Saturday, September 30, 2006
Blood-curdling... -- Part 2
"Look at this tripe," Haggis cackled to herself while reading the board. "They really think I give a rip about their stupid books. It's not their books at all that I care about, it's their souls; their very souls that I must have."
With a gnarled hand she brushed long, greasy grey hair back from her wrinkled, twisted face. Glancing at the mirror, she jumped back in horror at the reflection that caught her eye. "Yesss," she hissed, "their souls."
She was jealous of most of the authors because it was her fervent desire to be a legitimately published writer herself. Alas, she lacked the requisite skills. Indeed, she had been spelling 'soul' S-O-L-E until a newbie author pointed out the misspelling to her. She never forgave the author and succeeded in due course in having him banned from the boards. Not content with the banning, she proceeded to wage an e-mail campaign of threats and harassment against him. She mailed him envelopes full of ashes and soot, grave dirt and coffin screws. Being as inept at real magic as she was at real writing, she resorted to hacking into his Web site and not only wrought havoc with it but also infected his computer with a deadly Trojan virus. Finally, she scared him white-haired by assuring him that she knew where he lived and was coming to claim his soul and drain his blood.
Haggis spent considerable time with her snakes, mesmerized by their slithering, serpentine movement, cold-blooded victimization, and the sinuous flicking of their tongues. They were teaching her their wiles and she was an apt pupil.
Oh, she knew a little bit about snakes. After all, she'd been the snake handler in the coven run by her publisher, PatentlyAtrocious Printing. In her opinion, however, it was a wimpy coven -- all they'd ever had was rattlesnakes. Haggis's snakes were cobras and coral and king snakes, and she was much happier now that she ran her own coven of zombies and lesser witches possessed of weak magic.
Her lover, Dedman, was resentful of the amount of time Haggis devoted to her snakes. In truth, Haggis preferred the company of snakes, but she had a use for the pudgy and balding Dedman -- and he for her. Perhaps they loved each other, perhaps not, but they each had a use for the other and used each other hard...