Rattled

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

Elliot 236
Photo credit: Tim Lyons

Having dug a shallow burrow in the Bower’s floor, Miranda tucked her little ones inside. “I’m just going to watch them sleep for a few minutes,” she told the Princess. “It’s the only time they’re all quiet. Then we can sit outside and have a bit of nectar.” But moments later, exhausted from bearing the weight of parenthood alone, she, too, succumbed to seductive slumber.

Princess Cassandra smiled. Soon that will be me. She stepped into the pale starlight alone.

“Good evening, Cyrus,” she greeted the young bee standing guard outside her door.

“Good evening, your Elegance.” The flap of feathered wings brought him to attention. “Who goes there?” 

“Janesse of the Light of Day Aero Squadron, delivering a message from Prince Elliot the Faithful to the Princess,” the Flyer answered stepping into the torchlight.

Cassandra’s heart jumped to her throat. “You are most welcome! May I offer you some nectar?”

“Thank you, but no. I leave for the front from here.”

“All the more reason you are so welcome. You’ve seen my husband? Is he well?”

Moving forward, the Flyer seemed to float even on the ground. “I have, and he is. He wants you to know he’s in Fen on the King’s business, but the war won’t allow him to see you just yet. He hopes knowing he’s so near comforts you as much as it comforts him while he counts his heartbeats till you’re together again. If it were in his power, he would end this war tonight and be with you before morning.”

Cassandra could only sigh.

“And he asked me to give you this.” Janesse held out a dried seed pod still attached to its stem.

Puzzled, the Princess took it with a tentative tentacle. “What is it?”

“The Prince said to shake it, your Elegance.”

She did. It sounded like spattering rain and dancing pebbles and the chittering music of crickets.

“Oh, It’s a toy for the baby!” she exclaimed.

Clawing at their brains, a single screech scraped across the sky, followed by a tumult of alarm.

Janesse scanned the heavens, tensing her wings for flight. “I apologize, Princess Cassandra. I’d hoped to take your message to the Prince, but I need to leave.”

“Of course. Go. Be safe!” Cassandra held the rattle close, cringing as the screaming cries overhead assaulted her ears. 

The shrieking had woken Miranda. She joined the Princess outside, peering into the dark, waiting for some indication of what had happened. When two Knights entered the circle of light with Randall hanging limp between them and dripping blood, Miranda ran into the Bower to ready the Princess’s medicines.

“Bring him inside,” Cassandra said.

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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