Still going with the story of Fred Johnson, Paragon of Virtue. I'm very tired tonight so I don't know how inspired I'm going to be. 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., 8th installment...
Word for this week's 10-word challenge were: friends, unfathomable, sharks, kiss and tell, jelly beans, justice, terrible, health, sour grapes, stone And for the mini: trembling, spacious, pendant, traffic, legal
Count Psycho burst into the spacious guest room as though he and Fred had been friends forever. He seemed to be positively trembling with excitement. Fred was grateful for the magic ear. Even wearing it he could feel the terrible aura of confusion circling him and trying to swamp his thoughts. It was like being in an underwater cage circled by a virtual traffic jam of giant sharks. You might be safe for the moment, but there was still an unfathomable feeling that your health was at serious risk. Pulling his thought together, Fred asked - not sure where exactly his plan was going - "Do you play cards?" "Cards? What's that?" Fred thought he sensed a bit of genuine curiosity in the count's voice. "Cards are a collection of earth games. Earth is where I'm from, you know," he added. "I thought you might be interested in learning something new. There are games like Solitaire that you can play alone and a whole host of games you can play with others." "Curious. I'd like to hear more about earth, actually," the Count said quietly. "Well, I don't know if I can do the subject justice, but why don't I try to tell you about it over some more of Chef's magnificent food and a good game of Hearts." A sort of sour grapes look passed quickly over the Count's face as though he sensed he might be falling into a trap, but after a moment's thought, he agreed. "Shall we play here or is there another spot you'd prefer," he asked, hoping to keep the count in his room, which, if he had read the map correctly, was in the same general location as the Hall of Shadow Boxing and might serve to let Bubbles complete her mission. He was wondering whether he had made a mistake agreeing to talk about earth. He wondered if it was "legal," for him to talk about his other world in this one or if sharing too much about his old world would be a kind of "kiss and tell" betrayal of his native home. He would try to be careful about what he shared. Perhaps he could change the subject. "That's an exquisite pendant you are wearing, Count Psycho. The stone is beyond beautiful. Quite mesmerizing in fact." And as he spoke those words, he realized he had spoken a dangerous truth. "Let's play cards," he said, hoping to distract the Count from what he had just said. "We sometimes play for money on earth, or in the case of my friends and me, for jelly beans." "Jelly beans?" Another strange earth invention, I suppose.
Fortunately, Fred had created several decks of cards for himself during his time in Sunday and had remembered to add one into his big basket of Chef's delights. The basket was, of course, a magical masterpiece crafted by the Wizard Spark, spacious enough to hold an enormous amount, and able to magically transport fully prepared meals, which could be magically whisked out and placed on the table, plates, napkins and all the settings of a fine meal in tact. Still a bit unsure of his skills, Fred found himself trembling slightly as he cast the table setting spell. This was something Earth could use, he thought. No making reservations, no going out in traffic.... The faithful wet nose of his dog Cane helped him realize that his mind was drifting and he thought, "I'll be it's that damned pendant. Stuff like that shouldn't be legal. I wonder if I know a counter spell...." As though by magic - well actually it wasn't "as though by magic," it clearly WAS magic - a series of words appeared on his napkin along with the words loudly in his ear, "SALT," in a voice he could have sworn belonged to Bubbles.
The unfathomable power of Chef's food had it's usual impact on Fred. He felt a glow of health and well-being and with some salt in his pocket and a little additional added (much to his regret) to Chef's food, he felt the terrible power of the pendant fade. The sour grapes look had flashed over Psycho's face again as he commented briefly, "I see you like salt," Chef always named his creations and this one was apparently called "No Stone Unturned Shrimp and Clams." Fred wondered if that wasn't also a message of some sort, but could find no explanation for the amazing "Kiss and Tell" pie which he offered for dessert. "Words don't do Chef's creations justice, do they?" he asked Psycho. "Beyond description, aren't they?" "Magical," the Count responded with some irony, in a voice that clearly betrayed an inner struggle between his gentler aspect and his dark side. "Now, teach me to play cards." "Sounds like a plan," Fred replied, taking a moment to put some dog biscuits and a small sample of the dinner onto a plate for Cane. I think I will see if I can magic up some jelly beans. I've never tried it before, but I think you would like them if I succeed. It took a few tries, but after about 10 minutes, Fred had managed to conjure up a small bowl of passable jelly beans. Not Jelly Bellies by any stretch of the imagination, but good enough. Two hours later, Fred wished again for friends. Count Psycho, it seemed, was a natural born card player. And not just a player. A true card shark. Fred wished he knew how to make jelly beans with Chef's magic touch. It was going to be a long night. Still, maybe Bubbles would get her message sent and it would be worth it. And it was not, after all, musical chairs. That was something to be glad about.
Words for next week's 10-word challenge: crane, argument, implement, fallacy, triumph, graph, giggle, twig, spigot, worry
And for the mini: water, ice cream, buggy, paragraph, clouds
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