Still going with the story of Fred Johnson, Paragon of Virtue. 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, 9th installment, 10th installment, 11th installment, 12th installment, 13th installment, 14th installment, 15th installment, 16th installment
It was an AWFUL struggle this week. Not very happy with the results, but at least I got something posted. I hope that's better than nothing. Not sure.
Words for this week's 10-word challenge: invention, vanishing, peanuts, furnace, snow, occupy, wall, street, light in the window, sage And for the mini: brains, strike, matches, peppermint, Halloween
On the walk down the mountain from his visit to the dragon's lair, Paragon of Virtue, Fred Johnson, felt more alive than perhaps any time in his life, as though a furnace had been lit in his heart and it was radiating warmth and love. He looked around at the trees which were now shedding the last of their leaves and at the sky which had the look of snow on the way and was taken back in his memory to Earth. He found that he couldn't stop talking. He told Bubbles and McFlash all about Halloween and how they hollowed out pumpkins and put candles inside, how children went from door to door and street to street dressed up as anything from a fairy, to a prince or even - he had done this one year - as a giant peanut. From Halloween, he moved on to stories of Christmas how wonderful the smell of a decorated tree was - better than presents under the tree and how his mother would put a special light in the window to let Santa Clause know there was a child in the house. He barely noticed the vanishing of the day, his brain was so occupied with memory and love and hope. Even his magic seemed to be stronger. As the trio set up their tents and campfire, he took great delight in sharing one of his favorite Earth inventions - a book of matches - and in watching their delight as they took turns striking them into tiny bursts of flame. As always the magic basket offered a magnificent dinner of sage chicken and from Confetti. Below them the walls of the Fortress of Festering Fear loomed loudly even in the darkness of night. Despite the reality that tomorrow he would return to that dreary place and no doubt have to deal with Count Psycho, he slept a deep and peaceful sleep, despite some interesting dreams.
The next morning the trio of travelers lingered over their campfire. Bubbles and Healer McFlash continued to delight in the scientific magic of striking matches and Fred practiced magically manifesting a variety of peppermint candies and even did his best to magic up a Halloween jack-o-lantern both for the fun of it and on the theory that it might entertain Count Psycho enough to distract him from their two day absence. They didn't waste the entire morning, though. They also put their brains together to make sure they had a united and convincing explanation to give the Count for their four day absence from the Fortress. Finally they decided to tell Psycho that they had been on an herb hunt and that they had taken The Paragon along both because exercise would help restore his health and because they did not want to leave him untended as he was recovering. This had the benefit of being the truth even though it left out the real reason for their days away from the Fortress.
As they feared, Psycho was waiting for them a state of great agitation, although he was trying to appear calm. "So, you have returned after vanishing in a puff of smoke with not so much as a by your leave," he growled.
"You mean you didn't get our note?" the three queried in perfect unison. "We're so sorry." "I needed some specific herbs to treat The Paragon after his 'accident,'" he said, subtly stressing the word accident. "as well as some for Bubble's condition. I didn't want to leave the Paragon alone in his still weakened state and felt that exercise would be a good way to get his body's furnace working again.... As you can see, he is much revived. One of the herbs required that we go up near the dragon caves, " "While we were camping, the Paragon kept us occupied by telling us about a number of fascinating Earth customs and inventions... show Count Psycho the matches, Paragon. And tell him about Halloween and the jack-o-lantern and Christmas and your mother and the light in the window. At those last words, something profound shifted in Psycho's demeanor and seeing it, Fred felt a tremor of compassion for the twisted tyrant and realized that the wall of cruelty with which he surrounded his heart might have cracks in it. "May I invite you to my room for one of Confetti's magnificent meals - with Snow Flower Street (I wish I understood how he names things) peanut butter cookies for desert. Or maybe lemon sage. Those are incredibly good. "Yes, yes..." Psycho said, "Later then," and walked of seemingly lost in though. As soon as the Count was out of sight, Fred looked at his companions and said eagerly, "Tell me everything you know about his mother."
Words for next week's 10-word challenge: chestnut, burdensome, taxes, mystery, candy, charitable. teddy bear, roof, smear
And for the mini: historical, hysterical, purple, purist, gelding
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