Welcome back for the last post in the Oasis Disturbance Adventure! If you missed part of the story, here’s a recap. Otherwise, jump down to the story and see how everything ends =)
Week One: You rode into the desert oasis town of Caspian and received a rather cool welcome from the inhabitants. Red, the tavern keeper, agreed to allow you to sleep in one of his rooms if you promised to stay inside all night. You agreed, but midway through the night there’s a deep roaring outside and the ground begins to shake. Readers voted to go outside to investigate. (If you would like to read the start to this adventure, click here.)
Week Two: When you left your room, Red found you at the bottom of the stairs. He drags you to the back door of the tavern and shows you the destruction of his stables, which he blames on you. When you try to check on Opher, your horse, Red refuses to check with you, so you leave the tavern alone. Before you even reach the stables, however, a walking skeleton dinosaur catches you and asks you to rescue the Toad King so all the skeletons can return to normal. He says this will help your horse too. Readers voted to help Calvin, the skeleton dinosaur. (If you’d like to read week two, click here.)
Week Three: Calvin gave you two options for how to rescue the Toad King from the tavern keeper, Red. One was to offer licorice to Red in trade for the Toad King. Two was to offer chocolate to the Toad King and hope he’d pick you as master over Red. As you enter the Tavern to find the Toad King, you find Red pointing a shotgun at you while he holds a glass jar with the Toad inside. Readers voted to offer the King chocolate. (If you’d like to read week three, click here.)
Now, let’s hop in and see what kind of magic the Toad King can conjure. =)
Oasis Disturbance Option Bb2: Chocolate to the Toad King
You question whether or not Red can be reasoned with, so instead of addressing him, you meet the bulgy eyes of the Toad King. His tongue flicks out to hit the glass of the jar. It pings like a moth hitting a window.
“Your majesty,” you say. “Would you agree to un-damn the lake for some chocolate crickets?”
“What are you doing?” Red growls. “Battier than a belfry! It’s a toad, for crying in a bucket! He can’t talk.”
However, right on the heels of his statement, the Toad opens his mouth in a wide yawn and asks, “Crickets? Chocolate covered crickets? Oooo, that is tempting.” His croaky voice sounds almost British.
Red gaps at the toad in his glass cage. He lowers the shotgun in order to place the jar on the bar. If you didn’t know better, you’d think he was afraid the toad might explode. Then he backs away a few steps to stare.
“What?” the Toad King asks. “I never wanted to talk to you, so I didn’t. Plus, you feed me flies. I’ve never seen a chocolate covered cricket in this dusty establishment before.” At this, his tongue flicks out and he turns his bulgy stare toward you. “Let me see a small piece. See if it’s worth the hassle.”
You pull a small cricket from the package in your left pocket and slide it down the bar. It hits the glass of the jar and sits there. The Toad King smashes his face against the glass to get a better look at it.
“Hmmm,” he mutters, “dark coloring, smooth texture, legs included. Seems like a good product. I’ll take your offer, human,” he says.
“Ha,” Red laughs. “You’re my Toad King.”
“Ha,” the Toad King laughs back. “Hop around like a kangaroo for the next three days.”
Red stiffens and then, to your surprise, he holds his hands close to his chest and starts hopping for the front door of the tavern. As the door slams shut behind his bouncing gait, the Toad King turns to eye you and you suppress the urge to gulp. What did you just get yourself into?
“Can you do that to everyone?” you ask.
“Only the person who claims me,” the King grins, “and since I’ve accepted your offer, that’s you.”
“What? I just offered crickets, not ownership.”
“You made a deal with me,” he responds, “ownership passes to whoever made the most recent deal. Now, crickets?”
As you leave the tavern with the Toad King sitting on your shoulder, you find the yard suspiciously quiet.
“No skeletons?” you ask.
“The curse on the lake is lifted.” The king shrugs as he crunches into his second cricket. “Can we explore somewhere that’s not Caspian?” he asks around the bug in his cheeks.
“Uh, sure, but I think my horse needs time to heal.” You point out the destruction to the stables and the worried neighing inside.
“Oh bother.” The Toad King waves his webbed feet. The rubble of the stables gives a jerk and, between one blink of your eyes and the next, they’re back to normal with a sleepy hush hanging over the predawn.
As you travel with the King, who’s name you find out is Martin, you find out there’s good and bad to having him around. He always wants chocolate crickets, so you start carrying ingredients to make them yourself. He likes small tricks and you end up wandering around thinking you’re a dog occasionally. On the upside, Opher never gets tired and every tavern you stay at suddenly gets the urge not to charge you. He’s also very good at eating mosquitoes, so you never have to worry about bug bites.
Everyone does ask about your ‘pet’ toad. You ‘jokingly’ ask them if they’d like to offer him a sweet. As of yet, however, no one’s topped chocolate covered crickets, so he resolutely rides around on your shoulder and, in general, just bothers you.
Hurray! You survived this adventure and helped the town of Caspian. Good luck getting arid of the Toad King 😉
(If you liked this story and are interested in more adventures, you can find my book, The Adventure, on Amazon.)