The Piper Chronicles: Discord at the Thanksgiving Day Parade – Chapter 4

Chapter Four:

A Ridiculous Resolution

The clashing of symbols and blaring horns grew increasingly louder as the two ran over to the sidelines of the parade. The troll family had completely disappeared from view, as the people clamored by to watch a huge, yellow cat balloon roll by.

“Where did they go!?” Piper exclaimed.

The Doctor pulled out his scanner device. He groaned in irritation.

“The scanner’s busted! Must’ve broke when I fell.”

“Well now what’re we gonna do?”

The Doctor ran his fingers through his hair.

“I don’t know” he sighed.

Piper checked her watch.

“It’s 9:45! We’re on in half an hour!” She thought, “How do we know how to stop the trolls!?”

Then, she had an idea. She pulled out her cellphone.

“Let’s make our way back to the Tardis. I have an idea!”

*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Her cellphone rang. She got back inside of the house and out of the cold. She answered it.

“Hello?”

“Aunt Leanne, what time is it?” 

“Piper? Is that you? Where are you?”

“Yes, it’s me. What time is it?”

Leanne peeked into the living room to look at the antique clock on the fireplace mantel.

“10:16. Barely a minute after you left. Where did you go? What’s going on?”

“Auntie, this is very important: I need you to go back into the living room, look on the television, and tell me what we’re doing right now?”

“What? You and ‘Mr. Smith’?”

“Yes! Please look! It’s imperative that I know!” 

Leanne fully stepped into the living room. The crowd on the television went wild at the surprising sight before them.

“Dad, is that Piper? Who’s the guy that came with her?” Matthew asked.

“That’s her History teacher, kiddo,” John replied, “and that’s most likely not Piper. That’s impossible. Probably just someone who looks a lot like her.”

Leanne ignored them and studied the television closely. She saw Piper and the Doctor pursuing the little creatures on the Candyland float. She looked carefully at what they were holding in their hands…

.

Piper and the Doctor were about five minutes away from their original spot where the Tardis sat ominously in front of a closed department store.

“Water pistols!?” Piper scoffed.

The Doctor looked over at her. He raised an eyebrow, unsure if he understood what came out of her mouth.

“Woah, woah, wait! We’re shooting plastic, water pistols at the guys in the costumes?”

There was a moment of silence as Piper looked over at the parade. By this point, they were right beside the Tardis.

“Okay, thanks for letting me know. I promise, I’ll be home as soon as I can. Tell Mom and Dad that Mr. Smith and I have something to straighten out. Thanks, bye!”

Piper snapped the phone lid shut. She sighed.

“Well, Aunt Leanne said we charged right into the parade with plastic water pistols” she replied, bluntly.

“Absolutely not! No guns! No weapons, that’s not how things are going to work while traveling with me!” the Doctor scolded.

“Uncle Doctor, they’re plastic; and they shoot water!” Piper retorted.

The Doctor’s expression softened.

“Oh” he stammered, “Right.”

Piper sighed irritably.

The Doctor scratched the back of his head. “Did your aunt say what we were squirting out?”

Piper shook her head. “It was a bit too far to tell, but she specifically said it wasn’t water.”

The Doctor sighed, anxiously as he turned back to the parade.

“Obviously it would be something toxic to their outer skin, though hopefully not something fatal…” he thought out loud.

Piper checked her watch.

“9pm. We have fifteen minutes.” 

.

“What species of troll would be allergic to a liquid substance?”

Piper looked down at her coat. She groaned at the huge chocolate stain blotted onto it. The Doctor overheard her remark and looked over.

“Where’d you get that stain?” He asked.

Piper sighed, irritably.

“I had my thermal mug in my coat and the cap came loose when the troll attacked me,” she explained, “It was strange, though. The troll really hated it when some accidently splashed on him. I mean, it was hot, but not anywhere near as hot to burn their skin. It was like, there was acid in it or something.”

The Doctor stood there, pondering what she had said long and hard. Then, everything clicked.

“Aha!” The Doctor exclaimed.

“You know what type of troll they are?” Piper asked eagerly.

“They’re not Trolleri, they’re Tragori!”

He grabbed Piper’s hand.

“Come along, Piper! We’ve got some early Black Friday shopping to do!”

*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

In less than ten minutes, the Tardis reemerged and out came the two Timelords, with loaded water pistols.

“Are you sure this will work?” Piper asked uncertainly.

“Well, your aunt saw it work, didn’t she?” The Doctor replied.

“Yeah, but it just seems overly simplistic, and quite frankly, very stupid.”

“We won’t know until we try!”

Piper groaned slightly. In the distance, she could hear music begin to play.

“That’s the music I heard on the tele!”

“Then we’d better get moving!”

Together, the two ran down the road as fast as they could, back down 7th avenue. As they came up upon where the Candyland float had been pitched, the melody halted abruptly. The trolls ran out from the other side of the road, from among the crowd. Some of the onlookers were panicked at the sight they were witnessing, others were shouting and pointing and squealing in excitement. The music artist was being led quickly off the float by the volunteers and security while the trolls climbed up the lollipop trees and began to chew on them. One of them was going to try nibbling on one of the volunteers, who was dressed as a gingerbread man, but he was unsuccessful.

“Showtime!” Piper cried.

She and the Doctor jumped out in front of the crowd and onto the road. Piper fired her water pistol from the ground while the Doctor jumped onto the float, squirting a white liquid substance at any of them who were hiding. The trolls cried and groaned in distress as the substance started to burn at their skin like acid. Piper couldn’t believe her eyes.

“Milk!? They’re allergic to milk!?” she exclaimed in disbelief.

The trolls who were on the trees fell off and squealed.

“They love to eat sweets, and their lactose intolerant!?” Piper continued.

“They’re practically children! They don’t know better!” The Doctor shouted, “Now lead them back towards the Tardis! We’ve gotta send them back to where they belong!”

The audience cheered for them. Kids were put upon their parent’s shoulders, as they shouted and waved their hands, little breaths of smoke flying from their mouths. Piper wasn’t expecting them to cheer. However, she should’ve caught on sooner that they would think it was all just an act (She recalled one year her father told her “monsters” attacked one of the hosts of the parade and a band of anime heroes came to “save” him. It sounded oddly familiar to their situation).

Piper began to break towards the back of the float where two trolls were trying to escape back into the crowd. She squirted the milk in a neat, half circle, around them, trying to herd them back to the other side of the street, where the Tardis was sitting less than a fourth of a mile away. The trolls nearly jumped out of their muddy skins and began running backwards. Piper ran around them and squirted near them again. Finally, they started to work in her favor as they sprinted in terror towards the side of the road from whence the two timelords started from. She glanced over to the Doctor, who was laughing a bit menacing as he shot milk at the other trolls. They all ran back to the Tardis. The two regrouped.

“So, what do we do once we get to the Tardis?” Piper asked.

“Em…” The Doctor stammered, scratching the back of his right ear, “I haven’t really got that far.”

Piper raised an eyebrow. The crowd clapped their hands in applause. The Timelords looked around them. The Doctor waved, smiling.

“It’s alright folks! Everything’s under control!” he called, in the worst american accent possible.

Piper forced a smile, then grabbed the Doctor’s hand.

“Come on before we lose them!”

.

The trolls skipped about back down the alleyway. The Doctor ran ahead of them, his coat flapping like crazy in the wind behind him. He scrambled to grab his key and unlock the Tardis door. Finally, he flew both doors open.

“Come on kids! We’re taking you home!” He cried.

The trolls just ignored him, mostly because a redheaded Timelady was behind them, still holding a pistol two-thirds full of milk. With one last, adrenaline fueled effort, Piper herded them down the alley, and they all scampered inside. Piper sighed in satisfaction, breathless as she sprinted to catch up with the Doctor.

“We did it!” she exclaimed.

Then, they heard a loud clatter from inside. The two glanced at each other for a moment with “uh-oh” looks on their faces, before scrambling to follow the herd of Tragori, before they broke something serious.

*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Piper and the Doctor had to tiredly move the rambunctious little monster children into a room in the Tardis where they wouldn’t cause any more damage (as well as throwing wrenches and crowbars at the pilot and passenger). The Doctor flew the Tardis to the Tragori youngsters back to their home planet and let them loose. The two time travelers never found out how the trolls managed to tamper with a teleportation unit, or how they managed to teleport so far as Earth, but they frankly didn’t care. They were just grateful they got them back with the Tardis in one piece. They watched with glee as they let them loose into the moist, swampy wild of the Tragorian planet as the sun began to lower. Piper’s eyelids were heavy with exhaustion. Her coat was now tied around her waist, with specks of mud and dirt sprayed on it, as well as the coffee stain. One of her pigtails were falling down and her shoes were slightly scuffed near the front. The Doctor no longer had his coat on, and his necktie was no longer tucked underneath his suit shirt. After a few additional minutes of watching the sun set over the horizon, the Doctor turned to Piper.

“You ready to go home?” he asked.

Piper rubbed her right eye.

“Yeah, I’m ready; and starving. Grams probably has the table set for dinner by now.”

The Doctor’s expression changed with the realization they still had a family supper to attend. Piper glanced at him uncertainly.

“You’re still gonna go with me…right?” she asked.

The Doctor stared at her for a moment, pondering the decision he had to make. Then, he smiled.

“As long as we can clean up first.”

Piper grinned. “Yes! Definitely!”

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