"Mickey! Oh Mickey! Where are you?"
"Be right there, Minnie," Mickey said as he adjusted his black bow tie. Tonight was the night that The Little Mermaid musical would premiere at the House of Mouse, and he was rather excited. He had done a lot today trying to get people to come see the show, running from street to street with promotional materials. Then, he had gone back to the theater to oversee the theater set up. With that done, he had retreated to his dressing room to take a breather. Once he was there, he figured that he might as well change out into his suit and tie early.
As soon as he was done adjusting his bow, he went to open the door. Standing there was Minnie, wearing a short lavender dress and a cream cardigan. The moment Minnie saw him, a puzzled look fell across her face.
"Why are you all dressed, Mickey? The show doesn't start in three hours."
"Well, I thought I would relax in here a bit," he said. "I had a rather busy day promoting the show."
"Are you really still worried about it?" asked Minnie.
"I was, but I think it'll go just fine," said Mickey, in his usual matter-of-fact tone.
"Are you sure? You look nervous."
"I'll be fine, Minnie—I promise," Mickey said. "By the way, you look awfully nice in that dress of yours."
"Do I?" said Minnie, blushing and ruffling her skirt. "I wasn't sure if I should get it at first, but Daisy convinced me to. I'm sure glad I listened to her." After admiring her dress for those few seconds, she looked back up at Mickey. "Well, perhaps you should take a nap before it starts since you have some time. You look tired."
"Well, maybe," said Mickey. "But I do have to make a few telephone calls."
"All right," said Minnie. "I guess I will see you later, then. Don't worry too much!" And with that, she hopped away, and Mickey shut the door.
He then made his telephone calls, mostly about money issues related to the musical. When he was done, he let out a big sigh. He was excited about the performance, but he was also rather scared. The last few rehearsals he had attended had some unforeseen problems. Some of the special effects would not sync up correctly, and for some reason the dancers could not get their choreography straight and ended up colliding into one another. He had wondered who had hired those dancers, but it didn't matter in the end because at each following rehearsal they had gotten much better.
There were some other sequences, though, that he was worried about. The director had decided to add back in the sequence where Eric fights Ursula at the end, which was not in the original musical (at least, not when it was on Broadway). However, the giant Ursula animatronic kept breaking down and had to be re-fixed over and over again. Despite this, the director was so determined to keep the scene in and refused to remove it. This had driven many of the show technicians mad.
The dress rehearsal had been all right. All the special effects seemed in place, the dancing was good, and the Ursula animatronic seemed to work a little better, so he was relieved about that. Still, Mickey knew that anything could happen during the real performance, which made him a little uneasy. But anyways, he had to get this off his mind.
Mickey looked in his dressing room tabletop mirror and sat down in the accompanying chair. Goodness, Minnie was right—he did look tired! He could see slight bags under his eyes, and his face did seem a bit paler than usual. Perhaps it would be a good time to take a nap after all.
He put his head on the table and closed his eyes. As he rested, he heard the music from the show play through his head. Under the Sea, Under the Sea, Darling it's better down where it's wetter, take it from me…
To his surprise, Mickey found himself on a boat. He could hear the sound of a rushing river, and the sky was bright and clear. It was quite gray for a clear sky, though, wasn't it? That was when Mickey realized that the hills in the distance were also gray, and the river's water was white. In fact, everything was in black and white—the boat, the bell…even himself!
He spotted the steering wheel of the boat and saw that nobody else was at the helm. It was only when he put his hands on the wheel did he understand everything. I know where I am! thought Mickey. This was the old steamboat that I used to work on.
He began steering the boat, and at once he felt a hit of happiness. He looked ahead of him, feeling confident that nothing was in his way. With that, he began tapping his toes and whistling a merry tune as the boat cruised down the river.
All of a sudden, he heard a shrill voice call him. "Oh Mickey!" Mickey turned around, and who else did he see but his lovely Minnie, also in black and white. She was wearing a frilly dress and a cute little hat with a white flower in it.
"Oh hi there, Minnie!" said Mickey.
Minnie joined him at the wheel. "Isn't it a lovely day?" she asked him.
"It sure is!" he exclaimed as he continued to steer the boat.
With that Minnie gave Mickey a huge kiss on his cheek. "Aw, you shouldn't have, Minnie!" said Mickey, who felt himself turn red. Yes, it was certainly a good day for a steamboat cruise. And with Minnie by his side, there was absolutely nothing that could go wrong.
But within seconds, he noticed that the sky had grown darker and darker until it was pitch black. "Oh no," said Minnie anxiously. "Is it going to rain?"
"I hope not," said Mickey. As he continued to steer the boat, however, he noticed that the river seemed to have grown wider. That's funny, thought Mickey. The wind had grown colder and more temperamental as well. He heard the bell ring as a sharp breeze went by him.
"Mickey, I'm scared," said Minnie, her teeth chattering.
"Just stay by me, Minnie," said Mickey. "I'm sure it'll…"
But at that moment, he felt the waters begin to rumble. The boat began shuddering back and forth.
"What…what's happening?" asked Minnie.
Suddenly, right at the front of the boat, Mickey saw the water rippling. The ripples turned to waves, and the waves turned to violent splashes. And slowly, from the splashes emerged several enormous prong-like shapes. Mickey was not sure what they were at first, but soon, more emerged from the water, and right before his eyes was a giant creature—a large-bodied creature with eight octopus legs, wearing a pronged crown and carrying a shimmering trident in its right hand. The sight of it made Mickey's legs turn to jelly. Ursula? he thought. But upon closer inspection, he saw that the creature also had a round black nose, bordered by a few whiskers…
"Pete?" Mickey exclaimed in disbelief.
"Yes, it is I!" roared the creature. And indeed, Mickey now saw that the creature, despite having the body of Ursula, had the face of his familiar enemy. Before Mickey could say another word, however, Minnie let out a scream.
"Look out!" she shrieked. At once, a powerful beam shot out from the trident, destroying the entire top of the boat. Both Minnie and Minnie had ducked in time, but the impact of the trident's blast sent them both flying into the water.
Mickey felt the cold water flood around him, and he quickly clamored his way back up to the surface for air. Upon breathing, he let out a yell. "Minnie? Where are you?" He saw that the river was no longer narrow but instead as wide as an ocean.
"Over here!" yelled Minnie, who was several feet away from him. She swam up to him at a rather faster pace than he had expected. But then, Mickey saw that something about Minnie had changed—flipping behind her was the tail of a fish.
"Minnie…you're a mer-mouse?" However, he was interrupted yet again by Pete.
"The waves obey my every whim!" Pete ominously shouted, and at once giant waves began to form in the water.
"Watch out!" Mickey cried, but it was too late—one of the giant waves had crashed over the two, sending them up in the air in different directions.
Mickey landed in the water with another violent splash. As he got back up to the surface, gasping for air, he saw that the steamboat was close to him. It was quite ruined due to the blast from the trident, but Mickey wondered if it was still steerable.
He noticed that the steamboat's crane was still attached, and its robe was hanging down into the water. Grabbing the rope quickly before it passed his way, Mickey climbed his way back onto the boat. He ran towards the helm, and to his amazement, the steering wheel was still intact.
Immediately, Mickey took the wheel. He saw that Pete had made a giant whirlpool appear, and Mickey maneuvered the boat away from it. Pete was glaring at something inside of the whirlpool and let out a menacing cackle.
"You are mine now!" Pete laughed. Oh no, Mickey thought, he has Minnie!
His eye noticed that the bow of the boat, which was once round and shiny, had become sharp and rugged. Looking back at Pete, Mickey realized that he knew what he had to do. Normally, such a thing would be silly to him—but Mickey knew that he had to do it before Pete could get to Minnie.
Fiercely, Mickey grasped the wheel tightly and got ready to turn the boat. Pete was getting ready to aim his trident at Minnie. Could Mickey make it in time? He waited until the boat was at just the right spot before he spun the wheel and wedged the boat around.
Pete had his trident close to the whirlpool, but he suddenly turned his head as he heard the sound of the boat approach him. Without hesitation, Mickey forced the boat right into the belly of the beast.
"AAAAAAARRGGH!" Pete roared, and immediately following his cry of pain, a giant bolt of lightning zapped onto him. With another roar, Pete began falling towards the boat, and Mickey dived into the water before the fatal collision.
Mickey could feel the impact of Pete collapsing onto the boat as he tried swimming away from the wreckage. The water around him bubbled and crackled, and he felt his body shaking. Mickey continued to swim, but he thought that the water would finally get to him…
"Mickey! Mickey!" he heard a voice.
"Must...keep…swimming…" Mickey mumbled, continuing to outstretch his arms.
"Mickey! Get up!"
To his astonishment, Mickey lifted his head up. He was no longer in the water: in fact, he had been in his dressing room all along. Standing by his side was Minnie, whose hands were on his shoulders. Mickey noticed that his arms were extended upon the dressing room table, and he shyly put them to his side.
As she let him go, Minnie exclaimed, "Mickey, the show is about to start, and you're on in two minutes!"
He looked at his watch and yelped in surprise. "Goodness, Minnie! How long have I been sleeping for?"
"A very long time—and it seems like you were having a rather crazy dream too."
"I guess I was," said Mickey, rubbing his forehead. "Well, we better go, then."
Relieved that he had changed out earlier, he took Minnie by the arm. They made their way to the stage where Mickey would say a few words to the audience before the show started. While they walked, Mickey slowly began to recollect what had happened in the dream. Yes, it had been very strange—it had started off quite nicely but ended up being total chaos. And the way Pete looked—what a scary sight!
He waited backstage as Minnie went to announce him. As she did, Mickey smiled. Maybe the show was not going to perfect, but compared to what he had seen, it certainly could not be as bad.