Thanks for deciding to read this odd little story. If you haven't read the first three nights, (Princess Bride, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Troy), you don't have to in order to understand the story. Basically our main character Maggie broke her television set and was cursed with seven nights of dreams where she's trapped in her favorite movies, (think of the seven years of bad luck you get for breaking a mirror). During the dream Maggie won't realize that it's a dream, though she'll remember it all once she wakes up. Also if she dies in the dream she dies in real life, (which is basically a loophole I added in case I get bored of writing this).
And a huge thank you to the people who have read any of the first three stories, I'm so glad you decided to come back for Night #4! And also I'm sorry, I know I was planning on posting this last month but it took me longer then I thought to write.
One last thing, Philo Farnsworth is one of the people credited for the invention of the television according to some book my dad has. Apparently there is controversy but the only reason I picked Philo Farnsworth as the person to torture Maggie would be because I think his name is fun.
I didn't have to wait long. Soon I was drifting off to sleep. At first I didn't even know that I had fallen asleep. Then I got a clue.
Philo Farnsworth was standing there in front of me.
"Don't you ever take a night off?" I asked.
"Never," he replied cheerfully, "I love my job." There were a few minutes of silence as I tried to wake myself up and he watched, clearly amused. "You can't wake up until the movie is over." I sighed loudly.
"Well what movie is it then?"
"Your movie tonight," he told me, "is Mulan. You'll be working as a weapon repairs person traveling with the army."
"What?!?" I stared at him in shock. "I haven't even seen that movie in years! How can I be going there? Wait isn't that a cartoon?" The man shrugged.
"Hey it's one of your favorite movies."
"Isn't that a cartoon?!?" I repeated desperately.
"Yes it is," Philo Farnsworth said seriously.
"But won't I stand out if I'm the only three dimensional person?"
Philo Farnsworth didn't say anything. All he did was smile. Somehow this smile sent a chill down my spine and I just knew what was going to happen. I looked down at my hands and saw that sure enough they had become illustrated and flat.
When I reached the camp I was dismayed to realize that I was the only woman there. I could tell without even seeing the other people because of the smell. Indeed, of all the people to be around these soldiers were the most foul and unhygienic that could be found. I expected the Huns, tracking their enemy's scent like dogs, to attack us at any moment.
A thin man who was dressed quite impressively in blue robes stopped me as I wandered through the camp. Oddly enough he smelled just fine, as if he had actually touched soap to his body. His voice was rather shrill and reedy for a man's.
"And just what do you think you are doing here?" He asked giving me an evil look. I pulled out the scroll that a messenger from the emperor had delivered to my family's house.
"The emperor commanded that one member of our family join the army in order to maintain and repair the army's weapons," I explained.
"And they sent you," the thin man asked the 'a worthless woman' part unsaid and yet clearly implied.
"I'm afraid I sent me," I replied coldly, "as I'm the only member of my family left."
"But we need someone to look after the weapons," he sounded a little hysterical so I pulled a piece of equipment out of my bag holding it under his nose.
"And you've got someone," I said meaning to calm him down. Instead he turned red and narrowed his eyes, furious.
"This is war and no one will appreciate your jokes! I intend to see to it-" but he was boring me and I really needed to get set up.
"I'm sure I'll see you around the camp and then we can continue this lovely little chat," I called as I jogged off, trying to get as far away from the thin man as I could. On the way a young looking man who was walking in the oddest way passed me. It was almost as if he had rocks down his pants and he pumped his arms like a demented windmill. I stifled a laugh, men were certainly strange.
I stopped and asked a soldier where the General was so that I could ask him where I was to set up. The man gave me a curious look but luckily made no remarks. He merely pointed towards a large tent with the flag of China swaying over it.
I knew the General as soon as I saw him. He was dignified and noble. He looked like a soldier even though his hair was starting to grey.
"Can I help you?" He asked uncertainly though to his credit not rudely. I didn't try to explain. I simply handed him the scroll from the Emperor and let him read it. When he finished he smiled. "Welcome to camp," he said cheerfully, "you'll have plenty of work. Soldiers have already begun breaking their weapons." I sighed with relief, he wasn't going to make a big deal that I wasn't a man.
"Where would you like me to set up?" I asked. "I'd like to get started at once." He told me and I started off to find the tent. I saw the thin man walking towards me and I ducked behind a tent to avoid him and almost tripped over a chicken that was running away from a mob of fighting men. A brawl had broken out.
I stopped in my tracks and stared. These men were really laying into each other. I almost believed that they were fighting the Huns, not each other. I stepped aside as a man was thrown right to where I had been standing. I wanted to stay and watch but I needed to set up things so I left.
All day long I had a stream of men coming through. Many of them were muttering under their breaths about never eating rice again. Most of them had bruises or black eyes from the brawl.
I was just beginning to get hungry for dinner when the young man who I had noticed walking through the camp so oddly came in. He stopped short, startled to see me but recovered quickly.
"Is this where I can get my sword sharpened?" he asked. "Because uhh as a man I need to have my sword ready to, well you know, kill people. Or even chop wood, or maybe to cut-" He was beginning to ramble so I cut him off.
"Give me your sword and I'll have it ready to go in a second." He handed it over slowly. I could tell that he had been involved in the brawl. "What's your name?" I asked as I began to work on his sword.
"It's Ping," he answered after a second of hesitation.
"I guess you've never been trained in an army before?"
"Why would you say that?" He asked looking nervous.
"You had trouble lifting your sword," I pointed out dryly. I could have sworn I heard a voice exclaim, Okay that we have to fix right away, but before I could ask Ping if he'd heard it the man seemed to rub the back of his head.
"My arms are just tired from doing… pushups." He was lying but if he didn't want to be known as a newcomer to the world of war I wasn't going to make fun of him. It wasn't as if I'd ever been involved in a war, or stormed castles, before. But at least I wouldn't have to fight, all I had to do was fix the weapons.
He left leaving me free to get dinner. It was dark when I returned. I was about to get ready for bed when the tent flap opened and a man strode in. He wore a sweeping red cloak and had a weary expression on his face.
"I am Captain Shang," he told me, "I wanted to introduce myself and ask you to sharpen my sword." He handed it over reverently.
"That's a popular request today," I commented as I took the sword and got to work on it. I looked it over. "This is a new sword," I observed and he nodded with a proud grin.
"I was just recently promoted to Captain," he admitted, "this is my first assignment."
"Good luck Captain," I said, "and congratulations." Privately I thought that he would need all the luck in China, these soldiers he was supposed to train were the greenest fighting group I'd ever seen.
Author's Note Again:
Sorry to be interrupting again but I just wanted to say that I know it's unrealistic for a woman to be a weapon fixing person and to be accepted as it but I needed to work Maggie in somehow and I felt that having her pretend to be a man would be sort of stepping on Mulan's part. Anyway, hope you enjoyed it.