“Your son is SPOOKY,” whispered Malina as she reappeared.
“Mmm,” noted Pelleas with a nod. “I know. Don’t have any idea where he got it from. His mother was the soul of gentleness, poor thing.” He shook his head. “They say madness runs in the Pescheour blood, but I always thought they exaggerated that. The only one I know of besides my son who would qualify was my great-uncle Tor--and the only thing wrong with him was he’d occasionally think he was a frog.” The King sighed. “This did often prove distressing, but not to the same degree as my son’s actions do.” Pelleas stroked his beard. “Well--there was the time he tried to declare war on the storks of Leonais…”
The little Dev blinked. “Umm… how did that go?”
“Not very well,” said Pelleas. “The Grand Council allowed him twenty crossbow men, which he then lead around the countryside for three months, shooting storks, and anything Tor thought was a stork. It caused some trouble, but as I understand it, the Council was simply happy to have him out of the way, so they considered it a fair trade-off…” He coughed. “I believe I’ll go back to my bed now.”
“Right.” Malina darted over to his side and took the old man’s hand.
“Thank you my dear,” said Pelleas. “It’s so nice to have a some help in these matters.” The pair walked back to the bed. “It is good to stretch one’s legs, I find.” Pelleas lay back down, and pulled the covers up. A fluttering sound over by the window caught his attention. “Well, look at that.” Malina turned and saw the crow that had landed on the windowsill. “Don’t see that very often,” said the king smiling.
“Ma-li-na!” cawed the crow.
Malina’s eyes went wide. “Hoppedance?”
The crow flapped its wings wildly “No! Jean!”
Pelleas regarded the young Dev in mild surprise. “So you know this… individual?”
“Yeah, but she’s usually human,” whispered Malina.
“Ah,” said Pelleas. “That explains a great deal.”
Malina darted forward, and started whispering to the crow. After a moment, she turned to Pelleas. “Ummm… King Pelican? Jean wants me to go somewhere quiet where we can talk. Is that all right?” She fidgeted slightly. “I’ll--be right back.”
Pelleas smiled at her. “Of course, dear. Of course. I know you have things to attend to.”
“Thanks!” said Malina, grinning back at the King. She shut her eyes, and started to concentrate, then stopped. “Umm… King Pelican? All that stuff you said. About the angle? Did you mean me?”
Pelleas nodded. “That’s right.”
Malina blushed. “Oh. Thank you.” She shut her eyes and vanished with a slight pop.
Pelleas chuckled to himself and shut his eyes. Such a nice little Dev.