The Return of Winifred

By Jareth

Chapter thirty-five: Stronger still

Winifred stood, speechless. In restoring a small amount of her strength, Foxglove had healed all of her wounds as well. She watched, as Foxglove walked away. “I didn’t think you’d give me some of your energy.” Winifred said uneasily.

“Just leave, and be thankful that you’re alive.” Foxglove said calmly. “I gave you just enough energy to escape.”

Winifred began to grin wryly. “You’re right you know; I could never beat you like this.”

“Just go.” Foxglove repeated.

“But you’re wrong though,” Winifred continued, “There are plenty of spells that require little to no energy at all.”

“I said, leave.” Foxglove repeated again.

“Very little energy.” Winifred continued “Like the henkei spell. It requires ridiculous amounts of magic to perform the first time, but after it’s been done once, it requires almost no energy at all. Even Jamba and Darien were able to do it.”

Foxglove stopped in her tracks and spun around, a worried expression forming. The evil grin had returned to Winifred’s face.

“Thank you Foxglove,” Winifred said, her eyes beginning to take on a green glow “You’ve given me just enough strength to do this.”

A horrified expression exploded across Foxglove’s face. Frantically, she began to run at Winifred. She was only five yards from her when she froze, dead in her tracks. She was getting that feeling again; the same feeling she had gotten when Jamba had transformed, and when Winifred had flaunted some of her energy. She wasn’t quite sure why, but even in her new form, she had become paralyzed with fear

A small breeze began to pick up, circulating around Winifred.

Foxglove began to back away, clutching her scepter in fright; trembling, as the sky began to blacken; not with clouds, but with darkness, as if the light had been sucked out of it.

The platform began to shake, as Winifred began to groan, as if she were in some sort of pain. “mmm, mmmrRAAAAA!” Her groan became a scream as, with a deafening roar, a brilliant scarlet aura engulfed her, leaving only a dark silhouette visible.

Foxglove watched in horror as she felt Winifred’s power rising. “How could I forget about this!” She shouted, “Oh, I shouldn’t have given her the chance to do this! This is all my fault!”

Winifred’s silhouette began to transform. Her height began to increase, as what looked like wings began to grow out from behind.
That was the last thing that could be seen, as the aura became completely black, hiding even her silhouette from view. Finally after what seemed like an eternity, the noise died down, as the black aura dissipated, revealing the creature within.

Monty braced for impact, as the seven Dariens closed in.

“Monty!” Everyone yelled at once.

“Get out of there!” Gadget cried.

Monty desperately looked for an opening, but to no avail; Darien’s attack was solid. With the force of seven cars, the Dariens covered Monty, each one latching onto him with their teeth, upon impact.

“Noooo!” Gadget wailed, banging against the invisible barrier.

“Wait!” Tammy said, pointing at the silver pile of fur and tails. “Can you hear that?”

Gadget refrained from crying, as everyone listened for whatever Tammy had heard. “Hey!” Chip called happily. “I hear him. Monty’s okay!”

“The others listed more intently, and sure enough, though it was muffled by fox fur, Monty’s voice could faintly be heard; “-Getoffame…-”

“Well alive, yes,” Sparky added, sounding relieved “but I don’t know about ‘okay’. The force of those foxes colliding into someone, is the equivalent of being hit by seven cars at once.”

Inside the pile,
Monty looked up and down his body. All seven Dariens were sinking their teeth into him at once. There were two on his calves, two on his thighs, two on his chest, and one on his shoulder. The pain was unbearable.

Suddenly, the Darien on Monty’s shoulder released it’s grip, and moved it’s head up next to Monty’s ear. “I’m impressed that you’re still alive.” He said calmly.

“Arghh…” Monty groaned, struggling in pain to throw the Dariens off. Unfortunately, they had too good a hold on him. He was unable to move.

“Why even bother escaping? Are you still trying win?”

Monty said nothing and continued to struggle. Trying to find a space where he could stick his head out. Finally, after wiggling himself around just enough, he managed to stick his head out of the fox pile.

“Monty!” Tammy, Sparky, and the Rangers all cried at once.

“You’re alright!” Gadget said, relieved.

“Get outta there!” Dale advised.

“I wish I could mate,” Monty said, straining every muscle in his entire body to keep his head out, “but I can barely get me nose outta this mess!”

“Nose…” Gadget thought to herself. Suddenly, she had it. “Wait!” Gadget proclaimed. “I’ve got an idea!” Quickly, she began digging through her pocket. “I always keep this with me in case of emergencies!”

“The glass cutter?” Dale asked, knocking on the barrier. “I don’t think it’ll cut this thing.”

“No,” answered Gadget, pulling out a large metal container, “This!” With that, Gadget opened the container, revealing a slice of Brie 86’ cheese. “Monty,” She called desperately, holding the cheese out in front of her. “If Darien wins, you’ll never be able to have cheese again!”

Monty looked at the cheese, his eyes beginning to spiral, as his moustache began to twist. “CheEeEeEEeee…” Suddenly, she stopped, his face returning to normal.

“Monty?” Gadget called. “What’s wrong?!”

“It’s no use Gadget-luv!” Monty called back. “The barrier’s block’n the aroma. I can’t smell it.”

A saddened expression began to form on Gadget’s face. Cheese had been their only hope.

“It might as well be a yellow piece of plastic, I— YE-HA!” He yelled as a Darien bit into his neck, dragging his head back into the pile.

“Monty!” Everyone cried at once.

“It is inevitable.” Darien whispered into his ear. “You are going to die, and there is nothing you can do to prevent it.”

Monty attempted to stick his head back out, but due to blood loss, was now no longer able.

“And once I have defeated you, I’ll need to defeat your friends as well.”

THIS caught Monty’s attention.

“Seven of us, and six of you,” Darien continued. “Normally, I don’t like to fight unevenly, but then again, mice aren’t really opponents, they’re food.”

“No.” Monty thought to himself, as he began to black out. “Me pals… I can’t let them down.” Monty’s eyes shot open. “I WON’T LET YOU HURT ME FRIENDS!” he bellowed. With all the force he could muster, he thrust his arms and legs outward, sending six surprised foxes hurling in six different directions, the one that had bitten his neck, falling and landing by his side.

“Alright Monty!” Everyone cheered.

“I knew there was now way he could lose to him!” Dale proclaimed, socking his fist into his hand.

“I can’t say that I’m not impressed,” the Darien beside him said slyly “but you’ve only delayed the inevitable. Attack!” With that, the six Dariens lunged again, the seventh grinning at him.

Monty looked for an opening to escape. Again, even with six, the attack was solid. Knowing he would not be able to find a way out of the circle, he began to look for something, anything to use as a weapon. It was then that his eyes fell on the Darien next to him. Quickly, he reached behind the enormous fox and grabbed it’s tail.

“What are you—” Darien began to yell.

Using all of his remaining strength, Monty began to swing Darien around like a mace; faster and faster,.

The other Dariens saw this, and began to try and stop their charge, but they were already in the air, and already too close. They continued to sail towards him, and with the force of a wreaking ball, were hit by their fellow teammate, sending the hurling into the barrier, knocking them all unconscious.

With a final swing, Monty let the one he was holding fly, hurling him into the barrier as well. “…I learned that one in a bar in Sydney.”

There was an eerie silence… until it was finally broken— “ALRIGHT MONTY!” Everyone yelled, throwing their fists into the air. Before, he could say anything, he found himself surrounded by his friends.

“You did it Monty!” Gadget yelled, throwing her arms around him. “I knew you could.”

“WOW!” Dale exclaimed, “you swung him like a baseball bat!”

“That was incredible Monty!” Chip said, patting him on the back. There were bruises there, but Monty didn’t care.

Zipper made a “Monty!” Noise, and proceeded to hug his friend’s face.

“That was amazing!” Said Sparky. “You pounded him into particles!”

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone as strong as you…” Tammy said, her face turning a faint red.

Monty’s praise would have continued, if it weren’t for a loud scream. It was Tammy.

“What is it?” Chip asked with concern. “What’s…” Chip froze in mid sentence. “…Wrong.”

The final Darien Monty had thrown, was still standing; the others had disappeared; his seven tails had returned. Slowly, Darien began to walk towards the Rangers. Monty moved in front of them, ready to fight.

“Monterey Jack.” He said weakly, stumbling. “Same name as the cheese, well done Monterey… Swinging moves can’t be copied, splendid plan… You’ve won, mouse.” With that, Darien collapsed onto his side. A soft, muffled, crackling noise ensued, as Darien’s body shrank back to it’s normal fox-size; his silver and black fur returning to their previous shade of orange and white.

The Rangers all stared at Darien’s body, unsure of what to do next. “What should we do with him?” Asked Gadget.

“We should leave ‘im here.” Monty said firmly. No tell’n when that bloke’s gonna come to.

“Good Idea!” Dale announced, walking over to Darien’s body and leaving Jamba’s next to it. Being a flying fox, Jamba was very heavy, and it was a relief to finally be able to put him down.

“What now?” Asked Tammy.

Before anyone else could respond, Dale answered. “Now, we go help Foxy!”

“Right!” everyone agreed unanimously. (Except for Tammy, who had now Idea who Foxglove was). However, upon heading towards the stairs, the intense pain reminded Monty of his injuries. “Ooh.” He groaned, “Me… me everything.”

“Oh Monty...” Gadget said, trying to think of a way to help him. Again, she had a sudden idea “Sparky, with the strength Nimnul’s pill gave you, you could easily carry Monty up, right?”

“Sure,” Sparky answered, preparing to lift Monty onto his back, “I should be able to, no problem.” It was then, as Monty jumped onto his back, as he felt himself being crushed under his weight, that he realized that the Purple Power Pill had run out. “Aah!” Sparky yelled as he toppled over, being crushed under Monty’s body.

“Sparky!” Gadget yelled, helping him back onto his feet. “Are you alright?!”

“Yeah,” Sparky answered slowly, regaining his balance. I didn’t notice that the pill had worn off. I guess what Nimnul said about the after effects wasn’t fully proven.

“That’s good, but how’s Monty going to get up now” Gadget asked, sounding distressed.

“Zipper’s going to have to wait down here with him.” Chip said; Zipper saluting

“No,” Monty said firmly. “I’m goin’”

“No Monty, you can’t” Gadget advised with concern. If you do—”

“You’ll squeeze your guts out!” Dale finished, pointing to Monty’s deep wounds.

“Then I’ll shove’m back in!” Monty finished. Beginning to make his way towards the stairs. “A sheila’s in trouble, and needs all the help she can get! Rescue rangers away an all!”

Everyone stared for a second, before all agreeing. “Right!” With that, Tammy, Sparky, Chip, Dale, Gadget, Zipper, and Monty made a mad dash towards the stairs, heading upwards to help Foxglove.

Foxglove stared in utter terror.

Gone, was the infinitely beautiful sorceress. In her place, stood… Someone else. Winifred had now grown to six feet tall. Her breasts had now become muscles, as the rest of her body had become slightly more muscular. From her back, protruded two smooth, black wings; hard, as if they were made of black steel. However, out of every thing that had changed, one of the most prominent features was the thing around her face. Bordering Winifred’s face, was a dark mask of some sort, which spiked up under her eyes, and dipped down slightly in the center, a purple jewel residing in it. Winifred’s hair had also become much shorter as well. She gave a particularly evil glance in Foxglove’s direction, causing her to jump. “Now,” She said, her voice sounding slightly deeper, “Let’s try that again, shall we?”

Next Chapter

Back to the storie