The disclaimer saying I don't own any Blackadder characters has been chased off by bears and bunnies. Blackadder and his friends (for lack of a better word) are owned by the BBC. This story is mine and has been re-written and posted.
And now we travel to the court of Mad King George III and his even loonier son the Prince of Wales in…
Night And Nightmare
Edmund was relaxing in his bedroom after a hard day of avoiding work. He was reading in his bed by candlelight when there was a knock at the door. He responded in his usual polite manner. "Sod off!"
"Yes Mr. B?" Baldrick, his dirty dogsbody stuck his head in.
"Let me rephrase that," Edmund sighed, realizing he had accidentally called Baldrick by his first name. "Get lost you odious little hairball before I stuff you down the drainpipe."
"Sorry to disturb you Mr. B, but I was wondering if I could sit up with you for a while," Baldrick came in wearing dirty nightclothes.
"Please, Mr. B! I don't want to be alone!"
"Baldrick you're not alone," Edmund gave him a look. "There must be at least half a dozen different varieties of parasites on your disgusting carcass. Some of them previously unknown to science. I swear I'd sell you off to the nearest laboratory if I could get some quick cash out of you! On the other hand, not even a mad scientist would want you. You'd probably contaminate all the other molds."
"It's just that I can't sleep, Mr. Blackadder," Baldrick explained. "I had another nightmare. I dreamt that the Boogedy Man was after me again."
"You mean the Boogy Man?"
"Him too! But mostly about Mr. Boogedy. You know that weird old guy who hangs around the stables? He gives me the creeps," Baldrick shuddered.
"Not surprising Baldrick," Edmund sighed. "He is in charge of eliminating the refuse. Take my advice Baldrick, never ever take a nap in the stalls or you'll find yourself on top of a pile of manure destined for some godforsaken rubbish heap in Ireland."
"He scares me," Baldrick whined.
"Baldrick! You're scared of soap!" Edmund snapped. "You cringe at the sight of water out of the glass. And every time I take out the Prince's scrub brush you scream for your mother and dash into the coal cellar!"
"You've broken my dream!" Baldrick was amazed. "I was drowning in this gigantic bathtub! Huge waves of sudsy wet bubbles were crashing over my head! I could actually taste the sticky taste of lye on my tongue! Ewww!"
"Did I ask? Did I ask?" Edmund snapped.
"Then all of the sudden I heard this awful cackling laughter! I look up and there's that Mr. Boogedy! He just laughs and laughs and laughs…"
"He tells me anyway."
"The next thing I know, he tips out the tub and I'm being sucked down the drain," Baldrick finished.
"Oh well at least it has a happy ending."
"Don't you have nightmares, Mr. B?" Baldrick asked.
"Baldrick every day of my bloody life is a nightmare!" Edmund snapped. "It's bad enough that I, a man of noble British blood must eke out a living being a servant to an insane German yobbo who thinks he's Clucky The Happy Chicken. It's even worse that every day a man of my intelligence must be subservient to the only man alive to ever be outwitted by a tomato! But the true horror of my life is that an annoying little dwarf with a stench that would make a skunk run off to take a bath continually follows me around every day! Speaking of which: GET OUT OF HERE! If you stay one more moment longer, I may never get the smell out of my rug!"
"But I'm scared!" Baldrick pleaded.
"Baldrick, who are you more afraid of?" Edmund asked. "Some figment of your imagination, or me?"
"Good night Mr. B!" Baldrick hurriedly left the room.
"God what a nuisance!" Edmund put down his book. "Every night the same bloody thing! I don't know why he's afraid of monsters. He'd scare Satan with his breath alone!"
He blew out the candle and prepared to go to sleep. Just then a bell rang and the sound of a man screaming in horror was heard. "BLACKADDER! BLACKADDER! HELP! HELP! MUMMY!"
"Lord in heaven, I never get a moment's peace around here!" Edmund got up and stumbled his way down the hall. "If it isn't the one, it's the other! What the hell is the Prince of Wailing raving on about this time?"
When he got to the Prince's bedroom, he saw that there was a large lump under the sheets where the prince was hiding and shaking like a leaf. "Your Highness?" Edmund asked.
"Blackadder! Help! Help! He'll kill me! He'll eat me alive!" Prince George wailed.
"The bear! The bear!"
"What bear?" Edmund looked around. There was no bear in sight.
"That bear!" The Prince popped out from under the covers and pointed. "Over there! He's going to eat me as sure as it's Sunday! Help!"
"Sir, that's not a bear," Edmund sighed. "It's your table."
"But it's got fur!"
"That's your coat. See?" Edmund picked it up. "You must have draped it over the table when you were undressing."
"Really?" George blinked. "But it looked so menacing! So real! So huge!"
"Sir this table is only waist high."
"Is it? Well deal with it Blackadder! It could still be dangerous!"
"Yes sir, one can never be too careful with ferocious furniture," Edmund said as sincerely as he possibly could. "I'm sure many an owner has been attacked in the night be a bedroom settee. The increase of splinter injuries this year has been tremendously high. Don't worry sir, I'll deal with it."
He rapped the table several times. "Bad table! Bad table! You've been very naughty! Shame on you for scaring the prince! Bad! Bad! Bad!"
Then he looked at the jacket. "And as for you, naughty! Naughty! Naughty!" He threw it on the floor and jumped on it. "Don't…ever….scare…The prince…ever…again!"
For a final measure he kicked the coat. "There we are sir," Edmund said. "All taken care of. These inanimate objects won't dare trouble you any further."
"Good work Blackadder!" The Prince said proudly. "Well that's taught them a lesson! They won't be doing that again!"
"Or anything else for that matter. Will that be all sir? Or would you like me to thrash the wardrobe closet while I'm here?"
"Oh no," The Prince shook his head. "That's all right. Just a bad dream I guess."
"Yes sir," Edmund said. "Good night, sir. I'm off to bed. He turned around and muttered under his breath. "And pray I have a stroke!"
As soon as Edmund got back to the room he started to pace back and forth in a fury. "One of these nights! One of these nights! I'm going to snap and the prince will wish he had a bear in his room! Honestly! The things I put up with! Last night it was a giant hawk that turned out to be a gnat! The night before a ghost that was nothing more than bed curtains! And that night before that his life was endangered by a vicious quill pen! Dealing with Prince Mini Brain is exhausting enough during the day! But at night? Aaahhhhhggghh!"
In his fury he hit the wall with his fist and quickly realized that was not the most intelligent thing to do. "Steady Edmund, steady," He tried to compose himself as he held his fist in pain. "You're starting to act as irrational as Baldrick in the dark. Think calming thoughts. Pleasant thoughts."
He closed his eyes and imagined. "A nice spring day in the country. The sun is shining. The birds are singing. His highness is wallowing in the mud like the undercooked German Sausage he is and me with bags of gold, a comfy chair and a pitchfork at my disposal. And each time he tries to get out of the mud…Ahhh, yes that's better. Much better. Maybe now I can relax and…"
"Mr. B?" Baldrick stuck his head in the door.
"And kill my deranged dogsbody!" Edmund ground his teeth. "What is it now, Baldrick?"
"I still can't sleep, sir. What should I do?"
"Baldrick, normally when you ask such an open ended question like that I'd make a brilliantly sarcastic remark, punch you in the nose and fling you headfirst out the door," Edmund sighed. "But seeing how I neither have the strength nor the energy to do so…You might as well come in for a while. With any luck the aroma from your trousers might actually render me unconscious."
Then Edmund noticed that Baldrick was wearing a large ring of turnips around his neck. "Baldrick…What the hell are you wearing around your neck?"
"It's part of a cunning plan actually."
"What else would it be?" Edmund rolled his eyes.
"I figure I wear this turnip necklace 'round my neck…"
"In order to keep people from stealing your stash?" Edmund guessed.
"Wow! I didn't think of that!" Baldrick was surprised. "That's another good reason! But the main one is to keep vampires and monsters away!"
"Baldrick, that's garlic," Edmund corrected. "You use garlic to keep vampires away."
"But I don't like garlic. I figure one vegetable is as good as another."
"Must be," Edmund moaned. "I'm spending the night talking to one! Baldrick that thing is about as useful as a pair of dancing shoes for a snail. It will not protect you from harm!"
"No," And to demonstrate Edmund punched him in the face, grabbed one of the turnips and stuffed it in his mouth and kicked him out the door. Afterwards he slammed the door behind Baldrick.
"I can't take it…" Edmund groaned in agony. "The only good thing about this job is that his Royal Highness has the energy of a dead sloth in the morning and can't even get out of bed before three in the afternoon! If he did I might have to actually do some work before lunchtime! Now where was I? Maybe now I can…"
That was when the serving bell rang again. "Maybe not?" Edmund sighed.
When Edmund returned to the Prince's bedroom he found the Prince screaming and hopping up and down on his bed. "Blackadder! Help! Help! Rats! Rats! Rats!"
"Your highness?" Edmund looked again for any imaginary animals but found none.
"Oh thank God, Blackadder!" The Prince jumped right off the bed into a surprised Edmund's arms. "Help me! Giant white killer rats! Save me!"
"Rats, sir?" Edmund growled. He unceremoniously dropped the prince and picked up a pillow from the bed. "You mean these?"
"Oh yes well…" The Prince stood up. "They felt like rats. Well soft mice actually. Now that I think about it…more like ummmm…"
"Uh yes, pillows," The Prince took the pillow in his hands and fluffed it, clearly embarrassed. "Pillows. Fancy that. Just pillows. Ha, ha! Quite silly now. Don't you think? I mean, confusing pillows rats. These big soft fluffy things with little tiny squeaky things. Ha! Silly me. Uh thank you Blackadder. That will be all. No rats here. No sirree, Bob. Nope! None!"
Prince George nearly withered under Edmund's glare. "Your highness, have you been eating those sausage and sauerkraut stews again?"
"No Blackadder! I told you that I would never, never, ever, ever eat those things again! Nope! Never! Well, maybe a taste. Maybe a smidgen. Possibly a bite or two."
"How many bowls?" Edmund glared at him.
"Fourteen," The Prince admitted sheepishly.
"FOURTEEN?" Edmund yelled. "Fourteen?! Sir you know perfectly well that concoction, apart from destroying the lining of your stomach gives you nightmares! Not to mention keeping me up half the night!"
"Oh I'm sorry, Blackadder!" Prince George apologized. "I know I promised I wouldn't after the last time but I was so hungry! I had such a long day at the Naughty Hellfire Club. They were playing 'Spin 'Round The Prince' gain and it takes a lot out of me."
"I don't believe I'm familiar with that game, sir," Edmund said.
"Oh it's really a fun game!" Prince George said. "It's simple. What you do is get the person with the highest social rank in the room, put a blindfold on him, and you spin him round and round and round and round and round and round until he's all dizzy. Then you set him loose and have him try to catch the serving wenches. It's loads of fun."
"Sort of like 'Blind Man's Bluff' for upper class twits," Edmund remarked. "Did you catch anyone sir?"
"No, actually," The Prince admitted. "I sort of accidentally got myself locked in the hall closet. It took half an hour before I realized where I was. It's really dark in there with or without the blindfold. And it was even longer before I got out. Apparently the lock was stuck or something."
"Or something," Edmund knew what happened. "They really should fix that lock. This has been what? The ninth time you've been in there for half the night?"
"Well only the seventh. The other two times I ended up in the basement. Anyway by the time I got out I was really hungry. Especially since all the chaps at the club scarfed down all the dinner and snacks. So I had the cook whip up something."
"Remind me to whip the cook for feeding you that slop!" Edmund barked. "You realize sir, that you'll never get to sleep now! That so called meal will keep you awake longer than a regiment of French soldiers stationed at a brothel!"
"Oh I'm sorry Blackadder," Prince George apologized. "But hey! It's not a total loss! We can stay up all night and play games! Oh we'll have a slumber party just for us fellows!"
"Oh goody," Edmund grumbled.
By now the Prince was jumping up and down on the bed with excitement. "Hoorah! Party! Party! Woof! Woof! I know! Let's play charades! I love charades! What do you say, Blackadder?"
"I think not, sire. I've barely recovered from last Christmas' game."
"Oh right," The Prince stopped jumping and thought. "You're right. Too Christmassy. Not really a game suited for a couple of randy young lads like us in the middle of the night. Okay! Okay! I know! Let's run throughout the palace and steal all the maids' underwear! Tee hee!"
"Sir, might I remind you of the last time you did that?" Edmund gave him a look. "Or to put it more correctly, tried to do that? Remember you ended up with a bump on the head, sixteen bruises and a dog bite in a very embarrassing area on your person. The only underwear you were able to obtain was Mildred's. The fourteen stone sixty year old washerwoman. After that incident you were so terrified of running into her again you refused to have the laundry done for over a month! By the time we actually had clean clothes again you were down to wearing last year's fancy dress costume. If I hadn't had her shipped off to Australia you'd still be wearing that shepherdess outfit!"
"Oh yeah, right," The Prince shuddered as he remembered. "I know! Let's tell ghost stories!"
He got off the bed and swaggered to the door. "Ha! Not that there's such a thing as ghosts and monsters are there, Blackadder? Imagine being scared of a little thing like that?"
Right on cue, Baldrick wandered into the room. This caused the Prince to scream like a little girl and hid right behind Edmund. "AAAAAIIEEEEE!"
Edmund made an annoyed grunt. "Well, I can imagine being scared of this little thing! What do you want Baldrick?"
"I can't sleep sir, I'm scared."
"He's scared?" The Prince was shocked. "Whoever heard of a troll being scared?"
"Sir, it's only Baldrick. My dogsbody," Edmund explained. "True he is a troll but a harmless one."
"Oh well in that case, c'mon in!" The Prince waved. "We were about to tell stories!"
"Ooh! I love stories!" Baldrick clapped his hands. "I love hearing about those brave heroes and beautiful princesses in faraway lands! Ooh! Tell us a story Mr. B! You're the best at telling stories! Like the one you told Gwendolyn. You know, the new milkmaid? You told her you was in Kensington the other night when you was really with Yvette the chambermaid."
"Yes, yes, never mind Baldrick," Edmund waved.
Baldrick went on. "Then when Yvette accidentally met up with Gwendolyn and they compared notes, you told them you had a twin brother who liked to play practical jokes. So they said they wanted to meet him."
"I said never mind."
Baldrick still did not take the hint. "So then you had them wait in the kitchen and you got out one of the prince's old wigs, a riding crop and a vat of wine. Then you got into that horse's costume…"
"Shut up Baldrick!" Edmund snapped, punching him in the nose for emphasis. He turned back to the Prince. "Sir, might I suggest a more appropriate story?"
"I dunno Blackadder," The Prince was clearly impressed. "That story with the two girls sounds pretty good to me! Pretty randy you old rascal you! Woof!"
"It's not half as good as the one with him, the laundry maids, a royal guard's uniform and the fountain at the Royal Zoo," Baldrick added.
"Baldrick? What did I just say?" Edmund asked in an annoyed tone.
"That's right," Edmund punched him again.
"You see, Blackadder I wish I could do that!" Prince George shook his head. "Here I am the bloody Prince Regent and I can't get a 'How's your father' from half the women I meet, And for some reason the other half seem to go out of their way not to meet me."
"Probably just shy, sire," Edmund shrugged. "If I may…"
"I mean, no matter how hard I try, no matter how much of the old charm I put one, I couldn't get laid if my life depended on it!" Prince George said. "But you, you a mere butler somehow manage to get a new bird every time I turn around!"
"Oh I wouldn't say that," Edmund said.
"Oh don't be so modest, Blackadder!" The Prince said. "You know I've been around. Don't think I've heard the stories whispered about by all the birds and such! The Duke of Marlboury told me all about you and his favorite maid and the outfit made entirely of grapes! Whoo! Saucy stuff! And you and my mother's sister's maid at the opera in the balcony? And let us not forget last year when the circus came to town! They still tell tales of you and the twin trapeze artists in every bar in London! I never knew servants had such great sex lives! Woof! Woof! How do you do that? How do you get all the birds? Oh come on Blackadder! Please? Please? Please?"
"Perhaps some other time sire," Edmund yawned. "I am a bit tired and one cannot work miracles this late in the evening. How about some kind of story to help put you to sleep?"
"Ooh! How about the one with the bunnies?" The Prince's face lit up.
"Again your highness?" Edmund rolled his eyes.
"Yes again!" The Prince said. "The Bunny Story! The Bunny Story!"
"Bunny Story!" Baldrick joined in. "Bunny Story!"
"No! No! No! Not the Bunny Story!" Edmund shouted. "Anything but the Bunny Story!"
An hour later…
"So all the little bunnies were reunited again as a family," Edmund finished the story as he sat in a chair with both the Prince and Baldrick at his feet. "They went hopping back to their little bunny house happy as can be and had a wonderful dinner of carrots and cabbage. The end."
"Oh Bladder! That was a wonderful story!" The Prince whooped. "I love it when all the little bunnies go happily hopping home! Hop! Hop! Hop!" He scrunched up his face like a rabbit.
"Yes well now," Edmund got up and attempted to make a break for it. "Now that you've heard that story for the eight thousandth time, perhaps it is time to turn in and…"
"Oh no Blackadder!" The Prince begged. "Let's hear another story! I want to hear another story!"
"Well, sir I…"
"I have a story sir!" Baldrick took out a scrap of paper. "I've been working on it! May I?"
"If it's anything like that story you showed Dr. Johnson, no," Edmund glared at him.
"Oh come on, Blackadder!" The Prince said. "Let's hear him out. What harm could it do?"
"Other than destroying a few brain cells and wasting a few precious moment's of one's life, very little," Edmund sighed. "All right Baldrick, let's hear your story."
"Okay!" Baldrick read from his paper. "Once upon a time there was a little dogsbody named Baldrick who lived in a pipe in a great big palace. Every day he went to work for a stupid prince and a mean butler named Blacksnakey. The stupid prince was all right but Blacksnakey was very mean to Baldrick. He made Baldrick do all the work while he sat around and drank tea."
As Baldrick read the Prince looked puzzled and Edmund looked like he was going to kill Baldrick. "Blacksnakey was a very mean butler. He had a huge nose and a froggy face and was so mean he scared the palace dogs with it. Blacksnakey was so mean he used to steal socks right out of the…"
At that moment Edmund hit Baldrick on the side of the head. "What? What was that?" The Prince blinked.
"Yes, Baldrick. What were you going to say?" Edmund hit him again. "Spit it out!" And again he hit him.
"Nothing…I forget the rest…" Baldrick was a bit dazed.
Fortunately for Edmund so was the Prince. "Well that wasn't a very good story now was it? Had nothing to do with bunnies at all. Huh. Well be back in a moment Gents. I've got to use the Gents! Ha! That was clever wasn't it? Hang on lads, I'll tell you a real whopper when I get back!"
As soon as the prince left to use the lavatory, Edmund grabbed Baldrick. "All right you foul little twerp, listen up! If you ever, ever tell that story again I will act out a little story of my own! A story called: 'Baldrick, The Annoyed Butler and The Ten Red Hot Pokers'! Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes, Mr. Blackadder."
"Good," Edmund grabbed Baldrick's story and shoved it in his mouth. "It's bad enough I have to endure the prince's prattling without you… Wait a minute! Perhaps not!" He ran out after the prince.
Ten minutes later in the royal hallway…
"Let me out! Help!" Prince George screamed inside the royal lavatory. "Help! Blackadder!"
"Oh dear sir," Edmund leaned against the wall playing with a key. "The door seems to be stuck. I can't get it open."
"Well do something!" The Prince pleaded.
"Hang on your Highness. I'll go find a locksmith. Of course it might take some time so make yourself comfortable and I'll be back as soon as I can," Edmund smiled as he casually sauntered down the hallway.
Baldrick followed him. "You're just going to leave the prince in there?"
"We'll let him out in the morning," Edmund told him. "On second thought, make it around noonish."
"Mr. B, I still can't get to sleep."
"I've thought of that, Baldrick. I'll just use the old Blackadder insomnia remedy my parents taught me."
"Really?" Baldrick asked. "How does it work?"
"Like this," Edmund took a nearby vase and smashed it over Baldrick's head. Baldrick crumpled to the floor out like a light. Edmund whistled happily as he went back to his room.
Blackadder needed to get some sleep
So he could rest his scheming brain
But he's kept awake by a royal creep
And a dwarf who's downright insane
Never gets a moment's peace
The insanity will never cease
Just hates to do any work
He's really a bloody jerk!