Daily Nightly



AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story is on the extreme intense side. I got the idea while watching a music video from Pink Floyd on VH-1 Classic, which was a bit on the creepy side. There is a lot of violence in this story, as well as nightmarish images. This is definitely not suited for children. I must warn you, read this story at your own risk.

It was a bright, warm, spring day in Los Angeles. Mike was reading a book he found in his closet. It profiled many a great wizard, warlock, and witch in the world. Jerry was with him, stretching his legs out. He was about to start a dance routine, and he wanted to warm up a little first.

"You should see some of the people in this book," Mike said. "There's this one warlock, Spiero, who knows everythin', and I mean everythin' about magic!"

"Cool," Jerry said.

Mike began reading when a hole appeared from out of nowhere, and out came a man wearing a long beige coat, a large beige hat, and sunglasses. He carried a large bag over his shoulder.

"Hi, Uncle Will," Mike said, smiling. Will removed his hat and glasses.

"Darn you, Michael," he said. "I'm never able to surprise you, am I?"

"Nope. So, how was the trip?"

"Can't complain. Just a small town. Not much to go on. I don't even have that many good souvenirs. What are you reading?"

"Witch, Wizard, and Warlock Who's Who. I found it in my closet. Ever hear of a guy named Spiero?"

Upon hearing the name, Will immediately dropped his sack to the ground. He got a sick look to his face. Mike stared at his uncle as if he were crazy.

"What's wrong, Uncle Will?" he asked.

"Spiero," Will repeated. He grabbed the book, and slammed it shut. "The less you know of him, the better, Michael!"

"Why?" Mike asked.

"He doesn't sound too awful," Jerry said. "He just knows every kind of magic there is. At least that's what the book said."

"I know, I know," Will replied. "But he's bent on destruction. You remember Maldour?"

"Don't get me started on Maldour, Uncle Will. I think he was the worst warlock we ever encountered."

"Well, put him together with Mr. Zero, and you've got one powerful warlock. He's ten times worse than Maldour and Mr. Zero put together!"

"That bad, huh?"

Jerry picked up the book, and turned to the section about Spiero. He grimaced once he saw the picture. Spiero had somewhat of a pasty looking complexion. His hair was black, and shoulder length. His eyes had an evil slant to them.

"Eeehhhh," Jerry groaned, closing the book. "I wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley. Or anywhere for that matter!"

"Yeah," Mike said,  looking at the book. "Now that you mention it, Uncle Will, I think I'll take your advice, and leave well enough alone with Spiero."

With that, Mike ripped all the pages on Spiero out of the book. Will breathed of relief. He picked up his bag, opened it, and began to go through it.

"I may not have gotten that many great souvenirs," he said to the boys. "But I did manage to find something to your liking."

As Will looked through his bag, someone else in another dimension was doing his own looking. It was none other than Spiero, spying. He looked into his bubbling cauldron, which was his mirror to the world, and watched Mike.

"You're well known around the realm, Nesmith," he said. "Defeating the great and powerful wizards and warlocks and devils of your time. You bested Mr. S Zero with the power of love, and you defeated the great and powerful Maldour, which I am certain no one else could do it. Yes, I think seeing you try and best me would be a delightful way to spend the day. I'm always up for a good challenge. Especially when I'm giving it!"

Spiero knew exactly how he was going to bring Mike to his castle, and his world. He cracked his knuckles, and swirled his hands over his cauldron, causing it to bubble madly. A beam of light shot out of the cauldron. It formed into a small tear drop shaped light. Spiero smiled evilly.

"Excellent," he said. "This little droplet of light will get me what I want!"

Spiero laughed as the droplet of light sailed out of the castle, and through a small portal. The light flew directly to the Screen Gems studio. Mike and Jerry were reading the Writer's latest script, and (what else?) complaining about it.

"Another dud," Mike said.

"Well, it doesn't seem too bad," Jerry said. "I mean, with a few rewrites, I'm sure it'll be better."

"You're too nice to the Writer, you know that?"

Jerry shrugged, and continued reading the script. He began skimming through it until the droplet of light flew right in front of his face. He was unable to take his eyes off it. The droplet wiggled a little, and then started floating off. Jerry stared at it, and put the script down. He began following the light. Mike looked at him as if he were crazy.

"Jerry?" he asked. "Hey, man, where are you goin'?"

Jerry didn't answer. He just followed the light. Mike managed to get a good look at his face. The Geator seemed to be in a dream like trance. Something wasn't right. Mike started following Jerry when Will grabbed his arm.

"Hold on there," he said. "You can't follow that light."

"Why not?" Mike asked.

"I know Spiero's style. He sent that light. It's his way of challenging you."

"Well, if he's supposed to be challengin' me, why is Jerry followin' that thing?"

"I can't answer that one."

"Exactly."

"Michael, I can't let you go out there. Spiero is one dangerous warlock. You don't know what you're getting yourself into."

Mike glared at his uncle, shook him off, and followed Jerry out the studio doors. Will got a sick look to his face. He knew he couldn't bring this up with the Other Realm officials. Spiero wasn't from there. He was from another dimension entirely. Will also certainly didn't want to follow Mike out there. He didn't want to mess with Spiero. He hoped Mike was resourceful enough to handle him.

Mike kept a close watch on Jerry. The Geator, still in that trance, walked far from Screen Gems, and stopped at a cliff. Mike ran up to him.

"Hey, Geat, what goes on here?" he asked.

Jerry didn't answer. He just stood there, staring into space. Mike waved his hand in front of Jerry's face, hoping to get a reaction. No such luck. Jerry kept his eyes on the small droplet of light. Mike watched it as well, trying to see what was so fascinating about it. The droplet just hung there. Then it began to grow. It grew into a large portal, leading into another world. Jerry walked forward into it. Mike gulped, and followed. The minute he set one foot into the portal, his sixth sense began to tweak.

"Oooh!" Mike shouted, holding his hand to the side of his head. "Not good. Somethin' tells me that there's gonna be biiiig trouble here."

But Mike's tweaking sixth sense didn't stop him from following Jerry into the portal. Jerry was still in a trance, walking along. Mike followed him as fast as he could. He wanted to keep his eyes on Jerry so he wouldn't lose him. Just as he got close to Jerry, Mike heard a deep moan coming from the bushes.

"What was that?!" he shouted, whirling around. That turned out to be a big mistake. The minute he turned back around, Jerry was gone.

"Boy, he's fast," Mike said. He began to look around. His surroundings were dark, and creepy. There were stone statues everywhere. He gulped, and staid put. There was no way in the world he was moving from that spot. As he looked around, he heard someone laughing.

"What's the matter?" an echoing, maniacal voice asked. "Scared? The fun has just begun! This is the world of your nightmares!"

"I don't like the sound of that," Mike said, looking around, trying to figure out where the voice was coming from. He couldn't find a trace of anyone, or anything. All he heard was maniacal laughter taunting him.

"You think you're so tough. Nesmith," the voice said. "We'll just see about that!"

"Gotta be Spiero," Mike said. "If I can take Mr. Zero and Maldour, I can take you, Spiero! I'm not afraid of you!"

"You should be, Nesmith! Come and find your little friend, if you dare!"

Mike was about ready to blast his magic into the trees when a light appeared right in front of him, nearly blinding him. When it subsided, there was a vision of Jerry. His wrists and ankles were locked in heavy iron chains.

"Help me, Mike," he said, throwing Mike the most pitiful look you can imagine.

Mike reached out to touch Jerry, but the minute his fingers got close, the image disappeared. Spiero laughed once more, and it was really starting to get on Mike's nerves.

"Okay, buster, what did you do with Jerry?" he asked.

"That's the whole key, Nesmith," Spiero said, all without showing himself. "It's up to you to find out. We'll see how tough you and your magic really are!"

Mike clenched his fists so hard, his knuckles turned white. Spiero was really starting to make him angry. But that wasn't going to stop him. He was determined to show Spiero he was as good as any full witch. He wasn't going to let Spiero's taunts scare him.

"I'm not afraid of anythin' you can create, Spiero," he said. "Do your worst!"

"Oh, I intend to," Spiero said. "Have fun in my forest. And watch out for bugs."

Mike glared, and walked on through the forest. He clearly didn't like Spiero at all. As he was walking, he came across a bug, all right. A giant, twenty-foot beetle.

"Whoa boy," he said, looking at the beetle. "This must be what Spiero meant when he said to watch out for bugs. Do you know 'Yellow Submarine'?"

The beetle hissed, and began walking towards Mike. The Texan Monkee gulped, and began to back away.

"Magic don't fail me now," Mike said. He snapped his fingers. A sword appeared in his hands just as the beetle swiped one of it's huge legs at Mike. The Texan Monkee jumped, and sliced the leg right off.

"How do you like them apples?" he asked, smugly.

Mike's smugness didn't last long. He just realized he only hacked off one leg. This thing had five left! It hissed, and started to run after Mike.

"Uh oh," Mike said, and he started running.

The beetle was in hot pursuit of the Monkee. Mike spotted a tree in the distance, and began climbing it, hoping to escape the beetle.

"Okay, I'm up," he said. "Now what?"

The beetle was much too big to climb the tree, but he could still swipe at Mike with his legs. Mike sighed, and just started chopping the legs off.

"I can tell Spiero won't make this easy for me," he said. When the beetle was out of limbs, it stopped. It looked up at Mike, and hissed.

"What's the matter, buster?" he asked. "Tirin' out? Time to end this!"

Mike jumped from the branch he was standing on, letting the beetle take a good shot at him with the stub of it's leg. Unfortunately for it, Mike's jump was much too high, and the beetle fell over backwards. It landed on it's back, and couldn't get up. Mike smiled, and climbed onto the beetle.

"Nice try, fella," he said, plunging the sword into the beetle. When Mike pulled his sword out, the beetle promptly turned to stone.

"What the . . . ." he said, staring at the beetle.

"I forgot to mention," Spiero's voice said from the sky. "When a creature dies here in this world, they turn to stone."

"Somehow, that concept doesn't surprise me."

"Well, then, this should. You'd better hurry before your friend meets the same fate as my beetle."

"You wouldn't!"

"Try me, Nesmith!"

Mike gnashed his teeth and clenched his fists tightly. He was about ready to explode.

"What does he think this is?" he asked himself. "Some kind of game?! Well, I'll tell him somethin', if he thinks this is supposed to be fun, it isn't!"

Mike continued on his way. He looked around for any strange beetles. But what he should have been looking out for was mountain lions, because one was stalking him at that very moment. Normally, mountain lions go after women and children while walking in the woods, because of their smaller stature. But compared to the size of this mountain lion, Mike looked like a little bunny rabbit. As Mike walked on, he got the sudden feeling that he was being watched. He turned around and looked, but he didn't see anything.

"My sixth sense must be workin' overtime," he said, and he continued.

Mike didn't take more than two steps when the mountain lion jumped out of the brush and pounced on him. The Texan Monkee didn't know what the heck hit him! He was too dazed. The mountain lion dragged him through the brush. The branches and thorns tore at his clothes, arms, and legs, which resulted in some nasty looking cuts and scrapes. Luckily, Mike was able to come to his senses a few moments later. He wouldn't be able to do his Dr. Doolittle routine. This lion didn't speak his language. But Mike still had his magic. He snapped his fingers, and a large stick appeared in the sky. It slammed down on the lion's head. The lion growled, and let go of Mike. Mike stood up, and took the stick. He smacked the mountain lion with it again until it ran off. Then he put his hand behind his neck and rubbed. He looked at his hand, and saw the blood. He nearly threw up.

"Eecchhh," he moaned. "I never did like the sight of blood. Better keep movin'."

Mike kept moving, but stopped when he heard Spiero's maniacal laugher once more.

"I'm gettin' downright sick of that laugh of yours, Spiero," he said.

"You were fortunate this time, Nesmith," Spiero said. "You might not be next time!"

"And what makes you think they'll be a next time, buster? I'm findin' Jerry and gettin' the heck out of here!"

"You've got a lot of spirit, Nesmith! I admire that in an adversary."

Mike growled, and walked on. It was all he could do not to blast in every direction trying to locate Spiero. That would only cause his battery to go dead. As he walked, he kept his eyes open for giant beetles, mountain lions, and whatever else Spiero intended to throw at him while he was trying to find Jerry. Mike walked along until he reached a cliff. Another step forward, and he would have fallen into a gorge. But there was something interesting about this gorge. There was another cliff right in the middle of it, but this one looked like it was made out of crystal.

"Well, here goes nothin'," he said, backing up. He was going to need a good running start if he wanted to reach the cliff.

Mike ran, jumped, and landed on the edge of the crystal cliff. He nearly slid off, however. He climbed up and sat there for awhile.

"Made it," he said, while catching his breath. "Now the question is how to get to the other cliff and continue? I definitely can't jump to it from here, and there's no place to make a runnin' start."

Mike thought it over. He finally figured on snapping his fingers, and flying over. But that was before he realized the cliff was moving. He realized it was moving when he stood up.

"What the . . . ." he said, looking down. He saw that the cliff was floating in some red liquid. And it definitely wasn't water!

"Ooooohhhh," he moaned. "I hope that stuff isn't what I think it is!"

Needless to say, Mike did not want to even know what the cliff was floating in. Because he had a pretty good idea what it was. He gulped, and sat down.

"Might as well enjoy the ride," he said, trying not to think about what the contents of the "red river" was.

Mike kept staring at the river. He couldn't help it. It was like the ocean, only red. The waves crashed against the sides of the cliff. But something strange happened. The red waves began to morph into hands. Blood red hands! And they were grabbing at the cliff. Mike began to hyperventilate. The hands seemed to be reaching for him. As the sea of hands were grabbing at the cliff, it began to float upwards, up far and away from the grabbing hands.

"Oh, that's a relief," he said. He sat down on the cliff, and relaxed a little.

The cliff floated into a hole in the sky. Mike found himself in an empty place. It was blue and clear, like the sky. It was a little odd, but Mike didn't care. He was just glad he was out of that nightmare world he was in earlier. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. Just as soon as he began to relax, he banged his head against something in the sky.

"Ow!" he shouted, rubbing his head. "What the heck is this?"

Mike saw a box hanging in the sky. He rolled his eyes, sighed, and began to climb onto it. It was a clear box, but he couldn't see what was inside it, since it was clouded over inside. He shook his head, and leaned against the box. He looked down, but all he could see was blue.

"Boy, I'm really high up, aren't I?" he asked himself. "At least I can relax a little."

Or so Mike thought. The minute he found a second to relax, he heard Spiero's infamous maniacal laughter.

"Not you again!" Mike shouted.

"Me again!" Spiero laughed.

"I wish you'd show yourself, buster. You're really startin' to get on my nerves."

"You'll see me in due time. I must admit, you have a lot of spirit."

"That's what they tell me. When I get determined, there's no stoppin' me."

"So I've noticed. Well, your determination has paid off."

"Come again?"

"I see you've found your friend."

"You're puttin' me on."

"Oh no I'm not. Just take a look at the box."

Mike shrugged, and looked at the box. It began to clear out a little. Once all the clouds inside were gone, Mike nearly had a heart attack, and almost slid off the box. Inside the box was Jerry, suspended in thin air. His eyes were glassy, and staring intensely into nothing. He had a slight skeletal appearance to him. Mike couldn't believe it. He could clearly see Jerry's bones through his skin, which was pale. The only scrap of clothing that the Geator had was a thin piece of red cloth that was wrapped around his waist.

(AUTHOR'S NOTE: Hey, I'm not that sick a writer! Whatever needs to be covered is covered, but this story would probably still get a very strong rating)

"Okay, Spiero," Mike said. "If you don't tell me what you've done to him this minute, I'm gonna . . . ."

"Relax, Nesmith, relax," Spiero said with a laugh. "It's just a little spell. Let's see if you can break it!"

Mike glared at the sky, hoping it was in Spiero's general direction. He snapped his fingers, and a bright beam of magic built onto it. He threw his hand down at the box, but his magic just bounced off it, flying all over the place. He ducked to avoid getting hit.

"Whoa!" he shouted.

Spiero laughed hysterically. The box then began to lean a little. It was beginning to stand upright. Mike began sliding off, but he dug his fingers into the glass, and tried to climb to the top.

"You won't get rid of me that easy, Spiero!" he shouted.

Spiero just laughed. Mike started to climb, but the surface he was climbing on was much too slick. The minute the box stood upright, Mike slid off and fell directly into the red river he encountered earlier.

"Aaaauugggghhhh!" he shouted, freaking out. "I'm gettin' out of this river fast! I really, really, really don't want to know what I'm swimmin' in!"

Mike swam as fast as he could. As he swam, his sixth sense sent him a warning. He stopped, and turned around for a moment. He saw a lone dorsal fin following him.

"Oh great," he groaned. "A shark. As if I didn't have enough trouble swimmin' in this blood red river. And since sharks are attracted to blood, and I've got open wounds from that mountain lion incident, I'm a sittin' duck. Well not today, sharkie!"

Mike pointed his index finger and zapped the dorsal fin. He didn't expect to kill the darn thing, just scare it off. The little zap would have done the trick. If the owner of the dorsal fin was a shark. It wasn't. The owner of the fin popped out of the water to reveal a large monster with long, razor sharp claws and long razor sharp teeth to match.

"Holy moly!" Mike shouted. "Time to put on some speed!"

Mike snapped his fingers, and was jet propelled across the water. But that extra burst of speed wasn't going to save him. That sea monster was right on top of him, and he was ready for a little Texas Barbequed Monkee! The only thing that would help Mike now would be land, but there wasn't any in sight.

"What I wouldn't give for a island right about now," he said.

"Your wish is my command, Nesmith," Spiero said.

From out of nowhere, a piece of land shot up out of the sea. Mike rocketed towards it. The sea monster followed, but once he realized he was on land, he slunk back into the ocean, and the dorsal fin swam out of sight. Mike caught his breath, and leaned against the tree.

"Close call," he said. "If I never see a dorsal fin again, it'll be too soon."

Mike was slightly relieved, until he looked at the path ahead of him. It was another dark and spooky forest. A crow cawed from inside of it. Mike gulped.

"I don't want to go in there," he said. "I really, really, really don't want to go in there! But I guess I don't have any choice."

Mike took a deep breath, and began walking into the forest. It was about all he could do. He kept his eye out for any giant bugs, lions, and anything else. He didn't want to let his guard down for a minute. He snapped his fingers and his trusty sword appeared in his hand, just in case he met up with yet another monster. As he was walking, he heard something familiar in the distance.

Dark and rolling figures move

Through prisms of no color

Hand in hand they walk the night

But never know each other

Passion pastel neon lights

Light up the jeweled traveler

Lost in scenes of smoke filled dreams

Find questions but no answers

Startled eyes that sometimes see

Phantasmagoric splendor

Pirouette down palsied paths

With pennies for the vendor

Salvation yours for just the time

It takes to pay the dancer

Once again such anxious men

Find questions but no answers

The night has gone

And taken its infractions

While red rimmed eyes

Hope there will be a next one

Terrace signs look down upon

A world that glitters glibly

And mountain sides put arms around

The unsuspecting city

Second hands in minds that slow

Are moving even faster

Toward bringing down someone who's found

The questions but no answers

"I never thought my words would come back to haunt me," Mike said, as he followed the sound of his song, "Daily Nightly," sung by Micky, through the woods. He figured Davy, Micky, and Peter were somehow there in the woods, waiting for him.

"Davy!" he called. "Micky! Peter! Where are you guys?!"

"Down here, Mike," Davy, Micky, and Peter said in unison.

Mike looked down and saw that Davy, Micky, and Peter were buried up to their necks in the ground.

"Whoa," he said. "Hey, what happened to you guys?"

"Nothing, Mike," Davy, Micky, and Peter answered in unison again.

"And what's with answerin' in unison? That's a little freaky, you guys."

Davy, Micky, and Peter didn't answer. Mike just stared at them. The three Monkees had these dopey grins plastered to their faces, as if they didn't realize they were buried up to their necks. As Mike walked closer, his sixth sense began to send him a signal. Something was telling him that these three weren't Davy, Micky, and Peter.

"I think somethin' fishy is goin' on here," Mike said.

Mike took another step towards the three Monkees, and their heads popped up out of the ground. But they were all attached to three long snake-like necks, and the necks were attached to the body of a dragon. Their eyes turned blood red, and they grew fangs and forked tongues.

"Now I'm sure of it!" Mike shouted. He let out a screech, and ran off. The three headed monster was right on his tail.

"I've got to get rid of that thing," he said, as he scrambled up a tree. The monster was too big to climb it. It growled, and began to swipe at the branch Mike was standing on.

"This ain't gonna be easy," Mike said. "This shot has to be perfect."

Mike stuck his index finger in his mouth, pulled it out, and held it up, to determine the direction of the wind. Then he pointed his finger and a small ball of magic built onto it. He shook his hand, as if he were rolling dice. The magic flew out and hit the three headed monster right in the chest.

"Bull's eye!" Mike shouted, triumphantly.

The monster stumbled backwards, screaming in pain. Mike knew it wasn't destroyed yet, and there was only one way to do that. He picked up his sword, took careful aim, and hurled it at the glowing spot on the monster's chest. The monster growled in pain, and turned into a stone statue. Mike climbed down from the tree, and yanked his sword out of the statue.

"Oh man," he groaned, rubbing the side of his head. "This place is startin' to give me a headache."

Mike continued walking. He heard Spiero's laughter, and ignored it completely this time.

"Hurry up, Nesmith!" Spiero shouted. "Time's a-wasting!"

"Oh brother," Mike groaned, but he quickened his pace anyway. He figured the sooner he found Jerry, the sooner he could get out of this nightmare.

Mike walked along the forest, hoping he would find what he was looking for sooner or later. He snapped his fingers for a little light.

"If I run into a Shadow Daemon, I'll scream," he said.

Mike kept a watchful eye out. He heard some rustling in the bushes, and stopped almost immediately. Then he began running. He didn't want to know what was in the bushes, and he certainly wasn't waiting around to find out! Using his light, he ran through the forest, and directly into someone. He fell backwards onto the ground.

"Ooh!" he shouted, once he landed.

"Sorry, Mike," a familiar voice said.

"Jerry?" Mike asked, just staring at who he bumped into.

"Who'd you think it was?" Jerry asked. "A Shadow Daemon?"

"If this is the world of my nightmares, it wouldn't surprise me. Although I have to admit, I'm a little surprised right now. How'd you get out from under Spiero's spell?"

"I'll explain later. Come on. Let's get out of this creep zone. I know the way. Follow me!"

Jerry grabbed Mike's hand and pulled him to his feet. He started off, but Mike hesitated. He wasn't so sure about this. Something didn't seem right about Jerry.

"Come on," Jerry said. He took Mike's hand, and began pulling. "You want to get out of here don't you?"

"Well, yeah," Mike said. "But somethin' just doesn't seem right about this whole thing."

"You worry too much. I know the way out, so let's go!"

Mike put his fingers to his temples, and did a quick scan. Then he nodded, and gripped the handle of the sword. Jerry looked at him, oddly.

"Well come on," he said. "We don't have all millennium."

"I do," Mike said. "But you don't!"

Jerry gave Mike a strange look, and the Texan Monkee hurled his sword at Jerry. Without having time to dodge, the sword plunged into Jerry's stomach. Jerry screamed, and his eyes turned red. He also grew fangs, like the heads of the other three Monkees on that monster earlier. Mike walked over, and pulled the sword out. "Jerry" promptly turned to stone.

"You'll have to do better than that, Spiero!" he shouted at the sky.

Mike continued walking through the forest. Once he reached the edge of it, he saw a large castle, made entirely of black stone.

"Gotta be Spiero's," he said. "Now I guess the sixty-four million dollar question is how do I get inside."

Mike looked carefully, and saw a drawbridge. He snapped his fingers, and brought it down.

"Piece of cake," he said, and he began to walk across to the castle.

Unfortunately, fate was not with Mike. A dragon with the head of a rattlesnake popped out of the entrance, blocking it, and then it reached it's neck out and lunged at Mike.

"Oh boy, not again," the Texan Monkee groaned. "Hey Spiero! Don't you ever quit?!"

All that was heard was Spiero's maniacal laughter. Mike heaved a sigh, and held up his sword. He didn't want to do anymore slicing and dicing. He was getting tired of that. He just wanted to scare the dragon off so he could get inside the castle. It worked. The dragon backed off. Holding the sword high, Mike walked into the castle. He smiled and put the sword down. The minute he did, the dragon began to strike. His head moved like that of a rattle snake (and why not? Like I wrote before, the dragon has a head of a rattle snake). Mike raised his sword, and with one lightning quick move, he cut the dragon's head off. Once the head hit the ground, it turned to stone, as did the head. Mike ran into the castle as fast as he could, to get away from that snake headed dragon.

"This probably isn't over yet," he said, as he walked down a dark hallway. "Spiero's just the type to have more monsters hangin' around."

Mike took a deep breath and continued walking, but his hunch was right. He stopped short when he saw a group of huge, vicious looking rats right in his path. They were bigger than he was!

"I knew it," Mike said. He picked up the sword and sliced the rat in half. Instead of turning to stone, it multiplied into two large rats.

"Okay," Mike said, slowly.

Mike held up the sword and began slicing the rats. Each time he sliced, the rats kept dividing, and they grew smaller and smaller. Pretty soon, the floor was covered in rats. They were about the size of normal rats, but that didn't make Mike feel any better.

"Ick!" he shouted. "No way I'm gettin' out of here until I get rid of the rats!"

Mike closed his eyes, and pointed his index finger. A hole opened in the floor, and all the rats fell through. Mike snapped his fingers again, and the hole closed up. Once the hole was closed, Mike made a mad dash for the door. He flung it open, and saw the box he encountered earlier. He breathed of relief.

"Finally," he said. "Now we're gettin' somewhere."

"Well, you've found your friend, Nesmith," Spiero said. "Let's see if you can get him out!"

"Just watch me, Spiero!" Mike shouted. He cracked his knuckles, and backed up a little. He shot his hands forward, and the most powerful of his magic came shooting out of his fingertips. It flew to the box, and destroyed it in one blow.

"Hah!" he shouted.

Jerry was still suspended in mid air, but only for a few seconds. He slowly floated down to the ground. His eyes closed for a moment and he groaned. A light surrounded him, and he was restored to the way he was when he left Screen Gems. Mike breathed of relief. Jerry groaned again, sat up, and rubbed his head.

"Oh man," he said. "I feel like I was hit with a sack of bricks. Mike, what happened?"

"It's a long story," Mike said, pulling Jerry to his feet. "I'll explain later. Right now, we have got to get out of here!"

Mike  ran out of that room. Jerry followed. The two of them ran down a hall and into another room, but found it was a dead end.

"Wrong turn," Mike said. "Come on!"

"Right behind you!" Jerry shouted, and he followed Mike to the door.

Suddenly, the door slammed shut just as the boys reached it. Mike tried to open it, but found it was locked. He zapped the door with his magic, but nothing happened.

"We're trapped!" he shouted.

"Oh boy," Jerry said.

"I think we're in biiiig trouble."

"You certainly are," Spiero said. Mike closed his eyes and groaned.

"Who's that?" Jerry asked.

"The person in charge of this nightmare," Mike said, eyes still closed.

"Well, where is he?"

"Probably not witch enough to show his face."

"Let me ask you one thing, Nesmith," Spiero said, ignoring Mike's remark. "Do you feel lucky?"

Mike groaned again. Somehow, he knew what was coming. Another one of Spiero's freak shows. And he was right. A trap door in floor opened, and Mike and Jerry plunged through it, and landed in a sea of spiders. They were up to their ankles in arachnids.

"Ewwww, gross!" Jerry shouted, twisting his face in disgust.

"Ick, ick, ick!" Mike shouted. "Where's the bug spray when you need it?!"

"Use your magic, Mike! Blow them up!"

"Goodness knows what'll happen. But it's worth a shot!"

Mike pointed his index finger, and began zapping at the spiders. Just as he knew they would, once they were destroyed, they turned into stone. Jerry stared at them oddly.

"What gives?" he asked.

"In this world, when somethin' dies they turn to stone," Mike said.

"Oh. Well, that's interesting, I guess. Uhh, let's get outta here."

"Good idea!"

Mike and Jerry started for the door, but nearly fell flat on their faces. They looked down and saw that they were stuck in the stone.

"Uh oh," Mike said. "I just realized somethin'."

"What?" Jerry asked.

"We were up to our ankles in spiders."

"Uh huh?"

"Well, now we're up to our ankles in stone, and stuck!"

Jerry made a face. He didn't like the sound of that. He and Mike tried to pull themselves out, but were having a heck of a time doing so. Mike's battery was a little on the low side. He wasn't able to zap them out.

"Great," he groaned. "The worst of my nightmares has happened. My battery died out."

"Oh what a shame Nesmith," Spiero said.

"I have a feelin' this is exactly what Spiero's waitin' for," Mike said.

"Darn right, Nesmith. Now I only have one dilemma right now. Do I destroy you quickly, or painfully slow?"

Both Mike and Jerry gulped as Spiero began laughing. Finally, a beam of light shot through the air. Jerry looked at it oddly.

"What in the world is that?" he asked.

"I don't know," Mike said.

"This guy's gotta be one brick shy of a full load."

"Yeah, I know. But I'm gettin' a bad feelin' about that light."

"What can it do? It's just a light. I'll bet our hands'll go right through it."

Jerry reached up towards the light to make his point. Instead, he got the point. Right on his hand. His hand reached the light, and it moved. The light sliced the palm of Jerry's hand. Jerry let out a screech and retracted his hand.

"Whoa!" Mike shouted. "I hate to think what would've happened if the edge of that light was at your wrist!"

"It probably would've sliced my hand right off," Jerry said, looking at the gash in his hand.

Mike began to get that icky feeling in his sixth sense again. The light moved again, and this time whipped at the boys.

"DUCK!" Mike screamed.

Mike and Jerry ducked, just as the light swished over their heads. If they had ducked a second later, the light would have sliced their heads right off. Instead, the light hit the wall, and managed to blast a hole in it. That gave Jerry an idea.

"If we can get that light close enough," he said. "Maybe we can get unstuck out of this stone!"

"It's worth a shot," Mike said. "But we gotta be careful that it doesn't slice off any of our appendages. I think I have just a enough juice in my battery to handle it."

Mike waited until the light came back for another round. He bit his lower lip and pointed his index finger at it. The light flew down towards the stone surrounding his feet. The light struck the side of his ankle, which was immediately dislodged from the stone. Mike used the light to dislodge his other foot, and Jerry's feet as well.

"Okay, one disaster averted," Mike said.

"Not yet," Jerry said, looking at the light. "It's coming back!"

"Let's get outta here!"

Mike and Jerry began running as fast as they could, trying to outlast the light. It was right behind them, trying to slice them to pieces.

"We can't keep this up!" Jerry shouted.

"I know," Mike said. "But there's know way to lose it! Unless . . . ."

Mike skidded to a halt. Jerry crashed into him. He looked at the Texan Monkee as if he were crazy. The light charged. Mike snapped his fingers, knowing that his last attempt at battling the light wouldn't take too much of his magic, little he had left. A water bomb dropped onto the light, and short circuited it. The light faded away in a blaze of sparks.

"How did you do that?" Jerry asked.

"It's all in the wrist," Mike said. "Now we'd better get out of here. My battery's run out, and they'll be no way to fight whatever Spiero's got planned up his sleeve."

Mike and Jerry began walking down a hallway, looking for secret panels, or whatever else they could find. Anything to get them out of there.

"I think the best plan is to stick together on this one," Mike said.

"Good thinking," Jerry said.

"Yes, Nesmith, good thinking," Spiero said.

"Oh no," Mike moaned.

"Too bad you two won't be able to stick together," Spiero said. "Heh, heh, heh."

Jerry and Mike looked at each other, worriedly. They didn't want to know what Spiero had up his sleeve this time, but they were about to find out anyway. A trap door in the floor opened, and the boys plunged downwards, and landed on a slide of some kind. The slide went in two separate directions. Mike went down one way, and Jerry went down the other.

"So much for stickin' together," Mike said. He continued sliding, and smacked right into a wall. He saw stars and heard birds flying around his head.

"Whoa," he said, dazed. "As Reggie would say, what a bang!"

And with that, Mike fell to the ground, unconscious. Jerry wasn't so lucky either. He hit the very basement of the castle. It was extremely dark, and very hard to see. Jerry's eyes adjusted and he looked around.

"Oh man," he said. "I wonder what that whacko wizard has got stored down here?"

Jerry stood up, and began walking around, trying to find either a light switch, or a staircase. He noticed a lot of crates and barrels stored in the basement. He didn't want to know what was inside of them. As he was walking, he heard something behind him. He whirled around to look.

"Mike?" he asked. "Is that you?"

No answer. Jerry gulped. He really hoped that the presence with him was Mike, and not some monster. What he needed was a little light.

"What I wouldn't give to be part witch like Mike," he said. He continued walking around until he reached the wall. On the wall was a small torch, which dimly lit the room.

"Well, I got my light," Jerry said, taking the torch. "Now maybe I'll find a way out of here myself."

Jerry continued walking along the wall, until he heard something behind the crates and barrels. He walked over to one, and moved it, hoping Mike would be around. Once he moved it, five snakes jumped out at him. Jerry screamed, and backed away as fast as he could. Next to those five snakes, another crate moved. Jerry dared to look, and five more snakes jumped out. Between the snakes, the boxes and barrels moved out of the way to reveal a large monster. It's skin was green, and it had the head of a snake. It's fingers and toes were snakes as well. That equaled twenty-one snakes, and forty-two fangs.

"I hope these aren't poisonous snakes!" Jerry shouted, and he started to run as fast as his legs would carry him. That wasn't easy. The snakes on the monsters feet were nipping at Jerry's legs and feet. It looked like there was no way out.

"I wish Mike were here!" he shouted. "Looks like I'm on my own here."

Jerry held up the torch and looked for something to hit the monster with. He found a sword on the wall and grabbed it. He took a deep breath and faced the snake monster.

"Okay, fella," he said. "Come and get me!"

The snake creature came forward. Jerry closed his eyes and swung the sword as hard as he could. He sliced off the snakes on the hands. He swung it a second time and got the feet. That only resulted in twenty small snakes slithering on the floor. They grew wings, and flew into the air. They dived at Jerry, and began biting at his arms, neck, and face. Jerry tried shaking them off, but they wouldn't give up. The giant snake head was ready to lunge itself. Jerry wasn't even aware it was coming. He was trying to shake the smaller snakes off. Due to this, he was also blindly swinging the sword. The giant snake head didn't see it coming, and Jerry ended up slicing the beast's head off. It fell to the floor, and turned to stone. The body of the snake monster also turned to stone. The smaller snakes lost their wings, fell to the floor, and shriveled up. Jerry stared at them wide-eyed. Then he collapsed to the floor, breathless, and terrified.

"Oh man," he said, catching his breath. "I'd better find Mike and get out of here before we both get killed!"

Jerry managed to find a staircase, and he ran up the steps, practically two at a time. Now all he had to do was figure out where Mike was. That was going to be easier said than done.

Mike, in the meantime, was just beginning to come to his senses. His head was pounding. He could barely see straight.

"Where am I?" he asked. "What's goin' on?"

"Well Nesmith," he heard Spiero say. "We finally meet face to face."

Mike sat up, wide-eyed. He looked up and saw a tall figure wearing a midnight blue robe, with a burgundy cape. He had long black hair, a pasty complexion, and an evil slant to his eyes. Mike was too shocked, he couldn't say a word!

"You . . . . . you're . . . . ." he stammered.

"Not witch enough to show my face, ehhh?" Spiero said, with an evil smile. "Have we enjoyed our little game?"

Mike just stared at Spiero. He couldn't move. He knew his magic was completely out, which had something to do with his lack of courage. Spiero was happy with the outcome. He knew he was intimidating Mike.

"What's the matter, Nesmith?" he asked. "You act as if you've never seen an all powerful wizard before!"

Mike gulped and managed to stand up. He looked around at his surroundings, and found out that he was on the roof of the black stone palace. The walls were covered with stone statues.

"I take it you do your own decoratin'," Mike said.

"Yes, I have this thing for stone statues," Spiero said. "I can't quite put my finger on what it is. All I can say is that I'm very impressed with you, Nesmith."

"What do you mean?"

"It's not everybody who can beat my creatures. Especially with limited magic such as yours. Even witches who have unlimited powers couldn't get through my forest."

"Yeah, well, I guess I was a little more determined than they were."

"Apparently. You've met all my challenges. You're to be commended. You deserve a special place among my collection of statues."

Mike gave Spiero an odd look, and began backing to the wall. He stopped abruptly when a strange lizard began to hiss at him. Startled, he began to back away from it.

"Are we a little nervous?" Spiero asked, in sort of a taunting tone.

"Only 'cause my magic's out," Mike said, still looking at the lizard.

"Oh what a pity. Then I suppose there's nothing more you can do to any of my creatures now is there?"

"I guess not."

Spiero laughed, and took off his cape. He held it for a moment, and then threw it at Mike. It missed him, and landed on the lizard instead. Mike was a little confused. Spiero smiled sinisterly.

"Yes, I think you should be immortalized in my collection of statues," he said, eyeing a section of columns. In the middle of the section was a square pedestal, with the words "Michael Nesmith" engraved in it. Mike stared at it in shock. Nervously, he lifted Spiero's cloak, only to find that the lizard he had ran across earlier had been turned to stone.

"Stone," Mike gasped. "It turned to stone."

"Yes, didn't it, though," Spiero said, smiling that evil smile of his. "I hope you enjoy becoming immortalized."

Without any magic to hit Spiero with, it looked like Mike was done for. Spiero grabbed Mike by the arm and pulled him towards the pedestal.

"Why does it take so long for my battery to recharge?!" Mike shouted.

In the meantime, Jerry was still trying to find his way around the castle. He had to find Mike before Spiero could. That was going to be easier said than done, he knew that. Of course, he didn't have a sixth sense like Mike did, so naturally, it was going to be harder for him to find his friend. Even without a sixth sense, Jerry sensed he was being followed. He felt someone breathing down his neck.

"Okay," he said. "That's it. I have had it."

Jerry turned around, and found himself face to face with a large lizard creature, again with fangs and claws. Jerry glared at it, and held the sword he had fought the snake creature with.

"Listen here, lizard," he said. "I am having an extremely bad day. I followed this light all the way to this world, blacked out for who knows how long, ran into a pit full of spiders, nearly had my head lopped off, lose my friend, and was nearly snake food! Now I am trying to find my friend before this wizard can kill him, so quite frankly, I'm not in the mood to play any more games with any more monsters!"

And with that, Jerry plunged the sword into the monster. It shrieked, and turned to stone the minute Jerry yanked the sword out. Then he turned around, and looked about the room, glaring fiercely at any monsters that were probably hiding.

"And that goes for anything else that tries to mess with me!" he shouted. Then he began storming up a flight of steps. "The way I'm feeling right now, Spiero had better not dare mess with me, or Mike!"

Jerry opened a door at the top of the stairs, and froze. He saw Spiero standing in front of four columns, holding his cloak. Mike was sitting on the pedestal with his hands tied behind his back.

"I hope you thought well of the pose you will be in, Nesmith," Spiero said. "You'll be in that position for a very long time."

"Where's Jerry when I need him?" Mike asked.

"He's probably a mangled, tangled mess in my basement. My snake creature probably made short work of him. Mortals like that slay me. Without any powers, they are completely, and utterly useless!"

"Shows how much he knows," Jerry muttered under his breath.

Spiero laughed, and was about to throw his cloak over Mike when Jerry ran out and tackled the warlock to the ground.

"Why you little . . . ." Spiero began, but he couldn't get up. Jerry was kneeling on his back, pressing down with his hands. He grabbed the sword, and clobbered Spiero over the head with the handle. That dazed the warlock long enough for Jerry to start untying Mike's hands.

"How's that for an utterly useless mortal?" he asked.

"You came not a moment too soon!" Mike shouted. "Let's get out of here!"

Mike and Jerry were about to run when Spiero got up.

"You two aren't going anywhere!" he shouted. "How dare you interfere with my plans!"

"Back off, buddy," Jerry said. "Neither of us are in the mood for this."

"I have no use for you," Spiero said. "I only needed you to lure Nesmith here. So get lost!"

"No way. I'm staying put."

"I'm giving you a chance to escape! And you're not going to take it?"

"No."

"Jerry, don't," Mike said. "Get out of here."

"Forget it, Mike," Jerry said. "I'm staying put."

"You're a fool," Spiero said. "I gave you a chance and you threw it away!"

And with that, Spiero threw his hands forward. He blasted Jerry with his magic. The Geator flew into the air, and then dropped flat on his back on the roof of the palace. Mike sort of stood there for a moment or so. He finally got his wits back, and charged at Spiero, but the warlock shot another piece of magic out at Mike. The Texan Monkee was lifted back over to the pedestal.

"I'm wasting no more time!" he shouted, grabbing his cloak. Mike was already practically frozen in the position Spiero held him in.

"There's no hope for you now, Nesmith," Spiero said with a laugh.

"Don't be too sure," Jerry said, sitting up. He pulled himself to his feet, and grabbed the cloak right out of the warlock's hands.

"Why you . . . ." Spiero said.

"Toro! Toro!" Jerry shouted, waving the cloak like a matador's cape.

Spiero ran for the came. Jerry smiled, and draped it over his head.

"Ole!" he shouted.

Mike fell from midair onto the pedestal. He wasn't hurt, but he was a little dazed. Jerry ran over to him and grabbed his arm.

"Let's split!" he shouted.

"Good idea!" Mike shouted.

Mike and Jerry ran for the door, but before they could make it, Spiero threw his cloak off him, and ran after them.

"I'll show you," he said. "I'll destroy the both of you!"

"Ho boy," Mike said.

"I hope your magic's back on," Jerry replied.

Unfortunately, it wasn't. Mike knew that much. Spiero laughed, and a bright glow surrounded him. He turned into a giant, fire breathing dragon.

"Oh my lord," Mike said.

"What do we do now?" Jerry asked.

"I don't know. I'm actually surprised he didn't turn to stone when you covered him with that cloak of his."

"I'm immune to that spell, you stupid fool!" Spiero shouted. "I have too much power! Nothing can defeat me!"

"Nothin' can defeat me, either!" Mike shouted. "I beat Mr. Zero and Maldour, and I can beat you!"

"I'd like to see what you can do without your magic!"

Spiero leaned his head back, and shot flames at Mike and Jerry. They jumped in different directions to avoid getting burnt to a crisp. Spiero left Jerry, and concentrated on Mike. He was his prime target, anyway. Mike had backed completely into a wall, with nowhere to run.

"I've got you now, Nesmith," Spiero said. "And there's no escape from me now. Without your magic, you have nothing!"

Mike gulped. There was obviously no defeating this guy. He squeezed his eyes shut, and waited for Spiero to finish him off. Luckily, Jerry spotted the sword he was carrying earlier. He grabbed the handle, and slid the sword at Mike.

"Mike!" he shouted. "Here!"

The sword stopped at Mike's feet. Mike grabbed the sword, and held it up. He knew exactly what he needed to do. He threw it at Spiero. It hit him right in the chest.

"Bull's eye!" he shouted.

Spiero screeched in agony as he tried to dig the sword out of his body. He bent his neck down, and pulled the sword out with his teeth. Then he began to transform back into human form.

"I'll get you for this!" he shouted, holding the sword at Mike's Adam's apple.

"Uh oh," Jerry said. "I thought that would work!"

Spiero pulled the sword back, and just as he was about to plunge it into Mike's neck, he began to freeze. He turned to stone right before Mike's eyes. The tip of the sword was just barely at his Adam's apple. He breathed of relief, and practically ran over to Jerry.

"Thanks, Jer," he said.

"What do we do with him now?" Jerry asked.

"I have an idea."

Mike smiled sneakily. Jerry got the gist right away. He and Mike walked over to the stone statue of Spiero, and pushed it over to the wall. Then with one good shove from the both of them, the statue fell over the wall, and crashed down below, smashing to pieces.

"I don't think we have to worry about Spiero again," Jerry said.

"You said it," Mike said. "Now let's find a way out of here!"

Just as Mike said it, another small droplet of light appeared. It grew into a large gaping hole, and began pulling everything in sight into it.

"Is one of those swirling vortexes?!" Jerry shouted, over the wind.

"I don't have the slightest idea!" Mike shouted.

The boys tried to hold back, but the suction was too great for them. They were sucked into the hole.

"I hope this thing leads back home!" Mike shouted. "I don't think I can take anymore adventure today!"

Finally, a hole opened in the portal, and the boys fell through it, landing at the Screen Gems studio with a loud CRASH! Will was waiting for them. Kate, Phyllis, Warren, Carole, Sabrina, Hilda, and Zelda were there as well.

"Oooh!" Mike shouted. "That hurt!"

"Ow," Jerry groaned.

"Mike, are you all right?" Phyllis asked.

"Oh look at you," Carole said. "Look at the both of you!"

"Willhelm Westerman, I'm surprised you let Michael go into Spiero's land alone!" Zelda shouted.

"Both of them could have been killed!" Kate yelled.

"Michael, are you all right?" Will asked, ignoring Zelda and Kate.

"What happened to you guys?" Sabrina asked. "All Uncle Will said was that Jerry was hypnotized into following this light, and you went after him."

"It was a nightmare," Mike said. "A livin' nightmare! The light . . . . . dark woods . . . . giant beetles . . . . . mountain lions . . . . . red river . . . . . grabbin' hands . . . . . floatin' mountains . . . . monsters with shark fins . . . . . Davy, Micky, and Peter, but they were a monster . . . . . turned to stone . . . . . Jerry was practically a skeleton . . . . . I still don't know what Spiero did to him. Giant rats that kept dividin' whenever I sliced them . . . . . sea of spiders . . . . . light nearly sliced off our heads . . . . . trap doors . . . . black magic . . . . . used up my magic . . . . couldn't fight back . . . .  he turned into stone . . . . . this vortex brought us back . . . . oooohhh it was awful!"

Mike nearly collapsed. He wasn't making any sense of what happened. The others looked at Jerry, wanting some input.

"I'd love to explain," he said. "But I can't."

"I think that would be asking too much," Phyllis said. "Whatever happened really got Mike shook up."

"Baby, you ain't kiddin'!" Mike shouted. "All I want to do right now is go home, go to bed, and forget this day ever happened!"

"Good idea," Phyllis replied.

That's what Mike ended up doing. He was talking with Will as he crawled into bed.

"You'd better not try and make a book out of this," he said.

"Don't worry, I won't," Will replied. "You must have been through a lot."

"All I hope is that I never see Spiero again. But I have the feelin', since I can't get him out of my head, I'm gonna have nightmares for the next week."

Mike sighed, closed his eyes, and drifted off to sleep. Will clicked his tongue against his teeth, and snapped his fingers. A little piece of magic flew across the room, and into Mike's ear. Phyllis saw him, and looked at him.

"What did you just do?" she asked.

"Sent him a pleasant dream," Will said. "By tomorrow morning, he'll have forgotten all about today. All I can say is that must have been some nightmare world he was in."

Phyllis nodded. She wasn't sure she wanted to know Mike's deepest, darkest nightmares. At any rate, the pleasant dream Will had sent Mike was a good one. Mike was flying through the clearest of blue skies on his broomstick, and he was surrounded by birds singing.

"Now this is the kind of dream world I could deal with!" he shouted.

 

The End