RM who was sharing author Ava D Dohn at fawnsfall.wordpress.com

p. 14- FH- Creature Speaks


The creature hissed back, “Yes… yes… you know me?  That’s good!  My lord said you would… yes… yes he did.”  The voice changed to that of a waffie on the take.  “He said you like money.  I have money, good money.  Not to hurt the pretty boys, he said…  I have money.”

4-082, Waffie on the lake

A hand poked out of a fold in the ragged robes, this time with a little leather pouch.  Another hand reached out, its fingers rummaging into it.  Two coins presently appeared, the silver glinting in the cold starlight.  They were thrown on the ground near the guards, who jumped back in fright.

The creature became silent, patiently waiting for the guards to respond.  They cautiously eyed the smelly creature, occasionally glancing at the two shiny objects near their feet.  “Get a light!” The second guard ordered.

The first guard backed away, opened the prison door and reached in, taking a half-burning torch from the wall.  Holding it at arm’s length, he looked toward the creature, but could see only shadows under the hood.  He then stared at the two stater coins tossed on the muddy bricks – nearly a week’s pay for each man.

The creature laughed, slowly rocking from side to side with glee.  “My master says there’s more, yes more, but I must do Master’s will first.”

Holding his spear high, just in case, the second guard reached down and picked up the coins.  After studying them in the torchlight, he exclaimed, “They’re real!  Look!”  He handed one to the other guard.

Hefting the coin and then rubbing it between his finger and thumb, he thought for a minute.  Eyeing the creature with caution, the second guard finally asked, “What do you want?”

Shuffling closer, until threatened again, the creature leaned forward and just above a whisper, hissed, “You have a man in there.  He makes fun of the gods… he makes fun of Master.  Master is unhappy. Sends me to talk to foolish man.”

“And what is his name?”  The second guard asked suspiciously.

The creature laughed.  “We call him ‘Talker’, because he does not know how to shut up.  But others call him, sh… sh…” It nervously held its hand up to the faceless opening and, first letting go with more curses and oaths, whispered as if in pain, “Cee…phasss..”

“Who?!”  The guards howled, pointing their spears as they did.

The second guard stepped forward, shouting, “Be off with you, you…whatever you are!  Take your money and go away!”  He threw his coin at the creature.

The creature howled in anger and turned to leave.  It had only taken a step when it cried in pain and fell back.  It began wailing, “No, please, not my fault!  Not my fault!”

Ranting on, failing its arms and postulating, it cursed the guards.  Suddenly, as if warding off a blow, it raised its hands and cried, begging for mercy.  “I tried!  You said they were nice boys.  You said they like money, money!”  It angrily howled, “They are not nice little boys, they do not like good money!”

With the same suddenness, the creature quieted and stretched forward.  “What?  Yes, yes they would.”  It giggled as it turned back toward the guards, asking, “But how?”  Then it cocked its head as though being whispered a reply.  There was a burst of laughter and, “Worms?  Yes, yes, worms.  It makes them tender, nice and tender.”

4-083, Shadowed Control

The guards listened, terror slowly growing within them, as the creature argued over what was to be done with them.  There were sounds of laughter, followed by, “Yes… yes… that is good.”

With disgust, the creature jumped back and fumed, “No!  Don’t burn them.  It tastes better cold and soft.”  There was a smacking sound again.  “Better for my mouth.”

The terrified guards cowered, pressing their bodies against the prison wall.

The creature moaned, bending low, like a dog seeking mercy from its master.  It whimpered, “Not good boys.  Don’t like money.  You said they would like money.”

It perked up and laughed, asking, “Leprosy?  Give them leprosy?”

Slowly, it turned its head toward the guards and let out with a laughing hiss.  “Yes, yes, worms, but first leprosy.  Bad little boys…”  It started to raise its arms and begin some kind of a chant.

An invisible hand reached out and grabbed the creature, snapping its head back and swinging it around.  Half-sobbing, it cackled,  “You said I could, you did, you did!”  Again it became quiet, as though listening to someone.

The creature began to argue.  “What?  More money?  But they don’t like it…!  What? Gold?  Gold money?  You will give bad boys gold?  Let’s eat them instead.  Eat them!”

Again the creature whimpered like a whipped dog, but soon quieted.  After what seemed ages to the guards, it shrugged, “All right.”

It turned and shuffled in their direction, stopping just outside spear-thrust range.  It cackled, “Master will give you gold money, good money… to good little boys.”  The creature rubbed its hands together, rolling one over the other.  “Yes he will, he said.  He promised.”

“How much money?”  The second guard asked, barely controlling his panic. “How much money do you give us?”

The creature laughed as it slowly bobbed up and down and from side to side.  It turned its head away from the guards.  “Good boys, good little boys.  You said they would like the pretty money.  Yes, yes you did.”  It turned back and started to shuffle forward.

“Stop there!”  Both men yelled, dropping their spear points in front of the open hood.

The creature halted, whining, “You asked!  You asked me!  How much money?  How much pretty, shiny, money?”

“Tell us!  Tell us how much.”  The second guard shouted, his voice belying his fear.

Excitement grew in the creature’s shrill voice.  “I will show you! …  Good boys.  He said you are nice little boys…  Not to hurt good little boys.  He said to be nice.”  It pleaded its sincerity.  “Master says to be nice to little boys…  I will, I will…  Please, see my money.  Master says see it.”

As the creature silently swayed from side to side, the guards could see clouds of steam escape from under the hood.  Finally, the second guard told the first to move closer to see the money.

4-084, Shadow's fly

“Why me!?”  Cried the first, clutching his spear tighter  “It may attack me!”

The second reassured him.  “I’l hold the point of my spear in its face and keep the torch high.  If it tries somthin’…  I’l… stick it.”  Then turning to the creature, he bravely demanded, “No tricks!”

The creature cowered, lifting its arms for protection, the leather pouch swinging in its hand.  “Don’t hurt me.  Master said be good.  Little child is being good, very good.”  It shook its head. “Not hungry now, not now.  Promised I would be good, be good.”

The first guard hesitantly inched forward, stopping about arm’s length from the creature’s hood.  The stinky thing appeared so small at this distance.  How dangerous could it really be?  Courage started to build in the guard’s heart…

“Put your hand out!”  The creature hissed.

The guard jumped back, startled, his bravado dying before it could show itself.

“The hand! I say!  Put out your hand for the money, the pretty money.”

He wanted to bolt, but the second guard chided him for being a coward.  Very slowly, the man extended his hand, palm up, fearing giant fangs might rip it from his arm.  The little creature croaked with delight, lifted the bag, and emptied its contents into the guard’s opened palm.

He jumped back quickly, staring at the coins in his hand.  The creature cackled with laughter.  “Good money.  Master said it is good money, pretty, shiny money.”

Wide-eyed, the two guards examined the coins.  There were eleven more silver stater coins, making a total of thirteen.

A frown grew on the second guard’s face.  He glowered, shaking his spear at the creature.  “Wait here!  You said there was gold money.  This ain’t gold.”

“Gold!  Yes gold!”  The creature chirped, bobbing up and down.  “Pretty gold money… later.”  It then lowered its voice to a menacing hiss,  “When done with Master’s will.  When done with my job.”

“Give it to us now!”  The second guard demanded.  “Now… or we’ll stick ya!”

The creature raised its arms and angrily hissed, “I’ll give you!  I’ll give you…” Its voice was cut off as the creature pitched back, nearly falling to the pavement.

4-085, A revealed arm

The guards shrunk back against the wall, throwing their hands up over their faces.  The creature gaggled and coughed and then started to whimper as though being beaten by some invisible hand.

Finally, it cried out, “No more!  No more!  Little child will be good!  Good little child!  Please!  Please!”  It fell to the street as though being released.

Painfully standing, rubbing its side, the creature faced the guards and whined, “Gold, yes gold money.  Will make you rich.”  It then threatened, “Master is tired of playing…  First must talk to foolish man, must talk!”

The guards argued over what to do, fearful of the demon and its master, but equally fearful of the prison’s commandant.  Finally, the second said,  “You stay here and I’l see the head man.”  The first started to complain, but was cut off by the sharp retort.  “Shat’ap fool!  Yu’l be alright.  Just keep your spear pointed at it.”

Without waiting for a response, the second guard turned and hurried through the prison door.

His returning seemed to take ages.  All the while, the little stinky creature continued to slowly rock from side to side, humming some tune just under its breath.  The wary guard stared at it and then down at the coins in his hand.  As the time passed, he looked more at the coins than at the creature.  He moved his fingers, making the coins slide from one side of his hand to the other, and then back again.  What wealth!  What wealth!  More money than he had seen at one time in his entire life.  He began to dream of the good times he could have with such wealth – the women, wine, and power the money could bring.  Hurried footsteps jarred him back to reality.

The commandant of the prison burst from the door.  “All right, what’s the… Whew!  What is that god-awful stink?”  He looked at the black shape rocking to and fro in the torchlight, and let out his breath.  “Have the souls of the slain risen to offend us?”

Laughing erupted from under the creature’s hood.  “Yes! In a way, yes.”  It smacked its lips then grumped, “Not hungry now.”

The commandant was taken aback, falling over the second guard, nearly toppling the both of them.  Quickly regaining his balance, and attempting to do the same with his dignity, he demanded, “What do you want?!  Tell me now, or be off!”

The creature raised one bony hand and pointed it directly at the commandant.  It hissed contemptuously, “You took my money, you did, you did.  Now give up your end to me, to me.  Now!…”  It laughed.  “Or be forever cursed!”

The stunned commandant’s face reddened in anger.  He was about to order his guards to attack the ‘beast’ when the torch light flashed off the two coins given him by the second guard.  He blankly stared at them.  His anger was now turned toward his guards.  “How many did it give you?”  When no answer came he shouted,  “How many?”

The first guard started fidgeting with his fingers, while his face twisted up with consternation.  At long last he stuttered, “ ’Leven, yea, ‘leven.” Then pointed toward the commandant’s hand  “Plus those two.”

“That’s thirteen!  You stupid fool!  Thirteen!”  The commandant glared at the creature, “What curse do you bring tonight?  Why the devil’s wage?”

The creature raised its hands in dispute, shaking its head.  “No curse, no curse…  Good little boys… pretty little boys.  Not hurt pretty boys…  Master said to give more money, more money.  Will remove the curse…” The creature lowered its voice and shook its finger.  “If little boys are good…  yes… Master will remove it.”

“Give me a lamp!”  The commandant demanded.  “Now! Get it now!”

The second guard hurried through the door, soon to come back with a flaming, oil-wick lamp.  Taking it, and motioning for the creature to come closer, the commandant bent down, shining the light so he could peer inside the hood.  He let out a short gasp, but lingered to have a good look.

4-086, Demon Face

Coal black eyes stared out from a death-white, pockmarked face with caked chunks of mealy skin hanging from it.  The creature’s mouth was a gaping black hole of a laughing smile, out of which some kind of juice drooled.  The commandant could also see strange marks and runes carved in the creature’s flesh.

The commandant stood up, waving his hand while making a face.  “God, it stinks… like something dead.”  He backed away, keeping an eye on the creature which patiently remained there, swaying side to side.

Nearing the guards, he whispered, “It’s a witch of the devil himself all right… or worse… maybe a demon.”  He nodded his head while attempting to reassure the others.  “If it had wanted to kill us, we’d all be dead by now.  I really do believe its business is not with us tonight, else you’d not have received the money.”

He asked the creature, “Who are you?  What do you want here?”

It hissed in anger at the question.  “I have spoken to the little boys… Not nice boys…. They were supposed to tell.”

The commandant was stern with his reply.  “I want you to tell me!”

4-087, Creatures hands

After muttering more curses and fussing that it had already told the others, the creature grudgingly obeyed.  “My lord has business with a bad man.  His business, not yours.”  It then softly cooed, “I am his little child.  Good child… nice to pretty boys.”  It extended its hand, slowly pawing the air.  There was a sharp cry and the hand vanished under the creature’s ragged garment.  It unleashed some more curses and then… “Not hungry, not hungry now.”

The commandant spoke up bravely, but his voice could not hide the trepidation.  “We won’t let you hurt Cephas.”

The creature jumped and thrashed it arms about. “Don’t say its name, its name!”  The creature cried in pain.  “Call it ‘Talker’, ‘Talker’!”  It began to utter oaths and call out incantations, apparently warding off some sort of evil because the man’s name had been spoken aloud.

It soon calmed, satisfied that any possible danger was now passed.  The creature shook its head.  “Not hurt bad man.  Not hurt him.  You can do that, do that tomorrow.”  It giggled.  “Yes, yes, that’s for you.  Must talk to bad man tonight!  While he still lives.”

The creature again fumed with disgust.  “He insults the gods!”  It then reassured them.  “Just talk, yes, talk business, my master’s business.”

The creature turned and motioned with its hands.  “Be Patient!  Patient… I say.  Don’t hurt them… I promised you wouldn’t hurt them.”  Turning back to the men, it clasped its hands and waited.

Although fearful, the commandant remembered the coins.  “The money, what of the money… the thirteen coins that brings a curse?  And what of the gold you promised?”

Laughter filled the cold night air.  “Yes… gold… gold money for the good boys… and more silver.”  It held up its bony fingers.  “Three more silver coins… Three!  Bring good luck to little boys.”

The creature’s voice suddenly became threatening.  “But first business.  Must do Master’s business.  Now!  Or Master will not be kind to little boys.”

The three men huddled in deep discussion over what they should do.  If they received no more money, then a curse would surely befall them, but if the prisoner were hurt, the governor would throw them to the lions, or even worse.  They also reasoned if they didn’t allow the creature in, it might put a spell on Cephas, possibly killing him.  Then they would be thrown to the lions anyway.  After several minutes of arguing, it was concluded they best chance the witch.  At least there was a possibility the creature would hold up its end of the bargain.

The commandant finally motioned the creature forward.  When it got close, he asked, “You promise no funny stuff… not to hurt him?  You promise us more money, too?”

“Yes!  Yes!”  It sputtered impatiently.  “And more money for good little boys, too.  But first business!  Master’s business!”

The commandant gave orders to the first guard.  “You stay here and watch.” while he told the other to come with him.

The first guard complained about being left alone.  The commandant silenced him with a few expletives and threats, after which he ordered, “Now keep a good watch and don’t fall asleep!”

*    *    *

Also enjoy pages:

Section One- Destiny’s Road, p. 02, 03, 04

Section Two- Of Councils Great and Small, p. 06, 07, 08

Section Three- Legend’s Heroes, p. 10, 11, 12

Section Four- The Forges of Hell, p. 14, 15, 16

Section Five- The Silent Tombs

 

Enjoy other posts: 

 Prologue,

Destiny’s Road 1-0011-0021-0031-004, 1-0051-0061-0071-0081-009,

1-0211-022, 1-0231-024 & 1-025

Of Councils Great and Small 2-0262-0272-0282-0292-0302-031,

2-0322-0332-0342-0352-0362-0372-0382-0392-0402-0412-042,

2-0432-0442-0452-0462-0472-0482-049 & 2-050

Legend’s Heroes 3-0513-0523-0533-0543-0553-0563-0573-058,

3-0593-0603-0613-0623-0633-0643-0653-0663-0673-0683-069,

3-0703-0713-0723-0733-074 & 3-075

Forges of Hell 4-0764-0774-0784-0794-0804-0814-0824-0834-084,

4-0854-0864-0874-0884-0894-0904-0914-0924-0934-0944-095,

4-0964-0974-0984-099 & 4-100

Or find your own book at:

Amazon.comSmashwords.com;

Diesel-Ebooks.comBN.comebookstore.sony.com

BUY NOW!

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