Take a Breath

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

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Photo credit: Geoff Gallice

Beneath the churning web, agony’s wail rode the final unbreaking wave as it crossed the field to leave behind the silent, still shallows of death. The enemy Flyers who dared to attack its surface learned too late that the struggle to destroy it only drew the attacker further under. Those who witnessed it from above soon retreated toward The Arids.

Vernon and Ambassador Arturo waited at the web’s edge where an escaping whisper of breath hinted at the Wildlands ants’ approach. Commandant Marabunta was the first to emerge.

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Flights of Death and Glory

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

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Image credit: Tomás Saraceno / Guido Limardo

The Alliance’s call to retreat rang out beneath the approaching shadow. All land and air forces, except the Freelands bees, pulled back to the Hive tree, beating away the closest attackers to defend and hold the royal residence to their deaths if necessary.

Ripping away from its parent darkness and speeding toward them, a smaller shadow became Sam and Clifton leading their company in a desperate race to reach Central Fen ahead of the growing darkness. Sweeping past the swarm still tormenting the enemy vulture, Sam yelled, “Retreat! Run! Get back to the Hive!”

“Captain,” Clifton called, “those are Freelands bees—”

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Joining the Battle

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

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Photo credit: Rosa Shieh

Scant hours before dawn, as the storm passed, the Freelands bees gathered in the Hiverarchy’s Assembly Chamber. Arturo, the Freelands wasp who served the Alliance, had returned to speak with Queen Madalena. Rumors claimed she would send them to fight with the Alliance, but they had no heart to die for someone else’s hive.

The Queen emerged from the Inner Chamber with Arturo at her side. “Our neighbors — our kin — in Fen request our help in the war they fight against The Arids tyrant. I believe this is not our war, but the Alliance Ambassador argues that our freedom depends on its outcome. I refuse to order anyone to fight for a cause they do not believe in, but I cannot deny the family bond many of us have with Queen Lilian’s people. I invite any who wish to speak for or against this request to speak now.”

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New Arrival

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

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Image credit: Jose Amorin / O. Gargominy / Anthony Quek / S.T. Ranscht

“Ohh… help me!” Cassandra writhed on the mat, panting, sweat seeping from her forehead to drip with her tears onto the floor.

Arturo moved the cup from Elliot’s lips. “Do you need me over there?”

Miranda looked from the baby in her arms to the Princess, and turned back to place the infant next to the Prince. “No, Ambassador. The Prince needs you here. Clark? Are you all right?”

Clark peeked over Elliot’s shell. “Yes, Mama. Uncle Elliot needs me here, too.”

Elliot’s tentacles shook as he reached to pull his daughter close. His face ashen from blood loss, his voice was dry and shriveled. “Please…” he asked the midwife, “help her…”

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No Escape

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

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Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Arturo strained to talk as he flew. “A Hive Elite team found us… when they saw Lieutenant Terrance’s body… I had them carry the Prince and Princess… back to the Bower, and deliver… the body to the Queen.”

“What about the Assassin’s?” Vernon asked. “It was your triumph. How do you wish to dispose of it?”

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Sacrifice

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Image credit: Somnath Paldas / S.T. Ranscht

Arturo stopped to investigate a dark stain on the path. From what Barry told me, this must be where the Assassin attacked King Arnie. The Frogs’ prints had been washed away, but Elliot’s trail overlaid a Stinger’s. I hope the Prince knows what he’s headed into.

A scream slashed the air. Arturo picked up his pace.

~~~

The Assassin limped closer. Elliot faced his rising tail, calculating his own odds of survival. If I die now, Cassandra and the baby will be next.

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Seek and Retrieve

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

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Photo credit: Laurent Geslin

Madalena, Queen of the Hiverarchy of Free Bees, paced the length of the Inner Chamber and back, over and over again. I never should have let Samantha leave. This colony had been built on the promise of peace and self-sufficiency. No good could come of her daughter fighting in a war that didn’t have anything to do with them.

“You sent for me, Mother?” Andre stood at the room’s entrance.

“Yes. I want you to find your sister and bring her home.”

He sauntered in. “If she’s still alive, you mean,” he drawled, not even trying to hide his smile.

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