Prologue

Every once in a while, the heavens produce something unique and magical. Something so rare and so quick that if you blink, you might just miss it. Even if you don't see it coming, it's still there. A shooting star. They say shooting stars have the power to grant wishes and as fate would have it, it was on this night that one of those special stars just happened to pass over the house belonging to the Loud family, who were all feeling especially wishful tonight. As they all prepared for bedtime, none of them had a single idea of what was in store for them when they awoke. But even wishes on stars are not without consequences, as the children living in this house would soon learn.

Chapter 1: Luan

Young comedienne Luan Loud sat on her bed nestled snugly in her yellow plaid PJ's and fuzzy bunny slippers, talking to her ventriloquist dummy Mr. Coconuts who sat beside her. "Ready for bed, Mr. Coconuts?" she said.

"Are you kiddin'? I'm so beat, I could sleep like a log," the dummy responded, earning a chuckle from Luan.

"Good one, Mr. Coconuts, but I still think you're coming off as a little wooden," she retorted, making her little friend laugh.

"Touche, toots. You always know how to leave me in splinters."

"Haha. We do make a great team, don't we?"

"Best comedy duo since Penn and Teller, except I'm the one doing all the talkin'." One more big laugh and the girl said goodnight to her little wooden friend and tucked them both into bed.

"You know, Mr. Coconuts. Sometimes I wish you really were alive."

And with that, Luan said goodnight to Mr. Coconuts, turned out the lights and dozed off to begin her slumber.

The next morning, Luan woke up to see that Mr. Coconuts was no longer lying by her side where she'd left him. In a panic, she sprung out of bed and searched all over her room, but there was no sign of him anywhere. Then she detected the smell of bacon, which meant her dad must be making breakfast. She hurried out of her bedroom and ran downstairs toward the kitchen to ask for help.

"Dad! Have you seen…" She cut her sentence short when she spotted something, or someone, that she never expected to find. Mr. Coconuts, standing on a step stool in front of the stove, frying bacon all by himself, with no help from anybody sticking their hand in his back. "Mornin,' Lulu," he greeted her in the voice that she usually gave him. "I thought I'd surprise ya with breakfast."

Oh, Luan was surprised alright. Her bugging eyes and slacked jaw would've made that abundantly obvious. She was having a very hard time processing what she was seeing. "What's the matter? Do I got something in my teeth?" Mr. Coconuts joked.

"M-M-Mr. C-C-Coconuts?" Luan stuttered. "Y-You're… you're a… ALIVE?!"

"Well, you tell me. I mean, I can move, I can talk, I can cook." Just then, the cloud of smoke coming from the frying pan set off the smoke detector. "More or less. Why so shocked, toots? Isn't this what you wished for?"

"Well, yeah, but I didn't think you'd actually…" Suddenly, she had an epiphany. "Wait. You're saying my wish actually came true? This… This is fantastic! Now we'll really be the greatest comedy team of all time!" Luan's smile was so big that the sun reflecting off of her braces could've caused a train wreck.

"That's right, partner. So whaddya say?" The newly animated puppet offered her his hand, which she eagerly accepted. "I say let's get this show on the road!"

Luan and Mr. Coconuts headed back upstairs and began packing their things to hit the road. This was a dream come true. Luan couldn't wait to introduce the world to the great Luan Out Loud and Mr. Coconuts the Amazing Living Dummy. Together, the two of them would be legendary.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a large knife flew right past Luan's head and stuck to the wall. "WHAT THE HECK?!" she screamed, thinking how close she'd just come to losing more than her ponytail. She turned around and saw Mr. Coconuts staring at her with a wicked expression. At least, she figured it was wicked. It was hard to tell since his stiff jaw prevented his mouth from making any kind of shape. Either way, it was very disturbing. "Uhhh… Mr. Coconuts? Did you see where that knife came from?"

"Sure did, Lulu. And I'm afraid I've got some bad news for ya. Mr. Coconuts has decided to go solo," he explained ominously.

"What?!"

"Sorry, toots, but you've been holding me back for too long. The showbiz world is dog eat dog and you're a lead weight made of bacon. Which means if I'm ever gonna make it out there, then you and me gotta start cuttin' ties." He emphasized his last sentence by holding up two more knives.

Mr. Coconuts leapt at Luan, knives ablaze. She quickly bolted out the door and down the hallway with the crazed dummy hot on her tail. She ran as fast as she could down the stairs screaming for help, but nobody else was in the house. It was just her and an evil knife-wielding puppet. Eventually, she managed to find cover behind the door to the basement. Once she was positive she had lost Mr. Coconuts, she dialed 911 on her cell phone and a voice answered.

"911. What's your emergency?

"I need the police fast. There's a psycho puppet at my house trying to kill me!" she whispered. Just then, another knife flew out of nowhere and destroyed her phone.

Luan immediately bolted for the front door. She made it outside and hailed a taxi just as it pulled up. "Step on it! I'm being chased by a mad dummy!" she declared, climbing into the back seat as the taxi drove off. She looked out the back window and breathed a sigh of relief when she didn't see anybody following them. "Thanks a lot. You just saved my life," she said to the cab driver.

"Don't thank me yet, doll face," the driver said in a horrifyingly familiar voice. Mr. Coconuts turned his head completely around like an owl to stare into Luan's terrified eyes.

"AHHHH! LET ME OUT OF HERE!" she screamed, struggling to open the locked door.

"Oh, I'll let ya out alright."

Mr. Coconuts made a sharp turn and drove the taxi right through the glass windows of a hardware store.

The crash sent both of them flying through the windshield. Luan collided with a nearby shelf, tipping it over and scattering its contents all over the floor. She got up and rubbed her throbbing head, amazed to have survived the impact. But she was still far from being out of the jungle. Mr. Coconuts climbed over the pile of rubble, holding a sharp metal hook.

"Looks like this is the end of the show for you, sweetheart," he mocked. " We had a lot of laughs together, but now it's time somebody gave you the hook."

"Mr. Coconuts, please. Don't do this!" Luan pleaded with tears in her eyes. "We've worked together for years. You were my partner. My best friend."

"Well, look at the bright side, kid. At least your family won't have to listen to your lousy puns anymore."

Luan examined her surroundings looking for something she could defend herself with. Sticking out among the mess of tools, she spotted the perfect weapon to end this nightmare once and for all. Her terrified expression turned serious and angry. "You know that the toughest part of comedy is?" she asked rhetorically, glaring at Mr. Coconuts. Then she yanked out a blowtorch and fired it directly into his face, setting his whole body aflame. The evil dummy ran around screaming like a chicken with it's head cut off for a good sixty seconds before finally collapsing on the ground. Stiff and motionless, Mr. Coconuts was now nothing but a hideous smoldering pile of burnt mahogany, the fabric of his clothing completely torched off.

Luan got up on her feet and stood over the smoking wooden corpse. "Taking heat from critics," she said, delivering the punchline to her quip. She picked up Mr. Coconuts' body and tossed him into a nearby trashcan. That was it. From now on, Luan Out Loud worked as a solo act. Without another word, she left the hardware store, walking down the street into the sunset towards home.

If she'd stuck around a little longer, she would have seen the tiny, singed wooden hand clawing its way out of the garbage can.