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...
Words for this week's 10-word challenge: postulate, lamp, lucky, fatalistic, politics, call me a cab, broken, intermittent, snake oil salesman, drill and for the mini: far-flung, exchange, crevice, fluid, chasten
For the next few days after his misadventure in the Hall of Shadow Boxing, Fred Johnson, Paragon of Virtue for the Kingdom of Sunday, remained in his bed while Bubbles and Healer McFlash intermittently plied him with soups, fluids and an assortment of herbs and potions. Perhaps feeling somewhat chastened about what was either extreme carelessness on his part or a failed attempt at murder, Count Psycho was keeping a mercifully low profile. This gave Fred and his two caretakers time to exchange ideas on a far-flung range of topics. In addition, the pair tried to drill as much information as possible into his weary mind about Psycho, the Fortress of Festering Fear and the social mores and politics of Sunday. He grew increasingly fond of crafty old McFlash, who, he realized, was a gifted doctor with a healthy dash of snake oil salesman to make the medicine go down smoother. His dreams were still somewhat troubled. One night after a particularly troubled sleep, he woke up shouting, "call me a cab," and found the lamp next to his bed shattered and broken on the floor. He was also becoming increasingly aware of a difference in world view between himself and his new friends. While he felt his surviving his misadventure in the Hall of Shadow boxing was "lucky," Bubbles and the healer were rather more fatalistic about it. On the morning of the fourth day of his recovery, seeing a plume of purple smoke rising from somewhere on the far side of the river, Bubbles and McFlash - after a hushed and somewhat animated discussion - postulated that it was a sign. "We think you are well enough," they said in perfect unison, "to have your introduction to the Dragon of the Crevice." The purple smoke is a signal. You are to be granted an audience."
Dragon of the Crevice?, Fred stuttered, feeling excited and chastened at the same time. "I'm going to meet a dragon?" On the far-flung list of possibilities he had imagined since becoming Paragon of Virtue, that he might one day see, none-the-less exchange words with, a dragon had not even crossed his mind. He leapt out of bed with one fluid motion, feeling more alive than he had in days. "Let's go!" he exclaimed, practially jumping up and down with excitement. Giggling, Bubbles looked at him and said quietly. "You might want to get dressed first. Dragons are rather serious about ritual and ceremony." Blushing, Fred sat down quickly. Might be a good idea to have some breakfast and learn a little bit about dragons, I guess. A Dragon, though. I can't believe I'm going to meet a real, live dragon. In my world they are only myths or memories. He's not going to eat me, is he?" "She," Bubbles laughed, "has never, to the best of my knowledge eaten any human and certainly not a Paragon of Virtue."
The journey to the Dragon's cave was not an easy one. The trio faced intermittent rain storms and the path itself was steep and rocky. After about three hours of walking, Fred stopped in his tracks with a puzzled look on his face. "You know when I had that dream where I woke up yelling "call me a cab and manged to give you a broken lamp to clean up?" "Hard to forget, my boy," McFlash replied. "What of it?" "Well, I think I was standing here in my dream." "But of course!" the snake oil salesman (as Fred fondly called the healer) cried out excitedly. "Bubbles! Did you hear? Did you hear?" he shouted excitedly. "He has the gift," the old man postulated, as much to himself as to anyone else. "He has the gift!" he shouted again. "Didn't I tell you? She spoke to him!" Bubbles, for her part, was beaming from ear to ear and nodding with that fatalistic - maybe inscrutable was a better word - look her face took on from time to time. She turned to gaze at the Paragon and her eyes seemed to drill into him as though trying to see into the depths of his soul. After a moment or two, she said quietly. "Few are in this life are lucky enough to be able to communicate with a dragon in this way. It is a great honor that she has contacted you in this way... and another sign that your destiny is one of greatness." As Fred blushed (this was becoming a habit it seemed), she paused and with a troubled look said. Psycho must not know of this. It would not be good politics for him to discover this. He both hates and fears the Dragons. If he knew you were a Dragon Whisperer, he would kill you outright." "Isn't he planning to do that in any case," Fred asked. "It would happen faster," she replied. "Ah," Fred sighed. "Guess we had better hope he doesn't find out, then."
Words for next week's 10-word challenge: paraphrase, curtains, genius, plus, plug, lunge, spartan, finger-tips, glasses, frank
And for the mini: badge, grain, spider web, my what big eyes you have, opera
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