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The Rose (Episode 1)

by  jim60

Posted: Friday, November 13, 2009
Word Count: 2170
Summary: After the disaster of the last thing I loaded, I thought I'd try something lighter. A fairy tale, just for a bit of fun...

It’s a beautiful summers morning. The trees are in full bloom, the grass is as green as you could want and it is so, so…oh to hell with this, let’s just get on with it.


She brings the horse to a stop by a stream.
Looking around and it is very quiet.
“Could we rest a bit, you think?”
She pats the horses neck, “Sorry, Smoke. Yes we can.”
“Thank you. I am feeling rather weary.”
She hops down and walks to the waters edge.
Smoke lowers his head and chomps on some grass, he lifts his head again and looks at her, “Would you mind if I made a suggestion.”
She turns to Smoke and smiles at him, “No, of course not.”
“As lovely as you are, would you please put some clothes on. You’re kind of distracting.”
She looks down at herself, “Well, we did leave in a bit of a hurry.”
“Well, yes, I know that, but blimey…”
She looks up at the pale blue sky and closes her eyes, “Okay, I need some clothes. Some really nice pretty ones.”
Smoke shakes his head, “You shouldn’t have done that.”
A small man in green appears on a log by the stream. He’s wearing dark glasses and is smoking a joint, “Hey baby. Whassup?”
“Harvey, I need some nice clothes.”
Harvey looks at her, admiringly, “Are you sure? I mean, damn, you do look sexy.”
She blushes, “Harvey, please!”
Harvey nods and gets all huffy, “Okay, okay…now…something nice…”
A flash of light and clothes appear by the log.
All three of them look at them. Smoke is the first to laugh.
“What the hell is this?” She asks. A red check dress, a white high neck blouse, ankle length socks and she is not amused, “I’m going to look like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz!”
“Yeah, but she was kind of kinky.”
“Harvey! That’s not going to help.”
Smoke snickers in the background, “Yeah, ain’t that the truth of it.”
Harvey stands up, all three feet of him, hands on his hips, “Oh and you’re so smart. A talking horse, a naked Princess and she asks me for nice clothes and this is the thanks I get!”
“Not exactly what I had in mind.”
“I’m a bleedin’ dwarf, not a flamin’ mind reader! So you don’t want these then?”
She looks at Smoke, he looks at the water.
“Something a little less Hollywood.”
Harvey jumps down from the log, “Less Hollywood? What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
Smoke takes several sideways steps, shaking his head, “Harvey please. Just get her some clothes and we can all just get on, okay?”
“Right, fine!” He declares and the clothes are gone.
Harvey mutters a series of curses and more clothes appear. Not much better than before but she says nothing. She picks them up and it’s a cowgirl outfit.
“Oh look,” Smoke laughs, “it’s Calamity Jane!”
“You are a horse, aren’t you?” Harvey says, sitting back down again, smoking and looking quite relaxed.
“Harvey, thank you. These will do for now.”
Harvey looks at her, smiles and vanishes.
“You know, I could really go off him.”
“Ah, Smoke, there’s no need to be like that.”
“Princess, get dressed. We should really get out of here.”
She goes behind a tree and gets dressed. It takes a little while, but when she returns, Smoke is quite ready to get going again.
“Right, so where are we going?”
Smoke looks back at her, “Don’t you know?”
“No. Why should I?”
Smoke rolls his eyes upwards, “It’s going to be one of those days, isn’t it.”

Several, long miles later, they are on the outskirts of a hamlet.
“Well, what do you think?”
Smoke looks at the hamlet and sighs, “As good a place as any.”
Princess gets down and starts walking. Smoke staying at her side, his head slowly bobbing, very casual like.
A man approaches them, wearing a dark suit and little round spectacles, “I bid you good afternoon.” He says and he bows slightly.
“Hello. What is this place?”
“Place? Oh, this is the lovely hamlet of Chumley.”
“Chumley? Never heard of it.”
The man looks at Smoke, “It talks?”
Smoke does not look at all happy, “It? It? I’m a talking horse. I am not an it!”
“I do beg your pardon. I am Jonah. I am the editor of Chumley’s evening paper.”
“I’m a Princess and this is Smoke. He is a talking horse.”
“Yes, he said. So what brings you to our lovely hamlet?”
“That’s a good question.”
“Yeah, isn’t it.” Smoke says, loudly.
“I would say that we are a little…”
“Lost?” Jonah puts in.
“Well, I wouldn’t call it that.”
“But it’s close enough.” Smoke adds.
Jonah smiles. And walks with them. Chumley does look rather nice. A few nicely arranged shops, a small market and sheep and pigs roaming the street and people just going about their business…

Meanwhile, a lot of miles way back yonder….

There is a castle. Yes, there is. There has to be, otherwise it wouldn’t work, would it? Anyway, the castle is as you’d expect to see in a brochure, with all the attachments, drawbridge, high tower, dungeons, oh you get the idea.
This is the home of the King and Queen and that rather wayward Princess… I’m holding things up and we really should get a move on.
Oh, somebody’s not happy…

“What do mean she’s gone?”
The man’s voice roars, a temper that matches his fiery red beard.
“She’s not here, my lord.”
“Are you certain she’s not hiding someplace?”
“Did any of you idiots offer to play hide and seek with my daughter?”
Now, of the four men in the room with the King, oh, the King is the one with the fiery red beard, they all look at each other. They’re all rather timid, and with good reason. They’ve been warned numerous times about playing games with the Princess. She’s very good at playing games.
The four men, don’t really know where to put themselves. The King walks to a long table and picks up a very long sword. He holds it up, vertically, looking at the very sharp edges, “I will ask you once again and you had better answer me.”
This isn’t a request, this is a direct order of the King and he’s not a man who will play games like his daughter. He’s bloody mad.
Two of the men point at the third. He quivers and looks down at the floor. The King looks at him, taking massive strides to stand in front of him, “Well, well. My dear Godfrey. Perhaps you have something you would like to tell me?”
The King’s eyes glare at him and Godfrey needs to go the toilet in a hurry.
“Speak man!” The King shouts and all four men jump together.
Godfrey drops to his knees and that hurt, “My Lord, she has gone. She took Smoke with her. She left earlier this morning.”
The King slams the sword into the floor, gripping the handle and his cheeks glow red with rage, “Who let her near her horse?”
Godfrey points at another skinny looking man.
The King closes his eyes, “Kneel, Duncan. Tell me, before I throw you from the window.”
Duncan kneels and he has wet himself, “I apologise my Lord. You know how much she loves that horse and she was asking to speak to him.”
“Do you know, I would rather drink salt than listen to that weasly sound you make. I thought Godfrey was bad enough, but by my own strength, you are a serious disappointment.”
Duncan bows, “I am sorry, my King.”
The King steps back towards the windows, “Do we have any idea of where she may have gone?”
Not one of them answers.
“Very well,” The King sighs, “you just wait until the Queen finds out!”

So, back in Chumley…

Smoke makes himself comfortable on the bed, “Hey, this isn’t half bad.”
Princess sits on a chair by the window, “I don’t know you couldn’t stay in the stable.”
“It was draughty.”
She rolls her eyes, “Aren’t they all?”
“The one at home isn’t. That’s very cosy.”
Smoke rests his head and a short sigh and settles. The Princess watches him from the discomfort of the chair. Now that they’re here, what are they going to do? Do they stay here or move on in the morning?
But where do we go to?
It’s not as if they have a map or anything useful. And at that point, Harvey appears by the window.
“Yes, your Princess?”
“Um…we need a map.”
“A map, your highness?”
“Yes, you know, so we know where we’re going.”
Harvey lights another spliff, “I don’t know about such things. Do you know how to read a map?”
The Princess shrugs, “I don’t see why not.”
Harvey takes a long draw and a map appears on the table. The Princess leans over and picks it up, “Er, Harvey, this is a map of France.”
“Is it? I always wanted to go there. Oops, sorry!”
The map vanishes. Another appears.
The Princess picks this up. She smiles, “The professional drivers atlas of Great Britain. With locations of fixed speed cameras. Wow! That’s really neat. What’s a speed camera?”
Harvey shrugs in a really useful way.
The room starts to look a little hazy and it smells kind of funny too.
Smoke lifts his head and is afraid to draw breath, “Harvey, you shouldn’t smoke that stuff near the Princess.”
“Hey, it’s cool man.”
“Idiot! She’ll be as high as a kite and it won’t be funny.”
“Smoke, we’ve got a map.”
“I suppose that’s your doing?”
“She did ask! I’m just doing my job dude!”
“If you call me dude again, I’m going to kick you where it hurts!”
Harvey smiles at Smoke and vanishes.
“Bloody typical!” Smoke snorts and looks at the Princess, she appears to be asleep, “Not quite kite like,“ He shakes his head, “never mind…”
Smoke rests his head again and muttering, “She wakes up, she’s gonna have a dose of the ragin’ munchies…”

Meanwhile…back at the castle…

“So you have no idea where she’s gone?”
The King moves away from his beloved Queen, “Apparently not. These fools would rather play damned games with her.”
The Queen, generally speaking isn’t that level headed. A bit too much of the old ’gin and tonic’ but don’t drown the gin. She has a fearsome temper and positively dotes on her wayward daughter. And is quite aware of her odd ’tastes’.
“So, we shall have to arrange search parties.”
The King nods, a wise move indeed, “My Queen, I shall lead the first team away. We leave as soon as Larry gets here.”
“Larry? That drunken fool of a hunter? He can’t even find his way home in broad daylight, isn’t there anyone else?”
“What about Percival? He is home from his holidays and would need something to keep his mind busy.”
“It is not his mind that we should worry about, it’s his busy hands.” The Queen replies.
The King shrugs, “We are running out of options. We must go and find her. My love, I will leave forthwith.” He bows and steps aside of her.
“Oh, go on then. But don’t go running around in the dark.”
The King blushes and makes his way to the door.
The Queen gets out of her chair and points to the long table, “Won’t you be needing this?”
The King slaps himself on his forehead, “Yes, my sword. Thank you.”

The King is met in the courtyard by Duncan, shortly followed by Godfrey.
They stand before the King, who lacks any kind of faith in them whatsoever.
“Who is driving?” The King asks.
“Driving, my lord?”
“I shall be in the back, so one of you must drive.”
“I can.” Duncan says, quite proud of the fact.
“What exactly are we driving?” Godfrey asks.
The King orders the gates opened on his garage, “There. It is my pride and joy. A car.”
It is a car. No doubting that, but Godfrey is a little confused, “Isn’t this story about a Princess and a talking horse and a dwarf who can do magic?”
“Yes, it is what they call fantasy.”
“Ah, like fairies.” Godfrey says.
“Who are you calling a fairy?”
“I didn’t mean you. I meant…um.. oh dear.”
“Shall we go or stay here acting out some rather weak drama?”
The King approaches the car. A stately looking vehicle, he stands by the back door, waiting.
Duncan has the good grace to rush to the King’s side and open the door for him. Godfrey appears at the passengers side, the front, watching as the King proudly takes his seat.
With two idiots up front and a King with a fiery red beard in the back, they drive off in search of the Princess.
Not long after this, the police get involved…