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~o0o~ Chapter ~o0o~
"Why do you wear a dress?"
Quaraun opened his eyes, to find GhoulSpawn looking down at him.
"Why do you steal sheep?"
"I'm an animal rights activist," the half-Elf answered as he sat down beside Quaraun.
"You're a what?"
"I rescue animals."
"Why didn't you just say that?"
"I did. Except I forgot the term hadn't been invented yet."
"Time traveler. Hmm. Why stay here?"
"This is actually my correct time period."
"Yeah. That's why it's the only one I can stay in for very long."
"I thought you were from 1874, you said."
"1974, and yes, that's where I was born, but only because my parents were not in their correct time period when I was born."
"You have no clue what I'm talking about do you?"
"Why talk to me then?"
"You seem to be the one talking to me. I was asleep. You woke me up."
"You never answered my question."
"I have big balls."
"You asked why I wear a dress. That's why. Pants, codpieces, and hose, put an undue amount of pressure on my balls. The chaffing is dreadfully uncomfortable. I'd much rather let them swing free."
"That's... an answer. Not one I was expecting, but, okay." GhoulSpawn thought about it for a moment and then added. "You know, I'm not wearing pants either."
"Indeed you are not."
"But I'm also not wearing a woman's dress."
"Have you a problem with how I dress?"
"No. I'm just trying to understand it. You look like Liberace and Rapunzal put together, with a touch Dame Edna."
"Rapunzal I know. I get called that one a lot. Who's Liberace and Dame Edna?"
"A flamboyant piano player and an equally flamboyant drag queen. You were born in the wrong century. You'd like the 1970s. You's fit in good there. You're not trying to be a woman are you?"
"You must run into issues with supstuary laws, all the time."
"I do. But I'm a king. And you wear a houppelande. And you're not a king, so you must run into problems with sumptuary laws... more then I do."
"You're a thief."
"You're a very well dressed thief. Where'd you get your hands on a coat like that?"
"It was my mother's."
"In other word's you wear women's clothing as well."
"It was my father's before it was her's."
"I see. Are you hungry?
Quaraun pushed a plate of food to the young half-Elf.
"Do I look hungry?"
"Yes. You look half starved actually."
"I can't to buy food."
"I'm not asking you to buy it. It's already paid for. Here. Eat."
GhoulSpawn took the food without further protest.
Quaraun watched the young half-Elf eat.
"If I does nah keep me eye on ya," Unicorn said to Quaraun. "Ya'll be feeding every stray dog in town."
"GhoulSpawn's not a stray dog, Unicorn."
"Why we feeding de whelp?"
"Because he's hungry. And I can certainly afford to feed every one in this town if I wanted to."
"Yar also too stupid to know better then to flaunt ya wealth in front of a thief."
"I'm not gonna steal from you two," GhoulSpawn muttered.
"No?" Unicorn saod. "Ya already did dat, now dintcha?"
"And I gave it back?"
"Only afta ya got caught."
"Leave him alone, Unicorn." Quaraun placed his hand on the Phooka's arm. "What's done is done and he's not doing anything now. Let him eat."
Quaraun directed his attention back to GhoulSpawn.
"How is it you you've gone so lng without food?"
"I've not been without food."
"You've lost quite a bit of weight since we first meet. And that was barely a year ago. Someone with proper access to food does not lose so much weight so fast."
"I'm a half-Elf."
"They don't like half-Elves around here. Bunch of racist bigots."
"Then why live here?"
"Other towns are worse. And I've not been here long."
"When was the last time you had a proper meal?"
"I don't know."
"You don't know. You poor thing. Why don't you travel with us?"
"Why would I do that?"
"He's a chef." Quaraun pointed to Unicorn. "You'd never go hungry. Look at me. I used to be skinnier than you. He's a candy maker too. You can have an endless supply of chocolate."
Quaraun took a box of chocolates out of his bag and set it on the table. Quaraun had gone back to his usual not a care in the world attitude, and would have gone back to eating candy none stop, had GhoulSpawn not suddenly grabbed the box and threw it across the room.
"You can't eat that, it'll kill you!" The half-Elf screamed.
Quaraun and Unicorn both stared at him dumbfounded, not entirely certain what had just happened.
ZooLock slithered out of his seat and dutiful set about picking up every last peiece of candy and returnng the box to the table.
"Where did you get that?" GhoulSpawn demanded.
"BoomFuzzy makes chocolate..." Quaraun started to answer.
"Not the choclate," GhoulSpawn took a pink sugar cube from the box. "This."
"The sugar cubes? I keep them for horses. End up eating most of them myself though."
"This isn't a sugar cube."
ZooLock took the tiny pink lump and examined it.
"Looks like sugar cube," the squid priest said.
"That's LSD. You shouldn't be holding it."
"It'll soak in through your skin. You don't even have to eat it."
ZooLock stared at the half-Elf.
"Soak through my skin and do what?"
"Uhm... it'll... your brain... it's..."
GhoulSpawn tried to think of a way to describe LSD to a group who were still 500 years before LSD was invented.
"Fly agrylic. It's like Fly Agriliyc, only more. A lot more. A hell of a lot more."
"It a drug," Unicorn stated.
"Yeah. A bad one. It'll drop an elephant in minutes."
"Un ya recognize it, how?"
"I... uhm... make it. It's ... uhm... kind of why I... can't go back to the 1970s. I'm, kind of...uhm... wanted."
"The police. Yeah. I was living with hippies and they were drug dealers and I learned how to make LSD from them and... and then the police... there was a drug raid. And then I stole that car and... there was a high speed chase... and I don't have a driver's license yet... I'm not even old enough to drive a car yet and... possession of drugs, making drugs, selling drugs, grand theft auto, eluding police, driving without a license at about 70 miles over the speed limit... I'm kind of gonna go to jail for a lot of things if I go back there. Not old enough to drive yet, but probably old enough that they'd try me as an adult and I kind of don't want to go to prison."
Quaraun leaned back in his pink cushioned gold plated throne, his hands clasped, silently listening to GhoulSpawn's attempt to explain his crimes between the terrified stuttering that was getting worse the more nervous he became.
"Fly agaric," Quaraun said after GhoulSpawn paused long enough to seem to be finished. "I've had that before. That would certainly describe the past week. How old are you?"
"I was 15."
"When you stole the car?"
"Where is the car now? I've not seen you with it. You had before, yes? That big metal orange thing on wheels. It was like a small dragon, with big glowing eyes and flames."
"It's in my pocket."
"With the sheep?"
"Of course it is."
"Except the sheep are in a different pocket."
"Your pockets are made out of bags of holding. I forgot about that. And you made them you said, yes?"
"How old are you now?"
"16. Almost 17."
"So you are as young as you look."
"Have you been eating those?"
"I have. And I've had a strange week."
"It causes hallucinations."
"Yes. I definitely had those. The river boat man woman. Huh? Well. I suppose, my head should clear up, if I don't eat any more of those. Is that correct?"
"Yeah. It can take a few days to wear off. Where'd you get 'em?"
"In the future."
"In the future?"
"Your future self, Gremlin, paid me a visit and gave me that box of sugar cubes."
"It could have killed you. It's easy to overdose with it."
"Why would the future you, come back here and give it to me?"
"I don't know. Did he give you anything else?"
"Advice. He told us not to come to this town. He told us, to find you, get you to travel with us, away from here, a not let you return to HellBorne."
"Why? Why would I tell you that?"
"He said HellBorne was going to kill you."
"Me? That's not possible. Not if I came from the future. If HellBorne... I wouldn't be able to... because I'd be dead, but if I ... then... that's weird."
"You know HellBorne, right?"
"Yeah. I live with him. For now."
"Would HellBorne kill someone?"
"I don't think so. I mean, he's kind of nuts, but I don't think he'd hurt anyone."
"You know about the murders in town, right?"
"Yeah. I slept with a few of the women who died. I knew them."
"Did you kill them?"
"Me? No! I couldn't hurt any one. I'd probably die of heart attack if I tried. I... I...uh... I have anxiety issues. And phobias...and stuff."
"I'd noticed. You're scared of your own shadow aren't you?"
"So am I."
"You're supposed to be the world's most powerful wizard."
"Yes. I know. That's rather debatable, now, isn't it? I don't claim to be a powerful wizard. I barely acknowledge being a wizard at all. I didn't set out to be a wizard you know."
"You're one of those ones that got taken as a kid and forced into it?"
"What would you do, if you'd been given a choice?"
"I was a tailor. I like sewing. I'm damn good at embroidery."
"He embroiders everyt'ing," Unicorn muttered. "He'd be sitting here embroidering de damn tablecloth iffy de'd let'im."
"You made your own clothes didn't you?"
"Yes. Every stitch. Every bead. Every flower. Every heart. Every bird. I had a lot of older sisters, and I liked sewing fancy dresses for them. And they liked dressing me like a little doll. I've never worn boy's clothes. I wouldn't even know how to. I was the only boy. Had three dozen older sisters. They treated me like I was just another girl. I liked that. I never wanted to be a wizard. I wanted to move to France and be a fashion designer."
"Are you not from France?"
"I actually thought you were. You sound French. You are French, aren't you?"
"Why would you assume that?"
"You have a French accent. And you keep speaking in French, which is why I don't understand half of what you say, because I don't know French."
"I am from Inuvik."
"So you are French."
"I am Canadian."
"You're a French Canadian. Are there many Elves in Quebec?"
"Not many Elves anywhere these days."
"What are you doing down here?"
"In America? Being annoyed by the idiot Americans. It's what all we none Americans do in America."
"I'm an American."
"I pity you. You should change countries immediately. Revolting creatures."
"You hate Humans, don't you?"
"I absolutely despise them."
"You know you're awfully arrogant for someone who supposely hates arrogance."
"I'm the Grand High Emperor of The Triple Planets. Last of the Moon Elves. I come from 500 generations of sibling incest. I'm the purest blooded pure blood Elf in the Universe. There's nobody in this galaxy worthy to kiss my feet."
"Uhm... okay. You know that wasn't an invitation for you to be even more arrogant, right?"
"I'm the ONLY person on this god forsaken planet with any right to be arrogant."
"Wow. You got an ego problem."
"Yis knows not half of it," Unicorn stated. "Try living wid him. Hims ego has wee lil pet egos un dey all prance around giving each other little ego trips all day long."
"Where's he from?" GhoulSpawn pointed to Unicorn. "He can barely speak English at at all."
"He is a Gypsy. He's from Scotland. Lived in Newfoundland for a while. Or was it Lapland? Maybe it was Greenland. I can't remember. We lived together in Inuvik for a while. Originally I meet him here in this town."
"This town has a name you know."
"The Garden By The Sea, is hardly a name."
"They'll change it. In 1821, The Town of The Old Orchard Beach, it what'll be then."
GhoulSpawn paused for a moment then asked Unicorn: "Are you sure you're Scottish?"
"You're black. And Asian. And wearing Japanese clothes."
"Ya has problem wid blauch?"
"No. It's just most Celts I've meet are whiter then he is."
"Him albino. Can no go outside in daylight. Un I is no Kelt. I spit on Kelts. I Pictish. Not Keltish. We blauch, dey albus. De Kelts invade our land. Kill our horses. Rape our wimin. Slaughter our bairn. I is Scottish un I spit on de Kelts. Evil white bastards."
"But you're also Asian. And you're wearing a silk kimono and an aikido hakama. Those are both Japanese."
"Aye. Me mother was Aswang."
"Aswang? I thought you were a Phooka?" GhoulSpawn asked.
"Aye. All Phookas is male. There is no such t'ing as female Phooka. We reproduce with Aswangs. All Aswangs is female. They have no males among dem. Some parts o Scotland call us Each-uisge. We horse men. Not horse. Not man. Not Centaur either.
"You're the King of the Faeries, right?"
"Me was. Me left dat job. I no like be king. I chef. When one is king, one has no time to cook, un no let ya cook. I like to cook."
"But you call yourself a Faerie? Aren't Aswangs Demons?"
"We is Fae. We is Demons. We is Yokai. It all de same. Fae are Demon. Demon are Fae. Uruisgs are seen as Demons or Faeries, depending on who ya talk too."
"Like me, half horse, half man, excepting Uruisgs is half sheep."
GhoulSpawn fell very silent. The mention of an Uruisg had upset him.
Quaraun leaned over to GhoulSpawn and whispered: "We know what you are."
"I should go."
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