"OK, Tina," she said to herself, "get it together. You can't let the man win, and you can't let him get the better of you." She thought long and hard. What if Frollo is playing her? What if all this passion and romance is just a ruse to sway her to his wishes? He is a master of deception, cunningly pouring on the charm to get his way. He doesn't care for anyone but himself. Most repressive, hypocritical, overly authoritarian men are extremely stuck on themselves, and they have little sympathy for those they walk all over.
"That's it!," she exclaimed, finally bounding out of bed. "He is using me! Ooh, the gall of that man!"
Tina quickly showered and dressed then called down to Esmeralda and Ariel. There was precious time to lose, and if Founders Day was to go on as planned, if the Disney Baddies aren't dispatched back to the villains' void, then Walroy could end up a police state. Not that it was going that way already. Tina's mind was made up: Claude Frollo will get his comeuppance first thing Monday morning!
"OK, we got it all in place. Now, be quiet or else they'll get wise to us. Understand?"
Quasimodo helped Ben and Kris set up the holographic machine. What a wonderful device, thought the bell ringer. Images projected that look so lifelike! With this thing, Gaston and LeFou would be scared out of their wits. But caution had to be employed. None of the villains had yet to discover the Disney heroes' presence in town, and Quasi knew that if that ever happened then it's "bye-bye" Walroy.
Ben and Andrea placed the projector, then the cassette player, in an inconspicuous place. In the shadows of thick shrubbery, the kids and bell ringer staked out the house where Gaston and LeFou stayed. It was an old house, far older than Tina's rambling place, and much smaller. Obviously Gaston chose this place because of the deep, heavily wooded front lot, dense shrubbery, and the tall wrought-iron fence. Such forbidding cover provided the dastardly pair complete privacy. And it served as a perfect hiding place for three mischievous kids and one adventurous bell ringer. Making sure the speakers were in place and well out of sight, Ben flipped the switch, then the merry foursome made their getaway. Let the marvelous machinery do its work. If it proves successful, then it's on to "Part B"...
An amazed Gaston kept punching the TV remote control, marveling at the numerous images flicking on the screen. For a character who resided in the 16th Century, he was quite taken with the magic of television. And like any male, he completely fell in love with that remote, revelling in the power it gave him. After surfing through old movies and sitcoms, Gaston settled on a "professional" wrestling match. Yeah, just his thing: a bunch of sweaty, beefy, spandex-clad guys grappling and punching each other.
LeFou, carrying a huge bowl of popcorn and a six pack, entered the room. "Find anything good on that thing?," he asked.
"Plenty," said Gaston, "You should take a gander at this wrestling show. Just what I like to see. Big guys like me getting the best of each other. Hmm...Maybe I should go for this wrestling. I'd be great! And I'd make a ton of money just being myself."
He chuckled conceitedly while stuffing his face with popcorn and chips then washing it all down with sloppy slugs of beer. LeFou laughed as well, saying, "Well, if you do ever decide to be 'Gaston the Great', can I be your manager?"
"Sure, why not." The pair settled before the TV, hooting and guffawing at the endless parade of pro wrestlers duking it out with each other. A thought came to LeFou.
"Say, Gaston, what ever became of Cruella's guys?"
"Jasper and Horace? I'm not sure. Maybe they're still around but keeping out of sight."
LeFou shrugged, saying as he stuffed chips dripping with gobs of onion dip into his mouth, "Maybe you're right. Hey, did you see that guy belly flop on those two clowns?"
Gaston laughed loudly, replying, "Yeah, and look at the fool trying to take the mask off this one."
"Oh wow! Nice head butt!"
Gaston and LeFou continued to enjoy this marvelous form of entertainment known as TV pro wrestling. So lost they were in the mayhem and madness that they almost didn't notice an odd noise coming from outside. At least it sounded as if there were prowlers just outside the front door.
LeFou was the first to pick up on the sound, saying, "Hey, did you hear that? Sounds like someone's snooping around here."
Gaston shrugged and, not bothering to get up, said, "Go check it out. Might be those pesky kids prowling around. Just shoo them away, and if they don't scat, I'll handle them."
Obeying his master's orders, LeFou went to the front window, peered out, but he saw nothing. Thinking the prowlers may hiding in the shrubbery, he went outside on the porch, took a look around but again saw nothing. He was about to go back inside when he heard the rustling again. Seems to come from the bushes around the side, so LeFou walked around the side of the house. Nothing.
"Hmm," he muttered to himself, "might be a cat or something, but Cruella's got all the town's pets locked up. Maybe one got away."
Cautiously, he crept around the rear of the house, espying something rustling high up in the elm tree in the backyard. He grabbed a stick then peered up the tree, trying to get a glimpse of whatever or whoever. The rustling started again; LeFou swore he saw movement within the branches.
Not the nimble tree-climbing sort, LeFou tried his best to scale the thing, only getting high enough to catch a glimpse of the moving object. He called up, "Whoever you are, you're gonna get it! Come on down so Gaston can thump you good!"
The movement became more pronounced. Whatever or whoever it was, to LeFou it seemed to descend from its arboreal hideout. OK, thought LeFou, just climb down, wait on the ground, arm yourself with the stick, then when the snoop comes down – Wham! LeFou waited at the base of the tree as the snoop descended. He couldn't make out if it was human or animal, but he waited, stick raised and ready.
"Come on," he called out, "Come on down, you coward!"
In an instant, whatever or whoever was up in that tree swooped down and pounced on LeFou, snarling and clawing. The poor man hadn't a chance to scream or call out to Gaston for help. The thing tumbled and rolled LeFou all over the grass, growling threateningly.
"Let me up!", LeFou cried, trying to fight off the thing. "Let go my leg!"
Suddenly, the thing released then stood over its prey. Now LeFou could get a good look at this monster who attacked him. His eyes popped and mouth gaped wide in fear.
"W-What are you? W-What do you want with me?"
The thing just stood there, growling and snarling as if wanting to devour LeFou on the spot. LeFou was no "fool" as he scrambled to his feet and hightailed it back to the house. He didn't even bother to look behind if the thing had the nerve to follow. He dashed in the back door, locked it, then peeped through the curtains. Yep, it's still out there in the backyard, still stamped and snarling. A nervously frightened LeFou went back into the living room where Gaston busily played with the TV remote.
Still stuffing his face with chips and beer, Gaston asked, "Well, did you find anything?"
LeFou tried to still his trembling when he replied, "No, not a thing. Just an old mangy squirrel who got in the gutter. I shooed it away though."
He hated lying to Gaston, but who would believe that an ugly, vicious monster just attacked him. Besides, whatever that thing was, it would definitely be back. Maybe he should tell Gaston...
"Oh, shoot! I forgot to change batteries in this remote!"
Ben, hidden behind heavy brush and at a safe distance from the house, cursed his luck. He was to activate the hologram visuals and sound effects via the remote. However, when he pressed the buttons, nothing happened. He couldn't understand it. Ben saw LeFou coming out of the house then triggered the visuals. Then the remote stalled; no images came, not even a weak glimmer.
But what was that thing that attacked LeFou? Ben saw it but couldn't, at that moment, deduce the "monster's" identity. Then it hit him. He swore he saw the monster before...
"That's it! He was in Carl's. He was all covered up in a coat and hat. He showed me his face. I know who the seventh Disney hero is!"
Never mind the rigged trap; we have the real thing!
"Say, Gaston. If I tell you something, promise you won't laugh?"
The pair sat before the TV, snacking and mindlessly watching an old Western movie. LeFou wanted to tell Gaston about the ugly monster that attacked him a few moments ago. He was still shaken up and needed Gaston to face the monster. Maybe his pal would give the monster what for, really show it who's boss. After all, Gaston is fearless, audacious, never one to shirk a challenge.
"All right, LeFou, what is it?"
"Gaston, remember when I said that noise was just a mangy old squirrel? Well, I lied. I didn't want you to think I'm a coward or worse. But I got attacked...By a monster."
Gaston just sat there, looked at LeFou blankly, then burst out laughing uproariously. He guffawed and howled, "LeFou, that is so lame! A monster? What happened? Did the little squirrel think you were a nut or something and tried to eat you? Get it? A nut?" He slapped his knees, stamped his feet, letting out endless deep belly laughs. What a fool LeFou is! Imagine, a monster, in the backyard, pouncing on the hapless creature.
"I can just see it now," he said, still laughing and mocking his buddy. "That itty bitty squirrel – it was a squirrel, wasn't it? And you, begging that itty bitty squirrel not to eat you!"
"Well, see it now, you big jerk!"
Gaston suddenly grabbed LeFou by the collar, shouting, "What did you call me?"
A trembling LeFou shook his head, saying, "It wasn't me, Gaston. Look behind you."
Gaston laughed, replying, "Oh, is it the killer squirrel again? Well, let me get my gun."
He hadn't made two steps to the gun rack when he saw it: the monster.
"You were expecting Rocky or Screwy Squirrel," it said as it stood in the middle of the room, snarling and baring its huge teeth. Aiming its sharp claws at the men, the monster lunged, tearing apart the furniture, draperies, breaking lamps. It slammed into the TV, shattering the screen and sending sparks and smoke everywhere. The monster was on an insane rampage, and Gaston and LeFou could do nothing but quiver in their tracks.
"All right," it said, "where is it?"
"Where's what?," said LeFou, hiding behind Gaston's big bulk.
"The magic remote that sends you guys back to the void."
Gaston, usually the swaggeringly fearless type yet stupendously superstitious and narrow-minded, stood transfixed as the monster continued to rip the room apart. In a shaky voice, he replied, "I don't know what you're talking about. There's no magic remote."
The thing was insistent. "Yes there is! Jasper and Horace were sent back because I saw the whole thing! Now if it's not here, who has it?"
LeFou, while hating to rat on the other two Disney villains, admitted, "Either Cruella or Frollo has it. Come on! We didn't even know what happened to J & H! We thought...Wait a minute!"
He turned to Gaston and said, "You think one of them is selling us out?"
Gaston thought a moment then said, "You know, LeFou, I think you're right. And I bet both Frollo and Cruella are just using us so they can have all the glory. Just wait till I get my hands on them."
As soon as he said that, Gaston noticed the monster was no where to be found. It was as if the thing vanished into thin air. Gaston was furious. He said to LeFou, "And I bet Frollo sent that thing to spook us. Come on, we're heading to City Hall!"
Ben waited in the bushes, hoping the "mystery hero" worked his magic on Gaston and LeFou. And he hoped Allison and Quasi wouldn't be too upset that the rigged hologram didn't work as planned. That's OK, because the seventh hero promised he'd do a number on those two.
He was tired and hungry, so he decided to leave his post. Besides, he promised he'd meet Quasi and Alison at Carl's for lunch and debriefing. Wait till they hear what happened, that LeFou got attacked by an unknown "monster".
Ben giggled, packed his belongings, then prepared to leave. Just then, he saw it: the seventh Disney hero approaching.
"So it was you who jumped LeFou. What did Gaston do when you showed yourself to him?"
The mystery hero replied, "After I tore up the house then asked them about a certain object, they got really spooked. But instead of scaring them, I think we got them ready to turn on their master. They think Frollo set them up. They're on their way to City Hall now, to confront Frollo."
"And that's," said Ben after high-fiving his friend, "where my mom is about to give Frollo his special gift."
To Be Continued...Go to Chapter 9
Copyright©2004, 2005 by PRP aka "crazedwriter". All Rights Reserved.