And now the conclusion of the fantasy short story, Harry….
What happened last episode: Our three heroes were on a mission to save the child when they saw a strange man in the woods…
” Then he fainted!” Thera explained to her friends. Rue looked at Thera.
“What in Jarna’s name is ‘thigh can doe’?” She asked her friend.
“And a strip club? Sounds like the ogres designed a new kind of club to hit people with.” Rowan said.
“He’s obviously not from here, he has a black garment on and this funny hat.” Thera looked inside the hat and saw something move. She pulled it out and was amazed to see a white fluffy rabbit.
“This must be his familiar,” she said.
“What kind of magic-user will put a rabbit in a hat?” Rue asked her friends.
“This man fits the description of the magic-user that’s scaring the birds and animals away.”
“I think we must wake this man and find out more.” Rowan suggested and slapped the man slightly on the cheek. The man groaned.
“Ma, wake me up in an hour. It’s too early for rehearsal.”
“You better wake up, funny man,” Rowan threatened. The man opened his left eye, then his right.
“Sweet Caroline, please don’t hurt me.” he begged when he saw Rowan towering before him.
“My name is not Caroline, It’s Rowan Redleaf. I will not hurt you if you behave.”
The man sat upright, grabbed his top hat out of Thera’s hand and placed it on his head.
” Where am I?” he asked politely.
“In the Meya Woodlands.” Thera said.
“Where on earth is that?” the man asked, shocked.
“You are on the world Darnathia. Now please, sir, tell me, who are you?!” Rowan asked.
“I am Houdini of course. Harry Houdini. The greatest magician since… well since Harry Houdini.” the man said in a sarcastic tone.
“Listen mister Who- Dunny…”
“Call me Harry, you bring an insult to my name if you pronounce it like that,” The man said and sneered.
“Listen Harry, from where are you and more importantly, why are you dressed so funny?” Thera asked
“Oh, I’m funny? You look like a dark-skinned vulcan from Star Trek, and I’m funny! Ha…” he started to say but Rowan stopped him.
“Just answer my question.” Rowan unsheathed his broadsword and the man calmed down.
“I am a stage performer from the state of California, the United States of America, The planet Earth. Take me to your leader!”‘ Houdini’ said and saluted.
“Where, by the gates of Balance is that?” Rowan asked Rue.
“In the solar system Sol, idiot. I was performing a vanishing spell out of an old book written in Sumerian I stole from the Houdini Museum. The next thing I know, I am in a goblin village a few miles from here. They offered to help me! How can goblins be friendly… it goes against all the Dungeons and Dragons laws I know and cherish!” the man yelled and shook his fist in the air.
“The goblins on our world are quite civilized. I learned my craft from one.” Rue said.
“What are the laws of Dungeons and Dragons? Are you a friend of the Dragons of Balance?” Rowan questioned the man.
“You don’t know Dungeos and Dragons! What kind of world IS this!” the man yelled, outraged.
“We don’t have time for this! We have a quest to finish.” Thera scowled.
“A quest. Like King Arthur and the Knights of Camelot! Why didn’t you say so! Let me help. I know I Ching… I mean Tai Chi.” The man said and smiled.
“Gods, we shall have to take him along before he scares more of the birds away. Maybe we can leave him at a hamlet if we find one on our way.” Thera said.
“I promise I will behave, or my name is not Napoleon Bonaparte!” The man exclaimed.
“I thought your name is Harry Houdini.” Rue said.
The man winked at her and said to her in a trusting voice,” That too…”
” You can ride with me, but you better behave.” Rowan said to the man.
“I shall ride on my rabbit, thank you very much,” the man sneered. Rue giggled. The man pulled the rabbit out of his hat.
“I call on the powers of Rambo and Stephen King, Change into a horse,” the man said and made weird gestures over the rabbit.
A loud boom sounded over their heads and suddenly in the rabbit’s place there stood a donkey.
“Maybe I should have invoked Barney the Dinosaur…” he whispered to the donkey with a sympathetic look on his face. He climbed on the donkey.” Okay, let’s go, by Pavarotti’s beard.” he yelled.
The three friends just shook their heads.
The four adventurers travelled for another six hours until the first stars appeared on the horizon. Rowan decided that they must all have guard duty except the’ mad mage’ who they dubbed Harry. Harry protested, but one angry look from Rowan made him decide that a good night’s rest was what he needed. He changed his donkey back into a rabbit and allowed it to crawl back into the hat. The rest of the night was uneventful. An hour past sunrise Harry woke Rowan up.
“I dare say, Lord Barrington, weren’t you suppose to be on guard duty?”
Rowan swore a soft curse. “My name is Rowan Redleaf…. Gods, I must have dozed off.” Rowan said. He jumped up and woke the women.
“I took the liberty of making breakfast, Bacon and fowl eggs for us meat eaters and some carrot soup for the vegetarian.” Harry said.
“How did he know that I don’t eat meat?” Rue asked Thera as they walked up to the campfire. Thera shrugged.
” Greetings, By Abraham’s hat, isn’t it a lovely morning?” Harry asked himself.
“Abraham?” Rowan asked.
“You know, the president of the United States, ugly guy with a top hat like mine?” Harry asked Rowan, then continued.” Oh, you wouldn’t know him, before your time… I think.”
“We better pray before we eat, lest he poisoned us.” Rowan whispered. The women grinned.
“I can assure you, it is all checked by the department of health, I bought the food at the Seven- Eleven myself yesterday.” Harry assured them.
They all tasted a little bit of the food and were amazed when they found it tasty. They all ate with healthy appetites, and after breakfast Harry offered to clean the plates at a nearby stream. When they broke camp, he did one of his weird incantations and this time his rabbit turned into a green horse. With a’ I think it’s the latest craze in Paris’, he saddled the horse and they continued their journey to Rude Man’s Stone.
It was midday when they came to the old ruins of a town.
“It must be the ruins of Seryss. According to my map, Rude Man’s Stone is about five miles west of here. We need to discuss our strategy now.” Rowan said.
“How about sending the troops ahead with AK-47′ s” Harry suggested.
“Koloren’s breasts,” Rue cursed.
“And what a fair pair they are, lassie,” Harry said and looked at her breasts.
This was going to be a long night.
Toran Hort called his brethren together. He was proud of what his order had accomplished. Twenty years ago he finished his training as druid of Delowan and he was going to marry his childhood sweetheart when an ogre raiding party attacked his town and killed his parents, his fiancé and friends. The only ones they did not kill were a mad leper woman and Toran himself. She took him in and nursed him back to health. She kept on talking about the Darklady. When he was fully recovered he took her with him, telling people that she was a prophetess. With his magic ability he fooled a group of bandits into believing they were the chosen ones, and so the Order of Rain was born. They went from town to town, stealing children and sacrificing them to the Darklady. Five years ago the madwoman died and’ gave’ him the power of speaking directly with the Darklady. Her last word to him and him alone was that the DarkLady would come with a man in a strange hat and she would give Toran peace. A week ago they kidnapped a merchant’s son and left a ransom note at his father’s door. But the boy was not to return, for this night would be full moon and then he would die. His brethren were getting restless.
“My children,” he started his speech. His disciples grew silent.
“Tonight we sacrifice the boy to our Lady of Darkness.” They suddenly cheered.
“She will pour her blessings out on us tonight, for tomorrow we will raid another town,” he yelled and they cheered even more. Suddenly a woman in a black cloak stood next to him, as well as a man in a top hat.
“I think not,” She said and plunged a dagger into Toran’s heart.
“The Dark Lady…”, he said faintly and toppled over dead. The cult members grew angry as they saw their beloved leader die and lunged at Thera and Harry. Harry stepped in front of her and held out his arms.
“We all live in a yellow submarine,” he chanted. Suddenly all of the cult members fell asleep.
“My sleep spell will wear off soon. Grab the child and let’s get out of here,” He said.
“What kind of sleep spell is that?” Thera asked him.
“The Beatles, you know, John, Ringo, George and Paul…. A little before your time, but…” Harry tried to explain but Thera already walked to the hut holding the boy.
“These Darnathians have no sense of culture,” he whispered into his hat.
” Well, the Beatles are a bit ancient, how about the Cranberries or Enya?” a voice replied from within. Rowan and Rue joined Thera as she opened the door to the hut. A boy of ten sat there weeping.
Thera hugged him.
“Hush, child, we’re here to save you.”
The boy hugged her back and they walked out of the hut.
Before them lay the outskirts of Teleska, and Rowan was already looking forward to the famous ale of the Greedy Hogg Inn. Harry looked a bit sad.
“I guess it’s time to say our goodbyes. I have a Broadway show to run.” Harry said.
“You’re leaving?” Thera asked. She had grown accustomed to the weird magician.
“Yes, but before I leave I must give Rowan a gift.” He took a pendant off his neck and gave it to Rowan. Rowan looked at the pendant and his eyes grew bigger. He looked up and suddenly Harry disappeared in a whiff of smoke.
“I wonder who he was…” Rue said.
“My… I think he was my great great grandfather.” Rowan said. He took a pendant off his own neck and held it next to the one Harry gave him. They both had the red dragon laying on a redleaf on the one side, the emblem of the Redleaf family. On the back of Rowan’s pendant the words Rowan, son of Ryeth were engraved. On the other was engraved Mendle, son of Merquest. Rue looked at the pendants.
“Mendle?” she asked, amazed.
“Mendle…” Rowan said and smiled.
A few miles away’ Harry’ took the rabbit out of his hat.
“Well I think we pulled this stunt off well,” he told the rabbit. The rabbit grew and grew, turned his color red and slowly changed into a great red dragon.
“That’s what you say, Mendle Redleaf. Quoting the Beatles, Ha! Wait’ till the dragons of Balance hear this. And next time, you’ll be the one in the hat, mark my words, human!” the dragon blew a stream of smoke.
“Calm down, Chanting Dragon, at least the balance is restored.” Mendle said.
“You’ve spent too much time at my house back on Earth,” The Dragon mumbled.
“Shall I sing you a Cranberries song?” Mendle offered.
“Heavens forbid,” Chanting Dragon said, grabbed Mendle Redleaf by the nape of his suit and threw him on his back. He lifted into the sky and flew high up into the air… a moment later a black top hat fell to the ground and slowly melted into a green puddle of goo.
(c) 2013 allen simpson
Darnathia and all creatures there-in were created by Allen Simpson and Keith Van Zyl while playing pen-and-paper rolplaying games. Some people would say Darnath created them but it is a lie… Darnath was created while Allen and Keith stood by a traffic light.
Please Note: I am a poet not story writer. I don’t know if I will ever write another story… let’s see if I can surprise us all
But those that did enjoy Harry, thank you for reading….