Trouble in Candy Land
The candy spear came out of nowhere. Henry Josey ducked to avoid it and dove into a lollipop bush. He scanned the area, trying to locate where the spear had come from. Once he had spotted and taken care of the threat, Henry got back on the peppermint path and resumed his trek toward the Candy Castle. If he wanted to make it back to Bloomington in time to trample the Hoosiers, he needed to reach the castle before sunset.
The Missouri running back had already navigated the Gingerbread Forest and bested Lord Licorice, so all he had left to do was make his way through the Lollipop Woods and the Molasses Swamp and he would be home free. It was a difficult task, but Josey knew that he could handle it. He only wished that it hadn't come to this.
Though it felt like he had been trudging through Candy Land for days, it was only a few hours ago that he had been watching film with his teammates. They had just finished up their typical Friday walkthroughs and everyone was running low on fuel, so Henry had volunteered to snag some refreshments from the vending machine. As he walked down the hall, he was surprised by what sounded like a wounded kitten. Henry cared for all animals equally, so he set off toward the noise to see if he could help. Unbeknownst to him however, an elaborate ruse awaited.
Waiting for Henry around the corner were eleven defensive Hoosiers, dressed in their gameday candy-stripes. He was able to hold them off for an hour or two, but eventually their numbers overwhelmed him. Once he was subdued, the Indiana defense began the incantations that would stop Josey from running roughshod all over them. They knew that they wouldn't be able to contain him on the field, so drastic measures had to be taken. They had to send him away. Banish him to their home dimension. Henry was on his way to Candy Land.
Fortunately for the Tigers, Henry had come to in a friendly environment. Gramma Nutt had seen him lying unconscious near the Gumdrop Pass and nursed him back to health. She also explained to him how he could return to his native land. The key was King Kandy. The benevolent king was the only person in Candy Land that had the power to send Josey back to Bloomington, but there was a catch. If he wanted to make it back before game time, Henry needed to get to the Candy Castle before sunset.
That was hours ago. Henry had taken everything Candy Land threw at him in stride, and now he was on the doorstep of the Candy Castle. With a sigh of relief, he rang the bubblegum bell and waited for someone to answer. But something was wrong. Fifteen minutes had passed without a sound from inside the castle. Henry rang the bell once more, hoping that maybe it had gone unheard inside. After his second ring fell on deaf ears, he decided to take action.
With one swift kick, Josey reduced the oaken door to splinters. Inside the castle, it was eerily quiet. As he made his way through the halls, he called out to anyone that may be hiding inside. His beckons echoed unanswered off the empty walls. When he finally reached the throne room, he was greeted by a shocking sight. Instead of King Kandy, a giant figure dressed in full Indiana gear was seated on the throne. "What have you done with King Kandy?" Henry demanded.
"That fool? He's locked away in the Dum Dum Dungeon." The mysterious figure responded."Did you really think you would just be able to waltz back in time for the game?"
"Why are you doing this?" Henry asked. He had never wronged an Indiana player, he had no idea why they would act this way.
"You know full well that your abilities on the field far surpass those of our defenders, so I instructed them to banish you to my domain where you cannot help your team." Josey was flabbergasted. He couldn't fathom any team going to such drastic measures to alter the outcome of a football game. The figure stepped off of the throne and began advancing on Henry. "Since you're already here, I might as well just take care of you myself." Henry ducked under a kick and drove his fist into the figure's chest. The force of his punch was so great, that it knocked the figure out in one shot. With the threat disposed of, Henry quickly freed King Kandy and made all the necessary preparations for his trip back to Bloomington.
"You've been very helpful and hospitable, your highness." Josey said, bowing to King Kandy. "But now I must return to my dimension."
"Farewell, Henry Josey." King Kandy returned the bow. "We are all eternally grateful to you. May you have safe travels and a fruitful game." Josey closed his eyes, and when he opened them again he was standing in front of the vending machine in the team hotel.
"That's right, I was getting some snacks for the guys!" He thought, reaching for his wallet. It was then that he noticed that his pockets were brimming with sweets. A gift from the king.
"You've been gone for hours, where in the world have you been!?" His teammates asked as he reentered the room. Henry smiled.
"You have no idea."