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[personal profile] sandtree
I'm posting this now, because I seriously have to spend the rest of today writing that essay that I should have had done two weeks ago. :(

Also, I'm tagging all of these entries so that they're easy to find.

Chapters One and Two
Chapters Three and Four
Chapters Five and Six
Chapters Seven and Eight
Chapters Nine and Ten
Chapters Eleven and Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen – Callifudge: A Trick, A Hoax, A Swindle

It was after they had been floating aimlessly for about an hour and a half, that the occupants of the hot air balloon realised that they had not slept, or had anything to eat in hours, or perhaps days – it was difficult to remember. There was no question in anyone’s mind that they needed to stop for refreshment. It was where they were to stop that was giving them trouble.

“Not in Ireland,” Mr. Sevenson, who had deemed to come out of his corner, stated. “Definitely not in Ireland. That would be just asking for trouble.”

“Back to Valmell?” Bamber asked uncertainly.

“That would be folly indeed,” said Mr. Blackstone, “for we do not know whether the zombie outbreak was limited to Bogbury alone.”

“Everyone in England, Scotland, and Wales is dead,” Martha reminded them. “But wherever we go, I think it ought to be somewhere where the general populace speak English.”

“Good thinking, Martha,” said Frederick. “America?”

“Too far,” said Mr. Blackstone, shaking his head.


“Has that even been colonised yet?”

Silence reigned for a few minutes as everyone mulled over the situation, or tried to come up with some sort of solution. Finally, Frederick shouted in victory.

“What is it?” they all inquired.

“The Isle of Man!” Frederick said triumphantly.

“Oh, well done, Mr. Bright, well done!” Bamber said appreciatively.

“The Isle of Man it is!” Adam said, and went to the large steering wheel, turning it slightly toward the east. The balloon began to drift in that direction.

Everyone was feeling considerably better, now that they had a destination in mind. Even Napoleon Bonaparte looked chipper.

“When we arrive in the Isle of Man, we will find an inn, and go to sleep directly. Then we will get up, and eat something, and discuss our plans,” said Frederick, rubbing his hands together in anticipation.

“All right,” said Mr. Blackstone, “but I think we all ought to have false names. We need to disguise our identities. Therefore, we will be travelling as the Smith family.”

“The Smith family?” said Martha, uncertain. She did not think that the group could pass as a family, by any means. None of them looked remotely alike. There was not the slightest similarity in their features, except for in those who were actually related; not to mention that Martha and Frederick both had brown hair, Bamber and Calpurnia auburn hair, Jane and Adam black hair, Mr. Sevenson shocking red hair, Mr. Blackstone golden blond hair, and Napoleon Bonaparte fair hair. To claim to be a family would be outrageous.

Nonetheless, Mr. Blackstone would not be swayed, and so the Smith family they would be. What their relationship to one another was meant to be, Martha could not fathom, but from Mr. Blackstone’s determined countenance, she knew that any arguement would be fruitless.

The hot air balloon began to descend, and the beautiful green hills of the Isle of Man came into focus. They approached the capital city of Douglas, no, actually, Castletown, because Douglas wasn’t the capital until 1863, and docked on top of the castle that the town was named for.

They all climbed down from the roof of the castle, and walked to the nearest inn. Unfortunately, there was only one room available. They all crowded into the single bed, and tried to sleep. It was extremely uncomfortable. Martha only managed to get about eleven hours of sleep. They awoke at dawn, and stumbled downstairs to eat breakfast.

As they had not eaten in several days, they were all quite hungry, and ate in silence for some time. When the coffee was brought out, Martha deemed to speak at last.

“Take a look around, Bamber,” she said, flashing him a grin. “This could be your new home soon.”

Bamber huffed, and crossed his arms, staring out the window and pointedly ignoring her.

“Oh, Martha, you wouldn’t really exile us to the Isle of Man, would you?” Calpurnia said, her voice sad.

“Yes, I would,” Martha replied, “if you put up a fight.”

“Well, Abby is dead now, so I suppose there is no need of that!” Calpurnia recalled, and began to cry softly. Everyone looked distinctly uncomfortable.

“All right,” said Mr. Sevenson, and it one swift motion swept everything off the table with his arm; the dishes broke and shattered on the floor. They all exclaimed in surprise. The innkeeper looked outraged. “It is time.”

“Time for what?” said Bamber stupidly.

In answer, Mr. Sevenson produced a knife from his pocket, rolled up his sleeve, and made a deep cut in his arm. The innkeeper fainted. Mr. Sevenson calmly allowed the blood to form a large puddle on the table, and then looked around at them all. They stared back incredulously.

“Well?” he said at last, a hint of annoyance in his voice. “Is anyone going to help me out, or not?”

Finally, someone had an idea. Mr. Blackstone whipped off his cravat and used it to bind the wound.

“Good thinking, Mr. Blackstone!” Frederick exclaimed.

“There, now I will not bleed to death,” said Mr. Sevenson sarcastically.

“No, but the wound will likely become infected, and then you will certainly die,” Frederick shot back.

“Well then I’ll see you in Hell.” Mr. Sevenson smiled at him. Martha thought this rather uncreative, but then again, he was operating under pressure. He turned and placed both of his hands upon the edge of the table, and stared intently into the puddle of blood.

He stared for about five minutes. Finally, Martha could take it no more. “Well?” she pressed, leaning forward and looking into it as well. “Is there anything? It’s all blurred.”

“Yes,” said Mr. Sevenson, squinting at it. “It’s as though he’s moving very fast... wait, now he’s slowing down. Yes, he’s definitely slowing... he’s landing somewhere... it’s a street!”

“Helpful,” said Frederick, who was still annoyed with him.

“Shut up,” said Mr. Sevenson absently. “Yes, it is definitely a street. I don’t think it’s anywhere in Europe, though... can anyone make this out?”

“It is most certainly Egypt,” said Napoleon Bonaparte, with supreme confidence. “There is absolutely no doubt of it.”

“But are you sure, entirely sure?” Martha pressed.

“Excuse me, Miss Bright, but I know Egypt when I see it,” said Bonaparte haughtily.

“Then it is to Egypt that we will go!” exclaimed Mr. Sevenson, banging on the table with his fist; blood splattered the wall opposite, and Martha winced, then raised her eyebrows.

“Wait,” she said, “do you see this? I don’t believe it!” She leant over the table, excited. “It is Sir Rupert and Mr. Stratford, they’re in Egypt as well! But – then that must mean that Finnegan O’Fear has gone after them! Oh, no!”

“Then there is not a moment to lose,” said Mr. Sevenson, “we must depart for Egypt immediately. To the hot air balloon!”

“A moment, if you please,” Napoleon Bonaparte interrupted, just as they were all about to rush out the door. “There is no way in hell that I am going back to Egypt.”

“But your majesty – “

“No,” said Bonaparte, and crossed his arms over his chest. It appeared that he would not be swayed. “I swore that I would never step foot in that country again – bad experiences, you know – wretched women – and anyway, I am sick to death of chasing Finnegan O’Fear all over the planet, when my main goal is to dispose of Pierre Noir.”

“Fine,” said Mr. Sevenson. He was really fuming now. Every moment lost drew Finnegan O’Fear further from them, and closer to the defenceless Sir Rupert and his valet. “Stay here, then, for all I care. Stay here and waste your time looking for Pierre Noir. He has probably already swam to New Zealand. Good luck.”

They all turned to go, when suddenly Mr. Blackstone spoke as well. “I am staying with Bonaparte,” he announced. “I cannot knowingly lose another second when I might be searching for my most hated enemy. I am sorry. I wish you luck on your quest.”

“Whatever,” said Mr. Sevenson, and stormed out of the room.

Frederick shot Mr. Blackstone an apologetic look. “Sorry,” he said, voice low. “He’s just really upset right now. I imagine it is difficult, having Finnegan O’Fear for a father.”

“I quite understand,” said Mr. Blackstone, shrugging.

“Good luck,” said Martha, as she left the room with the rest of them, following Mr. Sevenson back to the castle that the balloon was perched on top of still. Thankfully, no one had floated off in it.

They scaled the walls of the castle, and began to climb one by one into the basket of the balloon. It was just as Martha was hoisting herself into it, that she noticed that Jane was not with them. She glanced down, and saw that Jane had caught her skirt on a large cactus growing near the base of the castle wall.

“Jane, are you all right?” Martha called down, concerned.

“I’m perfectly fine!” Jane assured her. “I’ve just caught my skirt on this large cactus!”

“Jane, we are coming down to help you!” Adam called, and began descending toward her.

“No, no!” she called back. “Don’t waste your time, I’ll be quite all right! I’ll go back with Mr. Blackstone and Napoleon Bonaparte. We will meet up again when you have defeated Finnegan O’Fear and recovered the Crown of Righteousness!”

Adam hesitated.

“Go on!” she insisted. “You are wasting precious time; Sir Rupert and Mr. Stratford may need your help!”

“Quite right,” said Adam, and everyone got into the hot air balloon. They waved to Jane, as it lifted up off the castle, and began to float toward Egypt.


“FINNEGAN O’FEAR!” shouted Sir Rupert.

“Yes,” said the evil Irish magician, “it is I, Finnegan O’Fear. I am terribly sorry, I simply couldn’t help it. And now I am pleased to say that I must kill you gentlemen.”

Sir Rupert closed his eyes, and waited for the inevitable attack.

The inevitable attack never came. He dared to open one eye, and then the other. Mr. Stratford was hiding behind the body of Angus Levesque. Finnegan O’Fear had his head cocked to the side, and appeared to be listening intently for something.

“Do you hear that?” he said.

The door burst open, and six people entered the room; one of them was wearing a blindfold.

“Mr. Sevenson! Mr. Bright! Miss Bright! Mr. Haley! Prince Bamber! Princess Calpurnia! Thank God!” Mr. Stratford cried, stepping out from behind the body of Angus Levesque.

Finnegan O’Fear howled in rage. He spun around, and sent a powerful spell flying at his only surviving son without preamble. Mr. Sevenson dodged the spell, and the wall behind him exploded into sawdust.

“I thought you were going to leave me alive, Father,” he said, quirking a brow. “You know, being that I am your only son and heir.”

“You have infuriated me beyond reason, so I have changed my mind,” Finnegan O’Fear declared. “Have at you!” And in one swift movement, he turned Mr. Sevenson into a cat.

Mr. Sevenson meowed angrily, and then exploded. For a few seconds, Martha was blinded by the flash. When she regained the power of sight, there was fur everywhere, and Mr. Sevenson stood in his usual form, across from his father, in a defensive posture.

“A cat, really, Father?” he said, mockery evident in his voice. “I think you can do a little better than that.”

“Don’t tempt me!” his father roared, and began to shoot flaming potatoes out of his mouth.

Mr. Sevenson dodged them expertly, but now the room was on fire. Martha was beginning to worry. If Mr. Sevenson could not put an end to his father quickly, they would all be burnt to death.

The delicious scent of baking potatoes now filled the room, but everyone ignored it. There would be time for vegetables later. Finnegan O’Fear was muttering something under his breath, likely some sort of evil curse.

Suddenly, Frederick began to beat Mr. Sevenson over the head with his pistol. Mr. Sevenson tried in vain to ward him off, but he kept up the attack.

“Frederick, what are you doing?!” he shouted, covering his head with his arms. “Look, I know you were annoyed with me, but honestly, there is a bit more at stake now!”

“I can’t help it!” Frederick exclaimed desperately. “He’s controlling my movements!”

Everyone turned to stare at Finnegan O’Fear, who smiled winningly.

At that moment, Bamber picked up the fallen hockey stick from the floor. “ARRRRGGGHHHH,” he cried, ran toward Finnegan O’Fear, and skewered him through the middle with it.

Finnegan O’Fear glanced down and sighed dramatically. Obviously this had not been enough to kill him, but it had been enough to break the spell on Frederick, at least. He turned to Bamber, and shook his head sadly.

“What is going on?” Calpurnia asked plaintively.

“Your brother just skewered Finnegan O’Fear with a hockey stick,” Adam replied.

“Oh, well done, Bamber!” Calpurnia cried, clapping her hands.

“Yes, well, it didn’t kill him,” Bamber replied. He was pale as a ghost.

“But that’s impossible,” said Calpurnia, looking shocked. “That ought to have finished him off, for sure.”

“You utter, utter fools!” Finnegan O’Fear exclaimed, laughing derisively. “There is only one way to ‘finish me off’, as you so eloquently put it, Princess Calpurnia, and it is certainly not by sticking my through with a hockey stick! No, the only possible way to finish me off is to lock me inside a tree, from whence I shall never be able to escape! That was the prophesy of the Lollards, anyway, but I suppose I might have heard it wrong, for they were always very difficult to understand.”

Martha moved swiftly. She darted behind Calpurnia, and untied the cloth that was covering her eyes. Almost immediately, everyone except for Martha, Calpurnia, and Adam dropped to the floor, out cold, Finnegan O’Fear included.

“Oh no!” Calpurnia cried, putting her hand to her mouth.

“Calpurnia, you idiot, this is a good thing,” Martha said, the excitement that she felt coursing through her veins evident in her voice. “Finnegan O’Fear just told us how to defeat him for good, and now we can do it!”

“Oh, well that is good,” Calpurnia said, smiling mildly.

“Yes, yes, but we ought to hurry – who knows what sort of power he possesses, he may wake up at any time.” Martha was feeling agitated. “We need to move quickly. Get him into the balloon. We don’t have time to move the others, we will simply leave them a note telling them what we have done. Adam, you have the best penmanship, perhaps you could write it?”

Adam readily acquiesqued, removing a paper and pen from his pocket, and beginning to write the note required. He sealed it hastily, and left it resting on Frederick’s nose. Then the three of them lifted Finnegan O’Fear, and, using all their strength, carried him outside to the waiting hot air balloon.
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