By Mark Figueroa
“Some weather,” the bartender said, rubbing a glass. He smoked his hanging joint and exhaled into the overhead fan. His rabbit ear quivered in the lighting. “What brings you in?”
The blue-skinned stranger sat. He took a sip of his drink and stared into the distance.
“Don’t get too many of you here, for that matter,” the bartender remarked. His nose flared with his curious whiskers. “Anubian, right? The last tribe of the Deus Magna, right?” The stranger remained silent. The bartender put the glass down and crossed his arms. He took another inhale of his joint, then set it in an ashtray. The bartender scratched his fuzzy forehead. He was born in the Mantle and had never left. He’d never seen an otherworldly Mantlean–especially none of universal divine lineage.
Read about Mantleans:
“Your name, stranger?” the bartender probed.
The blue man sipped his drink, still staring at the distance. A woman appeared behind him. They both had luminescent blue skin and long white hair. Their clothes were high quality vibrant fabric. They looked and behaved like royalty.
“Don’t mind my husband,” the woman said, smiling. She rubbed the blue man’s back and nudged him. “Time to return, Kanti?” she asked.
“Just another respite, Enlil, my love,” Kanti responded. “This missive to aid some cloak bearing human perplexes me. Why are we being entrusted to–” Kanti examined his drink. He sighed and looked at the bartender’s twitching rabbit ears.
Kanti looked at Enlil.
The two stared at each other briefly.
Kanti set his drink down.
The bartender pretended not to care; his twitching ears, listening to hundreds of uninteresting voices. The Anubians said nothing and left. To make matters worse, they didn’t speak telepathically either, or so the bartender thought.
Kanti and Enlil warped outside of the Mantle. The couple wandered along the banks of the Euphrates River. “His ears,” Enlil began, “pick up physical thoughts.”
Kanti nodded. “I was wondering why you spoke with your spirit. I thought it was habit. I am still learning to think physically. This cloakbearer business–“
Enlil stopped a few steps ahead of Kanti. “–I am not certain who is a friend or foe in this particular instance. We would do wise to keep our matters to ourselves, my love.”
Want to know more about Kanti?
Read “The Cloak of Nothing”!