Part 3: Tweedle Tallests
Zim led Dib deep into the woods, always keeping well ahead of him, but Dib would never give up. He was determined not to let Zim escape this time and he’d just about caught up to him when the alien ducked through a row of bushes. Dib leaped after him only to unexpectedly ram headfirst into something hard and painful, and was knocked backwards by the force of the impact. After the trees stopped spinning, the boy sat up and adjusted his glasses (sometimes he wondered, after all he’d ever been through how they’d never gotten broken). As his vision came in to focus he found himself sitting in a large clearing, and his amber eyes gazed up at what he’d run into.
Standing in front of him were two statues, and at first Dib could’ve sworn they were statues of Zim. The resemblance was uncanny, but these figures were much taller and thinner, and were very strangely dressed. One of them had light red eyes and wore a red-striped shirt and a red… Is that a…hover-skirt? Dib thought, while the other was identical, except it had purple eyes and purple clothes. Both of them had green skin and wore matching beanies, with little black flags on top bearing a pseudo-triangular red symbol.
“What weird looking statues,” Dib remarked making a face. “What are they doing out in the middle of the woods?”
He crept over for a closer analysis curious to see what they were made out of when he was startled by a voice from the red one.
“Statues? You think we’re STATUES!?” it snorted indignantly.
“And he called us weird looking! I’ve never been so insulted!” the purple one also piped up.
Dib’s eyes widened and he took a step back as the figures suddenly bent down and stared him in the face quizzically.
“Hmm, he’s awful puny,” the purple one finally spoke.
“Yeah, the little one’s always are,” said the red one, and his twin shot him an odd glance. “Um…wait. That was pretty dumb, wasn’t it?” the red one raised an eyelid.
The purple one nodded. “Yes.”
“Well, puny or not,” the red one turned back to Dib trying to change the subject, “if you think were statues you ought to pay for the privilege of looking.”
“I-I didn’t know you were alive,” Dib stammered, “You were standing so-…”
“Well if you wanted to know if we were alive you should have asked!” he interrupted, narrowing an eye.
“And he didn’t even apologize for running into us,” added the purple one. “Don’t you have any manners?”
“I- uh…” Dib was too confused to speak.
“Apparently he doesn’t,” whispered the red to the purple. “Look at this! There’s a dent in my hovery thing!” he yelled bending menacingly over Dib.
“S-sorry,” Dib managed to stutter.
“Sorry? Do you KNOW how much this will cost to fix!?”
“I-…” Dib fidgeted uncomfortably.
“Don’t worry, Red, you’ve got insurance remember?” interrupted the purple one.
The red one lowered and eyelid thoughtfully, “Oh yeah. Well then, never mind,” he smiled at Dib who just looked up at the pair distrustfully.
“Who… are you guys?” he asked after a long pause.
“Oh, we haven’t introduced ourselves,” the red nudged the purple and cleared his throat. “I am Tweedle Red,” he said.
“And I’m Tweedle Purple,” said the one with the purple eyes, and they both finished with a bow.
Dib narrowed his eyes. “Uh-…huh.” These two were obviously psychos. “Well it’s been nice meeting you and all,” he lied backing away, “but I’ve got a rabbit to snare.” He started to leave but was yanked back forcibly by the collar.
“That’s no way to start a visit,” Red informed him. “The first thing you should do is wiggle your antennae in salute.” He took off his hat and demonstrated.
“But I don’t have any antennae,” Dib pointed out.
“Then what’s this thing?” Purple came up behind him and flicked at Dib’s hair spike.
“Hey, knock it off!” he pulled away, irritated.
Red sighed. “Well, since he doesn’t have antennae I guess we’ll have to do it the ~shudder~ human way,” and the both of them held out their hands for Dib to shake.
Dib grimaced, but shook them anyway, thoroughly creeped out by their weird, long green fingers.
“Whew, glad that’s over,” Red breathed (apparently he felt the same way about Dib). “So, what’s your name?”
“Um, Dib,” he answered, his eyes darting from side to side desperately looking for an escape from these two weirdos.
“Oh well, that’s not your fault,” Red remarked and Dib stuck out his jaw in disdain. “Now, state your business,” he ordered.
Dib didn’t think it was any of their business at all, but he figured an explanation might get them off his back. “Okay, If you must know I’m chasing after an alien named Zim who led me here, even though he keeps saying he’s NOT Zim, and he keeps insisting he’s a rabbit because he’s dressed up in a white bunny costume and thinks that I’m stupid and I don’t know it’s him when it so obviously is,” Dib finished rambling, and took a breath. “And now I’m kind of in a hurry, so if you’ll excuse me, I really should get going,” he edged away getting ready to bolt at any minute.
“But you can’t go yet, you just got here,” Tweedle Red protested.
“That’s right!” shouted Tweedle Purple, and Dib was suddenly whisked into the air by the back of his jacket.
“Look,” Dib struggled in Purple’s grip,” I really need to go now!” but he was completely ignored and carried over to a log where Purple plunked him down.
“Now tell me,” Red leaned close to him, “do you like poetry?”
“Not really,” Dib admitted.
“Good, because I don’t know any.”
“How about dirty limericks?” Purple inquired. “There once was a woman from France-…”
“Um, no thanks, I have to get going now,” Dib darted off the log but was immediately pulled back.
“How about a game then?” Red suggested.
“Ooo! I’ve got Twister!” Purple chirped excitedly.
Dib wondered how long it would take him to die if he started holding his breath right now. “Maybe another ti-…”
“Oh wait! I have an idea. You’ll LOVE this!” Red smiled and out of thin air produced a little round object with blinking lights all over it.
“Ugh, not the lasers again,” Purple put a hand to his brow and shook his head hopelessly. “What is it with you and the lasers?”
“What is it with you and the… not lasers?” Red shot back. Dib wanted to scream.
“He doesn’t want to see your stupid lasers anyway,” Tweedle Purple continued and pulled out a square machine with holes in it.
Tweedle Red frowned. “Oh yeah, like he’d really rather see your dumb smoke machine.”
“Hey, smoke machines are all the rage,” Purple clutched his toy defensively.
While they were distracted, Dib tried to make a run for it, but Red shoved him back down. “You’d much rather see my lasers wouldn’t you,” he smiled at Dib hopefully. “They’re all bliiii-nky!”
“I don’t want to see ANY-…!”
“No,” Purple shoved Red out of the way, “he wants to see MY smoke machine!”
“No, he wants to see my lasers!”
“Nobody wants to see your idiotic lasers!” Purple snapped.
“Oh! Idiotic are they?” Red snarled, “Well how’s this for idiotic!”
“YEEEAAAHH!” Purple screeched as a bright red beam hit his eye. “YOU JERK!” he roared and threw his smoke machine at Red who dodged out of the way, and then he screamed again as it crashed to the ground. “NOOO! YOU BROKE IT!”
“ME!? You’re the one who threw it!”
“You MADE me throw it!”
“Did-… hey, where’d that short kid go?” Tweedle Red and Tweedle Purple glanced around for Dib, but their audience had disappeared.
“Nice going you moron, you scared him away!” Purple scowled.
“Hmph!” Red snorted, “YOU probably scared him with that sissy throw of yours!”
“Ok,” Purple glared at Red, “You asked for it!”
“Yeah yeah, bring it on Mr. Big Talk-…um, Guy!”
* * *
Dib could still hear Tweedle Red and Purple’s noisy bantering as he ran off further into the woods, unbelievably grateful that he’d escaped with his sanity intact. “Those guys are absolutely crazy,” he rolled his eyes. “I didn’t think anyone could be more annoying than Zim.” Worst of all, they’d distracted him and made Dib loose sight of the little green alien, and now he had no idea where Zim could have got to. He was getting tired, and since there was no point in running without a Zim to run after, Dib began walking.
He walked for a few minutes down a dirt path until he rounded a group of trees and stopped dead in his tracks, drawing his brows together inquiringly at the sight of the very familiar looking, turquoise house standing just up ahead.