Burping lightening? *chuckle* Now there's an interesting ability...
Hey, I don't mind (as long as the topic does work its way back to the story!
) It's lively, and besides if people weren't reading the story, they wouldn't have seen your question! I think the InterNutter pretty much nailed it, but I looked up the recipie in a cookbook last night so I'll add what I found there to the gathered info.
Hushpuppies were originally tag ends of corn bread dough that were deep fat fried and tossed to dogs at mealtime to make sure they didn't bark or beg at the table. Nowadays, though, they're served to humans as a side dish for seafood--especially fried fish. They're made with old-fashioned stone-ground or water-ground white cornmeal (other kinds fall to pieces in the hot fat), sugar, baking soda, salt, minced yellow onion, egg, buttermilk, and water. This makes a thick, drop-biscuit-like dough that is scooped by rounded 1/2 tablespoons and plopped into the fat. So, basically hushpuppies are savory, deep-fried doughballs. There are probably a million and a half variations to this version of the recipie, but this is the one I found and the one my mom remembers from her time down South.
Thanks Curlyyhaired Girl! I had a great time in New York but the crowds were UNBELIEVABLE! My Dad grew up in Brooklyn and even he said he'd never seen crowds that bad in the city! It was shoulder to shoulder shuffling all the way! But despite that, the trip was still awesome! We saw the dinosaurs
at the Natural History Museum!!!!!!! *swoon* And I got a lot of my Christmas shopping done too.
And no, they weren't sucked into the movie per se. Well...they were, sort of, but...ack, you'll see! I don't want to give too much away!
And now, back on track with Ch. 3 of Nightcrawler meets Rudolph!
Jamie woke up with snow in his mouth and a ringing in his ears. Carefully pushing himself up onto his hands and knees, Jamie shivered violently in the biting winter cold, feeling completely confused and disoriented.
Where was he? How did he get here? And why couldn't he seem to remember anything more than his name?
"Do you mind?" a sulky voice came from behind him. "I'd kind of like to be alone, thank you very much."
Jamie rose to his feet and looked around, trying to locate the source of the voice that had interrupted his thoughts. A young reindeer faun was sitting slumped dejectedly against the narrow trunk of a small fir tree that had been hung with festive decorations of silver and gold. Jamie's eyes widened as he realized he recognized this reindeer from somewhere.
"Did you speak just now?" he asked the depressed deer.
The young buck looked up at him, his large, luminous eyes shiny with unshed tears. "Just leave me alone, OK," he said, his childish voice trembling slightly. "I'm a misfit and a reject and I don't want any company right now."
"I'm very sorry to hear that," said Jamie. An impression of a memory, jogged loose by the reindeer's words, was slowly working its way to the surface of his mind. "But, you see, I'm a misfit and a reject too."
The reindeer looked up at him surprised. "You look like a normal elf to me," he said. He tilted his head, fixing the boy with an appraising look. "Your ears are a little small, though."
Jamie looked down at himself, surprised to see that he was dressed in a strange blue outfit with a pink sash. The toes of his boots were slightly pointed. Something in the back of his mind told him this was wrong somehow, that he wasn't an elf and that these weren't his regular clothes, but it was a small voice, easily overpowered by his growing curiosity about the talking reindeer before him.
"Yeah, well, maybe, but I'm not normal," he said. "Not by a long shot. I've got this weird power, you see." He wasn't sure why, but he felt compelled to explain further. "Whenever I hit something or something hits me, or even if I happen to stomp my foot too hard, I somehow create duplicates of myself. It's really weird. If you ask me, it's the dumbest power I've ever heard of. I mean, what good is it, really?"
The reindeer rose gracefully to his feet, his head tilted in curiosity. "No, it's not dumb. That's really neat," he said, a small smile growing on his face. "I've never heard of an elf who could do that before!"
Jamie shrugged. "Yeah, well, that's why I'm an outcast."
Rudolph pawed the snow in a thoughtful manner, a mischievous glint glowing in his over-large eyes. "So," he said, lowering his head, "if I were to head-butt you right in the middle-"
Jamie saw where this was going and held out his hands defensively. "No!" he exclaimed. "Please, don't. It's such a strain...and each of the multiples kind of has a mind of his own. It's hard for me to control them."
Rudolph pondered this for a moment, then stood down. "OK," he said. "But I do want to see your power in action sometime."
"Yeah, well, I'm sure it'll happen soon enough. I'm probably the most accident-prone guy I know. I'm bound to trip or bang into something sooner or later."
Sighing deeply, Jamie shuffled his feet in the snow, trying to think of a way to shift the subject away from his mutation. "What about you?" he asked. "Why are you moping about out here in the snow?"
The young reindeer stared at him. "Can't you see?" he asked, incredulously. "It's as plain as the shiny red nose on my stupid face. No one wants to play with a red-nosed reindeer." He hung his head as he admitted, "Even my parents are ashamed of me."
Jamie looked at him with sympathetic eyes. "Hey, I can certainly relate to that," he said. When the reindeer looked back up at him, Jamie favored him with a friendly smile.
"My name's Jamie," he said, holding out his hand. The reindeer looked at it for a moment, then raised a hoof to touch his palm.
"Rudolph," he said. "Rudolph Donnerson."
"Pleased to meet you, Rudolph," Jamie beamed.
His memory was gone. Again. His entire mind was a blank--a vast, yawning expanse that gnawed achingly at his shredded psyche, taunting him with shadowy hints of people and places he once knew but could no longer recognize or even bring into focus. The vacant valleys of his mind echoed the cold, blank landscape that glinted at him in the sunlight, forcing him to squint against the harsh, frozen glare. Smooth, unmarked white snow covered the ground in all directions as far as the eye could see. The emptiness frightened him, maddened him, angered him beyond all reason.
The small scrap of conscience that remained to him tried to control these roiling emotions, tried to force him to think logically, to uncover the events that had led to his predicament. But this small voice was soon bowled over and trampled by a raging rush of instinct and fury as a faint scent reached his sensitive nostrils. He knew that scent. It was the scent of an animal, a young deer.
The nameless creature lowered himself into a feral crouch, all his senses on the alert. The barren landscape had unleashed a monster within him. And that monster was hungry.
"So, where are we going, anyway?" Jamie asked as he stepped carefully through the deep snow. Rudolph didn't look up.
"Don't care," he said bluntly. "Just so long as it's far away. I know when I'm not wanted." The young deer tried valiantly to hold back a sob, but failed. Jamie looked over to him with sympathetic eyes.
"The world's pretty big," he said in a comforting tone. "I'm sure there's a place out there where a couple of misfits like us would be welcome. All we have to do is keep on walking until we get there."
Rudolph looked up, his skeptical eyes tinged with a faint sparkle of hope. "You really think so?" he asked.
Jamie spoke with a deep confidence he didn't quite understand as the faint image of a kind man in a wheelchair flitted through his thoughts.
"I know so," he smiled.
Rudolph regarded him with his huge, bright eyes. "You know something, Jamie?" he said. "I believe you."
The scent was much stronger now. His future meal was moving towards him. The creature felt his mouth start to water as the young deer and its human companion turned a corner, obliviously walking straight into his path. The human boy was little more than a child. He certainly posed no threat or obstacle to the fierce, famished monster.
The nameless creature stalked forward, skillfully using the snowy hills as cover. If he timed this right, the pair would never know what hit them.
A light snow had begun to fall. Rudolph looked up at the darkening sky, an expression of foreboding growing on his face. He recognized the signs. They would likely be hit by a blizzard before nightfall if they didn't find shelter soon.
"Have you ever heard the legends of the Abominable Snowman?" he asked Jamie with a shiver.
Jamie's mind tingled with recognition, but try as he might he couldn't pull out the relevant memory. "I think so," he responded. "I don't remember, though. Why do you ask?"
Rudolph sighed. "A blizzard's headed this way. From the stories I've heard, it's during heavy snowstorms like this that the Abominable likes to attack. If we don't find shelter before dark, we'll be sitting ducks. Not only that, but with the snow covering our footprints--"
Jamie knew the rest. "--there'll be no way anyone will ever find us." He turned to face his friend. "But, isn't the Abominable Snowman just a myth? I somehow remember knowing he wasn't real."
Rudolph shivered again. "I hope you're right. But just in case, I think we should--"
The young deer was cut off by a feral roar that cut through the silent snow like the explosion of an arsenal filled with fresh gunpowder. The two friends were too startled to think, too terrified to move. A monster was leaping out at them, his muscular arms splayed out, his broad fists seemingly clutching several long, deadly knives. He was dressed only in animal skins and he was covered with coarse, black hair.
Rudolph didn't even have time to scream before the monster was on him, his weight crushing the reindeer's small, frail body into the deep snow. He caught a glimpse of the man's fist--just enough for his stunned mind to realize the man wasn't clutching knives at all. Rather, six long, metal claws somehow sprouted from between his knuckles. Rudolph lowered his head and squeezed his eyes shut, waiting for the deadly blow that would bring
all his troubles to a sudden and gruesomely permanent end.
Is this curtains for Rudolph? And what effect can this strange holiday dimension have had on Kurt?