The Elf King’s Thingy: Part 1
The Elderberry wine reflected the candles dancing light within it, ‘like the souls of the damned dancing in the fire’, de Manfess thought, as he stared into his chalice. The room was dark beyond the light cast by the three-pronged candle stick, and full of enveloping shadows, deep and secretive. The half-burned tallow dripping wax forming long trails that wound down the silver of the stand, while they smelled like sickly grease paint on corpses.
As he watched the dancing light of the candle flames, he thought of blood. His musing always turned to blood in the end.
Blood that called to him, called to that which flowed in his own arteries. He could feel it pounding and pulsing through him. He could feel the veins beneath his scalp straining against his skin. Feeding his headache with insipid flashes of agony both sweet with life and full of anguish.
He was angry about something, he was not sure what that something was, but since when had that mattered to the rage that burned within him. Primal, deep within his core. His turning was near, and that always made him susceptible to rages. Rages that burned with passion. That was the turning after all, a thing of passions. He felt something was left undone, like a broken rhyme, and he grasped to remember what that was yet could not reach it within his memory. This only added to the resentment and rage burning within him. And thoughts of blood, always blood, his burning, others for the shedding.
The wine was not helping, instead, as it ever did, it was making him bitter in his cups. He found himself fighting the urge to lash out at the flickering candlestick. A desperate need for a moment of relief, to lash out with all his tension, his rage, his anger. Lash out and send it flying into the darkest corner of the room. He pulled back his arm to strike, the pulsing in his head getting all the stronger. The urge for violent release desperate with its intensity.
“It’s not going to make you feel any better you know.” Said a dry voice from the shadows. A voice as dry and lifeless as a desiccated corpse. Which considering the owner of that voice came a no great surprise.
“It might,” de Manfess snapped back, with none of his normal poetic lint. Mr Spleen recognised this sign of just how irritated his partner was. Irritated and close to the turning no doubt. He let out what would have been a sigh, had there been air in his lungs to sigh with.
The Zombie removed his bowler hat and brushed the ever-present dust off the crown. Not that this made any great difference, dry motes of dust were attracted by his clothing in the most polished environment. Which the office of ‘de Manfess and Mr Spleen, Practical Lawyers to the Court.’ were anything but. If there had been air in his lungs he would have sighed once more, instead it was more of a whistle as the air sucked in through the holes in his chest.
“On the contrary my compatriot, it will merely instigate a state of us sitting in the dark.” The zombie said, with little that could be confused with humour.
His partner sneered in reply and brayed his fist on the desk, hard enough to make the candlestick jump, and send a billow of dust fill the air, before settling on Mr Spleens hat freshly brushed hat. In return Mr Spleens expression was as unreadable as ever as he stared with unblinking eyes at the dust covered crown and with another whistle of resignation placed the bowler back on his head.
de Manfess cracked a smile suddenly, his mood switching without account as it often did. Generally, it has to be said at the little discomforts and depravations of his partner. He was a man to ever find the discomfort of others lightened his mood. Though it should be said it was only a mild lightening of his mood. He had, after all, not had an opportunity to try out his new thumb screws since he bought them several weeks before. Some real honest torture was what he really craved if truth be told. Creating mild discomfort in a member of the undead did not have quite the appeal of a good racking. Putting someone to the question, now that would take his headache away. A good hot tonging, or even a light bit of waterboarding. That’s what he needed… That a blood of course, rich deep red blood, or poetry of course…
He thought for a moment, then tilted his head to one side slightly and swallowed the rest of the wine in one.
“What we need, if my friend it does please. Is a task that demands, the careful touch of our delicate hands. Least we be bored as ridged, as…” he let out a little chuckle at his forthcoming joke, a nasal chuckle which was a sure sign he thought he was being clever and wanted a mild dramatic pause. “as the queen is frigid.” He finished and laughed again.
Mr Spleen did not, which was not unusual. Mr Spleen seldom found his partners jokes funny, or for that matter considered his rhymes to be clever. But then Mr Spleen found little funny or clever but himself and pedantry. Which was why as a short pause he replied irritably…
“That is not at all accurate, Queen Lissa is quite the opposite in fact, as we are all but too aware. However, you are correct in your estimation of our need for an undertaking.”
de Manfess just laughed louder at the irritated tone of his compatriot. His mood, at least for the moment, lifted.
Then the large black Bakelite phone that sat on the desk between them began to ring…
Next week ( or possibly in a couple of days) the tale of ‘The Elf king’s Thingy’ will continue, elsewhere and earlier.
Authors note: This part work comprises of a first draft, without the usual editing, proof reading etc, It is somewhat raw because of this. There may be glaring errors, terrible typos and crimes of a grammatical nature. Feel free to point them out if your self-esteem requires a boost, you would certainly be proving your intellectual superiority over the author in doing so…