Agents of Darkness VI (Halloween Special Part 2)

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:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven

Happy Halloween!

Maraganna and Huffle Halloween Special

“I’m going to get this cake sorted this side of Halloween, if it’s the last thing I do!” Maraganna scraped the recent burnt remains of the cake she’d just ‘baked’ out of the cake tin. She plunged the charred tin into the hot soapy water in the sink, ready to wash it by hand. “I must be using the wrong cook book. That must be it! When I ‘magic up’ a cake they are always perfect, when I bake one,” she looked in the rubbish bin, “not so…” She twirled her right index finger around in the air three times, and watched as the cake tin cleaned itself, and hovered over to the draining board. She then gently blew above the cake tin and a mini tornado appeared out of nowhere, which dried the tin.

Maraganna then clicked her fingers and a book hovered off the bookshelf outside the kitchen and floated to the worktop beside her. “I’ll try another of my recipes.” Maraganna thought. Huffle followed the book into the kitchen, curious as to what Maraganna was up to. He investigated the bin, and noticed the four ruined cakes that were in there. He mewed in disdain, and jumped up to the worktop. The book Maraganna had chosen was her own, handmade, recipe book, ‘the book of the appointed pineapple’. Huffle mewed again, and knocked the book to the floor.

“Huffle! What are you doing?! You shouldn’t even be in here when I’m cooking. Come on, it’s back to the living room with you!” Maraganna lifted her familiar off the worktop and carried him out of the kitchen. Over her shoulder, Huffle watched as a bright orange light appeared in the kitchen and a green-skinned woman step out of it. Straight away the light surrounded the woman and she, and the light, vanished again.

Maraganna re-entered the kitchen, and went to pick her cookbook off the floor, only to find it wasn’t there. She looked under the table. On the worktop. In the bin. On the draining board. She even checked in the sink and in the oven, but the book had completely vanished. She walked back to the living room, in case she’d picked it up with Huffle without thinking. She hadn’t. She checked the bookcase, in case she’d only thought she’d brought the book into the kitchen but actually hadn’t, but her book wasn’t there.

“Hmmm….” Maraganna pondered. “Where’s that gone now?” She glanced back over to Huffle who had curled up and was now sleeping on the sofa. “You’ve done something…” she thought, but then realised Huffle was only a cat and he couldn’t make a book disappear. “Oh well,” Maraganna said to the bookcase. “It looks like another magicked up cake again.”

On the sofa, Huffle pricked his ears briefly, and then settled into a lovely sleep.

Previous parts of the Sinsters’ search below:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine

Reg the Vampire Halloween Special

The grandfather clock ticked twice as usual, before tocking. Both Shawns, the cats, were fixated on something on the wall beside the clock. They watched intently, well… nothing. Reg watched them as he ate a ham sandwich. The familiar sound of ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ alerted him of an incoming call on his mobile. He looked at the display, and it was his old friend Monique DuPont. He answered the call, and Monique filtered her way through the airwaves to arrive in his living room.

“Monique!” Reg said, startled. “Come in, why don’t you! You know you don’t need an invite!” The cats paid no attention, and continued looking at the wall.

“Is this still Bridge Lane?” Monique asked, quite flustered.

“Erm, yes it is. Why do you ask? You’ve been here hundreds of times.” Reg offered Monique a sandwich.

“Good.” Monique appeared to ignore Reg’s question, but took the sandwich. Once she’d finished eating she began her tale. “The other day, I was performing a spell when a bright orange portal opened up – in my own living room, I must stress – and a red-skinned demon appeared to me. He wanted my Candlestick of Kabbabooga.”

“Not the Candlestick of Kabbabooga!” Reg took another bite of his sandwich.

“The very one.” Monique went on. “Well, I gave him my Candlestick of Kippikakka instead, and he was swallowed up again by the orange light.”

“So you tricked him? You gave him the wrong item?”

“Well, I did, but I didn’t. I’d actually given him the Candlestick of Kabbabooga mistakenly for my Candlestick of Kippikakka. In the wrong hands, the Candlestick of Kabbabooga can cause terrible things to happen. It’s actually the same with the Candlestick of Kippikakka, only not as bad. I then thought I’d protect the Candlestick of Kabbabooga by sending it here under the Walled Protection spell, only it was the Candlestick of Kippikakka I’d sent and not the Candlestick of Kabbabooga. It was only this morning I realised what I’d done, and I need to get the Candlestick of Kippikakka back. It can only be outside of its protective sphere for three days, which is today. So, have you seen it?”

“Have I seen the Candlestick of Kippikakka? Under the Walled Protection spell?” Reg was puzzled. “Doesn’t the Walled Protection spell cause the object it’s protecting to be invisible? If it’s invisible, how could I have seen it?” He thought for a second. “And what happens when the Candlestick of Kippikakka has been outside of it’s sphere for too long?”

“Ooh, you don’t want to know.” Monique said, in a deep voice.

“Ooh, but I do!” Reg replied, in an even deeper voice.

“It will merge time. Everything will become now. The past, the present, the future will all be squished into one moment… us with it.”

“You’re right.” Reg said. “I didn’t want to know that. Isn’t it the same with the Candlestick of Kabbabooga?”

“Well, the Candlestick of Kabbabooga affects reality and time – but as long as one of the candlesticks is within the protective sphere it cancels the effects of the missing candlestick. Unless the wrong hands get it, and they know how to tap into the power.”

“So what made you give either of the candlesticks away in the first place?” Reg was bothered.

“That was why I was casting my spell. To further protect both candlesticks, but something happened. I felt myself split in two, literally. My dark side just vanished in a moment. I was flustered. The red man appeared and I just gave him what he wanted. And he was a demon. Have I said that?” Reg nodded.

“Your dark side? You have a dark side?” Reg couldn’t see anything dark about his friend.

“Oh yes. I keep her well hidden, my dark side. I usually utilise her when I need to do administrative duties. I call her Monique D’Arkness. And the demon totally zapped my concentration.”

“So your missing dark side knows how to use your missing candlestick?” Reg was becoming more concerned. “Could she have sent the demon?”

“Oh yes. More than likely. She also knows how to use my magicks, so you could say her hands are very wrong. Hence I need the Candlestick of Kippikakka to hopefully stop some of the damage.” Monique looked at both Shawns. “What are they looking at?”

“They go off into their own worlds at times, Monique.” Reg finished another sandwich. “Can’t you just bring down the Walled Protection spell?”

“I did, but the cancellation spell was blocked by another wall.”

“The cats!” Reg said. “They’ve been watching the wall by the grandfather clock for a couple of days. I bet that’s where the Candlestick of Kippikakka is.”

“Sorry, Reg!” Monique sent forth a burst of magical energies which tore open the wall. Both Shawns fled behind Reg’s sofa. The Candlestick of Kippikakka shone brightly through the hole in the wall. Reg walked over to it, and handed it to Monique. “Well, you certainly brought that wall down with ease!” He sighed.

“At least I have the Candlestick of Kippikakka back now. I’ll get it to my place and within its protective sphere straight away. Hopefully, its cancellation effect will reach beyond the sphere and stop my dark side from doing whatever she wants with the Candlestick of Kabbabooga.”

“If she’s got it, that is.” Reg held up his mobile and dialled Monique’s landline telephone number.

Monique started to dissolve into the airwaves again as she said “Oh, she’ll have something to do with it, I’m sure. I hope I’ve left my answering machine on!”

Reg sighed and tucked into another sandwich. Both Shawns emerged from behind the sofa and stared at where Monique had been sitting.

It’s been over eight years (give or take) since Reg the Vampire last appeared on this blog. The Sinsters certainly like to travel through time!

Previous parts of the Sinsters’ mission are here:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight

Living on Barbed Wire: For Debbie


Freedom

there’s freedom ahead
freedom beyond the barbed wire
freedom there for all

Be a Wire Cutter

Barbs and wires in the way
Restricting movement
Blocking the way forward
But look ahead
Look beyond
Be a wire cutter
And touch the future

Living on Barbed Wire

Flaking
Sharp
Keeping in things in
And out out
Rusted
Weathered
Unwelcoming
Yet still a place to rest
Those weary wings

To the Wire

In the right light
Even the barbed wire
Has a unique beauty

It’s Six Word Saturday once again. This week, I’m posting something different, inspired by Debbie’s post. I put together a quick picture to match the post, and then quickly threw together the words to match the picture.

And before you say it… Six Word Saturday refers to the title of the post only… the content can be millions of words long if required! Visit Debbie’s post for more six words.

The Eternal Circular Halloween Extra

Queenie sat in her seat mortified. The stench of the zombies groaning around her was unbearable. She had a small bottle of perfume in her bag, which she sprayed onto a tissue and held it beneath her nose, which gave her a little break. The zombie sitting on the seat in front of her turned his head right the way round to face her.

“You’re new!” he said, with a toothless smile.

“I’ve just got on.” Queenie replied, looking at the man’s neck. “Does that hurt?”

“Everything hurts.” The zombie replied. “You get used to it.”

Bess skipped along the aisle of the bus, and sat herself down besides Queenie. With her hand, she slapped the man in front’s head back around to face the front.

“Bess!” Queenie scolded. “That was not very nice at all!”

Bess looked upset for a split second, and then giggled. “You need to ignore Clive.” she said.

“Clive?” Queenie asked, not associating the name with the zombie in front.

“He thinks you’re food for thought.” Bess teased. She pointed to another zombie on the other side of the aisle. “See her?” Queenie looked over to where her old friend pointed. “That’s Claudette. Like you, she got on the wrong bus without checking. She’s been stuck here ever since. She wasn’t in that state when she got on. She was like you, sort of.”

“What do you mean, ‘like me’?” Queenie watched Bess use her other hand to fold back down her pointed finger. Bess noticed her watching and giggled again.

“Human.” Bess looked Queenie square in her eyes. “Clive helped her to become the thing she is now. See you later!” Bess skipped to the back of the bus and disappeared up the stairs.

Queenie walked to the back of the bus and looked out of the opening. The thick green fog was licking at the entrance, disappearing as it rolled inside. Outside she could see nothing through the fog, but she felt the bus travelling at speed. She pressed the button on one of the bars at the back of the bus in the hope this would make the driver stop. She looked into the driver’s compartment at the front, hoping to grab his or her attention, and noticed nobody there. The bus was driverless.

“Somebody must’ve stopped it for me to get on…” Queenie thought, reluctantly turning herself around to go back to her seat. It was now occupied by two passengers. She stormed along the aisle and stood next to the seat. “Excuse me! I was sitting here just a moment ago. Where did you come from anyway?”

“We’ve just got here” The red-skinned man said.

“We’re looking for something. I think we’ve taken the wrong turn.” The green-skinned woman said.

“Well, you can’t sit there.” Queenie demanded. “This is the Eternal Circular, the number 42, and there’s no getting off now. There isn’t a driver to even stop it. I refuse to sit next to one of these other people on the bus. Sorry, you’ll have to move.”

Mr Sinster smiled and got to his feet. “I’m sorry. Here, please sit down. We won’t be here very long.”

Mrs Sinster also stood and moved into the aisle. “We very often appear in the wrong place. We’re being sent here, there and everywhere after we touched the map at the same time.”

“Sent. Map?” Queenie sat herself down without thanking them for moving. “I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.”

Clive spun his head around once again. “Talking to yourself?”

Queenie looked at Clive. “No, I’m speaking to this…” the aisle was empty where the couple had once stood. She looked at all of the seats and they hadn’t sat down.

Bess skipped back along the aisle and sat next to Queenie once more, knocking Clive’s head around as she did. Giggling, she looked at her old friend. “You look puzzled. You’ll get used to it.”

Queenie looked at Bess. “Do you know everyone on this bus?” She asked, and Bess nodded. “Who are the monsters? The ones with the red and green skin?”

“No idea. They aren’t on here. Only us zombies… and you!” Bess giggled once more.

Clive spun his head around again. “She was you know. Talking to herself.”

Bess flicked Clive’s head around.

“Why do you keep doing that?” Queenie asked, feeling concern for Clive.

“He can’t do it himself!” Bess giggled and skipped back to the upper deck.

Clive spun his head around yet again, and rolled his eyes at Queenie. One of them stuck but the other returned to its normal position. “She is helpful, but she insists on flitting about. Oh, to be young, eh?”

Queenie slumped into her seat. She felt an urge to turn Clive’s head around again as the way he was looking at her made her feel very uneasy. She gave into her urge and gently turned him to face the front, his neck slotting into place when she’d finished. That made her feel all the more uneasy. “You’ll have to sort your own eye out!” She reached into her bag, and used her last remaining wet wipe to clean her hands. A flash of light appeared in the aisle next to her and the red and green man and woman materialised out of it.

“We’re back!” The man said. “I’m Mr Sinster. This is Mrs Sinster!” He said cheerily.

“Queenie.” Queenie said. “Mrs Linkletlatter.”

“Mrs Linkletlatter?” Mrs Sinster asked. “No, you misheard. I’m Mrs Sinster, dear.”

“No, I’m Mrs Linkletlatter, Mrs Sinster, Mrs Queenie Linkletlatter.”

There was another flash of light, and the couple vanished before Queenie’s eyes. “I’m going mad.” She said. “It’s happened. They’ve done it. Finally gone.”

Bess skipped passed her and sat next to another zombie at the front of the bus, giggling as she did so.

Queenie breathed in through her tissue again, and looked out through her reflection in the window to the darkness outside. The view was always the same, never changing. She noticed the light flash again, and saw the Sinsters’ reflections appear and disappear. She closed her eyes. When she opened them, Bess was sitting next to her. Queenie jumped.

“Think, Queenie. Think. You must. You have a chance to get off. I know you’re not happy here. Nobody gets off here, but you have a chance. Think. Check what’s going on!” Bess giggled and skipped back upstairs.

Queenie pondered.

The light flashed.

The Sinsters reappeared.

Queenie grabbed hold of Mrs Sinster’s arm, and all three vanished into the orange light. When Queenie’s vision came back to her, she was no longer on the bus. She was sat in a sofa in a living room, still holding onto Mrs Sinster. “Oh, I’m sorry.” She said, releasing her tight grip.

“No problem dear.” Mrs Sinster smiled, smoothing her sleeve.

“Now why would you do that?” Mr Sinster asked. “Nobody has ever left the Eternal Circular before.”

“You’ve heard of it?” Queenie asked. “So it’s real?”

“Oh, very real.” Mr Sinster smiled as he helped Queenie to her feet. “It passes through work sometimes.”

Queenie batted his hand away with urgency. “Not being rude,” she said, “but I don’t want to be taken back there. I’m going to get myself home now and get out of these awfully smelly clothes.”

“There’s a bus stop just over the road which goes into town.” Mrs Sinster suggested helpfully.

“Thank you, but no. I’m walking. I’m never taking a bus again.” Queenie hurried her way across the open room and out through the door without looking back. Outside, she realised she had no idea where she was. “I’ll work it out.” she said, as she walked down the garden path.

The bus stopped over the road as Mrs Sinster said it would. Queenie noticed it was slightly off the ground, hovering. She looked through the window and saw Bess smiling and waving toward her as the bus vanished into a murky green fog.

“Bye Bess!” Queenie waved, and began her long walk home.

So, at long last a happy ending for Queenie… and the Sinsters’ quest continues.

Queenie first appeared in The Eternal Circular, which returned here.

Previous parts of the Sinsters’ quest:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven

And the next part will be along shortly!