Not long within Night Flights Mall, Arizona is walking about looking for Arthur since his dramatic exit from the rollerderby game. She eventually sees him at the counter of Moonlight Mocha waving hello at the nearest stool and wastes no time running over. Upon sitting down next to her knight in shining hawk armor, the angelic cowgirl looks over to the moonling baristas putting up a sign just below the coffee shop’s flashing neon logo. It reads the following in painted neon letters . . .
CHEESECAKE SMORGASBORD CHALLENGE!!!
Eat TEN cheesecakes in TWENTY minutes!!!
Do so and you can name your own Cheesecake Creation!!!
Free to all who dare to enter and eat to their heart’s content!
GOOD LUCK AND GOOD EATING!
“Whoa, free cheesecake?! Aw man, I HAVE to participate in this!” Angelic Emerald exclaims excitedly as she clears her throat to get the baristas’ attention.
“Wha . . .?” Shadow asks as he looks over to see the new couple before him and Trixie. “Oh, you wish to take our new challenge?”
“You betcha! I just LOVE cheesecake!” Arizona insists as she then looks over to the baked goods menu stationed above the syrup dispensers. There are a wide variety of cheesecakes available for casual and contest eating, including the following . . .
The Dirt Devil, which is a chocolate-enriched cheesecake that looks like mud with gummy worms within its creamy goodness, gummy grass planted around its crust, and a chocolate cookie crust topping to resemble dirt . . .
The Whirlin’ Berry – a regular cheesecake but with strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries swirled in along with swirling streaks of berry puree to create a whirlwind effect . . .
The Winter Parfait, a blueberry-stained cheesecake with multiple layers of cheesecake, white chocolate, and frozen blueberry puree to resemble black ice . . .
And many, many more . . . Hey, there’ll be ten different pies for the challenge, but these three stand out the most.
“Twenty different cheesecakes to choose from, huh? Well, at least I won’t be bored,” Arizona complements amusedly. “I trust you two, so I’ll leave you with the choices.”
“Be right back, then!” Trixie chuckles before running off into the back for obvious reasons.
“Would you like coffee as well? Just asking,” Shadow asks casually while shrugging his shoulders.
“Why not? It’s a coffee shop, after all,” Arizona replies as she puts an arm around Arthur. “It’s a solo challenge, right?” she adds in, with the Holobat barista nodding affirmatively. “Bummer.”
“It’s all right, Arizona. I can’t eat ALL that cheesecake, no matter how delicious it is,” Arthur replies in a mix of assurance and nervousness. “Least I can do is lend you my support and cheer.”
“More than enough, hon,” the angelic cowgirl replies before sharing a passionate kiss with her true love.
“Hey there, lovebirds,” Kamin’s voice greets out of nowhere.
“Look who’s talking, love. We’re the same too,” Celes’ voice adds in a playful tone.
The techno-humanoid couple looks over to their left to see the moonling couple themselves sitting next to them. “Hey there, you two. You heard about this challenge too, right?” Arizona asks amusedly.
“No, just on a date. Since you are though, we might as well watch and cheer you on if that’s peachy with ya,” the hippie firefly replies casually as she brings her Graphic Artnaval boyfriend in a soft, loving embrace.
“It’s all peachy, Celes,” Angelic Emerald replies assuredly just as a tray of ten different cheesecakes is laid down before her, along with a steaming cup of coffee sliding over from her right.
“Here ya go, Ari! You sure you wanna do this?” Trixie asks the angelic cowgirl, who nods affirmatively while crossing her arms in a sense of bravado. “You’re the first to do this challenge. Let’s see if you’ll be the first winner,” the Pixicat barista adds as she gives the cheesecake-loving cowgirl a fork.
“Place your bets, y’all,” Angelic Emerald replies bravely while raising her fork upwards She-Ra style.
With that, Trixie kicks the nearby bell to commence the challenge – you know, for stylish flair. This naturally catches the attention of the surrounding Earthlings and Moonlings, whom all jump up in fright like Mexican jumping beans. Upon seeing the challenge going down now, they quickly rush over to see up-close.
“Good luck, Ari,” Arthur says while returning the romantic kiss.
“Same here. Just don’t make yourself sick while doing it, all right?” a concerned Kamin adds in as he and Celes give the angelic cowgirl two thumbs up.
“I won’t,” Arizona replies casually as she starts eating the Whirlin’ Berry with her fork, trying to get as much bites as her mouth can hold before swallowing it down. “Aw, man, this is good beyond the stars!” she complements happily with her eyes becoming big and sparkling in delight.
“Less talk, more eating!” Trixie insists like a drill sergeant, which gets Angelic Emerald’s attention.
With that, Arizona continues eating away at the berry-swirled cheesecake until it’s all done. She lets out a big burp in triumph before getting the next cheesecake in line – the Dirt Devil – and starts eating away like a woodpecker would with termites in a tree.
“Man, she’s like a machine!” Trixie exclaims in wide-eyed amazement.
“Ari has always had a massive sweet tooth. She went through a twenty-scoop banana split during a date three years ago,” Arthur points out while cracking a smile.
“My metabolism is like an inferno, hon. It’ll burn anything up in my stomach like kindling,” Arizona replies cheerfully before popping the last bite of the Dirt Devil in her mouth.
“I’m surprised you haven’t touch your coffee yet,” Shadow asks in a mixed tone of confusion and curiosity.
“Any fluids you drink will make any food you’ve eaten expand in your stomach, making you fuller faster. She knows that, right?” Sapphire Knight points out, with Angelic Emerald winking at him as her response.
With that, Arizona reaches for the Winter Parfait and breaks it into four quarters as neatly as she can with her bare hands before taking one of them to chow down. Upon doing so, her mouth becomes frozen in a cartoonish fashion due to the cheesecake itself being THAT cold. Annoyed by this, she finally reaches for that precious mug of joe and takes a big sip – which instantly melts the ice away, allowing the angelic cowgirl to continue eating away.
“Well, that was unexpected. Then again, I did put that cheesecake in our nitrogen-powered freezer, and you know how COLD it can get. By the way, you have 17 minutes left and seven pies to go,” Trixie chuckles nervously with a sweatdrop running down her head.
“Three pies in four minutes?!? She might get this down, people!” Shadow exclaims in amazement upon realizing this, with the others surrounding the coffee shop cheering Arizona on.
With that, Angelic Emerald starts on her fourth cheesecake – the Maple Morning, which consists of swirls of real maple syrup within with a crust made out of candied bacon. “Well, that would certainly qualify as a breakfast, no?” Celes asks amusedly.
“It helps it has bacon, and well, you know what they say about it,” Kamin adds in cheerfully.
Focusing 100% on the challenge as if her life depends on it, Arizona has just finished off the Lemon Meringue before moving on ahead to a Shortcake Cheesecake – basically a cheesecake layered by whipped cream and strawberries. She burns through it as well before proceeding with the Midnight Mocha – a cheesecake seethed with espresso with a dark chocolate graham crust, topped with white chocolate curls to resemble crescent moons.
After munching down on that deep chocolate-rich cheesecake, Angelic Emerald lets out a big breath puff to relieve the stress of all that chowin’. “Uh oh, looks like she’s hitting the food wall anytime now,” Kamin points out concernedly.
“Hey, it ain’t over until the fat lady sings,” Arizona insists bravely before reaching for another cheesecake – this one being the Confetti Cheese, consisting of multiple layers of cheesecake and vanilla cake filled with sprinkles.
“You can do this, Ari! I believe in you!” Arthur exclaims confidently while motioning the surrounding audience to cheer on as actual confetti rains down on the coffee shop.
“Sheesh, Earthlings really get into these food challenges, no?” Shadow asks nervously as he gets out a parasol and holds it up above himself and Trixie to repel the confetti shower.
“We ain’t so different from them, that’s for sure,” the Pixicat barista snickers amusedly before seeing the cheesecake before her – the S’more Cheesecake Sandwich, which consists of a chocolate cheesecake sandwiched with layers of marshmallows, frozen milk chocolate discs, and thick graham cracker crusts – being snatched up by the angelic cowgirl, who munches on it like an actual s’more sandwich while the gooey fillings spill out with each bite. “Whoa, that’s quite a messy cheesecake we’ve made, no?”
“Well, it’s not meant to be eaten like that, for sure,” Shadow points out nervously as he watches Arizona finishes up the mess she’s made, getting the spilled contents on her plate and shoveling it all down like dinner scraps in just seconds.
As soon as Angelic Emerald is done with that faux s’more sandwich, she lies back on her chair to let out another puff of breath – signifying the obvious. Noticing this, everyone around her starts cheering to get the last cheesecake done ASAP.
“Here’s the last cheesecake of the challenge – the Peanut Butter Nightmare! Get this one down and you’ll win!” Trixie insists excitedly as she slides the aforementioned cheesecake – which consists of cheesecake with peanut butter cups mushed at the bottom, a gooey chocolate glaze with crushed peanut butter cups on top, a dark chocolate crust, and peanut butter crème dallops on top.
Arizona nods affirmatively and proceeds to eat the Peanut Butter Nightmare bit by bit – taking pauses to sip her coffee between bites – to make the final leg of the journey more manageable.
“All that sweetness does tend to be tiring, no?” Arthur points out nervously, with his true love nodding affirmatively without breaking her focus on eating the decadent peanut butter-laden cheesecake.
At this time, the surrounding audience continues to cheer for the cheesecake-loving cowgirl to finish. Apparently, it works as Arizona pops the last bite of the Peanut Butter Nightmare into her mouth. She then raises her fists up in triumph as everyone around her cheers while throwing confetti all around – before finally plopping on her seat with her eyes swirling in a drunken, cheesecake-induced daze.
“Oh my! Well, anyone would be knocked out after eating all of that cheesecake, no?” Celes chuckles nervously.
“Well, at least she’s won,” Trixie replies before raising her fist up cheerfully. “Hooray for Arizona!”
Just then, Angelic Emerald wakes up without warning and then lets out another belch – this one so big and loud, it produces an earthquake-like vibration that sends everyone around her crashing to the ground. Once the quick earthquake settles down, the audience gets back up as Arizona chuckles nervously. “Sorry, y’all,” she says while blushing in embarrassment.
“Not bad at all, Ari,” Trixie says complementally as she gives the angelic cowgirl a high-five.
“I’ve seen my fair share of belches, but this tops it all. Does it have anything to do with your new Techno Angel form, Ari?” Arthur asks amusedly, with his true love shrugging her shoulders in response.
“Well, regardless of that, you’re the first ever winner to complete our Cheesecake Smorgasbord Challenge. Congratulations, Angelic Emerald,” Shadow says as he shakes hands with the winner. “Now then, as your prize, we will create a new cheesecake based on your preferences.”
And with that, the Holobat barista hands the angelic cowgirl a clipboard, which she wastes no time in writing down what she wants on her prize. Once she slides it back to Shadow, he and Trixie look at what Arizona has written before nodding affirmatively. “No problem, we’ll get on that right away,” the Pixicat barista finally says confidently before she and her true love run off to get started just like that.
A few minutes later, as everyone outside is waiting eagerly to find out what new cheesecake creation will be available – since Arizona has kept her mouth zipped up to avoid telling for obvious reasons – the moonling baristas finally returned with a new cheesecake and lay it down on the counter for everyone to see.
This new creation has cheesecake filling mixed with flame-shaped swirls of red, orange, and yellow fruits unknown at the time with slices of strawberries and red hot peppers laid neatly in a lattice pattern, with a dark chocolate graham crust containing it all. Everyone is surprised by this and chuckles nervously while looking at each other.
“This is what Ari wants on her cheesecake creation, so what she wants, what she gets. This is the Fiery Inferno, and as you can see, those are Carolina Reaper pepper slices on top along with those of strawberries. And those fruity swirls are purees of oranges, pineapple, and a mixture of strawberries and Carolina Reapers, for those who are curious. Yep, it’ll literally be an inferno in your mouth should anyone eat a slice,” Trixie replies with a mischievous chuckle.
Everyone around the coffee shop starts walking away in a slow, nervous fashion with anime-style sweat flying from their heads before zooming off in a collective cartoonish puff of smoke. “Hmmph, wimps,” the Pixicat barista grumbles annoyingly while crossing her arms.
“I heard that Carolina Reapers are the hottest peppers on Earth. Let’s see if that’s true,” a curious Kamin says as he takes a slice of the Fiery Inferno and starts eating it. “Well, I have to say, this cheesecake is delicious . . .” he adds in before trailing off – as his face suddenly turns a glowing red with his ‘hair’ literally going up in flames Looney Tunes-style. Despite this, he just sits there in a silent daze with wide glowing yellow eyes.
Outside the mall, the group is on its rooftop standing while watching the starry sky – as Kamin is shooting out glowing yellow comets with neon red flame trails from his mouth every five seconds. As the comets fly off into space, they instantly freeze due to the absolute zero temperatures - forming into small fiery orange stars on the spot.
Back down on Earth, an exhausted Kamin collapses on the rooftop with Celes running over to his side. “Are you done cooling down, love?” she asks in a calm but concerned tone.
The Graphic Artnaval coughs a bit before getting back up and finally replies, “That cheesecake was immensely hot – but delicious just as much,” with amusing chuckles.
Celes rolls her eyes in annoyance and then gives her true love a big smooch on the lips. Once she’s done, Kamin turns into a literal comet that suddenly flies out of her arms and into the sky. She chuckles amusedly as the sky literally explodes in several neon blue, white, and turquoise heart-shaped fireworks.
Not long after, Kamin floats back down like a feather – scorched like earth and heart-shaped eyes beating like the real deal. The Symphivoice chuckles before holding out her arms calmly and casually as her true love lands in her arms just like that. “Am I hotter?” she asks seductively.
“Yeah . . . so much more . . .” the love-dazed Graphic Artnaval asks before shaking his head for obvious reasons. Once he comes to, he adds in, “That takes ‘A Hunk of Burnin’ Love’ to a whole new level.”
Celes winks at her true love in response before embracing him on the spot, with Kamin following suit and returning the kiss.