God, ‘The Now – British and Western European sector – 500 to 2500 AD Special Investigations Bureau’, leant back into His rather worn out looking desk chair. He placed his hands behind his head, and gently stretched, only to remove them and place them palm down on His enormous battered desk. An out of date computer console sat in the corner next a chipped coffee mug containing pens, with the motif ‘World’s Best Smiter’ written on the side.
“Yes, there have been some odd flickers showing up on the ethernet.” He said in a deep resounding voice as He gazed hard at the three rather hungover looking women seated in front of Him. “Actually, these ‘odd’ flickers are something we have not seen in a very long time. So, this time, start from the start, again, and tell me of, sorry, what was her name again?”
Looking at one another, not knowing who should speak first, Bast finally spoke.
“Ok, God, here we go. Take two. Her name is Black Annis,” began Bast, “in The Then she was born ‘Annis’ somewhere in early Middle Age Britain, locked in a tower by her mother until age twentyish, was rescued by a handsome Prince, who she later married. An hour after they were wed in the usual ‘Handsome Prince/Beautiful Princess cliche manner, he beat her senseless, raped her, and beat her again. From what we understand, during one of the beatings she sustained a serious head injury, and resultant to that, murdered the Prince.”
“Ok, nothing terribly unusual about that.” said God.
“Now this is where it becomes unusual,” continued Cat, “her Mother-In-Law, aka – Her Royal Highness The Queen, had given her a magnificent polar bear and baby seal skin cloak as a wedding present.”
“Which she drained Princes blood onto! And went from being ‘Annis’, to ‘Princess Annis’, and then became ‘Gentle Annis! All in the same person!'” butted in Maude, the excitement of the gruesome situation getting the better of her, drawing pained glances from the other two girls.
“Well, we don’t exactly know how it worked,” said Cat, sending another less than happy glance at Maude, “but, whenever the cloak is wet with fresh blood, she gains immense physical strength, and something akin to magical power.”
“Oh dear, so, let me have a guess,” cut in God in mocking tones, “she went on some sort of psychopathic rampage, killing innocents, draining their blood onto her cloak to keep her power levels up? Am I correct thus far?”
“Yes,” said Bast, ignoring His tones, “she was eventually hunted down by the King, father to the dead Prince, and was accidentally killed by one of his men whose attempt at subjugation amounted to her being thumped on the back of the head with a bottle of medieval Scottish Whisky.”
“Ok, so why didn’t Death deal with her then and there?” said God.
“Well, it is that exact question that has landed us here before you, on behalf of her.” said Bast quietly. “Death said that Gentle Annis severed her necrobilical cord on her own, transformed into ‘Black Annis’, and time slipped away into The Now. Worse, she hasn’t attached herself to any specific time or place, and appears to be running amok all over the time.”
“Mr. Darcy is unavailable to help either.” added Maude. “Otherwise, he’d be doing it instead of us. Although I haven’t seen him around much lately, so he is most likely off chasing souls for her. You know, the naughty ones in The Now.”
“And she has definitely killed since she crossed over?”
“Yes God, we believe she has.” said Cat, “a family sometime in the medieval, in roughly the same location as she crossed over from. Possibly a couple of guards and some wildlife there too. We think she might have killed that girl and her dog near Sherwood Forest in Nottingham sometime in the early 2000’s. Oh, AD incidentally.”
“And you have no idea when or where she is now? And Death can’t do it herself?”
“Yes, because Black Annis is killing in The Now, it takes her much, much longer to get to the body as it happens so infrequently, and she is tied up in The Then. What with the population influx, Malaria, and the global rise of the ‘idiot’.” said Maude, somewhat defensively.
“Ok, in that case, coming back and see me at 1100 tomorrow morning, and I will see what I can dig up for you.” ended God.
“Oh, and Maude,” He said as the girls reached His office door, a hint of humour around His words, “I heard that the toilet at God’s house is quite a good place to have a kip. Don’t let Death know!”
Maude’s horse like face, seemed to lengthen at the quip.
Deaths VW clattered into life, and off to the Library Of The Gods they went – via the pub.
Click the narwhal’s up there, something a wee bit different today.
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