Hannah Russon

A1

I watched silently as Prince Humperdink locked the princess in her room then ran outside. My father had been good friends with Humperdink's father when they were children, and the king had insisted that I be invited to stay in a room at the palace. I had arrived yesterday, just in time to get some shopping done before the royal wedding. Yesterday had gone quickly, and now it was the day of the wedding- three and a half hours before exactly.

When I was sure the prince was gone, I exited my room and knocked on the princess's door. "Come in." she answered.

I tried turning the doorknob, but it was locked tight, "It's locked." I heard the sound of the lock turning, and Buttercup opened the door.

"Oh. Hello Lena." she said when she saw me.

I let myself in and sat down,"What happened with Prince Humperdink?"

"Remember when Humperdink promised me that he would send four of his fastest ships in search of Westley's ship?" Buttercup looked as if she were about to break down crying. I nodded, and she continued, "Lena- he never sent them!" Her voice hardened, "I was a fool to ever trust him!"

I was about to reply when a deafening noise that echoed off the castle walls. "What is that?" I asked Buttercup, the sound forcing me to raise my voice to make myself heard.

She shrugged, "I have no idea. . . but it frightens me"

"I'm going to go find out what it is." I stood up and walked to the door, hoping Buttercup didn't think I was being rude. Once outside her room, I was faced with the task of getting out of the castle, which proved to be quite simple. Since I was a guest in the palace, no one made an attempt to stop me from leaving. The streets were an entirely different problem- I reached the Great Square in fifteen minutes- twice as long as it normally would have taken. I followed the noise and found myself heading for the Zoo of Death.

There were so many people in the crowd that walking felt like trying to run through running water while going against the current. Someone shoved me from behind as they ran . "Watch it!" I shouted after him. Why was he running? I soon found out the answer when a desperate-looking spaniard pushed by me, running toward the Zoo of Death. He was following a large man. The spaniard's companion was the cause of all the panic among the pedestrians- he was moving his arms away from him, pushing anyone foolish enough to stay in front of him. As everyone hurried to clear a path for the two, I ran to take advantage of the space in the sea of people.

Later, I hid behind a tree and watched the spaniard return from the Zoo of Death, his Turkish companion carrying the limp corpse of a man I was not able to recognize, but I knew that it had to have been the dead man who had made that terrible noise. The two walked along the streets until they arrived at a place I knew to be the home of Miracle Max, the last living miracle man in Florin.

The spaniard knocked on the door, and Max opened it- but only a little. The three had a brief -but loud- conversation, then Max opened the door and allowed the two to enter his home. From what I'd gathered from the conversation I'd overheard, they were going to try to bring the corpse back to life.

I crept toward the house until I was situated under an open window. Even though the window was open, and they were standing near the window, it was difficult for me to hear what they were saying. I could only pick out a few bits and pieces.

". . . what's so special I should . . .it better be worthwhile."

" . . . I'll ask him"

" . . . only sort of dead . . .still a memory . . .WHAT'S SO IMPORTANT? WHAT'S HERE WORTH COMING BACK FOR?"

" . . .tr . . .ooooo . . .luv . . ." Was that the corpse talking? But . . . I was bewildered- corpses can't talk-could they? Apparently this one could, because now Miracle Max was arguing with his wife about what the dead man had said. Max was insisting that the corpse had said, "to blave", which meant 'to bluff'. Now, obviously someone had said something to change his mind, because a few moments later Max said, "Now that's what I call a worthwhile reason."

I spent the next few hours trying to keep myself entertained as the miracle pill was being made. Finally, after what seemed like a million years of waiting for it to be done, someone said something, "You mean that's it?" It was the spaniard. I risked a peek through the window- Max's wife was holding something- it was probably the miracle pill- that looked something similar to a lump of clay the size of a golf ball.

She looked at him, "What did you think a resurrection pill looked like?"

He replied, but so quietly I could not hear him. I heard the door open, and he and his companion stepped out of the house, the giant Turkish man carrying the body of the hopefully-soon-to-be-resurrected corpse. I got up, my body aching in protest. After a brief moment of getting used to moving, I followed them, carefully keeping out of sight . . . until I accidentally stepped on a dry twig and snapped it into pieces.

The spaniard drew his sword, suddenly alert. "Who's there?" he demanded. "Why are you here?"

I stepped out from behind the tree. "I followed you from the castle- why are you here?"

He just stared at me for a moment, then answered, "You followed us?"

I nodded.

"From the castle?"

I nodded again.

He stared at me again, but finally spoke, "You must be a good tracker, but why did you follow us?"

"I was trying to find out what was making that dreadful noise. Now I know it was him." I pointed at the corpse. "Why do you need him to live?"

The spaniard grinned maniacally, "To stop Humperdink's wedding! Well . . . and so I can kill Count Rugen."

"What can I do to help?" I asked.

He frowned, "Nothing I'm afraid. We're going to be getting into some pretty tight spots tonight, and it would pain me to know a little girl had died because I let her come along."

"I'm not a little girl! I've been taking lessons from my uncle and I know how to fight!"

He laughed, "Sorry- you're still not coming. I don't need to have to worry about you as well as him." he indicated the corpse the giant was carrying. He started to walk along the path again, heading toward the bridge.

I spent about ten whole minutes trying to convince him- he said his name was Inigo- to let me come with them. Finally he agreed to let me come along. "But only because you said you'll tell the Prince about us if we don't." he told me. I didn't have much time for a victory dance however, because we had reached the wall. It was almost five o'clock, and Inigo said he thought it would be a good time to take a break and feed the man in black the resurrection pill.

Fezzik -that was the giant's name- tilted his head back and opened the dead man's mouth. Inigo dropped the pill into his mouth. It seemed to work instantly- the man in black started challenging them loudly, and Fezzik had to cup his hand over the man's mouth to quiet him. Inigo and Fezzik explained to him all that had happened while he had been dead. The man-who-was-dead-who-was-now-living introduced himself as the Dread Pirate Roberts, a.k.a., Westley.

"What are our assets?" Westley asked.

"Your brains, Fezzik's strength, and my steel." Inigo replied.

I shook my head, "You're forgetting something."

"What?" Both asked simultaneously.

"We've also got the wheelbarrow the albino Fezzik knocked out had, and Fezzik's got a holocaust cloak from when he had to get the holocaust mud for the resurrection pill."

"Why didn't you list those among our assets in the first place?" Westley asked.

At 5:25 Inigo, Westley, and I rolled Fezzik down the hill. The giant stood in the wheelbarrow, wearing the holocaust cloak and shouting to the hundred men who stood guard at the castle gate, "I AM THE DREAD PIRATE ROBERTS AND THERE WILL BE NO SURVIVORS!" When we had pushed him halfway down the hill, Inigo lit a candle and lit the holocaust cloak. The sight of a giant in a flaming cloak coming towards you who is claiming to be the Dread Pirate Roberts has a sort of unsettling effect on people, and the entire Brute Squad panicked and ran. "You're welcome for the idea." I muttered to Westley and Inigo.

We obtained the key from Yellin, and got inside the castle, locking the gate behind us, Westley keeping the key in his pocket. However, we didn't get very far- the Count and four of the palace guards were rounding a corner and running straight toward us.

It didn't take very long for the guards to die- the fourth was dead before the first had even hit the floor. Inigo paused to take a breath, then looked at Count Rugen, "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." the Count turned and ran. Inigo chased after him, but was halted at a door Rugen had closed and locked. "Fezzik, he's getting away from me!"

Fezzik looked torn- Inigo needed his help, but Westley was still helpless. I nodded in the direction of Inigo's voice, "I'll stay with Westley. Go help Inigo." Fezzik nodded, then ran off to help his friend, only just remembering to help Westley hook his arms into the arms of a suit of armor.

"Lena?" Westley asked as soon as Fezzik had left, "Can you help me get to the room where Buttercup will be staying in?"

I nodded, unhooked his arms from the suit of armor, and half- dragged, half-helped him walk to Buttercup's room. I helped him lay down on her bed. "I -I should probably go now." I ran to my room, and fell asleep, thinking about the exciting day I'd had.