Dear friends of latex,
we're bringing you the final part of our twisted Christmas tale about Latexelf and his forced last adventure. Don't forget to read the previous parts, if you already haven't done that, and enjoy :)
The echo of Latexelf’s proclamation hadn’t even faded yet, and the wizard was already beaming.
“Perfect!” he shouted.
Latexelf stopped mid-step, sword raised. “What?”
“Perfect, I said!” cried the wizard. “This way, please,” he added, pointing at the door on the other side of the hall.
“Is this some kind of trick?” frowned Latexelf.
“Not in the slightest!” the wizard assured him. “I can’t wait to get rid of her!”
“Get rid of whom?” asked Latexelf, confused.
The wizard gave him a tortured look. “The Princess, of course!”
“That Princess again!” shrieked Latexelf. “What is going on here?”
“But you’ve just said you came to take back what I’d stolen,” replied the wizard, a hint of pleading despair creeping into his voice. “What else could it be?”
“The presents! You stole the presents from those terrible goblins that live next to my house. They forced me to come here and bring them back, else they’ll stop buying my goods and start multiplying like rabbits! As if there wasn’t enough of them already!” shouted Latexelf but calmed down immediately. “By the way, I really like you castle, Mister Wizard, and I’m sorry for the… casualties.”
“You… what?” gasped the wizard. “You came here for…?”
“The presents. Yes.” Latexelf nodded his helmet.
The wizard hung his head and drooped his shoulders in utter misery.
“Oh, I almost forgot! Where is the fox-girl, the bear-man and the crazy granny?” asked Latexelf.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” sighed the wizard, but then he cheered up. “The presents are yours, brave hero!” he said, raising a finger. “But! You can only have them together with the Princess!”
“What would I do with a Princess?”
“Oh, I don’t know! Marry her? Become a King? Duh!” said the wizard. “Just get me rid of her!”
Latexelf considered the option.
“That’s all right. I’ll just take the presents, thank you.”
“You can have them with the Princess, or nothing at all,” hissed the wizard, steam rising from his hands. “I’m warning you. I wield great power, and I could pulverise you if…”
Something happened. A pink smudge shot through the air with a strange rubbery thrum, the armour in front of the wizard was suddenly empty and collapsed on the floor in a clanking heap. The sword landed right next to it.
The wizard heard a metal click and turned on the spot. Latexelf was already at the door, turning the knob. He laughed when he discovered the door wasn’t locked, made a step… and walked right into the magic barrier.
“And who is this?” shouted a female voice.
Latexelf, holding his nose, looked up.
“Oh, hello,” he said. Then, his eyes went wide. The room was full of small boxes, little objects were strewn everywhere, and even the candlestick the Princess was holding, ready to throw, was too tiny for a human… “Yes!” he bellowed. “I’ve found you!”
“Me?” asked the Princess.
“No,” replied Latexelf. “Oh, just a minute, please,” he added, feeling invisible tendrils of force grabbing him from behind.
“I warned you!” boomed the wizard’s voice.
Latexelf never fought like he did that day… mainly because he had never met an adversary who wasn’t trying to kill him, but rather capture him. The wizard didn’t shoot lightning or fireballs at him but kept conjuring more and more forcefields. Latexelf dodged them, using his special abilities to escape trap after trap, but after a long struggle, he finally ended up cornered and squashed into a small cube.
The wizard drew him closer, turning the cube to find a side with at least one eye at it.
“This wouldn’t have been necessary if only you were willing to cooperate,” he wheezed, wiping sweat off his forehead. “So, like I’ve said – Princess, or nothing!”
The eye was full of flaming fury, but the content of the cube shifted back and forth a little bit.
“Was that a nod?” asked the wizard.
The same movement again.
“Excellent!” cried the wizard, cancelling all the forcefields. Latexelf slammed on the floor and took a quite some time unwinding, untying and unbundling himself into his usual form.
“Ow,” he wailed.
“At last!” the wizard was ecstatic. “The presents are yours, Flexolf, or whatever your name was, as is the Princess! Oh, I’m so glad, I’ll even spare you the trip home. Look!” A portal opened on the wall, and Latexelf saw the familiar village square behind its shimmering veil.
“Well, thank you,” he grunted, painfully getting up from the floor and stumbling into the royal chambers.
“Can someone explain what is going on?” barked Her Highness.
“We’re going home,” replied Latexelf, rummaging through her wardrobe.
“What are you doing? Hey! No! That’s my best dress!” shouted the Princess.
The dress was very nice indeed, but Latexelf chose it for a different reason. He tied the bodice into a knot, turned the dress upside down and used the wide skirt as a sack for the presents. When he put away the last one, he gave the Princess an apologetic smile, and his expert’s eye took in her figure. “I have something to make it up to you,” he promised, tying the skirt and throwing the dress over his shoulder. “Shall we?”
They found the wizard in the hall, kneeling in front of another portal. There was a giant yellow eye peering through it. “This is not how it’s done, Winylgor!” rumbled an ominous deep voice.
“Better not disturb them,” whispered Latexelf to the Princess. They tiptoed along the wall towards the portal to the village, walking into it without looking back.
* * *
“I must say it’s really not bad,” said Her Highness, stroking the stunningly shiny material of her new dress.
“Right?” said Latexelf with a lazy smile, lying comfortably in his tub, dressed in his stockings, gloves and the Diamond Heels of Death. They were all waiting for him in a package on the doorstep. The artefact was missing, which was quite terrifying, but Latexelf decided he would deal with that another day.
“So… what happens now?” asked the Princess.
“Now? Now I’ll ask you to pour me some wine, please,” said Latexelf, pointing to a bottle standing on a little table by the wall. “I can’t reach.”
“Even with six-hundred-percent elasticity?” grinned Her Highness.
Latexelf’s arm shrank to a half its usual size. “Oh no! What happened?” he shouted in pretended horror.
The Princess muttered something, but she handed him a glass and opened the bottle.
“Aaah, peace at last,” sighed Latexelf happily sinking into the milky bath up to his neck. “To my last adventure,” he said, raising his glass in a toast.
There was a knock at the door.
Photo: Marie Pracnová
Makeup: Geen Pagliacci