~o0o~ Chapter ~o0o~
"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. '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."
GhoulSpawn tried to get up, but Quaraun grabbed his arm and gently pulled him back down.
"You don't have to leave. We're not gonna hurt you. You are an Uruisg, aren't you? Which is why you don't wear pants. You can't, can you? And that's why you wear the huge green houppelande coat. An Uruisg is a male Glastiv, yes? You're a sheep."
"Glastivs are goats," GhoulSpawn said quietly. "They run around in the mountains of the Scottish Highlands. Uruisg are sheep. We're from the Shetland pastures."
"Just like the Phooka's who are little ponies from marshlands. Centaurs of the forests. Fauns of the lowlands. Satyrs of the coast. Minators of the desert. I've never seen an Uruisg before. Can I see your legs?"
GhoulSpawn lowered his eyes and shook his head, silently mouthing the word 'no.'
"I don't like people to see my legs. I get beat up when people see what I look like."
"We won't beat you."
"You're an arrogant High Elf."
"Only around Humans. I hate Humans. But I happen like Faeries and Demons and half-Elves and you're all three. Besides, you're almost as beautiful as I am."
"You're just in love with yourself aren't you?"
Quaraun completely ignored this statement.
"Is that why you rescue sheep? Because you are a sheep?"
"Yeah. Something like that."
"Would also explain your insatiable lust for women. Uruisgs are like Satyrs in that respect, yes?"
"You don't have to hide what you are from us. We won't judge you and we won't hurt you. You're safe with us. And your certainly welcomed to travel with us."
"I can't travel good."
"Muddy roads. Rain. Snow. Ice. Wet grass."
"I do not understand?"
"Hoof rot. Muddy and rain and dampness, causes hoof rot. Wet grass and ice have no traction. I'd fall and break my legs. Once I'm down, I can't get back up very well, not without help. My legs are made for climbing rocks, and not much else. My hooves are not made for travel. I can't run. I can sprint. But not sustained running. And I can't walk on smooth floors. Polished marble, tile, linoleum, waxed hardwood. There's nothing for my hooves to grip. I can't climb ladders. I need help on stairs. I'm good at mountain climbing. Leaping around on rocks and ledge. That's why I like this town. The cliffs on the ocean. Beach sand. Dune grass. Blueberry plains. Apple orchards. The ravine. I can maneuver those with ease. The terrain here is good for me. There's a lot of lege here."
"But the people here don't like you."
"I know. The prostitutes and housewives like me. Quite a lot."
"You're good in bed."
"Very. I've long soft Cotswold wool. Women like having something soft and furry to cuddle with."
"Iffy ya lower half be a sheep," Unicorn stated. "Then ya got the cock un balls of a ram. I guessing de wimin folk be liking dat quite a lot as well."
"Can you not talk about me... uhm..."
"Ya can not say cock un balls can ya?"
"No. I didn't grow up in Biddeford."
"I did, so fuck you."
"Yeah, I gathered you were a Biddefidian by the lewd, crude way you talked. Most vulgar town in the world."
"It a sea port. What do ya expect. It sailors, merchants, un fishermen. Rife wid rats, cockroaches, un lobsters."
"You know in the future lobsters are a delicacy and people pay $30 a pound for them."
"Unicorn has a point," Quaraun said. "You're balls must be bigger than mine."
"You know, before, I wanted to see your legs. Because I never saw a man with sheep legs before. But, now I want to see your balls. I've seen sheep. They have monster sized testicles. Fow does that translate over into a hals-Elf-sheep like yourself?"
"You're both crude."
"I've lived with him too long. And I have a thing for furry lovers."
"You excit me."
"Did I want to know that?"
"I'm not gay. And you probably don't know what that means. I don't think that word was in use yet back here in, whatever time this is. I don't with other men."
"You like women. Which is fine, because I have Unicorn. And I'm quite content with him in my bed."
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"There you are!" A voice called from across the tavern.
"Oh Goody!" Unicorn said. "Mallac's here."
"Oh bother," Quaraun grumbled. "I think I was supposed to meet him somewhere today. He's trying to get me to solve those murders for him, and I really want nothing to do with it."
Mallac appeared at their table and was about to say something to Quaraun, but saw GhoulSpawn sitting next to him and adressed the half-Elf instead.
"Hi, Mallac." GhoulSpawn said not looking up at the Human soldier.
"I've been looking for you."
"There is not one sheep left in this town. Not one!"
"Do you know how long you'll be in prison?"
"Twelve years for each sheep. I know the law."
"Just return the damn sheep. If you don't they'll slap you with witchcraft, consorting with Demons, Satan worship, and everything else they can think of. They'll hang you, stone you, crush you, and burn you."
"I can't return the sheep."
"They'll be killed."
"They are wool farmers, not lambchop farmers. They aren't killing the sheep, you stupid tree hugging Elf."
"Not the farmers. The cultists. They're the ones taking the sheep. Sacrificing them. I didn't take the sheep from the farmers. I took the sheep from the cultists. The cultist took the sheep from the farmers."
"You and your damn cultists. You're crazy GhoulSpawn."
"Damned crazy Elves."
"I'm also an Elf, Mallac," Quaraun said, his voice seething with anger. "And unlike GhoulSpawn, I'm an Elf who doesn't like Humans. And every time I see you, I like Humans even less."
"You stay out of this, you sissified puss..."
"You funking flith loaded piece of shit."
Quaraun stood up was now pointing his wand in Mallac's face. Mallac took a few steps back. He was uncertain what exactly the wizard's wand was capable of doing and he didn't want to find out.
"You came here to harass me, not him," Quaraun continued. "Now what the hell do you want?"