Glad you could join us for the next decisive episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
“When the Party ended,” King Arnie confided, “the trouble began.
“Everyone in Bog lined up to watch the Suns of Glory lead the residents of Fen back home. My critics grew increasingly restive as the Lady Persephone-less parade passed them by. When the last of our Fen friends had crossed the border and she still hadn’t, the whispers spread.”
Elliot could imagine them:
“The Prince is a fine, strapping frog — why doesn’t he stick to his own kind?”
“His royal ancestry dates back as far as the beginning of Bog — how can he think of tainting it with the blood of such a lowly slimer?”
“There are plenty of eligible young lady frogs right here. Why, my niece—“
~~~Prince Arnie’s increasingly restive critics
And on and on.
“By mid-day, the whispers had become an undercurrent of discontent infecting the entire Bog. Before the moon rose in the diamond-dusted evening sky, my father the King had heard rumors of an unhappy populace preparing to march on the castle in protest. He sent for me.
“ ‘Arnold,’ he said, ‘you know I love you and nothing is more important to me than your happiness — unless it threatens the peace of the Kingdom. You need to consider your responsibilities as the future King.’
“And there it was. ‘But, Father,’ I pleaded most reasonably, ‘Persephone and I love each other. We’re planning a life together. I can’t imagine going on without her!’ ”
“Then my father the King proved just how wise he was. He summoned the second most powerful Parent’s Curse.”
“Son, I will not tell you what to do. I trust you to search all the chambers of your heart and weigh the possibilities and consequences. I Know You’ll Do What’s Best.” Prince Arnie’s father the King
His Greatness paused and turned to Elliot. “Are you ready to continue, my friend?”
Gritting his teeth, our little hero nodded and pushed himself to rise. “I am. But, tell me, King Arnie, what did you do?”
A sardonic chuckle escaped the King. “I did what I always do when I have to make a heart-crushing decision — I hurried to a secret corner of the pond to ask advice of the most honest person I know.”
A blinding flash of pain surged through Elliot. The woods swirled dark and blurry around his head. He wanted to ask who the King had seen, but he could only gasp as he collapsed at the King’s feet.
To be continued…