Well, this is it! After many long weeks we have arrived at the concluding chapter of my web serial. I hope you have all enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I have learned a lot about the process of writing a weekly serial; in particular I have had to be careful to keep the different threads of the story running along together and I hope I have succeeded in that. Another concern has been with continuity; there are undoubtedly some glaring errors, but as this was my first attempt at anything of this nature, I hope that you will forgive me.
My main aim has been to entertain and judging by many of the comments that you have been leaving, I think I managed to do just that.
I don’t know what happens next. There are definitely more stories to be told of the goings-on at The Mythical Creatures Employment Exchange. I’m not sure where to tell them. Is there a full-length book there? What do you think?
Whatever happens next, thank you for sticking with it and for all the encouragement I have had over the last few months.
And so, for one last time, settle back and enjoy the ride!
The Mythical Creatures Employment Exchange
Chapter Twenty-Two. Part 2.
(In which this story ends)
Amidst the chaos of the deranged Berserkers, screeching Harpies and demented zombies, Fiona stared out of the side of ship at Bertie and Ms Pinky on the unicorn.
‘Don’t tell me that pony can really fly!’ shouted Fiona above the noise.
‘He can,’ said Bertie, ‘and look, he’s grown wings!’
‘Who the hell is that?’ said Alice, deflecting a spear thrown by a Berserker.
‘That’s Bertie, Neil’s new boyfriend.’
‘Oh, how lovely,’ said Alice, kneeing another Berserker in the groin, ‘nice to meet you Bertie; I’m Alice.’
‘Shall we leave the introductions till later,’ said Ms Pinky, ‘or would you rather stay to be butchered by this lot?’
‘Quite right, Ms Pinky,’ said Njord, hoisting himself to his feet having wrestled a Berserker to the ground and pinning it to the floor with his staff.
‘Yes,’ said Fiona, ‘perhaps we’d better leave.’
‘Right’o,’ said Bertie, ‘come on lads, bring her down nice and slow.’
The reindeer descended with the caravan and pulled in alongside the ship.
‘Women and children first please,’ said Bertie, ‘form an orderly line.’
Fiona, Alice and Njord along with the zombies and monsters inched their way to the hatch, kicking, pushing and screaming at the Berserkers. Reaching the edge, the zombies formed a wall of defence, allowing the others to jump into the caravan. Bertie then ordered the reindeer to pull away.
‘What about the zombies?’ cried Alice, ‘we can’t leave them here.’
‘They’ll be fine,’ said Fiona, ‘they’re a resilient bunch and as soon as we get the Kraken out, the Berserkers should calm down.’
‘Where’s Neil?’ shouted Bertie, ‘I thought he was with you.’
‘Neil!’ cried Ms Pinky, ‘time to leave!’
Neil appeared at the doorway with a Berserker between his teeth, dropped him into the water and leapt aboard the caravan.
‘My,’ said Bertie, ‘what big teeth he has.’
Fiona grabbed hold of the door frame and leant out as far as she dared.
‘Come on Cecil, the coast is clear!’
‘I can’t hold him any longer,’ cried the griffin as the huge squid began to slip out of his claws.
‘That’s ok; let him go. The mermaids will look after him.’
Cecil released the Kraken from his grasp and it fell towards the sea, where the waves enveloped it with white surf.
‘Safe at last,’ said Alice, ‘I grew rather fond of it, you know.’
Njord gave Alice a hug.
‘And we, my dear, grew fond of you.’
Finally, the Harpies flew from the ship, wailing as they carried their injured sister to the caravan.
‘Keep her safe! Help her live!’
Njord helped the injured creature inside and lay her down.
‘If I’m not mistaken,’ whispered the sea god, ‘a unicorn’s tear drop should revive her.’
‘Will a half unicorn, half Pegasus’s tear do the trick?’
Njord shrugged his shoulders.
‘I don’t see why not.’
Fiona peered out of the caravan; the unicorn was hovering just above.
‘Ms Pinky, do you think you can make that unicorn cry?’
The monster gleamed.
‘Thank you Ms Pinky. Now we’d better check on Santa; Bertie, could you swing this caravan round to the Bridge please?’
Moments later Fiona found Santa on his mobile talking to the Norwegian Defence Minister.
‘It’s all sorted, my dear,’ he said, ‘the Navy is on its way to take us back to Norwegian waters, and,’ he continued, turning to the Captain, ‘to deal with this lot.’
‘Excellent,’ said Fiona, ‘in the meantime, I suggest we keep the Beserkers locked up in the hold; they’ll calm down as soon as they’ve eaten. I’ll leave you the zombies, furies and monsters to keep an eye on the crew.’
‘What about us?’
‘Who said that?’ said Santa.
‘Barry! There you are,’ said Fiona, smiling blindly at the poltergeist, ‘would you mind staying on board? I’m sure Santa would appreciate it.’
Santa smiled gratefully.
‘Thank you. What will you do now?’
‘I have a very brave secretary to get back to London,’ said Fiona.
‘In which case,’ said Santa shaking her hand, ‘I bid you farewell until Christmas Eve; and no peeking this year.’
‘Pretending to be asleep? It’s the oldest trick in the book.’
‘I’ll try not to Santa. Bye.’
Back at the caravan, Fiona found Cecil resting on the roof.
‘Would you mind giving me a lift back to London?’ he said, ‘I’m most awfully tired.’
‘Of course not, Cecil; you’ve been amazing. You’ve all been amazing.’ Fiona beamed at her employees. ‘Thank you everyone. What a team!’
When the caravan arrived back at the exchange a few hours later, the sun had risen. Neil, human once more, was sleeping off the effects of his night spent as a werewolf, whilst Bertie busied himself with the reindeer and unicorn.
Fiona, Ms Pinky and Alice climbed out of the caravan.
‘It’s good to be back,’ said Alice, yawning, ‘I can’t wait to get back to work.’
‘That,’ said Ms Pinky, ‘might be a problem.’ She pointed to the door; it was boarded up with a notice pinned to it.
‘What now?’ said Fiona. She scanned the notice and scrunched it up in her fist.
‘Who?’ said Alice.
‘The Green Man of course; he must be the spy from the Department for Efficiencies and Downsizing. No wonder he wanted to stay behind. We’ve been shut down pending an official investigation into our “use of unregistered mythical creatures and employment of dangerously psychotic monsters.”’
‘How dare he!’ cried Ms Pinky, ‘and after he brought me Malibu Barbie’s Hawaiian hot tub.’ The monster began sobbing on to Fiona’s shoulder. ‘I liked working here; it was the first time I felt like I really belonged.’
‘Don’t worry Ms Pinky,’ said Alice, stroking the monster’s pink fur, ‘we won’t be taking this lying down; will we, Fiona.’
‘Not a chance,’ said Fiona, ‘The Mythical Creatures Employment Exchange is not closing its doors today or any other day! If it’s a fight they want, they picked the wrong team!’
© flyingscribbler 2011