Wood You Be Mine?
By Laura McDaniel

Chapter 1:
Girl Meets Board

It was a hot summer day in the cul-de-sac. The Eds, Jonny, and Plank were (literally) hanging out in a tree, trying to figure out what to do.

"So, what do you want to do?" Jonny asked.

"Uh...Jawbreakers?" Ed suggested.

"I suppose that's a good enough place to start," Edd replied, "but that's not very specific. Any other ideas?"

"I've got a great scam in the works," Eddy answered, "but it's too soon to reveal the details, especially with Jonny around."

"You're just too afraid that Plank can come up with a better scheme than you, aren't you?" Jonny said.

"I'm not intimidated by a piece of wood! I just think you're weird!"

"Well," Jonny said, bringing Plank closer to his side, "speaking of weird: Plank says that something weird is going to happen today."

"You mean like in that movie I saw?" Ed asked. "It was called The Bogey Man! There was this monster that looked like a guy with no head that lived in the 9th hole of a golf course and at he used to pop out and scare people, so the guy that owned the golf course had to-"

"What's that, Plank?" Jonny asked, cutting Ed off. "Oh, Plank says that's probably not going to happen. Sorry, Ed."

"Drat!" Ed said. "I liked that movie!"

"Could it be something weird like that?" Edd asked, pointing to something in the street.

The boys all craned their necks to see a bare-foot girl with short brown hair who was wearing a purple short-sleeved shirt and purple shorts. She wouldn't have been too noticeable had it not been for the fact that a coxcomb tipped with silver bells was perched precariously on her head and the fact that she was dragging a hotdog on a leash.

"That's even weirder than carrying a plank around!" Eddy exclaimed.

"Plank doesn't like it when people talk about us like that!" Jonny exclaimed. He stuck Plank right in front of Eddy's face and demanded, "Apologize to Plank! Apologize!"

"No, Jonny, I won't apologize to that thing!" Noticing that it looked like he'd made Jonny even more upset, Eddy quickly tried to change the subject. "Hey, that weird girl's coming this way! Maybe if we're really quiet, she won't see us and she'll leave us alone!"

All of the boys silenced themselves and remained absolutely still, and the girl almost walked right past the tree. But something tickled Ed's nose and he sneezed loudly in reaction. The girl blinked and stepped back from the tree to get a good look. When she saw the boys, called up, "Hello up there!"

"Great, Ed, you blew it!" Eddy grumbled.

"Something tickled my nose!" Ed said. He pointed up to a bundle of leaves that Jonny was holding over his nose.

"Jonny!" Eddy shouted.

"Plank made me do it!" Jonny whimpered.

"Well, it's too late now, I guess..." Eddy said. "Um, hello down there!"

"Finally you talked back," the girl said, crossing her arms indignantly. "I was beginning to wonder if you'd heard me or not."

"Oh, no, we heard you," Edd said.

"We just didn't want to," Eddy muttered.

"Ha ha! That's one hot dog there! Ha! Ha!" Ed laughed.

"Oh, thanks!" the girl said, shaking the leash some. "His name is Würstchen." She knelt down and started stroking the hotdog, which made the Eds exchange confused glances. Of course, Jonny didn't seem the least bit fazed, but he didn't say anything because he thought that Plank wanted him to remain silent. The girl looked up and spoke again, "I'm Astrik, by the way. I live a few blocks away but Würstchen wanted a long wal-"

"And I'm hungry!" Ed blurted out, interrupting Astrik. "Hmm..." he started searching his pockets for buttered toast flavored jellybeans, but he came back empty-handed. "Uh...does anybody have anything to eat?"

"Not now, Ed!" Eddy said.

"But I'm hungry!" Ed repeated. Suddenly, he looked at Astrik's pet hotdog again and his eyes widened with excitement. He licked his lips and then pounced out of the tree, landing square on the hotdog.

"Ahhh! Leave Würstchen alone!" Astrik screamed. But it was too late. Her beloved pet had already disappeared into the abyss that was Ed's mouth. "Nooooooooooo!" she screamed. The girl fell on her knees and started sobbing helplessly.

"Ed!" Eddy exclaimed, jumping out of the tree and standing next to Ed. "I know that her walking a hotdog around is pretty weird and all, but that was no reason for you to eat it!"

"Yes!" Edd said. "That is no reason for you to go crush a young woman's fragile feelings like that. What do you have to say for yourself, Ed?"

Ed pulled the end of the leash out of his mouth and burped. "That was tasty."

"At least...he wasn't wasted, I guess," Astrik whimpered. She rocked herself nervously and seemed to be calming down a bit, but as soon as she looked at the empty leash again, she started sobbing again.

"Oh, what are we to do? What are we to do?" Edd asked, scratching his head.

Suddenly, Jonny felt compelled to say something to comfort Astrik, yet the instant he opened his mouth, Plank slipped from his hands and started tumbling out of the tree. "PLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANK!" Jonny yelled.

Astrik looked up to see that Plank was headed right for her head. Even though her eyes were still filled with tears, she was able to react quickly enough to catch plank before it hit her. She waved the board over her head and yelled, "Who threw that?! I am in mourning as it is!"

Without having to think about it, Ed, Edd, and Eddy all pointed to the branch where Jonny was silently sitting. Jonny looked down at them furiously. "It wasn't my fault! Plank slipped from my hands! I don't have control over him sometimes! Now give him back!"

Astrik glared sharply at Jonny as she lowered the object that had almost hit her so she could get a look at it. "Not until I see why you're making such a big deal about a piece of wood!" she said. Despite the fact that she was angry about having nearly been hit and saddened by the unfortunate departure of Würstchen, the instant she turned Plank over and beheld his blank stare, she felt comforted. "Oh," she sighed, "what a beautiful creature." She looked up at Jonny again and said, "You said his name is Plank, right?"

"Yeah, that's what I said. Now give him back!" Jonny desperately pleaded.

"No!" Astrik retorted as she started gently cradling Plank. "Can't you see that the fall traumatized him? He doesn't want to go back up there!"

"Then, I'm going down there!" Jonny said as he clambered down the branch. He held out his hands and exclaimed, "Now give him back!"

"But...I think he fell from that tree for a reason! Maybe he wanted to get away from you!"

"But Plank is my best friend!" Jonny protested. "I can't live without him."

"Yes, it's sad but true," Edd said.

Astrik glanced at Edd for a moment and then looked down at Plank again. "I don't know if I can live without him, either," she whispered to herself. Looking back at Jonny, she asked, "Well, if that's the case...um...what's your name?"

"Jonny," he said.

"But he's sometimes called Jonny 2x4 for obvious reasons," Edd added, pointing to Plank."

She looked down at Plank mournfully and then handed him back to the now overjoyed-looking Jonny. "I guess I shouldn't keep the two of you apart then, Jonny. I'm sorry I kept him this long..." She muttered to herself, "It's clear I don't deserve him." She got on her feet again and draped the empty leash over her arms. "I'm going to go now and build a memorial to Würstchen. Good bye..."

"Wait!" Jonny exclaimed, tapping Astrik on a shoulder with Plank. "You can at least stick around for a bit. Eddy said he's got a scam in the works!"

Eddy cringed momentarily, apparently not enjoying the thought of spending more time with Astrik. "Well, Jonny, if she's gotta go, she's gotta go!" he said as he pushed Astrik forward.

Astrik protested, "But...no! I want to-"

"Come on!" Eddy said. "You don't want to disgrace the memory of little...um...whatever your dog's name was!"

"Würstchen!" Astrik wailed. "And you're right! I'm sorry for being so inconsiderate, Würstchen!" She clutched the leash to her chest and ran off. She turned around just long enough to look back and yell, "Goodbye, Jonny! Goodbye, Plank! I'll see you later!"

"I sure hope not," Eddy muttered.

Jonny held Plank up to his ear and then shook his head. "No...Plank says we haven't seen the last of her and Plank is never wrong!"