Henry the Wanderer or Something:
The Hand of Fate
Henry was on a quest. A quest to find the Hand of Fate. He knew Fate was a woman because his mother had told him so and his mother knew everything. He knew she knew everything because she had told him so. He knew that circular logic could prove anything if one was stubborn and ignorant enough, which Henry was.
Henry also knew that the Hand of Fate was on top of a giant mountain. Why it was on top of a mountain and not attached to the Wrist of Fate was anyone's guess. Henry had decided long ago not to think about it, for it was not his purpose to question the nature of Fate's anatomical structure. He remembered hearing a story about a young child who had dared ask if Fate had a bladder. At that moment, the heavens had opened and the child's village was immediately swept away by an enormous flood. Henry shuddered at the thought of all that water. He had had some bad experiences with water, somewhere in his Deep Dark Past.
The mountain upon which the Hand of Fate lay was visible in the distance. Henry knew that the path there would be fraught with unimaginable horrors and perils. He also knew that food poisoning bacteria thrive best between temperatures of 5 and 63 degrees Celsius, and had therefore brought a cooler from home on his journey.
A small village came into sight before him. There would be food and shelter for the night if he stayed here. He believed most villagers to be hospitable and usually in need of help. With this in mind, Henry courageously walked towards the outcropping of shacks. He walked and walked until he realized the group of people gathering at the edge of the village were not there to greet him, but rather were there to ward him off with pitchforks and flaming torches. Bravely, Henry threw a slice of ham off to the side. While the villagers were distracted in their ravenous feeding frenzy, Henry snuck past them and into the forest beyond. Their cries of pain and bloodthirsty growls soon fell behind him, and Henry continued on his quest.
It was unnaturally dark in the forest. Henry could barely see his forehead above his face. He lit a match and threw it on the forest floor, which was littered with dry twigs. The forest went up in flames. It wasn't so dark anymore.
After leaving the smouldering remains of the forest, Henry could no longer see the mountain. He had reached the cover of fog surrounding its base. Unfortunately, he was unable to enter. Fog is basically condensed water, and ever since Henry's fairy godmother's gift spell had gone horribly wrong at his birth ceremony, he was allergic to water in any form. His father, an Aqua Mage, had been so disappointed Henry would not be able to continue the patriarchal legacy that he banished the fairy godmother from the household. Nobody had seen her since.
Henry hovered at the edge of the foggy cloud, wondering what to do next. Just then, he heard a cry for help. He was about to run off to rescue the poor soul when he realized it was himself who had cried out. He had just stepped in someone's bear trap.
As he tried to pull his foot out, a shadowy figure came towards him from out of the mist. It was the bear, and it had come to collect its prey. It growled hungrily and advanced. Henry screamed again. Luckily, his scream triggered an avalanche on the mountain, causing a wave of falling gravel to crush the bear. It would have crushed Henry as well, if he had been standing in its path.
However, the avalanche missed him by a hair. Henry realized it must be a magic hair, blessed by the gods so he could continue his quest. He plucked it out and put it in a Ziploc bag for safekeeping. With the magic hair protecting him from the deadly fog, Henry started up the mountain on top of which lay the Hand of Fate. He met many dangers on the path to his goal, not the least of which was a group of children who tried to sell him stale Girl Scout cookies. "Don't you have any chocolate?!" he pleaded, but they persisted, until he was forced to fend them off with the Sword of Power (yes, Henry had a Sword of Power. How it failed to be mentioned earlier is anyone's guess).
Finally, after days of wandering aimlessly all over the mountainside with no idea where he was, Henry discovered a cabin behind a tree. One minute it hadn't been there; then he had looked around the trunk and there it was. Obviously it was a magical cabin, sent by the gods to help Henry on his quest. Henry wondered why the gods didn't just teleport him to the top of the mountain and save him some trouble, but he was not in a position to question the higher powers.
Henry entered the cabin. It was very dark. There was a bed in the corner. When Henry lay upon it, it warmed itself up and vibrated to sooth his muscles. Henry thought, It must be a magic bed, sent by the gods to... Henry fell asleep before he could complete the over-used cliché.
When Henry woke up, he found himself shackled to the bed with iron chains. Surprisingly, he found he was also unable to move. He looked around in terror. There was someone standing in a corner of the room, someone who looked suspiciously familiar... It turned out to be the vengeful fairy godmother that his father had banished from the kingdom. She had been hiding out on the mountain all this time, waiting for Henry to go on his quest before trapping him.
Henry resisted the urge to whimper in fear and settled for screaming in sheer terror. The malevolent fairy godmother advanced with an evil glint in her eye and twigs in her hair; traits that could only be acquired by one who has spent most of the last twenty years holed up in a cave on a foggy mountainside, planning painful vengeance. She raised her wand with a hysterical cackle that the Dark Lord of M'dorrak would have been proud of.
At that very moment, a blinding light suffused the tiny cabin with an unearthly glow. Henry had no idea what the word 'suffuse' meant, but he had to admit it looked pretty darn cool. The fairy godmother stopped her ominous advancement and fell back, screeching. After much writhing, she died. Henry heaved a sigh of relief.
Aside from saving his life, the magical light had the added effect of releasing Henry from his bonds. The chains fell away from his wrists and ankles. Henry thought they were kind of sexy, but he felt he didn't have time to indulge in any kind of alternative fetish lifestyle.
When he left the cabin, the fog had disappeared from the mountain. The gods had gotten fed up with all the delays Henry seemed to encounter and had decided to get rid of most of the obstacles ahead in one fell swoop. Henry had no idea what the words 'deus ex machina' meant, but he had to admit it was pretty darn cool.
Henry trudged the rest of the way up the mountain. He didn't see a single monster or villain. He was beginning to get pretty bored until he heaved himself onto a ledge and came face to face with the end of his quest: The Hand of Fate.
He admired the gratuitous capital letters and reached out to claim his prize. He was very surprised when the Hand of Fate grabbed him first. It dragged him into a hole in the top of the mountain. Horrified, Henry realized that the mountain wasn't a mountain at all. It was an active volcano.
Down, down, down they travelled. Henry noticed it was beginning to get rather hot and stuffy. He reached up to loosen his collar. In doing do, he accidentally dislodged the magic hair from his pocket. Henry's eye followed it downwards until he was distracted by the enormous seething pool of lava below him. He knew this must be the final stage of his quest, but that didn't prevent him from squealing and wetting his pants a little bit.
The Hand of Fate (which Henry had come to increasingly dislike over the past few minutes) dropped Henry on an island of rock at the bottom of the volcano. Henry tried to stay as far from the lava as possible. Given the size of the rock, he had about ten inches to spare on every side. He huddled in the middle and tried to think of an escape plan.
Just then a side of the volcano wall burst open to reveal a creature from Henry's worst nightmares. It was a huge fire-breathing dragon, and it was coming right at him.
Henry fumbled to get his Sword of Power out of the Sheath of Power and almost dropped it. The dragon was coming closer. It roared menacingly. Henry gave up on the Sword and had to settle for the easier-to-handle Small Butter Knife of Power. He wielded it like a man on death row, who has been digging a tunnel out of his cell with a chopstick and doesn't realize he is under a lake.
The dragon snorted a giant plume of fire in Henry's direction. Henry barely had time to jump to another rock before he was incinerated. Hysterically, he threw the Small Butter Knife of Power at the dragon.
The knife bounced off the dragon's scaly hide and evaporated in the lava. The dragon tossed back its head and roared so loudly that the sound waves travelled up the volcano's interior, buffeting the small birds unwary enough to fly over its entrance.
One of the small birds caught in the blast was so shocked, it plummeted straight into the volcano. It landed at Henry's feet. Unfortunately there was nothing there except molten rock, and the bird was roasted instantly.
However, this had given Henry an idea. He picked up some rocks and started throwing them ineffectively at the dragon. The dragon thought this was pretty amusing. Triumphantly, it reared back again and roared as loud as it could. Once again, its voice was so powerful the echoes went straight up the volcano into the sky.
Henry had been waiting for this moment. For above them were not small harmless birds, as there had been before. Now there was a giant blimp, heavily decorated with gold and jewels, passing overhead. The blimp was tossed about in the sonic blast before slowly nose-diving into the volcano. The dragon had just enough time to raise one eyebrow in surprise before the blimp landed on its head.
Even Henry knew what would happen if one combined helium and heat. Fortunately the Hand of Fate had witnessed his triumph over the dragon and had whisked him to safety before the explosion caught him.
Henry was set down in a field near some grazing sheep. He was glad the sheep were unable to breathe fire, or indeed do anything other than 'baa' annoyingly. Finally, he had completed his quest. After all the horrors he had witnessed, he had become a man. Henry was bursting with happiness and he couldn't wait to get home.
It was only until Henry returned to his castle that he received the terrible news. The king and queen had gone out with nearly the entire staff to celebrate Henry's sure fulfillment of his quest. They had taken the Royal Blimp to meet him at the mountain and had perished suddenly in a tragic fiery death.
Henry wasn't worried. His next quest involved retrieving the Cloak of T'ainr'bith the 3rd from the depths of the Underworld. He was sure he'd meet up with his family then… He just wasn't sure if he could handle the embarrassment, that's all.
Cast reviews upon my unworthy head and Henry may return. In fact, cast tose reviews even if you hate his guts.