Authors: Joe Prendergast
Back at Deepwater Cottage
The gang were back in the Blue Bentley and were driving through the ransacked heap of burnt apartments and cottages known as Harrying Avenue. It looked more desperate then ever.
Dave was still not very used to the twists and turns â but he managed to get there. The car pulled into the drive of Deepwater Cottage, home of Victoria Richards.
Victoria, in their last adventure together, had been a heroine. She had effectively saved the day and rendered Victor Left powerless by magically wrapping his arms around his neck. It was a move that led to the saving of kidnapped actress Dawn Hughes but Victoria didn't stick around for the celebrations and the gang had not seen her since.
The brown door opened and a man in his late thirties stepped out. “You guys looking for Victoria?” he asked in a very gruff, deep voice. “She's in the shower. Come in.”
The group made its way into the living room.
“It's unlike Victoria to be having a shower,” said Dave. “And who exactly are you?”
“I'm her agent, Oscar Blade.”
“Cool. Can I call you Oscar?”
“No. You may call me Mr Blade.”
“OK then Oscar.” Dave grinned.
Oscar Blade sighed.
The gang heard footsteps.
“That'll be Victoria,” said Blade, rising to meet her.
“Hi!” she said to the guys. “Long time no see. I take it you're here about the monster situation?”
“Yep,” said Dave.
“Who do you think could have done this?”
“Richard Blake. Grand Sorcerer â I believe you are aware of his work?”
“Yes.” She said. “Actually Dave, I need to talk to you urgently about something. Come into my study. And don't tell
The Baroness sat back at the dining table. She was feasting on a meal fit for a king after seeing off Richard Blake and his accomplice.
She knew it wasn't the end but she decided to celebrate the small wins.
Arish Doom smiled. Dave had just entered her room. Angeline, a qualified nurse, and Dr Haysworne, The Three Circles medicinal help, were tending to her wounds.
“Are you OK?”
“I'm fine, Dave. Or at least, I will be fine.”
“I am not going to sit here and watch you being operated on. I am a civilised person.
Arish Doom smiled. She touched Dave's shoulder in a gesture of, what appeared to be, friendship and appreciation â but something didn't feel right. Her hand was cold and as he looked at her in horror her skin began to crumble. She grew long nails and sharp fangs and he knew â it had all been a show. She was already Twisted.
“Run,” he shouted at Angeline as he grabbed her hand and pushed Dr Haysworne with the other. They took a left and headed for Room Five. Skidding in they shut the door, out of breath and wondering what their next move should be.
Sitting in the room already were Paolo, Vivian and Giuseppe. Daniel was over in the kitchen, or so said Vivian.
After keeping a watch out from a crack in the door Dave finally decided they could make a run for it again so they held onto each other and dashed down the hallway picking up Daniel, who was busy eating biscuits, on the way.
The only other person in the castle at the time was Rose Dahlia but she could look after herselfâ¦.or could she?
The group ran to the Bentley and piled in. Behind them was Rose's car.
“Oh no,” muttered Dave, “Airish has obviously got reinforcements in and they've hijacked Rose's car. At least she's notâ¦”
“They've got Rose,” screeched Paolo.
Rose was there, in the front seat of the Hyundai CoupÃ© following them. She looked manic â just not herself â and she looked hell bent on catching up with them. There was a strange mist in her car and The Fragola Brothers realised with a sinking feeling that Rose was most likely Twisted too.
It was confirmed when suddenly a car came skidding down the road towards them. The driver was smiling. He was short and had brown hair shaved into his head. He had a long scar and he had an evil grin and, even if some of them hadn't seen him before, they all knew instantly that it was Richard Blake. Between himself and Rose they were trapping the Bentley. This was the end, Paolo was sure of it, so he closed his eyes, and waited for it. He thought he was about to die.
The Baroness was getting irritated. Her potions were in the final stages and she needed to have them completed, and soon, so she could get out and defeat Richard Blake and The Three Circles Society.
If she took down the best, and what was perceived to be the worst, of society then she would be in a position to feed her poisoness potions, passed off as perfumes and after shave, to every house in every country across the world. Those using them would lose their memory of life as they once knew it and would fall under her spell â to become slaves to her regime forever more.
She let a little cackle to herself but stopped abruptly to scream at Zachary Spoken â “Where the hell are my potions?”
Zachary rolled his eyes from the next room but came scurrying in with the last and final test tube â this would be the decider as to whether they were good enough quality for mass production or not.
In his haste however Zachary, a long-legged skinny man, tripped on an upturned rug just as he reached the Baroness. The potion went flying into the air and as Zachary tried desperately to catch it The Baroness stood up from her chair. “Nooooooooooooooo!!!” she was shoutingâ¦but she never should have opened her mouth because the bright pink potion, thanks to gravity, was on the way back down and the only thing to catch it was The Baroness' mouth.
She would never remember a thing.
The Bentley jerked sideways to avoid being squashed between Rose Dahlia and Richard Blake's cars and as a result went off track â bounding through fields with no roads Vivian looked at the wing mirror and noticed that, yet again, they were not alone.
“We've got company.” She said. “It's not Blake. It looks likeâ¦” She paused for a moment as she attempted to focus a little better, and then leaned in for a closer look. Yes she was right but she could hardly believe it.
The Bentley stopped abruptly. Dave, Paolo, Giuseppe and Vivian hopped out. Daniel followed behind while Dr Haysworne and Angeline stayed behind in the car â glad of the room to stretch their feet with the others out.
“What are you doing here?” asked Vivian.
“I want to know who
you and what's your purpose?” she asked.
“Why do you want to know?”
“Because you saved my life, dropped me home and I never heard from any one of you again. I have been thinking so much about the good that you do and I have decidedâ¦. I want to be one of you. You're an inspiration to me. Please let me into this circle I've heard you speak about.”
“Dawn,” said Dave. “I really don't think that's a good idea. You don't know what you are letting yourself in for.”
“I have an idea,” she said.
“I really don't think you do.”
“I was kidnapped wasn't I? I am aware of how dangerous things can get.”
Dave paused and as a car rumbled in the distance he decided they didn't have time to waste or else Blake and Rose would catch up with them.
“I'll allow it for now,” he said briskly, “Now everyone back to the car.” And in true magical style every single one of them fit in.
“Thank you, ehâ¦um?” Dawn paused, waiting for Dave to answer.
“Name's Dave. Vivian, Daniel, Paolo and Giuseppe there. Angeline and Dr Haysworne in the car. Pleased to meet you, Agent Hughes.”
Most of the team just stared at Dave in disbelief the whole way back to Mahogany Castle. How had he simply allowed a famous actress be part of a
society? Secret. She would probably attract loads of attention. Everyone would soon learn of them â and want to be one of them.
What had he done?
Room Five was home to an argument. “Why? Why HER? She'll attract the press!” shouted Vivian. Angeline hushed her daughter.
“She has contacts. She can get us in touch with other famous people. We could find out information â more than we ever could. She's an agent â temporarily,” whispered Dave.
“Dave has got a point,” admitted Giuseppe.
“Sort ofâ¦” Paolo's voice crawled into Vivian's ear.
“Fine!” shouted Vivian. “I can't bear to fight!”
Dawn walked back from the shower. She was wearing an elegant blue dress and her hair was wet. “You do realise that is going to be destroyed thanks to the next few hours' events? said Daniel who had been keeping himself to himself of late.
“Oh is right,” said Paolo, stunned by what he was watching out the window.
“What is it Paolo?” said Vivian. “A lot of Twisted. Coming for us. And when I say a lot, I mean a
The Twisted Touch
The great wooden doors of Mahogany Castle swung open. The gang stared at the five hundred monsters coming to kill them. They couldn't spot Blake or Rose among them but they knew that Blake had sent them â to try and do his dirty work for him.
“Better get a move-on,” said Dave “Just bear in mind one thing â I was to get to it when we were all sitting down this evening but there is no time. It's what Victoria Richards told meâ¦.”
Everyone waited with baited breath for the advice that could be their only chance of survival.
“There is one way to extinguish a Twisted monsterâ¦If you can get a stamp on, and break the nail of, the monster's big toe he/she will evaporate on the spot.”
It was all the gang needed to give them the confidence they required to go into battle. The girls, including new agent Hughes, checked that they had their sharpest heels and within seconds, all around, the sound of snapping toenails could be heard followed by a whoosh of evaporation.
It wasn't easy and there was a lot of ducking a diving. Hiding if a group of monsters charged at one person, then confusing them running along their feet all at the one time.
Paolo's record was 20 in one go as he dodged all the attempts at touching his shoulder. “Now that was impressive,” he said to himself as he lunged for the next group of monsters.
Giuseppe was hiding under a bench in the grand entrance hall. He watched as several pairs of feet came towards him. They couldn't see him and were about to turn around in search of someone else when he jumped out, startled them and jumped all over their toes.. Whooosh Whooosh Whoooosh!!
Vivian was taking it to the next level and punching several monsters in the nose at the same time and as they bended over in agony she went for the toes and got them each time.
Angeline, for a first-timer, was amazing. She was slight and she was quick bouncing off walls and onto feet wherever she could, while Dave expertly took down one monster at a time but at a rapid speed.
The trick was to keep the monsters from touching anyone on the shoulder or emanating their whirlwind of thick black smoke.
Daniel was holding his own and battling a few monsters although, it had to be said, he did look more scared than anyone.
Even Dr Haysworne, whose teaching as a medical professional would not be to injure people but to heal them, could see the necessity in breaking monster's toenails and went for it with everything he had.
“AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” a manly scream could be heard from far away. Paolo and Giuseppe rushed off to investigate.
Dave was on the ground and there was one monster left, standing over him.
“Let's attack. Angeline, you stay here,” said Giuseppe, who didn't want Angeline to see her husband down.
Vivian, however, had seen plenty of incidents like it, and, fearless, she lunged for the monster as Paolo and Giuseppe, desperate to help their friend, did the same.
Between the three of them they tackled it â a crazy mix of human-like features and wild-eyed possessiveness â taking it down just inches from where Dave lay, dazed.
While Paolo and Giuseppe held it down Vivian took great pleasure in stamping out its left toenail and watching it disappear.
“You can come out now, Angeline,” said Dave, who had just managed to stand up.
Sweating and exhausted the gang leaned on each other for support as they made their way to the nearest seats to rest up. They were all still there and that's all that mattered for now.