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Terror in the Land of Hope and Mystery Part 4

The Finale

The elves gave Gav the sack that contained Giorgia and Poppet. He took it inside his hovel, where he turned it upside down. Giorgia dropped out of the sack and was mad as hell.

Confronted with a mean looking huge red monstrosity, she stood her ground along with Poppet, whom she cuddled closely.

"Who are you?" she said. "And where is Reece? Mum and Auntie Ginger are gonna be so mad at him for this and so is Kermit."

Looking fiercely, "Erm, my name is Gav," said the red troll, "now get into the cage," pointing toward the cage in the corner.

Giorgia smirked, "Like heck I will. You think me and Poppet are that daft?"

Gav looked aghast, "What are you talking about? Get in the cage!"

"Nope," said Giorgia folding her arm that was not cuddling Poppet, stubbornly.

"You will," said Gav glaring at her.

"I won't," said Giorgia glaring back.

"You will!" as Gav raised his club.

Giorgia laughed and raised Poppet, "Make me," then sniffed the air. "What's that delicious smell?"

"What smell?" said Gav still holding his club at half-mast.

"Smells like chocolate," said Giorgia holding Poppet at half-mast, as her tummy rumbled. "I love chocolate so does Poppet."

"Get in the cage!"

"Nope!"

"You will."

"I will not. Where is Reece? Mum is so gonna be so mad and he is in so much trouble."

"Again, who is Reece?"

"Don't pretend you don't know, Gav."

"I don't know what you 're talking about."

"So you say. Now where is he? He is so grounded."

"What are you talking about?"

"Like you don't know now where he is?"

"I don't know who you are talking about. Are you insane?"

"You look like Stig. Are you insane? You do look kinda crazy."

"Who is Stig?"

"He looks a little like you, but he is green. He also drives cars really fast or well cars that float and drive really fast."

"You mean Graham Speedlum?"

"Do I look like I know the answer to that? I can't drive. I am 7. I just know his name is Graham."

"Get in the cage."

"No!"

"Why not?"

"Because I need the loo."

"Fine, but then will you get in the cage?"

"No."

"Why not?"

"Because I am hungry and Poppet told me not to."

"I can push your food through the bars."

"That's hardly hospitable."

"Grr, do you ever shut up?"

"Nope."

Gav grimaced, as Giorgia went to the loo with Poppet and he went to check on his brownies. She was a handful, to say the least, but kind of fun to talk to, that was for sure. Guess the illegal fairy dust, he got from the fairies was not going to get him very far with this kid. She was a menace and a gobshite to boot.

While Giorgia verbally grappled with Gav, made his life miserable and ate him out of hovel and home, Reece and the rescuers gathered to plan her rescue. Kermit was all for rushing the hovel taking down the elves and rescuing Giorgia. Fred and Stig spoke up first before any rash movements happened. Giorgia's safety was paramount or Kiera would kill them. Ginger carried a big supply of water balloons and was not afraid to use them.

Everyone stopped and listened for the next person to speak. Robert spoke, "I saw Giorgia unceremoniously dumped from a burlap sack onto the floor of the Red Troll's hovel. She was angry and berated the Red Troll, who seemed to cower at her outrage. We need to get there before he changes his mind and imprisons her for use in the ceremony. Remember he needs the moon rise and it will be happening soon."

"Whoa! We have two problems here," said Fred. "There are still elves out there that we have to dispatch. Then, we have to break into the Red Troll's hovel without harming Giorgia or Giorgia harming us for that matter. That girl has a vicious temper, almost as scary as her mum."

"Right, Fred, Stig and Edward can take care of the elves," Kermit told them. "The rest of us can storm the hovel and subdue the Red Troll. Before we move on them, let's send Robert to get another report of the situation."

Fred and Stig talked, "How should we take on these elves? Should we capture them and hold them for punishment or just scare them away?" said Stig.

"I think we should hold them and find out why they took her." Fred sputtered in anger. "Let the Queen deal with them."

"We will see what happens when we get there."

Reece looked up and saw Robert returning, but things did not look good. Robert flew erratically and barely made it to Fred. Everyone watched as Robert faltered landing hard on Fred's shoulder.

"What's the matter Robert? Is Giorgia all right? Has the Red Troll harmed her?" Kiera asked with grave concern.

"I am winded and tired, but I got a good view of the situation. The elves wait for the Red Troll to pay them, but they are bickering about dividing the payment." Robert gasped. "Giorgia is arguing with the Red Troll and being a stubborn little girl. The Red Troll, who is named Gav, appears confused with her behaviour."

Fred and Kiera laughed, "That's my girl Giorgia!" Kiera chortled.

"Now is the best time to rescue her and deal with the elves. Let the queen deal with them and give the verdict," Fred added.

The group gathered and started down the road. Marvin and Kermit grabbed onto Loxy strongly as she trotted with them. The Frogs bounced around on her back and closed their eyes or pretended to. They were so hungry and Robert hovered above them. He was just such a tasty looking treat for their hunger that Loxy's fleas just could not satisfy.

Edward, Fred and Stig ran ahead and dashed up the hill surrounding the elves who cowered in fear at their approach (the cowards). Robert, who rode on Fred's shoulder, hovered around the elves listening to their gibberish meanderings. The elves sat on the ground and huddled tightly together protecting a batch of brownies, whilst Ginger pelted them with water balloons.

"That was easy," Fred said. "Maybe a little too easy, Stig, you go down and help the rest with the Red Troll. You may know how to handle him better than they do."

Stig nodded and started down the side of the hovel. "I hate Red Trolls, but I will help rescue Giorgia, even if she is a little madam, who keeps getting my prize driver grounded by telling tales."

Reece ran hard into the door of the hovel. It shattered into pieces as he hit it at a full run. The door barely slowed him and he ran directly into the back to the Red Troll and fell on the floor.

"Reece, why did you do that? Mind the cakes, Gav just baked more brownies!" Giorgia yelled.

Edward and Fred stayed with the elves and Stig joined the rest of the party inside the hovel as Gav sat wondering what had happened and how his whole world had gone insane due to these crazy people invading his home. Ginger had pelted him with water balloons and Kermit had stabbed him in the toe.

Gav sat down stunned in his chair trying to gain his composure after the chaos.

Giorgia wandered back to the table and helped herself to another brownie. But as Reece reached over to take one, she slapped his hand away.

"Mum, Giorgia won't share," said Reece.

Kiera turned to look and saw Giorgia's face covered in chocolate, "Exactly how many cakes have you eaten today young lady?"

Giorgia shrugged and Gav snorted and said, "The answer to that question is how many has she not eaten. I'm shocked there are even any left."

"Giorgia you know you're not allowed treats before dinner," Kiera said giving her a stern look.

"I was kidnapped, mum. I was distraught, I needed comfort food," Giorgia said innocently.

Kiera glared at Gav, "You see, you see what you did. You distressed my baby, you monster. How could you do that to my sweet innocent girl?"

Gav looked aghast.

Reece piped in, "I am distraught mum can I have one of these cakes?"

Kiera smiled at Reece adoringly and took the plate away from Giorgia, "Of course, you can baby, here you go," she handed Reece the plate.

"Can I have 2, mum? I really am feeling distraught."

"No, you can have one and Giorgia, no more for you."

United, both children said, "But MUM."

"No Reece, you can have one now and some more after dinner. Giorgia, you get no more today."

Giorgia glared at Reece, who took a long bite out of his brownie. As Kiera returned her attention back to Gav, who had a stunned look on his face, Reece poked his tongue out at Giorgia.

"Mum, Reece just poked his tongue out at me."

Sighing, Kiera turned back to Reece, "Reece, don't poke your tongue out at your sister."

"I didn't do it mum. I was just licking my lips."

Eyes narrowed, "Reece what have I told you about lying to me?"

He licked his lips to emphasise his point, after he took another healthy bite mouthful, "I wasn't lying, mum. See, I was just licking my lips. This cake is delicious."

He glanced over at Gav, "Hey, you may be a kidnapping fiend and all, but damn you can half cook, this brownie is delicious."

Kiera glared at Reece, "Don't say damn, Reece, I don't like it."

"Sorry mum, but back to the point of Giorgia's unfounded allegations. I was licking my lips. She is just trying to get me into trouble. She's always doing that and on this occasion, well, as is usually the occasion. I simply didn't do it, mum. I'd also like to add that I'm now even more distraught at the accusation of doing such a thing, especially after I came to save her from him," pointed at Gav with his brownie.

"She is being mean to me. It's upset me and I think you should let me have another brownie," Reece said hopefully with his charming smile that melted all hearts.

"Nice try, but no cigar, Reece Robert Rascal no more cakes till you eat dinner. Giorgia stop telling tales. Reece is right; he was really brave today coming to rescue you like that. You should be thanking him and not telling tales."

Kiera turned her attention back to Gav once again who had his head in his hands shaking it; Kiera heard Giorgia mumble a silent, "I hate you," to Reece.

"Now that's enough Giorgia, you do not tell your brother who loves you that you hate him not ever, you know how I feel about that. You must never hate anyone, especially family and I will not have it, now apologise."

Sheepishly, Giorgia lowered her head, "I'm sorry mum, I'm sorry Reece."

"That's ok, Giorgia, I forgive you because I love you. I can't say I am not a little "distraught" over it, though, Mum can I have another brownie?"

"No, Reece, nice try, though."

A water balloon pelted Reece in the head.

He glared at Auntie Ginger, "What was that for?"

Ginger shrugged, "Sorry, my hand slipped again."

Kiera glanced at Queen Karen. Kiera tried not to laugh and said, "So what happens now?"

"Well, in theory as ruler, I need to punish Gav for kidnapping. I have already punished the elves. They have to clean out the latrines at the Palace for the next six months. A ghastly job I assure you and quite fitting for their crimes. I hope you agree?"

Kiera nodded in agreement, "Yes, yes, quite fitting, thank you, your majesty. You are very just, but what happens to Gav now?"

A loud squeal erupted as she yelled, "GIVE ME BACK POPPET RIGHT NOW! REECE! STOP TRYING TO PULL OFF HER HEAD LIKE THAT. MUUUUUUUM, STOP HIM MAKE HIM GIVE HER BACK. REEEEEEECE, NO, STOP YOU'RE HURTING HER MUUUUUUMMMMMMYYYY, HELP!"

Everyone turned to witness Giorgia as she launched herself onto Reece's back, slapped him on the head as she desperately tried to reach Poppet. Reece laughed and held her just out of reach.

"MUUUUMMMMY, MAKE HIM GIVE HER BACK!"

Marching over, Kiera pulled Giorgia off Reece, snatched back Poppet and handed her to Giorgia.

"That's it you two enough; the grownups need to sort this out. Reece, you stop taking Poppet and hurting her."

"I was just checking. She was ok, mum."

"Don't lie to me, Reece."

"But I didn't."

"Do it? Yes, I know. You never do. Now that's enough, you two. Now you, putting Reece on one side of the room stay there and you, marching Giorgia to the other side of the room stand there. Don't even look at each other. I don't want to hear another peep out of either of you, OK?"

Both bowed their heads, "Yes mum," then glared at each other.

"ENOUUUUGHHHHH," yelled Gav. "You are all insane. Get out of my house right now."

Gav felt instantly pelted by several water balloons and glared at Ginger.

Reece snorted, "House? Are you kidding me? This place is a dump, a hole in the ground. If you think this place is a house, then you have very low standards, just saying."

Ginger laughed and Kiera fought one back, as did Queen Karen.

Gav glared at Reece then back at Ginger, "Let me guess, your hand slipped?"

"Nope, I did that on purpose, a kidnapper calling us insane, really?"

"Oh God, save me," sighed Gav as he stared at the ceiling.

Clearing her throat, Queen Karen said, "I am afraid God cannot save you now. There is still the matter of your punishment."

Shaking his head, Gav sighed, "Don't you think I had enough punishment?"

Ginger scoffed and lobbed another water balloon.

He wiped the water off his face, as he glared at her, "Jesus, woman will you stop doing that?"

"No," said Ginger simply.

"How, exactly, have you been punished, Gav? You took my baby girl from me today and terrified me."

Gav sighed and looked sheepish, "I am sorry about that, but I was so lonely and to be honest, you really cannot lay all the blame for this on me."

"How are you not to blame. You kidnapped an innocent child."

Gav scoffed, "You know, I thought that too when I first saw her, but Lady, you need to take off those rose tinted glasses. It only took me a few hours in her company to realise she was a menace. Now that I've met both your children in person, I can see that both are."

"They are not. My children are wonderful. How dare you say that about my kids?"

"Lady, your children, are both menaces and you should be real proud of your parenting skills (not). They are both lunatics."

Reece and Giorgia raced forward yelling "HEY! You can't say that about our mum. Our mum is awesome and she is our mum. You can't say that."

"You see what I mean Lady. You can't control them; you told them to be quiet and stand apart and have they listened?"

Kiera stunned at Gav calling her a terrible mother to her most precious babies was speechless, but Reece and Giorgia were not.

Giorgia moved forward, kicked Gav in the shin and yelled, "We do as sometimes told. She is a great mum and you will not talk about her like that. You are such a mean person. She loves us; we love her and you will not talk to her that way. Isn't that right Reece?"

"Yeah!" said Reece as he gave Gav a stern look that was almost identical to his mums. "Don't say that about our mum, not ever!"

When they saw their mum upset, they both went to hug her. Kiera held them close, kissed them both with tears in her eyes, thanked them both and told them to go sit down again.

Gav clutching his knee said pointing a shaking finger at Giorgia, "And see, she, she, she looks so sweet and innocent but she is not. She isn't even scared of me. I am a Red Troll. She should be terrified of me but she isn't."

Kermit cleared his throat, "I think I know why she is not afraid of you."

Gav rolled his eyes and said, "And why is that your highness. Do enlighten me!"

"It's your club."

"What about my club?"

"It's a rather pathetic weapon of choice in my humble opinion."

"My club is fearsome and a great weapon."

Kermit scoffed, "Whatever you say kind sir, but I have to disagree with you. Perhaps if you had a sword, you would appear more intimidating."

He drew his needle sword to prove his point, sliced it through the air, with several almost impressive stabbing motions in which he only stumbled twice due to his broken toes, and then returned his sword in a swift motion that only took three attempts. Cal stood proudly and said, "You see how fearsome a good blade can be? I saw the fear in your eyes, as I drew my weapon, wasn't that right Marvin? You saw it too, did you not?"

Marvin coughed to stifle his laugh. The women gazed at Kermit in adoration, while the men, including Gav, looked upon him in sheer horror.

"Yes, your most highest majesty, I do believe he is trembling with fear."

"I do believe you are correct Marvin. He does appear to be shaking; perhaps I went a little too far, my apologies for putting the fear of God into you kind sir."

Gav trembled with outrage and yelled, "ALL OF YOU GET OUT NOW!"

Queen Karen stood tall, "We cannot leave. There is still your punishment to be considered here."

Gav, pelted by another water balloon, yelled at Ginger, "WILL YOU STOP DOING THAT?"

Ginger shrugged unapologetically, "Nope, not gonna happen."

Gav yelled again at Queen Karen, "And punishment? Haven't I endured enough punishment? Jesus H Christ, just the fact that I have to listen to a pathetic frog armed with a needle, giving me weapons advice is punishment enough."

Cal looked aghast. "A frog armed with a needle. I agree that is pathetic. Don't listen to him. Find out who this imbecile is please, Marvin, I must need to speak to him."

"I will get right on that, your majesty."

"Good man, good man, Marvin and make haste with that. We cannot have frogs inappropriately armed. There are herons everywhere these days and we must be vigilant."

"As you wish my Prince," Marvin bowed to hide his laugh.

Gav, groaning, said again, "Will you all, just please leave now. I can't take any more of any of you. You're all crazy."

"We cannot leave. You need to be punished for your kidnapping crimes against guests; we welcomed into Mysteria."

"And who welcomed them, your majesty?" Gav said snidely. "You, did you open that portal and let these three LUNATICS IN? What the hell were you thinking? Like I said, I have been punished enough?"

Standing tall and proud as the Queen she was, Karen said, "Being uncivilised to guests here is inappropriate and rude. Kidnapping them is against our laws, which I as Queen, must abide by. So, do pray tell me, how you have already been punished?"

Gav grabbed a tissue his eyes watering here is my story:

"I was a boy once, a good boy," looking at the Queen, Gav said. "You knew me, but no one knows me now. My name was Gav Skywonker. My parents were your master bakers. They made cakes for all your parties and you. They died of broken hearts, after someone kidnapped me, but not before I tried to go home to them. The transformation for me and my favourite toy my Millennium Falcon didn't work. I just kept thinking of my mum, how much I loved her. Although, I did turn into a Red Troll I didn't turn evil either. My maker, upon realising this, after I wouldn't kill an innocent unicorn for our dinner because the Skywonkers are vegetarians, tried to kill me because I was a freak.

I barely managed to escape and fled to the safety of my parents who didn't recognise me anymore. My mother was terrified and hit me on the head with a frying pan. My dad chased me away armed with a spatula. Since then, I have been alone, shunned by my own kind and yours."

The Queen, hand on mouth, tears in her eyes lamented, "Gav Skywonker, oh my goodness, is that really you? My goodness, so this is what happened to you. But Gav you were such a lovely little boy. Why, if you hate this, would you do this to someone else? The Gav, I knew would never do that?"

"It was a sheer act of desperation and loneliness. I thought she," he pointed at Giorgia, "was so sweet when I first saw her, after he" pointed at Reece, "locked her in a cave a few weeks ago. She appeared so sweet and brave. While trapped in there, protecting Poppet, I was sure she too would transform like me and not turn evil. Goes to show, though, looks and first appearances can be deceiving because she is a stroppy little menace who doesn't do a thing she is told. She tells tales, doesn't share her toys and never stops eating. I mean how does anyone that small eat that much? I think I've had a narrow escape here, to be honest."

Giorgia walked over to Gav and gives him a big hug, which he returns. There was not a dry eye in the hovel. She turned to the Queen and Reece stands beside her they were both united.

"Majesty, I would like to request personally you not punish Gav. He didn't hurt me." She looked at Reece, who nods in agreement. "I/we think Gav has been punished enough. He is a victim and we forgive him." Giorgia rubbed Gav's arms in comfort. "I am sorry Gav that your mum didn't recognise you." Giorgia gazed at her mum, eyes watering for them both, even Reece too. "I think my mum would know me anywhere."

Kiera sobbed and held out her arms for her babies. Giorgia and Reece run into them. She holds them close, kisses their heads, faces and clutches them tight. "Yes, my most precious ones, I would know you anywhere, even if you were large, red, ugly and trolls I would know you."

"Can I have another brownie now mum, I am distraught again?"

"Me too mum" giggles, Giorgia.

Laughing, "No Reece, dinner first. Giorgia, hell no, you had enough."

The tearful Queen looked to Kiera, "So what do you want me to do? You have the right to demand punishment."

Kiera let go of her children and moves towards Gav, who cringes and prays for his shins. Kiera wraps her arms around him and hugs him, holds him tight, kisses him on the cheek, whispers in his ear, "I am so sorry your parents didn't recognise you. I forgive you."

She turns and tells the Queen, "My children may be young, but very wise. She asks for a full pardon for Gav, who asks for time alone after having to deal with "all the crazy people." He agrees that in time, he might on occasion like their company, but only in small doses, very small doses. He promises to make Giorgia's birthday cake for her in April. The Queen grants his pardon.

Kiera sighs and looks to the Queen, upon leaving the hovel. Gav had shoved them all out of it with his broom, but not before Reece stole a plate of brownies that Kiera duly confiscated until after dinner. His theft got him pelted by more water balloons from Ginger, who stole and ate a brownie in front of them both, just cause she could and they could not.

"It's been a hard day. I know you don't regularly open portals, but could we do so this once to get back to the Palace? We are all tired and hungry. Though perhaps not Ginger, she just gorged on brownies to tease my kids."

The Queen agrees and begins to open a portal, but then, "Mum, Mum wait. We have to say goodbye to Loxy." Reece and Giorgia say.

"Ok, but don't get too close. She has fleas and I don't need to be dealing with fleabites tonight. So keep your distance."

Everyone walks over to Loxy, keeping their distance from her fleas, petted and thanking her.

The frogs ask the Queen if she could leave the portal open once they all go through. They wanted to feast on her fleas, say their proper goodbyes and then walk through. She agrees, to their delight, as they had become quite close.

Cal and Marvin hop over to Loxy and onto her back up behind her ears. Fleas liked the ears for some reason. As they ate their fill of fleas, Cal spoke, "You turned out to be a wonderful friend and I would like to invite you to join us at the palace. We have need of you, but I will understand if you have to leave."

Loxy sniffed, "My dear prince, thank you for the invitation, but I must continue my quest. I will never be far away and would love to see all of you again. Nevertheless, leave I must. Just send word through the forest animals and I will appear at your court." She licked the frogs and helped them down. "Thank you for eating my fleas. I have not felt so comfortable in a very long time." As the frogs turned to look at her, she bowed low with a smile on her face. She rose from the bow and trotted away down the road.

Robert laughingly zoomed around Reece, who cringed, but then sat on his shoulder much to Reece's horror and said, "I can't sting you, Reece. I don't have a stinger, but you are all right and it's been fun teasing you. Glad, you got your sister back."

Reece shook his head, "Wow, you lied. If I told my mum that, you would be in so much trouble."

Robert laughed, "Yeah, I guess I would be. I'll see you around Reece. I got to go now, got things to do, places to be."

"Ok Robert, seriously, thanks for helping us today."

"You are welcome, goodbye, for now, my man."

As Robert zoomed off and the frogs said their goodbyes to Loxy, an exhausted Queen, Kiera, kids and company entered the portal the Queen created. They ended up back at the palace and had a well-earned cup of tea and dinner.

Later that night, as the moons rose in the land of Mysteria, Kiera sat quietly in the moonlight. She clutched and cuddled Giorgia, who cuddled Poppet. Reece sat close by, Kiera not wanting them out of her sight. Kermit sat between Giorgia's legs sharpening his sword with a pebble while Marvin lay next to him. Marvin snored loudly after a busy day and an over-consumption of Loxy's fleas. He smiled as he dreamed about eating Robert, who would be such a tasty treat.

Ginger, the Queen and Kiera commented about what happened to poor Gav Skywonker.

Then Kiera remembered, "Reece Robert Rascal!"

"What mum?"

"So, this was all your fault. You lied to me. If you hadn't locked you sister in that cave, Gav would never have seen her and none of this would ever have happened."

Reece cleared his throat and said, "Mum, you know you hate lies. Right? I didn't know he was in there. I would never have done that mum, but still you agree you hate lies, yes?"

"Yes, I hate lies. Where are you going with this, Reece?"

"Well, you always say, one crime, one punishment and you already punished me for locking her in that cave. So, therefore, you can't punish me again or that would make you a liar would it not?"

Queen Karen, Ginger and Kiera busted out laughing, as Kiera hugged her son and daughter tight.

"That's good logic, my son. You are quite right. So, no punishment but don't do it again."

"Can I have another brownie now?"

"Me too mummy?" Giorgia quipped.

"NO!"

"I love you, mum."

"I love you too, my boy. You were very brave today going after your sister like that. I am so proud of you."

"Thanks, mum, she's annoying but still my sister and I love her."

"I heard that Reece."

"You heard nothing."

"You so love me."

"No, I don't, you smell."

"I, so, do not smell."

"Mum Reece just said I smell."

Ginger pelts Reece with another water balloon.

"Mum, tell her to stop ballooning me. It makes me distraught. Can I have another brownie?"

"NO! Enough you three, please?" Kiera laughed.

"Let's have a quiet day tomorrow, ok, no more adventures?"

Reece and Giorgia grinned at each other thinking no one saw. However, Ginger, Queen Karen and Kiera noticed as they sipped their tea. Together they wondered what kind of mischief these two would get up to next.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © 2020 Copyright Kiera Hamilton. This work may not be copied, transmitted or used in any way, either in part or in full, without the author's express written permission.

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