Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Harold stood at the sink, washing the small mountain of crockery left over from the extensive breakfast his great aunt Lydia had ordered. “Where are the imps?” he asked. “I haven’t seen them since lunchtime yesterday.”

“I’ve no idea.” Jasfoup folded the paper and clicked his fingers in a minor summoning. A gate opened scant seconds later, ejecting the three imps who clattered over the pine table top. “Where have you been?” he asked. “Your master has been calling you.”

“Well I didn’t hear him.” Devious narrowed his eyes at Harold. “Did you use the new code, Master?”

“What new code?” Harold came over to the table, wiping the suds from his hands with a tea towel. “I haven’t heard about a new code.”

“Section 3 of the Care of Demonic Servants Charter, sir,” said Devious. “You have to choose a new summons every five years. It hinders poaching, see.”

“I’ve never heard of that,” said Harold. “Have we got a copy, Jasfoup?”

“I expect so, Harold, somewhere.” Jasfoup stared at the three imps who at least had the foresight to brazen out the lie. “Perhaps Devious can dig it out for you.”

“Yes, please, Devious. I’d like to see it.” Harold smiled. “Now, what have you been doing since yesterday?”

“We made cheese, sir.” John pulled a wheel of cheese almost as big as himself from a portable gate.

“Up yer’ bum,” Delirious added, helpfully.

“Please accept this one as a gift, sir, for the inconvenience.” Devious nodded to his two sons and they presented Harold with the wheel.

“Thank you.” Harold broke a piece off and tasted it. “That’s delicious,” he said. “Let me put it in the larder. What’s it called?”

“Laverstone Noodle, Master.” Devious winked at Jasfoup.

“Noodles is that dog that went missing,” said the demon, “Do you mean to say that you made cheese from a dog?”

“We did.” Devious grinned proudly at his sons. “It’s good, too.”

“I’ll take your word for that.” Jasfoup steepled his fingers. “Now, forgive me for my ignorance. I can just about imagine making cheese from a bitch’s milk, but wasn’t Noodles a dog? A boy dog?”

Devious nodded. “So?”

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