Part 6

By the time Papa Smurf and his fire brigade of Smurfs had reached Smurfy Tower, they could see that the entire structure was now in flames. The Smurfs were crying out from their windows for help.
"Quick, get the hose out and spray down as much of the fire as you can smurf," Papa Smurf said to Culinary, Gelato, and Biscotti.
"Ja, Papa Schlumpf," Cuilinary said. Gelato and Biscotti worked the pump of the fire engine while Culinary unraveled the hose and sprayed down the fire that was at ground level.
"We have the life net ready, Papa Smurf," Tapper said, as he, Duncan, and Vino held it together.
"Jump, my little Smurfs," Papa Smurf called out.
The Smurfs jumped out of their windows one by one, as the team with the life net caught them before they hit the ground. Polaris Psyche also helped slow the fall of many of those whom the life net could not catch.
"This smurf feels helpless, not being able to smurf any of my abilities to help in this situation, Papa Smurf," Empath said.
"Just try to keep everyone safe when they're on the ground, Empath," Papa Smurf said. "We'll handle the rest."
Smurfette was standing on a balcony with Greedy. "Oh, I'm so frightened, Papa Smurf," Smurfette called out.
"Come on, Smurfette, or we'll be a couple of charbroiled Smurfs," Greedy said.
"But I can't smurf this alone," Smurfette said.
"I'll hold your hand and we'll smurf this together," Greedy said, taking one of Smurfette's hands.
"All right," Smurfette said. They both leaped off the balcony together, and they were caught by the life net team.
Duncan saw Grouchy sitting on the ledge of his window. "Grouchy, try jumping," Duncan called out.
"I hate jumping," Grouchy snarled.
Painter slid down the building on an external pipe to Grouchy's window. "Don't worry, M'sieu Grouchy, I will save you," Painter said, taking Grouch by the hand. The both of them jumped and landed on the life net together.
"Flaming firefoxes, where is Snappy?" Sassette asked when she looked around and saw that Snappy wasn't among those who had jumped down.
Then they heard Snappy cry out, "HELP! I CAN'T SMURF OUT!"
"Great Ancestors, Snappy is trapped in the building, Papa Smurf," Empath said. "Some Smurf must go in and save him."
"But how are you going to smurf that, Empath?" Papa Smurf asked.
Polaris scanned the building with his mental abilities. Then he said, "He is in Apartment 9-D. This one can get Empath up there with a temporary boost."
"A temporary boost? Is that going to work?" Papa Smurf asked.
"If we don't try, Papa Smurf, Snappy's as good as smurfed," Empath answered.
Papa Smurf nodded, realizing that he couldn't suggest anything else. Then Polaris touched him and focused all his mental energies to give Empath the necessary power that he needed to reach Snappy's window. Polaris' bodysuit began to glow with its circuit lines, as did Empath's, when he made the transfer. Empath could feel himself being filled with power, but Polaris found himself drained to the point where he collapsed.
Then Empath made a series of high-speed jumps that rebounded off many trees, ascending higher and higher until he reached Snappy's window. He rolled himself into a ball and smashed through the window with such force that he landed safely inside. He quickly looked around and called out, "Snappy! Where are you?"
"I'm in here, inside this wall!" Snappy's voice called back.
Empath pulled the handle of the fold-up bed and got Snappy out from inside the wall. "Thank Smurfness you're here," Snappy said. "How did you get yourself up here without your abilities?"
"This smurf got a temporary boost," Empath answered. "Now let's get out of here."
"You mean you can't just fly us down there safely?" Snappy asked.
"There's no time to argue about this, Snappy," Empath said. "Trust this smurf, we'll be safe."
Snappy nodded with a somewhat fearful gulp. He and Empath both got to the window and leaped down together. The life net team caught them just before they reached the ground.
"Oh, Empath, are you all right?" Smurfette asked as she looked at him.
"Just a little cooked on the outside, but this smurf is still functional, Smurfette," Empath replied.
Papa Smurf looked around at all the Smurfs with him and then asked, "Is every Smurf accounted for?"
"Wait," Smurfette said. "Where's Handy and Architect?"
"We're up here," Handy called out from the penthouse smurfominium porch.
"Handy, Architect, for Smurf's sake, jump!" Papa Smurf shouted.
"I can't, Papa Smurf," Handy responded. "Architect won't leave."
"What?!?" Papa Smurf said, sounding surprised.
"Save yourself, Handy," Architect said. "I can't leave my masterpiece."
"But you're my friend, Architect," Handy said, sounding worried, and coughing because of the rising smoke. "I won't jump without you."
"But you don't need me for anything except to design the plain and the ordinary, Handy," Architect said.
"I always liked your designs, even if they are out of the ordinary," Handy said. "You don't know much I need you for..."
Then a piece of flaming timber smashed through the floor of the porch, creating a hole that Handy fell through. "Handy!" Architect cried out.
"HELP!" Handy cried out as he clung to the piece of dangling timber for dear life, trying to keep himself from being roasted by the flames below.
"Hang on, Handy, I'll save you!" Architect responded, reaching down into the hole to grab Handy's hand and pull him up back onto the porch.
"Thanks, Architect," Handy said, sounding grateful.
"Come on, Handy, we're smurfing out of here," Architect said.
"Look, there they are," Smurfette said as she looked up and saw Handy and Architect leap from the porch's railing and down to the life net.
"Ah, thank smurfs," Papa Smurf said, sounding relieved.
"HURRAY!" the Smurfs shouted together when the last two Smurfs had been rescued.

After a while, the fire finally died down, and the Smurfs now stood outside the empty burned-out shell of what was once Smurfy Tower. Most of them were smudged with a bit of soot, but were nonetheless alive and healthy. As Papa Smurf was making a head count of all the Smurfs present, Empath and Smurfette were with Polaris Psyche, who was just recovering from his collapse. " every Smurf all right?" Polaris asked.
"As far as this smurf can tell, every Smurf is safe, including Snappy, whom you helped this smurf rescue, Polaris," Empath answered.
"That was a brave thing you have smurfed for Empath, Polaris," Smurfette said, feeling her heart going out to him.
"This one is honored to help this one's friends in any way possible, Smurfette," Polaris said, sounding like he was still exhausted.
"We'll get you back to the village where you can recuperate, Polaris," Empath said consolingly. "You did enough to save your friends."
"Aye, let us smurf the laddie back home safely, Empath," Duncan said as he and Tapper showed up to pick Polaris up and carry him home.
After watching Duncan and Tapper carry Polaris away, Empath turned to Smurfette, whom he now saw crying. "What's the matter, Smurfette?" he asked.
"I'm so sorry that I tried to use smurfing you away from the Smurf Village just so we can still be together as more than friends, Empath," Smurfette responded. "I feel so shameful, I won't blame you for not smurfing to me again."
Empath put his arms around Smurfette. "There's nothing you did that could make this smurf ever want to forsake you, Smurfette," he said gently. "You just did what you thought was right for the both of us, and things just didn't turn out the way you wanted them to. This smurf just wanted you to be safe no matter where you would go."
"You mean, you would still want me even if we're miles away from each other?" Smurfette asked.
"This smurf would journey through the entire world and back just to be with you, Smurfette," Empath said. "You're worth that much to me." And with that, the two of them kissed.
"Well, thank Smurfness that no one was hurt," Papa Smurf said after he had finished his head count.
"It's too bad that Architect's building is now smurfed to a crisp, Pappy Smurf," Sassette said while looking at the ruins.
"Yeah, there goes our chance to live in such a place," Slouchy said.
"Trust me, you wouldn't want to smurf in there if you had to smurf through what I had to smurf through," Snappy said.
"There's always our old tree stump playhouse, Snap," Nat said. "It may not be a palace, but it will always be our home."
"Oh, Architect, I'm so sorry that Smurfy Tower is now ruined," Smurfette said, her heart now going out to him as she stood and looked at his once-proud creation.
"Ah, don't worry, Smurfette," Architect said, trying to sound confident. "I'm sure that I can have it be rebuilt. It will be smurfier than ever."
"Uh, golly, Architect, sleeping in the wall was fun," Clumsy said, "but I miss sleeping in my own house."
"And I miss my garden," Smurfette said.
"And I miss my kitchen," Greedy said.
"And I miss my gym," Hefty said.
"And I miss my workshop," Handy said.
"As far as I'm concerned, and I'm sure that I smurf for everybody here, life in Smurfy Tower is for the birds," Brainy said.
"For once I agree with Brainy," Grouchy said. "I hate Smurfy Tower."
"THAT'S RIGHT!" most of the Smurfs ended up saying together.
Architect started walking toward the village, his shoulders slumped in defeat. "Oh, well, back to the old drawing board," he muttered to himself.
As the Smurfs started to head back home, Tuffy looked at Hefty. "Hey, are you okay?" he asked, sounding rather concerned. "You looked like you smurfed through Hades."
"I'm all right, Tuffy," Hefty answered. "I just...don't like being in confined spaces for too long, that's all."
"I'm sure being smurfed with Brainy for hours in a smurfovator is no picnic," Tuffy said. "I mean, who really wants to be smurfed with him constantly lecturing for hours on end? It must really feel like your life is being smurfed out of you and that there's nothing you can smurf to..."
"TUFFY, DON'T EVER TALK ABOUT IT!!!" Hefty shouted.
"Okay, Hefty, I won't!" Tuffy said, realizing how annoying he was getting.

Empath's personal journal.
It has now been a few days into early spring, and this smurf now has a clean bill of health, for Polaris has scanned this smurf and found no traces of magic residue left within this smurf, which makes this smurf glad to discover, as this smurf can now sense this smurf's fellow Smurfs again.
Over the past few weeks, our fellow Smurfs have gotten over their brief experience of living in Smurfy Tower, as everyone got settled back into their old routines and back into their old houses. In a small way, this smurf could only wish to have personally experienced living in Smurfy Tower, but for now this smurf can settle for knowing those experiences from what this smurf could sense from the other Smurfs. Handy and Architect are pretty much staying away from constructing another building like it, at least for the time being.

It was a sunny spring day, when Architect was busy in his studio, working on his next project, when he had a knock on his door. He opened it and saw that it was Empath and Smurfette.
"Salutations, fellow Architect," Empath said. "Care to take a walk with us into the forest?"
"I could sure smurf a bit of a distraction, Empath," Architect answered. "How are you and Smurfette doing?"
"We're fine, thank you," Smurfette said. "We're just worried about you."
"You're not upset that your beloved project was destroyed by a fire now, are you?" Empath asked.
"I'm just thinking maybe the other Smurfs are right, that I should basically stick to designing the plain and the ordinary because they will always be useful to the Smurfs," Architect said as he stepped out and joined Empath and Smurfette in a walk.
"There's nothing wrong with being creative with your designs, Architect," Empath said. "This smurf has to admit that you are one of the most creative and inventive Smurfs around when it comes to designing things."
"You're not just saying that to make me smurf better now, are you?" Architect asked.
"We mean it, Architect," Smurfette said. "Without you, no Smurf would have the kind of place that they themselves would want to live in."
"This smurf is certain that your creativity will come to good use someday when the Smurfs are looking for something out of the ordinary to use," Empath said.
Architect sighed. "It's something to look forward to, I guess."
Then suddenly Handy came running straight toward the three Smurfs. "Architect, come quickly," he called out. "You've got to see this."
"Handy, what did you see in the forest?" Architect asked.
"Smurfy Tower," Handy replied. "Believe me, this is worth smurfing for yourself."
Empath and Smurfette looked at each other. "What's happened with Smurfy Tower now?" Smurfette asked.
"This smurf is uncertain, Smurfette," Empath answered. "Maybe we should accompany them to find out."
The three Smurfs followed Handy to the place where Smurfy Tower used to be. Standing there already was Polaris Psyche, who was beholding the wonder for himself.
"Polaris, what's happened to Smurfy Tower?" Empath asked.
"What naturally would happen to such abandoned places in the forest, Empath," Polaris answered, without saying much more.
They all looked and saw that the burned-out structure was now overgrown with vines, and that birds have built nests in the holes and places that used to be windows and balconies.
"Why, that's so smurfy, Handy," Smurfette said, sounding pleased. "It's a bird house."
Architect snickered. "I guess Brainy is right, that this place truly is for the birds."
"Well, as long as the birds are happy, then I'm happy," Handy said, smiling. "I figured I might as well smurf it to you so you will know what became of it."
"Thank you, Handy," Architect said, a tear forming in his eye. "At least I know that what I had built wasn't in vain."
Empath and Smurfette continued to look at the birds nesting in the former Smurfy Tower, being happy with each other. "You think we could be happy as they are, someday living in whatever place we may smurf home, Empath?" Smurfette asked.
"Smurfette, wherever we live together will always be our home, because all that we will need is each other," Empath answered, looking into her eyes as she looked into his.