She got on the phone again, this time calling City Hall. If Ruth, that snotty secretary, had any sense, she'd bypass Frollo and page Gaston. At least he'd have no problem skinning a few furry pets.
"Hello, Ruth? Cruella here. Where is Gaston? I need him to do a job for me...What do you mean he and LeFou aren't there?." Really long pause here while Cruella listened to Ruth's explanation as to why Gaston wasn't there.
"WHAT? They simply 'disappeared'? How? And just who sent them back to the void? He did what??!! With what?! HOW DARE HE DO THIS TO ME! Where is the no-good lout? He's...WHERE??!!"
"I'll get you for this, Tina! Let me down! Now! And that's an order!"
A few moments ago, Judge Claude Frollo literally salivated over the new torture chamber and begged for a demonstration. Naturally, since this chamber was actually a converted jail cell, and that the devices operated electronically, a 1400's man would have no idea how this stuff worked. So kind of Tina to oblige with a quick tutorial. However, His Honor had no inkling he would be on the business end!
It all began so innocently...
Perhaps it was the euphoria of the moment: A quite proud Tina showing off to a very ecstatic Claude Frollo all the gadget of pain. There was one that caught Frollo's eye; he wanted a demonstration, and Tina was all too obliging.
"It is really made from a variety of devices: an old horse harness, hydraulic lift, and garage door opener," she said while showing Frollo how to strap in a criminal.
"You just put this on," she said, adjusting the cinch around Frollo's narrow waist, taking care not to muss the judge's fine black velvet robe. "Then, you stand back and press this button."
With control in hand, Tina had her finger poised on the button. However, Frollo said, "This is all very nice, my dear. But I'd rather not become a...how do you put it? A guinea pig. Now, get me out of this contraption then I shall treat you to lunch."
Tina grinned, saying with a wicked gleam in her eye, "Oh, I thought–" Her cell phone rang just as she was about to press the "ON" button. Frowning, she said, "I'm so sorry. It's one of my kids. Mind if I take it here?"
Frollo smiled broadly while Tina made the phone conversation short. He smiled even broader when he caught her own beautiful mouth stretching into a delighted grin, her eyes brightening as if she had received good news.
"Apparently," he said as Tina closed her phone,
"that was good news, judging from the lovely smile."
She grinned broader, replying, "Oh, yes. Very good news. Seems someone passed along a suggestion for ridding this town of bad guys."
Frollo appeared intrigued, asking, "And what is this suggestion?"
"This!," she replied with a firm press of the control button.
In an instant, Judge Claude Frollo found himself yanked up by the "torture swing", sort of a bungee jump in reverse. The judge, in the restraints of harness and chains, bounced through the air, his robe flying with every swing, exposing his thin, purple hose-clad legs. His usually neat gray hair flew wildly about his head; one shoe came off.
Claude Frollo sputtered and boomed, cursing and damning Tina as she stood there on the floor beneath, laughing and whooping. She pressed more buttons, sending Frollo flying in all directions as if on a mad, wild amusement ride.
Claude Frollo, a man not used to being made the butt of a cruel joke (Lord knows he'd already been through that courtesy of a certain dancer and bell ringer), bellowed while struggling in the chains and harness.
"I swear, if you don't free me of this contraption, you will pay! How DARE you take advantage of–"
"Do you mean I'm 'taking advantage' of your so-called love for me? Save it, Frollo! I had your number long ago. I knew you were playing me, so it's only fair that I...Wait, hold on."
Her phone went off again. It was Ruth who relayed important information. Not to worry, Tina said, just let Simba and Aladar do their thing to Cruella, then lead her down to the jail where Ms. DeVille will join Frollo.
"I'm sure," she said before ending the call, "the good judge won't mind the company. Hey, why not send the female side of the Disney Seven down here. It's only fair His Honor should understand Walroy is determined to get rid of its invaders."
Frollo, still struggling to free himself, boomed, "If you think you'll get away with this, you are sadly mistaken. Idiot! Mark my words, Tina! You will pay for this outrage. Now, get me down!"
Tina grinned, replying, "Oh no, Claude. No way am I freeing you. You and your cronies have done enough damage. You don't know it, but a few Disney heroes have infiltrated your little operation. Yep, it worked for Gaston and LeFou, got them to make you out as a turncoat. And you know, it worked. We already know what happened to Jasper and Horace. Nice little device Sid made up for you, Frollo. I'm sure Gaston didn't know about it until a certain hero tipped his hand. No wonder he and his henchman stormed into the office, and you obliged by sending them back to the villains' void. You had the power to send them all back, yet you wanted to keep the glory to yourself. Selfish, selfish, selfish!"
Claude Frollo, clearly at the end of his rope (no pun intended!), scowled and glowered...That famous awful glare that few could stand – Except Tina and other ladies who refused to be suckered in by the man's 'bad-boy' charm.
He was ready to threaten again when footsteps clambered down the stairs. With a look of relief, he said, "There! That must be two of my best soldiers. They will free me, and you, my dear, will soon find yourself locked in this infernal contraption!"
At first, Tina feared what Frollo said to be the truth. What if those two brutish guards had already clapped Ruth, Esmeralda, and Ariel in shackles, and that they were heading down to the jail to arrest her? The phone rang again, Tina picked up and breathed a sigh of relief. It was not Frollo's soldiers after all; it was the "calvary" so to speak.
"Hah!," she said to Frollo with triumph. "Seems your soldiers are...umm...'tied up' as well. So now you have me and a few friends to deal with."
Frollo was livid! "Mark my words, Tina, you and your friends shall pay. No doubt Ruth is part of this pitiable charade. She, too, shall suffer the worst punishment I can dish out! Once I'm free, I shall import a few items of pain from my own dungeon, then we'll see who has the last laugh."
"I wouldn't bet on it, Frollo!"
That voice sounded a tad familiar...The same voice that called him a fool before all of Paris, the same that mocked and insulted him...
The look on his face said it all as that person, along with three other ladies, appeared in the room.
"Esmeralda!," His Honor said in shock.
Out at the old warehouse, Cruella fumed. No Jasper or Horace around, and, most damning, all of the town's pets seemingly vanished into thin air. Where were the numerous dogs and cats? Why are the cages open and empty? Where were Jasper and Horace? "Those two!," she muttered angrily, her face skewed into an ugly frown, her eyes blazing. "They made off with MY fur! What else can explain it? This is the last time I trust those bumbling idiots. When I get my hands on them..."
"Uh, if you are looking for your partners, they've gone back to the void."
Cruella wheeled around to see, of all things, a lion and –– Ms. DeVille couldn't believe her eyes –– a dinosaur approaching. In an instant she recognized the highly unusual pair. Eyeing them with suspicion, she said, "Aren't you Simba? And you, Aladar? What are you doing here? Has life on Pride Rock and the Nesting Grounds gotten a tad boring? What else explains your presence here."
Aladar, trying to keep a straight face, explained, "Cruella, I know this seems kind of weird, but Frollo sent for us. He said he needed help now that Gaston and LeFou have been sent back to the void. He sent Jasper and Horace back, too. Or didn't you know that?"
Now Cruella was really steamed. How dare Frollo not inform her of Jasper and Horace's abrupt return, and that His Honor sent Gaston back as well.
"Do you mean to tell me Claude Frollo has sold me out? The nerve of him! I suppose he's the one who absconded with the town's furry beasts."
"Yes," replied Simba, "and he has them all locked up elsewhere. Some place where you can't get to them, or so he told us."
Cruella puffed furiously on her cigarette, sending forth plumes of smoke that stung Simba's eyes. She stroked the softness of her ermine and sable stole, pondering ways to get back at Frollo.
Aladar picked up on this, saying, "For what it's worth, I know you've missed out on your...err...cat fur jacket." He tried not to wince as he spoke those words. Just recalling how he came to Simba's aid when the Lion King nearly became part of Cruella's wardrobe was painful enough. He thought of what Quasimodo told him about the "mystery hero" then said, "Cruella, just forget about the pet fur. How about a fur coat made from a truly rare animal?" He winked at Simba, who added, "Yeah, we're sore at Frollo, too, and we hate to see you get sold out. So Aladar and I got our heads together and..."
They went on telling Cruella about a rare animal whose fur is the most exquisite shade of blue, and with unusual markings. "Frollo doesn't know we brought it with us. He's been after it all along, and doesn't want you to know about it. So why not show him up by wearing a coat made from this animal's fur?"
Cruella's eyes lit up. A wicked smile spread across her pale, gaunt death's mask face. Then she laughed uproariously. Lighting another cigarette, she said, "Boys, I do believe you've made my day! Blue fur, eh? Rare beast, huh? Should show Frollo a thing or two when I arrive swathed in rare blue fur, the very thing he's been hunting!"
Aladar and Simba then told Cruella something else: The special device used to send the other villains back to the void.
The former said, "He had Sid make it up for him just before you guys escaped. Seems Frollo's had it in for all of you from the beginning. He'd hoped – and I got this straight from Sid – to take you and Gaston along for the ride, only to send you guys back, leaving him to rule Walroy by himself."
A flustered Cruella said, "I knew it! Of all the Disney villains to deal with, I had to be stuck with Frollo! I would have known he'd sell me out. So, he wanted the glory for himself. He sent back my own henchmen
without my knowledge. And he has the audacity to rob me of owning a rare blue fur! He wants it all! But I'll tell you, he won't get it! Now, tell me where to get my hands on this rare animal."
Simba hedged a bit and looked at Aladar. If the "mystery hero" is still in town, Quasimodo will have to bring him/her to City Hall. Only then will the Disney Seven be able to give Cruella and Frollo their comeuppance – and send them packing.
"Well," said the Lion King, "we'll have to secure the beast. See, it's really ugly and temperamental. Let Aladar and I bring it to Mayor Lee, and he'll bring it 'round to City Hall. But please don't tip Frollo's hand."
"May I make a suggestion," said Aladar. "Why don't we bring it to the old jail. No one uses it, and Frollo won't be down there. We can get the secretary to help sneak it downstairs. Cruella, once that thing is securely in the jail, come on down and it's yours."
Cruella thought about this, smiled, then said, "You know, that sounds like a good plan. What Frollo doesn't know won't hurt him. OK, you get the little blue beast all locked up, and I'll meet you in the jail."
"And, Cruella," said Simba, "Mum's the word. I just want you and Frollo to get what you both so truly deserve."
TO BE CONTINUED...GO TO CHAPTER 11
Copyright © 2004, 2005 by PRP "crazedwriter"