“Happy Holiday Belle!” Charlie called out from his window.
“Happy Holiday to you too!” Belle called back from her window.
“Ready for the game?” Charlie smirked.
“Oh you are going DOWN! “Belle fired back.
Every year for the annual summer holiday, all our heroes and their families got together for a major game of cricket. If you have been following this series for ANY length of time, you’ll know this is a BAD idea.
Especially with breakfast beforehand.
“Careful with that milk Charlie.” Belle said as Charlie poured himself a glass.
“More careful than your bowling.” Was the retort.
“Guys, it’s just a friendly game.” Lara tried to calm things down.
“Please don’t make it like last years disaster.” Betty begged, cutting up her bacon.
“What was wrong with last year?!” Thomas looked offended. “The Begly team WON!”
“Charlie and Belle nearly killed each other!” Lara cried.
“I had to drive all of you to the hospital, it almost looked like you’d been attacked by the Mob!” Betty added.
Belle and Charlie shot each other accusing looks.
“Give it up, I don’t think the message is sinking in.” Bill sighed. They were sitting out the front of the two houses, enjoying a cool morning breeze. It was a Holiday tradition, both families having an early Holiday breakfast together.
“Finally, we might get some sense.” Bill muttered to Lara later on as Patrick and Sunny walked over with Melody.
“This is the year of the Masters!” Sunny announced as she sat down.
“You were saying?” Lara groaned.
“Get STUFFED Sunny, we destroyed you last year and we’ll do it again!” Suddenly Lizzy popped up, ready to play.
“That’s my girl!” Thomas grinned at Charlie, who looked proudly at his sister.
“This is going to get nasty.” Lara looked worried.
Peter looked at his phone. His face fell.
“Judith just messaged. Looks like the game is off this year.” He said.
“WHAT?!” Everyone screamed.
“Marion decided she wanted the field and overwrote our booking.” Peter groaned.
“So… no cricket?” Belle said in a small, sad voice.
“No cricket?” Charlie looked just as devastated.
“NO!” Sunny slammed the table. “We WILL have our cricket game!”
“I was hoping for peace.” Lara sounded almost tearful.
Sunny lifted up her hand, and hit the face of her watch. “Those morons won’t know what hit them!”
“Go Sunny!” Belle laughed.
“It’s one way to get a one-up on those annoying Masters.” Mobster Marion sipped her champagne as she looked out over the field. On the pitch. Master Revolver was stood at the crease looking out towards deep cover.
“No wonder the Pleasantville Bombs haven’t won this season. This pitch is a joke.” He groaned. “I mean, just look at backward point. There’s more grass on the track than there is there!”
Suddenly, he was hit right between the shoulder blades with a pink cricket ball. He got up and spun around furiously. Floating at midwicket was none other than Giggles!
“Wanna play Revolver?” said a voice from leg gully. Chuckles held a cricket bat in his hand, ready for battle.
Revolver growled. Then, to make things even worse, the March Hill Crusaders showed up!
“So, you lot are here too.” Mark growled.
“Yup. Wanna play cricket with us?” Giggles asked politely.
“Eh, could be fun.” Roger pointed out.
“Okay then. Bad guys us Good guys!” Giggles cheered.
“I can’t believe this.” Marion groaned as she headed to the wicket with Damon Jones and Ruby Daryl.
“Hang on, Chuckles and Giggles PLUS six knights of the Last Order vs. myself, Marion, Demon, Ruby and the Crusaders?” Revolver did a headcount.
“What about Sidewinder?” Sir Lionheart asked.
“I’m umpire!” Sidewinder walked to short leg.
Just then, two Haunted Maze Troupers poked their heads over the fence.
“OI! YOU TWO! GET TO SLIPS!” Ruby called out.
“You’re sending us in?” Lady Luck asked.
“Have you SEEN the pitch? There’ll be no bowling left after 20 overs!” Mark poked the ground.
Chuckles and Giggles grinned at each other.
“I’ll open.” Sir Lionheart said as the group gathered in the shed. The opposing team began to sort out their field.
“You? Sir LBW?” Lady silent snorted.
“Yes, me.” Sir Lionheart snapped back.
“I’ll go with him.” Lady Courage stood up.
“Remember-you have to go INTO the crease to get a run and not get out. You know, the line in front of the stumps?” Sir Hyper smirked.
Lady Courage shot him a murderous look as she and Sir Lionheart headed out to open the batting. Sir Lionheart opened, facing Crusader Mark who appeared to be a spinner. Thankfully, not a very good one.
“How wiiiiiiiiiide, do ya want to bowl?” Chuckles, Giggles and the rest of the knights sang after Sidewinder called the third wide of the first over. It was lucky for Sir Lionheart, who currently couldn’t hit the ball to save his life. Lady Courage fumed at the non-strikers end as each ball went through to Marion, who was keeping. Suddenly, Sir Lionheart got one! Alas it was one that went straight up in the air, aiming to land right between the two Troupers at slips!
Neither Trouper moved as the ball landed harmlessly between them. Suddenly Sir Lionheart bolted, forcing Lady Courage to run.
It was the end of the over, and Lady courage was ready to scream. AGAIN at the non-strikers end?!
The second over started with Demon bowling. The first ball went harmlessly to the keeper. The second went for four leg-byes. The third?
“Him and his big bloody knees!” Sir Dark yelped as Sidewinder lifted up her finger to signal LBW. The good guys were 1/8 as Sir Hyper took to the crease.
“I predict a big fat golden duck.” Lady Silent said to Chuckles.
“He’s your brother!” Chuckles replied, shocked.
Lady Silent was right. Sir Hyper smashed it towards cover, where Ruby was waiting.
“I didn’t even need to fly for that!” Ruby taunted as Sir Hyper slumped back to the pavilion.
“My turn!” Giggles popped up. She rushed out to the crease, where she bumped fists with Lady Courage.
“This’ll be over quickly.” Marion muttered to one of the Troupers, who inclined their head slightly in response. “Dork.”
Marion was wrong. Giggles and Lady Courage managed a magnificent innings, scoring 73 runs off 10 overs until Giggles got out, five runs off her half-ton.
“You. Stepped. On. Your. Wicket.” Chuckles looked at her incredulously.
“Shut up. Just shut up.” Giggles snapped at him as he went out to take her place.
Lady Courage fell next, being run out for 29 (“We TOLD you that you needed to be in your crease!”). Sir Dark took her place, and together he and Chuckles managed another 60 runs.
The innings ended with our heroes on a respectable 4/142.
“Not bad, but not good either.” Lady Silent checked the scorecard.
“I’m just thankful no one has been hurt.” Lady Luck donned her wicket-keeping gloves.
“Innings break is just about over, time to get out there.” Chuckles tossed the ball up and caught it.
“Let’s go!” Giggles agreed.
The team headed out to the field. Opening the batting was the two Troupers.
“Don’t be fooled by their fielding. They’re probably keen batsmen.” Sir Lionheart warned Chuckles as the latter prepared to bowl.
“Right.” Chuckles grimaced. He bowled fast around the wicket, hoping to throw his opponent off-guard.
Instead, he got his opponent leg-stump. The Trouper didn’t move a muscle as it watched the ball sail past.
“Wow.” Giggles watched as Ruby came out. Chuckles went around the wicket again. This time Ruby managed to hit a cover drive for a single.
“Whew… oh lord, MOVE! Get to the other end!” Ruby cried is the Trouper at the non-strikers end didn’t move. Panicked, Daryl ran back to the strikers end. It was too late. Lady Luck stumped him.
“You. ” Ruby looked furiously at the Trouper, who stared blankly back. He stalked back to the sheds as Revolver came out.
Being 2/0 wasn’t ideal. Wisely, Master Revolver defended the rest of the over. The next over started similarly, with the second Trouper getting bowled, leaving the bad guys 3/0. It was looking bleak as Demon steeped up to the crease. Lady Silent bowled, and suddenly the ball was in the stands!
“Oh crap.” Chuckles groaned to Giggles. “We need to deal with him ASAP!” Giggles agreed.
It was difficult. Demon was smart about finding gaps and protecting his wicket. As Revolver fell, Demon stood firm.
“What are we going to do? “Giggles groaned. At 4/140 with five overs to go, our heroes were in trouble.
“If only we could get wickets!” Chuckles groaned.
“No chance. Demon insists on hogging the strike CHUCKLES!” Giggles roared as Chuckles walked away, the familiar grin of the Improbability Clause on his face.
He quickly moved every one of his fielders to leg side. Then he bowled a short ball that was nearly a bouncer but forced Demon to take a single. Now Roger was on strike. Perfect. One well-timed yorker and the stumps went flying. Chuckles smirked. Next was Mark. He did a Sir Lionheart, and LBW was paid. Demon growled. Marion was their last hope.
Mobster Marion meanwhile was highly irritated. She HATED playing sports with a passion, and was ready for a nap.
“Get me back on strike, I’ll do the rest.” Demon commanded.
Playing sport was one thing, but being told what to do by Demon?! Unacceptable!
Chuckles bowled an easy ball. That was a rag to a bull, and the infuriated Marion smacked it as hard as she could towards the boundary. Alas for her, Giggles was waiting! She caught the ball easily, securing the hat-trick and the game!
Marion sighed. “Well, it was a good, tight game I guess.”
“We must do this again next year!” Demon agreed.
“We had fun!” One of the Troupers piped up.
“Anyway, the wicket is yours.” Marion smiled as the bad guys headed off.
“Happy Holiday!” The bad guys left, leaving our heroes to enjoy their victory.
“What a match!” Belle slipped a cherry into her mouth as she sat with her friends in the Masters front yard.
“Pretty well played, if I do say so myself.” Daniel lay on a rug, looking up at the late afternoon sky.
“YOU?!” Charlie cried.” Mr. LBW?!”
“I started us off!” Daniel cried, sitting up. “At least I didn’t go full golden duck like SOME people!”
“Keep me out of it!” Sammy shot up.
“Seriously though, that was the stupidest shot ever.” Tammy looked at her twin with disdain.
“Bite me Miss Front-Foot-No-Ball.” Sammy snapped.
“Back off Ducky.” Petunia stood up.
“Tuney, don’t. Not after your keeping.” TJ tried to pull her back down.
“Oh, like YOU did anything.” Petunia slapped him off. TJ stood up and shoved her back.
“I see the team is celebrating their victory in customary style.” Thomas noted as a full-scale war broke out.
“I’ll go get the first aid kit.” Peter sighed as Lara and Betty rolled their eyes.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE, FROM:
THE DEATH VALLEY MOBSTERS
THE MARCH HILL CRUSADERS
THE HAUNTED MAZE TROUPE
THE JONES FAMILY
THE BEGLY CLAN
THE MASTERS CLAN
THE NOBLE KNIGHTS OF THE LAST ORDER
CHUCKLES AND GIGGLES!!!