The Witch Doctor's Messenger

Bronn had only ever received a messenger like this one whenever some obscure relative, who'd long since fled the land and Hesper's wrath, kicked the bucket. It usually meant that he was getting inheritance money or land. It was never much admittedly, but Bronn enjoyed the idea that the old codgers thought of him at some point of their lives. 
"Who's dead this time?" he asked abruptly, startling the messenger, who almost dropped his scroll. "Great uncle Finnegas? Lucille, second cousin three times removed? They all die at once, in a big fire?"
The messenger cleared his throat. "I do not know to what you are referring, sir."
Bronn's stomach dropped. "Are you from Lord Hesper?"
"Hesper? Heavens, no. I carry forth a message from one Gregory Blackscales."
Blight perked up, curiosity peaking at the mention of the kingdom's most renowned witch doctor. Why on earth was Bronn receiving news from him?
"Master of Arts, Gregory Blackscales," the messenger announced, reading dramatically from his scroll, "requires the presence of one Mr. Bronn, at his earliest convenience. Master Blackscales furthermore stresses the urgency of the matter at hand."
Bronn's blood began to boil. He slammed the door in the messenger's face, without so much as a nod of acknowledgement. 
"Well, that was rather impolite," Blight remarked.
Bronn stormed into the kitchen, staggered to the crudely-cut wooden worktop, and held himself upright on his giant, deformed knuckles. He hovered here, near the washbasin, in case he felt the urge to vomit.
Blight fluttered in after him, and perched on the back of a rickety old dining chair, which was almost just as worn as the armchair. He fixed Bronn with a look. Accusation and worry.
"I saw Blackscales last week. You were running errands, and I knew I'd be home before you," Bronn explained darkly.
Blight narrowed his eyes to a glare.
"I know. I shouldn't have gone behind your back. I'm sorry, Blight."
Blight's frown softened as Bronn turned his gaze to the floor. "Why did you visit the witch doctor?"
"I'm not as young as I used to be. And - I've been feeling strange lately. Like something bad is settling in inside me." Bronn mentally scrambled around his insides, frantically searching for what could be wrong, and everything seemed to go all at once. His heart shuddered, skipping several beats. His lungs contracted, burning with every breath. His head pulsated with pain. His stomach churned and twisted, his bowels threatening to slip out of his control. He even felt an uneasy tingling in his prostate. Bronn wasn't even too sure where his prostate was, yet somehow he could feel it screaming out for attention. "What's wrong with me?" he breathed, so quietly that not even Blight heard.
"Are you going to attend?"
Bronn peered over at his glistening black companion, and a sad smile tugged at his features. "Whatever Blackscales has to say to me, Blight, it's not good. I'd hoped I'd never hear from the man again. I'm scared to know what he has to say. So I'm going to complete this, this contract for Lord Hesper before I go."
Blight felt panic rise up inside of him. Bronn was speaking in a way that frightened him beyond comprehension. He was speaking as though he'd already been handed a death sentence. "Bronn, are you sure that's -?"
"Yes. And it's my final decision."
Bronn wearily plodded from the kitchen and clambered up the narrow wooden steps to his loft bedroom, his enormous, bare feet torturing the wood with his weight. Blight returned to his favourite spot on the armchair, and sat there for about an hour after Bronn had retired, anxious claws torturing the wood with his scratching and scraping.

The End

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