The sun had set and the party was beginning everywhere. All over the kingdom there were different celebrations going on. Whether it was in a street block, a school gymnasium, a club house, in the middle of a park, or just in someone's backyard, there would be a big gathering. But the biggest party was going on in the ballroom of the palace. The whole room was full of people, all dressed in many shades of blue and awaiting for the arrival of their king and queen.
The orchestra on the music stand had come to the last note of the song they were playing at the moment. As soon as they finished, the leader was given the signal from the stage. He quickly lifted his baton and called out the song to the musicians. They all raised the instruments and started right on the downbeat. The kingdom's national anthem filled the air around the ballroom and was followed by a loud applause.
Mickey stepped out from behind the curtain with Minnie's arm around his own and Pluto trotting on his other side. Following behind them were Daisy and her life long sweetheart, Donald Duck. Behind them were Goofy Goof, escorting Marina on his arm. Last in line were Clarabelle and Horace Horsecollar. All of the men were wearing blue tuxedos with the exception of Mickey's royal red sash across his chest. The ladies wore lovely attire that shimmered in the light of the room, but none of them surpassed the radiance of Queen Minnie in her beautiful gown.
Mickey waved to the guests, "Hi ever'body! And welcome to the Ball of the Great Sorcerer! I thank you all for coming! We're all glad you could make it." He raised his other hand to quiet the cheers right as he and Minnie were given their glasses of punch by a penguin servant. Mickey raised his glass, "And now, let's all remember why we are celebrating tonight. Let's us all have a toast to our former leader."
Everybody in the ballroom raised a glass.
Mickey paid tribute, "Here's to him. To the Great Sorcerer. Wherever he may be."
All of the guests raised their glasses, "To the Great Sorcerer."
Everyone took a sip of their drinks. All but Marina. She stood behind all of her friends with her mind a million miles away.
Minnie smiled and announced, "And now, let the dancing begin!"
The music filled the air and everyone started dancing with their partners.
Donald finished his punch and right on the last gulp, Daisy grabbed him by the arm. She dragged him down to the dancing floor saying, "C'mon, Donald! Let's dance! I love this song!"
Donald spoke, "But Daisy! Can't we eat first?"
"No way! I wanna dance!" she hugged her boyfriend tightly and started dancing with him a little faster than everyone else around them.
Goofy tipped his hat to everyone who waved hello to him. After all, he was one of the most popular guy in the kingdom next to Mickey. Then he bowed to Marina, "You sure look purty tonight, Marina. That's a very nice dress Mickey got you."
"Thank you, Goofy," she answered quietly with her mind still elsewhere.
He noticed that there was something wrong from the look on her face. He placed a hand on her shoulder, "Are you okay, Marina?"
"Huh?" Marina finally stopped staring into space and looked up at her old friend. "What did you say?"
"I hate to pry," said Minnie as she came up to her and Goofy, "But your mind has been faraway most of the day. Mickey told me you thought you saw a pirate today."
"I thought I did, but it just couldn't be. I mean, I was just fighting against Blackbeard again, then all of a sudden he shows up in the clearing. Sounds kind of silly, huh?"
Minnie giggled, "You have a vivid imagination, Marina. I remember a few years ago when you thought you saw Captain Flint and his men."
"After all, what are the odds that someone like Captain Silver would set foot in this world?" Marina cracked a smile. "Not very likely. It's not wise for a ruffian like him to set foot around here."
"Well, let's just enjoy the evening," Mickey held her hand.
Goofy tipped his hat again, "May I have this dance Marina?"
"I'd like to get a bite to eat first," she spoke modestly. "Maybe the next one?"
"I'll be saving it for you," he winked.
While she made her way down to the long table full of food and snacks, Mickey looked at the others. Minnie and Goofy just shrugged not knowing what could be wrong.
"She hasn't said 'Maybe the next dance' in years," said Mickey.
"You think she's okay?" Minnie asked.
"She seemed a little spooked when I found her in the clearing," Mickey answered. "Maybe she really did see something." He looked to the floor and thought hard. He snapped his fingers, "It might be nothing, but I might as well not let there be a risk. Goofy, do me a favor."
"Yes, sir?" Goofy saluted.
"Have the guards check around the walls of the palace. Tell Captain Ward to keep an sharp eye out just in case."
"Yes, sir!" Goofy clicked his heels.
As Goofy made his way across the ballroom to find the captain of the guard, Pluto followed Marina to the table. As she was taking a plate looking for what to pick out first, he nuzzled against her. It really caught her attention. She found him smiling at her with his large puppy eyes. For that, Marina finally made a half smile and scratched him behind the ears. It was fine enough for him to see a smile come from her even if it was a small one.
"Maybe I really did imagine him after all, Plu," she told him.
Pluto barked once as though he asked, "Who?"
She stroked his head, "Captain John Silver."
Pluto gasped and gave out a growl.
"My thoughts exactly," she came down to him and scratched his chin. "But. . . if it wasn't my imagination, I really don't think there's much reason to be so nervous. After all, rumor has it that he has turned privateer for Queen and Empire. There are still the rumors that must be true of what went on at Flint's trove between him and that boy."
"You really think it was really him?" said a raspy little voice.
Marina looked up at the table finding the two little chipmunks, Chip and Dale next to a bowl of nuts.
"Chipper! Dale! How long have you two been listening?"
"Long enough, Marina," Chip answered.
"Still, do you really think it was him?" Dale asked. "You think he was really there?"
"I just don't know," she scratched the back of her neck. "I saw him for only a second and then he was gone the moment I turned around. It's not very likely that he would come here. It's just crazy."
"That is rather strange for a pirate to dare come around this world," Chip scratched his chin. "But. . . are you sure you were imagining it?"
"It had to be my imagination. Remember when I thought I was under attack by Captain Flint and his men? Heck, Donald suggested I see a doctor."
That was when Pluto looked over to the stage with his ears perked up. He turned with a curious look in his eyes.
"Plu? What is it?" Marina asked.
He took a few steps forward. He seemed like he smelled and heard something odd.
"What 'cha smell, boy?" Dale asked.
Pluto headed for the stage and continued on through the curtain. Marina was too curious to stay put that she made her way up to the stage. She looked behind the curtain and saw Pluto heading for the library. Before he entered, he growled angrily and continued into the library. Chip and Dale came to her ankles and watched with her.
"Should we follow him?" Marina asked.
"I think we should," Chip answered. "I haven't seen him act like this for years."
So they left the ballroom. Pluto led the way through the library and down a few halls looking like a hunting dog tracking down his game. When he came to the doors that led out to the garden he stopped at the post he stopped and started sniffing under the door.
"What is it, boy?" Dale asked.
Pluto stopped and looked as though he recognized the scent he picked up. He growled loudly and gritted his teeth. Marina reached for the doorknobs when she noticed the fur on Pluto's back standing up.
"Pluto?" asked Chip.
Marina cracked the doors open and peeked outside. When she saw nothing, she opened them the rest of the way. There was still nothing out in the gardens but the hundreds of flowers and vegetables. Pluto marched out with with caution and kept growling with his fur up.
"Plu? Plu, what's wrong?" Marina took a step forward.
Chip ran over to Pluto's side and looked around to find what he was growling about. Dale climbed up to Marina's shoulder as she stepped down the three stairs. A cold chill was going down her spine as she was getting a bad feeling of being out there. She wanted to hurry over to Pluto's side knowing that she would be safer, but before she could take a step, she, the chipmunks, and Pluto went frozen. A sound broke the silence in the garden. It was a strange howl that sounded like a combination of squealing pig and a bit of a human scream. It started low and started to grow louder.
"Oh no!" Chip gasped.
"No, no, no!" Dale held on to Marina's shoulder. "Not this! Not here! Not now!"
Marina's heart thumped as it never did before in her life from this sound that was ringing in her ears. She really wanted to cover her ears, but she was shivering with fear.
"Chip, Dale. . . Pluto," Marina panted. "What's going on?"
Suddenly, Pluto zipped around and growled louder with fury. Marina had never seen him look like this that her throat went sore with her heart pounding in it.
Chip turned around and saw what Pluto was growling at. He gasped and pointed, "Marina! Dale! Behind you!"
Marina looked directly behind her seeing nothing at first. Then movement caught her eye. She looked up and saw a dozen strange shadows crawling on the ivy walls like spiders. One by one the shadows started to take shape from flat silhouettes into dark solid creatures. Each of the creatures leaped high into the air and over the group. Pluto, Chip, Dale, and Marina all watched them as they landed softly behind them like cats.
All of them were in the shape of knee high black beasts with blades upon their joints and on top of their heads. Their razor sharp talons clawed at the ground as their eyes that glowed an eerie red color. The creatures looked at the doorway. Their mouths opened with a yellow glow coming from their throats revealing their long fangs. All of them gave out a frightening growl as they were getting ready to pounce.
Marina tried not to move, "Guys. . . what are those?"
Pluto then zipped around and barked at Marina to get her to run!
This caused all of the creatures in the garden to give out loud roars of a cougar!
Marina turned around and ran right as Chip and Dale screamed at the top of their little lungs, "NIGHTMARES!!!!"
With Pluto running close behind her with Chip on his back, Marina could hear the sound of the Nightmares rustling through the garden and crashing through the doors seconds after she closed them. She zipped around and ran for it as one Nightmare clawed at her missing her foot by inches, but leaving a large rip in her gown. Pluto kept barking in his sprint to tell Marina to keep going and not look back, but Marina couldn't help but glance over her shoulder just once to see the Nightmares chasing them down like a pack of rabid dogs. Even in a small glance, seeing the glowing red eyes of those monsters, every story of them in the past was coming back to Marina.
This wasn't the first time the Nightmares came to the world of Magic Kingdom. Two centuries before, they nearly ruled every world with their power of fear. Because of everyone fearing their bad dreams, the Nightmares were born from the power of the fear in all hearts. There was no stopping of their creation. Those with hearts of greed, pride, and all evil were the ones capable of controlling the Nightmares. Consumed with their powers of leadership to them, they were called Class One Nightmares. However, by a miraculous power, the Nightmares were downgraded in power. This was possible with the Great Sorcerer, himself, for he placed a spell upon everyone throughout the Universe to keep them from remembering what they fear in their bad dreams. Without the fear, the Nightmares cannot increase in power and grow weak and frail, even against a simple gunshot.
Even though the creatures were weak, the Class One Nightmares continued on. Many of these Class One were included in history books, even those like Blackbeard, and the notorious Captain Nathaniel Flint himself! With people like this around the Etherium and other worlds, fear was always around. But the fear in dreams remained in the dark. Therefore, the creatures stayed weak.
Many years before Marina was born, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy fought against a number of remaining Nightmares in Magic Kingdom. They served the Great Sorcerer after he granted them powerful weapons to defend his world. After succeeding, the Great Sorcerer disappeared leaving his world in the hands of his apprentice, Mickey.
And now. . . this was happening after all the years.
This was the first time Marina had ever seen Nightmares. She never imagined that they would frighten her like this. Pluto barked again. She obeyed and kept running through the hallway as fast she could in her new shoes.
Pluto barked louder as though he was calling ahead.
Chip and Dale shouted, "Mickey!! Mickey!!!"
Marina and Pluto came rushing into the library. Right as they were halfway through, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy came in.
"Mickey!" Marina gasped.
Mickey shouted, "Nightmares! I knew it!!"
As the Nightmares came in the library, they stopped and stood in the middle of the room. Marina and Pluto came to Mickey's side and turned to face the Nightmares.
Pluto kept growling at the beasts as Mickey said, "Good boy, Pluto. I'd know that kind of tone in your bark anytime. I knew there was trouble."
Chip panted, "Your Majesty! Should we get all of the guests out to safety?"
"Not now," he answered. "We can't start a panic. You and Dale go back to the ballroom and tell Minnie what's happening, and not to worry. We've got this under control."
Dale saluted, "Yes sir!"
The chipmunks both scurried out of the library.
Marina asked, "What about me, Mick?"
"Your years of training can't be put to waste, Marina. Get out your sword."
Mickey, Donald, and Goofy brought out their hands and concentrated. Tiny little bits of light and magic gathered around their palms. Each of them clenched a fist around the magic and the light took form into matter. Out of thin air, the weapons given to them by the Great Sorcerer many years ago appeared in their grip.
Mickey's weapon was the Scepter of Justice-- a golden scepter that held a large white crystal in the shape of his symbol (which was the silhouette of his head). Donald's weapon was the Hammer of Valor-- a large mallet that was good for short range attacks and had good powers for long range attacks as well. Goofy's weapon was the Shield of Freedom, a large shield bearing Mickey's symbol that was not only for great defense, but was strong enough to crush even the hardest rock and the thickest wall.
When all of the Nightmares saw the weapons they gave out a roar of a cougar again.
Mickey frowned, "Marina! Now! Don't let your fear of these guys hold you back!"
"You're ready for this one, Marina," said Goofy. "I know it."
"Yeah!" Donald smirked. "Let's do this!"
After seeing the bold look in the faces of her best friends, Marina couldn't disobey her elders. Right away she removed her shoes, held her hands out, and took a deep breath. Her mind cleared from everything else as she focused upon the shape of her weapon. Like the boys, small bits of light gathered between her hands. She could feel the hilt of the weapon in her palms, so she clenched the light in her grip. The magic of the light took form and Marina was holding out her weapon, the Sword of Faith-- a strong blade with a rainbow hilt that bored a golden symbol of Mickey on it's end.
"Good," Mickey nodded. "I know this will be your first fight, Marina, but do your best. We're all with you!"
Marina nodded back and got ready to fight. All of the Nightmares were crawling slowly to spread out, but all of them kept their red eyes on their targets. They were spilt into groups of three. Each group crawled to four corners hissing like cats getting ready to pounce choosing one target for each of them. Finally, one Nightmare roared and all of them leaped at the gang.
Mickey simply swung his scepter at the closest Nightmare leaping at him. The very second the Nightmare was hit, it dissolved as though it was made out of black sand. Mickey jumped at the other two of the one group with his scepter glowing brightly. Small bits of light surrounded the crystal. He quickly spun around and smashed another Nightmare to dust. Right as the last of his group was leaping into the air to land on him, Mickey pointed his scepter at the beast and called out an attack.
And a streak of starlight shot out of the crystal, smashing against the Nightmare, causing it to evaporate.
Donald leaped from chair to desk through the library making another group of three purposely chase him. He ran and jumped around in different directions like a rabbit trying to confuse a fox, only he had the look of a fox on his face and the Nightmares chasing him were getting angrier. One of them finally jumped ahead and blocked Donald in his path. Donald almost halted from running, but tricked the Nightmare as he jumped to the side and landed on the step ladder on the book shelves. He quickly climbed the ladder with the Nightmares going after him thinking that they had him cornered. As soon as he reached the top, he back flipped off the ladder ending up below the Nightmares. He held his hammer over his shoulder and called out an attack.
He swung the hammer like a bat and a bolt of lightning zapped out, electrocuting the three Nightmares. With the high voltage running through their frail bodies, each of them began to implode into dust within seconds.
Goofy jumped over his group of Nightmares, but landed clumsily. He lost his balance and tried to get it back. He was hopping on one foot trying not to trip over. The Nightmares turned around and jumped after him again. Goofy immediately held out his shield and called out his defense.
A strong force busted out from the shield like a battering ram. It punched down two of the Nightmare and destroyed them, but the third was was smart enough to jump out of the way and then pound against Goofy's shield. That was enough to finally make Goofy fall over. The Nightmare hustled across the floor and immediately started to climb up the walls like a spider.
"Gawrsh," Goofy sat up. "Didn't see that comin'."
Pluto stayed with Marina as she was fighting off the last three Nightmares. While she simply slashed one in half, Pluto pounced on another hard enough that it too dissolved. After he snorted and growled to make sure no more would mess with him, the last Nightmare of that group leaped at Marina. She quickly turned around had the beast skewered on her blade. It didn't die right away though. It tried holding on and scratched it's way toward her. She glared at the monster and called out a defensive attack.
And the blade of her sword lit up in flames burning the Nightmare inside and out. Within seconds it turned to dust.
With a smirk, Marina simply blew the flame out of the blade like a candle. She chuckled, "Heh, that was easier than I thought. And to think I was scared at first."
"One more left, Marina!!" Goofy pointed at the last Nightmare that was now climbing on the ceiling.
She looked up only in time to see it leap onto the chain of one of the library's large chandeliers. As the chandelier of gold and glass was swinging towards Marina's direction, the Nightmare chomped its fangs into the chain causing it to snap! The whole thing was falling toward her!
"MARINA!!!" the boys screamed.
Goofy was about to bring up a barrier around her, but before he could, someone grabbed Marina, sweeping her off her feet, and getting her out of the way in the nick of time. The whole chandelier crashed and shattered to pieces where Marina stood.
The last Nightmare roared of its failure, but Pluto quickly pounced at it. He grabbed the Nightmare in his jaws and threw it against the wall. The monster dissolved leaving everyone looking at Marina hoping she was okay.
She opened her eyes not knowing what had just happened. After feeling that she was in someone's arms, she nearly expected it to be Goofy since he was the only one who was able to carry her with his strength. But there was something different. The chest she was up against was more barreled and the arm under her legs was much more bulkier. Then looked at her shoulder to find the other hand hold up her back. When she found it to be a metallic hand, her heart jumped to her throat.
She looked at her rescuer and was now as frozen as she was earlier that day when she found that it was a very familiar face. It was none other than Captain John Silver!
"You!" she gasped.
With a broad smile and twinkle in his good eye, he said, "Good to see ye again, Lassie."