Chapter Two- The Legend of the Lakeness Wonker
Ford and Lee were at the table for breakfast eating pancakes. There were two bottles of maple syrup on the table, and both twins knew what that meant. "I challenge you to a syrup race," Lee declared.
"You are on!"
They both turned their own syrup bottles over their mouths and let the syrup flow freely. "Go! Go! Go! Go!" They chanted. The syrup made it to Lee's mouth first.
"Yes! Akk. I won!" He said, coughing on his syrup.
Ford laughed, before glancing over at the newspaper. He gasped when he read it, "No way! Hey, Stanley, check this out!"
He handed the newspaper to his twin, but Stanley read the wrong column, "Nice! Gold watches! Those would make me look like a mob boss!" he said excitedly.
"No, not that! This," Ford pointed to a different ad. "They're having a monster photo contest, and the winner gets a thousand dollars! We should enter! If we see something like those pixies again, then we'll win for sure!"
Stanley gasped, "If we win the cash prize, we could get a boat!" He wrapped his arm around his brother's shoulder. "Just imagine it, Ford. You and me together, sailing on a boat, having cool adventures all the time! We'll even find treasure!"
"That's a great idea," Ford agreed. A thought came to him. "We didn't get any pictures of those pixies, did we?"
"Nope," Lee smiled. "Just the memories," he held up a small, sparkling sack. "And some of this magical pixie dust."
Ford pointed at the bag, "How did you get that?"
Stanley shrugged and put the bag away, just before Grantie Mae came in with more pancakes. As she walked by the the twins, she ruffled their hair affectionately. "Good morning, munchkins," she smiled. "Do you know what day it is?"
"Uh… Tuesday?" Ford guessed.
"Is today your birthday?" Lee asked.
Grantie Mae took the paper to show the kids, "Nope. Today is Family Fun Day!" She cheered. "We'll be skipping work today so you'll get to spend the whole day with me. Won't that be great?"
"Grantie Mae?" Ford spoke up while eating his pancakes. "This won't be like last time, will it?"
"Oh, yeah," Stanley added, remembering. "This isn't like the time you tried to show me a rainbow, is it?" Lee asked. "I've still been having problems seeing."
As if to prove his point, Stanley tried to grab the maple syrup bottle, but missed. It dropped on the floor, but Waddles walked over to the mess to lick it up.
"Okay, I'll agree that wasn't my best idea," Mae admitted, "but don't you worry. Today, we're going to have some real family fun. Now who wants to put on some blindfolds and get in my car for no reason in particular?"
"YAY!" They both cheered.
Ford stopped to think about what she just said,"Wait, what?".
Stanford couldn't see a thing because of the blindfold, but he knew he and Stanley were currently strapped in the backseat of Grantie Mae's red convertible. The fact that she had one was pretty cool. The only problem is that she drove like this is the first time using one.
The twins held on to the seats for dear life, "Grantie Mae!" Ford yelled over the car's engine, which sounded strangely like a race car's engine. "Please tell me you aren't wearing a blindfold too!"
"Nope," Mae laughed. "But with these cataracts, I might as well be. What is that, a hamster?" She crashed through something that made the twins scream. Ford honestly thought he was going to die. Miraculously, they made it to their destination in one piece and got out of the car.
"Okay, boys. Take off your blindfolds!" Ford and Lee took their blindfolds off to see they were at a lake. There seemed to be a lot of people from town here as well. "Ta-da! It's fishing season!" Mae smiled. "Isn't this great?"
The twins glanced at each other, "Fishing?" Stanley asked.
"I never thought of you as a fisher," Stanford commented.
"I'm not," Grantie Mae admitted. "But how hard can it be? Besides, the whole town is here. You'll get a chance to meet some new people here."
The twins looked around, seeing that there were some familiar faces from the few times they visited the town. An older woman with a terrifyingly low-pitched voice held out a pan, calling out for a fish to jump inside it. In another part of the lake, a buff, red-haired woman had caught a fish with her bare hands and started punching it, while three red-haired men were cheering her on. The four of them looked related. On a boat next to red-headed family was a chubby-faced man that was also cheering for her.
"Now that is some quality family bonding," Mae smiled.
"Grantie Mae? Why do you want to go fishing all of a sudden?" Ford asked.
Mae frowned, "Oh, come on. Can your grantie just spend some time with her favorite adorable nephews? Here!" She threw matching red sweaters at the boys. "Pow! Pines family sweaters!" She slipped on her own sweater, which read 'World's Best Grantie' on it. "Try them on! I made them myself."
The twins looked at their sweaters. Ford's said 'Forddy' and Lee's said 'Stanny'.
"Why would we wear sweaters?" Lee asked. "It's summer."
Mae ignored Stanley's question, "It's just going to be you, me, and these sweaters on a smelly boat for ten hours!"
"Ten hours?" Ford repeated.
The twins exchanged uneasy looks, "This isn't exactly what I had in mind when I said I wanted to go on a boat," Stanley muttered. Stanford could only nod in agreement. Just when they thought they were doomed for ten hours of fishing with their grantie, a loud screaming was heard nearby.
"I'VE SEEN IT! I'VE SEEN IT AGAIN!" An old woman with a Korean accent ran up to the docks. She was barefoot and dressed in rags. Her white hair was mangled, as if it hadn't been brushed for years. "THE GRAVITY FALLS LAKENESS WONKER! COME QUICK BEFORE IT GOES AWAY!" She warned, before doing a little dance.
"Aw, look!" Stanley smiled and pointed at the crazy old lady. "She's doing a happy jig!"
"This isn't a jig!" she yelled in Lee's face. "It's a sign of DANGER!"
Before she could say anything else, the crazy, old lady was sprayed in the face with water. The man holding the spray bottle shooed her away, "Stop scaring my customers, you old hag!"
"I HAVE PROOF! I have it this time! Look!" She pointed to a half-destroyed boat. "It's the Lakeness Wonkity monster that did this! It had wrinkly skin and a long neck! I saw the beast swim over to Scuttlebutt Island! YOU GOTTA BELIEVE ME!"
The sheriff stood nearby and spoke into his walkie-talkie, "Attention all units! We got ourselves a crazy, old woman!" Everyone except for the Pines family laughed at her.
"Nice one, Sheriff Holt," his partner chuckled.
The old woman walked off, "Aww, donkey spittle! Aw, fork fingers!"
Grantie Mae paused, "Well, that happened. Lesson learned, kids. Stay in school, and, um… don't go crazy. Welp, I'm going to get the boat ready. You boys wait here," she said before leaving.
"Lee," Stanford turned to his twin excitedly, "did you hear what that old lady said?"
Stanley mimicked her the best he could, "Aw, fork fingers!"
"No, the other thing! About the monster in the lake! This is our chance, Stanley. If we can get a photo of it, we can split the prize money fifty-fifty! Imagine what we can do with five hundred dollars!"
Stanley gasped, "I can imagine it now!" Lee became entranced in thought, muttering quietly about something having to do with a new watch. After a moment, Stanford waved his hand in front of him in concern.
"Stanley?" Ford asked.
"Stanford, I am one hundred percent on board with this!" Ford smiled.
They were about to tell their grantie about their change of plans when a boy their age approached them, "H-Hi, my name is Fiddleford," he introduced himself. "Fiddleford McGucket. My dad, Tate McGucket, owns this lake. Listen," he added shyly, "I've been overhearin' what you were saying, and I was wonderin' if I could join ya'll."
"You really want to help us?" Ford asked.
"Well, yeah, I mean, I believe what Crazy Chiu is saying. About the monster, that is. Whenever I'm over at that island, I hear the monster. It's scary, but maybe with your help, we could catch it. My dad has a cool fishing boat we could use if you want," Fiddleford offered.
The twins glanced at each other, silently deciding on whether to let him join. Ford turned back to Fiddleford and nodded, "Sure, you can come with us," he agreed, holding out his hand. Ford was thankful he remembered his gloves today, or else their new friend would have seen his extra fingers. "My name's Stanford, and that's my twin brother, Stanley. You can call us Ford and Lee, though."
Fiddleford blushed while they shook hands, and then he shook hands with Stanley, "You can call me Fidds if you want. It's shorter."
Grantie Mae returned, "Okay, boys! The boat's all ready!" She stopped when she saw Fiddleford. "Oh, look what we have here! A third one!" Mae turned to the twins. "Is this your new friend?"
"Grantie Mae, this is Fiddleford," Stanley introduced. "He wants to go monster hunting with us!"
The other boys chanted, "Monster hunt! Monster hunt! Monster hunt!"
"We're going to catch the Lakeness Wonker on Scuttlebutt Island! Can we go?" Ford asked.
Grantie Mae frowned, "But I thought you kids wanted to go fishing. Come on, your new friend can come with us," she suggested. "Would you rather go on some boring monster hunt, or would you rather tie knots and skewer worms all day with your Great Aunt Mabel?"
The twins looked between Grantie Mae and Fiddleford, who pointed at an awesome looking boat behind him. They looked back at Mae's leaky old boat that didn't look like it could hold the four of them. Ford looked back at Scuttlebutt Island, which held secrets just waiting to be uncovered. The twins grinned at each other as they made their decision.
"So, what do you say?" Mae asked, confident on what she believed the boys would choose.
When she looked back at them, the boys were already running over to Fidds' boat, leaving her behind. "We made the right choice!" Stanley yelled in the distance.
Grantie Mae frowned, "Fine, you ungrateful children! I'll do this myself then!" She sighed. "Who needs them anyway. I have this box of creepy fishing wires to keep me company," after a moment of looking at the box, she cringes in disgust and closes the lid. "I gotta find new fishing buddies."
The kids boarded on the boat with the help of Fiddleford's dad, "You aren't gonna try to find the Lakeness Wonker are you?" Mr. McGucket asked.
"No, Dad," Fidds lied. "I just want to show them the beavers over at the island."
"Alright, son. Ya'll better be careful," he warned. "Oh, and Fiddleford. Don't forget your sunscreen."
Fidds sighed, "Okay, Dad."
The twins continued packing supplies for their trip. After Mr. McGucket left, Stanford went up to Fidds, "Hey, Fidds? Is it really okay for us to drive this boat ourselves? Aren't we supposed to have a boating license?"
"Not in this town," he replied. "The police here are pretty lazy, and our mayor hasn't been adding any rules to Gravity Falls for decades. Heck, you could marry an animal here if you wanted to," he added.
Stanley stood on the boat, wearing a fake eye patch under his glasses, "AHOY MATEYS!" He yelled. "Check out my new eye patch!"
"Where did you get that?" Ford asked.
"Found it!" Lee smiled. "So, are we ready to go, or what?"
Stanford turned to Fidds, "I think we are. You ready?"
"Yeah!" Fidds answered.
The boys hopped on the boat, while Stanley started giving orders, "HOIST THE ANCHOR!" Fiddleford pulled up the cinder block anchor. "RAISE THE FLAG!" Stanford lifted a beach towel up on the pole. "WE'RE GONNA FIND THAT LAKENESS WONKER!" Lee exclaimed.
"WE'RE GONNA WIN THAT PHOTO CONTEST!" Declared Ford.
They had already started sailing towards the island when Fidds spoke up, "Did either of you pack the sunscreen?"
"We're gonna… go get sunscreen!" Ford added.
"YAY!" They cheered. They made a u-turn back to the mainland.
Five minutes later, they were back on track. Ford paced across the boat in front of Fidds and Lee with his hands behind his back, "Alright," he began. "If we want to win this monster photo contest, we have to do this right. Now think. What is the number one problem with most monster hunts?"
"Um… the side character dies in the first five minutes of the movie?" Fiddleford guessed. "Wait. I'm a side character, aren't I? Do ya'll ever think about that kind of stuff?"
"No, you're not a side character," Lee said to calm him down. "You and me and Ford, we're a trio now!" he declared, grabbing his shoulder. "The Mystery Trio!"
Ford glared at his brother, "Please never call us that ever again. And no. Camera trouble is the number one problem! For example, say Bigfoot shows up. Fidds, can you be Bigfoot?"
"Um, okay?" he struck a Bigfoot pose and faced Stanford.
In a mock acting voice, Ford gasped, "There he is! Bigfoot!" he pat himself. "Uh-oh, no camera!" He pulls a camera out of his jacket. "Oh, wait, here's one! Aw, no film!" He put his camera back and looked back at Lee and Fidds. "Do you get my point here?"
"Oh, yeah," Fiddleford nodded. "You do have a good point."
Stanford agreed, "That is exactly why I took the precautions of bringing seventeen disposable cameras! Two on my ankle, three in my jacket, four for each of you, three extras in this bag," he held up a bag, "and one… under my glove," he grinned. "There is no mathematically feasible way to lose all the cameras or use up all the film. Now, let's test these babies out!"
"Lee, take a selfie with me!" Fidds held up a camera. When he tried to take a picture, the flash startled him, "HOLY MACKEREL!" He threw the camera overboard by accident.
"You see? This is exactly why I brought backup cameras. We still have sixteen!"
A bird flew over Stanley's head, "AH! BIRD!" He threw another camera at it.
"Fifteen," Ford sighed and pinched the bridge of his glasses. "Alright. The point is to NOT lose the cameras. I repeat, do not lose the cameras!"
Fiddleford chuckled quietly, "Um, Stanford?"
"What?" he sighed.
"You said don't lose them? Funny thing… um…" he scratched the back of his neck and laughed awkwardly. "I just accidentally dropped two more in the lake…"
He took another deep breath, "Thirteen! We still have-" Ford heard a crunch under his feet. His emotion didn't change. "Twelve. We have twelve cameras."
Stanley held another camera over the edge of the boat, "So, what's the plan, Broford? Throw more cameras overboard?"
"NO! No. Here's what we're going to do. Stanley, you'll be lookout. Fiddleford, you can work the steering wheel, and I'll be the captain."
"What?! Come on, Ford! Let me be captain!" Stanley pleaded. He chanted. "Stan-ley! Stan-ley! Stan-ley!"
"No, you can't be captain."
"Then I want to be co-captain!"
"Stanley, there's no such thing as co-"
A small splash was heard as Lee threw another camera overboard, "Whoops."
"Fine!" Ford gave up. "You can be co-captain."
"Can I be associate co-captain?" Fidds asked.
"As co-captain, I authorize this request!" Stanley permitted.
Stanford walked over to the barrels of fish food, "Well, as first captain, our number one order of business is to lure the monster out with fish food."
Lee grinned, "As co-captain, I hereby DARE the associate co-captain to taste some!"
"Permission to dare co-captain to do the same?" Fidds asked, raising his hand.
Ford nodded, purely for the sake of watching his brother eat fish food, "Permission granted."
"Permission associate co-granted!" Stanley and Fiddleford each took a bite of one before gagging and coughing at the bad taste. The three of them laughed.
Meanwhile, Grantie Mae watched them laughing through a small telescope, "I'll show them," she promised. "I'll find my own fishing buddies," she looked around until she found a boat with a happy couple sitting in it. "There're my new pals!"
The couple was on a romantic date. The woman was happily watching the waves in the lake while the man turned away, looking at the engagement ring in a box. He took a deep breath to gather his courage, "Now that we're alone," he began, turning to the woman, "Rosanna, there's a burning question which my heart longs to ask of you."
Rosanna gasped and began tearing up, "Oh, Reginald!"
Just before he could ask, Mabel pulled her boat up to where the couple were, "Hey! You young lovebirds wanna hear a joke?" She continued when they didn't respond. "Okay, here it goes. Why did the pelican get kicked out of the restaurant? Because he had a very big bill!"
They didn't laugh, "He had a big BILL! Get it? Like a pelican's bill?" Grantie Mabel noticed the ring and gasped, "ARE YOU GETTING MARRIED?! Can I come to your wedding?" Reginald, now frustrated by his ruined proposal, rowed the boat away from her. "Hey, where are you going?"
Back at the boat, Stanford, Stanley, and Fiddleford were approaching Scuttlebutt island. After the fish food incident, things were pretty quiet on the boat, so Stanford decided to start a conversation with Fiddleford while he was at the wheel.
"Hey, Fidds, how're you doing?" he asked.
Fidds shrugged, "Okay, I guess. It's getting a bit foggy, though," he pointed out. "Say, what's the prize for this monster picture contest anyway?"
"It's a thousand dollars," Ford explained, "and Lee and I were planning on splitting it fifty-fifty, but since you're helping, we can split the prize money in thirds."
Fiddleford whistled, "Hoo-wee. If I had that kind of money, I'd start my own business."
"What kind of business?" Ford asked.
"I'm not quite sure yet. Maybe in selling radios or computers. I'm good at fixing them, and I've built my own radio before. Maybe I'll open up a small store here in town."
"You can build radios? That's so cool!" He said in awe.
"What about you?" Fidds asked. "What do you wanna spend with your share of the money?"
Ford looked out in the direction of the island, "Probably save it up for college. It's not really the money I care about, it's the fame. I want to become a world famous paranormal investigator!" he exclaimed. "You and Stan can be my partners."
Fiddleford blushed, "You really think so?"
"Yep! That's why we need this picture."
The two of them stood quietly next to each other before Stanley yelled, "LOOK OUT!"
He threw a volley ball at Ford, hitting him on the arm, "Ow! Lee, aren't you supposed to be on look out?"
"I am, dummy!" Stanley retorted. The boat shook, having crashed on the shore of the island, "See? We're here! I'm a lookout genius!" He bragged. "Shiny new gold watch, here I come!"
Stanley jumped off the boat, and the two other boys followed shortly after. The trio disembarked into the foggy woods, with Ford carrying a lantern. Lee and Fidds stopped in front of the 'Scuttlebutt Island' sign. "Hey, dude," Stanley pulled at Fidd's shirt sleeve, "check this out!" He used his arms to cover the 'Scuttle' part of the sign. "Butt Island."
Fiddleford laughed, "That's a good one, Lee!"
Ford rolled his eyes and kept walking. Lee and Fidds caught up with him, "Why aren't you laughing, Poindexter?" Stanley asked. "Are you scared?"
"No, I am not."
Stanley poked him on the nose while blowing a raspberry, "Yeah, you are!"
"Hey! Quit it!" Ford dropped the lantern and yelled, but Lee would not stop the onslaught attack of poking and raspberries. "STANLEY!"
A growling noise heard in the distance caused Lee to stop. The three 12-year-olds stopped to listen, "W-What was that?" Fidds asked.
"It's coming from over there!" Ford whispered, pointing to a rustling bush. Something jumped out of the bush, causing them to scream. They stopped when they saw what it was.
"Oh," Fidds laughed, and sighed in relief. "False alarm. It's just a possum."
The possum hissed at the boys before grabbing the lantern and ran away. "Our lantern!" Ford reached out in a futile attempt to get it back. It was too late. "Aww! Now I can't see anything!"
Fidds started getting worried. He huddled closer to the other boys, "G-Guys, I'm starting to think this might not be worth it."
"Not worth it?" Ford repeated. "Come on, Fidds! Think about what could happen if we win that contest! We could win a THOUSAND dollars!"
Fiddleford still didn't seemed too confident, but he gave in anyway, "Oh, alright. I'll do it for the money."
"YAY!" Stanley cheered. The 12-year-olds kept walking through the foggy island. Eventually, Fidds and Lee got bored, so Fidds started beat boxing. "My name is Stanley!" Lee rapped. "It rhymes with manly! It also rhymes with… ranley! It also rhymes with… chanley!"
Fiddleford laughed and pulled out a small notebook and a pen, "We should write this down."
Ford gasped and held up his camera, "Guys, hold on! Do you hear something?" Another growling noise could be heard, causing birds to fly over them, away from the sound. "This is it! Stanley, this is it!" he shouted.
Lee and Ford lightly punched each other out of excitement. They cheered while following the noise. Fiddleford was currently feeling like a third wheel in the trio, but he stayed behind the twins anyway. He picked up a nearby stick to defend himself with and followed them into the fog.
The three of them stopped when they saw a silhouette of the monster in the distance. They ducked behind a log, "Everyone, get your cameras ready!" Ford ordered. Once they activated them, Ford took another deep breath. "This is the moment we've all been waiting for. Are you ready?" A confirming nod from the two other boys answered his question. "GO!"
They jumped out of the log at the same time, yelling loudly while snapping multiple pictures at random. They came to a stop, however, when they got close enough for the fog to fade away. What they thought was a monster was actually just an old boat with happy beavers living on it.
"What?" Ford asked, confused. "Beavers?! But… but then what was the noise?" To answer his question, the noise sounded again, and the boys turned to the source. It was just a beaver chewing on, and accidentally activating, a rusty old chainsaw.
"Cool. Beaver with a chainsaw!" Fiddleford said. He started taking pictures of it.
Ford sighed and sat on a nearby rock, "Maybe that old lady was crazy after all."
"She did say 'fork fingers'," Stanley agreed.
"Look," Grantie Mae said to a little boy, "when it comes to fashion, I only have one rule for you: Be yourself. Just put on whatever clothes makes you feel like you! Got it?"
"Uh, I, uh… who are you, exactly?" The boy asked. He looked very uncomfortable around her.
"Just call me your GRANTIE MAE!"
"Ma'am!" The boy's mother called out. "Why are you talking to our son? Leave now, or I'm calling the police!"
Mae groaned, "Fine! Spoil sport," she began rowing away.
"Go bother your own kids!"
Back at Scuttlebutt island, Stanley and Fiddleford were busy taking pictures of the beavers. Once they were done, they sat down on a log behind Ford, "What are we going to say to Grantie Mae?" He asked. "We ditched her over nothing," he threw a stone into the lake and sighed. Stanford was just about to suggest going back when he felt the ground shake. "Hey… guys, do you feel that?" The rock sank in the water, nearly taking Ford along with it, but Fidds and Lee pulled him up in time. "What was that?!"
He turned around just in time to see another silhouette of a monster. Only this one was moving.
"This is it!" Ford hurried to grab one of his cameras to take pictures of it. After taking a few, he turned back to the other boys. "Come on! Grab your cameras! The monster's right there!" Stanley and Fiddleford were looking up and slowly backing away nervously. "What's wrong with you guys?"
"Dude…?" Stanley whispered.
"S-Stanford…?" Fidds stuttered.
Stanford wasn't paying attention to their scared expressions, "It's not that difficult. All you have to do is point and shoot. Watch me," he instructed. Ford aimed his camera at the Lakeness Wonker. The head was right in front of him and staring at him. The monster roared, causing Ford to drop the camera in fear and run away.
"Run!" Fiddleford yelled. The three of them ran for their lives from the monster. Trees fell down around them from the lake monster crushing them. They were nearly hit by a few trees along the way, but the kids kept running until they saw the boat within sight. "Quick! Get on the boat! HURRY!" Fidds warned.
Ford didn't pay much attention to his new friend's warning. Instead he stopped to take out another camera to aim at the Lakeness Wonker. When running backwards, he tripped over a tree root and dropped the camera, "The photograph!"
Fiddleford grabbed the collar of Stanford's jacket and ran, "Your life is more important than that picture! If we survive this, I'll let you keep some of those beaver pictures, though!"
"YOU'RE NOT HELPING!" Ford yelled.
They made it to the boat and pushed it back into the lake just before the monster could get them, "Let's get out of here!" Exclaimed Fiddleford.
The boat moved in reverse, but Stanford just saw this as another opportunity to take a picture. The last camera in his jacket had a cracked lens. "Fidds!" he yelled. "Get a photo!"
"I can't! I'm driving this thing!"
Stanley picked up a camera and threw it at the monster.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" Ford shouted.
"Trying to hit the monster!"
Stanford groaned "Not with the camera!"
Fiddleford grabbed the last camera that was on him, "Catch!"
He tried to throw it at Ford, but missed, and the camera shattered against the wall. Ford was too scared at the moment to be frustrated, though. The monster dived under the lake, and he feared they were catching up to them. Now that Fiddleford was able to concentrate, he turned the boat back around and steered forward and away from the monster. "Go, go, go, go, go!" Ford chanted in urgency.
Fiddleford somehow ended up steering the boat into the old, broken boat with the beavers. "Ah!" Fidds screamed. One of the beavers bit him. "Beavers! Oh, no!"
The boys punched and shook the beavers off of them. Since no one was steering, Stanley took over the wheel. Due to Stanley's inexperience in driving a boat, it went in different directions all over the lake and disrupted the other towns folks from their fishing. The whole time, the monster was right on their tail. Lee screamed when he saw a waterfall straight ahead, "It's a dead end!"
The boat was too close to the waterfall to stop it in time, but Stanley turned off the engine anyway. "We're gonna crash!" Fiddleford panicked. The boys screamed when the boat hit the waterfall. They were expecting a collision, but instead, they went straight through it. Inside was a large, secret cavern. The boat ended up crashing against some rocks, sending the boys safely into the dirt.
Stanley stood up and patted himself, "We're alive. We're alive!" He cheered.
"NO!" Fiddleford yelled. "The boat!" The twins looked at the boat. Nearly half of it was damaged or missing from the collision. "My dad's gonna KILL me!"
The Lakeness Wonker finally caught up to them, but when it tried to swim into the cavern, the monster got stuck in the entrance. "It's stuck!" Stanley pointed.
Ford gasped, "Stuck?!" He looked around for any more cameras, but he couldn't find anything.
Stanley rolled his eyes, "There's one under your glove, remember?"
"Oh, yeah!" He smiled, relieved. He grabbed the last camera on him. Ford snapped photos of the monster, laughing the whole time.
"Did you get a good one?" Lee asked.
"THEY'RE ALL GOOD ONES!" Ford cheered happily. The twins high fived, and Stanford put his camera away when he noticed Fiddleford. The taller boy was sitting sadly on one of the rocks. Fidds glanced over at the broken boat before hiding his head in between his knees.
"What's wrong, Fidds?" Ford asked. "Is this about that boat?"
"It's my dad's best boat," he explained. "I'll have to sacrifice my share of the money just to fix this."
Ford felt a little guilty, "You know," he began, "I don't really need the prize money. You and Lee can split fifty-fifty if you want."
Fiddleford lifted his head to look at him in surprise, "You really mean it?"
"Yeah! After all, it's the least I could do. You did save my life earlier, and if it weren't for you, we wouldn't have even gotten here in the first place. Lee and I really appreciate that."
The other boy smiled and stood up, "Thanks, Ford. You're the best."
Stanley was jumping around and cheering for his new watch when a boulder broke off the top of the cave and smashed the monster's head. The head concaved unnaturally and fell off the neck of the Lakeness Wonker. There are wires, metal bits, and electronic sparks coming out of the head and where it broke off from the neck. "What the…?" Ford approached the beast and felt the fake metal skin. "Huh?"
Stanley and Fiddleford followed him, "What's wrong?" Stanley asked.
"It's not a monster," Fidds gasped in realization. "It's a robot."
"But… who built this?" Ford asked. "And why?"
"Only one way to find out. Follow me!" Fiddleford said, taking the lead. He began climbing the robot, and the twins curiously followed him. On the back of the mechanical monster was a handle. Ford grabbed and turned it, causing the door to open and steam to come out. The trio gasped in shock when they looked inside.
"Crazy Chiu?!" Fiddleford gasped.
The old lady was in there, working on different buttons and levers, trying to get the monster working again. She gasped when she saw she was discovered, "Aww, fork fingers!"
"Wha- Yo- You?!" Stanford stuttered. "You made this? W-Why?!"
Crazy Chiu lowered her head in defeat, "I just wanted attention"
"What?" Stanley asked.
"Well," Crazy Chiu explained, "I don't have any family left. No kids, no grand kids, and I've never had a close friend for years! And when you grow old to be an old hag like me, nobody pays any attention to you anymore. So, I decided to build a fifteen ton aquatic robot!" She started laughing like a maniac, but sighed when her laugh died down. "You just don't know the length us old-timers would go through for a little quality time with loved ones."
The twins were feeling guilty again, and they took out their sweaters to look at their nicknames hand knitted by their grantie.
"Well," Fiddleford laughed awkwardly, "I guess that would technically make you two the real lake monsters. Sorry," he apologized. He backed away, "I'll be quiet now…"
"Did you ever talk to anyone about how you felt?" Stanley asked.
Crazy Chiu shook her head, "Nope! Got straight to work on the robot!" She smiled. "Well, time to get back to work on my laser gun to bring death to my enemies!" She went back into the robot, and then stuck her hand out. "Any of you kids got a screwdriver?"
Stanford took his camera back out, "Well, so much for the photo contest," he sighed.
"We still have one roll of film left," Stanley reminded him.
Fiddleford turned away from the twins, "This is just great! The boat's destroyed, AND we're not winning that contest! How am I going to pay my dad back now?" He asked.
Things looked pretty bleak for the boys, but an idea suddenly popped in Ford's mind, and he smiled, "I know what to do!"
Still alone in the busted-up boat, Grantie Mabel sighed sadly in defeat. She looked behind her when she heard something. "Hey! Over here!" Ford yelled. They stopped the beat-up boat in front of Mae's, and Lee took a photo of her.
"What…? Boys?" She pretended to not be happy to see them. "I thought you were off playing 'Spin the Bottle' with your new friend."
Fiddleford blushed again, but tried to hide it. "Well," Ford explained, "all we did was spend all day trying to find some dumb 'legendary' dinosaur."
"But we realized that the only dinosaur we should be hanging out with is right here," Stanley finished.
"And also, Fiddleford wants a job at the Mystery Shack," Ford added. He pointed back at Fiddleford, who shyly waved at Grantie Mae. She looked skeptical, but Ford continued, "So… is there room for three more?" He asked. As if to butter up the deal, Stanley and Stanford threw their sweaters on.
Mae gave a genuine smile, "Ah, well. When you put it like that, I guess I could forgive you," she gave in. The twins climbed in Grantie Mae's boat and hugged her, while Fiddleford stayed standing on the bigger one.
"Get on! Don't be shy," Grantie Mae insisted. Fidds smiled and climbed on the boat. "What happened to your boat, son?"
Fiddleford chuckled, "Long story. So, can I work for you as a repair guy?" He asked.
"Well," she considered, "Maria isn't that good in that particular area, and there are a lot of things that break… You're hired!"
The boys cheered and thanked her. To celebrate, Ford took out the last camera, "All right, everybody get together," Grantie Mae, Fiddleford, and Stanley grouped together. "Say fishing!"
"Fishing!" The picture shot and came out perfect. They continued taking pictures the rest of the day while they went fishing. At the end of the day, Grantie Mae was sailing the boat back to the mainland. Stanford was relaxing on the boat when he felt it shake.
"What was that?" He asked. Lee shrugged, so Ford just assumed it was nothing.
Unknown to anyone on the boat, the real Lakeness Wonker swam underneath them, barely visible from the surface.