Last week, we learned that Winifred Bones has a surprise for Barty the Imp. Let’s find out what it is.
Batilda led Barty through the house, into the study. Jars of every sort lined the walls, stacked on shelves. Filled with ingredients for potions, poisons, and enchantments.
Ben gaped at the jars. Shrunken heads, different colored dust, glitter, some animal skeletons, and even creature parts.
The cockatrice tapped its beak against the glass jar filled with flies.
Batilda giggled. “Those aren’t for eating.”
Barty the Imp glanced around the room. “Where’s Winnie?”
The closet door creaked.
Barty grinned and rubbed his palms together. “Okay, I’m ready. Give it to me.”
The shuttered slammed against the windows.
Startled, Ben jumped.
The imp yawned.
The cockatrice snapped its beak.
“Sorry,” Ben mumbled.
The closet door swung open. A skeleton wearing a red bow around her head grinned at the guests.
“Winnie.” Barty’s eyes narrowed. “You’re literally the skeleton in the closet?”
Winifred shrugged. “It’s the only place I can text in peace.”
The imp placed his hands on his hips and frowned at Batilda. “You said she had a surprise for me.”
Batilda ground a toe into the carpet. “You were supposed to be scared.”
Barty crouched down and placed his hands on Batilda’s narrow shoulders. “Terrified.”
The young skeleton grinned. “Really?”
“Would I lie?” The imp placed a hand over his heart.
“Shiver me timbers, if it ain’t Barty, you old scurvy dog.” A peg legged skeleton wearing an eye patch hobbled into the room. The dim light sparkled off a gold tooth.
Barty groaned. “Crunchy.”
The pirate waved his hook hand. “Come along. Leave the lasses to play. It’s time to get your fortune told.”
Barty grimaced. “I still need my present from Winifred.”
“Almost forgot.” Winifred reached the top shelf of the closet and pulled down a black wrapped package. “Just came yesterday.”
Grinning like a kid at Christmas, Barty tore open the wrapping paper. “Oooh.”
Ben stood on tiptoes to peer into the box, over the imp’s shoulder. “What is it?”
“A human heart, bucko.” Crunchy staggered toward Ben.
“Human heart. Human heart.” a skeleton parrot flapped through the doorway and landed on the old pirate’s shoulder.
Ben shuddered. “Who’d want that?”
Barty chuckled. “It’s a jinn.” He held up a small, glass vial with a cork stopper.
Ben peered at it. “Looks empty.”
“O’ course it does.” Crunchy spat on the floor. “An old genie trick to get you to open the bottle.”
The imp dropped the box, but clutched the vial to his chest. “Thank you, Winnie, I love it.”
Winifred smiled. “It was Batilda’s idea.”
Barty bent down and kissed Batilda’s forehead. “Best nieces ever.”
Crunchy rattled his bones. “Time’s a’wasting.”
“The future will still be there when we get there.” Barty winked at Batilda.
“I don’t get it.” Ben scratched his head.
The imp rolled his eyes. “You’ve got a lot to learn, kid.” He placed a hand on Ben’s back and guided him through the doorway.
So, what do you think will happen? What do you want to happen? Was it too short? Too long? Too unfunny?
Yep, that’s right. I’m soliciting comments and suggestions. I may even use them. No matter how wacky, zany, nerdy, or weird. No matter how serious, fanciful, or sci-fi. It’s a choose your own adventure. You choose what happens next
because I’m just not that creative.