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Catrina vs. Susan, Again

by on January 12, 2021

Last time, in the Catrina Chronicles, our heroine had just defeated the Loch Ness Monster and an assortment of government people who were trying to cover up her heroic adventure. Now, accompanied by Merlin, she races back to the Lady of the Lake’s aquarium to retrieve Excalibur and save Britain. Little does she know…

“Oh dear,” said Catrina. “She’s not supposed to be missing her head, is she?”

“No,” Merlin said grimly, “She is not.”

The two stood in the empty office, looking down at the body of the Lady of the Lake. “I don’t suppose you can resurrect her?” Catrina said hopefully. “Resurrections can happen a lot. I’ve done it myself.”

“No,” Merlin said again. “Not this time. For one thing, I’d need her head, and I don’t see it anywhere.”

“Ah,” Catrina said, wincing. She brushed her dark hair off her shoulders and hefted Mlrning (the Shovel of Thor!). “Right, can we at least find out who did it? I bet I can guess who, though.”

Merlin made a few passes over the body with his wand. A shadowy figure materialized in the air; a woman with brown hair, wearing black denim. “I knew it,” Catrina said. “Susan. Always Susan. My nemesis.” She looked closer, and then she had no need to, for an object had just come visible in Susan’s left hand. “Oh, look, she’s got the sword.

“Then we’ve failed,” Merlin said. “It was my fault. This was not the year in which to attempt a great quest.”

Catrina blinked. “What, is this a bad time?”

“You have no idea,” Merlin said. “Well, Britain’s done for then. You might as well go back to the 12th century.”

“Now, hang on there!” Catrina protested. “I’ve been in worse spots than this! I was turned into a zombie penguin once! We can get the sword back. All we have to do is set a trap.”

“And how do we do that?”

Catrina smiled slowly. “What good’s a sword if you don’t use it?”

Susan was bored. She had been about to storm London and, with the power of Excalibur, lay claim to the throne of Great Britain, but first she decided that she wanted a snack. The problem was that she couldn’t seem to find any place open. Unlike Merlin, who could see into realms of space and time, Susan’s knowledge was rather more limited. She had no idea about pandemics or lockdowns or even basic mask protocol. So there she was, strolling down the sidewalk, carrying the sword Excalibur, when finally she observed a line of people gathered before a shop selling muffins.

Susan ran for them, drawing the sword. It flashed like lightning in her hand as she descended upon the queue. “Stand aside, losers!” she yelled. Or rather, she started to, because suddenly the people and the muffin shop had vanished in a magical puff of smoke. In its wake stood the familiar outline of a dark-haired girl with a shovel, and a birthmark on the back of her neck the exact shape of Newfoundland.

Slowly Catrina turned ’round, Mlrning held casually in her hand. “Susan,” she said.

“Catrina,” Susan snarled, raising Excalibur.

“Shall we?” Catrina said.

“Let’s.”

The fight began, shovel against sword, in a crash of lightning and ice. Catrina and Susan were both hurled backwards at first, but they quickly bounded up and started in again; this wasn’t their first rodeo. Merlin conjured up some popcorn and, realizing that they probably had some history here and this was something they should work out for themselves, decided to wait before intervening and watch the battle unfold. Besides, he’d already seen ahead through time to the next season of the British Baking Show, so he knew who won there anyway. At the moment, this had his full attention.

This has been another exciting episode of the Catrina Chronicles. Will Catrina and Mlrning emerge victorious against Susan and Excalibur? Tune in next week to find out!

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