Welcome back to my comedy/fantasy web serial. Last week, we left Alice in a rather sticky situation at the mercy of the evil werewolf Amadeus. Will it turn out to be a Good Friday for her? Read on to find out how she and the rest of “Operation Tooth and Claw” get on as they try to rescue the Kraken from a fate worse than calamari.
If you are new to the series, click here to be transported back to the very start.
Comments, as always, gratefully received.
The Mythical Creatures Employment Exchange
(In which Alice plays a silent movie heroine)
Alice gripped the flag pole she was tied to and took a deep breath. The werewolf’s howl still hung in the air as he turned to face her: a gruesome silhouette against the full moon. Saliva dripped from his glistening canines and, raising his head to sniff the air, his dark eyes flashed briefly.
Sweat trickled down Alice’s back.
‘If you think I’m going to scream like Fay Wray, you’ve got the wrong girl.’
Amadeus paced slowly round his victim before rising up violently on his rear paws. He growled menacingly before letting out another blood—curdling howl.
‘Christ!’ screamed Alice, ‘where’s my rescuers! Help!’
Suddenly, she became aware of another howling coming from the deck above; Amadeus had heard it too and he turned away from Alice, muzzle to the air.
What happened next passed in a terrifying blur; whatever they had heard overhead had sprung down and grabbed Amadeus in its jaw, wrestling him to the deck. The two animals writhed and snarled, biting and clawing each other. Alice was confused- surely there weren’t two of them on board.
Briefly, as both animals paused to breathe, Alice’s eyes caught the second werewolf’s gaze.
He didn’t answer; Amadeus had bitten into his back and they rolled towards the railing in a bloody mass of claws and fur. Flesh ripped and claws scraped then, with a sickening yelp, one of the werewolves had forced the other up the railing and pushed him over the top.
Everything on deck went quiet whilst far below the mermaids shrieked with delight.
The animal remaining on deck approached Alice and bowed its head.
‘Thank you, Neil. I promise I’ll never make those jokes about you having P.M.S ever again.’
Neil nodded his immense head and curled up at Alice’s feet.
‘Now, if I could just get these ropes undone.’ Alice wriggled her wrists; she didn’t notice Cecil landing beside her.
‘Good evening madam. May I assist with those?’
‘Goodness,’ said Alice, ‘a griffin. How exciting.’
‘My name is Cecil; I’m here with “Operation Tooth and Claw”.’
‘Well, Cecil, it’s very nice to meet you. I’m Alice.’
‘Indeed you are,’ said the griffin as he set about the ropes with his beak.
Just then the unmistakable roar of a helicopter’s rotating blades reached them from the helipad.
‘That little shit!’ said Alice through clenched teeth, ‘he’s getting away.’
‘The bastard who’s behind all this mess.’
Cecil peered up at the helicopter as it lifted away from the ship. He splayed his lion’s claws and admired them for a second.
‘They’ll do,’ he said, ‘please excuse me.’ Cecil flapped his wings and flew away in pursuit of the helicopter.
Alice rubbed her wrists, wondering where everyone else could be.
Everyone else was, at that moment, extremely busy and none more so than Fiona and Mildred.
They had gained entry to the bridge easily enough, the guards who had been patrolling outside having been lured overboard by the mermaids’ lament. Once inside, they were confronted by at least ten more guarding the ship’s captain.
‘We demand that you turn this ship around immediately,’ said Fiona firmly.
‘Who the hell are you?’ said the captain.
‘That’s not important. Suffice to say that the rest of your ship’s personnel are under our control; you really don’t have a choice.’
‘My orders are to get this vessel to its destination; at all costs. Guards, take these pathetic women outside and shoot them.’
Fiona raised an eyebrow.
‘Pathetic, eh? Mildred, do your thing.’
Mildred smiled sweetly.
‘I’d be delighted.’
She threw back her head, opened her mouth and proceeded to swallow herself backwards. The guards watched with growing horror as the round ball of gooey flesh sprouted long spikes and began rolling around the bridge. They scattered in all directions as Mildred speared the nearest two.
‘Good work, Mildred!’ shouted Fiona as the monster rolled out onto the deck.
Fiona turned to face the Captain.
‘As I was saying, stop this ship.’
Ms Pinky, who had entered unnoticed during the commotion, now tiptoed up to the Captain’s ear.
‘I’ll wager my three sets of teeth that you can,’ she whispered.
The captain looked sideways over his shoulder; Ms Pinky smiled coyly and fluttered her purple eyelids. She reached out for the ship’s controls.
‘What do you say, full stop or full steam ahead?’
‘That’s the right answer,’ said Fiona, ‘thank you Ms Pinky; another timely intervention.’
‘My pleasure, Fiona, and I’m happy to report that the Kraken is safe and well and the rest of the ship’s crew is either at the pointy end with the zombies and Furies or in the water with the mermaids.’
‘Any sign of Alice?’
Ms Pinky nodded and pointed to the door behind Fiona.
‘Here I am!’
Alice stood with her hand resting on Neil’s head, a beaming smile on her face.
‘Alice, you’re safe!’
Fiona rushed over and hugged her secretary. She looked down at Neil.
‘Thank you, Neil. You did it!’
Neil growled quietly and lay down. There was then a soft knock on the door; Cecil poked his beak round.
‘Excuse me; I hope I’m not interrupting.’
‘Cecil,’ cried Fiona, ‘you’re soaking!’
‘Yes, I’m afraid I took a dip with the helicopter; but I’m quite well.’ The griffin turned to address Alice. ‘I have placed the pilot and your kidnapper in the care of the Furies. They won’t be escaping again.’
Alice shook her head.
‘This is quite some operation; was all this for me?’
‘You and the Kraken,’ said Fiona, ‘and Njord and Lisbeth too of course.’
‘And are they…?’
‘Both safe and well,’ said Ms Pinky.
At that moment, the Harpies landed outside, screeching and wailing.
‘He is here! The bearded one is here!’
‘Oh God, now what?’ said Fiona, heading for the door; her exit was blocked by a rotund figure dressed in red.
‘Ho! Ho! Ho!’
‘Santa!’ cried Fiona.
‘You again!’ snarled Ms Pinky.
‘Now then,’ said Santa, ‘which little girl asked for a marauding army of Beserkers?’
© flyingscribbler 2011