Tag Team Gummies
by D. Herder
July 21, 2000

          Another dreary day in Drekmore was being set to rest, and the red skies were just beginning to turn black and desolate, void of any light. As he was doing most nights, the Duke Igthorn was pacing back and forth nervously in his room while his sidekick Toadwart played with a toy ogre doll. Igthorn glanced towards his assistant and started wringing his neck.
          "It's starting to get to me, Toadwart. It's been months since I've even seen a Gummi Bear, and it's starting to drive me crazy!" Igthorn tossed a book towards the runt ogre and sat down in a chair next to his bed.
          "Do not worry, O Frustrated Leader, for quick-witted Toadie has a plan to get the Gummies!"
          Igthorn looked up from his desk and to the ogre. "What did you say?"
          Toadwart crossed his arms and smiled. "Follow me, Dukie!" He hopped off the desk and walked through several doors, with Igthorn followed his every step. Finally Toadwart stopped in front of a door and waited for Igthorn to catch up.
          "What be behind this door is answer to all of Dukie's problems!" Toadwart said proudly.
          "We'll see. Let me through!" The Duke tossed Toadwart out of the way and opened the door. Inside he saw a crudely set up fighting ring and several ogres tangled up on it. Toadwart popped up behind the Duke, who was surveying the room.
          "We start wrestling show and everyone will come to see it, including Gummies!" He said.
          A purple ogre in a pair of blue tights walked up to them. "Me Masked Killer!" He proclaimed proudly.
          "Really?" Igthorn asked in a sweet voice dripping with sarcasm. "Where's your mask?"
          "Ummm…Uhhh…Me need one?"
          Igthorn rolled his eyes and walked through the ring where 15 or so ogres were practicing grunting and fighting. Finally he turned to Toadwart, who was chuckling to himself. Igthorn picked him up by the ears.
          "Very good, Toadwart. Your idea is…"
          "Yes, O wondrous leader?"
          "ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS, YOU PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR SOMETHING THAT'S SUPPOSED TO BE SMART!!!" Igthorn tossed Toadwart into the ring, where four ogres were practicing.
          "GET TOADIE!!!" He shouted. The ogres needed no second order and pounced on the small green ogre, ready to tear his legs off. After a few minutes of watching his assistant get torn limb from limb, an idea formed in his head.
          Wait a moment, he thought to himself. Perhaps this idea isn't as stupid as it seems…

          "Keep it on the pot, Cubbi!"
          "But Grammi, this isn't any fun! I want to be outside, training to be a Gummi knight!"
          "What are talking about, young Cubbi? A knight must know how to cook, both for his family and for his lord!" Grammi smiled.
          "Thank you. Now, Cubbi, could you fetch me that small pot up there on the top shelf?" She asked, stirring a pot of brown goo. Cubbi walked over to where Grammi was pointing, but couldn't reach it. He grabbed a footstool and jumped on it, but still he couldn't reach it. He ran out of the kitchen, grabbed a chair from the main room, stuck it on the stool and climbed back on. He was just able to reach the pot. At that moment Gusto ran in the kitchen, holding a wooden wrench in his hands.
          "I need this for a little, Gruffi!" He called from behind him. Gruffi appeared at the door and proceeded to chase him.
          "It's my wrench and you should have asked before you took it!" He yelled.
          "Oh, ligh…AAAHH!!!!" Gusto, not watching where he ran, ran straight into Cubbi's tower. Everything toppled down, and the pot Cubbi was reaching for flew off the shelf and crashed on the ground. Grammi and Gruffi looked at the three bodies on the ground and sighed collectively.
          "Everybody! There's something I've gotta tell you all!" They heard a voice coming from the main room.
          "That's Cavin. Come on, Grammi, help me get them all to their feet." Gruffi said, helping Cubbi to his feet. When everyone was dusted off they walked out of the kitchen, where Tummi, Zummi and Sunni had already sat down. Cavin was standing, pacing nervously.
          "What's wrong, Cavin?" Sunni asked.
          "Yes, please tell us what this is all about." Zummi added.
          "All right." Cavin sighed, and pulled a scroll out of his pocket. Unrolling it, he showed its contents to the Gummi Bears. They gasped at what they saw. Cubbi looked away.
          "Is that…Igthorn…In tights?" Tummi giggled.
          "Quiet, Tummi! What does it say there…"The Duke Igthorn is issuing a challenge to all members of Dunwyn. If anyone defeats him in a wrestling match, he will never set foot out of Drekmore again! But if beats any seven residents, he will receive free reign of Dunwyn! Come on, and see if you can beat him!" Gruffi read off.
          "And it's signed: Sincerely, Toadie. And there's a P.S.: This contest is not open to any knights of Dunwyn, nor any merchants, cooks, royalty, servants, or any humans of the kingdom either." Cavin sighed again. "Igthorn obviously wants you seven to fight him."
          "Land sakes! What do the people at the castle think?" Grammi asked.
          "No one's taking it seriously. But King Gregor told everyone to stay away from Drekmore, just in case Igthorn's serious. So what are you guys going to do?"
          "I say we go! Get rid of the windbag!" Gusto smiled. Gruffi shook his head.
          "It's obviously a trap."
          "Then there's nothing better to do than play along with it!"
          Cubbi jumped from his seat. "I say we go!"
          "Yeah! Nothing better then smashing in the heads of some ogres!" Grammi cried.
          Tummi scratched his head for a second, then looked to everyone. "But there's something that could happen to us that would be really bad if we went."
          "What?" The others all yelled at him in unison. He shrugged his shoulders.
          "We might lose." He said simply.
          Zummi smacked his head. "He's right! If we go we'll probably have to fight ogres face-to-face! We can't beat them!"
          "Wait, Zummi! The paper doesn't say a word about bringing Gummi Berry Juice." Grammi said. Zummi frowned and snatched the paper from Cavin. He studied it for several seconds, then put it down and nodded.
          "You're right, it doesn't. I suppose it's worth a try, then."
          "YES!!!" Cubbi leaped up and ran to his room to get ready. Gruffi soon found everyone crowding around him.
          "Do you think this dress is all right to wear to Drekmore?"
          "Can we get a little snack before we leave?"
          "Ooh, hold that pose! I'm getting inspiration!"
          Gruffi held down his head and groaned. "I hope this isn't the stupidest thing we've ever done."

          The seven bears, all carrying knapsacks on their backs, finally arrived at the sign they had all been dreading. They had all read it at some point or another, and every time they saw it they got a little more scared. It read: You are now entering Drekmore. And scribbled on the bottom, it read: Visitors will be pummeled.
          Led by Gruffi, the group made their way out of the beautiful and slowly found the forest disappearing. Plentiful bushes filled with fruit and lovely trees reaching into the sky slowly disappeared and were replaced with withered old remnants and dead flowers that had been trampled. Faint ogre tracks were littered over the ground, and even in the distance the bears could see Igthorn's castle in the distance. Finally Tummi sat down on the ground. He licked his chubby lips and took off his knapsack. He pulled out an apple and a waterfall of saliva fell from his mouth.
          "Isn't it time for a snack yet?" He asked. Grammi snatched the apple from Tummi and tossed it over his shoulder.
          "Get up, Tummi! How do you expect to defeat Igthorn's troops if you're on the ground, stuffing your face!?"
          "Um…I don't know." Tummi shrugged, slowly getting to his feet. "I wasn't really hungry anyway." He sighed. The journey continued with little excitement. Gruffi absolutely refused to take a break until Zummi looked like he was ready to pass out. Finally, they stood at the foot of the massive castle. They stood there for several minutes, as if they weren't sure what to do. Finally Gruffi held up his hand and knocked. They were promptly met with the door opening and a green ogre welcoming them in. Without a word, the huge ogre led them into an open courtyard where a large, stone platform with no walls was floating in the air by several ropes. Igthorn was supervising the process when he saw the bears.
          "Ah, my opponents have arrived! I'm sorry I'm not in proper fighting attire, but I believe too much time has passed already. Let us prepare for the fight to end all fights!" He laughed merrily, though none of the bears did.
          "Just how is this "Fight to end all fights" going to work?" Gruffi asked.
          "Simple, my little friend. Do you see that little floor that is above the rest of the ground? Well, we will all be up on that platform. When someone falls off, they're eliminated. The last team standing, wins! If you win, I will never leave Drekmore again. But if I win, you will all become my slaves and help me take over Dunwyn!"
          "Wait a minute, you old coot!" Grammi shouted. "Who's "we"?"
          "We" is the seven of you, myself, Toadie, and five ogres."
          "FIVE OGRES!?" The Gummi Bears shouted.
          "Don't worry. The fight is fair, for you can use any weapons you have brought and my men will be completely unarmed." Igthorn connected a ladder between the two grounds and walked onto the platform and gave out a whistle. Toadwart, a green ogre, a purple ogre, a red ogre, an orange ogre, and a yellow ogre all followed him up. The platform was fairly large, and would easily support all fourteen fighters. Still the bears hesitated. Igthorn peered down the twenty or so feet to the ground and started shouting to them.
          "Hurry up, bears! Don't make me force you up here!"
          Cubbi unsheathed his sword and began climbing the ladder. Grammi and Zummi rushed to stop him.
          "Cubbi! It's a trap! Don't!" Grammi yelled. Cubbi looked at them silently, then slowly began whispering.
          "A knight must defend his honor, no matter the cost." He continued his ascension of the platform and faced all seven of his opponents alone.
          Igthorn waited, but when no one else appeared he began roaring with laughter. "You alone will face me and my troops, bear!? The child thinks he can beat me!" Igthorn roared with laughter.
          "Maybe not, but the two of us can!" Eight heads turned to see a bright blue face pop up from the ground.
          "No, the three of us!" Sunni skipped on as well.
          "Four!" Tummi crawled on as well, for his belly got in the way a bit.
          By that time only Zummi, Grammi and Gruffi were on the ground, thinking silently. Grammi finally began to climb as well.
          "What are you doing, Grammi?" Gruffi shouted.
          "We can't leave the kids to be beaten!" Grammi screamed back. Zummi followed behind her.
          "She's right, Gruffi. We need to help as much as we can, for Dunwyn and for Gummies everywhere!"
          Gruffi watched them climb on. He saw Grammi arm herself with a rolling pin and Zummi review several spells. Cubbi and brandished his sword while Tummi held a banana to eat before the fight began. Sunni and Gusto weren't equipped with any weapons, but like everyone else, they had a supply of Gummi Berry Juice on their belts. Igthorn peered over the ground again.
          "You have thirty seconds, bear, before the fight begins! If the bell starts and you're not on, you're out!"
          Gruffi gritted his teeth and stormed up the ladder angrily. All the other bears cheered for him when he finally reached the top. In a rage he kicked the ladder, making it bonk an ogre on the head.
          "Let's go, Igthorn!" He shouted, pulling a wrench off of his belt.
          "Very well. The fight begins…"
          A bell sounded.
          Fourteen fighters raced towards each other on the platform, ready to end the bitter war which had plagued them for so many years. Hardly a minute had passed before someone was eliminated. The yellow ogre had Grammi held over the edge of the platform, ready to drop her, but Gruffi had whacked his leg with his wrench. Grammi managed to scramble back onto the ground, and together they knocked the yellow ogre over the edge, where he hit his head and passed out.
          "They've already gotten someone out! Quickly, toss one of them!" Igthorn commanded his troops. The green ogre and the purple ogre grabbed Zummi and tossed him onto the platform, where he was only three feet from the edge. They prepared to kick him over, but he got up as quickly as he could and the ogres missed.
          Cubbi was dueling with the red ogre, waiting for the right moment to knock him over the edge. He heard a scream and looked over his shoulder. He saw the green ogre holding Sunni and Gusto in his arms, ready to drop them. Cubbi immediately broke from his battle and, like Gruffi had done, hit the ogre's legs with his sword. The ogre howled in pain and let go of Sunni and Gusto, and ran away.
          "Thank you, Sir Cubbi." Sunni said, bowing. Cubbi blushed.
          "Heh, all in a day's wo…AAHH!!!" They had all forgotten about the red ogre, who kicked Cubbi from behind. He flew forward without knowing what had happened and toppled over the edge, eliminated. Gusto and Sunni each drank their Gummi Berry Juice and hopped onto the red ogre. Bouncing on his head, they knocked his helmet over his head. While the ogre stumbled around they bounced around him, distracting his movements. Finally they both bounced onto his back at the same time and the red ogre fell to unconsciousness as well.
          "Drat! I've lost two ogres, and they've only lost one! We must even the score!" Igthorn shouted to Toadwart. They jumped onto the closest bear, Sunni, and before she knew what had happened, Toadie was punching her over the edge, where she was eliminated. Gusto, upon seeing the pretty bear fall, flew into a rage and charged at Igthorn and Toadwart. Gruffi yelled to him from behind.
          "Gusto, wait! Don't go crazy! It'll only hurt you!" He couldn't stop Gusto, who was preparing to avenge Sunni's elimination.
          "NO ONE GETS OUT MY SWEETHEART BUT ME!!!" Gusto screamed. Unfortunately for him, Igthorn was waiting for him. Gusto felt himself being lifted in the air and thrown to the purple ogre. He tried to fight his way out, but he was soon dropped down onto the hard ground, where he was eliminated. He crawled next to Sunni, gave her a little kiss on the cheek, and passed out.
          Zummi and Grammi found themselves backed into a corner by the orange ogre. Grammi glanced at Zummi, who was fumbling through his spells.
          "You got anything that'll help us, Zummi?" She asked worriedly.
          "Um, uh…Here's something! It'll make a wind blow North, just the direction we want!"
          "HURRY!" Grammi shouted. The ogre was almost touching her dress.
          "Uh…Mummake wummind blummow nummorth!" A chilly breeze started blowing. The orange ogre couldn't stop the resistance and flew forward, knocking Grammi over with her. Zummi peered over the edge.
          "Oh, no! My compass was facing the wrong way!" He groaned.
          Toadie tripped Gruffi onto the ground and raced to catch up with his leader, who was battling with Tummi.
          "O warring Dukie, I have a report to make!" He said, giving the ogre salute.
          Igthorn picked Tummi up and tossed him down onto the ground, then glanced at Toadwart.
          "Very well. How's it going?"
          "Well, sire, we are winning! We have four left and they have three."
          "Hmmm…Let's see here…They've still got the leader, the fat one and the old one. We have you, me, and those two over there." He pointed to the purple ogre and the green ogre, who were fighting with Tummi and Gruffi. Igthorn faced Toadwart again. "Come now, the old one is alone! We can take him over the edge!"
          Zummi saw the two charging at him and he drank his Gummi Berry Juice. He began to bounce, but Igthorn jumped high and grabbed the elder purple bear before he could get too high. He held Zummi over the edge and laughed.
          "Goodbye, grandpa, it's time for your nap!" He let go and Zummi fell to the ground, gone from the fight. Gruffi saw the spectacle and shoved Toadwart aside, nearly knocking him over. He glared at Igthorn.
          "You're disgusting enough to hold one as old as Zummi over and laugh at him, Igthorn? I challenge you to a one-on-one fight!" He shouted. Igthorn stood up.
          "I accept!"

          Meanwhile, the two remaining large ogres were playing catch with Tummi. He looked sunk.
          "Ummm…Could someone give me a hand here?" He asked feebly. The purple ogre tossed him on the ground
          Tummi picked himself up and saw instantly downed his Gummi Bear Juice. He then bounced back to the ogres
          "Hey, you big lugs! I bet you two can't catch me!" He shouted from behind them. They turned to see the little blue bear laughing at them.
          "That bear think us weak." The green one said.
          "We teach him lesson!" The purple one replied. They chased after Tummi, who had bounced to the other side of the platform. Suddenly he stopped and bounced and bounced backward. The ogres couldn't stop in time and both fell over the edge. Tummi smacked his hands and smiled.
          "That one always works on those stupid ogres!" He chuckled to himself.
          "But it not work on Toadie!" Toadwart had snuck up on Tummi and grabbed him by his shirt. Tummi jumped to the side and glared at the little ogre. Toadie snickered but found himself facing Tummi.
          "That wasn't very nice!" He said.
          "Who said ogres nice?" Toadie retorted, beginning a brawl with Tummi.
          The four remaining fighters stayed on the platform for several minutes. It seemed like the two matches were evenly set. After nearly ten minutes had passed all the warriors who had been eliminated had recovered and were cheering on for their team.
          "Go, Gruffi!"
          "Get bear, Toadie!"
          "Come on, Tumster!"
          "Do it, Dukie!"
          Igthorn tossed Gruffi down. "Do you honestly think you can beat me, bear? I am the lord of Drekmore! What are you? A stupid little bear!"
          Gruffi jumped on Igthorn's back and started punching him from behind. "This little bear is going to knock you out of Dunwyn forever!"
          Gruffi gulped down his Gummi Berry Juice and hopped behind Igthorn. He bounced onto the Duke and kicked him over the edge, knocking Igthorn to his doom. The bears all cheered when he hit the ground, but he landed on his stomach and staved off unconsciousness.
          Toadwart saw his master fly off the edge and went into a berserk rage. He tossed Tummi down and charged towards Gruffi, just as Gusto had done to Igthorn. This time, though, Gruffi didn't see it was coming. Knocked from behind, Gruffi toppled down off the platform. Grammi caught him before he hit the ground and the bears each gave him a pat on the back before turning back to the final two combatants.
          "Go, Tummi!"
          "You can do it!"
          "Beat big, blue bear, Toadie!"
          "Knock him down!"
          Tummi and Toadwart faced each other. Their fight would determine the future of the entire kingdom of Dunwyn. They stared at each other for several seconds, and suddenly Toadwart charged. Tummi caught him and knocked him to the ground. He used the second to drink down his Gummi Berry Juice, but Toadie reached up to him and grabbed the bottle. He smashed it on the ground and kicked Tummi to the ground. He prepared to pick Tummi up and drop him, but unfortunately for him, his muscles weren't developed enough to pick up the decidedly large Tummi.
          "Me beat you, stupid bear!" Toadwart yelled, struggling to get the bear above his head. Tummi struggled to break free, but he soon felt himself being lifted by Toadwart, who began his long, slow walk to the edge of the platform.
          "You fall down, bear!" He shouted. He saw Igthorn watching every movement, ready to cheer his sidekick on. Toadie was feeling very proud of himself until he felt Tummi becoming a bit heavy. He tried to throw him over, but he just couldn't get the huge weight off him. He tried over and over, but each attempt was more feeble then the last. Finally he collapsed from trying so much and Tummi landed straight on him, nearly crushing the little ogre to death. He picked Toadwart up by his strap and dropped him.
          The bears on the ground gave a huge cheer when they saw Toadie crash on the ground. Gruffi set the ladder back up and everyone hurried up on the stage to congratulate Tummi on his incredible accomplishment.
          "You did it, Tummi!"
          "You saved Dunwyn!"
          Tummi blushed from embarrassment. "Aw…It was nothing…"
          "I'll say it wasn't!" They heard a voice below. Igthorn was lowering the platform down. Before long the Gummi Bears found themselves back on level ground.
          "Sorry, Igthorn, but we have won, fair and square. You've got to stay in Drekmore now, forever!" Gruffi laughed.
          "Did you really think I'd stick to my promise?" Igthorn laughed. He gave another whistle and no less then 50 ogres appeared almost out of nowhere, ready to pounce on the bears.
          "Crush them into little pieces!" Igthorn shouted.
          The ogres ran forward, but suddenly drew back and ran away in fear, screaming holy terror. Igthorn watched the spectacle, totally baffled, and finally pulled Toadwart aside.
          "What is going on, Toadwart?" He hollered.
          Toadwart swallowed heavily. "They scared to fight the winner of fight." He said, pointing to Tummi.
          Igthorn's face started boiling with rage and he tossed Toadie aside and stormed up to his room. Once he reached it he saw that the Gummi Bears were long gone. He sighed and crossed his arms. He faced the sky and yelled as loud as he could out his window.

          "Good job, guys! Too bad Igthorn won't stick to his promise." Cavin sighed.
          Everyone was gathered back at Gummi Glen, and this time the Princess Calla was there as well.
          "It's just as well. None of our troops bothered to go to Drekmore, so Igthorn could just say no one beat him and everyone would think it was true." She said.
          "Still, it wasn't a total loss. We proved to that jerk that we can stand up to his troops and take it!" Gusto laughed.
          "And we made Igthorn look like an idiot!" Cubbi giggled. Then the lights dimmed and out of the kitchen a figure walked out, with something that had several little bits of fire on it. Sunni turned the lights back on and an enormous, triple-layer chocolate cake was on the table.
          "It's time for dessert!" Grammi said.
          "Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!" Tummi dug into the cake as fast as he could. The others simply watched as he filled his face with the cake. No one even tried to get a slice. Finally Tummi sat back on his seat, set his spoon on the empty platter and rubbed his slightly larger belly.
          "Well, so much for that." Gruffi rolled his eyes. Everyone laughed.

Back to the Fiction Page