Thursday, 12 September 2013

PART 5: Sad Sam and Sly Strange - A Serial by Grant Harbison and Manuela Cardiga

Sam smiled with joy; for although he was coy, he felt love so pure (of this he felt sure), for Esprelotta, daughter of Slaughter. ‘Could one love so quickly?’ he thought. “Or is it the need for love that I sought? It could do me no harm, for I love her feminine charm.’

Barbon picote listened from afar; wiggled and jiggled and roared a mighty, “Hoo har!” He held back his tears, put aside his own fears and rejoiced at the knowledge that he’d spend more time with a friend he’d defend to the end.

Esprelotta stared at Sam with love and compassion. She said, “Come here, young Sam, please take my hand. My trust is in you, my dashing buckaroo. Those creatures of lust, I simply don’t trust. They are mean and they’re cruel, but I’m no ones fool. If treachery I was to suspect, would you promise to protect?”

“If I sense something shady, I will protect my beautiful lady. But think thee not bad of Sly; it’s her we despise. Sly can be strange, but he’s not as deranged; for inside he is human. He needs a different woman.”
”Oh, love it can change the deranged and the strange... As for a different woman, be careful, my Sam. Do not utter or mutter, or in deep dreams stutter such a thought! That worm the Troll did sire...Oh her jealousy would be dire! I would not envy the woman on whom her Ire would fall...Nay! For though on Heaven she call, no help nor hope would save her from the hate and spate of rage that would bring her to a truly ugly fate.”

And so the two- with the trembling picote completing the crew-snuck downstairs at half past four, in some some distress for fear the cold eye of the Troll and his night-patrol might somehow catch windfall; some sound or scratch as they lifted the hatch to the pantry door set on the floor.

From that cavity, with some levity the picote did lift(to the Troll’s future grief) a bottle or two of a heavenly brew, a loaf of bread someone had made from soft white flour taken as trade or perhaps in a raid on Angel’s town(and was not ground from bone under the blood stained stone of the Devil Mill.) Also some meat that had not felt the heat or the beat of a human heart; cheese curdled from a goat’s milk, and last but not least, no more than a fist of seeds from a mysterious flower some claimed to hold enormous power. This did the picote stow in a sack, and this did Sam haul onto his back. Not much you might think, to pack for a journey that might track across all of that dizzy-spinning world and back.

“It must suffice!” Esprelotta sighed. “And friends, I will advise we from the start must devise a careful partition; for by the power of division must these sparse victuals last at least until we pass the narrow strait of the Gorge of Gorgons and come at last to that place of sedition and vile perdition: Purga Tree, that Westros town. For there, though their minds be foul, we will find their rituals yield up edibles upon which we shall not frown.”

The three snuck down the hideous town’s wandering boulevard lit by the frightful fires of charring nubiles. Here and there the fearful middling herded weeping juveniles into their houses, and a few drunken minor trolls conspired to steal a luscious haunch from a braising corpse.

But all in all, though it appalled, the trio’s trip was uneventful; up until the very moment they crossed the line that was patrolled by the vicious Raunch, a murderous creature- and none was fiercer- devoid of pity and whom no ditty would de-move from death, dismemberment or even worse.

And so it was on this very last course, they came across the deadly duo they’d come to meet: Severina and Sly awaiting in the glimmer-light of false dawn, and crouched at their feet did yawn the sprawling shapes of dragon spawn.

by Grant Harbison and Manuela Cardiga

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