Jasfoup rubbed his face with the palms of his hands. His lips ached, his eyes ached. By all the gods, his brain ached! He turned his face down, shielding it from view with his hands in line with his cheeks and took a few calming breaths. Finally, judging the moment when someone else was just about to speak, he looked up at them.
They were staring at him, their faces ashen. Felicia, her normally calm composure shattered by streaks of tears; Frederick, his customary pipe forgotten; Julie, the globes of her Jupiter eyes circling erratically around her head and Gillian, her black-in-black eyes staring back at him. Only Devious seemed unconcerned, happy to work his way through the unfinished meals of the five seated beings.
The demon took a deep breath. “The question we have to face,” he said, “Is where is Harold, how do we get him back and do we want to?”
“That’s three questions.” Two of Julie’s seven eyes were fixed upon him, the other five watching each of the others.
“Um… I’m right here, actually.” Harold waved.
The others ignored him and turned instead to Frederick when he cleared his throat. “We ought to ask that bloody bald bint,” he said. “She came here to do him in and damn well did the deed. As for getting him back, of course we do. He’s the glue what binds us all together. Without him we’d just drift apart.”
“That’s touching, Frederick. Thanks.” Harold wiped a tear from his eye.
Jasfoup coughed. “Of course we want to get him back,” he said. “I didn’t mean that we should just abandon him. It’s just that we don’t want to put ourselves in danger doing so.” He paused and extended his claws. “I’m with the ghost,” he said. “Let’s interrogate the prisoner.”
“Aye.” Gillian’s fingernails grew into talons.
“Aye.” Felicia wered into her half wolf form.
“Aye.” Sparks flickered around Julie’s hands.
“Aye.” Frederick looked at his own ghostly appendages. “I’ll have a chat with her.”
© Rachel Green 2007