Glad you could join us for the next safe episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
Finding Vernon, Queen Lilian’s Liaison, still awake, Lady Lucy delivered her passengers to him just outside Princess Cassandra’s bower.
“Can I have a word, Vernon?” the elderly bat asked.
“Certainly,” he answered. Addressing the refugees, he asked, ”Would you please excuse us for a moment?”
Vernon and Lucy moved away from Cassandra’s door.
“The Prince’s Knights captured General Hai’s messenger in the Freelands.” Lucy’s whisper carried as far as a fully hearing person’s normal speaking voice. “I think he followed the Prince there, but he saw me, so I have to get back to the Arids before the General finds out. I’m sure there were more spies than just that slimy Stinger.”
“Of course. Are you—“
“No, I’m not off course!” she grunted, “I’m here, aren’t I? In fact, I took the shortest possible route because, frankly, the idea of baby scorpions in my fur is creepifying.” Flashing a grin at the happy Stinger family, she nodded and waved. “I don’t know how she does it,” she muttered through clenched teeth.
Vernon glanced at the scorpions and moved to Lucy’s left. “She’s their mother,” he shrugged, returning to the subject at hand. “My Lady, her Magnificence values you highly. If there’s any chance you’ve been found out, she would rather you remain here where we can guarantee your safety.”
“Safety? Vernon, you know me. I can take care of myself. I want to serve my Queen by helping to keep Fen safe for everybody.”
“There’s no shame in retiring after as fine a career as you’ve had, Lucy,” he assured her. “You’ve served longer than anyone else in the Kingdom. You deserve a rest.”
“With a war coming? I tell you what — if I make it to the victory party, I’ll announce my retirement. Deal?”
“Deal,” he sighed, shaking her hand and his head.
As she flew into the night, Vernon turned to see the sleepy-eyed Princess admiring Julius and Miranda’s offspring.
“I apologize if we woke you, your Elegance.”
“It’s quite all right, Vernon,” she yawned. “I’d just woken from the loveliest dream, and I heard voices, so I came to investigate. And look what I found — an entire nursery of adorable little babies!”
Julius, holding four them, boasted, “Miranda was her own midwife, you know. There was no one better in The Arids.”
Brimming with pride, Miranda said, “If I might be so bold, Princess Cassandra, I am also fairly skilled at dream interpretation. Would you care to tell us about it?”
“I’d be happy to, but I’m sure it’s just wishful thinking because I miss my husband so much.” She giggled and cast a shy glance at the ground, then raised her eyes to meet Miranda’s. “I dreamed I had a daughter.”
“That could be the reason,” Miranda allowed, “but more often, such a dream means you’re pregnant.”
Cassandra’s eyes opened wide.
To be continued. . .