Chapter Twenty-Three, Part One: Night Mare's EndMature

The Pythia sits idle in her hall.  

 The Panopticon. 

The Heart of their false kingdom. 

The Dome of the Roc above which she hung and waited. 

Until they. 

Until They. 

Released her. Idiots. 

Three. Stupid. Innocent. Little. Boys. 

Three opportunities for a pleasing dessert, once they pop up again. 

A golden cup graces her black oil fingers; she sips from it, applying her lips a third time against the tedium of crawling servants. 

The favour-currying rats. 

She plucks a black berry from an old ivory dish; the dish is perched on a stand shaped like a malformed, upward-twisting hand, a mere head or two from her new throne.  

It is a carved blue bowl, today; her pillows adorn the rim of it, piling. Tomorrow, she thinks, perhaps she will command it to become an eyeball, or perhaps, the roof of an exotic palace? The carved paw of a giant tafelshrew? No. The skull of a biped. Such a changeable, interesting toy, this throne of hers. So amusingly utile. 

The Pythia reaches for another stand; there, suspended in dark fluid, rests the living, severed head of a former guard. 

Another stand, a council member. An older gentleman, with short grey hair that straggles limply in the back and along the sides of the forehead. The iron nameplate spells out RASKELIN.  Some enterprising crafter must have tacked it on. She will find them and eat them, later. There will be no snakes in her basket of eggs. 

“Thoughtful.” she brags, as she reaches into the cup of Raskelin’s exposed skull and digs, making slop slop noises with her fingers.

The End

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