I haven’t washed my hammer and I‘m never going to wash it again. I like rubbing my thumb over the sticky, dried-out, purple elixer splattered on it from when the Archer Queen shot it out of my hand. It reminds me that what happened last night was real. The Archer Queen actually asked me to hang out with her tonight and it's all I can think about.
“Henry!” Chief says.
Crap. He just caught me daydreaming. He’s at the bottom of the wizard tower looking up at me. He wears this nasty old, brown robe that looks like it’s never been washed. His long, gray beard gently tickles the grass as he shakes his head in frustration.
“You said this was supposed to be done in thirty-six hours,” Chief says, “It’s been thirty-six hours and seventeen minutes.”
Yeah, Chief, I need rest. I need breaks. Dinner. Sleep. Did you ever consider, Chief, that maybe I was out on a hot date with the Archer Queen last night? No.
“I’m done,” I say and climb down.
“Behind schedule,” he says. “We need that archer tower on northern wall worked on.”
“It can wait,” Lee says.
He drops a purple rock from his arms, then wipes the dust from his blue robe. He smears the sweat in his goatee with the back of his wrist. One after another, more wizards drop purple rocks, then turn around and head back towards the laboratory.
“What is this, Lee?” Chief says.
“Rock enchanted with elixer,” Lee answers. “It draws heat from the earth’s core. The spells we cast at goblins will be more powerful.”
“So, we have to start all over. Another thirty-six hours this tower will be down?”
“Forty-eight,” I chime in. “It will take me forty-eight hours.”
“Unbelievable,” he says. He puts his fists on his hips and, again, he’s shaking his head in frustration. “We cannot have a tower down for two days with all the goblin attacks recently.”
“The goblins,” Lee says, “are exactly why we enchanted the rock.”
I stop listening at this point. These matters don’t concern a little old builder. Regardless of who wins the argument, I’ll pick up my hammer and do what I’m told. The rocks are see-through kind of like a crystal, and when I lift one in my arms, it makes my hands look chubbier than they already are.
Chief throws his hands in the air and walks away.
“We got to tear this down,” Lee says. “Help is on the way.”
“I have a question, Lee,” I say. “You might think it’s stupid, but…is there a way to make my hammer have friendship with the wind?”
“You know, like, make it so it can travel fast through the air.”
“That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard. Why?”
“Well, you know goblins have been threatening our land and one might come over to my little hut one day and I just need something to defend myself with.”
“Actually, that gives me an idea,” he says. Then in a whisper, “I’m going to the village off to the north tonight to sneak in and steal some dark elixer. You know how Chief won’t get us any because he doesn’t trust us or whatever, but anyways, they got a bunch in storage up there. They won’t miss it if I take some. I don’t need that much. If you come and help me, we could snag one of those hog riders’ hammers. That’s a weapon to be reckoned with. They used dark elixer to make them as powerful as a jackhammer, but light as a feather.”
“I can’t. I’m meeting someone tonight.”
“It won’t take that long. We’ll be back before the night’s half over. What time are you meeting your…uh…who is it? One of the handmaidens? I can’t get them to even look at me.”
“You’re sure we can get one of those hammers?”
“Yeah, yeah. They're farmers up there. They’ll all be tired from a hard days work. Snoring. At sun down, meet me at the broken archer tower on the northern wall. Shhh. Someone’s coming.”
Four more wizards walk up to the tower and I hop over a fence and duck behind it. I put my hands over my ears and peak between two wood posts. The wizards’ spells crack into the wizard tower and explode like dynamite, sending rocks and pebbles into the air. What had took me thirty-six hours and seventeen minutes, became a pile of rubble in sixty seconds.