Waithar stopped his Quodil at the end of the path that led to the house. In one hand were the reins, in the other a large bouquet of wildflowers. His beast snuffled through its beak-like mouth and turned its scaly and feathered head to look at its rider. It blinked at him as if to say, “Are we doing this or not?”
“Of course we are, my friend,” Waithar said to the beast, even though it didn’t actually speak. “That’s Jonna’s home right up that path. She’s waiting for me. I just… I just need a moment.”
The Quodil snuffled again and extended its neck to a great height to grab a cluster of fruit hanging from a high branch. It chomped loudly as Waithar sat astride it, his eyes on the distant house.
“She waits for me,” Waithar said. “She waits for me.” He smiled, brought the flowers to his nose and inhaled deeply with closed eyes. Then he turned and sneezed, startling the Quodil, who nearly threw its rider off. To maintain his seat Waithar had to grab the saddle with both hands. The bouquet fell to the ground, and several flowers lost their petals.
Waithar grunted as he got off the Quodil, picked up the flowers and examined them. He glanced around for a moment to see if there were any other flowers to compliment the damaged bouquet, but found none. He sighed in frustration, returned to his saddle, then bid his Quodil forward down the path.
Upon reaching the house, Waithar saw that the door was ajar. Something did not feel right. He immediately dismounted and drew his sword, which he realized looked ridiculous paired with his “flower shield.” He crept to the door and heard laughter: Jonna’s and another’s.
He opened the door and there stood Jonna in an embrace with a hideous troll-like creature with long thick arms and grey, leathery skin that was barely covered with rags.
“Unhand her you foul creature!” Waithar shouted, pointing his sword and startling the troll and Jonna.
Jonna saw the sword and her eyes grew wide. She stepped in front of the troll with her arms spread wide in protection. “No, Waithar! Stop! This is Mogot, my betrothed.”
Suddenly Waithar’s arm couldn’t hold his sword up and the blade slowly lowered. “Your… your… betrothed?” He felt dizzy.
“Yes!” Jonna said, smiling. “Mogot and I are to be married this very day!”
The bouquet dropped to the floor. Waithar soon followed.
(The word prompt today was “Bouquet.”)