The Quest for the Sword of Justice! Part Ten: Flight to Whimseria

This is my story for NaNoWriMo 2016. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Read other parts here!

“Hello heroes!,” said King Jeff. “I am here to save you, or do something else heroic!”

“You’re too late, my King,” said Brutus. “The fighting is already done.”

“Is it? Oh. Well that’s a shame then.” The King jumped down from his horse.

“We need to keep moving,” said Osiris. “Now that he’s found us again, it’ll be hard for us to elude him.”

“What?,” asked Willow. “But we just crushed his monsters right good! Who was that floatin’ head anyway?”

The King stepped forward. “Oh! That was — “

Osiris shook her head. “No time to explain right now, you just need to know that he’s bad, and that he’s after this.” Osiris reached into a pouch on her belt and pulled out a key on a metal chain.

“Oy!” shouted Brutus, “that looks exactly like mine! I mean…yours, my King.”

“You protected my key, excellent my good man!,” shouted the King. “I’ve been trying to figure out how to keep it out of Zeltar’s hands. Now it seems my problem has solved itself.”

“You weren’t helping that horrifying man?,” asked Brutus.

“Oh no,” said the King, shaking his head. “I’ve been wasting my time on meaningless tasks, trying to figure out how to free myself from his presence in the meanwhile. Seems I don’t have to worry about that any more.”

“No, but we’ve got a bigger problem now, and time is short. There are seven more keys in the seven other realms on this island,” said Osiris. “We have to get them before Zeltar does.”

“Zeltar be the floating head?,” asked Willow.

Osiris nodded. “Zeltar be the floating head. Zeltar the Wretched, if we’re being more precise.”

“Aha!,” shouted the Wizard. “It’s like a race then! Did you hear that everyone? We’re setting off on a grand racing adventure!”

“Of sorts,” said Osiris. “But a little more dangerous than a normal race. Zeltar could fight us at any time, around every bend — “

“I thought he was stuck in some kind of prison,” said Brutus. “That’s wot the king always told me at least.”

“That’s right!,” said the King. “He’s not supposed to be able to get out without the keys. He’s trapped.”

“He is, but he’s been there a very long time,” said Osiris. “He’s been pushing against the magical boundaries that keep him locked up. First, he figured out a way to materialize, and he’s been getting stronger ever since. If he gets out of the prison, he’ll be unstoppable. He’s a very powerful man.”

Elena stepped forward. “Well, it seems that with the King’s key, we’ve already got what we need here, so we should make for one of the other realms. Right?”

Willow yawned. “I’m getting sleepy, miss.”

“No time to rest now Willow, but soon,” said Elena. “We should make for the kingdom of Whimseria, it’s the closest, and I imagine this Zeltar will have a hard time finding us there, because that place is ridiculous.”

“Tis true!,” shouted the Wizard. “Whimseria is quite silly! We pride ourselves upon that. Travelers who are not familiar with it will be confounded at every turn.”

Osiris nodded. “We make for Whimseria then. Unfortunately, I am not strong enough to carry you all, and interdimensional travel is even less safe at night, so — “

“I have some horses we could use,” said King Jeff, “but they’re back at my castle. If I had known how many of you there would be, I’d have brought some. No hard feelings for burning down my closet, love. I see that you are a fair maiden of — “

Osiris glared. “The name is Osiris. I am no maiden.”

Brutus put his hand on the King’s shoulder. “It’s good to know you’re one of the good guys after all. I couldn’t tell, what with all the orders you gave me to burn down the houses of innocents.”

The King’s face turned a little pale. “Ah….aha…let’s uh, let’s keep that sort of talk between you and me Brutus, shall we? Oh, I suppose I should mention that you’re no longer the Guard Captain.” The King braced for Brutus to hit him or something.

“That’s fine with me,” said Brutus, shrugging. “Never much cared for it anyway. Plus, we’ve both got more important things to do now!”

“Right,” said Osiris, “So we make for the Castle to steal the King’s horses, and then Whimseria. We may face some stiff resistance there, as I imagine we’ll be running across more of those monsters.”

King Jeff’s face went pale again. “M…monsters?”

Brutus nodded. “Oh yes my King, we faced some terrible zombies just now. Didn’t you notice all the green goop on the ground?”

“I thought that was just leftover from yesterday’s rain, or something.”

“No,” said Brutus with a chuckle, “Those be zombie entrails. What sort of rain would — ”

“To the Castle!,” shouted the Wizard. He hoisted his hand aloft, and began to run away.

“Just let me fetch Barry,” said Brutus.

***

“I really like goofy scenes like this,” said Megan.

What’s so goofy about it? I mean, apart from the Wizard running away.

“This happens in like, every book, movie, game, and TV show,” said Megan. “The characters are in a hurry, and so they say ‘there’s no time to explain this,’ and then they end up explaining it all anyway.”

Y…yeah well, sometimes you just gotta explain some stuff.

“Oh that’s fine, I’m not trying to be critical,” said Megan. “But it’s just funny that it always happens.”

“I don’t like that the King is a good guy now,” said Lisa in a huff.

Why not? I thought the evil floating space wizard would make a better main villain for a fantasy story.

“It’s not because I don’t like Zeltar,” said Lisa. “It’s just….at the beginning of the story, the King was burning stuff down, and now he’s a hero? I don’t know.”

He has a backstory that we’ll get to eventually, and —

“He made Brutus burn down that barn,” said Lisa.

“Yeah, but maybe Zeltar wanted him to do that?,” asked Megan.

“Well,” said Lisa. “I don’t trust him.”

That’s good! You should feel conflicted about him. That’s a big part of his purpose in the story. But he’s got a cute little turtle! And he’s —

“I don’t like it,” said Lisa. She pulled her legs up to her chin, and folded her arms around them.

Well, I hope that you can at least enjoy the rest of this part. Let’s keep going, shall we?

***

Brutus came back out onto the road with Barry the goat. Osiris was starting to get pretty anxious.

“We need to reach Whimseria before dawn,” she said, “and find a place to rest and lie low. We don’t have a lot of time. We’ve really got to get — ”

“I have an idea!,” shouted the Wizard.

“Of course you do,” muttered Elena under her breath.

“Big Fellow! I can turn that goat of yours into a mighty steed!,” said the Wizard.

“My name is Brutus, and if you think you can do it, I won’t object.”

The Wizard was surprised. “R…really?”

“Sure,” said Brutus. “I’m not too proud to ride upon a large goat. I love goats.”

The Wizard pulled out his staff, and pointed it at Barry. He muttered a few words. Suddenly, Barry grew in size until he was a perfect match in stature for a horse.

“Wow!,” said the Wizard. “That actually worked!”

Osiris smiled, and put her mask back on. “Perhaps I was wrong to doubt you,” she said.

“Okay!,” said the Wizard. “That’s one less horse we have to collect!”

Brutus hopped onto Barry, who let out some happy goat noises. The King mounted his horse. They all made for the castle.

***

Back at the castle, Guard Captain Bill had just finished giving out his orders for the rest of the week. The men were impressed. Brutus had never had the foresight or planning ability to truly organize the guards.

The floating head of Zeltar materialized in the barracks and began to shoot magical energy out of his eyes and mouth, turning the guards into zombies one by one. Chaos and panic spread throughout the room.

“No promotion is worth this!,” shouted Bill. He threw his armor onto the ground and ran out of the room. And that is the story of how Bill became the shortest-lived Guard Captain in the history of the kingdom.

***

The party of adventurers approached the front of the castle. King Jeff adjusted his crown atop his head. “Okay everyone,” he said, “we should have no trouble entering the castle and taking the horses.”

“I think something is wrong with those men,” said Willow. She pointed at the two guards stationed in front of the castle’s main gate. “Their eyes are aglow.”

Both guards drew their weapons, and began to shamble forward towards our heroes. They were zombie monsters.

The party drew their assorted weapons. The King jumped down off his horse and help up his hand. “No no, you’ve done enough, it’s time for me to earn my keep.” He drew his sword and approached the guards. “Guards! It is I your King. Let me through the gate at once.”

The guard took a swipe at the King with his sword, which the King easily deflected.

“Well. I guess this won’t be quite as easy as I thought.” The King took a swing at the guard with a little yell and easily lopped off his monstrous zombie head, then made short work of the other zombie as well. He went running back over to the rest of the group, holding his sword aloft.

“I’m impressed,” said Osiris. “I thought you were going to screw it up and we’d have to save you.”

“They got horrible green goo on my shiny sword!,” said the King in a whiny voice. “I don’t like it!”

Elena rolled her eyes. “Let me show you how to clean it off. It’s like you’ve never fought before.”

“I haven’t!,” shouted King Jeff. “My father taught me the ways of the sword as a boy, but I’ve never actually used one.”

“You did well for your first time,” said Elena.

“Today was my first too!,” shouted Willow. Her face beamed with a grin. “At least with a sword.”

The group stole a gate key off one of the dispatched zombies and made their way into the castle. They quickly found the King’s private stables inside the grounds, took some horses, and made their way back outside.

“I’m surprised that we didn’t encounter any more guards,” said Osiris. “Zeltar must have them all off on other tasks. Perhaps he never expected us to come back here?”

“I don’t question good fortune,” said Elena. “Let’s make for Whimseria, shall we? We’ve only a few more hours till dawn.”

“I shall name my horse Cabbage!,” shouted the Wizard.

The group began to ride down the nearby road towards Whimseria. Osiris moved her horse over so she could chat with the Wizard.

“Wizard, you should be able to get us through the border outpost into Whimseria, right? I know that your land is known for being silly, but they still have a guard post, as the charter of these realms demands, yes?”

“Oh yes,” replied the Wizard. “We have adequate security. But as a member of the royal court I should have no trouble getting through. In fact, they should be happy to see me, as I was just recently kidnapped. They should be quite happy that I’ve returned! Isn’t that right, Cabbage?,” he said, looking down at the back of his horse’s head.

“I’ve no doubt of it,” said Osiris. She began to think of backup plans, and of how they were going to get the key from the Queen of Whimseria. She and the Queen were old friends, and she knew that getting the key would not be easy. After all, the leaders were all under ancient instruction to guard the keys with their lives, and to never give them up no matter who asked. The thinking was that keeping even one key away from Zeltar would keep him locked away forever.

Osiris decided not to tell the heroes of her true intentions, or her plan to obtain the Sword of Justice.

***

Okay girls. That’s it for tonight. I’m off to bed, I’ve got a big day at work tomorrow. We’re starting on a new project. I might not be able to work on this again for a few more days Lisa, I apologize.

“Aw, it was just getting good,” said Lisa. “But okay. Want to play some more games Megan?”

“Sure,” said Megan. “Thanks for telling us the story!”

You’re welcome. Thanks for listening. I hope you can come over again next weekend Megan and hear the next part. I also hope you girls won’t be too upset when the heroes don’t succeed on their quest.

“WHAT!” screamed both girls in unison.

Written by

I do radio voice work by day, and write by day and night. I studied film and production. I love audio, design, and music. Also video games.

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