Fleche De Lard

By Redtop1995

Adventure / Romance

Rule Britainnia, where conflict rules the waves!

Welcome back to Part 8 of:

Fleche De Lard

Scene 25

The quartet continues to walk in high spirits through the foggy woods. Fifi and Hamton lead the way, while Plucky and Shirley lag behind a little. Although the pig and skunkette appear to be happy, we can tell that all is not well between them. They seem to be troubled by something. Finally, after a beat, Fifi clears her throat and speaks up.

Fifi: Hamtone? Ah was thinking…

Hamton, who would usually love to hear what the princess would like to say, is oddly nervous about the direction this conversation is going.

Fifi: (Concerned) Ah know zat tu are trés nimble, mais… zere seemed to be something un petit, how-you-say, off about your fighting…

Hamton: (Gulps) W-Was there? (Blatantly lying) I didn’t notice.

Fifi: Ah believe zat Shirley vas right about tu being so…angry about Sebastian.

Hamton: Y-Yes, she…is. I’m, uh, I’m angry about the fact that he’s gonna try ta kill your dad and force you to marry him…and, uh, I’m furious because he’s taken over Paris an’ turned us into deserters!

Fifi: Well, ah am trés angry about zat, too. Mais, ah think zat tu are angry about something zat ‘e said to you.

Hamton turns to look at her. She looks worriedly at him. The pig doesn’t know whether he shivered due to the fact that she cares for him…or the wind blowing through his body armour.

Hamton: (Thinking) Darn, darn, triple darn, she’s on ta me! What do I say? Ohhh… (Serious) No. Ya can’t lie to her. Tell her the truth. Mom always said that honesty is the best policy. (To Fifi) Okay, ya got me. The reason why thinking about Sebastian made me mad was because…

Fifi: (Genuinely concerned) Oui?

Hamton: It was when he laughed at me for having a crush on you. H-He said that you would never love me-

Fifi: (Abruptly interrupting him) ‘E eez wrong, do tu understand?! WRONG!!

Hamton evidently doesn’t know whether to be touched by this sudden outburst or shocked. Fifi immediately calms down and takes his hand.

Fifi: (Softly) Hamtone… are tu forgetting our petit promise zat ve made to each other? About zat petit duet? Tu said zat tubas et harps did not go well together…

Hamton: (Finishing her sentence) …And you said that we would make sure that they did…somehow. (Realising) J-Just like princesses and peasants… He visibly begins to look better. (Happily) You’re right! I-I’m sorry, Fifi. I dunno what came over me.

Fifi: Zat eez alright, Hamtone. Do not listen to Sebastian. ‘E eez un villain!

The camera pans back to the two avian walking behind them.

Plucky: (To Shirley) Y’know, there’s one thing that’s bugging me: what happened to the horses…and to a lesser extent, the donkey?

Shirley: (Pondering) Like, now that ya mention it… I don’t know. Didn’t that knight bring ‘em back an’ we brought ‘em to his house?

Plucky: I dunno. I was unconscious in that scene.

The camera suddenly cuts to Fifi and Hamton. The skunkette is pointing excitedly at something offscreen. The pig looks just as ecstatic.

Fifi: Regardez!

The camera cuts to a sign which says: ONCE YOU CROSS THE BIG, BLUE WET THING, YOU’LL BE IN MERRY ENGLAND! The fog appears to be lifting and the decaying trees suddenly grow fresh green leaves and twittering birds fly around them. A rainbow appears in the sky, shining down on the world.

Birds: (Singing) You're out of the woods, you're out of the dark, you're out of the night! Step into the sun, step into the light!

Hamton: (Overjoyed) We made it! (To Fifi) Your father can’t be too far away, now!

Fifi: (Joyful) Oh, oui, oui! Let us go!

The quartet begin to run happily towards the sign which indicates the border between France and England. They all laugh happily. Nothing seems able to take the wind out of their sails. The birds fly around them, twittering merrily and even the sun has a smile on his face.

Just as they’re about to reach the sign, a figure steps out from behind it. The rainbow dissolves, the sun vanishes and is replaced by a gloomy grey sky. The leaves on the tree die and they become gnarled again. The fog reappears and the birds fly away in fright. The quartet screech to a halt and look up at the lanky figure in horror.

The figure has pasty skin and an unnaturally skinny body. He has straggly long black hair and soulless eyes. On his head is a dirty red baseball cap and an equally scruffy overcoat with orange high-tops.

Plucky: (To the camera) Now, THAT’S what I call a Knight of Cerebus.

The scary figure just stands there, staring into space. He appears to be unaware of the quartet’s presence. Maybe it’s due to the fact that they’re knee high compared to him.

Shirley: (To the man) Like, can we help you, or some junk?

Slowly, the man looks down to see the four scared toons. We can hear his neck cracking as he does so. This man constantly speaks in an eerily monotone voice.

Man: Name’s Mr Hitcher.

Hamton: (Nervously) Ohh, heh, heh. Th-that’s a nice name.

Fifi: O-Oui. Now, could vous p-please allow us to pass, monsieur?

Mr Hitcher: I’m afraid I’ll be in serious trouble if I let you go.

Suddenly, Plucky begins to chuckle. Then, he begins to laugh helplessly. Hamton, Fifi and Shirley are understandably confused by the duck’s sudden phenomenon of amusement. Mr Hitcher, on the other hand, just stares coldly down at them with his seemingly lifeless eyes.

Plucky: (Wipes a tear away) Oh, I get it! He regards the confusion of his friends. We hafta pay a toll! (To Mr Hitcher) Sorry, Paleface Von Greasy-hair. We can’t pay. We’re the heroes! He continues to laugh.

Mr Hitcher: Oh, you will pay. With your lives.

Abruptly, Plucky stops laughing.

Plucky: (Nervously, to Mr Hitcher) What did you say?

Mr Hitcher: Cardinal Pew and Duke Tad made it very clear what they wanted me to do.

HFP&S: (In shock) Cardinal Pew and Duke Tad?!

Mr Hitcher: They wanted me to kill you…and then bring you to the king…so that he can mount you over his fireplace.

He begins to walk slowly towards them…and they begin to back away. Suddenly, something occurs to Hamton, and he moves towards Mr Hitcher.

Hamton: (Bravely, to Mr Hitcher) I’m afraid the so-called king will be VERY disappointed!

He pulls out his sword and points it directly at the mercenary. Fifi and Shirley suddenly realise what the pig is doing and step forward as well. Plucky remains behind, trying valiantly not to wet himself.

Fifi: (To Mr Hitcher) Vous are un trés stupid fool pour challenging Fleche De Lard…et moi!

Shirley: (Mockingly) Besides, there’s only three of US an’ one of YOU. What makes ya think you’ll totally kill us?

Mr Hitcher simply fishes in one of the pockets of his overcoat, pulls out a gun and fires it. The bullet ricochets off of Hamton’s sword, denting it slightly. The skunkette, pig and loon react in shock to this.

Shirley: (Terrified) Like, th-that’s how.

The trio retreat back to Plucky. Mr Hitcher puts the gun away. He is fishing in his pocket again.

Mr Hitcher: Alright. Less chat… He abruptly pulls out a chainsaw which automatically roars into life. (Maniacally) MORE SPLAT!!! (Laughs evilly)

He swings the chainsaw. It chops down a nearby tree with that one swipe. The quartet scream and huddle in pure, undiluted horror. Mr Hitcher’s eyes have become terrifyingly more alive in his excitement for carnage. He wields the chainsaw on the group, and slowly advances on them. The buzzing of the chainsaw grows louder and louder. The group hugs each other, each of them feeling absolutely sure that this is the end. The assassin’s mouth curls into a barbarous grin.

Plucky: (Screaming) Where’s a deus ex machina when ya need one?!

Suddenly, we hear a faint buzzing noise…and it’s not coming from the chainsaw. In fact, Mr Hitcher stops what he’s doing just to listen to it. The fear that the quartet had a few minutes ago changes to confusion. The buzzing noise is coming from the sky. It grows louder and louder, until it begins to sound more like an engine.

The camera cuts to the clouds as a Fokker Dr I triplane suddenly appears from them. It swoops down, heading straight for Mr Hitcher.

Mr Hitcher: (Dumbfounded) What the flying fu-?!

The triplane begins firing bullets at the assassin. One of these hits the chainsaw, knocking it out of his hand. Mr Hitcher gives a yell and dives to the ground as the triplane swoops down over him, missing him by inches. It begins to climb back into the sky. The quartet’s confusion quickly turns to ecstasy as the triplane appears to be turning around to buzz the uncharacteristically terrified man once more.

Mr Hitcher notices this and begins to run for his life, as the Fokker Dr I appears to cancel its attack. As Fifi, Hamton, Plucky and Shirley whoop and cheer for their airborne saviour, an unseen force abruptly lifts them up into the air. The force carries them above the dead forest and towards the triplane. As it flies underneath them, Hamton and Fifi are gently lowered into the cockpit behind the pilot, and Shirley and Plucky land on each side of the wings.

We all hear the somewhat familiar voice of the pilot telepathically. In this scene, the characters speak using their thoughts, which are represented like this: [“”]

Lord: [“I prefer to be called Pavel, but I suppose your little name for me shall do, Plucky”]

HFP&S: (Surprised) [“Doctor Lord?!”]

Lord: [“The very same. The four of you are just in time for History 3000. Though the absence of the other students is…worrying”]

Shirley is perfectly balanced on her side of the wings as she sits in the lotus position. However, Plucky is constantly in danger of falling off.

Plucky: [“Hey, Doc?! D’ya have any other seats in this thing?!”]

Lord: [“I’m afraid I don’t, Plucky. This is a 1917 fighter plane. They weren’t built for passengers”]

Plucky: [“Then what are the Porkster and La Fume Fatale sitting in?!”]

Lord: [“Plucky Duck. Be quiet”]

Shirley: [“Like, do what he says, Plucky. He totally saved our lives”]

Fifi: (Happy) [“Zis eez excellent! Avec zis avion, ve shall get to England much quicker!”]

Hamton: [“Hey, yeah, you’re right! Say, professor? Could you take us to England, please?”]

Lord: [“Why, certainly! As it happens, I’m going there myself. Hold on!”]

Suddenly, the sky turns dark.

Lord: [“Take us back to London, on the seventh of September, nineteen-hundred and forty, AD…”]

HFP&S: [“WHAT?!”]

Plucky: [“Not like that!!”]

A swirling white portal appears before the Fokker Dr I. The quartet scream as the plane flies through it… and emerges thousands of miles above the streets of London. We can see explosions in the distance as the triplane flies among a swarm of German bombers, which are ravaging the streets of London below them.

Plucky: [“Messerschmitts! A whole mess of Messerschmitts!”]

Lord: [“Incorrect, Plucky. The planes we are currently flying alongside are actually different types of Heinkel He 111, Dornier Do 17, and Junkers Ju 88 bombers”]

Shirley: [“Like, Doc. This is all really interestin’, but we’re not in History 3000 at this moment!”]

Plucky: (Snarky) [“Yeah, we still haven’t finished the Battle of Hampton Roads!”]

HF&S: (Reproachfully) [“Plucky!”]

Lord: [“Well, why didn’t you say? I’ll take you back to 17th Century Britain”]

Plucky: [“But before ya do, I’ve got one thing I hafta say…”]

Lord: [“And what’s that?”]

Plucky: [“DO A BARREL ROLL!! TRY A SOMERSAULT!! USE THE BRAKE!! USE THE BOOST TO GET THROUGH!!”]

There is a beat as we see that the others are unimpressed by the green duck’s forced references.

Lord: [“I think I’ll take the shortcut…”]

Scene 26

The camera cuts to Plucky, Shirley, Hamton and Fifi walking along a beach. The weather is extremely overcast. They are extremely overjoyed by where they are.

Hamton: (Ecstatic) Britain! We made it!

Suddenly, we hear a thunderclap and a torrent of rain pours down on the quartet. They look at the camera with equally annoyed expressions as they are soaked by the downpour.

Plucky: (Sardonic, to the camera) Yep. This is DEFINITELY Britain.

Fifi: (To the group) Ve are finally dans L’Angleterre. Now, ve ‘ave to find mon pére et tell ‘im about Sebastian. Ve must hurry. Ah ‘ope zat ve are not too late…

Shirley: (To Fifi) Like, don’t worry. Your dad’s takin’ a ship back ta France. An’ as it happens, we’re on the beach with only the ocean separating us from home.

Plucky: (Delighted) And we’re illegal immigrants!

They look at him, before shaking their heads.

Shirley: (To Fifi and Hamton) Like, his ship’s gotta be around here somewhere.

Hamton: (Pointing) Maybe it’s at that harbour.

The camera cuts to a sign which says: “WELCOME TO THE PORT OF DOVER. WHY DON’T YOU VISIT THE LAST PUB IN ENGLAND? AT LEAST IT IS ON THIS SIDE OF THE COUNTRY. THE OTHER LAST PUB’S AT CORNWALL”

Fifi: (Excited) Oui, eet could be! (To Hamton) Trés bien, Hamtone!

They run offscreen. The camera cuts to the Port. Despite the fact that it’s a 17th Century harbour, there are a few modern ships moored there. In fact, we can briefly see a red and green canal boat with the words “RAGDOLL” on it sailing in the background. We see the quartet sneaking along.

Hamton: (Whispering, to Fifi) What does the king’s royal ship look like, Fifi?

Before Fifi can reply, they all do a double take and hide behind some barrels. After a beat, a harbour worker walks past the camera. Once they’re sure that the coast is clear, they emerge from behind the barrels and continue their stealthy movements.

Fifi: (To Hamton) Ah do not know. Ah ‘ave never seen eet before…

Plucky: WHAT?!

HF&S: (Frantically, to Plucky) SSH!

Plucky: (Whispers angrily, to Fifi) Ya don’t even know what yer dad’s yacht looks like? Are you telling us that we came all this way FOR NOTHING?!

Shirley: (To Plucky) Like, we’ve never been out of the palace before, Plucky.

Plucky: (To Shirley, snidely) An’ I’ve never been ta Britain before, but at least I know a royal ship when I see one! (To the camera) I used...I mean, I played a character who had ta scrape the barnacles off ‘em.

Hamton: (To Plucky) Then why don’t ya show us where it is?

Plucky: Okay, I will! He scans the wharf. As his three friends wait expectantly for an answer, the green duck looks nervously at the camera. It’s obvious that he can’t find it. (To the group) Uh… How about we ask someone where it is?

Fifi: (Scornfully, to Plucky) Ah thought zat vous knew!

Plucky: Well, I, uh… I haven’t work- played a role like that in a long time!

The camera cuts to Constance the Koala, who is cleaning a nearby frigate with a feather duster.

Hamton: Maybe that lady koala knows where it is! They cross to Constance, who is now polishing one of the portholes.

Fifi: (To Constance) Excuse us, madame, could vous..?

Constance turns to look at them. A bright smile crosses her face as she sees them.

Constance: (Cheerfully) Oh, hello there, my dears! I’m Constance, the cleaning lady. I make sure that all the ships are… shipshape! (Giggles)

Fifi: Bonjour! Je suis Fifi, ze princess of France. She points to Hamton. Zis eez Fleche De Lard et mes amis.

Constance: (Surprised) Oh! You’re from France! (Confused) What nationality are you?

Hamton: (Confused, after a beat) Uh… French?

Constance: (Shocked) Oh dear! You’re not invading us again?

Shirley: (To Constance) Like, no, we ain’t! Y’see, the king came here for his vacation, an’ we came here ta find him.

Constance: (Puzzled) The king’s on holiday? But we only just had him crowned!

Plucky: (Frustrated) NO! The king of France came here an’ we came ta find him!

Constance: Oh, I see! (Giggles, before suddenly becoming grave) Oh, I’m sorry. I’m afraid you’re too late.

Fifi: (Shocked) QUOI?! (Suddenly tearful) Non…NON!!

Hamton immediately embraces her as she sobs into his armour.

Constance: Oh, I’m sorry…I meant that he’s already going back to France. Didn’t word that very well, did I?

Fifi suddenly stops crying and breathes a sigh of relief, wiping her tears away.

Hamton: (To Constance) So if he’s gone, I’m gonna assume his ship isn’t moored here, then.

Constance: Now, that’s the odd part about his departure… She ponders. He didn’t use the Royal ship. He took a different ship called the Seedy.

Shirley: (Raised eyebrow) The Seedy? (To the camera) That totally doesn’t sound good…

Plucky: (To the group) Lemme guess. We’re gonna hafta go after this ship, then.

Fifi, Hamton and Shirley nod and he rolls his eyes. Then, something comes to him.

Plucky: (Hopeful) Wait a minute! We can use the Royal ship, can’t we?!

Constance: Well… no.

Shirley: Like, why not?

Instead of answering, Constance points to something offscreen. The camera abruptly cuts to a smouldering wreck in the corner of the quay. It has graffiti on it which says: “WIGAN IS NOT A FOOTBALL OR A RUGBY TOWN: IT’S A PIE TOWN!”, “KATIE HOPKINS IS A MORON!” and “BRITISH STEREOTYPES FTW!” The French flag is torn and burnt. It seems that the ship is out of action.

Plucky: Oh… (To Constance) I see what ya mean.

Constance: (Pondering) I believe I overheard the harbourmaster saying something about a message that the crew of the Seedy received before they cast off. But they threw it into the sea near the wreck. (To the camera) I failed to see the point of writing one, as well.

Hamton: (Pondering) Hmmm… the crew of this Seedy ship have got the king. (To Fifi) That message they wrote must say where they are!

Fifi: (With grim determination) We ‘ave to get zat message, tout suite!

Plucky: (To Fifi, patronising) I hate ta break it to ya, your highness, but that message is at the bottom of the dock. How d’ya intend ta get it?

Shirley: (To Fifi, reluctantly) Like, he’s surprisingly right, Fifi. That message is gone. Plucky and I would go down there an’ get it since we’re both waterfowl…but our buoyant bodies prevent us from spending too long underwater, or some junk.

Plucky: (To Shirley) Who said I’d be goin’ down there, anyway?

Fifi: Zen ah shall do eet! (To Hamton) Hamtone, tu are avec moi!

Constance: (Worried) Oh, dear. It’s strictly forbidden to swim in the harbour waters! You could drown!

Hamton: (To Constance) While I would agree with ya, ma’am, you’ll hafta let it slide. The king could be in danger…an’ that note could tell us where he is!

The camera cuts to Fifi, who pulls off her princess dress to reveal that she is wearing a red bikini.

Plucky’s jaw hits the ground as Shirley angrily covers his eyes. Hamton sweats visibly and he grins nervously.

Fifi: (To Hamton) Are tu ready?

Hamton: Huh? He snaps out of it. Oh, y-yeah! He takes off his body armour to reveal that he is wearing red swim shorts. (Determinedly) Let’s go get that message!

Constance notices that while Hamton has removed his body armour, he still has his flowing red cape on.

Constance: (To Hamton) Oh, dear! Stop!

Neither Fifi nor Hamton appear to have heard her. They rush to the edge of the harbour and dive spectacularly into the water below. The camera cuts to Plucky and Shirley, who both hold up judge’s cards which say “8” and “10” respectively. We hear a splash from offscreen and Plucky is splashed by seawater. The soaked duck begrudgingly raises his score to “10”.

Scene 27

Fifi and Hamton swim deeper and deeper underwater towards the wreck of the Royal ship. Fifi does the breast stroke, while Hamton does the forward crawl. They pass rusty anchors, seaweed and a pineapple. The skunkette swims ahead of the pig, Hamton watches her go. He tries to remain serious, but as he sees the princess in front of him, we begin to enter his happy place once more.

The song “Channel Swimmer” by 10cc begins to play as Fifi’s and Hamton’s feet morph slowly into mermaid’s tails. Once their transformation is complete, Fifi turns to look seductively at Hamton, before swimming away in a cloud of bubbles. Hamton, in a fit of excitement, playfully gives chase.

Using their strong mermaid tails, they chase each other among the wreck of the Royal ship. As Fifi swims past a treasure chest with a piece of paper in it, she turns to watch Hamton swimming towards her.

Suddenly, Hamton’s mermaid tailfin is caught on the splintered remains of the hull. His happiness turns to painful fear as he tries to pull himself free.

The fantasy shatters and the song ends to reveal that Hamton’s red cape is caught on the hull. The pig frantically flails his arms, trying to pull himself free. In shock, Fifi swims up to him and helps him try to free himself. The pig begins to lose consciousness as seawater fills his lungs. We are given a view of Fifi’s frantic face through Hamton’s eyes. Slowly, it fades to black…

...We enter Hamton’s mind once more. He and Fifi have their mermaid tails once more. They are riding dolphins through the ocean. They share a loving look and hold hands as their mounts take them further up to the surface. We see the bright sun’s reflection quivering as the camera rushes into it and everything turns white.

Fifi: (Offscreen) Hamtone? Hamtone?! Hamtone!

The camera shows Fifi looking down at the camera. Her fur is soaking wet and dripping. It cuts to Hamton lying on the ground. He coughs suddenly as Fifi helps him to sit up. We can see that the pig’s soaked cape is slightly torn.

Shirley: (To Hamton) Like, thank goodness yer okay! Fifi gave ya mouth ta mouth resuscitation for twenty minutes!

Constance: (Confused) Was she? She did have her lips to his mouth, but it didn’t look like she was breathing.

Plucky: What I’m confused about is how she was able ta pull him back onto dry land! He must be kinda heavy.

Constance angrily hits Plucky on the head, causing him to accidently bite his tongue with a crunch. As the green duck winces in pain, the camera cuts to Hamton, who is sat up, cradled in Fifi’s lap.

Hamton: D-Did we get the message? (Coughs)

Fifi: (Gently) Oui, Hamtone. Zat we did.

She shows him a damp piece of paper. The writing is still intact.

Shirley: Like, what does it say?

The camera cuts to the note. It reads:

TO THE CAPTAIN OF THE SEEDY

MOOR YOUR VESSEL ON THE ENGLISH CHANNEL. MY MEN AND I SHALL ARRIVE SHORTLY TO DISPOSE OF THE KING. YOU SHALL BE REWARDED THEN. DISPOSE OF THIS MESSAGE ONCE YOU’VE READ IT. WHATEVER YOU DO… DON’T BOTCH THE JOB!YOURS

LORD SEBASTIAN

Plucky: How was the message able ta stay underwater without either dissolving or the ink comin’ off?

Shirley: (To Plucky) Like, here’s my theory… (Bluntly) It’s a cartoon. Ya sound like those nerds who complain about TV shows an’ movies online.

Fifi, who has been reading the message with mounting shock, Hamton looks at her with a steely glint in his eyes.

Hamton: (To Fifi) We know where the Seedy is. We can go after it an’ save your father!

Fifi looks down at the pig, and feels comforted by his determination.

Fifi: Oui. Oui, we do. Let us go!

Constance: (Shocked, to Hamton and Fifi) The two of you can’t go after that ship now! You’re both wringing wet! You’ll catch your death with the sea air!

Fifi and Hamton share a look, both reluctantly agreeing that the koala is correct.

Shirley: Like, she has a point, y’know. You two could’ve drowned tryin’ ta get that message. Besides, we left Paris a few days ahead of Sebastian. It’ll take him ages ta get here, or some junk. I think we can totally rest for now.

Constance: You dears can stay at my house until tomorrow morning. Once you’re nice and dry, you’ll feel better.

The camera cuts to a cosy little cottage in a street as we see the sun slowly setting. We cut to the cottage’s interior, which looks remarkably similar to Dan’s house. We can see pictures of Mr Thickley, Bushwhacker Bob and Mum on the wall. We can also see a picture of Taz in a frame made of love hearts. Shirley is meditating in a corner of the room, while Fifi and Hamton are wrapped up in towels in front of the fire. Constance comes in from the kitchen. She looks out of the window.

Constance: Surprisingly nice weather for this country, isn’t it? (To the group) You’re all feeling better, I see.

Fifi: (To Constance) Oui, merci, madame. She runs her fingers through her slightly messy hair. Mon cheveux! Eet eez mal! Shirley? Could vous ‘elp moi?

Shirley stops her meditating and crosses to her.

Shirley: (To Fifi) Like, sure thing! (To Constance) D’ya, like, have any rooms?

Constance: (To Shirley) Oh, certainly! You can use mine. It’s upstairs and to the right.

As the girls walk upstairs, Hamton watches them go and Plucky emerges from the kitchen, carrying a pack of McVities Digestives.

Plucky: (To Constance) Speakin’ of rooms, where’s yer bathroom?

Constance: (To Plucky) It’s at the end of the corridor upstairs, dear.

The camera cuts to Constance’s bedroom. Shirley and Fifi are sat on the bed. Shirley is styling the skunkette’s hair. She has a rather knowing smile on her face as she is about to speak.

Shirley: Like, yer hair bein’ a mess wasn’t the only reason ya wanted ta talk ta me, wasn’t it?

Fifi: (Sighs) Oui…

Shirley: Like, don’t worry. We’ll rescue yer dad. We have Fleche De Lard!

Fifi: Eet eez not mon pére zat ah am worried about. Eet eez Fleche De… Hamtone.

Shirley: (Mock shock) Like, don’t tell me you’ve totally gone off him! After seven parts!

Fifi: (Defensive) Eet eez not like zat! ‘E is ze kindest, most loving garcon ah ‘ave ever met. ‘E eez far better zan zose princes who wanted to marry moi!

Shirley: And he ain’t a prince.

Fifi: Zat eez what ah am worried about. Zat rule zat ze cardinal told us. Ah have to marry un prince, mais ah love Hamtone, et ‘e eez un… She struggles to say the next word. …Peasant.

The camera abruptly cuts to outside the bedroom. Plucky is walking to the bathroom, when he hears Fifi say the “p-word”. He screeches to a halt, and listens in.

Fifi: Ah will not be able to marry ‘im avec zat rule. Once we find mon pére…ah shall leave ‘im et never see ‘im again.

Plucky looks at the camera in shock before running offscreen in the direction he was walking in.

Shirley: Like, listen to me, Fifi. You love Hamton, don’t ya?

Fifi nods.

Shirley: An’ yer dad is nothin’ like the Royal Council. He totally wants ya ta be happy. I’m sure that, once he sees that yer happy with Hamton, he’ll gladly abolish that rule where ya can only marry a prince. An’ besides, since when have YOU followed rules anyway?

Fifi: (Giggles) Oui, vous are right. Ah do not know what ah was worried about. Merci, Shirley.

Shirley: Like, no problem.

The camera cuts back to the living room. Hamton and Constance are discussing how to clean a mantelpiece with the proper polish, when Plucky comes downstairs with a serious look on his face.

Plucky: (To Hamton) Hey, Mesh do ladders. (Gravely) I’d like ta have a word with ya.

Hamton: (To Constance) We’ll talk more about dust later. (To Plucky) Coming!

He crosses over to Plucky, who takes him aside into the kitchen to talk.

Plucky: (Takes a deep breath) Okay, I’m gonna be honest with ya. This is about the princess.

Hamton: (Shocked) What about her? Is she in trouble?!

He is about to run upstairs to the rescue, but Plucky stops him.

Plucky: (Sighs) It ain’t that, buddy. (Takes a deep breath) Look. She doesn’t love ya.

Hamton: (Shocked) What? After a beat, he begins to laugh. (Chuckles) Okay, Plucky, while that joke is kinda sick, I’ll appreciate your sense of humour anyway.

Plucky: (Serious) I’m not joking, pal. She’s been lyin’ ta ya.

Hamton: (Unsure) Th-there must be some mistake. She would never lie to me.

Plucky: How d’ya know that? You’ve only known her for a couple of days.

Hamton: (Angry) No, you’re…you’re wrong.

Plucky: No, I’m not. In fact, I heard her! I’ll prove it to ya! He grabs Hamton’s hand. (To the camera) Hey, projectionist! Could ya turn back a few minutes?!

Everything, except Plucky and Hamton begins to reverse, accompanied by the squeaking of a tape being rewound. The boys are outside the bedroom. The film begins to run normally again.

Plucky: (To Hamton) Now listen!

Fifi: (Offscreen) Once we find mon pére…ah shall leave ‘im et never see ‘im again.

The camera zooms in on Hamton’s shocked face as he hears his love interest utter these words. They seem to echo in his head as the film fast forwards back to the kitchen.

Plucky: D’ya wanna hear her say it again?

Hamton shakes his head vigorously. We can see he’s trying not to cry. The green duck puts a sympathetic wing on his shoulder.

Plucky: I’m so sorry, pal. She was usin’ ya so she could find her dad.

Hamton: (Tearfully angry) No. No! She shared a room with me…we danced together at the OJ party…we were gonna play a tuba and harp duet!

Plucky: I know, pal, I know… She was such a tease, wasn’t she? She was acting. I should know when someone is pretending. It’s my job!

We can tell that the upset pig is trying to find something to contradict what Plucky is saying.

Hamton: (Weeping) Th-The prophecy! It said that a hero would show up in the form of a humble worker…that’s me! ME!

Plucky: She saw how much ya drooled over her, an’ her attractive witch friend came up with some dumb story which coincided with Sebastian’s takeover. She knew you’d be a sucker for it, so you’d escort her to the king. Once we found him, she’d toss you aside like garbage.

Hamton slumps down onto the floor, his tears flooding the kitchen.

Plucky: When ya stop ta think about it, that prophecy was kinda dumb, anyway. I mean, how the heck can a guy who’s never fought anybody suddenly become this great hero overnight? Rome wasn’t built in a day, y’know!I can’t believe ya let it predestine yer future, buddy. He pats the pig’s head. Take my advice. Leave her before ya have yer heart broken.

It’s pretty darn obvious that Hamton’s heart is already broken. We hear his and Fifi’s voices echoing in his head.

Hamton: (Voice echoing) Then again, tubas and harps don’t mix, do they?

Fifi: (Voice echoing) Zen we shall make sure zat zey do! Just like princesses et peasants.

Hamton: (Voice echoing) It was your idea ta go to England to warn your dad about Sebastian. I’m just your escort. I’m only here ta make sure nobody kills ya on the way!

Fifi: (Voice echoing) Non, Hamtone. Tu are more zan just mon escort.

Fifi: (Voice echoing) Once we find mon pére…ah shall leave ‘im et never see ‘im again…again…again…

Sebastian: (Voice echoing) She wants nothing to do with people who hafta work for a living.

The camera zooms in on Hamton’s face as we see him grow more and more upset.

Scene 28

It is very early in the morning as the quartet leaves Constance’s house. We can see her waving from her front door. The weather is rather cloudy. It looks like it could rain at any minute.

Constance: Goodbye! Good luck rescuing the king!

Shirley: (Calling back) Like, see ya round!

Hamton does not look as upset as he did when Plucky told him about Fifi’s “deceit”, but he does look rather cool today. The group begins to walk down the street towards the harbour.

Fifi: Zis eez eet, mes amis! We are going to get mon pére et stop zat Sebastian once and for all!

Shirley: (Cheerfully) Totally! Let’s go kick some tail or some junk!

Hamton says nothing, but his dispassionate face noticeably darkens. Plucky toils behind, glaring at Fifi. The skunkette notices that the pig does not seem his usual cheerful self today.

Fifi: (Worried) Hamtone? Hamton doesn’t respond. Eez something ze matter?

Hamton’s fists clench and his teeth are bared. After what he’s heard the night before, Fifi’s concern for him is unrelentingly mocking him. We hear Sebastian’s mocking voice in his head, growing louder and louder.

Sebastian: (Voice echoing) Give it up, peasant. She doesn’t love you. She’d never associate herself with you. She’s using you…and you were stupid enough to fall for her act!

Hamton closes his eyes tightly before rounding on Fifi so suddenly, that she jumps back with wide eyes. Plucky raises an eyebrow, anticipating what is about to happen.

Hamton: (With suppressed fury) Y’know, princess, I was thinking. Perhaps from now on, you can stop calling me Fleche De Lard, since it’s just a con anyway?!

Fifi: (Taken aback) Hamtone… vat are tu talking about?

Hamton: Oh, don’t play dumb, your (Sarcastically) HIGHNESS! (Furious) You couldn’t get ta England without a worthless commoner bein’ yer personal shield, so ya decided to toy with my feelings!

Fifi: (Open-mouthed) H-Hamtone, ah…

Hamton: (Yelling) Once we find dear old daddy, your hands will be washed of me, won’t they?! Don’t you DARE deny it, because I heard ya last night!

Fifi suddenly realises what Hamton is talking about. Tears begin to well in her eyes due to the undiluted fury that her love is showing her and her gut feeling of what is about to happen.

Shirley: (Shocked) Like, Fleche De Lard, chill out…

Hamton rounds on her.

Hamton: (To Shirley) YOU STAY OUTTA THIS!! (To Fifi) I guess all of my worries were correct after all. I’m no hero! (His voice begins to break) It was just some dumb story ta make me go on this journey, just so I could have my heart broken at the end of it!

Fifi begins to shake her head, tears streaming down her cheeks. We hear a clap of thunder.

Fifi: (Tearfully) Non, Hamtone, non! Ah…Ah did not mean eet like zat, ah promise tu!

Hamton: (Angry tears) Then what did it mean?! That you were gonna have yer dad lock me up?!

Fifi: (Sobbing) H-Hamtone… do tu not understand! Je te aime!

Hamton: (Tearful) Y-You’re doing it again! Why are you lying to me?!

Fifi: (Taking his hands) NON!! Ah promise tu zat vat ah said last night eez not…

Hamton: (Pulling his hands away) Don’t touch me! Sebastian was right… you’d never associate yourself with losers like me… He turns and begins to walk away.

Fifi: (Tearfully) Where are tu going?

Hamton: (Bitterly, over his shoulder) I was gonna say I’m going home, but then, I can’t go home, can I? No. I’m going somewhere where you’ll never see me again. THAT’S WHAT YOU WANTED!!

We hear another clap of thunder. The rain begins to fall as Hamton stalks away. Fifi shakes her head and begins to run after him.

Fifi: HAMTONE, NO! COME BACK! PARIS NEEDS TU! MON PÈRE NEEDS TU! She looks frantically around, but the pig has gone. (Quietly) Ah…need tu…

She buries her head in her hands and begins to sob. Shirley is completely stunned by what has just happened, but Plucky looks rather calm.

Plucky: (To Shirley) Did the prophecy say anything about Fleche De Lard walking out on us? (To the camera) The answer is no, because it’s a load of baloney.

Shirley walks cautiously over to the weeping princess and puts a hand on her shoulder.

Shirley: (Gently) Like, Fifi, I…I’m so sorry. Truly, I am. (Concerned) What’re we gonna do now?

Slowly, Fifi gets to her feet and wipes her eyes.

Fifi: (Holding back tears) We…We shall ‘ave to find mon pére…without ‘im…

Shirley: (Shocked) What? W-We can’t stop Sebastian on our own. Only Fleche De Lard can defeat him!

Fifi: (Holding back tears) F-Fleche De Lard…wants nothing more to do avec us…et moi… Let us go…

# Can’t Smile Without You – Barry Manilow

They are about to leave, when Fifi looks back, hoping in vain to see a pink pointy-eared figure returning to her. She closes her eyes and a single tear rolls down her cheek as she walks away through the rain. The camera cuts to Hamton wandering through an empty street. The rain is dripping off his ears and his tears are trickling down his cheeks and onto his armour.

He stops at a huge puddle in the road. He looks down at it and sees his melancholy reflection. He blinks out some tears and sees Fifi with a warm smile standing beside him. He turns around hopefully…to see that he is all alone. Sighing, he turns to look back down at his reflection. The skunkette is no longer beside him in the water. The raindrops which fall gently onto the puddle cause multiple ripples which begin to show us a flashback.

We see Hamton in his peasant rags standing in the throne room pointing innocently at himself as Fifi giggles. Then, we see Hamton and Fifi in their respective formal attire holding hands at the OJ party, and then dancing closely to each other. We witness Hamton shyly unzipping Fifi’s dress as she looks seductively back at him. Then, it shows Fifi and Hamton sleeping peacefully next to each other in the huge hotel bed.

Hamton cannot stand it any longer and he kicks the puddle, sending the water flying and shattering the flashback. He splashes through the puddle and offscreen, trying to accept the fact that the only girl he loved is gone.

The camera cuts to Fifi, who is lagging behind the two waterfowl as they walk to the harbour. She suddenly feels somebody tap her shoulder, and turns to see a warm, smiling Hamton waving shyly at her. Her sorrow turns to tearful joy as she hugs him.

They begin to waltz around in the pouring rain, and Fifi remembers herself dancing with the pig at the OJ party and cuddling up to him under a tree during a storm similar to the one she is currently in. She is about to kiss Hamton when he vanishes into thin air.

Fifi’s joy disappears and she begins to cry again as she tries to accept the fact that the only boy she loved is gone. We are given an image of Fifi and Hamton walking away into the distance in the form of a love heart, which is slowly breaking as the song begins to end…

INTERMISSION

“Let’s all go to the lobby (Nearly over!), let’s all go to the lobby (Nearly over!)…”

Fleche De Lard will continue in Part 9.

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