“Strike Breaker,” part 6

Hello! Here is part 6 of my fantasy story about a princess whose elf-staff has gone on strike.. While I’m finishing my blog “re-do,” I hope you enjoy the story!

Strike Breaker, Part 6

Part 1 here.
Part 2 here.
Part 3 here.
Part 4 here.
Part 5 here.

Image by Zdeněk Chalupský from Pixabay

Princess Amadea eyed the frog on her kitchen floor. “Where did you come from?” she asked, not expecting an answer.

To her surprise, the frog opened its mouth again, and said, in a very deep voice, “Good-day, Miss –”

“This is the Princess Amadea,” Mistress Periwinkle put in sharply, “and you’d do well to remember that!”

“Forgive me,” the frog said solicitously. “I’ve been out of circulation for awhile. Good-day, your Highness.”

His manner was strangely courtly, especially for a frog. Amadea looked at him more closely, but he looked just like a frog, albeit a large frog. How had he gotten here?

“Is there something we can do for you?” she asked. “We’re in kind of a hurry around here right now.”

“Yes, and her Highness hasn’t got time to be talking to a frog,” said Periwinkle gruffly.

Amadea, who thought that Periwinkle was being a tad too unfriendly to the poor creature, said quickly, “We’ve got a banquet to prepare –”

“I have but one request, your Highness,” said the frog. “But first, are you truly a princess? The daughter of the old king?”

“Of course she is,” snapped Periwinkle.

Amadea said, “It’s all right, Periwinkle. I’ll sort this out. Can you . . . work on laying the silver or something?”

This had the unfortunate effect of upsetting Periwinkle even more. She put her nose in the air, and said, “I suppose I can try.”

When Periwinkle had left the kitchen, the frog said again, “I have but one request.”

“What is it?” asked Amadea. The shouts of the protesters outside reminded her that time was running out.

“I respectfully request a kiss.”

That’s all I need, thought Amadea. A fresh frog with aspirations to royalty. At a time like this.

“Well, you see – I’ve got this Banquet of Lords to put on –” She checked her chronometer. “– in less than an hour. And the elves are on strike, the wood fairies deserted us and took the food with them. As you can understand, I’m rather busy at the moment –”

“If you would bestow upon me a kiss,” continued the frog, “the spell will be lifted.”

Wonderful, thought Amadea. An enchanted frog.

“I couldn’t possibly help you until after the banquet –”

She stopped, realizing how hopeless it all was. She might as well cancel the banquet. At this point, it would take a small miracle to pull it off. Talking more to herself than to the frog, Amadea muttered, “What does it matter, anyway. I’ve got a kitchen full of goblins with no master, and Lord Harrington and the others will be here any moment –”

“Oh, that,” said the frog, carelessly. “If it’s just a catering problem you’ve got, that’s quite an elementary problem.”

“What?” asked Amadea. “You don’t understand. If I don’t put on a good show for this banquet, they’ll insist on my marrying Prince Edgar. And, well, nothing against him or anything, but –”

A sudden thought occurred to Amadea. She leaned closer to the frog. “You aren’t a prince, by any chance, are you?” she asked. “A prince, enchanted by an evil witch?” From the sound of his deep voice, she imagined an attractive, muscular man with dark brown eyes. Perhaps he’d have a slight greenish tinge to his skin, but she could overlook that, if his other qualities commended him –

“No, I’m not a prince,” replied the frog. “I am – I was – Prince Edgar’s personal chef.”

(To be continued!)

Happy writing!

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