Glad you could join us for the next precarious episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
“Well if it isn’t Vernon the Valet-ison,” Spike sneered, reclining on a curved leaf, attended by an impossibly handsome young wasp. “I hafta admit, I didn’t expect her to send you. Arturo, bring our guest something to eat; he’s looking a little peak-ed. Or is it ‘piqued’?”
He looked Vernon up and down as the blushing Arturo, eyes downcast, sped off in the direction of the battered butterfly. “Sit,” Spike instructed, “let’s catch up.”
“I don’t have time to indulge you, Spike. Show me the Princess so I can report back to the Queen before she wonders what happened to me.”
“Funny, that’s just how you left me, Vern.” Spike rose from his couch and stretched with the luxury of a satisfied despot. “But I’m not gonna hold it against you, friend, because you’re here now, and you’re gonna carry the message back to that little… buzzy body… and help me get the reward I deserve.”
“Spike,” Vernon repeated, “take me to the Princess.”
“I remember that impatience. It used to serve us well, didn’t it?” Brushing past Vernon, dragging a ragged wingtip across his chest, Spike blocked the exit long enough to see apprehension flicker in Vernon’s eyes. “Now it’s just annoying.” Smirking, he turned toward the doorway. “Darcy, find out what’s keeping Arturo — I want him to see this.”
Vernon followed Spike outside. Mr. D’Arc’s quiet laughter sent a shiver through Vernon’s antennae.
Spike led them to a grassy field dotted with Bowls of Death. Ahead of them, he climbed up the side of a large magenta striped flower. D’Arc took his place beside him while Vernon and Arturo hovered nearby.
Cassandra clung to the bowl’s inside edge.
“Vernon!” she cried, “Please help me. I keep slipping and I can’t pull myself out. I don’t know how much longer I can hold on.”
“Yeah,” Spike agreed, “it’ll be a real shame if the King of Bog learns he had a daughter. But before you and Mr. D’Arc leave, I have one more thing to show you.”
To be continued. . .