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Desparately lonely, as only a warrior the eve of battle can be; late that night, I was walking alone thinking about the coming of daylight and what it would bring. It was a damp, foggy almost sinister night. Looking up from my reverie, I noticed I was in one of lesser used corriders when I was startled by the appearance of two graceful, almost feline, women. Stretching herself to her utmost height, one introduced herself as Lady Paz, her companion as Whisper Kitty, and The Lady had some important information for me. Puzzled, gazing around me, I quizzed her as to how they got into Castle Bisset without alerting the guards. This surely was impossible at the present stage of high alert!

Shockingly, she told me that she was aided by one called Pauline whom I would meet later. Pauline! The ghost of Castle Bisset? Blimey! Could she really be real? Queen Jansi had once mentioned her, but I never, ever, took the German queen seriously in this matter. Could there really be a ghost in Castle Bisset? Was I really to meet her? Humorously, I brushed the thought aside.

However, I knew deep inside me, that before Queen Jansi left on her secret mission to the outer realms she communicated to me that her spies have revealed the identity of The Ghost in The Castle's Upper Chambers!!! Furthermore, it was her dear friend Princess Pauline!! Since her death three years ago, aye, it hast been lonely for Jansi and Lady Ruthellyn. Moreover, all this time, the blythe spirit laughing at us, was none other than their dear, dear friend Pauline of Athenia!!

Whisper Kitty then informed me she found out that sea serpents get horrid tummy aches from sardines or kippers, but especially sardines from Wales. It seems that even though they know they will make their tummies hurt, sea serpents simply love sardines and will eat them no matter what. She informed me that they had therefore taken the liberty of having sardines from Wales, Ireland, England, Egypt, and Portugal shipped immediately to the castle for them to be placed along the trails leading to the castle. Scotland had, indeed, tried to be helpful but the haggish sent was too foul to transport, and dumped out, the buzzards refused it! There were other national "treats" but sardines were least offensive to others and most reliable in effects on sea serpents!

Surprisingly, during the ordering of this they were informed that a strange new beverage called Coca-Cola, when mixed with sardines, intensifies the reaction in a sea serpent's tummy. In light of this added information, they also ordered numerous kegs of this strange beverage to be delivered along with the sardines. It must be noted, these deliveries were scheduled to arrive momentarily so that the castle staff would have ample time to prepare the baskets of sardines and kegs of beverage for the "inner" attack on the sea serpents.

As if on signal, Captain Aurelia and her unit of flying grandma vampires arrived carrying any number of packages and wooden kegs. They landed in the courtyard and began to distribute their goods to the people gathered there.

Taking me aside, Lady Paz then informed me that they had secretly investigated the unknown master magician leading the sea serpents. Furthermore, they had come up with his name; the Great Leslie Warren of the House of Blackshire. The name stuck me cold. How did he get in league with the sea serpents? The Great Leslie Warren was well known for his black magic. He had traveled the world learning mysterious chants and incantations. Frightenly, he was also known for his ability to fly without the use of wings. Renowned as a brave and cunning magician, he would be a formidable foe. Finally, my own magic would be nothing compared to his.

Dumbfounded, heart sick, and worried, I turned and looked out an archer's slot in the castle wall into the night. Contemplating things to come, I thanked the ladies for their information and asked if they would care for refreshments. Hearing no answer, I turned toward them but Lady Paz and Whisper Kitty were nowhere to be seen. The corrider was empty! What sort of creations were they, to give me the information I needed and then disappear without a trace?

More out of curiousity than belief, I made my way to the castle's Upper Chambers. I searched all the rooms but found nothing and I chuckled at myself for listening to old wive's tales. I whistled bravely into the faint breeze I suddenly felt; "Ghosts, hahaha!"

"Ye would not think it so funny if ye were said spirit, my Lord Joseph!"

The voice startled me to the point that I drew my broadsword.

"Put thy sword away. I am not a sea serpent that would devour thee as a snack! Though I dare say thou wouldst make a tasty treat for them!"

I turned around and not seeing the source of the voice, I wheeled around again. With all the bravado I could muster, I shouted: "Show yourself that I may communicate with thee!" Slowly a bluish-white vapor began to appear in front of me. The form of a comely, young, maiden began to take before my eyes. Her wavy, dark hair glorified a pale face with huge dark eyes.

"There is not need to shout, my lord, I hear quite well."

"Who are you? What ... Pauline? Princess Pauline?"

"Some dare but call me 'Pauline', and you may, for I have come to help you. I know of your coming battle and I can aid thee. Know that when I am most needed I shall be near. The proctection of my ancient home is of great interest to me. We shall not want to lose it to a lowly bunch of slimey creatures who know only wanton destruction." With that said, she faded into a formless whisp of blue smoke and was gone.

Gasping for my breath, I stood there in amazement, my sword still in my hand. Did I really see and hear the ghost Pauline? My senses told me I did, but my head was reeling. Indeed, I was still trying to come to grips with what I had experienced this night when I heard my name being called. It was Sir Ricky, one of the Castle knights.

"Sir Joseph! There you are! We have been looking for you for the past hour. You'll never guess who showed up at the gate! Puff, the magic dragon, alive and as fit as ever!"

"I guess the reports of his demise are greatly exaggerated!!" I declared!!

"Indeed! Indeed! Right now he is being entertained by Marlene and some of the Ladies of the Court. However, I did not want to disturb the king until I talked to you first. Besides, that iron-willed Duchess Sandra has positioned herself outside His Majesty's door and it'll take a battering ram to get past her."

"You're right. She's a protective mother hen. Let's go see if we can rescue Puff from the ladies."

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