Posting late. Sorry. Still going with the story of Fred Johnson, Paragon of Virtue. I had a rough time tonight, though I am still enjoying a break from having to invent new characters and completed stories each week. Nice to leave things hanging. Wish I had a clue where they were going, though. Anyway, here are links to the previous episodes. If you need/want to catch up, click here for the 1st installment, 2nd installment, 3rd installment, 4th installment, 5th installment, 6th installment, 7th installment.
Word for this week's 10-word challenge were: fuzzy, smoke signals, surgery, solitaire, sketch, chosen, pool, clause, salt, confetti And for the mini: transformation, shadow boxing, coconuts, sparkle, chanting
Mercifully, the magic of his Chef's coconut cookies, did seem to have an impact of sorts on Count Psycho. It wasn't quite the transformation that Paragon of Virtue Fred Johnson had hoped for, but it was something. He was also relieved to have discovered his magic earring tucked into a corner of the basket. The best side effect of Chef's cookies was that it seemed to have dimmed the Count's enthusiasm for musical chairs - at least temporarily he had chosen to have someone take the Paragon to a rather lovely bedroom which looked out over a sparkling pool and yet another rose garden. It was a great relief to be away from the constant prattle of the crazed Count and to have the fuzzy-headed feeling (rather like coming out of anesthesia after surgery) that the endless stream of words had induced in him begin to lift. He found himself wishing he had a computer and could clear his mind with a few games of solitaire, but this was the Kingdom of Sunday and computers were not part of their reality. He decided to get the magic earring out of its hiding place before he forgot and was surprised to find a note and a sketch of some kind tucked next to it in the basket. After inserting the earring so that it was as unobtrusive as possible, he sat on the bed and read the following:
Kindly Paragon Johnson. Rumors of your kindness have not been exaggerated and I can not begin to tell you what an extraordinary gift it was to once again taste one of my cousin Claude's Confetti's cookies again. It has restored a sense of hope in my heart which had been dimming, despite the new life I carry. Attached is a map of the Fortress which I have drawn in hopes that it will be of service to you. As you may have guessed, the Count's name suits his personality. Do not be fooled by his airy banter. It is a kind of spell. I was glad to see that you have a magic earring. Also. Whatever you do, do not play musical chairs. Two of the most effective charms against the Count's power are salt (keep some on your person always) and chanting. I am sometimes able to communicate with Claude and Spark using smoke signals and will let them know of your kindness to me. It would help me to do this unnoticed if you could persuade him to show you the Hall of Shadow Boxing. I think there is some good in him deep inside and when the shadow boxing engages that goodness in a kind of battle with the darkness which presently rules. Thank you again for your kindness. Sincerely, Bubbles Confetti Clause
Fred Johnson was awed by the courage of this young woman and once again by the continuing strangeness and wonders of the Kingdom of Sunday. He was relieved to have an ally inside the Fortress. Two, if he counted his trusty dog Cane, who as though reading his mind, came and put a wet nose against his hand.
Studying Bubble's Clause's sketched map of the Fortress, Fred was impressed by the detail Bubbles had managed to include. He was also feeling a bit ashamed of himself that he had not known until just a few minutes ago that his beloved Chef's name was Claude Confetti. Considering how much he worshiped the chef's magnificent food and how important this man's presence had been to him during his time in Sunday, he thought that it did not speak well of his character that he had not chosen to learn more about the man whose food - and whose cousin Bubbles Clause - might very well be all that stood between himself and an unpleasant form of surgery known as beheading. If he survived this adventure, he would ask Claude's forgiveness and try to find some way to atone for his thoughtlessness. He was grateful that the fuzzy feeling the Count's jabber had induced in his brain was almost completely lifted, and tucking the map into his pocket, walked over to the window to look out on the pool, the rose garden and to contemplate the idea of smoke signals rising over the mountains. He wondered if Sunday had some counterpart of American Indians. He rather hoped Bubbles could teach him some signals of his own. He had no idea how he was going to get Count Psycho to go to the Hall of Shadow Boxing. (He found the very idea of a hall of shadow boxing where one fought ones inner demons to be both a brilliant idea and completely bizarre.) He wondered if the denizens of Sunday played cards. Maybe he could distract the Count for a while by teaching him Solitaire or Go Fish or a weird game he had tried a few times called Salt and Pepper. Meanwhile, he realized that he was exhausted, and stretching out on the bed, fell immediately into a deep, though restless sleep.
And the mini:
In his dream, Flashlight - Spark the Wizard's daughter and the beloved woman of his dreams - was sitting cross-legged holding two large coconuts and chanting something about shadow boxing being the road to transformation. There was a sparkle in her eye that made his heart melt and that also told him (at least in his unconscious) that this was no ordinary dream but a message from the Wizard. An hour or two later, he woke feeling remarkably refreshed to a knock on the door and the unwelcome sound of Count Psycho's voice.
Words for next week's 10-word challenge: friends, unfathomable, sharks, kiss and tell, jelly beans, justice, terrible, health, sour grapes, stone
And for the mini: trembling, spacious, pendant, traffic, legal
Thanks you for playing. Newcomers can check here for some guidelines to make the game more fun. There are no rules, just some general guidelines and tricks.