Well “Blood Moon, Yellow Sky” is finished and now available on both amazon and smashwords. So hopefully I can get back on track with Dr. Gnome. Please remember folks these are hot off the fingers and unedited. The book will be edited once it is finished.
Ashton landed carefully in front of the small cabana sitting amidst the thick green jungle on top of a short hill. The normal cacophony of jungle birds became oddly silent as the great predator set down to deposit his rider.
“Are you going to make it back alright?” Alchemy asked as he tied a strip of cloth, he’d torn from his tunic tail, around the griffon’s injured talon.
“I’ll be fine,” the Griffon scoffed. “I’m sure there’s someone in Buteamore than can get me patched up, and I’ll be good as new in a couple of days. It’s a good thing you’re going on foot tonight though.”
Alchemy nodded. “So send Martin back so I won’t be late.”
“Sure thing.” Ashton flapped his massive golden wings and took off into the humid jungle sky.
“Alchemy,” Gotta’s voice called out from the house. “You made it.”
“Wild goblins couldn’t keep me away.” The Elf smiled as he walked toward the Brownie, where she stood in the brightly painted doorway.
“I’m so glad you found your way up here,” the Brownie wrapped her arms around the wizard’s neck. “I just finished getting dinner ready for you.”
“I can definitely say that I’ve worked up a bit of an appetite on the way here,” he said as he bent down to kiss her soft full lips. “Perhaps we could find an appetizer before dinner. Maybe something sweet and stimulating.” He ran his hands down her slender waist.
“Why, Alchemy, I do believe you didn’t come here for dinner at all,” she laughed, taking his hand and pulling him into the cabana.
Professor Adwr Drys frowned at the note from Dr. Gnome.
In light of your recent failure to remove the wizard, I have decided to give you another chance to redeem yourself. He is currently occupied at a small shack in the jungle. Please go there immediately and correct your previous failures. Use any means necessary.
The Elf stared at the note which had been delivered moments before by a most distressed-looking troll who vanished seconds after giving him the note. What did Dr. Gnome expect him to do against the wizard that neither the mechanical snake nor the Goblin assassins couldn’t? He tried to think of something that’d be of use against the wizard. Drys knew the Gnome didn’t like the use of magic, but that might be the only answer in this situation. He crumpled the note and tossed it into the cold fireplace. Moments later he opened the wooden chest where he kept easy-to-use magic items that might be of some use against the wizard.
Alchemy yawned in the fading early evening light that came through the thick jungle canopy. Gotta looked up from his shoulder where the nimble Brownie had fallen into a light doze. He ran a hand through the thick brown curls of her hair.
“So have you worked up enough of an appetite now to enjoy my cooking?” she asked stroking the firm planes of his chest.
“I think, my dear, that I am ready for whatever you have to offer,” the Elf replied, lifting her chin up so he could kiss her.
She giggled at him and pushed away. “Then come on, I spent a good bit of time preparing this dinner for you. I hope you like it.” She swung out of the very rumpled bed and looked down at him.
“I don’t suppose you’d be willing to bring it here to our little nest?” he asked coyly, giving her a wide smile.
She grabbed hold of his arm and pulled him out of the bed. “Sorry, dinner in bed wasn’t on my agenda. But if you eat all of your veggies, perhaps we can come back here for a bit of desert.”
Alchemy stood on the soft rug that covered the floor beneath the bed. “That’s the best enticement for eating my vegetables I’ve had in a very long time.”
Topical conditions made a perfect excuse to forgo clothing as they walked from the bed to the small table just outside the kitchen. The aroma was intoxicating.
“My dear Gotta, it smells divine. What have you made for us?” Alchemy asked, pulling out a well-worn chair.
The Brownie laughed lustfully as she walked past the table and into the kitchen. “Just a little family recipe, something to help you get your strength back.”
Alchemy sat there at the table and waited for the slender woman to return. A warm breeze blew from the jungle through the many open windows of the house. Even without clothes, it was very warm.
“Here we go,” Gotta proclaimed as she returned with a large steaming pot. “And it didn’t even get cold while we worked on your appetite.”She set the pot in the center of the table and reached for the stoneware bowl sitting before Alchemy. Two nearly full ladles of the chunky stew dropped into the bowl before she served up some for herself.
The Elf took a long sniff of the first spoonful of the stew. It was spicy and savory. Chunks of meat and several types of vegetables floated in the thick brown broth. The brew slid across his tongue exciting his taste buds with little burst of herbs and spices before flowing gently down his throat.
“You’re a most excellent cook,” he smiled at Gotta as he took a second spoon full.
By the third bite, Alchemy’s head began to swim at bit. There was something in the stew that weakened him. He didn’t recognize the taste of any poisons, but who knew what kind of things they had here in the jungle that he’d never been exposed to in Salmania, even with his Fragrance Guild training. The wizard looked over at the woman sitting across the table from him. Her spoon was still clean, sitting on the little brown cloth napkin next to her bowl.
“What did you put in this?” he asked, pushing the bowl away as he started to stand. He had get to his clothes and his emergency poison remedy.
“Only a few things to help you relax,” she replied innocently as she stood.
Alchemy turned and tried to focus enough to make it to the bedroom. He made it half way there when Gotta landed on his back, her naked body slapping hard against his. The Elf staggered under the Brownie’s weight, but managed to stay on his feet.
“I’m sorry Alchemy, but I must insist that you finish your stew. We need you to sleep,” she said clinging to him.
“Not all that hungry anymore,” he replied, reaching around to try and dislodge the clinging woman and wondering who “we” was. She knocked him in the back of the head with her fist. It made him stagger. He dropped to his knees on the hard wooden floor. The Brownie grabbed hold of his pointed ears and pulled. Pain shot through him and he tried to think of a way to remove her from his back. Fighting through the haze of his brain, he managed to grab hold of her hands before she released his ears. His strength was greater than hers, and he pulled at her. She wrapped her legs around his narrow waist, giving him a good hard heal to the groin.
Alchemy let go of her hands and fell forward. He rolled for a moment on the warm hard floor as Gotta’s weight on his back finally fell away. When his vision cleared she stood over him with the pot of stew in her hands. He kicked out at her, catching her in the knees and sending her and the pot tumbling backwards. The Elf scrambled to get out of the way as the hot stew splashed and the heavy pot came down. Gotta staggered backwards, and crashed across the back of the couch, catching her head on the heavy piece of wood there.
Wobbling a bit as he regained his feet, Alchemy walked over and checked the Brownie woman. She was still alive. He staggered to the bedroom. Through bleary eyes, he spotted his pants laying near the bed, in the pocket he found the emergency poison remedy that K promised would counteract most poisons. He also retrieved his wand.
Before pulling on the trousers he carried with him, the wizard returned to the couch where Gotta’s eyes had just opened. He swished the wand in front of her deep brown eyes. “Sleep” Her eyes closed again.
The sound of large wings landing in front of the house and the renewed silence of the jungle warned Alchemy that Martin arrived to fly him back to Buteamore. He pulled on his pants and went out to talk with the griffon.
“You ready yet?” Martin asked as Alchemy came out the door.
“Not just yet, but I do need you to do something for me.”
The Griffon looked down his beak at the Elf. “What?”
“Can you take Gotta back to town?” Alchemy asked. “Take her to Avery Sellingford. Tell him that I think she’s working for Doctor Gnome.”
“Has she flown before?”
Alchemy shrugged. “Don’t know. Doesn’t really matter, she’s out cold, will be for a couple of hours.”
“What are you going to be doing while I do that?”
“Waiting here. She gave me some sort of sleeping herb, not a killing one, I think. Anyway, she might be trying to get me incapacitated until an accomplice could get here. I’m going to wait and see who it is.”
The Griffon sighed. “Sure.”
“Oh and find Gavin, let him know I may be late tonight. Then come back here and hide in the forest. I’ll need a ride back to town when this is done.”