Bride of the Castle
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Preparing for his marriage to Linda, groom Gene dreads facing his wedding guests and swears he would rather face a horde of barbarians until an unexpected shift across a portal into a bizarre world makes his haphazard wish come true.
strings, no obligations. You can do what you want. Live in a garret, write poetry-anything." "But Andrea . . ." "I've had Andrea," Max 2 said forcefully. His tone was more than a little bitter. "You've been pining away for her for ten years, or so Hochstader tells me. I want to be free of her." Hochstader walked over and stood between the twins. "You two had better swap clothes." From somewhere upstairs came the sound of running water. "Quickly, too, I'd say." Max 2 rose. "Right," he said,
was worse, but Rance was tired after three days of travel on foot. On the way he passed several disasters: an accident in which a child was crushed to death beneath the wheels of a fully laden cart; a freak mishap in which a farmer drowned in his own well; a house fire; several maimings involving farm implements. He was beginning to wonder. The barkeep shoved a glass of ale at him. "Three copper pieces," he snarled. Rance stared him down while wiping the spillage away. "My good man, you seem
Barnaby said. "They didn't? That's the first I've heard of this. I haven't seen them today." "Oh, they'll be all right, too," Melanie said. "Come on, let's go have a cup of coffee." "I'm going to my room. I need a nap." "Suit yourself." The entire wedding party began the long walk across the floor of the "chapel," which was bigger than most earthly cathedrals. "One of these days I'm going to go into my room and not come out for a year," Linda moped. "A recluse, an aging spinster." "Now,
Tremaine sniffed. "Someone must see to the workaday drudgery necessary to run your kingdom, sire." "I suppose so," Incarnadine said guiltily. He gave Tremaine a small wave of the hand. "Bye-bye." "The gods be with you, Your Majesty." Tremaine bowed deeply. "Later." "So nothing's new?" Linda asked Jeremy Hochstader. "Not much," Jeremy said. "I've just been fiddling, trying out some ideas." "Like what?" "Oh, moving the Earth portal around, for one." "I thought you had the ability to move
food," Linda told him. "I whipped it all up, matter of fact." "But the party's at one, is it not?" Lord Peter took out his pocket watch. "It's only half past twelve." Dalton snickered. "Besides, I always have the same lunch." Dalton nodded. "Kippers, Yorkshire pudding, steak-and-kidney pie, and tea." "With lemon." "With lemon. Same lunch, every day, day in and day out." "Are you implying there's something wrong in that?" Lord Peter asked archly. "Nothing wrong with it. You're just a