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Jayben was slightly aware of movement behind him when Roo nearly knocked him off his feet as she suddenly grabbed his arm and propelled him out the door of the Tea Room.
When she started to head for Town, he hesitated and asked if it was okay if they headed to the Elvyn Forest instead. He also told her he didn’t mind if she called him JB.
Once their course was set, Jayben spoke: “I used a poor choice of words when I said ‘fear for your safety.’ I’m quite aware that you’re more than capable of taking care of yourself. I’ve witnessed it on several occasions.
“Phil and I weren’t even sure we could reach Lindy through her spell induced fog. We also knew that the slightest movement from the surroundings could result in her flying away or back to the sanctuary of the Food Stall. If there had been a commotion caused by someone taking exception to your presence, we might have lost our singular opportunity to save her.
“I do appreciate that you wanted to provide backup…..but in this case, your backup could have caused an unexpected disaster. That woman on the Jousting Field is no ordinary woman. The Knight will need special armor to have even a chance of defeating her during their joust. While you feel confident in your abilities, she is not someone you would have been able to overcome. We (and you) are fortunate that she was focused on getting that Fire Horse and finding a place to shelter him instead of challenging you.
“I’m mostly just asking that you to at least consider possible consequences before you head out on one of your crusades. ……But enough of that for now…… we’re nearly there, and I have something I want to share with you.”
They walked on the stones across the Pond of Life, but did not climb the stairs, or go through the archway to the Forest Palace. Instead, he led her to a hidden place beneath the stairs behind the waterfall. Inside was a beautiful garden with an ornate gazebo. Placed in the gazebo were a couch and two very comfortable reading chairs. Between the chairs was a bookcase that appeared to be empty.
When Roo looked questioningly at the bookcase, Jayben said: “I know how much you enjoy getting away and spending time reading a good book. But, I’m not sure exactly what you enjoy reading the most. So, all you need to do is think about the book you want to read, and reach your hand toward the shelf. The book will appear in your hand. If you haven’t time to finish the book in one sitting, just put it back on the shelf. When you return, the book will again be available for you….including your place marked so you can continue where you left off. “
With a skeptical look, Roo reached for the shelf and immediately found a book in her hand. She put it back; it disappeared. She again reached for the shelf and a different book appeared in her hand. She then plopped down in one of the chairs and began reading.
A few hours later, Jayben interrupted her by saying the sun was starting to go down, and he wanted to walk her back to the Tea Room while they still had light. As they were leaving, he explained that only she would be able to find the hidden garden. No other person but the two of them could enter the garden, but she could go there any time she wanted.
When they reached the Tea Room, he opened the door for her and closed it after she had entered. As soon as the door was closed, he disappeared from sight and was soon sitting comfortably in his own living room.
I enter the Tea Room to find Angel standing a foot in front of me, arms folded & by her demeanour she is definitely not happy.
“What have you done with him?....I hope you haven’t blown him up!....”
“Calm down Angel, J B is right behind me”.......
I turn around but he has gone, for some unaccountable reason I feel quite sad.
Angel huffs & walks off.I see PTG in the corner, he lowers his head to stare at his teapot.The poor man is probably wondering if I am still mad at him, ha ha.
I sit at a table & stare outside hoping no-one will join me while I re-live the last few hours.
The hidden garden was beautiful & the bookcase extraordinary.I have not visited the Library in the Dark Tower since the recent changes.How are you supposed to read in peace when the players insist on touching the candles to make the books fly all over the room every time they enter.
I had a long list of questions ready to ask J.B. but once we reached the gazebo & one of my favourite books landed in my hand, everything else just slipped from my mind.I wonder if J. B. Would like to read “ 101 Explosive Recipes” but most of all I wonder....Will I see him again.
Still boiling mad at what happened to me in front of my gang and the insult to my pride and my rank .. I looked and felt like a total idiot.
If this jaben had been in the ranks he would have suffered far more then I.
He would have been thrown in the pookie to clean urinals with a toothbrush until he could not stand and the bristles where bare,, then he would have faced a court Marshall Dishonorable Discharge and sent to jail.
But he is not but I swear he will pay even though he did apologize it does not take away the insult I suffered
I hear the door open and close and see Roo come in and face a very angry Angel who by the way looks sunning in that black dress and those silver stiletto's quite the change from T shirts and flip flops wonder how she made it down those stairs in them they gotta be 3 in's .
Roo I have to get back to the main camp can you please stay out of trouble and have every last one of you clean your Amulets so this NEVER happens again.
I swear if another insistent happens and I have to come back before mu mission is done there will be HELL to pay.
PTG no excuses take that damn potion from Opel or I will send her back to make you take it,,,, Penny go into Town and get Doc. Deadman to check out both Mrs. Fletcher and PTG.
I go to Mrs. Fletcher ,, how are feeling today luv?
You are looking better and getting those rosy cheeks back and I have sent for Doc Deadman to give you a check up and to look at PTG .
I will be back soon with some very god news and a huge surprise for you .
I will see you all soon be on your best behavior and DO NOT SEND FOR ME UNLESS IT IS LIFE OR DEATH .
I go to Frost and we head back to The Main Camp.
I finally make it down the stairs in one piece! As I look round the room, I see PTG in the corner with his Hong Cha, Cap at his usual table, but...where have Roo-Roo and Jayben gotten off to! So much for a grand entrance! **sigh**
I head toward the Tea Room door and before I can open it, in steps Roo-Roo, with Jayben behind her! Arms folded, and scowling, I ask Roo-Roo....now why did you go and take Jayben outside and where were you? Without waiting for an answer, I kick off the heels and fly upstairs and change back to my comfortable jeans and flip flops and fly right back down the stairs to Roo-Roo, who hasn't moved an inch...just staring open mouthed at my outburst.
Here, take your stupid dress and wash it yourself!! Without waiting for some sort of response, I decide to go over and sit with PTG and sulk with a big bowl of ice cream that Miss Katt, instinctively, brought over.......
SITTING QUIETLY IN MY CORNER KNITTING, I HAVE TAKEN IN ALL THAT HAS HAPPENED. GOOD SCRAPPERS THOSE BOYS. REMINDS ME OF MYSELF AND MY PACK OF WILD COUSINS WHEN WE WERE YOUNG. NOW NONE OF US CAN REALLY FIGHT, OLD BONES BREAK TO EASY, AND ABOUT HALF CAN'T SEE THEIR OWN FISTS IN FRONT OF THEIR NOSES, LET ALONE THROW A PUNCH THAT MIGHT LAND ON A TARGET. STILL WE CAN ALL WISH AND REMEMBER THE GOOD TIMES SO LONG AGO.
THEN ROO RETURNS, SHE IS ALONE WONDER WHAT HAPPENED THE JAYBEN, OR WHOEVER HE MAY REALLY BE. IF HE IS THE MAGE THAT GAVE ME THE NEEDLES THAT KNIT BY THEM SELVES. I THANK HIM, HER, OR-------------------. NOPE NOT GOING THERE.
ANGEL YELLS AT ROO THEN FLYS UP THE STAIRS AND IS BACK DOWN IN A FEW MINUTES. IN JEANS AND A TEE, WITH FLIP, FLOPS ON HER FEET.
I PUT AWAY THE KNITTING I AM WORKING ON CHECK PRECIOUS AND TINY. LOOK AT SUGAR AND SPICE. AND THINK ARE YOU TWO READY TO GO?
I WALK TO THE TABLE WHERE PTG SITS STARING AT HIS NOW EMPTY CUP AND TELL HIM I AM TAKING BABY AND BEAU OUT TO GRAZE.
THEN MAKE SURE MY AMULET IS OPEN. I ALSO LET PENNY KNOW WHAT I AM DOING. I KNOW WE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO GO ANYWHERE ALONE BUT I DOUBT ANYONE WOULD BOTHER ME WITH THE TWO PACHYDERMS AND TWO VERY, VERY LARGE CATS. THEY LOOK EVEN BIGGER BECAUSE I AM SO SMALL. LOL THAT SHOULD DO THE TRICK.
WITH BAG IN HAND WE GO TO THE BARN GET BABY AND BEAU. GOLDIE AND DOOGIE ASK IF THEY MAY COME ALSO. SAYING THAT FRESH GRASS WOULD BE A GOOD CHANGE FROM THE CUT AND STORED HAY.
SO NOW THE PARTY IS EVEN LARGER. OFF WE GO AWAY FROM THE CASTLE, THE TEA ROOM AND SALTY'S.
THE CAT'S MAKE IT KNOW THAT THEY WISH TO HUNT. SPICE LEAVES TO HUNT AND WILL RETURN WHEN SATED SO SUGAR CAN HUNT.
I wait until Angel has almost licked her bowl clean then I take a seat on the same table.
I encourage PTG to drink all of Opel’s potion & remind him of the Cap’ns orders.Several cups of tea later I get up & say
“ Angel, would you mind taking my dress out of the washer when the cycle has finished.I used the hottest wash which is ok for my dress, but if there is anything left of your 500 coin silver stiletto shoes you might want to put them in the dryer.”
Angel emits a loud scream of “Noooooo.....Not my new shoes” & dashes to the laundry room.
I make a quick exit.
PTG and I are talking about all the recent events in our MC Realm lately, thinking a party may be in order, when Roo descends upon us. She wants me to put her dress in the dryer, casually mentioning she also washed my brand new shoes! Dang that Roo! I fly off to the laundry to find my shoes are ruined! Well, two can play that game!!
I go out the back door of the kitchen and over to the garden. I search the aisles of vegetables until I find what I'm looking for. Aha! Here they are. I harvest a couple of bunches of beets and head back to the kitchen. After peeling and dicing them, I put them through a strainer, with cheesecloth, to get just the juice.
Back to the laundry I go, beet juice in hand. I think black is so blase these days, don't you? So, I put Roo's little black cocktail dress in for another wash, then add the beet juice! Now, that should brighten up her dress just fine!
Perhaps now would be a good time for me to make a quick exit, so I decide to hightail it to my office to put out my next article........
I sit back at the table with rather a large quantity of my favourite tea sloshing around my innards and a dose of Opel's "cure-all" potion sitting there on top!
I'm not sure if it is doing any good, but at least I don't feel worse and that is what would have happened if I had been given the Castor Oil!
I am vaguely aware as to what has recently happened but still cannot make head nor tail of it.
My mage is androgynous! Well that is not surprising since he/she seems to know precisely what each of us wants most.
The saga about the brother (if it was a brother and not a friendly ogre in disguise) is also to us what is becoming a daily occurrence now.
Especially with Roo, Roo’s interference!
For once she is in trouble and not from myself! Very satisfying and so I allow a small smirk in her direction!
But thinking about recent times. Removing the saga about the mage and brother from the events, we are in the doldrums while Cap’n Bob finishes up whatever he is finishing up in the Camp and returns.
We are under strict instructions NOT to “stray from the fold” and NO infighting.
Charlie is obeying him to the letter with her use of the amulet and has gone off to pet her pachyderms (if you can pet a 10 feet high mammoth!)
And ALL of this time I keep getting a whine from my broom about the Anniversary Room that our worthy citizens have found.
Cascades of dust bunnies are filling all of the adjacent corridors. So much so, that regular routines of the MC daily life will have to be suspended if they don’t calm down.
I hear about the fabulous costumes the players have found. Which has caused Angel to go and investigate. But what I have been told is that there are some wonderful celebration cakes.
Which need to be tried!
But I daren’t take a knife and fork and go a visiting in case Cap’n Bob should come back early.
What to do?
I have a Cunning Plan!
Our Tea Room is rather unusual in that it can be expanded ( or contracted) to suit all occasions.
Why not bring the cakes here after our worthy citizens have done their daily HOS chore?
Let them all dress up in their finery which can then be recorded for posterity in our local newspaper?
Will the others here co-operate?
I can but ask so will start with a subtle approach to Roo, Roo
“Roo, Roo – tell me- who has the finest cloak of all in the Kingdom?”
I get a look that says it all: I am an imbecile!
So I go on: “Have you seen the glittering clothing that is gracing the MC Anniversary Room at the moment?
“So beautiful and quite unlike your plain wool rug!”
I duck and wait!
PTG ducks his head under the nearest table looking quite ridiculous with his head out of sight.
I pick up a fork from the table & raise the hood of my cloak making myself invisible.I cannot resist the target of PTG’s rear end that is facing squarely in my direction.
I give him a swift jab with the fork which makes him hit his head on the underside of the table.The table up-ends which sends cups & saucer crashing to the floor!
PTG grabs a chair in a futile attempt to protect himself but as I am invisible he is wasting his time.
I creep up behind him & with every word I utter I give him a prod of the fork as he runs between the tables.
“THIS....RUG....CARRIES.... WEAPONS.....THAT....HAVE...” at this point PTG runs out of the Tea Room, but I am right behind him.I continue my tirade.
We are half way across the bridge when I give PTG a last prod of the fork & shout “JUMP!!”
I cannot believe my eyes when I see PTG dive into the moat! My shout was to warn him of skunk up ahead on the bridge!
I would not want him to squish the poor critter with his huge weight, ha ha.