Murky Paws, pagan High Priest, part-time theologian, and professional Animal Control Officer, was in love. He was doing his best not to pester Donna Abrams. In fact, he hadn’t called her once since their passionate encounter twenty-four hours earlier. It took every ounce of self-control he possessed to remain stoic and in control of his essential need to rush to her side… and have as much sex with her as their bodies could endure.
He paced through the parlor of his pristine Craftsman-style bungalow—he’d been known to restore houses when the inspiration struck—and shot meaningful glances at the cellphone sitting on the credenza. It stubbornly refused to ring.
Was she busy? Maybe their spiritual connection was nothing more than phenomenal, fairy-assisted sex?
He couldn’t decide, and it was eating him alive like giant maggots in his pants.
What else could he do but call her first? Sure, it wasn’t the caveman thing to do, but he didn’t want to run the risk of losing her after finding her by complete surprise. He screwed his courage to the sticking place, and marched over to the waiting telephone.
“Excuse me, Mr. Murky.”
The voice came from out of nowhere. Murky yipped in surprise, missed the telephone, and tripped over the low credenza. He fell, face-first, into the seat of his armchair.
“Oh dear!” Lur Pendy finished materializing in Murky’s home, and rushed to see if his friend was injured. “Are you all right?”
Murky turned his head slightly, and looked up at his surprise guest with one baleful eye.
“Don’t you people fucking knock?” He muttered, nearly unheard with a face full of cushion.
Lur squatted down beside the chair.
“I’m very sorry. I’m still adjusting to your customs.”
The pagan priest levered himself up off the chair, winced at the pain sparkling across the fronts of his calves—there would be pretty bruises, no doubt—and righted himself into a sitting position. He looked for his phone, and didn’t see it. His fall probably knocked it off onto the floor. It didn’t matter much in that moment, because he wasn’t about to make a lovey-dovey call with company in the house.
“The first adjustment I’d like you to make is knock on the outside of the front door, and then wait for me to let you in.” Murky gently palpated his face, just to make sure everything was where it needed to be.
“I’ll remember that. Thank you.” Lur rumbled, humbly.
“So, tall, dark, and furry… What brings you here on a Monday night?”
“Well, Mr. Murky, I was hoping to ask you for advice.”
Murky’s curiosity pricked up its ears.
“Oh? What about?”
“Well, you see,” Lur began, and explained Etty and John’s star-crossed marriage. “I suddenly have a brother-in-law, and I don’t quite know how to cope with it.”
“Wait, dude.” Murky held up his hand as he got up out of the chair. “How old are you?”
“Me? I’m two hundred and ten years old.”
“Is that over or under legal drinking age for beings in the spirit world?”
“Over, Mr. Murky.”
“Good.” Murky made his way towards the liquor cabinet in the kitchen. “Because this conversation needs a drink, or three.”