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2.31: The Rescue

August 12, 2011

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“Lazlo!” Isadora cried as she made her way to the bars which held her captive. “You’re here! You’re here! Oh, my love, you’re here. But, dear, why are you here?”

“To rescue you, of course,” came Lazlo’s proud reply. He moved closer to the bars, reaching out for his lost love. Lazlo wanted to rip the bars out one by one with his bare hands. He turned to Maria and Allie instead. “Can one of you open the door with magic, or something?” he asked.

Maria shook her head. “It’s a locked door, Lazlo,” she said, very nearly rolling her eyes. “What you need is a key. And I bet I know where she keeps them.”

Lazlo brightened as Maria went back down the stairs. “My Isa, my Isa,” he said over and over, holding Isadora’s hand through the bars. “I have wished for this moment for so long.” Isadora held on too, but it seemed to Allie there was something she was not saying just yet. There was a sadness in her eyes that Allie couldn’t quite figure.

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Maria went down one flight of stairs, and roamed a long hall until she came to the door still etched in her memory – Bella’s private room. It’s still here, in the same place, Maria thought with a shudder. The same cauldron fire burned as she entered the room, and legions of memories stormed Maria’s senses. Her arms pricked with goosebumps as she tried to push the memories back. There was so much here she wanted to forget, to push out of her consciousness forever.

The room looked the same. Papers were strewn about, many with notes and incantations written in Bella’s script. Old bottles lined the walls, some empty, some full. On the shelves were glass jars filled with various herbs, bones and other things Maria didn’t want to think about just at that moment. Strange, she thought, as she spied a broken crystal ball containing a replica of Bella Goth standing next to an older man. I don’t remember that being here before. She had a mission, though, and no time to linger. As she looked around some more, sure enough, she saw an old set of keys sitting next to a full wine glass, though she knew it was not filled with wine.

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She wondered what the potion would do if she drank it as she stared at a crooked painting of Bella that hung on the wall. “I hate you,” she said suddenly, emotion taking over. She spoke out loud, though the empty room was the only one there to hear. “I hate you with all of my being. You took everything from me, my sister, my father, my own mind. I will spend the rest of my life destroying you, and I will win.”  A baby’s wail rang out through the castle walls, and Maria was jolted back to the present.  With one last look around her, she grabbed the keys off Bella’s work table and ran back to where Lazlo and Allie waited.

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Once the door was opened, Lazlo ran in to Isadora and his baby girl. His heart felt so full of love he thought he might die right there in the cell. Isadora he’d waited for, and for so many years, and here now was little baby Bel, his precious princess, still the same, staring up at him from her crib with those big blue eyes. He grabbed Isadora, wrapped her in a passionate embrace, followed by a steamy kiss.

Oh ew, thought Allie, after she’d taken an uncomfortable seat in the corner, but she kept her mouth shut. Lazlo looked at Isadora with such a look of longing, Allie was beginning to think she was going to have to give them some privacy, until she saw him glance back at the crib.

“May I?” he asked Isadora quietly.

She smiled. It was a small smile, but it spoke volumes about her love for Lazlo. “Of course,” Isadora said. “You’re her father.”

“I’m so sorry, Isadora,” Lazlo said, suddenly near tears. “I should have been there. I should have stopped this from happening.”

“No,” came Isadora’s reply. She picked up the little girl from where she stood in her crib, and placed the precious bundle in Lazlo’s outstretched arms. “Everything is happening exactly as it needed to,” was all she said, leaving Allie to wonder more about what was going on in the mind of this cryptic woman.

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Lazlo didn’t seem to notice. He was enthralled. He looked as if he’d fallen head over heels in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, and Allie figured that was probably exactly how he felt. She tried to imagine having a child of her own one day, the next heir, she thought. She couldn’t. It just seemed too far away.  But for Lazlo it was, finally, his here and now.  And he couldn’t be happier.

Allie noticed Maria still standing outside of the cell door. “Aren’t you coming in?” she asked. Maria didn’t seem to hear. “Maria,” asked Allie, louder. “Aren’t you coming in?”

“No,” said Maria, looking off into the furthest cell. “There’s something else I need to do.”

“Seriously,” demanded Allie. “Why can’t anyone give me a damn straight answer today?” But when she looked back, Maria was gone.

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Maria walked over to the first cell, moving slowly. She could already feel Bella’s evil seeping into her body, and could see the first tendrils of green beginning to form around her. She’d known she would be susceptible to Bella’s evil magic, which permeated the halls of this castle, but she hadn’t guessed it would happen this fast. They would have to work more quickly than planned. But first, there was a sound she needed to investigate, and the nagging feeling she wouldn’t like what she found.

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As she peeked through the bars to the first cell, Maria saw the old man. He had gotten up from the bed, and was wringing his hands, mumbling to himself, over and over, the same word. She thought she heard, but couldn’t be sure…her name? Maria strained her ears, trying to block out the chatter from Isadora’s cell next door, trying to focus on the words of this old man.

“Mira…” came the voice, a faint whisper on the air. “Mira…”

“Mira?” said Maria, not meaning to say it aloud.

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“My Mira,” said the man again, looking straight at Maria. “My Mira is missing. Do you know where she is? I’ve looked so hard for her, but she is gone.” The old man stared at Maria, looking so lost and forlorn. She looked at him, this miserable shell of a creature, and felt her heart might shatter like glass. She pulled out the ring of keys and opened his cell door.

“Dad?” she whispered. “Dad, is that you?”

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“Mira?” said the man. “Mira, have you come back? I went to find you, but you were gone. Everyone is gone, Mira, my sweet Mirabella.”

“No, Dad, it’s me. Maria,” she said, taking his frail hands in her own. “Your other daughter. Mira is…not here right now.”

The man blinked, as if to clear away the confusion. He shook his head. “Maria?” he asked. “I don’t understand. Where is everyone? Where is your mother? How are you so grown up already?”

Though she tried to feel pity, her heart filled with hate. She wanted to yell, to kick and scream at this man. This man who’d left her, abandoned them all to play house with Bella Goth. She should save him, she thought. But a bigger part of her wanted him to suffer, suffer the way she’d suffered all those years without him. Suffer the way Mira must have suffered the night she was killed. “No,” she said suddenly, “I just can’t. Goodbye, Dad.”

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As she walked out of the cell, the old man went back to his cry of despair. He looked at Maria. “Mira…Mira. Have you seen my Mira?” he asked her once again. “She’s lost. I’ve looked so hard for her…”

Maria walked back to the second cell, rage boiling in her veins. The reunion between Lazlo and his family was still going strong. It was all she could do to keep from shooting fire from her fingertips at the loving family. “We have to go,” she said simply. “We’ve stayed too long as it is.”

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Lazlo grinned from ear to ear. “Come on, Isa, this is it. I’ve got baby Bel here, don’t worry about her. Time to go home little princess,” he then whispered in the child’s ear. Allie and Maria were both standing out in the hallway, waiting. In the moment of silence that followed, Allie figured this was when Isadora was going to drop the bomb on Lazlo. As it turned out, she was right.

“We’re not going with you,” Isadora said quietly.

Lazlo looked stunned for just a second, then shook his head as if he couldn’t have heard the words correctly. “What?” he asked, looking hard at Isadora’s face.

She took a deep breath. “We’re not coming with you,” she repeated. “Please put Bel into her crib, and I’ll try to explain.”

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Lazlo did as instructed, although putting his little girl back into her dilapidated crib was the hardest thing he’d ever done in his life. “But why?” he said, now on the verge of tears.

“Don’t you see?” Isadora began, tears of her own spilling down her face. “If I go with you, if Bel leaves this place, Bella will hunt us down and kill us for sure. As long as we’re here, we’re safe. She won’t hurt baby Bel, for whatever reason. She won’t even let us age. I don’t know how she’s doing it, but we sit here in some sort of…stasis…just waiting. There’s an evil plan, I know it, and I’m sure it has something to do with our little girl, Lazlo, but if we leave, and Bella Goth is still alive, she won’t rest until she finds us again. And then what? No, I won’t leave. Not until Bella Goth is dead. Not until we’re safe from her.”

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Lazlo was stunned. He’d planned for so many contingencies, so many different things that could have gone wrong on this day, but never once had he imagined Isadora wouldn’t want to go with him. “Then I’ll stay here with you. Bella can have me too. It’ll be like a bonus.”

“No, dear,” Isadora said softly. “If she wanted you here, she would have you. For whatever reason, you’re of no use to her. She would only kill you, or worse. I won’t let you do that to our family. You must find a way to defeat Bella Goth, then we can be together – a family.”

“Lazlo,” Allie urged from the hallway, “it’s getting dark out. We have to go now.”

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Lazlo peered down at his now sleeping baby. “I know you’re right,” he said to Isadora. “I know it, but how can I leave you again. How can I leave her?”

“You have to,” said Isadora. “Because you love us, you have to leave us here, just for now.”

“Just for now,” he repeated, and because he could not bear to do more, he kissed her quickly on the cheek before he walked out, leaving his wife and baby daughter once more locked inside the cell.

Meanwhile, Allie and Maria had moved down the hall. Allie watched Maria stare at the old man for several minutes before she spoke.

“Who is that, Maria?” Allie asked. “I heard you two talking earlier.”

Maria glanced back, trying to judge Lazlo’s progress. “It’s my dad,” she said.

“What?” Allie said. “Your dad? Well, get him out of there!”

“No,” Maria said.

“No? What, will Bella kill him too if he leaves?”

“I don’t think so,” Maria said. “But I might.”

Allie stomped her foot. Enough was enough. “Damn it, open this cell, and get in there and save your father.”

Maria eyed Allie with a withering glance.

“I don’t wanna hear your bull shit story,” Allie said. “I’ve had enough of people being all wishy-washy today. I came here to save someone, and by the Goddess, I’m going to save someone. Open up.” Maria simply handed the keys over to Allie and started for the stairs. If Allie wanted to save her father, well, she was welcome to him. Maria didn’t want any part of it.

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In the other cell, Lazlo looked back once more at the love of his life. “I will come back for you, again,” he said. Isadora simply stood there, and quietly watched as he walked away.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. debc permalink
    August 12, 2011 3:55 pm

    Rescue is not going well. They need to eliminate Bella.

  2. pieridae permalink*
    August 13, 2011 10:02 pm

    lol. Does anything ever go well with the DiPoteres?

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