Glad you could join us for the next brooding episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning tothe beginning, and reading really fast…
Cassandra found her friend weeping quietly outside the entrance to the den she shared with Julius and their brood of little Stingers.
“What’s wrong? Cassandra asked.
Sniffling, Miranda picked up a little one who had just been jostled off her back. “Clark,” she reprimanded, “stop pushing Louise off Mommy.” She replaced the girl and whispered to Cassandra, “Julius has gone to fight against the General’s army. He said he owes it to Queen Lilian, us, and Lady Lucy.”
The Princess’s heart ached. “He’s very brave. You must be proud of him.”
“I am, but lots of The Arids’ soldiers know who he is, and they don’t spare traitors. What if he doesn’t come back? What will I do without him?”
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Princess Cassandra’s unsettling encounter with the frog drove her back to the Bower after she delivered her message to Vernon.
Spending a gloomy morning shut away from the sunlight, dreaming up ways to enclose her Clearing and install a Guard at a single entrance, she finally reined in her runaway imagination. This is ridiculous, she told herself. I refuse to allow my hormones to take me prisoner.
“Agatha,” she called to the Spinner assigned as her attendant and stationed outside her door. “I’m going to visit Miss Miranda.”
Agatha entered and curtseyed. “Do you think it’s safe? Shall I ask the Hive to send an armed guard along?”
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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.”
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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.
Glad you could join us for the next revised episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning tothe beginning, and reading really fast…
Sunset now at their backs, King Arnie the Former of the Kingdom of Bog and his forces had stood ready since sunrise to meet the enemy. Across the vast expanse of nothing, nothing had moved but the clouds.
“How long shall we wait, your Greatness?” Lieutenant Terrence asked as heat waves shimmered above the sand.
Squinting, the King rubbed his chin and exhaled slowly through his nose. “Send Runners down the line and to the Allied Freelands’ and Arids’ Commanders. We’re in the wrong place.”