|The Extraneous End
Author: RockSunner PM
My version of the last book. An alliance between Count Olaf and the Baudelaires?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Mystery - Count O. & Lemony S. - Chapters: 13 - Words: 11,156 - Reviews: 42 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 09-08-06 - Published: 08-19-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3113214
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Nothing became your life like the ending of it.
The same is true of these books.
The Extraneous End
A noble poet (who belonged to an organization which is now not quite noble) once wrote:
"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main... Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind"
If I were to write such a line, I would of course say "any man or woman's death" because in my experience nothing has diminished me like the death of one particular woman. I could also write "no man or woman is an island," though that might be taking things a bit too far. In fact, I once coated myself (and the small boat in which I was riding) with seaweed to disguise myself as an island, so I cannot honestly say that "no man is an island." You also may wish to disguise yourself as an island, a goldfish, or whatever you wish rather than being diminished by reading the final, bitter, book of this series and the deaths it documents.
The Baudelaires (in the small boat in which they were riding) also felt diminished by death; they felt diminished by the death of their parents when their mansion burned down months ago, by the deaths of several of their guardians and acquaintances since then, and now by the many deaths they felt sure had occurred within the now-blazing Hotel Denouement, the last safe place of the not-quite-noble secret organization called the V.F.D.
Violet, the oldest Baudelaire, sighed and pulled at her spatula-oar. Her skill in inventing a drag chute had enabled them to escape the burning hotel and get out to sea, but for once she didn't feel proud. It felt like the accomplishment of a fugitive from an unjust trial, as indeed she was.
Klaus, the middle Baudelaire, pulled at the other oar, blinking back tears behind his thick spectacles. His research skill had opened a particularly difficult Vernacularly Fastened Door, only to reveal that it had all been a ruse; that the sugar bowl the V.F.D and its enemies had been seeking had never been there. It felt like an empty accomplishment.
Sunny, the youngest Baudelaire, gnawed nervously at her lower lip. Her cooking skill had seen little use recently, but her newly-emerging skills in speech and leadership had caused herself and her siblings to commit the arson which caused the Hotel to burn down in the first place. Her motives were noble, she thought: to signal to the V.F.D. that the last safe place was safe no longer, and to prevent the villains from poisoning everyone with deadly Medusoid Mycellium mushrooms. It felt like a bitter accomplishment.
All three of them wished they felt more like an island, entire in themselves, because in fact they were not. In the same boat with them was Count Olaf, the villain who had pursued them and their fortune for twelve-books-worth of unfortunate events. Now they were in his clutches again.
"I suppose you expect me to tell you all my plans, all about the V.F.D., and what was in the sugar bowl. Ha! I could, but I won't," said Olaf in his harsh, raspy voice. "Why should I"
"You have to admit we just saved your life," said Violet. "If you had launched your boat off the tenth-floor roof without the drag chute I made, you surely would have died"
"I admit nothing. Ha! You can fall any distance
safely as long as you land in water... I've seen it in the movies,"
said Olaf stubbornly.
Violet realized that he wasn't as sure of this as he pretended. She said nothing and allowed him to save face (a phrase which here means "avoided publicly humilating a dangerous man sharing one's small boat.
"We helped," said Sunny. "Burned down hotel"
"I enjoyed that," said Olaf. "But you tricked me out of using my mushrooms spores. I was looking forward to seeing my enemies gasp for breath"
Klaus almost reminded Count Olaf that he still had the mushrooms, hidden in the diving helmet of the figurehead of the ship, but he thought better of it (a phrase which here means "avoided reminding a dangerous man sharing a small boat of his lethal weapon.
"Poison darts?" asked Sunny, referring to the weapons Olaf said had made him an orphan.
"That I will tell you about," said Olaf, glaring at her with his glittering eyes. "Your parents murdered my parents one night at the opera before you were born. They stole my family fortune with a fake will. Your fortune is rightfully mine"
"You have proof?" asked Klaus, with a sinking feeling that Olaf was telling the truth.
"I was going to bring it out at our trial today," said Olaf. "The Justices would have ruled in my favor, in return for the sugar bowl. When they saw I didn't have it they turned against me"
"Menaces," said Sunny, referring to the fact that two of the three High Court Justices were secretly the man with a beard and no hair and the woman with hair and no beard, notorious villians. The Baudelaires and Olaf had gone on trial before them, until it was overcome by events (a phrase which here means "stopped because of arson and a escape by sea)
"Count Olaf, if you really have proof that the fortune is rightfully yours, we'll give it back to you,' said Violet."How generous," said Olaf with a sneer. "But it turns out you have nothing to give. Your bank vault at Mulctuary Money Management was robbed of everything two days ago. That's the robbery the idiotic Mr. Poe was investigating. I'll have to figure out who the robber was, track them down, and steal back my money"
"Mrs. Bass," said Sunny, as the other two Baudelaires gasped.
"That's true," said Violet. "Sunny found evidence that Mrs. Bass, our former teacher at Prufrock Preparatory School, was the robber"
"Ha! That's useful information, orphans!" said Olaf. "Now I only need to find out where that stupid woman hid the money"
"Her hotel room," said Klaus. "Sunny saw the bags of loot there"
"What? You tricked me into burning down the hotel, when you knew my money was there? Now none of us has it!" Olaf yelled in a rage.
"Didn't know whose," said Sunny sadly.
"All my plots and clever disguises to get my fortune back have been in vain! I ought to throw you into the sea for the sharks"
"I have a counterproposal," said Violet quickly. "You've lost your criminal acting troupe, and we've lost our fortune and are running from the law. We need each other, at least for the moment"
"I can't trust you," muttered Olaf.
"Could you trust your old troupe? Could they trust you?" asked Klaus. "You worked together because you had to. No man is an island"
"All right, call it a truce... for now," said Olaf. "But I'm the boss. You have to help me steal something to compensate for my loss"
"What steal?" asked Sunny.
I have something in mind, but I won't tell you yet," said Olaf. "Deal"
"Deal," agreed the Baudelaires reluctantly. They had already committed arson.. what could be worse?
They would soon find out. There was an island in thier future, a No-Man's Island... and what happened there would diminish them...