the case, they got the fish food and ran back down to the creek.
Anthony got Eddy's net a little bit wet, and sprinkled the fish food onto the lines. He gave it to Eddy and said, "Put it in the water gently." Eddy did as instructed, and it worked. The tadpoles; or minnows if they were minnows, swam straight into his tiny net and began nibbling at the food. Eddy swung his net into the air. Most fell off as he swung up, but two or three were still in the netting.
"Wook b'wo! I caw'd some! I caw'd some!" Eddy said with pride.
His brother smiled. "Consider it life lesson number one."
The two ran home, until Eddy was tired. Then Anthony proceeded to give Eddy a piggyback back to their house. Eddy fell asleep before they got there. Edd wondered; was there any more happy memories? No. The rest of his memories with his brother up 'till age eight when he moved out were pure torture. Even his yearly visits following were unbareable. Any other life lessons he taught Eddy were simply to obey his laws.
Eddy decided he missed the Anthony he knew in his first memory, who was probably buried deep somewhere inside Anthony's soul, wherever his soul had departed to.
Eddy came to a realization, and smiled. That memory... it was his first scam...
Ed had failed. Atleast, that's what Ed had thought. He always thought his job as the bigger brother was to protect his baby sister Sarah. Since her birth, Ed had been her protector, whether she liked it or not. In fact, most of his attempts to help her ended up in subsequent beatings from her. Yet still, he took pride in his job, knowing that even though he'd be subjected to pain for helping her, he was being a good sibling by being there for her.
"Ed!" Ed's father called. Ed ran up the stairs, his small but powerful five year old body could still run and throw well beyond what normal boy his age could do. Ed was about five and Sarah was three. Though young, she'd already shown signs of her distaste for Ed. Pouting at Ed, saying short phrases like 'Ed stinky!' and 'Ed stupid!', and pinching him with her grubby hands.
Ed met his parents in the foyer. "Son, we need to talk of your newfound responsibilities."
Ed returned his parents a blank stare. "Do it hurts?" he asked idiotically, sounding even stupider at his young age.
"No Ed." Ed's mom replied. "It's about your sister, Sarah. We need you to take on a brotherly role."
"But I's thaw'd we weres related," Ed replied.
"No Ed, you're both siblings, and you need to take responsibility as the older sibling." his father told him. "You need to start protecting Sarah from any harm and treat her decently no matter what. She's your princess, and you're her knight. Do you understand Ed? I mean really, did you understand any of that?"
Ed smiled. "I can be her Lothar the man protector of the west, slayer of all beasts from the nether regions!" Ed asked.
"Yes Ed." Ed's mom told him. "Be her Lothar."
"'Dat Ed can be!" Ed yelled, and then ran off again laughing. Ever since, he took the position as elder sibling very seriously, even if it meant constant turmoil from Sarah when he was simply trying to help her. Now Ed, knowing he failed to keep Sarah safe, was as sad as ever. Double D's explanation of the past events had only sparked Ed's memory and made him miss Sarah even more.
He decided to dedicate his quest to finding Sarah. Lothar would not be stopped! Ed then thought, which was rare for him. 'I remembering taking the name Lothar. I took it to protect my baby sister! ... I also took it because I got 3D glasses with that comic.' That was about as much as Ed's mind could focus on for the time being.
Just as Eddy and Ed had finished their flashbacks, Nazz walked back into the room. She showed obvious signs that she'd been crying, yet she refused to make it obvious. She held her head high, and spoke. "Listen up dudes!" Nazz proclaimed. "I'm joining your group!" The others fell dumbstruck. That was not what they expected her to say.
"Come now Nazz," Double D began. "You wouldn't be safe on a journey such as this. We're armed, and we have newly aquired powers of sight." Nazz remembered well. She felt inadequate not having the same sight powers her friends had been given. "It's be safer for you to stay here until we-"
"NO!" Nazz bellowed. Everyone was taken off guard. "I've lost too many people already to sit and do nothing!" She protested. "First granddad, then my dad, and then... then- THEN EVERYONE ELSE! I won't lose anyone else ever again! Got that guys?" Nazz was severely in danger of crying now. Her eyes were puffy and she was trembling like a chihuahua.
Double D pondered and then said, "Alright Nazz." Eddy was about to protest for Nazz's safety, but then he saw the look of pain on her face. He remained quiet. "But," Double D said. "You will follow all orders that me, Mario, Ed, Eddy, and Tippi give you. If we tell you to run, you run! If we tell you to hide, you hide! You will obey, understand!" Nazz nodded.
"Thanks Double D!" she hugged the boy with the black beanie hat.
"Just like Juliet with the Romeo," Ed said idiotically.
They heard footsteps, and the room to their door opened. Mario stepped in, Tippi perched upon her shoulder. "What's going on?" Tippi asked. Nazz released Double D and the shrimpy kid faced his allies.
"We've just gained a new teammate." Double D explained.