Interview with Master Patch from Sam’s Quest for the Crimson Crystal
AN INTERVIEW WITH MASTER PATCH
“Uh, excuse me!” Patch said as he nosed through the door leading from Queen Fiona’s chamber. “I’m looking for the bathroom.”
The tall guard pushed back the brim of his helmet with the tip of his spear and peered down, puzzled.
“Bathroom – I gotta go, you know, ‘go!’” Patch said as he hopped up and down scissoring his legs.
“Oh! I’m going on my lunch break. I’ll take you there,” the guard said. “See that open door at the end of the hallway? It leads to the outside.”
“Thanks buddy. Can’t wait,” Patch said as he streaked along the marbled hallway and darted into a nearby stand of trees.
Afterwards, Patch found the guard, who was sitting in the shade of a large oak on the finely manicured grass of the Crystal Castle’s grounds. “You were in a hurry. Feel better?” the guard asked.
“Much. I’m Patch, by the way.”
“I’m Kron, captain of Queen Fiona’s personal guard. Nice to meet you. Have a seat.” He opened a well-worn leather knapsack and pulled out a round of sharp yellow cheese, crusted bread and a flask of sweet nectar. “Hungry, Master Patch? Try some of this cheese,” Kron said as he sliced a piece and handed it to Patch. “My wife made it last year and its aged just right.”
“Thanks. There hasn’t been much time to eat since Miss Samantha and I were brought to the Crystal Kingdom by Prince Buznor.” Patch gulped the cheese down and licked his chops. “Delicious.”
“What manner of creature are you?” Kron asked. “I’ve not seen another like you.”
“I’m a dog. I was told by the Prince that there are no dogs in the Crystal Kingdom or in the whole of Innerworld for that matter. In Outerworld, as you call it, there are millions of us — all kinds, colors, shapes and sizes. Some are pets of the Outworlders, many have jobs like search-and-rescue, and a lot of the big ones are guards like you.”
“And which are you?” Kron asked.
“That’s a good question,” Patch replied. “I really hadn’t thought about it until now. Hmmm, I grew up on Grandpa Paul’s farm on Mile High Mountain, and the best that I can remember I was never given a specific job. I guess I’m a combination, a mish-mash, part companion, pet and guard dog. At home I make sure the foxes are kept away from Grandpa’s chickens, and then I keep the chickens out of the garden. They especially like the new lettuce. When Miss Samantha comes to spend the summer she and I mostly play and explore the woods behind the farm. But now like you, I’m her guard.”
“I was surprised at how young and slight the Seeker is – she doesn’t look like our legend’s description of the Awokians’ savior,” Kron said.
“I wouldn’t know about that,” Patch said. “I just know that she loves me and I love her. She’s very smart and brave and if she’s given the job to save your people, I’m sure she will. Well, it’s time for me to get back. The Queen’s handmaidens are fitting Miss Samantha with a special cape, and there’s supposed to be enough material left over to make a small one for me.”
“You’re a good man…uh, dog, Master Patch. Let’s finish the cheese then we’ll go,” Kron said as he flipped the final piece to Patch.
Patch snapped it out of the air. “Thanks. Maybe we can do this again tomorrow.”
“I’d like that. We guards need to stick together,” Kron said.
“Do you always walk so precisely?” Patch asked as he tried to get in lock step with his fellow guard. One, two, three, four — tail straight; one, two, three, four – tail straight. Darn tail wants to curl, oh, well…….