A damsel in distress

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“She looked like something that might have occured to Ibsen in one of his less frivolous moments.”
― P.G. Wodehouse, Summer Lightning

“Would you please stop that infernal music!” For almost a minute, the band played on. Horns blared, violins squeaked. No one heard the haggard voice over the din of dirges, suited for a recently reanimated slightly fragrant mage. Then: “Stop that infernal din! I haven’t got all day!”

There was a “ploink” as one of the violinists stopped. Then there was a “oomph” as a tuba player sucked his mastiscated lips from a somewhat grimy mouthpiece and stared at the apparition with big, suprised glowing eyes.

“I say,” a flutist said, once the screeching notes came to an end. “Someone doesn’t appreciate the fine a– ouwww!”

Dorry smacked him over the head with her cain. Then she glared at all of them, one after another.

“I am not someone to be trifled with,” she said. “A lady can’t even get some decent sleep around here! Oh no, I just wanted to rest my legs a bit, found a nice hole to do it in, the next thing I know? You! Is this what the world is coming to? Dirges? When I was a girl we used to send our elders off with polka and brandy!”

She shook her cain and took a step into the midst of the band. Several minutes later, most of them rolled around on the ground clutching their aching, seeping heads. Dorry looked around across the fallen, content with a good nights work, and then set off.

“I do hope miss Harrowgate knows that I’m coming,” she muttered. “I’m not going to let Death stop me from her tea party, oh no, you mark my words you little wench … Stealing my betrothed, right under my nose, with those long legs of hers. There’s a name for people like you, young lady! It starts with Ssss …” She stopped, sniffing the air. There was a tang of life somewhere, aha! Over there, hiding in a bush. A night elf, busy with winding up a mechanical construct of some sort. It looked like a harvest golem, a small one. A very scared rat bared it’s teeth at the herald of mechanised doom.

“You there!” Dorry cried out. “Leave that rat alone!”

The night elf startled – and then, in an instant, vanished in a puff of smoke. The tiny harvester scuttled around for a bit before it came to a screeching halt in a cloud of smoke and sparks.

“Beware the living … ” Dorry said. Then she made a “tcch! tchh!”-sound with her lips. The rat thought it over for a few seconds but then realised that the world is a dangerous place. Might as well have a mage as a bodyguard.

“I’m going to call you … Rattus!” Dorry nodded. Rattus said “squeak!”. Dorry made a pleased sound, half a grunt, half a chuckle. Then she hitched up her dress, an heirloom, and set off for the putrescent lights and big underworld of former Lordaeron. “Dark Lady have mercy on your soul, miss Harrowgate. For I certainly wont!”

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