Chapter Eighty-Three – Deadly Dinner
I think this another great example of the extreme lack of thought that has gone into this book.
Case in point: we know that Felipe plans on trying to poison King Genarius. And now, in the next chapter, which is titled ‘Deadly Dinner’, we get an image of an overturned goblet and Maya’s dog licking it up. Way to spoil the entire chapter for us, Tesch.
On the other hand, I do have to give Gloria credit for murdering a golden retriever in a kid’s book.
The chapter begins with sheer idiocy:
It was indeed a delightful dinner with King Genarius, General Felipe, his two captains and Maya and Joey.
Two servants brought bread and wine and there was an abundance of fruits and juices, poultry, fish platters and desserts, especially for Maya and Joey.
Everybody was very relaxed and happy but Maya watched each and every move around King Genarius like a hawk (page 711).
Okay. Let me get this straight. Let me see if I’m understanding you here, Tesch. What you’re saying is that six people are having dinner. Three of these people are conspiring to commit treason and poison their king. Meanwhile, the other three know that the first three are conspiring to kill one of them, blame the other two and have them beheaded for the crime. This is what is happening.
…and everyone is relaxed and happy? Are you insane, Tesch? Do you not understand even the most basic fundamentals of human emotion? Do you actually think, at all, about what you are putting down on the page?
I know, of course, the answers to these questions are no. But I also know it appears that no less than TWO EDITORS helped Gloria with this crock of shit. How they can stomach writing a positive review and having their names associated with this, I don’t know.
On the other hand, according to Andrew Fisher (Tesch’s webmaster and supposed movie producer) the books are being re-edited so they can be “properly enjoyed”. If that is actually true, I hope Team Tesch reads through these sporkings. Hell, if they just fixed every single problem I’ve pointed out, that will single-handedly make this book a good 400 times better.
In fact, Team Tesch, if you’re reading this, feel free to use these sporkings as a guide to the revision process. You don’t even need to thank me in the acknowledgements, I humbly present these free of charge. Which is a pretty awesome deal, considering that I’ve obviously spent a lot more time critiquing this book than any of Tesch’s real editors did.
Right. So everyone is enjoying their dinner. Joey is surreptitiously feeding bits of his dinner to Phoenix. Genarius gets up to use the restroom, and Maya sees Felipe rub his ear, which is the signal. One of the captains shows Maya and Joey a shiny rock to distract them. Maya pretends to listen but watches the other captain and sees him empty his hip flask into the king’s chalice.
After Genarius gets back, Maya stands up, points out the window, and comments on the new baby unicorn. While everyone’s looking out the window, she switches her chalice and Geniarus’s. And then it’s time for the toast:
General Felipe was now totally excited and he watched maliciously the chalice of the king (page 713).
Please rewrite that sentence, Tesch. Also, feel free to get rid of the ‘totally’, it’s not doing anything for you.
Genarius looks at Maya, who blinks twice, signaling that it’s okay. He chugs his drink and the dinner goes on. Felipe starts getting nervous. He asks Genarius how he feels. Genarius says he feels great and thanks Felipe for dinner.
Maya then ‘accidentally’ knocks her chalice over, spilling the wine on the floor. She doesn’t notice Phoenix walking over to the puddle. Score that a failure on Maya’s part. Phoenix then slurps up all the wine and goes off to his bed. Having owned dogs, I know they are quite noisy when drinking liquid. I’m pretty sure Maya would notice.
The dinner ends and Felipe and his captains take off. Genarius puts on his Tarnkappe and follows them out to eavesdrop. He overhears them talking about what went wrong. One of the captains correctly guesses that Maya must have switched chalices and then spilled her own. Felipe isn’t buying it, though:
“They are teenagers and they have only dumb things on their mind and most of them are not interested in real life. They think only about stupid stuff.” (page 715)
Truer words have never been spoken, Felipe.
The captain, of course, has to retort and explain that these kids are different somehow, that they don’t think about stupid things, and they’re obviously a very powerful combination.
Yes…because of their magical Deus Ex Machina powers, not because they’re talented or have accomplished anything through their wits and ingenuity.
Anyway, the conspirators decide to whack Genarius and his new bride when they’re back at the farmhouse.
Tesch throws in a ‘And so it was…’ which serves no purpose. But Genarius has realized that Felipe is a traitor. He walks back inside and finds Maya crying and hugging her dead dog.
Maya gives Genarius a lecture, telling him he needs to use his Tarnkappe more and he also needs to use the ‘Henrietta Mirror’ that AstroJesus gave him.
King Genarius was very disappointed about the fact that one his closest friends and best Generals wanted to kill him and his wife (page 716).
Oh really? Is that a fact?
Genarius packs up, goes home, and explains to his new wife that one of his closest friends wants to murder them both. Tesch informs us that he’s decided that Felipe and his wife Candice are guilty of the gold ships disappearing. Evidence? What’s that?
We cut back to Maya and Joey who bury Phoenix outside the farmhouse. Maya weeps bitterly. Because she deeply loved Phoenix during the half a week total they spent together.
Now…Phoenix was dead and Maya was sad (page 717).
Here’s a tip, Tesch. You don’t need to tell us that Maya is sad. See, we know that her dog just bit the dust, and you showed us that she was crying. Readers, even the dumb ones, can intuitively pick up on the fact that she’s sad. You don’t need to come back and repeat this. Anyone who is capable of understanding the English language will get this.
Joey goes to the unicorns and orders several of the unicorns to come pick up him and Maya and carry them to the Lake Lagoon the next day. That’s right – he orders them. It’s not phrased as a request. Little shit.
The next morning they put saddles [!] on the backs of the unicorns and load them up with supplies. I would love it if they were gored to death immediately afterwards, but no such luck. For no apparent reason, Maya decides to bring the baby unicorn with them, so they do.
Tesch misspells riding as ridding, and off they go. They stop by Selinka and chat with King Genarius, who rambles for a bit about different people they’ve met. The fishermen who tried to kill them back in the day are still around, and their 300 indestructible soldiers are also around.
Genarius also mentions that Felipe and his traitor guards were people who bathed in the pool, which means they’re untouchable by swords or magic. Hmmm. Kind of interesting. So the only real answer here is to imprison them for life. Better yet, lock them up and let them starve to death. Or drown them. There’s a lot of creative ways to kill people. But Genarius has a better idea:
“But you can be sure that we have him and his accomplices under heavy surveillance if you know what I mean.” (page 721)
Well…yes, I do know what heavy surveillance means. But I don’t think Tesch knows what ‘if you know what I mean’ means. Typically, it’s used to denote some additional meaning or connotations beyond what the words themselves mean, especially with sexual innuendos. To quote Monty Python’s Nudge Nudge, if I were to say “Does your wife enjoy photography, eh? Candid photography? Know what I mean?”, obviously I’m not asking about normal photography. I’m – you know what, never mind, everyone who reads this sporking is smart enough to figure this out without me explaining it like I’m talking to a 4-year-old.
Genarius says to keep their eyes focused on the kingdom of light and one day they’ll reach a level and find a door and then they’ll be able to live forever [!!!]. That’s a sobering thought. Genarius also warns Joey that the kingdom of darkness will never stop hunting him until they find him because of the Key to the Underworld. Which is another reason why Joey should have gotten rid of it. Genarius rambles for a bit longer and the mentions that Libertine will contact them back in their world when they’ll need their help again. Remind me….why are Maya and Joey leaving? What reason is there?
‘Lady Ruchi’ was crying and she was hugging ‘The Encouragers again and again because she loved them from the bottom of her heart (page 722).
They have spent a few hours together. Tops.
Finally they leave.
Maya mentions that she wants to stop by the grill where they were almost barbecued. And yes…it’s time…
“Yeah…that was also the place where I lost Hoppy. I am not sure but I think I lost Hoppy when they lit the wood and the smoke was increasing. Hoppy jumped out of my pocket and ran for his life and… he never returned. I was looking for him and I called him later but then we had to hurry to Selinka and we lost him.” (page 723).
Nice attempt to retcon, Tesch. Here’s a simple fact: when one of your friends disappears, it affects you. Just like food affects your mood. Hoppy was last on-screen on page 183. Five hundred and forty pages ago. He was last referenced on page 280 when Senator Hilton said that AstroJesus knew about Hoppy. And, in all that time, Joey has not thought of Hoppy. Not even once.
He’s a sociopath.
They ride along. Nothing happens. Tesch throws in another And so it was… and then more nothing happens.
They see some fisherman and Tesch mentions that Joey happens to be a superb fisherman. Well of course he is. Anyway, they watch the fishermen and they aren’t using nets…instead they’re lowering boxes into the water. This makes Joey suspicious, but Maya says they’re just putting down lobster boxes. In a freshwater lake. But they move on. Plot point!
They get to the barbecue location and it feels like there’s a weird energy field surrounding the place. The unicorns start freaking out a bit.
Joey started laughing, “Maya look at Fayina she doesn’t like it here.” (page 727)
She is a sentient creature. She can understand you. What the fuck is wrong you, Joey?
Then a bunch of grasshoppers show up. It’s Hoppy! With his wife Lisette and their ten children. Hoppy explains that he took off directly after they were set on fire.
“I really had enough of you…because both of you are ‘walking contagious disasters’.” (page 729)
An apt description.
Hoppy explains that he was chilling out for awhile and then everyone left and he was left behind. Which sounds like his own damn fault, he should have stayed nearby to watch things. Anyway, Lisette came along and they fell in love.
“and here we present to you the results of our love…we have ten children.” (page 729)
They have five boys, all named Joey, and five girls, all named Maya. Classy.
They say goodbye to Hoppy and Tesch spends two pages talking about things that have already happened. Eventually they get to the Lake Lagoon.
Joey glanced up at the clouds gathering more and more and he gave Imperator a nudge with his heels. The powerful unicorn tossed his head and broke into a gallop (page 732).
You know, considering the unicorn is sentient and can talk, you could have just said “Hey, how about a gallop?” instead of jamming your heels into his ribs, you idiot.
It gets really foggy. They keep going and they lose Dancer. Guess you shouldn’t have brought a baby unicorn along. Maya searches until she finds Dancer with a sprained leg. How she can tell that from a glance, I don’t know. Maybe she’s also a professional veterinarian.
She saw in Dancers eyes small tears and Maya could see the pain in his face (page 735).
Horses and unicorns can’t cry. And how do you recognize pain in a unicorn’s face?
They put Dancer on Mighty Bronco’s back and later get his sprained leg rapped up. No, not wrapped. Rapped.