Philbin

Glad you could join us for the next confusing episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

Elliot 233
Photo credit: Gail Shumway

Janesse filled Prince Elliot in on the current situation in central Fen and left him in a hastily organized camp surrounded by lush greenery far enough inside the Northern border that he couldn’t hear the fighting. A young soldier named Philbin showed him to the empty command post and volunteered to answer any questions he might have.

“Why did the King send for me?” Elliot asked.

“I don’t know,” Philbin admitted. “That’s above my pay grade.”

“Are there any officers I could talk with right now?”

The soldier looked around. “I don’t see any.”

“Where is the supply distribution area?”

“It’s around here someplace,” Philbin said.

Elliot rubbed his temples. “Might I get something to eat while I wait?”

Philbin’s eyebrows came together. “You didn’t bring a snack, huh? Mama always says to take a snack with me so I won’t be hungry.”

“Yes,” the Prince agreed, “that’s good advice. I should have thought of that.”

Nodding, the soldier said, “It is. You wouldn’t be hungry now, would you?”

“No, I wouldn’t.” He pressed his lips together. “Well, Philbin, I don’t seem to have questions that match the answers you have, so I’ll just wait here—”

“But I do know King Arnie and his army are supposed to arrive tonight —” Philbin concluded, “as long as they aren’t ambushed or drowned or set on fire or something.”

“Uh, thank you, Philbin,” the Prince said. “That will be all for now. You may return to your post.”

Maybe the young frog hadn’t heard him.

Philbin continued, “I’ve always thought that if anything happened to the King, I might get a shot at the job myself. I mean, my mama says I can be anything, and look, I already have a crown. But now that he has a Princess daughter — and, well, you — I guess that career path isn’t really open to me.”

He cocked his head and peered at the Prince. “On the other hand, it is a war. People are gonna die.” He shrugged. “Guess I won’t give up on my big dream just yet.” He blinked and shook his head like a rattle. “If you need anything else, I’m your guy!” Saluting sharply, he spun on his heel to march back to wherever it was he belonged.

The Prince watched him go. I don’t know whether to worry or laugh.

Elliot had never been to this part of Fen. Even though he wasn’t sure how far it was from the Bower and his wife, he felt more at peace just knowing they were in the same Kingdom again. He trusted Janesse would return with a message from his love once Cassandra heard his, and it helped to have that to look forward to.

A rustling in the brush put him on alert.

“I know you’re alone,” a familiarly smooth voice whispered, “but you’re safe. I assure you I just want to talk, then I’ll be on my way. Is that possible?”

“If it is, you can come out, Anthony,” Elliot said, “I’m unarmed.”

To be continued. . .

Previously, on Elliot’s Adventures ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Next time . . .

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Author: Sue Ranscht

I am a writer. Let me tell you a story...

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