Glad you could join us for the next break-out episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
Madam Duggla yelled up the stairs, “What does a body have to do to get an extra blanket around here?” A late afternoon rain chilled her jail cell, aggravating her rheumatism and making her crankier than ever.
The lone guard descended the steps for the fifth time in an hour, not bothering to hide his own aggravation from the lone prisoner.
“You already have four, and you’re only supposed to have two.”
“I need three just to lie on, don’t I? These old bones don’t much like sleeping on a stone floor.”
“Fine,” he grumbled, going back upstairs to fetch another blanket from the storehouse. “And then I expect nothing but silence from you for the rest of my shift.”
The door squealed when he left the little building, and Duggla stood motionless waiting for the second squeal that signaled his return.
When he came back down stairs, the old crone snatched the ragged quilt from him and dragged it between the bars.
“When’s my trial? I heard the King was back, and I expected him to hold my trial immediately. I am the Advisor at Large, you know,” she declared wrapping the blanket around her shoulders.
“You mean you were. That position no longer exists. Besides, the King isn’t here right now.”
“He’s not?” Her eyes were slits. “When did he leave? Where did he go?”
“Not that it’s any of your concern, but he got called away to Fen.”
“Trouble in Paradise?” she sneered.
“That’s not likely, now, is it? They’re doing well enough to send us plenty of help against the Marauders.”
Duggla cackled at him. “You don’t know anything important, do you?”
“I know as much as anybody, and more than you,” he retorted.
“Then when’s he coming back?”
“Nobody knows that. You’ll just have to wait and find out like everybody else.”
An insistent knocking on the Jail door ended their conversation. The guard huffed up the steps, and the outer door squealed.
“Sorry,” his voice tumbled down the stairs, “visiting hours are over. You’ll have to—“ A groan and a thud preceded the arrival of a stranger at Duggla’s cell. He carried the guard’s key.
“Who are you?” she demanded.
His voice skittered up the bars like bugs. “A friend sent me,” he answered, fitting the key in the lock and opening the cell door.
She eyed him suspiciously. “Who’s your friend?”
“You’re supposed to wait for him at the red toadstool.”
She didn’t move.
“I suggest you hurry, Madam Duggla, before the guard comes to.”
Leaving the blankets behind, she lumbered up the stairs and gave the prone guard a kick in the gut. “There’s your silence,” she croaked, limping out the door. She raised her chin and chortled as the rain splattered on her face. Then she was gone.
To be continued. . .