(Contains Spoilers for “Melted”)
“I’m never watching that film again” Dawn Crumhorn vowed as the Mark IV darted across the arctic tundra en route back to London. She was tied to the back of the flying machine and was finding the wild winds difficult to tolerate, especially as they were messing up her hair.
“Well, at least Melted gained one fan to replace the one it just lost” came a voice from the intercom.
It was him.
Her co-star in her most recent misadventure.
“I’m not talking to you, you cut my adaptation to ribbons”
“Terribly sorry about that, it took me a little while to get into the part” Danger Mouse replied.
“I should have kept your dimwit sidekick in the role of Bumpsydaisy, he’d have stuck to the script” Dawn continued
“Penfold is many things, but a willing accomplice would never fit” DM replied, having faith that his sidekick would never be completely swayed.
“And what about your pitiful pal? I’d much rather spend the rest of this trip talking with a fan of the experience than some newcomer who only used a priceless moment as a means to an end”
“He’s taking a nap, I should know, I gave him a little something in his refreshment to send him to slumber land” DM revealed, adding a tenth pillow from the car’s compartments to the pillow fort that he’d been forming around Penfold to keep him asleep.
“You put him to sleep?” Dawn asked.
“Which means we can talk” DM continued.
“That big number we shared was a means to an end, but I meant everything I said in that performance Dawn”
Dawn felt something shoot up her spine.
At first, she believed it to be a rush of blisteringly cold air from the sharp winds that coursed through the sky and all over her body, but this felt like an internal jolt associated with the feelings of anxiety and unnerving uncertainty.
Whatever he had just admitted to, she believed him.
“How could you have possibly meant it? What was it I said?” she asked, unsure of whether to hate herself for asking as she was seemingly giving in to the kind of conversation her captor was trying to have with her.
“The whole spiel you had about the world being as cracked as the people you meet, that touched me Dawn, it reminded me of my own shortcomings when I was trying for a career as a musician and singer early on in my youth. My voice, and even the people in my life at the time, were all cracked and distorted. Everything was held to an impossibly high standard. The worst examples of anthropomorphic kind judged me on my ability and rejected me. All I wanted was a chance to play in their pen”
“That’s exactly how we met, I wanted nothing more than to have someone play with me, to give me undivided attention and respect, even love” Dawn admitted.
“Look at the pair of us Dawn, we demand everyone lavish us with attention in order to stroke our egos. At the worst of times, we want to embrace love in its most selfish state, only thinking selflessly of others when we give in its highs or lows”
“Are you saying that, deep down, I wanted to stop the literal meltdown of the planet?”
“Deep down, you wanted to be the hero, you wanted the redemption story. That’s what Melted was Dawn, a tale of love finding a way to cleanse the light of the darkness that was enveloping it. You wanted me to be your glue to mend the crack in your world, and I in turn needed you to be the light, I needed you to help me to take charge of my voice, to command a worldwide stage and make us both the heroes of the story. We brought the light of Melted into a world that sorely needed it. Love held back the ocean, it turned the tide, and we stopped the flood”
Dawn absorbed what DM had said, and rattled back with something she needed to hear. She hated herself for asking in light of the strength in the marvellous mouse’s words, but she needed to hear this from his lips.
“When you were saying ‘I can’t, I can’t’ earlier, you weren’t suggesting you couldn’t bring yourself to sing, you were afraid to admit something about yourself to me, a side that could get you in trouble with your superiors. There was a hidden meaning to it, just as there was when I made my own intentions clear…when I demanded you play Bumpsydaisy. It wasn’t humiliation I wanted from you, I may have said that just to be cheeky, but it wasn’t what I wanted from you at all. It was the chance for you to reciprocate what I was already feeling”
Danger Mouse felt the unnerving cold shoot down his neck as the tension built, only for it to then steadily fade. He smiled.
“You’re right, you’re exactly right, I jumped at the part after I thought back to what Penfold had said about the character when he was telling me all about the musical. I feigned disinterest but it struck a chord with me, it got me thinking about how we first interacted, I couldn’t help myself, I even knew instinctively what your favourite game was on that day, it was hide and seek. That right there demonstrates synergy I haven’t had with almost anyone else”
Col. K’s hologram form suddenly formed before DM as he contacted the two.
“Ah congratulations DM, that performance was absolutely riveting. During your duet, Squawkencluck got so caught up in the moment she nearly jumped into my arms, completely forgetting I’m a hologram 50% of the time, she landed straight on her chest, the poor woman. What’s your E.T.A? We have a nice soft cell waiting for young Dawn that’ll serve her well, at least until her father bails her out with his vast wealth, resources and connections. See you when you get here”
DM smiled, though he was quite uneasy, and turned off the hologram. He wasn’t quite sure how to break it to the absent-minded Colonel that Dawn’s father had been exiled to deep space long ago. A good thing in this case.
“Is what you feel worse than a prison sentence?” Dawn asked.
“To some people it might very well be, but I believe what I feel is something that travels with me, not something that hinders me. It reminds me there is good to come in my twilight years when you’re all caught up and we can truly embrace what we have with confidence we won’t be judged”
“Why tell me now? I could very well say something”
“Dawn, you won’t tell. As you said, your intentions were clear. Right there, in your soul, and in your song, the understanding we share is tangible and real. These feelings will always stay with you regardless, and you won’t want to give that up”
“That’s probably why I’ll never watch the film again…it does nothing now but remind me of what we shared, and what we can never have for as long as age and our opposite experiences divide us”
“Youth is fleeting Dawn, it forever will be, if we can hold on to the hope time can heal those scars of yours, and provided our hearts aren’t pulled in other directions, then we can also hope to act on whatever impulses linger in the farthest future”
“Said with such conviction…but you’re right, we need to give each other time, when I grow up, when I allow myself to grow up, we’ll explore this further. I won’t tell, I’ll treasure our moment Mouse, but don’t think for a second it will go on to define where we stand as long as I’m still young. I’m still a spoiled, selfish little girl, and still every bit your worst nightmare”
“And I will be as determined to stop you for as long as you stay where you are…but know that, for that brief moment in time, when we shared the fate of the world in the palm of our hands, we were wiser, and you? You were older”
ROOM FOR A GOOD LIFE
WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
Disclaimer: Dangemouse (2015) and all trademarked characters are property of Fremantle Media and CBBC.
It was the simplest instruction.
Stay out of the lab.
And it wasn’t followed.
He’s supposed to the world’s greatest agent, and he couldn’t stick to this very basic request.
A request for privacy.
A request to serve her own basic need for personal security.
She wanted to rely on him. She wanted to trust his judgement.
And in this instance he dared to disappoint her most dangerously.
And the results were catastrophic.
She had dared to contact him while she attended the rock concert, letting him know that what had been uttered by her translator wasn’t intended to come off as hurtful, she was just concerned for the ongoing security of her work. She thought she’d even give him a little look at what she got up to when she would literally let her hair down, to show what a kid she was at heart.
She wanted him to see her as she was.
When she got back, and learned of what he did, learned that he had proven her trust issues valid, she wanted to violently tear his face off so she could peck it into a billon pieces.
She had been through so much over the course of a few weeks, she had fought valiantly beside her friends, valiantly beside him, and she had also been through a traumatic experience with a pair of terrifying tentacles intruding on her within a most private of areas, the women’s lavatory. Any normal woman would have screamed.
The only thing that could her scream was the loss of trust and the misplaced faith she had in one mouse.
And yet…when all was done, when crisis was averted, she accepted his invitation to dinner
Just like that.
It wasn’t even a question.
It was yet another exercise.
An exercise in trust.
She knew how it usually went. She’d been through it in school.
Someone would reach out with their hands.
You would fall backwards.
You’d trust that they’d catch you.
That’s how it worked.
That’s what she was counting on.
A chance for him to catch her as she too fell backwards into a state of ease around him.
And even when the floor caved in beneath her, before she could reach the dinner table Dangermouse and Penfold had set up for her, even as she fell and knew she couldn’t be caught, one question came into her mind.
Was this faith worth the pain?
“How are you feeling Squawk?” asked Dangermouse as he stood at the edge of the doorway that led into the infirmary containing the prone and injured Squawkencluck.
“Do you…want me to sign your name on the cast?” Penfold offered, pointing to her cast.
“Knock yourself out” the Professor replied.
Penfold smashed his head against the side of her bed and dropped to a heap on the floor.
“Must he always take things so literally?”
“I think it works subconsciously, he knows when to take himself out of the equation to invite privacy on me at a moment of great reflection”
“Dangermouse, there’s not one mirror in this room, so your usual patented narcissism is going to have to table its appointment”
“Ah, a funny” said Dangermouse, “Good attitude to have, a cracking joke always elevates the sting of pain”
“I wasn’t joking. I never joke about mistrust” said an irritated Squawkencluck.
“Yes, about that…look, it was done with the best of intentions, I just wanted to water that seed for you” Dangermouse replied.
“If that had been less irregular, I would have asked you of that, but it was isolated in the lab for a reason. You of course couldn’t see any other reason other than to…to…”
“To what?” said Dangermouse.
“Impress me” she answered.
“Come to think of it, I was being awfully impressionable” Dangermouse added, stroking his chin as he pondered his choice of action.
“Offering to water the plants is a very domestic thing, it wouldn’t be out of place in The Good Life” Squawkencluck continued, “But in a world as fragile as ours, in a universe that’s hard to predict, there can’t be any room for a good life now can there? Everything has to be chaotic, and then it has to be controlled”
Dangermouse walked over to her cast, took the felt tip pen from the unconscious Penfold’s hand, and penned a small picture of a buttercup daisy with a dove flying overheard on Sqawkencluck’s cast.
“What’s that for?” she asked
“To remind you to never stop thinking of a good life”
“Casts come off you know”
“Then imprint it on your memory, and never let the dream die”
“You are such a lost cause…but you know what? If dreaming of a good life’s worth the pain, then I guess you are too” Squawkencluck replied, permitting herself and Dangermouse a wry smile.
Once again, she was showing him a more affirming part of herself.
She knew it would cheer him up.
And he would do better in future to make her feel better.
All to find room for a good life.
THE PEN IS MIGHTIER
WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
Disclaimer: Dangemouse (2015) and all trademarked characters are property of Fremantle Media and CBBC.
Penfold got up in the midst of early morning still wearing his princess attire from the activities of the day before.
He didn’t want to change clothes just yet.
He felt too pretty.
And he needed that feeling.
Because he couldn’t bear to confront the ugly underneath.
He had risked it all to save London from a perilous pink dawn.
A wise sage once said ‘Too much pink energy is dangerous’
He wasn’t sure if that was from ancient text or Saturday morning television.
He and DM had managed to diminish that energy before it could manifest worldwide.
The fight had taken a lot out of them, DM still couldn’t quite shake the stench that had emitted from the pony that belonged to the prickly Princess, a conceited and spoiled child who had, as a result of a mishap involving her tiara and one of Professor Sqauwkencluck’s inventions, become a serious threat to national security and even commonplace male pride and dignity.
Still, a woman’s touch was never without flare. It always livened things up. It could always elevate your mood, no matter the weather.
And in saving the day, Penfold and DM felt most fine indeed. Nothing really dampened their spirits when dressed to impress.
Penfold only wished the woman with this magic touch had been a bit more concerned with him rather than her possessions.
This was the second time Squawkencluck had shown more compassion and empathy with things that she owned or had created. It happened in Tokyo also, when her artificial chip was placed in his trust and he let it slip from his hands.
When it was recovered successfully, she called it her ‘baby’ and lavished it with kisses.
Today, after another mishap in the lab, Sqauwkencluck had been awash with concern, thinking she had almost lost something priceless.
Turned out it was her pen.
Penfold’s heart sank there and then.
When Squawkencluck used her makeover skills to prepare him and DM for their infiltration of the Princess’ mansion, Penfold used his conversion as a shield, to hide the hurt he’d been feeling. Of the notion, the evidence, that pen was mightier.
And then he froze in his tracks down the long and gloomy corridors of H.Q that stretched from his bedroom to the executive washroom.
There she was.
Not wearing her glasses, her long layers of hair down, and wearing a bright vest and stripy pyjama bottoms, a small night cap over her head, the Professor gently rubbed her eyes and greeted Penfold
“Hey Penfold” she said.
“What are you doing up?” asked Penfold
“Bit of a habit, care to watch?” invited Squawkencluck
“Lead the way” said Penfold.
The pair entered Sqauwkencluck’s lab and hopped on top of the elevator pad that rose upwards and climbed several stories. The manhole positioned just at the very front of the pavement slab that was home to the letterbox H.Q of the secret service opened and permitted them access to the great land above.
A quiet street. Scarce traffic.
The only signs of life were milkmen, mailmen, and paper delivery antelopes, all on their early bird routines.
And in the Professor’s case, the routine fit her role.
“Sun’s just about up” she said.
“Professor…I…um…hope you had fun yesterday” said Penfold.
“Oh that I did Penfold. But don’t tell DM I said that” the Professor requested.
“Yes, you were awfully persistent you didn’t have fun ,why was that?” asked Penfold, “I mean, you’ve shown us you DO like to have fun, remember when he broke into your lab to look after that plant and you called him from that concert…”
“Yes, well, that was a different sort of enjoyment…you’ll find I was dressed like a real tomboy” explained the Professor, “Yesterday was the first time I got a chance to be a real girl, I relished it. It shows I should put more concern into my appearance than actual things”
“Maybe put more concern into people while you’re at it” insisted Penfold.
Sqauwkencluck looked at him, and put one arm on his shoulder, “Penfold, if this about the pen incident…I’m sorry about that…it’s a bit of a coping mechanism I have. It’s part and parcel with my professionalism. I can’t get too close to the people I work with; the risk is so great, so I put all that concern into things I know can’t instil any fear in me whatsoever. Whenever I do that with a pen, or a chip, it’s done to…”
She cut herself off.
“Nah, I think I’ve said too much, I’m not firing on all cylinders this morning. Once the dawn breaks and I do my thing I ought to be ready to face the day”
“Why are you telling me all of this?” asked a curious Penfold.
“Oh you know, a little girl-to-girl natters, and you’re still dressed for the occasion” she said, giggling, “And may I say, my Pen, you look on-point”
Penfold blushed, “Nobody’s ever called me Pen before…wait, does that mean…?”
“Shush now” said Sqauwkencluck, “The dawn is breaking”
“Let one rip Professor” Penfold said, now clued in to what was about to transpire.
Squawkencluck stretched out her arms, put her hands together, cracked her knuckles, breathed in, and let out a dynamic and deafening cockle-doodle doo that resonated across the London landscape.
Penfold, both fingers inserted into his ears, was relieved to find the pitch wasn’t so high in frequency that it could shatter his glasses.
Just as he was now felt more and more assured the Professor couldn’t break his heart.
WITH EYES WIDE OPEN
WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
Disclaimer: Dangemouse (2015) and all trademarked characters are property of Fremantle Media and CBBC
Penfold walked into headquarters with his head high and a giant grin etched all over his face.
Surely everyone had to take notice at some point.
What else could he do?
Each day he seemed to top one achievement with another.
Just yesterday he had used cowardice as a tactical advantage to help the chief out, telling him to put up a pathetic and petty front to sour a galaxy’s worth of alien tourists on him as a gallant hero and as an attraction for them.
Penfold wondered just how long it would take for people to clue into the fact he was steadily earning his keep, that he was steadily earning the right to be an agent in his own right.
He paused briefly, wondering if he was thinking just a bit too much above his station.
His tutors at school had always told him to leave something at the door.
He always assumed it was a sandwich.
Or a milk bottle.
Or a tip for a well-earned education.
But no, it was something else.
He just didn’t know what it was, he couldn’t place it.
When he finally waltzed into the main lounge area, he found Sqawkencluck spread across the couch, her eyes wide open, curled up over a blanket, and snoring loudly.
He went over to her and nudged her just a bit.
“Professor?” he asked, Squawkecluck stirred
“Pen-Penfold? What is it? Is there an emergency?” she said.
“No, no, I was just wandering what you were doing sprawled on the couch like that” asked Penfold.
“Could’nt you see I was trying to get a bit of shut-eye?” she said.
“You were keeping your eyes open the whole time” Penfold replied.
“They were? Oh, yes, that’ll be a direct result of what I was up to back there on the moon” she said.
“Oh, when you were serving refreshments to those alien tourists?” Penfold asked
“I just zoned out eventually, it’s a little trick I learned from my uncle, who picked it up from Dangermouse himself, to essentially go into automotive sleep mode, keep your eyes open and still serve your basic function, but the whole time you’re actually sleeping and replenishing your energies. The whole time on the moon I focused on a single thing, the craters, and I imagined little things poking out of it. Usually cute critters, nothing like the little monsters I had to keep serving. It became almost second nature” Squawkencluck explained in detail.
“Sounds like a great method to cope…kind of like how I used my cowardly tactics as a means of coping with the pressure points of fame which allowed him to save the day” Penfold gleefully replied.
“Check it at the door Penfold” an unimpressed Squawkencluck said.
“Check what?” Penfold asked.
“Your ego. Nobody likes it when they brag. I think that’s why nobody notices it when you save the day, you then remind us daily that you did, so we just sort of zone out” she said
“Oh crumbs, sorry” Penfold said.
“Don’t worry about it, I can fall into that trap too, being the glorious innovator and inventor I am” she said, “Indeed, that’s sometimes why I practice this kind of sleeping technique, so I can centre myself and not get so high and giddy on my own genius” Squawkencluck added. “It gets me ready to face the day in a much more humble manner”
“Do you think I could join in then?” Penfold asked.
“Sure” she said.
And so the two relaxed on the couch, falling into a slumbering state, their eyes open, their minds dormant.
And their egos firmly in check.
Been a while I know, but I’ve had a bit of a trying month this October. Buisness will resume as normal with fanedits soon, but for now, here’s some fanfics based off the new Dangermouse series.
A DANCE AMONGST RAINDROPS
WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
Disclaimer: Dangemouse (2015) and all trademarked characters are property of Fremantle Media and CBBC
London, and at St. Beak’s Hospital, the world’s most petrified assistant to the world’s greatest secret agent, is accompanying the city’s most revered beaked boffin to a ward situated within the facility.
“Thanks for coming Penfold, I needed a pal” Squawkencluck uttered as they passed through into reception.
“Think nothing of it Professor, I just wish DM had put his foot forward with this” Penfold replied
“Now, now, you can’t expect him to make every meet-and-greet when he’s busy tackling a fifteen foot tall lighting fast lama” Squawkencluck said, pointing to the ensuing battle that was still ongoing outside one of the hospital windows. “If he can get my special lighting lasso around him, the calm and nullifying energies emitting from the lasso it should slow down his metabolism and bring his rampage to a halt”
Penfold started out at the visual of Dangermouse taking the Mark III and doing his best to encircle a rampant powerful yellow streak of lighting that left vapour trails in the air that resembled the bodily imprint of a lama. Sometimes DM would lasso those vapour trails rather than the actual thing.
A few meters away from the sight, several buildings had already been hit and left singed by the hoofs of the quick tempered and even quicker paced creature. Charged and seemingly in charge, it’s prowess and power was something DM would have trouble matching even with his quick reflexes.
Penfold followed Squawkencluck up to the elevator and through to level 3, where he then accompanied her to ward Blue 32.
Sqawkencluck tapped on the door, alerting a kindly elderly antelope patient just three beds away from her stationed in the ward.
“It’s my special knock, she can tell it’s me without speaking” Squawkencluck revealed.
“Why can’t you just say who you are out loud?” asked Penfold
“It’s a little homage to a show we like to watch together sometimes…she calls me the one who knocks”
“Squawk, darling, how nice to see you” the lady spoke.
Squawkencluck shed a few tears
“Aw, what’s the matter Professor? She seems to think you’re a sight for sore eyes”
“She’s blind ya dingy” Squawkencluck snapped.
“Oh crumbs, I’m sorry Professor”
“No, no, it’s alright Pen hen, you did’nt know, I can’t get my feathers ruffled by that…bad enough this was all my fault”
“How so?” Penfold asked
“She knew my Uncle, the original Squawkencluck that worked with you and DM a few years back, I was still a naive young little chick and I wa so transfixed by technology that I kept touching everything my uncle created…including ultra sensitive sunset blinders. Janice over there loved sleeping with blinders on, so I thought I’d swap her old ones with my uncle’s invention, I thought they’d help her enjoy a good night’s rest…”
“…But instead, the blinders actually blinded her” Penfold replied, finishing the sentence for her.
Squawkencluck nodded, and shed another tear. Penfold clasped her hand.
“Don’t blame yourself Professor, you were just trying to impress at a young age, we all do that”
“Come over here Squawk, it’s been so long since I last saw you” Janice uttered, beckoning her over.
“Does she KNOW she’s blind, or is she in some sort of denial?” Penfold replied.
“She can still see things vaguely and up close, you know that superhero movie where the blind man can only see his love interest fully when the rain starts? It’s a bit like that, that’s all we are to her visual eye…raindrops”
She approached Janice nervously, a part of her wanted to finally confess to Janice that it was all her fault all those years ago, and that it wasn’t an act of nature as Janice had to believe.
“Did you enjoy the music samples I gave you last month?” asked Squawkencluck, attempting to dry her eyes.
“That I did chick, though my one wish would be if I could dance to those numbers” Janice lamented.
Penfold pondered something. Slowly but steadily, a light bulb formed in his head.
“Be back in a giffy” Penfold replied, and darted out of the ward. He pulled out a small eraser from his right pocket and rubbed his thumb print on it. A holographic projection of DM emitted from the piece of rubber.
“Penfold, what is it? Aren’t you supposed to be minding the St. Beaks meet-and-greet?” said Dangermouse.
“I am, which is why I need the tiniest of favours from you for when you eventually lasso that lama… I just thought of a way you could help at least one patient down here” Penfold replied.
Back in Ward Blue 32, Squawkencluck was talking to Janice.
“Your Uncle always said the craziest things about his inventions…I told him always that he ought to spend more time creating and enabling life than coming up with anything that encouraged war”
“Yeah war, what is it good for, as the old song says, all it does it cause mischief to manifest” Squawkencluck replied, lightly feeling the back of her own neck as a tingling, frightful and guilty sensation coursed through her body and crept into her soul.
“Janice…I really need to tell you something” Squawkencluck replied.
“Can’t it wait ’till the rain comes on?” Janice replied, “You always have such good news, and it always brightens your complexion to the point it brightens my soul”
“It’s pretty sunny at the moment Janice”
Suddenly, a massive lighting bolt broke through the roof of the building, a terrifying rumble could be heard coming from the heavens, and rain came pouring down into the ward. Squawkencluck looked upwards to find Dangermouse in the mark three circling a cloud, a tight yellow rope attached to the back of the car, attached to that was the lama.
Penfold rushed back in. Squawkencluck, furious, marched straight at him, picked him up by the shirt and shook him violently
“Before you pass out from enduring my righteous fury, kindly explain to me just what is that Dangerous Dingbat and you are up to?” she angrily uttered.
“W-w-well” Penfold said, as Squawkencluck continued to shake him, “I told DM, when he finally managed to get his hands on that critter, to hoist him into the clouds, I figured him landing as many bolts as he did would kick-start some kind of brief storm and generate enough sufficient rain to…well…look”
Squawkencluck turned around to see the breathtaking sight of Janice twirling around like an energized ballerina.
Suddenly, Penfold found himself being steadily swayed back and forth in a celebratory and loving twirl from Squawkencluck as she gave him twenty or so pecks on the cheek and nose, joyous and grateful for the gift he’d just given her.
“Wow…where are we going with this?” asked Penfold.
“I’m thinking back to that movie…how about a dance you little Daredevil?”
And as the doctors and nurses poured in to tend to the situation, Penfold, Janice, and Squwkencluck twirled, turned, and merrily waltzed their way through the storm until the clouds cleared and the sun burst through, but even by them nothing could dampen or diminish the dance spent amongst the raindrops.