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There is a large wriggly rock in the middle of my back and it is pushing into me
“I am sleeping”
“Wake up! Wake up! We (or should I say YOU) have a problem!”
It is Roo Roo trying her best to destroy the lovely sleep I am having.
“Warisit?” as I surface into consciousness.
“Well!” says she, “As you are our leading resplendent ring master you handle the complaints department?”
“So what? How can there be any complaint about our show after that spectacular we put on last night?”
“Remember the boy? Well his mother is outside and wants to speak to the person in charge! I’ll leave you to deal with her and I must say that she is NOT a happy person!”
I put on my casual clothes as befitting a poor circus employee and head outside.
There is a small harridan of a woman loudly calling us all the names under the sun.
“You have damaged my beloved son for life with your deceit with the lions!
“He had nightmares last night
“He was also tricked out of the gold you promised him!
“I want restitution and also compensation for his suffering!”
I am just about to send her on her way when I notice that behind her are two rather ugly Bone Kingdom guards who seem to be loving my discomfiture!
I quickly realise that bribery is the only way to get rid of them so after haggling my purse is now $1,000 the lighter!
We cannot afford any more hint of trouble. It is getting too expensive and our profits are now minimal.
The Cap’n has commandeered a large chunk of them to bribe his way through the back alleys of the Kingdom so we can be on our way to the adjacent Realm.
I think that Cap’n Bob’s ideas are becoming too expensive and now he wants a fireworks display as well of the sort that means BIG bangs.
Why can’t we just give out sparklers for the young ones?
So much quieter and so much cheaper.
I go around to the mess tent for breakfast and some comfort food.
Satisfied, I then bump into a very cheerful Roo who wants me to be at the centre of her firework display this evening.
She has some idea of having me on a gondola hovering above near the ceiling of the tent and to get some of the kids to shoot me down with her rockets.
That woman is crazy, and I don’t trust her!!
“But I have already spoken to the Cap’n and he thinks that is a splendid idea!
“It will be the perfect distraction, especially if we invite some of the guards to also have a go.
“I can time the rockets so that they will not quite reach you
“So do as you are told!”
Woe is me!!
Ok...OK...I know I can do this........Where are you Granny Fletcher in this maze of....."Ah Hum!"...Yikes!......Young Lady just what are you doing sneaking around the Clinic at this very late hour?.......Sorry about the late hour Nurse...? ....(Did she say Her name Nurse Hatchet?)....But I've been so worried about my Granny Fletcher that when I got off the "Flying Boat" I came straight here to the Clinic to see how she was doing for myself........Are you the Dandydog Mrs Fletcher and other Special Room Folk have been talking about?.......Yup..I guess that would be me alright and...It's "Yes" young lady not "Yup" and your Granny Fletcher's room is right at the end of this hallway on the right hand side over looking the rose and flower gardens. Miss Katt has been faithfully watching over her day and night so I know that She would appreciate having you spell her for a day or so alright? That way Miss Katt can attend to the Tea Rooms Kitchens and such....Thank you so much Nurse and may go now because am really in a hurry to see Granny OK? Oh alright...but the Doctor and I will be by in the morning to fill you in about Mrs Flecther's care now and in the future.......My oh my! That young lady certainly can travel fast!.....
Although quaking in my boots on the inside I give a big beaming smile to the packed audience seated in the tent.
All our acts have actually gone according to plan
So what possibly could go wrong now?
And why is there a feeling of dread in my bones?
It is nearing the finale and in spite of all my protestations the others have insisted that our finale will be remembered in the Kingdom for ever more
THAT is what I now dread!
When Roo finalised her pyrotechnic act she neglected to mention what may happen if somebody’s rocket actually reached my soaring gondola and shot me down in it!
“It just will not happen” is all she said
I remonstrate with her vigorously once more
“But what if it does?”
“Can I have a parachute or put a safety net below PLEASE?”
“NO YOU WIMP!”
My broom is most unhelpful. All it comments is that fact that there are no parachutes in the HOS Repository.
“But there is an umbrella on the Town’s Handwrought Cart you can borrow!”
So thus armed and shaking with anticipation of forthcoming doom I board the flimsy blimp.
At the same time Roo is distributing small rockets to some of the children with the warning that they are to be lit when she says so and not before.
She then disappears outside the tent to prepare for the main firework display
As I wait, I see some of the boys sniggering and trying to hide what they are doing.
I KNOW those looks – They are up to something nefarious!
But too late to find out more as Roo is back and ignoring my pleas for help.
I rise up to the top of the tent’s centre pole
The whole circus audience is on its feet and the countdown begins!
“10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 ……. ONE!”
Roo’s voice pounds through the loudspeakers:
“Light your rockets and aim them at the airship!”
I glance down to see several WHOOSHes as the rockets soar upward.
And fail to reach me, just as Roo had promised.
Then I espy the group of boys below. They have got together and are fastening three rockets into a single bundle!
There is a super ginormous explosion as the enlarged rocked soars up towards me.
Zips through my gondola floor, tears a large hole in the blimp air bag and then onwards through the tent roof.
Rapidly deflating I descend to the floor below holding aloft an opened umbrella (Just like Mary Poppins in the Movie)
But I am NOT smiling or singing, I am screaming with the promises of what I am going to do to that little feisty partner of mine when or if ever I catch up with her.
Then THUMP as I hit the ground and all is now dark and peaceful!
Whilst unconscious, buried in circus sawdust which broke my fall, after such a finale the crowd leave the tent with effusive praises “FOR THE BEST ENDING EVER!”
And Roo now lights up her main pyrotechnic display
I listen to the gossip as people gather around me for the firework display & am utterly flabbergasted at PTG's stupidity!
I am absolutely certain now that his brain is located in some place other than his head!
Had he not been so intent on saving the Airship items for his collection he would have seen the rolled up Flying Carpet sitting next to him on the bench.How he missed the sign "In an emergency unravel & hop on" beggars belief.
I light the first touch paper & the Catherine Wheels all light up at the entrance to the Bone Palace.There are "Ooo's" & "Aaah's of delight from the crowds as they whirl & sparkle.
As they die out I light the fuse to the first Fountain Cone firework which in turn sets off all the others on the ledge behind the Skull.
My Reliable Helper lights up the sky with flashes of red, blue, green & white while I set off the rockets that PTG & Angel made, one at a time.
As the stunned ( but un-hurt) flying object descend to the ground there is a scramble as players try to catch them for their collections.
Finally I light the fuse to my last firework.I watch as it travels up the frame that the gnomes built, then smile when I see in a blaze of pink & purple sparkles the top of the Skull reads....
"Happy Anniversary Delphi MC"
"Good Morning Young Lady." My name is Droctor Deadman...... and I know that you've already met Nurse Krachet here right? Yes I did Doctor last night when She helped me find Granny's room. I know Dandydog that your mind must be filled with loads of questions right now so why don't we head on down to my office and Nurse Krachet will watch over your Granny's care while were gone OK? First let me inform you that before I arrived at the Special Room, I made a through study, well...... as through as I could given as secretive as the Special Rooms Slightly Insane Folk tend to be and I found some very amazing facts about a few of them...Did you know that Captain Randy, PTG and His Fairy Godmother AEGram are what I call MCA's? "Huh?"......What's an MCA Doctor Deadman and better not be something bad!.....No, No, Dandydog...It stands for "Midnight Castles Ancients." I figure that they have been looking over and caring for the Castles Special Rooms Folk here longer then most everyone else has......Your Granny Fletcher came to the Special Room a few years later where She Opened the Tea Room. Over the years many of the other Special Rooms Folk sought Sanctuary within it. Your Granny always met all weary Travelers with an open heart and a welcoming warm hug when needed. " Well with me I know She sure could give a hefty Swat to the behind when needed too!" Whooee!......After your Grandpa Joe passed away, it took a piece of her heart too......"It did?" Yes, it did but don't get me wrong Dandydog, there was a whole lot left to carry on caring for those She held Dear. But the years have began to take their toll...this is why Captain Randy, PTG and Miss Katt thought it best that Mrs Fletcher turn over the Tea Room to Miss Katt. At first Mrs Fletcher thought that She could stay and help just as she did before......but then She had an Dizzy & Fainting Spell that brought Her here to my Clinic. I am still trying to find out why she won't wake up but I know that your being with her just might do the trick Dandydog. "I hope so Doctor..I certainly hope so..."
“My poor head!
“Where am I?”
I am buried in this soft oozy brown stuff
“Is anyone there?”
Silence - except for the loud explosions nearby with flashes of lightning all over the sky that is showing through a hole in the top of the circus tent.
I try to turn on my side but seem to be swimming in this soft brown stuff that smells slightly of cat pee
I ache all over. In fact I hurt all over!
“PFTZXXX***”NPFZZXX” as I breath in a mouthful of the stuff
I must be dying as a golden dwarf appears in front of me with a banana!
There is no more sounds just “jabber, jabber”.
I then get a sense of people around me arguing
“Well I am NOT touching him!”
“But you are the one who got him into this mess!
“You knew that young boys with rockets would mean disaster!”
“Well he did volunteer, ‘sort of’ as Cap’n Bob put it to him!”
“But he didn’t. YOU were the one to tell him to go aloft!”
“Well I am not going near him with all that Yucky mess on him.
“Get Beau to hose him down and take him back to the MC Hospital Wing”
I am vaguely aware of yet another cold shower and then being hoisted aloft a very large vehicle of some sort
Before long I surface again and feel myself in VERY familiar surroundings.
It is my bed in the MC Hospital Wing.
I try opening one eye and meet an angel all in white hovering over me.
“AH! you’re awake! We can now do some tests.”
Pummel! Pummel! Prod! Prod!
“Now try saying Ah! with your mouth open please!”
“Shurrup! I wanna sleep. Bye, bye!”
Lovely, lovely bed
Well it is time to do our recon Nose and is Ghost Pup with us , I wish I would be able to tell were the lill guy is hard to to see or hear him or know he is around but thankfully I have you as I pet Nose .
Ready? lets go ,,, we head off to where frost and Snow are in the valley away from prying eyes.
I find them finishing off a meal and look so happy it is so good to see that spark in Frost's eyes.
Hello my brave one and my beauty are you ready for a night recon ?
*Yes Rider * okay I need you to fly me over the Frosty Fort and Snow can tell me the best way to enter and where are the weak spots in that Fort,,, once I am in I will be on my own seeing Snow has never been inside as according to Anabel she has not been inside and whom ever enters does not come out.
I climb on to Frost while he helps Nose and Ghost pup onto Snow and we are off.
Nose get closer so the Pearls can catch the images I will need them to study later.
We slowly fly over the are and see The Frosty Fort a short distance away.
Snow takes the lead for she knows this area well .
We fly higher over the look out Tower and around to the back where Snow said there is only one Tower and the guard there is always asleep or inside with a female ,,,, my skin crawls just at the thought as I have said before the females Ogres are just as smelly and uglier then the males .
Frost and Snow land silently and Frost tell me what she is saying.
Nose and Ghost Pup join me as we creep closer to the dorr ,, My Sai ready and it will warn me if any enemies are close.
I gently touch the gate and push ,, it is not even locked , they are more stupid then I thought or so sure no one would dare break in ,,, what a joke.
I open the gate just enough for me to squeeze in , dark in here , but my eyes adjust to the darkness and turn the corner and see a row of cages some on the floor some hanging and all full.
There are muted moans of the captured to weak to do more than moan.
I have to get them all out ,, big job but I have to do it.
I hold Nose up so that he can get images from the Pearls ,,,, I softly as a mouse check every cell and every hanging cage . I did not want to take the chance on bringing Jacob for fear he would call ou to his family, so I hope these Pearls can get good shots.
I do not see any cage or cell with more than two per cell or cage so Jacob's and the others family's must be separated.
Nose starts to move around and looking over my shoulder ,,, I turn he pants this what you mean boy?
He wiggles his tail so I let him down and he runs to a wall ??
I go to the wall and look at Nose what in the world?? as I run my hands over the wall I feel a small hole I put my finger in it and the wall moves ,, my heart starts to pound.
Ghost Pup must be in there found something and told Nose to bring me.
I open the wall a crack ,, it is pitch black and I can see nothing but hear soft crying and a voice trying to calm them down.
I hear please my babies try not to call out or they will come and do us more harm.
My heart is going to jump out of my chest could we have found Jacob's family?
I vow I will get them all out , going to be a tough job but I will get it done I have good on our side.
I close the wall and say okay Nose lets go as I remove any paw prints but leave mine they do not look out of place but a paw print would.
I carefully and silently make my way back out side and fill my lungs with clean fresh air, man it is rank in there.
Frost Snow Nose Ghost pup head back as silent as a night breeze and land in the valley.
I rub Frost's and Snows spot behind the horns they love when I do that.
Frost my brave one I am sending Charlie to you with Sugar and Spice they need to hunt and I know you will show them where and look after them.
I get back to the Main Tent and find Charlie feeding and giving the critters water hey there Charlie I know Sugar and Spice are getting antsy so Frost and Snow are waiting to take them hunting just follow Nose he will take you there and have your Amulet open ok?
I need a hot drink and to check what The Pearls got.
I call for all to meet me in an hour , that should give time for Charlie to get back if not we will wait.
Opel has a hot tea and a snack ready for me I sit down with a huge sigh thank you Opel it just what I needed .
I call Angel on my Amulet and say meet me ASAP have a job for you.
I hold the Pearls and say I hope you got what I need then waited for Angel.
Cap just told me via amulet that he needs to see me ASAP! I meet him in the Main Tent and he gives me the pearls and says he needs the pics done immediately as we are all to meet back here in an hour. So, off I go to my makeshift dark room in my tent and get busy developing the pics. Cap and Nose did a great job capturing clear shots. But, oh my goodness! All those caged people, dirty and malnourished! It's heartbreaking and I'm glad we're going to make sure we get them all out of there pronto! I have just enough time to get the last ones developed before heading back to the Main Tent for Cap's meeting. Whatever his plans are for getting everyone rescued.....I am going to insist on coming along and helping in any way I can!
And Granny you should see the beautiful gardens that Uncle Raynor and Aunt Minnie have been growing around the compounds for those Realms that aren't able to raise their own crops......Why right now the Corns so tall that....."MRS FLETCHER!!...OH MRS FLETCHER!!...Where in the world are you???......Hush Salty...your going to bring Nurse Kratchet storming in here and boy will she be as mad as a Wet Hen when she does at you too! ......Is Mrs Fletcher awake yet Dandydog" "Yes I am now you Old Coot" ......Granny, why didn't you let me know that you were awake? Because your voice was so soothing to hear Sweetie and I loved just laying here hearing about your spent time with Uncle Raynor and Aunt Minnie. "When are ya coming back to the Tea Room Mrs Fletcher... cause we have been sure missing those Poppy Seed and Lemon Muffins you make special like for our Lil' Special Group once a week? Salty! Remember what Captain Randy and Doctor Deadman said about Mrs Fletcher returning to the Tea Room? Oh ya...I forgot... gosh dang anyway cause I really do miss those muffins.......Granny, when Captain Randy returns from His latest Adventure I know He, Angel, Miss Katt and Doctor Deadman will want to discuss with whats best for you in the future so that what happened with you doesn't happen again OK?...ZZZZZZ...ZZZZZ...Oh dear Salty, it looks like Granny has drifted off to her Never land once more........