In some ways this could be an introduction to another character, Peril.
" But people call me Lucky Peril. You can call
me Lucky or Peril. Whatever you like. Hit the ground!" Her sword shot out.
Oddball flatted to the ground
with Rocky at his side.
Swoosh. Her sword went over them. Something thudded to the ground.
A snake head! Oddball leaped
to his feet. Behind them a huge snake writhed in a tree. Blood spurted from
where its head had once been.
Oddball's lips twisted. It was
all he could do to keep the shiver running down his spine in control.
"How about Peril,"
he said. "Just Peril."
Peril raised her hand to knock on the door, but
two of the emperor's guards glared at her and passed more slowly than
necessary. She grinned and bowed like an idiot.
The door opened. Rocky came in. "Peril-"
"This is Rocky,"
Peril said. "Joasalin, Rocky."
"Ma'am." Rocky shook
"Kids, Rocky. Rocky,
Terris; Skype; and Nara."
And the kids immediately attached themselves to Rocky.
Oddball bent his head. Peril didn't smile, but- he had to duck to walk in
"What are we doing here?" he asked.
"Food, rest, such stuff.
I'll return soon." She made for the door.
"Wait, where are you
Oddball, Joasalin. Oddball, kids over there on the hearth." She swung the
Joasalin shook his hand.
"But, what are you going
fellow. You want a horse."
Why was playing the idiot so much work?
The boys were staring at the horse.
"How do you hitch a horse
to wagon?" Oddball whispered.
Rocky shrugged. "What do
you even do with a horse?"
Oddball set his chin on his
fist. "How would I know?"
The horse stomped and tossed
Kastor spoke behind her. "Peril, be careful."
That was an oxymoron.
"Good." Oddball was sitting next to him,
his hands tied too. "You're awake. That means you can do the
"Why?" Rocky felt like
he was in a fog.
"Because you don't want
her doing it." Oddball jerked his head to his left.
Peril poked her head from
around the opposite side of Oddball. "Close your mouth, lanky legs!"
Oddball threw his tied hands to the right of
them. "Over there, okay? I know you got your head bashed in quite a lot,
but could you just wake up, already?"
"Someone's in a mood." Peril pretended to pout.
"He's always in a
mood." Rocky glared at Oddball. "You get used to it.
"What do you mean?" Peril drank from her cup.
"What do you mean, what
do I mean?" Oddball said. "Clearly Castella is trying to take over the whole Tearin Jungle."
Her cup dropped to the floor.
Peril's eyes grew as round as sludge trees. Or at least her one eye did. Her
right eye was forever hidden behind her
tangled hair. "What?" she finally croaked out.
"What are you doing on this side of the city?" The guy looked. . .
concerned, was it? Worried? Like he cared?
How could there be
people who cared about Peril? It was like having an affinity for disaster.
please." She cocked her head.
". . . and sometimes you are rather careless-"
"I don't care to hear
about your worrying. It's your fault that it bothers you. It doesn't bother
me." Peril looked at him.
The guy sighed. That was his point, of course.
Another faction post is coming up soon, along with some link-ups for World Book Night.