Talula smiled devilishly at Charlize.
"I want to thank you for making my plans so... easy. Now I can conduct the next steps right away."
"What next steps?" Charlize trembled.
"These ones!" Talula grinned and she made a pattern with her hands. As she raised her arms, Charlize was lifted off the ground.
"By the laws of my personal preferences, you shall spend all eternity floating around in a little bubble that has been created from dogs splashing around in washtubs..."
"Grandma," muttered Gemma, irritably. "I think it's time to stop playing with our prisoner and actually do what we came here to do."
Talula reluctantly lifted the floating spell from Charlize and she drifted back to the floor.
"Did you really have to scare me like that?"
Talula laughed. "Of course you can always stop us, by floating up to the world of the living and scheming with your fellow 'Royals!' Fortunately, we have a plan to prevent you from doing so, which we shall conduct now.... you see, Charlize, I was allowed to keep my voodoo dolls in the afterlife."
"What? No!" winced Charlize.
Charlize shut her eyes and turned her head away, as a voodoo doll appeared from thin air onto Talula's palm.
"Why are you doing this?" she said.
Gemma and Talula ignored her.
Talula began her chanting. "Wib Wab Wob Wib Wab Wob Thingy-ma-jingy abrakadabra bibbidi bobbidi boo..."
A bright light covered the doll and another light circled around Charlize's head.
When the chanting had stopped, Talula looked up at Charlize.
"I think it's worked," said Gemma. "She seems pretty dazed to me."
"Yes, but does she function at our command?" mused Talula. If a voodoo doll was properly tied to Charlize, Talula would be able to fully control her actions.
"Shall we test it out?" said Gemma. Talula gave her a wicked smile.
"Let's not be hasty," she said. "I have a long list of activities I'd like to try with this one and, believe me, I think you'll enjoy them too."
The Evil Genius & His Evil Services' Campus, Granite Falls, 2028
Victor and Henry were at the Evil Genius's lodgings, they knocked at the door, but nobody answered. Henry, however, heard voices behind the property. Just as Henry was about to head towards the noise, Victor stopped him.
“Okay, Henry, you sure we’re doing the right thing? Creeping off in the dark? Because Lauren, I always assumed was nocturnal, since, you know, she lives with, you know, Paris… the ‘batty one’…” he said.
Henry shook his head.
"Victor,” he groaned. “Do you want to know what the Evil Geniuses are up to, or not?”
“Sort of… it’s not that simple. I mean, yeah, because it would be cool – coz, what if we came across a secret meeting? But I wouldn’t want to draw any attention coz, what if Lauren found us spying on them? Then we’d be in big trouble, or worse, what if we come across one of the Evil Geniuses and they declare war on us?… or….” Victor grew pale and lowered his voice. “What if we come across… the king? I’m sure he has lots of…. things … he’d like to do to us… me particularly...”
Henry snorted much to Victor’s horror.
“No joke, I’m serious! That king is scary. Have you heard the news recently? You know, about the death of the Duchess of Newcrest? I’m sure she didn’t just die in the night. He killed her; the king, and now he’s here...”
“Victor, give over,” said Henry. “Alex won’t kill us… I’m sure he’ll love to hear what we have to say.”
“You sure?” said Victor, wide eyed. “And don’t refer to him as ‘Alex.’ Kings are precious about who calls them what and,” Victor scoped the area, “you never know who’s watching.”
“Victor!” laughed Henry, “Alex won’t harm you.”
“No of course not, because I’m only the son of Edith Hellewell, the murderous killer of the king’s mother and father.”
“Ah, but Victor,” said Henry, “it’s not Alex’s style to kill you before he kills Edith. If he’s gonna kill you, it’ll be to stop you killing him for killing your mother.”
“But mum’s still alive.”
“U-huh,” Henry agreed.
Victor was silent as he tried to make sense of what Henry was telling him. Henry continued walking towards the sounds of conversation behind the lodge. Victor followed.
“So… he won’t kill me… yet?”
“U-huh,” agreed Henry.
“Sweet… wait… how do you know all this?”
“How do you know all this about the king?”
They found Alex and his friends sitting on three log chairs around an unlit campfire.
"Uhm, hi guys - uh I'm Henry!" Henry blurted his name out, so as not to draw attention to the unintended 'familiar' tone of his opening.
Victor hung his head low. He had kept his eyes on the ground ever since he noticed the king sitting on the log directly opposite them, his mischievous eyes fixed on... me probably, thought Victor. I bet he has a number of unpleasant deeds he'd like to do to the son of the Sweglord who murdered his parents.
Henry, on the other hand, noticed that Alex was unmistakably staring at him.
"Uhm," said Henry, shyly. "And this is, uhh, Victor!"
"I know who you two are," said Alex, still staring coquettishly at Henry - at least, that's how Henry interpreted it, although he was sure he was just dreaming.
"Uhm, right," said Henry, trying to avoid Alex's gaze that was preventing functional sentences from forming in his head. "I - we - wanted to uh ask you about what's going on?"
"You tell me," Alex replied. "Two enemies turn up unannounced at our holiday lodge asking 'what's going on' - are you lost?"
Yes, "No," said Henry. "We just wanted to know why you're here and we're..." Henry pointed to the direction of his and Victor's lodgings, "there!" he finished his sentence.
"Why doesn't Victor explain why we're all at the same holiday destination?" snapped Adrian, who had been glaring at Victor the whole time, "I'm sure Lauren tells you everything, Victor, since she and your mum are partners in crime!"
"Adrian," laughed her boyfriend, Quintin. "Lauren wouldn't trust Victor with an umbrella - she regards him as useless!"
"Who told you that?" cried Victor, scowling at Quintin.
"Uhm, Henry, actually!" said Quintin. Henry looked sheepish and turned his body away from Victor's rigid one, as Victor channelled his outrage on him.
Alex ignored Adrian.
"Henry - and Victor, I gather Lauren hasn't - revealed the - real reason why we're here...."
Henry and Victor frowned. "What?" said Henry.
"I knew Lauren was up to something," mumbled Victor.
"Come sit with us," said Alex. "Don't worry, Victor, we won't hurt you - and I shall tell you... everything" that's needed to be told.
There was a long pause.
"I'd like to say we have all night, but..." Alex glanced past Henry and a smile crept out the side of his mouth.
"I'd prefer to stand," muttered Victor, his eyes still facing the ground.
"Just tell us, Alex!" said Henry.
"Who are you calling 'Alex' Henry?" growled a grumpy female voice that was unmistakably Lauren's.
Oh dear, I'm dead! Henry's thoughts cried.
"Lauren," said Victor, "we were just..."
"... disobeying my orders!" Lauren finished
"And a good thing it was too," added Alex, "because I have a proposition to make and I think you know what it is, Lauren. I hope you've given it thought, discussed it with your... family... and are ready to make a decision that you won't regret."
"Oh believe me," said Lauren. "I won't regret this!"