Wednesday, 25 September 2013

PART 7: Sad Sam and Sly Strange - A Serial by Grant Harbison and Manuela Cardiga

Severina smiled. “Wiles? Indubitably vile. Why, your crusty shell that so pungently smells has been by devil gelled. Would you have us believe that underneath that repulsive sheath a sweet heart does beat? Your condition be tragic, but I do feel your magic be black as coal and moulded in some debauched gremlin’s hole.”

“Miss de Salvage, what you see is just a mirage. Your visions have been painted by something loathsome and tainted. Everything is fake, our perceptions it takes for its own pitiful sake; lonely and forlorn since the day it was born in this soulless lair that drove it to despair. It feeds on the need to trick and deceive, and if what we see we believe, its aspirations are achieved.”

“How know ye my name? I say the black arts are to blame.”

“Oh, bud from Mudd, to darkness you are no stranger. A servant I’d wager. Don’t make me laugh, for I follow the path of light and my gift is the sight. The charade you parade only serves to degrade. But that having said, I require the aid of the one who is strange, if you want your visions to change.”

Severina began to titter, but her eyes were cold and bitter. “Oh, strange my sister, I do ye warn that your heart will be torn and cast aside if you tried to use trickery and lies to prise Sly from I.”

“Oh, wild child, how you do so fuss. I’m afraid this is a must if we want to help us. Sly, strange man, come take my hand.”

Sly moved to meet her, intrigued by her peculiar demeanour; and ignored the tirade from his lover, Severina. As their fingers touched, he felt a sudden rush; a tingling feeling that had his head reeling. Suddenly she bust out of the revolting crust, which smashed against the wall and crumbled to dust. A shine came to her hair, which became velvety and fair. The change to her features transformed her into a beautiful creature. Her body became toned, as though it’d been honed by some heavenly existence who’d worked with persistence and direction to achieve utter perfection.

“I am the Lady of Light,” she cried. “And with all my might and my powers, I shall protect the Strange man from the crimson showers. I will guide, I will lead, so I tell you take heed. If a safer passage you do require, one not so dire, then follow me till we reach the Western sea.”

Severina snickered. “Oh dear, we seem to be short of a dragon. How go ye? By wagon?”

The Lady of Light gyrated, and then levitated. She flew all around, then returned to the ground, and said, “That is how, it will do for now.”

Gnashing her teeth and smashing her fists against her thighs, Severina smothered the enraged cries rising to her lips. It would not do to allow such rage to deform her face. She must play at gentle smiles, and all the while nurse her hate and weave her wiles to draw this hateful Lady to a dire fate…

But oh the fearful spate of bile-black spite boiling in her heart! Her perfect eyes shimmered with the deceptive glimmer of jeweled tears; tears that might surprise and move had one but known: Severina never cries except from hate. With a fearful heart, the picote did shiver as if from a fever. One more soul had he to save, another added to the list of lives in his care…

But then, as if she had heard his fearful thought, the Lady of Might did whisper: “Fear not, picote, no power nor shower of malice Severina can device can strike me. In fact, let me advise: before me she is as helpless as mice in the claws of a cat; but…Let’s not tell her that! Let us allow the Troll’s vicious daughter her little spite. In this way she might just reveal her true self to the Strange man, and thus break the poison spell her pretty shell has woven over him, release him from his strangling dream of lust; and then, if all the Gods be just….”

And here the Lady of Light did pause and said no more. Sam came near and half a-feared did draw Esprelotta’s dear hand in his to greet with his sweet smile devoid of any guile the Lady of Light.

“Welcome, though surprised, we bid you welcome on our ride, or in this case” Sam smiled, “this flight! Allow me to present the fairest Lady yet, Esprelotta of Slaughter, the Ogre’s only daughter; and I - at your service Lady of Might - Simple Sam a poor man with no more to recommend than a small talent for being a friend.”

“You are too modest, Simple Sam, say I. From my eyes naught is hidden, thy talent is more - and soon, be thou sure - shall reveal itself…Further I say to you, do not count as of small account the rare ability to look on the frailty of a fellow man and love as much as you can. Nay Sweet Sam: nothing in you is simple. I would warrant in fact you the least simple of all these gathered here.”

Severina watched with impatient eyes. Even her deceptiveness could not disguise the despite that did arise from her shallow heart at every word the Lady spoke.

“Shall we discourse? We can, of course! But I warrant it is time, and wasting it is a crime, for soon the sun will rise and burn out our eyes. Let us away, before the break of day. The Gorgon’s Gorge is our only recourse to travel safe, so let us set a hurried pace!”

“I beg to differ, the thought of that poison Gorge does makes me shiver! I tell you there is another better way: if you would trust me I will lead, I swear you will not go astray!”

by Grant Harbison and Manuela Cardiga

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