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W is for Wakened Monsters

by on February 9, 2014

Last time, in the Catrina Chronicles, our heroine had rediscovered her clone Atlantean royal consort after knocking the goddess Venus onto the snowglobe in which he was imprisoned. She now has to decide what to do with him. Little does she know that an even worse problem is about to appear on the horizon…

Catrina rolled her eyes. “Wonderful. I was just hoping for some quality time with my family, such as it is, and I get a “little did she know.”  She wondered what it was she didn’t know. She knew she didn’t know a lot of things, like where Susan was at the moment, and whether her relationship with Luke could be mended. But suppose it was something she didn’t even know that she didn’t know? How would she know that?

Then, on the ground, Luke stirred. Catrina held the Shovel of Thor ready, in case she had to whack him over the head again. It occurred to her that she really should have relieved him of his magic wand; even if it was only a copy of the gopher-wood wand and not the real one, it was powerful enough to cause problems. Before she could do anything, however, Luke’s eyes fluttered open. “Ah….where am I?”

“Kumquat City,” Catrina said. She had a sudden suspicion. It was confirmed by his next question.

“How did I get here?” Luke said, blinking in wonderment.

“What,” Catrina asked carefully, “is the last thing you remember?”

“Well…I was a bear. I was looking for Merlin’s pants, and then all at once I was a bear, and the Yellow Fairy was going to change me back, and….”

“Perry?” Catrina said.

“Yes, that’s me. And I’m not a bear anymore. How did that happen?”

The princess was overjoyed for a second, having her Perry back. But then she realized that this presented a whole new dilemma. Should she tell him the truth? He wasn’t really her Perry; Perry had been a sort of magical undercover identity. What he was at heart was Luke, emperor of Atlantis. Actually he wasn’t even that; he was a clone of the real Luke, who wasn’t emperor anyway as his father Madrigal was still very much alive. And suppose he got hit on the head again, and reverted back to his clone self?

Catrina didn’t have time to ponder these imponderables, for at that very moment she saw a woman running wildly down the street, blonde hair all askew. It was Katrina, the slightly evil movie version of herself, and she seemed very much upset. Catrina and Perry ran out to intercept her. “WIGGLES!” she shrieked at them.

“What?” Catrina said.

“They asked the children to wake Jeff up, but they shouldn’t have done that! Jeff should’ve stayed asleep! Waking up is bad! VERY BAD!”

“Yes, well, that does sound like a problem, and Perry and I will deal with that as soon as we can,” Catrina said soothingly, taking Katrina by the arm. “Now why don’t we just go back to my castle and have a nice nap and we’ll feel ever so much-”

“You don’t understand!” said Katrina, pulling away and waving in frantic gesticulations. “Santa’s coming! And he doesn’t want milk and cookies! We’re all Welsh rabbits with Worcestershire sauce, only we’re not actually rabbits, but he doesn’t care!”

Catrina had no idea why the poor girl was talking about Welsh rabbits; she had obviously popped a cork somewhere. The thing was, Katrina hadn’t been this way before. Something very bad must have happened.  “Katrina,” she said, “who exactly is coming? What did you see?”

All at once there was a sudden distant gurgling, and an eerie green glow lit up the night sky to the west. There, rising above the line of the sea, loomed a massive ominous shape. Katrina giggled and burst into song. “Gotta get a half a buck somewhere, gotta shine your shoes and slick your hair, gotta get yourself a boutonniere, Cthulhu’s back in town!”

The last time Catrina had seen Cthulhu, the dread Lovecraftian menace had been fighting with a fleet of Zarminnan Beetle-cruisers about which side could kill her off. Later, she had promised to help Susan track the monster down, but then Susan had left her transformed into a theremin and gone off, presumably to do the job herself. Apparently she hadn’t succeeded.

“Right,” Catrina said. “Cthulhu. Last time I distracted him with a fleet of battle cruisers.” She glanced up. The Atlantean sky-fleet was still dithering about what to do. Or at least they were; all at once the captain of the flagship saw the unspeakably evil monster lumbering towards them. Immediately he sounded the order to retreat, and the sky fleet obeyed with surprising alacrity. The whole armada swung south and then banked away east again out to sea, giving Cthulhu a wide berth. They had encountered him before, and though they had driven him off, they did not fancy a rematch under current circumstances. Not leaderless, as they more or less were.

“So much for plan A,” Catrina said. She didn’t know if Mlrning had the power to stop such a primordial menace as Cthulhu, but it looked as if she would have to find out.

“Perry, you’d better evacuate. Get Katrina out of here. I’ll hold it off.”

“Now hang on,” Perry objected. “I’m not leaving you to get eaten by that thing!” He pointed at it with the wand he was still holding. “Oh. I have a magic wand,” he said. “How did I get that?”

“Wait,” Catrina said. “That’s a magic Atlantean wand. And Atlantis is under water, which means they had to have encountered Cthulhu! Maybe that thing can help!”

“Would you mind explaining how I got a magic Atlantean wand?” Perry demanded.

“Later!” Catrina said. “Just use the thing already! It’s nearly here!”

Indeed it was. Slimy tentacles writhed through the air as the monster lurched towards the city. “But I don’t even know how!” Perry protested. “I can’t just hold it up and say I wish for something to stop Cthulhu!”

There was a sudden flash of light. In the street before them, to their very great surprise, there materialized an otter. An otter in a full-fledged naval uniform with a tricorn hat, no less. “Greetin’s, marm,” he said, doffing his hat. “Sir Lionel Webbington, at y’r service. What, er, seems to be the problem ‘ere?”

Catrina, speechless, pointed towards Cthulhu. “Ah,” said Sir Lionel. “Bit of a foul beastie, there. Don’t fret, marm; me an’ the lads will deal with ‘im sharpish.” He gave a quick whistle, and out of the shadows emerged a whole squad of militarily-garbed otters, who quickly formed up in neat ranks, Sir Lionel at their head. “Cheerio!” Sir Lionel called to the princess. “Back in a tick, wot wot!” An otter at the front struck up a drum roll, and the squad marched briskly off towards Cthulhu.

“How on earth are they going to stop him?” Perry asked.

Catrina was still searching for words. Her counterpart Katrina supplied them. “You can tell the mailman not to call, I ain’t comin’ home until the fall, and I might not get back home at all, Cthulhu’s back in town!”

This has been another episode of the Catrina Chronicles. For previous episodes, go here. For other stories I’ve written which are available on Amazon, go here. Thanks for reading!


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  1. I don’t know how Catrina can handle all this adventure. Doesn’t anything ‘normal’ ever happen to her? 🙂

  2. Maybe that’ll be her next story arc. “The Perfectly Ordinary Day of Catrina.”

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