Angry Wizards Aren’t Good for Your Health
On the way back to the willow castle Bert and Homer were reciting some kind of comedy routine they had seen on some Slow One’s tele-bish-yawn set at what they called the Nurse-Sing Home. It was something done by two Slow Ones named Cabbit and Klaustello. It was talking about a bees-ball team. And the dumb guy, Klaustello wanted to know the name of the guy on first base. But the other guy didn’t understand the question because the team had stupid names. And then they both got really mixed up, but the dumb guy got boiling mad about Who’s on First? It really wasn’t all that funny.
“Why does Klaustello care if the first guy’s name is Who?” Derfentwinkle asked.
“What kind of game is bees-ball anyway?” I asked.
“It is the All-Mermerrican Sport,” said Homer.
“I think they take a bunch of angry bees and make them into a ball to throw at the players of the other team,” said Bert
“And the other team takes their bees-ball bat and try to defend themselves from the stings by swatting the angry ball of bees,” said Homer.
I began to think it was funny when I pictured in my head the expression on the face of the bat when the stupid Slow One grabbed it by the feet and swung it at a ball of bees.
But most of the time, only the two crows thought it was funny.
And then we all landed safely on the roof of Cair Tellos’s main keep.
“Arrest them all immediately!” shouted the Wizard Pippen. The pentagram on his chest-plate was glowing with bright blue protection magic.
“Not Bob the apprentice. He’s Master Tragedy’s loyal student,” argued Prinz Flute, the faun-child who was Pippen’s only son.
“If he was supposed to be guarding the prisoner and let her escape, then he deserves the punishment too. Set up the chopping block right here, right now.”
The crows took off almost instantly. Dollinglammer used her butterfly wings to follow them before the Sylphs with the halberds could grab her. But Derfentwinkle and I were both caught.
The Executioner of Cair Tellos in his jet-black hood and black-banded armor set up the wooden chopping block right in front of us. A guard pushed me down to it so that my neck was against the place on the chopping block carved to fit it. I was about to really lose my head, and I was not happy about it.
“Father, please, they were returning to the castle. How do you know that Bob didn’t recapture her, and was bringing her back to us?”
“You are right, son. We shouldn’t cut his head off first.”
The Sylphs with the halberds picked me up again and forced Derfie down to take my place.
“Here, now! Those children belong to me. You overstep your authority in doing this!” shouted Master Eli as he showed up, red-faced and huffing with the effort of his climb up to where we were captured.
“If you punish them yourself, we’ll just end up with more pigeons around here. What’s the lesson learned from that? More fat pigeons?”
“A better lesson learned by far than if you cut off their heads. Students learn nothing without their heads attached. At least when they have their heads still on there’s a chance of beating sense into them. Or do you have a head-reattaching spell I don’t know about?”
“Okay, but I won’t have young Sylphs who are supposed to be prisoners flying out of here to go tell my secrets to the evil elves in the swamp. Or that Bluebottom friend of yours.”
“Oh, believe me. They will tell me more secrets of his than they will ever tell him about you.”
Then Master Eli tilted a vial of potion over Derfentwinkle’s head, instantly shrinking her down almost to nothing before picking her up and putting her away in a side-pocket of his red overcoat.
“Be warned, Sorcerer. You are not above suspicion yourself.” Growled the Wizard Pippen.
“Come with me, Bob. We have lots of work ahead of us.” Master Eli stormed away from the fuming wizard and I scurried after him with one hand on my recently-threatened neck.