La Grande Fleur

Oh deities, how could we have been so unprepared?! The Bowelbears knew we were coming--there was a traitor in our midst! Yet we still had the advantage--we had me, and I had a secret.

The day before the battle I had found the Pirates' cache of muskets and bullets. They were slimy and moldy, but with any luck these would be our ticket to victory--these plus some spores. Viney was in heat and creating a serious mess of pollen. Together we covered everything--muskets, gunpowder, bullets--everything in pollen. I was leaving nothing to chance, and even if it meant depleting my supply of Claritin I was going to saturate our supplies with Viney's reproductive material.

Nothing is as distracting as allergy season. We were going to make these assholes sneeze--all of them. The Pirates were going to be"intoxicated with liberty and enthusiasm," sure. But they were also going to be intoxicated with histamines. I had no intention of spending the rest of my life as a magician for French Pirates. Sure, it was nice to be the only one around with magic, but there are only so many times you want to make a worm grow a couple feet or a make stomach toad sing opera for praise and moldy baguette. I had better things to do--like not be inside a dragon.

And so when the battle began, I tied a bandana around my mouth and nose and ran for it--I had only a few minutes to find and rescue the Guy and escape this dismal city. It would have been so easy--I had planned everything so perfectly! But the Bowelbears had been expecting us and created the perfect diversion--a model of the Eiffel Tower!

Instantly the French Pirates swarmed to it and began complaining loudly about what an eyesore it was and how it would blight the horizon (what horizon, I thought) for generations, and how they would never accept it as an icon of their beloved, historical, and far more elegant memory of Paris.

I had little time to reflect on the utter silliness of the situation as the Bowebears began their siege. The crack and boom of musket-fire was overpowering, and the scent of burning flesh mixed with pollen is one I wish I could forget.

As the sneezing and wheezing began I spotted what I was looking for--the entrance the prison, the infamous Bowelstille, and my spirits rose. In there, I hoped, sat my one hope for getting out of this miserable Wyrm--another magic user.

Just as I started running towards the gate the unthinkable happened--I found myself face to face with the traitor. She and her goons had me surrounded; there was no way I could reach the Guy in time!

Now that I looked at her, it was rather obvious that the one we called Gary Mantoinette was not just a charming, but slightly disconcerting Pirate--she was a Trollon!

I had only one chance. I kissed Viney and sent him on his way--he knew what to do--and began my incantation, praying this silly trick would work.

"Just get inside the damn tower!" I yelled. "You can't see it ruining the view if you're inside it!" Gulp. Let's do this.