'Ten Minutes Late for Reality' by Lou Morris (c) 1988, 1989, 1991, 2002, 2015. Twenty-five:

Twenty-five:

"Pyromaniac;
Combustibles, beware his flame,
Kaye-Boom, his fiery name!"

                                 - Kaye-Boom's second
favorite theme poem.


   "We've been searching this room for secret passageways
for almost a day now.  Let's face it, thy room is bare,"
Kill-M-All commented, giving up.
   "But there must be some sort of secret way into another
room... How else would the Dead Nose--"
   "Dead EYE!  The Dead Eye, elf!" Kaye-Boom yelled.
   "Eye, sorry," Emmerick apologized.  "How else would the
Dead Eye get that strange girl in here?"
   "Yeah," Shae-doe added, "All thy really cliche Dragons
and Dungeons adventures have secret passageways."
   Kaye-Boom looked up from his camp fire, "'Tis enough of
cliches."
   "He's right," Shae-doe added, "We'll have to wait for thy
second installment.  That's thy cliche issue!"
   "We aren't supposed to know that!" Emmerick yelled.
   "Know what?" Shae-doe asked.
   "Good."
   Beach-Ball wandered over to Kaye-Boom's corner and
watched him set fire to an oak chair that Shae-doe had
thankfully conjured up--mostly to give Kaye-Boom something to
do.
   Kaye-Boom looked up, startled to have Beach-Ball looking
over his shoulder.  "Go away," he said.
   Beach-Ball didn't.  "Do you think there is a secret
passageway leading from this room?" he asked.
   "Of course not!" Kaye-Boom yelled, "We would have found
it by now!"  He waved a burning chair leg at Beach-Ball.  
"Now go away or I'll start burning something else."
   "Sorry," he sniffed.  He walked away, tearing, and
slipped on a pile of a chair ashes.  For support, he grabbed
hold of a metal torch holder that was set into the stone
wall.  The torch holder turned, opening a pit beneath
Kaye-Boom's fiery feet.
   "Aaaa!"  Gravity this time was quicker than magic.  
Kaye-Boom fell twenty feet down into the pit and landed on
something soft and furry.
   "Ouch!" said something soft and furry.
   "What?" said Kaye-Boom, momentarily out of it.
   "Hello," said the soft and furry animated teddy bear.  
"My name is Teddy Buxpin and I'd like to eat you..."
   "A little bear?" Kaye-Boom laughed.  "Eat me?"
   "Once upon a time, an evil cartoon spirit named The Dead
Eye placed me in this pit and told me to eat anyone who
should disturb me..."
   "Yes, yes...  Well," Kaye-Boom said to the salivating
little bear.  He looked up to the top of the steep,
insurmountable pit.  Kill-M-All stared back at him.  "Would
ye toss me a rope, please?" Kaye-Boom asked.
   "Do we have a rope?" Kill-M-All smiled.  "Hmn..."  He
patted his tunic pockets.  "No rope there..."
   "And soon a bumbling wizard-type person fell into my
pit..." Teddy recited, pulling a napkin from behind him.  A
knife and fork followed.
   "Go away."  Kaye-Boom shooed the small furry bear away.  
He looked back up the pit, "Would ye hurry up with the rope."
   "Hey Beach-Ball?  Do you have a rope?" Kill-M-All asked
sarcastically.
   "No," Beach-Ball answered truthfully.
   Teddy nibbled on Kaye-Boom's left slipper.  "First I ate
the wizard's enchanted foot."
   "Get off my feet!  You're getting bear spit all over my
slippers!" Kaye-Boom yelled.  "Get me that rope before this
stupid bear eats my wizardly shoe laces!"
   "We don't seem to have any rope up here.  Nope."  
Kill-M-All put a hand over Emmerick's mouth.  "No rope," he
said again.  "Hey, Shae-doe!" he laughed, "Can you conjure up
a rope?"
   Shae-Doe frowned.  "Well..."
   Kill-M-All ignored him.  "Hey, Kaye-Boom!" he yelled down
into the pit.
   "Yes?"
   "If you want, I could toss down a spear or ten--I'll be
aiming for the bear of course.  I probably won't hit you more
than once or twice..."  Kill-M-All smiled.
   "No thank you, warrior," Kaye-Boom replied.
   "Then I leapt up and tore the wizard's head off."  The
small bear leapt forward and tore the wizard's hat off.
   "Hey!  Get off my magic hat!"  Kaye-Boom snatched his
black top hat back from the bear.  "Where's that rope?" he
yelled.
   "Catch!" Shae-doe yelled as he tossed a silver coin down
into the pit.
   The coin turned into a strawberry cream pie halfway down,
which Kaye-Boom successfully caught--in the face.
   "Thanks," Kaye-Boom said, wiping the fluffy cream from
his face.
   Kill-M-All laughed.  "I love it," he said.
   "It was supposed to turn into a rope..." Shae-doe
apologized.  "Sorry."
   The bear waddled near to Kaye-Boom.  "Next, I--"
   "No," Kaye-Boom replied.  "No, you didn't."  He snapped
his fingers.  "Fire-Ball!" he said.
   "Aaaa!" came the chorused reply from above.
   A sheet of flames soared upwards, carrying a surfing
Kaye-Boom on top.  He gingerly stepped off and walked away
from the pit.  The flames receded back into the blacked hole.
   "No rope, eh?" Kaye-Boom smirked as he flicked bits and
chunks of burnt bear fur from his robes.
   "Oh, I'm sorry," Kill-M-All replied from behind
Beach-Ball.  "I did have a rope after all.  Whoops."
   "I should burn you--"  Kaye-Boom stopped in mid-threat.  
Something hit him.  No, not an idea, but a very large piece
of volcanic rock from the ceiling.
   Kaye-Boom moaned as he lay sprawled on the dusty floor.  
The stone lay a scant three inches from his slightly dented
head.
   "Are you okay?" Kill-M-All asked the stone.
   "Quit joking around!" Emmerick yelled.  "The wizard is
hurt."
   "Hey, I'm the wizard," Shae-doe said.  "But, anyway--Look
up there!"  He pointed to the hole in the ceiling.
   Everyone except Kaye-Boom looked up there, only to see a
secret passageway in the ceiling.  Kaye-Boom, however, choose
to look at the fireflies circling his head, instead.
   "A secret passageway!" all of the currently coherent
members of the adventuring party exclaimed.
   "Fire-Boom..." Kaye-Boom gurgled, sucking his thumb.
   "Somebody wake him up before he says something
dangerous," Kill-M-All suggested.
   Shae-doe smiled.  "Hey, look!  Isn't that an erupting
volcano I see over there?" he lied.
   Kaye-Boom snapped awake.  "Volcano?  Where?"  He frowned.
   "Good.  Now that everyone has had their naps, we can get
on with this insane quest," Emmerick said.
   "I haven't had a nap yet..." Beach-Ball added.
   "Shut-up," Kill-M-All suggested.
   "How do we get up there?" Emmerick asked.
   "Uh, I don't know... Here, hold me up; now step onto his
back--" Kill-M-All explained, making a human and demihuman
pyramid.
   "Ouch!  What are you doing?" Emmerick whined.
   "Hoist us up... now stand on his back!  Good.  Steady!  
Okay... Now push up a bit."  Kill-M-All stood on the top of
their structure.
   Their pyramid looked more like a square.
   Kill-M-All stuck his head through the opening in the
roof.  "Too dark to tell, but I think we could all fit in."  
He climbed in and then let a rope down and pulled everyone
up, one at a time, except Beach-Ball--he was way too heavy.
   "I can't get up!" Beach-Ball moaned.  He tried, once
again, to climb to the top of the rope.  Once again, he fell
with a thud to the stone floor below.  He started to cry.
   "How can we get you?" Emmerick called, "We can't lift you
up here."
   "But... guys?" Beach-Ball cried.  He tried again, only to
dent the floor again.
   "Here!" Kill-M-All yelled down to Beach-Ball.  "Grab onto
the sharp end of my sword."  He smiled broadly; "We'll pull
what's left of you up."
   "No thanks," he moaned, walking away, tears streaming
from his eyes.
   "We have to do something," Shae-doe said.
   "But what?" Emmerick mused.  He wanted to leave the fat
freak behind, but the rest of the group wouldn't stand for
it.  Or in their current state, crammed in the small
passageway, crawl for it.
   "He'd be a lot lighter if he was slightly crispy--medium
well," Kaye-Boom suggested.
   "Hold on, Beach-Ball!" Shae-doe yelled down to him.  
"I'll teleport you up here!"
   Beach-Ball smiled, flicking away a tear.  "Okay," he
sniffed.
   Shae-doe started mumbling something totally incoherent
then ended his spell with a wave of his hand.  A shimmering
appeared around Beach-Ball, almost like those terrible
not-so-special effects on the old "Star-Trek" show.  Then,
with a flash, Beach-Ball disappeared.
   "Oops," Shae-doe admitted.
   "What?!" Emmerick yelled.  "What do you mean 'oops?'  
Where did you send him?  Where is he?"
   "Since when did you care about him, elf?" Kaye-Boom
asked.
   "Oh.  Good point," Emmerick shrugged.
   "I don't know where or what," Shae-doe said.  "I thought
he would appear in the tunnel next to me."
   "Oh well.  Darn," Kill-M-All said with little sympathy.  
"I'll miss him so much," he added with even less sympathy.  
He started crawling down the passageway.
   The others followed.
   "Would the owners of a pudgy person please continue down
the passageway into our lost parents facility.  Thank you,"
an undead voice resounded from down the passageway.
   "Who the heck was that?" Emmerick exclaimed.
   "Sounded like Connie the ghoul to me," Kill-M-All
answered.
   "Let's be quick with our rescue of the little big fellow
before they decide to suck the marrow from his fat little
bones," Kaye-Boom said.
   "Nice thought," Kill-M-All added.
   They continued up the small passageway, with the fiery
Kaye-Boom in the lead to light the way.
   After an hour or so of crawling down the three foot high
air vent/passageway, a bright light appeared up ahead; either
someone shot a fireball down the passageway towards them or a
lit chamber was up ahead.  The mere fact that, a few seconds
later, they were not instantly charred reinforced the notion
that there definitely was a chamber up ahead.
   Kaye-Boom crawled up to the opening, slightly disgruntled
about the lack of a fireball, and peered out into the
chamber.  He noticed a particularly annoying fact:  the floor
was about a hundred feet below the passageway.  Not a nice
drop.
   "It looks as if we are inside of an extinct volcano,"
Emmerick reported, peeking his head out as well.
   Kaye-Boom cheered up instantly.
   "Oh, that's nice!" Shae-doe pouted.  "Now how are we
supposed to get down there?"  He frowned in thought.  "Flap
our wings and fly?"
   "Well, you're thy wizard, aren't ye?" Emmerick quickly
noted.
   "Do I have any wings?" Shae-doe yelled.
   "Forget thy wings.  Use a flying spell."
   "Oh."  He never thought of that.  "I could try."
   "On ye self, thank you," Kill-M-All said.  "Myself, I'd
rather just stab myself repeatedly.  Thy end would be
quicker."
   "Could ye get us down?" Emmerick asked Kaye-Boom.
   Kaye-Boom smiled and nodded.  "Medium-rare or well-done?"
he asked.
   "Forget it," Emmerick sighed.
   "Wait a segment!" Kill-M-All exclaimed.  "It could be an
illusion--a trick of thy mind."
   "Yes," Emmerick nodded.  "We could toss a coin down and
see.  Anyone got a gold piece?"  He held out his hand.
   "Oh, that's going to solve a lot--throwing our money
away," Shae-doe interjected.
   "No!  I mean yes.  I'll drop it down and we'll listen for
thy sound of it hitting the floor.  That will tell us how far
down it really is," Emmerick surmised.  He nodded at
Shae-doe, waiting for a gold piece.
   Shae-doe dug around in his pouches and produced a copper
coin.  He gave it to Emmerick.
   "Cheap, aren't we?" Emmerick remarked as he took the
copper piece.
   "Don't much matter, since you're only going to throw thy
coin away," Shae-doe replied.
   Emmerick shook his head then tossed the coin down with a
flick of his hand.  It fell... and fell... and fell...
   It continued to fall, passing through the bare floor
below as if it was nothing.  No one heard it hit the floor,
partly because there was no floor for it to hit.  Not for a
while, at least.
   "That floor is an illusion," Shae-doe frowned.  "This
volcano is near bottomless.  What do we do now?"
   "Here I am!" someone yelled.
   "It's Beach-Ball!" Kill-M-All yelled, full of surprise.  
"He's standing on nothing!"
   "Hi guys!" Beach-Ball yelled.  He stood ten feet outward
from the opening--in mid-air.
   "He's flying," Shae-doe remarked.
   "Nope," Beach-Ball said.  "I'm standing on an invisible
floor."
   "An invisible floor?" Emmerick asked.  "Never heard of
it."
   "'Tis one of thy Dead Eye's evil fiendish tricks."
Beach-Ball explained assertively.  "Don't worry about thy
illusion.  You won't fall."  He waved them forward.
   "Are ye sure?" Emmerick asked in hesitation.
   "Of course.  I'm standing here, aren't I?"
   Kill-M-All shrugged then stepped out onto nothing.  
Nothing held him, so he walked over to Beach-Ball.  "Seems
fine," he commented.  "It can't have a weight limit 'cause he
would've already have broken it."
   Emmerick almost stepped out but stopped in mid-stride.  
"What about the coin?  We didn't hear it hit the bottom?"  He
pointed down.
   "That was an illusion, too!" Beach-Ball smiled.  "See..."  
He picked up a gold coin off the invisible floor and held it
up.  "Here it is!"
   "Oh, well now that you mention it, I guess it would be
sort of silly seeing you standing out in mid-air and not
believe you when you said it was all right."  Emmerick
carefully stepped out onto nothing.  Solid.  He stepped fully
out.  Solid.  He jumped up and down.  Solid.  "'Tis all
right!"
   "I told ye," Kill-M-All commented from his standing point
next to Beach-Ball.
   Kaye-Boom and Shae-doe joined them--all of the party now
standing on nothing.
   "Now what do we do now?" Shae-doe asked.
   "Wait a segment!" Kaye-Boom yelled.  "Was--"
   "Is that becoming a running joke, or what?" Kill-M-All
interjected sarcastically.
   "Shut-up!" Kaye-Boom screamed.  "'Tis important!"
   "So are bad running jokes," Kill-M-All added.
   Kaye-Boom simmered--literally turning to a bright red.  
Quietly, he said, "I'll say the H-word."
   Everyone immediately shut-up.  Silence prevailed.
   "Good.  As I was saying, wasn't that a copper coin that
thy elf tossed down--not a gold one."
   "Yes it was, stupid fools!" Beach-Ball screamed.  In an
instant, he mutated into a different form--a ghoulish form.
   "Connie the ghoul!" Emmerick yelled.
   Connie stuck her rotted tongue at them.  "Told ye; ye all
should've taken me along!  Now the Dead Eye shall watch you
die!"
   With a "Pop!" Connie blinked away, leaving the
adventuring party behind.
   They gave each other a troubled look...
   "I don't suppose you have a Feather-fall spell handy?"
Emmerick whispered hopefully to Shae-doe.
   Shae-doe shook his head and shrugged.  No need for words,
he thought.  Gravity will soon notice them--for the last
time.
   Kill-M-All smiled.  "Down please," he said.
   Whoosh!
   They fell--very rapidly, all while screaming their heads
off.  What else could they do?  Not much use in trying to
quickly learn to fly.  And spells couldn't be of much use,
either--the wind would blow the incantations from their minds
before they could invoke them.
   So they fell.
   And screamed.
   In a moment, they would all die.
   But wait a second!  Luckily, Kaye-Boom caught a hold of
his magic black top hat before it flew away up into the air.  
With a wave of his hand, he pulled something out of his hat.  
Hopefully, it would be useful--like a flying carpet.
   He looked at it.  It was a children's Mickey Moose
guitar, complete with plastic strings and moose stickers all
over it.  Stupid hat!  He tossed the guitar away into the
air, followed by his seemingly useless magic hat.
   So they still fell.
   And still screamed.
   In a moment, they would still all die.
   The hat floated sedately down--lost in the wind, while
the slightly heavier people careened closer and closer to
their doom.
   With a yipe of terror, they passed through the fake floor
that was a hundred feet down, but now was a hundred feet
above them and was widening the gap pretty quickly.
   But then something fell out of the hat as it fluttered
back and forth.  At first, it was traveling much too fast for
Kaye-Boom to recognize what it was.  Then it hit him, and he
still didn't know what it was.  It looked like a heavy
backpack, so he strapped it on his back, not knowing what
else to do.  How it caught up with him, he didn't know--and
really didn't care.
   "Wh--is--at?" Shae-doe screamed breathlessly.
   "--at?!" Kaye-Boom asked breathlessly.
   "He--aid--at--is--that?" Kill-M-All screamed
breathlessly.
   "Oh--is?  'Tis--ome--ing--that--ell--ut--of--y--at!"
Kaye-Boom replied breathlessly.
   "--at?!" Shae-doe yelled breathlessly.
   "--es!"  Kaye-Boom nodded breathlessly.
   "--at?!"  Shae-doe frowned breathlessly.
   Kill-M-All had just about enough of this crap.  He caught
his breath for a second and yelled, "He said, ''Tis something
that fell out of my hat!'"  He then lost his breath again.
   Shae-doe smiled.  Progress.  "What--is--at?" he yelled.
   "--is?"  Kaye-Boom pointed to his newly found backpack
type thing.
   "No!  --at!"  Shae-doe pointed upwards at the three
additional backpacks falling straight for them.
   Kaye-Boom shrugged.  Hopefully something useful, he
prayed.
   Shae-doe, Kill-M-All, and Emmerick caught their
respective backpacks and slipped them on their backs.  Good.
   Now each one of them was wearing a parachute, but none of
them knew how to operate it.  Fine.
   One could only laugh at the idea of someone from the
modern world walking around the inside of an extinct volcano,
only to accidentally stumble upon a group of four hearty
adventurers, all wearing their parachutes--splattered onto
the ground.  He'd think they were all morons.  But they
didn't, so he couldn't.
   The ground was now in sight--a rock floor, looming closer
and closer, ready to smush anyone asinine enough to fall into
it.
   "--at's--is--ord?" Emmerick asked breathlessly.  He held
the rip-cord in his hand, a tug away from salvation.
   "--is--ord?" Kaye-Boom asked, holding onto his own
rip-cord.
   "Ye--at--cord!" Emmerick replied.  "Wha--is--it?"
   Kaye-Boom shrugged.  "Pu--it!" he instructed.
   "Pu--it?" Emmerick frowned.  "Put--it--ere?"
   "Not put, ye idiot!" Kill-M-All yelled.  "Pull it!"
   "Oh--"  So he did.
   Poof!--Whoosh!
   Emmerick flew up and away, slowing to a normal descent.  
He watched as everyone quickly joined him, floating slowly
down to the ground below.
   As they were floating downward, a plastic Mickey Moose
guitar fell past them, followed a minute later by a
fluttering black top hat.
   Clunk!
   They landed safely but clumsily on the rocky floor.  The
parachutes fell over their heads.
   "Hhhheeelllooo!" a chattering voice boomed out.
   Kill-M-All poked his head out of the white folds.  He
quickly pulled his head back within.
   "What was it?" Emmerick asked.  "What did you see?"
   "Not good," he mumbled.
   Emmerick stuck his head out to see for himself.  He
pulled himself back in.  "Big," he said.  "Real big."  He
held his hands far apart.
   "What's real big?" Shae-doe asked.
   Kaye-Boom shuffled over.  "What's out there, warrior?" he
asked, shivering slightly.
   "Big green eyes," Kill-M-All replied.
   Kaye-Boom froze for a second.  "Green eyes?" he asked,
shuddering slightly.
   Kill-M-All nodded.
   "Oh."  Kaye-Boom frowned deeply.
   "What is it?" Shae-doe asked.
   "Hopefully, it's just a dragon," Kaye-Boom said.  He
sneezed.
   "And if were not so lucky?" Kill-M-All asked.
   "Then it will be an ice dragon."  Kaye-Boom shivered
again.
   "What's an ice dragon?" Emmerick asked.
   "Big," Kaye-Boom said, "And very, very cold."  He
shivered yet again, his nose running.
   "Wwwhhhooo dddaaarrreeesss tttooo dddiiissstttuuurrrbbb
mmmyyy dddiiinnneeerrr?!" the dragon screamed.
   "Should we go out there?" Shae-doe asked.
   "Are ye nuts?!" Kaye-Boom screeched.  He hurriedly hushed
himself.  "He might not know we're here," he whispered.
   "Are ye sure?" Emmerick asked.
   "Positive.  Anyway, 'tis warmer under here," Kaye-Boom
explained.  "He might go back to sleep."  He shivered again.
   "Yyyooouuu cccaaannn'ttt hhhiiidddeee fffrrrooommm
mmmeee!  Iii kkknnnooowww yyyooouuu wwwaaannn'ttt mmmyyy
gggooollldddeeennn hhhooorrrdddeee!"
   Kill-M-All poked his head out.  "Golden horde," he said,
licking his lips.
   "Aaannnddd mmmyyy mmmaaannnyyy mmmaaagggiiicccaaalll
aaarrrtttiiifffaaaccctttsss!"
   "Magical artifacts," Kill-M-All whispered, his eyes wide
with desire and lust.
   Kaye-Boom pulled him back underneath the parachute folds.  
"Sh!" he said.
   "Nnnooottt tttooo mmmeeennntttiiiooonnn mmmyyy
ppplllaaatttiiinnnuuummm mmmiiinnneee!" the dragon added.
   "Platinum mine," Kill-M-All added.  In one motion, he
shot from underneath the parachute, stood up, and drew his
magical sword.  "Prepare to die, dragon!" he yelled.
   Then he looked around.  It was the bottom of an extinct
volcano, all right.  Caves and recesses lined the rocky
walls, etched with cold shadows littered in the darkness.  A
glint of light shown down upon him, from the opening more
than a mile up.
   He couldn't see the dragon nor the treasure.  The
treasure had to be somewhere.
   Two gigantic green eyes appeared in the mouth of the
largest cave.  Unblinking, they stared straight at him.
   Stomp!  Stomp!
   The dragon stepped closer, still enveloped in the
shadows.
   "Let's do it."  Shae-doe slid the parachute from his back
and walked over to Kill-M-All.
   Emmerick joined them a minute later, followed,
hesitantly, by a shivering Kaye-Boom.
   Stomp!  Stomp!
   The ground shook as the enormous footsteps threatened to
bring the entire volcano down upon them.
   Emmerick had second thoughts about coming out.  He edged
back a bit.
   The dragon stepped fully out.  This was no ordinary
dragon--at least twenty feet tall and fifty feet long to the
tip of its sharp barbed tail.  A thirty foot wingspan flapped
once before folding back into place.  Its bite could
decapitate a large fairy-tale giant, while a swipe of its
tail could poke a hundred eye balls out.   Not a nice thing
to meet in a dark alley, let alone in its deep volcanic lair.
   "Ttthhhyyy Dddeeeaaaddd Eeeyyyeee ssshhhaaalll
wwwaaatttccchhh yyyooouuu dddiiieee!" the ice dragon
chattered.  Ice crystals poured from his huge nostrils,
instead of the usual smoke.
   "Where is The Dead Eye?  We've come to destroy him!"
Kaye-Boom yelled, eager to fight The Dead Eye rather than
battle this cold dragon.
   "Hhhiiisss ssspppiiirrriiittt ssshhhaaalll
wwwaaatttccchhh yyyooouuurrr dddeeemmmiiissseee!" the dragon
screamed.  Ice cubes erupted from his nose, clattering to the
cold floor.
   "Our anger is with The Dead Eye, not with ye," Kaye-Boom
explained with a hint of fear.
   A new voice rang out, emanating from the air itself.  It
said, "No can do, dudes.  One of the problems of being a
major cartoon spirit is that you can't fight the non-spirit
types.  Only minor spirits and ghosts can do that--and only
at night for some dudes.  Sorry."
   "Was that the Dead Nose?" Emmerick asked, wide eyed.
   Kill-M-All punched him.  "Do it again and ye nose won't
be the only thing dead around here," he whispered angrily.
   "The Dead NOSE?!?" The Dead Eye screamed, "The Dea-"
   "Dead Eye, can ye assume solid form?" Kaye-Boom
interrupted.
   The Dead Eye calmed down.  "Nope," he said.  "Unless
you'd like to donate a willing body for me to inhabit."  
Strangely, the voice almost seemed to be pointing towards
Emmerick.
   Everyone glared at Emmerick.  He took a step back
hesitantly.  He smiled awkwardly.  "What of thy pudgy person
ye kidnaped earlier?" he asked hopefully.
   "He's fat, dudes.  This dude does not do fat people,
thanks.  I mean, really now.  Tacky," The Dead Eye replied.
   Emmerick edged over to Kaye-Boom and asked, "What is thy
evil tongue thy Dead Eye uses?"
   Kaye-Boom agreed.  "'Tis a strange language.  I believe
'tis called surfer slang."  He shuddered.
   "Okey-dokey, dudes.  Enough chit-chat.  Chomp away,
dragie," The Dead Eye instructed.
   "Nnnooowww yyyooouuu ssshhhaaalll dddiiieee!" the dragon
rumbled, ice splattering all over.
   Another voice rang out, from deep within one of the
surrounding caves and lairs.  It whined, "Help me!  Aw, come
on guys!  Get me outa here!  I'm too hungry to be eaten!"
   "Beach-Ball!" Kill-M-All yelled, "We'll get ye out in a
little while!  Hold on!"
   Kaye-Boom took a hesitant step forward, toward the big
blue and green dragon.  He boomed, "Let the fat one go!!  
NOW!!!"  He placed his hands in the prime fire-creating
position.
   "Hhhaaa, hhhaaa!  Yyyooouuu ssscccaaarrreee mmmeee
nnnooottt, wwwiiizzzaaarrrddd!" the dragon roared, stepping
forward.
   "Fire-Ball!" Kaye-Boom screamed.
   At the same time, the dragon breathed a stream of bluish
fog towards Kaye-Boom.
   Slush!
   The fireball hit the cloud of ice-fog, exploding in a
flash of ice, fire and lots of slushy snow.
   "Ah-choo!" Kaye-Boom sneezed.
   The dragon, sensing a kill, breathed yet again; this time
he exhaled a wind colder than arctic ice or even colder than
that really hard ice cream that you left open in the freezer
for a year.
   Aimed straight for the currently sneezing Kaye-Boom, the
blast of ultra-cold air struck him off-guard.  A cloud of
steam clouded him from view.  When the air died down, a
frozen Kaye-Boom stood upright, suspended in a thick block of
solid ice--a really surprised and stupid look on his face.
   "Shit!" Emmerick said, quite beside himself.
   Shae-doe stepped up, glowing with magic power--the master
wizard.  "Ye shall die," he said.  He waved his arms, flapped
his eyelids and then sneezed.  "Sleep!" he commanded.  So he
did.
   "Shae-doe, ye idiot!" Kill-M-All yelled, running over to
his sleeping form.  "Wake up!" he screamed at the snoring
Shae-doe.
   The dragon laughed, knowing that nothing could stop him
now from enjoying a feast that included not only a fat pudgy
human and a few skinny appetizers but a fire-wizard as well!
   Emmerick removed one arrow from his quiver and notched it
in his elven bow.  He aimed straight for the ice dragon's
evil heart.
   Twang!
   The arrow leapt straight for the dragon at an incredible
pace.  With amazing accuracy, it hit the dragon's chest
and...
   Crack!
   ... and shattered into many, many little bits of broken
arrow.
   "Nice try," Kill-M-All commented, still slapping
Shae-doe's sleeping form.
   "Hhhaaa, hhhaaa!  Yyyooouuu ttthhhiiinnnkkk yyyooouuu
cccaaannn hhhuuurrrttt mmmeee wwwiiittthhh yyyooouuurrr
pppuuunnnyyy wwweeeaaapppooonnnsss?" the dragon roared.  He
stepped even closer.
   Inside his frozen cocoon, Kaye-Boom still functioned as
his inner warmth kept him alive.  He could barely see what
was going on through the foggy ice.  His lips strained,
trying to break free of the ice, so he could say that one
little word.  The H-word.
   Beach-Ball, still held fast to the cold stone walls by
bands of ice in one of the inner caves, could do nothing but
watch and hope for the best.  If not the best, he thought, at
least the dragon might get indigestion from eating Kaye-Boom
and spare him from a horrible death--dessert style.
   The dragon stepped forward, yet again.  His breath froze
the spiked black hair on Kill-M-All's head.
   "Iii ssshhhaaalll dddiiinnneee wwweeelll ooonnn
fffrrrooozzzeeennn pppeeeooopppllleee-sssiiiccckkkllleeesss
aaannnddd iiiccceee-ssscccrrreeeaaammmsss!"  The dragon
roared at his own humor.
   Kill-M-All looked way, way up--up to the top of the
volcano.  He could barely see the noon sun up above.  He
wished he could do something.  His sword looked puny compared
to the dragon's huge fangs, even though his sword had magical
powers.  What thy hell, he thought.
   He rushed the dragon but found that he could no longer
hold his sword.  It was way too cold.  He barely sheathed it
in time.  What could I do now? he thought.  Fighting a dragon
bare handed is not a good idea.
   The dragon walked forward.  "Iii ssshhhaaalll
wwwaaaiiittt nnnooo lllooonnngggeeerrr!"
   Kill-M-All stood his ground, while Emmerick frantically
took over Kill-M-All's job of slapping Shae-doe around.
   "H--" Kaye-Boom started, unnoticed by all.
   "Yea!" The Dead Eye's voice echoed.  "I'm winning!  
Nothing can stop my plans now!  Righty-ho and a Goonie
Goo-goo!"
   The dragon leapt for Kill-M-All, intending to eat him in
one huge bite.
   "Aaaa!" Kill-M-All screamed, about to be eaten.
   "H--" Kaye-Boom tried again.  Once more, "H--".  The ice
cracked.  "Helio!" he yelled, exhausting all of his energy.
   Phaarrt!
   A flash of immense fire stemmed from Kaye-Boom's steam
cube but then disappeared, along with Kaye-Boom.
   Vaarrrrr...
   The dragon looked around.  His meal was gone.  Where did
the humans go?  Where is the fire-wizard?  Even thy Dead Eye
is gone, he thought.  But where?
   Vaarrrrr...
   He heard something.  What was it?  He looked up and saw a
big gold thing falling.  Where did everyone go?  At least my
pudgy one is still here--Gold thing?  He looked up...
   Crunch!
   ...as a big gold 1971 Buick Riviera with a brown door
fell onto his unsuspecting blue head, cracking his icy skull
nicely but denting the front fender of the Buick
not-so-nicely.