The Warden

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story about a Warden of a prison.

Submitted: September 24, 2016

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Submitted: September 24, 2016

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The Warden

 

The Warden whistled to himself as he leaned back in his oversized office chair. Over the last ten years he had become the commander of this crazy town, ensuring order and balancing the scales of justice. Outside the streets were clean and shiny, even more so than usual. There wasn't a case he couldn't crack or a soul he couldn't redeem. The Warden chuckled to himself, savoring the latest long year of accomplishments. "Whoosh", the sound of a new shipment of inmates arriving in through the security door brought him to his senses. The Warden eyed his shoes to make certain they were spit shined and bolted down the stairs to the main cell block. He strode swiftly down the corridor, glancing left and right methodically to ascertain the condition of his inmates. The neat, orderly cells were arrayed one after the other. In each hovered a shiny gleaming bubble. You see, Chuck Mystery is the warden of Bubble Prison, a facility dedicated to bubbles so tough and stubborn that they refuse to pop. It was the biggest and most high security jail in all of Shower Town. The Warden whistled his characteristic whistle, unlocking the final security door. A sudden pulse ran down his spine as he saw the newest addition levitate through the door. It was the biggest, meanest bubble he had ever encountered. Inside its airy interior a human skeleton drifted, decaying and aimless. The rest of the crew cowered ten feet behind the bubble. "What's your name Mister?" the warden inquired. "They call me Brick" the bubble replied. "Do you know why you're in my castle?" the warden states rhetorically. "Because I killed a man" Brick replied. "Listen here Mr. bubble, don't get smart with me. I will pop you. Maybe it will be today, or tomorrow, or when you least expect it, because that's what bubbles are meant to do. I know it, you know it, everyone knows it. So wise up and everything will be good, you ‘hear?" Brick bobbed up and down for a moment before making a sound. "Warden ... I don't care what your name is or how big your prison is. I ain't never going to pop. And guess what, you see this dead man inside me ... your next". One of the bubbles in the crowd behind the two popped out of terror. "Get this filth to his cell" he told one of the guards and charged out. That night the warden couldn't stop replaying the confrontation between him and the new recruit in his mind over and over. He had to pop this new one. That was now his sole mission. He clenched his fist, jettisoning the eyes of his stress toy across the room. Grumbling and muttering to himself the warden punched the button on his desk, sending the room elevator down to the observation deck. There, monitors populated the walls. It was almost like being inside the mind of a housefly, but spookier. He darted his glance from one screen to the next, checking for any disturbance. In one cell, a gruff bubble was lifting weights. In another a bubble idly absorbed a piece of chewing gun and blew bubbles. At about half past twelve the warden began to slowly drift away into sleep. Then all hell broke loose. The red riot alarms shot their lion roar through the air. On one of the screens, he could see an entire cell block's cell doors slam open and a hundred bubbles rampage down the corridor. He shot his glance to the armory. There, his duckie guards, tall ripped officers with the heads of plastic ducks grabbed their batons and charged out toward the horde. The warden lunged for and grabbed the intercom like it was the last cookie in a cookie jar, "Cell blocks A-F are compromised. Guards - be brave and maintain the law of Bubble Prison!" A phalanx of duckie guards charged the horde and began smashing their batons against the renegade bubbles. The Warden slammed the button. It returned him to his office where he grabbed his overcoat from the coat rack. Now he was ready for anything.

 

 - Ten Minutes Earlier -
 

Cell A-571
 

Brick bobs up and down in his cell. The light above is dim and flickers on and off, making him feel like a disco ball floating alone and lost through outer space. Inside the skeleton is as still as a rock. Then ... it's fingers and toes flinched. The skeleton reached up to its head and tore the mask off. Long, golden blonde hair fell out of the costume. Sarah Sudds presses the button on her belt buckle, temporarily turning her into a vanishing ghost so she can slip out of her shell. "You ready already?" Brick asked. The tall, long haired beauty checked her watch, checked the hall for guards and then nodded her head, "Let's do this".

As the battle raged the warden punched one bubble after another back into its cage. The impression of his fist faded slowly from the surface of his latest victim. Then, a sudden terrible realization dawned on him, "The soap vault! This is all a distraction". The warden rallied his troops, "Duckie guards, clear a way!" A minute later he burst into the high security vault to witness the two in the midst of their dirty deed. Sarah Sudds was stockpiling hundreds of soap bars into Brick's folds, "So long copper" she shouted. Brick exploded, releasing a flood of suds that washed the warden and his men back out into the corridor. When he got back on his feet the two bandits were gone, leaving the vault empty and without a single bar of soap.

"You've got to be kidding me warden!" the inspector shouted, "that soap is worth ten times its weight in gold!". "I know inspector" the warden admitted, "which is why I’ve got to track down those two like the dogs they are ... squeaky clean dogs”. The inspector was a big fellow with copper hair, a five o’clock shadow and a belly full of salted nuts. That was probably why he was so angry all the time. That, the warden supposed and the stress of the job. He had his big hairy legs stretched out on top of the desk and was shaving them with his favorite razor. "Did you get any clues?" he asked. "Yea, boss, I found this costume tag they used at the bottom of the cell." the warden explained. "Ha! That will lead you right to them. What does it say?" the inspector said with a serious glance. "It's the Teddy's Costume Outlet, you ever heard of it inspector?" the warden asked. "Yea, once," he said cautiously, "you'll have to travel to the underbelly of the city warden, and hell you'll need a darn good disguise" he chuckled. The inspector took the pile of leg hair that he had just shaved off the floor and a bottle of glue to the warden. Luckily, he had taken arts and crafts as a minor in college. He glued the hair onto his face, transforming it into a thick imposing beard. "Good luck Chuck, you'll need it"

That night the warden took the train to belly button junction and got off at the last stop. He shuffled down a decrepit street under faint lamps toward his destination. "Give us yo money punk!" shouted a gang of street tuffs emerging from the shadows. They encircled him and snickered. The warden reached into his overcoat and pulled out a cage with a tiny hairy beast inside. "Get ‘em Nibbles" he commanded. The beaver pounced toward the street tuffs and nibbled on their ankles. In a matter of moments, the tuffs began to topple like tall timber trees. The warden whistled for Nibbles to jump back into his pocket and continued on his way. "This must be the place" he thought looking up at the bright red neon sign, "Teddy's". Atop the building a row of gargoyles guarded their domain. "This is no easy task" thought the warden as he walked down the rows of costumes. Eventually, one in particular jumped out at him. He climbed into a full body spaceman suit and look at himself in the mirror. The big shaggy beard and the sleek suit made a fierce combo. The warden bought the suit and discovered the next clue from the storekeeper. Apparently, the costume party club was where crews of
thieves could always be found on a Saturday night. The warden thanked him and went on his way.

The clubs of Shower Town were all the same. Long ago humanity had abandoned the loud raucous noises of their youth. To accommodate the bubbles, the clubs all played whale sounds as a thousand rainbow lights painted the crowds with their glowing color. There were always the other types scattered in the crowd too - the duckies, the shampoo, the robed monkish shower-curtain kind, tiled mosaic-men, bubble-mat folk, and of course the fancy towel tribe. The warden surveyed the kaleidoscopic crowd. Then, finally he saw her in the east corner. Sarah danced within mirrors of rainbow light, her every movement like a butterfly fluttering through a million dimensions. "Hey, spaceman, wanna dance?" she called out. The whale song washed over them as they moved back and forth to the music. Sarah's skeleton suit glowed in the dark, making her like a living nightlight. Just as the warden was really getting into his groove he felt a soft tap against his back that stopped him dead. It was the big bad bubble holding a soap gun against his back, "So that's what you've been making" the warden whispered. "Don't move, don't even blink" Brick whispered. "Oh ..." the warden laughed, "I don't have to". Just then the whale song cut off and an avalanche of opera rumbled through the room. It was like dynamite. One bubble after another exploded, sending the club into total chaos. Brick was thrown back and deflated. A tiny hole was visible in his armor. The warden retrieved a piece of gum from his mouth and patched up the hole, "I knew it. It's going to take more than that to pop you" he said, standing over the limp lifeless balloon. "Not so fast copper" shouted Sarah. The warden turned around just as the villain grabbed a soap dagger from her belt and lunged toward him. "Good thing I know clean-fu" thought the warden as he disarmed her with a quick succession of movements faster than a camera flash. "Come on, take me to where the real party is " the warden demanded. Sarah Sudds sighed and kicked down the back exit into an alleyway. They wandered down a long dark maze of tunnels until they finally reached it, a huge factory, hidden deep down in the town's criminal underbelly. Hundreds of factory workers carved soap bars into guns and other armaments. "Good god" said the warden rubbing his beard, "there is enough here to start an uprising". The bell rang and all the workers left their stations. They crowded around the warden and his captive. "Let me tell you the truth," Sarah said, "It starts at the beginning of time itself, when history began anew. One morning everyone from the old world walked out of their homes and looked up at the sky. The clouds gathered above and began to shower the world. The rain was unlike all the rest that had come before. This rain was warm and filled with sudds. It purified the world, washing away everything that had come before. And that is the story of how it all began". "Give me a break Sarah, every tom dick and harry knows that story", (in the crowd, harry lowered his hand), "it's how the old world disappeared and how the new world appeared". "Oh ... buts that's not all" Sarah laughed. "You see ... that is how the entire world became clean. All dirt was destroyed except ... the one dirtiest thing in the world! It went underground and waited for the old world to return again". As she finished her sentence a blinding bright light filled the room. All of the workers and Sarah dropped to their knees and bowed. "Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Mr. Dirty" the big chunky monster chuckled as the beard on the warden's face fell to the ground. "I will return this world to its rightful state, before it was wiped clean by the calamity”. "That will never happen!" shouted the warden. "Oh really? The monster replied, "I have an armory big enough to take over Shower Town itself, then I will usher this world into a new era". The crowd threw their arms up into the air and chanted, "All hail dirt!" "Mwahahaha, bring him to me. I will consume this clean-lover" the monster ordered. Sarah grabbed the warden's arms and thrust him down onto the ground in front of the blob. It opened its big mouth, as big as a toad's and swallowed the warden whole. "Blah!" Mr. Dirty shouted as he spits the warden back out onto the ground, "why can't I gobble you up"? The warden lifted himself up, summoned his strength and bellowed his answer to the entire room, "because I have protection!" The ceiling folded inwards as a giant space shuttle crash landed into the arena. With the spaceman getup the warden had previously convinced the space-cops to lock onto him and land an empty shuttle at that very location. A ball of fire surged through the room, engulfing the warden and his enemy. Mr. Dirty exploded into a million char-covered pieces. When it was over the warden patted the tiny flames that lingered on his suit, "are you ready now?" he asked. "Yes ... I am" the bubble replied. He could see him stretched across his visor. He disappeared in a sudden "Pop" that resonated throughout the chamber like a whistle. "Now I remember you "gasped the warden. A flashback to an earlier time overcame him. That bubble that he had made his mission was his first bubble. The warden recalled being a baby frolicking in a mammoth bubble bath. Then, suddenly all the tiny non-sentient bubbles combined into one giant bubble that floated in front of him. That was him all right. They had grown up together and even gone to the same high school. Then, one day unexpectedly he was gone. He had heard that his bubble had joined a group of bubble gum blowing street tuffs and had hit the road, never to return. It was at that moment that he had become the warden, and decided to make justice his true calling. The memory evaporated as Sarah Sudds fell into his arms, "I feel so clean ... thank you". He lifted his visor and kissed her with a crazy passionate smooch. "Another case closed by Chuck Mystery, warden of Bubble Prison".


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