Bryony’s face itched from the thick hessian of the hood that had been forced over her head; behind her she heard the rasps of Mr Eyre’s breathing, as Captain Stinger and his guards herded them across the wooden bridge that crossed the Owl-King’s Great Divide.
They stumbled off the slatted planks and their forced march continued through what Bryony, from the late-season scent of autumn leaves, could tell was woodland, until eventually Captain Stinger called a halt; their hoods were removed and she and Mr Eyre were left blinking in the sunlight.
A towering, pink-stoned palace, surrounded by emerald-coloured lawns, rose up before them reminding Bryony of an illustration in ‘The Wizard of Oz’, a volume she’d been given as a keepsake by a favourite aunt.
‘To the dungeons!’ yelled Captain Stinger and once again they were on the move, escorted swiftly to a drab grey out-building set within a high-walled yard; ‘you will await your fate here,’ the Captain announced, glancing meaningfully at the gallows in the corner.
Dread welled up in Bryony’s stomach; Mr Eyre took a breath and squared his shoulders: ‘Surely your Owl-King will permit us a fair trial?
No reply came from their grim-faced captor.
Written in response to two challenges:
Bryony, Bethany and Mr Eyre first appeared in my historical fantasy fiction novel, Following the Green Rabbit. They’ve been begging to go on another adventure and now they’ve got their wish!