Disclaimer: The original characters of the Incarnations of Immortality belong to Piers Anthony.  Goodness knows I don't claim to own Insanity and Humor—they own me.

A/N: Hi!  I thought I might as well write a story for this category, because I really like the series and I can't believe there are only three stories.  Let me rephrase the "I really like the series" part.  That much is true, but what I'm not saying is that I think Mym needs to lighten up about feminism, concubines, and the like and that Parry is just a tad bit spineless.  But aside from that, it's good.  Always, of course, excluding And Eternity, which I really didn't like much.  Now, really...are there any teenage girls in this series that don't want to get pregnant?  But I won't go into great detail about my feelings on that—this author's note would get considerably longer.  Suffice it to say that I thought this section needed some humor and it's lucky for you that I'm here to provide it!...Right...

With a Twisted Mind

Birds trilled softly outside Orb Kaftan's window, heralding the dawn—or as close as could be expected in Purgatory.  When the Incarnation of Nature didn't respond, they trilled a little more loudly and insistently.  Thirty seconds later, the cute, fluffy little sparrows lost patience and flew inside the bedroom, where they began to peck at the back of Orb's neck with their cute, sharp little beaks.

Ah, the joys of a natural alarm clock.

Orb groaned softly and tried to brush the birds off her, but they were having none of it.  If she didn't know better, she would have thought they were enjoying this immensely.  "All right, all right," she yawned.  "I'm up!"  This was a lie, of course, but things like that usually worked if you were a good liar.

It didn't work.  The birds pecked harder than ever, ignoring her futile attempts at escape.  She sighed resignedly.  It must be important if they were continuing to plague her like this—surely the infernal things would have given up by now on any ordinary day!

"What is it?" she demanded irritably, beating at the sparrows with a pillow.  "It's too early for this."  She didn't add that it would continue to be too early for at least another seven hours or so, very possibly the rest of the day.  Instead, she groaned again, wondering why things like this always happened to her, and dragged herself out of bed.  Technically, of course, she didn't need sleep, but she certainly enjoyed those few hours of respite from the trials that plagued her constantly.  Such as psychotic birds...

"Chirp!" offered the largest bird, fixing her with a bright, beady gaze. 

Orb glared right back at it.  "That's not very helpful," she complained petulantly.  "Now look here, when I ask a question, I want a direct answer.  Is that clear?"


There was a small silence while the sparrows looked at Orb and Orb looked at the sparrows.  Then, very slowly and with the dignity befitting Mother Nature, Orb drew herself up out of bed.

"That is it," she seethed, her eyes flashing dangerously.  "I have had more than enough of this disrespectful behavior and I will thank you to hold your tongues in the future."  The smallest bird made a strangled little peep that might have been a giggle.  "Fine.  Hold your beaks," Orb snapped, knowing she had lost this battle.  But the war had barely started...

As she advanced menacingly, pillow in hand, the birds flew for the window.  Orb stood and watched them go, already plotting her next move.  Would poisoned birdseed be best?  Oh yes, she would have her revenge for this!

Deep in her thoughts and humming "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" under her breath, Orb was quite considerably taken aback when the door to her room opened.  Standing in the doorway were two complete strangers.

"Um...are you...uh...is this..." said one, a nervous-looking teenage boy with messy red hair.  He looked helplessly at his companion, a somewhat stout middle-aged woman.

"We were told to report to the Incarnation of Nature," the woman explained.  "About—"

This was really more than Orb could take so early in the day.  "Who are you clowns?" she asked furiously, ignoring the fact that her voice had a distinctly frantic quality to it.  "What are you doing here?"

The boy winced.  "Funny you should ask," he said.  "This morning I was getting on my carpet to go to school when a rubber chicken came out of nowhere and thwacked me on the head."

"And I," said the woman, "heard several voices arguing in my head."  She looked rather disapprovingly at Orb, who was still in her bathrobe.  "This is all highly irregular."

Irregular, Orb thought, wasn't quite the word to describe it.  First the attack of the sparrows, and now these characters showed up at her door.  Still, one must do what one must do...

"Right," she sighed, squaring her shoulders and preparing herself for an ordeal.  "You must be the new Incarnations of Humor and Insanity."

A/N: Right.  If you found this chapter less than it should have been, rest assured it will probably get better.  All my stories start out rather slowly and pick up later on.  Let me just warn you that if you have no sense of humor about these characters, this is not the story for you.  The fact that I am introducing these particular Incarnations should give you a clue...Hopefully I'll be able to update soon, maybe even start another story in this category.  Please review and don't hesitate to tell me (nicely) if I'm contradicting anything in the books.