“Bring the creature to me,” the Crown Prince ordered, raising his miniature scepter before he turned and scrambled back into his litter. The golems stood as one, and began the long run back to the Castle Under, while the Lord Mayor looked on with envy.
Now that was power.
“Well, you heard the Crown Prince,” the Lord Regent said, grinning. His teeth were every bit as yellow as his eyes. “See that the creature is delivered safely to the castle in a timely manner.”
Mutely, the Lord Mayor nodded. He was going to have to round up a committee to deal with the human child. The crowd, meanwhile, shifted restlessly and were already edging away.
The Lord Regent returned to his own convoy and jumped into the saddle of his black thought. The black thought ruffled its feathers and spread its wings before launching itself and the goblin into the upper sphere.
“I’d hurry if I were you,” the Lord Regent called down. “Tea time by the latest if you know what’s good for you.”
The black thought circled three times, cawing raucously, before it sailed off, leaving a streak of darkest night behind it.
The Lord Mayor sighed. It was going to take ages to clean the black thought’s influence from the upper sphere, and there was the child to deliver. He pulled out a rather large pocket watch and stared glumly at the hands. The long hand had just passed formal speech and was rapidly making its way toward form a committee to deal with the problem and tea time.
The short hand, however, gave him pause. It was situated squarely at your neck is on the line. And underneath that in letters so small he had to squint: call your mother.
He frowned as he dropped the watch back into his waistcoat. He wasn’t sure which was fate was worse, and he shuddered at the memory of his mother’s voice shrilling through the mirror as it had the last time they’d spoken.
Still, he thought as he rubbed his throat, it wasn’t a pleasant thing to have your neck on the line—especially if the Crown Prince or Lord Regent were involved.
“You, you, and you,” he said, pointing wearily without bothering to look. “Capture the human child and see to its safe delivery to the castle.”
“Um, sir?” a hesitant voice quavered.
“What?” the Lord Mayor spat, rubbing his head. The headache that was coming promised to be spectacular.
“Uh, I’m the only one here, sir.”
The Lord Mayor slowly removed his hand from his head and stared at the smallish monster with bright vermillion scales blinking nervously back at him. Save for the human brat that was poking at something on the cobbles, they were alone.
“Who are you?” he barked, relishing in the single perk of being Lord Mayor that he most enjoyed. Namely, taking his frustrations out on his minions, though he wasn’t sure the monster he was addressing was large enough to qualify.
The monster looked nervously left and right, twiddling his fingers, and licking his lips. “W-Wednesday, sir.”
“Well, W-Wednesday, today is your lucky day.”
“I-It is?” Wednesday perked up a little, but still looked as though he were about to bolt at any moment.
“Yes,” the Lord Mayor said with a magnanimous sweep of his arm. He would need to hide his snarls or else he’d be the one stuck dealing with the child. “By the Crown Prince’s own command, you have been commissioned to bring the child to his castle.” He made a show of checking his watch again, and smiled. The small hand had ticked slightly away from your neck is on the line.
“But he expects him there by tea time. So see that you do, or else.” He didn’t finish the thought, for he didn’t need to.
Wednesday gulped audibly and glanced nervously at the child. “M-me? All by m-myself?”
The Lord Mayor nodded. “Both the Crown Prince and I have great faith in you. See that we are not disappointed.” With a final nod to make everything official, he wandered off. Perhaps if he called his mother during tea she wouldn’t answer.
Wednesday padded over to the child who was now sitting in a pile of slime and splashing happily while it gurgled to itself.
“Right, then,” said Wednesday. “Off to the castle we go.”
The child burbled at him, and a faint sense of unease stirred itself through his gut. There was something troubling about this child. Something familiar that oughtn’t to be. Something that spelled trouble, though he couldn’t quite put his claw on it.
Still, he had his orders. So there was nothing for it but to carry them out and let the child be the Crown Prince’s problem as soon as possible. And for that, he was going to need a gillyhopper or two.
For the first time that day, Wednesday smiled.
. . . TO BE CONTINUED . . .
© 2015 by Danyelle Leafty. All rights reserved
Minions. Never around when you need them!
Come back to the UnderWhere next Thursday to see how Wednesday fares with the child. 🙂
If this is your first time, be sure to check out the first installment. And, if you’d like, dip your toes into the other stories. On Mondays, we’re exploring the moon with an enchanted flower and her–well, that would be telling. On Tuesdays, we’re off to the Garden with Gwyn who is hopefully avoiding the wrath of the Ruby Queen, and on Wednesdays we’re meeting with Mira as she discovers her destiny to become the Queen of the Nearly Dead Fae. No zombies. Promise. 😉
Have a great weekend!