Glad you could join us for the next prickly episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
With Clifton winging his way west and the few land and air forces remaining in central Fen now following Sheela to the front lines, Queen Lilian looked inward. “None of the patrols reported any movement along those borders. Why didn’t I know this was going to happen?”
Shaking his head, Vernon reasoned, “They must have gone well north of The Arids before turning east, figuring no one would look for them coming from that way.”
Lilian’s brow wrinkled. “I should have thought of that.”
“My love,” Vernon persisted, taking her hand, unless you had sent patrols across the border, you couldn’t have discovered they were there. No one knew. None of the spies sent to the Arids managed to infiltrate the General’s War Council. Even Lady Lucy hadn’t gained enough of his trust to learn their strategy.”
The entrance Guard called, “Drago Galadeen and Madam Delilah.”
“Have them wait outside,” Vernon said. Addressing the Guards stationed around the Chamber, he said, “Watch for her attack. Protect the Queen.”
Shifting their weapons, the Guards stood ready.
“Show them in,” the Queen ordered.
The Runner followed the frog. Behind them, two of the Guards moved to close off the exit.
“Delilah, I trust Drago has told you he confirmed the information you gave us about The Arids’ army?” Queen Lilian asked.
The amphibian settled her bulk within striking distance. “That’s why I’m here. I imagine you want to hire me to advise you on how to fight them.”
“I certainly would appreciate any insight you can provide. Maybe you could start by sharing details about your life before you were enslaved in The Arids.” Lilian fixed her with a penetrating stare. “Perhaps we can help you return home to Bog.”
Duggla’s eyes narrowed. “You know, I feel like I’m already home.” The Crone stretched the corners of her mouth in a nightmarish smile, her tongue protruding between her parted lips.
In an instant, a sticky pink shaft darted toward the Queen to be stopped an inch from her face by a Guard’s thorny staff. The Guard let go of his weapon upon contact, and the staff lashed back to lodge crossways in the frog’s mouth, knocking her onto her back. Guards descended upon her with vines to bind her arms and legs and tie the staff in place with her tongue wrapped around it, unmoving and uncomfortable.
“Oau, oau, oau!” she cried around the obstruction, unable even to roll over on her own.
“We know who you are, Madam Duggla,” her Magnificence said. “We know where you came from and what you’ve been up to. It ends now. Consider Fen’s prison your new home. Take her away.”
To be continued. . .