Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dead Rite chapter 128.02

“Daughter?” Harold frowned, then laughed. “Get away with you. Lucy's not six yet. She'll be at school.” He clutched at the bedsheet. “What time is it? I have to collect her at three.”

“Dad, it's okay. Relax.” The woman pushed him gently but firmly back against the pillows. “Everything's been taken care of. There's nothing for you to panic about.”

“What about the shop? Who's looking after the shop if I'm in here?”

“Simon's looking after the shop, dad, so don't worry about it.”

“Who on earth is Simon? And why do you keep calling me 'Dad'? You're not my daughter. Where's Gillian?”

“I really am your daughter, Simon is my fiancé and, Dad, Mum's gone.”

“Gone? Gone where?”

“She died, Dad. Don't you remember? Seven years ago, now.”

“Died? But I saw her this morning? We were talking about Jasfoup.”

She frowned. “Jasfoup? The stuffed dragon with the button eyes? I remember that. You were so precious about it. We threw it out years ago. It was smelly.”

“Dragon? No. Jasfoup's a demon, love. He used to eat dragons for dinner. They were the next best things to redeemed souls, he said. He liked them deep-fried.”

“Dad, that was a dream. Mum told me all about it years ago. You used to be schizophrenic before they gave you tablets for it. You lived in a fantasy world of angels and demons and goblins...”

Her voice faded out as he remembered the delight of Jasfoup when he found a portal the the Elven plane once, where there was still a dragon or two to be found. He could still see the demon's face as he leaned over a deep fryer in a closed chippy on Cheap Street. “Deep fried dragon was the best thing ever.”

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