Alfric turned. The man who had stalked unheard to well withing killing distance was Nappy, a huffy-puffy individual of slightly less than average height. Nappy was pink of face and bald of pate and could often be seen hustling about Galsh Ebrek looking slightly comical thanks to his pigeon-toed gait. He was renowned for his sweet temper, for the jolly delight he took in all innocent pleasures, for his work as a committee man. Nappy was famous in charity circles, and was known to be happiest at festivals when he could transmogrify himself into Mister Cornucopia, and dispense sweets for the children and kisses for the blushing virgins.
"I'm so glad to see you, Mister Danborg," said Nappy, extending his hand. Alfric took it and pumped it. Nappy's hand was soft and damp. A clinging friendly hand.
"We haven't seen you here for ever so long," said Nappy. "I'm so, so very glad to see you."
The sincerity of these effusions could not be doubted. That was Nappy all over. He was acknowledged as the happiest, friendliest person in Wen Endex. Which made no difference to the facts of the matter. Nappy was what he was and did what he did, and there was no getting round that.
"Sorry I can't stay to chat," said Nappy, shifting on his feet in that fluidly furtive manner which was his trademark, "but I must be going now."
And already Nappy was sliding, sidestepping, nimbling past Alfric's defenses. Alfric thought him shifting right, but he was gone to the left, sliding past and-
Alfric wanted to scream.
Nappy was behind him.
And all Alfric could think was this:
"Just let it be quick, that's all. Just let it be quick."
Original title: Werewolf and the Wormlord
Genre: Fiction→ Fantasy→ Sword and Sorcery