“Wait, Donkey, I get the feeling we’re not alone in here.”
The next morning, Elsa woke feeling refreshed and a lot better than she had the day before. Shrek and Donkey were already awake, and attempting to put the fire out. She stifled a giggle as Shrek accidently burned his foot, and then Donkey found a rather unconventional but also extremely effective way of putting the fire out by peeing on it.
“Good morning, gentlemen,” she smiled.
Donkey quickly straightened up and cleared his throat. “Good mornin’, Princess!”
“Hi,” Shrek added. “Now let’s go.”
“Whoa, hey, what’s the rush?” Donkey asked as the ogre began to march away from them.
“The sooner we get this Princess, the sooner I get my swamp back,” Shrek replied.
Elsa smiled as she got to her feet. “Come on, then, Donkey.”
“Sorry about him, Princess,” Donkey replied, with a shake of his head. “I think somebody woke up on the wrong side of the fireplace today.”
“He must have done that yesterday too,” Elsa joked.
Donkey guffawed until Shrek silenced him with a glare and he quickly turned it into a coughing fit. Elsa jogged to keep up with Shrek. “Hey, are you sure it’s in this direction?”
“According to the directions Prince Hans gave us,” Shrek grunted.
None of them said anything for the rest of the journey, although Donkey had a hard time keeping quiet, and eventually they came up towards a steep hill with ominous swirling black clouds above it.
“Phew, Shrek, did you do that?” Donkey exclaimed, suddenly.
Elsa sniffed the air and then covered her nose and mouth with both hands. “Oh, what is that?”
“Man, you gotta warn somebody before you just let one off!” Donkey added. “My mouth was open and everything!”
“Believe me, Donkey, if it was me, you’d be dead!” Shrek replied, before sniffing the air himself. “It’s brimstone. We must be getting close.”
“Brimstone?” Elsa repeated. “As in...fire and brimstone?”
“Aye,” Shrek agreed.
They reached the peke of the hill and found themselves staring at an enormous castle surrounded by a lake of hot, boiling lava.
“Sure, it’s big enough,” Shrek joked, “but look at the location!”
Laughing to himself, he jumped down the other side of the hill. Elsa grimaced. “I don’t do heat,” she muttered, but she followed Shrek anyway.
“Er, Shrek?” Donkey said, chuckling nervously. “You remember when you said that ogres have layers?”
“Well, I have a confession to make. Donkeys don’t have layers. We wear our fear right out there on our sleeves.”
“Wait a sec, donkeys don’t have sleeves.”
“You know what I mean!”
“Donkey, are you afraid of heights?” Elsa asked.
“No, I’m just a little uncomfortable about being on top of a rickety bridge over a boiling lake of lava,” Donkey replied, heatedly.
“Aw, come on, Donkey, we’re going to be right here beside you,” Shrek replied, ushering him to go first. “For emotional support, we’ll just tackle this thing together one little baby step at a time.”
“Really?” Donkey asked, doubtfully.
“Really, really,” Shrek sighed.
“Ok, that makes me feel so much better,” Donkey replied.
“Just keep moving,” Shrek told them both, “and don’t look down.”
Elsa grimaced each time one of the wooden planks underneath them creaked. They didn’t look particularly sturdy in her opinion, and she just hoped that their combined weights wouldn’t cause the thing to collapse. At any rate, they were halfway across when a plank beneath Donkey’s foot snapped and fell down into the lava below. Elsa gasped as donkey yelled “Shrek! I’m looking down! Argh!” He jumped around, ready to run back the way he had come. “I can’t do this! Just let me off right now!”
“Whoa!” Elsa exclaimed as his movements rocked the bridge.
“You’re already halfway across, Donkey!” Shrek cried.
“Yeah, but I know that half is safe!” Donkey shouted back.
“Alright, I don’t have time for this, you go back!” Shrek shouted, but as the three of them tried to manoeuvre around each other, the bridge swayed and Elsa shrieked as she seized the rope on their left.
“Shrek, don’t do that!” she cried.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Shrek replied, slyly. “Do what? Oh, this?”
He swayed the bridge again and Elsa began to feel slightly sick.
“Yes, that!” Donkey exclaimed.
“Yes? Do it? Ok!”
“No!” both Donkey and Elsa yelped as he kept on making the bridge sway. Donkey backed away with his eyes close, whimpering “I’m going to die, I’m going to die, Shrek, I’m going to die!”
Elsa relaxed, however, when Shrek stopped swaying the bridge and saw that Donkey had crossed to the other side without even realising it. Shrek grinned at her and she shook her head with a smile of her own before finishing the journey. Donkey opened his eyes as she reached him and exclaimed “Oh!”
“That’ll do, Donkey,” Shrek said, patting him. “That’ll do.”
“Cool,” Donkey grinned. “So, where is this fire-breathing pain in the neck anyway?”
“Inside, waiting for us to rescue her,” Shrek joked.
Elsa put her hands on her hips as Donkey sighed “I was talking about the dragon, Shrek.”
“Actually,” Elsa replied, “he has sort of got it right.”
They made their way inside the ancient, broken castle, the inside of which was littered with the empty armour and unmoving skeletons of those knights who had tried, and failed, to rescue Fiona before. Elsa shivered. It was kind of spooky, like entering a ghost town or something.
“Are you scared?” Donkey whispered to her.
Elsa shook her head, bravely. “No.”
“Oh, good, me neither,” Donkey replied, and then almost freaked out as the others wandered on without him. He began to babble about fear and fire breathing dragons until he crashed into a pile of empty armour and let out a shriek.
“Donkey,” sighed Shrek, “two things. Shut. Up. Now,” he added, picking up a helmet, “you two go over there and see if you can find any stairs.”
“Stairs? I thought we was looking for the Princess?”
Elsa smiled. “Fiona’s up the stairs in the highest room in the tallest tower.”
“Oh, cool,” Donkey replied. “Fine, Shrek handles of the Dragon, we’ll handle the stairs.”
Elsa glanced at Shrek as he pulled on some of the armour. “Good luck. Are you sure you don’t want any help? I’ve heard that that Dragon can get pretty feisty.”
There was a clatter as Donkey fell over something else.
“He needs your help more than I do,” Shrek replied, before leaving.
Elsa smiled and followed Donkey through a large wooden door.
“Wish I had a stair right here,” Donkey muttered, looking around. “I’d step all over it.”
Elsa froze, suddenly, feeling the hairs on the back of her neck suddenly prick up. “Wait, Donkey, I get the feeling we’re not alone in here.”
Outside, Shrek had spotted the tallest tower in the castle. “Well,” he said, “at least we know where the Princess is, but where’s the-?”
“DRAGON!” Donkey howled as Elsa suddenly spun around and spotted the enormous beast rearing up as it roared at them.
“Run, Donkey!” she shouted, and Donkey did just that as she sent a bolt of ice searing towards the Dragon. It missed barely by an inch and only served to make it angry. Elsa took to her heels and began to run. Behind her, she felt a rush of dragon breath and leapt aside to avoid the flames. Her leap sent her through a wooden door that had long since rotted away with age and she landed hard on the floor, bruised but safe. Scrambling to her feet, she made for a set of spiral stairs leading upwards...only to find that they led to an exit that was boarded up. She could hear yells from Shrek and Donkey and she ran to the nearest window to see Shrek being flung into the air and straight through the roof of the tallest tower.
“Ouch,” she muttered, quickly hurrying back down her own tower steps. Maybe she could lead the Dragon off some other way and help Donkey. When she got down to the courtyard, however, it was empty.
“Donkey?” she called out, tentatively, and then her ears pricked up as she heard a faint “No! Shrek! Elsa! Help!” in the distance. Spinning around, she hurried off in the direction of the sound, running along a long corridor before coming to a balcony. Looking down, she saw the enormous Dragon sitting with Donkey wrapped in her tail. Far from wanting to eat him, however, she appeared to be infatuated with him. Donkey on the other hand was chattering nervously away, clearly looking for an exit. Ducking down so that she wouldn’t be spotted easily, Elsa tried to think clearly about how to save him.
“Hey, what are you doing? That’s my tail!” Donkey exclaimed, suddenly, and Elsa quickly shot up in time to see Dragon looking like she was about to kiss him. Thinking quickly, Elsa quickly magicked up an icy slope and skied quickly down it, grabbing Donkey en route. The shakings caused the chandelier to fall down over the Dragon’s neck like an iron collar. Donkey “phew’d” in relief and then yelped as Dragon roared indignantly and sent another jet-stream of fire after them. Still holding onto Donkey, Elsa ran as fast as she could until she turned a corner and almost collided with Shrek. Before she could say anything, though, Shrek had grabbed her under one arm and was racing through the castle, snatching up someone else along the way too.
“Fiona?” Elsa cried.
“Elsa?” Fiona cried, equally as shocked to see her cousin.
“Hi, Princess!” Donkey chirped from Elsa’s arms.
“It talks!” Fiona exclaimed.
“Yeah, it’s getting him to shut up that’s the trick!” Shrek answered.
Everyone gasped as they reached the end of the corridor, which ended in a long drop, with only a long broken pillar as the way down. Shrek jumped and they all felt the air rushing up towards them, as the ground did too.
“Hold on, Donkey!” Elsa cried.
“Ooh!” Shrek yelped as he hurt himself on a jagged bit of pillar, and groaned as he jumped off at the bottom before running again. The Dragon was still right behind them and as they ran, or rather as Shrek ran, they led the Dragon through the corridors, criss-crossing the chair from the chandelier as they did so.
“Ok, you three, head for the exit!” Shrek ordered, dropping them in the courtyard and grabbing a sword. “I’ll take care of the dragon!”
All Elsa was aware of next was running for her life with Donkey and Fiona beside her and Shrek right behind them as they shot across the bridge, only for it to suddenly collapse as the ropes were burnt away by the Dragon’s fire. Everyone yelped and grabbed onto the wooden planks like the rungs of a ladder as the Dragon raced towards them...but found herself brought up short by the sword Shrek had jammed between the chain links.
With a sigh of relief, Elsa began to climb up the bridge with her friends, hearing Dragon roar mournfully behind them. That was more of an adventure than she ever wanted to have ever again.