Chosen Chapter Ten

Evil comes in a deceptive guise

Any twelve-year-old girl should be a shuddering ball of fright, leaking tears and snot, but Daphnae stood calmly in her chambers, regarding the Goblin skewered on the door by a large, crossbow bolt and was in turn, regarded by Hubert.
“How did this happen?” he asked.
She didn’t take her eyes off the Goblin’s body. “My Lady,” she said.
“Pardon?”
Rolling her eyes, she said, “My father is the Duke of Whattlesworth, the proper way to address me is as my Lady.”
Reaching into the shadow planes, Hubert enveloped himself in black energy with hints of a bright green fire (red fire was a little on the nose, to his way of thinking) and fixed her with his harshest look. Putting forth all the malice in his heart, he boomed, “I AM THE MASTER OF EVIL! YOU ARE TO BOW TO ME!”
She turned and looked at him. Then she shrugged, as if to say, “Meh.”
Determined to not be snubbed by a tween, he grew large, ethereal bat wings, which stretched into the room and knocked bric-a-brac off the shelves.
“BEHOLD ME AND DESPAIR! FOR I BEND THE ARMIES OF HELL ITSELF TO MY IRON WILL AND THEY ARE LEGION!”
Not even looking at him, she wondered aloud, “What do I smell?”
“FIRE AND BRIMSTONE!”
“No… That’s it! Desperation,” she looked him straight in the eyes. “You stink of it.”
“NO! No, look, I’m the Master of Evil. I had you kidnapped by Shadow Creepers. I live in a Fortress in the Land of Desolation, a fortress shaped like a Demon’s head, I might add.”
Daphnae shook her head. “The real Master of Evil doesn’t have to tell people he’s the Master of Evil. If he is, they just know.”
“Well, I am him, so I think you ought to start giving me the respect I am due.”
“My Lady.”
“The respect I’m due, my Lady. Damn…”
She smirked. “Oooo… You are ever so frightful.” Then she giggled.
Leaning in, he pointed his armored finger at her. “Now see here-“
She slapped away his finger, armor and all. “It’s rude to point.”
“That may be so, but what you fail to grasp is that you are my prisoner,” Hubert pointed out in a definitive manner.
“I’m a guest. You need me for something. If I was truly a prisoner, I’d be in the dungeon, not this spacious, but tacky, set of chambers.”
“First of all, I could put you in the dungeon without losing a moment of sleep. Secondly, these chambers are not tacky.”
Daphnae wrinkled her nose. “So tacky. Is that a stuffed Minotaur over there?”
It was a stuffed Minotaur; it had been his great-grandfather’s childhood pet, who had it stuffed after a failed attempt to resurrect him.
Secretly, Hubert agreed with her, it was a tatty old eyesore. But he felt that it would weaken his position to say that out loud.
Hubert thought some sinister sarcasm might go over better and said, “I am so sorry you are unhappy with your accommodations.”
“Listen, I’m bored, you’re boring. If you were going to do anything to me, you’d have already done it. So… You can either send me home OR tell me why I’m here.”
Feeling that he had lost control of this conversation, Hubert glowered at her with all of his malevolence. “Let your ignorance be your food and drink.”
“So you’re going to starve me?”
“It was,” he hissed, “a metaphor.”
She flopped on to her bed. “Loser.”
Now knowing that he had lost control of the conversation, Hubert wheeled about, he thought quite dramatically, and exited.
The door locked behind him and Daphnae stared at the ceiling. The only real danger she seemed to be facing was tedium. Sitting up, she looked around the room. It was the same, except for the creepy old man ghost.
“Get lost, pervo.”
He smiled at her. “You’re not afraid of me?”
“Why should I be? You can’t touch me; you’re a ghost.”
“Quite true.”
They stared at each other for a moment.
“Fine,” said Daphnae, who began to think about how to kill the next Goblin who came into her room, which momentarily distracted her. The ghost was still there.
“What?” she snipped to the transparent weirdo, who apparently couldn’t take a hint.
“I think I can distract you,” offered the spirit.
She sat up and said, “Whatever.”

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