Glad you could join us for the next incognito episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
Princess Cassandra began every morning in Cassandra’s Clearing, its sweetly optimistic raspberry scent wafting through the crannies in her mind, inspiring pleasant thoughts and images wherever anxious imaginings tried to take hold.
Sitting with closed eyes and a calm heart, she could think of Elliot as she’d last seen him instead of worrying about what might happen to him because of this war. She could anticipate his return and becoming parents together, without impatience. She could spend hours daydreaming about what their child would be like when it finally arrived.
She attributed her serenity to the joyful aroma of raspberries, and believed others would find the same restorative powers here that she had. So even though Queen Lilian had designated Cassandra’s Clearing as a private space for the Princess, Cassandra welcomed anyone who needed a peaceful place to rejuvenate a worldweary spirit.
That’s why she felt no alarm when an unfamiliar voice glopped into her meditation.
“Have I finally reached the Kingdom of Fen?”
The question poured like lumpy river mud from an aged frog’s grinning mouth, but the face loomed so disconcertingly close to the Princess’s freshly opened eyes that she took a sudden slip backward, bumping into a young raspberry cane, shaking loose a ripe berry that bounced to the ground beside her foot.
“Why, yes, you have,” Cassandra answered, “and, um, welcome. Have you traveled far? Would you like something to—”
A pink streak whipped out and back. The fallen berry disappeared.
“No thanks,” the visitor swallowed, her tongue swiping a dribble of juice from her chin. “I’m good. I’m here to see your Queen. Do you know where she is? I can tell her how to save Fen.”
Cassandra’s inner warrior woke up. “I can speak with her Liaison; he’ll let her know you’re here. Might I have your name?”
“It’s… Delilah.” Her grin broadened squeezing her eyes into golden slits in an expression Cassandra could only imagine was meant to be trustworthy.
To be continued. . .