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Previously called 'Creation Glory' at previous festivals, 'One-Shot Glory' is a simple story contest for your ideas. If you don't want to make a full-fledged spin-off/literature during the festival, that's perfectly fine. However, if you do want to show some of your creativity for something smaller, then this contest is worth taking a shot at. The rules are as follows:

1: The story can be about anything. It could be SpongeBob related or non-SpongeBob related, it doesn't matter to us, as long as it's not against the community's fanfiction guidelines.

2: It cannot be a chapter of an already existing work (if you have any), this is for fresh ideas.

3: It must at least be 400 words, but can go over.

A judging panel (consisting of Cha, sbl and OWM) will pick the best story. The winner will receive 1,000 SOF Tickets1,000 doubloons, and a trophy. The deadline to submit something is before the last day of the Spin-Off Festival, on June 14th, and the winner will be announced June 15th.

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Had this fun little mashup idea in my head after watching the scene where SpongeBob commits seppuku. Don’t know if I’ll continue it lol


Ghost of Krustshima

Prologue: The Takeover


SpongeBob is seen pedaling atop his unicycle, navigating the wide open streets of Bikini Bottom in the dark of the night.

“Gotta be ready! Gotta be ready! Gotta be ready!” he repeats to himself over and over in a panic.

He pedals as fast as his skinny legs could, causing them to tear completely off from overexertion. He crawls back to the unicycle and stands it back up, steadily using it to balance his legless self back onto the seat.

“Darn! I knew I should’ve figured out a way to fit a leg day or two in the regimen. Why do all the plush compatible weight machines have to focus strictly on the upper body? I mean, really?! If they could invent Anchor Arms, then they should’ve invented Anchor Legs while they were at it. No matter!”

He spontaneously grows back the legs he just lost.

“I’ll just have to regrow them as many times as needed!”

And with that, SpongeBob pushes himself to continue on his way. He tries to gather his thoughts along the way.

Why? What does Mr. Krab want us to meet up for at this time of night? He can’t possibly be considering going back to 24 hours, could he? That experiment failed miserably by the end of it the first time. And who else besides Patrick would even want a Krabby Patty at 3 AM anyway? I sure hope those teenagers aren’t stalking him for jobs again. If that continues to be the case, we’d have to take a more direct approach in dealing with them this time around. C-Could this be another test for me and Squidward to prove our worth as potential Employee of the Month? Come to think of it, Squidward’s house was lacking that spark of life in the eye that is his bedroom window. So he must’ve already gotten a head start on me, the bastard! Ooh, if he somehow manages to break my streak, I’ll be left looking like a steamed vegetable! Only dumber! I can’t let it end like this!

SpongeBob furiously rolls up to the front doors of the establishment, pouncing off his unicycle to propel himself through the double glass doors. The unicyle collapses to the pavement as his hand makes contact with the doors.

“Mr. Krabs! Mr. Krabs! Mr. Krabs! I came as soon as I saw your name on the caller ID!” SpongeBob belts out.

“Mr. SquarePants,” greeted his boss, Mr. Krabs. “Your timin’ be a little off considering Mr. Squidward already beat you here, but I’ll just jot that down to the abrupt wake up call.”

“Mr. Krabs, if this is about the Employee of the Month award, let me just say that Squidward doesn’t always wash his hands after using the bathroom!” SpongeBob squeals.

“He what- NO. This isn’t the time for all of that! I’m afraid we have a far more dire situation on our hands, lad.”

“What could it possibly be, sir?”

Mr. Krabs hands SpongeBob his telescope, “Take a look fer yerself.”

SpongeBob takes the telescope out of his claw and peers into it.

“Aye. The Chum Bucket, boy.”

SpongeBob turns the telescope to face the Chum Bucket, all the way across the street. He sees bulldozers, wrecking balls and all sorts of other construction vehicles all posted up outside Plankton’s establishment. And it soon becomes apparent to SpongeBob that they’re actually laying siege to the place.

“Sir, you gathered us all here to celebrate this moment that’s been a long time coming?”

“I ain’t THAT cruel, boyo. Me and Plankton may not have always seen eye to eye, but past all that bad blood and animosity, he still is a dear childhood friend of mine. And he doesn’t deserve this. This business, the restaurant business, that tore our friendship apart now seems poised to threaten not only our livelihoods, but our very lives. It’s the goddamn Blandy Empire, lad. They’re here to take down and take over any remaining holdouts.”

“But you dealt with them. You told them that you declined their offer, right? Did both parties not part ways amicably?”

“That word has no meanin’ in the business world that Blandy hails from. He’ll tell you exactly what you’d wanna hear to your face before killin’ you in your sleep! That Blandy is brutal, relentless and with the sway he has to get away with *tugboat horn* like this, I dare to say even”

“Unstoppable!” Squidward interrupts. “Mr. Krabs, that fleet of Blandy’s isn’t just for show! It’s only a matter of time before The Chum Bucket falls!

“Sir, The Chum Bucket’s not that far away from us,” SpongeBob brings up with a hint of terror to his voice. 

“And Plankton boasts quite the arsenal, himself, and he’s STILL on the verge of losing! Just what are we supposed to do?!” Squidward wonders aloud.

“Plankton may be better armed,” Krabs admits. “but he doesn’t have a crew to make full use of it. We have weapons. We have a crew. We have a chance, a fighting chance. We just have to take that chance. The future of The Krusty Krab is at stake!”

The Krusty Krew that’s present suits up in their work uniforms and take up arms, each wielding a spatula that’s been forged with fry cooking and combat in mind.

We were but a crew taking on an army. Fighting to slow the invasion. Today, I die for my workplace. I die, for our customers.

“There must be hundreds of them.” SpongeBob ponders to himself as he surveys the fleet that’s attacking the Chum Bucket.

“Thousand, I hear.” A fellow co-worker chimes in. “It’s funny.”

“What makes you say that?” SpongeBob asks.

“Oh no, it’s just, all these years of working at the same place and I don’t believe we’ve ever been acquainted. I mean, I have heard of you thanks to your face being plastered all over the wall as a constant reminder of my inferiority.”

“I always assumed someone is usually working in my place on days that I’m not. I suppose you’re one of those people.”

“Indeed, I must be.” SpongeBob’s co-worker concurs. “Shame that we had to meet under such unfortunate circumstances rather than on, say, a company picnic or something.”

“Hm. That would’ve been nice! Perhaps we can have one when this is all over.”

“You don’t think we’re really getting out of this thing alive, do you?” SpongeBob’s co-worker asks, perplexed.

“We have to. How else is The Krusty Krab gonna rebound from such a cataclysmic battle?”

“Krabs really got you worked to death, huh?

“I believe it’s moreso having at least some shred of company loyalty, in my opinion! Maybe your face would be “plastered on the wall” at least once in your life if you had that same kind of conviction.” SpongeBob says, slightly offended.

“I’m just saying, I think you’ve built up enough seniority to amount to more than just a simple yes man.”

“Dahahahaha! And you aren’t? I mean, you’re here ready to lay your life on the line all the same.”

“I’m only here to collect that sweet overtime if, by some chance, I do come out of this in one piece.”

“Well, I can’t exactly argue with you there, uhhh,” SpongeBob leans in closer to read the name on his co-worker’s name tag. “Paul!”

“With all that said, it is really an honor for me to finally work by your side, Mr. SquarePants.” Paul says, bowing his head.

“The pleasure is all mine!” SpongeBob bows his own head in return.

SpongeBob leaves Paul’s side to report to Mr. Krabs, feeling a bit more empowered by his co-worker’s words.

“Excuse me, Mr. Krabs.”

“SpongeBoy me Bob! Just who I wanted to see.”

“Sir, are you entirely sure that all of this is really necessary?”

“All of this? What we’re doing right now? Of course, it is. You’re not having any objections now, of all times, are you??”

“No, of course not. I just wanted to see if you’re not getting cold feet!”

“Boy, this is my operation. Why would I have doubts about me own operation?”

“Well, now I know you don’t!”

“Well, I’m glad we could get that all squared then. Now that you’re done acting like a barnacle head, how’s about we assemble the front line?”

“Aye aye, sir!”

SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs assemble the Krusty Krab front line, made up of all the crew members and team members Krabs currently has under his employ. With SpongeBob on Squidward at both his sides, Krabs stares down Blandy Empire as the Chum Bucket gets completely overwhelmed. Krabs sheds a tear for his fallen rival.

“Aye. We will face death and defend our home. But most importantly,” Krabs takes a bottle out from under his armor, containing the Krabby Patty secret formula. “This. Me secret formuler. Blandy must never get his hands on this, at all costs. Tradition. Courage. Honor. They are what makes us. We are warriors of the Krabby Patty. We are 🎶 The Krusty Krab 🎶

🎶 Come spend your money HERE! 🎶 ” his employees all chant in unison.

The Blandy Empire finishes their destruction of the Chum Bucket, immediately setting their sights across the street.

“Mr. Squidward, go and ask to speak with their manager, arr.”

“Years of working this dead end job has prepared me for this very moment.” Squidward assures his boss.

Squidward makes his way across the street and approaches the Blandy horde without fear. When he gets there, he find himself surrounded by the construction workers that Blandy has contracted.

“Hello, I would like to speak with the manager of you peons!”

The grunts stand down, making way for their manager, a much smaller green fish in a dress shirt, tie and glasses. Beneath his warm, bubbly demeanor, Squidward could tell that this guy’s definitely killed people in his spare time.

“Hello, I’m Carl! And I’ll soon be the manager of this future fine establishment!”

“Not you!” Squidward says in disdain. “The one who ranks above you, the one they call Blandy!”

“Oh, I’m not sure if he would like that. Mr. Blandy is a very busy man as you can probably tell. Why, he’s working out the details to acquire this property as we speak!”

“I don’t give a sea urchins’ *seal bark*! It’s in his best interest right now to come out and hammer things out with us, because we here at the Krusty Krab have got some grievances to air with him!”

“It’s all right, Carl, I got out of my meeting much earlier than expected.” a voice coldly echoes out of the flames of the Chum Bucket. A pale green fish emerges, dressed in suit and with a mug in hand. He’s flanked by other similarly dressed business fish.

Squidward walks past Carl, brushing off him with disrespect. “I am Squidward Q. Tentacles; Head Cashier of the Krusty Krab, clarinet virtuoso and son of a father who hugged and loved me very much”

“Say no more, Mr. Tentacles.” Blandy interrupts. “I believe this moment makes for a golden opportunity.”

“For what, dare I ask?”

Blandy throws the contents of his mug all over Squidward. Carl hands him a match, which Blandy ignites to set Squidward on fire.

“To test out our new security system.” Blandy remarks.

Squidward screams in agony and flames engulf his entire body. This display of sheer brutality catches the rest of the Krusty Krew completely off guard. SpongeBob’s eyes wells up with tears for his fallen comrade.

“Krusty Krab! Do you surrender?!” Blandy bellows out into the dark, illuminated by the burning body of their fellow Krew member.

“Cowards without honor deserve no mercy,” Krabs seethes. “NO MERCY!”

And with those words, the Krusty Krew spurs into action in retaliation. Condiment sentries placed on top of the restaurant’s roof rain down on the Blandy horde. The delivery drivers are the first to engage Blandy’s forces directly, but they’re easily taken out of action by the might of Blandy’s bulldozers. The crew members on foot such as SpongeBob and Krabs charge onto the battlefield and engage Blandy’s Human Resources department and construction crew in bloody combat.

“Blandy has retreated!” Krabs yells. “We can’t let him escape our clutches!”

The condiment sentries help to keep the bulldozers at bay while everyone else fights on the ground. Heavy losses are taken on both sides as SpongeBob cuts through as many enemies as he can. He loses sight of Mr. Krabs in the chaos of battle, but he’s aware that his boss can handle himself. SpongeBob and his team of 10 crew members are gradually cut down to him and 4 others. 

“We have already lost so many!” Paul laments.

“We must keep pushing, Paul!” SpongeBob encourages. “Even if it costs us our lives! Just as Mr. Krabs commanded!”

SpongeBob finds himself overwhelmed with no one available to assist him until Mr. Krabs shows up again, handling multiple enemies all by himself, even cutting down some with his bare claws.

“I need ye with me, lad.” Krabs tells his star fry cook as he helps him back up to his feet. SpongeBob is deeply touched by Krabs’ faith in him. SpongeBob returns the sentiment by loyally following his boss back into battle.

A second Blandy fleet approaches the battle from the back, which takes a while to get noticed by the Krew members handling the sentries. They frantically struggle to quickly redirect a couple of the condiment sentries so that they can cover both fronts, but it takes up more time than they can afford. The fleet manages to penetrate the back walls of the restaurant, taking some of the restaurant down along with the sentries.

SpongeBob and company regroup with their leader right as Blandy reinforcements come for them now. SpongeBob and Krabs eventually manage to take out the remaining reinforcements as a duo. SpongeBob looks around the carnage, slowly coming to a grim realization.

“...We’re all that’s left…”

“There is only one path for us, Mr. SquarePants,” Krabs says, trying to get SpongeBob to refocus on the task at hand. “Find the head of the snake and cut it off. Then the body will flounder.”

“I’ll fight beside you ‘til the end, sir.”

“I know.”

The two navigate the battlefield, reaching closer and closer to the burning remains of the Chum Bucket. Karen can be heard screaming as Plankton’s Lab barks at the invaders inside. Both screams and barks come to an abrupt end as the sound of machinery breaking echoes through the halls. They enter the restaurant with caution.

“There. The leader.” Krabs whispers to his head fry cook, pointing out Blandy’s location in the charred remains of Plankton’s laboratory, swarming with Human Resources.

“Salvage what you can from this heap.” Carl commands on Blandy’s behalf. “Surely there’s something we can get some use out of.”

“I’m ready, captain.” SpongeBob reassures his boss.

“Aye lad, we end this. Together.”

The two pick their spots before making their final charge. Before they can reach their intended target, however, they are interrupted by the untimely detonation of some explosives fashioned out of chum.

“Oh, those will most definitely do.” Carl can faintly be heard saying in the smoke. “No wonder this place went belly up rather easily, it was practically a bomb factory! It’s a wonder how it was even able to meet health standards. Anywho, can’t let you go around using these bad boys.”

SpongeBob awakens in a daze, the first thing he sees is Carl about to take a crab mallet to Mr. Krabs’ right claw as Human Resources hold down the Krusty Krab boss. Krabs isn’t going down without a fight, and seeing this wills SpongeBob back to his one foot.

“Mr. Krabs…”

SpongeBob slowly goes to collect his discarded spatula that was blown out of his grasp during the blast. He feels a sudden sharp pain in his back as he reaches out to grab its hilt with the only hand he has. He feels another sharp pain and the another before finally collapsing back down to the floor. Arrows fashioned out of plastic utensils stick out of his porous skin. He fights off unconsciousness, holding his arm out desperately for his spatula, but it’s just too out of reach and he doesn’t have the energy to exert himself even more or to regrow his limbs. SpongeBob doesn’t even have energy to speak. All he could do is let out tears knowing that he let the Krusty Krab down, but most importantly, he let the Krabby Patty down. The shadows over SpongeBob’s face shows Carl’s bringing the mallet down.

Blandy and his fellow businessmen approach the beaten and battered Krabs, but not before grabbing hold of SpongeBob’s spatula and chop off part of the young fry cook’s head with it. 

“NOOOOOOO!!!” Krabs cries out.

Blandy motions for Carl and his boys to raise their adversary up from the ground. Krabs’ right claw is cracked and significantly flattened. Fury wells in the old man crab’s eyes as Blandy stops in front of him, bowing his head to Krabs.

“I am Norman, son of Howard, grandson of Oswald. As you can see, our family has been in business for quite some time.” Norman kneels, bringing himself down to Krabs’ level. He places a hand on Krabs’ shoulder. “Brother, you are a warrior. You are what I would consider to be a true boss, in every sense of the term. You fought your whole life for this, [b]gave[/b] your whole life for this business. You have won battles that lesser men called ‘unwinnable’, yes?”

Krabs refuses to even look Blandy in the eye.

Blandy takes out SpongeBob’s spatula and holds it out in front of him, “but while you were all sharpening your skills on the skillet and counting whatever money you’d consider to be profit, do you want to know how I prepared for today? I learned.”

Somebody hands Norman a copy of the Krusty Krab Training Video. Krabs looks up to see Paul standing idly behind Norman.

“I know your language, your traditions, which employees to tame, and, which to burn. So I will ask you once again, Krusty Krab, do you surrender?”

Krabs merely sticks out his chin while remaining silent. Norman rises back up, letting out an annoyed sigh. Blandy takes a moment to admire SpongeBob’s spatula again. He makes final use of it to take one mighty slash at the Krusty’s leader.

A couple hours pass. The Blandy Empire has already moved on to their next conquest. Despite the relative calm of the gruesome scene, screams of death and anguish can still be heard echoing throughout the battle. Ghostly wails bellow out as the sound of swords clashing ring through. 

A thick green fogs begins to envelope the scenery. Spectral laughter can be heard howling in the dead of night. Norman Blandy had stuck SpongeBob’s spatula into the ground right in front of the fry cook’s prone body. The laughter comes closer and closer. A large shadow falls over SpongeBob’s body. His remaining hand suddenly clenches into a fist.

“NO. My pickle… is not yours to take, yet…” He manages to mutter out.

The source of the large shadow places their grey flippers on the sea sponge.

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I should say it first thing that this one-shot isn't the completed version, as it's more of a preview for the soon-to-be-finished product. Also, I've intended to write more for this preview until I had to stop because I just had to end up developing a stomach flu on the day that I planned to get everything that I needed written up for the preview, so it prevented me from writing more than I needed to for my submission. Nonetheless, I am content with submitting it as is.

 

Mirrior

My name is Phoebe Ashfield, and I come from a world that is brimming with magical activity. Of course, it is also populated by magic specialists of any discernible name: mages, wizards, witches, sorcerers, sorceresses, and spell casters. Oh yeah, and then there are some without magical abilities, but they are treated as fairly regardless. Anyways, this is the world I live in, a world that goes by the name of Mirrim.

I am a rookie mage at Livingstone Magic Academy. Being a teenager, I am nearing the point in my life where I can become a professional spell-caster like the adults in my family, while I am old enough to look after a business on my own. My true passion is being a baker, and I work at my family business, Sweets Serendipity. My family has been able to make it the hot spot within our home in Looking Glass Lane, so much so that the monarch, Queen Aurora herself, would visit it every once in a while for our famous desserts.

There’s just one thing about Mirrim that makes it unique, our reflections aren’t the same as how we appear in shadows and glass. It’s not that we can’t see our own faces at all. We can’t see them through normal means, as we usually see a different image right in front of us. That’s not all there is to. Everyone’s reflection is different, and even if some are identical in appearance, they can be made distinct from their traits. Not everyone has a reflection though, and I’ve always seen these kinds of people being referred to as vampires. My own reflection, Tarok, consistently warns me about them and tells me that I shouldn’t dwell over them too.

These reflections, as Tarok tells me, are from a world parallel to Mirrim known as Riooir. I’ve also been told that the reflections are born the moment that we are, that they are immortal, their appearances do not change whatsoever through natural circumstances like age, and they either die once we do, or they just pass themselves onto a new human life. I can’t help but feel curious just knowing that there is a world parallel to the one that I live in, and I’ve also been warned that accessing Riooir, as an outsider, is forbidden, as people have become vampires by ‘going off the grid,’ losing their reflections and their connections to them in the process. Being aware of the dangers of traversing outside my own world, I try not to my thoughts get the better of me…that is until I gave in to temptation.

As I should’ve pointed out, this story is not just about me, it is Tarok’s story as well, and this is the story of how we’ve got ourselves trapped and exploring our opposite worlds, and of how we began working towards restoring our connection and returning to our original homes safe and sound.

In view was the outside of Looking Glass Lane during the late afternoon. In the foreground stood the Sweets Serendipity bakery front and center from the perspective of Phoebe Ashfield, the eponymous fifteen year-old dark-skinned girl. She wears a frilled dress donned in a pattern of pink and white with a red ribbon-like bow tied to the back and around her waist, all while being covered by her bright yellow bakery apron. The rest of her apparel includes crimson red leggings, white knee-socks, pink sneakers with white laces and soles, and a couple small red ribbon bows tied to the sides of her ash brown-colored hair in the form of buns. On her person was a coral-colored wand, shaped like a baton, and a backpack with a white and light blue pattern. She rode her pink cruiser bike across to the Sweets Serendipity bakery while her shadow, the image of a feline, sprinted alongside Phoebe at the speed of her cycling.

The streets appeared to be active with human pedestrians and their respective, unique reflections cast by the near-dissolving sunlight.

“Ey, I’m walkin’ here, I’m walkin’ here!” A reflective shadow of a crab spoke.

“Hey, where are you? I told you to meet me at dusk,” A rhinoceros-shaped shadow spoke to an adjacent giraffe-shaped shadow where its head was concealed by the shadow of a building.

“My head’s caught in the clouds. I can hardly see anything,” the giraffe shadow responded.

“I should’ve gotten a down payment on those mosquitos,” a voice uttered from a phantom-shaped shadow.

Phoebe and her reflection, Tarok, heard the collective voices of the civilians and their shadowed reflections alike across the boulevard as they strode on their path to the sweet scent emitting the girl’s family-owned bakery.

“Hey, you know that I’m very used to this method of travel when I have to catch up to you like this,” Tarok’s sunlit silhouette spoke in a near-breathless tone.

“Don’t worry about it,” Phoebe responded. “My family’s place will close up in half an hour, so you’ll get yourself break after we head back from my errand…right on schedule.”

At that moment, Phoebe stopped her bicycle, pressing her foot on the brake as she and Tarok reached the walkway where the bakery stood in place.

“Okay, so we got the eggs, milk, baking soda, baking powder, wheat germ, and apples that you were asked to get,” Tarok said, referring to the items that Phoebe was carrying on her pack. “There isn’t anything else and you don’t have to go through the trouble of going back before my shadow disappears with the sun, right?”

“Why would I forget?” Phoebe questioned. “I’ve made it my goal to become a baker here, so I am taking my work at Sweets Serendipity seriously.”

Before walking inside, Phoebe peered through the window to see if any particular customers stood there and sensed trouble when she spotted a pair of three that were familiar to her, standing by the counter in front of her two parents who manage the business, Flint and Auburn Ashfield.

“Oh look, your business rival and her parents are trying to stir things up again,” Tarok remarked. “This can’t end well for me when the least I can do is sit and watch.”

“It’s like Valerie planned this as soon as she knew that I’ve gone out to pick up ingredients for my parents,” Phoebe added.

Just to explain something for a moment, when you’re running a thriving baked goods business, it’s expected to deal with some competitors; fierce competition in the case of the Connellys who run another desserts business named Cream Of The Crop from a few blocks away. Obviously, Valerie is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Connelly, and she is the same age as I am. Keep in mind that I partake in my family’s business out of passion for baking and I don’t do it to compete, and yet Valerie makes it hard for me to help run the shop.

Valerie has an intimidating reflection, as it takes on the form of a Doberman. It seems to run in her family too. Her mom’s reflection resembles a king cobra while her dad’s is a condor, two life forms that tower over the reflections of my parents. On my mom’s side is a reflection that resembles a bishop while my dad has a spidermonkey. Mine is a kitty cat, and he’s a wussy to boot, no matter how much he tries to deny it.

“As you are the managers of this establishment, I’d like to speak to you have a problem that we’ve had with your service,” Mrs. Connelly argued.

“What do you want to tell us this time, Annette?” Mr. Ashfield asked.

“My husband, Claude, and I have been dissatisfied with how you treat your fellow senior citizens when your employees couldn’t provide us with a senior discount,” Mrs. Connelly continued.

“We provide a discount for customers ages 55 and over,” Mrs. Ashfield spoke with a stern tone. “You’re both 48, so you’re not fooling us.”

“Why should we have to follow your rules?” Mrs. Connelly chided. “We’re getting old like our own daughters, so we should be permitted to have a senior discount! Refusing service to your customers is a bad look for your business, and when we demand something, you do us a favor and satisfy every customer’s need! The customer is always right you know!”

“That doesn’t mean that you’re right to attack our bakery for how we provide our service with your falsehoods,” Mr. Ashfield argued. “We are not getting involved in your affairs. Please leave our establishment and keep your business to yourselves like we are. Leave our employees, my wife, and I all alone while you’re at it.”

“Besides, the last time you came here to complain, you threatened to have our business go under because you wanted a different design for the wrappers of the one-dozen cupcakes that you’ve ordered, when you never specifically asked for us

“If you’re just going to show up here to make excuses to damage our family business, then we may have to make you all prohibited from our shop.”

“You dare question our authority, Flint?” Mr. Connelly snarled. “Just you wait, Cream Of The Crop will take down Sweets Serendipity in cold-“

Everyone in the room stopped as they saw the door open up to show Phoebe entering inside as the two parents continued to bicker, causing for Mr. Connelly to stall his words for a moment.

“Oh, look who just came back, it’s our favorite employee!” Mr. Connelly continued with a rushed change in tone.

“Hey mom, hey dad,” Phoebe spoke in a tone that suggested that she knew what was transpiring. “I brought back the ingredients you needed for our shop. Hey Valerie,” she glared at her rival with a look of discontentment for one instance before her eyes are focused on her parents.

Meanwhile, Valerie glared at Phoebe back with malevolence through her smug grin. She was donned in her formal family workplace uniform, in contrast to Phoebe’s combination of casual and formal wear. It consists of a gray and black pinafore dress with a white apron tied over it. The sleeves of her gray dress were puffed while the black sleeves underneath were close to her wrists at length. She wore gray stockings alongside her black dress shoes and the top of her long, golden brown hair was covered by her mauve-colored beret.

The hair of the Connelly parents was a lighter shade of brown due to their age. In place of a pinafore dress, Valerie’s father wears black dress pants, a white button-on shirt with a dark-gray short-sleeved wool shirt underneath, and the usual Cream Of The Crop branded apron over it, while he wore nothing over his short hair. The way that Valerie’s mother dressed was classier compared to her daughter, as she wore heelless dark red pumps in place of dress shoes, black stockings, and in place of Valerie’s dress was a taupe-colored cardigan and gray blouse combo, with a long black skirt underneath. Her hair was styled in form of a bob.

Being managers of their own bakery, Phoebe’s parents were dressed as formally. Her father donned a burgundy sweater vest with a short-sleeved white button-up worn underneath and the Sweets Serendipity brand yellow apron worn over. He also wears brown dress pants and black dress shoes alongside his brown wool socks. Phoebe’s mother wears a puffed sleeve dress over her apron, red at the top, and white at the bottom. She wore crimson red slacks, white crew length cotton socks, and dress shoes that were yellow like her apron, although in a darker shade.

The shadow silhouette of the Doberman reflected from Valerie snarled straight at Tarok’s shadow, who returned with a few hisses.

“Now should be a good time for you all to leave our shop,” Mr. Ashfield spoke. “We’ve had enough of your charades and you showed up at an inconvenient time to complain.”

“No, this just isn’t fair!” Valerie uttered. “You can’t just kick us out of here! I like coming here at Sweets Serendipity, I do! Phoebe’s baking is just marvelous, isn’t that right?”

“Come on, I know you’re lying through your teeth,” Phoebe responded.

Without warning, the door opens up again to reveal a boy around the same age as Phoebe and Valerie entering inside. He wore a diamond blue parka, white cargo pants, black socks, and electric blue sneakers with white laces. His skin was tanner than the Connellys as his hair was a deep brown. His shadow reflecting behind him resembles a woman with streaks of hair flowing around, giving Phoebe the impression that he seems to be a charmer.

“Wilhelm, I didn’t see you coming by,” said Phoebe.

“You’d be surprised to know how fast you can go places with the use of magic,” Wilhelm pointed out. “So what brings the family running Cream Of The Crop here?”

“We’re about to close shop for the day, so if you’re here to order our baked goods, then you’re too late,” Mrs. Ashfield informed.

“Oh, that’s too bad,” said Wilhelm. “I was just wandering downtown and I thought I could treat myself to something from this bakery.”

“That’s okay,” Valerie uttered. “My family’s shop has closed for the day, but if you’d like, we can give you an apple pie later today, no charge.”

“What’s all the commotion for?” Wilhelm asked. “I think both Sweets Serendipity and The Cream Of The Crop have equally good food, so why can’t you come to that agreement and make peace with each other?”

“The one thing that matters more is whose desserts you like better, my family’s or hers,” Valerie argued, referring to Phoebe and herself, “and it matters a lot to my mom, my dad, and to me to be proven that our bakery is the best in this town!”

“So it’s a bet, then?” Phoebe questioned. “We determine which of our family’s bakeries is better by letting some boy be the judge of whose baking he likes the most?”

“Exactly,” Valerie answered. “Of course you know this means war, Phoebe.”

“Well I never asked if our bakeries could go war,” Phoebe replied, “but since you’ve challenged me, then we’ll be competing against each other for our shops afterschool at Livingstone Magic Academy, tomorrow. Do we have a deal?”

“How could I say no? I can’t wait.”

“If our daughters agree, then we have no choice but to let them arrange this,” Mrs. Ashfield remarked.

“So it’s a deal then,” said Mrs. Connelly. “It’s been nice doing business with you, Flint, Auburn. It’s about time we’ve headed off.”

“Thank you,” Mr. Ashfield responded. “After this is all over, then perhaps we can begin to sort out our differences maturely.”

“If you want mature, we’ll give you mature,” Mr. Connelly asserted. “I’d like to see us settle in court. You shall all suffer while enjoy our continued success.”

“Good for you, Claude, sir,” Mr. Ashfield finished in a sardonic tone. “I’ll be sure to let my lawyer know that you won’t be able to get anywhere by using blackmail against us.”

 Like so, the Connellys exited the vicinity. Claude slammed the door closed on the way out, as Wilhelm left himself inside.

“I feel sorry that you had to deal with this drama,” Wilhelm said towards the Ashfields.

“Lately, we’ve been dealing with them threatening to take down our business at least three times a week,” Mrs. Ashfield point out.

“Alright, so I’d best be leaving now. I’ll be waiting to taste what Valerie and Phoebe will be making for me tomorrow.” Wilhelm finished.

After Wilhelm left, Phoebe brought herself upstairs to her bedroom to relieve from her stress. She came over to her bathroom mirror to face her reflection in the glass, showing himself in front of Phoebe as the gray-furred tomcat that she so is familiar with. Phoebe saw of her reflection to have a ball of blue yarn in paw.

“Why do I have to get myself caught in one of her squabbles?” Phoebe questioned, referring to Valerie.

“I think it’s because she’s such a brat, just like her parents,” Tarok remarked.

“Buzz off, kitty,” Phoebe muttered.

“Jokes aside Phoebe, you know that I can’t just disappear,” Tarok replied. “When we do though, we are kept out of view by Riooir for when our counterparts are some places where a shadow can’t be cast, when they’re getting dressed, or undressed…you know, moments like that.” He fidgeted with his blue yarn as he rambled on.

“One of these days, I’d like to be able to see what your world outside of mine looks like.”

“I’ve lectured you about this before. It is forbidden for people to intermingle with their reflections by crossing paths in the opposite world. I know we can only see the worlds surrounding us, and not the worlds parallel to ours through mirrors, but that’s how things are mandated. Besides, we already understand each other very well. You’re a friendly and polite girl, if also stubborn at times and a little too soft, and you’re a thriving pastry chef at a young chef who still needs to work on her magic. Then you have me, I’m a literal cat burglar who’s prone to getting into mischief, smuggling yarns and tuna fish because I can’t always afford them. I’m pretty certain that our experiences wouldn’t be so different if we lived on different sides. Even though you’d still have to deal with unpleasant folks like Valerie, you can get along with anyone while I can’t.”

“So why don’t you try to keep yourself out of trouble?”

“I worry about my own life choices, and you worry about your own. Besides, while it’s one thing to deal with Namrebod, who is just as intimidating as Valerie, your parents’ reflections had to just happen being the bounty hunters that I get chased by. Like I’ve been reminding you, when I’m not busy having to be your reflection, I’m spending my days causing trouble or getting in trouble and paying the costs for my habits.”

“And I’ve been trying to remind you, because my parents’ reflections know that you are my reflection, you shouldn’t continue worrying about getting apprehended by them. You won’t as long as I’m still around.”

“I’m sorry. We shouldn’t keep going over this talk while you should be focusing on the cooking contest that you’ve arranged with your rival. As your reflection, it should be my job to help motivate you. If I could make some suggestions on what you should bake for that Wilhelm fellow, you should take the easy route and make him one of your specialty bakery treats.”

“I appreciate your ideas, but I do already have a good idea after thinking about his cultural background. Of course, I’m going to have to run by the supermarket tomorrow before the event so that I would have all the things that I need to bake my dish.”

“Then I’ll wish you the best of luck. You better win it, so that I could have something to brag about, let alone being able to rub it in Namrebod’s face.”

“We’ll talk again tomorrow in the morning, okay? I know you could use some rest.” Phoebe yawned as she stepped out of her bathroom and back into her bedroom to start capping off her day.

“You’re so generous. I like that about you,” Tarok finished before his image was out of Phoebe’s sight.

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The judges have reached their decision after a tough choice, and the winning story is "Ghost of Krustshima" by @Old Man Jenkins! Steel also put up a good story and he gets a special thanks for being the only other submission, so he'll also get a few SOF Tickets as compensation. Congrats OMJ, I will give you your prizes momentarily. Here's your trophy:

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