Lady-in-waiting to a princess, I was trying to help my mistress save our Royal Midwife-an herbwise woman of unparalleled wisdom, inventiveness and honesty.
Milady’s father, the King, wanted her executed for treason(telling the truth and revealing the magic that courses through all of our lives) and the princess and I conspired to hide her book of magic and her technological accoutrements in the Royal Library.
Alas, the Princess was weak and at the urging of the Duke, her handsome, but entirely too devout betrothed, she betrayed us! The midwife was to be arrested and I attempted to help her escape, but an evil Count(the notoriously sadistic Royal Conductor of Arrests and Interrogations) chased me up the seating terraces of the amphitheatre and caught me at the top…
I was carrying two of the midwife’s gadgets-they were small and metallic, black, odd-shaped and increasing in size exponentially! I tried to sling them into the forest to hide them-by this time they resembled heavy black balls on chains-but only managed to fling one away before the count grabbed me and hit me on the head with the other one.
I fell, grappling with him, fighting for all I was worth and for a moment had him down with my boot on his neck, but he gouged at my eyes and they hurt and I couldn’t see right.
He dragged me back down to where the midwife was. She and her assistant were, mysteriously, preparing a savory dish. The Count, apparently, was a mycologist of great renown, and had been stymied in his search for a certain, rare delicacy of a mushroom. She’d found one(an immense orangey brown fungi of delicate mien) and was cooking a fine meal to offer him.
The Count was no duffer, he knew that this particular mushroom had a poisonous doppleganger, but as this lookalike was too poisonous even to touch and the midwife was clearly handling it barehanded to prepare it, he couldn’t resist and took a bite.
Instantly he fell into a seizure and died. Dumbfounded, I turned to the midwife and to my horror, saw her hands beginning to shake!
She’d killed herself to save me! Grief-stricken, I gathered her up in my arms and carried her over to a seat.
She died in my arms.