Zam and the Sibyl
Zam Gaboy approached the Chamber of Masters with a sense of great purpose. Although he rarely came here alone, urgent business brought him. He would not be deterred, despite the danger. This was the place of demons, and one or more of them was almost always present.
“Easy, Zam,” he thought, slowing his pace at the threshold. “If they are here, no good can come of announcing yourself.”
He tasted the air. The demons had a smell, foul and unmistakable. It was there, alright, but faint. They were likely off hunting. Dani willing, he would make it to the portal and back unnoticed.
Zam surveyed the chamber. It was empty! All his fears were for nothing. He would complete his mission and be back before -
“Hello, blunderer. What brings you in range of my blades?”
He saw the sibyl as he turned the corner. She stood just before the portal, her green eyes glaring. She sounded calm, but her posture betrayed her intent. She was ready for a fight.
Zam would surmount this demon. He had no choice; but without the element of surprise, he knew it would be wise to stall for a moment, and assess.
“Where are your brothers and sisters, demon? Did they grow weary of your stench and leave you here alone?”
The thing smiled, showing its fangs. “Perhaps. Perhaps they are hunting. Perhaps they are hiding in the shadows, watching. In any case, I do not need their help to deal with you, blunderer.”
It lied. Zam knew it lied with the same ease and frequency with which he drew breath. The demon scent had been weaker because she was here alone.
“I have business beyond the portal, creature. Step aside and let me pass.”
“Why don’t you try, simple thing? Perhaps I’ll kiss you as you walk by.”
Zam was running out of time. He had to get by this monstrosity now. “Do not force me to slay you, sibyl. You need not die today. I will pass.”
Zam took a step in its direction. The sibyl hissed at him, arching her back and glaring. All playfulness was gone now. With her fangs bared, she was nothing but fury and hatred.
Zam had tried reason. Now, with the urgency of his mission bearing down on him, it was time to make his own threats.
“Demon,” he growled at her, “Step aside, or feel my wrath!” As he spoke, he danced back and forth to confuse her. If he could feint, make her commit to an attack in the wrong direction, he could dodge past.
“I have made you bleed before, cretin! I will do so again, if you try to pass!”
There was no time left! He had to cross the portal now! If he did not get to the other side in time, the unthinkable would happen!
Snarling, he charged the sibyl. It cocked its horrific appendage, blades out, and slashed.
“We’re home!” the man called out as he walked through the door. The woman was right behind
him. “Sam? We’re home. Who’s a good boy? Sam’s a good boy!”
He was surprised by the silence. Sam usually ran out to greet them, tail wagging furiously. Although he was their daughter’s dog, the man had formed a bond with the mutt, which was usually thrilled to see him. It was a nice change from his wife’s indifferent felines.
“Hm. That’s odd,” the woman said, as she made her way back towards the master bedroom. The man locked the front door and followed her.
“Well, he’s here in Dani’s room,” she called over her shoulder, “but he looks miserable.”
As the man passed his daughter’s open door, he saw Sam practically cowering on the floor. The guilty expression on the dog’s face spoke volumes about something.
“Oh, no!” the woman exclaimed, as the man walked into their room behind her.
“Goddammit,” he said, when he saw the pile of dog shit cooling on the carpet. “We left the slider open so he wouldn’t do that! What’s wrong with the damned thing?”
“I don’t know,” the woman replied, as she scooped the cat up off the bed and greeted her. “Why can’t he be more like Sibyl?”
Sibyl nestled into her arms and purred.