As the night became day in Lupperland, the King decided to sup prize his daughter and her friend by being at the camp site when they awoke. When the King arrived at the camp site, to his horror the guards were asleep. The King knew instantly that
something was wrong, because he knew that his guards would never neglect their duty and fall asleep. After the King had composed himself, he checked on the guards and to his relief they weren’t dead but asleep. The King knew that their sleep had been forced on them by a magic spell. What the King did next was the one thing he dreaded, looking in the girls tent to find out their fate. The King took a deep breath and walked towards the girls tent, his heart was beating fast and his mouth became dry. This feeling increased when he entered the tent to find it empty and no sign of the girls. The King put his hands to his face in despair He had not felt pain like this, since the death of his beloved father. The pain that he now felt as he did then became visible as the first teer rolled down his face. As the King wept, he noticed something through his tears a document secured to the wall of the tent. He hesitated at first, because he feared what it might say. When at last he read the document, he was relieved to discover that his daughter and her friend were unharmed. The sadness that he felt turned to worry, when the note explained where the girls had been taken and by whom.
The person who had taken the girls was the one person, who all of Lupperland feared MERTLE THE MEAN. The King knew only to well that she would have locked them in her dungeon, a place that would send fear through the bravest soldier, never mind two young girls.
The King returned to his castle, his first duty on returning was to inform the Queen of the fate of their daughter and her friend. As expected the Queen took the news very badly. The King then had to tell Gabriela’s father what had happened, this he was dreading much more as they were both guests in his Kingdom.
With dread in his heart he summoned Gabriela’s father. When Gabriela’s father saw the look on the Kings face on entering the room, he knew instantly that something was wrong. Because of the look on the Kings face, Daddy didn’t stand on ceremony and spoke first. “Your Majesty, I can see by the look on your face that something is wrong and as you have sent for me I can only assume it has something to do with Gabriela”? The King smiled at Daddy, he was relieved because he had made his task that much easier. The King then set about confirming Daddies insight into the Kings mood. “I am sorry to have to tell you that our daughters have been kidnapped sometime during the night”. Daddies response was as expected, he took a big gulf of air to absorb the shock. After that he took several short breaths to compose himself before speaking again. “Who has taken them, and do you know why”? The King answered Daddy, by telling him who had taken them. As to why they had been taken, he wasn’t sure but he knew that he would be contacted soon. The King
p22 assured Daddy that everything would be done to ensure their release. Daddy took the King at his word, he knew that what ever he was feeling the King felt the same.
The King wasted no time in springing into action, by calling an emergency meeting of his council. The Kings council always met in secret, but on this occasion the King broke with protocol and invited Daddy to take a full part in proceedings. When the King announced to the council what had happened to Teresa and Gabriela, there was a stunned silence. The King gave the council time to absorb the news, before he asked the council their views on what to do next. There was a silence for about five minutes, but that five minutes of silence felt like an eternity. The silence was finally broken by a prominent member of the council, that member was none other than Gromfold. Gromfold had always had prominence within the council, because of his relationship to the King. It was because of this fact, that whatever he suggested was not only listened to but promptly acted upon. On this occasion though the council were just relieved that someone was willing to put forward a solution to the problem. Gromfold stood up, made a reverent gesture to the King then he began to speak.
“Your majesty, fellow council members this day can be described as one of the blackest days in Lupperland History, the kidnapping of two young children; one of which is our beloved princess Teresa. The question now is what can we do to amend the situation. I believe that our first course of action, should be to acknowledge what we can’t do. We know that it would be futile to send an expedition to Bleckland to try and rescue them by force. This would be a futile attempt because, Bleckland has a resource that we don’t have; magic. This magic as we know is in the hands of a people who would not hesitate to use that magic for evil doings even without provocation. Therefore if our rescuers were caught, I couldn’t imagine what magic would be used to punish them. So in summing up, I believe that the only course of action open to us is to do what the King has suggested and wait to be contacted by Bleckland”.
The wait was short-lived, that afternoon a message was delivered to the castle. As soon as the King saw the envelope that the message was in he knew straight away were the message had come from. The envelope was black with sinister red writing on the front, which read. “To the King of Lupperland”. The letter within the envelope had a similar design and was just as sinister. The message was simple and direct, the message read. “If you wish to see your daughter again, be at the waters edge at midnight. You may bring one other person with you. If I see anybody else you will never see your daughter again.” The message was unsigned, but it didn’t need to be it was only to obvious to the King who had sent it.
The King decided not to tell anybody about the message, especially the Queen. The dilemma that faced the King now was who should he take with him. To assist him with
p23 this dilemma, the King turned to the one person he had always relied on, Gromfold. When the King had decided to seek Gromfolds advice, suddenly his spirits were lifted. When Gromfold entered the Kings presence, he knew instinctively that the King had been contacted by Bleckland. “Your Majesty, I can assume that you have sent for me because you have heard from Bleckland”? Gromfold’s response justified the Kings choice of confident in this matter.
“Like always Gromfold, I can never hide anything from you, you have always been
able to read my mind and moods”. The King then showed Gromfold the letter, he studied it carefully before he offered any response. “Your Majesty, what I can assitain from this letter is firstly, that your daughter and Gabriela are yet to be harmed and it is my opinion that you should keep the midnight meeting as instructed”. The King was in total agreement, but there was still the question of whom to take with him. Gromfold and King both thought hard on the matter. During this brief period of reflection, Gromfold’s mind come up with a solution that would suit the Kings needs. Who better could he take with him but the father of the other kidnapped child, Gabriela. Gamfold also believed that Myrtle the Mean would also benefit from this choice, because she would then have both strangers in her grasp at the same time.
There was an anxious wait for the King and Gabriela’s Daddy, midnight seemed days not hours away. During this eternal wait, both the King and Daddy thought of every senorio that lay beyond midnight and Bleckland.
At last the clock read 11 O cloak, it was time to begin the journey of an uncertain outcome. The King decided that it would be best to travel to the waters edge by foot. By doing so they could show that they were travelling alone if someone from Bleckland was watching them from the waters edge.
When they arrived at the waters edge, the King looked at his watch and discovered they were 10 minutes early. It was a cold night and the sound of a howling wind was the only sound that could be heard. The two men waited an impatient wait, every now and then they would look at each other for reinsurance.
Finally in the distance from the direction of Bleckland a strange object appeared in the sky. As the object came closer, its identity was less clearer, it was nothing both men could make sense of. It was only when the object came to rest in front of them, that the two men could identify what this strange object was. The mysteries object was boat shaped, pulled by six broomsticks.
When the object had come to a complete stand still, one of the women motioned to the King and Daddy to sit in the boat. No sooner had they taken their seats, they found
p24 themselves raising upwards. After a sufficient height was reached, they started to move forward in the direction of Bleckland.