Thankfully the water was not yet boiling, nevertheless, my head was pounding and spinning. Gabrielle seemed to have fainted dead away. My hands were bound and I could not check her pulse or look for obvious injuries, but I could see the rise and fall of her chest as she breathed, her head laid back over the edge of the cauldron.
Shaking my head in an effort to clear it and remember how we got here, I suddenly had the strangest sense of deja vu. Wait! I felt this way earlier in the day, too. What in the world happened?
*cue the cheesy dream music. No. NO! Not the penguin NIGHTMARE music! Just put on the "hey, I'm having a flashback moment music" would you?*
Oh yes! Now I remember.
I was standing on the beach watching Lady Darkling as she struggled to "help" one of the sailors. Previously I been resting in the sun, but quickly changed into some adventure gear as the day progressed. I witnessed Dr. Sputnik and Miss Lightfoot as they circled around Darkling repeating the same Latin phrase in excited tones. It was not anything to do with the dying man laying under Lady Darkling....something about a... giant bunny.
Suddenly I noticed the very large imprint in the sand. I ran to my little hut on the beach, grabbed my sketchbook, and began to make some notes for the Royal Society. Professors Krogstad and Nicholas would need to have a look at this. Dr. Sputnik was good enough to take the measurements; I jotted them down on the drawing as he shouted them out.
Then I heard my cousin calling for me:
"Eva? I have some important Duchy business that I would like to discuss with you!"
Bless her, she had brought the Dom Perignon out for our discussion.
Yes. Now I remember.....
We dashed-off into the foresty-jungley area surrounding Phillip trying to follow Gnarlihotep. My eyes were blurry, I admit it. But the figure standing in the bushes just did not look like Gnarli - even from this distance. Who on earth could it be?
"Gabrielle? Can you tell who that is? Could it be....a SAVAGE!?!"
Suddenly this feeling was upon me for the first time today....a flicker of a memory...
As the gentleman laid his coconut shell scooter to the side, I heard Gabrielle exclaim, "...A fine specimen of a savage too. Quite…well grown. Look, his name tag says 'Hi, my name is Templeton'. How friendly!"
Even as I suggested that the only way to secure our freedom might be a Duchess Sandwich, I was still attempting to make sense of what my mind was trying to tell me.
"You know this savage from somewhere other than here. You have dealt with him before."
Mentioning something about the Liberace Deli - "Is that in the Bronx?" I wondered - his voice trickled down to a low pitched "woof" as Gabi and I stripped down to our corsets.
As Templeton was occupied with the rest of me, I slid my hand under the lace corset skirt. Rapidly pulling the dirk out of my garter, I tried to simply injure the man enough to get away. We would need to question him about his involvement in the appearance of the volcano. I struck him once on his thigh near his groin. He yelled out in pain, drawing several of the tribe from the bushes. Grabbing my wrist, he tried to make me drop the knife. I held fast and wriggled my way around to his back. He still had my wrist, but I was able to find the fleshy, exposed arse (never wear assless chaps in the jungle...good lord, who is this man's fashion consultant?). I lunged at it repeatedly. One hit. Two. Three. Four. Finally the wretched man released me as he grabbed his bum in pain.
Yelling Gabrielle's name and shaking her did nothing to rouse her. My poor Gabrielle. We had to get away. As I was bending to lift her, I was grabbed from behind. This time by several rather smelly men in matching bowling shirts. My dirk was now knocked from my hand, and despite my efforts to free myself - I did get several swift kicks to hit "home" on a few of the lads - there were too many. They had me. That wretch Templeton, yelled something about teaching me to sign my name to the check before dinner is over, and then hit me over the head with his coconut shell scooter.
Now here I sit in this pot of water. God! I hope some of the others miss us soon.
What did Templeton mean? Sign the check? Hmmm.