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What'd You Say?At first PDQ couldn't understand why Mychael was attempting to comfort him. Certainly he was nervous, even fearing for his life a littledwarves were not known for hospitality or for tolerating the very tallbut he wasn't having a fit or anything. He nearly whispered as much, but an itch distracted him. For a moment he thought it was in his wrists, but then he realized it was the metal. It yearned, for a different shape, a sharper form.
That of an axe.
He clenched his fists and tried to ignore it. There were many axes all around them, being carried by each of the dwarves, with Griselda as the only exception. The others appeared to defer to her, almost subconsciously, even though some seemed almost embarrassed. She hid it from him, from all of them, but it reflected off of the others. She was a leader, and a leader of dwarves with no axe seemed half a dwarf. PDQ slid the bra
Vesi Vanhin Voitehista 1Street lamps blazed holes into the night sky like smoldering cigarettes being pressed into dark blue linen paper. Along with the lights of the city that hugged the town's limits, they intimidated the stars into staying home. This victory of the unnatural luminence gave the short street and the houses lining it a harsh glow. Every edge blurred, dithering into the yellow-orange lights that seemed almost solid. Taivuttaa stood in the middle of the street, staring down a single-level house that would have been a dim yellow in the sun. He sighed, releasing a tired breath of profanity like an afterthought.
He'd been tossed out of that house too many times to be angry about it anymore, far too often to waste time complaining. It would have almost been funny if the nights hadn't started getting so humid. The stink of the city was worse at night than it was during the day, against almost all reason. Just thi
Go Watch TVBrains. It was almost too much. PDQ knew he couldn't qualify for any other role in a ballad, but it made him blush anyway. Certainly he was no mysterious figure like Griselda, nor a seasoned soldier like Mychael. But letting him aspire to moderate brilliance or even intelligence was far too generous. Probably Mychael was only being kind. She was even smiling now, which changed her greatly. For the better, if someone had forced him to say.
They were on the move again. He wondered for a moment whether he should have taken the time to ask Griselda about their destination. At first it hadn't really mattered, freedom had been the only object, but now he had that. There was room for other considerations. Such as why Griselda had wanted him along at all. So far he'd been mostly a hindrance, and she'd more than proven how well she would've done on her own.
Look Something ShinyFor a moment, all PDQ could think to say was, 'That seems unnecessarily dark,' and so wisely kept his mouth shut. Undead and those with the taint were not unfamiliar to him, but this was not quite due to personal experience, merely culture and education. He'd seen the taint on her from the start, but hadn't thought to comment on it, even in his own personal thoughts. After all, he'd seen it plenty of times in plenty of people. When he'd been a child, it would have felt odder to see someone free of it.
He tapped Mychael's shoulder, but didn't wait for her to turn and face him. " I don't mean to hurt your feelings," he whispered, just above the sound of the erehen's uninterrupted steps. "Only Where I'm from, magic is completely forbiddenin my native tongue, the word for magic-user is vedis, the same word we use to say 'murderer'. And just about everywhere else that I've been, magic-users a
Just Another BoreIt seemed to have been a small eternity since PDQ had last spent a night out in the open. Even before his incarceration, he had been working in hostels and inns, after a long stint as a stableboy. Memeth was so close to Tev, and Tev had been almost impossibly near Valiari. None were anywhere near Ba Ki, of course, but that was the point, wasn't it? He grinned. It was good to be properly on the road again, fugitive status notwithstanding.
He patted the bandage gingerly, wondering if Mychael wanted to be left to her own thoughts and devices. He could hear her breathing, but it sounded so full of peace that he couldn't bring himself to speak aloud. She'd need as much peace as possible, if she intended to stick around.
For as long as he could remember, things had shown a tendency to go sour, as it were. Life's normal bumps and wrinkles seemed somehow magnified. He wasn't sure if this was
How It Began"God, your two o'clock is here."
"I have a two o'clock?"
"He's been here since 7:45. I figured it's only polite to... sir."
God sighed. "Fine, send him in."
While He waited God cleared His desk of papers and blueprints; no need for outsiders to see His plans. Soon enough the door to His office opened and God stood, smiled, held out a hand towards one of the two visitor's chairs.
"God! Great stuff you're doing in sector 2-7-0! Great stuff!"
The man's hands were clammy, his handshake limp. Rumpled suit, porkpie hat, briefcase... oh Jes-- oh dear, a salesman. God's smile slipped a little but He soldiered on gamely. With luck He could shoo the poor guy away in a few minutes.
"So, what can I do for you?"
The man sat, briefcase across his knees. "Sector 2-7-0! Everyone's talking about it! What do you call it? Man and merman?"
"Man and woman, actually. And thanks. But we're pretty busy around here, and..."
"Oh! Right! No time for the wicked, eh?" The salesman winked and popped his briefcase,
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