Quest for Deliverance, Part 5
By Dwayne Anderson
The setting sun cast its shadow over the valley of Mordavia, giving everything a pinkish tint. By now, Leela and Bender had jumped over the bush leading to Baba Yaga's hut.
"I hope we're not too late" she said. "A gypsy told us that our friend had come here."
They walked up the rocky road towards the hut.
"More intruders?" asked one of the skulls who had a hat on his head and a blue glowing gem inside his skull. "What is this, Visistor's Day?"
Ignoring the skull, Bender and Leela continued up the road towards the hut.
* * * * *
"Now kids" said Baba Yaga, "how shall we eat him? Shall we dine tonight on roast leg of man? Or how about we gouge out his eyes for Eye Scream?"
The bat hanging on the opposite side of the room flapped its wings in reply.
"Oh good!" said Baba Yaga. "We'll just skip the main course and go straight to dessert!"
"Don't you dare!" said Leela as she and Bender ran in.
"Leela! Bender!" said Fry. "Man am I glad to see you two!"
"Hut so true, glue their shoes!" chants Baba Yaga.
Instantly, Leela and Bender find their feet stuck to the floor.
"Yum yum" said Baba Yaga licking her lips. "I'll melt down their metal companion to use as a pie plate, put the man and woman in casserole and pie, and the woman's eye shall go well in my Eye Scream!"
Baba Yaga cackles maniacally.
"Man is she ugly!" said Bender.
"Hey lady!" said Leela, "looked in the mirror lately? You're no Melissa Ethridge!"
Leela holds up a handheld mirror. Baba Yaga gasps.
"Keep that away from me!"
"What's wrong?" asked Fry. "Too vain!"
"I'm not falling for that trick again!" said Baba Yaga. "That Devon Aidendale turned one of my spells against me with a mirror like that and turned me into a frog!"
"Alright then, let's make a deal!" said Leela. "You let us go, and I'll put the mirror away!"
"Agreed" said Baba Yaga. "Tasty treats, now retreat!"
Instantly, the trio found themselves outside the hut near the skulls.
"My, my, my" said the skull with the hat and gem, "I never expected to see the three of you outside of a quiche again."
"Shut up bonehead!" said Fry.
Leela chuckled. "As Igor would put it, a little graveyard humour!"
* * * * *
"It's getting late" said Leela. "We'd better find a place to spend the night before continuing in the morning."
"But we don't have any money" said Fry.
"Don't worry" said Bender. "I pickpockeded that crazy mad doctor Cranium!"
Fry knocked on the door to the Hotel Mordavia. Beyond, the trio heard the sounds of bars being removed. Finally, the door opened and they stepped in.
Three men sat at a table inside, all dressed like farmers, and wearing hats. A man in a blue suit smoking a corn-cob pipe stood nearby another table.
"This is the Hotel Mordavia" he said. "Pay for your rooms in advance."
Bender gave some money to the innkeeper.
"Thank you for your payment" said the innkeeper. "Your room will be the first at the top of the stairs. Should you wish for a meal, sit down, and my wife Bella will be happy to serve you."
Fry, Leela, and Bender sit at the table. A woman comes out of the kitchen and places three plates on the table.
"Tonight, we're having Roast Duckling A La Garlic" she said lighting up a cigar.
Fry, Leela, and Bender ate their meal.
"Oh man!" said Fry, "I don't think I've ever tasted anything so good!"
"So what brings the three of you here to Mordavia?" asked Bella.
"well, we were originally heading for Silmaria" said Bender glaring at Fry. "Our friend here misread the map!"
"Ok, I get it!" said Fry.
"We're looking for Devon Aidendale, the hero of Mordavia" said Leela.
"You should feel very lucky" said the innkeeper, "your room is where he slept in during his stay here in Mordavia."
"At first, we did not trust him when he first came here" said Bella. "What with all the dark magic surrounding this valley for years, who can you trust?"
"That magic has been long gone thanks to Devon himself" said the innkeeper. "He returned our daughter to us and restored our family."
"Wow, what a guy!" Fry said to himself.
"I finally got the chance to visit Erana's garden" said Bella. "Years ago, it was dangerous outside the town gates. In fact, Devon himself was here yesterday, saying something about an important parcel."
"Well we're the delivery people" said Fry.
Bender had excused himself from the table and was now talking to the three men at the other table.
"I am Hans, a farmer of pumpkins and corn, and a person of great importance here in Mordavia."
"I am Franz, an exporter of garlic."
"Pleased to meet you, I'm Ivan, an elephant herder. Unfortunately, there are no more elephants here in Mordavia, so business has been kind of slow."
"Is everybody here so weird?" Bender asked himself.
* * * * *
Upstairs in their room(which is garnished with garlic hanging on the ceiling), Fry and Leela undress to their underwear and climb into bed. Bender opens the chest near the bed and climbs in.
Soon, the trio fell fast asleep.
* * * * *
When Leela awoke, she found herself lying behind the rock in the ring of flowers near the town gates. On top of the rock was a curved staff. She suddenly heard voices.
"Oh, it's weird out here, kind of happy and icky too" a child's voice spoke.
A hairy beast, a familiar young girl, and an atheletic blonde stood in front of the rock. Leela recognized him from his portrait in the adventurer's guild.
The child looked like Tanya, but she had white skin, glowing orange eyes, and vampire fangs.
The hairy beast grunts a reply.
"I know you'll protect me Toby, but who will protect you?"
"Toby?" Leela said to herself.
Toby grunts a response to Tanya's question.
"Ok Toby, I'll protect you" said Tanya.
The staff on top of the rock begins to glow. It rises from its cradle and floats before everyone. A voice is heard from inside.
"Death and life now stand before me. My Destiny Spell shall now be fulfilled."
The staff hovers in front of Toby.
"Your love for the child is great."
Toby nods his head.
"Will you trade your life that the child may live?"
"Uh huh" said Toby in perfect english.
"Will you die willingly for the one you love?"
"Uh huh" said Toby again.
Tanya gasped. "No Toby! No!"
"SO shall the sacrifice be done!"
The staff turns on its side. The sound of crackling thunder was heard as it absorbed Toby's life essence and gave it to Tanya, restoring her to human form. Leela, Tanya, and Devon Aidendale could only watch in horror. Toby toppled to the ground dead.
"So is the sacrifice complete! I am again the staff of Erana!"
"Erana?" Leela asked herself.
Devon picked up the staff and stood before Tanya.
"I'm sorry Toby" Tanya sniffled. "I didn't protect you too good did I? I love you too Toby."
* * * * *
Leela awoke from that sad dream with tears in her eyes. Fry suddenly sat up with a startled shriek.
"Fry, what's wrong?" asked Leela.
"I just had the most frightening nightmare!" said Fry. "I was walking in the forest. Then suddenly, the sky grows purple, and the mountain top cracks open. What I saw next was not meant to be seen by mortal eyes! Black smoke begins to pour out and materializes into a frightening demon! It's roar was not meant to be heard by mortal ears! I don't think I'll get back to sleep!"
"Just try" said Leela. "After all, would it help knowing you're beside me?"
Fry grins. "Definately!" He rests his head back upon the pillow.
* * * * *
The trio awoke as the sun began to rise. Fry and Leela got dressed as Bender opened the chest and climbed out.
After enjoying their breakfast(garnished with garlic), they walk out the town gates.
"Next stop, Silmaria!" said Leela.
To Be Continued