The castle, well, looked quite castle like to be honest, which wasn’t much of a surprise. All the walls, floors and such were made out of stone, and the doors were of the big oaken, almost impossible to move, creaking variety. Some improvements had been made, though, for a start it was heated, and there was electricity in it too. Hans liked what he was seeing.
The tour quickly swept through the kitchens, great hall, bedrooms, hallways, scientific laboratories (quite why they were here confused Hans, but then so had the rest of what he’d seen today) and libraries. It was all done at quite a pace, so it rather surprised Hans when Mervin came to an abrupt stop outside one particular door. He turned to look at Hans with a face that reeked of seriousness, and warned, “You’d do well to cover yeh eyes, laddie.”
Hans didn’t bother he’d seen some pretty odd stuff around the place; it wasn’t exactly like one more room was going to hurt him. Even so, Hans drew breath as Mervin opened the door with a long droning creak.
It was worse than Hans could imagine. The chapel (if indeed it was supposed to be one, Hans thought it looked quite chapel like, the large crucifix was a bit of a giveaway) was a certain nauseating shade of bright pink, with orange splatterings here and there. And he didn’t dare focus on any of the furniture long enough to see what had been done to them.
“I take it yeh want me to sort out that mess then,” said Mervin.
“Of course,” replied Hans, “how on Earth did it get that awful?”
“The previous owner was part of some crazy religious group,” Mervin answered in disgust. Then raising his voice added, “’N’ look what he did to such a special place, it’s a disgrace!”
Feeling scared, Hans nodded in agreement as Mervin led him back the way they’d come and on through several more passage ways. He’d been saving the best part of the tour ‘til last, because this guy deserved it. He wasn’t some pompous, beer-bellied, crazy religious cult, lottery winning millionaire, he seemed to just be an ordinary bloke, admittedly not the sharpest knife in the draw, but not some dysfunctional electric chopping device that only ever seems to manage to chop into you rather than anything else. Yes, this guy was a vast improvement.
As he reached the door at the end of the corridor, he opened it slowly (more because it was slightly stuck, rather than for dramatic effect) and with a look of pride announced, “The Garden.”
They strode out into the lush green space; gravel paths stretched this way and that in front of them. Above on iron sconces extending from the walls hung candles, illuminating the ground below. They walked to the centre of the garden where yet another large candle stood proud atop a pedestal.
“So,” said Mervin, taking a long pause for effect before continuing, “Whaa do yeh think o’ my garden?”
“Well,” said Hans, trying to buy time so that he didn’t say anything stupid like usual. “It’s err... very nice and err... colourful, yeah,” he bumbled. “You’ve got this kind of sweeping effect,” he added as he waved his arm to demonstrate, smashing straight into the pedestal.
At this point three things happened. The first was that Hans arm caught fire and he began flailing around like, well, someone with their arm on fire. The second was that the pedestal fell to the floor, also setting fire to the plants around it. Thirdly, and rather less significantly, in a nearby city, a drunk, unshaven man stumbled across of 48 bottles of beer, and decided that if he was conservative they might just last him two days.
Mervin had seen the disaster unfold in front of him, he knew he had to act quickly, and so he reached into his pocket, pulled out something that looked drumstick shaped, and waved it in a circle in front of him, shouting “Brie and Camembert Sandwich!”
The rain began falling heavily immediately, taking little time to both put out the fires and soak the two men in the garden. Hans carried on smashing his arm against the floor for a minute or so before realising it was no longer on fire. He stood up straight, and then began to run to the castle for shelter from the rain, but after only a few steps he stopped. There was no rain here, yet just a few metres away, Mervin was still being drenched by it, something clearly wasn’t right. He stretched out his hand to make sure he wasn’t hallucinating, and yes, particles of water did bombard his hand. He stopped to think about this and failed to notice Mervin cross his arms before his body and shout, “Cease!”
Thus it rather startled Hans when it stopped raining before his eyes. What startled him even more was that Mervin was pointing a stick at him.
Hans dived for cover; there was something unsettling about someone you barely knew pointing at you.
“Eliminate,” shouted Mervin.
In mid air Hans was shocked to discover that all his clothing had suddenly become dry, but seconds later when he hit the floor, it went back to that damp feel again. He pulled himself to his feet, feeling like a bit of an idiot, and dusted himself off. Quite why he did this he wasn’t sure, as it didn’t serve any kind of purpose; you can’t exactly dust off water, what with it being a liquid.
“Sos... I guess I’ll stay put this time then,” said Hans apologetically.
Mervin grunted, then pointed what Hans had now realised was his wand at him and shouted, “Eliminate!”
This time Hans remained dry, so he turned himself to the other inconvenience from the fire accident. He grabbed his arm, and for failure of being able to think of any other words that would grab Mervin’s attention, said, “Erm.”
“Yes, well we’re just about to go to a library to look up the words for that,” answered Mervin hurriedly, reading his mind.
“Oh,” replied Hans. Feeling vaguely powerless and bewildered as to what was happening he resorted to the regular human practice of following the person who looks like they know what they’re doing. It couldn’t get much worse, he thought to himself.