Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Episode 15: The Shadowlands

Episode 15: The Shadowlands
by Toni Walker

Lane Larson was there one minute, talking to Cora, calming her down and then the next he was being ripped from the Shadow Realm. She could literally feel him go. It felt almost painful. He let out an excruciating grunt before he left her for good.

"No! No! Lane, don't leave me here alone!"

Without him there the darkness seemed to almost close in around her. She gave a shaky sigh. She tried to have a stiff upper lip but she had no clue how to get out of here.

The woman who had drawn her into the mirror, who had taken her place in the real world, she knew what to do. She could get around in the Shadow Realm. "I wish I had even part of her memories of this place," Cora whispered.


Abigail Hobbs thought she had made it free and clear. She was out of the prison Nicholas had put her in. All she could think about was revenge. And she knew exactly the person to help her.

Abigail changed her appearance so she was no longer the reflection of Cora and once again took on her own form.

"Ah, that's so much better."

She drew a circle in the dirt and sat inside it. Then she summoned her mentor, Morgana Le Fay.
"Her wisdom is like Heaven's mana, To this place I call Morgana."

The words had barely passed her lips when something passed over her. It felt like a cool wind but when the breeze subsided so did some of her memories.

Abigail stared at the ground. She looked curiously at the circle around her.

"What is this witchcraft," she whispered. "I will have to consult with Goody Osborne. She will know what this strange ritual be."

Morgana appeared before her suddenly in a glorious light show.

Abigail gasped. Her eyes nearly rolled back in her head she was so frightened. Words barely came to her throat as she hoarsely uttered, "Witch!"

Morgana arched a curious eyebrow. "Witch? What are we, back in the witch trials? Have you learned nothing since you became one of the chosen?"

Abigail stumbled backward. "Wha -- What? I'm -- I'm not a -- witch. You -- you're a witch."

"Why did you summon me? You play games when we have so much work to do?" Morgana raised her hands above her head and whispered a few words. Suddenly, they both disappeared from the circle Abigail had drawn in the ground as the wind blew the dust effectively erasing the imprint from the ground.

Abigail's scream could be heard throughout the Hollow.


As soon as Cora Laskey uttered the wish, a gust of wind surrounded her and suddenly she knew more about the Shadow Realm than she ever thought it was possible to know.

With the wind came a barely audible voice. It was male and Cora thought she recognized it.
"Just do whatever he says. Don't make him angry."

Lane Larson's voice whispered in Cora's ear as if his spirit had melted in from the either. It wasn't exactly strong, more like he was talking to her from inside her own head.

Lane had a gift even the Ripper knew nothing about.

Cora Laskey knew she couldn't speak verbally. The Ripper would hear her. She had to figure out how to communicate with Lane.

She strained her mind as the voice of her soul screamed for assistance -- from anyone!


The sound of the voice screaming across time nearly knocked over Lincoln Merlin. He was a descendent of the great magician who had been searching nearly all his life for the great city his father's father's father had once been a part of.

It wasn't his only mission here. He'd also been brought to this evil berg to strengthen the binding spell that held the evil inside. An insidious force gnawed away at the ancient majicks binding the residents to this town.

So the sound of a woman's voice screaming in the either had to be strong to get his attention away from his work. Plus, he thought he recognized that voice. It sounded like Lane's new lady friend, Cora.
That was one distress call he was happy to be interrupted by.

Livvie McDaniels appeared at this side in a tinkling of white light. She was never one to announce herself. She popped in when she wanted him to do something or needed him.

She was holding her hands over her ears and looked to be genuinely in pain.

"Make that noise stop! I can't take it!"

"You're hearing it too?" Linc asked.

"Hearing it? All of creation is crying out for the insanity to end. I've never heard anything so powerful before. It must be a new ally against the forces of darkness. If she'd only friggin' quit screaming so I can locate her."

Livvie waved her hands at him. "Do a spell or something. Shut her up long enough for me to hone in on her energy."

"Sorry. I'm all out of spells that keep chosen ones from screaming." Linc already had a pretty good idea where she was. It wasn't easy for a novice to transmit power so fully across time and space without being in a realm between both.

"Why don't you go help her brother, David. Which I'm sure is why Hampton sent you down here anyway. I can deal with Cora. I have a good idea where she is."

"You and your annoying sixth sense. It's just not fair. I think angels should have a sixth sense too." Livvie pouted. She wasn't exactly an angel in full acceptance of all her powers.

"You have more power than you know, Livvie. You just have to learn how to access it."
Livvie huffed. "Easy for you to say."

Linc could hear a light tinkling surrounding the area where Livvie was standing. She crossed her hands over her shoulders and her frown intensified. "Oh, all right. I'm going!" She said to someone neither of them could see.

"The Powers agree with you. I have to find David. Why can't the Powers agree with me for a change?" She was still talking to herself when she suddenly disappeared in a blinding flash of light.
"Goodbye to you too," Linc said.

He could hear her "farewell" whispering around him.


David Laskey didn't know what had happened. During the fight between Merlin and Morgana someone had hit him with an energy blast. He felt himself and the statue around him drip down to the floor beneath. It was the most bizarre sensation and not one he wanted repeated anytime soon.

Here he was a puddle of goo and he was happy about it. At least people stopped shooting at him AND he was finally out of the statue! That knowledge took precedence over his current situation.

A trembling pot thrust out from the shelf and David knew someone else was in the room with him.
"Hello," he said. "Somebody there?"

"No," the voice replied. "Please go away."

"Figment? Is that you?"

Another pot fell off the shelf and out walked Maurice the cat.

"Figment? Figment? I don't think I've been so insulted in all my life."

"Maurice? What are you doing here?" David asked.

"The last thing I remember was being in the Forbidden Zone with Lane. He wanted to try and extract Excalibur from the stone. I was attempting to dissuade him from it when a strange wind came and deposited me here." Maurice stuck his nose out of the shelf. "Where, by the by, is here?"

"We're in Morgana's castle. And if you hadn't noticed, I'm a puddle of liquid me. Is there anything you can do to help me? Put me back in my real form?"

Maurice screeched. "Morgana's castle? We must leave. We can't be here. Nicholas would not approve. Morgana could use us against him."

"Hey, buddy. Chill. We'll get out of here as soon as you give me back my body."

"Oh, no. I'm not strong enough to do that. My magic wouldn't keep you together long enough to find my sister. I'm afraid you're out of luck."

Suddenly a shining light came down from Heaven. A blond woman appeared as the light dimmed enough to see her face and body. Then, in an instant, the light seeped into her skin and the dungeon was dark once more.

"Someone looking for some luck?" Livvie McDaniels smiled at Maurice and the puddle on the floor. "Where's David?" she asked the cat.

Maurice pointed to the puddle.

"You've got to be kidding me. Hampton! Hampton! Get your angelic butt down here. I need a little assistance."


"Thornswell!" Nicholas de Charme yelled. "Who in the hell was that man and where has he taken Ella?"

The elder man sat the tray full of tea and scones down. "I have no idea, sir. He was there one minute and gone the next."

Katherine Laskey, aka the Oracle of Delphi, appeared in the doorway.

"Why don't you try asking me that, lover boy?" Kath nearly glowed with her newfound power. Regeneration was always a good look for her. She was stunning. Nicholas was happy to see she'd put some clothes on since her last appearance.

"Why don't I ask you? Kath, getting answers from you always comes with strings attached."

"How about something for free, then?" Katherine raised her hands in an arc summoning the ancient power she'd been gifted with at birth. Her eyes turned violet as the flames of energy rose around her.

"A brother has come to you this night. Once was wrong, but now right. Together two the Ripper and he, Separated forever, Jack is free."

Katherine's prophecies were never exactly the most ground-breaking thoughts to break free from the universe. But tonight the "powers" had given him a true gift, if he was to believe the Oracle.
His brother, Jackson had some how escaped the clutches of the Ripper!

"How can I believe what you say?" Nicholas approached Katherine and shook her soundly by the shoulders. "How do I know Jack's still alive after all these centuries?"

A smug look came over Katherine's face. "Honey, I don't make them up, I just spit them out."


"What in the hell just happened?" Ella Morris dusted herself off and looked over at the smiling man standing next to her.

"We fell through an energy window," Mac Marlowe said as he helped her up.

"An energy window?" Ella said with a skeptical tone in her voice. "I've been around long enough to know a few things and I've never heard of an energy window. Not even in ancient writings."

"Yeah," he said slowly. "Windows in time, dimensions, it's not exactly the easiest thing to manipulate. When you open one sometimes another opens on its own. It's a fluky thing. Nature doesn't like to be unbalanced for long."

"Thanks for the assist but how about taking me back to Nicholas' house."

Mac wasn't listening to Ella. He was looking at the sign that said Tolemac Lake. A knowing smile came across his face. "I can't be," he said slowly.

Fog rose from the lake in wisps of mist but there was enough heavy air between the fog to see a castle peeking out from behind the pea soup.

"Oh, no," Ella said, spying the castle. "It's forbidden to trespass on sacred ground."

"Do you know what that is?" Mac asked. "That's Camelot."

Ella sighed. Now they were never going to get out of there.

Episode 14: Timeline

Episode 14: Timeline
by Toni Walker
David Laskey was in shock. The world was stoic again, at least, the world he could feel. He was inside the stone statue again. He wasn't sure how this had happened. He had already decided he was dead from lack of oxygen and that accounted for his strange ghostly state. Now he wasn't sure what in the heck was going on.

As it was currently, he couldn't move. Only his eyes seemed to be able to see around. Two people were carrying the statue toward what looked like a large looming castle. Along with the men were a gaggle of others lead by the same woman whom David had saved from the violin statue not very long ago. He had stupidly spoken the enchantment and saved the red-head and then banished himself to death by suffocation.

None of the party surrounding him spoke except the red-head. She barked orders like a pro and then some. If he hadn't met her in this lifetime, he would have found her to be a serious hottie, but as it was, he was bound to hate her for causing his capture. Plus, he really didn't need the sort of mental baggage he was sure came with such a bossy woman.

It took him a while to realize he must have been trapped in the state all along. There was one positive side to this theory, at least he knew the woman did get out alive. That was the only favorable thing he could think of. And the only reason he didn't hyperventilate.

The dark castle was even more foreboding inside. This town sure had its fright night atmosphere down pat. It was probably a killer place to be on Halloween, but he doubted kids did that in this berg. Everyday was Halloween here.

The woman he saved from the statue -- her name was Morgana. Unusual name. The only other Morgana he'd ever heard of was the sister of King Arthur. And this woman had the evil queen sister act down to a science.

The evil minions departed with a wave of her pale, sun-deprived hand and that left David standing stoically alone inside the hunk of stone. Morgana soon retreated into the bowels of the dark castle and he hoped she'd stay there far away from him.

A glimmer of light flickered in front of him like a faint dying star, but this star didn't wink out of existence. It became brighter and more luminous until the room was so full of light he couldn't see anything at all. All he could do was close his eyes to the glare and hope he didn't go blind.

David wanted to scream, but his voice was stuck in his stony throat.. He wasn't sure if anyone could hear him or not, but he decided he wasn't going to go quietly if this was the hour of his death.
The air swirled around him followed by slashes of lightening. The air crackled with immense energy. Even from inside the stone, David could feel the power. Within seconds a man appeared in the room. He was holding a staff, atop it was a glowing orb.

The man appeared in Morgana's lair directly in front of David. He would have come earlier if David's mental shouts hadn't been masked by the charms surrounding the castle. Morgana was anything if not paranoid.

Before he could use his staff to release David from the statue, a powdery blue cloud popped up beside him. The magical being that appeared this time was a short, red-headed wizard.

"Figment. What brings you this far outside of the Realm?"

"Sir Merlin," Figment leaned forward, bowing deeply in respect to the highest of high noble elders. "I bow in your mighty presence." He shook his head and then muttered he was unworthy to be in the shadow of such a master.

"I humbly apologize but I must enlist your help and guidance. I know it is wrong, but I have attached myself to an Outlander ward. I know, I know. Wrong, very wrong. There is no excuse, I admit."
Figment glanced around finally realizing he was inside the dark queen's lair. His shuddering increased ten fold. "I have come to throw myself on the mercy of the head of the elders."

"I'm a little busy at the moment, Figment."

The small wizard nodded. "But, my Lord, my ward was unexpectedly attacked by a mad lupin. He now bears the mark of the beast."

"I am aware of the attack, and please know we are working to rectify the problem. Now, if you'll excuse me, Figment, I have a task to perform."

Merlin directed his staff toward David who was trying not to panic inside the statue.

"You must calm down, David," Merlin said with a comforting voice.

David's eyes did not calm, their irritation increased.

Figment noticed the direction David was staring in. He turned to where the boys eyes were fixed and stumbled backward letting out an audible gasp.


He promptly disappeared in a puff of blue smoke.


Ella Morris didn't know how to explain what she was experiencing. Mostly it was irritation. The Ripper had started this mundane process. Yes, he had tried to kill her by sucking the life out of her, but what demon hadn't over the years, but ultimately where she found herself wasn't the result of what the Ripper had started. Ella had an idea that the elders were somehow responsible for her current state of annoyance.

It felt like part of her was in another place, while the rest of her was aware of Nicholas and a doctor hovering around her.

"Hell-loo," she said trying to get someone's attention. "I'm perfectly fine. I'm just... stuck."

After what seemed a few hours of protest, Ella realized no one was listening to her. At least, that was, until a doorway glimmered in front of her and a gorgeous male walked through. "Having a little trouble there?"

The man tried not to crack a smile but it was obvious he found this situation extremely funny.

"Oh, no," Ella mocked. "Everything is just peaches and cream." She tried to hide her ticked-off side, but of course, she never had much luck hiding that aspect of her personality.

"Well, if you're sure... By the way, I'm Mac. Mac Marlowe. You can tell your loved ones that I did offer to help but you were too stubborn to accept."

The man turned back to the glimmering doorway preparing to leave.

"Don't just stand there, gorgeous. Get me the hell out of here!"

Mac grabbed her hand preparing to pull her completely through the rift between dimensions, but something on her side of the universe had a stronger hold on her. As soon as their hands clasped together, Ella and Mac fell backward through the rift, landing once again in the Hollow and inside Nicholas's castle.

The two of them fell hard to the floor as the portal released them. Ella on her back and the man on his stomach. Once they were completely through, the shimmering portal promptly disappeared.

"Okay," Mac muttered. "That was not supposed to happen."

"What wasn't supposed to happen?" asked an angry voice above him.

Nicholas hovered over Ella and the newcomer, but the vampire's attention was completely on the man.
"You made a mistake, friend." Nicholas grabbed Mac by the throat and lifted him skyward. "A mistake you will never make again."


Sark was very good at his job. Morgana had asked him to bind Lane's essence to his body so she could test her vampire virus anti-toxin. But a more important newcomer to the Hollow had his allegiance, and he also wanted Lane's body, but for a different reason.

"You will do this for me, Sark." The Ripper hovered above him like a shadowy harbinger of doom.
"Yes, my master."

For centuries, Lane had laid inside of the de Charme mansion unmoving, a virtual dead man who could only venture into the real world by astral projecting himself out of his body. He would no longer be able to perform such a task, not with the new master residing inside his body. The Ripper wanted to take Lane as a host. His power could heal the sick man's body. And having the image of Larson would help him travel in the world of Hollow Creek virtually undetected.

Raising his hands, Sark began the chanting. The words were spoken in a powerful ancient language few knew of, and none but Sark remembered. The cloaked figure repeated the phrases countless times until he felt the essence of Lane drawing itself back inside his weak form.

Part of the shadow of the Ripper disappeared from inside the mansion and returned to the Shadow Realm. He wanted to be there when Cora realized there was no one to help her.


The feeling overcame Cora Laskey again. The feeling of detachment. The feeling of oblivion. She had experienced similar sensation when the shadow came near. Her thinking grew fuzzy and she only wanted to give in to the power. But she knew she couldn't.

Lane Larson, however, didn't seem to be effected in the same way as she. His image flickered like a motion picture projection that was about to come to an end. One moment he was there, and then next he was gone.

"Lane! No! Don't leave me alone here!"

A tingling sensation settled onto her body. She wasn't sure if it was friend or foe. She only knew she didn't want to die. The Ripper wouldn't be able to maintain this connection long. This half of his essence would have to return to be moved inside of Larson's body. But for now, he wanted to be with the woman he loved.

The Ripper came closer pulling her further into the thrall of his presence, then in an instant it was gone.
Cora collapsed to the floor of the Shadow Realm. No one knew she was there. No one could help her now.


The elders of Hollow Creek watched from their position as the events unfolded. This second time around they would put in new obstacles, people who would prevent the evil inhabitants from leaving Hollow Creek.

An evil had broken through the barrier the first time and with it, the rest fled. They had destroyed the world. The elders couldn't let that happen again. They had to take drastic measures to make sure evil always stayed trapped here.

The elders had the power to turn back time, to introduce new people to the mix. The only way to save the world was to go back and start time again.

This time around three new people would join the evil in the Hollow. Three people who were all essences of pure good, pure light, and pure hope. It was the only way the elders could save the world.
Cora Laskey, David Laskey, and Mac Marlowe would be a new threat to the evil in the Hollow. They alone had the power to stop the evil.

They alone would take on the responsibility to save the world.

Episode 13: Fire Storm

Episode 13: Fire Storm
by Toni Walker
Near the Forbidden Zone
The midnight hour drew near and called the game show host back to his lair. There was no use in dallying longer than needed. He knew his minions would find the amulet and take back what was rightfully his. A.W. Larson may have taken one piece of the puzzle, but Dawson swore he would find the second amulet and then the third. Once he had all three amulets in his possession, he would break free from the prison of Hollow Creek and the world would be his oyster.

The amulets were legend, myth, but only he and A.W. knew for certain they existed. He didn't plan to fail in his mission to obtain them. Dawson Barker's evil minions didn't wander far away after their initial attack of Keith Banning, David and Maurice. They had their orders. Find the second amulet... even if it meant death to the owner of the round, ancient stone.

Dawson's own amulet was mere child's play compared to its stronger and more powerful siblings.

"Go back for the second amulet. Banning knows something - - I'm sure of it. Make him tell you where it is." Those were Dawson's last words before returning to his beloved Sabrina.

Lester, the head minion, remained behind with half of Barker's men while the rest continued on to the compound. Lester was worried about his boss's obsession with the Michael's woman. She had far more power over him than he knew and Lester, for one, was wary of her. None of the other participants in ‘the Game' had the power over Barker that Sabrina did.

Twice now he had nearly revealed his true agenda to his television audience while focusing on having Sabrina to himself. And that wouldn't help their cause. Lester knew A.W. would pounce on Barker if he knew of his Achilles heel.

The minions returned to where they had last fought with Banning and found the courtyard empty.
"Fan out," Lester yelled. "Find them."

Lincoln Merlin may not have been the most powerful wizard of all time like his ancestor, but he did have some power left to him in his family line. The staff he held kept the trio of men safe while Barker's minions searched for them elsewhere.

"What in the hell is going on? What do they want?"

Merlin turned to Keith. "You own something they possess. It is one of three left in the entire world. Three amulets that when placed together create a vortex so powerful that it would release any minion, demon or evil-doer into the real world again."

Keith balked. "I have something like that?"

Linc pointed to Keith's neck. "You wear part of it around your neck."

Keith fingered the necklace Sabrina had once given him while she was dating his best friend.
"Where's the other part?" David wondered out loud.

"If I know this place, it's probably in the wrong hands or in the hands of an innocent. It never fails to work out that way," Maurice mewled.

"Sabrina found it a long time ago. She gave me this for my birthday... I don't know where the other half is."

"Let me guess," David said. "She's a romantic and kept the other half for herself?"

"Why would she? We weren't dating at the time."

"But you love her? How could you love her if you never dated her?" David asked.

"She was my best friend's girl. That meant she was off limits to me," Keith paced around the courtyard. "There is no use dwelling on this. It doesn't matter anyway."

Linc's face turned into a scowl. "It may matter more than you know if she still has that piece of the amulet."

Keith's face paled. "She never takes it off."

"Then we must return to the compound as quickly as possible. Come with me through the Forbidden Zone. It's the only way to cut off Barker before he gets to her."

David, Maurice, Keith and Linc Merlin stepped through the Forbidden Zone gates and promptly disappeared.


Inside Nicholas de Charme's castle
"What's with the scorch marks?" Nicholas de Charme was in a fowl mood. It was all he could do not to run upstairs and check in on Ella. He wasn't sure what was wrong with her, but whatever it was, he doubted it was of magical origin... at least, he hoped it wasn't.

Thornswell held a mop and bucket as he waited for Nicholas for calm down and move out of his path.
"I'm not exactly sure of the origin of the marks, but if I had to fathom a guess..."

Nicholas knew what Thornswell was getting at. Not too many people burned up into a fiery oblivion when they shed their old bodies.

"Don't tell me. I get it." Nicholas paced. "Did she burn up another perfectly good body? Or did the powers that be finally let her move on to the great hereafter?"

"None of us could be that lucky," Thornswell muttered under his breath.

Nicholas hadn't heard his remark and in a way he was glad. Katherine appeared in the doorway at that moment. She was wearing Nicholas's robe and baring quite a bit of silky flesh. Her body was, of course, as it always had been, perfect.

Nicholas didn't hear her approach due to his concern for Ella, but the look on Thornswell's face was enough to cinch the fact that he had an unexpected visitor.

"No such luck, Nick," she said playfully. "I'm still here, but at least I get to keep the fab body of my youth." She revealed her new svelte self by opening her robe and giving him a thrill. Unfortunately, the gesture was lost on him. That didn't stop her, however. "See anything you like?"

"I see in all these years you haven't learned a thing."

"I'm the Oracle, Nick. I know all."

"Well, you don't know me as well as you think," Nicholas glanced toward the stairs where the doctor was still working on Ella. "We may have had something once, but it's over now."

Nick turned and bounded up the stairs, taking two at a time.

"It's not over for us, Nick," Katherine said with a sly smile. ‘And if I have anything to say about it, it never will be."

Thornswell plunged the mop into a bucket and began to work on the blackened floor. "I preferred you with amnesia. You were much more acceptable that way."

Katherine quirked a curious eyebrow.

"I remember how it used to be with us - - before you knowingly grew old. You still want me. I can tell. I can see it in your eyes." She let the robe hang on her open from top to bottom not hiding herself from his view. "Why do you mask your identity behind this persona? We both know who you really are."
"I was a fool once, my dear. I don't plan on being one again."

He turned and walked away from the sultry beauty.

"Oh, baby," she crooned. "It's far from over and I might have a some fun revealing your secret little by little to those who love you... or hate you."

Katherine dropped the robe to the floor. She wasn't embarrassed by her nudity. She reveled in its power. Quietly, she walked into Ella's abandoned room. She'd borrow one of the witch's sexiest outfits and pay a call on A.W. Larson. He too had a nasty secret that had been hidden for far too long. It would be fun pitting him and Thornswell against each other once again.


Inside the Forbidden Zone
"How much farther? Barker is going to beat us if we don't hurry." Keith needed to get to Sabrina before Barker did anything to harm her.

"Time is slower here. We are in a somewhat alternate dimension. A place where secrets of the past are hidden."

In front of them appeared a meadow. The grass was lush and green and the trees stood stately behind them. In the clearing was a large stone with something jutting from its side.

"Oh, my God. Is that what I think it is?" David dashed to the stone and then ran his hand over the glinting silver object. It was a sword. It was dull and old but something about it drew his attention. "It's beautiful."

Maurice sneered. "It's just a piece of junk. And look at it. It's not even useful stuck like that."

"Useful? If it's what I think it is, it's the most useful sword in the entire world... It's Excaliber.
"Excaliber?" Maurice snorted. "That's a myth."

"Myth or not," Keith said, examining the sword. "It looks like the real thing to me."

"Have you two lost your minds? Not only are we in the Forbidden Zone, but we've stumbled across an ancient Camelot artifact? This is too much," he said. "For one thing, this is not Great Britain."

"No," Linc Merlin said. "But mythical cities can be moved magically. I've seen it done with Atlantis.And from all indications, Camelot did vanish, did it not?"

"Don't tell me you're getting the crazy Forbidden Zone fever too?" Maurice paced nervously back and forth.

Keith fingered the sword and felt it prickle beneath his skin. "Kid, I think you might be right about this thing."

He glanced up at David who seemed to be more transparent now than normal. His face contorted in panic.

"Are you all right?"

"I... I... don't know. Something's happening. I'm feeling a pull... I can't explain it."

"Linc?" Maurice mewled. "Can you do anything?"

Before Linc could answer, David's image winked in and out until suddenly, it was completely gone.
"Stay here and wait for me," Linc insisted. "I'll be back as soon as I can."

Then Linc held up his aged staff, muttered a few magical words and vanished as well.

"What do you think just happened?" Keith asked. Hollow Creek was beginning to scare the hell out of him.

"Whatever it was, it couldn't be good." Maurice sniffed around the sword jutting out of the stone." Wanna give it a go?"

Keith's face turned into a mask of confusion. "Huh?"

"The sword, you mortal. Give it a tug. See if you have the heart of a king."


Near Morgana's Lair
David Laskey could feel himself hurtling through space at a high velocity. He'd never experienced anything like this before nor did he want to experience anything like it again.

His entire world suddenly came to a halt with a dizzying crash. Quickly, it became apparent he couldn't move. That's when the panic set in and his breathing accelerated.

What was happening?

"Take the statue back to my lair." Morgana LeFey's voice was hard to mistake. It was because of her that he was in this position to begin with. She'd been the one trapped inside the violin girl statue.

David could feel her troops pick him up and begin walking. The smile on Morgana's face was the most evil thing he'd seen in his lifetime.

"Be careful with it, boys." she warned. "Once it's back in my lab, I have the perfect spell to get rid of it once and for all."


Inside Nicholas de Charme's castle
Nicholas paced around the hallway outside the room where the doctor was working on Ella.
"What in the hell is going on in there?"

He wanted immediate answers, but he knew whatever was wrong was more serious than any of them knew.

The doctor walked out of the room, sweat marred his brow and concern etched his face.
"How is she? Tell me she's alive."

"Yes, she is alive, but just barely. Somehow she's managed to get herself stuck between dimensions."

"What? I didn't know that was possible. What other dimension?" Nicholas didn't like this. He didn't like it at all.

"As near as I can figure, she's stuck somewhere in her past - - and considering how long she's lived, there's no telling at what point she became wedged in time."

The doctor was silent for a moment before continuing. "If she can't come completely into either dimension, before long - - only a few days, I'm afraid..."

"She'll what? What will happen to Ella?"

"She'll cease to exist."

It was in that moment he accepted the truth. Nicholas had no choice but to elicit the help of the evil queen, Morgana. Not that he wanted to, but he had to. Ella's life depended on it.