Glad you could join us for the next uncertain episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
“Leave us,“ Queen Lilian instructed her entourage as she entered the bower. Clifton followed her, laying the semi-conscious Vernon on the moss mat Cassandra had prepared. The mushrooms were just beginning to glow.
“He’s worse?” Cassandra sponged cool water onto his forehead.
Stroking his hand, Lillian looked worn. “Our Healer’s salve should kill the infection, but until his fever breaks, I’m afraid the Hive is too warm for him.”
Unsure he could understand her, Cassandra held an herbal tea to his lips and urged him to take a sip. “Has he said anything? Do you know what happened to him after he left the meadow? How did he escape D’Arc?”
“He hasn’t spoken since Pierce brought him back.”
“Well,” Cassandra sighed, picking up a wilted leaf. “I’ll do what I can for him, but this is the last of the herbs I brought, and it’s several days old, so the tea isn’t as potent as it should be.”
“Tell me where to look. I’ll go find some!” Clifton’s eagerness dispelled some of the gloom.
“Thank you, Clifton,” the Queen said. “We need — I need — Vernon to recover.” She turned away, but not before Cassandra saw her tears welling.
The Princess handed the last leaf to the Queen’s nephew. “They grow on the north side of the river. Bring as many as you can.”
Clifton took off into the night.
“Your Magnificence?” Cassandra ventured, “Is there anything I can do for you?”
Blinking back her tears, Lilian took her by the arm and led her outside where the sky was so full of stars they didn’t need moonlight or mushrooms to see.
“I… I’ll be all right,” she said, shaking her head, “What about you? Is there something more we can do for you?”
“Can you tell me where Elliot is? I’d thought he’d be back from the baths well before dinner. I’m getting worried.”
A tiny smile tweaked the corners of the Queen’s mouth. “He’s in good hands. I’m sure he’ll be here by dawn.”
To be continued. . .