Water Sleeps

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Something like a flaming tiger burst out of nowhere. It leaped at Goblin. A shadow drifted in from the side. It flicked something long and thin that looped around the little wizard’s neck.

One-Eye’s cane came down on Narayan’s wrist hard enough to crack bone. The living saint of the Strangler lost his rumel, which flew across the cellar.

One-Eye’s off hand tossed something over Goblin’s head, toward the source of the tiger. A ghostly light floated up like a wisp of luminescent swamp gas. It moved suddenly, enveloping a young woman. She began to slap at herself, trying to wipe it off.

Goblin did something quick, while she was distracted. She collapsed. “Goddamn! Goddamn! It worked. I’m a genius. Admit it. I’m a fucking genius.”

“Who’s a genius? Who came up with the plan?”

“Plan? What plan? Success is in the details, runt. Who came up with the details? Any damned fool could’ve said let’s go catch them two.”

Both men tied limbs as they nattered.

“Don’t hit him so hard. You want him to walk out of here under his own power.”

“You talking to me? What the hell you doing with... get your hand out of there, you old pervert.”

“I’m putting a control amulet over her heart, you dried-up old turd. So she won’t embarrass us before we get her home.”

“Oh, yeah. Sure you are. But why don’t I look on the bright side? At least you’re interested in girls again. She built as nice as her mother?”

“Better.”

“Watch your mouth.”