Delivered

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Photo credit: Chronophontes

Elliot had followed her willingly, enchanted by her flowing stride and silent confidence. Her feathers shimmered with iridescent sparkles that bound him to her just as surely as ropes and chains. The little warning voice he’d learned to heed whispered — nothing.

Without reason, without thought, without common sense, he’d trusted her, and now, facing a massive structure of stone and wood built against a hillside of the oldest trees he’d ever seen, he had no idea where he was.

“I thought you were taking me back to the bower. Where are we? And don’t say, ‘here’!”

Her answer was to throw back her head and release a trilling note that filled the woods like wind. From the treetops all around, a whistled melody replied.

She cocked her head. “We’re in the heart of the Ancient Forest,” she said as if that explained everything.

“But what is this place? Why did you bring me here?”

Her warm laugh rippled through him. “So many questions. I’m sorry, Elliot, but I’m not the one to answer them. In fact, I have to leave you now.” He started to object, and she placed the tip of a single feather on his lips. “Go inside. You’ll be in good hands, my friend, and we may yet meet again.”

It was only as she flew beyond the tangled canopy that he realized he hadn’t even asked her name.

Shaking regret out of his head, he began his search for the entrance.

To be continued. . .

Previously, on Elliot’s Adventures ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Next time . . .

Uncertain Night

Glad you could join us for the next uncertain 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: Harry Finder

“Leave us,“ Queen Lilian instructed her entourage as she entered the bower. Clifton followed her, laying the semi-conscious Vernon on the moss mat Cassandra had prepared. The mushrooms were just beginning to glow.

“He’s worse?” Cassandra sponged cool water onto his forehead.

Continue reading “Uncertain Night”

Not Alone

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Photo credit: Li Feng

The pent up worries he’d been nursing since diving into the tensions of Bog and Fen rinsed off with the scent of motion sickness. Elliot’s solitude absorbed the peace of the Lilian Pond while the muffled music of the larger public bath beyond the bushes infused his thoughts with joy.

As unpredictable as it had become, his life was full. Life isn’t scary, he thought, it’s an adventure. I’m not weak unless I give up.

Counting the obstacles he’d overcome, even when he’d needed help, he smiled. He had strength. He had friends. He had love.

He had company.

To be continued. . .

Previously, on Elliot’s Adventures ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Next time . . .

Pierce Steps Up

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

Photo credit: wildscenes.com

A subdued splash announced Pierce’s arrival.

“The Queen’s buzzy little nephew said you needed help.” A bath had washed away the sour odor of Elliot’s indiscretion, but not the disappointment of the missed mission to Bog.

“Pierce! Yes, we’ve found Vernon, but he’s wounded and sick and he can’t make it back to the Hive on his own. Would you please take him back with you?”

He eyed Elliot. “How sick?”

Continue reading “Pierce Steps Up”

Under Pressure

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Photo credit: Imagebase

Elliot tried to press on Vernon’s stitched chest with his tentacles, but instead of compressing, they slid off the hard shell that was the wasp’s skin. After the third attempt, he stared at Clifton.

“You have to do this, Clif.”

“But I don’t know what you’re doing.”

“I’m trying to make his heart work again, but I can’t push hard enough.”

“If I push on him,” Clifton warned, “I’m afraid I’ll break him. Besides, what is that stuff? It looks like he’s leaking.”

“I think his cut is infected — he’s burning up. But if we don’t get his heart started soon, he’s gonna be cold and dead.”

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Water Is Life or Death

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Quivering his way to the spot where Vernon vanished, Clifton tried to ignore the tickle of doubt in his chest. Elliot believes in me.

Taking a deeper breath than his lungs had ever held before, he kicked his chubby back legs as hard as could and dove into oblivion.

Reluctantly, he forced his eyes open.

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Clifton Takes a Dive

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Photo credit: Michael Johnson

Vernon’s eyes flickered in recognition just before his arms broke through the water and he disappeared beneath the surface.

“Vernon!” Elliot called again.

Only bubbles answered.

“Ohmigosh! Ohmigosh!” Clifton buzzed in swelling panic. “We can’t let the Queen’s Liaison drown!”

“Can you swim?” Elliot asked.

Continue reading “Clifton Takes a Dive”