Company, a half-story

For Rix_Scaedu‘s commissioned prompt; half a story but it was too good an ending point not to cut it there.

After The Life You Make (LJ) and Memories (LJ)

Faerie Apoc, Addergoole – landing page here (or on LJ)

Baram was surrounded by children and women, up to his neck in high-pitched voices and drowning of it.

He wanted to go to the car shop. People were still trying to live ordinary lives out there, and they still needed cars fixed. But Jaelie was out for… the calendar said four more days, taking Swish to Addergoole. And there were monsters all around. Real monsters. People who had threatened his home, his vassals, his neighborhood. So here he was, up to his neck in children playing – he was pretty sure – Monsters and Fairies.

If he had to take twenty more minutes of this, Baram was going to start wishing for more monsters. He made his scary-face at a child running by too closely, and scooped it up, swinging it around airplane style. “Rarr, Rarr,” he mock-growled. The kid shrieked and screamed happily, and ran off giggling. Baram scowled more fiercely, hiding a small smile. Kids were fun… in short doses. Not for a week at a time. Not this many kids.

The doorbell rung. He looked up, noticed the kids going into drill mode like they’d been taught, clearing out of the living room, moving back into the kitchen and down into the basement. He caught the smallest three and handed them to the biggest three as Viatrix got the door.

“Boss,” she called uncertainly, “I think this is for you.”


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