Bayezit idly chewed his apple. The taste was sweet and light in his mouth. It occurred to him that this might just be the last apple of the autumn, for him at least. That seemed strangely poetic to him, and then he realized that his father had used to recite a rhyme to him, about just that very thing. He tried to recall what it was.
He was still trying when Hrol found him, and tapped him lightly on the shoulder. “Hey,” said the burly Ogre. “You all right?”
“Just thinking,” noted Bayezit, finishing his apple.
Hrol gave a mighty nod, as if understanding that thinking was an extremely difficult and complicated undertaking, and one that the Ogre left to experts at it, such as Bayezit. “It’s prisoner. Doesn’t look like he’s going to talk,” he noted, with a nod towards the tree.
Bayezit glanced up and nodded. “I think you’re right.” The Dev stood up and spread his wings, then vanished with a slight pop. He reappeared near the prisoner, who hung slack on the tree from his arms, a large spike driven through his wrists, pinning him there. Bayezit hovered around the man for a moment, and then gave him a slap in the face. The man didn’t respond, even though the blow caused his body to jerk. Bayezit clicked his tongue, and then slowly hovered down to the ground. “I think he’s dead,” the Dev noted. “Or close enough.”
“Huh,” said Hrol with a dull nod. “Well, at least we got goats.”
“Indeed,” agreed Bayezit. “And really it was only a guess. He might not have been the one with the gold buried somewhere. Or it might have just been a story.” He shrugged. “So really--it was worth a try.”
Hrol smiled. “And was funny watching him twitch and scream, no?”
“It was,” said Bayezit, with a nod. He placed a hand on the ogre’s shoulder. “Perhaps next time we will be able to combine pleasure and profit, friend.” He turned away. “Speaking of which, what is the next time?”
“Oh, little monks,” said Hrol with a yawn. “From little abbey.”
Bayezit smiled to himself, stroking his chin. “Is that the one with the little extra thing for us to do…?”
Hrol gave a nod. “Uh huh. Also, big herd, so good haul all around.”
“Indeed,” said Bayezit. “We are fortunate sons, are we not?” He chuckled to himself.
“What funny?” asked Hrol.
“It occurred to me we could simply kill all of them,” noted Bayezit. “That would technically fulfill our arrangement.”
Hrol considered this for a while. “But then no payment,” he pointed out. “At least--not all we were promised. Because he dead.”
Bayezit thought it over. “Hmm. I suppose you’re right. Oh, well. Maybe next next time. For now, let’s get the goats to the Old Man.”
The pair walked back to their camp. As they did, Bayezit had a sudden craving for another apple, but then realized that he probably wouldn’t get one. Not for a long while.
That made him sad. He wondered if that feeling was in the song his father had taught him. He wasn’t sure it was.