NOTE: This chapter gets pretty intense. Also, I know Wilt the Waiter would technically say "I'm sorry" a lot, but I just thought it would sound weird. Try to keep all comments related to the chapter/story and keep the side-conversations to a minimum. Thanks! :)
Chapter 6: Slappy Gets Pinged
(and I don't mean on chat)
The warm, 6AM sun slowly rose and began to shed a serene, tranquil light over every edge of the fantasy world. A brisk draft blew a flyer into Isabel’s face as she peacefully took a nap on the couch in the game room. When she opened her eyes, a bright, neon yellow memo appeared before her:
Ping Pong Match:
When: Tonight at 6
Where: In park area
Who: SlappyWiggins and Cartoonprincess
P.S. Team Slappy or Team Toon?
Isabel grabbed the paper from her face in shock. She stared strangely at it, determining its legitimacy. As she got up from the couch, she realized that the flyers were posted all over in various neon colors. Inquisitively, she inspected for a clue as to how they may have gotten manufactured and who was responsible. Up ahead, she examined more signs that read either TEAM SLAPPY or TEAM TOON in bold.
The entire cottage appeared to be empty until she spotted Sydney out in the distance. In spite of her general displeasure in reasoning with her stubborn creation, she did not hesitate to approach her, so as to alleviate her confusion.
“Sydney, did you poof up these flyers…?”
Sydney chuckled frivolously, “No, that was your friends…man, they don’t play around, do they…?”
Isabel narrowed her eyes in suspicion, “…Yeah…”
She continued to venture throughout the cottage and eventually headed out the door to the park, where even more flyers colorfully announced their presence.
In the distance, Isabel could see Alica casually walking down the trail, by herself. Anxiously, she loomed towards her, “Alica, what is the meaning of this!?” She pointed to the flyer she was holding.
“Don’t look at me! Reason and Yoshi made the flyers!” Alica informed her.
Out in the horizon, Isabel could see the said users working their butts off near a machine. Frantically, she made her way up the hill to give them a stern talk.
Upon reaching their location, she observed a large, noisy printer that was spewing out flyer after neon flyers. Yoshi and Reason were both collecting the paper and handling the machine, chortling madly and admiring their work.
“What the hell are you two doing!?” Isabel finally asked.
“What does it look like we’re doing? We’re promoting the Ping Pong match!” Yoshi affirmed.
“You guys have only been living here like, 2 days and you’re already overloading my fantasy world with propaganda…?”
“It’s called business, baby…” Reason pointed out matter-of-factly.
“Why would you ever need to start a business, here!? You have an unlimited supply of everything you need to survive!” Isabel replied in exasperation.
“Well, excuse us for wanting to have a little pride and self-worth in our lives!” Yoshi retorted.
“Besides, you did technically challenge Slappy; we needed some way to get the word out…” Alica added.
“Y’all took that seriously!? It was the middle of the night! I didn’t even know what I was saying! It was all just a senseless rant…” Isabel griped.
“Does that mean you didn’t mean what you said to us at the banquet, last night…?” xx asked sadly.
“NO, no I did mean that…with all my heart…but Slappy just got into my head and started pushing my buttons and provoking me…as usual…” Isabel explained.
“Well, all the uproarious hype it has created is too great for us to cancel it, now…” Reason avowed. “Plus, we’ve been up since like, 1:30…”
“Ugh, I don’t even know how to play ping pong…” Isabel droned.
“Relax, it’ll be fine…” Alica said apathetically.
“It better be, because I need to win this thing…I need to…’cuz…”
“Yeah, we get it…” Reason said with a smirk.
“…Wait, what…?” Isabel’s eyes widened.
Everyone laughed knowingly.
“WHAT!?” Isabel screeched in embarrassment and aggravation.
“Hey, everybody!” Slappy chirpily barged into the scene.
“Oh, good god…” Isabel muttered miserably.
“Hey, Toon!” Slappy sneered.
Isabel scowled intensely as she looked over, “…Yeah, hi…” she said flatly.
“Looks like this Ping Pong match is the real deal…” he smiled smugly.
Hiding her intimidation and ignoring his cockiness, Isabel choked out, “Guess so…”
Slappy pondered thoughtfully for a moment, “You know what we should do? We should have a pre-match, lunch-type thing…just so we can discuss exactly what will go down, tonight…”
‘Exactly what will go down, tonight’…what the hell does that mean…? Isabel thought apprehensively.
Growing more nervous by the second, she awkwardly stuttered out a response, “Th-That sounds great…”
Slappy grinned self-assuredly, “Great! Meet me at the fancy restaurant in the hotel, at around 2PM….sound good…?”
“Yes, I will be there…” Isabel faked a smile, attempting to show some confidence.
“Awesome,” Slappy responded as he smiled softly.
As Isabel watched her brash and arrogant ex walk away, she knew that if she intended to win this thing, she would need to get tough, get bold, get sassy, and become completely unforgiving. Naturally, she knew just the person to turn to.
“Sydney, I need your expertise…” Isabel admitted reluctantly.
Sydney groaned, “Is this about that dumb match between you and baldy…?”
“Yes!” Isabel said in frenzy, “and I need your freaking help to beat him!”
Sydney stared at her coldly and uncaringly, “…Sweetie, I hate to tell you this, but there’s really no way you’re going to beat him; have you seen how big he is!? He could probably eat you alive…and you don’t even know how to play…”
“…Well, can’t you use your supernatural, magic-y business to help me get skills…?” Isabel desperately suggested.
Sydney deliberated on this idea for a moment as she chewed her lip, “Mmm, you can’t use magic to win a competition…so, you’re out of luck there…”
Isabel was becoming restless, “Sydney, we’re in my fantasy world, right now; there are no rules!”
Sydney tilted her head in consideration, “Good point, but let me put a spell on baldy, too; just so it’s evenly matched…”
Isabel sighed deeply in relief, “Good, because I need to win this thing, ‘cuz-”
“Yeah, I get it…” Sydney rolled her eyes.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the park, a stimulating discussion was going on between the users.
ILoveSeddie1234321 got up on a park bench and randomly yelled out, “TEAM TOON OR TEAM SLAPPY!!!???”
“Totally Team Control!” Tara said positively.
“Ha-ha, yeah!” Churchpants nodded in agreement. “Loony could kick Slappy’s butt, any day!”
“Honestly, I’m a little torn,” Alica admitted.
“Yeah, so am I,” Tash chimed in. “Slappy and Toon are both my friends…”
“Personally, I’m on Team Toon, all the way. She may play it off all sweet and innocent, but when it comes time to fight, she fights hard…” PurpleJerk elucidated.
“I don’t know…” Samlovesham said timidly, “like me, she tends to be really sensitive and emotional, and I’m just afraid she won’t do well under the pressure…”
It was almost 2PM, and Isabel was deeply dreading her endeavor with Slappy. She took a deep breath and entered the eating establishment.
Slappy was already there when she arrived. Their eyes locked in a grave stare. As she made her way to the table, she tried not to make any further eye contact. She quietly looked to the ground as she sat down.
Before any words could be said, the waiter Wilt (from Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends) came over to them.
“Would you like anything to start out with?” he inquired.
“Um…you got any bread?” Slappy asked.
“Oh, yes, we have sweet rolls with lots of butter and olive oil,” Wilt replied merrily.
“Um, okay, we’ll take those…” Slappy said in a slightly skittish manner.
“Great,” Wilt smiled and walked away.
Slappy cagily looked over at Isabel, “Wow, your fantasy world is—”
“I know,” Isabel bitterly interrupted.
There was a brief gap of silence between them as the rest of the restaurant seemed to lose itself in the hustle and bustle.
“So, you do know I’m going to beat you, right…?” Slappy shrewdly pointed out.
“Ugh, I really don’t want to be doing this, right now…” Isabel informed him in exasperation, “I think we should just call the whole thing off…”
Slappy smirked, “Oh, we’re definitely not calling it off…”
“You just want a chance to show me up and publically humiliate me…”
“Of course,” Slappy joked.
Isabel grimaced and banged the table in frustration.
Slappy glared, “See? There you go again with your attitude; you’re so impossible, sometimes.”
Isabel buried her head into her hands and moaned softly. Why did she always get like this when she was with him?
“Come on, it will be fun…” Slappy encouraged her.
Isabel continued to loudly lament, “Okay…” she finally said.
“Good,” Slappy said softly.
In the meantime, everyone was still rampantly raving either Team Toon or Team Slappy. Tash and Lucy were walking tranquilly throughout the park trails, in spite of it all.
Lucy sighed in annoyance, “You know, no offense to Toon or anything, but she has like, no athletic ability; meanwhile, Slappy has tons of experience since he’s been doing sports all his life…”
Tash raised an eyebrow and nodded perceptively to Lucy’s comment.
“Besides, life isn’t all about being cute and peppy; it doesn’t require you to write blogs and crap…” she added spitefully.
Taken aback by Lucy’s harshness, Tash was unable to respond. Even though he and Lucy had been close for years and she had always been known to be outspoken on the wiki, he had never seen her get so malicious towards someone.
A few hours later, everyone started to gravitate towards the same place in the park. Sydney had poofed up a set of bleachers for all of the users to sit and watch the match from. Some early arrivals started a conversation on the top seats.
“Poor Toon,” Tash said repentantly, “she’s going to get destroyed by Slappy…”
A user named PurpleStripedFudgeParole239, who was sitting next to him laughed heartily and said, “Poor Toon!? Poor Slappy!"
“Yeah,” Alica elaborated, “Toon can be pretty ruthless and forceful when she wants to be…”
“This whole thing just seems so reckless and violent; I don’t approve…” Samlovesham anxiously confessed.
“Come on, guys! We all know the real reason they’re doing this; it’s so obvious they’re still not over each other…” Becky stated adamantly.
Churchpants giggled, “Yeah!”
At that, everyone but Tash started to laugh.
“You don’t really think they’ll get back together, do you..?” he asked quietly and uneasily.
Fudge smirked, “Why do you care..?”
“I don’t…” Tash said softly as he twiddled his thumbs.
Fudge stared at him and raised her eyebrow suspiciously.
All of a sudden, everything went quiet. Both Slappy and Isabel showed up at the same time, staring absorbedly into each other’s eyes with a fixed glare. Things were about to get ugly.
Slappy had the first serve. The ball bounced briskly and rushed towards the other side in one swipe. Isabel smashed it back in irate determination.
The users were all fixed on the ball as it swiftly went back and forth in continuous blows.
“GO, SLAPPY!” a user named The Sam Puckett cheered on.
“WHOO, YEAH SLAPPY!” Candy yelled in agreement.
“YEAH, MURDER HER, SLAPPY! SHOW HER WHO’S ADORABLE!” Lucy shrieked.
Isabel suddenly stopped and put her hands on her hips as she stood aside, “Wait a minute, I’m not adorable!”
Lucy rolled her eyes in minimal tolerance, “Ugh, save it Toon, and get back in the game!”
“GET ‘IM, LOONY!” Churchpants exclaimed.
“YEAH, YOU CLOBBER HIM, SEAPEE!” Becky screamed.
“AW, YEAH! YOU GO, CONTROL!” Tara squealed.
Right then, at that moment, the intensity hit its peak as the two strong-willed, former online lovers continued to stare with bladed eyes into the other one’s soul.
In a random burst of spontaneity, Isabel threw her paddle, got down on her knees and smacked her elbow on the table.
“Let’s arm wrestle,” she said in a crotchety voice.
Questioning mumbles came drifting from the bleachers.
Slappy’s mouth curled into a Grinch-like smile, “Oh, you’re so on…”
Noises of sweaty rage came from their throats as they both strained to keep their arms up.
Every eye was glued to the two lunatics.
Finally, Isabel’s strength started to falter, and the sweet taste of victory kept getting further and further away from her grasp. She unrelentingly persisted with all of her might.
At last, she stood up, regained her paddle and rapidly served the ball while Slappy was still kneeling on the ground.
“What the—” Slappy became incensed. He quickly got up and returned the ball with the same hasty force.
The ball flashed right past Isabel and landed beside her on the grass. Unfazed, she picked it up and closely examined her target.
“This one’s for the Lucy quote!” she cackled sinisterly as she cogently served the ball.
The audience oohed in stun as Lucy daggered in disgust.
This particular serve almost hit Slappy’s head. Isabel could see the trepidation in his eyes and she fed off of it like it was pudding.
Abruptly, Slappy took the ball and clobbered it into the table.
“I won,” He stated proudly.
Isabel scoffed in angry defeat, “…Wait, what!? Using what logic!?!?”
“I’m me; I always win,” he said simply.
“Ugh, that is the biggest load of—”
“BALOGNA!” Spencerfangirl interrupted.
“Oh, really!? And what are you going to do about it…?”
Furiously, Isabel came at him. Everyone in the stands eagerly anticipated what they knew would happen next.
“They’re so going to make out…” Becky whispered to Reason.
“Aw, yeah! This is what we came here for!” Reason rejoiced.
Once again, all eyes were glued to the two maniacs as they inched closer to each other. Tash winced slightly as he watched the two of them magnetically attract towards one another. Finally, right as everyone was at the edge of their seats, Isabel rammed the paddle once more as she let out a cold, unforgiving grunt. The hit was so powerful it cracked the table.
Everyone gasped in shock.
In sudden realization of what she had just done, Isabel began breathing short, terrified gasps of breath. She ran off in pure horror and humiliation, leaving everyone confused and frazzled.
"Wow, she gets more like me, everyday!" Sydney said emotionally.
Later that night, Isabel was found lying underneath the Weeping Willow tree, looking sad and feeling devastated.
“What’s the matter, Izzy?” Arnold from Hey Arnold asked in concern.
Isabel sighed, “Oh, nothing…I just made a complete fool out of myself, today.”
“Well, how so?” he followed up.
At that moment, all of Isabel’s Cartoon Pals began to crowd around her, wondering what was wrong.
“Well…it’s this guy Slappy; he gets on my nerves…” she explained.
“Who is this Slappy?” Mac asked.
Isabel groaned softly, “Oh, just this guy I dated over the internet…”
A mild shockwave ran through the small crowd of caricatures.
“I met him almost a year ago on chat. He was impersonating users and causing all kinds of ruckus…but…there was a certain child-like innocence about him…”
The toons all nodded in an attempt at sympathy and understanding.
“but I was 16, what the hell did I know!? He was 22…and I told him that I liked him and at first, I thought nothing would come out of it but later he confessed that he liked me, too…”
Isabel rolled over embracing the painful memory.
“I had no idea what I was getting myself into…I just wanted to feel loved…I mean, why would he like me? But I just wasn’t ready for the relationship, so I started getting all emotional and freaking out over the stupidest things….like apparently, he doesn’t like the beach and I do…and I nearly cried because of it. Also, near the end we started fighting about really dumb, controversial things like religion and crap. Pretty soon, we just came to terms with the fact that we had nothing in common…”
“So…you broke up?” Bloo asked.
“Yep, but I realized that I didn’t really appreciate what I had with him when I had it. Now, I’ll be lucky to find someone who’s half as sweet as he was to me…” Isabel sighed again.
“Well, I think you will,” Mordecai said with a sincere smile.
Isabel smiled back, “Why would I need to look when I have you guys…” she kissed him on the cheek and walked into the dark void back to the cottage.