Well, folks, here's the final chapter to my story! Happy reading! Please leave me a review at the end – I'd really appreciate it. Thanks x
A New Chapter of My Life Begins
I think it's time we skipped a few years of my life now – not that they weren't exciting or worth telling, you understand, but now it's time to get to the most important part of the story . . . we need to move on to the new chapter of my life, which turned out to be the greatest adventure and best dream of all.
Needless to say I grew up from a handsome young teenager to be an even better-looking, attractive young man of twenty – three (if indeed that is possible!), and boy! What a rough ride those years were since the last episode I related to you! Nothing but a long nightmare of daring midnight thefts, long, terrifying chases and close encounters with one of my most feared enemies, the noose! But honestly, each of those adventures are stories of themselves, and can wait to be told another time . . .
Of course as time went on I grew to be an expert thief, hardly surprising considering my countless talents, but a thoroughly adorable rogue all the same. As you already know I was wanted for numerous crimes of theft, many committed against the richest and most highly established nobles of the country which placed an even higher price above my head, but hey, I was Flynn Rider and I always took nothing short of the best – the very best! Which is what led me to suggest one of the wildest proposals of all time to the Stabbington Brothers one fine June morning, and which held the key to a lot more than I had ever bargained for, and to the greatest treasure of all, who is sitting right beside me now smiling her most amused and captivating smiles as she reads over my shoulder . . .
Sorry, guys, back to my story: I was tired of all the empty promises that had been airily pledged to me over the years, and I say airy promises for that was what they were – empty, with no substance whatsoever. The brothers had guaranteed me a life of ease and luxury, a three-way split of all the loot we ever accumulated and I had never seen so much as a shadow of any of these pledges being fulfilled, and I had just about taken enough of it. The Stabbington Brothers had proved to be nothing but selfish, deceiving louts who knew no more about being loyal to their word than they did about thieving, for honestly they didn't have the knack for stealing or even the intellect for it. I was the brains behind most of our operations, and also the machine for all their dirty work. If any job needn't doing, it was always me who had to stick my neck out the furthest to accomplish anything. If anyone had to take a risk guess who had to be the one to do it? Never fear, the brothers were always near enough to collect the loot afterwards, but it was always me they got to do their stinking work.
By this point, I was well and truly tired of being treated like a mere instrument and a nobody – here I was, wasting the best years of my life working for two thugs like these when I was more than capable of going solo and taking care of myself. I had proved time and again that I could get myself out of any scrape I was in, and had more than once dissolved a very sticky situation. It was all about survival of the fittest in a cruel world like this, well, we would soon see who was the fittest! The brothers might well have been the biggest in size (and blockheads) but they sure weren't the smartest, and I was just about to prove they weren't the fittest either. I certainly was the fittest in every sense of the word – just ask the ladies!
I knew what I wanted more than anything – revenge on the Stabbington Brothers for the life they had given me, and a life of singleness and peace. No, sir! No more orders, pushing and shoving for me! I had had enough, and I knew just how to get myself the kind of life I was dreaming of, too . . .
"Guys," I announced that glorious June morning. "I have the perfect job that us three can wrap up nicely together, and also bring us the kind of riches we have always wanted."
The Brothers looked at me quizzically. "What do you have in mind, Rider?"
I gave them a mischievous look as my eyebrows arched and a roguish smile curled at the side of my lips. "Only the precious crown that belongs to the lost Princess."
The Brothers looked at each other, and then back at me in quiet disbelief and yet there was a hint of yearning in their eyes. "Are you crazy, Rider?" exclaimed the patch-eyed brother, who broke the stunned silence. "The Palace is heavily guarded – we would never get away with it, being so highly wanted as we are."
I held my hands up in my usually swaggering manner as I scorned his protests in self-confidence. "You might not get away with it, I agree, but with my expertise at jobs like this you don't have anything to worry about. Besides, I sincerely believe that the lost Princess is permanently lost, and will always stay that way, so it's not really her crown anyway. And it would be an awful shame for a beautiful, valuable crown like that to go to waste, it really would." (If I only knew!)
Take it from me, that is the real art of persuasion. I had it all – the looks, the swagger, the right words – everything you need to be ensured of a clear victory. I was never going to be refused.
So it was settled. We were going to steal the crown, and in broad daylight, too! I had it all carefully planned out. I knew exactly how to enter into the Palace without being seen, the exact location of the crown and how to dodge the guards without a problem (well, okay, maybe the last part was a little harder and a very near-miss, but I managed it all the same!). I had done my research alright, for I had been planning this for a long time . . .
I must say I possessed the agility, light-footedness and I would go even as far as to say elegance as a cat. I needed it, too for the stunts I had to pull that day. I mean jumping high walls and climbing over Palace rooftops is not exactly normal exercise. But it wasn't too difficult for me – come on, what's a little risk to the great Flynn Rider? And, surprised as I was, the two brothers appeared to manage it all with incredible ease and stealth, which was more than I expected, considering their inferiority to . . . well never mind that! Back to the story!
At last we reached the pinnacle of the Palace. I rested my hand on the ornate edging on top of the roof and gazed in wonder over the awesome view that my current lofty position afforded. One could see the entire Kingdom from here, and what a beautiful sight it was! The lake sparkled in the early morning sunlight, and the gliding movement from some of the boats as they cut through the water cast ripples over its mirror-like surface. The village was not quite yet a hubbub of activity due to the earliness of the hour, but a few sellers here and there were beginning to set up their stores for market, while a few happy children ran through the streets, their laughter echoing in their wake. And beyond the kingdom stretched miles and miles of unexplored land and adventure, all waiting for me to discover and enjoy in solitude. I breathed a sigh of contentment. "Wow! I could get used to a view like this!"
"Rider! Come on!" I could sense that the Brothers were growing impatient, and also that they were growing nervous. The sooner we had secured the crown and had got away safely the happier and more relaxed they would be, but I wasn't quite ready yet.
"Hold on," I said, holding my hand up in their direction as if waving them off. My daring nature had made me bold, even towards the Stabbington Brothers. "Yep! I'm used to it!" I stated, stepping back as I surveyed the land before me, hands on my hips. "Guys, I want a Castle!" I declared, as if they were made to order!
The eldest brother was breathing heavily from his previous acrobats slithering down roofs and jumping from one parapet to the other. I could tell from the tone of his voice that he wasn't impressed. "We do this job, and you can buy your own castle!"
Yeah, right! I've heard that before . . .
I didn't have time to think any more, for I felt myself being grabbed by the collar and pulled back roughly. Before I knew it, the brothers had secured a strong length of rope around my waist, and were lowering down through the skylight into the sacred room where the crown was vigilantly guarded. Thankfully they all had their backs to the crown, which made my job all the more easier.
There it was! Resting on a rich-purple cushion with gold edging lay the crown of my dreams – the key to my freedom and fulfilment of my dreams! This crown was going to bring me all I ever wanted, and without wasting a second I nimbly reached out my hand and placed it inside my satchel.
Just at that moment, a sudden sneeze broke the serene silence that enveloped the room. I looked up quickly, and a slow smile spread over my face. A little plan was beginning to develop in that genius brain of mine . . . it would involve a great risk of being caught, but hadn't I already endured many of those? I could surely risk one more, and if my plan worked, it would all be worth it! It was a very daring plan, and you might say I was crazy to do what I was about to do, but I was arrogant enough to know that I could handle it.
"Hay fever?" I inquired cheekily, looking in the direction of the guard who had sneezed.
"Yeah," came the reply. Now was the time to leave, and so I quickly jerked on the rope to let the brothers know I was ready and they hoisted me up quicker than a bolt of lightning! But in that split second, the guard suddenly realised his mistake, and looking up into the ceiling where I was vanishing at that moment, he called out desperately for me to stop, his cried of course going unheeded. And now came another game of run-and-chase. I didn't stop to wait to hear the brothers' admonishes, but pressed forwards, the breeze blowing in my face and gushing about me as I ran, causing me to feel wild and free! I was glowing with pride and satisfaction. "Can't you picture me with a Castle of my own?" I shouted back to the Brothers who were not far behind me. "Because I certainly can! Gentleman, this is a very big day!"
We had hardly made it out of the kingdom and into the forest when I heard galloping hooves behind us. I looked behind me. There were several guards on horseback, hot on our trail. I knew I had to act quickly, and I knew just what I was doing, too. If we took that turn up ahead then I knew we would end up in a small valley, which would come to a dead end, and that was where I could take my opportunity . . . I led the brothers around the corner and down into the valley. The guards had not quite caught up with us, and were probably still above us on the hilly part of the land. We seemed to have confused the guards for the moment, for they were no longer right on our trail, which gave us a lucky break for a while.
I was exhausted and worn out from the chase, but the Brothers however were anxious to continue running. They wouldn't be happy until they were back at the Cave. My legs felt weak under me, and I was struggling to put one foot in front of the other, when something posted on a nearby tree arrested my attention and brought me back to life. I snatched it and stared at it in disbelief. "Oh, no, no, no, no, no! This is bad! This is very, very bad!" I exclaimed, staring at the poster. My sudden outburst had hailed the brothers to a stop, who stood leaning forwards with their hands resting on their knees, trying to catch their breath.
I held up the poster. "They just can't get my nose right!" Honestly! You think that if they were so desperate to have me captured for the crime of thieving, they would have the decency to portray me properly on those wanted posters! They just never seemed to get my nose right, no matter how many times they put up a new poster. What was wrong with them? I had a very handsome nose, and they had made me look like a Pinocchio!
The Brothers did not seemed phased by my discomfiture in any way. "Who cares?" said the eldest brother, glaring at me.
I truly was offended. "Well, that's easy for you to say," I said, crouching down to examine the wanted poster of the Stabbington Brothers. "You guys look amazing!"
At that moment, a sudden neigh behind us alerted us that it was time to run again! We looked up at the sound, and saw to our dismay the guards on horseback on the edge of the precipice above us. The guards had realised that they had taken the wrong turn and had made their way back, only to discover where we were. All concerns about the bad portrait of myself vanished in an instant. I stuffed the poster into my satchel (the less of those displayed about the country the better, and for two reasons: 1. I had no desire to be displayed like a common criminal, even though I may have been one and 2. I was not prepared to be portrayed in a false light! There is no way my nose has ever looked like that – even when one of the brothers punched me in the face and my nose swelled for a couple of days!). Escaping for my life was all that concerned me now, for that was what it had come to. Each time I ran away from guards I knew it was a race for my life – not an entirely pleasant thought!
We increased our speed and pressed forwards, running with all the strength we had. A little further on, we came to a halting stop. We had come to a dead end, but this was exactly what I wanted. I looked up at the large incline that we had to somehow surmount. Only this time, I was determined to get away with the crown myself . . .
I turned around breathlessly to face the brothers. We didn't have much time. "Okay," I said. "Give me a boost and I'll haul you up!"
The Brothers look at each other, exchanging a look of silent but mutual distrust. The eldest brother looked back at me and said in a hard tone, "Give us the satchel first."
This took me aback somewhat. I hadn't counted on them asking me to give them the satchel. Blow! This was rather awkward, and detrimental to my plans. I looked at them in mock hurt. "What?" I protested, hoping they would change their minds. "I just . . . I can't believe that after all we've been through together that you don't trust me?"
There was no answer – just that hard, immutable gaze of suspicion. Nope! That wasn't going to work. "Ouch!" I said, inwardly annoyed that I was going to have to think of something else. I was going to have that crown at all costs – and they couldn't stop me! I reluctantly dropped my satchel into their hands, and quickly set about my ascent to the top of the ledge of ground above us. The eldest brother stood on his brother's shoulders, forming a kind of ladder for me to climb to the top. I scrambled up as quickly and as carefully as I could, ensuring that I reclaimed what was mine in the process. It wasn't difficult really – well, not for me anyhow. I'm not saying that anyone could have managed it, but it was just a trifle for me. A quick and light slip of the hand and it was in my possession again, and quite unnoticed by the unsuspecting brothers.
At last I reached the top, and a thrill of excitement began to ring through my entire body. I looked down at the two helpless figures below me.
"Now help us up, pretty boy!"
I hated the way they used to call me that! But this time I didn't have to comply. "Sorry," I said, and displayed the satchel triumphantly. "My hands are full!"
I didn't wait another moment. I dashed away just as the furious words of "Riiiiideeerr!" rang in my ears. Ah! The satchel was mine and I was free of the Stabbington Brothers at last, but I wasn't yet free of the guards. Once again I found myself being pursued! I had almost forgotten about the guards in my success, but almost as soon as I had surmounted the top of the hill, I had run into five of the guards.
Almost slipping as I changed my course, and my heart pounding in my chest, I scuttled away as fast as I could, slipping under a fallen tree branch that blocked my path, which was just as well, for it instantly received a shower of arrow shots which stuck into its side, and very almost stuck into mine. I only glanced at it for a moment, sickeningly aware that that branch had probably just saved my life, and then ran off at top speed again. I looked over my shoulder. They were still right behind me, and I knew I had to lose them somehow or else I was a goner . . .
At last I saw something up ahead of me that would help me in my course of action. It was a very large tree, with thick, winding branches that ran here and there, blocking the path of the guards on horseback, but perfect for me to jump right through. However, to my dismay, although it caused four of the riders to come to a halt, it did not seem to deter one of the riders at all. He came leaping over the branches, right through the opening I had previously come through, and came galloping after me.
"We've got him now, Maximus!" I heard the rider exclaim in conquest.
We'll soon see about that! I mused, as my eyes darted about me for a way of escape, and also for a means to disarm my all-too-confident pursuer. He was gloating far too soon for my liking – I wasn't in his clutches yet, and had to intention of ever being so.
I soon saw what I was looking for, and without a moment's hesitation I took my chance. I leaped forwards and grabbed a long rope-like branch that hung from a nearby tree. Swinging myself forward, I timed the whole thing to perfection so that I knocked the rider of his white stallion, and dropped into the saddle in his place, chuckling to myself in exultant delight as I did so. I really was so clever!
Just at that moment, the horse came to a sudden and unexpected halt. Its whole body tensed up under me and seemed to sense that he now was carrying a different rider, (forgive the pun!) and by the look of his eyes as he turned to look at me he was none too pleased with what he saw, which seemed ridiculous to my eyes at the time, for he was just a horse! But he was definitely one of his kind, as I soon found out!
I clicked his reins and urged the horse to move on. "Come on fleabag!" I cried in impatience.
At that moment, Maximus caught sight of my satchel, which was swinging from my hand. It was strange, but it was almost as if he knew what it contained, for he tried to snatch it out of my hands with his teeth!
"No!" I reprimanded, holding it out of his reach. Either he didn't understand the command 'No!' or he wasn't going to take 'no' for an answer, for he began to snap at my satchel, and we began to dance around in circles as it were, with Maximus endeavouring to possess my satchel and with me trying desperately to preserve it and stay on the horse!
"Stop it!" I cried. Boy! This horse was annoying, and so confoundedly intelligent! Why wasn't he like normal horses? It was almost as if he was taking the role of Palace Guard himself.
Then the inevitable happened. Our struggle with each other caused my satchel to suddenly fly out of my hands, and we both watched anxiously as it sailed through the air and landed on fallen tree trunk, that stretched right over a high precipice.
One look at each other and we both had the same idea, but I was determined to be the first to recover my satchel! I leapt forwards, only to be tripped up by that infernal horse! It was ridiculous! I couldn't believe I was actually fighting with a horse – I had never done anything so crazy in my life. Whatever next?
But I was not to be so easily mastered, especially by a mere horse! I got to my feet and threw myself forwards, catching hold of Maximus' back legs, and hauled him to the ground. I sprang forwards, and what happened next I can hardly relate without a slight shudder as I recall the peril of my situation. In one sudden movement, and before I knew what was happening, I found myself clinging for dear life to the fallen tree trunk. No, I wasn't lying on top of the overhanging truck, I was underneath it, with my arms and legs wrapped around it, and staring straight up into the eyes of the very determined and extremely infuriating horse. I daren't look down – I was already beginning to feel sick, but I was resolved to recover my satchel at all costs!
To my amazement and to my horror, that awful animal began tramping across the tree trunk, and he was actually trying to stand on my hands in order to make me let go! That made me more determined than ever to hold on and retrieve that satchel, which I managed to do much to my satisfaction. Never let it be said that Flynn Rider can't outwit a horse, especially a surprisingly clever and devious one such as which I had never seen before in all my life!
I grabbed the satchel in exultation and looked at Maximus with a look of glowing victory. "Ah-hah!" I exclaimed, but all too soon. The next thing I knew was that an awful creak filled the air and the tree trunk beneath me gave a lurch. In that terrible moment I knew what was going to happen, and I clasped the edge of the branch once again desperately as in one ear-splitting crack it broke away from the rest of the tree trunk, and both Maximus and myself began to hurtle downwards at an alarming rate.
We looked at each other in terrified silence, and then the next sight caused us both to shout out in alarm (well, me to shout and Maximus to neigh!). A large boulder jutting out of the cliff was just below us, and we were bound to hit it. Just as we did so, the force of the fall caused the sharp rock to snap the branch completely in two, and we were both thrown off our perch, and began to plunge down to the ground at an incredible speed. It all happened very quickly, but the next thing I knew was that I had hit the ground with an almighty bump, but I didn't have time to nurse any aches and bruises. I knew that Maximus the horse was not to be reckoned with, and all I wanted to do now was to get away from him as quickly as possible.
Edging out somewhat stiffly from behind the bushes where I had fallen, I looked about me cautiously, ever ready to face my fearsome foe, who seemed intent on not only capturing my satchel, but me as well! I reached my hand forwards which brushed against some dangling vegetation of some sort, I didn't have time to look properly, for the rustling noise alerted Maximus who wasn't too far away, and I darted behind the green screen as I heard him neigh with annoyance. I heard him gallop my way, and I stood motionless, my back against the rocky wall of a small cave-like entrance. It was ideal – I was completely hidden from view.
I waited until I heard Maximus move away, who seemed to be sniffing the ground like a hound dog, searching for my scent, which amused me very much, but also made me uneasy. There was no telling what he might be able to do – he had already proved himself to be extremely intelligent for a horse, and so I cautiously made my way forwards to the other side of the cave. It was only small, and I soon found myself out of the darkness and into the light of day again. What I then saw quite took my breath away. It was beautiful – there was luscious green grass all around, and a small, babbling brook that ran gurgling and laughing over the smooth stones. A variety of flowers grew here and there, and there . . . there stood a tall, solitary tower, with patches of ivy clinging to its walls. I stared in silent wonder. What was a tower like this doing here in the middle of nowhere? It seemed almost surreal – like I had just stepped into a fairytale or something.
I could still hear Maximus beyond, and the last thing I wanted was for him to find me again. There did not appear to be a door of any kind to the tower, which seemed strange, but it seemed the safest stronghold and hiding place for me right at that moment – it seemed so lonely and desolate, and I could be alone. That was when I decided to climb it. Little did I know what awaited me inside (a bad headache to be precise!), and the adventure of a lifetime that was about to come my way, and all because of the tower's incredible secret that it hid from the outside world . . .
Well, guys, you know the rest of the story from here! I hope you enjoyed my little tale of Eugene Fitzherbert and how he became an orphan and grew up to be a thief. I had great fun writing it, and I hope you liked reading it! Please leave me a review and tell me what you thought – I would be so grateful! Pretty please :-) *does the smolder* lol!