The afternoon wore on and languid shadows yawned and stretched their fingers across the emerald-green lawn. Beetle-Queen Florigia regarded the blank-windowed frontage of the pink palace with her multi-faceted eyes, bending her antennae into a quizzical frown, while in response Lobelia’s lacy wings began to flutter in graceful agitation. Greta voiced their joint thought: ‘can it be that the charm hasn’t worked?’
Florigia’s colourful subjects were also becoming restless, some meandering about the lawn like bored holiday-makers waiting for a long-anticipated show, while others remained stationary, their wing cases fanning noisily like the droning engines of over-heated cars halted in grid-locked traffic.
Around the back of the palace, driven on by the developments he and Bryony had observed inside, Mr Eyre was grimly prying open the grimy window with a discarded poker, while Bryony kept up a hushed commentary as beyond the glass, her sister retreated from the three squat figures who had emerged from under the Owl-King’s flowing robes and who were tottering about in front of her, as if having imbibed too much brandy.
‘Quickly, Mr Eyre,’ Bryony urged, seeing Bethany scurry behind the jewel-encrusted throne while the trio advanced, staggering and swaying in a strange drunken dance.
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!
The novel is now also available as an audiobook – free on Audible with a 30 day trial.
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