The True Adventures of Jay B R Wokky, Web Serials

Jay B. R. Wokky Ch. 20.3 A Very Welcome Meal

Ch. 20.3 — Janine’s mind whirled. Could it really be Colin and Bernice? She frowned. From the stories the servants had told, the wizard Colin had been an old man ten years ago, with a long gray beard, blue eyes, and wizard’s robes. Bernice the witch had been a middle-aged woman with gray in her hair. This man couldn’t be more than thirty years old, and his pretty wife was barely twenty-five. The Wizard Colin and the witch Bernice were probably dead by now. It was just a coincidence. Janine sighed in relief.
Janine’s stomach gurgled. The delicious smells wafting from Bee’s kitchen almost made her faint. She offered to set the table, but Bee told her to sit in the sun and rest. Soon they were all sitting down to enjoy a lovely dinner. If they noticed how much Janine ate, Col and Bee kindly didn’t comment on it. Freddie had his own bowl, heaped with fish and potatoes.
While Janine ate, Col and Bee kept up a steady chatter about the mad axe man running loose through the woods, the engagement of Princess Karen to Prince Oswald, the tragic death of Princess Janine of Saltonia (murdered by a servant called Old Bob, who had subsequently vanished – along with his entire cottage), and the disappearance of King Henry’s Kennel Master (supposedly sent out to hunt down Janine’s murderer), whether Jay and Fritter had found another servant after the last one was fired (ten servants hired and let go, imagine!), the crumbling state of the castle’s east wing (due to the Toves), and Prince Ezra’s latest invention.
The prince had invented an indoor toilet along with a system of pipes to carry water to and from the castle, imagine that? A man named John owned the workshop where the toilets were being built, and everyone wanted one. Even with a percentage of the profits going to the gnomes and to Prince Ezra, John was going to be a very rich man — just like Squire Duncan. As for Ezra, that boy was going to be richer than his father if things kept going the way they were.
Janine listened with interest, but she thought it best not to mention her part in all this gossip. For people who lived in the middle of the woods, they seemed very up to date on all the latest news. When she asked about it, Col just smiled.
“We get the newspaper. Sometimes it’s very late, but it always arrives. And then there’s air mail.”
Janine swallowed a bite of carrot glazed in honey and butter. “Air mail? What’s that?”
Col gestured in the air. “The birds bring us the news too. They see everything that goes on in the kingdom.”
After she had finished up the last bite of potatoes and had buttered and eaten the last slice of bread, Janine leaned back in her chair with a contented sigh. “Thank you so much. That was delicious.”
Col and Bee glanced at each other, and then turned to Janine.
“So,” said Col. “What’s a nice girl like you doing out here, wandering in the Tulgey Woods of Nelsonia? It’s not a safe place to be.”
Janine wondered what she should say.

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