He is the Rub…
By Intricate Knot
“By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.”~ Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 4, Scene 1
Belying his hulking and awkward shape, he was fast and light on large, ugly feet. Most everything about him was ugly, though. Yes, he had large feet, with twisted, gnarled toenails; these were a good match to his long, crooked fingers that bore their claw-like tips.
He gave the appearance of having no neck; his stout head looked like it was being slowly swallowed up by his round, weighty shoulders. His complexion was an ashy green. His mouth seemed permanently affixed with a false grin, while large, decaying square-shaped teeth leered at anything unfortunate to catch their sight.
His brow hung darkly low, his chin jutted out nearly to his chest. His ears curled high above the top of his head, taller still than even his horns. His eyebrows lay heavy above smoky eyes that bore no spark of intelligence, but only revealed a sliver of cunning-will to survive. As his clawed toes ate up the ground, a tattered, ancient gold scarf flapped piteously, as if unwillingly, over his shoulders.
Unlike most creatures, he needed very little rest or sustenance. Ignorance and fear propelled him, which makes him the most dangerous of any beast.
His name is Diavex Clop and only one revenge-colored thought filled his fragile mind, ‘(the blue-feathered snake), she thinks she controls me, but I have my own plan.’
This fragment repeated itself over and over. It fueled him. It was his only companion. It was his armor.
And then he caught sounds that he’d waited thousands of years to hear. Voices. He stopped and blended effortlessly into the shadows of the trees. He listened intently with his large, unpleasant ears. Yes. It was them. Though thousands of years it had been, he would never forget that black, witchy cat or that baffling owl creature. They were his enemies. Right now they laughed together and those sounds made him angry. So angry. He peered through the leaves and could see them both in the far distance. They stood with a fox. He did not know her. It would not matter, though. When he made them pay, it would not matter who was with those two.
He could take them now. By surprise. He was so tempted. His fingers curled into misshapen fists. It was not time, though. Not yet.
He had to meet with the blue-feathered one. A low growl escaped his warped lips and in a whisper he was gone. The beleaguered golden scarf reluctantly pulled with him.
Mid-laughter, Fiddler and Wilbur stopped. A slow chill wound its way up their spines, while a heavy black, twisting mist oozed, snake-like out of the trees and swirled around the threesome. If there had been any flowers left in the forest they surly would have withered in protest.
Immediately and in unison, Wilbur and Fiddler grabbed a handful of silver sparkle from their pouches, puckered up and blew it to form a vibrant, protective circle around them all. The black mist, sizzled and screamed as if burned, retreated, then disappeared entirely.
Fizzy looked from one to the other in perplexity,
“What just hap-”
In all seriousness, Fiddler signaled silence. They all listened. Listened with all their power and they failed to hear, but it made no difference. The two friends looked at each other and with sinking hearts they knew. An old enemy had returned to the forest.
To be continued next month!
Illustration “Glassy Croon” by Intricate Knot.
Illustration “What to do?” by Angelique Duncan. Appearance of Wilbur with permission of Intricate Knot.
Intricate Knot is proprietor of Cards For A Gloomy Day.Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for more adventures of Fiddler the cat.