The Crimson Eagle, Epilogue and Disclaimer

First of all, Lauren, thanks for the idea for the “finale” disclaimer, and for being a good friend and a good fanfic writer! ; 0 )

Disclaimer: This story is very, very much a work of fiction, using some characters from the 1986-1992 ABC/Warner Bros sitcom Perfect Strangers, though those of you who are fans of the classic film spoofs of the Zucker Brothers, Mel Brooks, Pat Proft, and Jim Abrahams may recognize many of the devices and quite a few of the cameo players (among those making “cameos” - Charlie Sheen, Gene Wilder, Cary Elwes, Val Kilmer, Mel Brooks himself, and the late Madeline Khan).

This is copywright November 2003-February 2004 (yes, it took me that long to write).

Astute readers may have noticed occasional liberties taken with the time period, swordsmanship, fashion, and certain logistics. I don’t really know much about the 1880s in the Mediterranean, or even much about swordsmanship beyond what I see in Errol Flynn movies, but I do know I love swashbuckling tales like the afore-mentioned The Scarlet Pimpernel, and modern tales of hidden identity like DC Comics’ Batman and Superman series.

Like Mark Linn-Baker's character in My Favorite Year, I grew up watching and reading about those tales of daring-do and dashing heroes and intelligent and beautiful ladies and exciting escapes (only I watched them on TV and read them in the library). It was those never-forgotten films and books, in which spoofy silliness often mixed with high melodrama, that inspired “The Crimson Eagle,” and to which it is dedicated.

Wait! Don't go! Here's that promised "more"...

Chicago General Hospital, June 1988

“Wow!” Mary Anne Spencer exclaimed. The tiny blonde woman perched on the side of the bed where Larry Appleton snored lightly. “Did all that really happen, the revolution and everything?”

“Cross my liver hope not to die,” Balki said. "My mama named me after the great King Balki. He established the Hut of Representatives to keep the King from having too much power. Robert Markwright was the first Speaker of the Hut when he recovered from the wounds flicked on him by Samuel Gorpleous. Markwright helped him free the press and didn’t mind it when they ran articles on him.”

“What about everyone else?” Jennifer Lyons asked. “Did Laurence Wayne get his job back?”

Balki grinned. “Not only did he get his job at the Chicago Express-Times back, he won numerous awards for his expose of King Samuel, Sheriff Burnsetti, and Burnsetti’s crocked bosses. Burnsetti and Samuel Gorpleous were exited to Sceptos, where both spent the rest of their lives yelling at each other and trying to boss the Sceptosians around the way they bossed the Mypiots.”

Balki frowned. “The King was forced by public opinion to ban his cousin, Donald, Harriett, and Jennifer from returning to Mypos. Many of the nobles weren’t happy about their jewels being stolen and a bandit taking over the throne and blamed Laurence for the thefts. Laurence never went back to Mypos, but King Balki and Queen Marianne did sometimes visit him and Jennifer in Chicago. They talked about old times and sometimes practiced swordfighting, like in the old days.” He joined Marianne on the bed and put his arm around her. “Donald kept betting, but he made sure to only bet with people who wouldn’t want to give him a nice pair of cement shoes. Harriett returned to her family, but she stayed friends with Laurence, Jennifer, and the King and Queen.”

“That was a great story, Balki,” Jennifer said. She sighed. “It’s a shame Larry wasn’t awake to hear most of it. He passed out not long after we arrived, around the time of the street fair.”

A young nurse poked her head in the hospital. “I’m sorry, ladies, Mr. Bartokomos, but visiting hours are over.” She smiled. “Could you come back tomorrow, though? I couldn’t help overhearing your story, and I really enjoyed it. You have quite an imagination, Mr. Bartokomos.”

“Thank you,” Balki said, blushing at the compliment. “I was just telling Cousin Larry and the girls a famous Myposian story, with a few details of my own added. Every Mypiot knows the story of ‘The Crimson Eagle’ by heart. Mothers tell it to their children as a bedtime story, and poets and musicians sing of his eggs-ploits in the taverns and grocery stores.”

Mary Anne stood and straightened her short, ruffled skirt. “Why don’t we get something to eat? I’m starved.”

Jennifer sighed as the two women gathered their purses and left the room. “Mary Anne, you’re always starved.”

“I can’t help it if I need energy!”

“I saw a cafeteria in the lobby,” Jennifer said. “We could get something there.”

Balki gave Larry’s pillows one last fluff and Jennifer gave the sleeping invalid a kiss on his cheek. “Balki,” Jennifer asked as he opened the door for the two women. “How many details did you add to that story?”

Balki took both women’s arms as he walked down the hallway with them. “Oh, just a few, Jennifer. Just enough to make a really good story.” He grinned. “And a little more.”

This time, it’s really...