Agapantha had a splitting headache. The sort of pain that bashed your brain about a bit, had a rest, and then once fully recovered, resumed the assault. The last time she had been this overcome was at last year's Wickerspoon Eve, but at least then she had woken up in her own nest, with its warm leaf comfort... Which raised and interesting question. Where exactly was she lying? The bed seemed cold, wet, and very
unbedlike. In fact, it felt more like a rock floor. Upon realising this, Agapantha opened her eyes. It was a rock floor, no a rock wall, no a floor, no... The world span dreadfully as she tried to gather her bearings, and made a weak attempt to sit up. Groaning, she braced herself for the final incline into an upright position. Agapantha could not decide if it was whatever occurred before falling unconscious, or falling
unconscious on a cold, hard floor that caused her so much pain. It was no longer just her head that aggrieved her, it was her neck, spine, and right leg. All ached, tingled, and twanged and did lots of other things that were not helpful at all. Cautiously, still trying to keep the universe the right way up, Agapantha rubbed her temples. She closed her eyes and breathed in slowly, inhaling through her mouth, and
exhaling through her nose. And then she threw up. After, though feeling physically no better, and now with a throat stinging of bile, Agapantha thought she was improving. With a final hiccup, she got to her feet to examine where ever it was that she had woken up. Her eyes could tell her very little - for the tiny window carved into the stone wall let in only the smallest
particle of light, so instead she relied on her nose. Ignoring the stench of half-digested mead and rosehips, the room smelt of a mould and stagnant water. There was also... Agapantha wrinkled her nose... the slight waft of mildew and urine. Evidently, the rushes in the corner had not been changed in a long while. Suddenly, her headache remembered that it was supposed to be kicking her in the frontal lobe - and every
other lobe for that matter. Agapantha clutched her head and whimpered, regretting her entire existence mightily. Just about avoiding the rapidly curdling puddle of vomit, she crouched in the darkness, waiting for the pounding to fade. It was several minutes before she felt well enough to stand again. With outstretched hands, she felt about for the
walls. Reaching about, and ignoring her aching body, she made her way to a corner. Happily, there was a seat. To be sure, it was made of the same cold and hard stone of the rest of the room, but it was a seat nonetheless. In the silence, there was a drip drop of some water somewhere. It was an irregular pattern... drip drop drop drop drip drip pause drop drip drop
drip... It could have been worse, but equally, it could dry up and stop, which is what Agapantha would have preferred immeasurably. Drip drip drop drip drop drip pause drop drip... and then the water did something odd - it sneezed. As Agapantha was still not fully in her right mind, she did not think too much of the sneeze, and merely blessed it instead. The water sniffed and said, "Cheers, sweetheart."
Even in the most paralytic state, everyone knows that water does not ever sniff and say, "Cheers, sweetheart." Agapantha jerked upright, knocked her left elbow against the wall, and called out, "Who's there?" "'s me." said the voice. "Who's that?" The nose attached to the voice
sniffed again and the voice said, "'s Percy... Persipan." Agapantha had never met a Percy-Persipan. She rubbed her elbow, and then tried another tack, "Where are we?" Percy was far clearer on that front, "Gaol." "Sod off," laughed Agapantha, "Me? In gaol?"
"Well, was it you last night that rode about on Oberon's goat?" There was a shuffling sound and Percy's voice giggled and floated nearer. Agapantha could not remember riding about on the royal goat, but then again, she could not remember anything of last night. Still, she answered negatively. Percy's voice had a coy edge to it, "Are you sure?"
Agapantha paused. The drips resumed. As if to prove his point, Percy added, "Aggie. You really sure?" That seemed to confirm her fears. It also explained her aching leg, which felt like it had been lightly gored by a horn. But whatever discomfort she felt now, it would be nothing compared to what the future held in store. The Court of Justice had been presided over
Lord Mollyburn for the last five-hundred years, and time had made him no kinder. It was whispered amongst the common-folk (such as Agapantha) that Mollyburn had once banished a whippersnappling for pulling faces at Queen Titania's ladies in waiting. But, as the whippersnappling was not there to confirm or deny such rumours, or even evidence of their existence, there was no
proof. But it was definitely known that the old judge did not look kindly on those who offended the monarchy. To distract herself from what would no doubt be a trial by fire, Agatha turned to where the disembodied voice of Persipan seemed to be coming from. In the gloom she could just make out that the far wall was not in fact a wall at all, but rather a set of bars held in
from the celing to the floor. Beyond that she saw a shape, presumably her fellow inmate. A thought came to her; "How did you know my name?" she asked. The shape shrugged, "Met last night. I was with Puck's lot." Well, that explained some things, but not why he was in here. Puck was one of Oberon's
favourites. Any mischief he made tended to be overlooked. Generally, because Oberon himself would command the mischief-making to happen. Sensing that Agapantha would know this, Persipan continued, "Stuck in 'ere on account of that jammy Puck too." Even in the most dark and dank place, he could not resist a good dastardly story.
Agapantha, intrigued, edged over to the bars. Now she could see a short, swarthy fairy. He also could not stop moving, hopping from one leg to the other and waggling his fingers. "What did you do?" she whispered. All of her pains had been forgotten. Persipan sniffed, and giggled, and hopped about, "Guess." "I don't know, got sozzled on
elderberries?" He giggled again and beat a tattoo on the bars. In time with the rhythm he sang, "No, no, no." He paused and thought, "Well, yes, but no." "Then what was it?" "I..." "Yes?"
"I turned Titania into the royal goat!" Agapantha felt the blood drain from her face. "You what?" "Yes I did! Yes I did! And you know what else?" Agapantha had a funny feeling she knew what else. "I turned the goat into the Queen!" Persipan laughed
manically and started dancing about in his cell. "I did, I did, yes yes I did!" he sang. All at once, Agapantha felt like she was going to be ill again. More than ill. "Ah," she said, and then, cursed; "Thisleflaps."