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Standing before the pair of them in the sumptuous CEO's Office
For an ancien I must say that wizard is fleet of foot!
He does what he believes is his “duty” – (showing off?) and plonks himself in front of the CEO
He thrust his wand before him muttering incantations and within seconds his wand glows bright red.
This he thrusts at me with the bellow – “DIE!”
A bolt of plasma ejects from the wand’s tip and hurtles towards me.
I am not too confident at this as he may have a valid point!
But hope springs eternal!
I wave my hands at the bolt and bat it back to him.
But there is a change as the glowing bolt now becomes a sparkly crackle.
It returns to his wand whence it illuminates the whole room and so does his scream!
The zapper is well and truly zapped!
“Now that wasn’t very friendly, was it?” I beam at him.
”I was just passing by and popped in to say Hello!”
“And to caution YOU (- pointing at the CEO) against trying in any way to benefit or hijack our Halloween festive occasion
“We seem to have a new 'tool in our toolbox' and you have just experienced a couple of examples of it.
“Would you like to shake hands both of you and let bygones be bygones and promise to be good?”
But the CEO has disappeared into his secret safe room!
The wizard is left to speak for them both and all he can do is to croak ineffectively while staring at his ruined wand.
“Oh! Don’t fuss. You’ll soon find a new one but I’m afraid it won’t do any evil either so try and behave whilst in this Realm.
“I will leave you now to think on your futures and will apologize in advance for any noise we may make whilst merry making below!”
I turn and quit the room in order to find the nearest aperture before falling into it.
I am outside the Tea Room when I notice that I no longer crackle and sparkle.
In fact I am 'quite normal' and can now hear my amulet bellowing at me in a most unladylike manner emanating from that human knitting machine!
More problems – Is there no peace for the Chief Sweeper Upper of the Midnight Castle?
I CALLED OUT MY MESSAGE TO PTG AS I LEFT THE BARN AND ENCLOSURE. THEN THERE IN FRONT OF ME STOOD PTG. I NEED TO WASH HIS MIND OUT. HUMAN KNITTING MACHINE INDEED. HE DID NOT THINK THAT WHEN I MADE HIM THAT BEAUTIFUL WHITE SWEATER, WHICH HE PROMPTLY RUINED.
WHAT ELSE WAS I TO DO. CAP, CALLED AND CALLED ADA LOOKED FOR YOU. NOTHING!!! FOR ALL WE KNEW YOU AND ROO, WHO IS ALSO AWOL WERE OFF SOMEWHERE TRYING TO KILL ONE ANOTHER.
YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE CHIEF SWEEPER UPPER. IF YOU ARE, YOU NEED TO DO YOUR JOB OR MAYBE YOU WILL LOSE YOUR TITLE. THEN WHAT WILL YOU BE.
SECOND IN COMMAND SOMETIMES?
YOU USED TO ALWAYS TAKE CARE OF THE MESSES THE PLAYERS CREATED. NOW NOT SO MUCH.
SO DO YOUR JOB. THIS PLACE STINKS.
BY THE WAY WHILE YOU WERE AWOL! CAP WAS CALLED BACK TO CAMP. AND IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T NOTICES THINGS HAVE CHANGED.
WHEN CAP RETURNS HE WILL BE BRINGING BLOSSOM, CHERRY, STUMP, AND FANG WITH HIM.
IF YOU LOSE YOUR TITLE I CAN GIVE YOU ANOTHER ONE AND A JOB TO GO WITH IT. IF YOU GET MY DRIFT.
AS I WAS BLOWING OF STEAM AT PTG THE WAS A VERY LOUD THUMP BEHIND US. WE LOOKED AT THE BARN AND THERE ON THE ROOF PEAK SAT AN HONEST TO GOODNESS GARGOYLE. GRINNING AT US.
WHERE DID YOU COME FROM I ASKED. THEN IN MY MIND I HEARD. I HAVE NO IDEA ONE MOMENT I WAS THERE AND THE NEXT HERE.
I ASKED ARE YOU STAYING. I ASKED. I HOPE SO, IT THOUGHT. IT IS MUCH NICER HERE THAN THAT OLD BATTLEMENT I WAS ON.
I TOLD PTG WHAT THE GARGOYLE HAD SAID. THEN I HEARD BY THE WAY MY NAME IS STONY. PTG JUST STOOD THERE WITH HIS MOUTH OPEN AND HIS EYES BUGGING. OH! WELL HE HAD NOT SAID A WORD SINCE HE ARRIVED. JUST HOPE HIS EARS WORK IF HIS BRAIN AND TONGUE DOES NOT.
I WAS ABOUT TO TURN TO THE BACK DOOR OF THE TEA ROOM WHEN I FELT A TUG ON JEANS.
I LOOKED DOWN THERE AT MY FOOT WAS THE CUTIES LITTLE HEDGEHOG. I PICKED IT UP. STROKED IT GENTLY. I ROLLED INTO A BALL. I TUCKED IT INTO MY BAG WITH SUGAR AND SPICE I PROCEEDED ON TO THE BACK OF THE TEA ROOM AND THE DOOR TO THE KITCHEN.
AS FAR AS I KNEW PTG WAS STILL FROZEN STARING AT THE GARGOYLE.
NO sooner have I slipped back into the Tea Room than….
All the ‘wind is taken out of my sails’ as I am wrestled onto the Tea Room floor
””&*%+**((&&&&$$££)…….Geroff! me, Its MEEE! PTG!!!”
I am poleaxed and pinned to the ground by two or more feisty and overfed females.
Then the thought strikes me that I am still in the black hooded monk’s habit and the cowl is still covering my bald pate!
Then I hear Charlie from the corner of the room.
“Oh! It’s him, the ungrateful idle wretch, coming back for his favourite tipple,
“No doubt having snoozed through the day while we have been working hard and still tearful from the departure of our dear Mrs Fletcher”
They climb off me and raise me up into the sitting position.
And then I am subject to a verbal assault about this and that until my head is bursting from the female cacophony.
I try to scamper towards the nearest wall aperture to escape this but am pinioned to the ground again with Charlie’s knitting needles catching the hem of my robe.
“My lad, YOU have some work to do and it is urgent. We need the whole place cleaned from the recent Halloween activities and you ARE the Chief Sweeper Upper of the Castle!”
I think to myself: “Why is my magical broom not already at work doing this!”
And ferret around in my robe to find it.
Buried deep in a pocket and I feel it quivering through the cloth.
“Come on out you wretched stick! There is work to be done”
“NNOOOOOO!!! If you touch me, I will get turned into ash!”
I think I have heard every excuse under the sun. but this is a new one on me!
But then I remember, what my hands were doing so recently and effectively on our enemies.
I calm it down enough to explain that their magical powers have dissipated, and it can be handled.
Within seconds it has resumed its normal shape and is now a whirling dervish cleaning and sweeping and batting pumpkins into the paddock, all under Charlie’s constant instructions.
Slowly the areas begin to get swept up and able to be hosed clean with torrents of water provided by our two elephantine beasties. They regard this as a game and providing a lot of fun!
I can now relax and turn towards the Tea Room table, and am shaken to the core by a large stone object knocking me to one side.
Through my amulet I hear that Charlie has finally gone insane and is talking to it!
Then on closer reflection I realize that is one of our old stone friends from an early saga and greet it, also through my amulet.
“I am PTG, one of the MC Musketeers and pay homage to your kind.
“You are most welcome to be with us and my friends the owl and crow are in the rafters above who will also like to greet you!”
It is no longer I who is open mouthed but the others around me!
IT WAS A GOOD THING THAT SUGAR AND SPICE KNEW WHO HE WAS WHEN OPAL AND THE KITCHEN STAFF JUMPED HIM. I HAD TO PIN HIM WITH A KNITTING NEEDLE BEFORE HE COULD ESCAPE AGAIN. IF HE HAD, NO TELLING WHEN WE WOULD HAVE SEEN HIM AGAIN.
SO THE OLD REPROBATE KNOWS GARGOYLE'S, FINE. STONY YOU ARE MORE THAN WELCOME HERE. GRIFF WATCHES OVER THE TEA ROOM AND THE APPROACH TO IT FROM THE CASTLE.
IF YOU CHOOSE TO STAY HERE WITH US YOU COULD BE A GREAT HELP. THE GARGOYLE REPEATED THAT HIS NAME WAS STONY AND WOULD LIKE TO STAY.
THEN PLEASE MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME ON THE BARN ROOF WHERE YOU CAN LOOK OVER IT AND ALL THE ANIMAL AREAS SURROUNDING IT. FROM THERE YOU CAN WARN US OF ATTACKS FROM THAT DIRECTION.
YOU ARE MOST WELCOME HERE WE HAVE NEVER TURNED AWAY ANY WHO WISH TO JOIN US IN TRYING TO SECURE THE REALM OF MIDNIGHT CASTLE FOR THOSE IT TRULY BELONGS TO AND KEEP THEM SAFE FROM HARM.
STONY SETTLED HIMSELF LOOKED AROUND GREETED GRIFF WHO RETURNED THE GREETING. IT WAS STRANGE TO HERE THEM CONVERSING WHILE ALL OTHERS HEARD NOTHING.
AT LEAST THE WAYWARD HAD RETURNED AND WAS CLEANING UP THE SMELLY MESS.
"BROOM" I SPOKE. THANK YOU, NOW IF YOU CAN KEEP UP WITH THE PLAYERS WE WOULD BE GRATEFUL.
Since I can hear all the shenanigans going on at The Tea Room I am not surprised by what I hear and can just picture the look on PTGs face.
I make a quick visit to The Golden Queen to let her know we are ready to head out but we are on stand by for her orders.
I rejoin the group and double and triple check that all is ready ,,, I take a moment and close my eyes and in mu mind's eye I can see our dear Mrs. Fletcher and her love Joe heading to the Queen the look of love and happiness as she looks at Joe and they join hands brings tears of happiness to my eyes and fills my heart.
I whisper see you soon my dears hearts.
I look at the excitement of my critters and have to speak loud as I say okay we are all ready ,,, I have assigned Frost to Blossom ,,,, Jewel to Cherry,, Brulee to Stump and Fang I know he can transport those two for he is almosr as bug as Frost and there is no weight heavy enough for a full grown Dragon.
I make sure all the ropes ate in there right place and secured to the baskets and I remind them be very still as not to tip them arse over tea cup.
I rub my Amulet ,,,, Charlie .. Cap here we are on the way meet us in the open field and please have as much fruit hay water and I have asked Smoke to be there to take Stump and Fang to hunt they are all hungry lol.
OKAY LETS GO HOME>
I HEAR THE CAP SAYING TO MEET HIM IN THE CLEARING WITH HAY AND FRUIT. GOOD THING THAT BLOODY MINDED BROOM HAS CLEANED UP THE STINKING MESSES. NOW THE ANIMALS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GATHER THE GOOD FRUIT FOR STORAGE. APPLES IN THE BACK OF THE BARN IN BINS THAT THE GNOMES HAD MADE ESPECIALLY FOR THEM WITH STRAW IN THE BOTTOM AND SECURE FROM THE MICE THAT SEEM TO TRY TO INVADE THE STORES OF GRAIN, FRUIT AND HAY I HAVE SET ASIDE FOR WINTER FOOD.
I GET THE CART HITCH BABY TO IT HAVE THE GNOMES FILL IT AS FULL OF HAY AS THEY CAN. BUT THE PACK BASKETS ON BABY, BEAU, AND GOLDIE AND FILL THEM WITH APPLES AND ANY OTHER FRUIT I HAVE ON HAND. AND HEAD OUT TO MEET THE CAP.
WATER WILL NOT BE A PROBLEM, THE GNOMES HAVE DIVERTED A STREAM THROUGH THE FIELD. SO THEY CAN ALL HAVE AS MUCH AS THEY NEED.
I DO HOPE THE CAP APPROVES OF THE NEW ACCOMMODATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN BUILT FOR HIS FRIENDS. THE BIG DEEP LEAN TWO WITH STORAGE IN THE BACK AND A DOOR IN THE BACK SO A WORKER OR THE CAP CAN GET TO OR PLACE THE FRUIT AND HAY THERE. WITH TROUGHS IN FRONT OF THE STORAGE AREA TO PUT THE GOODIES IN.
HIS FRIENDS CAN ROAM ABOUT THE AREA AT WILL BUT HAVE A SAFE PLACE TO GO TO IF IT STORMS.
WELL HERE WE GO A NEW CHAPTER IN OUR LIVES. MORE MOUTHS TO FEED, CLEAN UP AFTER, AND CARE FOR. BUT I DO LIKE CRITTERS LARGE AND SMALL.
As we get near the open field we can see what looks like ants scurrying around but I know it is Charlie and I would think Baby and Beau putting the final touches for us.
I can now see clearly the work that has been done ,,, I am blown away ,,, I should not be because this is above and beyond any thing the Gnomes have done .
It is not hard to see they are animals lovers to as we all are and the best workers I have ever seen and there loyalty to us is beyond words.
Blossom smells the fruits and clean fresh hay and starts moving in excitement
I look back and see the others have picked up the sights and smells as well.
I yell CALM DOWN ALMOST THERE>>>
Frost is the first to land and before I can climb down Blossom is attacking the fruit lol Cherry ,,, Stump,,, Fang are right behind her,
Stump and Fang run to drink then meet Smoke,,, it is something to see them greet each other like long lost brothers the yips and yelps the tail tucked and the lapping of Smokes face even Fang joins in.
After every one has landed I get busy and remove the ropes and baskets used to transport my gang.
I hear Charlie behind me HOLY CRAPONACRACKER you where not kidding when you said they were huge
Hey that is my saying lol sounds funny coming from you lol
Charlie I am so proud of you I could hug you to hell and back.
I get her famous think about and back off look that can send chills down your spins lol
I really need to find a way to thank the worker Gnomes and show them how much I appreciate all there work.
Come on Charlie lets head to the Tea Room and let my group get settled in and I will buy you a cup of coffee
I KNOW HE SAID THEY WERE HUGE, BUT WOW! THEY REALLY ARE. THANK GOODNESS BABY AND BEAU WILL NEVER BE THAT BIG. THEY ARE PYGMY'S.
THEN HE STARTS TOWARD ME ARMS OUT. OH! L NO! I GIVE HIM A LOOK THAT WOULD PEEL PAINT FROM A WALL. IT MAY BE JUST A FRIENDLY HUG BUT I PREFER NOT.
BABY AND BEAU WANT TO STAY AND GET TO KNOW THEIR HUGE COUSINS. OK! LET ME UNHARNESS YOU FROM THE CART BABY. THEN I LOOK AT THE CAP. GUESS WE PULL IT BACK TO THE BARN. YOU COMING GOLDIE I SAY TO THE PONY. SHE HAS NO INTEREST IN STAYING. SHE WANTS TO GET BACK TO DOOGIE.
CAP MENTIONED COFFEE, NOW THAT IS A GREAT IDEA. GLAD I HAD THE GNOMES PUT A LARGE BARN DOOR ON THE BACK STORAGE AREA. CAP AND I DRAG THE CART BACK TO IT I OPEN IT WE PULL THE CART IN AND PARK IT IN ITS PLACE. GOLDIE RUSHES BY TO GET TO DOOGIE. SHE IS STILL DEVOTED TO HIM, THOUGH HE NO LONGER NEEDS HER SUPPORT.
CAP AND I STOP BY THEIR STALL GIVE THEM TREATS AND SCRATCHES THEN CONTINUE TO THE TEA ROOM.
I finally put up the last of the posters for the Harvest party and I am exhausted. With the Cap off to Camp and Charlie working with the Gnomes to get everything ready for his return, it was left to me to get it all done. I'm finally sitting down to enjoy a cup of coffee when I see Cap and Charlie come in.....
I join them at Cap's table and let him know I got all the posters redone and put up. Now we can get ready for the party...picking out our costumes, getting the stalls ready for the delicious food being prepared by Miss Katt and Opel, and the tubs for the kids to bob apples. Now, what about other games. Any ideas? Because we're running out of time here......
While you ponder that, I'm taking off for a nice hot bath to soak my sore muscles, then to Kaley's to order my costume!
Ah hah, I see the Captain is back and the merry band of rebels are gathered. Better go ask for assistance now, before they scatter again.
I bring a tray of goodies to the table, with Pearl chittering excitedly I tell them about our little party surprise…
Charlie, how are things in the cattery? Do you think the kitties would like to play hide & seek with children at the party? I would love to have the assistance of some of the other animals too if any are willing. They need to be relatively small and good at running around in tunnels. You see, Pearl has helped me talk to the retired Mole Army. They have created 2 sets of tunnels. 1 is a simple maze that would be great for the younger children. The 2nd is a more elaborate labyrinth which would be a challenge for the older kids and adults, especially with critters jumping out here and there. Both end in the same large room and exit. The Mole Army insists on acting as guards to be sure no one gets hopelessly lost but they don’t want to do any of the fun house acting. That’s why we need the cats and any others who want to play.