“If you start in with that bubble, bubble business, you will be driven from my kitchen.” Chef Brian was serious.
“Never fear, great Lord.” Brittany, the witch spoke for the three. “We are just making a tonic for our majesty, Queen Jessica. Her nerves, you know. All of these events are quite beyond her. Her subjects are in rebellion.”
“Ha! Nothing of the kind.” Chef Brian responded. “I say, though, I am a bit put off about the idea of you finding everything you need for your witches’ brew in my kitchen.”
“Alas, not everything, great Lord.” Brittany said, sadly. “But some. Indeed some.” She looked back to where Nichole and Molly were dancing around the biggest pot they could find, adding whatever they could to the water, which was boiling, it must be said, without the benefit of a fire beneath it.
People were coming regularly now in and out of the cafeteria. The dancing was great, but one did get hot and tired, and Chef Brian’s reputation was growing. Maria, the waitress would have been overwhelmed with customers if the stewardess had not volunteered to pitch in. Then also, some came to have their fortunes told. Colonel Nate was presently hovering over a seated Karen who was trying hard to keep her hoops from shooting up into the gypsy’s face and upsetting the fortune. And, of course, the geisha had her hands full with those who preferred tea. Truscan soldiers were mingling freely with the rest, though to be sure, the karate champions and the officers of the law were keeping their watchful eyes open.
“Doctor. Doctor George, come quick.” Snow White was yelling from the kitchen door. Doctor George and Nurse Shirley got up slowly. Ethan the Dentist came along, too, just in case there was trouble.
“What is it, Ms White?” The Doctor asked. Snow White hushed him and brought him to a storage room by the back door of the kitchen while Chef Brian complained. “There are too many improper persons in here, contaminating the food! How can an artist create with so many interruptions!”
There was a nun hiding in the closet and she was holding her belly and moaning.
“So she’s pregnant.” Doctor George said without the least emotion. Nurse Shirley smiled.
“But it hurts.” The nun said. “I feel like something is kicking me right here.” Nurse Shirley hid her smile while the Doctor got his stethoscope and checked.
“Yes.” The doctor said. “That would be the baby.” He put the nun’s hand to feel for herself. Then the Doctor had a thought. “Elizabeth, isn’t it?” The Doctor asked and the nun nodded.
In the hall between the cafeteria and the gym, Bobby and Donna the homeless hobos were collecting a crowd as well. It was all “This Land is Your Land,” and “Blowing in the Wind,” but people loved it as a change of pace. Donna was on the guitar and Bobby was on his harmonica. Everybody sang, but even with all of those off key voices, it was a relatively quiet break from the music in the gym.
“Are you prepared for the onslaught?” The Space Gladiator asked. Everyone nodded.
“Piece of cake.” Quarterback Tyler said. He and his three football players were each as big as the Gladiator, who was no small person. Captain Aaron nodded for his crew, the ones that used to be the eighth grade color guard. They walked to the hall that ran down the west side of the auditorium and waited while Aaron checked his watch. The marines, Ricky and Tamika, were in the back checking on their rifles. They were making jokes.
“Captain looks like Captain Ahab.” Ricky insisted.
“More like the Gorton fisherman.” Tamika disagreed.
“Quiet.” Captain Aaron hushed them.
“Aye-aye, Skipper.” Missy said with a salute.
Aaron frowned. “So now you’re Gilligan?” Missy looked momentarily surprised and appeared flustered by the question. Ricky and Tamika tried not to laugh. “Ready.” Captain Aaron said, and at once, they got serious. Four things were going to happen at more or less the same time.
The Queen was becoming frustrated. These adults appeared to be confused about who they were, not to mention who the children were. None of them could help her find the girl. It was as if they never heard of Lila. She had left the dark skinned man alone, and berated Count Severas for drawing blood when the man merely tried to escape. Surely he could have been stopped without having to be cut.
“Barten-Cur!” The Queen yelled in a tone of voice to make everyone in the room duck. She was out of patience. She struck the custodian with a surge of power, but Barten-Cur resisted. He was not going to talk. “Wizard!” The Queen commanded, and the wizard stepped up to hold the Queen’s hand. With the first touch, the force being exerted on Barten-Cur doubled. The Queen’s green stream of magic turned a muddy green color with the addition of the wizard’s cherry colored magic. Barten-Cur began to mumble.
“Count. Count Severas!” The Queen commanded in a sharp, quick voice as if she hated to expend the energy needed to mouth the words. Count Severas took her other hand, and again, the magic redoubled, now turning an oak brown color as the Count’s deep brown, almost black magic was added on.
“MUBA-MUBA-MUBA.” Barten-Cur merely increased in volume.
“Oh!” The Queen yelled and threw both hands away at once. The magic immediately ceased. Magic was generally good for manipulating matter and energy, but it had limits against the mind and heart.
“I could make a potion of truth if I had the ingredients.” The wizard suggested. It would have been more effective than trying to force the issue, but, unfortunately, the ingredients were not available.
In the balcony, Tom kept Rachel in her seat that whole time. There was far too much magic down below for a couple of mere vampires to deal with. Rachel complained all the same.
“But I am really, really hungry.” She said. Tom was too.
Lila drew the layout of the offices in mid air. The Wicked Witch of the West wasn’t there. They had just missed her. The Queen had been one step ahead of them and came to fetch her and take her off to the auditorium; but the other teachers were all still there, such as they were.
“Jane Austin has the Principal baby in her arms over here, next to Mister Johnson with the bandage on his arm. Ms Duncan and Mister Gross are in the back getting all kissy-face.” Lila turned up her nose at the thought.
“I thought they were married.” Sir Chris said, checking his broadsword for the tenth time.
“They are.” The scarecrow nodded. “Unfortunately, not to each other.”
“Eww.” Lila said, and she almost wiggled enough to disrupt the mid-air map she was carefully trying to draw out of fairy dust. Ginger let out a low growl and licked her paw.
“Anyone seen Max and Maxamillian?” Jordan the pirate interrupted.
Red Rayder and the Princess nodded. “They fell off the roof back near the cafeteria door.” Red said. Jennifer rolled her elfin eyes, but the ninja and the pirates all snickered.
“Quiet!” Lila stomped her foot again. Snap! It sounded like a cap pistol even if she was only stomping on air. “Be quiet, before I forget. The rest, that’s the flamenco dancer, Ms. Finster the beautiful young flower child, Coach Beemer, alias the Masked Marvel, and Mozart are all in this area by the coke machine.”
“They got a coke machine in the office?” Sir Chris did not know this.
Lila ignored the interruption. “There are six guards. Two by the inside door, two by the outside door and two between the two groups of teachers.” There. She got through it all. Now it was time to act.
“Away we go.” Red Rayder said, and before anyone could stop him, he ran and jumped through the access door, falling right through the ceiling tile below. The others were obliged to follow, with Lila complaining.
“Why did I bother to scout and make a map?”
By the time she and her scarecrow got to the room below, everything was settled. Sir Chris and Red had the two by the outside door at sword point. The pirates Morgan and Jordan had the two in the center surrendered, with their hands high in the air. The growling jaguar helped convince the soldiers to keep their hands up. The two by the inside door were stuck to the walls, one having wet himself.
“Only counts as one.” Peter the ninja said while elf Jennifer stuck her tongue out at the man. She retrieved her four arrows that had pinned her man at the shoulders and collar a foot off the ground. Not a drop of blood was spilled, but the man would not be fighting again for a time. He fell to the floor, shivering. Meanwhile, Peter retrieved his ninja stars. His man was not a foot off the ground like the other man, but he was just as effectively pinned to the wall. There was a little blood in one shoulder and that got a razz from the elf.
“Finished already?” Lila protested with another snap! of her foot. She missed it all!