Crowns of the Kingdom


Maleficent staggered into her throne room, quivering with excitement at the thought of what she had done.

But what had she done, exactly?

She thought about it for a moment and concluded that she did not actually care as such. Maybe the end of Mickey Mouse would mean the end of all the rest of them, maybe they would go on with an explicable hole in their collective memory, maybe, once again, she had even failed altogether…it didn't matter. Past a certain point, results are no longer important; it's the wicked thought that counts.

It was dark inside the lair, the green-burning torches extinguished. Something rustled in the shadowed corners. "Is that you, pet?"

Flames flared, but they were blue, not green. Maleficent gaped, disbelieving, at the grinning form of Hades, Lord of the Dead. "'Pet,' huh?" he said, gliding forward. "That's, what, my new nickname? It's snappy, I like it." His expression darkened. "Babe, we gotta have us a little talk about your tactics. Right, folks?"

He snapped his fingers, and the torches came up, revealing no small number of hostile faces belonging to other Villains. Foremost among them were Hades's compatriots from the past ten years, but as Maleficent rose from her throne in outrage, she also spotted Cruella, Jafar, Prince John, and several others who had been wronged by her spell.

She sat back down and grit her teeth. It was going to be a long, painful day.

It had been a long, wonderful day. And the evening wasn't over yet.

Mickey and Minnie had terrific seats for the fireworks…on the roof of the Main Street Photo Center. They decided they were entitled to cheat a little—even after their ordeal, they had spent the day greeting guests and making their visit as magical as it could be (despite having given themselves a tough act to follow). So now they were claiming the best of both worlds—a fantastic view of the Castle, Main Street, and Tomorrowland, without the chance of being noticed and pestered for more autographs. They had a blanket to sit on and sodas and sandwiches, and could not have asked for more.

"I need to phone Bob tomorrow," said Mickey, "and see about getting Oswald back in the family. It's the least we can do for him after all he did for us."

"Mickey Mouse, I am with you one hundred percent. In fact, I'll stand by to ring up his second line in case he gives you any grief."

"Aww…you're the best, Minnie!"

"I guess we deserve each other, then," she said with an impish wink. "To us?"

"To us!"

They tapped their Coke bottles together and settled back to wait for the fireworks to begin.

"Say, Mickey…?" Minnie said after a moment.


"What do you think happened to Hypatia and the other friendly Dispirations?"

Mickey mulled it over. "I couldn't even begin to guess. But if they ever turn up again, let's invite 'em to stay. As long as they behave themselves, of course. Disneyland can always use more good ideas!"

The lights around the Plaza Hub began to dim and the first strains of a joyful fanfare sounded from the audio speakers. The two mice leaned against each other in a state of perfect contentment as the first sparkling rockets went up.

Elsewhere in the park, on another rooftop and equally unseen by the crowds, the one spoken of was also watching the show.

She was alone again; the others had all abandoned their forms and dispersed into the general ambience of the park. Orphaned ideas, without shape or purpose, just as they had been before encountering Maleficent…only now they would have chances every day to find receptive minds and be reborn properly. And in the meantime, they would be there, participating in Disneyland's mission to spread joy among its guests. They were still waiting to strike…no longer as Dispirations, but Inspirations.

Hypatia was justifiably proud of her work in bringing them around, even though it hadn't taken much persuading. (Maleficent herself had observed that they were rather like children, without considering what that implied for their collective outlook on Disneyland and the Disney Family once they discovered what it was all about.) She had fancied herself a hero, and made the fancy come true. But now the adventure was over, and she was tired. And maybe the world wasn't quite ready yet for an idea that got ideas of its own and brought them into reality.

So she spread her wings and flew away from the rooftop and into her own imagination.

The End

A/N: And so it ends, after more than three years since the first chapter was posted. It's pretty amazing to think that I started writing this while Disneyland's 50th Anniversary Celebration was still going on…and now it's nigh time for the 55th Anniversary. I think if I had it to do over again, I would try to make it a little shorter, cut some of the extraneous stuff and reduce the parts that are necessary but drag.

It's been a fantastic trip through my own nostalgia for Disneyland, as well as the vicarious nostalgia I get from reading about rides and such that were long gone before I ever set foot in the place. But beyond that, it's been immensely gratifying to see just how many people have enjoyed reading it. It isn't often that I meet anyone who loves the Disney theme parks to the same extent I do—as potential stories in and of themselves rather than simply shallow entertainment (not that there's anything inherently wrong with shallow entertainment)—and here, a bunch of you came to me! I cannot reiterate enough how thrilling it has been to see my e-mail inbox full of reviews after posting each chapter.

For that reason, if no other, I'm kinda sorry to have reached the end. With any luck, this won't be the last you hear from me on the Disney front, but for now, I think I'm going to take a break from fanfiction. Three years is a long time to be on the hook for updates, even willingly.

Peace. And feel free to keep in touch!