(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”