Glad you could join us for the next grieving episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
Beyond the torchlight outside the Bower, King Arnie, Princess Cassandra, and Knights Barry and Trevor stood beside Randall’s body.
The King bowed his head. “This never should have happened.”
His legs quivering, Barry asked, “Do ya want us ta hunt dat Assassin down, yer Greatness? We can pick up da trail where he killed Randall, can’t we Trev?”
“I’m sure we can,” Trevor agreed. “Just say the word, Sir.”
King Arnie closed his eyes and gave his head a little shake. “No.” The word was a decision. “Queen Lilian has troops searching for him. We have an obligation to our friend.” He turned to Knight Trevor, “As Teddy’s appointed guardian, it’s up to you to choose what happens to Randall’s body.”
Looking back and forth between the other three, Trevor’s breath quickened. “I… I don’t know. I don’t want to make this decision by myself. What did Randall want? What about Teddy?”
Barry took one of Trevor’s huge webbed hands. “Youse don’t hafta do dis alone,” he said. “I’m not goin’ anywheres just cuz youse got a kid now.” He looked at the King. “Yer Greatness? Is dere a way ta keep Randall… ya know… fresh… till we can get ’im back to Bog? Den Teddy can have a say.”
Nodding, King Arnie said, “During the Great War, Fen shared an ancient preservation method. They kept it secret, but it worked. I don’t know if they still use it, but maybe the Queen knows what it was.”
“We should take him someplace secluded where it will stay cool after the sun comes up,” Trevor suggested.
“Then it’s settled,” the King said. “I’ll talk with her Magnificence, and you find a suitable temporary place for Randall’s body. Will you be all right here, Cassandra?”
“Yes. Miranda and I have some clean up to do, and Cyrus is right outside my door. We’ll be fine.” She smiled and kissed her father’s cheek, but couldn’t dispel dark thoughts on her way back to the Bower. What if Elliot’s in danger? What if the Assassin finds him, too?
The young guard straightened when he saw her. “Cyrus,” she asked, “do you think you can find out where Prince Elliot is right now?”
He scrunched up his face and looked at his toes before raising his eyes to met hers. His answer crawled into the air. “I’m supposed to stay here, your Elegance — to keep you safe.”
“I know, Cyrus,” the Princess said, “and you’re doing an excellent job.” She gestured toward the Bower. “But Miss Miranda is with me, so I should be safe enough for a few minutes. I just don’t think I’ll be able to sleep until I know where my husband is.”
“Well,” Cyrus fumbled with a wingtip, “If you really think it’s okay, I’ll do my best, your Elegance.”
She followed him out of the torchlight and watched him fade into the hushed shadows. It’s so peaceful here. Can there really be a war happening just out of hearing? She climbed up on a fallen log to savor her solitude for just a few moments.
Leaves rustled behind her. Cassandra turned, and a chill wind swirled across her face. She looked at the sky. The stars are still so clear, but it feels like a storm is coming…
To be continued. . .