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The New Open Road -- Section 19-S3-RAC

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THE NEW OPEN ROAD -- Thyme & Rosemary (Section 19-S3) Copyright 2019 Dorie B. Welcome back to The New Open Road. One of Virginia's best magical girls, Rosemary-Alice Cromartie, manages a long distance relationship with her long time boyfriend Fabian Merrill, while enjoying the highs and lows of daily adventure & odd jobs. This special tale is about that relationship, as a figure of Fabian's past threatens to ruin their future. Meanwhile, Rosemary herself is trying to make Thanksgiving plans, which may include her parents. FLAMENCA'S UNMERRY THANKSGIVING One day in the city of Richmond, Rosemary-Alice Cromartie glances at a list of items for a Thanksgiving dinner being organized by the Hollands, Princess Cordelia & Prince Peter. She comments, "This stuff looks delicious. I don't get why Fabian wouldn't want to come up here." Prince Fabian hasn't confirmed his own plans yet, since he's been real busy with official business down in the city of Norfolk. The druid walks over to the phone, and spends a moment contemplating whether she should call him now. Then, the phone rings. It wasn't Fabian, but rather the magic pirate & merchant Abby Muffet. Abby explains that she's going to be docked for a while in Hampton, and invites her over if she wants to do a little shopping. Rosemary appreciates the offer...and may do so before Thanksgiving. That afternoon, the virtual radio silence from her boyfriend makes the druid uneasy. She decides to throw on a jacket & hit the Interstate on her hoverbike Cherry-O. Elsewhere, Madame Flamenca was out battling several cloaked sorcerers on supercharged brooms. They throw a flurry of powerful spells at her, but she skillfully evades their attacks & strikes back with a flurry of her own. One by one the enemies fell from their brooms, and out of action. Flamenca looks around, asking "Where did they come from?" Suddenly, she is blasted down from behind by another cloaked figure. As she slowly rises up, its face brings a familiar yet frightening memory from years ago--the previous Tidewater prince, Abe Lemon. "No, it can't be! You're supposed to be locked up in the prison planet!" Abe, looking clean shaven underneath that hood, explains "I was supposed to be transferred to the prison planet, but the telejector had a glitch & I was sent to a place far worse than any prison...Zirgoudant. Flamenca had never heard of that planet, but it sounded harsh enough. Still, she wonders why he came back. Abe answers, "To send the Tidewater prince a message." He pulls out a long shell and shouts an unrecognizable magical chant. The shell absorbs Flamenca's powers, changing her back into the Tidewater prince. Fabian was speechless that his former friend could even do that. Abe explains, "You look surprised, eh? Don't be. I knew all along you were Madame Flamenca. I just didn't bother to say anything because of the consequences of what would happen to you if the secret came out." Fabian wonders why he didn't try to steal his power back then. Abe replies that he didn't have that capability. He then blasts Fabian with Flamenca's magic, which does decent damage. Fabian struggles to get up afterward as Abe leaves with these words: "Tell your girlfriend that she's welcome to try & take this back...if her breathing will allow it." -- It wasn't long after that Rosemary found the battered prince upon the urging of the nature spirits she communes with. She cries in anguish when she lays sight to her boyfriend beaten convincingly. Fabian slowly shifts his head to her, thankful that she arrived so quickly. As the druid checks on him, she asks "What happened to you?" He tells her that Abe Lemon came back, and took his powers. Rosemary was shocked, she too had thought he was no longer a threat to them. He adds, "Abe somehow knew I was Flamenca." The druid replies, "Th- that's impossible! The only ones who knew were myself, E.J, and Tanya. You never told him, did you?" Fabian shakes his head. For now, the only thing she can provide for him was help getting to a local hospital. She calls Commonwealth for pickup since Fabian didn't appear to be in any condition to ride with her on Cherry-O. The prince thanks her for that. Fifteen minutes later, their magical girl & carrier pilot Magothy Loo descends near them in her Sandpiper ship. Rosemary was a bit confused, but realizes she shouldn't be surprised they dispatched her. They secure him inside the carrier so he'll have a comfortable flight to the hospital. The druid tells her, "I'll follow you there in case they try to add insult to injury." Magothy appreciates that, but says the Sandpiper isn't defenseless so she should manage. That seems to worry the druid a tiny bit. The flight was indeed uneventful, and Fabian was dropped off at a hospital in the city of Newport News. That evening, Magothy drives up to Rosemary's cabin in Richmond to check on her. She tells her Fabian will be fine, but needs a couple days to fully recover. The druid had mixed emotions. "I just felt that something was wrong with him, and now I wish I had reached him sooner. Now Abe Lemon's back, and I got to deal with his butt instead of getting ready for Thanksgiving." Magothy was thinking about that for a moment. She questions why he didn't say anything about stealing back his post as the Tidewater prince. Rosemary doesn't believe that title has anything to do with his grudge. Then, the carrier pilot offers some advice: "When he gets out, I think you need to be there for him. Also, promise me that you two won't do anything reckless, alright?" Rosemary nods. Later, Magothy asks to check out the druid's video game library. Rosemary allows it, but is curious as to why. She answers, "My kids are raving over this new game, and I wanted to make sure it wasn't too violent." Rosemary explains that she does have a few violent ones, but the game the carrier pilot was inquiring about wasn't one of them. She seems a bit more confident about getting it as a Christmas present. The druid thinks so too. A few days later, Fabian was out of the hospital a fully recovered prince...but not emotionally. Losing the power was still heavy on his mind. Rosemary drives down to check on him at his Norfolk office. Hugs. The Tidewater prince says, "Thanks for coming by, I needed this." Rosemary was just happy that he looked and moved around better. She tells him she wants him to go with her to Abby's ship about getting his powers back. Fabian hesitates. There was a concerned look on his face. "I don't think that pirate should know my secret. You remember what she's done in the past right? That, plus her sister Darlene is who knows what." Rosemary tries to calm him down. "Abby doesn't need to know about that. I have a plan." She takes his arms and has him trust her. Fabian hopes she knows what she's doing. The druid replies, "Oh, I am. Not even Abe is aware." Speaking of which, Fabian then gets the results of an audit of the building's surveillance system. He wanted to see if there were any loopholes or weaknesses that would have allowed anyone to snoop in on the cameras throughout the building. Upon checking the cameras around the basement where a supercomputer lies, something catches his attention. Abe lemon was seen inserting a portable hard drive into the terminal. The audit confirms that he was spying on his office leading up to the failed invasion. The Tidewater prince was disgusted. Internally, he realizes this was how he discovered that he was Madame Flamenca. "I knew he betrayed me, but this takes it to whole new level. There has to be a way to stop him." Later at Abby's ship, the prince meets Rosemary and the magic pirate. The druid says, "We were hoping there was a way to take back the powers he stole." Abby hesitates upon the serious nature of this request, but she does offer to assist them. She asks them if they knew what Abe used. Fabian tells her about the shell he got from Zirgoudant. The magic pirate was shocked to hear the name of that planet. She recalls her older sister Darlene talking about that world, and how a few prisoners somehow ended up there. "Darlene warned me about magical items being smuggled from there to other planets. I made a promise not to do business with those, but what I can do is answer your question. It's quite simple, you need to seize that shell. The rest should be simple." Fabian trembles a bit. "Ugh, that means I have to face him again." Rosemary looks up at him and adds that he won't have to do this alone. Abby offers to fight with them if they need her. The prince thanks her. As they head back to the office, Fabian wonders how they're going to lure Abe out in the open. The druid reminds him, "You do have a platform, use it." Fabian seems to understand what she means, but that's the easy part. -- The next day in the city of Richmond, plans were set for an eventual confrontation. Rosemary digs into her closet looking for something comfortable to wear. Then, it hits her. She pulls out a reddish brown dress with long white sleeves. "I've been waiting for a chance to put this on. I guess today's a good day for it. So, she throws it on, zips up the back, ties on the red hood, but stops when she couldn't decide it it'll look better with pink or red lipstick. Then, she sees another option, a coral color that her rival Rosalee Campbell likes to use. After getting dressed, she climbs onto Cherry-O once more & speeds down the street. The Botannical Garden was where Prince Fabian arranged a private encounter with Abe. The prince chose this site because it was also good for his girlfriend's breathing. Abe seemed to be excited about it. "So, you want your powers back. I guess you still have some fortitude left in you." Rosemary-Alice enters the scene & says they are not afraid of him & his little coven. Still, Fabian inquires "Something's been bothering me in this lead up. You could've exposed the secret about the Flamenca powers over all these years, yet you haven't. Why do you choose to withhold it?" The sorcerer produces the shell & answers, "As much as I wanted to, that was not something I could get away with." Fabian thought about it, and concluded that indeed the risks to his life were too high even on his end. Abe warns however that he shouldn't feel comfortable because of this. His fellow sorcerers surprise them with a ambush of blasts that forces them down. Rosemary pulls out the AccuLaser from her basket & fires back aggressively, scaring the coven back a bit. She combines the two & hands it over to the prince. Surprised, he asks her why. "Use that to fight off the distractions. I got the big boss." Fabian nods, as his girlfriend draws her Enchanted Rose Saber from her basket. Abe draws a handcrafted brown wand made of cherry wood. "I was hoping I would get a chance to battle you. Don't worry, I'll make this a fair fight." Rosemary appreciates that. Then, he casts a spell that changes the wand into a magical sword that preserves the beauty of the handcrafted design. The battle began, as the swords clash over & over, interrupting the calm over the gardens. Fabian notices some of the other sorcerers turning toward the battle, so he uses that moment to fire powerful shots from the druid's combined laser gun. Each shot does considerable damage that drops them to the trees below. One however evades a shot, and fires back at him. The prince is staggered for merely a second, but quickly responds with a decisive shot of his own. The swordfight however is swinging in Abe's way as he starts to peel away at Rosemary's defence. The druid swings back, but cannot deal as much damage to him. Then, she notices that the Flamenca power was glowing from the shell. "I thought you said this would be a fair fight!" Abe keeps silent, concealing confirmation that he's using that power as an extra shield to limit the amount of damage he takes. Rosemary isn't discouraged yet. "You think having that will give you the edge? Well, I have the power of nature on my side!" Calling on the power of the nature spirits, she gains their strength, albeit for a limited time, and her signature red hood is embellished with a beautiful gold bordering. Abe isn't impressed. "You know, the forces of nature on Zirgoudant are way harsher than here on Earth. I think it's time I teach you not to play with such dangerous things!" He combines his magic with that of Flamenca's, and hits the druid with a sand slash attack. It does a fair amount of damage, so he strikes her with it twice more. Fabian cries for her as he returns to her side. Seeing her hurt, he fires a powerful shot at Abe, but his magic only deflects it back at them for more damage. The sorcerer shouts, "Stay out of this, prince!" The angered Fabian looks down at his girlfriend, and decides to make a decisive move. He drops the AccuLaser, stunning the others. "You may have the magic, but I have something even greater!" He charges at Abe, which causes him to hesitate briefly. Rosemary slowly gets back up, crying "No, your highness, stop!" Abe casts a wave spell to act as a hot force field, but the prince powers through as if he was fighting through a blizzard in winter. Then, he rolls down & snatches the shell away. Abe quickly swings his sword, but Rosemary acts quicker, firing a shot from her laser to negate the attack. Fabian runs back to the druid's side, but she tells him, "That was reckless of you, but at least it worked out. The prince asks her how much time she has left on her power up. She estimates there may be a few minutes left at most. That made his next decision easy. He calls on the Flamenca power to return to him. Abe tries another spell to stop the reunion, but Rosemary deflects it back at him with her sword. The magic is released from the shell, and back inside the prince's body. Without pause, he quickly transforms once again into the white skinned magical heroine Madame Flamenca! Abe could not believe this. Flamenca was also dressed in a new brown & pink bodysuit which includes a few ruffled trimmings & zippered side pockets on the thighs similar to those on workout leggings. She commands to the druid, "Let's finish him." They charge toward Abe while he meets them halfway. Fierce fighting could be heard throughout the garden. Then, Abe strikes with another magical sand slash. This time, they dodge the attack & hit back for better damage. Then, Flamenca grabs a shared hold of Rosemary's sword. She combines her magic into it, enhancing the strength of the druid's special attack, the Strawberry Dynamic. The attack does significant damage, and knocks him out cold. As Rosemary's power-up expires, she realizes they can use the shell like he used it on the prince. She points it as Abe, and drains away all his magic. Flamenca is glad that is over. Then, Rosemary has an idea. "Maybe we should sell this to Abby. She'd know how to use it." Flamenca cried, "No, Ms. Cromartie! We're turning this...and the traitor in to the authorities. Rosemary was visibly disappointed, but she understands why the prince would believe such power is too dangerous in these woods right now. -- That evening, Rosemary & Fabian join Magothy for dinner in the land of Williamsburg. The carrier pilot & magical girl was relieved that they were able to defeat Abe. Rosemary tells her, "I'm just grateful I have a wonderful boyfriend that's willing to risk everything for me, and for the Tidewater." Fabian thanks her for that. He in turn is grateful that they can finally move on from four years ago. Later, Magothy says "Then Madame Flamenca came out of that shell & helped you kick his butt? That must have been epic. Was she wearing that spacesuit again?" They look at each other confused as to why she asked that, but Rosemary answers no to that, calling it more of a thermal suit. Magothy says that's good, since she won't have to freeze to death in what she thinks will be a really cold winter. Thanksgiving night in Richmond, Rosemary arrives at the Holland's special dinner. Her parents even made it from New York as a pleasant surprise. They were just glad she was okay after the battle with Abe Lemon. Rosemary says, "He's far away at the prison planet, where he should've been four years ago." They sit down with Prince Fabian and enjoy a delicious helping of turkey & assorted other goodies, much of it made from scratch. For the Cromarties, it truly felt like home. Fabian looks on, happy for his girlfriend tonight. He feels that their relationship can only get better from here. Meanwhile in Norfolk, Abby Muffet is examining the shell Abe used to house Madame Flamenca's power. The shape & feel of it raise more questions for her than answers. "This isn't from Zirgoudant, it's from Atlanta. I wonder how he even got his hands on it. Oh well." She encases the shell in a spell-proof display, and thanks Rosemary for convincing the prince to trade it to her. --

:icondonotuseplz::iconmyartplz:  The Thanksgiving tradition continues, and it's another special segment featuring Virginia's favorite druid Rosemary-Alice Cromartie.  However, a treacherous figure from their past threatens to not only ruin her thanksgiving, but her boyfriend & Tidewater prince Fabian's as well!
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