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The Great Earth Shake
It was early evening and the Dusk Light was just starting to dim when suddenly .-.-.-.-.-.-.- a rumble could be heard coming from underground. It was not a Heavenly Rumble sound; more like the Twilight Sabre-Toothed was on the prowl & very, very hungry.
At the same time a Blast of Darkness rolled in - dark clouds covered the night sky obliterating the evening light as well as the stars. Then the Eight Winds began to blow. Clouds blew this way & that in the night sky giving glimpses of an eerie light show taking place. Sheet lightning sent streamers of jagged Searing Light flashing through the sky. Occasionally a Lightning Bolt reached the ground followed by a Thunderblast. However this thunder was not the noisest part of the whole goings-on.
By now all the pets are gathered around me. So I quickly ushered them all inside. I sent some of the pets to fill water bottles for everyone. Other pets were given the task of finding the illuminating devices - namely torches & lanterns. No candles or naked flames in case it fell over & set things on fire. When all were assembled in the lounge we huddled together because, by now, the rumbling from underground was growing louder & louder. Suddenly the earth began to shake. The shaking grew more violent. A Blade of Terror roared through me when I heard several pets give a Wild Wail. Thankfully it turned out to be fright caused by items falling off shelves & crashing to the floor. After what seemed to be a looong Measure of Time, the shaking stopped.
Cautiously, using the torches & lanterns, we surveyed the damage inside the house. A Destruction Sign was obvious in the debris that littered the floor but there did not appear to be any structural damage. Tomorrow we would check the other buildings for damage.
Outside we saw that the clouds had been blown away. The stars were visible in the Ink of Night. There was a Glowing Darkness over towards the Dark Tower. We would later learn that a Scorching Fire had ignited at the Dark Tower Gates - burning the walkover bridge as well setting the bramble barrier alight. It formed a Fire Belt around the Dark Tower. By the time the fire units had arrived the brambles were no more than Ash Particles.
With the Power of Fear still coursing through them, the pets voted to stay in the lounge for the night. So some of the pets carefully made their way upstairs. They returned with bedding, blankets & pillows for everyone. Gabbi Griffin & Emerald Dragon went into the kitchen & prepared a 'midnight snack' for all. Meanwhile the older pets, using the torches, were entertaining the younger pets by making 'shadow shapes' on the wall. One of the pets got the Book of Dancing Shadows out. The pets tried to copy the illustrations with some funny results. Gradually the pets settled & slowly drifted off to sleep.
As I lay curled in my recliner, I made a mental note to telephone Miss Linet first thing in the morning to make sure everything was okay with her. I hoped that all was well with the rest of Midnight Castle & that nobody was injured. Lastly I fervently hoped to never repeat the terrifying experience.
Tomorrow we would find out what had happened & how much damage there had been but for now there was nothing to do but get as much rest as possible. Who knows what tomorrow will bring!
"UNDER ATTACK!" screamed the headlines from one of the Midnight Castle newspapers. A source for the newspaper article said that Adrian alias the Ghostly Messenger has claimed responsibility for the earth shake. Adrian, currently being tried in the Temple of Justice for crimes against the nation of Midnight Castle, says he won't stop until Drake aka as the Wise Dragon (when in creature form) has been delivered to him. Adrian plans to kill Drake & take over the Mystery Chamber. Though, with the Keeper of Wishes currently in hiding, I am not sure what that would achieve. The authorities are not willing to bow to blackmail so that threat is at a stalemate. Or is it? Was Adrian responsible or was it a natural phenomena - an earthquake (as the authorities are claiming)?
One of the most affected areas seems to be the Castle so authorities are asking all residents to please stay away until repairs can be done. If a visit to the castle is necessary then the authorities suggest that extreme caution be exercised around any damage.
Salty's Inn has sustained substantial damage to the back wall & to the floor in the bar area. Salty has closed the Inn for a day while the gnome builders shore up the foundations & the building frame to make sure there is no further damage. Complete repairs may take awhile as the gnome builders are in much demand across Midnight Castle.
Pauly & Polly Parrot are busy flying around Midnight Castle warning the residents that all Chapel services including the cake stall are postponed until the Chapel can be repaired. Apparently the roof collapsed taking the floor with it as it plummeted into the basement. It smashed into a water main - flooding the basement.
Anabel has reported that the earth shake ruptured a gas line at the Dark Tower Gates resulting in a Scorching Fire. The Iron Knight checked the Dark Tower Hall & found that the stairs had crumbled so access to the rest of the building is now very hazardous. Arabella Scales who was in the Laboratory at the time of the earth shake telephoned the authorities to say the Laboratory floor gave way leaving a gaping hole. The falling timber combined with the earth shake has awakened a large black dragon that lay sleeping under the Dark Tower. It is now in the Laboratory. She says that she will remain where she is so as to keep an eye on the dragon which appears very confused & very angry to have had its sleep disturbed.
Authorities has issued a warning to all residents "BEWARE of dragons that have been disturbed by the earth shake". These dragons are appearing at different spots across Midnight Castle. If residents come across a dragon, they are being asked to leave them alone so the dragons can settle down.
Cloud City itself was largely spared However once you get across the floating stone pathway from the Source Gates then unusual damage can be seen. In the Temple of Justice. Lady Justice has been transformed into an Avenging Dark Angel, The entrances to the Criminal's Den & to the Torture Chamber both appear to have been 'fire- bombed'. Other damage was also seen. Authorities are unsure how to explain these occurrences.
Reports are also filtering in from far away areas that have also been affected. The Storyteller Cat relayed that the Palace Square in the East has suffered severe ground cracking. From the Fairy Tale Forest, Gretel reported that a demon has taken up residence in the big tree in the Fairy Forest & Hansel has said that a large black dragon was seen escaping from Rapunzel's Tower. Though these last two reports appear supernatural rather than from a natural disaster.
My home was unaffected except for fallen objects. It did not take long to clean up the mess. However after reading the newspapers & listening to the reports on the radio, I shuddered and so decided to keep the pets near home for now. With Almighty Luck, things will settle soon.
The Clean-Up Begins
The Midnight Castle Council has declared a National Clean-Up Week so residents can get rid of the debris from the earth shake. The pets who had been feeling 'house-bound' decided to help. Hoppy Tiger also suggested that it might be a good time to hunt for chests as well. I told them to stay in groups & to take care. They nodded, added snacks & their water bottle to their backpacks. Then headed for time outdoors.
Tally Turkey pushed the wheelbarrow to the Castle Vicinity. The Bunnies - Tilda, Brodie, Jasper, Benji & Zeva all followed her. Tree branches, many with their Evergreen Leaf still attached, were strewn across the ground. Tally raced home to collect a rake while the bunnies piled all the stones (tossed about the earth shake) around the base of the Gnome Road Sign. With Tally's return, the leaves & twigs were raked up, debris was collected and everything placed in one large pile for collection by the Midnight Castle Clean-Up Crew. The sticks that could be used in the fireplace were placed in the wheelbarrow along with the chests that the pets uncovered in their clean-up.
Tilda found 1 gold chest & 2 silver chests when she cleaned up the campsite near the Burnt Tree.
Tally found 1 gold, 1 silver & 1 rusty chest behind the Broken Carriage.
Benji & Zeva hopped down into the Crypt. When they hopped back out, they had 2 gold chests each and Benji had 2 rusty chests while Zeva had 2 wooden chests.
Brodie found 4 gold chests when he clean-up around the Burnt Tree & where the daily quest Gnomes often stood.
Jasper found 1 gold chest and 2 silver chests when he tidied the road side up to the Inn.
The pets then went to Salty's Inn to see if he needed 'a hand with his clean-up'. They piled up the broken timber & other building material into a neat pile for the Clean-Up Crew. Salty was so pleased to have assistance that he gave Jasper and Tilda each 2 silver chests; Tally 1 gold chest & 1 silver chest; Benji & Zeva 1 gold chest each (as he couldn't find any more silver ones to give out).
With the wheelbarrow piled high with chests and sticks & timber for the Old Fireplace, the pets trundled back home - tired and dirty but happy with their haul.
I apologise that I have not got back & completed this tale. I will return after my vacation. In the meantime, I have reserved several posts for the story.
I have not completed the update to level 88 so references to any new scenes, etc will be absent until I have.
I do, however, want to fast forward to the Fall Event & the advent of new pets so that is the story I will do now.
Halloween Mayhem (Part 1)
It wasn't the beautiful gold & reds of the autumn leaves that had excited the pets. Nor was it the crunch of the leaves beneath their paws/ hooves as they played among the leaf piles. The weather was cooler but it wasn't that. It wasn't even that All Hallows Jack was back & that the Halloween feast was in full swing with lots of candy on offer. It wasn't the presence of new ghostly shapes. Besides whoever heard of a flying Haunted House?
No, it was that All Hallows jack had bought his own Haunted Manor - Hallows Haunted Hall (HHH as it would become known) - to Midnight Castle. He settled it near the Dark Tower. But it was still a mysterious place as the residents of HHH rarely set foot outside the manor. So it was with great delight & much excitement that we accepted All Hallows Jack's invitation to visit Hallows Haunted Hall.
You would think, being an adult, I would remember that All Hallows Jack is the embodiment of Halloween - a time when ghostly & ghastly creatures roamed; when pumpkins came to life & skeletons rattled their bones; when witches cackled & eerie, scary things happened. That caution should be exercised. But I didn't. Instead the pets & I set off for our visit.
The Dark Tower cast a black shadow over the gloomy, slightly crooked, 3 steepled manor house. Lights winked on & off in the windows. Otherwise the house was shrouded in darkness. The door creaked as we opened it. The pets' eyes popped & their jaws dropped as we took in the Great Hall.
High up on a wall, ghosts - green ones & red ones & yellow ones & blue ones & violet ones & an azure coloured one - zoomed in & out of a gold fronted book held by a gargoyle.
The Ghost Bride entered through the photo frame to see how the preparations for her wedding were going. She was just in time to see Witchy Woo cut a huge slice out of her wedding cake. She screamed & fled in tears. Witchy Woo cackled. Out of the cake flew bats - Vampire Bats. Their red eyes glowing. They hissed & gnashed their teeth. They terrified poor Ding Bat. He tried to fly up to the ceiling but all he managed to do was knock Harl-E-Quinn off her swing. This caused the pirate, Captain Black Bones, to appear brandishing his cutlass & roaring "I'll run you thru, you landlubber, for hurting my lady fair!" Gunnar Grim Eagle Owl grabbed Ding Bat & beat a hasty exit through the creaking doors. They did not stop until they were home safe & sound in the Sanctum.
Gigi Guinea Pig, on the other hand, decided to confront Witchy Woo for her part in frightening her sibling. They shouted & growled until it turned into "wands at 10 paces!!!" Back to back they faced each other& took very slow paces apart. Just at that moment, Humpty Dumpty fell off the pet seat he had found. Decorations quickly followed him to the floor. Humpty broke his crown. Hadlee Snow Fairy said "not to worry she would fix him up!" So Yowla Yeti loaded Humpty on to Pedro Pony's back & then picked up the top of Humpty's head (his crown) . Then the four of them proceeded home where Hadlee did, indeed, mend Humpty's head - with vinegar and brown paper & a few spells. All the commotion was enough to cool the duelling duo's tempers. So Witchy Woo & Gigi Guinea Pig snarled at each other and Gigi followed Humpty & Co back home.
Meanwhile Pepito Pumpkin had gone up to visit with the Jack-O-Lantern hanging from the ceiling. But once the shouting & screaming began, the Jack-O-Lantern's smile turned evil & he gave a sinister laugh. Pepito did not see anything funny in what was happening & told the Jack-O-Lantern so. But this only made the Jack-O-Lantern laugh harder. So Pepito tried to hit him with his leafy limbs. That was when the Jack-O-Lantern morphed into a 3 pumpkin high being that scared Pepito who decided discretion was the better part of valour & beat a hasty retreat.
Now Petunia Pig & Heather Hippo, loving all things girly, took a look at the Halloween Dolls. But these were not "girly" dolls. The skeleton dolls clattered their jaws together making a horrible din. While the pumpkin dolls were outright rude! One even stuck his tongue out at Petunia. The witch doll seemed okay but Petunia decided to keep an eye on her just in case she was going to stick pins in a Voodoo Doll representing Petunia & Heather.
Now all these goings-on woke the skeleton who tossed back the lid of his coffin & bellowed "What is all the infernal racquet?" Pup Puppy, along with the rest of the Dog Squad - Oki Sled Dog, Itchi Woolly Paw & Radar Hounder - had been sniffing around the bones but when they came to life, they took off deeper into HHH.
Into the chaos strode All Hallows Jack. He roared "Stop!" and miraculously the noise stopped. He went about the Great Hall asking what had happened. To the morphing pumpkins, he said "Begone!" & in their place was a pumpkin cat with its fur tied back in a long ponytail. To the Halloween Dolls, he slashed his hand downwards & their actions were suspended. He said he would release them later. "Time Out" he called it. He ordered Captain Black Bones to take Harl-E_Quin up to her room for a rest. He put up a scarecrow in their place. He did not do or say anything to the skeleton because he had already subsided into his coffin. Meanwhile the gargoyle has slammed the book shut keeping all the ghosts inside.
All that left was Witchy Woo. But before All Hallows Jack could deal with her, a bellow came from inside. "Bring that back here !!" and an inner door flew open ----- -------
To be continued ............................