Throughout much of the day, Empath and his fellow Smurfs spent it with their parent Smurfs, showing them all the things they have accomplished in the years of their parents’ absence. Brainy showed his father Aristotle the various works of literature he had written and published, even though most of it was basically his series of Quotations books. Handy showed his father Muscles the various kinds of inventions he has built himself, or at least the plans for some of these inventions, like the Clockwork Smurf he had built during Empath’s final years in Psychelia and the Imaginarium. Hefty showed Muscles his gym with all the latest exercise machines his brother Handy had built. Painter, Poet, and Sculptor showed their father Picasso the various works of art they have created. Vanity showed his father Hauteur all the various types of flower arrangements and curtain patterns he had devised, plus all the photographs he had taken with Handy’s photo-smurfer. Dreamy told his father Venture about all the adventures he had on board his sailing ship, the S.S. Smurf II, plus his latest adventure of traveling to the stars on board Flyro’s spaceship and encountering the Schliphargon. Overall, it seemed that the parent Smurfs were rather impressed by what their children had done with their lives apart from them being a part of it, although there were some Smurfs among them whose lives actually didn’t amount to much of anything really useful. Still, some tales that were told such as Lazy being able to rescue Hefty and Handy from being eaten by underground creatures through his echoed snoring, which made these creatures believe that these Smurfs were actually fearsome monsters, did manage to make some of the parent Smurfs laugh.
During the whole day, however, Polaris Psyche along with Smurfette, Baby Smurf, and the three boy Smurflings were searching in various places such as the Smurf Village cemetery and the Imaginarium to figure out for themselves what was going on as they observed their fellow Smurfs interacting with these ‘parent Smurfs’ that were invisible to them. Polaris Psyche didn’t like scanning for bodies within a cemetery since he felt it violated the peaceful sanctity of any living being’s resting place. But to his surprise, he found out from his scanning with his minds-eye that the bodies of those ‘parent Smurfs’ that their fellow Smurfs claimed to be alive were still resting in their graves, with their bodies continuing to decay with time. With that finding, they went to the Imaginarium, since they assumed that some unknown source was using the power of the Imaginarium crystals to project powerful realistic illusions outside the meeting room where the Imaginarium is. But to their surprise, the Imaginarium crystals remained unpowered with nobody using them to generate any sort of fantasy made into reality.
In the meantime, Smurfette and the Smurflings tried to peacefully talk to various Smurfs to persuade them to see that these ‘parent Smurfs’ they claim to be seeing, hearing, and touching were nothing but illusions that were somehow made real. But it seemed that hardly any of them were listening. Some, like Empath, even scoffed at Smurfette and the Smurflings not being able to see and hear the very beings they claimed were real. This slowly began to frustrate them to the point where they could do nothing but just watch the other Smurfs continue to interact with their delusions, to whatever end these delusions might take them. But Smurfette and the Smurflings cared too much for them not to entirely give up on them.
Later on in Tapper’s tavern, where a good deal of the Smurfs with their parents had gathered together, Tapper was at the counter with his father Séamus and his mother Molly, with Séamus mixing up special drinks and Molly doing the waitressing, when Jokey and his father Pranky came up to the counter, the both of them snickering. Tapper wasn’t very fond of Jokey playing his practical jokes even in his tavern, and now with his own Papa Smurf in tow, it made Tapper even more suspicious.
“Great Smurfiny Crickets, my dear Jokey, what daft thing are you up to this time?” Tapper demanded.
“You’ve got to smurf this for yourself, Tapper,” Jokey replied, trying to stifle his laughing. “My Papa Smurf just smurfed a whoopie cushion in somebody’s seat over by the window where Empath is.”
“Just you wait and smurf, youngster,” Pranky added, also trying to contain himself for the right moment. “At any moment, some Smurf’s going to smurf in that seat and…pffft! The other Smurfs will think that he’s smurfing gas!”
Tapper groaned as he gave Jokey a look. “Jokey, you’re just about as annoying as a Smurfish leprechaun.”
“Hey, it wasn’t my idea, Tapper,” Jokey spoke, trying to plead innocent. “My Papa Smurf smurfed that one up. He’s smurfed gags on his fellow Smurfs that I haven’t even smurfed of yet.”
“Well, looks like you’ve smurfed a lot to learn,” Pranky reminded him.
“Just what we need, father and son smurfing pranks together,” Tapper sarcastically said, rolling his eyes at the thought.
“Aw, just let the boys smurf their fun in here, laddie,” Séamus reprimanded Tapper. “The village needs a good prankster to keep them smurfing on their toes and not smurf life in the village too smurfiously.”
“This village already has one prankster too many, Séamus,” Molly scolded. “And if you had smurfed that enchanted stew when we were visiting the Emerald Isle, I would have had a leprechaun Smurf to consmurf with. I sure didn’t want my son to be smurfed up by some missmurfous leprechaun, I tell you.”
"Come on, admit it...we sure smurfed some good times with Pranky and Trixie always smurfing us with their pranks, lassie," Angus said as he stood at the counter next to Séamus, Molly, and Bonnie.
"I surely don't recall you always laughing when Pranky smurfed the best of you, my love," Bonnie said to Angus.
"Those were different times, Bonnie," Angus said. "Besides, you can't smurf a grudge against someone like Pranky forever for smurfing that, or that will kill you long before anything else will."
Bonnie laughed. "At least we won't have to worry about that, Angus, except for our dear sons."
Soon enough Polaris Psyche came into the tavern, which was something he normally didn’t do unless it was to talk to someone. He approached the table where Empath was seated and sat on the seat where the whoopie cushion was, causing it to erupt with its embarrassing raspberry-type sound. Some of the other Smurfs present in the tavern laughed as Polaris recoiled, standing up for a bit to notice the whoopie cushion underneath him. He saw Jokey at Tapper’s counter laughing at him and gave him a look of total displeasure.
“Hey, Polaris, smurfed enough beans in your diet lately?” Jokey quipped, laughing like his sides were going to split.
“Jokey, you’re laughing at a gag that just malfunctioned!” Pranky noted, not being able to see Polaris at all. “I don’t smurf anything funny about it.”
“That was Polaris, Papa, Empath’s friend from Psychelia,” Jokey tried to explain. “He’s someone who could really smurf a good laugh in his life.”
“Polaris schmolaris,” Pranky muttered. “I smurf nothing but a gag that just smurfed off by itself. Empathy must have triggered the thing to smurf off by itself to smurf his friend from smurfing on it, wherever he is.”
“Well, I’d say it smurfs you right, Pranky,” Molly said. “Trying to smurf one of your nasty pranks on some unsusmurfing Smurf is bound to smurf back in your face sooner or later.”
“So what’s been on your mind lately that you need to talk to this smurf about, Polaris?” Empath asked as Polaris discarded the whoopie cushion that he unknowingly sat upon.
“Only about this strange phenomenon that’s been going on among you, Papa Smurf, and all your fellow male adult Smurfs that’s becoming a concern for this one as well as for Smurfette, Baby Smurf, and the Smurflings,” Polaris answered. “Do you not find it rather curious that this phenomenon is somehow affecting the use of your minds-eye abilities to the point where you are unable to effectively judge between what’s real and what isn’t?”
“The only ‘curious things’ this smurf has ever noticed, Polaris, is that this unusual form of resurrection that happened to Papa Smurf’s fellow Smurfs has enabled them to no longer need to eat, drink, or sleep,” Empath commented. “But as far as this smurf’s minds-eye abilities being affected by it, this smurf doesn’t think it has. This smurf still isn’t able to figure out why you, Smurfette, Baby Smurf, or the other Smurflings aren’t able to see these other Smurfs who came back to life, though.”
“This one has visited the graves of these Smurfs that were your parents, Empath,” Polaris reported, “and has made the startling discovery that all of their bodies are still in the graves, untampered with in any sense. Neither can this one detect any spiritual activity going on in the village that would suggest that you are being ‘haunted’ by ghosts. And as far as this one can tell, the Imaginarium crystals have been totally inactive during this time, which would rule out the possibility of a malfunction that would make Imaginarium creations exist outside the meeting house. At best, the only thing this one can suggest is that what you’re experiencing is a very powerful delusion that may be magically induced.”
“A magic-induced delusion?” Empath scoffed. “Polaris, this smurf can’t even sense that these Smurfs you can’t even see or hear are delusions at all. Why can’t you just accept that it’s you who’s being deluded into thinking that these Smurfs that you somehow can’t see don’t exist?”
“Empath, you have known this one long enough to know that this one would never say or do anything that would ever deceive you,” Polaris said firmly. “If it will satisfy your curiosity, this one will continue to search for the answers behind this phenomenon and give you the proof that you so desire to either prove or disprove these claims. But this one cannot deny what this one has witnessed thus far with you or your fellow Smurfs on this matter.”
Empath didn’t like having to challenge his friend Polaris on anything, but here he really felt that this miraculous event was being tested by Polaris, and now it needed some solid proof.
“Well, if it makes you feel any better, Polaris, then continue your search,” Empath said. “But just as you cannot deny what you’re witnessing, neither can this smurf do the same with what this smurf is witnessing. This smurf just hopes somehow that you’re entirely wrong on this, though.”
Polaris nodded in acceptance before he left the table and the tavern.
Late in the evening, as most of the other Smurfs went off to sleep, Papa Smurf was sitting in his house by the fireplace with his wife Lillithina, lying on a rug together, supported by pillows, watching the fire blaze on. Papa Smurf had brought a bottle of smurfberry wine from Tapper’s tavern and poured it into two champagne glasses in the hopes that they would enjoy this moment together as they did many times years ago. But strangely, Lillithina never touched her glass of wine at all. In fact, Papa Smurf noticed that she never ate or drank anything during her stay in the village. While it did bother him a little, Papa Smurf still enjoyed being close to his wife again like this nonetheless.
“I’ve always imagined, my dear Cully, that the two of us would smurf old together with silvery white hair and lines on our faces, smurfing together like this,” Lillithina pondered. “I never smurfed that I would be the one who still smurfs so young while you’re the one with the white hair of wisdom on your face. And yet, even with the white hair, you still look as smurfy to me as you did when you smurfed the brown hair.”
“Well, as I once smurfed my little Smurfs some time ago, Lilly, ‘you’re only as old as you smurf you are’,” Papa Smurf responded. “And I find that the best way for me to smurf young is just to appreciate and enjoy what I have in my life.”
“You smurfed a fine job raising a hundred young Smurflings into adult Smurfs,” Lillithina complimented. “It’s just too bad that I can’t smurf some of the Smurfs you have smurfed about, like Empath’s sweetheart Smurfette, and this Baby Smurf, and those three boy Smurflings, or even this Polaris Psyche that Empath calls his friend. I’m not sure why neither I nor any of our fellow Smurfs can see them like Empathy and his fellow Smurfs.”
“Smurfette is a fine young female Smurf who’s just like the daughter I wish we could have smurfed together, Lilly,” Papa Smurf explained. “Baby Smurf is a joy to smurf around, and while Nat, Snappy, and Slouchy can be troublesome at times, they can also be good little Smurfs. Polaris Psyche is a special being that Empath has managed to smurf out and touch in a place where exsmurfing emotions are forbidden. He has changed in me how I have always smurfed at the Psyches since I left Empath in Psychelia. I don’t think the village would ever smurf the same without him now.”
“Well, Cully, now that your fellow Smurfs are back among you and all those young Smurfs you smurfed for them, what do you plan to smurf with your being their leader and father figure?” Lillithina asked.
Papa Smurf thought about that for a moment. “I honestly don’t know, Lilly. I guess I have been so used to being Papa Smurf for so long, I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to smurf it up, now that I have you back with me and Empath together as a family again.”
“I know that from your heart, you will find a way, my dear Cully,” Lillithina assured him. “You’ve brought those Smurfs thus far to this point in time. I think you’ll be able to handle what smurfs next with us and them.”
“As long as we’re together to handle it, my sweet Lilly,” Papa Smurf responded with a kiss.
Meanwhile, also in the same late hour, Polaris Psyche had called together Smurfette, Baby Smurf, and the three boy Smurflings for a secret meeting, held in Smurfette’s house.
“Evidently, this one’s attempt to persuade Empath to see for himself that these ‘parent Smurfs’ that he and his fellow Smurfs claim to see are merely illusions has been fruitless,” Polaris reported.
“Well, I smurfed no such luck trying to tell Papa Smurf, who thinks that his beloved wife Lillithina has smurfed back from the dead,” Smurfette contributed, sounding frustrated.
“We can’t even smurf the likes of Brainy that what he’s smurfing is just a fantasy, either,” Snappy added, speaking for both Nat and Slouchy. “If this is some kind of magic spell smurfed on them, it’s really smurfing the job keeping them so occupied in believing this fantasy reunion is so real.”
“Do we even know what kind of magic spell has smurfed this to those Smurfs?” Nat asked.
Polaris sighed as he shook his head. “This one has not studied any of Papa Smurf’s books regarding magical practices to have an immediate answer for this situation.”
Just then, somebody knocked on Smurfette’s door. Smurfette answered it, and found out it was Grouchy. He somehow looked more sour than usual, if such a thing was possible for Grouchy.
“Grouchy, what happened?” Smurfette asked, concerned for Grouchy as he walked into her house.
“I hate my Papa Smurf,” Grouchy snarled vehemently. “I thought that his smurfing back from the dead would have smurfed him for the better, but he still never smurfed me any better than he did when he was living years ago. All he ever smurfs about is how proud he is over Handy and Hefty with what they smurfed with their lives, and he also smurfs more time with Sassette than he ever smurfed with me. I smurfed him that I never wanted to smurf him ever again, and then he just disappeared right before my eyes, though my Mama Smurf didn’t. I don’t ever want to smurf back to how it was before I lost my parents. I just want things to smurf how they were when Empath’s Papa Smurf became Papa Smurf.”
“Interestingly curious, fellow Grouchy, that of all the Smurfs who would be pleased by this fantasy of theirs coming true through this somewhat magical delusion, the memories of your own parents have ultimately provoked a negative reaction within you that caused a portion of this delusion to dissipate on your part,” Polaris pondered. “That might indicate a possible way we can use to help rescue all the other Smurfs from being trapped in their delusions.”
“We still don’t know what kind of magic spell it was that smurfed these delusions on them, Polaris,” Slouchy reminded him.
“Auld lang smurf! Auld lang smurf!” Baby Smurf shouted.
“What does Baby Smurf mean by ‘auld lang smurf’, Smurfette?” Polaris asked.
“That’s the name of a song that we usually smurf around New Year’s Eve, Polaris,” Smurfette replied.
“Or perhaps it’s a clue as to what kind of spell we should be looking for, given Baby’s rather unique perceptiveness in the area of magical practices,” Polaris said, looking at Baby Smurf as he wondered. “We should begin our search in the village archives as well as in Papa Smurf’s laboratories for the answer when the morning comes.”
Smurf to Part 7