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So Tweasure Your Wuv, Caitlin

by on August 4, 2011

Last time, in the Caitlin Chronicles, our occasionally-splenetic heroine had just escaped from sudden snakey death, with the help of a company of tiny angels flying a hang-glider. The angels had dropped Caitlin and her sidekick Perry off in the same mountain valley she and Perry had found the first clue in, which would shortly prove to be a bit of a mistake. At an rate, they’d all flown away, and now Caitlin and Perry were standing tired yet relieved by the still-burbling stream. “Well, then…” Caitlin said. “I suppose we’d better start going after the second clue. And, oh good, I’ve stopped speaking in constant italics. Hooray.”

Perry shrugged, and then gave a sneeze. “I think my allergies might be coming back. Ah, well. The second clue’s four miles east, remember?”

“Right. And, Perry…” Caitlin scuffled her feet about on the ground for a minute, feeling curiously awkward all of a sudden. “Thanks. For telling me the magic words that activated the bean. And also the translations. Good show.”

“You’re welcome,” Perry said in surprise. It was the first really kind thing she’d said to him on their whole adventure. Feeling a smidge awkward himself, he looked about him, up at the walls of the valley. “Oh, look, one of the weasels. It must’ve escaped the Panda of Unusual Size.”

Caitlin triggered her lightsaber, relieved that she could actually do something instead of standing around awkwardly like a dork. “Well, it sure won’t escape m-”

“Oh wait. There’s five now. No, ten. No, thirty. No….um….uh-oh. Looks like they all escaped. And they brought friends.”

The princess sniffed the air. Was something burning….ah. “Fire arrows. Lovely. Well,” she whirled, and gave her lightsaber a dramatic flourish, “their arrows may blot out the sun, but we shall fight in the shade!”

“But,” Perry objected, “they’re fire arrows. Fire arrows wouldn’t give shade. Because, erm, fire.”

“Ah. Good point. I suppose we’ll probably go down fighting, then. Well, Perry, it was a fun adventure, really, and you’ll like Character Heaven, really, you will, and….and I’m sorry, did you just yell ‘Hoooooooooo-ahhhhhhhhh’?”

Perry shook his head, his eyes wide with excitement. “No! It was that guy up there! On the ridge! He’s smashing the weasels to bits!”

“Where?” Caitlin gasped in happy shock. “What guy, what…oh. That guy.” Suddenly she had a quivery feeling about her knees. That guy, who was at that moment demolishing the mob of weasels with rapid swings of a hefty claymore, was, no holds barred, the most…interesting guy she had ever seen. She watched open-mouthed as he finished off the weasels, then leaped dramatically off the ridge and dropped right in front of her, making a very elegant bow. He looked straight at her with his blue (very blue, she noticed, a little dreamily) eyes and said, “Milady. I am grateful I could be of some help to you. I am Prince John Featherham the Unafraid of Commitment. And you, oh fairest of fair maidens, may I say that if I knew where your dwelling was, I would not feel worthy to enter. Merely to hide under your porch would be sufficient for my ‘umble self. Might I know your name, milady?

“Oh give me a break,” Perry said, rolling his eyes.

The princess, blushing madly, ignored him. “Caitlin,” she answered, trying mightily to keep her voice from slipping into a sigh.

“Ah. Caitlin. From the Scandinavian, meaning fair lady, wise and valiant. Truly your name befits you.”

“Um,” Perry objected, “that’s not actually-”

“Perry, shut up,” Caitlin hissed sharply, still smiling, and unaware that her name didn’t come from ancient Scandinavian at all, but from an Anglicized version of Caitlín, the Irish form of the Old French Cateline, derived from Katherine, which comes from a Greek word, and having completely bored everyone who isn’t a philologist, we now return to our story. “Do go on.”

Prince John made another elegant bow. “Milady, by chance, I have a cabin in the woods nearby. I would be most honored to provide some little refreshment for you; I can tell you have traveled far and must be weary.”

“You have no idea.”

An hour later, Caitlin was sitting in a comfortable chair in Prince John’s living room, exclaiming over the quality of his blueberry muffins. “You didn’t…did you bake these yourself?” she asked in wonder.

“Of course,” the prince replied. “I learned the recipe from one of those cookbooks over there on that shelf, the one next to those books on philosophy, psychology, math, self-help, and my own personal translation of that book on dating and respecting each other’s boundaries.”

“Perfect!” Caitlin said, though whether she was talking about the bookshelf, the muffin, or the prince was an open question. Perry, leaning unhappily against the cabin wall, rolled his eyes again. “I suppose you two will want to get married now,” he commented, in a rare display of snark. “You’ve known each other for a whole hour. It’s practically tradition.”

“Actually,” Prince John rejoined, “I’ve never approved of princes and princesses getting married in such a hasty fashion as all that. They couldn’t possibly have time to get to know one another. I believe a proper course would be to spend much time together, learning to know the other, for only when you know someone else, truly know them, can you truly love them. Do you not agree?”

“Yyyyyyeahhhhhh…..” Caitlin sighed. “I mean, yes. Absolutely.”

“Well, we’d best be going,” Perry broke in, horrified at his blunder and desperate to change the subject. “Very important quest to get to. Second clue. Four miles east. Time’s wasting.”

“Ah, yes, the second clue,” Prince John said. “I know exactly what that is. I have passed it many times in the many heroic adventures that I have had. Of course, none were as heroic as your own quest, of which word has already spread throughout the land. Shall I take you to the place where the second clue is found, or shall I just tell you now?”

“Oh, do tell now,” Caitlin pleaded.

“Very well, the second clue is…I am the only stick with eyeballs. The meaning is quite simple, really; a stick is useful for beating someone over the head with, which one might do in a company of soldiers, who would be stationed in a fort. A stick can also be part of a raft, or boat, which are used for trading purposes. So we need to go to a fort located by the sea, which also has a large market close by; this will usually mean a sizable town as well. Now, the eyeballs. One only has two eyes, and they are both the same size; furthermore, we know these eyeballs are on a stick, and sticks never move by themselves. Statues also never move by themselves, and one often finds statues with eyeballs in churches, which is yet another place sticks are used, as candleholders or as batons for the church choir director to lead the choir with. So, all that means is that the next clue is hidden in the twin statues in the church of a town by the sea, a town with a sizable fort and a market. Such a town should not be to hard to find. ”

Caitlin gaped. “Oh, that makes so much sense! Perfect!”

“Yes…” the prince said, “but, you know, there is a better way to achieve your quest. During my years of study at one of the most prestigious universities in the world, I learned that paranoid dwarves nearly always craft a second way into their hideout, just in case the first way is blocked somehow. The second way into Ermingard’s hiding place is, to be honest, much shorter than the first. It’s a magical teleportation spell. The only trick is, to activate the spell, you need to call down the power of a fictional god.”

“Fictional…” Caitlin said. “But-”

“Of course, I know we are all fictional characters, really.”

“You do?”

“Absolutely. I find it’s fulfilling, in a way. I get to be a part of grand adventure stories, and if I should perish, I end up in the splendour of Character Heaven. Besides which, as part of this story, I get to meet people such as yourself, and I would not trade that high honor away for anything.”

Caitlin blushed redder than Bob the Tomato. “Yes. Well. Prince John, would you, by chance, know which fictional deity we should call on?”

“Truthfully, I do,” the prince said. “But first, why do not we take a walk outside? It is far too beautiful a day to spend cooped up in my little cabin here.”

Caitlin was so distracted that she dashed outside after the prince without even remembering Perry. Her unhappy (and slightly jealous) sidekick started reluctantly after her, but first, curious, he went to the bookshelf and picked up one of the cookbooks, wondering which one held the muffin recipe. His eyes narrowed. He grabbed another. Then another. Every one was the same. All their pages were blank.

Perry dashed outside, but it was too late.

“So, as I alluded to inside, there is a wonderful fictional god who might be of great service to us. He is one of the major characters in a beloved children’s series of seven books, which has sold millions of copies. He wields great power, was worshiped by the greatest city in that world, and a vast empire besides, and when that world ended, he rescued his people and took them to his own place. Shall we call him?”

“Oh, let’s!” Caitlin said. Ordinarily she might have hesitated about calling on a god she didn’t know, but sadly she had pretty well lost her head. “What do I do?”

“Well, it’s simple, really. You simply recite a line from the book in which he is most prominently featured. Er, but first, you’ll need a proper metal sword and a shield. Here, you can hold mine, and I can hold your lightsaber.”

She nearly dropped the heavy claymore at first, but Caitlin braced herself and held on, clinging to the prince’s shield with her other hand. “Now,” John said, “merely bang the flat of the sword on the shield, and as you do, say these words: “Tash, Tash, the great god Tash.”

“Tash, Tash, the great god Tash.”


“Tash, Tash, the great god Tash!”


“Tash! Tash! The great god Ta-”

She was interrupted by a sudden blast of lightning. Everything went black.

When Perry arrived, moments later, Prince John was face-down on the ground in reverence. His sword and shield had vanished. Caitlin, standing tall, her eyes flashing, held her lightsaber. “Well done, loyal minion. You will be rewarded. Eventually.”

“Ca….Caitlin?” Perry whispered.

She turned to him, extended her hand, and suddenly he felt a cold pressure descend on his throat. As Perry gasped for breath he heard Caitlin’s voice, much colder and harder than he remembered, “Not anymore. But I am an old friend of hers. So to speak. My name is Susan. Oh yes, boys and girls…..I’m baaaaaaaack. Muwahahahahaaaaaaaaa!” The evil laugh was just a bit too cheesy for her dramatic reveal, but then, no one was about to tell that to the reborn Mistress of all Character Hell.

Note: this story was written for Prompt Number Thirty of the Chrysalis Experiment.

  1. Great installment, good sir! Looks like Caitlin is up the river, agaio!

    • Thanks! Yes, she’s certainly in a lot of trouble now, but don’t worry;I’m moderately sure that she’ll come out of it alright. Most likely. 🙂

  2. First off, LOVE this line…”I am Prince John Featherham the Unafraid of Commitment.” hahahaha. Secondly, I really did burst out in cackling laughter when Susan revealed herself 😛

    • Making people literally lol is one of my life’s goals. 😛 So glad you enjoyed Susan’s return.

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