Glad you could join us for the next over-nighted episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
Teddy had given up trying to fly as soon as Janesse vanished beyond the trees. “Daddy, is Prince Elliot going to the war?”
“Yes, he is.”
“King Arnie needs him there.”
“Is he scared?”
“Probably. At least a little.”
Darwin stopped jumping and scrunched his face in puzzlement. “He can’t be scared. My mom says everybody in the war is brave.”
“She’s right,” Randall confirmed. “But she knows wars are scary and everyone who goes is scared but they go anyway. That’s how she knows they’re brave.”
“Why would they go if they’re scared?” his son asked. “They might get hurt.”
“They might get dead, too,” Darwin said gleefully, “but everybody would know they were cowards if they didn’t go.”
In the distance, a voice called, “Darwin! Dinner!”
“Coming!” Darwin shouted. “I gotta go. I bet you’re glad it’s not scary here, huh, Mr. Randall? See you tomorrow, Teddy!” Darwin called as he scampered home.
“You’re brave, Daddy,” Teddy said. “Are you gonna go to the war?”
“King Arnie and Prince Elliot need me to be here.”
Teddy took his father’s hand. “I do, too. But will everybody think you’re a coward if you don’t go?”
Randall lifted his son’s chin to look him in the eyes. “It doesn’t matter what everybody thinks if you know the truth in your heart, Teddy. I only care what you think.”
“But I want everybody to know how brave you are.”
“I hope you’re not disappointed in—”
“Look, more Flyers!” his son pointed as a team landed and started loading the last of the webbing.
“Hey,” one of the Flyers called to Randall, “are you the guy we’re supposed to take with us? The Aerial Unit is already at Fen’s Field waiting for us. Let’s go!”
The hope in Teddy’s eyes made Randall’s decision easy. “How soon can I be back here?” he asked.
The Flyer kept loading. “Just issue the stuff to the Unit, and someone can get you home before sunrise.”
Randall turned to his son. “Teddy, go to Darwin’s and ask if you can stay with them till I get back.”
“Are you scared, Daddy?” the little frog whispered.
“More than a little, but I’ll see you in the morning and tell you all about it.” He kissed his son and hugged him tight, then held him at arm’s length. “I love you, Teddy. Don’t ever forget that.”
“I love you, too, Daddy.”
When Chloe stopped in the Freelands on her way to Bog, her news of the General’s surprise attack on Fen had stirred up turmoil. Arturo forged a new plan immediately, but there wasn’t time to wait for Chloe to return from Bog to take it to the Allies up north to get approval. They needed a far larger army and they needed it now.
The Ambassador took off to the west alone.
To be continued. . .