Archive for the ‘Writings’ Category

Faetown Pt. 5

December 4, 2022

Trace pulled her car into the parking lot. Jove had been uncharacteristically quiet on the way in to work. He had sat there staring into the middle distance leaving Trace to listen to her music on the way in. Jove usually argued to listen to the news on the way in. He was endlessly curious about the world that he was no longer free to journey into. She worried about his mental health but she also worried about her own mental health. Something had to give. She loved him but they had been bonded close together by the accident for far too long already. She hoped work would prove distracting.

“Are you okay, Jove?” she asked. “We’re here.”

He made no response and did not stop staring through the windshield.

“Earth to Jove,” she said, waving her hand in front of his face. “We have arrived at our destination. It’s time to get to work.”

Jove slowly came back to himself. “Sorry, how long was I gone?” he asked.

“Gone?” Trace asked. “You were staring and keeping to yourself the whole ride over but you didn’t go anywhere. Did you think you went somewhere?”

“I’m not sure,” Jove said. “I definitely did not feel like I was here. It felt more like television static.”

Trace tried to keep the horror off of her face. “Is that something we should be worried about?” she asked. “I mean, what if you ‘go away’ and don’t come back? Should we talk to Hari about it?”

“We’re at work,” Jove said. “Let’s do work things right now. We can always talk to Hari later. I’m not going anywhere.”

Trace narrowed her eyes at him and then let it go. He was an adult. “Alright, game faces on then,” she said. “Let’s do the damn thing.” They bumped fists or at least the nearest equivalent that a ghost could achieve. 

The two of them walked toward the office side by side. Trace opened one of the double doors and Jove floated through the other one. The office was bustling with people either going to their desks for analyst jobs or gearing up to get out into the field. Trace walked over to check the duty roster and found that she was scheduled for a briefing. She headed over to the analyst bullpen with Jove in tow.

They approached Calton Mirra’s desk which, as usual, looked like it was devouring the bespectacled redhead whole. She was bordered on one side by a three-monitor display and was tapping away at one of two keyboards. She was also surrounded by precariously balanced stacks of binders. The young woman seemed to sense their arrival even though Trace approached from behind and Jove made no sound.

“Trace and The Ghost approach,” she said without turning.

“I’m not a ghost,” Jove said. “You know I’m not a ghost and yet you persist in calling me that. I have a name.”

“I call you ‘Ghost’ because it is a fun button to push and pushing buttons is what I do,” Calton said. “Also, ghost is just shorthand because I know you are not a ghost but also I do not know what you are. Tell me what you really are and I will change your designation.”

“And you won’t just use my name?” Jove asked.

“By Jove, I think he’s got it,” Calton said. “You’ve got a weird name.”

“You’ve got a weird name!” Jove said in retort.

“I gave myself this name,” Calton said. “What’s your excuse?”

“Children,” Trace said, putting up a hand in between the two. “Stop arguing about stupid stuff.”

Calton shrugged and then nodded. “Agreed. Can we get to the business at hand?” she asked.  “It’s exhausting talking so much with my mouth.”

“Give us the information we need to hit the road and we’ll get out of your hair, Callie,” Trace said. “Strictly business.”

“A fair trade,” Callie said. “Thi is what we have.” She brought up an address on her center monitor. “This is where you will be going. 2532 Gwydion Street over in Faetown. That’s not a problem, right? I’ve read your file.”

“It’s fine, Callie,” Trace said. “Nowhere in Baltimore is off limits.”

“I’m not super happy about it but I’ll do it,” Jove said. “In case anybody was concerned.”

“Mildly,” Callie said. “It looks like there was a disturbance there. Not enough for the police to bother with but it has the Mayor of Faetown’s office concerned. They have hired us to investigate.”

“Don’t they have their own people for that?” Jove asked.

“Jove!” Trace said as a way of reprimanding Jove. “But I guess he actually does have a point. You would think that they would handle these sorts of matters internally.”

“There are many reasons why that’s not true,” Callie said. “They may not trust their own people with this. There’s also been a renewed effort for transparency from Fae leadership. They may want to make sure they have nothing to hide.”

“Everybody has something to hide,” Jove said. “Everybody.”

“Cliched dialogue. Check,” Callie said. “Your contact will be the Executive Assistant of the Mayor, Elicia.”

“There’s no mayor of Faetown, Callie,” Trace said. “Baltimore has a mayor, Faetown is part of Baltimore.”

“A figure of speech,” Callie said. “The duly elected council member and ambassador of the Fae. Enodia, spirit of the crossroads. Your attempt at a correction tires me even more.”

“We get the idea, Callie,” Trace said. “We’ll let you stop peopling and get back to your research. Come on, Jove. The game is afoot.”

“Cute,” Jove said. “See you later, weirdo.”

“See you later, Ghost,” Callie said. 

Trace walked out of the office before their argument could start up again and Jove was forced to follow her. She walked over to her locker to grab the keys to her SUV and her sidearm. The pistol was a state-the-art model with electric stun ammunition. Employees of the firm were not allowed to carry lethal ammunition unless they received authorization from an official law enforcement officer. Not that Trace was itching to use the firearm even though she had trained thoroughly. She left the body armor in her locker. This was a discreet detection job at best so armor seemed like overkill. She led Jove out back to the garage and they got into her official work vehicle.

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Faetown Pt. 4

November 26, 2022

Balor ignored all of that with not a bit of amusement. “One of them has gotten loose,” he said. “All the safeguards we had in place but one of them has gotten loose.”

“One of what?” RH asked. “I haven’t heard of any breakouts. I have alerts programmed into my phone for all of the prisons.”

“All of the prisons that you know of,” Balor said. “This is one of the great old ones. Sealed away from the eyes of mortals and fae kind alike.”

“Like the ones we were put in?” Jenny asked. “The cold, dark nothingness that we were put in?”

“Another one just like that,” Balor said. “But even worse. Ancient things that never had a chance at redemption like us.”

“If this prison was lost, then how do you know about it?” RH asked.

“Always the detective,” Balor said with a chuckle. “The prison reconnected with this world when the breakout occurred, otherwise the inmate would have had nowhere to escape to except for the void. No sane being would journey into the void like that.”

“Some of our kind are not exactly sane,” RH said. “I’m sure some of them might consider the void instead of prison. I’m not completely certain I wouldn’t succumb to despair.”

“It kind of puts the whole elevator thing in perspective, huh?” Jenny asked.

RH stared at her for a long moment and then shrugged. “The two things are separate,” RH said. “I don’t see a connection.” RH kept staring at her and Jenny stared back, slowly raising one eyebrow.

“Oh! I get it,” Jenny said.”He’s fucking with me.” She laughed. “You’re fucking with me. I get it. Very funny.” She smirked and shook her head.

“Can we get down to business?” RH asked. “I think we’re through talking about our feelings. Who are we tracking down?”

Balor grunted and shrugged. “That’s where it gets difficult,” he said. “We have no way of knowing who broke out of prison.”

“Tell me you’re joking,” Jenny said. “That’s the most important information we need.”

“When ancient beings throw beings into a hole and throw away the key, they don’t exactly keep records,” Balor said. “They expect the problem to go away.”

“A ridiculous idea,” RH said. “Problems don’t just go away.”

“Our jailers were not always rational,” Balor said. “It’s left to us to clean up their mess in this situation.”

“So what leads do we actually have?” Jenny asked. “We can’t just drive around and hope to run into an unaccounted bogeyman, right?”

Balor grinned. “I suppose that would be a waste of everybody’s time,” he said. “I have only one thing to offer you.”

“The location of the prison,” RH said matter-of-factly. “That’s the only thing you could have.”

“Always the brilliant detective,” Balor said. “Yes. The approximate address of the prison has been sent to your phones.”

RH and Jenny both looked at their phones. 

“It’s not even that far away,” Jenny said, her smile fading. “Not too close to high population areas, though. Gods be praised for that.”

“What are the odds that this prison shows up in Baltimore of all places?” 

“Why do you ask such questions?” Jenny asked. “Be thankful for small miracles. Accentuate the positive.”

RH shrugged. “I don’t believe in miracles,” he said. “Miracles and coincidences are both exceedingly rare. There’s always a reason.” 

Balor grunted and frowned. “Can you take your philosophical discussion on the road?” he asked. “Time is slipping away and there’s a vulnerable population out there that might be in danger. Knowing, what might be in that prison, they probably are in great danger. Get going. Get me results.”

Jenny saluted Balor sarcastically with a grin on her face and she turned and left the office before her boss could read her the riot act for insubordination. RH briefly shrugged as if in apology but then realized that he was not responsible for Jenny Greenteeth. Nobody in their right mind would be responsible for her. Of course, he knew that he was no prize to be won either. Then he realized that he was lingering in his boss’s office to avoid getting back into the elevator. He sighed and headed out of the office and down the hall. Jenny was waiting and holding open the door to the stairs with a really annoying smug look on her face. RH pointedly walked right into the elevator and started his descent downward. He let the doors close before Jenny could react.

Jenny managed to catch up a minute or so later out in front of the office building. She was smiling but RH could tell that she was a little bit pissed. “We’re taking your car and you are driving,” she said. “I will navigate.”

RH unlocked his truck. “I don’t need anybody to navigate,” he said. “You can sit and look pretty if you would like.” He climbed up into the driver’s seat and closed the door. He knew the land. He had always had a connection to the land wherever he had lived. Ireland was now far far away but he had connected with his new adopted Maryland. It helped that Baltimore had its share of Irish Americans. That felt familiar enough.

Jenny opened the passenger side and climbed into the seat with as much grace as she could muster. “I will always look pretty no matter what,” Jenny said. “That’s a given. I will think of something to do on the way there.”

“I’m sure you will,” RH said. “Just don’t annoy me.” A truly impossible request but if he did not ask, he would never get it anyway. He had not worked a lot with Jenny but he knew her by reputation. She seemed to have subverted her now-ancient murderous impulses into trolling people. She was reportedly a good officer as well and loyal to the Fae despite her outward behavior.

“No promises,” Jenny said. “Would it have killed you to open a lady’s door, though?”

“Don’t start,” RH said as he started the truck. “If I held the door for you, you would have nagged me for that instead.”

Jenny laughed. “You think you know all of my tricks,” she said. “I will still surprise you. I will always surprise you.”

“You make that sound like a threat,” RH said as he started the vehicle toward the direction of the prison.

“Oh darling,” Jenny said with a giggle. “Everything about me is a threat.”

Faetown Pt. 3

November 19, 2022

RH walked through the decadent marble and brass of the new government building that had recently opened in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. As usual, he was covered head to toe in black clothing and wore a ceramic mask that only left his eyes exposed.  He much preferred the offices that he and other officers worked in. It was a solid concrete bunker. It felt more private and had fewer needless decorations. He flashed his badge at the security guard who had started to stand up. The guy sat back down and waved him through. RH gave him a grateful half-smile that the guard could not have seen through RH’s mask and did not break his stride. He hit the button for the elevator which opened right up. He stepped inside and took a deep breath as he watched the doors close. He hated elevators. They were a stupid human invention. Just before the doors closed, thin green-tinged fingers appeared between the doors. When the doors slowly re-opened, there was the grinning visage of Jenny Greenteeth. It startled him and he actually let out a gasp.

“Nice to see you too,” Jenny said with a smirk. She stepped into the elevator with style and grace. “Well, as much as you can be seen.”

“It’s not you,” RH said. “I hate elevators. You caught me at a weak moment.” The doors closed again and RH winched. The elevator started to rise.

“Imagine a bogeyman like you having a weak moment,” Jenny said. “Imagine something like you admitting to a weak moment.”

“I guess you just have a way of making people feel vulnerable,” RH said.

“I know,” Jenny said. “Exploiting that vulnerability was where I ran into trouble.”

“Yes,” RH said. “A lot of us got into trouble. That’s why we’re here.”

“That’s why we’re here,” Jenny said with a smile. “Redemption.”

RH grunted. “I suppose,” he said. “Or at least something to do each morning.”

The elevator dinged and the door opened and RH pushed past Jenny to get out. He could hear Jenny’s laughter at his back but he did not care. He was out. He started on his way down the hallway and Jenny easily caught up, her luurious green hair bouncing as she walked and her green eyes shining with mirth.

“We’re going to the same place, slow down,” Jenny said.

“When the big boss calls you in, you can’t get there soon enough,” RH said. “How do you know we’re going to the same place?”

“Just a hunch,” Jenny said. “Besides not many offices on this floor.” She added quickly.

“True enough,” RH said and slowed down a little.

“You also just confirmed that we’re both meeting with the big boss,” Jenny said.

“Top level detective,” RH said. He opened the door for her and then they both walked into the reception area for Balor’s office. His secretary snapped to attention.

“Can I help you?” she asked. The sign on her desk said that her name was Becky.

Jenny spoke first. “Yes, hello Becky,” she said sweetly. “We’re here to see Balor. Could you buzz us in? I’m Jenny Greenteeth and this is – “.

“Just RH is fine,” RH said, interrupting.

“His name is a little long,” Jenny said. “He’s sensitive about it.”

“I’m not,” RH said. “It’s fine.”

“That’s right,” Jenny said. “Repress, repress, repress.”

Becky looked from RH to Jenny and back again and then hit the intercom. “Mr. Balor, your nine AM meeting is here,” she said.

A deep baritone voice came in over the intercom. “I told you that it is simply Balor,” Balor said and then sighed. “Send them in.”

Becky gestured to the door and Jenny and RH walked side by side, opening the double doors and walking inside. Balor stood in front of the big glass window of his office. Looking past him, RH could see the faint glow of Faetown on the other side of the harbor.

“Heavy is the head, eh boss?” Jenny asked gently.

Balor replied without turning around. “I am no longer a king,” he said. “I have no crown. Still, I have responsibilities and loyalty to our people.”

Jenny and RH looked at each other for a moment and the silence stretched on.

“We all do,” RH said. “How can we help?” His voice was kind and gentle, something that seemed to catch Jenny off guard. He was capable of compassion despite what all the old stories might say.

Balor slowly turned around, his one enormous eye blinking a bit as his mood went from wistful to the intensity of being on the job. RH and Jenny stood at attention as his gaze took them in. RH had known Balor for a long time. Centuries of shared experience in seeking redemption from the bad old days.

“Obviously, I called you here because of a sensitive job,” Balor said and gestured toward the armchairs in front of his desk as he sat down. “Otherwise this could have been a conference call or an email.” He shuffled through a few files on his desk. “Thank you for coming in, of course. I know it’s a little out of the way.”

“I’ll always make time for you, boss,” Jenny said with a bright smile. ”No problem at all.”

“Brown noser,” RH grunted. “It’s fine. Let’s get to business, boss. What have we got?”

Jenny stuck out her tongue and gave RH a one-finger salute in response which RH shrugged off.

Faetown Pt. 2

November 12, 2022

Trace stepped into the bathroom and shut the door. She knew that Jove could just walk through the door but setting boundaries was still important. Especially when Jove insisted on testing those boundaries. It was not as if Trace did not still have feelings for the guy, it was just more complicated than that now. She was still processing things but something would have to give soon or they would both go crazy. Sometimes she wondered if Jove hadn’t already gone crazy. She could no longer predict his moods. It was troubling.

She turned on the shower and disrobed as steam filled the bathroom. She breathed in and breathed out, trying to center herself. When you visit a lot of mystics, you start to pick up on a few things as a side benefit. A lot of them were into meditation and yoga which Trace found helped her out. She looked down and ran her fingers over the shrapnel lodged in her abdominal muscles. As far as anybody could tell, these were pieces of a fae artifact from the cart that Jove’s car had plowed through. Nobody knew what it had actually been which meant that it was obscure and probably highly illegal.

These pieces of rare metal were imbued with magical energy and acted as an anchor that forced Jove’s spirit to stay within twenty feet. When doctors had tried to remove the fragments, it had hurt both Trace and Jove horribly. After a quick consult with a local mystic named Hari Shaw, the doctors decided to leave the shrapnel in. The metal was mostly stuck in muscle and fat and luckily had not pierced any organs. It was not an ideal solution. It kept both Trace and Jove from having complete autonomy and the artifact might have unforeseen effects down the line.

Trace snapped out of it suddenly and hopped into the shower. She always got lost in herself in the mornings and it always caused her to nearly be late to work. She quickly washed herself, letting the water wake her up and wash away the last vestiges of sleep and negativity. If she started the day on the wrong foot, it would throw the whole day out of whack. She yanked on her underwear and her uniform. It was gray and black with the Waverton corporate logo very prominent. Her name was stitched carefully on the vest. She burst out of the bathroom to look for her boots.

“I still can’t believe you’re a cop now,” Jove said softly, watching her from the far side of the living room. He was pretending to lean against the wall as if he was not intangible. He would have fallen through the floor if he had not instinctually floated to make it appear like he was being held up by the floor. His hair was perpetually shaggy as it was unable to grow or get cut. His eyes twinkled with mischief. He had not had heterochromia before the accident but that seemed to be the only change.

“I’m not a cop,” Trace said, probably a little too forcefully. “Waverton is a private security and detection firm. I trained for this”

“I know,” Jove said. “I was there for most of it.”

That was true. The accident had happened after she had been accepted to Waverton’s academy so Jove had been dragged to basic training. It had been awkward. They almost tossed Trace out but probably kept her because they would be automatically getting two people for the price of one.

“Yeah yeah,” Trace said. “Thank you and sorry for that.”

Jove shrugged. “It’s whatever,” he said. “I was trying to say that you look good in your uniform. Also, your boots are over there.” He pointed and Trace could not help but smile.

“Thank you,” she said and pulled her boots on and laced them as quickly as she could. “Are you ready to go?”

“Let me just grab my purse,” Jove said with a dopey grin.

“Very funny,” Trace said. “I just don’t want to drag you outside before you’re ready since I have the legs.”

“Right,” Jove said. “I’m ready. Let’s get you to work on time.”

Trace nodded and grabbed her bag and opened the door. She was determined for this day to be a good one.

***

Jove followed Trace, working to match her intensity. It was not like he was actually exerting himself but it took a little extra will to make himself go faster. He still had no idea how this spirit thing was supposed to work. He reached out and watched his hand phase through the door handle of Trace’s SUV. He had been trying to learn to manipulate physical objects with no success so far. Sometimes he trained with Hari while Trace was in bed. Even if the training had not been successful yet, at least it helped pass the time.

He took a deep breath and pushed himself through the passenger door and then he was in the passenger seat. As he had passed through the door he had briefly felt his essence interact with the electrical circuits in the door. This had happened before but it was infrequent.

“Are you alright?” Trace asked.

Jove absolutely did not want to talk about it. “I’m fine,” he said. “Let’s go. Take the HOV lane.”

Trace started the vehicle and pulled out, heading toward the office.

“I don’t know,” Trace said. “Is that cheating?”

“I’m here and that makes two people,” Jove said. “They’re not going to pull you over and stick a nightstick through my head.”

“You say that but they might,” Trace said with a teasing smile.

“I bet they won’t,” Jove said. “Ten bucks.”

“Sure,” Trace said. “You’re on. It’s a bet.” She pulled the car toward the entrance of the HOV lanes. Jove gave her a self-satisfied smile. “How is it that I’ll be disappointed if I win or if you win.”

“Pure skills,” Jove said.

“Whatever,” Trace said and rolled her eyes as she kept driving.

Faetown Pt. 1

November 5, 2022

Jove woke up with a throbbing pain in his knee and stiffness in his shoulder. The knee injury had been from his days of playing soccer in high school. It felt like centuries ago but it had only been twenty years. During one of those “big games,” the score had been tied and several college scouts were watching the action from the stands. All of those classic clichés. It had started to rain. Not too hard but enough to complicate things. A little wet grass sent his foot sliding and he had gone down with a twisted knee. Even after surgery, the pain in his knee had never truly gone away. It never hurt enough to need intervention and he often wondered if the pain was all in his head and the look in the doctor’s eyes had seemed to confirm that. He had accepted that and moved on.

The pain in his shoulder was from the accident which Jove never really wanted to think about. He decided not to think about the accident right then as he had better things to do. It was morning and there were better things to do than mull over trauma while staring at the ceiling. He rolled onto his side to observe Trace who was sleeping peacefully. His gaze lingered a bit on the scar on her cheek and he immediately tried to suppress the immense crushing guilt that started welling up like a volcano. He took a deep breath and reached out to press his hand into her side.

She yelped. “Cold!” she called out as she woke up. She rolled over to look at him, narrowing those intense blue eyes in annoyance immediately as she swept her dirty blond hair out of her face. “What have I said about touching me while I’m sleeping?”

“I believe you said not to do it,” Jove admitted. “But it’s morning and I’m bored and it seemed like the funny thing to do.” He smiled slowly. “I was right. It was pretty funny.”

“I don’t know why I ever dated you,” Trace said and then sighed and started to get up.

“I’m very cute,” Jove said. “And I possess a lot of attractive qualities besides that. I know how to cook.” 

“I suppose you did,” Trace said. “At one point or another.”

“I still have a lot of those qualities, Trace,” Jove said defensively as he got to his feet. “They don’t just go away. It doesn’t work that way.”

Trace rolled her eyes. “Yeah, I guess that’s true,” she said. “But cute doesn’t do as much when you’re dead. It’s like a photo of a puppy is cute but you can’t pet the puppy.” 

“I’m not dead!” Jove snapped.

“Yeah but you’re not exactly still alive,” Trace said. “What would you call that? And don’t make the same joke about losing your body.”

“It’s not really a joke, Trace,” Jove said indignantly. “I had a body, I went to sleep, and I woke up without a body.”

“Didn’t the therapist tell you to stop downplaying things?” Trace asked. “Something about being more honest about our circumstances leading to acceptance and some semblance of peace?”

“I thought you had your headphones on during sessions,” Jove said. “That stuff is private.”

“Sometimes there is silence between songs,” Trace said. “Can you blame me for being curious?”

“Fine,” Jove said and took a deep breath. He spoke again in an even tone, not focusing his eyes on anything in particular.  “I was showing off for my girlfriend in my car. I wasn’t paying attention and I crashed into a stall in Faetown. There was an explosion and I blacked out. When I woke up, my essence or whatever was outside of my body and I couldn’t climb back in.”

“I wasn’t blameless, you know,” Trace said softly. “I was pretty much encouraging you to show off.”

Jove paused and refocused his eyes on her. “You’ve never said that before,” Jove said. 

“Well, therapy is good for some things,” Trace said. “It’s only fair, to tell the truth. I got off light for my transgressions. I mean unless you count being metaphysically tied to the ghost of my dead boyfriend. Which I do.”

“Not dead,” Jove said but the tone was a bit softer. “I never meant for this to happen to us.”

“I know,” Trace said. “Fae magic is unpredictable. We’re only starting to understand it.”

“Yeah, I know,” Jove said. “Do you think we can visit my grave again?”

“Definitely not,” Trace said. “It’s too morbid. Besides, if you’re not really dead, why do you care about a useless rotting body underground?”

“Well, I walked around in it for a long time,” Jove said. “I’m a little nostalgic about that.”

“That’s fair,” Trace said. “Maybe the mystics will figure things out and we can get you a new body.”

“I don’t know how to feel about that,” Jove said. “I mean, I wouldn’t be ungrateful but I’m not sure if a new body would have enough one-to-one similarity to my old body. Like what if I was suddenly blond?”

“I mean, is that really all that big a deal?” Trace asked. “Superficial physical differences?”

“Don’t downplay my theoretical body dysmorphia, you used to dye your hair constantly,” Jove said, folding his arms across his chest. “You probably would be cool with it. Always so practical. Practical Trace.”

Trace shook her head and opened her mouth to argue but then shrugged. “I don’t have time for this,” she said. “I have to get to work. Close your eyes. I’m going for a shower. Can I trust you or do you have to spend time in the lantern?” She gently placed her hand on the old lantern and it softly glowed green. It was a spirit lantern and could be used to store incorporeal beings. It was not pleasant. In fact, it was disorienting.

“I don’t like the lantern,” Jove said flatly.

“What’s it like in there?” Trace asked. “You haven’t said.”

Jove stared into the distance again. “I don’t remember,” he said.

“No disassociating,” Trace said. “Stay with me.”

Jove shook it off and smiled. “For real, it’s like the thing puts me on pause when I’m in there,” he said. “It’s too creepy.”

“Alright,” Trace said. “No lantern then. I don’t want to torture you. But the lantern does prove that you can interact with objects and not just living creatures, Mr. Icyhands.”

“I guess,” Jove said. “Experiments need to be completed and data needs to be extrapolated.”

“You sound halfway smart when you use big words,” Trace said, grabbing her towel.

“Thank you,” Jove said. “You say just the sweetest things. Go take your shower already.”

Disney: The Dark Kingdom (Theme Park Design)

September 24, 2022

I thought I would give my take on the rumored Disney villains park. In my mind, it would be more for teens to adults allowing for a spookier atmosphere and leaning into a more adult atmosphere. I mean, it would still be Disney so it would not go too far but kids would not be the main demographic. These are just some of the attractions that I thought of. It is divided into sections much like the Magic Kingdom. 

Maleficent’s Castle

Vile Village– The long road leading to Maleficent’s castle where villains can feel free to be themselves.

Maleficent’s Castle

Most Disney parks need a castle as their centerpiece. The jet-black castle that sat on the Forbidden Mountain would be a perfect choice. Its asymmetry is a great contrast to the picture-perfect castles in other parks. I think adding some gray ornamental flourishes similar to the brambles from the Kingdom Hearts franchise might look good.

Cruella’s Dress Shop – A villain-themed clothing store owned by Cruella De Ville.

The Wicked Spindle – A fancy restaurant themed on Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent

The Ruby Apple Cafe – A more casual dining experience themed on the Evil Witch

Lotso’s Army – A dark ride themed on the various Toy Story villains getting together

Straight to Hades – A boat ride on Charon’s boat through Hades where one can see depictions of various legendary greek heroes. The ride is hosted by Pain and Panic as 

Tartarus BBQ – A Hades themed barbecue place

The wild amusement park of Pleasure Island

Pleasure Island – An area based on the same place from Pinnochio mixed with the now-closed adult area of Disney.

Oogie Boogie’s Ghost Coaster – A dark coaster designed after the blacklight visuals from Oogie’s number from Nightmare Before Christmas.

Oogie Boogie’s Casino – A casino themed on Halloween and horror.

Turbo’s Arcade – A massive indoor arcade themed on the insane villain and also the MCP from Tron.

Stromboli’s Theater – A theater where versions of Disney stories are told biased in favor of the villains.

Cruella’s Road Racers – A high-speed driving ride based on the maniacal driving of Cruella De Ville.

Ralph’s Wrecking Rampage – A coaster themed on Ralph which he protests because he’s not “that” kind of villain.

The salty streets of a smuggler town similar to Tortuga from the movies.

Smuggler’s Bay – A lawless area near the water

Davey Jones: Terror of the Deep – A journey through scenes of Davey Jones punishing the people of the Caribbean along with his monster crew

Captain Hook’s Ship – A ride on Captian Hook’s ship out in the water

Smee’s Seaside Pub – A simple pirate pub

Ursula’s Grotto – A dark ride mixed with a splashdown ride that explores Ursula’s legendary lair.

The Weasels 

The woods have eyes.

Wicked Woods – A spooky forest-themed area.

The Snuggly Duckling – A recreation of the tough bar from Tangled.

Gaston and Clayton’s Hunting Lodge and Tavern – An eating and drinking establishment owned and operated by the two arrogant Disney hunters

The Flight of the Sanderson Sisters – A flight simulator in the vein of Soarin’ where you fly a broom and terrorize people with the Sandersons.

Yzma’s Zoo – A trip through an animatronic zoo with the implication that all of the animals are transformed humans. 

The Evil Queen’s Revenge – Basically Snow White’s Scary Adventures but lean even more into the horror elements

Maybe a giant recreation of the Cave of Wonders lion.

Atrocious Adventures – An area themed on more global and adventurous experiences.

Charles Muntz Flight of Adventure – A flight simulator in the vein of star tours that details the heroic deeds of disgraced adventurer Charles Muntz

The Elephant Boneyard – A dark ride where the riders are stalked by Scar and the hyenas

Glomgold’s Minecart Ride – A frantic mine cart ride similar to the Indiana Jones Adventure mixed with Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Journey into Jafar’s Lamp – A terrifying and surreal thrill ride into the world inside of Jafar’s lamp where he has complete power.

Monsters, Inc. : Right to Scare – A journey into the Monster’s Inc. world with those still dedicated to scaring and not laughing

Batgirl (Movie Pitch) Pt. 2

September 17, 2022

Cast of Characters:

Barbara Gordon/Batgirl – Age 20 – A young woman who has a strong sense of justice and is trying to find a sweet spot between Batman and Commissioner Gordon’s methods. 

Played by: Leslie Grace, Jenna Ortega, Isabella Ferreira

Alysia Yeoh – Age 20 – A young transgirl and Barbara’s best and closest friend.  

Played by:  Ivory Aquino, Harisu, or an unknown probably.

Garfield Lynn/Firefly – A former special effects master in Hollywood but now resorting to crime.

Played by: Brendan Fraser (Original casting), Andrew Dunbar, Alan Tudyk

Commissioner Jim Gordon – Gotham’s top cop who stops at nothing to get justice but also values his family very much.

Played by: Kyle Chandler, Ben McKenzie, Hugh Dancy

Elena Gordon – A charity fundraiser and activist who loves her family.

Played by: Mia Maestro, Eva Longoria, Justina Machado

Yolanda Montez – Age 32 – A young trainer and fighter at Wildcat Gym.

Played by: Alexa PenaVega, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Génesis Rodríguez

Luca Mercurio – An up-and-coming runner for the Gallante Crime Family.

Played by: Giulio Berruti, Michael Angarano, Giacomo Baessato


Yeoh Apartment – Interior

Barbara shows up and Alysia’s mom tells Barbara that she needs to eat, she’s a growing girl after all, and to get Alysia to eat too. Barbara says she’ll see what she can do. She goes up to Alysia’s room. Alysia is happy to see her friend and shrugs off the bandage on her arm. She would have been far worse off if Batgirl had not saved her life. Barbara winces at “Batgirl” but it is clear that Alysia is Batgirl’s biggest fan. She says that she has been keeping the truth from her best friend, her only real friend. 

Alysia: You don’t have a crush on me, do you? Because I love you more like a sister.

Barbara says it’s not that. She admits that she has been spending her time fighting crime on her own. Alysia is confused and starts to laugh it off until Barbara holds Alysia’s footage up. Alysia sees the look in Barbara’s eyes and stops laughing. “You’re Batgirl!?” Barbara brings up the whole Murciel thing but Alysia says that it doesn’t matter what her name is. It matters what she does and who she is inside. Alysia brings up again that when she wanted to come out as trans, she came out to Barbara first. She did that because she trusted Barbara and believed that Barbara would never hurt her because Barbara is a good person. When people pushed her down and called her names, Barbara was always there to pick her up.

Alysia’s mom brings them food. While they are eating, Barbara frets about the arsonist. The pattern says that the next arson will happen in a few weeks. Alysia points out that not even Batman does it alone. She needs more friends. Barbara is not interested in bringing anybody else out in the field. Alysia says that this is not what she meant. For example, Alysia can be another set of eyes and help cover for Barbara when she has to disappear. Also, she saw Barbara fighting and she seriously needs some help. Barbara says that her father had her take self-defense classes and Judo for years. Alysia says that it’s time to level up.

Wildcat Gym – Interior

Alysia introduces Barbara to Yolanda Montez. Yolanda agrees to train Barbara in mixed martial arts but seems a bit stone-faced at first. Yolanda is from a neighborhood where people get hassled by Jim Gordon’s cops. They have a training montage where the three girls get to know each other better and Yolanda warms up to Barbara. Barbara is also obviously improving. Yolanda tells Barbara as much before Barbara leaves the gym at night. Barbara spots a couple of goons outside of the gym. She suits up and swoops in to rescue Yolanda from getting mugged. Barbara does great in a real-world application of her new martial arts skills and Yolanda helps end the fight. 

Gotham Abandoned Building – Interior

Barbara feels more confident as she heads out to stop the next predicted arson. She creeps into the building with Alysia on a Bluetooth call. Barbara bemoans not having the flashy gear that Batman has. Alysia says there’s no way they can afford that stuff on their allowance. Barbara surprised Garfield who is setting up the job. Barbara tries to talk Garfield, who introduces himself as Firefly, out of going through with it. Garfield refuses and tells her to get out while she still can. When she persists, he blurts out that they have his sister, Bridgit. Sensing that he has given too much away, Garfield goes on the offensive again. Barbara does well until Garfield pulls out a flame thrower and nearly barbecues her. In the fight, Barbara tries to hold onto Garfield but instead rips a chain off of his neck. She once again is forced to flee and she is sent out onto the street by an explosion. A frustrated Barbara runs as firefighters, the police, her father, and Batman all show up. Batman spots her but lets her go when he sees how upset she is. He tells Gordon that he doesn’t think they’ll be seeing Batgirl again.

Garfield Lynns Workshop – Interior

Garfield realizes that his necklace is gone but disregards it when the door opens. Mr. Mercurio walks into the workshop while Garfield is working on his gear. He tells Garfield that Mr. Gallante is very happy with Garfield’s work. They are going to make a lot of money and Garfield can share in those profits. They can always use another enforcer and Firefly would strike fear into the hearts of all of the Gallante Family’s enemies. Garfield says he just wants his sister back. That’s all that matters to him. Mr. Mercurio relents and says that after the next job, there will be a happy reunion. There is a catch, though. If Batgirl shows up again, Mr. Gallante wants her dead as a warning to the Bat and the rest of the city. Mercurio introduces Garfield to new gear to make that happen. Garfield affirms that it will do the job well.

Gordon Apartment – Interior

Alysia visits Barbara at home who has spent the day in her room with the cover story that she is sick. It is not a total lie as she did have some smoke inhalation the night before. Alysia comforts her friend and tells her not to obsess over the setback. Nobody got hurt again. Barbara admits that she has been spending her day trying to track down Bridgit. She reveals that what she got off of Firefly was a locket with a young girl’s picture in it. That picture and the name Bridgit are not enough. Alysia brings up that the police are really good at finding people. Barbara and Alysia eventually talk Barbara into getting the information from her dad’s office.

GCPD Station – Interior

Alysia and Barbara show up at the police station. Barbara stops in to see her dad but he is dealing with a lot. She leaves Alysia to keep her father busy while she “goes to the bathroom”. She heads to the computer mainframe and manages to trick the technicians out of the room. She scans the locket and manages to find Bridgit’s identity and her connection to Garfield Lynns. She also finds out that the police have been interested in Bridget as she has been seen dating Luca Mercurio. 

She realizes that the kidnapping is probably bogus. She runs out of the room to avoid the technicians. As she does, she sees that a door is ajar in evidence lock up. She carefully slips inside and finds gear from Gotham’s greatest criminals. She reaches out to touch Mr. Freeze’s gun and an alarm goes off. She sweeps the gun into her bag and runs out. Commissioner Gordon shoos the girls out so that they can deal with this new problem. Barbara feels guilty that she stole from her father.

Gordon Apartment – Interior

Alysia comes over for family dinner and the girls are a bit nervous when Jim Gordon casually questions if they saw anything while they were at the station. They saw nothing, of course. Alysia agrees to cover for Barbara as she goes out to stop Firefly. Barbara suits up and heads out into the night.

Abandoned Building – Interior

Garfield is setting up his next burn, this time in a more populated area. Barbara appears and tells him that he needs to stop. He can end this. This isn’t like the last few times. If people get hurt, there’s no coming back from that. People are likely to die this time. He tells her that he would do anything for his sister. If somebody is going to die, it’s going to be Batgirl first. If she wants to stop him, she’ll have to kill him. They fight again with Garfield really trying to kill her this time. Barbara manages to use the freeze gun to put out Garfield’s fancy new flame equipment.

It is at this point that she manages to trap him and show him the information about Bridgit. Garfield does not want to believe at first. What if Barbara is wrong about her not being in danger? Then Barbara will help him rescue her. He needs to turn himself in. Garfield says that she is right. He doesn’t want to hurt anybody and he doesn’t want to do this anymore. 

It is at this point that they hear the roaring of a jetpack and Mercurio shows up in advanced Firefly gear. He had a feeling that Garfield might not get the job done so he had the tech guys whip up some superior firepower. Garfield questions Mercurio about Bridgit. Mercurio admits that it is true and is surprised that they could keep the ruse going so long. It doesn’t matter. Mr. Gallante offered Garfield a permanent job and when he turned it down, he became a loose end. Garfield will die, Bridgit will be told it was an accident and will get over it eventually. 

Barbara frees Garfield and the two fight Mercurio and his advanced gear together. The two manage to bring the inexperienced Mercurio down and Garfield tells Barbara to go as sirens approach. He will tell the cops everything and let the chips fall where they may. Barbara leaves him to get arrested.

GCPD Station – Exterior

The batsignal is on. Batman shows up but it is Batgirl who greets him. She says Gordon is at the mayor’s office and will not interrupt them. She tells him about the resolution of the whole affair. She tells him that the Gallante crime family was behind it all as part of a massive real estate scam. She anonymously sent all evidence to the GCPD. Batman is impressed. He admits that he underestimated her. He had a feeling that he would see her again and gives her a case of equipment. He points out that equipment is only as good as the skill to use it. He offers to train her to use it. She is excited but skeptical. Batman points out that clearly, he cannot talk her out of this and she does show promise. He would feel guilty if something horrible happened to her and he could have helped prevent it by showing her the ropes. He tells her that he will be in touch. She bids him goodnight. He says: “Goodnight, Barbara.” and her eyes widen as she turns around and he is gone.

Batgirl (Movie Pitch) Pt. 1

September 10, 2022

Cast of Characters:

Barbara Gordon/Batgirl – Age 20 – A young woman who has a strong sense of justice and is trying to find a sweet spot between Batman and Commissioner Gordon’s methods. 

Played by: Leslie Grace, Jenna Ortega, Isabella Ferreira

Alysia Yeoh – Age 20 – A young transgirl and Barbara’s best and closest friend.  

Played by:  Ivory Aquino, Harisu, or an unknown probably.

Garfield Lynn/Firefly – A former special effects master in Hollywood but now resorting to crime.

Played by: Brendan Fraser (Original casting), Andrew Dunbar, Alan Tudyk

Commissioner Jim Gordon – Gotham’s top cop who stops at nothing to get justice but also values his family very much.

Played by: Kyle Chandler, Ben McKenzie, Hugh Dancy

Elena Gordon – A charity fundraiser and activist who loves her family.

Played by: Mia Maestro, Eva Longoria, Justina Machado

Yolanda Montez – Age 32 – A young trainer and fighter at Wildcat Gym.

Played by: Alexa PenaVega, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Génesis Rodríguez

Luca Mercurio – An up-and-coming runner for the Gallante Crime Family.

Played by: Giulio Berruti, Michael Angarano, Giacomo Baessato


Gotham City

Gordon Apartment – Interior

Barbara Gordon’s alarm goes off and she wakes up having fallen asleep at her desk. She stretches and goes about her wake-up routine. She flips on a small television mid-broadcast of the news. The anchor reports on the arrest of The Riddler and the foiling of a complex plot thanks to an anonymous tip and data dump from The Riddler’s servers. Barbara absently says “You’re welcome” They do a report on the third fire in the Gotham projects. Barbara frowns and makes some notes before scooping up her laptop bag to head downstairs.

Commissioner Gordon and Elena Gordon greet their daughter in the kitchen. Elena questions her daughter about her hobbies and that she can’t spend so much time in her room. Barbara responds that she gets out enough but we can see that’s not true. She brushes the issue aside and tries to talk to her father who is enjoying his coffee. She asks him about the fires and says that something is weird about them. He appreciates her interest in current events but doesn’t want her to focus so much on the macabre elements of Gotham. Enjoy college. He once again expresses that he wished that Barbara had gone to a college out of town. Not that her parents hate having her around but Gotham is dangerous. Besides, Gordon has enough vigilantes in Gotham. Elena tells Jim not to go off about Batman again. Barbara hurries off to catch her bus.

Bus – Interior

Barbara sits down next to her friend Alysia Yeoh who is happy to see her friend. As Alysia talks, Barbara is more focused on her phone and the reports of the fires. Alysia gets her friend’s attention and neither are looking forward to another day in paradise. 

Gotham University – Interior/Exterior

We then see a montage of Barbara and Alysia making their way through a school day. Barbara is clearly bright but not really engaged in the social structure of school while Alysia seems to be more sociable. 

At lunch, Alysia tries to get Barbara into joining the school paper. She’s really good at computers and really smart. She could be a great writer. Alysia could be her photographer. They could be a team. Barbara claims to be too busy. Alysia complains that they never seem to hang out and Barbara’s not in any clubs. So what is she up to? Barbara tries to brush the question off. Alysia points out that Barbara was the first person at school whom Alysia told her secret to. Barbara admits that truth but says she needs some time.

Gordon Apartment – Interior

Barbara tries to send an anonymous tip in through a voice changer but the dispatcher at the police station does not believe her. She pulls open a compartment in her closet to reveal that she has put together a Batgirl costume. “Maybe mom’s right, maybe it’s time to get out of my room,” Elena calls her for dinner. The two eat and talk and once again Barbara’s dad is working late. Barbara goes back to her room to suit up.

Gotham City – Exterior – A Run-Down Building

Barbara checks out the building from a nearby rooftop. She makes notes in a voice recorder about her hunches before heading down the fire escape over to the building in question.

Condemned Building – Interior

Barbara creeps through the building. She hears a sound and goes to investigate. It is Alysia, tagging a wall. Barbara is surprised and nearly yells at her friend. She regroups and switches on a voice changer to talk to her. Alysia sees this as an artistic outlet she doesn’t get and tells her friend to get out of there. It’s not safe. It’s an order, not a discussion. Alysia slinks off.

Barbara hears another noise and interrupts a masked Garfield Lynns. Lynns is startled and threatens Barbara, telling her to get out. He has a flame thrower and seems to have rigged the building. He asks who Barbara is. She says Murciel. He is momentarily confused because she looks like a Batgirl. She says something about it being an homage but then gets back on track. He needs to give himself up to the police. He says she does not understand and that he has to do this.

A sound alerts Lynns and Barbara that Alysia is taking pictures. This sets Garfield off and he attacks them both with the flamethrower. Barbara saves Alysia as flames whip around them. The two of them struggle but Barbara eventually manages to shove Alysia through a gap in the flames and out into the alleyway. Barbara can’t escape that way so she goes after Lynns. Garfield keeps setting off charges as Barbara tries to fight him. They reach the roof and Barbara fails to stop Garfield from activating his jetpack and escaping. A black shape swoops in and rescues Barbara.

Gotham City – Exterior

Barbara is deposited on a rooftop. She looks around and spots a pair of eyes in the shadows. Barbara fangirls a bit over Batman but then gets serious. Batman asks her what the hell she thinks she is doing. She says that she knew which building would be hit next. She did not exactly have Batman’s number and the police would not believe her. Batman: “Including your father?” Barbara is shocked that Batman knows who she is. He asks who she is. She introduces herself as Murciel once again and apologizes for biting his style. Batman says he has this covered and to stay out of it. Barbara says that his solution is just to beat the guy up. That’s what Batman does. She has taken down dozens of criminals without even throwing a punch. There has to be a middle ground. Besides, Batman arrived too late while she was there before it started. She walks out on Batman.

Batman and Gordon meet. Barbara remotely switches on her father’s phone to listen in. Gordon is upset at another big fire. So far the buildings have been abandoned but firefighters have had to struggle to keep neighboring buildings from catching fire. Batman says that the signatures for the arsons have not matched, making it hard to pinpoint an MO. Gordon points out that Batman was sighted at a bank robbery shortly before the fire. He can’t be in two places at once. Batman stubbornly says that he has things handled. Gordon mentions spotting Batman talking to somebody just now and if he has a new recruit. Batman says that she is a complication but that he has dealt with it.

Garfield Lynns Workshop – Interior

The arsonist, Garfield Lynns, returns to his workshop and unmasks himself and leaves his gear on a workbench. He sighs and takes a long look in the mirror. A thin man in a suit, Mr. Mercurio,  steps into the room along with two big guys for muscle. Garfield tenses for a moment but then relaxes. He tells the man that he burned down the building just like they wanted. The man points out that Garfield nearly lost to a girl. Garfield angrily tells him that girls can do anything that boys can do and that he got the job done. He nearly killed two people this time but he got the job done. Speaking of which, when is going to end? It ends when Mr. Galantes says it ends. Until then, Garfield will do as he’s told. The man leaves and Garfield angrily slams his fist onto his workbench.

Gordon Apartment – Interior

Barbara wakes up in her bed this time and stretches. She is definitely sore from the battle the night before. She’s thankful that it’s Saturday and she doesn’t have to go to school. She switches on the news. Gotham City is abuzz with an appearance of a new hero named Batgirl. Barbara groans that they got her name wrong. “It’s Murciel!” The news shows one of Alysia’s pictures and Barbara is freaking out. The news does point out that neither Batman nor Batgirl was able to stop the building from burning and nobody is in custody. Jim Gordon shows up on camera and tells them with annoyance that the police are exploring several leads. Barbara finishes getting ready and runs out, telling her mother that she is off to see Alysia.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Endgame Pt. 9

September 3, 2022

Belle pulled a flustered Tiana aside who was watching her husband run up the mountain toward a monster taller than any building she had ever seen. Tiana struggled to pull her attention back to Belle, her heart pounding. She was not used to being in combat.

“What do you need, Belle?” Tiana asked, putting on a brave face.

Belle gave Tiana a tight, stressed smile. “I need you to do what you do best, Tiana,” she said. “I need you to follow a recipe.”

“Wait, really?” Tiana asked. “Is this really the time for beignets?”

“I would love to have whatever those are later,” Belle said. “But for now I need a potion and I need you to brew it.” Belle recited something from her spell book and waved her hand and a full kitchen with a cauldron. She waved her hand and a page from the book appeared in Tiana’s hands.

Tiana was startled but pleased. This was right up her alley and she was suddenly fired up again. “You got it,” Tiana said. “One potion coming up!” She rolled up her sleeves and cinched her hair tie a little together.

“Good,” Belle said. “We’re going to need a lot of it.”

“Right,” Tiana said and started to read while Belle ran back into the battle.


Up on Bald Mountain, Jasmine’s team approached the monster. She had shouted instructions at the group as they ran. Anna and Naveen picked up rocks and started to throw them at Chernabog. This drew the annoyed monster’s gaze from Grimhilde and toward the insignificant insects that dared even approach it. When Chernabog tried to swat at the group, Esmerelda and Eugene made everybody vanish in a puff of smoke. Jasmine lept from nowhere and stabbed her sword into the beast’s hand. The others followed suit and the beast howled in pain. Adam transformed into the Beast, ran up Chernabog’s arm, and clawed at its eye.

Chernabog struggled to pull Adam from its face for a while. When it tried to pull its hand away to help, the swords stuck in it dragged through its inky flesh. Jet black blood sprayed everywhere. Adam kept scrambling around the beast’s face until he was caught and thrown into a tree. Everybody regrouped and kept trying to get and keep Chernabog’s attention. They were not really going for damage. They noticed that Chernabog had quickly healed the heavy damage they had inflicted. This was going to be tough but besides Adam, none of them were really built for combat but they had a bunch of goofballs and flimflam artists. They had energy and could definitely do distracting.


Back at the foot of the mountain, Belle rejoined the fight against Grimhilde and started slinging spells at the witch. Grimhilde was now forced to fend off ice blasts from Elsa and magical energy from Belle. Merida found a spotted and started to fire arrows at Grimhilde. The first arrow actually sank into Grimhilde’s arm. The witch drew from her connection with Chernabog and the arrow vanished. The next time that Merida fired an arrow, Grimhilde was able to teleport out of the way. Merida was undeterred and kept firing. Grimhilde fended off Belle and Elsa’s attacks with dark energy. Aladdin and Aurora started to take turns running in to slash at the witch. Rapunzel used her hair to try and lasso Grimhilde but was unable to catch her. They were definitely pushing Grimhilde to her limits but she was crafty and was still drawing on Chernabog’s power.


Tiana worked feverishly in her makeshift kitchen, preparing ingredients for the potion. She had no time to look up at the mountain or over at her other friends. She was hyper-focused on her cooking. She had to be because she sensed that everything hinged on this potion. She turned to fill up the cauldron with water. She just had to hope that her new friends and her husband could keep it up to defeat the evil. She wiped her brow and leaned against the counter. It was hard work being a hero.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Endgame Pt. 8

August 27, 2022

The group stepped through the portal one by one. Belle stepped through last and gasped as her eyes focused. Adam reached out to steady her, once more in beast form. She gratefully grabbed his arm to steady herself. Everyone stood stock still, momentarily barely having the nerve to breathe. It was definitely nighttime in this world but it felt artificial. There was no moon to be seen and the sky was awash in eerie waves of blue and green energies. However, that is not what made Belle gasp and paralyzed the group with fear. 

They were surrounded by an army that seemed to be made up of the armies of the other witches. They spotted what looked like citizens of Agrabah, citizens of Atlantica, beasts that must have been from Hawaii, and Maleficent’s creatures. Mixed in were unspeakable monsters of some other origin.  Luckily they were frozen in place, obviously poised for an upcoming attack. Their eyes were closed as if they had fallen asleep while standing up.

After taking a moment, the group all looked at each other and they moved forward, carefully picking their way through the army. Nobody wanted to accidentally brush up against somebody or something that might come to life and attack. There was no way this small group would last again an army of that size. Finally, they reached a large flat area free of the army. Standing in the middle of that was a woman and she was standing in front of an altar. The woman’s body was swirling with green and black energies.

Jasmine stepped forward. “Grimhilde,” she called out. “You will cease your pact with the creature known as Chernabog and you will dismiss your army. If you do this, your life will be spared but you will be imprisoned in your world of origin or in mine if they will not have you. I swear that you will not be harmed if you give up now.”

Grimhilde turned around and smirked. “Is that the deal?” she asked.

“That’s the deal,” Elsa said, stepping up beside Jasmine. 

Aurora also stepped up. “If you don’t take it, we are going to have to put up a fight,” she said. “We put down all of your friends. You don’t want to be next.”

“Friends?” Grimhilde asked and then laughed. “Merely pawns. I’m the one who made the deal with Chernabog. I just needed them to help amass an army and keep you lot busy. I would have liked it if they had succeeded in killing you but I suppose that was asking for too much.”

“It sounds like she’s not taking the deal,” Aurora said.

“Yes, I think I got that impression as well,” Jasmine said. “I tried to be fair. More than fair, I thought.”

“I believe in second chances,” Elsa said. “I’ve benefitted from one myself but I think she’s all out of chances.”

“Fools,” Grimhilde said bitterly. “I’ll deal with you as I dealt with my stepdaughter. I’ll make you watch as I conquer the worlds. I’ll make you watch as I pull the wings from all of the faeries and then I’ll execute all of you slowly and painfully.”

“I don’t think so,” Jasmine said. “We’re going to stop you from summoning Chernabog.”

Grimhilde laughed and it was the ugliest sound any of them had ever heard. “I have already summoned Chernabog. Even now he fully awakens from his long slumber,” she said. 

Grimhilde gestured toward the towering mountain and a jet-black creature larger than any of them had seen started to spread its wings. It glared angrily down at those who would dare oppose its disciple. Everybody instinctually pulled their weapons out.

“We’re doing this,” Jasmine yelled out. Aladdin ran up next to her and the two exchanged a lingering look.

“What’s the plan?” Anna called out.

“I’m going up the mountain to distract that thing,” Jasmine said. “The rest stay here and end the witch. Esmerelda, Anna, Eugene, Tiana, Naveen, and Adam with me.”

“I need Tiana down here, actually,” Belle called out. 

“Fine,” Jasmine said. “Let’s go.” Jasmine’s team went running after her up the mountain without question. There was no time to second guess plans.

Elsa launched the opening salvo, blasting Grimhilde with ice magic. The witch barely conjured fire magic to counter it as Elsa kept pressing her attack. It was clear that Grimhilde was more than up to the challenge.


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