Glad you could join us for the next fateful episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
It began with a single word served like a fine meal at the end of a soul-cleansing fast.
“Psst!” Sam’s hiss cut through Clifton’s dream, replacing a glowing image of endless flower fields floating in a lake of nectar, with sharp-edged silhouettes against an infinite spangled night that shone too brightly.
“What?” he mumbled, rubbing his eyes to wake his sleep-addled brain.
“It’s time to go,” she said.
He was instantly alert.
Someone sounded the Freelands’ call to arms.
Prince Elliot the Faithful remained in Bog to lead the support mission, his heart its own battlefield.
The Knights of Service moved as one.
A quickened pulse beating muffled and insistent in the brain. Muscles tense and throbbing to an urgent, primal cause. Blood racing. Silence humming. Night tide rising, an eager flood rushing down a channel to an unseen end.
Beneath a brilliant moonless canopy, King Arnie the Former led Bog’s forces north.
Vernon stuck his head into the Hive Nursery where Queen Lilian had taken refuge to fill the wait with work.
“Your Magnificence, the Runner’s back.”
Completing her deposit, she nodded to her attendants and accompanied her Liaison outside where Chloe stood chatting with Cassandra.
“—all Ah’ve got to say, Child, is you are glowin’ brighter than Ah am. Almost makes me sorry Ah’ll never be a mother.” The Runner faced the approaching Queen.
“Good evening, Chloe,” Queen Lilian greeted her, “I didn’t expect you back so soon.”
“It was real quiet out there, your Magnificence. Nothin’ much movin’ — feels like everything’s waitin’.”
“And?” Vernon asked.
The Runner’s antennae ruffled with her nod. “The party’s started. They’re all on their way.”
“Thank you, Chloe,” the Queen said. “Go get some rest. Double runs start in the morning.”
“Thank you, your Magnificence. Princess, if you have a couple minutes, maybe we could share some fabulous beauty tips before Ah head home.”
Princess Cassandra smiled, “I’d like that. And maybe you could give me some advice on understanding men.”
“Honey, no one’s better prepared to do that than Ah am,” Chloe laughed as they strolled within the glow worm’s light to the Bower.
Lilian leaned against Vernon with an arm around his waist. “I’m glad Cassandra has so much to distract her from what might happen, and I’m grateful you’ll be here to help me keep the Kingdom safe.”
He gazed at the galaxies reflected in her eyes. “There isn’t anywhere I’d rather be. I won’t let anything happen to you. I promise.”
Watching members of the Dark of Night Aero Squadron cross the sky to assemble in the field, they stood in starlight, breathing in the breath before the storm.
To be continued. . .