"Don't do it, Alberton!" begged Mrs. Twiddle, the housekeeper and assistant chef.
"Let me go, woman!" Alberton the cook screamed, brandishing a meat cleaver. "I told you what would happen if that little pest-pot tried to take over my kitchen again!"
Alberton tore himself loose and leaped onto the windowsill, his spiky moustache quivering with rage. "I will chop every disgusting, filthy vegetable in that stinking magical garden of his to SHREDS! CHOP! SLICE! MINCE! DICE!”
"But Alberton!" It was no good. With a crazed gleam in his eyes, Alberton hurled himself out the window of the tallest tower...and fell.
Don't get TOO upset. That SPLAT was not the sound of loony old Alberton hitting the courtyard and turning into an ill-tempered pancake. It was the sound of Alberton landing in the moat. Thanks to an engineering error, the moat at Castle Crabapple was not filled with clear, fresh water and healthy moat monsters. Instead, it was clogged with soft, slimy, stinky, stagnant sewage, which smelled like a rotting tooth and stuck to the ribs like good old oatmeal.
Mrs. Twiddle sighed with relief and exasperation as she looked down to see Alberton pry himself out of the muck and stagger, brown and blobbish, back toward the castle.
“He isn’t going to cook dinner like that, is he?” asked a disapproving voice. “It ain’t hygienic.”
Mrs. Twiddle turned to the two members of the Castle Ward on tower guard duty. “No need to worry,” she said. “The wizard is cooking.”
She had the satisfaction of seeing the guardsmen turn green, as a small, balding man stepped in at the window. He carried an armload of stalks, bulges, bends and other vaguely vegetable protuberances. “Was that Alberton?” he asked, jumping down from the windowsill. “What the blazes is he doing?”
“He thought as how he’d go for a walk, Your Wizardship,” said Mrs. Twiddle stiffly.
“More like a swim,” said the wizard, peering down at the malodorous moat. “No…more like a wallow. No, more like—oh, I don’t want to think about it. Here, you—carry these to the kitchen.” He thrust the odd plants into the arms of the larger Ward.
“What’s all this then?” Ward Fick asked, it being a question he was comfortable with.
“Well, that one’s Pungent Pickleweed,” said the wizard happily. “There’s a bit of Bogslump, some Snailgrass, a couple of Squish Squashes, Wartmallow, and a poke of Deadly Doomberries. Did you know some fools believe they are too poisonous to be eaten? It’s all in the preparation, though.” He snapped his fingers and Ward Fick (greener by far than any of the vegetables he carried) followed him down the stairs of the Wizard Tower.
“I’m complaining to the King and Queen about this,” whined remaining guard.
“You most certainly are not!” barked Mrs. Twiddle. “Occasional cooking is in his contract--he insisted on it. If he’s stopped, he’ll leave, and Crabapple Valley will be back to being the ONLY kingdom in EXISTANCE without a proper witch or wizard.”
“If it meant we didn’t get our noses turned blue, and our beer cursed, and have to eat Wizard Gourmet every other month, I could live with it,” Stedley muttered.
“Some people have NO national pride,” Mrs. Twiddle answered coldly as she swept out to dust the more elderly courtiers.
Hume Bruumfetz enjoyed his position as the Wizard of Castle Crabapple. When he was in a bad mood (almost all of the time) the castle offered him plenty of opportunities to share it. He would gleefully turn peoples' shoes into slimy eels, magick the sheep to float above the battlements, and cast a thousand small hexes designed to annoy, irritate, anger and inconvenience.
Most people didn't mind this.
It may sound odd, but they were actually proud of it. When they visited their friends and family in other kingdoms, they would tell stories of the horrid things Hume had done, and people would be really impressed. "That there's a REAL wizard you got there," Mrs. Twiddle's nephew would say, openmouthed with awe. "Our old Gorfalf, all 'E ever does is set off a few fireworks and cure the cows of splinkins..."
The trouble was that doing all sorts of little, horrible things to people eventually put Hume in a good mood. And when Hume was in a good mood, he liked to cook.
Hume grew his strange vegetables in his own magical garden, which was the one great love of his life. He kept it tethered, floating, just outside the highest tower window.
This is all set up, but it's kind of cute and amusing. I'd probably read the pages with a query letter but I'd be looking for it to pick up speed very soon. And yes, I'll over look spelling mistakes and errors, but I do notice them, and it annoys the hex out of me.