Changeling’s Choice by Rachael Ashdown

changeling75x99Vote at the end of this episode!

In the previous episode, Linnea returned the orb to the dwarves in exchange for passage across their bridge. But as soon as they returned the orb, they disappeared. As the readers suggested, they are going to reappear in the middle of a marsh, with no idea how to get out.

Episode 12

“What happened?!”

“Well it is about time you came to your senses.”

“Where are we? Where did Miss Dania go?”

“It seems that Dania was actually a huldra and enchanted you with her magic,” Linnea summed up tartly, her look of disapproval firmly fixed on her face. “Thanks to my quick thinking, I was able to get you and your dog out of there before she ate you.”

“You were just jealous,” Soren snorted, unconvinced. “All girls get that way around someone prettier than they are.”

“Excuse me?” Linnea replied with indignation. “She was a sorceress. Of course she was pretty. I am guessing you did not see her tail, then? That was really attractive.”

“So how did we get here, then?” Soren asked, deciding that it was better not to argue with Linnea when standing in the middle of the swamp. Regardless, he was too prideful to let it go without one last comment: “Did you offend her enough with your stench to have her send us to this awful place?”

“Perhaps you should smell yourself before judging me,” Linnea snapped back. “And no, I did not. The dwarves sent us here, after I returned their orb. Again, no thanks to you.”

“How did you offend them?”

“I think it was the stupid grin on your face that annoyed them. It certainly made me want to slap you,” Linnea countered quickly, earning a glare from Soren.

He would have shot another insult back at her if at that moment he had not started sinking into the bog. With a cry, he tried to pull himself free, grasping wildly at the tree behind him, managing to free his feet before they sunk too deep. Regardless, his feet were now coated in a foul smelling green slime. The disgusted look on his face made Linnea laugh loudly and cruelly, at least until Soren threw a ball of the putrid mess at her head. She let out a screech as the muck hit her in the neck, trails of oozing mud dripping down under the loose collar of her dress.

“Ungrateful snob!” she screamed at him, bending over to scoop up some marsh grass in her hand, flinging it at Soren. He was ready for it and ducked, but the war had begun. They began flinging clumps of marsh at each other, along with rather uncreative insults.

“Whining peasant!”

“Spoiled brat!”

“Stinking commoner!”

“Peabrain!”

“Insufferable witch!”

“Stupid prince!”

“Wait, do you hear that?” Soren asked, pausing as he was about to throw another clod of mud. He was lucky Linnea’s aim was poor, or his shifting attention might have earned him an ear full of slime.

“All I hear is your annoying, grating voice.”

“Shh, listen!” Soren commanded, holding up a hand to silence her. She obeyed reluctantly, her scowl turning to a look of confusion as she met Soren’s eyes. She heard what had attracted his attention, but she had trouble believing what she was hearing.

“Is that a violin?” Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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