Glad you could join us for the next disgruntled episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
In his dream, Elliot reclined on a bed of rose petals in a field of jasmine. He could feel Cassandra’s kisses on his lips.
He woke on the floor of the bower in Fen to find her wiping the last of his regurgitated breakfast from his mouth. The scent of jasmine drifted in and gagged him. Rolling onto his side coughing more violently than the ancient wasp, he caught a flashing glint of brown surrounded by feathers in the doorway.
Shifting impatiently from foot to foot, Pierce, the hawk who’d brought them back, preened a chunk of glistening, ocher something from his shoulder, and fixed a smoldering one-eyed stare on Elliot.
Elliot grimaced. “I apologize, Pierce.”
Pierce continued to stare. “Just checking you didn’t die. As soon as we returned, I reported to the captain to volunteer as escort for the King of Bog’s journey to Fen. That’s a highly prized assignment. The captain sent me to the Baths instead.”
“Oh, my,” Cassandra sympathized, “I’m so sorry. But just think, you’ll be the most shining member of the Light of Day Aero Squadron when King Arnie arrives. Everyone else will wish they’d visited the Baths, too.”
“If you say so, ma’am.” Green goo dripped from one wing as he lifted off.
“Well, I’m certainly glad you’ve recovered, Elliot,” she grinned. “Someone has gone to let Queen Lilian know we’re back.”
“Was it Vernon? He’d already been gone for days when I left. I’m worried about him.”
“No, he’s still not back.” She bit her lips. “He found me out there. But the only thing I know for sure is that he was injured and Spike sent D’Arc to ‘finish him’.”
Clifton, the unusually round nephew of the Queen, plopped to a landing in the bower. “Auntie… the Queen will be here shortly.” He sniffed the air and scrunched his lips into a disgruntled line. “Hey, Elliot. I almost lost this gig when you left. But something big’s going on, and there isn’t anyone else to spare, so Auntie Lilian gave me a second chance.”
“Sorry, Clif,” Elliot offered, “I’m glad you didn’t get into too much trouble. I’ll let her know your leaving me alone was my doing.”
“I’d appreciate that.” Clifton sniffed again. “But before you do, I recommend a trip to the Baths.”
To be continued. . .