rough draft of The Demon of Petty Disturbances
by K. Kylyra Ameringer
"Alright, now, you two," he said with mock sternness, "enough of that. We've still a big day ahead of us and there's plenty of work to do. So go to it!"
"Oh my! Such a princely manner from the young man! Such a knightly manner, so chivalrous, so kind, so generous!" Tronaugh went on.
Dick looked at her. "Tronaugh ..." he threatened lightly.
She straightened herself out and brought DT close to her. "Right so, then, we're off. But when this is over, Dick, we want a cheese pizza - no! Two cheese pizzas! Two large cheese pizzas with triple the onions! Deal?"
Dick laughed out loud. "Deal."
Things did not go quite as planned. Oh, sure, Melissa's dog just loved Bob. The puppy immediately bounded over to him with each visit, covering Bob with dog hair and saliva. There had been several hilarious incidents of fits of sneezing and watering eyes, and one great case of hives. But then Melissa had suggested that they remain outside the house and enjoy the weather, keeping the puppy inside.
Dick modified his strategy and had Tronaugh plant the puppy's excrement in the paths through the garden. Bob's new pair of Italian shoes were ruined from that one.
The demons' efforts finally seemed to lessen Bob's visits, or at least their duration. Unfortunately, this had the effect of increasing Melissa's visits to Bob.
Tronaugh had just given Dick a bad report on the day's events. Melissa had driven down to the beach to meet Bob for a picnic. She had been careful to wear a clean, dog-hair-free outfit and the two had been so intensely caught up in each other Tronaugh and DT could do nothing to upset the pair.
Dick sat on the hard wooden chair by the small desk and glumly looked out the window. He was really at a loss for what to do, and began to consider the possibility that he might just have to accept the idea of Bob and Melissa being together. Tronaugh and DT were unusually quiet, and seemed to respect his mood. They, after all, took this as their failure as well.
Tronaugh finally cleared her throat gently to get Dick's attention. "So," she said, looking about nonchalantly, "shall we continue this same level of disturbance on Bob or do we increase it once Melissa has left the scene?"
"Left?" Dick asked.
"Yes," Tronaugh said. "Once she and her family return home from their holiday do you want me to increase the level of disturbance on Bob? He'll be heartsick at that point over Melissa, missing her terribly, and will probably be very open to all sorts and ranges of -"
"Holiday," Dick interrupted her. "Of course! Holiday! They're leaving in what - a day? Two days?"
"Something like that," Tronaugh said.
"Ah! How stupid I've been! They won't see each other after that! Melissa will come home and she'll probably never see Bob again!" Dick's entire mood lifted at once. He'd won, after all. "Wonderful!" he exclaimed, clapping his hands and rubbing them together. "Wonderful!" He stood and pulled DT up from the floor to caper around the room madly.
"Uh - Dick?" Tronaugh asked. "Does this mean you want us to continue the same level or what? I'm confused."
"It doesn't matter now, Tronaugh," Dick said. "Mel's leaving! They're not going to see each other again!"
"Oh! Oh, no, Dick, I must correct you!" Tronaugh replied. "Think about what you're saying. It does matter. Do you want their last two days to be idyllic, with absolutely no disturbances whatsoever? Do you want them to think back on that time as the most wonderful romance they ever had? Or do you want it shaded with little irritants, so that in six months time Melissa looks back on it and thinks it wasn't that great?"
Dick stopped capering with DT. "Yes! That's it!" he said. "I want her to look back and think this was nothing! That he was nothing!"
"Then we should continue our efforts," Tronaugh told him.
"Yes. Continue your efforts," Dick replied. "Find out what they have planned for their last two days and come back and tell me. We'll figure something out from there."
"As you command." Tronaugh bowed slightly, pulled DT away from him, and disappeared to do his bidding.
rough draft of The Demon of Petty Disturbances by K. Kylyra Ameringer