Guarding the Future

Glad you could join us for the next protective 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: rockrose

“Knights!” Cyrus called as he flew into the Bower, raining a trail of herbs. “Creepers and Flyers are attacking the Hive!”

The Knights sprang into action. Trevor ripped off his sling, and retrieved his weapons while Barry drew the sleeping infants from their carrier to lay them beside their mother.

Wide-eyed, Cyrus asked, “Twins? You had two?”

The Princess nodded. “A girl and a boy,” she said, love and hope shining through her exhaustion.

Surveying the chamber, Cyrus hovered over Arturo as he scummed a dusty pool of the beast’s blood from the floor.

“What happened here?” the young Guard inquired as the midwife left her plastering to retrieve the Assassin’s stinger from a high shelf and hand it to Barry. “What’s wrong with the Prince?”

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Close Quarters

Glad you could join us for the next crowded 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: FreakingNews.com / Luis Morgado / Zong Ye Quek / S.T. Ranscht

A crash of lightning followed the shape into the bower. Miranda lay senseless beneath the invading mass of muscle and rage.

Colored spots before Elliot’s eyes throbbed in rhythm with his pounding head. He gritted his teeth against the agony in his side. Thinking only of shielding his daughter, he sank into cold, black emptiness. Cassandra’s voice called to him from far, far away.

“Elliot!” Her cry surged and expanded to a scream of desperate cramping lost in the thunder’s drumming.

The beast’s voice rumbled its own thunder. “Where is General’s Assassin?”

Arturo winced as he moved to stand between the Prince and the invader. Clark followed him.

“Mama!”

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Pushing It

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Image credit: Schnäggli / DP BotaNESIA / depositphotos / S.T. Ranscht

Lying in wait for the next contraction, Cassandra stretched her eyestalks to see around Miranda. “What’s wrong with my husband?” Miranda and Arturo exchanged looks, but neither answered. “Tell me.” The Princess bit back tears. “Why hasn’t he moved?”

Arturo touched her shoulder. “He’s still alive, Cassandra, but he’s very badly injured. The Assassin’s stinger went through his shell, into his body. He’s still bleeding.”

The Princess turned to Miranda. “You have to help him. Please,” she begged.

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Short on Time

Glad you could join us for the next time-sensitive 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: Elvis Kennedy

“But, Mother,” Andre implored, “what was I supposed to do? Samantha’s team wouldn’t leave her alone with us, and when she took us to the front, I watched her kill two wasps with a single move — like it was nothing.” He stared hard at her as if that would communicate the full horror of what he’d witnessed. “There’s no way I could have forced her to do anything.”

Covering her face, Queen Madalena tried not to begrudge her son the senseless deaths and injury his friends had suffered. She tried not to blame him for the head-strong willfulness of his sister, even as anger, disappointment, and remorse tried to tear her heart apart. Her silence lasted longer than she knew.

“Mother?” Andre pressed.

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Second Wave

Glad you could join us for the next awakening 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: nac-nud

Late afternoon scents of mint and lavender drifting from the cup Miranda held, resisted mixing with earthy undertones of rainy dirt and blood. The Bower’s mushrooms lit the raging storm’s false night, glinting green on tears Vernon wiped from his cheeks. Standing behind Arturo didn’t shield his heart from the sight of Cyrus sponging away the blood still flowing from the gash beneath the jagged breach in the Prince’s shell.

The Princess, unconscious at her husband’s side, stirred and moaned a growing growl. A glimmer touched the emptiness in Cassandra’s mind like a child’s hand warming a frozen rock. It grew into a vice grip forcing a web of cracks from its center, leaking her last waking memories into the once merciful oblivion: the Assassin falling at her foot… his bulging eye… his burbled dying breath… his legs scrabbling in the dirt… Arturo struggling to shove the spasming Stinger off him… throwing herself past them, trying to get to Elliot, falling instead into an abyss of nothingness that now squeezed her toward its surface, extruding her insides out.

The first contraction since her collapse flooded panic through her, straining her eyes open, heaving her lungs, and pushing her to her foot. Elliot! Where am I? The room began to spin.

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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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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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Up Like Thunder

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Image credit: S.T. Ranscht

The Runners left and Lilian sobbed into Vernon’s chest. “How could this happen? They were under my protection and I failed them!”

The Queen’s fiancé held her. “Bog’s finest healers are working to keep the King alive. Lieutenant Terrance continues their search for the Princess, and Hive Elite teams are helping. They’ll find her. We’ll get her back.”

The Queen’s Guard announced, “Deputy Minister of the Alliance, Freelands’ Ambassador Arturo, requests an audience, your Magnificence.”

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