"Then you must be Morgana, if you know of my still-undying affection for dear Guinevere. I order you to remove this curse at once and let me return to my kingdom!"
The snort I had been trying to contain escaped as I nearly doubled over in laughter. "So what you're saying is – you're trying to tell me – you think that you're actually –"
"King Arthur Pendragon, the Once and Future King," stated the frog, "at your service."
I gaped at him. "Okay, so... if you're 'King Arthur,' then why are you here?"
"You should know, Morgana," he spat, frog saliva coating the not-yet-cut grass that he sat in. His eyes glinted with something akin to hatred.
I glared at him. "First of all, it's Morgan. Second, I'm not a witch. And third, I have no idea what you're talking about." The frog returned my glare, and I was just about ready to fire up the mower and let him fend for himself. He would be no match for the blades.
"You know exactly what I'm talking about," he hissed, making me jump a little on the inside. "You did this to me! You said that the only way to save me was to change me, am I correct?" he then added, likely seeing confusion written across my face.
I decided to play along for a moment. "Well," I said, gazing off into the distance, "I can't recall the counter-spell. I am terribly sorr-"
"LIAR!" shouted the frog in a tone louder than I ever would have imagined a frog to shout like. The screen door to the house opened as my mother poked her head out and looked right at us.
"Morgan, what's going on out there?" Her tone was accusatory. "Was that a boy?"
"No, Mom," I said, rolling my eyes and glaring at the frog, "I found a frog. That's it."
The frog seemed about ready to kill me. "That's it?" he whispered, obviously offended that I hadn't referred to him as "Arthur Pendragon, the Once and Future King." I glared at him again.
"Leave it alone and get back to mowing the lawn. It'll jump away." Mom closed the screen door, leaving me alone with the frog.
"It? Honestly, do any of you know how to treat royalty?" the frog asked, his voice higher-pitched and annoyed. I, against my better judgement, picked up the frog and held it captive in my hand.
"If I'm going to help you, then you'll have to listen to me. This ain't Camelot. You're in the United States of America, a democracy, and we don't have kings or nobles. But we do have land, and you're on mine. So, either you leave or you do what I say." I gave the frog an evil grin after I spoke. His eyes seemed to bulge in terror - unless, of course, I was squeezing him a tiny bit too tight.
"Whatever you say, my lady," he managed to say through the pressure of my fist.
"Good," I said, standing. I carried the frog inside and up the stairs to the bedroom I shared with my younger sister Elaine (Anna, the oldest of the three of us, had moved out a few years earlier). Though she was nowhere to be seen, next to her bed sat an empty tank she had used for a hermit crab that had "run away" a few months ago. I placed the frog in the small plastic tank and closed the lid, ready to walk out of the room and finish mowing the lawn.
"Where do you think you're going?" he asked, voice filled with spite.
"I'm finishing mowing the lawn. Unlike what you may understand, women have to work, and I happen to be saving up for a car. I can't have Gwen drive me everywhere." My reply seemed filled with poison. It was so easy to be angry at the frog, and I was - admittedly - a smidgen jealous of Gwen. She was the opposite of me - blonde, attractive, talented... how could I, the plain brunette one, measure up? Perhaps, I thought, if I ended up with a better car than her, perhaps we'd be even.
The frog sighed and rolled his eyes again. "Well, carry on, then."
As I walked out of the room, I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and sent Gwen an urgent text: "You busy?" I typed, "I need you over here."
"It is the only way," said the woman, her black robes fluttering as she raced back and forth between the cot and the table. "Without this, you will die. Which would you rather give up, your kingdom or your life?" She did not even look towards the wounded figure on the cot before speaking again. "I will not tell anyone of what has happened here - they all believe that you will return to them. Your adviser is dead, his protegee put an end to him, and he will not be able to save you this time. This is your only choice."
And with that, she poured the bubbling green potion down the man's unwilling throat. "You will need to stay away from your land until you have healed. I will send you somewhere you will never be suspected to be. I will find you once it is time for you to return."
"When will that be?" the man asked, feeling the effects of the concoction immediately.
The woman laughed, a cruel cackle escaping from her mouth. "When I figure out how to turn you back!" She began speaking in a language that he could not understand. He saw the world grow bigger. His skin seemed to bubble and boil as the room began to spin. She finished speaking just as he lost consciousness.
A/N: Thanks so much to Kinna, my first reviewer on a continuing original story ever! To everyone else, there's a little button I would love for you to hit, since reviews are wonderful motivation, if you get my drift :]
Next chapter: Enter Gwen and her fantasies about a boy named Lance... what will our little froggy friend do? And will he ever stop being rude to Morgan? Stay tuned!