H of S, Finally!
After walking for two hours in the woods, my foot had blistered and swollen to quite an enormous size, so I was in a bit of a temper by the time I drew near. I knew that I was getting close, as tiny green jewel-like snakes kept crossing my path. I was tired, hungry, and thirsty–I hadn’t thought to take a drink at Blind Springs, much to my chagrin. I finally reached a structure, covered in shingles that looked like scales, that wound a serpentine path through a clearing. All odd angles and curves, it had an organic feel to it. The arched doorway had a handle that I could swear writhed beneath my hand as I pulled it. I stepped inside and allowed my eyes to adjust to the light, and limped painfully up and down the halls looking for the nurse of the house. I felt a bit feverish, and so wondered if my eyes were deceiving me when I found a large lizard administering some sort of concoction to a very drunken Heather, who was lolling about on the divan in her room. She covered Heather, who was singing a rather rude song about showing one’s bloomers to the crowd, with a blanket, patted her head and turned to me.
“She’ll have a bit of a headache tomorrow, I’m afraid.” Her voice was whispering, with sibilant consonants, very lizard-like, I’m afraid, but she was kind and cleaned and dressed my wounds with some sort of magical unguent. She wrapped my foot in a large portion of spider’s web and whispered some incantation over it. I began to feel better directly.
“Where is everyone?” I asked.
“Oh, they are gathered at Deadwood Hall, sharing tales and libations,” the nurse lizard said. The Mistress was gone when most of them arrived, but she has just returned.”
“I look forward to meeting her,” I said.
“Well, let’s just hope she’s in a good mood,” said the nurse. “That’s the last person who was looking forward to meeting her, over there.” She pointed with her tail, and I looked over at a bundle in the corner, wrapped in a shroud and clearly dead. I swallowed, hard. “There you go, mistress. Now go on over to Deadwood and see the others. Take two of these leaves at supper and call me if your fever rises.”
“I thanked her and went on my way.