David A Ludwig (@DavidALudwig) flew the highest this week and takes his third win!
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Oaklie crept wide eyed at Vedania’s elbow through the towering, gilded hall, flanked by four cupids. The ethereal silence of Vedania and her fellow cupids gave solemn weight to the palace. Such an atmosphere rendered the guards’ golden bows more menacing than charming, and overflowing floral arrangements more funerary than romantic.
“I’m really sorry,” Oaklie squeaked as quietly as she could. “Who knew they’d recognize me? I only ever visited you here the one time!”
Vedania’s ability to enunciate through her clenched jaw was just another of her many skills that impressed Oaklie.
“You’re a giant talking bunny.”
Oaklie crossed her forelimbs. “I’m an adorable talking bunny!”
Their conversation cut short on entering the throne room doors. Oaklie’s jaw dropped and her eyes ascended the great golden staircase up to the multi-winged throne where Vedania’s mother waited. This could hurt Oaklie’s neck before too long.
“I was becoming concerned you wouldn’t be back in time for Sunday. I presume you are prepared?”
Niflora dispassionately selected a chocolate from a box on the sweeping arm of her throne. Vedania returned her mother’s icy intensity in full.
“I told you. I’m not participating this year.”
Oaklie was starting to understand why Vedania hadn’t wanted to come here. The guards fidgeted their desire to be dismissed.
“Don’t be ridiculous. Of course you’re participating. Do you think mortals would fall in love without our intervention?”
“Yearly love quotas secured you the throne of our world, but have you even read my reports on how few of the couples we create remain together the next year?”
“Of course I’ve read them! That’s not our job!”
Oaklie caught a flash of shared pain in the eyes of mother and daughter. The smart thing to do, would be to keep her nose out of it.