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The Demon of Petty Disturbances: Doh-da sample reading

In the Park

pages 38-39

by K. Kylyra Ameringer

Tronaugh and DT sat basking in the sweltering August heat of New York City. They sprawled on a Central Park bench admiring the drooping foliage and parched grass of the rain starved city. A tired fountain splashed chlorine laden water into a pool a few feet away.

"Ah, summer in New York. The heat, the glare, the stink ... can you think of anywhere better to be?" Tronaugh asked her young charge.

DT gurgled a reply.

"Yes, I absolutely agree. Much better than reporting back." Tronaugh grabbed swiftly at a mosquito and popped it into her mouth. "Mmmm ... juicy."

DT captured a flying pest himself and mimicked his mentor. Finding the treat agreeable he greedily caught more and stuffed his mouth full. He mumbled something between his bites.

"No, you'd get sick of them after awhile. Besides, you'd spend all your time catching them just to get enough to sustain yourself."

DT peered at Tronaugh suspiciously, not quite believing such tasty morsels could become tiresome. But it was a lot of work to catch them. He ceased his frenzied efforts, contenting himself with plucking an occasional treat out of the air when one strayed too close to him.

Their lazy reverie was broken by a child's high pitched trill of excitement. Turning, they spotted a young mother pushing a toddler in a stroller towards them.

"Yes, DeeDee, we'll go play in the water," the mother cooed at her youngster. The child wiggled in her chair, eager to be free of her bonds.

DT babbled a question at Tronaugh.

"No, let's stay here. This should be interesting."

Releasing her child from the stroller, the young mother eyed the bench and chose a seat. Tronaugh could hear DT's muffled cries and see his arms and legs flailing helplessly from under the woman. She cackled with humour.

"Well, that sort of thing happens. Figure out how to get her off you."

Tronaugh watched as DT stopped struggling. She could almost hear his mind work as he thought through his options. His hand reached out to pluck delicately at one of the wooden slats. Tronaugh saw the thin splinter of wood poised to strike and knew her young apprentice was struggling between piercing the woman's tanned thigh (the cleaner, more efficient disturbance with the highest probability for success) or piercing her buttocks (by far the more satisfying option, from a demon's viewpoint, though with a significantly lower probability of success due to the need to pierce through clothing as well as flesh). DT hesitated, then jabbed fiercely at the woman's buttocks.

"Yow!" The young mother leapt off the bench and twisted around to see a two inch splinter sticking out of her right cheek. She pulled the offending piece of wood out and rubbed her backside, glaring accusingly at the bench.

DT dissolved into a fit of laughter. Tronaugh smiled indulgently down at him. "Not bad, but the thigh was a better choice. Don't ever let your desire to get even with a human cloud your judgement on which course of action to take. Remember, we are looking for results, not personal satisfaction."

DT slumped his shoulders and moped. He grumbled something to the ground.

"Yes, I derive a great deal of satisfaction from my work but I don't let it get out of hand. A job well done should be satisfaction enough."

DT made no reply and continued to mope, feeling the joy had quite gone out of the afternoon for him. A sharp slap to the back of his head broke his musings of self-pity.

"Pay attention!"

The Demon of Petty Disturbances: Doh-da by K. Kylyra Ameringer

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learn more about the full length novel featuring Tronaugh, The Demon of Petty Disturbances