Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day Seventy-Three: The b-word isn't 'bobby pin'

Ahh! All better now, diary. I'm dry, clean, my mood's a lot better, and I'm ready to hit the road. Time to solve this damned crisis that I… started! Yay.

(Half of me doesn't wanna go home 'cause I'll probably be in deep shit. Once he gets better - he wasn't sick when I left but no DOUBT that's changed - Captain Cedric is gonna murder me something good. Bet he'll make me march back and forth across the Neck until it goes off. Then string up my bits in the bailies for everyone to see. When did I become so morbid?)

I should tell you a bit about where I am, diary, since I doubt I'll ever come here again. June's place is pretty spacious, considering it's built into a little tree, and it's got more rooms than I think any noble back home has. She's got weird knickknacks spread all over the place, too: potion bottles, elixirs, TONS of books, staves, cages, tea sets, forms, spoons, knives… shrunken heads… I'll stop there. Point is, this woman has a bit of everything, and since she won't let me go into most of the rooms she probably has more than a bit of everything.

And now she's kicked me out.

Anyway. This is probably the conversation you've been waiting for, diary:

"Dragomir," June said, "you're looking for a cure to foulfungus. Correct?"

"Yep!" I mumbled around a strudel. (She may be a jerk, but June had some really good food.) "You have a tarantula in your hair."

"Don't change the subject." She has a lot of weird stuff in her hair. It's no wonder June lives alone. "The cure is not far from here. In fact, it's within this very swamp."

I hadn't seen much of the swamp yet, since I hadn't left June's home, so that brightened my spirits. "Oh yeah? That's great! Point the way!"

"Don't be so hasty." She rifled through her papers and pulled out an old scroll, spreading it across the table so I could look. "This swamp lies upon the bones of an ancient civilization, Dragomir. There are ruins everywhere beneath it."

"They must be pretty soggy, then!"

June smacked me. I guess I earned it. I think she had some kinda mild poison on her nails, 'cause the cuts won't heal. Weird old bat.

She tapped the scroll. It was a map, leading through the swamp, with a line drawn from her house to a big, red X, right in the middle.

"This," she said, tapping the map, "will take you where you need to go. The ancients who once dwelt here grew the plants necessary for curing foulfungus, and they still grow in abundance below the forest floor. "

But!" she cried, pointing at me and wiggling her finger, the air around her potato-shaped head going dark, "There is a catch! Only the dead may open those lands, and you, Dragomir, are not dead!"

This was true. I cringed, 'cause June is weird and creepy. Seemed appropriate to cringe. "So, uh, what am I supposed to do?"

The darkness disappeared. June tossed the scroll on my lap, got up and walked into her kitchen to make tea. "I dunno. That's your problem. If you get in and find what you need - the plants glow green in the dark, so it's hard to miss 'em - you can bring 'em back here, and I'll brew you up some cure."

Then she turned back. "Oh, you're better now, so get out."

I am now, indeed, out, wandering the swamp. And I'm confused. June wouldn't answer any of my questions! She's not a witch, she's a b-word!


Dragomir the Adventurer

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