Hand of Fate (and Foot of Balrom)
“Where’s it gone? Where’s it gone?”
“That Wizard took it! He put it in a hole!”
“Where’s he gone?”
“Where’s that big man with the metal arm?”
“They’ve teleported out!”
“ARGH! I’m wet!”
“No! They’re just invisible”
“Is everything secure?”
“Sorry, thought you were on fire…”
Monty surveyed the scene from his vantage point on top of an elephant. He cleared his throat. Everyone looked up.
“Ladies and Gentlemen! Our chaotic guests have left, the crisis is over, please return to your posts.”
Through the fine daylit night, it started to rain torrentially. A frazzled-looking halfling shifted a hefty staff behind his back, looking guilty.
“Thank-you, Frall,” continued Monty, raindrops bouncing off his top hat. In a swift move, he skidded down the elephant’s trunk. “Al and Seriff, would you attend to the incident area with me, please? Everyone else, back to your tasks.”
The cluster of people dispelled, leaving a confused looking elf clad in red and a sombre halfling wearing a tabbard with a green cross, already dropping to his knees to attend a figure slumped on the ground.
Monty hurried over “Al? Is that Tanay? Is he alright?”
The circus medic did not reply immediately. He was examining the prone figure in a systematic medicy way that looked professional. He looked up.
“I don’t know, Monty, he’s alive, but he’s been stabbed. He’s a bit trampled but he shouldn’t be unconscious… he seems to be asleep…”
“It’s not magic,” interjected the elf.
“No,” said the other two simultaneously.
“Then… poison?” suggested Monty, frowning.
“Oh, actually, it might be… I’ll take him over to the medic tent, there should be some potions in the healer’s box.” The healer pulled a wand out of his pocket and conjured a floating stretcher. It scooped the invalid up and followed him towards a small white tent with a big green cross on it in the corner of the clearing.
The gnome and the elf watched them leave, then looked at each other in the ruins of the tent.
“Do you know what happened?” the elf asked.
“That suspiciously trustworthy wizard in disguise stole Big Foot and then teleported out with a couple of cronies. How I’m not sure.”
“He had a mirror. A Prison Mirror, I think.”
“Oh. They were the guys that cleric told us to look out for then.”
“Seems like it.”
“Good. Glad to get that foot off our hands at last. Shame they didn’t stay, what was that message we were supposed to pass on? Something about a heart… Anyway, would you please check the cages, Seriff, and then get Erik to help you tidy up here,” he gestured to the singed remaining scraps of soggy canvas and scattered broken bars like an explosion in a ladder factory. The torrential rain suddenly ceased.
“Right, let’s get to it! We need to be away by dawn.”
Monty left her to it. Amid the hustle and bustle of packing up, he took a moment to watche the great big top being folded away, the billowing canvas hovering above the ground as 12 stagehands manipulated the intricate hinged pop-up poleage into its narrow sack. They had come a long way since old Mr Cosmo’s dilapidated tent, and maybe the time was right for some rebranding… The Hovering Circus? No, Flying Circus…
“My Flying Circus,” thought Monty Python.