The beargirl confronts Borysko

She very plainly hated him still, but couldn't do more that moment with her hate than pace it across from him. And the beargirl held that dog so close it bled through those tattered farmgirl clothes she wore.

Borysko hadn't gotten around to imagining how finding the beargirl might play out. Only a day or so before, even to breathe this night’s gentle air might not ever happen. For the moment he felt simply content in this happy chance reunion in her forest under the moon.

Then the moment passed.

Madame was done with her private need in the bushes. He could not have called her by that pretty girl's name, not Nyssa: hardly a name fitting this pretty one when she does duty as the Assessor, a woman who chanced it bravely, stronger than many a beer guzzler loud in his oaths; and she might if reason takes full leave hang along with him in bad ending, for his King seemed of late to desire him dead.

She knew this strange dog with the green eyes.

"Calla!" she cried, rushing where she perhaps should not.

The beargirl backed a step, cradled the mostly dead cur close under her chin – “You are magic. No touch."

"Let me have him."

"Dog yours?"

"Yes. Mine."

This girl the Assessor also was burst out in pitiful sobbing as the beargirl put the dog limply in her arms. Only for that instant, Borysko might have went to her, might have whispered the comforting small lies the sorrowful liked to hear at such times – the "he looks a strong dog, so come, we'll patch his wound". He might have even kissed away her tears. Instead he stood himself ready, for he saw the gleam in the beargirl's eyes, and knew what was coming. Lightened of her burden, all the front of her clothes dark in the dog's blood, immediately she advanced on him. Only side-stepping to bring a useful tree in between kept him from her.

"You not dead! – She say YOU dead!"

Then she came – when she should not have – Nyssa de Silva fearlessly to his rescue. But the beargirl had her bear senses and swung round – “NO TOUCH!"

Cursing his heavy slow limbs, Borysko went to her, crumpled in the moonlight. Stepping back, one, two steps, and smiling oddly, the beargirl allowed him.

"I kill your woman – See? Hole inside you where love was! – Yes? Now I kill YOU! Kill LIAR too! – She say YOU dead! –“


Nyssa de Silva moaned in his arms, and Borysko bowed and kissed her cheek without thinking.

"Haah! Little thing – woman YOU play with where I drink my berry! – Liar I kill I see her!"

Borysko's heart thundered – HER! – “Liar that one is! – She near killed me! –“



The beargirl stared, rocking slightly from foot to foot: "Liar!"

"She who near killed me HUNTS you!"


"Borys'...take her to the mages...and Calla."

"Possibly impossible. Madame."

"I show YOU! I taste your boy! – HAAH!" – And then the beargirl pulled away at her farmgirl tatters, stripped aside the bloodied shirt, dropped the skirt.

Borysko blinked several times, suddenly flinched, and began to tremble, as she transformed: the slender girl shape bulking and furring over in the moonlight. Done, she lumbered past that useful little tree and put herself big as the trees before his face. Those same gleaming eyes. Puffing her breath in his face that through his fear inexplicably reminded him of wine.

"I am She that can bite y'head off!"

The End

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