The day had finally arrived… the Crunch Club fancy dress party! Crunchy Cat, Nano Cat and Bubble Cat had arrived early to set up the speakers and snack table, not to mention the wildberry juice booth.
Outside Crunch Club, the loud tunes and bright lights were soon attracting lots of cloud citizens. One was Ghurk the cucumber, who happened to be driving through. In the passenger seat of his go-kart sat a box full of wildberries. “Such a pain that we had to come all this way to pick up the castle’s wildberry order,” Ghurk muttered. “I suppose it’s better than leaving it up to those useless guards, like last time. Can you believe they ate half the berries on the way back? As if I wouldn’t notice!” he fumed.
Ghurk’s mood deepened when he saw the queue of cloud citizens gathered outside Crunch Club, chatting, laughing and complimenting each other’s outfits. Why wasn’t I told about this? Ghurk thought. “I can dress up in a fun outfit, just as well as the rest of them,” he muttered jealously.
He recognised the green cat at the front of the queue. As Ghurk watched, the cat swept a black cloak around his shoulders and seemed to disappear inside of it. An idea began to form in Ghurk’s head. I’ll teach those Munch Cats for leaving me out of the fun, he thought deviously.
The Munch Cats squealed in fear as a cloaked figure swept into the room. He slowly pulled back his black hood to reveal… Trash Cat! “Mowchi, chumbos!” Trash Cat cried, grinning. “Is that really you, Trash?” Bubble Cat said, surprised. “Amazi vampire costume! I hardly recognised you!” The group chattered by the juice booth while the club quickly grew busier.
An hour later, the party had reached new levels of cool. A Hoober Owl dressed as a dinosaur and a Munch Cat in a cowboy costume were having a dance-off, with an excited crowd cheering them on. Bubble Cat was working at the speed of light over at the juice booth, handing out blended wildberry treats. “What a turn out!” Crunchy Cat cried to Trash Cat, who had just appeared in his vampire costume. “Popcorn?” she said, offering the tub. The cloaked figure didn’t reply – and whacked the tub out of her paw! Crunchy Cat let out a sad cry as her popcorn spilled across the floor. Before she could say anything, the hooded figure had swept away through the crowd. “Are you ooku, Crunchy?” said Pudding Cat, who’d just arrived at the party and spotted her friend.
“Trash Cat, he… knocked my popcorn over and ran away,” she mumbled sadly. “I don’t know why he’d do that. You look fabbo, Pudding Cat,” Crunchy added, admiring her friend’s panda costume.
“Fammu, Crunchy. Why don’t I get you another popcorn tub?” Pudding replied, squeezing her friend’s paw. She wandered over to the popcorn stand and stood in line behind someone dressed as a vampire. Pudding narrowed her eyes… the cloaked figure was pouring what looked like an entire bag of salt into the machine. “I think that’s probably enough salt,” she said politely, tapping the partygoer on the shoulder. He turned, whipping the bag around and showered Pudding Cat with salt! “WOAH!” Pudding Cat cried, The cloaked figure dropped the salt bag and ran away, but not before Pudding Cat glimpsed some green beneath the hood.
When Pudding Cat told her friends what had happened, they couldn’t believe it. Why was Trash Cat acting so horribly? He was ruining the party! “We have to talk to him,” Bubble Cat said. “We should give him a chance to explain…”
“I agree!” A voice piped in. The Munch Cats whirled around to see Trash Cat standing behind them, his vampire hood down, licking a fruit pop! “Give who a chance to explain?” He added innocently. The Munch Cats asked him about the popcorn and salt incidents. “But… I didn’t do any of those things!” Trash Cat cried, his eyes shining with tears. “I promise, chumbos.” The other Munch Cats looked at each other, uncertain. Pudding Cat broke the silence, placing a paw on Trash Cat’s shoulder. “We believe you, buddle. That costume is perfect for hiding in – it could have been anyone. But we should stop them before they do anything else,” Pudding Cat said, her tone serious.
The Munch Cats split up to look for the troublemaker. Crunchy Cat took to the dancefloor, occasionally pausing to wiggle in time to the awesome music. Bubble Cat and Pudding explored the sides of the room and Nano Cat went upstairs to the balcony. At first, Nano thought the second floor was deserted… until a shadow moved. It was the vampire! He was clinging to the mirrorball! He was too busy trying to detach the mirrorball to notice Nano Cat, who flew at him from the balcony railing!
Nano Cat grabbed its foe and squeaked its loudest squeak – loud enough for the music to be stopped. “NANO!” shouted the Munch Cats, worriedly watching the struggle from below. “BE CAREFUL!” No sooner had the words left their mouths that Nano Cat and the vampire tumbled from the mirrorball!
Luckily, Nano Cat landed on its feet, and the troublemaker safely on top of it. Everyone cheered as Crunchy Cat pulled back the hood of the villain. The crowd’s cheers soon turned to gasps. “…Ghurk?” said Crunchy Cat in disbelief. “That’s RIGHT!” cried Ghurk, through his novelty vampire teeth. “It’s me. Remember? The cucumber you DIDN’T invite?”
“Oh, Ghurk…” Bubble Cat said guiltily. “Chilli Cat DID leave a message at your castle, with your cucumber guards. But they said you were busy all day long and wouldn’t be able to come, so they took the invitation instead.” Bubble Cat pointed to a corner of the dance floor where two cucumber guards, dressed as unicorns, stood. They were awkwardly avoiding Ghurk’s gaze.
Ghurk jumped to his feet and ordered them back to the castle at once. As he was about to leave Crunch Club, Pudding Cat called after him.
“You can still join the party, Ghurk! No hard feelings about what happened,” she said warmly. Now it was Ghurk’s turn to feel awkward. “Fammu,” he muttered. “Maybe… next year?” a glimmer of a smile crossed his lips, before he turned and walked out. The rest of the party passed without any trouble. It was so successful that the theme for next year’s party was already picked – masquerade!