"The Witch owes us from before, she can't be trusted" came a voice from one the
Tantazine stones and the sound was like a toad calling at midnight.
"I see she has taken a lover?" another hissed and several voices cackled around the
Tibbs' cheeks flushed red behind the large book and Mucklebones kept her face stoic
at the query, Neno pulled a cigar from his pocket and placed it between his teeth.
"We're not here to tittle-tattle, tell me where the Splitter is and we'll leave you in
peace" he said as he struck a match on the nearest stone.
"You're tempting me boy..." a voice came from just behind Neno's ear and he would
swear he smelled the stink of a dried-out animal carcase. "... We're far-more powerful
than that weapon you tote" the demon whispered in his other ear.
Boy In A Dress stood up and the shrieks of fear came loud and sudden, faint shapes
could be seen moving about where Nenothtu stood.
"I AM BOY IN A DRESS AND MY POWER IS BEYOND QUESTION" the Man/Girl's voice
boomed and the group and even Neno looked at BIAD as he stepped into the stone circle.
The demons sped away from the GunMan and seemed to cower infront of the red-dressed
"YOU ARE MINE AND HAVE ALWAYS BEEN, THE GROUND I WALK ON IS NOT WORTHY
OF YOUR TEARS, PAY ME TRIBUTE OR I WILL CAST THEE BELOW" BIAD commanded
and everyone held their breath at their companion's dominant stature.
"We meant no harm -Prince, we have been alone for so long..." came a mewling voice
and any venom that may have tainted previous words was long gone. "... We were merely
taking light jest from your friend"
Boy In A Dress smiled and the whimpers of the Demons became more intense -the wider
the grin crept. "YOU WILL GIVE MY FRIEND THE ANSWER TO HIS REQUEST AND I WILL
SHOW GRATITUDE WITH THE WASHING OF MY HAIR AMONG THESE STONES" he said
and placed his red-nailed hands on his hips.
Nenothtu had once held his breath for two minutes underwater -during a raid on a Seaport
Garrison on a Trident Moon, the discipline needed to order one's body to deny oxygen had
come from his Army training.
Neno's discipline to keep a straight face infront of BIAD being a 'big-bad Devil' fled and the
lop-sided grin turned into guffaws of laughter, BIAD bit his lower lip so-as not to join in.
The Demons swirled in confusion and then were gone, a faint waft of air implied they had
"Oh come on... I think I carry this 'Devil' image off quite well" said BIAD with a mock-
indignant tone. Neno had his hands on his knees in hysterics and tears of mirth dripped from
his down-turned face.
Boy In A Dress looked over his shoulder and adjusting his strap, he waved at the 'O'-mouthed
group. The group waved back.
"We again, beg pardon Prince and wish you safe passage. The device you seek is shown on
the map" a voice said. BAID hadn't seen the Demons return, but the reappearance had
slowed Nenothtu's chortles.
The Man/Girl drew his full hieght and ignored his friend's merriment. "THE MAP WILL BE
GIVEN TO THE WITCH AND ANY PAYMENT SHE OWED IS CLEARED... I HAVE SPOKEN" he
announced and the Gunslinger fell over holding his sides.
Through moans of laughter, Neno spluttered "... I have spoken!" and broke into another
bout of tearful lung-sucking glee.
For a whole minute, nobody said anything until BIAD sighed up to the clouds "NOW!"
The map appeared at the Gray's feet and Mucklebones whispered "thank you" as she
picked it up.
The large column of Tantazine at the far side of the circle had been bored out to show a
bowl-like hollow near it's base, Boy In A Dress walked confidently over to see if rainwater
had gathered there.
Kneeling down and pulling his dress hem low at the back, BIAD dipped his long black
tresses into the cool clean water. The Demons seemed to give off sparks of blue and red
as they flew amongst the floating frocks, cries of relief flooded the air around the grassy
bank as the hermaphrodite dropped his strange head deep into the rock-hole.
After washing, BIAD stood up, shook his head and the spattering of water onto the facets
of the columns seemed to bring more pleasure to the swirling spirits, even Muckles had
had cracked a grin at the vista.
The Drinking Of The Demons was done and with a slight bow, Boy In A Dress stepped out of
the circle and with a 'pop' everything was back to where it was before the ceremony.
Nenothtu had gathered himself and slumped back onto the boulder, a sappy smile still hung
on his face.
Y'lrang and Y'Wren placed the Angel Hair into the circle of pebbles and picked up the two
amulets as if they were Pit-Vipers. The two Culs were pleased to place them back in Tibbs'
"Bog dal, bog i vzyal" Muckles said softly and helped Tibbs to his feet, the Vithian's eyes
darted to the Crone's lips. "God gave and God gave back..." he said with a furrowed brow,
"... that's an Earth language"
Muckles smiled kindly, leaned over and with a grunt, she picked up the Vantine Kel Puldria
and looked at BIAD and Neno talking near the boulder.
"I know of many things -my man, I know yon' Devil over there is still on his path of destiny
and I know that his friend beside him will clear that path" she said softly, Tibbs took hold of
one side of the tome and the Witch and Time-Traveller hobbled towards the satchel.
"Let's hope The Splitter is found quickly" she mumbled to Tibbs "... those two grow
more and more powerful everyday"
The Vithian looked over at his taller companions with a puzzled gaze "what do you mean?"
he whispered back.
"I may be an old Witch, but I'm a canny one..." the ancient eyes wandered over to where
the stones floated in the evening air "... the ability to control Demons is a powerful one,
The Dark Lord would pay dear for such a power"
Tibbs smiled to himself as he tied the bag's cover and said "when it comes to Neno, the
expession you're looking for is 'Holodna hmoora' yes?"
Muckles leaned closer and kissed the Vithian on the forehead "Cold,hard, empty... yes
that's the one"
The group moved off along the juniper bushes and followed a track to another clearing,
the darkness was rushing in and none of them wanted to spend the night near the
The Demons were drinking the last of Neno's mirth-tears as Adam stepped into
the clearing and guessing he wasn't too far behind his friends, he decided to take
a sit on a smooth boulder that protuded nearby.
The faint 'shimmer-shape' near one of the columns moved to get a better look at the lone
stranger and hoped he'd stray into the circle, afterall a crazy U-man was better than
a sane one -and this U-man was talking to himself.
edit on 25-8-2011 by A boy in a dress because: Left high-heels in Edit Room.