The Return of Winifred

By Jareth

Chapter Thirteen: The Mystery Thickens

The Rangers starred at the strange mark. “W?” Gadget said, touching the mark. Suddenly, she jerked her hand back as if she had just touched a hot stove. She looked like she had just seen a ghost.

“What’s wrong Gadget?” Chip asked with great concern.

“When I touched the “W”, I got a really weird sensation; I felt like I would never smile again.” Explained Gadget, eyes fixated on the “W”.

“You only get a feeling like that if you touch something evil!” Dale said, shivering.

“You blockhead!” Chip yelled as he bonked Dale on the head. “This isn’t one of your stupid movies, this is real life!”

Foxglove began to reach toward the “W”, curious as to what Dale meant.

“Foxglove, DON’T!” Dale yelled in fear as Foxglove’s wing touched the “W”

However, upon Foxglove touching it, the “W” suddenly vanished. “What the?” Foxglove asked, bewildered by the strange reaction. “It’s gone!”

The other Rangers starred at the spot where the “W” once rested. Indeed, it had completely disappeared. Timidly, Gadget reached out and touched the spot.

“Well?” Asked Chip.

“Nothing.” Answered Gadget as she touched the spot again. “It’s gone.”

Suddenly, Sparky began to stir. Chip picked up the energy capsule; ready to use it if Sparky tried anything. “Oh, my head.” groaned Sparky as he began to open his eyes. He looked around. “Gadget?” he asked weakly, is that you? I— Owww!” Sparky moaned as he held his head “I feel like I’ve been through an atom smasher.”

“Don’t play dumb!” Chip yelled angrily “You tried to kill us, and there were no bells going off when you did it!”

“But— Ow… I’ve already had the bell problem eliminated.” Sparkey said wearily, still holding his head. “And what do you mean I tried to kill you? I’d never do something like that to my friends.”

“THAT IS SUCH A BUNCH OF—” Chip began to shout, but Gadget stopped him.

“Chip! At least give him a chance to explain himself!” Gadget looked back at Sparky, her expression becoming gentler. “Now Sparky, do you really not remember trying to kill us?”

“No.” Answered Sparkey “I just woke up here, exhausted.”

“Okay then,” Began Gadget “what’s the last thing you remember.”

“Well,” Explained Sparky “I was headed to a research laboratory in Japan. I took a plane here, but the one that heads to Japan leaves tomorrow. I figured that while I’m here, I might as well drop by and say hello. I was on my way here, when I felt a sharp pain on my forehead, like something had scratched me at super sonic speed… That’s the last thing I can remember.”

Everyone paused, trying to make sense of what had been said. Finally, Dale broke the silence. “What was with the “W” on your head?” he asked, pointing to Sparky’s head.

“W”? Sparky asked, obviously having no idea what Dale could possibly be talking about.

“Yeah,” Continued Dale, “it was right here.” Dale pointed to the spot where it had been. “Was that some kinda tattoo?”

“Tattoo? No I’m quite certain I haven’t gotten a tattoo… At least I don’t remember getting one.” Answered Sparky, his impeccable memory having obviously returned.

“You’re certain?” Chip seemed to have calmed a little.

“About what?” Sparky asked quizzically.

“About not having a tattoo!” Yelled Chip, becoming even more impatient.

Sparky paused for a moment “…Where am I?”

Chip looked as if he were about to explode. Gadget quickly intervened. She helped Sparky up and sat him in a chair. “I think you need a little rest.” Gadget said as she helped him into the chair.

“A new brain is what he needs…” Mumbled Chip as he walked over to the couch to check on Monty and Zipper.

Foxglove starred at Sparky. She couldn’t believe that this was the same rat who moments ago, tried to take the life of her beloved. She tried to think of something intelligent to ask Sparky; she was worried that if she didn’t say something soon, she would look unintelligent. “Did… um…” She began “Did you see who scratched you?”

Sparky looked up. “No, I just felt a hard scratch.”

Chip approached Sparky, a suspicious look in his eyes. “What I want to know,” He began “Is why you can remember that, but not what I just said.”

“Remember what?” Sparky asked, a mischievous smile forming on his face, which he quickly hid behind the sleeve of his lab coat.

“grr… You’re doing that on purpose!!!” Chip yelled angrily.

“Chip please! He’s already exhausted.” Gadget scolded from across the room, where she was checking on Zipper and Monty.

“Gosh, I’m really sorry about all this.” Sparky said apologetically.

“That’s okay.” Reassured Gadget. “You weren’t in control of your actions.”

“Because he was possessed!” Declared Dale, a nervous look on his face.

“That’s enough out of you!” Shouted Chip. “We’re trying to figure this out and you’re not helping!”

“I think he was possessed.” Foxglove said quietly, wondering if it was a good idea to take sides in the matter.

“Not you too!” Chip groaned, covering his face with his hand.

“No really, I do.” Said Foxglove, deciding to stick with her theory. “I always heard Winifred—” She shuddered at the name “talking about how, when her magic strength reached a thousand zenos, she’d be able to do it. Luckily, she was only a fifty Zeno witch.”

“Zeno?” Gadget sounded interested

“Yes,” continued Foxglove “zeno’s are the increments magic is measured in.”

“Speaking of increments,” Gadget said, taking out her voltage meter “how did you go from ten volts to a hundred million?”

“A hundred million?!” Sparky yelled, almost falling out of his chair.

“Yes, look.” Gadget handed the voltage meter to Sparky.

He starred at it for a moment. “It says I’m only ten volts.” Sparky said before handing it back.

“That’s strange,” Gadget said, taking the voltage meter and putting it bock in her pocket “Maybe it read wrong.”

Foxglove looked over toward Monty and Zipper. “Can ten volts do that?”

“Yes,” Answered Chip “they can, but they definitely can’t hurl you backwards!”

“What do you think Dale?” Gadget asked, looking at Dale.

Dale seemed to be staring off into space, mumbling, “Evil ghosts…”

“Evil ghosts?” Said Foxglove, a worried expression forming on her face.

“Would you shut up!” yelled Chip, bonking Dale on the head. “Were trying to figure out what just happened and you’re not helping.

“But I saw it in a movie!” Dale protested, “A guy got possessed by a ghost, and got a million times stronger, but lost his free will!”

Chip was about to hit him, when Gadget grabbed his hand. “Guys,” She yelled, “this is serious! Sparky almost killed us, doesn't remember, and you two aren’t helping!” She began to calm back down. “Okay, we need to look at what we know so far: Sparky wasn’t aware of his actions, he had a weird “W” tattoo on his forehead, his power was temporarily boosted, and before any of it happened, something scratched him. Any thoughts?”

“I was by the bank when it happened, if that helps.” Offered Sparky as he began to attempt to stand.

This information caught Chip’s interest. “What time?!” He asked.

“Time? Oh, about twelve thirty.” Answered Sparky, now able to stand.

“That’s the same time the robbery took place! Who ever robbed the bank must have scratched you!” Yelled Chip.

“So, who do we know who has red hair, a tool capable of cutting microscopic holes, and could control you by scratching your head.” Pondered Gadget.

“This one has Nimnul written all over it!” Declared Chip, hitting his fist into his hand.

Sparky’s expression suddenly changed. The innocent look he constantly wore was quickly replaced by a deeply resentful look. “Nimnul.” He said, a slight tone of rage in his voice.

Foxglove was confused. “Dale, who’s that?” She whispered to Dale.

“That’s Sparkey.” Dale was glad that someone was actually turning to him for knowledge. It made him feel intelligent.

“No silly,” Said Foxglove, half laughing “I mean Nimnul.”

“Oh, him.” Dale said casually, trying to sound as intelligent as possible. “He’s a mad scientist. He’s given us a lot of trouble in the past, but we always outsmart him.” Dale said proudly.

“He’s not just a mad scientist,” Continued Sparky, “He’s an evil one. Any one who uses science for evil purposes deserves to be dissected!”

The Rangers all stared at Sparky with a look of horror on their faces.

“Uh… Well, um… It’s a lab saying. It means you deserve to um… loose your job.” Sparky informed them nervously, not wanting to look like a psycho.

“The point is. That he’s dangerous and we’re the only ones who can stop him.” Chip said with confidence.

“But before we do anything,” Gadget said, turning to Sparky. “Do you think you can Give Monty and Zipper a little wake up call?” Gadget said making a zapping motion with her fingers.

Sparky smiled. “I don’t see why not.”

Meanwhile, downtown, in a department store…

Winifred stood in awe of the miles and miles of clothes arranged before her. Jamba stood perched on her shoulder. Winifred looked at Jamba. “Well?” She asked, “Which ones do you think would look good on me?”

“Jamba looked toward the exit and sighed. “Personally, I like what you’re wearing right now.”

“THESE?!” Winifred yelled as if Jamba had just said that the sun revolved around the Earth “They don’t even fit!”

“Well,” Jamba said calmly “Get some of the same variety that do fit, and then leave.”

“NO!” Winifred shouted for the entire store to hear “I came to get some new outfits and that’s exactly what I’m going to do!”

“Is there a problem maam?” Asked an approaching floor clerk. Because Winifred was the only one in the store that could understand animals, to everyone else, she appeared to be talking to herself.

“NO!” Winifred yelled, eyes glowing. With a quick flash, the floor clerk vanished.

“Great,” Mumbled Jamba “now there’s no one to help speed this up.”

“What was that?” Winifred asked threateningly.

“I said,” Jamba stated calmly “Great, now there’s no one to help speed this up.”

Winifred paused

“Is there something wrong master” Jamba asked with concern

“…No,” Winifred began “I just didn’t expect you to actually tell me what you said.”

“Why would I lie to you master?” Jamba asked, surprised that his master would even think him so low.

Winifred didn’t respond.


“Well!” Interrupted Winifred “Lets go shopping!”

“It’s only shopping if you intend to pay.” Jamba said informatively

“Oh, shut up Jamba!” Winifred began walking over to clothing racks, picking out the skinniest cloths she could find and holding them up to herself, just so she could see that they now all fit her beautifully.

“Hello!” Called the floor clerk as he dangled from the lightning rod atop the building “Can someone please get me down from here!?”

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