Murra unwrapped herself, and pouted. She wasn’t entirely sure what a bullwhip could be, but the “whip” came through loud and clear.
“Fine. Shoal, you explain it to the nasty man who threatens helpless spirits with an armed girlfriend.”
“Murra! Why are you involving me in this?” Shoal was so agitated, twitters came out in between her words.
“Quit it, both of you!” Kassa stood up and glared at her siblings. She took over the conversation, and explained the Great Wager… and the results… to her hosts.
“Right.” Shona said, pulling out a notebook and a pencil. “Let me get this straight. The lot of you are fourth or fifth generation, moderately powerful, and nearly immortal. `Zat right?”
“Yes.” Kassa replied.
“Your sis is some kind of superbeing, but will only live for fifteen hundred years, give or take?”
Shona scribbled on the paper for a moment, and turned it around for everyone to see. She’d written, “John is screwed!” in large, thick, letters. Underneath it, and harder to see, were the words, “Maybe, we are, too.”
“Goodness, I hope you’re wrong!” Shoal cried, wringing her hands.
“That’s broadly true, Shona.” Murra commented, from the floor by Bap’s foot, where she was continuing her training for the Olympic Pouting trials. “What bothers us more is what Etty told us when she came home today.”
Bap noticed that every paranormal being in sight got a bad case of the shivers after Murra brought up their sister.
“Okay. Spill that, too.”
“Yes, big, Mr. Human who doesn’t like having his leg cuddled.” Murra’s preternatural powers of snarky behavior were in perfect form. “She told us she knows what her powers and purpose are. Etty can break rules.”
Bap didn’t know whether to be annoyed at the obnoxious tone of voice, or do a complete “What the fuck” over Etty’s power. He looked over at Shona, who shrugged at him—she was coming up empty, too.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, little, Miss No One Cuddles Me Enough, but everyone can break the rules. I’m dating a short, white, Australian woman, who has gigantic boobs. That’s against the rules, depending on who you ask.”
“Mr. Bap,” Lur interrupted, “it is that Etty can break cosmic rules, not that she has an adventurous heart.”
“Give me an example, big fella.”
“Sure. You know that spiritual beings are vulnerable to cold iron, right?”
“Before Murky arrived for the party yesterday, Etty and I were hanging around Duke’s front yard. She materialized in the hood of his truck.” Lur gestured with his paws, but they were too large to make a distinct illustration.
“I guess it stung.”
“No. It didn’t bother her at all. That’s what we mean by breaking rules: for her, the things we know to be true, and live by, don’t hold.”