Video Games Fan Fiction >> Zelda
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Eric J. Juneau
"What are we doing here again?"
Link had his arms crossed defiantly, a few feet inside Zelda's room, the door securely closed
behind him. This morning, Zelda had told him to be in her room at 22:00 sharp, and he had been
wondering all day what for. Now he was impatiently waiting for his answer. She didn't seem mad,
but she didn't seem happy, either. She seemed... determined. She didn't have on her nighttime
clothes and the way she was hurriedly moving around indicated she had no intention of getting them
Her blue eyes focused on her mirror image as she ran her hairbrush through her smooth yellow
strands quickly and hastily, making ripping sounds when it reached the ends.
She made a quick glance at the door, making sure it was shut. "Okay, you know that pub that
opened in Castle Town? That new one?"
"No, not really."
"Well, we're going there tonight."
"We are?" This was about the time Link was hitting the hay as well, and he'd just as soon do that
tonight than go out. He could tell Zelda was high-strung about it though, bordering on
"It's all anyone's been talking about these days. I hear it from the gardeners, the
washwomen, the nurses, the cooks. The castle guests come in and ask me about it. I hear it's
always busy." Zelda put down her hairbrush and went to her chest of drawers, pulling out articles
of clothing. "They've got all kinds of new drinks, the decorations and lighting look great. And
they've got this great
band there that plays this new type of music, they say its great for dancing. Anyone who's gone
there has had a great time."
"Uh-huh," Link said with a non-committal tone.
Zelda stopped her
busy-as-a-bee preparation and looked Link square in the eye. "I
am getting so jealous of everyone being able to go, and not me. It's
all they talk about every morning, and it's all I ever hear. I want
to stop being a princess for one night and have some normal fun."
"So why am I
you're the only one who can." She pulled out an orange shirt
from her wardrobe, examined it, evaluated it, and threw it on top of
her eveningshade. "I'm a princess, I don't exactly make merry
with all the servants. I mean I'm friends with all of them, but I
can't invite them to royal meals, and they can't joke or hold a
conversation with me. We're from two different worlds. There's all
that underlying class difference. My only real equals are other
royalty... like Princess Ruto."
Link couldn't stop
himself from uttering a guttural "euh" in agreement. Zelda
pulled out some slacks and threw them across her dressing shade as
well. Link was surprised she had some pants at all, and wondered
where she got them from.
Zelda continued, "It's more fun to go with a friend than alone.
Safety in numbers." She picked up a pair of small metal
fragments. "These earrings or these?"
me? They look exactly the same."
Zelda sighed, "You're
hopeless. Anyway, you in?" she smirked, "Or are you just
gonna sit there asking questions all night?"
"Do you think I'm
going to do nothing but ask questions?" he smirked back.
"Have you made a
single statement since you got here?"
"Are you saying
"Is... What do
you mean by that?"
Zelda gave up. "So, anyway..." she asked him again.
"Yeah, I guess
I'll go," Link said. He wasn't really keen on going to a trendy
club. From his experience, taverns were meant for day-to-day toilers
in the field, giving them a chance to unload some steam and drink, or
elite members of society so they could find some respite, socialize,
and exclude others. Even one meant for the younger crowd was
probably not his scene. "Isn't it awful late in the night to
go?" Link asked.
Zelda pulled out a
final piece of clothing and walked back around her shade to begin
dressing. "I'm sick of waiting," she said resolutely.
"This is the best opportunity I'll have. Cagor, you know, the
head guard, is out sick tonight. Sanch is taking his place."
"So we are
sneaking out of here," Link confirmed.
She reached her hands over her head, pulling off her top. Link's
eyes wandered around the room, trying not to look at the silhouette
of Zelda changing clothes.
As he scrutinized one
of her commissioned paintings, Link said, "I still don't know
why you can't just come and go as you please." He figured it
was her royal right to be able to go anywhere she pleased.
come and go as I please. As long as I have a set of guards. But I
need a bit more anonymity than that."
"Why don't you
just go as Sheik?"
Zelda peeked out from
behind the shade angrily. "You think Sheik's going to go to a
pub and start dancing?" She ducked back in. "No. No
magic powers, no sheikah uniform, no stealthy moves. No Zelda. No
Sheik. Just a common girl looking for some fun tonight."
The princess stepped
out from behind her dress curtain, slowly, and turned to Link with a
sigh. "How do I look? ... and no laughing." She patted
her legs once and spread her hands out at her sides
She had her long
voluminous blond hair tied back in a draping ponytail behind her, and
her forehead had a small subtle gold coronet that clung tightly
around the center. The make-up she had on was far more colorful than
the elegant face polish she wore for formal gatherings. It was
almost gerudo-like, with hypnotic black mascara around the rim of her
eyes and red dye bringing out her lips. The shirt had changed to a
thin, long-sleeved common orange hue, tucked in, with a forest-green
vest cross-laced in the front. Its neck was wide, showing her
collarbone and even a few inches below that. Link truly was
"You look so...
too," she said sarcastically. Then she stalled, and put a
finger to her lips. "You're going to have to change too."
Link looked down at
his kokiri garb, something he rarely changed, and never saw a need
to. "What? No."
"At least lose
the hat and tunic. You've been running around the streets of Hyrule
so much, you're as recognizable as I am."
"Maybe I want to
recognize you, they're going to recognize me." She opened her
drawer again and rifled through it. "Fortunately, I think we've
got something for you."
Moments later, Zelda
presented him a quick ensemble from her archives. Without regard for
his audience Link pulled off his green tunic in front of Zelda, who
uttered a girlish shriek and spun around. To that, Link smiled
devilishly, and changed into a rough black peasant short-sleeved
shirt. It was embroidered with artificial gold lame along the cuffs
and collar. For some reason, Link became self-conscious of the light
brown hair on his arms, which he wasn't used to seeing.
good," Zelda commented.
"You ready to
Zelda turned toward
her window and opened it inward.
"Uh, we're not
taking the door?" Link asked as he approached the window.
"I said we were
sneaking out, didn't I?"
The sky was washed
cornflower blue, with speckles of stars across the canopy. High
risen clouds cast the hazy light of the moon down on them. Cliffs
and moors in the distance shadowed the empty courtyard and garden
hedge maze below them. Draped vines clung to the wall as if climbing
up into the room. Link took hold of one, ready to climb down.
"I'll go first,
just in case," he said.
Zelda scrunched her
face at her ever-playing-the-hero friend. "Just in case what?"
"Just in case...
something happens, I don't know."
He was slowly climbing
down, making sure each of his holds on the trellis was secure. Zelda
impatiently gripped the cold stone windowsill, fidgeting, trying to
reason out whatever this 'danger' was. "I can't wait for you,
She hooked her leg
over the edge of the windowsill, irritated at both his false chivalry
and his sluggishness. It was gonna take her forever to get to the
tavern at this rate. With her hips balanced on the edge of the brick
outcropping, she grabbed onto the one of the planty ropes and started
putting hand under hand, not even bothering with the footholds.
Link's head followed
her, watching her chug past him on the side, grunting with each tug
of gravity that pulled her down. He wouldn't admit it, but he was
rather bemused at her sacrifice of safety to her willfulness and
determination. She wasn't as experienced climber as he was, spending
all his childhood in the trees.
Link warned, "Careful,
there, don't go too fast-"
she interrupted, "I'm perfectly fine!"
"But you might
Her hand grabbed a
slippery creeper and slid off. The force of falling was too great
for her other hand and she tumbled off the wall, falling seven feet
onto the ground, face first, with a quiet dead -THUD-.
Knowing she wasn't
hurt, her comical spread eagle landing having absorbed the fall, Link
took his time, keeping his arms and legs firmly planted in the
tractioned vines, methodically placing hand under hand, until he
jumped the last foot to the ground. Zelda was still implanted in the
"You all right?"
he asked lightly.
she mumbled into the dirt. With a -poit- she extracted her head from
the ground and stood up, brushing herself off. Link picked a spot of
dirt off her porcelain nose, while Zelda glared daggers at him.
"Come on," she said.
Link grabbed Zelda's
hand and they sped down into the hedge maze. The castle was much
more vigilantly guarded closer to the fortress, so they would be
starting tough and ending easy. Link didn't really care. He'd made
this trip before and knew the moving patterns of the faceless
personnel. Going south, he held the princess behind a bush for a
minute then sped off, dragging her around the wall of the center
hedge island. After the guard stopped at his line of movement and
turned away, they darted behind him and around to the next section of
the garden. This part was easy. Two stepping stair-like hedges
connected to a ceiling lattice of vines and flowers. The guard
walked around the central pillar, oblivious to anything not in his
line of vision. Link had easily bypassed the guard before by walking
across the lattice on top, and escorted Zelda up the stairs to do the
same. They tiptoed along the branched patchwork terrace, keeping
their eyes down on the guard.
Link felt his boot
slam through as he tried to take a step. Bits of plant and wood
crumbled down below. Before Link had the chance to pull his foot out
of the net-like entanglement, the break in the trellis caused a chain
reaction, collapsing the entire structure inward and down. Zelda
shrieked as the floor caved in below her. The two of them dropped
and crumpled on the ground, trapped in the mesh.
Link had then just
remembered, as he rubbed his head, when he did this last time he was
also only ten years old.
The guard immediately
rushed over to the two disoriented teenagers. "Hey you! Stop!"
It confirmed what they both first thought as they sat trying to
recover from what happened ? busted. No dancing, no drinking, no
fun, and a very long boring speech from the king. The guard pointed
his spear. "You, kids, over there... oh, Link," he said
with realization. "What's going on here?" He looked back
and forth between Zelda and Link, trying to piece together the sudden
It hit Link like a ton
of bricks. The guard recognized him, but not Zelda. "Uh-er-uh-I
was... I, uh, caught this, uh, urchin, trying to sneak into the
palace... to steal some food."
Zelda gave Link a
dirty look. Link looked angrily at her and hissed through his teeth,
trying to coax her into playing the part. She certainly looked the
part, with her common clothes and now grubby face. Now if she would
just stop being so stubborn and go along.
said, "I'm not-" Link kicked her in the shin, prompting her
to yelp "Ow!"
"Don't try and
"Oh, uh, let me
go! I wasn't doing nothing," she forced, doing her best to
lessen her use of royal grammar.
"She was stealing
food? In the garden?" the patroller asked.
"Oh, I, uh,
caught her in the castle, and I was trying to bring her back, but she
wrenched herself free, and I was pursuing her across the garden."
He stood up, stepping out of the heap of branches. "But I got
her back now. That'll teach ya." He picked Zelda up roughly,
grabbing onto her smooth-skinned arm and forcing her out of the
"Oh, let me go,
you brute," Zelda tried and struggled.
"You need any
help?" the guard said, offering his hand, lowering his spear.
Link gleefully reached
down and grabbed Zelda's leg, heaving it up over his shoulder.
"Hey!" Zelda yelped without a hint of acting in her voice
as she was hoisted over Link's shoulders like tied up livestock.
"Nope, I think I
got it covered now. She's pretty skinny, she won't put up much of a
"Put me down!"
she commanded. "Don't let him do this to me!"
The guard saluted.
"I'll notify the groundskeeper to fix this up."
"Good man. I'll
take her outside the castle gates."
ridiculous," Zelda slowed down her struggling.
"Now, we'll have
none of that, you rapscallion. It's out you go."
Link boldly carried
her all the way out of the garden maze, giving the same story to the
other guards that passed by, while Zelda sat there, draped over like
a roast pig, grumbling to herself. They walked all the way to the
castle gate, to the edge of Castle Town, before he set her down
She growled at him, "I
bet you think that was pretty funny, don't you?"
simply said, grinning from ear to ear.
She rolled her eyes at
Castle Town at night
was the archetype of quiet. Everyone in the commune was tucked in
their beds, sleeping peacefully. The two of them wandered into the
deserted town square, down the cobblestone walkway, heading to the
spouting fountain in the center. There was very little light to see
by, since there was no nightlife in the town, and keeping pole-lamps
lit was challenging and expensive. Crickets chirped, hiding in the
bushes and between the cracks of the pavement. A yipping terrier
bounded in a circle nearby.
Zelda commented, feeling some of the creepiness of a bare town.
emptier," he said, remembering the ReDeads that had taken over a
long time ago.
Link followed Zelda
after that. She took him down into the streets of the east side. A
few times, Link wanted to ask if she knew where she was going, but
then, the way she turned without hesitation dropped the question from
his mind. Besides that, he could start to feel a vibration under his
boots. It would continue for a few minutes, then stop and be
replaced by a different rhythm. After the second time, he realized
it was a thumping bass line. It had to be coming from the tavern.
Then he finally saw
it, when they had arrived in an obscure corner of the town. All the
other houses around it were darkened, but this one had bright yellow
light streaming through the cracks. The bass line was especially
strong here, he could feel the vibration through to his socks. And
it was heavy, like the pounding of a foot. The pub almost seemed to
be bounding up and down in time with the music. The swinging
rectangular wooden sign above the door read The Empty Bottle.
Zelda's eyes were wide
with delight. She dragged him to the entrance when they noticed a
Goron standing near the door, just waiting out there, staring across
the street with his big blue eyes.
Link!" he called out in a deep, hollow voice when he noticed the
two. "It's great to see you. How have you been?"
Link wanted to call him by name, but all Gorons looked alike. "What
are you doing here?" Gorons didn't come down from the mountain
very often except to sell bomb flowers.
"Oh, I got a job
here as guard... well, they call it a 'bouncer'. Anyway, I'm
supposed to make sure no one gets in here who's too old and no one
with a weapon and no one starts no fights. You don't have any
weapons on, do ya?"
said, not having needed a weapon for a very long time, especially in
"Okay, well, the
boss says I'm supposed to 'frisk' ya, but since you're a big brother,
I'll let you in, no problem."
Zelda snapped. This time she grabbed his hand and pulled him through
the swinging double doors. Link snapped back in recoil like a rubber
band and followed her in.
This was nothing like
any tavern Link had ever seen before. Instead of torches, they were
using some device to flash mechanically spinning light, rotating
bright colors like flowery pink and ocean blue. Even the dance pad
was lit up in flashing squares. Most dancing he'd seen was done in a
ballroom-type atmosphere, one that was very regal, very refined, very
elegant. Always two-by-two, down the row. This was a square area in
front of the band where patrons were hopping up and down, side to
side, just gyrating in time with the music. If Link didn't know
better, he'd think there was a riot going on. But they all looked
like they were enjoying it!
Otherwise, the layout
was similar to an inn, but with a large central room and a back
employee nook. There were some weird items decorating the wall, like
cowbells, road signs, and even gold skulltula pieces. The roof was
thatched without a real ceiling like most homes had, although rafters
could be seen running criss-crossed for support. This probably kept
it cooler for the hot dancers.
Zelda was hypnotized
by the whole thing, entranced by the flashing lights and addictive
music. She was already bopping her head up and down to the beat like
a cucco. Link gave her a strange look, as he'd never really seen
this sort of wild behavior before.
The princess finally
couldn't wait anymore and grabbed his hand. "Come on, we came
here to dance."
She pulled him down
the set of small stairs to the lower level where the chaotic dancing
was thriving, the music was blasting, and everyone looked like they
were having the time of their lives. Link could see Honey and
Darling, the ever-rotational couple by the fountain, had migrated in
here, perhaps finding a more appropriate forum. The woman with the
itchy back was in another corner, still itchy. The rest were generic
Hylians, bumping into each other, reveling in the silliness. Some
were dressed a little more revealingly than they would be in the
marketplace (and he thought Zelda had shown a lot of skin). They
wore tight clothes and tops that revealed pushed-up cleavage. Some
even looked wrapped on. Link had never looked at so many butts.
Zelda had to
practically pull Link across the border to the dancing area. After a
few seconds she started moving her arms and hips in time with the
music, looking like a pro. Trying to distract himself, Link glanced
up at the band. They were all humans, playing a lute, organ, bass,
and drums. The layout reminded him of the Zora band in Termina, but
this group was more fast-paced and heavy on pumping the bass through
the seahorn amps at each side.
Zelda, seeing him
nervously looking around, huffed and grabbed both his hands,
forcefully pulling him back to reality. Looking deep into his eyes
with a hint of irate glare she pulled him in and out with her, trying
to get him to start moving to the beat. He eventually started
getting the hint.
Link tried to get a
feel for the what was going on. One of abilities that had gotten him
far in life was adapting to any situation, but this just wasn't
something he could put his finger on. This wasn't his scene. There
were too many people crowded into this small space. He was used to
open fields and forests. Zelda looked so good doing this, he just
felt like an old dork, trying to move in time with the music. He
felt like... Tingle. Ew.
"I don't think-"
Link stammered slowly.
Zelda chided. "Just for a little while."
Link nodded. The song
dragged on, melding into a new one with an even faster tempo. Why
couldn't he do this? Why couldn't he look as good? He was trying
his best but he couldn't get his body to move in the right time
consistently. It looked odd, to say the least. And he risked
bumping into someone if he was off-balance, because he was having
trouble keeping track of where the beat was. The thing was, he
couldn't relax, and it just ended up with him looking wobbly on his
Zelda, however, was
totally into it. Once she no longer had to parent Link to keep him
on the dance floor, it was like she was entering a different world.
She was performing magic without a spell. How come she could look so
lively and bouncy while she was moving, and he just couldn't keep
track of it all? At least the music was good. It was energetic, and
made you want to move. With all the music he had used on his quests,
he found himself falling into it. Unconsciously, he was trying to
shift his feet as if he were in a battle, trying to strafe around and
dart forward and back. He focused on Zelda as if she were a stalfos,
moving as she moved, fake dodging, shuffling back and forth.
"What are you
doing?" Zelda shouted over the vibration. She grabbed his hands
again, resetting him in front of her, and pried them open. Link
hadn't even realized he'd balled them up into fists, thinking he had
his sword and shield clutched tight. "Just move like this."
She went back to swiveling in rhythm.
Link wanted to say
that's what he'd been trying to do in the first place. She was
making it look easy. He just couldn't relax. One misstep later he
planted a good one on Zelda's foot. She yanked it out from under his
sole with cat-like reflexes and gave him a look. Link angrily and
shamefully looked down at his feet. He felt like a stiff scarecrow.
"Did you bring
your wallet?" Zelda shouted out.
"Why don't you
get us a drink?"
Thankful to get away
from the dance floor and imminent embarrassment, he backed off and
turned around. Halfway back, he looked over his shoulder to see
Zelda getting her groove on quite capably by herself. So why did she
need him to dance with her, when she seemed fine dancing by herself?
Maybe he was just her escort after all.
At the bar, a Business
Scrub was efficiently and industriously making and handing out drinks
to customers at a rapid pace, moving almost like an octopus with
multiple hands. He made sure every person got their drink and every
rupee made it back to his register, very becoming of a Business
"What can I get
ya?" he said as he whipped toward Link, his leafy mustache
swinging with him. His trumpet-like knothole mouth contorted like a
snout as he spoke.
Romanis," he said, holding up two fingers to help communicate
over the din.
The Scrub nodded and
put two glasses under a spigot behind the bar where cool frothy milk
spouted out. He presented the drinks in his woody claw-like hands.
"That'll be 400
Wow, guess prices
didn't change here either. It was a good thing Link had his adult
wallet with him. He brought out his last stash of colored gems in
exchange for two tall glasses shaped like cones.
As he turned around he
nearly ran into a girl walking across his path. He stumbled forward,
shaking up the drinks a bit further. The girl shrieked suddenly and
skipped back out of the way.
She stepped forward
with her finger near her mouth cutely. "Link?"
asked, now seeing her red hair in the dark. She was even still
wearing her yellow handkerchief and white blouse. He'd seen Malon
quite a few times since he was ten, almost as much as Zelda. They
maintained a good rapport, with her keeping Epona safe and happy on
the ranch. Her lazy, but good-natured father ran the ranch and ever
so often asked Link if he'd like to marry her, to which Link always
stammered and changed the subject to his famous super cuccos.
"Fairy boy, I'd
never thought I'd see you here. I almost didn't recognize you."
Link took a look at
his clothes, reminding himself he was wearing uncharacteristic black.
"I know, I'm here with Zelda." He pointed one of his
heavy glasses towards her direction. Malon turned around, scouring
the dance floor for sight of her. She was still dancing, integrating
well with the rest of the patrons, one hand behind her hair, keeping
the hotness off the back of her neck.
Malon whipped back
around. "PRINCESS Zelda?"
hissed. "We're in disguise."
gotcha," she winked. "I'm kinda here in disguise too. I
told my dad I was delivering some product, but I'm really here to
"I won't tell if
you won't," Link smiled.
"Is this your
first time here?"
"I try and come
here all the time, but it's hard with the ranch and all. It's all
anyone talks about when I come into town."
what I heard too. How long as this place been up?"
"I don't know, I
started hearing about it a month ago. It's because its so different.
We finally got something for the young crowd. The band is really
"Yeah, I can't
believe they can play with such energy for so long."
"They just got
done with their break so they'll be playing for a while."
Link maintained his enthusiasm and grinned.
"Anyway, I gotta
get a drink. You know what's good here?"
"I just got a
Chateau Romani. I'm not sure what else they have." Link had no
knowledge of any drinks besides water and milk.
I've got some relatives in Termina who make that. Thanks for helping
out the family." She gave an ironic thumbs-up.
problem." Link smiled, and suddenly thought his drink was
starting to get warm. "I'll see you later."
She skipped off to the bar. Link raised his glass to her politely.
He made it back to the
dance floor just as a new song was starting. Zelda steadily took the
cool drink out of his hand and started sipping, still dancing. An
effervescent sheen of sweat was beading on her forehead.
She finished her
drink, almost downing a quarter of it, and licked her lips. "Ah,
that's good." Apparently, getting a drink didn't mean you could
stop dancing. Link now had to contend with a full glass of liquid in
his hand while keeping time. He took a big gulp out of it to lessen
the chance of spillage.
He looked around
nervously again, his arms tending to go up to his chest as if he was
protecting his body. Zelda forcefully pushed them down. "Just
relax," she said. Now, with the drink, he felt stiffer than
ever. He had no idea where to put his hips, his arms, his feet.
Dammit, this shouldn't be that hard. He should be able to move his
body in time with the music. That's all this was. He dragged that
ocarina around forever, playing all sorts of tunes. It's not like he
couldn't grasp the concept. There was just something about moving
your body with time. Just take this song, for example. It's just
one, two, one, two, one, two, one, two...
That was it. He was
trying to focus on dancing to every song. He just had to focus on
this song, the song being currently played. One, two, one, two, one,
two. Move a foot out, move it back in. That was working... sorta.
Just move a foot out, foot in, other foot out, other foot in. He was
imagining there was an invisible baseline to step out from each time.
Okay, that was sort of working.
Now that he had his
feet not stepping on himself, he could concentrate on how to move his
hands. He loosened up his fists and got his shoulders and hips into
the rhythm. Just keep them loose, keep them moving.
Zelda said and grinned. She took another big sip of her milk. Link,
delighted at the praise, breathed a sigh of relief. Now that he had
it down, he could finally calm down. This dancing was all right. He
liked the music, he liked the energy and the release it gave him. He
lightened up. He focused on the dancing woman in front of her, who
took another sip. She looked really enticing, dressed up normally
and having a good time.
"I said, having a
"Yeah, see, this
place isn't so bad. Would you want to come here again?"
he said, realizing his movements were dropping off. He had to keep
time with the music and hold a conversation at the same time.
She took another big
drink. "This is really good. I feel revitalized already."
"Yeah, it has
that effect," Link smiled.
hit him in the back, almost dragging him to the floor. He nearly
spilled the remains of his milk. "What th'?"
Malon was standing right beside him, holding his shoulder up. She
had nearly run into him. "Link, I need help."
She pointed to
doorway, trying to hide behind Link at the same time. Ingo was
standing there, with the doors swinging shut behind him. His face
seemed to be scowling more than usual and he was still dressed in his
dirty scarlet overalls and green shirt, way out of place for this
place. His head was slowly scanning back and forth, scouring the
people in the house, his thick, curled mustache twitching.
Ingo," Link commented. "He looks really mad."
"Yeah, see, I
wasn't really making a delivery. I sorta snuck out of the ranch to
come here. And possibly accidentally locked Ingo in the barn."
"Well, he was
gonna gamble on the horses again and leave me there all alone.
Please, you gotta help me hide or something. Please?"
Link sighed and looked
at Zelda, who shrugged her shoulders.
"All right, come
with me." Link grabbed Malon's hand and pulled her off the
dance floor. Zelda followed in pursuit.
Link looked around,
surveying the area, looking for exits. There was one in the back to
the kitchen alcove. No luck there ? the employees would catch them
and cause a scene, resulting in attention being drawn to them.
said, still being grasped by Link. Ingo was heading down the stairs
toward him, mad as a wet cucco. His steps were slow and methodical,
like he knew he couldn't be stopped no matter what.
Link's head darted up
and down, around and around, trying to be resourceful. He saw a tall
bookcase against a wall, almost reaching the rafters.
"Hmm, come on."
Link rushed over to the wall with the bookcase, dragging Malon and
"You are in
trouble, little lady. I guarantee you of that," Ingo called
he instructed Malon, holding her by her hips to push her up and get
Malon looked back down at him, already two shelves up.
"Link, what in
the world are you doing?" Zelda pleaded.
he called to her. With Malon up, he was speedily ascending the
shelves as well.
Zelda looked back and
saw the sleazy-looking Ingo was heading towards them with fiery eyes.
Zelda doubted that he was going to commit any capital acts here in a
tavern surrounded by people, but why partake of that wrath? Zelda
scooted up the bookcase too.
Link hoisted Zelda up
the last of the way. The three of them stood there as if on a
sinking ship, holding onto the wall for support and balance. Link
wasn't sure how the other girls felt about heights, but if they had
made it this far, they could go the next step.
Ingo craned his neck
up to look at the three of them. He put his hands on his hips.
"You're not getting away from me that easily, little girl."
Then he grasped the two shelves in his hand and started pulling
Guess this wasn't
going to be as easy as he thought. They were trapped on this tiny
bookcase shelf, probably fifteen or twenty feet above everybody else.
There had to be a way out. There was always a way out.
Zelda asked Link. Malon clung to him like a savior.
Getting another great
idea, Link took hold of the ceiling rafter right next to them. "Get
on the rafter," he pointed.
"Are you nuts?"
"We can climb
across and find a place to drop down over there. And it's the best
chance we got right now."
Malon took one look at
how close Ingo was getting and jumped on the wooden beam like a
horse. She bent down and straddled across the bar, keeping her hands
underneath her, and scooted along it like an inchworm.
"Come on, you
too," Link said, calling Zelda over like he was directing
traffic. With the two girls ahead of him, there was a better chance
of them getting away, and he wasn't afraid of Ingo. He could stand
against him, stall or something to give them enough time. Zelda did
the same as Malon, scooting along the rickety wood.
Once she was on her
way, Link looked down at the floor. Ingo was more than halfway up,
with no signs of stopping. Pure determination marred his face,
making it even more craggy.
The Goron bouncer came
in then. Who knows where he had been before. "You there, stop!
Halt!" he called out. Somehow Ingo had gotten by him, but not
for long. He rushed over to the bookcase and looked up at Ingo,
making a quizzical utterance deep in his throat. Obviously, he
probably couldn't climb up the same way - he would crush the shelves
with his first step. The bouncer stood there scratching his head, as
Ingo pretended not to notice him. Then his face childishly lit up
with an idea. He grabbed a side of the bookcase, and shook it
Link moaned, lifting one leg off the shelf for balance. Ingo
vibrated too, but somehow managed to stay on. With this new resolve,
he climbed even faster. Link wasted no time in scooting after the
He wasn't even a
quarter of the way down before Ingo fully ascended the ladder. To
their surprise, the ranchhand straddled onto the nearby rafter and
started clambering after them too. The poor people down below,
obliviously dancing the night away, had no idea of the four bodies
above them, making their way across like monkeys.
"I'll get you
yet," Ingo uttered, his beady eyes trained on grabbing Link's
boot. Link gritted his teeth and shimmied down the beam faster,
urging the two girls to stop looking behind them and hurry up. Link
kept his eyes down as he crawled, watching the mess of bouncing
heads. The Goron bouncer, apparently run out of options and
helpless, kept track of the intruder and followed him down, keeping
his hands on his wide hips.
Link looked ahead,
Malon was about three quarters of the way there, thankfully she
hadn't gotten acrophobia at all, and neither did Zelda.
"Come on, Malon.
Go," Link called out words of encouragement. Malon looked back
behind her and saw how close Ingo was. She shrieked and doubled her
efforts. Link looked behind him as well.
reached out for his foot. "Gotcha!"
kicked his boot out to the side. Ingo shied away, and grabbed onto
the rafter when he felt like he was going to fall. Link surprised
even himself and lost his equilibrium, slipping over the side of the
wood. "Whoa!" His sturdy hands still held on though as he
swayed over the side, and hung there like a sloth on a branch.
Link looked around
curiously, wondering what he was going to do about this new
development. Now he was at a real disadvantage, because he couldn't
move as fast. Plus the distance from the ceiling to the floor just
seemed to get a little farther, and a lot more significant.
For whatever reason,
the Goron bouncer then decided what was good for the goose was good
for the gander. He seized the structural pillar closest to the
string of four hangers-on and pumped it back and forth as hard as he
could without breaking it. With his rock-like strength, all four of
them quivered violently and grabbed on to their holds as tight as
they could. Link and Ingo, however, being in the middle of the
rafters, weighed down on the weakest point of the strut
The sharp shaking
jarred Ingo's hands from their grip, and he tumbled off. "Whoaaa!"
Link lost the grasp of his feet, and with the inertia of his legs
falling down, his handhold. The rafter seemed to vanish up into the
air out of his reach.
The two of them
plummeted down to the floor. The people watching above saw a giant
scary-faced man with terror in his wide white eyes plunge face first
on top of them. The group of dancers broke his fall but they all
collapsed in a heap in a series of grunts and groans.
Link saw the ceiling
rising up and up. Fear bounded in his mind, as he had no idea when
he was going to make impact with the floor. Twisting his core
stomach muscles, he instinctively righted himself up like a cat and
planted a perfect landing. The shock to his legs and knees went
straight up to his spine and he gritted his teeth from the pain.
When he opened his
eyes, he found he was standing on the edge of the stage, in front a
full crowded dance floor with a deep throng of eyes and faces staring
at him. The band behind him hadn't missed a note, still playing
their dance tune, in fact, climbing to the climax of the song.
One of the Hylians in
the center of the crowd pumped his fist in the air and shouted.
The others in the
crowd picked up without hesitation. "Dance! Dance! Dance!"
they yelled with their fists thrust into the air.
The band kept playing
their chord over and over again, trying to coax the man who was
apparently bold enough to make such an entrance, but not enough to
fill the expectations he brought on himself. Link looked up to the
rafters, to Malon and Zelda still hugging the wooden plank, staring
at him with confused eyes.
something," Zelda shrugged and said.
Link turned back to
the crowd, ready to tear him if he didn't do something spectacular.
Oh, how he wished he had his kamaro mask right now.
He tried to remember
how that dance went. He squatted down on the ground and waved his
arms with his palms facing each other, like he was trying to frame a
picture, then spun around on one foot. Um, what came after? Some
more hand waving? Swing the hips? What was it? He tried sweeping
his arms back and forth in large motions, but it just wasn't working.
It wasn't fitting with the music and the crowd was just confused.
Weren't these supposed to be the most popular moves in the world?
He could feel Zelda's
eyes boring into him to move on. Something peppier. What other
dance? He spied the Goron bouncer picking Ingo up out of the pile of
people. Of course! Darunia.
Link started hopping
from foot to foot like a sumo wrestler or a wobble toy, with his
fists square in the air like a gorilla. He swiveled his hips back
and forth and gritted his teeth and squinted his eyes. To the others
he looked like he was furious with something he'd just heard, or
stubbed his toe, or something. He tried bending down, adding a
little of Kamaro's moves into it, trying to flow into the rocky
Ooh, the scarecrow.
There was something that flashed in his mind ? the scarecrow's
dance, whenever he played the song. It would bounce around on its
pole and swirl around and around. Link tried doing that, twirling
around and around and hopping on each foot alternately, swinging his
arms up and down like he was doing stretching exercises. Two bounces
on one leg in time, then two on the other. He tried to make it as
buoyant and happy as possible. At this point he had forgotten why he
was even dancing, and was just focusing on making the motions good.
The crowd still looked
unconvinced. Zelda and Malon stared down perplexed at Link making a
fool of himself, and then looked at each other. "Come on,"
"We've got to
help him." Zelda swung her legs off the rafter and hung down by
the grip of her hands. As Malon was doing the same, the princess
dropped down onto the stage slightly behind Link to the left. Malon
fell a moment later on the right. Link had no idea of their presence
as he was so caught up in the song and making the biggest, most
flagrant steps that he could.
Zelda watched what he
was doing for a second, trying to copy his indiscernible pattern.
She hoisted her arms back and forth and spun her hips around,
imitating a butter churner. Her feet stomped up and down, like they
were trying to hop, but were too heavy. Malon watched both of them,
flailing around like idiots. She couldn't even begin to copy what
they were doing, so she just shrugged and tried to back Link up as
best she could with exaggerated movements.
The crowd watched the
three dancers on stage, spiraling around, gesticulating in rhythm.
Although it looked ridiculously flamboyant, it was actually in
keeping with the music, and it was kind of cool to see them so into
it. And since he had been joined by two others, it must not have
been that lame. A few of the girls on the floor got the idea and
tried it out for themselves. Faster and faster, the trend caught on,
although more personal space had to be allowed for the participants.
Some looked more Darunia-ish, some looked more scarecrow-ish. A lot
of the guys were adopting the Kamaro moves, probably because they
looked so smooth and sleek. In the end, everyone was sort of dancing
their own hybrid way.
Link, having realized
he had his own back-up dancers fall in on him, looked back at Zelda
and winked. "Having fun?"
embarrassed and discomfited, glared back at Link for ruining her
night out. "You owe me."
"I owe you? You
wanted to dance, and we're dancing, aren't we?" He migrated
from a twirl into a squatted snake-arms.
Malon piped up, "I
have no idea what this is, but I don't think it's dancing."
"But we're having
fun?" Link said.
Malon looked out at
the crowd of people, all dancing as absurdly as her.
"And you got a
night out like you wanted," Link addressed Zelda.
"Except for him,"
Link watched the Goron
bouncer pushing a struggling but hapless Ingo in-between the stage
and the dancers. The ranchhand thrashed his head from side-to-side,
since that was the only appendage he could move with the
rock-monsters locking his arms in a vice-grip. "Let me go!"
he shouted, "You, you blockhead! Let me go this instant!"
The bouncer stopped
for a second, and gave a quick wave to Link, "Nice dance moves.
You'll have to show me some time."
Link saluted back,
keeping his feet in time, smiling all the way Ingo was thrust towards
the door and thrown out into the street.
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