The Return of Winifred

By Jareth

Chapter Fourteen: W is for slave

Sparky put his finger to Monty’s forehead, preparing to wake him.

“Make sure you don’t fry his brain!” Instructed Dale from a safe distance.

“Don’t worry,” Reassured Sparky “I don’t even think I can.” Sparky gently touched his finger to Monty’s head, sending a small spark of electricity.

Without warning, Monty’s arm shot up and grabbed Sparky by his neck. “Take this Deserey!!!” Monty shouted as he began to squeeze.

“Monty, no!” Yelled Gadget as she ran over to Sparky’s aid.

“Huh wha?” Monty said sounding quite disoriented as he released Sparky.

Gadget explained what had happened, while Sparky “jumpstarted” Zipper.

“So Nimnul's behind it, ay?” Monty was beginning to understand what was happening.

“All the evidence suggests that.” Said Chip.

Sparky coughed, still recovering from almost having his neck broken. “*cough, The plane to Japan can wait, I want Nimnul dead… I mean, behind bars”

Monty eyed Sparky suspiciously as he walked over to Gadget. “You sure we can trust this guy?” He whispered nervously.

“I think he’s fine now.” Responded Foxglove, unaware that she had just accidentally eavesdropped (super bat hearing).

“Huh?” Dale asked. Obviously, his ears weren’t as good as Foxglove’s.

“I, uh… Oh nothing.” Foxglove responded, embarrassed as to what she had just done.

“Well, the longer we take, the more time Nimnul has to do… uh… STUFF!” Dale proclaimed, making a poor attempt at sounding intelligent/brave. Chip groaned, while Foxglove smiled at him in admiration.

Gadget stifled a laugh. “Dale’s right,” She said, walking over to the door. “Lets get going!”

“Yeah!” Monty sprung up at the call to action. “Rescue Rangers away and all!”

The Rangers and Sparky had just stepped out the front door, when Zipper made a "look!" onise. A pile of gnarled metal and plastic, lay before them. Gadget collapsed onto her knees at the sight.

“The… They’re-they’re ruined!” Gadget cried in horror. “The Ranger wing and the Ranger plane are ruined!”

Foxglove starred at the rubble in shock. When Foxglove had first moved in, she had asked Gadget how she had built the two planes. Foxglove didn’t really understand Gadget’s complex answer, but could tell that she had put a lot of pride into their design and construction. Foxglove couldn’t bear that the thought that there would be someone cruel enough to do something like this. She continued to stair at the heap as Chip rushed to comfort Gadget before Sparky had a chance to. “Who in God’s name would do such a thing?”

Darien lay on the cold Laundromat floor, his claws covered in metal shavings. He was reading through COMPLEX CURSES AND HEXES. “Hmm…” Darien thought out loud as the page turned with no physical aid what so ever.

At that moment, Winifred and Jamba walked through the door (no, literally walked THROUGH it!). Darien stood and bowed in the presence of his master. “So,” he began, calmly as ever “what was so important about your terribly important errand?”

“Notice anything different?” Winifred asked as Jamba flew off her shoulder and perched on a nearby pipe.

Darien looked at her new outfit for a moment. “Your cloths fit, and the stars and moons look brighter.” He answered.

“And?” Winifred obviously wanted his input.

“And I’ve completed the task.” Answered Darien.

“NO!” Shouted Winifred. “I mean, what do you think of my outfit!?”

Again, Darien paused before answering. “It looks… good?”

“Yes, but does it bring out my beauty?”

“I am a Fox, not a Human, and am therefore not a judge of human sex appeal. However, given the fact that it was you who bought it, it probably looks wonderful on you. Now about my reward…”

“Yes, It does look wonderful, doesn't it? Jamba insisted that it was all I get, but look what followed me home.” At that moment, the door opened and several dozen shopping bags floated in.

Darien was about to speak, but one of the bags bumped him, knocking him over.

Winifred continued. “You wouldn’t believe the lines at the cash register! Luckily, I didn’t pay.” She let out an evil cackle.

“Speaking of payment,” added Darien “I destroyed the two crafts parked in the tree that Foxglove resides in. So if you don’t mind—”

“Two?” Winifred interrupted “What other crafts do they own other than that Bagpipe balloon?”

“Bagpipe balloon?” Darien asked quizzically. “I destroyed one with a balloon, but it certainly wasn’t a bag pipe.”

“What?!” Yelled Winifred, stamping her foot down. “Why didn’t you keep looking, it might have been further up the tree!”

“Master,” Began Darien, his tone of voice still remaining eerily calm, “with all due respect, if you were able to shoot down their craft by getting a rock in it, it would only make sense for them to have rebuilt it to prevent the same problem from occurring once more. As for looking higher, I did. And I found nothing but a poorly hidden box of candy and a lightning rod, which I chewed off. Now my I please have—”

“Alright!” Winifred yelled impatiently as she reached into her apron pocket. “Here you go!” From her pocket, she produced a small mouse. “He was a mall security guard, but I made him a small security guard. Ah ha ha haaaa!” She laughed evilly.

“That was an awful pun.” Jamba muttered as he watched from his pipe.

“Awful huh?” Winifred challenged as she turned to face Jamba. “Alright, you think of one.”

Darien’s stomach growling reminded Winifred that she had yet to drop the moused security guard. “Oh, right!” with that she let the poor mouse fall to the floor, landing right in front of Darien’s muzzle.

“EEEEK!” The mouse squeaked as it darted under a nearby box. However, Darien was not about to let a perfectly good meal just run away like that. With a single blow from his tail, Darien shattered the box, sending detergent cubes flying everywhere.

Jamba accepted Winifred’s challenge. “Very well, how about, “I made him a small time cop””

“Hmm… clever.” Responded Winifred. “But what about, “He is now a tiny problem.””

In the background, Darien’s chase ensued.

Jamba rolled his eyes “That one has been done to death.”

“What!? When has that ever been used?” Winifred protested, but enjoying the first real friendly conversation she had ever been a part of.

“Got you, you tasty little mouse you.” Darien said almost teasingly as he cornered the mouse.

“Please,” the mouse begged, “have mercy!”

“Mercy!?” Darien blurted out as if it was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard. “Heh, if I had a particle of dust for every time my food begged for mercy, I’d have enough dust to build a small igloo. Besides, why should you get special treatment?”

“B-but” the mouse stammered, “I-I’m not really a mouse, I’m a human! P-please…”

“Oh, I like humans!” Darien said playfully.

“R-really?” The mouse looked up at Darien’s enormous eyes and smiled at this new ray of hope.

“Yes, I like to eat them!” He said loudly, beginning to open his mouth.

“WAIT!” The mouse shouted, putting his hands up to shield his face (yeah, a lot of good that’ll do).

Darien closed his mouth and sighed. “What now.”

“I… er umm…” The mouse began “I taste horrible!”

“Oh you do?” Darien replied with false interest.

“Yes!” The mouse responded, relived that the hungry fox might spare his life.

“Good God!” Darien said in a mocking tone, “If you’re so miserable that you enjoy tasting yourself, I’d better put you out of your misery!” With that, Darien lunged at his prey.


“You disgust me.” Jamba said as he starred at the spot where the mouse once stood.

“Why do I disgust you?” Responded Darien. “The master eats meat as well.”

Jamba let go of his pipe and landed next to Darien. “Yes, but she doesn't try to hold conversations with it.”

“Shut up, the both of you!” Winifred thundered, spell book in hand. Immediately, Darien and Jamba silenced themselves. “Now then,” she continued, “now that my wardrobe is complete, the time has come to get serious.” With that, she reached into her pocket and produced a seven-inch long black diamond shard.

“Ah, so you did manage to get it.” interrupted Darien “But how?”

“Well,” Began Winifred, desperately wanting to brag, “If you must know, I used my psychokinesis to cut a small hole in the vault and used the Vapor apparition technique to turn into smoke and drift through the hole. Once inside, it was a simple matter of using my wand as a dowsing rod to find the diamonds.”

“And you found one that big?” Jamba said in disbelief.

“Well,” continued Winifred “I actually found a slew of small diamonds, but using psychokinesis, merged them into this one shard.”

“And what of the insignia curse? Did you master it?” Darien asked with anticipation.

“Why don’t you tell me.” Winifred said slyly as she approached the wall, holding the shard to the wall as if it were a pencil over paper. Suddenly, with a flick of her wrist, a curly ended letter “W” appeared on the wall.

“Incredible!” Jamba said excitedly, approaching his master. “You managed to carve that in less than point five seconds, just as the book instructed. But have you tried using it?”

“Actually,” answered Winifred “on my way out of the bank, I saw a rat, decided to test the curse, and carved my insignia on its head. I instructed it to destroy the fist two enemies that came into my mind, Chip and Dale.”

“And?” Asked Darien.

“And it just took off.” answered Winifred. “I’m not sure whether he accomplished his task or not, but even if he didn’t, I can be sure that there’s no possible way those powerless mortal rodents could interfere with my plans.”

“If you don’t perceive them as a threat, than why destroy their crafts?” asked Jamba, his tone of voice returning to it’s eerily calm state.

Winifred paused before answering. “Call it my way of thanking them for the year of my life spent rotting in jail and constantly being called Fr—” Winifred stopped short of revealing her awful nickname to her two only friends. She hated being called Freddie so much, she hadn’t even told Jamba or Darien her actual name in fear that they might pull Freddie out of it.

“Why would they call you Fur?” Asked Darien “Did you have back hair before you became the beauty that stands before us now?”

“Well… um… Yes! Yes I did.” Winifred didn’t mind insulting the way she used to look.

“Back to the task at hand,” Jamba said, changing the subject “Now that you’ve mastered the curse, what’s the next step in your plan?”

“Come my friends,” Winifred said, motioning toward the door. “We’re going to file a police report.”

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