Dr Gnome part 17

***

Alchemy waited in the shadows beneath the window in Gotta’s bedroom. He’d found extra blankets in the chest at the foot of the bed and piled them constructively to make it look like, even in the heat of the tropical night, he and Gotta were fast asleep under heavy cover. A light meditative trance helped him push the last of the sleeping herb out of his system and pass the time while he waited for the Brownie’s accomplice to arrive. He hoped he was correct about what her slip of “we” meant.

A floorboard in the main room squeaked, bringing the Elf out of his trance. He caught up his wand from where it lay waiting across his lap. Someone moved in the silent house, they weren’t very good at stealth. The bedroom door opened. A slender figure stood silhouetted in the doorway. Alchemy tensed, waiting for the figure to move further into the room, so he’d have a better shot with his spell. Something small and round flew from an outstretched hand. It impacted the bed, and the bedclothes burst into flames.

By the light of the fire, Alchemy saw Professor Drys turn. The wizard rose out of the shadows. “Clank!” he shouted, flicking his wand toward the older Elf.

Drys held up his hand, a silver ring there flashed and a magical shield appeared between them. The enchanted chains from Alchemy’s spell landed on the flaming bed.

“It won’t be that easy this time,” Drys snarled. Another small globe came flying toward Alchemy.

The wizard dove out of the path of the globe. Where it struck the wall behind where he’d been, the dark wood burst into flames. Leaping to his feet, the elf rushed the Professor. Dodging another of the exploding globes, he tried to grapple Drys. Nimble fingers made it past the shield that was only meant to deflect magic. Alchemy grabbed hold of the wrinkled ring-adorned finger, and yanked the ring off it. He pushed the older Elf to the floor.

Alchemy stood over Drys, holding his wand level toward the professor’s head. “Now perhaps we can talk like civilized beings.”

“Failure is not an option!” Drys shouted, smacking the bulging pocket of his pants. Flames roared up around him and he screamed, sat up and reached for Alchemy. The wizard stepped back, then kicked out at Drys’s head.

The old professor fell back onto the floor, his head connected hard. A loud crack sounded above the flames’roar. Flames from his clothes connected with the flames from the wall and the bed, casting the entire room into an inferno. Waves of intense heat shot up, forcing Alchemy back.

Forced into a corner, the wizard looked about to try and see a way out of the blaze that threatened to engulf the entire cabana. He tried to think of spells that would allow him to pass through the flames. The spells for shielding wouldn’t protect him on all sides. He needed something more.

“Hey Alchemy, you in there?” Martin called from the jungle.

“Still here,” the wizard shouted above the roar of the flames. “Trying to figure a way out.” Then Alchemy’s eyes settled on the window. The flames licked the lower edge, but hadn’t made it up the sides yet. With a wave of the wand, “Shields up!” he shouted and focused the shield across the lower part of the window to keep him safe while he dove through.

The magic held as he jumped out of the window. Alchemy landed on the thick grass outside the cabana and rolled. “Where are you?” he shouted for Martin.

“Out front!” the Griffon replied.

Alchemy ran around the small house as fire roared up from the bedroom, engulfing the picturesque structure. The heat from the fire made the already hot jungle more inhospitable. Rounding the corner, the wizard spotted his waiting mount. The Elf jumped into the saddle and pulled the flying straps tight.

“Let’s get out of here,” Alchemy shouted. “We can come back in the light to see what’s left.”

“Sounds like a plan to me,” Martin replied, leaping into the air.

“So, you got Gotta to Sellingford alright?” Alchemy asked, glancing over his shoulder at the growing blaze in the jungle. He wasn’t over worried about the blaze spreading to the trees. The area was moist enough that even a magical fire would have difficulty getting hold.

“Yep, he was happy to have her. So where to?” Martin asked.

“Down to the corral, so I can meet up with Gavin and Staghorn.”

The Griffon laughed, “Yeah, your night’s just beginning.” He angled and soared over the jungle canopy toward the town where lights flickered between the trees.

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