Episode 9: How Deep Is Your Love?

Peg awoke with a pounding headache, like he had been smacked on the back of the head with a wheel of cheese. He went to rub his head when he found his hands were bound to a chair. This was when he took in his surroundings. Was he in a cave? How did he wind up in a cave? And who decorated it? The cave walls were draped in purple velvet, and there was a small table covered with a red tablecloth with a lit candle in the center. Was the candle scented? Yes, a light scent of lavender and vanilla lingered in the air. Maybe that was why he didn’t feel panicked. 

The next question on Peg’s mind was, who brought him there? He didn’t have to wait long for the answer. The man who attacked his bar walked through the purple velvet curtain separating them from the cave entrance. 

“Oh, it’s you,” Peg said, rolling his eyes. “I should have known it was you.”

Rib scrunched his nose in confusion. “How could you have known it was me? We’ve never met.”

Peg snorted. “You seemed like the kind of guy who would whack a guy unawares with a cheese wheel.”

Rib was impressed by the accuracy of his statement. He did whack Peg with a wheel of cheese, but could he tell what kind of cheese? He might have to ask him later, but he had to get to the issue at hand.

“You’re probably wondering why I brought you here.” Rib smirked as he had always wanted to say that. 

Peg rolled his eyes and groaned as his headache pounded with each heartbeat. “Yes. I figured your beef was with Creston and Fox, but I’m flattered you’d include me. If you’re expecting a ransom, those boys are broke as a joke.”

“No, actually it’s not money I’m after. It’s your skill creating potions. I saw how quickly you whipped up a potion to thwart my ghosts and I was impressed. You are a true artist.”

Peg was truthfully flattered by Rib’s appreciation of his skills. He felt his face flush with pride, temporarily forgetting his predicament. “Thank you very much. I worked very hard to become the continent’s foremost potion master.”

“It’s because of this that I’ve captured you. I’m in need of your services.” Rib knelt down beside Peg and stared into his eyes. “My master has awakened weak from his slumber. With each attack, he weakens, depleting his reserves. I need you to create a potion that will allow him to regain his strength, or better yet, surpass his previous power level.”

Peg raised a bushy eyebrow and shook his head. “You must be out of your fucking mind if you think I’m going to help the Skeleton King. I’d rather die!”

Rib scowled as he rose, his face twisting in anger. “That can be arranged.” He reached out his hands as they glowed purple.

Peg’s eyes widened as the hands approached his throat. If he was going to live past this, he needed to think of something fast.

“Wh- what is your relationship to the Skeleton King anyway?” Peg saw Rib blink rapidly for a second, obviously caught off guard. It worked! Rib stopped his approach and stared at his captive.

“Excuse me?”

“I mean, you are willing to go to such lengths to chase down a couple of kids, terrorize a gay bar, and kidnap a potion master for this guy, but what does he do for you?”

Rib’s countenance changed when his thoughts drifted to his beloved. His body softened and his eyes sort of glazed over. This told Peg everything he needed to know.

“You’re in love with him, aren’t you?”

Rib’s glare returned. “I don’t see how that’s any of your business!” he said defensively.

“Does he know?”

“He must.”

“Does he, or does he just see you as a minion to do his bidding?” Peg watched Rib think hard about this, struggling with the seeds of doubt he planted. 

“He must love me, too. He said that I’m going to be his queen.” 

Peg couldn’t help but chuckle upon hearing this. “His queen, huh? I don’t think he meant it in the way you think he did.” 

“Shut up!” Rib’s open right hand struck Peg’s face with the force of a wheel of cheese. His hand stung but it felt good. “You know nothing about our love! He loves me. He truly does! I have been his faithful servant all these years and I will continue to be his number one.”

“Doubtful,” Peg replied. “You can be replaced.” Rib gasped at the thought. “There’s always going to be someone better just around the corner.”

Rib shook as the idea of being replaced bounced around his mind like a racquetball. The hairy man was lying, he had to be. Cal would never push him aside like so much garbage. Cal trusted him. Cal needed him. Who else could prepare his favorite breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon just the way he liked it? Who else could tuck him in at the end of a long day of burning villages? No one. 

“Even if what you say is true, once I give him the potion you’re about to make, I’ll guarantee a permanent place by his side.” 

“I already told you I’m not doing that,” Peg said, glaring daggers at his captor.

Rib merely grinned. “That’s where you’re wrong.” He clapped his hands on Peg’s head, covering his ears, and chanted a spell. His hands glowed purple as the spell worked its way into Peg’s mind, warping his will. Peg’s eyes flashed purple as the spell settled in.

Rib released his head and stepped back to admire his work. “How about now?”

After a few blinks, Peg slowly nodded his head. “Yes. I believe I will.” The words spilled out as slow as molasses. 

“That’s more like it. Now tell me what you need for the potion.”

Peg took a deep breath and sighed. “You got a quill and parchment?”

Author: Cameron D. Blackwell

Writer Ordinare!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: