Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The apparition was all in white. Harold could tell it wasn’t real – he might have been taken in by a apparition in white but when it had a daisy motif he recognised from the tablecloth in the scullery the jig, as Chandler would say, was up.
He looked at the sword in his hand. What was the law on household defence these days? It he ran a burglar through, did it count as self defence? Did it count as diminished responsibility if he genuinely believed it was a ghost? Perhaps not.
He changed his grip and clumped the intruder with the flat of the blade. To his surprise, the sword met only a slight resistance before the tablecloth folded around it, slowing the swing and forcing the point floorwards. Harold backed away as it dropped, staring in horror at the twisting mass of shadows before him.
A tentacle curved out and by instinct he chopped at it with the saber, surprised at the complete lack of resistance. The shadows knitted together again, changing shape as they dropped closer to the floor. Another tentacle formed, this time at the end furthest from Harold; a column of smoke rising to a foot above the rest of the mass.
It twitched from side to side.
Harold jumped as Jasfoup appeared beside him. “What is this thing?” he asked.
“A Darkling,” said the demon. “A creature of shadow. Look! it wants to be friends.”
“How can you tell that?”
“It’s wagging its tail.”