This is a work of fiction and is not to be sold in any way shape or form. It is simply for my amusement and the challenge of writing these characters in a strange and dangerous world. All the characters are owned by Disney and I do not claim ownership of any of them. Please let me know what you think in the comments below! Without further ado, welcome to The Kingdom.)
Chaos had broken loose in the Kingdom. As Jiminy held onto Goofy’s shoulder, the dog ran at full speed up the hill towards the palace with his shield in front of him, deflecting oncoming attackers as they pounced on him from behind the corners of buildings. The black smoke was slowly consuming the entire city around them and Jiminy couldn’t help but feel that they were fighting a losing battle. As they approached the castle by way of the courtyard, the large doors opened and Goofy ran in. Jiminy couldn’t help but notice that the shrubs and rose bushes are quickly drying up and then turning black. He couldn’t imagine that this was a good sign.
“We’re arming the canons, sir!” Yelled one of the guards. “We’ll have them firing in a few moments.”
“No,” said Goofy. “You can’t see anything with all that black smoke. We’ll end up killing our own people.”
“If we don’t shoot, far more lives will be lost,” said the guard.
“Your King is out there!” Said Jiminy defiantly.
Everyone in the room paused. “Th-thing King?” asked one of the guards, clearly thrown by the statement.
“Do you want to fire canons and innocents so badly that you’d risk killing the King?” Jiminy crossed his arms and waited for a response.
“He’s alive,” said Goofy, sounding as though even he did not believe it himself. The guards couldn’t believe what they were hearing.
Boom! Boom! Boom! They all turned to the door and backed away. “Stand your ground men,” said Goofy, pulling down his helmet and readying the red and blue shield along with his sword.
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!!! The doors exploded open and a cascade of alligators wearing red capes and holding long swords burst into the entry hall, taking several of the guards down with a single surprising blow. Several of them ran for Goofy but he was far more skilled than they and he parried their attacks one after another.
Jiminy held on for dear life as Goofy spun around, realizing that his men were quickly being outnumbered. “Retreat to the upper levels!” he shouted and started pulling back up the grand staircase behind them, swiftly taking out two alligators who lunged for him. Only a few guards were left now as the alligators continued their assault.
“Goofy, look!” Shouted Jiminy, pointing to the destroyed doorway as a large shadow filled it.
“Well hello there, Goofy,” came the deep rumbling voice of Pete as he walked into the entryway, stepping over a felled guard. He grinned at Goofy who was halfway up the large central staircase. “Fancy seeing you here.”
“Pete,” said Goofy, who simply couldn’t believe his eyes. It had been years since he’d last seen the large dog, and as far as he knew, Pete was dead. Yet, much like the King, here he stood.
“I just thought I’d stop by and take this little ol’ castle for myself. Not like you all were using it.” He continued walking towards Goofy.
“This is the castle of his Majesty King Mickey,” said Goofy defiantly. “You and the darkness you bring with you are not welcome here.”
“Oh,” said Pete as black tendrils of smoke began to roll off his body. “I think I’m more than welcome.” In a sudden movement, he lifted a hand and, to everyone’s surprise, electricity shot from it towards Goofy. Goofy lunged out of the way, rolling up the stairs, as Jiminy held on for dear life. With one last look back, they took off up the stairs. A loud series of thuds behind them told them that Pete was in pursuit.
“Where are we going?” Asked Jiminy, holding onto the small bit of black fur that stuck out at Goofy’s neck.
“I don’t know,” he responded from underneath the armor. “But if he’s chasing us, he’s not hurting anyone else. As Goofy ran, electricy exploded behind them, breaking the stone of the castle walls and only narrowly missing them.
They came to a long external walkway which overlooked the courtyard below as it bridged two separate towers. Arches acted as windows, allowing them to see the darkness, which was making its way to the castle walls, and the citizens of the Kingdom, who were running like ants towards the palace for salvation.
There was a sudden burst of black smoke and the Shadow appeared at the opposite end of the walkway, as if appearing from thin air. Its eagle mask glinted in what little sunlight was left and its black robes fluttered in the breeze.
“Goofy,” said the Shadow, the mechanical voice echoing along the walkway. “Take the door behind me. Go downstairs and assist Merlin and Donald. I will handle Pete.”
“But your majesty,” protested Goofy.
“Just go!” Shouted the Shadow.
There was an explosion from behind them which threw Goofy to the ground. He rolled and then stood, giving the Shadow a nod before heading through the door. In the chaos and surprise of the explosion, Jiminy fell from Goofy’s shoulder and slammed onto the concrete flooring. He went to stand, to rejoin Goofy, but the dog was already gone, unaware that he had lost the cricket.
“Goofy!” Shouted Jiminy, but it was no use. He turned to see Pete coming up the hallway and leapt up to the ledge of one of the archways, hiding from site as the Shadow stood, rooted in place.
“Well well well,” said Pete. “Your Majesty. What a true honor it is.” Pete gave a low laugh.
“Leave this castle,” said the shadow. “Or I will show you out myself.”
“Now that, I would love to see.”
The Shadow reached to its back and pulled two glimmering swords out of there sheathes, ready to attack. Pete simply smiled and shook his head.
“Now see, that’s the problem with you.” He took a step forward and Jiminy felt a cold surround him. A dark aura filled with pain and suffering. It was almost unbearable. “You assume that the weapons of this world are the only one’s there are. You really ought to get out more.”
Pete’s hand went into the air in front of him, making a grasping motion, though he was still several feet away from the Shadow. The shadow dropped its swords and put its hands to its throat as if trying to pull something away, as if it were being choked, despite the fact that Pete was nowhere near him.
“You see, I’ve traveled a very long way and in my travels I was taught true power. No more using the darkness to shift away, your Majesty. No more sword fighting your way out. This is the end of the line mouse.”
The shadow dropped to its knees, gasping for breath, struggling to get free but it was no use. It was trapped. Jiminy simply watched in horror. This was the King, his King. The world needed him. The world needed hope. Who was Jiminy cricket? Not someone the world needed, that was for sure. Every decision he’d made had led him deeper and deeper down a road of depression and rejection. He turned to look at Pete and for the first time in years, he knew exactly what he needed to do.
“Take the straight and narrow path,” he sang to himself as he took a step towards the ledge of the archway. “And if you start to slide.” He bent his knees as his voice trembled. “Give a little whistle.” The shadow sank lower to the ground. “Give a little whistle.” Pete cackled with maniacal laughter. “And always let your conscience be your guide.” Jiminy sprang from the ledge, sped through the air and landed on Pete, quickly making his way inside his robes. He searched only for a moment for a bit of soft flesh and then opened his mouth and took a bite.
“GAH!” Yelled Pete, releasing his gripping hand gesture. The Shadow fell to the ground, gasping for breath.
Jiminy ran along the fur and found another soft spot. He gave another bite. Pete yowled in pain. He ran through the robes again and bit down again. Another painful cry. He quickly ran up the sleeve of the robe and poked his head out to look at the Shadow.
“You’re majesty!” He yelled. “Run!” The figure gave him a long look and then ran for one of the open arches at the side of the walkway and lunged from it, falling towards the moat below.
“Why you little-” Jiminy tried to pull himself back up the sleeve, but it was too late. Pete grabbed him in his hand and squeezed him tightly, raising him up so that he was forced to look the dog in the face. “I hope it was worth it, little cricket.”
Jiminy gave a weak smile. “I’ve saved the King’s life. I’d call that an honest day’s work.”
Pete growled under his breath, rage spilling through him. Jiminy could feel the anger, as though it were permeating the air around them. With a flick of his wrist, Pete threw Jiminy to the cold stone floor.
Jiminy Cricket closed his eyes as Pete’s shoe came down on top of him. At least in his final moments, Jiminy Cricket had been a good conscience. He’d be seeing the blue fairy soon and he was sure that she would be proud of him. As he breathed his last breath, he couldn’t think of a time in his life where he’d felt any more honest, brave or true.