Sweet Gerudo Pie
By Violent Angel Girl
(I would like to make the following acknowledgements (in this order): South
Park, Flaming Moe (*the Simpsons), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, "Honey,
I Ate the Kids" (the Critic), *Bart vs. Australia, *$pringfield (Or, How
I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling),Daria, The Exorcist,
Winnie the Pooh, Kefka from Final Fantasy III, Jim Henson's Dinosaurs, *Marge
in Chains, Daria (again), *Bart the Murderer, *The Brother from Another Series,
and *Mountain of Madness. I own none of these book(s), game(s), shows, or
movies; I might some day, but not now. Enjoy looking for all them juicy quotes!)
(P.S. I should probably mention, this delightful story was meant to take place between 'A Link to the Past' and 'Ocarina of Time,' but it didn't quite work out as well as planned. Instead, just image Link and Zelda are kids. Okay, you can enjoy the story now.)
I guess it all started when the annual Lon Lon games got rained out.
It was set for a midsummer afternoon. The preliminary games in the morning went off without a hitch, with Link winning first prize: a four-night stay in Hyrule Castle's presidential suite. Everything was all set to go: the horse races, the Bombchu contest, the treasure chest game, the Cuccoo-catching game, the cook-off. Every living being in all of Hyrule came to enjoy the festivities. Ganondorf, the evil King of the Gerudos, had it all planned: the punch would be spiked with rancid milk, the Cuccoos would be fed crumbled sugar to make them hyper, and a whoopee cushion was to be placed under every saddle.
And then, that morning, it rained. Heavily.
Ganon was inconsolable.
Nabooru approached the bridge holding a triple-layer chocolate cake in one hand, and a straw umbrella in the other. The guards at the gate watched her inquisitively. "What is that for, ma'am?" they asked, pointing to the massive heap of sugar.
"It's for his Highness," she replied monotonously. "Ever since this morning, he's been sulking in the basement because the Lon Lon Games were cancelled. Shit, what a baby." The guards nodded in reply, opened the gates, and allowed Nabooru entry. She ran through the heavy rain until she reached the Gerudo Fortress.
Tossing her umbrella to the side, Nabooru walked through the basement tunnels until she reached a cul-de-sac with a door. There was nothing to show signs of anyone inside, with the exception of a light bulb hanging just above the door. Steadying the cake in her left hand, she knocked on the rusty, metal door. "Your Highness?" she called out. No one responded.
She managed to pry open the door, which creaked with an ominous groan: there was nothing in the room but darkness and suspenseful-water-dripping noises. "Your Highness?" she muttered once again. Still no answer. "I brought you something-I thought it might cheer you up." Nabooru gingerly stepped into the cell, set the cake on the floor, and when she still didn't see or hear anything, ran out of the room and slammed the door behind her. A guard had been watching the whole time, and took the opportunity to speak to Nabooru. "Is something wrong, Great One?"
Nabooru let out a great sigh. "Oh, our king is just acting like a total wuss, but what else is new?"
The instant the word 'wuss' passed her lips, the cell door behind her swung open, and a triple-layer chocolate cake sailed through the air in a noiseless arc, and slammed full-force into Nabooru's face, knocking her into the nearest wall. As the three-pound slab slid down to the cement floor, she let out a furious roar.
"Oh, gross!" she cried. "Ew! Eeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwww!!!!!" She and the guard observed the dark-brown globs of sugar and cream in her hair and on her clothes in horror. Nabooru screamed incoherently once more, and kicked the cake back towards the door in frustration-it didn't go far. "Fine! You wanna behave like a little baby?! Go right ahead; rot in your little dank cell for the rest of your life! See if I ever give a shit about you ever AGAIN!!" She then ran up the stairs to the nearest bathroom, sobbing uncontrollably. The guard blinked in shock. Could things have really gotten this bad over some simple, Hylian tradition? This wasn't like the Gerudo King she knew. Looking back at the door as it slammed closed, she realized it would be best to find some other part of the Fortress to guard.
Meanwhile, Ganondorf, the mighty King of the Gerudo Thieves, curled himself back into a ball in the corner of the cell, and continued ranting to himself. "Stupid rain. Stupid Lon Lon Games, who needs them anyway? Dammit, why'd it have to rain today, of all days?! Had to go and ruin my fun. Well, I don't need them. I don't need those stupid Hylians, either. There are plenty of innocent, little creatures I can torture to have fun. Besides, I'm sick of 'em anyway. You know what I need? [Of course, no one answered, but he continued anyway] I need a change of pace-something besides stealing the Triforce and whoopee cushions. I need something new. Something different-" he stopped, interrupted by the growling of his stomach. "Something to eat," he chuckled out loud. But that gorgeous cake was officially destroyed. He would have to resort to some other means...
As the rain continued to beat down upon Hyrule, Link sat in the main hallway of Hyrule Castle, tossing cards into his hat because he was bored to the point of insanity. Princess Zelda, equally bored, approached him from the throne room. When she saw the mess he'd been making, she was very upset. "Link! What in Din's name is all this?" her voice echoed throughout the castle.
Link did not take his eyes off his hat. "I'm throwing cards," he said calmly.
Zelda rolled her eyes. "I can see that."
"Then why ask?!" he replied, aggravated , and threw the rest of the deck at his hat. None of the cards went in. "What do you expect? I'm bored. Too bored for my own good! Why didn't you tell me living here was so boring?"
Zelda frowned. "It isn't my fault the Lon Lon Games were rained out," she said hurtfully. "I was looking forward to them, too. Not that it's a big deal; once the monsoon storms die down, they'll be on again. In the meantime, stop acting like such an infant. Make yourself useful...why don't you go out and kill some bad guys?"
Link glared at her, then turned away and mumbled under his breath: "Because there's nothing to kill, dumbass."
"What was that?!"
"I said I have a craving for dill seabass." Link stretched a little and stood up. "And besides, there is nothing evil happening around here anymore. Everyone lives in peace, remember? The Triforce hasn't been tampered with in years. Even when the Gerudos play pranks on everyone at the Lon Lon Games, we all have fun. That's why everyone is bored now: there's no chaos anymore."
Zelda sighed and shook her head. "I don't know...things in Hyrule have been too good to be true. I have a feeling something's on its way...and it isn't good."
Link couldn't help but laugh. "Oh, you and your 'bad feelings'-that's what you say every time they're about to run out of candy at the market." When Zelda shrugged and turned away, he couldn't help but feel bad. Link walked over to her and gave her a reassuring hug. "Come on, don't be so pessimistic. Trust me, all is well. With things the way they've been going, what horrible danger could possibly befall Hyrule? I mean, what could happen?"
There wasn't a whole lot of variety in the Fortress kitchen. Let's just say the Gerudo clan is not famous for gourmet cooking. Ganon stood in the doorway, observing the empty cupboards, the thick layer of dust on the counters, and the mice running freely. He didn't care. He was starving (and bored out of his mind).
After a good thorough cleaning, he set to work gathering all the edible items in the kitchen and placing them on the table-he would try to choose something decent from them to eat. All he found was some raw Cuccoo, some fish, a Bomb flower, some Deku nuts, seeds, and berries, Lon Lon milk and Lon Lon butter, and a jar of Dodongo Rock flour. The food had apparently been sitting around for quite some time, but poor Ganon was desperate. So desperate that he threw everything into the largest bowl he could find and mixed them together (knowing absolutely jack about cooking or health/safety matters, the meat wasn't washed, cut or deboned, and he used water from the tap, which had to run for several minutes before it stopped spewing smelly grime).
When the mixture took on a uniform colour, Ganon dipped in a wooden spoon and tasted it. "Hmmm...kinda bland. Cold, too. At least it passed the first test: I didn't go blind." Had he removed the gun powder from the Bomb flower, it wouldn't have tasted that way, but this led him to search the kitchen once again for something new. But, the only thing he found was an old, frozen pie crust. "Hmmm..." he repeated. "This may lead to something good..."
Just as he was putting his culinary masterpiece into the oven, the kitchen door burst open. Nabooru stormed in, carrying a jar of what looked like sand, but not quite. She was blown away by the sight of Ganon in an apron and the mess left in his wake. "What the darn-?!" she screamed. "What is all this? And what on earth are you doing in my new apron? Is this mess you're doing?! Oh-tell me that is not an empty milk jar I see-you polished off the berries, too?! Dammit, those were for our FACIALS this afternoon!" She paused to sniff the air. "What died in here?"
Ganon's eyes flared. "What died?! Well, I-well-that's none of your business, woman! As King, I can do whatever I want!"
"Oh, please," Nabooru scoffed as she pushed him out of her way and approached the oven. "Whatever that awful stench is, it's coming from here. I'll bet you were too stupid to clean out the dead animals before turning this on, right?"
But, before Ganon could pick up his wooden spoon to smash Nabooru's face, he realized that she was more useful than he assumed. At that particular moment, Ganon's mind began racing...so fast, that Nabooru hardly knew what was happening when she was sent sailing headfirst into the oven.
There was a look of worry amongst the Gerudo soldiers as they sat waiting for dinner. At 21:00 at night, Nabooru was three hours late in serving dinner, but everyone knew better than to mess with her or her kitchen. To enter without her permission was a day wandering the Haunted Wasteland; to interrupt her while cooking would mean certain death.
Finally, a strange smell wafted towards them. It was food! At last! They all sighed and smiled with relief. It wasn't the best smell in Hyrule, but at least it was a sign that Nabooru was okay.
"Surprise, ladies!" boomed the voice of Ganon, now entering the scene with an overcooked pie and a chef's hat on his head. Yes, it was definitely a surprise to the Gerudos. Now they were scared.
Jadooru (1) quietly cleared her throat, preparing her words carefully. "Mmm, it smells...wonderful, Your Highness. But do tell us, where is Nabooru today?"
Ganon's eyes shifted quickly as he set the pie down and thought up an excuse. "Oh, she's, uh, around. But don't worry about dinner. All the dinner you'll ever need is right here. Get it while it's hot!"
He sat at the head of the table, watching everyone's reaction. Everyone (Ganon included) started the same way: they would wrinkle their noses, or their eyes would widen as if to say, "Dear Goddess of Time, what is this crap?" But their faces would quickly revert to normal to avoid trouble from each other; eventually, they got used to the crunchiness and even began to like the pie. In fact, they liked it so much, several wanted second and third helpings (even though they couldn't, because there wasn't enough).
"Wow!" a Gerudo exclaimed as she rested back in her chair. "There wasn't much, but that is definitely what I would call a meal!" The others nodded in agreement: that was some damn good eatin'.
Ganon's eyes lit up with pride as he received their compliments. "You liked it? Really? Hmm...well, if you all enjoyed it so much, maybe I'll make some more." He paused, then added slyly: "A lot more..."
"Say, Your Worship," the soldier beside Jadooru said after letting out a belch. "What do you call this stuff, anyway?"
Beaming at his own cleverness, Ganon rose from his chair and said triumphantly:
"I like to call it...
1. pronounced "sha-DOO-roo"
"Hold it," Jadooru interrupted with a raised hand, trying not to laugh. "A Flaming Ganon?"
"Well, yeah," he shrugged. "Because it is made by me--Ganon--and it tasted a lot better after I set it on fire. I don't know the scientific explanation, but FIRE MADE IT GOOD. See? 'Flaming Ganon.' Get it?"
"Oh, of course, I understand. It's just that...let's just say it doesn't give such a good impression of you, or the pie. Why not call it something else? Perhaps something that says a little about the taste?"
"Yes," continued the guard to Jadooru's left. "Why, you could say something about the aftertaste."
Ganon cut his eyes at her. "Aftertaste?!"
"Yeah. I don't know about the rest of you, but when I was eating, I could taste the Cuccoo, the fish, the nuts and berries and what have you, but when I had finished eating and was just letting it all settle in my belly, I realized a strange, new flavour on my tongue. Sweet, tangy...and there's something I can't quite put my finger on..."
"...Yes..." Ganon said suspiciously, then quickly changed his demeanor. "Very well, then. In light of the sweet taste and the race of its creator, I'll call it...
SWEET GERUDO PIE
Hey, you're right! That sounds much better."
Rousing from his sleep, Link awoke to the sound of his name coming from all directions. It sounded like an emergency, but what could it be? "Maybe they ran out of coffee," he grumbled to himself, and pulled the royal sheets over his head.
Before he could fall back asleep, Zelda burst into the guest room. Link was so startled out of his wits that he jumped out of the bed and brandished a dagger in the Princess's face.
"Oh, will you stop acting crazy, this is serious!" Zelda whacked the blade from Link's hand with her own. "And will you put that blanket down?! Geez, you're not even completely naked, what do you have to hide anyway? Get dressed and get your narrow little butt downstairs. We've got trouble."
Link gave her a puzzled look. "What kind of trouble?"
Link was downstairs at the front gate of the palace in five minutes, dressed and ready for the worst. He and Zelda ran towards the town market without hesitation. Even as they approached it, the sound of a large crowd grew louder and louder-something was definitely going on, and it sounded serious.
There was a mob of people waiting for them: Hylians, Gorons, and Zoras alike. They seemed really hopped up over something happening in the centre of town. Struggling to hold on to each other, Link and Zelda crawled and pushed their way through the crowd, sneaking around the adults' legs. When they finally arrived at the front of the crowd, Zelda screamed in terror and fainted into Link's arms. Link himself was frozen in fear. There before them, standing eight feet tall and dressed completely in black, stood the dreaded Ganondorf, King of the Gerudo Thieves...
Yes, that's right. Ganon was standing proudly in front of a vendor's cart stocked with fresh, warm pies underneath a poorly-made sign: SWEET GERUDO PIE. But the strangest thing of all was the crowd itself. They were not going crazy because of Ganon's presence-they were going crazy for his pies.
"Now, now, everyone," he laughed in a calm manner. "No need to push. There's plenty for everyone! Okay, two for you, sir, there you go. And you, ma'am? Five? Why, certainly, have a nice day now..." As customers walked away with armloads of the steaming boxes, it wasn't long for Ganon to notice the two, immobile children in front of him. But his happy, polite demeanor didn't change at all! "Hey, if it isn't the Princess of Hyrule and the Hero of Time themselves! What a delight that you have graced my presence! Here now, would you like a sample of the infamous Sweet Gerudo Pie? Go on, it's on me!"
By now, Link was able to speak. "Noooo!!" He dropped Zelda and tried to barricade the townspeople from getting too close to the cart. "No! Stop! Don't eat them. There must be something wrong with them--they're probably poisoned! Can't you people smell a trap when you see one...no, wait, that doesn't make sense, now does it?"
"Step aside, brat," a guard snarled as he knocked Link out of his path. He marched straight up to Ganon and thrust four Red Rupees in his face. "Eight!" he snapped.
Ganon let out an uncharacteristically airy laugh. "Eight more? Well, aren't we a growing boy today?"
"Just give 'em to me, dammit."
"All right, all right, no need to get testy." The guard took his boxes of pies and began wading through the crowd. "Out of my way, move!" he roared. The unlucky few who leaned to sniff his pies received a punch in the face. He had polished off three pies by the time he cleared through the people and reached his post.
Link observed all this in shock. He had never even heard of a guard acting so violently. He turned to glare at Ganon. "I don't know what you're up to, but I'm going to put an end to it. You just wait and see!"
Ganon looked at him quizzically and innocently. "What on earth are you talking about, boy? I'm up to what? I don't understand..."
Link, however, didn't hear him. Disgusted, he was already carrying Zelda back to the castle.
The next day, Ganon spent his waking hours in Nabooru's kitchen, baking pies by the dozens and packing them up for distribution. The Gerudo guards and soldiers were shocked out of their gourds. Not only was their king practically living in Nabooru's kitchen, but he was making a fortune selling his pie for ten Rupees apiece. It was amazing that the people of Hyrule even took the risk of tasting them without suspicion. What made them so addictive? they wondered.
By nightfall, Jadooru was biting her nails. After hours of patrolling the desert and searching the rest of Hyrule, not one soldier had spotted Nabooru anywhere. "I've reached a decision," she told a couple of guards reluctantly. "I must question His Highness."
The Gerudos did not want to offend her, but it just sounded so dangerous. "Are you sure this is wise?" they pleaded. But deep in her heart, Jadooru knew it had to be done.
She found Ganon where he had been all day. He didn't even look up from the huge, bubbling cauldron in which the ingredients where being mixed. Jadooru stood by the door and eventually cleared her throat. "Um, Your Highness?"
Startled, Ganon let out a shriek. "Oh, Jadooru, it's you. Man, you frightened me! Phew! You sounded just like-er, never mind."
Jadooru knew what he meant. "Yes, I know. I can't count the number of times I have been mistaken for Nabooru."
"Uh, that's not what I was going to say."
"Your Eminence," Jadooru approached him. "Please, I beg you, tell me where to find Nabooru. We are all worried about her. No one has heard form her in nearly three days!"
Ganon stopped stirring at the mention of her name and began rummaging through the kitchen as if looking for something. "I haven't seen her in three days, either. Besides," he looked right at Jadooru. "What makes you think I know where she is? Are you accusing me of something?"
Before Jadooru could protest, Ganon swore to himself. "Dammit! I cannot believe this is happening. I could've sworn I had enough secret ingredient for at least another day..."
Jadooru felt so guilty, she thought she had to do something for Ganon to forgive her impertinence. "What if I help you look for it?"
Naturally, Ganon did not want her to discover exactly what he was looking for, but he desperately need that secret ingredient. Suddenly, an idea hit him. "What were you just saying about Nabooru there, Jadooru?" he turned on her without warning. "I didn't catch on, old age, you know. Were you trying to imply something?"
"No, no," she replied in a panic. "All I said was that-what I meant was-what I was trying to say-"
Ganon could have burst out laughing, watching the girl break into a sweat. Dance, puppet, dance! he chuckled to himself fiendishly. "Oh, no. Why Jadooru, you don't look well at all," his tone changed to sympathy. It was gentle and menacing at the same time, like Norman Bates. "Here. Let me take your temperature with...this...thermometer."
Now Jadooru was not a stupid girl, nor was she second-in-command for nothing, so when she saw what Ganon had pulled out form the nearest kitchen drawer, she was greatly offended. "Sir, with all due respect, that is a meat thermometer!"
"So it is, my dear," he grinned maliciously. "So, it is..."
"I don't like this,"Link grumbled as he paced around the throne room, while Zelda sat in her small throne with a passive look on her face. "And you! How can you sit there so calmly? Hyrule's greatest mortal enemy, they very evil of our world concentrated into one being is selling confectionary goods in the centre of town!"
"Link, calm down before you pull something," Zelda sighed. "Father is right. There really is nothing we can do. Ganon is an evil man, but so far he hasn't done any harm to the Hylians by feeding them a good meal."
Link stopped pacing. "What did you say?!"
Zelda rose from her chair and headed for the doors. "Go to bed, Link. Stop panicking so! It's just like you said the other day: all is well in Hyrule. Relax."
"Relax?!" Link exclaimed as she walked past him. "You're telling me to relax?! Now, isn't that the pot calling the kettle black? You were telling me that same day, something awful would befall Hyrule. And now that is has, you're just sitting around on your mini-sized throne and sighing, 'oh, Link, relax?!' Then you're blinder than all of Ganon's customers put together! Something has befallen Hyrule; it's a 24-ounce pastry dish, seasoned to perfection and baked until flaky!! Zelda? Zelda, are you even listening to me?"
Since Zelda was standing with her back to him, Link was unable to see her close her eyes and sigh deeply. She awoke from her spell as soon as he stopped talking. "Of course I was listening. Don't be silly. Anyways, I'm off to bed, so if you want to stay here ranting to yourself, be my guest."
"I think I will!!" After Zelda left, Link paced up and down seven more times, then took a quick break on Zelda's royal chaise. "This is not good," his voice echoed throughout the empty room. "This is so not good..."
A full moon hung over the Lon Lon Ranch, and in the distance a clock struck midnight. As the last chime rang into silence, something strange began to happen in Hyrule Town Market: two figures obscured in black clothing snuck around the market, whispering. They might have camouflaged completely into the night if it wasn't for their shocking red hair. They looked around-the coast was clear. Suddenly, the silence was broken as sledgehammers broke up the pavement, and the two figures threw chunks of stone into the store windows. Their hooting and hollering awoke the sleeping villagers as they broke into the Bombchu Gallery and sent the little machines roaming into the streets. It wasn't long before people were running to their front doors to witness the chaos, but the scariest part was they didn't call for help or try to stop it-they joined it instead.
The next morning, Link awoke early to take a brisk ride through the countryside with Epona-he needed something to get the whole Ganon business out of his head-but the sight that greeted him in the marketplace threw a wrench into his plans. The market square was in ruins. The pavement had been ripped apart. Store signs had been removed from their posts and broken into pieces, while a couple were vandalized to say something completely different; the best example? The sign that once said "POTION SHOP" now read "POT O' SHIT."
"Pot o' shit?" Link asked himself as he dismounted. "I know those words, but that sign makes no sense."
He was surveying the damage in the back alleys when he stumbled upon a battered and bruised castle guard. "H-h-help...me..." he gasped as Link rode by.
Link jumped down from his horse and gave him a sip of his spare Lon Lon milk. "What happened here?" Link asked. "Who attacked you?"
The guard coughed and gasped. "G-G-Gerudo," he stuttered traumatically. "Gerudo!"
At the sound of the name, Link brandished his sword and took a quick look around. No one was nearby. "It's all right, man," he reassured the guard. "Looks like they're all gone. Come on, let's get you to safety-"
"Aaaaaauuuuugggghh!!!!" the man screamed. "Gerudo! GERUDO!!!"
Link whirled around to see five of the oldest women he'd ever see. They couldn't have been taller than four feet, each; Link could easily look each of them in the eye. The weirdest thing about them was that they were all dressed in black form head to toe, and their was a bright, almost youthful shade of red. Unaware of any danger, Link lowered his sword and giggled. "Wow! Those are some kick-ass costumes, madams. Is there some kind of dress-up party, or-"
The old woman closest to Link gave him a good whap with her walking cane, knocking him flat against the wall. "Thar he be, gals!" she aimed her stick at the guard. "'Tis the perfect specimen of the Hylian man!"
"Hey, he is cute!" another old lady stepped forward. "He'll make the perfect boyfriend for me."
"You hag," said the first woman, facing the second. "'Twas I who tailed him foist. He's mine!"
"Not if I can help it, wench," said a third, grabbing the guard by his armour. The first old lady let out a shriek of jealousy and smacked the other old lady with her cane. As the riot amongst them broke out, Link ran away on Epona. "What in Hyrule-? Only Ganon could be behind this." He took off in the direction of the desert, leaving the poor young guard to run screaming into the wilderness, chased by the fastest old women you'll ever meet.
Another storm had broken out. The thunderclouds had completely blotted out the afternoon sun by the time Link reached Gerudo valley. Hiding beside a rock just behind the bridge, he wondered how the hell he was going to get past the two Gerudos standing guard. Eventually, he decided to get as close to the gate as possible and stun them with a few rounds of arrows. In the darkness, neither guard noticed the small boy sneaking towards them, so he was shocked when they began to speak:
I wonder who will be in charge now.
Huh? Sorry, I thought I saw something. What were you saying?
I said, I wonder who will be in charge of us, now that Nabooru and Jadooru are gone.
They are not gone! Don't talk like that! Nabooru and Jadooru would never abandon us. Besides, we still have our lord, Ganon.
Hmph! You mean, the new Martha Stewart?
Stop talking like that! You'll get us both killed-er, I mean...
Killed? Why did you just say that? You don't suppose-
...Yes. I try not to consider thinking about it, but I can't put it out of my mind. I shouldn't be telling anyone this, but the last time I saw Nabooru, she was cursing the King for throwing an expensive, chocolate cake in her face. That was the day he first made...that pie...
No! You can't possibly mean-!
I'm afraid so. For you see, the last time I saw Jadooru was the day she went to inquire about Nabooru, and...
By the Goddess of the Sand! That was the day he sent out a shipment of pie to Kakariko village! I can't believe this is really happening!
I know. I try to pretend it can't be true, but I'm lying to myself. None of us are safe anymore. Any one of us may be next.
We must tell someone, my friend. Even if we are condemned for treason against Ganon, at least we'll be saving the others! We must escape. Now.
No, you fool! He'll find us out for sure!
Before Link or the soldiers could move, there came the clatter of hooves and a voice calling out from the direction of the Fortress: "Yoo-hoo!" Ganon had arrived on his solid black Gerudo stallion, chipper than ever. "Afternoon, ladies! Sigh, is it not a lovely afternoon?"
Quaking in fear, the guards bowed low to the ground. "Greetings, your Highness," their teeth chattered.
"Ladies, I'm afraid I must request your assistance. You see, I had a bit of a..." he searched for the word. "...mishap in my kitchen (yes, that will stick), and you two strapping young things are just the gals I need to help me."
The sound of the word froze their hearts. "Kitchen?"
"Yup. Now, to the kitchen." He gestured to his horse by patting the empty space on the saddle, behind him. "Hop on."
"But sir, the gate. What if someone tries to-"
Link couldn't see it, but what he heard was the clicking sound of a gun. "I said, HOP ON."
Link nearly broke his neck when he jumped form Epona's back and ran into the castle, frantically searching for Zelda. The soldiers watched him with raised eyebrows as he pushed past them, en route to the throne room.
"Zelda! Zelda!" he cried. "Thank the Goddesses I found you. Quick, round up some soldiers and come with me. Ganon's scheme is much worse that I thought. That pie of his is evil! It's made from-"
The sight that greeted him froze him dead. Zelda was sitting on her throne dressed completely in black, her hair a fiery red-just like the people Link had seen earlier. There was a cold, hard look on her once-pretty face, her eyes were like daggers of ice. Before Link could ask what had happened to her, he caught a glimpse of the pile of empty pie plates just behind her.
"I have had enough of your bad-mouthing, boy," she growled at him. "For I myself have sampled the great Ganondorf's pie, and it's true what they say: it is damn good eatin'."
Link realized he was in serious danger as Zelda slowly rose from her seat and walked steadily towards him. "Um, yeah, I guess you're right. Right as usual! Well, I'll just be going now. Got some laundry and stuff to do back at the forest. You can stop inching towards me now."
Suddenly, Zelda let out the mother of all war cries, brandished a large knife, and pounced on him. The force of his body slamming into the marble floor knocked the wind out of him, and he struggled desperately to keep Zelda from stabbing his face. It seemed the dozens of pies gave her the strength, power, and agility of that many Gerudos. "Die, Hero of Time," she hissed. "DIE!"
"Oh, look!" Link gestured behind her. "Free samples!"
"Where? WHERE?!" Of course there were none, but the split-second Zelda's guard was down was enough time for Link to aim his foot at her head and land one good kick. Even before she hit the floor, he was scrambling to his feet and running out of the castle.
One hour later, Link was pacing back and forth in the safety of his own home with an ice pack on the back of his head. "I don't get it," he mumbled to himself. "How can food change someone into such an element of evil? For Farore's sake, it was like facing a Gerudo herself-" he shuddered then, and silently thanked Her that he never ate any of that pie when given the chances. "That cannibal," he cursed Ganon out loud. "He must be stopped! But how?"
Just then, Lara and Sara entered the room with a steaming, covered platter. "Hey, Link! It's us," greeted Lara. "Listen, it's obvious to everyone in the Forest that something is wrong, so we just wanted to let ya know: we're here for you."
"And to show we care, we brought you a present to cheer you up!" Sara stepped forward. "Some Deku guy sold it to us for just 2 Blue Rupees! Hope you like it..."
When they lifted off the lid with a flourished "BAM!!!", Link screamed like the world was coming to an end. There on the plate was a succulent, piping-hot Sweet Gerudo Pie. He was so horrified, he grabbed it from the plate (without caring/realizing how hot it would be) and chucked it out the nearest window.
Lara and Sara ran to the window just in time to see the pie glomp onto the ground below. "Okay..." Lara looked to the ceiling for answers. "What the hell just happened there?"
Link grimaced as he applied his ice pack to his hands. "That pie is dangerous. It's being delivered all over Hyrule, and it's turning people into Gerudos."
Sara's jaw dropped. "What?! Gerudos? How is that possible?"
The three children sat down around the table while Link tried to explain the whole story: the sudden appearance of Ganon in the square, the destruction of the market square, the old ladies, the conversation between the Gerudos, and Zelda's attack. All the while, Lara and Sara watched Link in quiet shock. So much seemed to be going on in the outside world! "So, what are you going to do?" they finally asked.
"I don't know," Link said sadly. "In times like this, I would usually ask Zelda for help. But, as I said before, she has turned evil, too."
It was then that Sara poked Lara in the back. Lara turned around to whap her sister across the face, but Sara blocked it and quickly whispered something into Lara's ear. She was apparently very intrigued by what Sara had to say. "Excuse me a minute," she lifted a hand to Link, and the twins turned their backs to him as they engaged in a secretive conversation. Link resumed pacing around until they faced him once again. "Link, my lovely sister and I have thought it over. We have a foolproof way to save your friend."
"Really?" his face lit up. "Are you sure it will work?"
The twins nodded smugly, and put their arms around each other's shoulders. "Yes, indeed. Do exactly as we say, and we'll deliver the goods."
That night, the Kokiri children watched in awe from their doorways and windows as Link dragged a thrashing burlap sack into the forest and into his house; they could only guess what was going on in the outside world. Link clicked on a lantern and dropped the sack on the hardwood floor, ignoring the demonic growling coming from inside. He took a quick look around: yes, everything was set. "Lara, Sara, we're ready!"
As the twins climbed up the ladder, Link picked up the sack again and moved it to his bed. It was too dangerous to untie it, so he simply cut the sack open with his sword, revealing a redheaded, black-swathed Zelda-gagged and bound and snarling like a rabid beast. Just then, the twins arrived in the doorway dressed in monks' robes and carrying big, heavy baskets and a toolbox. "Is everything ready?" they asked.
"Yes. That's what I just said."
"All valuables and dangerous objects have been removed from the room? No one is wearing any glasses, jewellery, pacemakers? Any heart conditions, pregnant women-?"
"No! Stop fooling around, and just do it!"
Pretending not to notice Link's frustration, the twins nodded solemnly to each other and set to work. Sara closed the curtain in the doorway and pinned it shut; she did the same with the windows. Then she moved the table in the centre of the room against the wall, placed the baskets on top, and removed their contents: rope, blankets, sweaters, towels, buckets, a five-pound bag of rice, four bottles of water, and a fat green book with the Triforce symbol and gold letters, spelling out; "Book of Mudora: the Heavy Edition." At the same time, Lara approached Zelda with the toolbox. She removed a thermometer [a real one] and put it in the princess's mouth. Zelda turned her head and spat it out with such force, it shot into the wall like a dart. "Nooooo...give me piiiiiiiee!!" she roared.
Without flinching, Lara took out a small flashlight and looked deep into Zelda's eyes and ears. With a stethoscope, she checked Zelda's heart. "Hmmm..." Lara furrowed her eyebrows and stepped back. "Interesting."
"What is it?" Link asked her. "Is it bad?"
Lara sighed. "Her heart is racing faster than Bjork's rendition of 'Hunter.' I'm afraid our suspicions were accurate-your friend here is possessed."
Link's eyes widened as he gazed at Zelda, still struggling to be free. "By the Triforce itself! Possessed?!"
"'Fraid so. There's hope for her, though; it isn't a true demon. Tell me, how did she behave before the transition? Were there any significant changes in her life? Stress? Peer pressure? Unfulfilled sexual experience?"
Link shook his head, remorseful. "She ate that cursed pie. That's the only thing that could have...wait a minute, did you just say-?"
"Ah, yes, that Gerudo pie everyone's been talking about. That's very strange, how a certain food can change someone so drastically. Whatever that stuff contains, it is surely a dangerous alchemy. But don't worry. By morning, she'll have completely recovered."
Lara ordered Link to remove Zelda from the bed as they proceeded to tie her to a chair with the rope. She spoke gravely as Link restrained the Princess from moving around: "Especially important is the warning to avoid conversation with the demonic persona. We may ask what is relevant, but anything beyond that is dangerous. She will lie to confuse us. But she will also mix lies with the truth to attack us. The attack is psychological, Link. And powerful. So don't listen, remember that, do not listen."
"But what do we do if she-" his sentence was cut short when he let his guard down, giving Zelda the fraction of a second she needed to free herself from his grip. She struck Link and Lara with mighty blows of her fist and a triumphant laugh. "Ha-HA! TRIUMPH!" Without warning, she flipped her body over and began to spider-crawl her way to the door.
"No! Stop her!" Sara cried, and courageously threw herself onto Zelda, pinning her to the floor. Link and Lara didn't hesitate to grab Zelda and drag her back to the chair, where she was successfully strapped down.
"Fools!" she snarled as they backed away. "I'll have you hanged for this! The Great Ganondorf will not stand for this insolence."
Lara crossed the room and grabbed one of the bottles of water. "Be silent," she commanded, and forced Zelda to swallow some. She barely choked it down, and it made her cry in agony. The sound was deafening. "What's wrong with her?!" Link yelled over her voice.
Sara spoke once Zelda had stopped screaming. "The water is a pure substance," she explained. "It has no smell or taste, and it cleans out the digestive system. By doing so, it washes the taste from her mouth and attacks the pie in her stomach." She grabbed the bottle from Lara's hands and tossed it to Link. "If she gives you any lip, shut her up with that. All right, sister. Let us begin."
Sara stood before Zelda while Lara busied herself looking for something among their tools. "Now," Sara cleared her throat. "Tell me, Princess Zelda of Hyrule-"
"No!" Zelda snapped. "I am Zelda, Princess of the Gerudo Thieves! All hail the Princess! Hail hail hail hail hail hail hail hail hail-"
Link readied the water again, but Sara held up a hand to stop him. "You are a Gerudo Thief, are you? Very interesting. If that is true, then tell me...what do you think of THIS?!" Out of nowhere, she whipped out a crude drawing of the Three Goddesses, which made Zelda squint her eyes and hiss. "Very interesting reaction," Sara repeated. "Now, tell me what do you think when you see this?" She reached into one of her large sleeves and pulled out a piece of the Sweet Gerudo Pie she had salvaged from the fall, and unwrapped it slowly, seductively, in front of Zelda's face. Enticed, Zelda began to purr. When Sara waved the pie inches in front of the Princess's nose, her tongue flickered towards it like a lizard's. Satisfied, Sara pulled it away. "Perfect! We have our culprit; it's definitely the pie that's making her do this. Now all we have to do is get rid of it."
Link was confused. "Get rid of the pie? But she's already eaten it."
"Precisely." And with that, Sara tossed the napkin into the nearest bucket. Zelda was furious. Her nostrils flared. She began jumping around on the chair, trying to get close to the table, but it was pointless. She let out a ferocious roar, and screeched incredible gibberish at the top of her lungs: "Em Eip!! Ylbmut ym ni ylbmur a tog i!! Emmig emmig emmig!! Eip odureg teews!!"
Lara whirled around. "What? Say that again!"
Zelda repeated her gibberish over and over again. Lara rummaged through the stuff on the table until she found a piece of paper, a quill, and some ink. As Zelda yelled, Lara struggled to copy down what she said. She made several stressful scribbles until she had gotten down decent words. Link watched in awe. "You understand what she's saying!"
"Of course. It's English."
"English? Do you take me for an idiot or something?"
"Yes. But trust me, it's English. See?"
Sara and Link looked over her shoulder to read the paper. It was a single sentence written several times, with many words drawn over or scribbled out altogether, until it had been revised to read:
EM EIP YLBMUT YM NI YLBMUR A TOG I EMMIG EMMIG EMMIG EIP ODUREG TEEWS
Then, directly underneath, Lara wrote the following:
SWEET GERUDO PIE GIMME GIMME GIMME I GOT A RUMBLY IN MY TUMBLY PIE ME
"By the Goddesses," Link gasped. "Lara, you're a genius! I never would have guessed."
Lara sat up proudly. "See? I told you you're an idiot."
Suddenly, the room went cold. The three of them looked at each other in shock, watching their breath leaving their mouths. "What in the world? It's the middle of summer, for Din's sake!" Link remarked.
"It's Zelda," the twins pointed to her. Sure enough, she was glaring from person to person. She did not seem at all affected by the cold. Lara handed a sweater to Link and ordered him to put it on. She then wrapped a few blankets around Zelda. Sara explored through Link's cupboards until she found a large pot, and set it on the stove, which she cranked up to full power. "Hand me the rice and water," she said to Lara without looking. Lara obeyed immediately.
"Rice? Come on, this is no time to be making lunch."
"Quiet," Sara snapped. "This is the only way, Link. You must trust us. Now, while we wait for this stuff to cook, we will tame the demonic persona."
The twins had to hold the Book of Mudora between them, because it was so heavy. They flipped through the pages until they found what they were looking for, and began to read:
"According to the Hylian scrolls, the mythical gods descended from a distant nebula to the world that was and created order and life. The God of Power dyed the mountains red with fire and created land. The God of Wisdom created science and wizardry and brought order to nature. And the God of Courage, through justice and vigor, created life--the animals that crawl the land and the birds that soar in the sky. After the gods--"
Zelda growled and barked. "Shut up! I won't hear such talk! Ganon rules!" Link took his cue and forced some more water down Zelda's throat; she didn't like it. She seethed with rage as the twins continued:
"After the gods had finished their work, they left the world, but not before creating a symbol of their strength, a golden triangle known as the Triforce. A small but powerful portion of the essence of the gods was held in this mighty artifact, which was to guide the intelligent life on the world of Hyrule."
"You stupid Hylians! Your race is pitiful! Your blood is weak! I do not speak for all my Gerudo sisters, but personally, I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate HATE YOU!"
"Quick, Link! Give her more water."
He forced the jar to her lips. She chugged it down, coughing and sputtering in disbelief. "Uh-oh, all gone!" he panicked.
Sara abandoned her half of the book to run and grab another jar. Lara hit the floor like a ton of bricks. Without hesitation, Sara removed the cork from the jar, splashed some of the water directly in Zelda's face, then handed Link the jar and helped her sister to her feet. "Come on, we've got to keep reading. Quick, skip ahead!
'One day, quite by accident, a gate to the Golden Land of the Triforce was opened by a gang of thieves skilled in the black arts. (This is when Zelda started to cheer and woof like Arsenio Hall) This land was like no other. In the gathering twilight, the Triforce shone from its resting place high above the world--' Ah, skip this crap. '...the leader stood triumphant over the Triforce and grasped it with his blood-stained hands. He heard a whispered voice: "If thou has a strong desire or dream, wish for it..." And in reply, the roaring laughter of the brigand leader echoed across time and space and even reached the far-off land of Hyrule. The name of this king of thieves is Ganondorf Dragmire, but he is known by his alias, Mandrag Ganon, which means Ganon of the Enchanted Thieves.'
There you have it, Princess! By the word and prophecy of Mudora, Ganon was, is, and always will be an evil person! This pie of his will certainly bring you to a bad end, as it has been for all of his minions!"
As Zelda listened to these words, she started to shake her head violently. Choking on her own rage, she made horrible sounds, a cross between gagging and screaming. Link, Lara, and Sara looked on with terror as they watched Zelda's head start to swivel like a pivot on her neck, and slowly spin around in a 360 turn, making the sound of creaking metal.
"Ah, that's enough! We can wait no longer. Get the rice!" Lara cried.
"But it's not ready yet!" Sara yelled back.
"We have no choice, man!"
Link obediently drained the pot and poured the rice into a bowl. "All right, now what?"
"We must offer it to her. She must be convinced it is the only alternative to pie. She must believe she has to eat it, or starve to death."
Scared out of their wits, Lara and Sara stood at Link's side as he held the bowl up to Zelda. "Come on, Zelda," Sara cooed. "Try some of the rice. It's nutritious...and tasty!"
"Neh! I will have nothing but the King's confection! You hear me? Nothing!"
"Keep trying," Lara urged. She began to chant: "The power of rice compels you. The power of rice compels you." Sara and Link followed her lead and chanted with her. "The power of rice compels you. The power of rice compels you! The power of rice compels you! The power of rice compels you!"
Zelda retaliated with a chant of her own: "EM EIP!! YLBMUT YM NI YLBMUR A TOG I!! EMMIG EMMIG EMMIG!! EIP ODUREG TEEWS!! EM EIP!! YLBMUT YM NI YLBMUR A TOG I!! EMMIG EMMIG EMMIG!! EIP ODUREG TEEWS!!"
As their chants conflicted, Zelda's anger took a terrifying turn. She went silent and shut her eyes tightly. After a minute had passed, random objects started to rise from their places in the house and spin above their heads. Ignoring them, Link and the twins continued to chant and try urging some rice into Zelda's mouth...that is, until she mentally got a hold of Link's sword, which swung at them with a deadly accuracy.
"Link, you poser!" Sara stamped her foot. "You said you got rid of all the dangerous objects in the room!"
"Crapcakes, I totally forgot about it! I had to use it to get her out of that stupid sack you loaned me," Link tried to explain as he jumped around the room, chasing his own weapon.
"Well, like we tried to tell you there's a trick to it," Lara gestured frantically.
Eventually, Link caught the sword and shoved it under a leg of the table. "Screw tricks. Let's get this pie out of her before it's too late." With those words of determination, Link grabbed another spoonful of rice and violently poked at Zelda's mouth with it. "Come on, dammit. Can't you see it's for your own good?!"
Zelda let out a demonic bark, making Link jump back with fear. The moment he was far enough from her, her chair shook as if possessed by an earthquake, and slowly rose from the floor. She hovered above the room, six feet into the air, roaring with wicked laughter.
"Fuck! That does it. I can't take this anymore." Link leapt to his feet. He scooped up a hefty amount of the rice, aimed steadily, and flung it into Zelda's face--it missed her open mouth by only a few inches. She shook her head to get rid of it, and barked at Link. He took his cue again, and flung another spoonful. This time, it hit its target. "Ugh!" she barked again. "This stuff tastes awful. Your crappy cooking is nothing compared to my Lord's delicacy, boy."
"Don't listen to her, Link," Sara whispered. "You're doing great!"
He chuckled. "Well, I didn't with the archery contest for nothing, you know."
After a few more tries, he managed to aim three more helpings into Zelda's mouth. Her roaring died down to a moaning, which reduced to a soft whimpering. In time, her chair floated back down to the floor. Link, Lara, and Sara congratulated her, and spoke gently and softly to calm her: "There, that's wasn't so bad, now was it? Now, eat your rice, that's a good girl...the power of rice compels you..." Link fed her slowly, and Zelda continued to swallow the food. "Phew, looks like everything is going to be okay," Lara sighed with relief.
"Uh-oh," Link piped up. "Something's wrong."
They watched Zelda curiously. Something was definitely wrong. She wasn't swallowing the last spoonful he gave her; her face was contorting badly, she was groaning in pain. Their eyes widened as they stood quietly. Then, it hit Sara. "Oh, shit. She's gonna--" Without finishing her sentence, she ran back to the table, grabbed a bucket, and slammed it before Zelda's feet just in time to catch several quarts of vomit.
"Ew! Eeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwww!!!!!" Link and Lara cried at the sight. But the worst wasn't over. As soon as she recovered, Zelda kicked her chair in anger. "You made me sick! I don't believe this! All that pie...all that wasted money...you big-eyed forest FREAKS!!" Her chair levitated above them again.
Sara groaned. With a reluctant frown, she returned to the stove and put another pot of rice on it. "This is going to be a long night..."
The horrid process was repeated ad nauseum (literally and figuratively). By morning, the Princess of Hyrule was fast asleep from exhaustion. Her hair was almost back to its original blonde hue. Link, Lara and Sara slumped into their chairs, equally tired, dabbing themselves with the towels. "Thank you, twins," Link yawned softly. "Who knows where we'd be without you?"
"Think nothing of it," Sara waved a hand. "All in a day's work."
"We were glad to be of service," Lara stretched and cracked her neck a few times. "Zelda was certainly a tough case. Let's just hope no one else is suffering at such an extreme. It would be impossible to exorcise all of Hyrule!"
Suddenly, Zelda stirred from her sleep. "Link?" she groaned. "Ooh...ergh...where am I?"
Link crossed the room and sat beside her on the bed. "Don't worry, you're safe now. Everything's going to be okay."
"Ugh, I feel awful," she tried to sit up, but couldn't. "I can't remember anything...except...Link, did I attack you? Oh, oh no. I've done something terrible, haven't I?"
"No, not yet. But if it wasn't for the twins, who knows? Damn Ganon and his fiendish ways. He'll pay dearly for this."
"But how, Link? How do we stop him? We have nothing against him."
"Yes, we do. Gerudo testimony, trust me. Come on, let's go." Without another thought, he grabbed Zelda's hand and started pulling her to the door. "Oh, by the way," he stopped shortly. "Where did you two learn all that demon-casting stuff?"
Lara and Sara exchanged glances, and said on cue: "Learn?"
A week passed. With it, the storm passed as well; however, the Lon Lon games did not begin. At least, not right away. Instead, there was a bigger event on everyone's minds and tongues: Ganon had been arrested the morning after Zelda was cured, and that day was ordained as his trial. Because he was detained in the castle dungeons, all sales of Sweet Gerudo Pie had been cancelled. Hyrule was bone dry, and all cases of 'Gerudoism' came to a screeching halt.
A court was assembled that very morning: in the judicial hall of Hyrule Castle, the king sat at the head of the court as judge, and a small handful of Gorons and Zoras sat together in the jury box (there were no Hylians sitting as jurors, because the Gorons and Zoras didn't receive as much pie shipment as the Hylians, the majority of whom suffered Gerudoism). Link and Zelda sat together in front of the audience that had gathered to witness the trial. Ganon, the only one who didn't seem at all excited, was slumped against the bars of a tiny metal cage just beside the head of the court.
When it seemed as if everyone would be sitting forever, the king of Hyrule entered the room. "All rise!" boomed Impa's voice as he approached his seat. When everyone sat down again, the king put on a tiny pair of glasses and cleared his throat. "The court is now in session, the honourable...er, me, presiding in the case of the Citizens of Hyrule vs. Ganondorf Dragmire, King of the Gerudo Thieves--" he paused to let some members of the audience stop laughing at Ganon's last name. "Yes, it's all fun and games until he blasts you into a million pieces, can we continue please? I'm missing my nap time because of this. Anyhoo, we are here today to try him for..." he hesitated again, looking down at Princess Zelda. "Why are we here, honey?"
In a very serious demeanor, Zelda stepped forward and turned to the audience. "I'll handle it from here, Daddy. Good citizens of Hyrule! We are here today to end the injustice and corruption of the accused: Ganondorf, King of the Gerudo Thieves--" she gestured with a grand flourish (and waited for a few people to stop laughing at Ganon's first name), "stands on 4892 counts of poison trafficking...and four counts of murder!!!"
The crowd burst into a frenzy of chatter. Murder? It was going to be better than they expected!
The court settled, and the trial commenced, with the first witnesses being called to the stand. As they took their places (Honey sat on Darling's lap), Impa stated: "Darling and Honey, arrested ten nights ago on charges of vandalism, mischief, and inciting a riot." Everyone oohed, aahed, and whispered to one another.
"Darling, Honey, whichever's which," Zelda said as she walked steadily toward the stand. "Could you kindly explain to the court your actions on the night in question, and the events which transpired?"
Darling and Honey exchanged puzzled glances until Zelda sighed and finally asked, "what did you guys do?" and they were able to respond (the following testimony has been paraphrased):
"We were hanging around one night when we passed a Zora holding this really wonderful-smelling box. He told us he bought it from this cool, new food vendor. When we saw it was Ganon, naturally we were apprehensive, but he seemed so warm and friendly...hardly the Ganon we'd heard so much about. He was so nice, he offered us a free sample each, and we were instantly hooked. After scrounging around for several hours, we gathered enough money to buy 17 pies...for each of us! They were gone within the hour. Next thing we knew, we were raiding our closets for the coolest black outfits we could find. Not sure why, though...they just seemed to suit our new red hair so well. But when we hit the streets again, Ganon was gone. There was nothing to do. It was soooo boring! Suddenly, Honey [the woman] got so frustrated, she ran into the house, grabbed a sledgehammer, and just started smashing up the streets! Then Darling [the man] got the urge to start chucking pavement into the stores! When all the other villagers ran out of their houses, we saw that they all had red hair and black clothes too, and it was, like, wow! A Gerudo costume party! Then the guards showed up and arrested us all, but we took most of the wrap for starting the whole thing. The Gerudo feeling was completely gone by the next day."
The jurors conversed with one another quickly after Darling and Honey were placed back in custody. Similarly, the audience members chatted amongst themselves. This was definitely getting interesting.
"The court now calls..." Impa struggled to read the names, and gave up. "Five old ladies to the stand! They know who they are." People here and there gasped as the little old women were brought to the stand, and they fought over who would get to sit down. After Impa broke up the fight, Zelda repeated the same question, to which the old ladies answered:
"We bot 45 pies that fateful noit, the noit befo' last."
"Bought 45 pies each, we did."
"And I had to pay for all them wenches, I had to."
"Dargh, shut up! I'm the foist ole lady, I do da talkin'! So thar we be, sittin' and eatin' when my glass eye falls upon the perfect specimen of the Hylian man!"
"Her brain waves crash a little short of the beach, but she was right. A young castle guard was standing nearby...cutest young thing you ever did see."
"Nice, ripe young buttocks, he had."
"Dargh, that's my man ye be talking trash about! Anyways, we chased him down all that night, we's did. Lost 'im for a good few hours, 'till I spots him being sassed by that riley young Kok-ee-ree kid!" The first old lady aimed her cane at Link. "Smarmy little bast-arrrd, ruinin' our chances as he did! But he's a ripe cute one, though. By thunder, he'll grow to be a perfect specimen of the Hylian man..." Once the old ladies realized what the first had said, they fought, bit, and clawed at each other to get to Link's table, but were dragged off just in time. As they were being restrained, Impa read from a report sheet. "The young castle guard in question was requested to attend the trial; however, he is still recovering at Kakariko hospital from fatigue and emotional trauma. He is successfully suing the five old ladies on charges of assault, battery, and excessive butt-pinching."
Zelda's next witness was none other than...Zelda herself. It was at this point that Link would serve as prosecuting attorney. The crowd murmured as the questioning began. "All right, honey lamb," the king smiled at his daughter. "Tell us about the events which transpired yesterday--"
"Daddy!" she scolded. "Link is supposed to be asking the questions. You just sit and bang the gavel every once in a while, okay?"
"Sure, I'll play along. Go ahead, Link."
Link nodded respectfully. "Thank you, Your Highness." He then turned to Zelda. "Will you please tell the court what transpired yesterday, honey lamb?"
"Why, certainly. I spent most of the morning, sitting on my throne--no, not that one--thinking about things. At first, I concentrated more on what would happen with the Lon Lon games, but I kept getting distracted by the noise Ganon's pie stand was attracting. It seemed he had started playing music to attract customers, and if that wasn't enough, there was that delicious smell..."
Link walked over to a covered table just within reach of the jurors. Pulling off the blanket, he revealed a full dish of Sweet Gerudo Pie, possibly the last in the whole country. "I present to the court: Exhibit A. Although there is no point in calling it 'A,' because it's the only thing on the table, Princess Zelda, do you recognize Exhibit A?"
She nodded tearfully. "Yes. It's Sweet Gerudo Pie."
"Good girl. You bought some of these yesterday, didn't you?" She nodded again. "Can you tell the court how many you purchased?" She shook her head with each number. "17? More than 17? 45? No, a lot more than 45? More than 50? More than 100? Okay, Zelda, this is getting scary, how many did you buy?
Zelda burst into tears. "198!"
Everyone's jaw practically hit the floor. Damn, that must have been good eatin'! "I'm sorry, Link. I couldn't help it. I told myself I would just try one...just one...but every time I finished one pie, I would crave another. And another. And another. And it was easy to buy more, because once I bought the whole cart, I just started buying pies off people in the street--and no one refused me, because I'm rich! I can't help being rich! It's not a crime! It's not a crime!" She continued sobbing until Impa handed her her royal hanky.
Link ran to the witness stand to comfort her. "Zelda, hon, why did you do it in the first place? Out of everyone in Hyrule, I never guessed you would..."
Zelda raised her head; not to look into Link's eyes, unfortunately. "But look at it, so flaky and tender." In seconds, she had crossed the room to kneel in front of the pie on the table. "Do you smell that? Sniff the air...mmm, you can smell the tender meat, those juicy berries, the crunchy, mouth-watering nuts and seeds..." she stopped mid-sentence to pick up the pie. She placed it against her ear as if it was whispering to her. "What's that? You want me to eat you? But I can't. I--I'm in the middle of a trial!"
"All right, Zelda, get back here. You're scaring the locals." Impa strutted over and carried her back to the witness stand, where Zelda recounted her struggle with Link and the whole exorcism incident. By the end, the crowd was sobbing...in disgust.
At long last, Zelda recovered, leaving Impa to call the final witness: "
anondorf Dragmire." The crowd leapt from their seats, cheering on the greatest
chef and idealist in Hyrule's time. When they noticed Link and Zelda giving
them the glaring of a lifetime, they sat back down. A few people let out
a few quiet boos to try and convince them, but it was pointless. Ganon was
released from his cage, and he took to the stand, ready for questioning.
"Mr. Dragmire," Zelda spoke coldly. "We're all waiting to hear the story."
Ganon sighed, searching the ceiling for insight. "Well, I guess it all started when the annual Lon Lon games got rained out. It was set for a midsummer afternoon--"
"That's all right, Ganon. Just get to the parts we don't know."
And so he retold his tale, from beginning to end, leaving out the parts we don't know (just as we would expect, the fiend!). "But tell us, Ganon. Judging by Link's testimony, you seem to be leaving out the best parts. What did happen to Nabooru, Jadooru, and the guards at the gate?"
He shrugged with conceit. "Maybe they went out to chase a nice, young castle guard."
The crowd laughed until they were glared at once more. "Very well, if that's your opinion. But doesn't it strike you as odd that just as each one disappeared, you created more pies for distribution?"
"Um...uh..." he was caught off guard. Everyone knew it. Yes, it did strike them as odd. "Think about it, ladies and gentlemen," Zelda faced them. "The first day Ganon created this pie, Nabooru walks in on him in HER kitchen, in HER apron, and she is never seen again. Then ,a concerned Gerudo officer inquires about her whereabouts, and she too disappears. And, as this documented sheet of sales clearly states, Jadooru went missing the day Kakariko Village received a fresh shipment. And the day after that, the shipments to each town doubled--the day two more guards are seemingly whisked off into nothingness. People, this is no coincidence. This can only imply that Sweet Gerudo Pie is made exactly from what the name hints." When it became clear that no one in the room understood what she meant, she threw up her arms dramatically. "Dammit, people! Sweet Gerudo Pie is made from Sweet Gerudos!!!"
Right on cue, everyone in the room began to scream. They were eating those poor Gerudo women the whole time! Many cried, many shrieked, some scratched themselves as if they felt dirty all over. Yes, of course, a whole lot of people left the room to vomit in the royal washrooms.
"No, wait!" Ganon tried to explain. "That's not true!"
"Silence, slime." Zelda sneered at him. "What else could these people assume? The missing women, your secret ingredient. It all fits."
"Then you'll tell us what the ingredient is that drives people to look, think, and act like Gerudos?"
"So you ARE guilty!"
Ganon shook his head, refusing to reason. "No way. I'm not guilty of a damn thing."
The king yawned. "As exciting as this all is, I'm ready for my nap. Therefore, by my judgement upon the fact that Ganon is accused of murdering his fellow Gerudos, chopping them up into pieces and using them as the base of his pie, and the fact that these Gerudos have completely disappeared off the face of the earth and haven't been seen since, I find Ganondorf Dragmire, the King of the Gerudo Thieves..."
The doors had burst open to reveal...Nabooru! Her hair and clothes were filthy, there were bags under her eyes big enough to carry groceries in, and she did not look her happy, perky self, but there she stood, alive and disheveled. As she stormed into the courtroom, she was followed by Jadooru and the missing Gerudo guards. They all appeared to have spent sleepless nights in a ditch.
"Eep!" squeaked Ganon. "Nabooru! Jadooru! And...the rest! What--?"
"Shaddap!" Nabooru yelled into his face, and faced the King. "Greetings, your Highness. You must forgive our intrusion and our appearance, but it is important that you hear us out. As much as Ganon is a bastard and a total loser, you must not sentence him! If you'll just hear our testimony..."
"Why not? I've got nothing better to do."
And so, Nabooru turned to the court and told her story:
"I guess it all started when the Lon Lon games got--"
"Forget it, toots," Ganon interrupted. "They know all that stuff."
"Stick a sock in it, Suzie Homemaker. All right, let me start again. It all started when SOMEONE threw an expensive chocolate cake at me. There's nothing more disgusting than having chocolate goo in your hair and clothes, let me tell you. So I decided to take a hot bath and a nice long stroll, maybe do some shopping along the way. After getting all that aggression out, I returned home, and what do I find?" She pointed an accusing finger at Ganon. "Him, trashing up my kitchen, wearing my apron (the court had a good laugh at that one), using up our facial ingredients. I gave him what for until I noticed a bad smell coming from the oven, so I decided to go over and have a look. I figured the poor sap forgot to clear out some dead animals that might be hidden in there before turning it on, but when I opened the door, all I saw was a sorry excuse for a pie sitting there. It's sad, but I found it kinda...you know, decent. It was like, he was really trying to do something productive for a change. However, I didn't get a chance to complement him, because the next thing I know, SOMEONE is grabbing my ass and stuffing me into the oven!"
The crowd went nuts. [Attempted] murder and sexual harassment? This was getting better and better!
"Order, order," the King banged his gavel. "But General Nabooru; why weren't you killed when you were shoved into the oven?"
"Because the oven wasn't even on. He completely forgot. That smell turned out to be pie itself. I got a good whiff of the stench while I was kicking my way out of that tiny oven. Ganon tried to keep the door shut, but with my naturally strong legs, I escaped and gave him a good verbal thrashing. I let him turn his back on me for two seconds--that was enough time for him to pick up his wooden spoon and smash me in the face. Knocked me unconscious, it did. I woke up in his stinky little jail cell some hours later with a swollen nose. No one brought me any food or water, so I had no way of telling how long I'd been in there. But a long time passed before I woke up to the sound of the door opening; someone had been thrown in with me."
Jadooru stepped forward. "That would be myself, Your Highness. I was imprisoned for questioning Nabooru's whereabouts. When I went to ask him, he intimidated me until I broke out into a sweat, then offered to take my temperature with a thermometer." She paused for effect. "A MEAT thermometer! (The crowd went crazy again, but the king managed to calm them down) Took a good ten minutes of struggling with him before he gave up on it. I'm not quite sure what he was trying to do, sticking that grease-coated thing into my mouth, but eventually, he resorted to picking up his wooden spoon and smashing me in the face. Like Nabooru, I was knocked out cold; hours later, I awoke beside her. She explained her story to me, but as hard as we tried, we couldn't get out of that cell. We were locked in tight. Hopeless and alone, we gave up and fell asleep. I don't know how long we were in there before we awoke to the door opening and heard two more bodies being thrown into the cell."
The king gestured to the Gerudo guards with his gavel. "Ah, yes. I assume you were the ones joining them?" They nodded solemnly.
"That's them!" Link jumped from his chair. "Your Highness, the guards I was talking about! They were the ones Ganon was talking to the day Zelda turned evil. Help in the kitchen, huh?"
Ganon cut his eyes at him as the guards continued. "Yes, what the Hero of Time says is true. The great Ganon approached us, just as we were discussing the plight of our fellow soldiers. We agreed it was an awful coincidence that, as each commanding leader disappeared, another shipment of pie was sent away. At that moment, he requested we assist him in that dreadful kitchen. We tried to weasel our way out of it, but he threatened us with..." they hung their heads in shame.
"What was it?" the king asked, inching towards the edge of his seat. "Answer!"
"No, it's too embarrassing to mention," one of the guards cried.
"We have to," the other guard sighed deeply. "At the time, we thought it to be some kind of magical machinery, capable of blowing us to smithereens if we didn't obey. It was only when he threw us in the dungeon that we managed to catch a glimpse of a pair of...salad tongs."
The crowd burst out laughing. "Salad tongs?!" Even the king couldn't help but laugh.
Ganon stood up and shrugged to the crowd. "Hey, what are you laughing at? Those little buggers gave me a good bite when I wasn't watching where I stuck my hand in that drawer. And it scared them good enough, didn't it?" Pleased by the humour of the situation, the crowd laughed again and cheered, until the king called for order.
"Ganon," he snapped. "Sit your ass down. They have more to say."
Nabooru picked up the story. "So there we were, the four of us, rotting away in that dark little cell for who knows how long. We grew so bored, we devised a way to pass the time and maintain our sanity: one of us would remove a button from our clothes, or an earring, toss it into the air, and listen to where it landed. Then we would race to find the object. First one to it was the winner. We made a game of it. Seeing how many times we could find the object in a short time, then trying to break that record. Sometimes, we would hear other Gerudos outside, looking for us in the nighttime. Just found out on the way here that a few of them hired the Poe salesman to help look for us..."(Misty waves filled the courtroom as everyone is taken to Nabooru's flashback, in which a Gerudo took a few soldiers-in-training out late at night to search the fortress grounds:)
Gerudo soldier A: Find anything this time, girls?
Soldier-in-training: Uh, no sign of them, Chief.
Gerudo soldier: Mr. Poe?
Mr. Poe, rubbing his temples: I see nothing here, but I'm afraid it's splitsville for Malon and Hyrule's Captain-of-the-Guards.
Gerudo soldier: But they seem so happy!
"We were screaming at the top of our lungs, but no one heard us. It was then that we realized if we were going to get out of there, it was up to just the four of us. So we took turns picking at the screws with our jewellery and bobby pins and kicking the door until BAM! We escaped and ran straight here to arrest Ganon's sorry ass. Obviously, you already have, and for that, you will forever be part of the Gerudo gang. Now that Ganon has been detained, I'm in charge, and as my first duty, we're going back to the Valley to carry out his sentence; as tradition goes, he must be boiled in baby oil until he apologizes or dies, whichever comes first. Oh, speaking of being part of our gang--Jadooru made you this honorary button." Nabooru ran up to the bench and tossed it in front of the king.
"Wicked, thanks!" he pinned it on right away. "Wait a minute. When did you find the time to make me a button?"
"That's not important!" Jadooru yelled. "What's important is that Ganon must be punished for his crimes."
"Well, that all depends. You can't execute him for murder, because he didn't kill anybody. You proved that by walking into the courtroom. Hey, there's no need to make faces. However, there is still the matter of this secret ingredient. This is the only way to prove your innocence, Ganon. You must state the secret ingredient of your recipe."
Ganon shook his head like a stubborn child. "No. I'm not telling."
"Then I'll have to assume you're innocent. Therefore, by the power vested in me, I now pronounce--oops, my bad. Jury, what say you?"
The forerunning juror, a tall skinny Zora, rose from her seat. "Your Honor, we find the defendant not guilty."
"YYYYYYYESSS!!!!!" Ganon was so happy, he jumped from his chair, ran over to the evidence table, grabbed the pie and spiked it football-style onto the floor. He then proceeded to do The Typewriter in front of everyone. (1)
Ganon stopped dancing. "Wha? However?"
The Zora continued. "However, we find the accused witnesses, Darling, Honey, and the five old ladies, guilty of all their charges. Oh, yeah, we almost forgot. Ganon, you have to pay back all your customers for the pie they bought, and Zelda, you owe a Lara and Sara Kokiri 399 Rupees for...what does this subpoena say? An ex-or-cism?"
"Shite," Ganon kicked over the pie plate. "Aw, that's all right, that still leaves me...let's see, divide by 2, carry the one, rationalize the denominator plus pi...about five million Rupees in profit!"
The king yawned. "Whatever. Now that all this is over, I've still got some time to catch a nap before we have to get ready for the Lon Lon games again. Case dismissed!"
Before he could make another move, Zelda ran up to the bench. "Daddy--I mean, Your Honor? Uh, do I still get paid?"
"Oh please, dear. No one was going to pay you to begin with. Case dismissed!" The gavel banged. The case was over! Everyone shook hands, made small chit chat, and piled their way out the door. Everyone...except Link.
Link pushed his way through the mob of exiting jurors until he stood directly behind Ganon, who was still dancing as though no one was paying attention to him. He glared up at him for a silent moment, then shouted to get him to turn around. "Hey. I don't care how badly this trial turned out. The wrong people were punished, and you got your handfuls of money, but I don't care. I'm STILL onto you."
Ganon sighed. "Young man," he began, lowering himself to look Link in the eye. "You are so sure you understand me, but I really don't understand you. Why are you so certain something I created that brought people together is so evil? Do you mean to tell me that you didn't learn anything new from any of this?"
"Well...I guess I did learn quite a bit. In fact, everyone did. You learned that a good deed once in a while can go a long way. I learned that there is good in everyone. Zelda learned that giving in to her curiosity once in a while doesn't hurt, but overindulgence can be dangerous. And many citizens of Hyrule learned that it's okay to trust people--especially when no one gives those people a decent chance to prove they've changed for the better."
The sappy background music stopped. "Yeah, I suppose those are all good points."
"But wait!" Link suddenly remembered something. "Tell me something, Ganon. If it wasn't Gerudo meat that made everyone go crazy, then what was it?"
Ganon thought for a minute. "Nah, you wouldn't believe me if I told you."
"Aw, come on! Please?"
"All right, sure. Personally, I believe it was the exoticism and mystery that is Gerudo. It's like when you eat Mexican food, and you feel as if you're south of the border. Don't ask me what Mexican is, I don't know, I'm just saying what the author tells me. But anyways, once the idea is implanted in your head, you believe it. This pie gave everyone sort of a subliminal message, you could say. People ate it and, thinking of the name, they believed themselves to be Gerudos, and of course, most Hylians assume we're nothing but petty, violent, hot-tempered hooligans."
The sappy background music stopped again. "Then how do you explain Zelda's demonic persona deal?"
"She possesses the power of magic, and she's entering puberty. What do you expect?"
Link wrinkled his nose. "What on earth is puberty?"
Ganon shrugged. "I don't know, either. So, does that answer your question? Because if so, I have a kitchen to return to."
As Ganon turned to leave, Link stopped him. "Wait a minute, you moron! You still haven't told me what your stupid secret ingredient is!"
"You really want to know? All right then, follow me..." Ganon let out a fiendish laugh...
Holy rusted metal, Link! Don't do it! He's evil! What sordid plans could Ganondorf Dragmire (ha ha!) have for our poor Hero of Time? Tune in next week: same Gerudo time, same Gerudo channel.
Or, you could just go on to the next chapter. It's up to you.
1. For those of you who don't remember, The Typewriter is one of M.C. Hammer's patented dance moves. Just think hard, you'll remember it.
Ganon let out a fiendish laugh. So did Link. "And that, my boy, is why a male Gerudo is born only once every hundred years. Now, let's see how your pie is doing."
Link continued sitting comfortably on the kitchen counter, swinging his legs back and forth as Ganon opened up the oven and reached inside. "Now, Link, are you sure you're going to remember this recipe? Because once you leave this room, it may be too dangerous for me to repeat it."
He nodded enthusiastically in reply. "Two pounds of Cuccoo, half a pound of fish, ½½ cup of Bomb flower powder, 20 Deku nuts, seeds, and berries, 1 ½½ cup of Lon Lon milk, 1 tablespoon of Lon Lon butter, 1 full jar of Dodongo Rock flour, 1 pie crust, and salt and pepper to taste."
Ganon looked over his shoulder at him. "And..."
Link rolled his eyes as they repeated it together: "1 part Parmesan cheese, 2 parts chili powder, 3 parts brown sugar, enough to fill an entire jar." He couldn't help but laugh at their geekiness. "I'll remember, I'll remember, sheesh!"
"Well, I suppose if you can't remember, just think of Nabooru walking into this kitchen and seeing me in her apron," Ganon giggled as he brought a fresh, steaming pie from the oven and placed it beside Link. "And when you picture the jar, it should look like sand but not quite. Now, let's have a taste, shall we?"
Ganon served two slices onto two separate plates, and they dug in. When Link took his first bite, he closed his eyes and savoured the taste. "Ah, magnifique," he joked with a dainty air.
"My thoughts exactly," Ganon grinned.
As they munched away happily, a thought occurred to Link. "So, now that we've shared a moment, I guess that means you can't ever try to steal the Triforce or kill me again!"
Ganon stopped to lean towards him, menacingly. "Oh, I don't know about that, cursed Hero of Time..." They burst out laughing on cue, then quickly narrowed their eyes at each other. Not being able to hold their stare, they laughed again until it died down to a small chuckle, then glared at each other once more.
(sniffle! That was so beautiful!)
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