“Best we sit ladies,” Death began. “L’bradt, best you disappear to which ever lad has taken your man loving fancy, and bunk up there for the night. We three hot young things have work to do.”
“Girls, I need your help.” she said, leaning in conspiratorially toward us. “Mr. Darcy, my darling fox terrier and devourer of souls, is busily out dealing with the scum of the Now. I myself am busier than a one armed cart driver with crabs, and as such, I need a hand, specifically yours, to do my bidding for me.”
“A soul has crossed over, and, buggered if I know how she managed it, but, she has escaped me. Sh even managed to sever her necrobilical cord on her own, and has time flitted away before I could catch up with her. Worse, and beyond that wee issue, is that in the larger picture, she is now a threat to everyone in the Now. Why? Because she is a bloody great psychopath and shouldn’t have been able to get in here at all. I would have sent her to the ‘Hot Place’ down with my old mate Hades immediately, but, she pretty much did a runner, and here I sit before you, cap in hand.”
“Ummmm…………” said I, “who is she, or was she?”
“Weeeeeeeeeeell, do you remember the fairytale come horror story told to kids about a lass in a bloody red cloak? Her name was ‘Gentle Annis’.”
“Oh, vaguely.” said Cat in through a mouthful of absinthe. “Wasn’t she the who killed the handsome prince, and the burnt the kind wolves house to the ground? She was a bit after my time to be honest?”
“Hang on, is she the one that used to skin everyone she came across, and then drain them of their blood, soaking that horrible cape thing?” said I, over a cocaine cough. “I thought she was was a tale to stop kids from wandering off into the forest?”
“The very same on all counts.” said Death, tipping the dregs of opium into her tea cup. “Yes, Gentle Annis, was originally just Annis. She was a lovely lass, although she had been locked in a tower by an absolute fruit cake of a woman. Her hair had grown so long that she was able to drop it out of the tower window, and a young bloke, a handsome prince no less, used it to get in and get her out of there. He then married her, and for a short time she was known as Princess Annis. But, he beat and raped her on their wedding night, inflicting a serious and irreparable brain injury in the process. Anyway, after she killed him and drained him of his blood,” laughed Death, ”she turned into a psychopathic killer with a magical cape that granted her immense physical and psychological power. Oh, she only has these powers as long as the cloak or cape or whateverthehellitis, is covered in fresh blood”
“Bloody hell!” said Cat.
“Crikey!” said I. “Ahhhh, so, why us?”
“Simple. No man could ever come close to being up to the task. And moreso, of all of the women I know, you two are the most conniving, devious, and downright dodgy lasses I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. It’s a compliment!”
The ball rolled, 13th century England became our target, and I am astounded my liver made it through the night.
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