Candied Moon Flowers

Petrus Caldron, lich, and Strawberry, mermaid, threw tiny pebbles at the window. “Come help us, old man! Come out!”

Atticus Q. Redghost, villain, appeared a moment later, scowling. “Do you know what time it is?!” she scowled. The lich grinned up to the new face, “Come help us find moon flowers, she’s never had them before!” Strawberry waved up to the villain.

Atticus’s expression softened and she left the window amidst the quiet rustling of dresser drawers opening, clothes being selected, and good natured complaining.

“Does Atty have a sister?” Strawberry asked quietly. “Shape shifter,” Petrus explained. “I don’t know that she controls her form, as I’ve never seen her change shape. No one has. But it is an incomplete shift, no matter what form Atty takes, you know who it is. It either a broken spell or one imperfectly cast. Atty doesn’t seem to mind, though.”

“I’m bringing breakfast pastries,” Atticus’s voice rang out as she left the small, cozy home. Shorter in this identity and using a cane, she drew Strawberry’s attention freshly. “Cinnamon?” Atticus offered. The mermaid smiled and nodded, leaving her many questions for another time, possibly never.

A simple Teleport spell brought the trio deep into Grimwood Swamp. Atticus and Petrus carefully stood on a log while Strawberry dove into the murky water and lazily circled their crude craft. A few minutes later, the mermaid arose from the black waters, dripping in slime and covered with grass. “Rawr! Fear me, for I am Atticus! Dreaded swamp witch! I will destroy you with friendly evil and delicious cinnamon buns, then I will steal your secrets! Rawr! Feed me waffles and root beer!” The impersonated villain nearly fell off the log laughing.

Later, deeper into the swamp, Atticus explained, “The key to candying moon flowers is to pluck them at night, soak them in chimera sugar, and boil them in a geode using elemental fire.” The candy had only taken a few minutes to prepare. Atticus used a strainer to pull out a few petals from the thick, gooey sugar and handed them to the mermaid.

“The key is to find Atty because she has a geode perfectly attuned to this task,” Petrus countered, pulling a petal from the crystal cauldron. His skeletal fingers didn’t register the scalding heat. “She can cook them faster than anyone else dead or alive.”

Upon tasting the candy, Strawberry’s eyes widened and her expression went blank as she focused inwardly. “Oh tidal waves,” she mumbled after a few minutes. Atticus winked at the mermaid, ate the last few petals, and began a second batch.

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Into the dark, into the gloom!
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