Thursday, April 4, 2013

Round Robin: Part Eleven

Posted by: Jody W. and Meankitty
Delphie and Dash consummated their whirlwind marriage in the previous episode (, but now they have to save the kingdom... Note: You can find links to all the episodes at the Round Robin tab at the top of the page.


By Angela Campbell,

Delphie couldn’t tell from the outside if this portal would lead them to the djinn dimension or the portal dimension or Gadleybazook. She only knew it was worth a try. She squeezed her eyes shut and tiptoed into the cold freezer, hoping this portal would land them nice and cush, preferably without a shock of lightning or being torn to pieces or in a pit with snakes — she hated snakes. Deep breath.

And voila!

One second she and Dash were standing in that deep freeze. The next, they were standing in, um…a blue forest-y type place?


Delphie held up her hand, halting the question she knew was coming from her husband. “I didn’t say I knew where the portal went, just that it was likely a portal.” Hands on her hips, she twirled around and examined the area. “If we can figure out where we are, maybe I can use my pixie powers to find another portal and—”

“We’re in the Gormuaine Forest, outside Ainmire’s castle.” Dash pointed through the gnarled trees at the classic fairy-style castle—really, were the djinn copycats or what?—festooned with white, flapping flags. “You can see the wedding decorations from here. The white pennants mean the wedding hasn’t happened yet but it must still be on.”

“Then I did it,” she concluded proudly. It made sense that a portal leading out of the djinn dungeon to Earth Two would be combined with a portal back into the djinn dimension. Sometimes they worked in pairs—like she and her husband.

Whooping with victory, Dash scooped her up, spun her around, and gave her a kiss she’d like to continue before setting her back on her dainty feet. His eyes glinted with desire, but he made no move to further things. Party pooper. He grabbed her hand and pulled her after him. “Come on, my little pixie. We have a wedding to stop and then a proper honeymoon of our own to enjoy.”

She pulled back, freeing her hand. “Why the rush? Besides—” she flicked her wrist dismissively “—so what if they have the wedding? They can get a quickie annulment or a divorce, like normal people.”

Dash shook his head. “Djinn weddings are forever, or have you forgotten?”

She hadn’t forgotten. She just didn’t believe it. She stepped closer and fingered the top of his pants. She did want to help Aurora and Stride, but she had other things to accomplish first. “Surely we have a few minutes?”

A few minutes in which she could get some information out of him.

Dash had told her Aurora’s secret wasn’t his to share, but for crying out loud, they were married now. In every sense of the word! If she was going to run off with him to stop a royal wedding and risk getting themselves killed—because no doubt Ainmire the Worst King Ever still hoped to execute her husband and herself—she wanted to know why.

“Now, Delphie, er, what are you doing?” He grabbed her hand before it could do her naughty bidding. “Holy barghest, woman, you’re insatiable. Not that I’d be complaining under normal circumstances, but…”

She stretched up on her toes to give him a peck on the mouth, making sure she pressed herself against him in all the right places. “But what, dear?”

“But we, um…” He gripped her closer, distracted.

“Why is it so important to stop the wedding? We’re married, dear husband. That makes us partners. I deserve to know, don’t you think?” She sprinkled her words with a kiss or two along his jaw.

He grasped her shoulders and firmly moved her away. “Nice try, wife, but I’m afraid we don’t have time for this. The wedding could be happening right now.”

Crossing her arms, Delphie stomped her foot. “I’m not moving from this spot until you answer some questions.” She heaved a dramatic sigh and told a little lilac lie, the kind that’s mostly true but needs a bit of scent to spruce it up. “I’ve figured out a plan to stop that wedding, like this.” She snapped her fingers. “But not until you tell me why I should.”

Dash’s brow furrowed as he shook his head. “This isn’t a game, Delphie. Lives are at stake. An entire kingdom is at risk.”

“You don’t trust me. Your own wife.” Delphie pretended to buff her fingernails, completely unmoved. Not quite, but she had to pretend like she was unmoved. Honestly, her new husband was beyond stubborn. Whatever was she going to do with him?

A frustrated groan erupted from his chest as he stalked closer. “Aurora is already married to a commoner. But the only way to end the wish feud between the two clans was to agree to become betrothed to him.”

Seriously? That was the big secret? Delphie rolled her eyes. “If she’s already married, she can’t marry Ainmire. He’ll have to get over it.”

Or could she? Did djinns believe in polygamy? Did Dash? Cause she wasn’t the sharing type. If he expected her to be, he had another think coming!

“It’s not like that for the djinn.” Dash ran a frustrated hand through his hair, glancing between her and the castle with the flying pennants—white for the wedding, she assumed. “If the wedding goes on as planned, Ainmire—everyone—will find out about Aurora’s secret marriage. It’s likely she and her husband will be executed. Aurora’s entire clan of innocent women and children will be bound in servitude to Ainmire for a year and a day. He’ll take over her entire kingdom and all the people in it...and he might not stop there.”

“Why on earth would she be executed for such a thing?” Delphie scoffed.

Dash looked beyond annoyed. “Djinn royals aren’t not allowed to get married without the approval of their clan. They need to remain single in case their marriage can aid the clan as a whole, like putting an end to a disastrous wish feud. That’s why an unsanctioned marriage like Aurora's, to a commoner no less, is punishable by death.”

Delphie whistled. Geez. Harsh.

“If we don’t stop the wedding and get to Ainmire before he exposes Aurora, she’ll be killed and her kingdom will fall into that scoundrel’s control. I cannot allow that to happen.”

She’d heard of some convoluted marriage and royalty customs among the supernatural dimensions, but rarely did the law extend to executing someone for marrying! The situation did seem very serious. And urgent.

“Well, come on then, for Smurf’s sake! What are you waiting for?” Grabbing him at his bicep, she dragged him along after her. They headed for the castle through the thankfully sunlight-dappled blue wood. All they needed was some nighttime barghests and other critters trying to chomp down on them.

As they trotted, Delphie mused. “It sounds to me like Ainmire might have planned this all along. If he knew Aurora had a secret marriage, he could have started the wish feud with this goal in mind.”

“I don’t believe he knew,” Dash said, “else he’d have exposed her before now. And Ainmire is always starting wish feuds. Are you sure you don’t want me to carry you?”

That would place them at the castle quite quickly, what with Dash’s dashing ability. She needed a little more time to work out the details of this morass in her well as the best way to un-morass it.

“So you say.” Delphie remembered quite clearly how Aurora’s soldiers and maid had turned on her during the kerfuffle yesterday. Had it only been yesterday? Dash had been suspicious too but had refused to discuss it. “I just have one question.”

“What’s that?”

She blew her bangs out of her eyes. “How exactly will having the wish compulsion cure help Aurora? She’s still...” puff puff “...illicitly married to a...” puff “...commoner.”

“She was thinking of it as a bribe to call off the wedding. If Ainmire had the power to avoid wish compulsion, he could gain all the power he wanted without executing Aurora and her husband and enslaving all her people.”

“I...” puff puff “...think he’s...” Delphie skidded to a halt, breathing so hard she couldn’t talk. Wow, when you relied on fairy dust and your wings to get you all the places you wanted to go, a pixie could really get out of shape!

Dash took pity on her and swept her up into his arms, tossing her onto his back. “Hold on, wife. We can’t waste any more time. I’m going to try going faster than I usually do by tying my shapeshifting magic to my speed ability.”

Well, she wasn’t getting any more answers out of him if she was too winded to ask the questions! Delphie twined her fingers around his neck and pressed close to Dash’s back. Closing her eyes, she felt the wind whizzing past them as Dash began to glow blue and...dashed.

He really, really dashed.

Then there was a jolt and a bump and a sudden halt. She heard his sharp intake of breath and opened her eyes.


They were inside the castle, close to the wedding, all right. They were standing right in front of Aurora, Ainmire and the abbot who’d performed her and Dash’s wedding. To the left was Stride, kitted out in bronze armor and holding a very large, hopefully ceremonial scimitar. Behind them were about five hundred wildly dressed, yellow eyed, funky haired djinn Delphie didn’t recognize at all.


Sounds like Delphie and Dash have finally made it to the altar...and the big show-down. Will Stride be forced to fight them? Is Ainmire as evil as all that? Who is Aurora's husband? Find out in the thrilling conclusion to the sadly untitled pixie adventure in two weeks!

Jody Wallace
Author, Cat Person, Amigurumist  *  

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