The window frame gave way and Mr Eyre burst through the opening: ‘Stop!’ his voice echoed around the almost-empty room; Bryony clambered after him and scurried over to join her sister, who was crouching behind the throne, wearing an expression of pained concentration.
Before Bryony could say anything, Bethany popped her head up from behind the throne and fired a stream of incomprehensible utterances at the tottering trio of arm-waving owlets; a moment later they crumpled like string-severed puppets and three white mice scuttled away into the shadows.
A low murmur accompanied what the two girls and their tutor initially took to be an optical illusion, as a shadowy figure started to assemble itself from the dancing dust motes, disturbed by the breeze from the breeched window; slowly, eyes and mouth materialised within a moon-shaped face. ‘Thank you,’ it beamed at Bethany, ‘your charm worked – you overcame those evil imps who impersonated me and tried to kill me; fortunately they couldn’t find me, even after taking my poor palace apart.’
The figure solidified into a regal, golden-robed individual, who retrieved the discarded crown and placed it on its head. ‘There is one, only one Owl-King, and I am he!’
/….to be continued.
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.