Monday, 9 September 2013

PART 4: Sad Sam and Sly Strange - A Serial by Grant Harbison and Manuela Cardiga

“Oh, Severina, how you’ve lied to the flock; the ones you now so mock. You are no queen, not even to be. So don’t expect of me to go down on my knee. Your father’s plans have changed, our wedding’s arranged. I’m to bear him a son, and he’ll be the one to rule supreme. A magnificent king, highly esteemed.”

“Oh, Esprelotta, daughter of Slaughter. I do believe you’ve been utterly deceived; by a silly old fool, who lusts only for your flesh. I’ve seen how he drools. A word in his ear is all it will take, for you to forsake; to restore my claim and be rightfully ordained with my lover, Sly Strange.”

“If this be your will, I’m sure we can still… come to an arrangement. A deal we could seal. For I love not your father, and think I’d much rather travel, have adventure and marvel at wondrous sights I never have seen; journey through places where I’ve never been. I’ll leave it to you, I’ll let you decide. Do you endanger your place on the throne, or do you let me ride?”

“You perfidious witch! For what you’ve suggested, I could have you arrested; thrown in jail, receive a mistrial, and then be impaled.”

“The Troll won’t know, unless someone does sow, words in his ear that he doesn’t want to hear. He will be peeved; he will be aggrieved; to find I’ve been freed. But when you return, his heart will burn with love so extreme, he’ll make you queen.”

Severina sighed, and then turned to Sly. “What are your thoughts? Do you think she ought?”

Sly shrugged his shoulder, moved slightly closer and whispered in Severina’s ear, “What if we sold her?”

Now Severina smiled -and smiled not so mild as to seem to esteem the dastardly scheme-but as one who is between two minds and finds these delights so extreme in their pleasure that to chose twix the two would be to lose a priceless treasure…

“Esprelotta - the daughter of Slaughter - dead at the hands of my father’s daughter might be the excuse the Ogre would use to wipe his shoes on our dead bodies. He craves to take our delicious town, and slake his taste for human flesh (both the pale and the brown) on our nubiles, our tasty lush middlings and our tender juveniles…We shall give no excuse, indeed we shall use your delightful idea, and thus need not fear the dread Ogre’s revenge or the anger of Slaughter at the death of his daughter.” To Esprelotta she added with the faintest frown “How know I you will not return? How know I you do not burn to trap me, to weave and enfold a scheme so mean as to make it seem I would thwart my Fathers will; that I would dare to resist and enlist to assist my new lovely Beast...Nay I cannot trust you do not lust to be the mother of the Troll’s vile child, and rob me, Severina the Wild, of my rightful pride!”

Once more a wild delight transformed Severina’s delicate smile into something resembling the ravening maw of some monster with a razor jaw. Aside to Sly she did deride the lovely Princess and her dignified pride.

“Indeed to see that girl so bold openly sold for good red gold at the slavers’ Market of Despair; stripped naked down to her hair - nothing to cover or to hide every ill inheritance from her vile Father - then we shall see Esprelotta squirm! I must see it! I must see her cringe! I crave with a fearful lust to drag her down to the very dust!”

“Severina the Wild, the Ogre’s only child!” cried Esprelotta, daughter of Slaughter. “You have to believe, I wish not to conceive a child with the Troll, or wed and grow old. If I do leave, I shall never return to this contemptible town where I’d be tortured and spurned. I’d be violated and cursed, and my fate could be worse. The Troll’s fierce ire could have me tossed in the fire. Charred and black for an abomination’s snack. This place I do loathe, my oath to you both.”

Severina glared with wary eyes. “Early we’ll rise, but you’ll need a disguise. For if you’re recognised by one of his spies, it will be our demise. We shall meet in the morn, when the foul screech at dawn. Bring your own edibles and water in flagons. We shall ride on the backs of tame wingless dragons. Now Sam, don’t forget, that ridiculous pet; Barbon O’ Brody, the sad eyed picote.”

By Grant Harbison and Manuela Cardiga

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