Rescue at Nightmare Castle

AUTHOR'S NOTE: a good chunk of this story is based on the very first "My Little Pony" cartoon special, also known as "Rescue at Midnight Castle" (yes, I even borrowed the name from it, sorta). I'm a really big MLP fan, and a pretty much, bonafide guaranteed Child of the 80's.

Mike went through the Writer's latest script. She wanted to do a beach movie, and Bob got the bright idea to film it on location. Mike and the others had agreed to do it, on one condition. It had to be filmed over the summer. Bob agreed to that. While they were waiting for summer, the Writer would be working on another movie, and the others would just be hanging out. Mike was reading the script, at least until he spotted Jerry walking across the room, carrying records and a record player. Needless to say he had his hands full. Mike put the script down, stood up, and walked over.

"Hi," he said.

"Hey, Mike," Jerry said, setting his records on the table. "I don't know what Bob plans to do with all of these!"

Mike nodded, and took some of the records so Jerry could get organized.

"Thanks," Jerry said. "I think my arm was ready to fall off!"

"No sweat," Mike said. "Man, look at all this junk ya got here!"

Mike sorted through the records, practically holding about five of them in one hand. Jerry began to get a little nervous.

"Mike, please, be careful," he said. "You know most of those are hard to find."

"Oh, don't worry, I know what I'm doin'," Mike said.

Jerry shook his head, and pulled some more records out of a bag he was carrying. Most of them were surf themed.

"Bob wanted me to bring over some surf music while I was bringing over the other records," he said.

"So I've noticed," Mike said, looking at the pile of records on the table. "I tell you, you've got a huge record collection."

"I'm aware of it. I've got some stuff to do, talk to the Writer, go through my part of the script you're trying to write, you know, that sort of thing."

Mike nodded, and continued reading the script. As he did that, Peter walked over to him and Jerry.

"Hey, have either of you seen Fluey?" he asked. "He came down to the studio with me, and then he just vanished."

"Try the Box," Mike said, indicating the converted meat locker the Monkees generally used to play loud music without anyone getting on their backs.

Peter shrugged. He should have thought of that. He didn't know why, but Fluey liked hanging out in the Black Box. Peter walked across the studio, and knocked on the door to the box. He didn't get an answer. So he opened the door, and looked in. Fluey was glued in front of the TV set in the box. He was watching an old tape of the late show he taped awhile back. The late show he liked specialized in horror flicks, mostly featuring old ones from the 50's, the kind Bob liked, but once in awhile, they threw in a gory one. Peter walked behind his nephew and looked at what he was watching.

"What's this one?" he asked.

"YIPE!" Fluey screamed nearly hitting the ceiling. He turned around and saw his uncle standing there. "Oh, it's just you."

"I keep telling you not to watch these movies in pitch darkness," Peter said. "You know you're more like me than you think."

"Yeah, but these things lose something when you watch 'em during the day. Besides, I like the dark."

"Fluey, you're weird."

Fluey just shrugged, and went back to his tape. Peter sighed, and left. He went back to Mike and Jerry, who were playing some of Jerry's surf records.

"Find him?" Mike asked.

"Yeah, he's watching those reruns of the late show," Peter said. "In the dark. I don't know why he does that."

Mike shrugged, and went back to the records. It looked like he finally had a moment to relax. His sixth sense was on the blink, and he wasn't able to tell if trouble was brewing. And, as it turned out, trouble was brewing, but not in the Other Realm, but a faraway place, known as Nightmare Castle. There lived a sorcerer known as Cimmerian, who thrived on darkness. The one thing he hated was sunlight, or any kind of light. His scheme was to plunge the world into total darkness, but not necessarily take it over. Besides, he needed a little help, and he knew exactly where to get it. He was looking through his viewing pool at the Screen Gems studio.

"At last, conditions are perfect," he said, getting a fix on Mike and Jerry. "And there's nothing you can do to stop me, Michael. I just need one final component to complete the spell. I'll be coming for it tonight."

Cimmerian walked away from his pool and prepared a flight to LA. That evening, Mike and Jerry dropped by Peter's place, to jam, but Peter, Valerie, and Fluey figured Mike was just coming over to complain about the way Bob was working with the music lately.

"I am not!" Mike shouted. "Well, okay, maybe, but I'm also here for a jam session, Pete."

"Yeah, okay," Fluey said. "I'll buy that."

Mike couldn't say much for that. He just shrugged and he, Jerry, and Peter went down to the basement. The boys began playing. After awhile, Mike pulled another song out of his guitar case. Bob had given it to him that afternoon.

"I know I said I was willin' to do it," Mike said. "I didn't say I'd do it as it is."

"Precisely why we're making all these notes on it," Jerry said.

"Right," Peter nodded.

Mike picked up a red pen and started making some notes when suddenly they heard a crash from upstairs.

"What was that?" Jerry asked.

"I don't know, but we'd better check it out," Mike said. "My sixth sense is startin' to act up."

Mike, Jerry, and Peter dashed upstairs, and saw Valerie ad Fluey on their way upstairs.

"What's going on?" Peter asked.

"I don't know, we heard a crash upstairs," Valerie said. "We were going to check it out."

"Let me go up there first," Mike said. "I'm the one with the sixth sense."

Mike went upstairs, and used his sixth sense to track down the source of the noise. His trackers brought him to the guest bedroom at the end of the upstairs hall. The one thing he noticed right away was the window. It had been broken, and there were pieces of glass on the floor.

"I think someone broke in," he said.

"What?!" Valerie shouted.

"Oh no," Peter groaned.

"Yeah, and I think they're still here," Mike said. "Maybe not in this room, but in the house somewhere."

"A burglar?" Valerie asked, getting a little panicky. "In the house right now?!"

"Better call the police," Fluey said. "Just in case."

"Yeah," Mike said.

"I'll do it," Peter said. "Mike, come with me. I don't want to be alone if there's a burglar in the house!"

"Okay," Mike said.

"We'll go with you," Jerry replied, speaking for himself and Valerie.

"Fluey, you stay here and clean up the mess," Valerie said.

Mike, Peter, Jerry, and Valerie left the room, and walked down the stairs. Fluey clicked his tongue against his teeth, and walked across the hall to where Valerie kept a broom and dustpan for just such an emergency. As he was cleaning, some kind of shadow fell over him. He stopped reading all of a sudden. He immediately stood up and turned around. All he saw was a shadow.

"Who are you?" he asked.

"Let's just say I represent someone, a friend, let's say," the shadow said. "You and I have a long trip ahead of us."

"What do you mean?"

"You'll see."

The shadow began coming closer to Fluey. Fluey bit his lower lip, and began backing away. There was something about this he didn't like. Meanwhile, Valerie was on the phone with the police.

"That's right," she said. "The window was broken and there was glass on the floor. We're pretty sure someone broke in, and is in the house right this minute!"

"Calm down, ma'am," the officer who answered the phone said. "We'll send someone over right away."

"Thank you."

Valerie gave the cop the address, and then hung up the phone.

"There's absolutely nothin' to worry about," Mike said. "My sixth sense is actin' up a bit, but it tends to do that when I'm a little freaked."

"Right," Peter said. "Ooh, it's just so creepy knowing somebody is in the house while we're still in it!"

Mike was about to say something, but he was cut off by a scream.

"Uncle Peter! Aunt Valerie! Help!" Fluey called out. Mike and Peter looked at each other and then ran upstairs. They looked in the guest room, and saw a shadow of some kind, holding Fluey in a headlock.

"What's goin' on here?!" Mike demanded.

"I can see we have company," the shadow said. "I can tell when I'm not wanted. It's time to go."

The shadow proceeded to make his way towards the window, taking Fluey with him. Mike wanted to get a better look at the shadow, so he walked over to the light switch and flicked it. Of course, the ceiling light was on the bright side, and the shadow couldn't take the light. He screamed, let go of Fluey, and flew out the window. Fluey practically gasped for breath. Mike ran over to the window, and opened it. He was determined to find out where the shadow went. Peter and Valerie ran over to Fluey.

"Are you all right?" Valerie asked.

"Yeah," Fluey said, rubbing his neck. "Fine. Man, what was that thing?"

"Some kind of shadow," Mike said, looking around. "I don't know where it went, though. It just sort of disappeared."

"Let me tell you, Mike, it was the strangest thing," Fluey said. "It said it was representing a friend."

"You've been hangin' out with shadows and never told me?"

"Believe me, Mike, I don't know what the heck that thing was talking about."

"Something tells me that's not the last we've heard from it, Mike," Jerry commented,

"I get that same feelin'," Mike said, nodding.

Mike closed the window, and snapped his fingers to fix the broken glass. His sixth sense was twinging, and that could only mean trouble was brewing. It definitely wasn't the last time they were to tangle with a shadow creature. The next day, Jerry was telling the others what happened last night.

"What did you tell the cops?" Davy asked.

"Well, Mike had to re-break the window, first of all," Jerry said. "Then they searched the place, and told us nobody was in the house. They figured if there was a burglar, he left after Val called the cops."

"So you didn't tell them Fluey was nearly abducted by a shadow creature?" Reggie asked.

"Who'd believe it?!" Jerry shouted.

"I would," Micky said.

"Even I don't believe it too much," Jerry replied. "And I was there!"

Meanwhile, the shadow creature had just returned to Nightmare Castle. Cimmerian was waiting for him.

"Well?" he asked.

"He got away, Master," the shadow creature said. "Someone turned on the lights."

"I should've known. My shadow creatures can't stand the light. There's only one thing left to do. I'll spread the seeds of darkness while I'm at it. I'll send my pets to do so."

Cimmerian pulled a lever. From outside, a gate opened, and out came five large, green dragons. They took to the air.

"Go, my pets," Cimmerian said. "Bring me the dark haired boy, the Fifth Monkee as they call him, and spread my seeds!"

The dragons flew off. They had work to do. Meanwhile, Camp Monkee Malalrd could be found hanging out at the local park, for a break. Everyone was enjoying the day, except for Mike. He got an icky feeling in his sixth sense. It was starting to get tweaked, but he didn't say anything. He just knew something was going to happen though. Suddenly, a flock of birds flew across the sky, and they seemed panicked.

"What's with the birds?" Quackerjack asked.

"I don't know," Drake said, looking at the sky. "But I'm getting that icky feeling in the pit of my stomach again."

Things got quiet just then. Everybody stared at the sky. Suddenly, a fleet of dragons appeared out of nowhere. Thunder and lightning seemed to come from nowhere either.

"What's going on?!" Sarah shouted.

"Trouble," Mike said, cracking his knuckles. "And I'm the one who has to stop it."

Before anything else could happen, the dragon gave Mike a whack with his tail, and knocked him off his feet. Then it growled, and headed for Fluey. He gulped and began backing away. It was all he could do. The dragon was about to grab him when he felt a blast of magic on the side of his face. Mike stood there, glaring. But that didn't stop the dragon. Fluey had to make a break for it, and fast! And wouldn't you know it, the dragons started to chase him.

"I get it," Mike said. "Those dragons aren't tryin' to destroy the place, they're after Fluey!"

"What are we going to do?" Peter asked.

"I'll handle it," Mike said. He cracked his knuckles and thrust his hands forward.

The magic blasted the dragon in the bum. He turned around and began to charge Mike. Mike was ready for him.

"See how you like this!" he shouted.

Mike waved his hand in a circle, and pointed his index finger upward. White light filled the area. The dragon, however, wasn't phased. He just slapped Mike's hand with it's tail, and then smacked him with it's paw into the wall.

"Ow!" Mike shouted, rubbing the back of his head.

"Fool," a gruff voice said. He appeared to be some sort of flying creature, like a werewolf with wings, and he was riding one of the dragons.

"Who are you?" Mike asked.

"None of your concern. Cimmerian told me not to let anyone get in the way of his plan!"

With that, the creature blasted the Texan Monkee and he crashed to the ground. Mike tried to zap him with his witch magic, but his battery was dead.

"Oh no," he groaned.

The dragons began swooping all over the place then. One of the dragons swooped down, grabbed Fluey, and took to the air.

"Help!" he cried.

"Oh no!" Peter shouted.

"Somebody do something!" Valerie shouted.

Mike stood up, and searched the ground for something to throw. It was the only thing he could do at the time. He didn't have any power whatsoever. He picked up a rock, and threw it. It missed the dragons by a mile.

"Rats!" he shouted.

"Mike, zap it, or something!" Davy shouted.

"I can't!" Mike yelled. "My battery's dead!"

The dragons were long gone by then, with Fluey. Mike groaned. This was another fine mess he found himself in. The group filed back into the studio, trying to think what to do next.

"This looks like a tough situation here," Quackerjack said. "I'm not sure if there's anything we can even do about it."

"Oh yes there is," Mike said. "I'm gonna go find those dragons and clobber 'em."

"Oh no you're not," a voice said. Mike turned around, and found he was facing his aunt Kate.

"What do you mean by that, Aunt Kate?" Mike asked. "I'm goin' out there and I'm gonna find those dragons and their leader."

"That's the point. Their leader is Cimmerian, and he's one tough customer."

"Look, Aunt Kate, I'm a big boy now, I can do this on my own. Besides, I've still got my magic. It doesn't take too long for my battery to recharge itself."

Mike folded his arms across his chest and gave his aunt a sneaky smile.

"There are times when I think you take your magic for granted," Kate said. "You may lose it one of these days, and then where will you be?"

Mike didn't acknowledge his aunt. He just walked out of the studio, and went to get his books. He needed to look up who Cimmerian was, and where he was hiding out.

In the meantime, the dragons had made it to their final destination, and not a moment too soon. Fluey was completely dizzy, since the dragons were flying at a very high altitude. He was ready to drop any minute. The dragon that was carrying him flew into a window, and dropped him on the floor. Fluey sat up, and rubbed the side of his head. It was going to take him awhile to regain his senses.

"Man," he said. "I never want to go through that again!"

"You won't have to," a voice said. Fluey looked up and saw a figure standing in the shadows. He couldn't make out his face.

"Who are you?" Fluey asked, somewhat nervously. The figure stepped into the light. He was tall, had dark hair, similar to Mike's haircut, but his bangs didn't hang off the side of his head like Mike's did. And it was shorter in the back.

"They call me Cimmerian," the man said. "Lord of the darkness."

"Uh huh. So tell me, those dragons that brought me here. Are they your pets or something?"

"Oh yes. People don't realize they make excellent pets. I've taught 'em to sit up and beg, fetch the paper, that sort of thing. Oh, they're just like big puppies. Except green and scaly."

Fluey nodded. He wasn't really sure if he understood Cimmerian, or not. He just knew he was in for trouble

"So why bring me here?" he asked. "And furthermore, where is here?"

"Nightmare Castle," Cimmerian said. "My home."

"Good name for it," Fluey said, glancing around the room. The entire castle was dimly lit, just enough for it to seem incredibly spooky. "You'd only see a place like this in a nightmare."

"So good of you to notice."

Cimmerian began to walk around the room, circling Fluey, just smiling thoughtfully at him.

"You're very charismatic," he said. "You attract attention. You've got style, and energy. You have perfect energy."

"What are you getting at?" Fluey asked, not sure he liked where this was heading.

"Your energy is perfect for my scheme."

"What exactly are you planning here?"

"I hate the light. Light represents all that is good and pure in the world. The only pureness I'm interested in is pure evil. And that can only be represented by darkness!"

Fluey stared at Cimmerian as if he were completely nuts. Cimmerian walked over to him and put his hands on his shoulders.

"I'm going to plunge the world into eternal darkness," he said. "No light whatsoever. And I want you to be my helper, Fluey. You will help my giving me your energy."

"Ahhh . . . . ." Fluey said, trying to think of a good excuse. "I don't think so. I mean . . . . well, ehhhh . . . . . I don't think it'll work out. I don't know a thing about this sorta stuff."

Fluey began backing for the door. He wanted to get out of this creepy castle as fast as he could. Cimmerian followed him.

"Look," Fluey said. "I'm pretty attached to my energy. I kinda need it for stuff, you know? So if you'll excuse me."

Fluey finally made it to the door, and was about to walk right out, when Cimmerian waved his hand, and the door closed, right in Fluey's face. SMACK!

"Ow!" Fluey shouted.

"You don't seem to get it, boy," Cimmerian said. "I'm an all powerful wizard, and you're just a pathetic teenager. You can't escape me!"

"Watch me!"

Fluey went to open the door, but Cimmerian stopped him.

"You know, I'm beginning to think you actually like the light," he said, grabbing Fluey's wrist.

"Well, uhh, see . . . ." Fluey started. To Cimmerian, that said it all.

"I had a feeling," he said, squeezing Fluey's wrist. "You're obviously pure of heart, boy. Nothing evil about you. Well, that's fine with me. It doesn't matter. I'll take your energy whether you cooperate or not!"

"Oh no you won't!"

Fluey then stepped on Cimmerian's foot as hard as he possibly could. He jammed his heel into the wizard's instep, which hurt a great deal.

"Yeeeouch!" Cimmerian yelled. He let go of Fluey and grabbed his foot. Fluey used that moment to make a break for it.

"Guards!" Cimmerian shouted, just as Fluey flung open the door and raced out. "After him! Don't let him get away!"

Fluey ran down the hallway as fast as he could. He wanted to outrun the guards. He came across the front hall, and encountered the drawbridge. He quickly found the mechanism that opened and closed it, and began turning the crank. The drawbridge quickly lowered, and Fluey raced out. Cimmerian was positively steamed. However, he had a trick up his sleeve. He mounted one of his dragons and flew out into the forest.

Fluey had no idea where he was running. All he knew was that he had to keep running. If he stopped, that lunatic wizard would catch him. He headed into the woods, thinking Cimmerian would never find him in there. It was too dense. He looked behind him to see if he was being followed, and ended up running right into an enormous spider web.

"Hey!" he shouted, as he struggled to get free of the sticky spider silk. But the more he struggled, the more tangled he became.

"Now I know why Erin hates spiders," Fluey groaned as he kept trying to pull himself out. A maniacal cackle was heard and Cimmerian landed his dragon.

"I see you've found my spider web," he said. Then he put two fingers in his mouth and whistled. An army of guards arrived on the scene.

"Take him to the tower," Cimmerian said, cutting Fluey out of the giant spider web. "He'll remain there until I'm ready for him."

The guards took Fluey back to the castle, and up to the tower. Cimmerian went to his throne room and sat down on his throne. He couldn't wait to start his rein, with his special power. He held it in a pouch that sat on a pedestal in the throne room.

"On the night of the full moon at midnight," he said. "I'll unleash my dark power. The night will result in eternal darkness. And nobody will be able to stop me!"

Cimmerian laughed evilly. Mike, in the meantime, had just gone through his last book, and he had everything he needed.

"I'm off to Nightmare Castle," he said. "Ten to one, that's where this Cimmerian creep has Fluey."

"Well, we'd better get cracking," Jerry said.

"We? Whattaya we? No way, Jer, I can handle this myself."

"But what if your battery goes dead?"

"I'm just dealin' with a whacko who used to host the late show. All I gotta do is find Nightmare Castle, and it'll be over in two shakes."

Jerry sighed. There was no changing Mike's mind about this. He was going to do this by himself even if it killed him. And something was telling Jerry it just might. Anyway, Mike went to his aunt to get the info on the castle.

"This map will take you directly to Nightmare Castle," Kate warned, handing Mike a rolled up piece of paper. "And be careful. You have to go through a lot of obstacles to get there. And some of them are downright dangerous!"

"Don't worry about a thing Aunt Kate," Mike said. "I know exactly what I'm doin'."

"I know, but you have to watch out for the Shadow Daemons."

"What are they?"

"Monsters, what else? And you have to be incredibly careful around them. They'll steal your magic if you're not careful!"

"I'll be careful, Aunt Kate. I promise."

Mike began to walk off. Peter ran after him before he could leave.

"You've got to bring Fluey back safely, Mike," he said. "I'm counting on you!"

"Don't worry, Pete," Mike said. "I'll bring Fluey back, or I'll die tryin'."

Mike took a deep breath, and began to walk off. He climbed on his motorcycle, and drove off. He spent at least an hour just getting out of Los Angeles, and that's when the journey began. At Interstate 97, Mike was supposed to turn off the road and into a forest of some kind, which was what he did. Then he had to turn on the headlight so he could see where he was going.

"This'll be a snap," he said. Suddenly, he got through a patch of forest, and it didn't seem so dark anymore, so he turned off headlight. After awhile, he stopped his motorcycle, and looked around.

"Okay, obviously this isn't the easiest mission in the world," he said, pulling out his map. "Let's see here . . . ."

As Mike was checking his map, a streak of black zoomed past him. He glanced up, and looked around. When he didn't see anything, he shrugged, and went back to looking at his map. The flash of black went by again. And quite frankly, it was driving him insane. He finally put the map down, and looked.

"Okay," he said. "Whoever you are, come on out. I've got you covered!"

The black streak came out into the open and jumped on Mike's handlebars. It was a tiny shadow, and he was actually kind of cute.

"Now what the heck are you?!" Mike asked.

"Heee heee heee!" the shadow laughed. "I'm a Shadow Daemon!"

"You're a Shadow Daemon that my aunt warned me about? She has got to be kiddin'! You don't look dangerous! As a matter of fact, you're kinda cute."

The Shadow Daemon laughed, and began bouncing all over the place.

"Watch me watch me watch me!" he shouted.

Mike watched the Shadow Daemon bounce around, making him incredibly dizzy. He actually got off his motorcycle for a moment, and continued watching the Shadow Daemon, who had brought out his little friends, swirling around, bouncing all over the place.

"Okay, cut! That's enough!" Mike shouted. "I'm gettin' dizzy!"

"Here we come again. Hmmm- mmm-mmm! Catch us if you can! Hmm- mmm-mmm!" the Daemons sang, to the tune of the Dave Clark Five's "Catch Us If You Can."

"Okay, you asked for it!"

Mike began zapping at the Shadow Daemons. They were moving so fast, he could barely see where they were going, or what they were doing! This was part of the Shadow Daemons plan. This was how they stole magic. They'd drive the victim totally crazy, so he or she would start zapping at them, and when they finally got all their magic, they stopped. Mike's magic ran out, but the Daemons weren't through with him yet. They swirled around him, making him dizzier than ever! Once they were through, Mike stumbled about, and then fell on his bum.

"Hee, hee, hee, hee!" the first Daemon laughed. "He fall down go boom!"

With that, the Daemon took off. Mike shook his head to regain himself, and stood up.

"Oh yeah," he said, sarcastically. "Those things are really cute. About as cute as a baby barracuda!"

Mike got back on his motorcycle and began to drive off. He wanted to get away from the Shadow Daemons area as fast as he could. But as he was thinking about it, he decided to test out his magic, just in case. He snapped his fingers, but nothing happened. And he knew his battery wasn't dead, either. He pointed his index finger, and tried to zap something, but again, nothing happened. Mike slammed on the breaks.

"Oh boy," he said, a little panicky. "They went and stole my magic! Oh man, what am I gonna do now? I'm powerless!"

Mike sighed, and started up his motorcycle again. He figured he'd just drive around until he reached Nightmare Castle.

"I think I'd better use my wits to defeat this guy," he said. "It's about all I can do right about now."

Mike pulled out the map, and began following it, looking for distinctive landmarks. That would be easier said than done. He stopped after awhile, to see where he was on the map.

"Let's see," he said. "Aunt Kate said that this would be a dangerous journey, but so far, I haven't seen anything remotely dangerous, aside from those baby barracudas they call Shadow Daemons. I wonder what other hidden dangers there are around here?"

Mike was about to get an answer. He was in an area commonly known as Shadow Forest. And most of the plants in this forest were man-eating. As Mike was looking at his map, a vine came out from under the brush and wrapped itself around Mike's ankle, and began pulling. Mike didn't pay it much attention at first, so he just yanked his foot back. But the vine wouldn't give up that easily. Finally, Mike had to take a look.

"What is this?" he asked, and then he saw the vine, leading up to a huge yellow flower. And to add on to the creepy factor, the flower was opening it's core like a mouth!

"Whoa!" Mike shouted, untangling his foot from the vine. "I've heard of Venus fly traps, but that is ridiculous!"

The plant wouldn't give up that easy. Mike ducked behind his motorcycle, and the vine grabbed hold of it. The plant pulled the bike into the flower, and it was demolished. After that, the plant folded up, and the vine retracted. Mike breathed of relief.

"Well, I guess I'm walkin' the rest of the way," he said. Anything to get away from this part of the forest!

Mike kept looking at the map. Nothing seemed familiar, and he had no way of contacting Kate, or anybody else.

"That's what I get for not wantin' any help with this mission," he said. "I probably drove down the wrong track after those Shadow Daemons sucked out my magic. All I've got to do is figure out how to get to Nightmare Castle, and then find a way to defeat Cimmerian, all without my magic. And that's gonna be easier said than done."

Mike walked along for awhile, at least until he reached a hooded figure. He couldn't tell if this person was a man or a woman.

"You are looking for Nightmare Castle, are you not?" he or she asked.

"Yeah," Mike said. "You know how to get there?"

"Not off hand. But if you are going to defeat Cimmerian, you're going to need some help."

"I sure could use some."

"You need to go to Mangus. He has magic powers. He'll be able to help you."

"Where do I find this Mangus fella?"

"Follow the path you are on now."

"Okay, thanks a lot."

Mike walked off, not really sure if that was some kind of hint or not, but he had to take every lead he could, considering his magic was gone, and along with it, his danger sensors. He came across an old bridge, that didn't look like it could hold even an ant.

"This thing should be condemned," he said. "But it's the only way I can get goin'."

Mike took a deep breath and stepped onto the bridge. The wooden boards were old, and practically rotting away, and most of them were missing as well. Even without his sixth sense, he knew this bridge wasn't at all safe.

"It ain't safe, but I don't have any choice," he said. He gulped, and took one more step forward, but the board snapped, and sent Mike plummeting into the water. SPLASH! He popped out and began to catch his breath.

"Terrific," he groaned. "Well, better get to work swimmin' this thing."

Mike took a deep breath, and dove under the water. He looked around for a moment or so, and found he was headed directly for a giant clam shell. There was no way he could avoid it, hard as he tried to swim. The clam sort of sucked him in and closed shut. A minute or so later, it opened up, and Mike found himself inside a rather large bubble. As if that weren't strange enough, four sea horses swam into view. They looked big enough to ride.

"We'll give you a hand," one of them said, and he swung a piece of seaweed around the bubble.

"We'll get you back to shore in no time," another said, and she swung another piece of seaweed around the bubble.

"You have nothing to worry about," another said, swimming to the back of the bubble. He began pushing it as the other two were pulling.

"We're happy to help," the fourth said, and she began pushing on the bubble. Within seconds, they brought Mike back up to the surface.

"Hey, thanks," he said. "That was a big help."

"No sweat," the first one said. "That's what we're here for, to help out."

"And if you ever need us again," one of the females said, tossing Mike a small shell. "Just throw that into the water. We'll get the message."

"Thanks," Mike said, and the four sea horses dove back into the water, and swam off. Mike stuck the shell in his pocket and began to walk off.

"Now all I gotta do is find this Mangus fella," he said. "All I can say is it's gonna be harder than I thought."

Mike walked along the path. He was pretty sure he was going in the right direction, but he wasn't positive. The whole place looked downright spooky. He thought a shadow creature would jump out at him any minute. At least until he came across a bright light in the distance. He had to shield his eyes, and then he figured he was in the right direction. He ran towards the light, and found a grove of giant mushrooms.

"Well, here's a shocker," he said. "I wonder if that Mangus guy is even home?"

A rabbit wearing red shorts and suspenders just looked at Mike, and began tugging on one of the mushrooms. Suddenly, it turned around, to reveal some sort of wizard. He looked at Mike for about a nanosecond and began talking even faster than Jerry usually talks when he gets going!

"Come on, come on, come on," he said. "There's no time at all to waste, unless you want to walk around in the dark for the rest of your life!"

"Uh huh," Mike said, slightly confused. Mangus began to dig through his clothing just then, while the rabbit continued to try to get his attention.

"Cimmerian will bring in eternal darkness, and then, ho boy, no telling what's going to happen."

"Yeah, I know that. But is there a way I can stop him?"

"You'd have to go into his castle and steal his dark rainbow. That's what gives him his power you know. Ah ha! Here it is! Here it . . . . ."

Mangus had pulled a bunch of flowers out of his sleeve, like a magician. Mike was a bit confused at that.

"No, that isn't it," he said, throwing them aside.

"What are you lookin' for?" Mike asked.

"The only thing that'll defeat Cimmerian, of course! A rainbow of light to counteract the rainbow of darkness."

"I think I saw that comin'. This whole scene reminds me of a cartoon plot! So you got one of those rainbows?"

"I had a piece of one somewhere," Mangus said, looking around. "I just forgot where I put it. But I'll find it!"

Mangus then dashed into his house to begin a search. Mike followed him. He had to duck to get inside, since the doorway was so small! He watched Mangus tear his house apart, throwing things everywhere, trying to find his rainbow. Mike kept having to duck to avoid getting hit with everything in sight!

"I didn't think it'd be this hard to find one little piece of rainbow," he said.

"Well, I've looked everywhere, and I can't find it," Mangus said. "It just isn't anywhere. Absolutely no place else it could be!"

The rabbit let out a shrill whistle then, and Mangus then realized something.

"I buried it in the garden!" he shouted. "I knew I'd be able to find it if it was under the ground!"

Mangus began digging up the ground, throwing handfuls of dirt everywhere. Once again, Mike had to duck. Finally, Mangus found something. Mike began dusting the dirt off of him.

"I found it!" Mangus shouted. "My young friend, I give you the piece of rainbow."

Mangus pulled out his rabbit, instead of a rainbow. Mike folded his arms across his chest and rolled his eyes.

"That's no rainbow, buddy," he said.

"Oops," Mangus said. "I guess I lost it then."

Mike was ready to throttle this guy! But the rabbit reached into the pocket of his shorts and pulled out a yellow ball on a string.

"Ah ha!" Mangus shouted. "The rainbow! I knew I'd find it sooner or later!"

The rabbit sort of let out a groan. Mike slapped his hand over his eyes, and Mangus handed him the necklace.

"There's your rainbow of light," he said. Mike took it and put it around his neck.

"I can dig that," he said. "But are you sure it'll work? It's kind of small, ain't it?"

"Well, it's better then nothing. Now you'd better get going and stop Cimmerian before midnight."

Mike couldn't argue there. He just shrugged, and went to find his way to Nightmare Castle. But he checked his watch before he went. He had plenty of time before midnight. He walked along the path for awhile, until he reached a castle. A very large, dark, and haunted looking castle.

"That's gotta be Nightmare Castle," he said. "You'd only see a castle like that in a nightmare, anyway! Now all I gotta do is figure out how to get inside."

Mike climbed over a couple of rocks, and nearly fell into a rushing river. There was no way he'd be able to cross that without his magic! But he wasn't licked yet. He pulled the shell he had out of his pocket and tossed it in the water.

"I hope those sea horses get the message," he said. He waited for about three seconds, then the four sea horses popped out.

"Hello," one sang.

"Hello," another sang in a higher tone.

"Hello," another sang in a higher tone.

"Hello," the fourth one sang.

"Hello!" they said.

"I gotta get inside that castle," Mike said.

"No problem," the first sea horse said.

"We can get you in," the second said.

The four sea horses brought in half a giant clam shell. Mike climbed on, and the sea horses pulled it across the river.

"If you can climb up to that gargoyle up there, and pull it's nose, it'll open up a secret door," one of them said.

Mike took a deep breath, and climbed up the gargoyle. Then he jumped onto the gargoyle's nose, which caused it to move, and a door opened. Mike climbed down the gargoyle and walked inside, but not unnoticed. One of Cimmerian's monster guards was watching him, and immediately, he went to report it. Cimmerian was sitting on his throne, waiting. The timing was almost right. The guard walked in just then.

"What is it now?" he asked. The guard whispered something in his ear. Cimmerian wasn't too pleased.

"A friend of his?" he asked. The guard nodded. "Well, then, we'll give him a welcome he won't forget."

Mike walked through a hallway, looking around. He didn't know where the heck he was going. The hallways were just too confusing.

"This place is like a maze," he said. "I'm never gonna find that rainbow of darkness this way. Not without my magic, that's for sure!"

Mike continued walking along, opening doors, looking around. He finally found the largest door, and opened it.

"This has gotta be the throne room," he said. "All I've got to do is find the rainbow of darkness, then find Fluey, then get the heck outta here!"

The door slammed shut suddenly. Mike got a panicked look to his face. And began backing to the center of the room.

"Looking for my rainbow of darkness?" Cimmerian asked, holding out his pouch. "Too bad. It belongs to me."

"I sorta guessed that," Mike said.

"And I guess you're a friend of the boy's."

"Darn right. Though his uncle's more my friend than he is."

"I've always wondered what they meant by the Monkee's Uncle."

Mike gave Cimmerian a Look. Cimmerian just laughed.

"Relax, I'm kidding," he said. "I tend to make jokes."

"You're a laugh riot," Mike said, sarcastically. "So tell me, why'd you bring Fluey all the way out here? If you were gonna steal someone's energy, my friend Jerry has a lot more than Fluey has!"

"Yes, I know. I've done research That friend Jerry of yours has enough energy to fuel a power plant and then some. But the boy's energy is perfect. However, he refused to give me his energy willingly."

"Smart move. So where is he now?"

"Right here."

Cimmerian snapped his fingers. Fluey was transported from the tower into the throne room. He didn't ask questions. He just saw Mike and started to make a run for the door, but Cimmerian snapped his fingers again. Fluey was somehow wrapped in some kind of mist. It didn't look very strong, but looks can be deceiving. It turned out to be stronger than ropes and chains put together. Anyway, Fluey fell to the ground, and groaned. He managed to get up on his knees, and he threw Mike a helpless look.

"He's physically fine, if that's what you're worried about," Cimmerian said. "Rest assured, I wouldn't hurt him."

"Yeah right!" Fluey shouted. Cimmerian glared at him and snapped his fingers. A piece of the mist tied itself around Fluey's mouth to keep him quiet.

"So what exactly is the plan?" Mike asked.

"Simple," Cimmerian said. "Light represents all that is good. Darkness represents all that is evil."

"Can't argue with you there."

"Right. And I don't like the light. It disturbs my minions, you know."


"Anyway, tonight at midnight, I'll use my rainbow of darkness to bring in eternal night. It'll be dark for all eternity!"

"Not if I can help it buster. I've got you where I want you, buddy boy."

"On the contrary. I've got you where I want you, buddy boy."

Cimmerian pulled a lever that on the wall. A trap door opened directly underneath Mike.

"Nuts," Mike groaned, and then fell down the trap door with a scream.

"That takes care of that," Cimmerian said, closing the trap door. Then he turned to Fluey. "Now all that remains is what to do with you, kiddo. And I know just how to do it."

Fluey glared at Cimmerian. He can only imagine what was going to happen. Mike, in the meantime, was sliding down some sort of passage. He landed flat on his butt in the dungeon.

"Aaahhhh!" he groaned. "I may never sit down again. That didn't go as well as I hoped. But I'm not licked yet. You hear me, Cimmerian?! You haven't seen the last of Michael Nesmith!"

Mike stood up, grinded his teeth, and started to take a swing at the wall, but then decided not to. This wasn't Bob's office. The walls were solid rock, and he'd only end up hurting himself, anyway. So, instead, he curbed his temper, and sat down, knees pulled up to his chest, and arms resting on them. He blew a strand of hair out of his face, out of frustration.

"How do I get myself into these things?" he asked.

Mike just sat there for awhile. There wasn't much he could do about the mess he was in right now. He sort of shut everything out, at least until he heard some slight growling coming from another part of the dungeon. He looked and saw a pair of eyes staring at him. He began to get a little panicked, figuring it was another dragon.

"You're not a dragon, are you?" he asked.

All Mike got in response was a low growl. He gulped and stood up, trying to find a secret doorway out of the dungeon or something. It looked like this was it, at least until the eyes came into the light. It definitely was a dragon, but not a full grown one. Not even a half grown dragon! It was a baby dragon!

"Now what in the world?" Mike asked, looking at it. The baby dragon was small, green, and chubby, with the biggest eyes and tiniest wings Mike had ever seen in his life.

"You're just a baby!" he shouted. The dragon nodded. Mike laughed. "You're a pretty cute little fella. What are you doin' down here?"

The dragon didn't answer. Mike approached it, and sat down next to him. He noticed the collar around it's neck, and the name tag. It read Sparky.

"Sparky, huh?" he said. "Well, I'm Mike, in case you're interested. What, do your mom and dad work upstairs with the king of nightmares?"

Sparky sort of whimpered, and turned away from Mike. Then he went back into the shadows and returned with a picture. He handed it to Mike. Mike got a good look at it, and noticed there were three dragons in the picture, in a pleasant looking valley. He couldn't make heads or tails out of the picture.

"This where you used to live?" he asked. Sparky nodded and whimpered. "Can't go back there anymore, huh?"

Again, Sparky nodded and whimpered. Mike clicked his tongue against his teeth and patted the little dragon's back. Then he stood up and looked around the dungeon.

"You know your way around here, little guy?" he asked. Sparky nodded, and began to jump up and down. "Think you can find a way out of this dungeon?"

Sparky jumped up and down, clapped his hands, and ran across the room. He began pushing a rock, but it wouldn't budge. Mike figured it was a secret passage, so he began to push on the rock as well until it moved. Once it was pushed in, the entire wall opened up.

"Now why didn't I think of that?" he said. "Come on, Sparky. Maybe you can help me out. I'm tryin' to stop the whole eternal darkness deal, and get a friend of mine out of here."

Sparky began making some noises that yours truly can't possibly begin to describe, and started jumping up and down again. He ran through the tunnel, and Mike followed him.

"You know where Fluey is?" he asked. Sparky nodded. "Well, where is he, Sparky?"

Sparky stopped for a moment, and thought about how to tell Mike. He then began making gestures with his arms. First of all, he held them in the air, as if to indicate something tall.

"Obviously somewhere high," Mike said, thinking it over. "And in this castle. Let me see . . . . . definitely not the dungeon. Hmm . . . . where else do people keep prisoners in these castles? Of course! The tower!"

Sparky jumped up and down and clapped his hands.

"All right, I got it," Mike said. "Fluey's locked in the tower, huh? Can you take me there?"

Sparky nodded and walked down the passage. Mike smiled, and followed him. Now he was getting somewhere. Sparky led Mike up about twenty flights of stairs in order to get to the tower.

"I just hope I can get him out," he said as he was climbing. "I won't be able to unlock the door without my magic."

Sparky thought it over, as did Mike. The two of them finally reached the tower door. Mike looked inside, to make sure Fluey was inside. He wasn't, but Mike had a pretty good idea where he was.

"Does this guy have a laboratory somewhere in here?" he asked.

Sparky nodded, and began to lead Mike down the twenty flights of stairs, and into another hallway. Once again, it was up another flight of stairs. They reached the top of the stairway only to be met by a large door, with no windows. The only way to see inside was through the keyhole. Mike stooped over to look inside. He saw Fluey strapped to what looked like an old fashioned electric chair, trying to get out. He couldn't see Cimmerian, but he was able to hear his voice.

"Conditions are finally perfect," he said. "In just a few moments, this machine will transfer your energy out of your body, and into mine. All I have to do is flip this switch."

"You've got to be some kind of a nut!" Fluey shouted. "This is never gonna work!"

"It sure will," Mike said from outside the door. "I've got to get Cimmerian out of the room, so I can get in there. But how? I'd better think of somethin' fast before he flips that switch!"

Sparky thought it over. Then an idea came to him. He began jumping up and down to get Mike's attention. Mike looked at him as he climbed up to a window, and sat on the sill. Then he began growling and howling.

"I didn't know dragons could howl," Mike commented.

Mike suddenly heard more growling, howling, and yowling. Cimmerian's dragons began the chorus. They sounded like a bunch of cats caterwauling on the fence. Mike had to cover his ears to block out the awful din. Cimmerian heard the noise, too, and stopped what he was doing.

"Now what are those stupid dragons doing?!" he shouted. "If it's not one thing, it's another!"

Mike looked into the keyhole, and found Cimmerian was leaving through another door.

"Oh great!" he shouted. "Now how am I supposed to get in?!"

Mike began wrestling with the doorknob and banging against it, trying to loosen the lock. Sparky got an idea, and began whacking Mike's pockets.

"What is it, Sparky?" Mike asked. Sparky then reached into Mike's pocket and began digging around. "Hey! Get out of there!"

From there, Sparky produced Mike's cigarette lighter, and then went back to digging around. Then Mike got the gist. He began going through his pockets for something to jimmy into the lock. He pulled out his wallet, a handkerchief, and finally, his old Eagle Scouts Swiss Army Knife.

"Ah ha!" he shouted, activating the blade. "I knew this would come in handy someday."

Mike got down on his knees, and stuck the blade into the lock. He stuck his tongue between his teeth as he began jimmying the lock. It took a couple of minutes, but he managed to get the tower door unlocked.

"Got it," he said. "There's more than one way to skin a cat, you know."

Mike pushed the blade down, and stuck his knife back in his pocket. Then he and Sparky ran inside.

"Mike!" Fluey shouted. "Boy am I glad to see you! Hurry and get me out of this before that kook comes back!"

"This is gonna be harder than I thought," Mike said. "I can't tell where the straps connect. There aren't any buckles on these. You got any ideas, Sparky?"

Sparky nodded, and patted Mike's pocket again. Mike pulled out his knife again, and Sparky nodded.

"Good thinkin'," he said. He pulled a piece of one of the straps away from Fluey's body, activated the blade, and sliced. He did the same thing to the other straps. Fluey stood up and headed for the door.

"Thanks a lot, Mike," he said. "Now let's get outta here!"

"I'm with you, Shotgun. Come on. Oh by the way, this is Sparky. Sparky, Fluey."

Fluey looked at Sparky and laughed. Mike made friends in the strangest of places, that was for sure. Anyway, the three of them practically ran down the tower steps and into a hallway, with Sparky leading the way.

"We want to get out of here without Cimmerian seein' us," Mike said. "So be quiet, and stay close."

"Right," Fluey said.

Mike, Fluey, and Sparky began sneaking down the hallway as quietly as they could. Thunder and lightning crashed outside. Fluey was so freaked out, he screamed and jumped on Mike. Mike unclasped Fluey's hands and pushed him off his back.

"Not that close!" he shouted.

"Sorry," Fluey said.

Then the three of them began sneaking out of the castle as quietly as they could. They hoped to do it without Cimmerian seeing them. However, somebody was watching them. One of Cimmerian's guards was around. He ran to let Cimmerian know that Mike and Fluey were escaping.

"They're escaping?!" Cimmerian yelled the minute he heard. "They won't get away from me that easy."

Cimmerian walked out of his throne room, and across the hallway. Then he snapped his fingers, and closed all the doors, and locked them as well. Mike tried to open the door, but no matter how hard he pulled, he couldn't get it open.

"It's locked," he said.

"Of course it is," Cimmerian said, approaching the two boys and the baby dragon. Sparky jumped into the air and into Mike's arms.

"Uh oh," Fluey said.

"You didn't think you would escape, did you?" Cimmerian asked. "I'm taking the boy's energy and I will do it now if I have to!"

"Over my dead body!" Fluey shouted, folding his arms across his chest.

"You know, that can be arranged," Cimmerian said. Mike put down Sparky, cracked his knuckles, and punched Cimmerian square in the jaw. The sorcerer stumbled backwards, and landed flat on his seat.

"RUN!" Mike shouted, and he, Fluey, and Sparky began to run off. Cimmerian managed to get up.

"Don't just stand there, go after them!" he yelled at his guards. The guards took off after them.

Mike, Fluey and Sparky ran up several flights of stairs, trying to avoid the guards. It wasn't easy, that was for sure. They ended up on the roof of the castle, and Cimmerian and the guards were right behind them. The two of them ran to the edge of the castle and looked down. Directly below was the river. Mike looked at Fluey, and then back at the guards.

"I don't think we've got any choice, Shotgun," he said. "We have to jump. I can't fight them. My magic's been sucked outta me."

"Well, that's better than taking our chances with the guards," Fluey said. "On three, we jump."


"Okay, one, two, three!"

Mike, Fluey, and Sparky jumped off the ledge and landed directly into the river. Well, Mike and Fluey landed. Sparky flapped his little wings and flew. Cimmerian grinded his teeth and began zapping at the boys with his own brand of magic. Mike and Fluey kept dodging the blasts coming at them. And it was pretty easy to avoid, since the current in that river was so strong. Pretty soon, they were out of Cimmerian's range.

"Looks like it's smooth sailin' from here on end," Mike said.

"Yeah," Fluey said, nodding. "We'll just ride down the river until we can get to shore."

Mike nodded. As they were riding down the river, Sparky began to get panicked. He began pointing in the distance.

"What's the matter, Sparky?" Mike asked, and then he and Fluey looked in the direction the baby dragon was pointing. They were heading straight for a waterfall.

"What do we do now?!" Fluey shouted.

"I don't know," Mike said. "Without my magic, we're sunk!"

"Where's Glinda the good witch when we need her?"

"Well, we could try to out swim it."

Mike and Fluey began swimming in the other direction, but that wouldn't do them any good. The current was too strong. The boys started to go over the fall, but Mike grabbed a tree branch, and then Fluey's hand.

"I hope that branch holds out, Mike!" he shouted.

"You ain't the only one, Fluey!" Mike yelled. "We've got to get out of this mess before my hand slips!"

The two of them hung there for awhile, while Sparky hovered. Fluey was starting to lose his grip on Mike's hand, and Mike was starting to lose his grip on the branch. Finally, it snapped due to all the weight, and the boys plummeted down the falls screaming grabbed onto his shoulders. Fluey managed to grab onto Mike's legs at the time.

"I hope you can take the weight, Sparky," Mike said.

Sparky struggled, and tried to keep his hold on Mike, but he was just too heavy. He lost his grip, and Mike and Fluey fell, again, screaming all the way down. Sparky flew after them, but there wasn't anything he could do. Mike and Fluey landed at the bottom of the waterfall, amazingly alive. Both of them popped out of the water, spitting it out of their mouths, and coughing.

"I can't believe we lived through that," Mike said.

"You're the hero," Fluey said. "Writer's aren't allowed to kill off the hero, unless it's in an alternate universe."

Mike began to relax. He hoped all the danger was over. Ha, ha, not in the least. The current was still strong, and these waters were a bit rougher than the ones before the waterfall! To make matters worse, there were rocks hidden in the water, which made it difficult for boats to navigate through, and even worse for swimmers! Fluey found that out the hard way, when the boys sailed directly into the rapids. He plowed right into one, back first.

"Ow!" he shouted. "Something tells me we're not out of the clear yet!"

"What do you mean?" Mike asked, and then he crashed into a rock. POW! "Never mind."

Try as they might, Mike and Fluey couldn't avoid the rocks. They crashed right into them. They were glad Sparky could fly. If a little guy like him kept crashing into the rocks, he wouldn't survive. Actually, Fluey didn't think he was going to survive much longer.

"Ohhh, I can't take it," he moaned, as he hit yet another rock.

"Well, we can't get to shore just yet," Mike said, crashing into another rock. "All we can hope is we get out of this river and fast!"

Finally, the boys were swept out of the path of the rocks. Now, they were headed for yet another waterfall, and this one happened to be bigger than the first!

"Oh no!" Mike groaned.

"I don't want to know how big that thing is," Fluey said. "But something tells me it'll be a miracle if we make it out of that one alive!"

Unfortunately, there were no tree branches to grab onto. Mike and Fluey did their best to outswim it, but it didn't do them any good. They went over the falls, screaming (naturally). But fate was with them, more or less. They splashed down, and ended up in some sort of ocean. Both of them were unconscious at the time, and somehow separated. The waves washed Mike up on the shore. He just lay there for awhile. Sparky finally caught up with him, and flew down. He began nudging Mike's head with his nose, sort of whimpering. Mike moaned, an leaned up. He looked around, and rubbed the side of his head.

"Oh wow," he said. "What a ride! Man, I wouldn't want to go through that again! How 'bout you, Shotgun?"

Mike didn't get a response. He stood up, and looked around.

"Shotgun?" he asked. "Fluey? Hey, Fluey, where are you? Fluey!"

Mike began walking around, with Sparky sniffing the ground, like a dog. Mike continued calling out Fluey's name, waiting for an answer.

"Fluey!" he called. "Fluey!"

Mike looked around, and then stopped suddenly. He spotted Fluey, laying in a pool of water, head sort of turned to the side. The Texan Monkee ran to his friend, and pulled him out of the pool, hoping he didn't swallow too much water. As a precaution, he started to do artificial resuscitation.

"Don't do this to me, Fluey!" he shouted, in between rescue breaths. "And don't do this to Peter, either! Come on, kiddo, wake up!"

Mike didn't get any response. Fluey just lay there, limp as a dishrag. Mike checked his pulse. It was still there, but it was faint. He began to panic just then.

"Fluey, come on, please!" he shouted. "Oh, man, you can't do this! Don't do this to me, Fluey!"

Mike continued to perform artificial resuscitation. Finally, Fluey's body jerked, and he started coming to. He gagged, and spat water out of his mouth, coughing.

"Oh god, Fluey!" he shouted, relief washing over him. "Man, I'm so glad you're okay! I don't know what I would've told Peter!"

Fluey didn't say anything. He just practically gasped for breath.

"Oh boy, that was one heck of a ride we went through, huh?" he asked.

"You said it," Mike said, pulling Fluey to his feet. "Man, don't do that to me again, Fluey. You scared me half to death!"

"Sorry. But it turned out all right. So what do we do now?"

"As much as I hate to say it, we've got to go back to Nightmare Castle. We've got to stop Cimmerian before midnight, or else darkness is gonna take over the entire world."

"But how do we stop him?"

"I'll explain on the way. Come on!"

Mike, Fluey, and Sparky headed for Nightmare Castle, Mike explaining to Fluey about how to defeat Cimmerian.

"This might be harder than expected," Fluey said.

"Yeah, you said it," Mike said. "All we gotta do is figure out how to get back in."

Sparky began pulling on Mike's shirt, and jumping up and down.

"What is it, Sparky?" he asked. Sparky then grabbed Mike's hand and ran to another wall. Then he smacked a stone on it.

"Worth a shot," Mike said, pushing on the stone. Fluey helped him, and another door opened.

"What won't they think of next?" Fluey asked.

Mike shrugged, and he, Fluey, and Sparky snuck into the castle. It wasn't going to be easy trying to defeat Cimmerian. Mike didn't have one idea about where he kept his source of power, and he didn't want to use his own rainbow until he had to. At any rate, they continued walking around for awhile, at least until it got too dark to see.

"How are we going to see where we're going?" Fluey asked.

"Hang on," Mike said, pulling a torch off the wall. "I'll get some light in two shakes."

The trio began wandering around the hallway, looking for the rainbow of darkness.

"We're never gonna find that thing before midnight," Mike said. "Not in a maze like this!"

The group then came to the door to the throne room, and Mike opened it. He recognized it, and began looking around.

"Okay, now all we've got to do is get the rainbow," he said. Suddenly, the door closed, and Mike and Fluey turned around, only to be met by the guards, and Cimmerian himself.

"Hello," he said. "I'm pretty sure you're wondering how my little power works. Well, watch this."

Cimmerian snapped his fingers and a little bird appeared out of nowhere. Then he opened up his pouch, and a dark purple streak flew out of it, and surrounded the bird. The minute it subsided, the little bird was transformed into a large, ugly, dragon. Mike's mouth dropped open slightly, and he nearly began biting his nails.

"I don't like the looks of this," he said.

"I may have an idea," Fluey commented. "Start running!"

The guards began to charge, but Mike and Fluey managed to dispatch them: Mike with his left hook, and Fluey with his right hook, plus some karate moves. They and Sparky then raced out the door, and onto the roof. Suddenly, the ground began to shake, and everyone had difficulty actually staying on their feet.

"Whoa!" Mike shouted, as he fell flat on his bum. "I think we'd better get back inside!"

Too late for that. One of the towers exploded, and out came Cimmerian, riding in a chariot pulled by four dragons. Then he started to open his pouch.

"It's nearly midnight!" he laughed. "Time to begin eternal darkness!"

"What do we do now?!" Fluey shouted. "Without your magic, Mike, you can't beat him! It's hopeless!"

"No it isn't, Shotgun," Mike said, climbing up one of the towers. "I've still got a few tricks up my sleeve!"

Mike jumped from the tower, and onto the chariot. From there, he smacked Cimmerian's hand, which caused him to drop the pouch.

"Guards! Catch it!" he shouted. Mike jumped down from the chariot and grabbed the pouch before the guards could. However, they did surround him.

"Over here!" Fluey shouted, waving. Mike threw the pouch to him, and Fluey ran off.

"Stop him!" Cimmerian ordered.

Fluey kept running, at least until he reached the edge of the castle. One more step, and he'd fall at least fifty feet into the water. And the guards had reached him. Fluey only had one alternative. He got down on his stomach, and slid in between the legs of one guard, like a baseball player. Then Sparky flew into the air.

"Fluey, give it to Sparky!" Mike yelled.

"Gladly!" Fluey shouted, and tossed the pouch to the baby dragon. Sparky caught it in his mouth.

"Take it to the forest, quick!" Mike called. "And bury it!"

Sparky nodded, and began to fly off. However, he crashed directly into a bigger dragon flying his way, and that caused him to drop the pouch. Mike and Fluey began jumping around, trying to catch it, but Cimmerian drove his chariot over, and caught it.

"This little game is over," he said. "Nice try though!"

"It ain't over yet, Cimmerian," Mike said. "We've got a power of our own. Take this!"

Mike yanked the necklace off and opened the gold circle. A tiny rainbow came out of it, and just hung there in midair.

"What in the world is that?!" Fluey shouted.

"A piece of a rainhow. It's supposed to defeat this joker."

"I've got news for you. It's not doing much of anything."

Cimmerian laughed and opened up his pouch. The purple streak came out of it, and sucked up the rainbow. Then it just stood there, arched like a rainbow.

"There goes the rainbow!" Fluey shouted.

"We're finished for sure!" Mike yelled.

Cimmerian began to laugh evilly. But that rainbow wasn't finished yet. It started to take over the dark rainbow.

"Wait a minute," Mike said. "It's fightin' back!"

"Eh?" Cimmerian asked.

The rainbow flew into the air, and surrounded Cimmerian and his chariot. The castle began to fall apart just then, and the wind seemed to blow stronger. Mike grabbed onto Fluey's shoulders, and got down on the ground, as if to protect him from flying debris. Sparky dug his tiny claws into the ground to avoid being swept up in the strong wind. Cimmerian couldn't take all that power. He couldn't even fight it off, either! The rainbow's magic was too strong for him, and he and his chariot exploded. The light turned the guards into birds, and the dragons into butterflies. The entire castle disappeared, and turned into a bright valley.

"Looks like all's well that ends well," Mike said.

"Almost, Shotgun," Mike said. "My magic's still gone, and a man eatin' plant ate the only mode of transportation that brought me here."

Sparky began grunting and ran over to the bushes. He moved them aside, and there was Mike's motorcycle, as well as a little container. He handed the container to Mike. Mike opened it, and was surrounded by light. Inside the container was his magic.

"What won't they think of next?" Mike asked, when the light subsided. He snapped his fingers and a helmet appeared in his hand. He handed it to Fluey, and the two boys got on the bike.

"Thanks a lot," Mike said to Sparky. Then he started up the bike. "Well, we'll be seein' ya, Sparky!"

Mike revved up the bike, and then drove off. He and Fluey waved to Sparky. Then the boys lost sight of the entire valley.

"I don't think anybody's gonna believe what happened," Fluey said.

"I think you're right," Mike said. "But I do know one thing."

"What's that?"

"I never realized how much I depended on my magic. When it got sucked out, I didn't think I could defeat Cimmerian. Show's how much I know."

"Yeah, you just used your wits. You don't really need it to be a hero, you know."

"I know. But I think I'll keep it around anyway. It comes in handy when I want to clobber Dr. Brackett!"

Mike and Fluey burst out laughing, and headed back to Los Angeles, without another worry about eternal darkness.

The End