Lucy Smith and the Quest for Greldir's Diamond Ring
Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
Copyright 6184 SC / 2021 CE
Greldir sat on the mat in Minoxxia. He was a cat. A sophisticated cat. He could talk. When he had to. He collected things. Gold coins, stamps. And rings. He collected rings. He especially liked collecting diamond rings. But he had a ring, and it had gone from him. Lost in a battle with Verminox the Rat King in the Sewers of Old Sydney Town, in the Rocks Area. Down in those Sewers Greldir had battled Verminox, but had lost his ring of power, the diamond ring of the lady in the lake, which she had given to him in his courage in helping a young knight of camelot, and it had been his guide and strength ever since. But the ring had been captured by Greldir, who had become half the cat he used to be, then taken refuge with Shelandragh May, and now lived in Bunyan, in retirement, getting used to Mushroom the Cat, and enjoy tins of processed cat food, which really tasted quite good to Greldir. But one day he would get his diamond ring back, and make Verminox pay for his crime. It would be a grand quest, long and grand, but for now he snoozed, and lived in his memories, of olde england, of days gone by, of past pussy cat loves, and the life he once had. Diamond rings could wait for the time being. He had relaxing to do. But one day, the ring. And a quest. And maybe one day sooner than later. Only time would tell.
Gabriel was overseer of the Realm of Eternity, as life had moved on from Michael the Archangel. In the Realm of Infinity nothing changed much and Logos was deemed to be the one who ran the show. The Heavenly Children had a world of their own, and Lucy had her adventures with Enrique in heaven on very many an occasion, but for now she was back on New Terra, in Minoxxia in Bunyan, sitting with Shelandragh May in their heavenly abode, watching TV, and ignoring the cat who was purring loudly. The infamous Greldir which Shelandragh had spoken to him about all the way on the journey from Gundagai, where they had been at a witches faire, back to Bunyan. Shelandragh had picked up the cat in Sydney at the school of magic there, where the cat had wandered into, claiming magical powers and proving as such through its spoken voice, and befriended Shelandragh who it had well heard of, asking her to take it in, after he had lost a ring of power to a verminous rat. Shelandragh had acceded to the request, and Greldir was now eating more than his fair share of the catfood, leaving a very annoyed Mushroom hissing at him on more than one occasion when he entered the kitchen, prowling around, looking for food. Oh, they got along well enough, but he was a boy and proud and Mushroom was wont to defend her turf against this strange new visitor. Mushroom came in the lounge then, as Shelandragh continued her snooze, and looked at Greldir, on it's back, in front of the fireplace, purring loudly, and Mushroom's hairs stood on end, it's tail raised high in the air.
'I feel exactly the same way Mushroom,' said Lucy. 'Greldir is incorrigible.'
Mushroom settled a bit, and came over to Greldir and put out its paw, and scratched Greldirs belly. Greldir pawed it away and Mushroom crouched down, and jumped right on to Greldir. He came alive instantly, and the scritches and scratches began once more, as they fought it out
'Heaven's above!' exclaimed Shelandragh, waking up immediately 'What is all this commotion.'
'Catfight,' said Lucy. 'Greldir and Mushroom are at it again.'
'Incorrigible cat,' said Shelandragh to Greldir, and bent down, picking up Greldir by the neck.
'The calico started it,' said Greldir. 'I do believe she is all in a hissy fit.'
Mushroom screeched at Greldir, and ran out the room, into the kitchen.
'Let me down my good lady,' said Greldir, and Shelandragh dropped him. He landed on the floor, stared in the direction of the kitchen, and then, looked up at Shelandragh. 'I say, keep your pussy under control.' And then he started settling down, and was soon all curled up, purring loudly once more.
'That cat has a lot of attitude,' said Lucy.
'Indeed Miss Smith. A bit too much for my liking quite frankly.'
'Perhaps we should neuter him,' said Lucy.
Greldir raised an ear.
'No, took good for him. Total castration,' said Shelandragh.
The cat put its head up and spoke. 'My dear witch ladies. I will thank you to know I am the most hospitable of guests. It is entirely at the fault of that diabolical dilute American calico cat the current squabbling over mere catfood.'
'Learn to get along,' said Shelandragh. 'You are entirely welcome to stay Master Greldir, but Mushroom is ancient, and doesn't change to welcome new visitors terribly easily.'
'I will endeavour to entertain your request,' replied Greldir. 'But pussy play is part of the pact we have with our creator. He expects us to make a fuss and be a ball of fun. It would not be quite the same if we as cats did not do what cat are supposed to do.'
'I suppose not,' said Shelandragh, picking up a book. She looked at Greldir. 'Still, try somewhat Greldir. Mushroom has already indicated you are a nice enough fellow. She does like you. Keep the banter under control.'
'I'll do what I can,' said the cat, and settled down again.
'I still think we should neuter him,' smirked Lucy.
Greldir again raised his ear, but Shelandragh quelled its annoyance with the gentle but firm 'Lucy!'
'Just joking,' said Lucy, and picked up her coffee and ate another chocolate biscuit. The cold wind blew outside, and soon enough the afternoon had turned to evening, and Lucy bid Shelandragh farewell for the day, heading back to her home in Cooma town, next to the pool. She opened the door after the few days away, and came in, turned on the hallway light, and sat down in the lounge room. She didn't bother putting on the TV. She just sat there, in the dark room, with light from the hall. Here she was. Lucy Smith the Witch. She'd had her adventures now, and was in a new life after death in a heavenly world which didn't seem that much different to the earthly life she had known for so long. She'd been up here a long time now, watching the news on TV about all the changes in the universe, and the new overseer of eternity, Gabriel, had caused a fuss in things for a while. But things had settled down again, after a lot of fussing with Daniel's and prophecies. A grand farce all that affair had been, and she's heard all about it firsthand. But life had moved on, and she'd gotten on with a steady life, life as an animist witch, and work from time to time in positions here and there in the region. But she was still a single lady, apart from her on and off boyfriends, and that had been the status quo for quite some time now. But she sensed, in the tealeaves of destiny, a new cup was brewing, and she would have another grand adventure soon enough. She picked herself up, made herself a cup of soup, and settled down to bed, turning on the classical radio, and settled down to rest. Soon enough a new day, and plans would come as they usually always did.
* * * * *
Decadence stared at Lucy. 'No, Quiet Riot are cool.'
'They are too bland. Hardly death metal,' replied Lucy, biting into an apple on the seesaw in the park opposite the old St Pats Infant school, on the opposite side of Mittagong Road. The girls continued going up and down for a while.
'They are not attempting to be death metal,' said Decadence.
'Then what's the point of being metal at all. They are only grand-dad's rock and roll. Like Iron Maiden. Don't get me wrong, Maiden rock, but metal doesn't start till Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth. Before that it's just rock and roll.'
'You're an idiot,' said Decadence, and jumped off the seesaw, sending Lucy plummeting on her end to the ground, hitting it hard, and tumbling over into the dirt.
'Bitch,' said Lucy.
'Takes one to know one,' said Decadence. 'Come on, let's go break into Daniel's place.'
The girls took to the road, passing the Infant's school, which had children in the playground, and walked down Mittagong road, eventually turning up opposite Monaro High School, and getting to Daniel's place in time.
'He's not home,' said Decadence. 'I checked earlier. The place is empty.'
'It's fine,' said Lucy. 'We don't need to break in. I have a key.'
Lucy let them in, and they came into the large lounge, sitting down.
'Do we dump the place?' queried Decadence.
'No,' said Lucy. 'But we could rummage around and look at all his shit. We don't need to tell him.'
'Ooh, nosey parker. You are a witch after all,' said Decadence. The girls proceeded to peruse all Daniel's belongings, but Lucy spent most of her time in his den, looking over his papers. She was reading this and that, and finally settled down to some papers on Karaite Noahide Religion and Magic. This is what she was hoping to find. Decadence came in after a while, with a bottle of Daniel's scotch.
'Whatcha reading?' she asked Lucy.
'Magic and Morality. It's a paper by Daniel.'
'Oh,' said Decadence. 'Fascinating.' She sat down opposite. 'Have a drink.'
Lucy put her hand up. 'No thanks. Listen to this.'
'Do I have to?'
'Yes. Now shut up and listen.' Lucy found the place and continued. 'Of course, we remember that life has activity. And that activity has sin in it and activity has righteousness in it. Life is flux and activity. And while moral truths don't change, the person fluxes through a life at every moment, and the maintenance of the person in a state of moral truths takes work. Magic is one of the elements which is in flux, as it is alive more than just merely spells. And it would seem that in life, which has activity, there is this position humans are prone to engage with the magical elements, and not always the moral truths. The question is, what elements of magic are positive and what negative, and what good can magic do for the soul of man?'
'Amazing,' said Decadence. 'Glad you have found your muse.'
'It goes on and elaborates,' said Lucy. 'But I like the ideas about life equating with magic due to the activity inherent in both. That I find useful. I might have a point on that idea one day.'
'Whatever,' said Decadence. 'Come on, let's watch 'The Hobbit'. Something to do.'
And so the girls put on the Tolkien DVD, but magic was on Lucy Smith's mind once more, and some newish sort of ideas about how magic could work in her living experience of life.
* * * * *
'Shoot the damn cat,' said Greldir. 'It's only a ruddy pellet gun Jayden. Shoot that damn Mushroom for me. Right up its ass. Shoot it right up its damn ass.'
'Your a pretty terrible pussy cat,' replied Jayden Bridges.
'Look, buddy. If I could use the damn thing, I'd do it.'
'Go ahead,' said Jayden, pushing the gun towards Greldir.
'Don't be stupid,' said Greldir. 'Now shoot the damn cat.'
'I'm not going to shoot mushroom with my pellet gun,' replied Jayden. 'Shelandragh would put a hex on me and not forgive me for an age.'
'Damn,' said Greldir. He looked at Jayden and, if cats could grin, he was grinning. 'I was only joking anyway, buddy. Don't tell Shelandragh, ok.'
'Fine. Forgotten,' replied Jayden, and wandered off back inside.
Greldir stared at Mushroom. 'Lucky escape, calico cat, but I'll get you yet.'
Jayden sat down on the kitchen bench, and sipped on his can of beer.
'Still drinking the stuff,' said Shelandragh, coming into the room, and taking a rag to wipe down the bench.
'Now and again,' said Jayden. 'Farmer boy needs to drink. It's in Bridges blood, don't you know.'
'I know your father likes a solid drink every now and then. Didn't think you drank much Jayden.'
'I don't. Anymore. Every now and again is all. You don't seen a six pack now do you?'
'No,' she said. 'I don't.'
'I don't get wasted no more. Not in me. And it's only puff once a month, you know. Not that much anymore. Somewhat reformed after a long experience in life's hard lessons.'
'It is that, is life,' said Shelandragh. 'The great training ground for what we all go through.' She finished wiping down the bench, and invited Jayden into the living room. He sat down, and Greldir wandered in.
'I must confess, I asked the young Mr Bridges to shoot that cat with a pellet gun. He relented, and I thought better of it after thinking it over. But I will confess this to you Shelandragh, as I deal with guilt these days a bit more quickly than in past times.'
Shelandragh stared at Greldir for a moment, but then said 'Whatever.' She settled Jayden down and took out a photo album.
'This is the ring,' said Shelandragh.
'That's is indeed the ring,' said Greldir. 'I have photographs of various things, from a Sydney Acquaintance, and others on my long sojourn in life.'
'How do you carry such things around with you?' asked Jayden.
'I employ help often,' said Greldir. 'I mix with magical folk, and they are willing to take care of my concerns.'
'I see,' replied Jayden.
'Now the quest,' said Shelandragh, as commissioned by Master Greldir, is the recovering of this ring from the claws of Verminox the rat.
'He speaks and is knowledgeable, and of a decent size,' said Greldir. 'And has minions in his pack. It will not be as easy as it may seem.'
'You seemed the ideal choice. And Lucy also,' said Shelandragh. 'And Minxy I think might have an interest in the mission.'
'I will accompany the questing party to see the job is done, and justice also,' said Greldir.
'Payment?' asked Jayden.
'I pay well,' replied Greldir. 'We'll negotiate after the job is done.'
'Fine,' said Jayden, and sipped on his beer. 'Count me in.'
'Very good master Bridges,' replied Greldir. 'The quest is potentially fraught with danger I will say to you. Verminox is more than a mere rat. He has knowledge, and speaks, and runs with certain shadowy figures of the underworld of old Sydney town. There are acquaintances he maintains which may prove of an interfering nature should we gain the access to recovery of my prized ring. It shan't be a matter of simply snapping the ring from the jaws of a rat. I doubt it should be so easy.'
'Then I'll pellet him and we'll make a run for it,' smirked Jayden.
'Indeed,' replied Greldir.
'Indeed,' said Shelandragh, observing the grinning Jayden Bridges.
* * * * *
It was midnight and it was cold and the moon was full and it was snowing. Lucy was in the skies on her broomstick, and Greldir was in her lap protesting loudly.
'The shenanigans of witches are indeed legendary,' said Greldir. 'But what on God's green Earth has possessed you to want to fly at midnight Miss Smith?'
'Howl at the moon for me, Greldir. Howl at the moon,' said Lucy.
'I am feline, not canine,' replied Greldir.
'Howl anyway,' said Lucy.
The cat looked up at the moon and screeched. 'As I said,' replied the cat. 'I am not a wolf. I am a pussy cat. Moonglow does not excite in such a similar way. We are far to sophisticated to give into such primitive instincts.'
'Hold on!' yelled Lucy, and she threw herself up into the sky, and then dived downwards, and did a loop.
'Mercy for heaven's sake,' said Greldir. 'Land this damn broomstick, Miss Lucy Smith, or I will complain to every Ministry of Magic on the planet.'
'Fine,' said Lucy, and swung downwards, coming to land in the back yard of Minoxxia.
'That was fun,' said Lucy, in her warm jacket, with a now reddish face from the cold.
'That is one word for it,' replied Greldir, pawing at the back door to get inside out of the cold. 'Hurry up. I'm freezing my whiskers off,' said Greldir.
'Hold your horses,' said Lucy, and pushed open the glass door, nudging away Shelandragh who had been watching her.
'Here, have some hot chocolate,' said Shelandragh to Lucy.
'Ooh, yum,' replied Lucy.
'I like such stuff,' said Greldir. Shelandragh poured some into Greldir's bowl, who began lapping at it.
'You seemed in your element,' said Shelandrah.
'I felt – alive,' said Lucy. 'The chill of the air kept my mind alert, and I felt one with nature. It was fantastic. Haven't done that in years.'
'If we are to indeed visit Sydney's school of magic soon enough, they may also wish to entertain such shenanigans,' said Greldir.
'Could be fun,' replied Lucy, taking her chocolate and going into the living room and sitting down. Shelandragh looked at her.
'So you are ready for Greldir and the Quest for his Lost Diamond Ring?'
'I guess so. Good that Jayden is coming along. Should be fun. But tomorrow we'll talk to Minxy. She could prove useful perhaps down in the sewers.'
Lucy looked at Greldir who had come back into the room. 'We'll get you your ring back.'
'I do hope so,' replied the cat, who then curled down in front of the fireplace. 'It means much to me in more ways than you can imagine.'
The ladies rugged up in blankets, and stared into the fire, midnight now past, and nowhere really to go. Lucy would stay the night, and Shelandragh said, 'We may as well enjoy the flames, and nod off here.'
Lucy gazed into the fire, thinking of the magical ring she would soon be chasing, and her life, and the warmth of the fire soon had her nodding off, into dreamland, were she was chasing a giant pussy cat, ever complaining about the daring adventure of one Lucy Smith.
'Miss, you really shouldn't smoke in here,' said the waitress.
'So sue me,' replied Lucy Smith.
'Well I never,' said the waitress, and deposited Lucy's iced donut on her plate in front of her, looked over the strange cat which talked and was eating a hamburger it had ordered, which was not the end of the world, as some ancient animals did has language abilities learned after a long time of specific education, and promptly returned to her duties behind the counter in the restaurant at the stop on the way to Sydney somewhere between Canberra and the big smoke.
'You like burgers,' said Lucy.
'My dear,' replied Greldir. 'They are a divine accomplishment sent from heaven to earth to reward struggling pussy cats in all their woes and travails.'
'MacDonalds your favourite?' she asked.
'Hungry Jacks,' replied Greldir. 'I love the ultimate double whoppers. I shit much after eating one, but its' worth it.'
Jayden smirked. 'Even I have trouble getting down and ultimate double, cat. And your tiny.'
'There is more to me than meets the eye,' replied Greldir.
'Obviously,' said Lucy. She looked over at the waitress who was glaring at them. 'I'll have one more, and that will do me ok. Jesus.'
The waitress smiled fakely, and then busied herself cleaning up.
'Some people,' said Lucy.
Minxy came flying in the restaurant as a couple left.
'Is that a sprite?' asked the waitress.
'She'll be polite enough,' said Jayden. 'She's under orders from Shelandragh May.'
'I know Shelandragh,' said the waitress. 'She shops here quite regularly.'
'You know most of us I would imagine, Susan.'
'Most come through and stop here in time, Lucy,' replied the waitress. 'The population has a core which doesn't change that much. Familiar faces after thousands of years. Know a lot of politicians from the capital. Get invites to events a fair bit as well.'
'Takes all sorts don't it Sue,' said Lucy.
'Witches even,' said Sue. 'But you know. Crazy people. The world is full of them.'
Lucy nodded. That much she didn't dispute.
Greldir – Plot
Lucy, Minxy, Jayden & Greldir go on the road. They stop at McDonalds around the Goulburn area, as well as at Lake George on their way to the Sydney school of magic. They get to the school and Greldir introduces them to a friend who handles his affairs. They depart and come to the Rock and enter the sewers. They travel along, but get washed down a sewer after a gush of water. Lucy uses and illuminate spell and they come into a room with a dark wizard and Verminox up on a ledge. The wizard uses magic and there is a spellfight, but an ice blast knocks lucy unconscious. Jayden is knocked out, and the wizard kidnaps Lucy. Greldir tells Minxy to stay with Jayden, and go back to the school of magic when he comes to. Greldir follows the wizard, who takes Lucy to his lair. Int he lair, when Lucy comes to, she is handcuffed to a circular metal plate with embossed magical symbols on it.. The wizard tells lucy he is gathering wands made from the power of wizards and witches, and uses a spell to drain some of Lucy's magic into a wand. Lucy is exhausted, and the wizard undoes the manacles and shoves her out of his abode, down an alleway, where she falls down and collapses, totally drained. Greldir talks to her when she comes to, and helps her find her way back to the school of magic. She explains a bit, and they return home, but she tells the full story to Shelandragh, who says 'I fear a day is coming when XX(The Dark Wizard)XX will finally make his bid on the power he has long sought'. Lucy reaches her conclusions, returns home, and is chatting with Decadence in the park again, and the story ends.