CHAPTER FOUR: In the Hands of Evil (9)

“Charming,” he responded with a disgruntled sigh. As Zed dabbed one spittle-filled eye with a corner of his cape he said, “If that is how it wishes to be treated, I happily oblige.” In turn he spat upon Shenon; the contents of his saliva were a questionable concoction of lingering curses, a dose of dreadful omens, and congealing black magic as foul as an ogre’s excrements. When it splattered against her, it was like being showered in speckles of oily sludge or glutinous grime. The pain she experienced was so excruciating that she strove to holler all of the air out of her lungs – but she couldn’t. She was rendered immobile, and in one full motion she tipped over into the snow when prodded by the wizard’s staff. He dismounted the mongrel. Every goblin present cowered back a pace.

He briefly halted. “What are they still staring at? Hogwash!”

The hunchbacked wretch begrudgingly joined Zed’s side. “They only desire to learn from your demonstrations of superiority, me lord. They’re jealous of your strength.”

“Relate to them their orders, before I demonstrate to them my wrath,” he replied cruelly.

“We’re trained to speak your tongue, lord,” a goblin interjected helpfully. “If you have something to say, you can say it to us.”

He nearly erupted like a super volcano overdue for some much needed landscape renovation. Zed resolved that a spell would be too merciful. “Why does it address me directly? Hogwash, I command you to make an example of that one.” As he fanned a pointing finger to select the recipient of misfortune, goblins climbed over themselves ducking out of the way worriedly.

Hogwash stomped its feet and angrily jabbered at the stagnant troll. It unfurled a tether of wire, thick at the base which formed a handle, and slimming to a sharp razor as thin as a thread. The troll twisted the handle then a low, constant hum resonated from the whip; it crackled when cracked against the crisp nighttime air. After the first genuine electrical lashing, the crowd of goblins dispersed with purpose.

Shenon’s emerald orbs listlessly gazed straight ahead like one who has totally surrendered to a trance. He strolled a few steps and loomed over her. “There are many paths to enlightenment,” Zed hinted sinisterly, “and words are frequently unnecessary.” He lifted the staff aloft then pressed it into the dwarf’s forehead; it emulated the same sound as slapping cold bacon onto a sizzling skillet. She made no effort to move, (or rather, she was making every effort imaginable, only her limbs failed to receive the memo), as Zed’s mind penetrated Shenon’s and stole glimpses into her memory.

The End

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