Shortcut to: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part Seven | Part Eight | Part Nine | Part Ten | Part Eleven | Part Twelve
Into the final part now. As suggested by the first sentence, I had forgotten about this for ages and then decided I should finish it off and not leave it hanging. So I did. It's a long one, so I'm going to split it into two parts, [A] and [B]. It's a weekend double bill!
It all now seemed so long ago. She had only been asleep for a few hours, surely, but Zena felt like she had forgotten much of what had come to pass in the last couple of days.
She sighed, and opened her eyes.
Zena leapt to her feet and catapulted herself into the corner of this particular dungeon. Stood over where she had lain, was a midget with a shrivelled arm, wearing a pair of NHS specs and a Jorvik Viking Centre t-shirt. On his feet were a pair of flowery pink wellington boots.
"Who are you?!" demanded Zena.
"I be the manservants to your nemesiseseses, Miss," said the midget, cocking his head to one side. "Collins, they calls me."
"My, err, ... my what? Servant to my...?
"Oh," said Collins, "your nemesimesis - nesimim - memma - your mortal enemy, Miss."
Mortal enemy? Why should she wake up to find an enemy's servant standing over her? What happened? How long was she asleep?
"Right, well, Miss," said Collins, making a move for the door. "I hads best be offs right now, Miss. Peoples to tortures, rats to breeds, and all thats. It's all goes, goes, goes, today."
With that, he disappeared out into the dark corridors, leaving Zena very confused.
What was going on? Zena wanted to go and find out, but fear would not allow her to leave the room. She looked around her for any clue while her belly churned uncomfortably.
The room was just bare stone, though, apart from the bed, which was identical to the one she had back at home, right down to the Paddington Bear bedsheets. And the Roobarb and Custard slippers, which seemed to have replaced her shoes. She slipped them on.
Her cold feet felt instantly warm and cosy, but the feeling didn't stop there. It rose up through her legs and through her body until it reach the ends of her hairs and the tips of her fingers. Her skin seemed to glow a warm and fuzzy orange as if she were appearing in a Ready Brek advert.
Being a very sensible six-year-old, however, she knew better than to trust magic slippers, particularly so soon after being greeted by an enemy's servant. She took them off and, shivering, she made her way out into the corridor.
"Oh no you don't!" said The Woman In The Pretty Dress. "I've just cleaned there. And you can take them off at once!"
"Yes, dear," sighed the giant, obligingly.
Before long, Zena came upon a T-junction along her way. To her right lay a dark, dank tunnel, and to her left a much more well-lit corridor. Someone appeared to have started hanging flowery wallpaper, but had given up halfway through. Unless, of course, they had only recently started.
At the start of the corridor stood a small shoe rack, holding four pairs of shoes of varying sizes, and in various stages of muddiness. Beyond the rack, old newspaper had been laid on the floor, until ...
Zena rushed into the dark tunnel to the right, stubbing her toe hard and biting down so much on her lip that it started to bleed profusely. She found herself facing away from the voices, but daren't turn around for they now sounded so close.
"I knows no The Mistress's exact motives, sees," said a voice that Zena recognised immediately as belonging to Collins.
"Do you know, Collins" replied the second voice, "for one who is reputed for one's knowledge of all that one may wish to know, you are remarkably useless when one wishes to use you as a source of information."
"Well, Miss Torties, Miss, the things about knowing lots of stuffs is, much as I'd likes, 'snot possibles to reads people's minds, Miss."
"That may be very well, Mr Collins, but one does wonder exactly why one must install brass fittings when one stages a revolution of sorts. Especially when one enters into such a revolution on the promise of one not becoming consumed by the drunkenness of power. One would not be best pleased were one to discover that The Mistress were, as it were, one scone short of one's afternoon tea."
As the voices faded into the distance, Zena wondered exactly what Miss Torties (assuming Mr Collins had pronounced her name correctly) had meant by her little speech. Zena felt like she now had even less idea of what she was up against than she had had before. Assuming, that is, that it were possible to have less than no idea.
Finally deciding it was safe to move, Zena crept out of the tunnel, and limped down the newspaper-strewn passageway. She could feel the blood running down her chin and the paper tried to stick to her left foot as she left behind dirty red footprints.
"Are you blind? Or stupid?" demanded The Woman In The Pretty Dress. "They. Will. Clash."
"Whatever you say," replied the giant. "You know best."
"Oh do try to have a mind of your own, you wretched - Yes, what is it?" She looked up from the Dulux colour chart.
Collins stood just inside the room. "I's and the others were just wonderings, Miss."
"Whens do we gets to eats the 'ostages?"
To be continued...
Link of the Day: Crazy Hairdo
Men's T-Shirts, Women's T-Shirts, Pin Badges, Mugs and Canvas Bags at the EvilFlea Spreadshirt Shop