Dora Dent and the Eye of Vamstratier

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Preparing for war, everything is not as it seems. Separated from her father, she must fight to find him, but she is soon issued with a mission: To find the Eye in the house of none other than Sergeant McLoeservy, in this terrifying battle for survival, Dora will face her worst fears yet.

Submitted: January 05, 2013

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Submitted: January 05, 2013

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Dora Dent and the Eye of Vamstratier

 

Dora Dent woke with a start. “I personally think we should have given her more coffee, Barnaby, her waking up like that is enough to scare the poor girl to death!” said Civitri. “What’s going on; is that tea?” Dora moved her head to realise she was covered in bandages. “This is Civitri; she’s a top maid in Euburm you know, offered to help. You know, after your accident.” She felt her head burn in pain at the hearing of these words; another short, sharp sear brought the whole ordeal back to her. She had fallen whilst walking up to the Familiar Tree, for a small hole in the ground had told her she couldn’t skip freely. “Barnaby, pass me my Tabular Timekeeper will you?” She called out, resting her head down on her pillow again. “You really ought to get some sleep you know, you’ve been through a terrible ordeal and you shouldn’t be playing about with-” Barnaby turned towards Civitri and sighed at her.

“OK, I think she understands Civitri, she’s hardly died, has she?”

“Cheers Barnaby.” she replied. The rest of the patients in the Stability Tabernacle hadn’t made it through the night, but she didn’t look at them, for she knew that the war between the Fertanians and the Cerphandales had started again, and she had grown tired of spears and bits of rock being thrown next to the tent. The Stability Tabernacle was the name of the large resource tent for all of the injured soldiers in the war; unfortunately it had to be placed next to the battle ground, for no other places would suit Civitri.

A stone had been thrown through the front wall from the almighty cacophony outside a good seven minutes ago, but to Dora, time made no sense in Fertania and it didn’t seem like it bore a good chance of being able to. “Come on Dora, I know you’re going to be just fine for mine and Yvonne’s wedding in the summer.” Barnaby murmured to her, with a healthy smile on his face. Dora had forgotten about the wedding, but many things seemed to slot into place in her mind, of why, over the cause of last year, she had first met Yvonne Harrow, and not realised that she was Barnaby’s fiancée. A small delivery man made an appearance at the front gap, bearing several parcels and an old man beside him, with a very familiar, warm smile. “Professor Yohgorosk!” Dora shouted, clambering out from her bed, unexpectedly falling back to the ground as she felt the full force of her head injury. “My dear Dora, what have you done, I came

just in time, they’re still fighting out there you know!” He moved away from the deliverer, and headed towards a contused looking Dora. “How are you, my dear, have I come at the right time, or has everything happened yet?” Dora and the rest of them looked completely perplexed. Professor Yohgorosk made a glance towards a rather abashed Yvonne, and formed a silent word with his lips that bore the message- ‘Oh’. Yvonne wanted to ask what he meant, but she did not, instead, she surveyed him carefully, and then walked back into the main section of the tent. “I have a letter for Dorothy,” he smoothed the letter label with his forefinger, “Dent, Dorothy Dent anyone?” Yvonne took it and threw it onto Dora’s bed, when she held it up to light; she couldn’t believe who the sender was. “I can’t read it now,” she said to everyone, putting it into her handbag and trying to disbelieve such an unimaginable occurrence. She stopped to go outside for the remainder of the evening and came back inside to see Yvonne and Barnaby having a heated argument. “…Well, I suppose not, but I think it’s right we should tell her!” she yelled, her face screwed up in anger. Dora stepped in further, seeing Yvonne’s eyes meet hers; and the solemn expression on her face told her that she was keeping a secret. “Tell me what?” Dora snapped back at the two of them, her jaw lowering in fury. “I-it was nothing, look; you ought to be in bed!” She tore open the letter underneath the blankets, frowning uncontrollably to herself, and remembered who the sender was, as she peeled back an official looking seal from the letter written in Classic Fertanian. It read:

My surreptitious friend,

Do you realise that I have always known what will happen in our final days to come, I myself believe Professor Yohgorosk’s theory and he has never let me down yet. The other reason I’m writing this letter to you is to try to relieve you of this hatred you have for me. I’m sentenced to execution upon the fifth of January next year. Shortly after I was arrested, I felt my absence most unsuccessful last year. I’m  not very well at the moment, as I have lived many years of luxury, and sitting on the edge of my seat worrying that my unhealthy life choices could affect my latter years. So just beware, that I always lived the moments we shared. I’m moving to Serbridge tonight, that’s where I’m going to be staying until my execution case comes out.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, James.

Questions like: Why is Sergeant McLoeservy being executed? Filled her head, and  

it left her in deep thoughts for the remainder of the evening. She crept out of her bed at three o’clock in the morning and noticed Barnaby was still awake. “Come and look at this,” she began, but he knew he was very tired, and a small grunt told her he did not want to get up. “It’s addressed to me - it’s from Sergeant McLoeservy.” She replied gingerly, and seeing his eyes widening and him stepping out of bed, she went back over to hers, removed her head bandages and showed him the letter. “Blimey!” he yelled, replacing it to her bedside. “It didn’t sound like him at all! And why was he saying I’m sentenced to execution for?” For the rest of the few hours they had till dawn, Dora’s mind turned summersaults as she contemplated paying a last visit to Sergeant McLoeservy, just before his execution. “I mean, it wouldn’t hurt really would it?”

“OK, Dora, round the front way then.” Techmiere interjected. “What do you mean, round the front, we’re going round the back, so we’re not seen!” She replied. “But-the- no Dora no!” Barnaby replied. She had made it clear that she wanted to go without the protection of the guards and that the rendezvous would be surreptitious; with an inkling of anxiety over Barnaby and Yvonne’s argument attracting too much negative attention. The main idea of visiting was very surreptitious to Dora, hoping she could speak to him about Professor Yohgorosk’s most recent prophecy and his letter. “I suppose, well, we’ll have to go now-only the sundown’s about to start and we wouldn’t want to be too late, would we?” Barnaby called out from behind the bed, everybody preparing to go. “Want to take a couple of Grenteries do you?” Dora disliked the idea of taking a vegetable with her on a dark Sunday evening, and failed to see the relevance, but she took it to please him. “You’re not going to ruin this for either of us, are you?” Dora scowled back at him. “I’m not going to say anything!” she shouted, pulling on her cardigan and heading for the split in the edge of the big top. She hadn’t realised how large it looked from the outside, the wind battling against the fabric, torn at its height, the opening flying in the air. Then he came towards them.

“Professor Yohgorosk! What are you doing here-you’re supposed to be in bed!” Yvonne shouted at him, thinking that the adventure ahead would surely over excite him somehow. But he looked very keen to speak to Dora, running towards her in nothing but his pyjamas. “I have something very important to tell you Dora, you must search for the Eye!” his lips quivering with anxiety, his face looked completely torn. He stretched out some dusty parchment from his jacket.

Discovery at Its Peak

 

“What ruddy Eye? Dora we have to go!” Techmiere shrieked.

But she raised her hand in front of his countenance, and stared at Professor Yohgorosk, her eyes travelling to the parchment. “Tis the Eye!” he repeated, pointing at the parchment, revealing what looked like blueprints on the front. “A long time ago, a group of researchers discovered an old, malevolent sculpture, known today as The Eye of Vamstratier, said to contain the most feared and hated items in the entire galaxy, it’s up to us to contain the Eye, and conceal it for the benefit of the Fertanian race!” He shoved it into her hands, showed her the blueprints and said “Now, you have to believe me, Sergeant McLoeservy isn’t being executed, he just wants you to think that, the Eye is hidden at his house, we must break in and take it, he has the Eye!” He stared at Dora, hoping somehow the information seemed plausible to her, the information seemed to weigh her down several kilograms, as she tried to take in everything said; but it was no use. “Blimey Professor, slow down-w-what do you mean the Eye is hidden at his house?” Professor Yohgorosk did not answer; he just rolled his eyes at Barnaby.

After a long wait, they agreed to go the next day, when the War stopped, and when they could finally understand the whole of Professor Yohgorosk’s statement. “So, what you’re saying is,” Techmiere began, her face covered in a blanket of concern, “You think that Sergeant McLoeservy and his family have got this-egg thing?” He nodded and ran back into his room; they knew too well what he was doing. “Oh come on Barnaby, what he’s saying might be true, you know! Just let him come with us!” Dora pleaded. When Barnaby had finally and reluctantly, nodded his head to confirm, they set off in the large trifle. There was barely even enough room to hold all of them, it was a weak engine, and Techmiere had had to admit that she wasn’t insured. “Right, the plan is- we’ll fly over to the house, in private, and head for the back entrance, Dora, use your Tabular Timekeeper to make yourself flat, and then you can squeeze through the barbed- wire through to the door, it will be left open, he always leaves it open, nothing can get past the barbed wire, you know?” Techmiere called at Dora from the front of the trifle, keen to see her and tell her of the plan. Dora nodded, with a very reluctant mind; she had to agree that it was by far the best way to enter. After the trifle soared towards the yellow mountains in the distance, they knew that they

were very close to the main castle now, seeing the lawn and the barbed-wire, Dora gulped with fear. Dora looked downwards at her Tabular Timekeeper and felt a sudden swerve of realisation float through her. “Barnaby, where’s my Dad?” She yelled out at him. The halcyon of her lifetime with her father swept past her, and she remembered when he was there, being told of the War, and the Cerphandales. “He’s had to be taken back to Earth, just for the summer mind; his memory hasn’t been depleted, don’t worry, he still has the same recollection, Dora.” Barnaby replied. The journey seemed to depress her greatly, and she even felt like dropping to sleep, trying to ignore the sound of the crashing wind against her. The engine rattled beneath her, letting her know very formatively that they were landing, and indicated that they were nearing an inquisitive looking stretch of land, which as Barnaby had said, they would be landing. With a great blob, loud, but not too explicit for the public gaze, the trifle had reached land, with several berries scattered across the vegetable farm. “Everyone got their hipflasks?” Barnaby called out, making Dora roll her eyes in exasperation. Just under a pile of nettles, Dora could make out shining metal, twisted and turned to make it as deadly as possible. “Right Dora, good luck,” Techmiere began, handing her the Tabular Timekeeper. “If it gets too risky, you just shout, OK?”

“Thanks. Right, step back everyone, I’m going in.” Not even believing what she was saying, she fastened her Tabular Timekeeper to her chest, and flicked back the miniscule lever at the top, making everything blur before her eyes. No Fertanians had ever seen what people would do under the effects, as they had become very rare and the designer had only ever made one, before his untimely death. She extended her hand, forgetting the angle she was in, stretched to the width of wafer, she saw the clearing beneath. “Everything going all right?” Berginum called out to her. “Yeah, I think I can see it now, I’m just holding on.” The wire neared her face, twisting menacingly with every time Dora tried to slip through the gap. When all of a sudden, Dora called out-

“I’m in!” Dora yelled, from behind the clearing. “So what do I do now?”

“Right,” Techmiere began, grasping control a second time, “Find the red switch at the bottom of the grass, next to the door.” She stumbled through thick mud, trying to recollect the details of what Techmiere had told her. The torchlight was very dim, and only showed a minute reflection of maroon against the doorframe. “That’s the one!” She shouted out, biting her nails with anxiety.

The barbed wire shrunk down, as if alive, and seemed to melt into the grass like molten plastic at the second Dora had placed her hand against the button.“Eurgh! What’s that horrible smell?” shrieked Yvonne, grasping her nose. Professor Yohgorosk seemed to be smiling, as if nothing had worried him for the entire journey and the time Dora had reached the button. Dora told the group to run back, and not go through the clearing until she said, for she was starting to hear muffled voices through the door. Switching the torch off, Dora placed herself on the grass, looking like a sheet of green paper. “…No I suppose we mustn’t. I think my little plan’s worked,” a small, muffled giggle could be heard from the room, “Anyway, she could be here any minute, then I’ll get my hands on her. The Red Enclosure shall take her over anyway, I just want to make her suffer-”

“STOP!” An unrecognised voice called from the same spot. “Sorry master, but I don’t think we should be speaking too loudly, somebody could hear-”

BANG. The sound of, to what Dora recognised as a lifeless body dropping to the ground was heard, and an eerie silence followed in the room. Dora tried to prevent herself from breathing, but luckily the sound of hard boots became more muffled, with every step; Sergeant McLoeservy had walked away. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief, but nobody could sit and contemplate the conversation, they had to get on with their job. After Dora had checked that he was definitely gone, she ushered them back towards her. “Right,” the usual voice continued, “We take a left through the living room, don’t worry, because at this moment, he is out taking his evening stroll, and head down to the cellar, that’s where it’s hidden.” Each face turned towards Techmiere. “Where did you get all this from?” Dora called. Techmiere made a small gesture towards Professor Yohgorosk, whom by now, looked extremely worried and more energised than Dora had ever seen him, tickling his beard with fear. “I think it’s only fair that we follow the plan.” he sounded. They crept though the many blades of grass; petrified at the hearing of any sound. Dora had not de-activated her Tabular Timekeeper yet, making the journey very difficult for her as she couldn’t rotate; fixed in a two-dimensional position. The back entrance was visible through the fog, the door perched open against a lopsided tree. The main gate was now shut and Dora could make out that the barbed-wire had suddenly re-appeared in the place of the clearing; assuming it had grown back again. The smell was gone, replaced with a cloud of fog, which blurred

her vision greatly; as of the others. Dora had lost all of them, all that lay in front of her was the night air. She tried to extend her arm, but it merely pointed sideways under the effects of her contraption. She felt for her Tabular Timekeeper, tapped the bottom with her forefinger, and breathed a loud sigh, as she felt her body return to its normal angle; with three dimensions once more. She felt that all the time she had spent trying to find the button; she had made the chances of finding them even more difficult. The walls whispered at her, as if pulling her in to their winding cords.

We are seldom heard but frequently seen; Upon your travels you will find the green, Be wary of our winding walls For the creature is coming, the day one falls.

Beware our frightful verse, And remember our sacred curse; As you take yourself to our frail room, Be sure to remember that all flowers are in bloom.

“Dora, for god’s sake wake up!” Techmiere shouted at her, peering out of the window, blocking the light from the chandelier behind him. “It’s so dangerous, we’re lucky we got away when we did… I’m sorry I couldn’t find you, the fog and everything…”

“No, it’s fine, honestly.” Dora knew she was making a down-right lie; she was not fine, her head bursting with pain, and her wondering what the song had meant; she knew that it was real in some way. The walls were arched around them, the carpets soaked in green, it made her feel even more fatigued than usual. “Right, well, we’re in now, Professor, you can take over now.” The usual voice whispered over to her in the silence. The torches barely illuminated the surfaces in the house, each one fitted with the worst batteries. “Come on Dora, we’ve got to keep going, you can’t give up!” Barnaby sat beside her, and stroked her face, a tear dropped down her cheek. The stairway was luring them to go down further, and Dora had reluctantly toyed with the idea of going back to Euburm, or the Stability Tabernacle, anywhere in her mind that was safe. Techmiere left Dora with Barnaby in the room and went on with the others, they were going to look for anything that would tell them where they would need to find the Eye. The torchlight made it hard to make out anything; she grabbed a candlestick from the furthest mantelpiece, and extended her arm, feeling the ominous heat releasing

 from the wax; illuminating the shape of a deformed body lying on the floor. The face was unmistakeable- “Professor Yohgorosk!” Techmiere shouted. “Look!” Ushering the rest of them forwards, they peered over her shoulder, each and every one of their countenances filled with surprise and anxiety. His body lay on the carpet, his hands curled in a gruesome grasp, his innocence of youth vanished, as if he had had all of the joy and felicitation destroyed and completely wiped from him. Shrunken down to the size of a rat, he lay; his eyes wide open, eerily staring downwards at their feet.

*

“Dora, oh god, I’ve forgotten to tell you, Yvonne and I are getting married this evening!” Dora beamed at Barnaby with intense delight, her face filled with immense joy; for once, she felt determined to go on, not worried at all with what the house would throw at her, all the traps and monsters waiting for her in the basement would have to be prepared, because she was grinning with glee for the first time in two years - her best friend was getting married this evening, and she would be there to witness it, smiling at the front, happy that everything would somehow add up and become clear. She smelt the odour of burning fabric which seemed to dilapidate her strong halcyon, making her stand up and investigate. “Come on Barnaby, you know what I say, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” He beamed at her, in a youthful smile she had never seen him wear before. A sudden jolt deafened the room, and left it in an eerie silence. “What-was-that?” Barnaby screamed, picking himself up from the floor. The jolt sounded again, it was much worse than ever, Dora stumbled, and felt her ankle crunch against the hard ground. “Argh!” She screamed, limping consistently. The floor split open beneath them, making the pair sprint to the side, deflecting the wood splints, which were now showering the air. And without warning- “OH MY GOD!” Dora yelled, falling through the air to see the others down beneath her. Her hair scrambled in a tangled mess, she felt her ankle seize to resist poring over with pain, she then felt a loud thud which silenced her for a third time, but it was her dropping to the ground dramatically this time that made everything seem more violent for her in Fertania. “Dora, my goo-

dness, what happened?” Thomas yelled. “Professor Yohgorosk was OK, he just fainted you see. The shock of those quakes must have deafened him or something.” Dora breathed a loud sigh of relief, and tried to get up, which she more-than-regretted afterwards. “Ouch!” She keeled over in pain, tugging at her ankle to try to stop it, but the pain proved truly relentless. “Hang on, who’s he?” She called out, ignoring the rest of them poring over her now destroyed ankle. “It’s fine, just tell me-who is this?” she repeated. “Well, this is Alberto Abalos, he’s a Spanish Earthener, do you speak the language by any chance Dora? Only he doesn’t speak any Fertanian.” Dora shook her head, she wasn’t really interested in him, her ankle was bleeding from the wood in addition to throbbing with pain; it was now twisted completely. “Hola”, came his voice, a certain awkwardness filled the room, not only was it Dora kneeling over the bed which was now covered in plaster from the ceiling, but mostly how much she took to him. “Erm- hola.” She replied, stuttering. “Eres un Fertanián, sí?” He bent his head over.

“Erm, what? Oh no, no I’m human.” He looked extremely discombobulated by her sudden apparition, but Dora seemed to contemplate on why this would not be suprising after all of the damage she had made. “Alberto,” Daniel called in what seemed like an unnecessarily slow tone of voice, “Can-you-take-these-to-the-basement-please?” Alberto did not seem to reply, just shrugged his shoulders in an I-can’t-understand tone. “Oh!” Techmiere shouted, her hand in her bag, “I think I’ve got it!” She yelled, pulling out what looked like a Spanish book. She scrolled through the pages before she found- “Alberto, puedes-tomar-estos-al-sótano-por favor?” He nodded his head excitedly, and ran out to the cases with sudden, foreign enthusiasm. “We really need to get a Spanish Fertanian, someone that’s read up on the Spanish Language before we get Earthener exchange students, I suppose don’t we?” said Dora. Her ankle slowly relieving of pain in all of the curiosity of Alberto. “We’ve still got to go in though, we can’t hang around, we’ve got to get that Eye. Dora, you have to trust me.” Dora nodded very, very-reluctantly. The cases were not taken upstairs as Dora had expected, she was startled to see Alberto dropping them down the ladder leading to the cellar. “In these cases are not our clothes,” began Barnaby. “These are the instruments we will use to defend us against what the creatures down below throw at us, it is highly guarded.” The main reason why they were entering was because they had to get the Eye-but Dora guessed otherwise.

The Splenetic Gas Chambers

 

The ladder was rusty and old, and Dora caught her hand in between two ladder parts, shaking off the despicable mud and debris from the edges. “There must be another way down into the cellar, mustn’t there?” She called, spitting fresh mud from her mouth. “Dora, I’m sorry, but there isn’t any other way of getting down here, as this is where the Eye is hidden. I suppose if we can get out of here quickly enough we might just manage to not die.” Barnaby replied, with his face completely emotionless, she could tell he was keen on looking ahead. A bright light was emitting from the depths of the tunnel in her view. The wide void of pragmatism in Dora’s anamnesis grew wider and wider in every step she took towards the bright light which reflected several doors in the distance. “Ssh,” she called, “I can hear talking coming from the distance!” She was not wrong, for Sergeant McLoeservy himself was taking a turn in a distant corridor, not to her notice. Techmiere pointed at his physical obscurity reflected in the candlelight against the walls. They fled to a wide gap in a door opening, very wary that he was approaching. His footsteps grew louder, every bone in Dora’s body was alive with heat, white hot knives were piercing her skin; her head filling with disaster, every breath of air she took was forced to be inhibited, she felt widely obliged to take a further step backwards, towards the wall. “She can’t come here tonight, for my untimely illness was not expected, my plan has failed, and one of my allegedly most faithful servants has betrayed me.” He stretched a hand in the pale gloom of light, piercing the still air with his swift movements as he sighed, heavily. He drew his breath again. A circular strand of gold was removed from his fist, Dora gasped when she saw what he had removed, and began to doubt herself.

“If I denude my Tabular Timekeeper, and re-programme it to do the opposite as its usual function, and also set it to be permanent, I could strip your body completely and remove your skin in a heartbeat. It would expand you to full capacity; all of your skin would rupture outwards, leaving you with nothing but the bare bones and skin-less flesh to live with.” He was observing another shadow in the dim light, his eyes glowing maliciously, beads of sweat poured down Dora’s face. “No-no, please master, it wasn’t my fault, my mother forced me to do it otherwise she would kill me for disobeying you, I had to control Mr. Yohgorosk to tell them.” Dora shot a glance towards Professor Yohgorosk, who looked deeply sinful. Without another word, Dora apprehended the unmistakeable sound of a hand, the same hand that had previously entered the air; reach into a shallow pocket, and the clinking of gold told her he had the device in his hand. Click. “Aaaargh!” A lifeless body dropped to the floor. Dora and her now fatuous group of friends looked utterly disgusted, but still kept a very close distance to the wall. Dora took a sideward glance at Professor Yohgorosk with utmost disbelief. How could he have been brainwashed in her care? How hadn’t she noticed? “Like I said,” he began, in an even more cruelly carried voice, “One of my allegedly most faithful servants has betrayed me.” Dora gulped with terror. She made to whisper across at Yvonne. “How come he’s got a Tabular Timekeeper too?”

“Who said that?!” He coiled backwards like some hideous snake, his teeth snarling dangerously before his countenance. Everyone crept slightly further backwards, and remained not to say anything. Bang. He span round again, on the spot. Setting off at a forwards sprint, Dora crept back behind a pillar that was further from his line of vision and dexterity. He was soon drowned by the darkness, with his running sound quietening. The crack in the wall in which Dora used to see him was small enough to go undetected, however it was fluted outwards so that she could see him, excluding vice-versa. “D’you think he heard us?” She heard Techmiere call from her right side. “No, but he bloody well heard something. Let’s get to the Eye now!” And so they crept forwards, backing against a wall with another fluted pillar drawing alongside it. “Right Techmiere, you have a look at that lock there,” Professor Yohgorosk gestured towards a heavily secured and bolted doorway in the distance, “I need to have a quick chat with Dora. Barnaby, you help her; Thomas and Daniel, you can wait here.”

“But wh-”

His voice turned sour and sincere. “Wait.” He led Dora to the pillar, away from the light and the others and looked even more serious than she had ever seen him in her whole four years of travelling in Fertania. “Now before you ask,” he began, smoothing out the untidy black hair from within his coat hood, “I don’t know how I was controlled, but there are much more important things to discuss.” He pulled on what looked to Dora like a pair of

dilapidated glasses, and began to speak. “When you first met me, last year, I gave you a prophecy. After that I can’t remember anything. Now my instincts tell me that I must have been controlled, by-well, you-know-what.

“That’s when I asked you about that thing you told me, just before I investigated McLoeservy’s room at Barnaby and Yvonne’s!” For once in Dora’s life, everything was beginning to slot into place in her mind like some wondrous jigsaw puzzle. He slowly nodded, with an unexpected glee. “For all we know that prophecy could come true at any moment, I am and have always have been a very gifted person, not always accurate, but have always served a purpose in the world of mythology.” Dora’s eyebrows lowered significantly, feeling great boredom. “You can roll your eyes as many times as you like missy, but this is important!” A surge of fear tickled Dora’s throat. She had never seen Professor Yohgorosk like this before. “Sorry.”

“Anyway, what I think we need to find out and what I think is important too is why the hell does McLoeservy have a Tabular Timekeeper like you? The crafter only made one model!”

Yes. Why indeed,” a horribly familiar and identifiable cold voice, which filled the entire cellar, croaked through the darkness. Two icy, sharp hands seized her and Professor Yohgorosk, blinded by the darkness; the pair were shoved and dropped to the ground. “And you lot.” The only sound that filled the room was the rustling of raincoats falling to the floor. They had all dropped to the ground, not one scream filled the air; somehow they had been starved of oxygen. “Now, I think we’ve got a bit of explaining to do, haven’t we little Miss Dent?” She couldn’t breathe, the hard ground silenced her. “I said-”, he began, but a second after; a loud groan erupted from his voice. Dora could not see or breathe, all she could do was hope that everything would end and that none of this had happened, that she hadn’t have gone into the cellar with all the others. The grip from Dora was released, replaced with the weight of a firm body. “What happened?” She screamed. Sergeant McLoeservy was lying, stomach-downwards, on the ground. “Come on Dora, Techmiere’s unlocked the door!” Professor Yohgorosk was bellowing out to her. She scarpered towards the narrow doorway and screamed in fear. Tubes were scattered as far in her line of vision as possible, pumping out a gas that she was none too familiar of.

She was standing in one of the Splenetic Gas Chambers. “Everybody just take a step back,” began Techmiere, “And calm down.” Another swoosh of cloud struck nearby the petrified gang as they slowly stepped back. “Well what are we going to do? There’s no other way to the Eye chamber down here!” Yvonne mumbled, beginning to cry. “Right, we’re just going to have to be logical about this, everybody take a tea-towel.” Barnaby removed seven tattered and damaged tea-towels from his coat, and handed them to each person. “Where the hell did you get those from?” Berginum said, stepping further backwards from the cloud of smoke and placing the tea-towel to his nose. Dora stepped forwards, aware of the controversial criticism she would meet along the way, and found that it was very simple, the Gas had entered through the material but nothing had happened to her. She was gliding along the dust floor, not experiencing even a small tingle of pain, quite on the contrary; she felt kind, soft tickles which glided her to the door at the other side of the room almost instantly. “Well done Dora, I thought Splenetic Gas was not only meant to make you turn on everyone and feel sick, a-and not to mention hallucinations, I thought it hurts you as well.” Berginum seemed to be the only one talking in the room, the rest were too bemused to open their mouths. “Seems not,” she replied, by the way who managed to knock out McLoeservy?”

“Well that was me and Thomas,” Came Daniel’s voice. “It was far too easy. He had a small mole on the back of his- Hang on; if we’re here then he could be waking up!”

“Come on; let’s get out of here right now!” Professor Yohgorosk wailed, sprinting towards the Gas geysers. With everyone across (much to Dora’s surprise) she pushed the door and to another delight it simply swung open with no effort at all, revealing a large wooden lock seal. The commodious room in which they now stood in was lined with wooden torch brackets. “Being the person that told us of the Eye of Vamstratier, I only think it can be necessary that I try and get us in. For this is where the Eye lies.” He extended an arm, and felt the safe door. “Hmm. Needs a code.” He muttered. “Well, that is very helpful,” began Yvonne, in a sarcastic voice, “But have any of us forgotten that Sergeant McLoeservy himself is around the corner, and if I’m not so mistaken he might even pop in and have a tea-party with us! Come on; let’s just do this quickly before something terrible happens.”

The Wedding of Yvonne and Barnaby

 

“Now, let me think.” Professor Yohgorosk began, eyeing the lock code with curiosity. “If you haven’t forgotten, Barnaby and I are getting married this evening, at nine o’clock precisely; it would do the vicar some good if I wasn’t dead.” He stood for a while, stroking his beard, before-

“That’s it Yvonne! You’re a genius!” She looked at him in the usual bemused look she would always use when he would create another prophecy or gaze the stars. “You and Barnaby! Getting married tonight! The two of you!” She rolled her eyes in exasperation. “Well, maybe we can have a triple marriage; Dora can marry us as well!” Dora stuffed a fist in her mouth laughing. “There’s no need for sarcasm, but I think I may have cracked it!” He pushed two maroon buttons forwards, and stepped back. The wooden door swung open in an instant. “How did you know that?” Dora asked. “Well,” he began, “Think about it. Barnaby and Yvonne are getting married this evening at nine o’clock precisely, correct?” Dora nodded. “Right, so. I’d say that’s a pretty significant date to me. The two of them are going, now did you know that this safe works with a security matrix?” Nobody even made the effort to look bewildered, they just rolled their eyes again, but Dora did not, for she wanted to know more for once in her forgotten life.

“So when a new date appears and if it is powerful enough to get everyone thinking about it, this metal gets into your head and it saves the significant numbers or dates onto the matrix, therefore the password is saved and changed telepathically.”

“So the password was- 9:2?” Questioned Yvonne. “Erm-no, 2:9.” He replied. Dora soon realised that everybody was so absorbed in the finding of the password that no one had seen the large, bulging Eye lurking inside. Dora shouted. “Look everyone! Look, it’s the Eye of Vamstratier!” Seven eyes and heads turned towards the space that Dora was now gazing at, the seven jaws dropped. The bulging Eye seemed to be surveying every single member of the group. It seemed to be speaking in a whisper, a very harrowing whisper much to Dora’s imagination. “We are the most intelligent species of Fertania. You, and your friends have shown a very weak form of bravery in coming here tonight. I ask for your ambassador to step

forwards, and address him or herself.” The voice soon began to fade away. In less than an instant, Techmiere stepped forwards, to be unexpectedly held backwards by none other than Dora Dent. “Dora, what are you doing?” She whispered. “My duty.” The Eye leered in her presence, bulging and growing with every breath of air she took. It was about a foot taller than her, it towered over her in the most depriving ways of her loss of space. “State your name, and your intent.” Dora felt a cold breeze loom over her when she said-“My name is Dora Dent, as you can see I am a human-being; not only do I represent Fertania, I also represent the people of the Earth.” The Eye swayed and grumbled, before making another statement. “Very well. You shall have peace and eternity.” And with a small pop, the Eye vanished. In its place, a small, cotton-white duvet appeared of which Professor Yohgorosk recognised almost immediately. “The Counterpane Travel System! We used this to get you over here all those years ago! A-and remember when we drugged the guard, and escaped to the train, that’s the transportation system we used!” The duvet was rippling almost mid-air, calling them with each shake and turn. “I say we go,” began Berginum, “This is probably the peace the Eye promised us, it must be somewhere where we want to be!”

They were not wrong, for once they had wrapped the duvet completely around eachother, Dora felt a strong burning sensation in the back of her throat; all colours of the spectrum zooming in her eyes as her feet became weightless, forgetting that she had travelled like this before. The others were experiencing the tingling sensation also, for the unmistakeable groans of Barnaby and Thomas loomed in her ears. Her clothes were changing as well, she felt her hair-grease pour in the air, her beauty was increasing, her hair now made into light curls in the space of a heartbeat. She was being blessed by the air, wearing a silk dress, flying through the soft, puffy clouds of which she began to see a very familiar place. And with a light thud to the grass, their destination was signalled. Staring down at her clothes, and looking at the others who had only just realised they had been neatly decorated and as if showered clean in the air, she saw the unmistakeable big top looming over her, the summer breeze tickling her skin. “Serbridge!” Someone whispered. “We’re in Serbridge!” Dora knew too well he was correct, seeing the big top marvellously converted into a huge, stone building, a scarlet red carpet leading inside. The hall in which Dora had been to the Serbridge Annual Gathering last year was filled with hungry

guests, proud grandparents, and-

Dora’s heart sank a little more. Swallowing all sense of sadness or solemnness she had felt before, she ran towards the shadowing figure before her. “Dad!” she yelled, grinning from ear-to-ear. He beamed back at her, and embraced her at first sight. The towering statues and portraits were in view; Dora beamed even more and gently placed him back. She had been missing her father ever since she had been staying in the Stability Tabernacle, and now her dream had come true. Everything was beginning to slot into place, and she knew too well what everyone was celebrating, for everybody had by now returned to their neat little rows and columns, Dora standing proudly beside her father. This was the wedding of Barnaby and Yvonne. A pleasant quietness filled the hall, to be replaced with the playing of a therapeutic tune, of which Dora had not recognised. She looked over towards Yvonne’s worried face, and felt a strong surge of anxiety. Where had Barnaby got to? The hall was filled with worried faces, each searching around and each person coiling around to look for him, wishing he was there. Yvonne’s face told Dora she wanted everyone to suddenly say “April Fools!” Even though it was July. Barnaby was not in the sight of anyone.

I can’t! It’s just too hard. I’m already about to change. Me, at that place. I’ll be a disgrace. And the bloody worse thing is is that I know what I’m going to have to do-and it’s gonna break my heart. She’ll just have to get out at the right time, and I know someone who will be by far too upset. They will all be gone in the end, just like Professor Yohgorosk’s prophecy.

“Come on Barn’!” She yelled, when Barnaby Peterson had just arrived through the two large oak doors. Dora thought he looked very uncomfortable, perhaps it was his suit. The music was continued, much to his delight as he made his way down the aisle, accompanied by the best man, Thomas. Dora was not upset that she had not been made bridesmaid; when Techmiere was standing beside Yvonne in a rush of excitement. She had never really thought too fondly of Yvonne, she had always liked her; but never really had the chance to be close to her. The vicar gestured at the orchestra, willing to begin the marriage ceremony itself. “I will ask you all to take a seat, leaving the husband and the wife at the front of the room. The sound of a million bodies hitting seats filled the room, including Dora; who felt that something was definitely going to go wrong at any given time.

The vicar opened a large book, and read out the first two pages in Classic Fertanian, which Dora recognised instantly, making out a few phrases in a desperate bid to try and be more intelligent and learn the language. Something about, honesty? She told herself. Yvonne was smiling broadly, apparently keen to get the ceremony to a finish, and tell everyone that she was a Mrs Yvonne Peterson. “And now,” the vicar begun, in an unexpected and foreign switch of dialect to English. “For the benefit of a few Eartheners in here, I will continue our ceremony in three alternative languages, English, Spanish and Russian.” He smiled to himself politely. “Do you, Yvonne, Agatha Harrow wish to be united in marriage to Barnaby Peterson?” Yvonne made a faint but audible noise which Dora automatically recognised as a suttle yes. He nodded. “And now, Spanish. Esperas, Yvonne, Agatha Harrow, ser unido en matrimonio a Barnaby Peterson?” The vicar then quickly translated the same into English. “Y hoy, ruso. ?? ??????, ???? ????? ????, ???? ????????????  ? ????? ? ??????? ????????” He repeated the process and addressed Yvonne in English, what he had said in Russian. He then made the same process to Barnaby, in all three languages. Barnaby made the same, worried face.

Finally, when the languages returned to English, much to Dora’s gratitude-(She felt her mind would explode), the vicar made to show that they must embrace eachother and be husband and wife. Something odd was happening to Barnaby, Dora noticed, as he was being very stiff and worried about something. His hands were fixed in a hunched position, before he managed to drop to the floor. He stumbled before a crowded audience, including Dora, of dropped jaws and gasps. The surge of people was overwhelming, each fixed on a now frantically wriggling Barnaby. “Barn’, what’s wrong?” She called, staring at him in utmost disbelief. He continued wriggling, before he began to foam at the mouth. He was swelling up before their very eyes, growing in large quantities at a time. “Barnaby-aah!” She screamed in terror, knocked backwards hitting the hard, stone floor. He had risen several feet in height, large claws drawing from where his arms previously were, alongside a pair of large, gleaming wings the size of plates. “A Cerphandale!” Somebody screamed, but Dora was too bemused to even feel any more shock. Barnaby, by now, had mutated into a large, menacing looking Cerphandale which even resembled his nose in the now dumbfounded hall. Not a single breath was taken, not even a whisper was

made, each glued to the Cerphandale in which Barnaby had stood. Professor Yohgorosk suddenly raised his eyebrows, and ran forwards, towards the apparent Cerphandale and wife. “Yvonne, maybe the prophecy can be changed, maybe we still have time to stop the prophecy being fulfilled!” She shoved him aside. “Oh shut up! Going on about your stupid prophecies and mystery cards and all the other stuff! It’s been doing my head in for months!” He tried to interrupt, but she cut him off and pushed him aside again, before saying, very faintly, “He’s my husband.” She turned to face the Cerphandale, and spoke. “Hey Barny, remember me?” The Cerphandale roared with anger and threw her aside with its large, over powering claws. Yvonne was rocked with painful and emotional agony; her face torn in sadness. “Barnaby!” Dora shouted, but the Cerphandale still stood in place, not listening. He needed space, needed protection, in Yvonne’s mind, to see which deadly movement he would make next. Dora seemed to think it was her turn, Techmiere pushed her back in a swish of the hand but Dora did not listen. “Hey Barnaby,” she began, stepping backwards in hushed terror. “Remember me?” The Cerphandale stepped even closer, his teeth snarling maliciously. “Dora, I advise you, get back!” Professor Yohgorosk yelled, but she knew she had to stay put.

“Stop. Please stop attacking! When you’ve come so far in this land and you’ve always been my friend; please listen to me and stop attacking!” Dora took several deep breaths and stepped back even further, she knew her speech hadn’t inserted any mercy whatsoever into the now even angrier looking creature. He struck the stone pillar behind him; causing a loud crash, shards of plaster and dust flew in the air as he stood looking over everyone, unaffected by the incident. Everything was going well, Dora thought to herself, why did this have to happen? She knew all too well someone was going to get hurt. “I love you Barnaby! I love you! Don’t do this to me and your friends!” Yvonne yelled in the rubble. She took another step towards him, much to Professor Yohgorosk’s dislike. Yvonne coincided with Techmiere in trying to repair the broken pillar behind him. The Cerphandale roared, threw another pillar forwards, closely missing Professor Yohgorosk, and turned to face Yvonne. “Yvonne, don’t do this!” screamed Techmiere. Berginum himself made an attempt to subdue Barnaby, but Yvonne shoved him aside, screaming in anger. “I want to talk to him,” she replied. “I have to talk to him.” Barnaby made a terrifying roar;

silencing the Serbridge Town Hall. “Barnaby. It’s me. Yvonne. Your wife.” He snarled at her, a toothless, malicious grin. “I want to give you the right place in my heart.” She began to cry. Dora gulped in pain. The Cerphandale extended a claw. “No! Don’t hurt her!” Mr Dent cried. Dora didn’t know what was happening, or the emotions to show how she was coping with everything that was going on right under her eyes. Yvonne was being shoved into the creature’s mouth. The Cerphandale had already consumed Yvonne whole. The creature swallowed her whole, her legs dangling in his mouth, still screaming, murdered by consumption. Dora, subsumed in disgust, couldn’t bear to see any more. The main reason for her disgust was the way she had been consumed, her friend, Barnaby’s fiancée. “Get out of here, Dora, we have to get out of here, that pillar’s unstable!” Professor Yohgorosk was shouting at her, but she was fixed in the same position, unable to move. Until she was overcome by the rubble and the smoke in the air, sinking into the ground, Dora was silent. “Dora!” He shrieked, before he dragged her out into the outside of the Annual Hall. “Techmiere, help me, Dora’s unconscious!” He held her dangling body in front of a traumatised looking Techmiere, who placed her on a stretcher several yards away.

But Dora was awake. She was too petrified to sleep, or be in any other state than petrified. Another almighty and colossal crash of rubble and plaster smashed through the Hall doors as everyone sat on the hard ground, in the burning sunlight, trying to get to grips with what had just happened. Barnaby- well, the Cerphandale; was trapped in the collapsed building, dead. So was Yvonne, two lovers united in death at their own wedding reception. “Wait here,” began Professor Yohgorosk, “I need to speak to Dora.” He marched over to the Stability Tabernacle, seeing her being aided by Civitri, he stepped over towards her. “Professor! What happened?” She shouted, unable to breathe at her failure to recollect the recent tragic events. “Calm down. You’ll do yourself some serious damage. I regret to inform you that Yvonne has been murdered, and-“, he could not find the words to make it less painful, “Barnaby has been crushed in the rubble. Please don’t get up; I must speak to you in private.” She made a noise of hushed terror, and felt that every bone in her body was weak, and somewhat out of action. “Dora, as I was saying earlier today, do you remember? About me and my gift.” Dora felt her eyes spin round, surveying him, trying to make sense of her life, when she had been unconscious she

had expected to wake up and see her mother and father, lovingly treating her and giving her a nice life, she had forgotten how far away they were from her; by nearly three and a half billion light years. “I have always had a gift for telling the future, predicting further than anyone has ever dreamed of seeing. And tonight has proved exactly that. Remember yesterday when you were here again after you fell over, when I came in I said ‘Has it happened yet?’ and my eyes shot over to Yvonne and I mouthed something. Now I know you saw that Dora, let’s just call it my instinct. Well, I need to tell you now that it has happened yet. Those prophecies have all been true. The Splenetic Gas, now you need to know this; not only does it give people cantankerousness and nastiness, but it gives people a sudden, unexpected surge of prophecy. You saw a figure, didn’t you Dora, a tall figure? Well we all did, except for Thomas. He didn’t, that was why he wasn’t horrible and vile towards you at Barnaby and Yvonne’s. Everything is beginning to slot into place. I never said that Fertania was a nice place to visit, sure it’s magical and it’s another world and you’re happy here. But really, it’s a very dark place to be if you have the wrong mind. There are dangerous things here that I should have warned you about a lot earlier. And I think it’s about time I took you home.” Dora wriggled in her bed. “No! No please, don’t take me back, don’t take me back! No-” She stopped. Her eyes had drooped, her face very pale, she was being taken back to the Tower.

If you looked outside the window on that warm, summer evening, you’d realise that things were not as they would seem, as it was now pouring with rain. And now the book has closed, the story has come to a conclusion. But it never does end does it? Not really. The story still goes on, now Dora has gone, it’s up to Techmiere, Berginum, Daniel, Thomas and Professor Yohgorosk to save their world  from dangers such as the Cerphandales and Sergeant McLoeservy. So picture that. Go on, picture them going on. Call it a cliché, but things have ended, the others have only just begun…


© Copyright 2020 MrBlibert. All rights reserved.

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