Elephant Stew

Prompt 02: Advice

Quoth, the raven, was never lost for words (unless the word presented to him was 'nevermore' - old jokes remain old). His transition from bird to human had not stunted his appetite for talking, and try as she might he managed to repel even her driest retorts and steeliest double-barreled glares with a quick quip.

His appetite for eyeballs hadn't lessened any, either. Every small action of his wiry, featherless body and swivelling eyes; the way his dark hair stuck up at all angles; his coarse, undignified and macabre sense of humour made her skin shudder in revulsion. And there was no one-upping the raven. But Susan would never admit, on pain of Death, that he was smarter than she was.

"I need some advice."

It took every ounce of willpower she had to resist the satisfied smirk tugging at her lips. Susan put down her book and stared at him across the table.

"What could you possibly want with my advice?"

The raven waved an airy hand. "You're always reminding me how educated and logical you are, and logic's never settled well with me. Gives me cramps, it does. I deal in the illogical. Less of a bitter bite."

Susan sighed loudly, blowing air through her nose like a horse. "Incorrigible bird."

"Thank you."

"What type of advice?"

"More of a casual musing really."

"What casual musing?" she asked, impatiently.

Quoth steepled his fingers and stared at her; directly at her. His eyes were not black, she realised, but a deep, penetrating blue – there was always something going on behind those eyes. Having them so focused on Susan made her face turn flush. She felt suddenly feverish and heavy, as though some weight was pressing down on her chest. Still, she managed to glower through it.

And then his face broke into a wicked leer.

"If you had sex with a doppelganger, would that be incest, masturbation or just plain buggery?"

"P-Pardon?!" Susan spluttered, getting to her feet. "For Pete's sake! That's what you wanted to ask me? You brutish CAD!"

"A'right, a'right! No need to ruin that pretty face with all them nasty words," he said, smirking. "Was just a bit of a musing. I s'pose you were expecting an emphatic declaration of love." He paused. "Who's Pete?"

"I'm sure he was someone who knew the meaning of dignity and understood the importance of polite conversation!" she yelled, wrenching the front door open and stepping through it. "Now go away please. I am very busy and important!"

The little house trembled as the door slammed behind her.

"You reckon she meant me to go through that door?" asked the raven, wearily.

The Death of Rats nodded. "Squeak."

"Humans really like their drama. Pretty thick, for being Death's Granddaughter. Mind you, heard her parents weren't the sharpest arrows in the quiver." The raven rolled his eyes wildly. "That's education for you. Stuffs your head full of facts and assumptions, and leaves no room for knowledge."

The Death of Rats glared at him. "Squeak-squeak?"

"Dunno why, just came out." Quoth shrugged. "Looks a bit like a tiger when she's all riled up," he said, then added gently, "Good look for her actually…"

The Death of Rats looked at him curiously. "Squeak squeak?"

"Of course not!" the raven spluttered. "Just fooling. That's all."

There was a break of silence. Then the Death of Rats raised its bony snout and sniffed, importantly. "Squeak squeak-squeak."

The raven opened his mouth in astonishment. "What d'ya mean, pretty girls make fools?! I'm not takin' any advice from a species that gives the Plague a piggy-back ride!"

Hope you like it! Please do review, I'd love to hear what people think of this couple, hehe!xxx