It wasn’t Farnsworth.
Really, it wasn’t. I know that’s who you were expecting at the door of Cheerily’s chamber, dressed up in some ridiculous Lizard King costume, maybe with Farnsworth sitting on Sasquatch’s shoulders in order to make the “Lizard King” look even taller (right!).
Farnsworth is who we were expecting, too.
But it wasn’t Farnsworth.
Instead, it was…
If you can believe it…
Yes! He was in full armor, and he staggered into the room with his breastplate and sword smeared with blood. He clattered to the floor, and I scrambled out of my sleeping bag to attend to him. To my dismay, he was gasping heavily and looking as though he might expire at any moment.
“Uncle Hector,” I cried, “what has happened?”
I leaned down to grasp the faint words emitted from his lips.
“The…wizard…sings?” I said.
He summoned his feeble breath again and repeated the same three faint words.
“The…blizzard…zings?” I said.
Uncle Hector’s eyes bulged and the waxed tips of his moustache lunged forward as though they might like to strangle me. He then summoned quite a lot of breath and bellowed:
Mayhem followed. Amaka and Cheerily began hopping around the room and screaming as if they had just won two front-row tickets to the Earwigs’ Annual Cheese Festival Concert.
“Has the monster returned?” I asked my uncle.
“He…is…coming!” gasped Uncle Hector.
“I thought it was only a story!” Amaka wailed.
Uncle Hector did his best to explain.
“Thanks to Sir Chikehed, I met the creature in the Wyvern Weald.”
“Sir Chikehed?” I said. “Cheerily’s ancestor?”
Uncle Hector nodded.
“His ghost returned to warn me of the monster’s return. I had no time to enlist the aid of Sir Armory or any of the other knights. I rode into the Weald ready to do battle, but the monster was…too much for me. Then Sir Chikehed’s ghost appeared by my side in the Weald. He told me that as a ghost he could not defeat the lizard, but that he could hold him off for a brief time, long enough for me to ride here to warn Cheerily.”
It being a lovely late-summer evening, we had left open up the windows of Cheerily’s chamber. Through them now a grim moan wafted.
“CHEER-I-LEE! IT IS COMING! THE MONSTER IS COMING!”
The three of us girls swept to the window–and in the darkness down below we saw the spirit of Sir Chikehead Chatterbox!
He was a figure all in white–wild white hair, prodigiously long white beard, and a white cloak. The only thing not white were his dark, sunken eyes. Waving his rusted sword over his head he moaned loudly up to us–
“CHEER-I-LEE! DEAR CHEER-I-LEE! THE LIZARD KING IS COMING! IT KNOWS IT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY AND IT IS COMING FOR YOU! I COULD NO LONGER KEEP IT AT BAY.”
Cheerily hit the floor like a marionette whose strings have been cut.
Then we heard a house-rattling stomp upon the stairs below…
TO BE CONTINUED IN OUR VERY NEXT EPISODE