A Way Forward

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

Elliot 174
Photo credit: Igor Siwanowicz

In the dark of night, two of Bog’s border guards escorted Randall and Teddy to King Arnie as soon as they entered the Kingdom.

“I’m pleased to see you have your son,” the King greeted him. “Are you all right, young man?”

Teddy stared at the King’s feet and nodded while clinging to his father’s leg.

King Arnie knelt and looked into the little frog’s eyes. “If someone had taken me away from my father when I was your age, I would have been really scared. I’m sure I would have cried.”

Teddy looked at the ground and shook his head. “They would get angry if you cried and they would put you in a black room with no lights all by yourself and they would tell you you had to stay there forever because your daddy was never coming back.”

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When the Smoke Cleared

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

Elliot 173
Photo/Image credit: 4ever.eu/S.T. Ranscht

The baked ground gave up its heat to The Arids’ twilight. Lucy, stretching her wings and easing the kinks from her neck with a slow head roll, righted herself atop the termite mound, and prepared to take off on the last leg of her journey.

“I’ll grab breakfast on the way,” she promised herself checking the sky for likely targets.

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Teddy

Glad you could join us for the next heart-pounding 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: Roberto Brenes

The activity in the hollow below became a still life for three beats of dead air. The messenger shaded his eyes and laughed.

“Randall! It’s good to see you,” he called, his voice slick as lava glass. “Come in, come in!”

Slowly, Randall picked his way down the wall, slipping on loose gravel that rattled to the ground.

“Easy there, friend, or you’ll bury us all,” the Stinger joked. “It’s been so long since we last met I was afraid some misfortune had found you.”

“I’m here now, and I want to see the General,” Randall responded as he jumped the last foot and a half releasing another trickle of rocks and landing well outside the circle of Stingers.

“Of course you do. As it happens, he’s in. Follow me.” His fellow Stingers closed in behind Randall.

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No More Running

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

Elliot 168
Photo caption: Rolf Nussbaumer

Randall winced as he sucked as much as he could from the shallow puddle. Is all the water in The Arids this brackish? To distract himself from imagining what his son might be drinking, he asked, “Didn’t the General promise to send your child home when you did what he wanted you to do?”

“Children,” Gert corrected him as they left the muddy watering hole. “He took both of our boys.”

Bernie reached for Gert’s hand before he answered. “The General never asked us to do anything. We’ve never even met him.”

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Gert and Bernie

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

Elliot 167
Photo credit: Igor Siwanowicz

The way found Randall sitting out the worst of the day’s heat in a narrow slice of shade beneath a mummified snag. As its shadow crept across the searing earth, he inched along with it, sorry he hadn’t let Girdliz take him to water before scaring him off by mentioning General Hai. Every dry swallow rasped down his throat.

Hunkered into the tightest ball he could hold himself, he jumped when a rain of debris showered onto his back.

“Hey!” he called to the two jittery creatures balanced on the tip of the snag, “Am I happy you happened by! Do you mind chatting with me for a few minutes?”

Each rotated a conical eye in his direction, but neither spoke.

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Edith

Glad you could join us for the next feathery 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: Amy Marques

“Huh,” Randall grunted. He watched Gridliz’s rapid transit long after there was anything to see, then turned and picked his way across a scorching maze of cracked crust sloping upward toward a scraggly, leafless tree.

Halfway there, a gliding shadow stroked its cool fingers across his back, daring him to look skyward.

The gigantic bird flapping low and slow overhead should have turned his blood to ice. He should have frozen in mid-step and dashed for cover the moment it looked away. Instead, as it landed in the lone tree, he felt hope.

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Sheela

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

Elliot 167
Photo credit: Brinda Suresh

Sunrise tinted The Arids with gold. Night’s deep purple shadows slunk back under the rocks and mounds and snarly growths from which they’d spread.

Only Lady Lucy’s shadow crept across the sparkling sand as she sailed overhead looking for shelter from the rising heat. The General expected her to return to his main base, but sleeping there, vulnerable and undercover, would be worse than foolish.

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