Mrs Sinster flopped back into the sofa in the living room, and kicked off her shoes. “I feel like I’ve been walking for a hundred years!” She complained.
Mr Sinster just sat down in the armchair opposite. “We’ve only been travelling for ten minutes!” He said with a smile.
“Is that all it took? To get all these six items? It feels like almost a month!” Mrs Sinster looked at the objects beside the sofa. Harp, in cat form, came over to investigate as well. “I wonder what these are all needed for?” Mrs Sinster looked at the cone-shaped hat in particular.
“So, let’s see if we can work it out.” Mr Sinster started to pull the items into two groups. “Gabriel wanted us to get the Key of Kamra, the Book of the Appointed Pineapple and the Round Pyramid”
“And Monique ordered us to get the Candlestick of Kabbabooga, the Smoked Mirror of Al and the Goblet of the Fallen Whispers.” Mrs Sinster continued. “A scroll, a book, a hat, a candlestick, a plant and a glass. They are all completely different, and hardly items to be used in a ritual of any kind.”
“Don’t forget we had to spread joy and light.” Mr Sinster added.
“And chaos and confusion.” Mrs Sinster said thoughtfully. “We’ve completed the second challenge. I’m confused. I’m always chaotic though.”
Monique D’Arkness appeared in a plume of putrid black smoke. “Can you not count?” She demanded to know. “I told you to retrieve three items – not six!”
“Ah.” Mr Sinster began to speak. Monique held up her hand to silence him. Before she could speak, Gabriel appeared through a stream of golden stars surrounding a white light.
“Splendid!” The angel said, spotting his three items. “Monique… Monique… Monique! Trust you to go for the Candlestick of Kabbabooga. Trying to alter reality and time yet again, I see?”
“Well you went for the Key of Kamra again. The black hole. So predictable.” Monique hissed as she spoke.
“Er… would either of you like a cup of tea?” Mrs Sinster asked.
“Silence!” Monique spat.
“Yes, please. Milk and two sugars would be lovely!” Gabriel replied in his usual angelic tone.
“I’ll have EIGHT sugars, then!” Monique added. “May as well join the party before altering reality!”
“I’m not going to let you do that, Monique.” Gabriel stated.
“You have no choice, Gabriel. I have the candlestick, the Smoked Mirror and the Goblet. Once I take a sip of the sap from the plant from the glass, and then dribble it all over the candlestick, the eons old spell will commence again. The portal will open and chaos will spew forth!”
“Monique, my dear friend. That isn’t the Candlestick of Kabbabooga. Your spell will fail.” Gabriel smiled. Mr Sinster finally sorted the objects so Monique’s were together, as were Gabriel’s.
“Nonsense. Of course it is the Candlestick of Kabba… wait! Has Little Miss Nicey tricked me, and sent the Candlestick of Kippikakka? Let me see… let me see.” She focused closely on the intricate design of the candlestick. She saw a scratch down one side. The flaw that differentiates between Kippikakka and Kabbabooga. “You are wrong, Gabriel. This is Kabbabooga.”
Gabriel rolled his eyes, as Mrs Sinster handed him a cup of tea. “Two sugars for you,” she said, “And eight sugars for you, Monique.” Gabriel tried to thank Mrs Sinster, but was interrupted by Monique. “Gah! I DID NOT WANT MILK! Can you not do anything right?”
“Sorry, Monique. I-I’ll make you another.”
“No, you won’t.” Mr Sinster said. “She will take her tea, with milk, and the eight sugars she asked for. If she can’t give clear instructions, she will get what she asked for.”
Monique fumed, and snatched the cup and saucer from Mrs Sinster. A drop of the hot, steaming liquid spilled over onto her hand. She didn’t flinch.
“Ooh, let me…” Mrs Sinster bothered.
“Leave me!” Monique yet again fumed. She put the cup and saucer down onto the table without taking a sip. She walked over to her three objects, and glared at the Sinsters and Gabriel. “I’m tired of this now. Let me bring in chaos to the world!” With her fingernail, she scratched deep into the soft stem of the plant. Thick, runny sap started to flow out of the cut. Monique filled the bottom of the glass with the sap, and then tilted the glass around and around so the sap covered the inside. She held the glass up and looked at her reflection in the outside of the glass, which had taken on a smoky mirror appearance. She spoke a couple of words which were undecipherable, and then took a slow, large mouthful of the grey liquid.
“Let the Ceremony of Ceremonies ritual begin.” Gabriel translated, to further confuse the Sinsters.
“Is it All Hallow’s Day today?” Mrs Sinster discreetly whispered to Mr Sinster.
“I don’t think so,” Mr Sinster whispered in reply. “Let’s leave her to it and see what happens!”
“I don’t know about you, but I don’t really fancy my reality being altered.” Mrs Sinster’s face developed a concerned look.
“SILENCE!” Monique gurgled, as she held the candlestick under her mouth, and dribbled the sap over it. She made sure the sap covered the flaw in the candlestick. She then anointed the candlestick with the rest of the sap. “Any moment now the crack will grow… and chaos will spew forth! Be ready for the new world order!” She held the candlestick out in front of her.
Gabriel gathered his items and the Sinsters looked nervously on. He moved the cookbook and the hat to one side, and opened the star map, also known as the Key of Kamra.
“Any moment now!” Monique repeated.
“Any moment now!” Gabriel repeated with a broad grin. “It isn’t working, Monique.”
“Give it time!” Monique D’Arkness fumed. “This should be working now! What is happening? What have you done? It’s these two incompetents,” she glared at the Sinsters, “they can’t do anything as requested. Useless. They will be in my office first thing Monday morning for this!”
“But we’ve done…” Mrs Sinster began to say. Gabriel held his hand up now to stop her speaking.”I know what the issue is.” Gabriel said to Monique. He then uttered something nobody could hear.
“What?” Monique spat. “Say it again.”
Gabriel whispered what he’d said, and then repeated it a little louder, still so quiet Monique couldn’t hear him.
“Ah.” Monique looked at the Sinsters. “Universal Balance stuff. You don’t want this pair to hear! I understand.” She walked over to Gabriel and leant in to him. “Say it again, to me.”
“I said ‘enjoy your trip’!” Gabriel pointed his finger at the centre of the Key of Kamra star map, the black hole. Golden stars once again span around him, but this time they surrounded Monique. She was surrounded by the white light that appeared with the stars. The light shrank in size, and funnelled its way into the centre of the map, taking Monique with it.
“What have you done?” Mr Sinster said. “Is she in that black hole?”
“She’s inside the scroll,” Gabriel answered. “Locked in by the Key of Kamra. As she said, Universal Balance stuff!”
“Why didn’t her spell work?” Mrs Sinster yet again was confused. “She was sure it was the Candlestick of Kabbabooga. Is it because it isn’t All Hallow’s Day?”
“I think she wanted the items by today, so mentioned the Ceremony of Ceremonies on All Hallow’s thing to rush you along.You did get the Candlestick of Kabbabooga,” Gabriel’s angelic tones explained. “Only she wasn’t using it. Look.” He pointed over to the candlestick, which started to shake, and blur. It was replaced by a cat.
“Harp!” Mrs Sinster shouted with glee! “You clever thing! Come over here!” Harp, in his cat form, did as asked. Mrs Sinster tickled his ear.
“You only used the map,” Mr Sinster asked Gabriel. “What about the book and the hat?”
“The hat will be used to cover the map, effectively seal it, so on the off-chance Monique manages to find a way out of the scroll, she’ll still be inside the cone. The cookbook… well, there’s a fabulous pineapple upside-down cake recipe in it, which you both have to try!”
“Are you going now?” Mrs Sinster asked. “What about us?”
“I’ll pop by every now and again,” Gabriel smiled. “But Harp and I need to go up to the Angelic Realm now to seal Monique’s darkness away for a long time. You can stay here if you like… spread your own blend of fun in the wider world.”
The stars appeared again. Harp returned to his harp shape once more and leapt into Gabriel’s left arm. The scroll was tucked inside the hat under Gabriel’s right arm. “Oh. One more thing!” Gabriel said. He clicked his fingers and a stream of stars flew across the room over to a cushion on the sofa. They briefly vanished behind it and then returned to Gabriel’s hand carrying the true Candlestick of Kabbabooga. “I’ll take this!” He said, gripping it tightly in his left hand. “I know a very safe place where this can go!” He thanked the Sinsters for the help they provided, knowing that they’d all done something to replace chaos and confusion with light and fun, even if for the briefest of moments, on Halloween. The stars faded into a stream one last time and carried Gabriel, Harp and some of the retrieved items into the envelope on the fireplace. The envelope then itself vanished in another burst of golden stars.
“Fancy a pineapple upside-down cake, Mrs Sinster?” Mr Sinster asked.
“Why not, Mr Sinster.” Mrs Sinster replied, “Only don’t ask me to bake it – I’m terribly clumsy in the kitchen!”
So, the Sinsters are now free of their quest, and free from their ‘contract’ with Monique. I wonder what they’ll be doing next? I’m sure time will tell!
The previous parts to this year’s Halloween special are listed below: