Written by Pam Glennie

As a foreword I would like to mention that Pickle is my favourite character
from Kinghtmare hence this story focuses on him, and that I have been watching season four on challenge so I have many season four scenarios in my head at the moment also this is my first fanfic so erm. It might be crap
lol. Still hope you enjoy it!

Another day another beautiful sunrise, the lake shimmered, the sky so blue, the blossom on the trees so vibrant. A gentle breeze moved the leaves on the tree delicately side to side. The thunderous yet relaxing sound of a waterfall could be heard in the distance - this place was in metaphorical terms Eden. Yet alone on a great rounded rock, one sullen Elf sat vacantly gazing at the grass beneath. The Elves were lucky, they had beautiful countryside - an unrivalled relationship and oneness with nature but most of all they had a safe haven, where no Orc or Goblin may ever tread; an untainted paradise that for many lies only in dreams and fantasies.

Pickle sat with his legs slightly bent beneath him in his green torn Elfin outfit on the rock, his head lowered, his Elf blond bushy hair in its usual amazing perm like form, his Elf-silver arm bracelet's gleaming in the sun, his face as clean and pure as the water itself, yet he carried a heavy sadness in his heart. When he had left Dunshelm Castle seven years ago now, he thought he was free from the terror and continual threat that the dungeon brought, he thought he would be happy back in the Elfin country - where the sun shines and the day is full of peace and beauty. But something at Dunshelm castle had triggered a reaction in Pickle, deep, deep inside - the adrenaline, the excitement, the fear, things which Pickle had believed were poison to him were the same things that were keeping his heart and mind alive. Pickle knew he had a terrible choice to make, well it wasn't so much as a choice - he had already made his mind up - it was more of a reasoning, could Pickle really leave this utopia for a damp and dreary castle with monsters galore and a grumpy constant companion? Treguard's most recent advisor had been tricked by one of Lord Fears minions into drinking a potion which turned him to stone - not much help to the master like that and Treguard seemed powerless to reverse the spell. Treguard needed an assistant, maybe just a partner to successfully bounce his dark wit off, either way Pickle felt the spark deep inside ignite and glow at the mere possibility of returning to Treguard's aide. In a way it felt like he was turning his back on the Elf kingdom, he had been put in Dunshelm castle for sufferance, he had served his sentence; he was free to return to paradise and yet for Pickle returning to the castle was the only option. The thought caused a battle of epic proportion in Pickles small brain, logic should dictate but at what cost? Pickle decided that the only rational thing to do was to follow his heart, after all aren't we all on that same quest?

Pickle owned very few earthly (elfly?) possessions, but what he did he packed up in a thick warm blanket he slept under every night, lightly knotted it, left his small hut like home, and started on his journey, glancing back at his old cosy peaceful home only once as he knew he couldn't stand the lingering sadness and attachment it would cause. The exit from the kingdom led Pickle right through a small settlement, with small but homely stone cottages with thatched roofs and little red chimney pots -Pickle knew some of these people, through Elf schooling or through trading. Obvious from Pickles knotted blanket that he was setting off on a journey, people stopped and glanced over with questioning looks of their faces - why leave? Lilly, a slender blond and peachy Elf and one of Pickles old Elf school friends ran over from her vantage point on a tree stump. 'Pickle! I haven't seen you in so long! What's happening? Where are you going?' Pickle lowered his head but continued plodding on. 'I'm leaving, I'm going back to Dunshelm, Lilly' he stated in the boldest voice he could muster. 'Dunshelm Castle? Back to Treguard? I thought.' Pickle cut her off, 'I'm needed there, I feel useful there, I feel alive there.' 'You don't feel alive here then, well there's patriotism if I ever heard it' Lilly stopped skipping along with Pickle and somewhat scowled, 'How can you feel alive in a dark and miserable castle full of goblins and suchlike? What's really wrong Pickle?' Lilly's expression had turned to concern. 'Nothings wrong as such, I just feel this is what I must do, for me.' Lilly put her hand on Pickles upper left arm. 'But. I was speaking to your brother the other day, he said you were thinking of taking over the apple grove, I, we thought you were happy here, we thought you were glad to be rid of Dunshelm Castle.' 'Oh damn it' Pickle was becoming emotional but pushed the feelings within, 'I love this place, I was born here, I shall carry this place in heart everywhere I go, but everyone has a destiny - this is mine, I'm sorry but I must go now - I want to make it through the forest before nightfall, take care and perhaps we will meet again.' and with that Pickle took quickened strides towards the kingdom's border, Lilly stood where she was and watched Pickle descend into the distance; not really knowing what to make of what Pickle had said or what he was going to do.

* * * * * * * * * *

By nightfall Pickle was in the dungeons lair, after taking the safely guarded Elf paths through the woods Pickle had ended up in an exposed area of seemingly endless moor, where even the great outdoors adventurers would feel agoraphobic. There were no stars in the sky and the air felt heavy, Pickle was delighted to spot a ruined tower; where he could hopefully kip for the night. The tower must have been 40ft in its original form but since then it has suffered collapse and only half the size of structure had survived, but there was still a wooden creaky hinged door which little Pickle struggled with to open wide enough for him to squeeze through. Pickle surveyed the ground floor, the wooden floorboards were rotten and infested with woodworm but it was unlikely ground floorboards would collapse! so Pickle pushed himself into the far away wall, no corners unfortunately the tower was round is shape. He undid his knotted blanket and snuggled into it beside the moss-covered wall. The terrifying howls of wolves could be heard through the blackness of the night but Pickle exhausted from his travels quickly fell into a dreamless sleep.

'Well good morning beauty' Hordriss sarcastically sneered. Pickle opened his narrow shaped Elf eyes slowly, rubbing then with his hands and slowly lifting his body up so his back was against the wall, the light from the door was almost unbearable but in front the darkened shape of a Wizard emerged. 'Hordriss.!' Pickle exclaimed. 'Yes well they do say Elves are the intelligent ones don't they' Hordriss hissed the sarcastic words at Pickle, who now looked very alarmed and very uncomfortable; he didn't like the idea of being alone with Hordriss in a stone tower with but one door - the one Hordriss was blocking! 'What is it? What have I done? What do you want?' Pickle gibbered. 'You are not in the authority here to go about demanding explanations!' Hordriss's eyes opened wide and he lifted his arms, exposing the huge folds of rich red gown gathered round the arms, in his momentary rage 'I owe you nothing!' Pickle closed his mouth and looked attentive to Hordriss, he was right; Pickle was in no position to do anything about Hordriss. Hordriss scratched his chin through his coarse white with red streaks beard. 'Hmm, you don't know do you?' he pondered. 'Know what Hordriss?' Pickle gently queried. 'Ah well no matter, then you are no help to me, good day to you.' And with that Hordriss sharply turned and headed back out the door, his cloak flowing behind him. 'Know what Hordriss? Know what?' Pickles curiosity clouded his better judgement, he ran out wincing in the sunlight to catch Hordriss, he spun in front of Hordriss and looked up at Hordriss's regal but menacing face. 'Know what? What's happened?' Pickle asked again, this time rather forcefully. Hordriss completely unintimidated glanced down and thought for a moment. 'Do you know where Treguard is?' he enquired. 'I thought Dunshelm castle? Pickle didn't like where this conversation was going. 'Yes, yes, indeed.' Hordriss agreed. Pickle looked confused and somewhat hurt. 'That's where I thought he was too. Not so.' Hordriss continued, 'Treguard appears to be missing, he has been neither heard or seen for nine days now.' 'Treguards missing!? What has happened?' Hordriss looked peeved at Pickle for not grasping the main theme of the conversation. 'We don't know, that my ignorant friend, is the problem' This shocked Pickle, Treguard never left the grounds of the dungeon and castle, it was the sheer death, doom and gloom that appealed to Treguard, plus Treguard would never leave castle unmanned. 'Oh. my master is lost, oh dear, what can I do?' Pickle looked up at Hordriss. 'Stay out of trouble Elf' Hordriss boomed, and lurched forward again but Pickle pushed against him. 'No, I want to help what can I do, I was going back to be Treguard's aide, I want to help.' Pickle stuttered 'Right.' Hordriss looked unconvinced. 'And what exactly can you do? Magic.? Not a chance in Vulcanis! Investigation.? Not if I value my sanity. Defence and or attack.? Not if I value my life.' Poor Pickle let out a defeated groan. 'Surely I can do something. please?' Although Hordriss was of course immune to the effects of puppy dog eyes, an idea struck him. 'Actually.'

part 2: v.soon!