Marasi Colms személy
“Congratulations,” MeLaan said, pulling open the door. “You’ve found proof of something that terrifies us. Think on that for a while, before you go around accusing Harmony or the kandra of anything. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go try to hang myself properly.”
– Egyszer tévedésből ellőttem egy kutya farkát – felelte az ikerszerzet félvállról. – Vicces történet…
– A kutyalövészet aligha illő vacsoratéma – tiltakozott az asszony.
– Tudom. Főleg mivel a golyójára céloztam.
Marasi nehezen állta meg, hogy ki ne köpje a levest az asztalra.
– Ladrian úr! – kiáltott fel Steris. Az apja úgy tűnt, jól szórakozik.
– Azt hittem, már nem tudom megbotránkoztatni – szabadkozott az asszonynak. – Csak a hipotézisét ellenőriztem, kedvesem.
– Ladrian úr, hallottam, hogy egyszer megdobott valakit a saját késével és pont a szemén találta el. Igaz ez?
– Igazából Wayne kése volt – vallotta be a férfi. Tétovázott. – És a szemen dobás a véletlennek köszönhető. Igazából a fickónak is a golyójára céloztam.
– Na de Ladrian úr! – kiáltotta Steris hamuszürke arccal.
– Tudom. Eléggé célt tévesztettem. Nem nagyon értek a késekhez.
The door to the adjoining suite slammed open. “Hello, humans,” MeLaan said, stepping into the doorway wearing nothing more than a tight pair of shorts and a cloth wrapped around her chest. “I need to put on something appropriate for tonight. What do you think? Large breasts? Small breasts? Extra-large breasts?”
Everybody in the room paused, then turned toward her.
“What?” MeLaan said. “Picking a proper bust size is vital to a lady’s evening preparations!”
“That’s … kind of an improper question, MeLaan,” Steris finally said.
“You’re just jealous because you can’t take yours off to go for a run,” MeLaan said. “Hey, where is that bellboy with my things? I swear, if he drops my bags and cracks any of my skulls, there will be fury in this room!” She stalked away.
“Did she say skulls?” Aunt Gin said.
The door slammed.
“Aha!” Wax said, lowering his hand. “There it is.”
Marasi approached and wrapped her arm around the elderly lady’s shoulders, leading her away. “Don’t worry. It won’t be nearly as bad as they make it seem. Likely nothing will happen to you or your hotel.”
“Other than Wax rippin’ your windows apart,” Wayne noted.
“Other than that,” Marasi said, giving him a glare.
“Young lady,” Aunt Gin said under her breath, “you need to get away from these people.”
“They’re fine,” Marasi said, reaching the door. “We’ve just had a long night.”
Aunt Gin nodded hesitantly.
“Good,” Marasi said. “Now, when you get down below, would you please send someone to the trade bureau for me? Have them collect the names of each and every person who works at the local graveyards.”
“It’s vitally important,” Marasi said, then pushed the woman out and shut the door.
“Graveyards?” MeLaan said, sticking her head into the room. She was now completely bald. “Reminds me. Would you order me something to eat? A nice hunk of aged meat.”
“Rotting, you mean,” Wax said.
“Nothing like the odor of a nice flank after a day in the sun,” MeLaan said, ducking back into her room as a knock came at the other door. “Ah! My bags. Excellent. What? No, of course there aren’t corpses in these. Why would I need bones with the flesh still on them? Thank you. Bye.”
Something tapped on his window.
Templeton squeezed his eyes shut, not wanting to look. Frozen fire. A body on his floor. He was dreaming. It was a nightmare. It wasn’t possible.…
Tap. Tap. Tap.
He found his handkerchief finally and clutched it, his eyes squeezed shut.
“Templeton.” The rasping voice drifted in through the window.
Templeton turned slowly and faced the window. He opened his eyes.
Death stood outside.
Cloaked in black, Death’s face was hidden beneath the hood—but two metal spikes protruded from the cowl, catching the firelight on their heads.
“I’m dead,” Templeton whispered.
“No,” Death whispered. “You can die when I say. Not before.”
“You are not His,” Death whispered, standing in the darkness outside. “You are mine.”
“What do you want from me? Please!” Templeton slumped to his knees. He forced himself to glance back toward Dechamp. Would that body rise? Would it come for him?
“You have something of mine, Templeton,” Death whispered. “A spike.” He raised his arms, letting the cloak shift back and expose white skin. A spike was stuck through one arm. The other arm was bare, save for a bloody hole.
“It wasn’t my fault!” Templeton screamed. “They insisted! I don’t have it!”
“Sent by courier!” Templeton said. “To Dulsing! I don’t know more. Oh, please. Please! They demanded I recover the spike for them. I didn’t know it was yours! It was just a rusting piece of metal. I’m innocent! I’m…”
He trailed off, realizing that the fire had started crackling again. He blinked, focusing again on the window. It was empty. A … a dream after all? He turned and found Dechamp’s corpse still leaking blood on the floor.
Templeton whimpered and huddled down. He was honestly relieved when the constables burst into the room a short time later.
* * *
Wayne shucked the awful, heavy cloak and held up his arm, healing his wounds. Not much left in his metalmind. He was going to have to be sparing after this. Those bullet wounds earlier had taken a lot out of him.
“You didn’t need to actually cut holes in your arm, Wayne,” Marasi said, joining him in the garden—he’d trampled some very nice petunias to get to the window.
“Course I did,” Wayne replied, wiping away the blood. “You’ve gotta be authentic.” He scratched at his head, and shifted the wires that held two half spikes hovering in front of his eyes.
“Take that thing off,” Marasi said. “It looks ridiculous.”