The Secret of Pithy Power

The rains pour down and I huddle underneath my cloak, hand firm upon the hilt of my Claymore. My gaze burns through the shadowed streets, ever searching for the minions of she who calls herself Enchanting Queen, Awesome Ruler of the World. I have already survived one attack. Thank goodness a goose splattered white filth upon the walk, alerting me in time to foil her perfidy, but unwary backs soon find a dagger thrust upon them.

A shuffling noise reaches my ears. I can tell by the sound it is my last loyal gremlin, member of a treacherous troop that switched sides, coming with intelligence of the one who offers with one hand whilst conspiring to take away with the other. “The Morpethroad begs clemency.”

A Mixed Bag has no favorites,” I reply with the countersign. “Report.”

Gremlin #19 snuffles and holds out his clawed hand. “Payment.”

The urge to strike grips, but instead of steel I draw out their ambrosia: apple juice concentrate. #19 snatches the box, slurping greedily. He uses his free hand to fan away stray drops that may dilute his precious nectar. I wait with the patience of benevolence until a loud belch signifies his completion. “She doesn’t give us anything but gruel. She is a cruel taskmaster.”

I nod. “Of course. I need to know what magic she possesses that would cause normally right-thinking beings to flock to her banner.”

#19’s head twists, worry about her spies making him cautious with his words. He motions me close and I kneel. His apple juice-sweetened breath lies heavy upon my cheek as he whispers, “Her tiara.”

My brow raises in shock and understanding. “It was right in front of me the whole time…” My hand finds #19’s shoulder in excitement. “Were you able to retrieve it?”

The slow shake of his head quells my burgeoning joy at the possibility of freedom. “I sent a cockroach in to recon and she killed it with a katana. WHO DOES THAT?”

We both wince at his shout and scurry deeper into the shadows. “Obviously she does,” I say, voice low and soothing. “We shall just have to think of something else.”

Pointed teeth glisten with rain as he grins. “What about an army of cockroaches?”

“An army of cockroaches? Hmmmm…”

***

A little bit of fun prompted by this post and this one, by the multi-talented Anja at Oh Pithy Me. She accepted a challenge to write a story using the words ‘juice’ and ‘fan’ from The Professor over at The Punchy Lands, so I decided to respond by doing the same 😉 If you don’t already follow those who are linked, I suggest giving them a click and checking out their site. They are a good group of people.

Hope you enjoy.

Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn