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Short story: “Meeting Adjourned”

Well, this was an odd one. I suppose it is a sequel of sorts as one of the characters is the same vampire that was the POV in my vampire story from yesterday.

Here I paired him up with some other otherworldly and supernatural creatures, like…a modern monster support group? I had a lot of fun with the dialogue and the characters. (I must note that the Trickster god in this is only partially based on that infamous version from those superhero movies…)

Might be more with these characters sometime, mostly cause I want to play with them some more.

***

A single candle lit up the lonesome shack, casting deep shadows on the walls and the ragtag group assembled inside it.

“Now that everyone is here, perhaps we can get this meeting started…”

The girl raised her arm.

“Before anyone says anything, I want Stephan to take off that ridiculous costume.”

“I just came from work; there wasn’t any time to remove it.”

The vampire stretched lazily in his seat, his elaborate fantasy costume complete with armor and sword rustled and clanked around him.

“Don’t be so ridiculous and call it work, Stephan. You know that’s not true.”

“It is work! It’s how I feed! True, I might attend some events just to snack…”

“See, see! Now take off that stupid thing. It’s giving me a headache.”

“How can you have a headache, with so little of you here?”

Stephan made a point to wave his hand through the waifish girl’s head, just to prove his point.

“You are a ghost, Melanie. You can’t have headaches anymore.”

“Well, maybe I can!”

The girl huffed and crossed her arms over her chest.

“Are you two quite done yet?”

The grizzled man at the head of the table pinched the bridge of his nose and counted slowly backwards from ten. At least it wasn’t a full moon, or he’d have far, far less patience with those two.

“I was always done. I was just sitting here in peace and quiet when she kicked up a fuss about my choice of work attire.”

“Oh, for Odin’s sake…Can you two cease your mewling?”

The Trickster had been amusing himself with carving his name into the table, experimenting with different fonts and text sizes.

Stephan and Melanie knew it was no good to get on the Trickster God’s bad side, lest they truly wanted to make themselves the victim of his latest prank or ploy. The ghost girl quietly drifted back into her seat, while Stephan made a show of removing some of his costume, so he’d make less noise when he moved.

“That thing you’re wearing is historically inaccurate, I hope you are aware of that”, the Trickster told Stephan, sheathing his dagger.

“The humans care little about historic accuracy I’ve found”, Stephen huffed. “Especially when I have my fangs lodged in their neck.”

The Trickster made a disgusted face but said no more. He merely gestured for their older companion who was still counting and counting backwards and forwards to collect himself.

“Thank you…Loki”, the werewolf sighed and consulted his notes for the umpteenth time that night.

“As has already been brought up, it is of the utmost importance that we all cooperate in these trying times we live in, where people such as us don’t enjoy the same privilege as we’re used to.”

“Whut’s privilege mean?” the troll rumbled from his corner, scratching his nose and sending a fine dust of moss and lichen crumbling to the ground.

“It means that we used to have respect, but now the humans care little for us”, Melanie said carefully, enunciating every syllable carefully.

They had never quite settled if the troll was really stupid or just half-deaf and didn’t grasp the context half the time. As old as he was, they supposed it was alright to be a little deaf and senile.

“Respect…Yus…” the troll rumbled and nodded to itself.

Their de-facto leader cleared his throat and continued.

“And it is also important that we stick together simply because there are so few of us left in the world, for companionship if anything else.”

“Fascinating to hear that from a werewolf”, Stephan said lazily. “My father used to tell me stories about werewolves, how they were always boorish loners.”

“Well, times change. We all had to change; surely you all have had your own experiences with that.”

Stephan fidgeted in his seat and continued to peel away more layers of costume, while the Trickster frowned and began to find his nails extremely interesting.

“Stephan, if you are naked under there I will scream”, Melanie said and huffed.

“You’re free to have a look”, Stephan said and winked, flashing a grin at the ghost.

The werewolf hit the table with his fist and the others flinched.

“We need to work together because we cannot survive on our own anymore. The humans are too many, too strong with too many ways of destroying us!”

“Yes, we know that”, the Trickster said, yawning. “Surely there’s some other point to this meeting but regurgitating the same old babbling. If I wanted a boring lecture I’d stayed at home with the other Aesir. Honestly, Charles, one might think you were the old and senile one…”

The werewolf sighed and sat down heavily in his seat.

“Well, I thought now would be a good time to gather. The holidays are coming up and…It’s a nice opportunity to get together and forget for a day. To…Perhaps enjoy ourselves.”

“Which holiday?” the Trickster said lazily, turning his head in a creepy owl-like fashion. “The ones the mortals used to celebrate in our honor or one of the later perversions?”

“Celebrating the coming of spring is a rather old tradition that goes back further than the modern human holidays”, Charles said stiffly. “Why would you think I meant any other holiday?”

The Trickster waved his hands, but said nothing.

“I think it’s a splendid idea”, Melanie said. “I always liked the bonfires. I could ride the hot air almost all the way up to the stars!”

“…Where you’d evaporate and we’d never see you again. Good riddance perhaps”, Stephan said.

The thing about an angry ghost is that you can’t physically stop it.

“Oh my god she’d INSIDE me!” Stephan howled and squirmed and jumped and ran across the room like his remaining costume was on fire.

The air seemed filled with Melanie’s mad giggling, which mixed with the Trickster’s own expressions of mirth.

“Oh, by the Gods…I could not have planned this better myself!” he snorted and wiped the tears from his eyes.

“Loki…” Charles said and narrowed his eyes.

The Trickster glared back.

“Fine”, he finally said and made a few hand gestures, uttering some words under his breath. In an instant Melanie was violently tugged out of Stephan, who fell into a shuddering heap on the floor.

“So disgusting…” he moaned, hugging himself tightly and spitting a few curses under his breath.

“Maybe I should enter you next!” Melanie huffed and eyed the Trickster with a gaze that seemed like that of the Medusa (had not the poor thing died two full centuries ago).

The Trickster flinched and raised a hand in front of him protectively.

“…Though I’ve seen enough guts and innards for one day”, the ghost girl added and shuddered visibly. “Seriously Stephan, you should choose your meals more carefully.”

“I can’t help it if the humans eat such disgusting things nowadays”, Stephen said from his position on the floor.

Charles tapped the table impatiently.

“Can we at least make some sort of collective decision about what our plans are until next we meet?”

“We celebrate Walpurgis Night, the coming of spring. We make a fire so Melanie can go have a look at the stars”, Stephan said lazily, waving his hand in the air.

“More or less”, the Trickster said and by his expression he was quickly growing bored of this meeting. “We can make more elaborate plans next week.”

“Well…I suppose that is fine”, Charles said, seeing quite clearly that he was losing their attention. “It’s just that…Next week is a full moon.”

“Oh, Charles, we’ll just have to keep you chained up while you bark at the moon”, the Trickster smiled a wicked smile, making twirling motions with one long index finger. “We can consult you when you have exhausted yourself chasing your own tail.”

Charles flushed a deep red and he frowned so deeply that they almost thought the transformation was going to come early.

“I never mocked you about the idiocy you did while you spent time in an animal skin, Loki.”

“Don’t you dare say another word, Charles…” the Trickster said, eyes narrowing.

“I won’t. Because I am not you”, the werewolf said and relaxed, shoulders slumped.

Running his hands through is salt and pepper hair he let out a big sigh.

“I will make a list over the coming week of suggestions and ideas for the celebrations…”

“Meeting over?” the troll spoke up, getting up from his position with a sound like a low level earthquake.

“Yes, meeting is over. If you’ll be a good troll I’ll show you how to have a good time before daybreak…” the Trickster led the troll by its large arm outside.

The rest of them exchanged a few looks. Surely the Trickster had something up his sleeve, but neither of them felt like intervening. A bored Trickster was a dangerous one.

“It’s been a long night, I think I might hit the dirt early”, Stephan said with a yawn, his exposed fangs gleaming in the candlelight.

“I think I might do the same”, Melanie said and drifted off, following Stephan out the door.

From under the table came a voice.

“Am I late for the meeting?”

The shadowy figure billowed, taking the shape of a young girl with a dainty ribbon in her hair.

“You didn’t miss much”, Charles said, slumping in his seat.

“Oh, oh. That’s good”, the figure said nervously, folding her hands.

“Ombra, you don’t suppose you could blot out the moon next week?” the werewolf said, tilting his head to the side.

“Oh…No, Well…I could try. But it’s so large!”

“It’s okay. I thought I should ask anyway.”

“But…You still want me to come next week?” the shadowy girl undulated and wavered.

“Yes, do come. There needs to be at least one sane person here.”

“Oh, good!”

A crack of a smile opened up on the shadowy girls face, letting through an otherworldly light.

“See you next week then signore.”

Charles was left alone with the sputtering candle. He would survive the next week and the following meeting.

Right now he just had problems figuring out how.

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2 thoughts on “Short story: “Meeting Adjourned”

  1. Pingback: Short story vignette: “Sun and Moon” | fantasy transcendent

  2. Pingback: Short story: “Wet Fur and Warm Ale.” | Fantasy Transcendent

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