Glad you could join us for the next scaly episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
“Man, maybe we should give Sam and her mom some privacy to work out their feelings. What about those snake guys King Arnie sent to The Arids on a secret mission? How’s that going?” You might be thinking.
“All righty, then. Meanwhile, out in The Arids…” Me, accommodating as ever.
“I hear you’ve been looking for me.” Girdliz’s soft, fuzzy voice drifted down from the boulder through heat-shimmered air onto Sirehta’s back as he slithered past over the relentless dust of The Arids.
Raising his head… his neck… his body to cock an eye at the stony little lizard, the viper nodded like a drowsy sunflower in a summer breeze. “Yes. I understand you are no friend of the General.”
Scrunching his forehead to scrape its scales together, Girdliz jittered from foot to foot. “He’s scary,” he confided. “Scary and mean.”
“And your fear makes you helpless?” Sirehta asked.
“Oh, I have ways to protect myself,” Girdliz answered, shivering the coppery armor plates across his back. “I just think it’s safer to stay far, far away from him and his Stinger thugs.”
The serpent swung his head to take a closer look. “I see. Would you rather live free, without fear?”
“Of course I would. But how am I supposed to stop the General?”
“I am pleased you asked. Would you kindly come with me?”
Girdliz tensed. “Where? You aren’t working undercover for the General looking for traitors, are you?”
Sirehta backed away. “No, I assure you. Like you, my brothers and I are no friends of the General. We have found many who wish to be free of his tyranny, and we are prepared to take you all to safety. You may choose to come with us or you may choose to remain here. It is up to you.”
“I don’t want to seem ungrateful,” Girdliz said, “but desert life is hard. Nobody in The Arids can afford to help strangers. Helping our own families takes everything we have. Why would you want to help any of us?”
Sirehta smiled. “Because strangers showed us that not all the world is heartless, and that makes the world better for everyone.”
To be continued. . .