As they got closer to the shore, a mist began to close around them. Even Micky’s light couldn’t dispel it. When it burned away, it was full daylight.
And they were emerging onto a rocky beach. “Uh…Micky…” Peter whispered. “I don’t think this is Malibu Beach…”
“I don’t think so either,” Micky said, looking around. He cursed under his breath. “I guess we’d better wake everyone up…”
“We there yet?” Sally asked sleepily, stirring as her eyes fluttered open.
“Not exactly,” Peter said, smiling hesitantly.
Mike rubbed his eyes. “Hey…where’d we end up at?”
“I dunno,” Micky said with a shrug. “We hit some serious mist on the way back…and once we got out of it, we landed here.”
“Oh this is smashing,” Davy groaned. “I knew Sally shouldn’t have come.”
“Hey!” Sally said indignantly. “I didn’t cause the mist!”
“She’s right, David. You’re not being fair,” Peter said.
Davy sighed. “I can’t help it. I didn’t ask for any of this. I was happy living a normal life, being a band, hanging out with girls… you know?”
“You’re talking about it like we expected this, Davy,” Mike said. “None of us knew something like this was gonna happen, man.”
“We’ll just play along with whatever’s going on until we can get home, that’s all,” Micky said.
The sun was blotted out for a moment as a huge dragon flew overhead.
Auburn whinnied and hid behind Peter. Everyone stared in silence, broken long moments later by Mike’s soft, eloquent summation of the situation.
“Oh, well, that’s just smashing,” Davy said, sitting on a rock.
“I could think of some other words for it,” Micky said grimly.
“Hmm. Trip to Avalon, talking to unicorns, one guy can talk to animals and another can do all sorts of weird stuff, getting stranded on an island…” Sally shook her head. “And all before lunch.”
“I saw some berries over there if you’re hungry,” Peter said helpfully.
Sally shook her head again. “No, I’m fine.”
“Well, I’m hungry,” Mike said as he picked a handful of berries and ate them.
Five minutes later, he was seizing on the ground, his eyes rolled back in his head.
“What do we do? What do we do?” Micky asked, terrified as he watched Mike’s seizures.
Auburn whinnied in response.
“You can?” Peter said doubtfully. “But you’re just a baby…”
“What’s he saying?” Davy asked.
“He says all unicorns have healing powers, and he wants to…try to help Mike, “Peter answered.
Auburn bent down, touching Mike with his horn, and then he pulled back, making a soft noise.
Peter frowned. “I don’t understand.”
“Translation, please?” Sally asked, hands on her hips.
“He says there’s nothing wrong with Mike,” Peter said. “Just… things moving around.”
“Yeah, him,” Micky said.
As if on cue, Mike stopped moving, lying on the ground, pale and sweaty. He opened his eyes and looked at his friends.
“Stop worrying,” he said as he hoisted himself upright into a sitting position. “I’m fine.”
“You just had a grand mal seizure and you’re fine?” Davy gasped incredulously.
Mike nodded. “Those berries… there’s somethin’ odd about them.”
Auburn looked up at Peter, who nodded. “Go check them out.” The baby did, and looked up at him, whinnying.
Peter smiled. “He says they’re a portal – they help bring powers to the surface.” He smiled at Mike. “And he says you’re fine, the seizure was the powers coming out.”
“Mike too?” Davy gasped.
“Mike too,” Micky smiled.
Sally looked at Davy. “Guess it’s just you and me.”
“Guess so,” he sighed.
“Can’t be,” Mike objected. “I don’t feel any different.”
Sally shrugged. “You are really sitting there, aren’t you? After Micky, I just want to make sure I know what I know….”
Mike chuckled. “Yes, I’m really here. Don’t worry so much, Sally. There’s nothing to be upset about.”
Sally looked askance at Mike. “Who said I was upset?”
“C’mon, Sal. It’s pretty obvious,” Mike said.
“Obvious to who? She seems pretty calm to me,” Micky said.
Mike frowned. “Can’t you guys see how upset she is? She feels like she’s totally out of her league here… just wants to go home.”
Sally’s jaw dropped.
Peter looked at Sally. “Sally? Is that true?”
Sally nodded, not taking her eyes off Mike. “It’s like he… just…emptied out my purse in front of you guys… except it wasn’t my purse, it was my head…”
“Guess we know what your power is,” Davy sighed, folding his arms with some discomfort.
“What?” Mike asked. “Davy – we’ve known each other what, three years?”
“And all this time, why didn’t you ever tell me you were so jealous of me?”
“What?” they all gasped and Davy snapped, “I am not jealous of you!”
But even Peter could see it in his eyes now.
“Why would you be jealous of him? You’re the one who gets all the girls,” Micky said.
“Yeah, and what do I do in the band? No, think about it! I bang on the bloody tambourine!” Davy snapped. At least Mike plays an instrument, you know? And I never asked for the thing with the girls, which is something you all seem to forget! Mike doesn’t have to deal with it, and he’s taken seriously as a musician. Why wouldn’t I want that?”
Peter stepped forward. “Davy, I can teach you to play. All you ever had to do was ask.”
Davy shook his head. “That’s why I didn’t want to ask, because I knew you’d volunteer to help me.” He sounded utterly defeated. “I wanted to have talent on my own. I wanted to be really good at something instead of just a wannabe musician with a loud voice.” He looked at the others. “None of you know what that’s like.”
Everyone fell silent. Nobody knew what to say to ease his mind.
Until Peter said softly, “That’s not fair, Davy.”
“You’re trying to be something you’re not instead of letting us improve what you are.” Peter’s eyes filled with tears. “It’s not fair and it’s cruel to us and most of all to you.”
“What’s so great about being who I am?” Davy asked softly, so softly that they almost didn’t hear him.
“Davy, you’ve got some serious self-esteem problems here,” Mike said, standing up. “You’re a good guy. We like you; why else do you think we’d keep you around?”
Davy looked down at the rocky beach beneath his feet. “I don’t know. It’s just…sometimes, I wish I were someone else. Anyone else. You know.”
“No, we don’t,” Micky said.
Davy kept his eyes glued to the beach, unable to meet anyone’s eyes. “Well…I don’t know. It’s just that sometimes I thin there has to be more to me than…me. Most of the time it’s all right, but…sometimes, I get down for no reason, and then I wonder why, if I’m such a great guy, I’m not happy.” He shrugged. “I don’t know why. I can’t explain it.”
Peter saw what was happening first, and his mouth dropped open. “Guys…do you…do you…”
Micky saw it too. “Yeah, I…”
Mike was next. “What in the name of all that’s Frodis…?”
Sally gasped. “What is this?”
As Davy had been talking, he’d been changing, his face stretching and shifting so slightly that it had been almost imperceptible… until, that is, the change was complete, and the three others and Sally found themselves looking at someone who looked exactly like…Mike.
Mike….Davy…whoever it was…stared at them blankly. “What’s wrong with you?”
“Davy…look in the water…” Mike stammered.
“You’re all smaller,” Davy frowned. “What’s with my voice? And why rare you all sma—“ He looked in the water.
A beat. Two.
“Well, that was kind of my reaction, yeah,” Mike said.
Davy’s eyes were the size of small teacups. “I’ve turned into…you!” “Oh, really? I hadn’t noticed,” Sally said nonchalantly, buffing her nails on her shirt sleeve.
This cracked Micky up, and he giggled nervously, singing in a bad British accent, “I wanna be meee…”
“This certainly puts a twist in things,” Peter said.
“Looks like you got your wish, Davy,” Mike said, shaking his head. “You got to be me after all.”
“You? I…” Suddenly Davy smiled. “Oh, yeah. That’s it, isn’t it?”
Mike nodded and held out his hand.
Davy took it and shook it, grinning Mike’s own grin back at him. “This is too strange…”
“Isn’t it, though?” Mike chuckled.
Peter sat down, burying his face in Auburn’s mane. The baby whinnied and rubbed Peter’s back as best he could with his horn.
“Peter?” Micky asked, crouching down beside him and laying a softly glowing hand on his shoulder. “What is it?”
“All of us but Sally are changed,” Peter whispered. “Two physical powers, two mental ones. I keep thinking why? Why were we changed? What’s behind it, what’s the reason for it?”
Micky shrugged “I dunno. The only thing is, the guy in Avalon said that my stuff…my magic or whatever…was near the surface, but that Mike’s and Davy’s…well, you were there. You heard him.”
“Yeah,” Peter said. “Do you think we’re here because they needed their powers, or do you think they need their powers because we came here?”
Micky shook his head. “I think that’s a toss-up, don’t you? Anyway, we’re here for some reason, and when we’re done here, we’re going home.”
Peter looked at Sally. “She’s taking this pretty well.”
“Yeah. Not bad for fifteen. I would’ve been running around screaming.” Micky paused. “Oh wait… I already did that.”
Peter laughed. “Thanks, Micky.”
“Oh, for what?” Micky asked self-deprecatingly.
That was when they heard the loud roar.
“It’s over the hill,” Peter said nervously, “and it’s coming this way…”
Auburn whimpered and tried to hide behind Peter. “Gee, thanks,” Peter said with a small laugh. “He says we’re his protectors.”
“Oh, that’s lovely, that is,” Davy snapped, cuing them which ‘Mike’ was him. “How are we supposed to stop a—“
And it lumbered into sight.
Peter stepped forward. “I think I can talk to him.”
Micky stood too. “Just in case you can’t…everybody come over here.”
Davy, Mike and Sally gathered around, and a bright aura went up around them.
“What’d you just do?” Mike asked.
“In case the dragon decides he wants to flash-fry us, he’s going to think we’re over there,” Micky said.
“That might not be necessary. It might be a peaceful dragon,” Sally said hopefully.
“I guess we’ll find out,” Davy said as the dragon continued to advance.
After a moment of quiet conversation, Peter’s hearty laugh rang out.
“Looks like you might have been right, Sally,” Mike said.
Peter then pointed, and the dragon spread its wings and flew over them, heading out to sea.
“Looks like you were right, Sally,” Davy said.
Peter walked back to them, grinning from ear to ear. “He’s harmless,” he said. “He was just lost – got separated from his momma in Avalon and couldn’t find the way back there.”
“His momma?” Micky squeaked. “There’s a bigger one of him?”
Peter nodded. Then his face went solemn. “But he told me the people have been after him to disguise their own problem. The king’s gone mad and is subjecting the people.” His head snapped around slightly and he sighed. “No, Auburn, I don’t know if that’s why we’re here or not.”
“Oooh! Evil king, evil king, evil king!” Micky said, bouncing up and down in excitement.
Mike and Davy gave Micky identical skeptical looks.
“What’s so great about an evil king?” Mike asked dryly.
Micky shrugged. “Nothing. But it’s more exciting than the usual.”
“Which is?” Sally asked.
Micky grinned. “Evil landlord, evil landlord, evil landlord.”
Mike snorted with laughter. “Yeah, guess so.”
“Well, let’s go out! Explore the countryside! Swashbuckle!” Davy said.
“Oh, come on, Davy. You did the swashbuckling thing last week,” Peter said.
“Hey, nothing wrong with a little swordplay from time to time,” Davy said.
Micky chuckled at that. “Swordplay…right…”
Davy shook his head. “Micky, you and your filthy mind…”
“…will be put to good use plotting and planning,” Mike finished with a grin.
“I take it you have a plot and a plan?” Peter asked.
Mike nodded. “We find a town. From there, we find the castle.”
“And from there?” Sally asked.
“We do what Monkees do best.”
“Which is?” Sally asked.
The four replied in unison. “We play it by ear.”
“If this place is called Avon-On-Calling, I’m going home,” Mike grumbled, though everyone could hear the good-naturedness in his voice.
They walked for what seemed like forever, and when they were just about to drop, Micky pointed to a building.
“Hey! Look! An inn!” he said. Micky drew himself up to his full height. “My name is Micky, and I’m the innkeeper!”
Peter laughed and Mike sighed. Davy turned to Sally. “Don’t worry. He does this from time to time,” Davy said, smiling Mike’s smile.
“Do you know how long you’re gonna look like that? I can’t tell the difference between the two of you,” Sally said.
“Oh, I can change back whenever I like,” Davy said, blithely unconcerned. “I just like looking like this and making everyone do double-takes.”
“You would,” Peter said with a smile.
They became aware of the buzz of the townspeople around them and it gradually coalesced into one word which baffled them.
The townspeople began to gather around them, and Davy and Mike were suddenly the target of reverent touches.
“What the hell…” Davy gasped.
“You tell me, this was your idea,” Mike gasped, then frowned. “Good night, they think we’re…”
“You’re what?” Peter asked.
“Holy!” Mike gasped. “They think we’re some kind of saint cause we survived! Twins are killed here!”
Davy blanched. “Why?”
Mike shook his head, still frowning. “I think it has something to do with the king…. It’s kinda hazy. The law’s been in place for a while now….”
“My sister was killed,” one woman said, stepping forward and staring at the ground. “It was said that two together have more power than one… and she was taken from me…”
“That’s so sad!” Sally said impulsively, stepping forward to embrace her.
The woman looked up, and the five had their second shock of fifteen minutes.
The woman was identical to Sally.
Seizing Sally with a strength borne of impulsiveness, the woman cried, “Come! We must hide you!”
“Yes!” someone in the crowd cried. “Hide the twins! Don’t let the king find them!”
Then the crowd became organized chaos. Mike noticed, though, that a tight knot remained around them as if acting as a shield and the others milled around in seemingly random patterns, the knot always shifting.
These people were protecting them – protecting the ‘twins’ in their midst.
Once the crowd had done its job, the five found themselves inside a small house made of adobe and covered with a thatched room. The woman who looked exactly like Sally closed the door behind them. “Please… this is my home, and now it is yours also.”
“I don’t get it,” Sally whispered to Peter. “How can I look exactly like her? We’re not even related!”
Peter shrugged. “I don’t know… I don’t even know where we are. We might not be anywhere close to Malibu…”
“Well, I knew that,” Sally grumbled.
“There are no windows, so you may move about as you please,” the woman continued. “Only… we must not leave the house in pairs.” She looked at Sally. “You… could not be my sister?”
Sally bit her lower lip. “No, I don’t think so…”
The woman nodded. “Yes, I… it was too much to hope that she might have survived.”
Sally patted the woman awkwardly on the shoulder. “What’s your name?”
“I am called Laurel,” the woman said.
Sally introduced herself, then the guys, causing laughter when she mixed Mike and Davy up. “Where are we?” Micky asked finally. “What land is this?”
Laurel frowned. “You are in Summerdale.”
Davy stiffened. “Summerdale?” At her nod, he asked, “Laurel, humour me here. What year is this?”
She frowned deeper. “The year of our Lord 1486.”
Davy’s eyes closed. “Summerdale became part of Devonshire in 1855…. How did we go back in time?”
“Back in….” Laurel’s eyes widened. “You are from the future?”
“Kinda,” Mike said.
“It must be the spell…it must be!” Laurel gasped.
“What spell, Laurel?” Peter asked, tilting his head curiously.
Laurel turned to Peter. “Everyone is afraid of our king. Nobody knows who he will go after next. He sees enemies where there are none, as with twins… so our most powerful sorcerer sent a Call.”
“What’s a call?” Micky asked.
“Not a call, a Call. With a capital C,” Mike corrected him.
“Fine. A Call. What’s a Call?” Micky asked.
“It is… a summoning through time and space… for help. He has never done it before because it is very draining; it takes much power,” Laurel said.
“I guess it worked,” Peter said with a slight smile. “After all, we’re here, aren’t we?”
“And once you rest,” Laurel said, “we shall take you to our sorcerer. We will prevail now. Our champions have arrived!” She left the house to continue her shopping.
The five looked at each other, puzzled.
Auburn pressed in and lay his head in Peter’s lap, whinnying.
“I don’t know, Auburn,” he said, rubbing the foal’s head. “I don’t know.”
Continue On To Part Two