Posts Tagged ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Endgame Pt. 4

June 25, 2022

Rapunzel all but leaped into Eugene’s arms with a shout. The princess had never really been shy about expressing herself, especially when it came to Eugene. Thankfully, Flynn was physically able to catch her and she had a very light frame. He swept her up in his arms and pulled her close for a kiss.

“Oh my goodness, Eugene!” Rapunzel said. “It feels like I haven’t seen you forever. I’ve got so much to tell you.”

“The eternal optimist,” Eugene said. “I wasn’t as sure that I would ever see you again but I kept going just in case. I’m glad to be proven wrong.”

“I like proving you wrong,” Rapunzel said. “And I’ll always find my way back to you. I promise. You know how important promises are to me.”

“I do,” Eugene said. “One of the many reasons why I proposed. Your honesty and loyalty has really rubbed off on me.”

“Oh?” Rapunzel asked. “Have you been well-behaved?”

“Yes,” Eugene said. “But I didn’t have much choice. I was imprisoned by a witch.”

“Really!?” Rapunzel asked and stepped back to examine him. “Did she hurt you?”

“Not really. She was a very incompetent witch,” Eugene said. “She caught me off guard when I ended up in Hawaii.”

“Hawaii?” Rapunzel asked. “I like the name. Speaking of witches, Gothel is here.”

“Gothel?” Eugene asked. “Last time I saw her, she stabbed me.”

“I remember,” Rapunzel said. “She’s locked up in a cell, though. Everybody knows who and what she is so there’s nobody for her to manipulate here.”

“Have you seen her?” Eugene asked.

“No,” Rapunzel said. “I haven’t visited.”

“Do you want to visit?” Eugene asked. He stroked her cheek with his hand and she closed her eyes and pressed her cheek into his palm.

“No,” Rapunzel said. “I don’t think I want to revisit that chapter of my life. Besides, my hair is coming back in and she’s obsessed with it.”

“I was going to ask about that,” Eugene said. “Any explanation?”

“None,” Rapunzel said with a shrug. “As for Gothel, let the others deal with her. If I have to deal with her, I’ll cross that bridge then.”

“We will,” Eugene said. “Together.”

*         *          *

“Anna!” Elsa shouted. “There you are! I was so worried.”

“I wasn’t,” Anna said. “Ok well, I was a little bit. It got really bad there for a bit but I always have faith that we’ll find each other again. We’ve been through so much already. The long separation, the blizzard of Arendelle, the elemental spirits, the Enchanted Forest, the Jotunn, the flood, everything and we’re still standing.”

“I remember all of that, of course,” Elsa said. “But I like being there to protect you.”

“I should remind you that I’m a queen now too and that I can take care of myself,” Anna said. “But I also do like it when you protect me. I like being with you.”

“I never thought we’d be in this strange place,” Elsa said. “So far from home. I sent Mattias back to Arendelle to check on things.”

“I hope he’s alright,” Anna said. “I hope Kristoff is alright too. All of our friends and family are nowhere in sight.”

“I have a feeling that I would know if something permanent happened to Olaf,” Elsa said. “Kristoff can take care of himself usually and when he can’t, he has Sven.”

“True,” Anna said. “I’m sure he’s fine. I do wish the Grand Pabbie was here, though.”

“We seem to be in good hands with the fairies,” Elsa said. “They seem wise enough.”

“I never thought I’d see a real fairy,” Rapunzel said. “It was amazing.”

“The way our lives have gone, I thought it was pretty much inevitable that we would get around to fairies,” Elsa said.

Anna laughed. “I guess you’re right,” she said. “We seem to attract magic.”

“At least, I do,” Elsa said, a guilty look crossing her face

“Don’t go blaming yourself,” Anna said. “We’re in this together.”

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Endgame Pt. 3

June 11, 2022

The portal opened, Enchantress beckoned, and everybody came through. Aurora came through first with her hand on her sword hilt as usual but relaxed when it seemed that everything was safe and calm for the moment. Jasmine was impressed that she walked right up to Jasmine and shook her hand as clearly, she was in charge. Aladdin was standing next to her but he did really exude royalty. This armor-clad woman exuded a lot of royalty.

“Thank you for your hospitality,” she said. “My name is Princess Aurora and I will do my best to use this sword to safeguard our cause and wellbeing.”

“Thank you,” Jasmine said. “I am Queen Jasmine, ruler of this land. Your oath is unnecessary but welcome. This scruffy man is my consort and husband Aladdin.”

“Nice to meet you,” Aladdin said a little too casually but Jasmine let it slide, of course. There would be time and energy for manners and etiquette later. Besides, that smile of his was impossible to be mad at for long.

Aurora turned as Adam, Belle, Tiana, Esmerelda, and Eugene walked through the portal together. Jasmine was relieved that none of them looked monstrous. Perhaps this would all work out after all. She reapplied her best smile.

“Welcome to Agrabah!” She called out. “All who come in peace are welcome. It is unfortunate that I am hosting you in this recently seized enemy fortress instead of the palace. It is hard to be so generous to guests here but we make do. We will find somewhere for you to sleep in private before we get to the matter at hand.” Jasmine turned toward Enchantress. “We have time to rest before, right?” But Enchantress was no longer there. Godmother looked just as startled.

“I will go find her,” Godmother said. “I’m sure there must be time to rest before the final battle.” Godmother vanished in a shower of sparkles. Somehow, the sparkles seemed as frustrated as Godmother’s face had been.

“She’s a lot to handle,” Belle said. “But I am pretty sure she means well this time.”

“Um, where is our prisoner?” Adam asked. “She was right here.” Yzma had been in chains among them. Enchantress had insisted and now the bony old witch had disappeared. She did not seem extraordinarily bright so it was a surprise that she had vanished.

“And I thought I was sneaky,” Eugene said, rubbing his chin in thought.

“Do you think she escaped?” Adam asked. “Is that even possible?”

“I don’t think so,” Eugene said. “I think we were robbed. I would know. I mean, I used to know. I mean, I know how that feels.” 

“I’m wondering if this is another thing to ask Enchantress,” Jasmine said. “That list is growing. I’m not exactly pleased.”

“Neither are we,” Adam said. “We’ll corner her later.”

Belle turned and looked at Jasmine and her cheeks blushed with embarrassment. “Oh!” she said sheepishly. “I’m sorry. We haven’t introduced ourselves. I’m Belle. Queen Belle, I guess.”

“Um,” Adam said softly.

“Is that not correct, dear?” Belle asked.

“To be determined,” Adam said. “We haven’t had time to investigate our status. Regardless, my name is Adam and I’m Belle’s husband.”

“All of this royal stuff can be kind of hard to navigate,” Aladdin said. “I still struggle and we both understand.”

“We do,” Jasmine said. “We really do.”

Esmerelda started to juggle and dance a bit to lighten the mood. “Esmerelda, of the Romani people, entertainer extraordinaire and voice of the people,” Esmerelda said as an introduction.. “At your service.”

“Wow,” Jasmine said. “You remind me a bit of Genie. You two should meet. Or maybe that might be too chaotic.” 

Aladdin looked over at Eugene. “And you’re a thief, right?” he asked.

Jasmine gasped. “Aladdin!” she said. “You can’t just say that!”

Eugene was startled and his eyes went wide. “Thief? That’s a hell of an accusation,” he said. “I’d be offended if it weren’t so accurate. Former thief. Now a prince. People call me Flynn Rider.” Jasmine relaxed and Aladdin smiled triumphantly.

“I was a thief too,” Aladdin said reassuringly. “I’m glad you also got the chance to turn it around, Eugene.”

“I’m trying,” Eugene said. “For example, my real name is Eugene. I’m still a prince, though.”

“Nice to meet you, Eugene,” Aladdin said. “We’ll have a lot to talk about.”

“Well, I guess I’m a princess too but I’m more of a restauranteur,” Tiana said. “Tiana is my name and Tiana’s Palace is my restaurant. If you point me to the kitchen, I can whip something up.”

“That’s not necessary,” Jasmine said. “You all probably need a rest. Leave the hospitality up to me and my people.”

“I’ll cook the victory feast then,” Tiana said.

“It’s a deal,” Jasmine said. “I like that optimism. Let’s get you all settled.”

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Endgame Pt. 1

May 7, 2022

“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” Belle asked. “How are you going to bridge the gap?” She squinted at The Enchantress as she held Adam’s hand tightly.

“Would you stop picking at me?” The Enchantress said as she tried to focus on her magic. “It’s distracting.”

“What are you going to do about it?” Belle asked with a sly smirk. “Are you going to turn me into furniture?”

“I could, you know,” The Enchantress said. “You’re very brave now that I’ve promised not to use my magic on you. It’s kind of annoying.”

“Well, yes,” Belle said. “And I’m having a lot of fun.”

“Maybe we should have a little less fun?” Ariel asked, although she did look amused. “Maybe focus on the threat at hand?”

“Fine,” Belle said and shrugged. “I’ll stop torturing her. We’ve made amends and the matter is over.”

“But to answer your question,” The Enchantress said. “I am using my desire to help you heroes to guide my magic. I admit that desire is not entirely altruistic but it is real and it should help locate and connect to the other major point that is experiencing a higher level of portal generation.”

“I really hope that the people there are friendly,” Aurora said, holding the hilt of her sword. 

“My intuition tells me that a villain is not responsible for all of the portalling,” The Enchantress said. “I can feel it. There’s so much of it. They tried to conquer only four worlds that I’ve seen. That suggests that their forces are small. I think if they were invading more worlds then it would be slower. Merely conjecture, though.”

“A fair assumption,” Belle said. “Historically, invasions require a lot of preparation and amassing of forces. Of course, we’re dealing with magic here.”

“We are dealing with magic,” Adam agreed. “Tricky stuff.”

“Let’s remain optimistic,” Tiana said with a smile. “Okay, people?” She had grabbed a heavy iron skillet from the kitchen and was ready to use it if necessary.

“I agree,” Esmerelda said. “Optimistic yet practical. I mean, we can’t account for the unknown.”

“Yes,” Aurora said. “We go into the unknown cautious and prepared. Let’s hope that we’re meeting friends and not enemies.”

“This is exciting,” Ariel said. “It reminds me of when I was first headed to the surface. I’m so excited for you but I’m not going.”

“What?” Aurora nearly shouted which caused The Enchantress to wince slightly. “You’re our leader. You’re knowledgeable about magic and you’re smart.”

“We have plenty of people knowledgeable about magic that can go with you including The Enchantress,” Ariel said. “I need to dive down and explore Atlantica and make sure my father and his subjects are safe. I also need to find Eric. I know that sound selfish.”

“Not at all,” Belle said. “If anything, I’m hesitant to let you deal with a whole underwater kingdom by yourself. I would be curious to go with you if I were equipped to do so.”

“I’m not alone,” Ariel said. “With Ursula’s influence on the minds of my kingdom dissipated, I have plenty of hands on deck. I’ll be fine. If you want to visit Atlantica later, I’m sure some spell could make it possible.”

“I’d like that,” Belle said. She was eternally curious but the water was one area that she had very little knowledge in. She did not even know how to swim. At least, not very well. Still, it sounded like an adventure.

“But you can count us in,” Moana said. “Maui and I know all about the sea. We can help you. Afterwards, you can send us home.”

“I’m not a fan of being volunteered but sure,” Maui said. “You’ve got my hook.”

“Alright,” Ariel said. “Offer accepted. I’m begging the rest of you to go with The Enchantress and save all of our worlds. If the threat is truly not over, your skills will be needed. We will join you later if necessary.”

“It’s a deal,” Aurora said. “It was an honor serving alongside you, Queen Ariel.”

“The feeling is mutual, Queen Aurora.” Ariel said. “I have enjoyed having you all as guests and teammates for however long you’ve been here. Know that, if it is possible, you are welcome to visit here again.”

“So formal!” Tiana said and hugged her. “Come here!” Esmerelda hugged both of them. They laughed.

“I’ll bring the Festival of Fools with me,” Esmerelda said. “We’ll make it a party.”

“We deserve some fun,” Ariel said. “Everybody’s invited.”

“Are we all just about ready?” The Enchantress called out. “The door is about to open.”

“We’re ready,” Aurora said.

“For better or worse,” Belle said. “Let’s put an end to this.”

The Enchantress gestured and a portal opened up. “Let’s go meet our friends on the other side,” She said.

They walked toward the portal and stepped through one by one.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: China Pt. 12

March 19, 2022

“Another sorcerer?” Mulan asked, her sword at the ready and her eyes narrowed. Everybody else but Anna followed her lead. “Friend or foe?”

“Everybody put your weapons down,” Anna said. “This is my sister Elsa. Wait, where did you come from Elsa?” Anna’s mood was like watching the sunrise, she was so excited to see her sister in the aftermath of a really rough victory.

Elsa pointed at a swirling circle on the other side of the palace’s roof. “I took that portal from Agrabah,” she said. “I’m so glad to see you again. I was so worried that I would lose you forever.”

“I wasn’t worried about that for a moment,” Anna said with a smile. Ever the optimist. “But I’m happy to see you too.”

“Wait,” Aladdin said. “Did you say Agrabah? That’s my home. Is everybody alright there?” He moved quickly toward the sisters, his eyes were suddenly wide and desperate.

Elsa held up her hands in her best calming gesture. “Yes I came from Agrabah and everybody seems to be in one piece,” Elsa said. “Although we went through a similar battle to the one you had here.” 

“It was a lengthy battle,” Mulan said. “An unforgettable battle but it could have gone worse.”

“If you come with me, we can get you home,” Elsa said. “In fact, anybody who does not belong to this world can come with me to get home.”

“That’s great!” Rapunzel nearly shouted. “I’m so worried about Eugene.”

“I figure we’re all worried about our kin although mine can handle themselves in a fight,” Merrida said. “But I definitely feel homesick.”

“Then let’s go,” Aladdin said. “I’m worried about Jasmine. We all have homes to go to.”

“I am already home,” Mulan said from off ot the side. “But China will never forget the service you have done our country this day. I’ll never forget any of you.”

“We wouldn’t have been able to do it without your leadership and knowhow,” Rapunzel said. “We would all still be back at that fort, trying to ride out the storm.”

“We would have gone mad on that path,” Merrida said. “You changed our fate. Thank you, Mulan.”

“I’m alive to be reunited with my sister,” Anna said. “Thank you. Go back and reunite with your husband. We’ll be alright now.”

“I do feel a little guilty about leaving you alone,” Aladdin said. “It’s a mess here.”

“China will rebuild,” Mulan said with a comforting hand on Aladdin’s shoulder. “This is not the first time we have survived an invading force. You deserve to be reunited with your loved ones. You all do. If it is possible for you to return, you are always welcome here.”

“From what I can tell, it is entirely possible to return here,” Elsa said. “As long as people remember each other.”

“Who could forget?” Anna said. “We’ll be back to check on you soon, after we check on our own worlds first. There might be more dragons to slay.”

“If you find any dragons,” Mulan said. “Please come back and get me. I am always happy to repay the favor you have done for us.”

“See you soon then,” Rapunzel said. “Lead the way, Anna and Anna’s sister.”

The five of them walked toward the portal and slipped through it one by one. As soon as Aladdin came through the portal, he looked for Jasmine and swept her up into his arms. They kissed for a long time while the others looked around and took things in. The place was less packed than it had been but there were still half a dozen fairies standing around to operate the portal.

“Aladdin!” Jasmine said. “I was worried about you when you disappeared.”

“I was worried about you too,” Aladdin said. “But it sounds like you did a great job in charge here. That’s the princess I fell in love with.”

Jasmine blushed slightly but he was right, she had done a really great job. “Somebody had to step up and this is the land of our people. I couldn’t just stand by but I am glad to have my partner back.”

“Glad to be back,” Aladdin said. “I brought a few guests if you don’t mind.”

“I’m sure we can get them all home,” Jasmine said. “We can do anything together.”

“After this all done, maybe we can travel to some new worlds,” Aladdin said.

“Let’s fix Agrabah first,” Jasmine said. “Then you can show me the worlds.”

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Hawaii Pt. 12

March 12, 2022

“What is going on, Adam?” Belle asked. “You were in your beastly form again a moment ago?” She was already checking him all over for any grievous damage. He was kind of doing the same with her. When they were both satisfied, they embraced again and kissed. When they needed to catch their breath, they spoke again.

“Belle,” Adam said. “I don’t know why but I cannot lie about it. I have been changing my form back and forth without explanation. I am slowly getting a handle on it.” His blue eyes were so serious but Belle could not help but smile and laugh a bit.

“You know that I will accept you in any form you happen to be in,” she said. “History has proven that. However, I will say that The Enchantress is on the other side of that portal. We can ask her.”

Adam’s face went dark but it was not his usual anger that rose up. It was shame instead. “Is she?” he asked softly.

“Darling,” Belle said softly. “I know you think back to those days with guilt but her punishment was far more severe than you deserved. We are not our past. In fact, she helped me find you again. She can’t be all bad.”

Adam sighed. “Then maybe it is time she and I talked again,” he said. “I will try to be civil.”

Belle laughed again. “You don’t have to promise that for my sake,” she said. “I certainly haven’t been civil to her. We can try to be civil together.”

Adam smiled. “Deal,” he said. “but what now?”

“Come back with me to the kingdom of Atlantica and we and some new friends will figure out how we can find our way home from there.”

Adam looked over at Moana, Maui, and Flynn Rider. “What about these heroes?” he asked. “They are as lost as we are.” He looked at Yzma’s unconscious form. “And this villain, we can’t just leave her here to cause more trouble.”

“Bring them along,” Belle said. “We should bring anybody who does not belong here so that they can be returned to their homes. The villain will face judgment somehow. I’m sure Ariel has dungeons of some sort.” She turned to the other three. “You will come along with us, right? We can get you back home.”

“Sounds great!” Maui said before getting elbowed by Moana for being too familiar. “We would be grateful.” He corrected himself slightly.

Moana smiled big. “Thank you,” she said. “We really would appreciate getting back home and your offer of hospitality in the meantime.”

“I don’t really know how I got here,” Flynn said. “It has been no picnic, let me tell you. That lady skeleton on the floor over there talked my ears off. Mostly about that wand. I’ve definitely had better times while tied up. That came out wrong. Hmm. Yes, let’s get out of here as soon as possible.”

Moana was reminded to go and pick up the magic wand. As she was standing back up she remembered something.

“Oh! Wait. Let me radio Lilo and Stitch.” she said. “They’ll think the worst happened if we just disappeared on them.”

“Radio?” Belle asked curiously.

Moana nodded and pulled out a little black box from her satchel. She clicked a button and there was a burst of a hissing sound.

“Lilo,” Moana said into the box. “Are you there?”

“Oh, it’s magic,” Belle said with some satisfaction.

“Technology, my dear,” Adam said softly. “It’s a kind of magic here.”

“Curious,” Belle said.

“Lilo here!” Lilo practically shouted on the other end of the line. “All of the animals turned back into people! Are you all OK?”

“We’re fine, Lilo,” Moana said. The young girl’s exuberance really did remind her of herself at that age. “Everything seems to be resolved and so we’re going. If we don’t leave now, we might miss out on our chance to go back home.”

There was a brief silence. “Will we ever see you again?” Lilo asked.

“I don’t know,” Moana said with as much kindness as she could express. “but maybe. I’d like to visit again if it’s possible.”

“Okay,” Lilo said. “Just remember that wherever you go you are Ohana now and Ohana means family.”

Moana smiled and tried not to tear up. She even thought she saw Maui get a little emotional. “Thank you,” she said. “We will miss you. Take care of yourself, your sister, and Stitch, of course.”

“Bye bye!” Stitch’s voice came from the walkie-talkie.

“Bye Stitch,” Moana said. “be good.” She turned the device off and took a deep breath. She set the walkie-talkie down on a rock and they moved once again toward the portal. Maui reached down and picked up Yzma as they want and carried her over his shoulder. They stepped through and then they stood in the library.

“Welcome to Atlantica,” Ariel said. “I am Princess Ariel and this is my home. Please make yourself comfortable. You are our guests.”

“Thank you,” Moana said. “I’m Princess Moana of Motunui.”

“The name’s Maui,” he said. “Demigod. No big deal.”

“Prince Eugene,” Flynn said. “from Corona but most people call me Flynn Rider.”

“And you must be Prince Adam of France,” Ariel said. “I’ve heard about you. All good things, I promise.

Belle looked around and did not see the Enchantress. “She didn’t leave did she?”

“Just the room,” Tiana said. “You should have seen her face when she saw Adam.”

Both Belle and Adam smirked at that.

“Let’s go find her,” Adam said.

“Let’s,” Belle said with a smile.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Atlantica Pt. 12

February 26, 2022

The Enchantress had gone right to work checking over the ritual site that Belle and Ariel had put together. She made little noises of approval and disapproval as she worked. She gestured with her hands and adjusted things magically, moving candles and chalk lines with pure willpower. Belle felt her temper rising with each sound that the woman made and eventually stepped out of the library to cool down. A little while later, Tiana found her sipping wine in another corner of the palace. Belle looked up as Tiana approached.

“How are you doing?” Tiana asked, sitting down opposite Belle. “Your nerves getting settled?”

Belle sighed and shrugged. “Just being near her drives me crazy,” she said. “thinking of what she did to my husband. I don’t trust her. I can’t trust her.”

“You don’t have to trust her after your experiences,” Tiana said. “I don’t trust her. I know Aurora doesn’t trust her and you can’t pull anything with Esmerelda around. I think Ariel wants to trust her.”

“Ariel has a good heart,” Belle said. “I’m glad that Aurora is around to protect her.”

“Me too,” Tiana said. “As much as I’m ready to get home, I’m glad for the people I’ve met. Yourself included.”

“Oh. I’m not always the best person,” Belle said with a dismissive gesture. “Sometimes I care about books more than people. I know it’s made me judgemental.”

“You are not your past,” Tiana said. “One thing that I have learned is that people can change if they dig down deep. It sounds like you’ve figured some stuff out. You just need to keep doing that work. We all have work to do.”

“Do you think the Enchantress could change?” Belle asked.

“It’s a happy thought,” Tiana said. “We’ll have to wait and see.”

Esmerelda poked her head into the room with a smile. “She’s done,” she said. “Are you ready to come back to the library?”

Belle nodded and stood up and Tiana followed her and Esmerelda back to the library. The Enchantress was front and center as if she was holding court. She was all smiles as she had been since she appeared. It was hard to trust somebody who was nothing but smiles. It was like she was a performer, always on stage.

“I’m actually very impressed with your work,” The Enchantress said. “You were pretty close to achieving a stable portal between worlds. Few mortals would be capable of that. I can only count on two hands the people with that power. Of course, what you made would have torn you apart if you got too close to it. It’s safe now.”

“Sure,” Belle said with plenty of doubt in her voice. “What do we do now?”

“First, I activate it,” the Enchantress said.

She walked slowly over to the edge of the room, glancing at Aurora’s sword for a moment as she moved. Seeing that glance made Belle smile just a little. The Enchantress focused on the center of the room and a portal formed with a rushing sound. It was a swirling maelstrom of energy.

“That looks like it will tear us apart,” Ariel said. “What did you do wrong?”

“Such trust issues,” the Enchantress said with a laugh.

“I’ve had my fill of witches,” Ariel said. “Prove to me that my trust hasn’t been misplaced.”

“Look, you just need to focus on a person, place, or thing with your whole heart and the portal will take you there,” The Enchantress said. “Try it and see. I’ll stand over here and not interfere.”

Belle stepped up to the portal and she could feel a slight tingle as she got close to its energy. She closed her eyes. She thought, of course, about Adam. She thought of the fights they had, him saving her from the wolves, standing up to him, the little kindnesses that had broken the dam and let the love flow. She thought about his smiling face. Both of his smiling faces. She found herself smiling and she noticed the rushing sound had gone away. She opened her eyes and there was Adam but he was back in Beast form. He was standing with a brunette man, a beautiful woman, and a hulk of a man with so many tattoos.

Suddenly, Adam looked at her and his Beast form turned human yet again like it had that day on the castle battlements.

“Belle?” he asked softly.

Belle lept through the portal and into his arms.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Agrabah Pt. 8

February 5, 2022

Jasmine had laid all of the papers out in what looked like the main chamber. It was the biggest open space, at least. She and others set to work pouring through everything to figure out what they could do. Jasmine’s father had made sure that she received a rounded education which included reading in several languages and mathematics. She had not been tutored in magic but her adventures with Aladdin had given her a bit of a crash course. Anybody not looking over the papers worked to set up a defensive perimeter under the watchful eye of Genie or worked to tend to the wounded under the supervision of Elsa.

Jasmine had assembled quite an eclectic group to help her figure things out. An elderly robed man had introduced himself as Merlin, a court magician in a place called England and a lifelong student and teacher of the magic arts. There was also a trio of fairy sisters who called themselves Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather. They seemed to fight a lot but that competition seemed to drive them toward the right answer. An elderly woman named Alma claimed to be the matriarch of the Madrigal family. Finally, there was a skeletal woman named Imelda who was really nice to talk to as soon as one got over her unnerving appearance.

Jasmine and her fellow scholars kept showing each other pages as they slowly organized things and the puzzle came closer to being solved. In the end, it was the fairy Flora and the wizard Merlin who figured it all out. They found that the requisite floor markings were already there and the incantations were deceptively simple. The fairy who called herself Ella’s Fairy Godmother did the actual spellcasting. Jasmine watched it all with amazement. The portal opened with a rushing sound and filled the place with a bright light. Jasmine could see flickering images on the surface of the portal but none of them made any sense.

“The portal has been stabilized,” Merlin said as if that was something he said every day. “One simply has to focus it to arrive at a particular destination.”

“And how do we do that?” Jasmine asked.

“You just need to focus on your heart’s desire,” Flora said. “I’m sure you know how to do that, Princess.”

Jasmine thought about that, remembering the moment she had confronted her father about wanting to marry Aladdin and how that convinced him to change the rules. She had been ready to marry Aladdin no matter what but had been relieved by her father’s change of heart. Thinking of that only reminded her of her duty to her country.

“I can’t just leave to follow my heart’s desire,” Jasmine said. “I have responsibilities here. We need to start sending people home to make sure their own lands are safe. They have been prisoners here for too long.” Besides that, Jasmine was sure a lot of the people here knew a lot about their heart’s desire. She got the feeling that the prison had held only the people who were most dangerous to Gothel’s plans. Whether they were strong, smart, or magical, they all seemed to be heroes of some sort.

“A noble sentiment, your highness,” Mattias said. “I know there is a reason that I followed you into battle.” There Mattias was standing next to Elsa to whom he had been loyal before Jasmine.

Jasmine smiled. “Will you go first, Mattias?” she asked. “You may be needed in your Arendelle. You as well, Queen Elsa.”

“I’ll stick around a little longer,” Elsa said. “but I would appreciate you returning to Arendelle to check on our people, Mattias. If my sister is there, assure her that I am alright. If she is not, I will bring the true Queen of Arendelle back with me soon. I promise.”

“I can’t refuse an order from a Queen,” Mattias said. “I guess I will go first. Good luck to you all.”

Mattias stood in front of the portal and took a deep breath. The flickering images started to calm until they stabilized into an image of the tall spires of Castle Arendelle. Mattias and Elsa gasped and Jasmine could see how brightly they smiled with relief. Mattias looked back at Elsa and saluted and, without another word, stepped through the portal. He was gone and the portal resumed flickering.

“Alright,” Jasmine said. “I suppose we should start getting these people home. Let’s get people organized and start giving them their heart’s desire.”

She turned to the crowd and started beckoning over people to explain how things were going to work. Elsa, Merlin, Flora, and many others did the same.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Hawaii Pt. 11

December 4, 2021

Moana drove the golf cart into the jungle with Adam in the passenger seat and Maui hanging off of the back. They roared down the paths with Adam struggling to operate the tracking device that Jumba had given them. He shouted directions to Moana when they needed to turn and Moana drove expertly. The vehicle was very different from the boats she was used to but she had definitely adapted to it. She was a born navigator after all.

“I think we’re getting close!” Adam called out. “It’s blinking faster!” The little box might as well have been magic to Adam. He still was not accustomed to this technology. He knew that his father in law was an inventor but not even Maurice’s most outlandish creations came close to the things from this world.

Maui was absolutely excited and was whooping and hollering on the back of the golf cart. He had his hook at the ready and was itching for a fight. Moana always hoped for a peaceful solution but she was always glad to have the muscle at her side. She had no idea if Adam would be ready for a fight. The man looked uneasy and out of his element. Moana never met an element that she would back down from.

“Through there!” Adam called out and pointed.

Moana aimed the golf cart over rough terrain and jumped it over a small gap. Adam barely held onto the device. After a few more yards, Moana brought the cart to a stop. In the path were several tigers and they did not look peaceful.

Maui whooped and turned into a big cat himself and ran into battle. Moana grabbed an oar from the back of the cart and rushed after Maui. Adam froze, unsure of what to do. He had been taught some swordplay as young aristocrat but those years were well behind him. He had let everything decline in his beastly years and now when his new friends needed him, he was having trouble reaching for The Beast. He tried and tried but he looked at his hands and they were still human.

Moana and Maui were outnumbered but they did not falter a bit. They were used to working as a team and they were handling the tigers well. Adam watched as the two worked in tandem, keeping the tigers at bay. He also watched as four more tigers showed up. They did not see the new tigers. A bolt of fear shot deep into Adam’s core and he felt the change happening even as he bolted into the fight. Before he knew it, he was fighting like an animal again. He flashed back to his fight with the wolves to save Belle. Maybe The Beast could be used for good. With the three of them fighting together, the tigers were sent running into the jungle. None of them wanted to kill the tigers since they assumed they were more transformed locals.

Adam had some trouble climbing back into the golf cart in Beast form but he managed and soon they were off again, the device in Adam’s furry paws. They drove on, heading deeper into the jungle. They were soon traveling underground and by that time Adam had reverted to human form. It made it easier to follow the tracker in the dim light of the cave. They kept going until they entered a large chamber. Sitting on a throne was a spindly woman holding a wand. There was a handsome guy chained to the wall.

“Who the heck are you?” The woman called out, standing up.

“I’m Moana of Motunui, that’s Maui of well, everywhere, and Adam of France,” Moana said. “Who are you? Are you responsible for all of this?”

“I am the great Yzma,” the woman yelled as if that meant anything. “Now what should I change you into?” She raised the wand.

Before anybody could do anything, the man chained to the wall got loose and hit her from behind, sending the wand flying. Maui turned into a hawk and caught it.

The man smiled at them as he tied up Yzma. “Hello, the name’s Flynn Ryder,” he said with a dazzling smile. “I was just waiting for a distraction after I picked my locks. Thanks for helping out.”

“Well, that was anticlimactic,” Adam said.

Poor Unfortunate Souls: China Pt. 11

November 27, 2021

The dragon’s gigantic face rose above the edge of the building and the heroes were prepared for the last stand. Those reptilian eyes filled with bright green fire. The dragon had new bleeding wounds across its face, near the right side of its mouth. As they watched, the dragon erupted into purple smoke and green flame and that green flame formed itself into a woman’s form. The woman stood imperiously tall and carried a large staff. She looked at them with absolute disdain in her eyes.

“Heroes,” she said dismissively. “When will you accept that this land is mine now. Any resistance will be met with death.” She spoke like royalty, her diction impeccable.

Mulan stepped forward, anger flashing in her eyes. “China belongs to its people,” she called out. “Who are you to say otherwise?”

The woman laughed. As her mouth opened wider in that laugh, blood dripped from the wound on her face. She did not even react to the obvious pain she must have been in. “I am Maleficent, child,” she said directly to Mulan. “You will say my name with respect before you die. If you say it now, your deaths will be quick and relatively painless.”

“None of us are dying,” Aladdin said. “We’re going to save this land.”

“Then we’ll find our way back to our worlds,” Rapunzel said.

“And our families and friends,” Anna said.

“For China,” Mulan said. “and for all of the worlds. It’s time to slay the dragon.”

“So be it,” Maleficent said. “Your deaths will not be quick if I can help it. I gave you your chance.”

“No more talk then,” Mulan said. “Time for action.” She raised her sword. Her new friends readied their weapons as well.

Maleficent slowly reformed into her dragon form, towering above them in no time. The battle began in earnest. The heroes had to keep moving to avoid the sheer volume of Maleficient’s dragon form and the occasional fire-breathing attack. They darted in with their swords when they could. Out of them, only Mulan and Merrida had any combat training and only Mulan and Aladdin had real combat experience. The others were holding their own, though. They had to or they would be dead.

Merrida fired arrows from a little bit of rubble she had climbed up on, nailing Maleficent with bullseye after bullseye. Maleficent eventually got tired of it and swung her tail. Merrida barely avoided the attack, tumbling down from her perch and landing hard. The string on her bow broke. Rapunzel ran to help her up as quick as she could.

“I’m out,” Merrida said. “My bow is broken!”

“I’ve got an idea!” Mulan called out. “Rapunzel! Use your hair!” She rushed toward the dragon and Aladdin ran with her. “Aladdin, both sides!”

The two of them dodged a lunge from the dragon.

“What!?” Aladdin yelled. “What does that mean?”

“Like a pincer,” Mulan said as she dodged a blast of fire.

Meanwhile, Rapunzel had plucked a long hair from her head. She wrapped that hair around one end of Merrida’s bow and then the other. As soon as she did, she closed her eyes and focused and the string glowed with golden light and tightened itself. Merrida knocked an arrow which also turned bright and golden.

Mulan and Aladdin drove their swords into the dragon’s neck at the same time from the right and the left. Merrida aimed her shot. Maleficent cried out in pain and Merrida fired into her open mouth. The arrow traveled deep into the dragon and then that arrow exploded. Maleficent exploded in green fire and cried out. Mulan swung her sword again and decapitated the dragon.

The battle was over and the exhausted heroes sat on top of a burning palace in the middle of the Imperial City. The flames surrounded them. There was no way out but they had slain the dragon and China would be free. Mulan saw Maleficent’s staff and picked it up and desperately tried to work it. The flames were so close now. She focused on the staff and it lit up. There was a sudden loud sound and a blast of cold air spread out over the palace quickly.

“It looks like this place needed to cool off,” a voice called out.

Anna sprang to her feet and hugged her sister. “Elsa!” she shouted. “I knew you’d come!”

Poor Unfortunate Souls: Atlantica Pt. 11

November 13, 2021

Belle turned to her host, Ariel, her eyes wide. “We can’t listen to her, she’s a vindictive fairy,” she said. She turned to Aurora. “Can we arrest her?”

“Fairy?” Aurora asked. “I was practically raised by fairies. They’re not all bad.” Yet she eyed The Enchantress warily, fingers just touching the hilt of her sword. She had known three wonderful fairies but also one truly horrible one. She was not so naive to trust this stranger right away.

“She cursed my husband!” Belle said. Adam, Lumiere, and Mrs. Potts had told her a lot about the night that this strange woman had transformed everybody in the castle. Her curse had almost reached maturity which would have kept everybody from regaining their human forms. It seemed overly cruel to Belle.

“People can change,” Tiana said. She thought of her own husband and her own personal journey.

“I can at least be a gracious host,” Ariel said. “Welcome to my castle, Enchantress. Can I get you anything?” She gave her best smile, trying to do what she thought Eric or her father would do. She had had such little time to train in the etiquette of human royal life and had been in battle so long that it was hard to remember when things had been normal.

“A spot of tea would be nice,” The Enchantress said. “Thank you.”

“I’ll go make some real quick,” Tiana said. She kind of wanted to get out of that room. Tensions were high and she was pretty sure that Belle had not blinked since The Enchantress had appeared. She walked toward the kitchens.

“Please, have a seat,” Ariel said, gesturing toward a chair. She sat down herself and looked at Belle who begrudgingly sat down as well.

“See?” The Enchantress said with a smile. “If your husband had been this kind, things would have been much easier.” Belle tensed at that. “A joke, my dear.”

“I’m not laughing,” Belle said crossly, folding her arms over her chest.

“The truth is, I have owed your husband and his servants an apology for quite some time,” The Enchantress said. “That curse was probably a bit much. I was looking for somebody to punish and I unleashed on the first person to anger me. If that also harmed you by extension, I apologize.”

Belle blinked in surprise. She was not sure what to say to that.

“Please excuse me for cutting to the chase,” Ariel said. “What is your intention in coming here? We’re sort of in the middle of a crisis at the moment.”

“Yes. I saw you slay the Sea Witch. Well, I came to offer my assistance,” The Enchantress said. “I could feel magical turmoil through the planes. Worlds that were once separate are now connected. The citizens of those worlds have been shuffled like so many cards.”

“We suspected as much,” Belle said. “Although, I suppose that confirmation of that theory is appreciated.” She offered that last statement reluctantly. She was still on her guard and appreciated that Aurora had not relaxed either.

“How can you help us?” Ariel asked. “We managed to open a portal through our own research. We were on the verge of reuniting with our loved ones.”

The Enchantress shrugged. “You have done well on your own, I must admit,” she said. “However, without a guide with power, it will be like groping around in the dark. I am a minor power. I can improve your travel options a thousandfold.”

Tiana brought in the tea with some beignets she had whipped up. Ariel gestured for her to sit and she did. Ariel trusted Tiana not only to cook but as an ally who knew a lot about logistics.

“What do you get in return?” Belle asked.

The Enchantress waived the question away with a laugh. “I’m not asking for anything,” She said. “I’m not the type to ask for first-born children. In truth, you have done me a great favor already in killing Ursula. The possibility that you might take out more rivals has me very willing to offer my assistance.”

“Rivals?” Ariel asked, a little taken aback. “Ursula was your rival? A rival in what?”

“She was a minor rival,” The Enchantress said dismissively. “Anybody who wields magic on her level or above has the potential to cause trouble for me. I would not oppose those who use magic sparingly or benevolently but Ursula and her new allies are unpredictable. If they got hungry enough for power, they could try and steal mine. I can’t have that. I already know that their little coven has imprisoned several of my kind. I will not let that stand.”

“Do you think we can trust her?” Ariel asked the room but looked pointedly at Belle.

“I think it’s worth a shot,” Tiana said.

“We’re kind of at her mercy,” Aurora said. “We’ve already seen how powerful she is compared to us.”

Belle sighed. “Aurora has a point,” she said. “and I actually trust her this time.” She had a hunch that The Enchantress was telling the truth. It was the same feeling that led her to befriend The Beast who had become her husband.

“I guess we’re accepting your help,” Ariel said. “Let’s get down to it. Our friends and loved ones are still out there.”


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