Happy New Year! I've been offline for the past month, enjoying the holidays, but I'm back, and so are the African Spooks!
The bat-like creature puckered up its thick, dark lips. 'Good gracious,' I thought. 'What is it doing now?'
Jonas collapsed onto the ground, covering his head with his arms. Now what was he doing, I wondered?
And that’s when I remembered the bit of rather critical information I had previously forgotten: the Popobawa’s third power. It can spit poison. And I was straight in its line of fire.
Rather than spit, the Popobawa bared its pointy teeth at me in quite a vulgar fashion. Bits of raw meat were stuck in between and the breath… Well, I won’t attempt to describe the debilitating stench but shall leave it to your vivid imagination.
“If I was you,” I informed it pertly, “I would file down my teeth to a polite length and chew on mint leaves.”
It leered closer.
“Really, your manners are atrocious,” I continued, the shotgun shaking in my hands. “Even the European Vampire has more sense of decorum.” I’d hoped by that last inflammatory statement to offend the creature’s sensibilities so that it would fly of in a huff. But luck and offended sensibilities had both abandoned me.
At my wits ends, I prodded Jonas with my foot. “What should I do?” I wailed, gesturing at the Popobawa with the antique weapon.
Now Jonas is many things, but a poker player he is not. He glanced up at me through his arms, not daring to stand. His expression quite clearly stated, ‘She’s kidding, right?’ But being the polite, silent type, he simply gestured with his eyeballs towards the gun.
“I can’t kill it,” I protested. “Apart from the obvious fact that I’ll be splattered with giant bat blood, it’s a valuable specimen. Every cryptozoologist will be begging for a chance to study it.”
Jonas’s expression shifted to ‘She’s really not kidding. God help us.’
With a long-suffering sigh, he rose up and began babbling in Swahili at the Popobawa. I couldn’t really follow the one sided conversation, but I did manage to understand a few words: ‘ugly bat wings’ and ‘chief’s cow in the next village’. After Jonas finished, he opened his precious jar of pig fat and blew over the top of it towards the demon. The smell drifted towards the tree.
With a screech of protest, the Popobawa flapped its wings twice and flew off. I couldn't blame it, although I was slightly disappointed at the loss of such a fine specimen.
With a satisfied smile, Jonas closed the lid on the jar, turned around and headed home for tea.
And on a completely unrelated note, Dragon's War has been published! Read the exciting sequel to Dragon's Mind: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AXM22WO
What do you think of the cover? (If you don't see an image below on your email, hop on over to http://veredehsani.blogspot.com)