I hope this doesn't make you cry...lol!!! Sorry it took so long, too!!
|...They Stared at each other as she kept screaming, but then he shook his head sadly at her and let out a cool, pleasant breath of mist from his mouth. When Tiny Tina felt the fresh, cool air, she stopped screaming and simply stared.
The cloud person sank into the floor to his chest, nearly his neck, and observed the girl at her height. He smiled then, and said in a rich, booming voice, "Well, welcome to Cloud Halls! I knew you'd come, but it will be hard to get out of this place."
"Oh has Petunia told you?" cried Tiny Tina.
He nodded. "As usual. You should really learn to take your sister's advice, especially since she's older."
"Who do you think you are anyhow?" she demanded angrily, feeling guilty all over again.
"I know, but what's your name?"
"Oh. How creative."
"We like making storms for you Earth-dwellers because it's fun." He grinned and Tiny Tina sneered.
"It's real fun if you drown a tiny girl who can't even swim."
"No, we don't kill. We play."
"I just didn't know you were there until my friends told me. They started it, you know. Seeing you there gives them an opportunity."
"Well what do you expect? Anyways, we'd better put you back on Earth."
"No---I need to get back home."
"Like I said, it's hard---"
"No, I mean that I don't know how you can get out."
"Well, I'm just a cloud! I don't know everything!"
"But help me, at least!"
"Sure, when I learn how."
"Does anyone know?!"
"You could try the Earth-dwellers..."
"Are they nice?"
"They are the targets of our game, but we've never actually met them."
"Oh. Can you come with me?"
"I'm a cloud, not fog. But I could ask Fog to take you."
"No, just put me down---wait, are they civil?"
"Like I said---"
"Are they even human?"
"Mostly, I think. But there are many other things, too."
"Oh, let me down."
"Okay. Would you like the Free Faller (insurance does not cover any injuries or expenses that may result) or the Chucker (with the victim's choices of going at raindrop speed, lightning speed, snow speed, or whatever the Chucker chooses at the moment)? Remember that we are not accountable for any personal loss or injury that may result from your descent from Cloud Halls. Own Chuckers are experts, but at times the cooperation of the victim becomes unstable and we have them diposed of immediately and at random." He grinned again.
Tiny Tina glared at Cloud.
"What's this?" cried the King of Clubs. He gasped at the giant falling flakes. Jumping to his feet and clutching his head he shouted, "Those Cloud People are unbelievable! This is inane! Snow in July!"
His pretty wife, who was rushing towards him, cried, "Husband! We found a tiny girl all wet and cold from this sudden snow---"
Just then, two servants rushed over. The first cried, "Good King, the King of Spades has just declared war against you." The second affirmed it and said, "He heard from Aliddell Bird that you discovered a mountain full of gold, and now he wants it."
Then, a maid came in with a tray and said blandly, "Your coffee and pipe, Sire."
The poor king quickly snatched the tray and dismissed everyone. He sat down on his wood and leaf throne, which was rotting by now after all these years, and puffed vigorously at his pipe, absorbed in his thought and ignoring the falling snow that was forming a cone-shaped mountain on his golden head. Presently, the throne collapsed underneath him, and he fell with a cry.
Tiny Tina whined, "I'm so very wet and cold from this---"
The maid shoved the girl into the steaming bathtub.
Later, the King of Clubs met the peculiar girl, but only after he and the King of Spades had a brief quarrel. Tiny Tina was taken in happily by the King of Clubs, and he was, she soon discovered, a jovial, happy-go-lucky fellow. He did not see her often, however, because Tiny Tina was stolen soon after their meeting.
She was wandering around in the woods when a noisy, ruthless crowd of men overtook her in a flash and swept her away. Those men belonged to the King of Diamonds, who thought she was the Queen of Clubs, who they wanted to ransom to the King of Clubs for his non-existant gold. The King didn't really have any new gold. Aliddell Bird just thought it'd be funny to see what'd happen after he said that.
Soon the King of Spades found out they had the Queen of Clubs, who was actually Tiny Tina, and stopped the crowd along their way to the caves of the King of Diamonds. The King of Diamonds was in the crowd. He stood, arms limp at his sides, the hundreds of jeweled-necklaces weighing him down to a mere three feet tall, with droopy eyes that gazed dumbly at the red-faced, fat, hands-at-his-hips King of Spades. The King of Diamonds murmured a bored, "What."
The King of Spades grabbed a confused Tiny Tina and shouted, "This is what!"
Seeing his pathetic defeat, the King of Diamonds began to muster up his own strength by inhaling at 1 mph to shout, "NO!"
The King of Spades blinked. "Yes!"
The King of Diamonds inhaled... "NO!"
Just then the King of Hearts walked up to them, singing "Let There Be Peace On Earth."
Happy at the surprising meeting of two "friends", the King of Hearts cried, "Why, HELLO, friends! Isn't it a beautiful day?" He beemed from one to the other. The King of Spades blinked and stared at the King of Hearts.
The King of Diamonds inhaled... "NO!"
"No?" laughed the King of Hearts. "Well, well...yes it is! Look! It stopped snowing!"
The King of Spades threw a bag of silver at the King of Diamonds' head. "Yes!" replied he, then he turned with his men and Tina and ran away.
Tiny Tina wailed, "Why on earth do you want me?"
The King of Spades said, "Why, to ransom you to your husband for his gold, of course!"
"Husband?!" she hollered. "What husband?"
"The King of Clubs, of course!"
"That's not my husband! I'm not even a teenager yet and my name's not Queen!"
The King of Spades dropped her in astonishment, and everyone halted. "What?" he stammered.
"I'm Tiny Tina, but I'm flattered that you thought I was the---"
The King of Spades gasped, "Oh no!" He picked her up again and they ran back to the King of Hearts and the King of Diamonds, who were standing just as they were earlier.
The King of Spades cried, "Give me my money back!"
The King of Diamonds wondered in dull surprise, if that was feasible, "Why?"
"This is all a mistake! I am sorry for stealing the 'Queen'---"
"No! Bye bye!" The King of Diamonds ran off with his men and the King of Spades stomped the ground in anguish.
"No! No! No!" wept the King of Spades. He turned to Tina and shouted like a child who was robbed of his candy, "Look what you did! What am I supposed to do now?!"
Just then, the army of the King of Clubs galloped up to them and its king demanded loudly, "All right, fellas! Party's over! Where's the girl?"
The King os Hearts smiled and said, "Heyyy, King of Clubs! How's it goinnnn'?" he gave him a toothy smile and two thumbs up, but the other just looked at him queerly.
"Ahem! King of Spades! Hand the girl over!"
"What girl?" And the King of Spades saw the new opportunity.
"No games now! The King of Diamonds said you had her."
The King of Spades grinned wickedly and dnagled Tiny Tina from her skinny arm in the air, saying, "Oh! THIS girl!"
"Yes! Tiny Tina!" exclaimed the overjoyed King of Clubs. "Why, I am so sorry---oh, hand her over now, King of Spades!" He drew out his golf club in a menacing manner.
The King of Hearts and the King of Spades roared with laughter. The latter then replied, "How many wars have you won with THAT? Ha ha! You're gonna hafta give me your gold first!"
"I don't HAVE any gold!"
"Yes you do, now stop lying and give it to me."
"No, I don't!"
The King of Spades clenched his teeth and pulled out a spear. "Now, give it here or there will be trouble!"
"But I don't have any!"
And with that, the two kings began a pathetic fight, while their armed soldiers fought with name-calling and insults. Many were defeated and began crying. Tiny Tina winced at their stupidity. The King of Hearts tried to stop the "violence", but the soldiers on bnoth sides insulted him and he went home crying.
Someone tapped Tina's leg. There was a green, shiny lizard at her feet.
"Yes?" she asked.
"What's going on here?" it asked casually.
"Well, it's a long, stupid story, but the King of Spades and Clubs are fighting right now."
"I see," nodded the lizard. It had a pompous attitude, sniffing the air and keeping its head up a little too high. "Well," sighed the lizard. "It looks like another day on the job for Intrepid the Dragon!"
"Ugh!" groaned the lizard, rolling its eyes. "Me! I am Intrepid the Dragon! My job is to scare and burn people!"
"You're a dragon?! I thought you were---"
"A lizard. Yeah, yeah, yeah," muttered the angry dragon. "Don't listen to what everyone else says---"
"No, no, no, no one told me..."
"Well you sure SHOULD know a dragon when you see one!" retorted the dragon.
A soldier from the King of Spades' side turned and saw INterpid the Dragon. He laughed cruelly at the flinching dragon.
"Heeellloooo, Wussy!" snorted the soldier.
The dragon blushed furiously and hissed, "Intrepid the Dragon! You must address me properly or you shall be eternally sorry!" He glared at the mocking soldier. Fire and steam were sent from the dragon's mouth and nostrils and towards the snickering man.
The soldier, at the moment just before the flames reached him, produced a spear, flashing it before the dragon's eyes.
The flames retreated and the dragon screeched like a lady and scampered away.
The soldier snorted gleefully and explained, "He ain't Intrepid the Dragon! He's called Wussy!" He walked off still musing over the encounter. (go to part 4 for the ending)