(picture by Stacey)
A fractured fairy tale by Stacey
Once upon a time, a very talented, yet quite sinister, computer engineer designed and created a very special computer chip. However, when the engineer put the chip into his computer, it started to talk and wreak havoc through his entire networking system. So frightened was this computer engineer, that he decided to uninstall the chip from his computer and gave it to a programmer friend of his, named Jackpetto.
Now Jackpetto was a very lonely man, for he had no wife or son of his own, since he spent most of his free time locked away in his lab conducting his research on nano-technology. So lonely and pathetic a soul was he that he decided to take this special computer chip and use it to create his very own nanobot to keep him company.
As Jackpetto set about creating and programming his nanobot, he began to think of what he would call him. “I think I will name him, Sidnocchio!” he said to himself, after much thought. “Yes, that is a very lucky name, so Sidnocchio it is!”
Jackpetto worked day and night in his lab, mixing nano-goo and programming his incubator in order to grow his new nanobot son. Finally, after much toiling and experimenting, Jackpetto was ready. He carefully poured a mixture of blue nano-goo into a small petri dish and dropped in the special computer chip. Once the chip had completely submerged into the blue goo, Jackpetto placed the petri dish and its contents into his special incubator, set the timer, and waited.
in a =
About an hour later, the timer went off, and Jackpetto merrily danced over to the incubator to see what he had created. Suddenly, the door to the incubator popped open, and out jumped Sidnocchio, now fully formed, yet totally naked! He took one look at Jackpetto, grinned, and then began to run around the lab, knocking over test tubes, computers, and such.
Jackpetto, quite surprised by his new nanobot son’s behavior, screamed at him furiously, “Sidnocchio! You stop this at once, you naughty boy!”
Sidnocchio stopped, looked at Jackpetto. Smiling sweetly, he picked up a small carving knife from Jackpetto’s workstation, and chopped off one of his perfectly formed fingers – scaring poor Jackpetto half to death!
“Owwwww!!!” screamed Sidnocchio, holding his now blue-goo-bleeding, pinkie-less hand tight to his body and jumping about. As he did so, his nose began to grow a bit longer.
“Sidnocchio!” shouted Jackpetto, surprised by his reaction. “That could not have possibly hurt you! You are a silicone-based nanobot, therefore, able to regenerate yourself by consuming glass!”
Sidnocchio looked at his father, tilted his head, and then held his hand up to a piece of glass. Shocked, he watched as his finger began to regenerate itself right in front of his eyes! Sidnocchio’s grin became wider.
“No, it really did hurt!” he giggled.
He had no sooner said this when his nose began to grow even longer than it already was! Upset by his newly deformed face, Sidnocchio picked up the carving knife once more and chopped off the end of his nose. Soon, just like his finger had done, the end of it reached out to a nearby petri dish and began to regenerate itself. Unfortunately for Sidnocchio, his nose was still just as long as it was before. Again and again, he chopped off the end of his nose, but each time it regenerated back to the same size.
“Sidnocchio! Stop that at once!” ordered Jackpetto. “It’s no use...your nose will clearly remain the same size as long as you continue to tell lies! Now get over here so I can make you something to wear!”
Clearly upset by this, Sidnocchio threw the carving knife down, stormed out of the lab and took off running through the village.
“Sidnocchio, come back!” yelled Jackpetto, as he took off down the road after him.
Poor Jackpetto, however, was not as young and fit as his new nanobot son, so he soon became quite winded and had to stop his chase. Hanging his head, he walked slowly back to his lab to sulk.
A short while later, there was a knock at his door, and Jackpetto raced to see who it was – hoping to find his son had returned home. Jackpetto unlatched the door, swung it open, and there standing in his doorway was a handcuffed Sidnocchio and a very large and angry police officer.
“Pardon the intrusion, sir, but does THIS belong to you?” asked the rather large and grumpy officer.
“White,” replied the big man.
“Yes, Officer White, that is my...um...son...Sidnocchio,” relied Jackpetto. “Please tell me he hasn’t done anything...um....illegal.”
Officer White glared at Sidnocchio, then back to Jackpetto, and then shoved the nanobot through the doorway and plopped him down in a chair.
“Illegal, you ask?” he chuckled, shook his head, “I’ll tell you what your son did....For starters, this...boy...ran through the village...not a stitch of clothing on him...wreaking havoc everywhere! When I caught him, he had just busted out the windows of several downtown shops. Probably would have done much more damage had I not caught him when I did.”
“Sidnocchio!” shouted Jackpetto. “Is this true? Have you caused damage to the village?”
Sidnocchio smiled sweetly. Then, trying to stifle a giggle, replied, “Yes...father...I did. I’m...sorry...*giggle*...and I won’t...*giggle*....do it again...*giggle*...”
“Since he doesn’t have a record...yet...I will release him to your custody,” Officer White told Jackpetto. “I trust you will make certain he doesn’t cause any more trouble in the future?”
“Yes, of course, Officer. I will see to it that Sidnocchio is a law-biding citizen from now on,” replied Jackpetto, earnestly.
Sidnocchio just grinned and sat quietly watching as Jackpetto showed Officer White to the door and bid him farewell. “I think I’m going to like it here,” he said quietly to himself.
After Officer White had gone, Jackpetto walked over and sat down in a chair across from Sidnocchio. “Sidnocchio, why would you run off like that? What were you hoping to accomplish?”
Sidnocchio, thought for a moment, the corners of his mouth slightly raised, then replied, “Why father, I was only hoping to learn more about life and this wonderful village we live in. I meant no...harm.”
Jackpetto’s eye’s brightened, and he stood and clapped his nanobot son on the back, affectionately. “Why, Sidnocchio! If it’s an education you are after, then why didn’t you say so! I will enroll you in the village’s finest university at once!” He turned, then stopped and looked at Sidnocchio, concerned, “But first, my son, we must find something for you to clothe yourself with. Come, let us get you measured and I will quickly set about sewing you a fine new suit.”
After a bit of measuring and sewing, Sidnocchio’s new suit was finally complete. Proudly, he stared at his reflection in the mirror, admiring Jackpetto’s handiwork. “I’m...beautiful!” he said, truly taken with how stunning he looked, despite his rather large nose.
Jackpetto smiled, “Yes, you will be the finest-dressed boy at school. Now, let us get some rest. It is quite late and you have a big day tomorrow.”
Sidnocchio, quite aware that being a nanobot, he did not require rest, decided not to argue with his father and went along with the old man’s orders and hurried off to bed. As he lay in his bed, planning his next adventures in the village, he suddenly heard a small voice call his name from somewhere in the room. Curiously, he looked around his bed and the floor until finally he saw a strange little being sitting on his window ledge.
(picture by Stacey)
“Who are you and what are you doing in my bed?” asked Sidnocchio, clearly disgusted by the little creature – who was dressed in a top hat, coat, and carrying an umbrella.
“Why, allow me to introduce myself, good sir,” it said, hopping up onto Sidnocchio’s bed and right into his lap. “I’m Charles...Charles Cricket, at your service.”
Sidnocchio’s eyes narrowed as he looked upon the little creature with mistrust. “Okay, Charles, what are you doing in my bedroom?”
Charles Cricket grinned, and then replied, “Well, I’ve been watching you, Sidnocchio, and it appears that you could use a friend.”
“A...friend?” said Sidnocchio, “And why would one so perfect as myself require a...friend?”
Charles Cricket chuckled, “Why, to keep you company, of course!”
Sidnocchio thought for a moment, lowered his eyes, “Uh-uh! Don’t think so!” And he was just about to flick the little cricket from his bed when Charles frantically stopped him, saying, “Wait! Sidnocchio! I could be quite useful to you! You need me! You need me! Just give me a moment to explain!” he begged.
Sidnocchio, stopped mid-flick, “Oh, very well, I will humor you for one more moment. Explain why I should need such a wee little creature like you, to be my friend.”
Charles straightened his little jacket and swallowed hard. “Well, like I said, I’ve been watching you all day, and it appears to me that you could use someone... such as myself... to teach you how to stay out of trouble... someone to be your...conscience, so to speak.”
Sidnocchio tilted his head to one side and thought, “Someone to keep me out of trouble....so I don’t get caught again by that stupid cop. Yeah, yeah, like a lookout, perhaps.” His eyes brightened and the corners of his mouth rose slightly. “Okay, then, Cricket! You’ve got the job!”
“Why, thank you, Sidnocchio, sir! You won’t regret it!” exclaimed the little cricket brightly, as he hopped merrily around the bed.
“Yeah, yeah, now get off my bed and go sleep over there on the floor somewhere,” replied Sidnocchio, picking Charles Cricket up between his two fingers and tossing him off of the bed.
The next morning, Jackpetto arose early, eager to enroll his new nanobot son in the village’s university. Unfortunately, the school was quite expensive, and Jackpetto, having spent most of his earnings on computer hardware and supplies to build his elaborate nanobot incubator, was quite short on funds. Therefore, he talked the university into letting him donate his incubator in exchange for allowing Sidnocchio to attend classes there. They were so thrilled with his gift that they even threw in a new laptop computer for Sidnocchio’s to use at school.
When Sidnocchio came out of his room that morning, he was surprised to see how empty Jackpetto’s lab had become. “Why, father...what happened to all of your things? Did someone break in and steal them while we were sleeping?” Sidnocchio made a mental note to interrogate the cricket the first chance he got.
Jackpetto chuckled. “Oh, no...no...nothing like that, my dear boy,” he assured him. “I’ve just sold a few of my possessions to the university so that I had enough funds to enroll you in classes there.”
Sidnocchio didn’t know what to say. He was quite surprised by his father’s unselfish act of kindness towards him, even after he had been caught pillaging the village just a day earlier. He made a mental note to himself to get his father’s belongings back for him as soon as the opportunity presented itself.
“Now,” said Jackpetto, handing Sidnocchio his brand new laptop, “you be a good boy and run along to your school. I want to hear all about what you have learned when you return home this afternoon.”
Sidnocchio took the laptop, bid his father farewell, and headed out of the house. As he was leaving, Jackpetto called out to him, “Oh, and Sidnocchio, you be sure to go straight to the university and then straight home. Don’t make any stops along the way or talk to any strangers,” he warned.
Sidnocchio grinned back at him, nodded, and then took off down the road – his little Cricket-friend tucked securely into the brim of his hat. Now, Sidnocchio had all intentions of going to straight to the university, however, as he walked along the road he began to daydream and suddenly found himself standing in the middle of a crowded square where people were lined up in front of a colorful building.
“What’s all this?” Sidnocchio asked one of the people standing in the line waiting to get in. He could hear strange “new” sounds coming from inside of the building, and he was quite curious to find out what it was all about.
“Oh, it’s just the most hip and popular dance club in the village!” answered the man. “We’ve been lined up here for hours just waiting for our chance to get in!”
Sidnocchio smiled. He thanked the man and walked straight to the front of the line, bypassing everyone else.
“Now, Sidnocchio,” said Charles Cricket, “You shouldn’t be here! You promised Jackpetto that you would go straight to the university and then straight home... making no stops along the way! Surely, you will be tardy for your first class!”
Sidnocchio ignored the little cricket’s warnings and walked straight up to the front door of the club, where he was soon stopped by a rather large man.
“And just where do you think you’re going?” asked the man, putting one arm out in front of Sidnocchio to block his way from entering the club.
Sidnocchio grimaced and replied, “I’m going inside, of course!”
The man let out a big belly laugh and shook his head. “Ah, but you see those people standing in line?” he said, pointing to the line of people that had now wrapped clear around the building. “They too would like to go inside. But they can’t. The club is full to capacity. Now, I suggest you go take your place along with them and wait your turn at the end of the line.”
Sidnocchio, not liking to be told what to do, lowered his eyes and glared at the big man. “No, I have a better idea,” he said after a moment. “I’ll give you this brand new laptop and you, in turn, let me come into the club...now.”
The man, not having a laptop of his own, rather liked this idea, so he gladly took the laptop and stepped out of the way to let Sidnocchio through the door.
Once inside, Sidnocchio could hardly believe his eyes! Surely, he’d never seen or heard anything like this before! The room was dim, with colorful beams of light shooting out in every direction. And the sounds! Oh, what wonderful noise it was to his ears! Music...is what Charles had told him it was. Sidnocchio thought to himself that he would like nothing better than to make this wonderful music himself....only it would be better...edgier! Once again, ignoring his little cricket-friend’s pleadings for him to leave, Sidnocchio made his way up onto the stage in the front of the club, where he pushed the club’s musician away and took his place in front of the fancy keyboard.
Sidnocchio’s fingers danced over the multiple keypads, faster and faster still – creating the most magnificent sounding music ever! The crowds stopped dancing and began to mill around him – cheering him on. Soon, they began to show their appreciation to him by stuffing wads of money into the large tip jar on that the owner of the club had placed on the edge of the stage. Before long, the jar was completely full to overflowing, which made the greedy club owner very, very happy, indeed! He stared and watched Sidnocchio dazzle the crowd, as dollar signs danced about in his head.
$ $ $ $ $
When Sidnocchio had played the keyboard to his heart’s content, the lights lowered and soon everyone in the club began to leave. Sidnocchio, realizing how late it must be, set about to leave the club for home – where he knew his father must surely be worried about him (mainly, because that blasted Charles Cricket had been chirping it over and over in his ear all night!). However, as he was just about to walk out of the door, he was stopped by the club’s greedy owner, Maxamillovanni.
“Wait,” said Maxamillovanni. “Don’t be in such a hurry to rush off, my dear boy. Why, I have business to discuss with you now.”
Sidnocchio, though he knew he shouldn’t talk to strangers, stopped and turned around and walked back over to the club owner. “Business, you say?” asked Sidnocchio, intrigued. “And what kind of business would you possibly have to talk about with me?”
A wide grin spread across Maxamillovanni face as he led Sidnocchio back to his office. “Well, my dear boy,” he began, as he sat down behind his large desk. Sidnocchio followed suit and sat down in a smaller chair across from him. “I couldn’t help but notice how...talented...you are on the keyboard.”
Sidnocchio held his chin high and grinned, proudly.
“Yes, well, you made me a lot of money tonight...yes in - deedy! So, I’ve decided to hire you on as our regular musician here at the club. You can play for room and board...starting tonight.”
“Sidnocchio! No! Don’t do it! Remember the promise you made to Jackpetto!” screeched little Charles Cricket into the nanobot’s ear.
Sidnocchio thought for a moment. He did love to play music and especially loved how the crowd seemed to adore him...but... “Thanks, Mr. Maxamillovanni, but I think I should be getting home now. I promised my father that I would come straight home after school, and well...I never really did make it to school, but the least I can do is let him know I’m all right. “Besides,” he thought to himself, “I don’t want him to call that stupid cop on my ass again!”
Maxamillovanni leaned forward over his desk and narrowed his eyes menacingly. “I’m sorry, dear boy, but I must...insist.”
He stood up, walked around to Sidnocchio and slapped a pair of handcuffs on him. “You are going to make me a fortune! Now, I will show you to your....room,” he sneered, taking Sidnocchio by the arm and leading him down the hallway, where he tossed the nanobot into a large cage and locked him in.
Sidnocchio sat quietly in the dark, wondering how he was ever going to get out of this situation. Suddenly, he saw the most brilliant purple light glowing through a high window across the room from him. He stood up to get a better look, and to his wonderment, in floated the most magnificent little purple fairy!
She was dressed in a gorgeous, purple flowing gown, had long flowing golden locks that danced about her head and her beautiful glittery fairy wings sparkled in the moonlight. Sidnocchio was completely taken aback and in awe of her presence. He couldn’t help by stare as she gracefully floated down through the window and into his cage. Startled, Sidnocchio backed away from her to the far side of his cage, a guarded look on his face.
“Why, hello there, Sidnocchio,” said the fairy, smiling.
Sidnocchio blinked, and then cautiously took a step forward towards the fairy. “You...you know my name?” he asked, unsure if he should be talking to her, since, after all, she was a stranger of sorts.
“Please, don’t be frightened, I won’t hurt you. Come now; let me see your face.” Her eyes were sparkling and kind and her beautiful wings glittering and fluttering behind her, as she seemed to float about the cage.
Hesitantly, Sidnocchio moved closer towards her, stopping just short of her reach.
“Who....who are you?” he asked.
“Why, I’m the purple fairy,” she replied, as she giggled and fluttered about the cage.
“What do you want with me, Purple Fairy?” asked Sidnocchio, a bit braver now.
The Purple Fairy smiled sweetly, and then replied, “I’m here to help you, silly boy!” she giggled again, then pulled out a long, sparkling wand and touched it on the tip of Sidnocchio’s nose. Sparks flew out of the end of it and magically Sidnocchio’s nose began to shrink down to its original, normal size.
“What tha....?!” exclaimed Sidnocchio, grabbing his nose with astonishment. “How...how did you do that?” he asked.
The Purple Fairy giggled again, and fluttered around Sidnocchio, her sparkling fairy wings tickling him as she passed. “With my magic wand, of course!” she said, joyfully.
Sidnocchio thought to himself for a moment, wondering how he might become in possession of such a wonderful tool as that, and all of the things he’d like to do with it.
Charles Cricket, as if reading his mind, frantically whispered in Sidnocchio’s ear, “Don’t even think about it, Bub!”
“Now, tell me, Sidnocchio,” said the fairy, “how is it that you came to be locked in this cage?”
Sidnocchio went on to tell the Purple Fairy about how he came upon the club, how he played the keyboards for the crowd and how the greedy club owner, Maxamillovanni had insisted he work for him and locked him in the cage. Of course, he omitted the part about how he had ditched school and how he had sold his new laptop to the doorman to gain entrance into the club. When he had finished telling his tale, Sidnocchio’s nose began to grow and grow and grow...stretching all across the cage and clear out of the bars!
“Oh no!” yelled Sidnocchio. “What’s happening to me?”
The Purple Fairy looked at him, “Tsk! Tsk!” she said, shaking her head. “Your nose has grown long again because you have been telling lies.”
“What tha...?! Well, how am I supposed to go through life with this...this...thing... growing out of my face?!” screamed Sidnocchio, very upset that his beautiful, perfect face had become once again deformed. He tried to stomp around the cage, but his nose was so long that it remained sticking through the bars and kept him trapped in one place.
The Purple Fairy took his hands in hers. “Sidnocchio, if you promise to tell the truth, I will return your nose to its normal size once more.”
Sidnocchio grinned. “Okay, I promise,” he said, knowing full well that he’d say anything to her as long as she would change his nose back to normal.
The Purple Fairy smiled at him, then once again, she pulled out her magic wand, touched it to the tip of his long nose, and it magically shrank back down in size.
“There,” she said, stowing her wand back inside the folds of her gown. “All back to normal again. Now, Sidnocchio, please tell me what really happened to you today.”
Sidnocchio reluctantly told the fairy everything this time – making sure to leave nothing out. After he was finished, the Purple Fairy thanked him for his honesty, and rewarded him by magically unlocking his cage and setting him free.
“But remember, Sidnocchio,” said the Purple Fairy, “you must be a good boy from now on. You go straight home without stopping and tell your father everything that has happened to you tonight.”
“Don’t worry, Miss Purple Fairy, Ma’am,” said Charles Cricket, “I’ll make sure he does as he is told.”
Sidnocchio just glared at the Cricket, then bid the good fairy farewell and ran as fast as he could all the way home, thinking of how he was going to get his revenge on the greedy club owner the first chance he got. And, while he was at it, he thought, he might as well find a way to ditch this annoying cricket, too!
Once he arrived home, Sidnocchio made sure to keep his promise to the Purple Fairy and told Jackpetto everything he had done that day. Jackpetto, though quite upset that his nanobot son had disobeyed him, realized that surely Sidnocchio had been through enough for one night so he forgave him. However, he made Sidnocchio promise to go to the university in the morning without dallying around this time. Sidnocchio promised, and then went to his room to rest for the night.
The next day, Sidnocchio left bright and early for school, once again promising his father to go straight there and straight home afterwards. Of course, Sidnocchio, being the mischievous nanobot that he was, didn’t intend on keeping that promise. Sure, he’d gotten into a bit of a spot the night before, but he had managed to get out of it scot-free, had he not?
If he got into trouble again, he’d just call on that Purple Fairy broad to come and bail him out again. He smiled to himself at how clever he was, as he ran off down the road.
It hadn’t been too long when who should cross his path but a ruffian named Hando. “Hey, you!” said Hando, motioning for Sidnocchio to come up to him.
Sidnocchio cautiously approached the strange-looking tattooed young man, unsure if he was about to be jumped and left for parts on the side of the road.“Yes?” he asked the young man, still wondering if he shouldn’t just keep going on his way.
“You wanna have a bit of fun, Mate?” Hando asked him, lowering his eyes.
“Fun?” asked Sidnocchio. “What kind of ....fun?”
Hando grinned. “The best kind of fun, of course. Come with me and I’ll show you.”
“Sidnocchio! Don’t you dare go with that....that...ruffian!” scolded Charles Cricket. “Remember your promise to Jackpetto and the Purple Fairy!”
Hando sneered, “You gonna listen to that daggy little bug, Mate? Or do you wanna come with me and I’ll show you a place where there are no rules and best of all - no adults to tell you what to do!”
Sidnocchio thought for a moment. Surely, he was tired of everyone telling him what to do. Yes, he’d do it! He’d go with this young ruffian and have some fun for a change! “All right, then, let’s go!” replied Sidnocchio, quite excited to begin his new adventure.
Hando grinned slyly and motioned for Sidnocchio to follow him down the road in the opposite direction of the university. Charles Cricket, meanwhile, was completely beside himself. No matter how much he pleaded, Sidnocchio just wouldn’t listen to him! Finally, he just gave up and decided to go along with him and make sure he didn’t get into any real trouble along the way.
After a bit of walking, they came upon an overpass. Hando motioned for Sidnocchio to follow him down the hill and underneath the bridge. Hesitantly, Sidnocchio followed his new “friend” down, where a large white van was parked. Hando knocked on the driver’s door, and the driver waved at him, unlocked the passenger’s side door and Hando and Sidnocchio stepped inside.
“Next stop, Hollywood!” shouted the driver.
“Hollywood?” asked Sidnocchio, his eyes wide with wonderment. “So, that is the name of the magnificent place where anyone can do what they please and there are no adults to order us around?”
Hando grinned at the wide-eyed nanobot. “Yep, sure is, Mate. You just wait ‘til we get there...there’s 10 women for every man, and anything you want there, it’s yours...just for the taking!”
“Just for the taking, eh?” Sidnocchio asked, as he thought about all of the wondrous things he might want to have, such as a new laptop, one of those fancy keyboards like the one from the club, and, of course, a new incubator and computer for Jackpetto, to replace the ones he had sold to the university.
A moment later, the van drove past a huge sign which read, “Hollywood”.
Sidnocchio’s eyes dazzled from the lights emanating off of the huge, glowing sign, and he could hardly contain his excitement.
“Ain’t it somethin’, Mate?” asked Hando, staring at the sign as they drove past. “Here, take a picture for me, will you?” he asked Sidnocchio. “I’ll just get my camera out of my pocket for ya...” However, as the young man reached down into what he thought was his pants pocket, he got the shock of his life!
“Ack!” he screamed, pulling back his hand in fright. “What tha...?!” For instead of his pants pocket being where it should be, he realized that he had somehow grown a large pouch!
“Hando!” shouted Sidnocchio. “What’s wrong with you? What...what is that thing?!”
“I’m not sure, Mate!” replied Hando, horrified by his newly discovered disfigurement. “I think it might be....a....a....roo-pouch!” As he said this, he looked up at Sidnocchio, and his face suddenly contorted into a look of complete horror and disgust.
“Whatthafuckisthat?!” he screamed, much louder this time, pointing to Sidnocchio’s head.
Sidnocchio reached up onto his head, where he felt two long and fuzzy ears growing out of him. “Hando!” he screamed. “What’s happening to us?!”
Hando shook his head, “I don’t know, Mate, but I intend to find out!” He reached into the front seat and grabbed the driver by the back on the neck. “Oi! Driver! Just what have you done to us?!”
“Get your filthy paws off me, ya hooligan!” he sneered back to Hando.
“I’ve only given you what you deserve! Turned ya into a bunch of roos, I have, and now I’m gonna ship ya off to a zoo for a pretty penny to boot!”
Now, Sidnocchio wasn’t exactly sure what a roo was, but he was pretty certain that he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life as one. He jumped into the back of the van, flung the door open, and jumped out. Unfortunately, the van was crossing over the bay bridge at the time, and Sidnocchio rolled off the side of it and landed right smack dab in the middle of the ocean, where he was quickly swallowed up by a great white shark.
“Well,” said Charles Cricket, who until now had managed to keep completely silent about the whole business. “Isn’t this a fine mess you’ve gotten us into, Sidnocchio! If you’d only listened to me when I told you not to go with that ruffian, we wouldn’t be sitting here in the belly of this beast, slowly being digested amongst the most foul smelling and disgusting fish and rubbish I have ever smelled!” the little cricket shrieked, as he stomped about on Sidnocchio’s lap.
Sidnocchio thought for a moment about what the Cricket was telling him. Charles was right, of course. If he had only listened to him they wouldn’t be in this predicament. Of course, what fun would that be? Sidnocchio thought to himself, a slight grin on his face. Deciding what he must do, he stood up, tucked the little cricket into his pocket, and began calling for the Purple Fairy.
Suddenly, the shark’s entire cavity was aglow with the most brilliant purple light which caused Sidnocchio and Charles Cricket to shield their eyes.
“Why, Sidnocchio...what is it that has happened to you now?” asked the Purple Fairy, as she magically appeared in front of them.
Sidnocchio, having learned from his last mistake, decided he’d better tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth to her this time around, lest he be inflicted with that giant snout of a nose again. After he had finished filling her in, the Purple Fairy, though not happy about Sidnocchio once again disobeying his father, agreed to free him from the shark’s belly. However, she decided that he still needed to be taught a lesson, so she wasn’t going to make it easy on him this time around. No sir! For instead of just waving her magic wand to get the shark to spit him out, she decided to go to Jackpetto instead and tell him where Sidnocchio was so that he may find a way to free him from the belly of the beast.
Sidnocchio was quite upset that the Purple Fairy left him in the lurch, and he began to sulk and stomp around in the yucky, mucky chum that lined the shark’s stomach, getting his nice, new suit quite messy in the process. This, of course, made Sidnocchio even more upset, and he began kicking and screaming at the shark to let him out. The shark, feeling quite uncomfortable with all the stomping and kicking going on inside of him, let out a very large and very loud BURP, sending Sidnocchio and little Charles Cricket soaring out of his belly, through his sharp teeth, and back into the ocean, where Jackpetto had just arrived in his fishing boat.
“Sidnocchio! My son!” he yelled, excited to see his son once again. He then grabbed a huge net and scooped Sidnocchio up out of the water and into his boat, as the angry shark dove back down into the darkness of the ocean’s bottom.
After much rejoicing, Jackpetto and Sidnocchio headed for the safety and comfort of their home, where Sidnocchio apologized to his father for disobeying him and promised never to do so again. The next morning, Sidnocchio once more bid his father farewell and headed out for the university. This time, however, he returned at the end of the day, as promised. Jackpetto was very pleased to see that his son had indeed kept his promise this time and told him how very proud he was of him. He was just about to wrap his arms around the nanobot when Sidnocchio stopped him.
“Wait, father,” Sidnocchio told him, “I have a surprise for you!”
“A surprise? For me?” asked Jackpetto.
The corners of Sidnocchio’s lips curved slightly upward and he took his father by the hand and led him outside. There, on the front lawn, was all of Jackpetto’s computer equipment, including his incubator. Tears welled up in Jackpetto’s eyes, and he turned to his son.
“But, how?” he asked, hardly unable to contain his joy.
Sidnocchio grinned, pleased that he had made his father so happy. “I simply... explained....to the university, how important these things were to you, and they...agreed...to relinquish them to me,” explained Sidnocchio, of course, omitting several important details on how he REALLY became in possession of Jackpetto’s belongings. “And look, Father,” he continued, “I even...talked...that nice man at the dance club into giving me back my laptop.”
Later that night, as Sidnocchio lay awake in his bed, pleased once more by his cleverness, his room began to fill with the bright purple light, and soon the beautiful Purple Fairy appeared in front of him.
“Dear Sidnocchio,” she said, as she floated over to his bedside, “you have shown to me that you have indeed learned your lesson and have shown such great unselfishness tonight that I am going to reward you with the most wonderful gift of all.”
Sidnocchio quickly sat up in bed, his face all aglow. “You mean I get to go to Hollywood after all?” he asked, joyfully.
She shook her head and giggled. “No, no, silly nanobot! I am going to make you into a real boy!” And with a wave of her magic wand, the Purple Fairy transformed Sidnocchio from the blue-blooded nanobot into a real human being!
Sidnocchio narrowed his eyes and glared at her. “So, let me get this straight,” he said, looking at his newly transformed self in the mirror. “I will no longer be... perfect?” He turned around, grabbed the little fairy by her glittering wings, snatched her magic wand from her, and stuffed her into a jar – along with that annoying little Charles Cricket, then put them both up on a high shelf. Sidnocchio pointed the wand at himself, transforming himself from a human back to the perfect nanobot he had once been, then turned back and stared at himself in the mirror, grinning at how clever he was.
Afterwards, he lay on his bed, imagining all the fun he would have in the morning with his new wand.