A Slice of Life: "Sweet Revenge"
Captain Elisa Maza stepped off the elevator and into Wyvern's great hall. It had been almost a year since her promotion and though she enjoyed the position (yelling at her detectives brought a sort of perverse, ironic pleasure) and especially the bigger paycheck, she was able to better understand why Maria had offered her a cryptic "Good Luck" at her party. She'd decided to call it a night for sake of her own sanity and arrived home early to surprise her husband.
But entering one of the adjoining corridors, something scuttled past the edge of her peripheral vision at the other end and she stopped. Whatever it was, there were two, speaking in hushed voices and obviously trying to avoid her.
"...but she might catch us..."
Those voices were familiar and Elisa had the feeling her unexpected arrival home had disrupted well-laid plans. She stood still for a moment, letting her little adversaries sweat, and make the next move.
There. Movement, behind a couch and heavy credenza, something small and slithery tried to slink out of the corridor without her noticing, but they were amateurs at best. Elisa put two fingers in her mouth and whistled. The shrill sound rocketed down the hallway and nearly made the two boys jump out of their shorts, considering their sense of hearing was a little better than average due to their father's good genes. "Hold it!" she hollered after them.
They turned their heads to each other, wondering if they should try to make a break for it. Storm grimaced, Skye swallowed the knot in his throat, but their hesitation gave their mother time to advance on them, until she was close enough to hold them down with a heel on their tails if they tried to rabbit.
"Turn around, please."
There was a bit of quick, clumsy squirming, like they were shuffling something around, before the small gargoyles rotated around to face their mother. They instantly straightened, and showed teeth. "Hi, mom!" they chorused.
Elisa stared at her boys. Frick and Frack, the little tornadoes with a mischievous streak a mile long, she couldn't trust their tiny, angelic smiles as far as she could throw them. "Hello, boys."
"You're home kinda early." one said, with the other nodding at his observation.
"Slow night." Elisa replied. "And what pray tell are you two up to?"
"Nothing?" she echoed. "Just skulking around the castle, hmm?"
It was Storm who'd answer, "Yeah. Just playin'."
"Boys..." she said again.
"Honest, mom, we're not doin' anything."
"Don't try to con a cop, boys, especially a former detective."
They exchanged a quick glance, eyes flicking toward their respective twin and then back again with split-second timing. Anyone else might've missed it, but Elisa had seen too much body language in too many interrogations to be played by a couple of seven-year-olds. "All right boys, up against the wall."
The brothers sighed and trudged towards the castle's block wall, assuming the position. Arms out, palms flat and against the stone, legs shoulder-width apart, they knew it well.
Elisa kneeled down and started patting them down, rifling through their pockets. Skye was lightly armed, a slingshot and stink bombs. His brother was carrying the heavy artillery. Storm fidgeted as Elisa pulled out a string of firecrackers and she figured, as her nose wrinkled at the stench, a few eggs way past their expiry date.
She snapped her fingers, signifying the search was over and the boys turned around to face their mother and a pile of loot on the floor between them. As she dropped her gaze, they did too. It was amazing how much they'd stuffed into every available bit of fabric. "Well, looks like you two are readying for war."
Wings drooped, tails curled around their ankles, heads hung low; they were trying to play on her sympathy.
"Nice try, fellas." Elisa smirked. "This is pretty serious gear. What have I told you about antagonizing your sisters?"
"But it's not for Trini or Libby!" Skye protested.
"Oh, so one of your clan is going to find a stink-bomb in their loincloths? Or a firecracker going off on the tip of their tail?"
"It's not for anyone else, except–" Storm immediately bit his lip.
Elisa leaned on him. Her darker-colored son was always the instigator, the trickster, more so than his twin. "Except for who?"
"Remember how you said we're only allowed to play jokes on one person in th' clan?"
She remembered. It was an off-hand remark the last time she caught them; she was only semi-serious and only said it to help inject a bit of humor into a stern reprimand. "Yes, I do. Are you saying this is all for your uncle Todd?"
"He's out in th' courtyard right now." Skye said, a squeaky sense of urgency in his tone.
"An' we owe him." Storm added.
Elisa narrowed her gaze. Just a few days ago, Todd had somehow tricked the twins into believing the castle's basement was haunted with the spirits of the Vikings who'd died in the tenth century. When they dared to venture down the stairs with the shaky beam of a flashlight as their only source of illumination, he'd lied in wait until they were deep enough into the bowels of Wyvern's bottom floor before jumping from the shadows wearing an old horned helmet, a breast-plate and shield. Like two little lightning bolts, they ran a red streak straight into their father's massive arms, with Todd appearing behind them, unable to control his fits of laughter. They vowed revenge, he laughed them off and she assumed this was their retaliation. "And you're sure all of this is just for uncle Todd?"
They nodded quickly, little moptops like bobble-heads in a windstorm.
"Okay, but just this once. Is that a promise?"
"Yeah!" they said together, the devilish gleam returning to their eyes.
"Okay, pick up your stuff and go. Hurry, before he gets wise."
They quickly gathered everything up into their hands, shoved them into their pockets (Elisa grimaced at their rough handling of the eggs) and scampered off.
She couldn't believe she just let them go, out to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting, semi-innocent human being. But she supposed it was her way of helping the universe maintain balance. Eye for an eye. And of course, if there was any chance of seeing Todd Hawkins get egged and stinkbombed, she'd take it. Elisa was going to need a window seat.
He'd caught her scent and wondered why, if she got off work early, hadn't come to see him. Trailing her perfume through the castle, Goliath hunted for his mate. No one had seen her since waking for the evening, which was surprising considering how full the castle had become in the last decade. He'd wandered through the castle until coming to one of the exterior corridors; turning the corner, he found her. She was at a window overlooking the courtyard, intent on something outside. "Eli–"
He couldn't even get her name out before Elisa whirled on the voice. "Goliath! C'mere, now!" She hurriedly beckoned him to the window with a hand fluttering back and forth. "You have to watch this."
He tromped up beside her and followed her outstretched arm towards a solitary figure in the castle's upper courtyard. Todd was relaxing on (sprawled across really) one of the lounges holding a muscle car magazine, with a half-empty can of cola and a bag of chips at his side. "Yes?"
"Wait for it."
Goliath was mystified. He assumed he was being left out of the loop. "Wait for what? Elisa, what is–"
"Hold on, there they go!"
It was a two-pronged attack from different angles. Skye attacked from the stairs leading into the lower courtyard with his brother coming in from the upper level. The string of firecrackers was lit and hurled first, exploding against Todd's feet. It got him up with a roar of pain and served to open his head and chest to the twins' impeccable aim. The expression of anger melted off in the face of a perfectly spherical object hurtling towards him. He only had a second to react before the rotten yolk exploded from the shell, like shrapnel, onto his face, into his hair, over his clothes. Skye loaded the slingshot with the stinkbombs and let them fly, impacting the stricken human in the chest and releasing a pungent cloud of powder.
Todd's tongue went down his throat, gagging at the putrid smell. He almost lost his lunch into his lap as he tumbled off the lounge and smacked the cobblestones.
Skye and Storm circled him once and met up at the end of the lounge. "The sons of Goliath get their revenge!" one yelled and then, they bolted.
Wiping egg yolk from his eyes, Todd struggled to see where his attackers went. "AUGH!!!" It echoed into the city below. "YOU LITTLE BASTARDS!!!"
Elisa burst out laughing, watching Todd roll around trying to get his bearings and covered in goop.
Goliath's chest heaved with a heavy sigh. "I wish they wouldn't invoke my name every time they commit some deed of mischief."
But Elisa couldn't offer a rebuttal, considering she had to lean against Goliath's massive form to keep from ending up on the floor.
He looked down on her, ebony eyes glimmering with suspicion. "You let them do this, didn't you?"
Wiping tears from her eyes with the back of her hand, she struggled to maintain her composure. "I guess I'm just a softie when it comes to my boys."