After a couple of drinks, Nelda found herself explaining so Earth games to the satyrs. None of the struck much of s cord until… Twister.
The whole time, Nelda was having trouble getting out of a funk. The Team's Top Question made her wonder— [What if Angry Brenda actually is the good guy in this high fantasy morality play. Am I the evil queen luring naive miscreants away with promises of Turkish Delight? In reality, the villain never thinks they are the villain—surely?]
[I wish I had some Turkish Delight about now. Or better yet all the ingredients for smores.]
Reg was chalking circles on the ground and Phyllis poking a hole in a large leaf to improvise a spinner. They were each refilling their cups from the clay bottles and small casks on the table. But it didn't really seem enough to keep the party going for more than a day or two.
"Wait a minute," Nelda said. "I am not playing Twister with three naked satyrs."
"Oh, don't flatter yourself," said Phyllis.
"Then you can play too."
"Uh-uh," said Phyllis. "Sober people don't play twister, at least not grown-ups. And I'm a designated recorder."
"Okay then, Jen?"
Jen looked at the improvised board. "How many people can play at one?" she asked. "And how does it work with more than four limbs?"
"No, no," Phyllis shouted at Reg. "It's four colors, in rows of six circles each. And the maximum number of players is four." She looked around at them. "What? I believe in following the rules. No special rules for quadrupeds. We'll see how it goes. First round, satyrs versus centaurs."
"No, no," HoneyBeard said. "This is a game about putting limbs on spots right. So, we should have teams with the same number. So, two centaur s, three satyrs. That's the teams."
"You don't even know the rules of this game—" Phyllis rejoined.
"I know they were made for a place all full of this situation." HoneyBeard pointed at Nelda. "So, it needs to be adapted. You know what I mean."
"The rulessss are still the rulessss." The dragon was coming out more strongly in Phyllis's voice.
BugleHead jumped in with his usual upbeat enthusiasm. "Arguing about the rules is part of the fun of the game."
"That's not true," Phyllis snapped.
"Well," HoneyBeard said. "Then I know why we're having this conversation, but I don't know what it's doing for you."
Jen clopped onto the finished board. "It's not really fair," she said. "Because our limbs are configured in a unfwex, unflexibabble,"—deep breath—"unflexible way. Not very… twistly."
This was the first sign that centaurs were serious lightweights in the intoxication department.
"Fine. Whatever." Phyllis had rigged up the spinner and flicked it wither her claw. "Jen goes first. Right foot…" she consulted the colors Reg had managed to come up with. "white."
"Which right foot?"
Phyllis shrugged, her scales audibly sliding past each other. "Whichever one you want, I guess."
"Buh—" BugleHead began,
"Uh-uh." Phyllis was having none of it. "I'm the umpire. So, I decide." She concluded smugly, "That's one of the rules."
Jen put her right front hoof down with exaggerated care on the spot in the middle of the pattern.
Nelda looked over to Asbolus, who was downing the bitter wine in a determined manner. He didn't seem in the party mood yet.
"Me next, me next!" BugleHead chirped.
"Okay." Phyllis flicked the spinner but didn't really look at it. "Left hand black."
The satyr seemed disappointed at how easy it was. He crouched down and slapped his palm on the spot on the outer corner. "This is easy," he said.
"You wait," Phyllis said. "All right. Time for the seer."
Asbolus flung his hands in the air like a parody of 'oh what fun.'
"Left hand yellow," Phyllis said.
"Ugh. I'm not young anymore," the centaur complained. Rather than bending over, he carefully set his equine haunches down on the ground and then his forelegs. The leaned over to the board. He still had a cup in his other hand.
The game continued with Phyllis, who was clearly just making up the moves for maximum difficulty. [Maybe for fun, maybe because she is just a little bit sadistic.]
"Be careful, okay guys," Nelda called. "There ten hooves on the board. I feel like there should be a joke in there somewhere or at least a pun-uendo. But this wine is starting to kick in…"
"Left arm red," intoned Phyllis.
"That's not wine," BugleHead said. "That's ice brandy. It's like if wine made wine." The satyr was sitting between Jen's hind legs in an upward dog position with her tail draped over his head."
"Really?" Nelda tried to focus on the cup in front of her, but her eyes didn't feel quite like doing it. [I wonder if I could stand up right now?]
"It would be-hoove you to watch where you put that hand, goat boy," Jen drawled.
"Okay. I'll be-hoove myself." BugleHead chortled. He flipped over and slapped his hand down suddenly right between Reg's knees.
Reg jumped but scrambled to retain his upside-down crawl position.
"He moved, he moved," HoneyBeard shouted.
'he moobed his hooves!" BugleHead agreed.
Phyllis leaned forward and peered at the board, taking her umpire position rather seriously. "None of his hands or feet moved of the spots."
The spots were getting a little smudged as they were made from chalk and soot and clay.
"Youth'd move too if'n someone was going to punch your junk," Reg said.
"I wasn't anywhere near your junk," HoneyBeard said. "That is wishful thinking."
"Are you saying my disk is small?" Reg sounded surprised.
BugleHead looked around. "I mean. It's the smallest dick in the room. Not that I'm against that. There are some maneuvers where size is not an advantage." He gave HoneyBeard a wry glance.
"It's not small. HoneyBeard's a freak, no offense intended. Asbolus is literally hung like a horse and doesn't count. And I've never seen his…" Reg lifted his hand to point at SmithGuild.
"He took his hand off the spot!" BugleHead shouted.
"That'sh cheating," Reg protested. "You distracted me. Nelda, tell these people my dick is a perfectly normal size."
Nelda leaned back on the bench, startled to topple over backward, but SmithGiuld reached over and put an arm around here. "About average for a human," she said. "I guess. I haven't seen that many of them," she added defensively.
BugleHead snorted again. "If you can't even see them, they must be small."
"We weared clothes," Reg said. "Wore cloves. Fuck it." He lifted his other hand and sat back against the broad black body of Asbolus, still sitting calmly on the ground like a quadrupedal Buddha.
"And what's with you," BugleHead said. "You acted like you would be a party animal."
Asbolus sipped from his cup. "It takes me different ways, different times," he said. "The liquor, the question, the vision the rhyme. Sometimes a couplet, a limerick, a little song even. But this time. There's quite a lot down there in the darkness and not much levity to it. It's taking a while… to emerge."
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