The Curse of the Orthana by Nick Tamboia

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Iron Boot was not sure if that question was directed at him, or if the witch was just talking aloud, so he made no reply.

“I suppose I should test it out on something else first to see how long it takes to hit the ground,” the witch muttered to herself.

Iron Boot’s eyes grew wide with fear upon hearing that. Did she mean him? He took a slow step backwards.

Jadis snapped her head around to glare at him. “What is it then?” Jadis suddenly asked. “What have you come here to tell me?”

Clearing his throat once again, Iron Boot answered, “the spy has returned from the south.”

“Ah, yes. That idiot,” Jadis commented and in one easy, smooth motion spun around and jumped back into the balcony area. “Have my guards keep him waiting outside my throne room until I call him in.”

“As you command My Queen,” Iron Boot muttered, bowed and rushed off to do as he had been told.

A considerably long time later the spy was admitted into the throne room by two large, muscular Minotaur to find Jadis sitting slumped over in her throne with her wand held in her arms like a baby.

“The spy, Queen Jadis,” Iron Boot announced from where he stood beside her.

“Ah, yes,” Jadis said loudly. “Mister Weasel.” That had come out in a mocking tone.

“I am a ferret, my lady.” This was true. He was a ferret, one that stood on two legs and was fairly tall, slender with brown and white fur.

“Slippery weasel,” Jadis said in a mocking tone, which caused Iron Boot to chuckle.

Instead of correcting her, the ferret sighed as he bowed and simply said,

“My Queen.”

Jadis ignored that as she shifted in her chair and held her wand up, examining it for a moment before saying, “You had claimed that you were a spy, as I recall it, when you came into my service.”