In our previous chapter –
“According to Cleopatra, they snatched her and left by that door.” The Doctor pointed to a wall.
“That’s a wall, Doctor.”
He walked to it and depressed a delicate and wood worm-eaten cornice and twisted. The panel slid back and Gomez laughed. “That little minx. I wondered how she…”
“No time for idle chit chat, Gomez.” Fester headed for the hidden tunnel. “The game’s afoot.”
“Indeed.” The Doctor joined Fester and looked at him with a slight grin. “Shall we?”
They vanished into the darkness and the panel slid shut behind them.
“Doctor!” Rose shouted and raced to the spot. She twisted the cornice, but nothing happened. “What do we do?” she asked Gomez.
He grinned manically at her and pulled a bell cord.
CHAPTER TWO – THE GAME’S AFOOT.
Pugsley Addams was trouble or at least that’s what his family hoped. A little on the chubby side, people often thought him happy and good natured. He soon corrected that illusion. He hadn’t quite decided upon his path yet. He rather liked his uncle’s approach to life, a carefree entrepreneur, sailing through life as it came. Yet he respected his father’s business sense and free spirit.
He posed with a cigar. “What do you think, Wednesday?”
“Oh, sorry.” He took the gag from his sister’s mouth. “Now what do you think?”
“Smoking stunts your growth.” She twisted in her bonds. “These aren’t very tight. A child could do better.”
“I am a child.”
She stood, free from the ropes he’d tied about her. “You are an Addams. That’s a very different thing.”
“I think--” Pugsley started, but Wednesday held up a cautioning hand.
“Shh, someone’s coming.” She quickly scooted behind a crate marked, ‘Property of Cousin Itt.’ It wasn’t so much that they were afraid of having their fun and games found out as much as they needed to work on their lurking. Grandmamma would be proud of them.
“Gentlemen, you are hurting me--” At the sound of his mother’s voice, Pugsley started to move, prepared to do battle for the sake of his family, but Wednesday grabbed his arm and shook her head.
“Too bad, lady.”
“You didn’t let me finish. You are hurting me; it reminds me of my honeymoon. The banana slugs had just spawned. There was magic in the air.”
“Do you ever keep quiet?” This was another man.
“Here’s a gag.” A third voice spoke up, obviously finding the cloth that Wednesday had just discarded.
Their mother sounds indignant. “There is no need for that. I know when my input is neither wanted nor encouraged.”
They peeked out and saw a trio of men clustered around their mother. This in itself was not odd. Morticia was a great beauty. She had singlehandedly cost Helen of Troy her crown, but that was mostly because Helen was terrible at bridge.
“Looks like someone was expecting us,” quipped the tallest of the three. He picked up some rope.
“Shut up, Morty, and tie her up.”
“Would that be short for Mortuary? I knew a charming young man many years ago… mph.” The gag cut Morticia off.
“Finally, some peace. That Addams guy should pay us from for giving him some peace and quiet.”
“So, what do we do next, Rip?”
“We wait. I give Addams about four hours before he completely becomes unglued. Then I will sneak out and give him a call.”
“A million bucks to see her alive.”
“Or not, depending upon my mood.” Morticia’s eyes widened at the threat.
“Wednesday, what are we going to do?” Pugsley whispered. “They have Mother.”
The daughter’s eyes were narrow as she stared at the men. They were taking liberties with Morticia that only a husband had a right to. “Revenge most foul.” She gestured. “Come with me.”
She led the way deep into the depths of the cellar. Water dripped from where roots had penetrated the cement foundation of the house. It was the perfect place to think and plan.
He’d been charged with standing guard at the front of the corridor. The place was super creepy, but he had a gun and he didn’t believe in ghosts, too much, so when he heard the soft crying, he didn’t suspect anything.
He followed the noise and found a little girl, holding a headless doll close and crying.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” He knelt down and she turned wide sorrowful eyes to the man. “What happened to your dolly?”
“Her name is Marie Antoinette. We cut off her head.”
“Is that why you’re crying?”
“No, my kitty is lost. She pointed to an ajar door. He ran in there and I’m afraid to follow.”
“Shh, now you stop crying. I’ll get your kitty for you and then I’ll take you to my friend, Rip.”
“Rest in peace?”
“No, his name is Rip.” Rip was going to reward him. If Addams would pay premium for his wife, imagine what he’d pay for his wife and daughter. “You said he went in there.”
“Uh, huh. He might be a little hungry.” She turned and picked up a sandwich. “This is his favorite.”
The man took it, not bothering to unwrap it from its waxed paper. He walked over to the door and paused. “You stay right there and I’ll be right back with your kitty.”
He went in and called softly. “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty!” He groped along a wall and bumped into something that felt like warm and soft. “Is that you, Kitty? Boy, you’re a big one…”
His hand found a light switch and he clicked in on. A full grown African lion was eyeing him, his attention on the sandwich the man held. “Nice kitty?”
He turned, but that’s when he noticed the door was closed. He threw the sandwich at the lion and ran to it, but it was locked. “Let me out,” he demanded, pounding on the thick wood, but Wednesday merely smiled, a delightfully evil smile and skipped away, Marie Antoinette dangling from one hand.
Mort looked at his watch again. “Where the heck is Sammy? He was supposed to have relieved me an hour ago.”
Morticia, her mouth gagged, merely shook her head, then her eyes widened. Mort spun and there was a chubby little boy. He looked about as dangerous as tissue paper.
“Hi, Mother.” He waved cheerfully and walked away.
“Hey, kid, get back here.” Mort ran after the kid, but the kid had seemingly vanished, then he saw a bit of cloth, apparently caught. He investigated closer and realized the wall was false. He pressed again it and it obligingly shifted. It was a tight squeeze, but Mort reckoned if that kid could make it, so could he.
The pathway was pitch black and something soft, he guessed cobwebs, brushed against his face. He stumbled over debris and then he saw a faint strip of light. He hurried towards it only to slam into something hard. He shoved with all his strength and suddenly the wall shifted and he toppled through. The wall slammed shut behind him and Mort suddenly because aware of his surroundings. He was in a torture chamber.
He took an involuntary step back and yelped as something pricked him. Realization made him want to scream. He was in an iron maiden, its spikes glistening in the torchlight. That’s when he saw the boy. He was in front of him, just steps away.
Mort lunged and Pugsley let the front of the iron maiden go. The shrieks warmed him to his soul.
“What is going on?” Rip looked at his watch. “I need to call your husband, but I’m not leaving you here alone.”
“I’ll watch her.”
Rip spun at the voice and saw a little slip of a girl standing there, her black hair in two braids. Rip reached for her and she retreated. He tried again and Wednesday pulled back even more.
“You get over here.”
“You’re it!” Wednesday said, tossed him her doll and took off. Rip glared at Morticia. “You stay put!” he ordered and raced after the little girl.
She ducked and wove, then ran into a room. Rip could barely contain his laughter. He took the key from the door and pocketed it. “I have you now.”
Rip realized what he thought was a room was barely large enough for a closet. He swore and grabbed the door knob, except there wasn’t one. “What the hell?” He pushed against the wood, but it was unyielding. There was the rustle of movement and he saw her in the dim light. “You might as well give up. There’s no way out.”
“Maybe for you.” Wednesday slipped out through a small opening and nodded solemnly to Pugsley who started laying his bricks. He was always proud of his brick work. The man apparently realized his plight and started cussing, vile terrible words that no child should hear. When the last brick slid in place, she smiled at her brother. “Good job.”
“Thanks! Uncle Fester taught me. He has a friend who liked amontillado.” Pugsley beamed at his sister’s praise. “Shall we go untie Mother?”
“She is already untied,” Wednesday said. “She was merely accommodating them.”
Sure enough, their mother appeared at the top of the corridor. “Children, come along. Play time is over.”
“No, buts, Pugsley. Growing children need their rest.” She smiled down at the bricks and mortar. “The others?”
“One is playing with Kitty and the other is resting in the iron Maiden.”
“We’ll send Lurch along to deal with them. I’m sure the police will love having a chat with them.”
She ushered her two children upstairs and into the grateful arms of their father.
“Tish, you’re all right?”
“Tish, that’s French!” He grabbed his wife’s arm and began kissing his way up it.
“Darling, we have company.”
“The children? They don’t care.”
“Your other guests.” Morticia nodded to The Doctor and a blonde woman. “Doctor, it’s so good to see you again.” She held out her hand and The Doctor bowed to it.
“I am relieved to see you, again, Morticia. May I introduce you to my companion, Rose?”
“Surely, but any other name.” Morticia smiled happily. “Welcome to our humble home.”
“Humble? It’s fabulous!” Rose gushed. “My mother would die if she saw this.”
“Lucky lady!” Gomez found a new cigar in his pocket and began to puff on it.
“You have no idea,” the Doctor muttered.
“Now, you must stay for lunch. We’ll have Grandmamma whip up something special. Oh, I almost forgot…” Morticia glided over to a bell rope and pulled. The house shook with the strength of the gong.
“You rang?” Lurch was there in a heartbeat.
“Yes, Lurch, there are three gentlemen in the basement. The children can give you directions. Perhaps you should rescue them before harm befalls them. I’m sure the police will enjoy talking with them.” That accomplished, she took Rose by the hand. “Now, let me show you around.”
“Nothing better than a happy woman, eh, Doctor?” Gomez nudged him.
The Doctor smiled. “Only when you have two of them.”