A lonely stroll through Disneyland at night when the park was well after closing time always left Mickey with some good thinking time to himself. Plus, it was an excellent way to relieve the busy day’s stress. However, this time his stress wasn’t going away, and he didn’t know why. It was as if his stress was growing with this unshakable anxiety of something bound to happen but he couldn’t pinpoint the source no matter how much off-hand magic he used. He was better off getting his Sorcerer’s Apprentice hat to really narrow it down, but he wasn’t keen on actually setting off to dig it out at the moment. Thus, he tried to calm himself down by saying to himself that he was just being paranoid, but the half of him that refused to ignore the feeling argued back that the villains hadn’t done anything in a while, and that was always suspicious.
In the end his tiredness won out in choosing to ignore it for the most part and hoped that the villains would stay inactive for one more night, as he walked up to his front gate. He paused in opening it to look over next door at Minnie’s, subconsciously making sure everything was alright. The pink house decorated with hearts was dark and quiet, so everything seemed fine. “Seemed” being the key word, for as soon as Mickey had his gate open by roughly five inches, he heard Minnie scream to high heavens. That’s when he nixed the gate and hopped the fence into her yard, just barely missing her prized petunias.
Whatever had scared her silly enough to give her the lung power to scream in a way that she hadn’t in a long time, also seemed to give her the speed of a kangaroo mouse as she ended up all but bowling over Mickey. Upon quickly recovering from the slight dizziness of bumping into him, she got up quickly and yanked him up with her, and dragged him along.
“No time to explain, Mickey! We’ve got to get out of here now!” Minnie cried over her shoulder at him.
Heeding her panicked words to not ask questions, Mickey decided to figure things out for himself, and to stall whatever was chasing her and now him, for time, he stuck his fingers from his free hand to his mouth and whistled for Pluto. The dog instantly responded, yapping away as he bounded from his dog house in Mickey’s backyard and also hopped the fence. Running up to the mice and keeping pace with them as they ran. However, Pluto evidently got a good look at whatever was chasing them and yipped in fright and ran faster ahead of them. At the same time, the mice heard what nearly sounded like an explosion from behind them.
That was when Mickey finally decided to look over his shoulder behind him, which wasn’t easy since he was still trying to keep pace with Minnie who still had a firm grip on his wrist. He saw a creature burst out of the top of Minnie’s house towards the front, and it took flight, rising up to nearly eclipse the moon before swooping down at them. Mickey yelped and ran faster, quickly scooping Minnie up bridal style while he was at it so he wouldn’t leave her behind or be the one to drag her. He couldn’t help but note that the creature had feathers, and was black even with the moonlight making some of its features more clear.
“Was that Maleficent’s bird?!” Mickey had to ask as he ran with Minnie securely in his arms. There was no way the creature chasing them now had any way of getting into Minnie’s house as it was now without being noticed, and that meant the owner was lurking nearby.
“Yes, and he was his normal size at first when he appeared at my window sill but then he got bigger when he backed up and ran into my window!” Minnie replied over the wind as she kept an eye on the gargantuan avian over Mickey’s shoulder. “Head left!” She warned.
He followed her instructions, knowing that she was helping him dodge Diablo’s swooping attacks. Despite the distance he immediately had made upon comprehending Minnie’s directions, the sheer force of the tailwind the now demonic bird made nearly made Mickey loose his footing and be carried away with the wind.
“Darn it, he’s tryin’ ta wear me out!” Mickey shrilled in frustration after barely managing to stay on the ground from that tailwind. How he managed to barrel through the archway from Toontown to Fantasyland he had no idea, but he was already wishing the park as a whole was more like its Floridian sister park as there was nowhere to hide, except maybe in It’s a Small World but he wasn’t in the mood to deal with weaving around the dolls at this hour of the night. He could also try to book it to the King Arthur Carrousel, and right now that seemed to be the only option even if it meant more running because trying to hide in the Matterhorn wouldn’t help them any.
There was another trick up his sleeve that he mentally cursed at for popping into his mind this belatedly but if they were going to get to the Carrousel safely, they had to shake the giant bird off of their tails.
“Minnie, I got an idea that yer not going to like.” Mickey said in her ear as he pulled her closer to him.
“Don’t you dare put me down and say we’re splitting up!” She shrilled back at him, but he chuckled at her thought with a tired smirk.
“Not even close, dear. I’ve got an invisibility spell we can use to get birdbrain off our tails, but it’s really archaic in that we have to hold our breath for it to last.” He explained, he didn’t need his hat for simple spells and this version of an invisibility spell most certainly qualified as one.
“You can’t think of a better working one at the moment, can you?” She accused with a deadpan expression.
“I’m not too happy that it’s the only one coming to mind either, toots, but we gotta make do or we’ll end up as birdseed.” Mickey shot back lightly.
“Just tell me when, even though it’s still you I’m more worried about since you’re the one doing all the running.” Minnie reminded him.
“Hence why I really hate that it’s the only version that’s coming to me right now!” He replied with an annoyed shout as he avoided another swooping dive bomb from Diablo. Then he steered right and headed toward the Carrousel but veered off again to head for the Dumbo ride to enact his plan and throw off the giant bird.
“When!” Mickey shouted as Diablo tried to swoop for them again, and the mice both took deep breaths as Mickey snapped his fingers on his left hand, having moved his forearm to support Minnie’s legs to do so. With that snap they both turned invisible, even their shadows weren’t present – Mickey thanked the stars on that one since there were terrible invisibility spells that didn’t put shadows into account, but he digressed and was also thankful that he was able to affect Minnie along with himself despite being frazzled because of Maleficent’s bird hounding them down for some reason.
In any case, Diablo became immediately confused upon losing sight of the mice that were right in front of him, and they disappeared before Mickey veered off into any direction to dodge. His mistress wouldn’t be happy about these turn of events but perhaps – wait, there they were heading for the newest addition to the park! Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge a clever choice since there would be plenty of places to hide there unlike the openness of Main Street had they decided to go that way instead.
It was a trick of course, the last one up Mickey’s sleeve that he could think of for now. It was an illusion of them. He thought of it while slowing down to not arouse suspicion because sound was still a factor that no invisibility spell ever took into account. Regardless, he reached the Carrousel and cautiously stepped onto it while watching the bird give chase to the illusions, and somewhat concentrating on the movement of the illusions to make it more convincing and more importantly to give them more time. With his heartbeat pounding in his ears, he stepped further in the shadows of the Carrousel and released the illusions as soon as they went through the first tunnel to Galaxy’s Edge, as well as started breathing again and released the invisibility. Minnie followed his lead in finally taking in a breath, noting Mickey trying to catch his breath after everything.
“Are you alright? That was risky even for you.” Minnie pointed out in hushed whispers, able to catch her breath much faster that he was. Mickey set her down on her feet as soon as he neared the center of the carrousel.
“I’ll be fine, Min… Just need to catch my breath is all.” He assured her but of course knew she wouldn’t buy it.
“Mickey.” She started in a low tone but Mickey cut off her thought with his main mental priority.
“We gotta figure out what Maleficent wants this time, Minnie.” Mickey insisted, trying not to sound harsh from all this stress. Thankfully she ignored any harshness she did hear as she countered him with the obvious.
“Isn’t it to take over the park like always?”
“Alright let me rephrase that…we gotta figure out why in Sam hill she’s using her bird ta get to us.” He re-tried, with a slight deadpan to his tone.
“That’s still obvious, Mickey. She’s cheating by going for the King and Queen instead of going through pawns, bishops, knights, and rooks. If we both go down, then its check-mate.” Minnie deadpanned right back at him.
“Okay, I absolutely agree with that. However, there’s gotta be something more to it as always. The overall goal is always the same but the execution will always be different to avoid predictability. So, we need to know what she’s doing making that bird of hers the size of a house…” Then he realized what he said concerning the last bit and apologized. “Sorry ‘bout that, hon. Ya know my door is always open ta ya.”
“It’s alright, my house can be fixed no problem. I’m just glad I didn’t hurt you too badly on my way out of the house, and thank you kindly for your offer.” She replied gratefully.
Then Mickey realized and remembered something else that made his heart drop into his stomach.
“What is it?” Minnie asked cautiously, already not liking the tone in which he uttered a dreadful realization.
“Where’s Pluto?” Mickey asked rhetorically.
“Oh dear…” Minnie sighed knowingly.
Pluto had run ahead of them earlier, and wasn’t enough of a distraction for the giant bird, but that didn’t mean the poor dog couldn’t be used for other reasons, such as ransom for example.
Unfortunately that was exactly the case as Pluto howled in a distressing way, followed by the sickly sweet coo of Maleficent’s voice for the mice to come out from wherever they were.
The evil fairy had come from the direction of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and the Mad Teacups, while being followed by Dr. Facilier. Pluto was being held in the air by some invisible force, and just by the voodoo witch doctor’s presence, they could only assume the dog was being held by Facilier’s friends from the other side.
It was Minnie who revealed herself, having pushed down Mickey with a sharp quip for him to stay hidden where he was, while giving the illusion that she alone would bargain for Pluto.
“Ah, Lady Minnie, practically a queen regardless of whatever official title they give you depending on the role needing to be portrayed and radiant as ever.” Maleficent greeted with a small bow of her usual subtle mockery.
The giant bird landed next to the dark fairy on her other side, wings spread out as if it were a different kind of bird that was airing its wing feathers.
Though intimidated by the behemoth of a bird’s presence, Minnie bravely spoke up. “What do I have to do to get Pluto back from your clutches?”
“I’m afraid just having you stand there is sufficient enough, my dear.” Maleficent replied cryptically, and with a flick of her pinky, Dr. Facilier responded in kind by merely tapping his staff to the ground.
Minnie felt the same invisible force that Pluto did wrap around her and hold her in the air, though of course, all one would have to do is look at the shadows to know what was really going on, as the mouse maiden was indeed being held tightly by the friends from the other side.
It was enough to get Mickey to run out of hiding, invisibly though just so he could trip Dr. Facilier in an attempt for him to lose concentration even if it had nothing to do with his friends from the other side losing their grip on Minnie and Pluto. Unfortunately for Mickey he was very quickly caught, not by the voodoo witch doctor, the dark fairy or the bird, but by a giant black and red cobra that quickly and efficiently wrapped up Mickey in his snake-like coils.
“Nice trick, Mouse! A shame for you that I can still see your body heat!” Jafar hissed, and emphasized every ‘s’ as one does when they’re a snake.
“Are you sure we even need to do this? Their souls alone would be more than enough to satisfy my friends on the other side.” Dr. Facilier complained as he picked himself off of the ground.
“Their hearts are far more valuable for a number of reasons, and I’m afraid if you want their souls that badly, then you’ll have to follow them into the world of the forgotten… by the only other means of getting there of course.” Maleficent told him offhandedly, keeping her eyes glued to the mice so that neither of them left her sight, though focusing mostly on Mickey and enjoying the sight of his paling face.
“HOW DO YOU KNOW ABOUT ANY OF THAT?!” Mickey shrilled and earned a tightened grip as Jafar inched the rest of his entire coils closer to Minnie so they could be lined up to the giant bird. Pluto was lined up next to the mice as well, obviously any bargain that could’ve been made had the villains decided to not play dirty as it was, would’ve been for naught.
“That’s for me to know and for you to never find out, Mickey Mouse.” Maleficent replied smugly, and tapped her own scepter to the ground once.
The giant bird shot out black tendrils from the darkness of his wings at the mice and Pluto diving straight into their chests causing them to scream and howl respectively.
“NO! It’s supposed ta be given willingly! Mickey choked out as he felt the tendril dig around and coil around his heart.
“We found a way to make that not necessary, Mouse. Happy Birthday by the way, and enjoy your early retirement in the world of the forgotten.” Maleficent chuckled darkly as the tendrils ripped their hearts out.
Cartoonish hearts like the valentine’s shape not the actual human looking organ to be precise, but it pulsed all the same in the respective tendrils and it was the last thing the three of them saw before falling unconscious. Mickey on the other hand just couldn’t believe his luck that his birthday already started out this bad, as his last thought before blacking out.