Daryl and Denise – Chapter 18


Life was good.

While he did get a brief pang in his heart for thinking those words after all he had done, he let the feelings of accomplishment and ease dominate his body. Winter in this world seemed to carry a strange charm with it; maybe it was the new sprites that hovered above the streets at night. This time of year carried a certain breeze with it, one that not only seemed to clear Daryl’s head, but redecorate it as well. He did wrap up warm, but tried to embrace this breeze however he could.

It hadn’t taken long for Daryl to grasp the concept of Christmas – it involved presents and anything with them was readily accepted – yet there were elements of this world yet to be discovered, and he was going to uncover them all. Just a few weeks ago, he had learned of the charity shop. It was like a regular shop, only the stock kept changing, and everything was cheap. It was a little game; go into the shop and see what you can get for little money. Daryl had just been and had obtained a woollen hat – still had to stop those monsters coming out – a new coat, a book called ‘Whizzer and Chips’ – stories with pictures enticed Daryl more than those with just words, crude as the stories were – and a video. Little gifts to himself, little rewards.

Yes, just recently he had found another job opening, and had gained another interview. He asked for no coffee, and had all the comedy routines he had seen the night before playing over in his head to keep the monsters calm. When the man told Daryl that the job would remove all independent thought, Daryl immediately cried out, ‘Yes!’ He was pretty sure that made a good impression.

It had better too. Working at Co-Op was beginning to grow stressful, what with that other till worker breathing down his neck, and all the giggling kids. Innocent children, apathetic towards the idea of death, no real danger.

He had seen offices on television. Their walls were pale and blank, the people there barely spoke. The perfect place to clear his mind. No children there, and no opportunities to kill anyone. The office people on TV never seemed like murderers.

The snow getting into his shoe brought Daryl out of the grey offices and back into the streets with the sparkling white splattered about the pavement. As he returned to reality, Daryl noticed he was passing a certain cafe he had been meaning to go to but never really bothered with. The name never really stuck in his head, but the fat chef on the yellow sign defined it enough. Daryl entered it just as he noticed it, almost as if the Santa on the window had beckoned him.

A cheeseburger and chips, the latter drowned in vinegar and topped with salt. It was nice. He’d have to come again.

Kicking up more snow as he walked, Daryl went back to his flat, and took a moment to admire it. It may usually be grey and dismal and underwhelming, but now, for some reason, it seemed to stand proudly.

‘Hah!’ Denise almost let loose a torrent of fire in laughter. ‘Can you believe the latest one? He really thought dressing up like a sheep and stealing them was the best way to top Aosoth!’

Since Denise laughed again, Dennis laughed with her. ‘You shouldn’t really waste your talents with someone like that.’

‘Yeah,’ grumbled Denise, gritting her teeth, ‘Some farmer thought I actually was attacking his sheep and put a pitchfork in my back.’ Rubbing the spot between her wings, she continued. ‘I have noticed something more significant however. That Mark is up to something big.’

‘What?’ said Dennis, exiting the hut for a while for some fresh air, ‘Is he knocking on doors and running away again?’

‘Ha ha,’ Denise said as she exited the hut with Dennis, trying to hide her own internal laugh. ‘No, he’s been hanging about with some more competent sorcerers, asking them for information and buying relics off them.’

‘Oh, you know them. They’re always trying to make those pranks go bigger. I mean, one time they summoned a demon just to give some kids a scare, and made it go away in a matter of minutes.’

‘Dennis, ever since Aosoth’s death, several witches and warlocks are trying to take her place as Kirkalan’s most feared enemy. Mark seems like the type of person to actually try and attempt that. When I go out next, I’ll try and see if I can find him, and see what he’s up to.’

‘You know what?’ said Dennis, walking away with Denise following, ‘I think we should just relish the peace we have now. These lame villains just help remind us that the worst’s over for now.’

‘You can never be too sure with this land,’ Denise looked to the sky. ‘It’s one thing after another here.’


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