Casa Belweldie, part 6, or, rather, Across Saga, part 1 [26 Thory 4261]
Delframber:“Ysgwyd, my dearest … I think you
have … distressed the noble Zi Ri.”
Ysgwyd:“Aww, poor little scaly thing.”
Me:“I’m simply wondering about what shape to
take. Since I have no clothing for any other shape
Ysgwyd:“It’s just a traff cafe,
Sythers. Not like they’ll rape you if you go in
there naked. Even the ones that aren’t your assumed species.”
Ilottat:“Creo … creabo, rather … some
clothing for you.”
Ysgwyd:“Nah, just go Sleeth.”
I stopped further discussion by turning into a Herethroy.
This seemed the obvious choice, because (1) the body has
four feet and thus good balance, and (2) it is wholly
unremarkable to see tall insect people around the town. I
did not pay much attention to the fact that Herethroy are
vegetarian by reason of them getting violently sick if they
I noted with some perplexity that, when I am Herethroy, I am
a male one. This will not entirely keep me from standing
out, since they are the rarest sex of Herethroy.
Ilottat conjured up a sort of kirtle or kilt or chapeau or
something of warm blue-green cloth, and the four of us spent
several minutes trying with all fifteen manipulative limbs
to get it on me. Eventually I conjured up some bone pins.
Walking as a giant insect on four legs is easier than
walking as an otter on two legs.
Then … Across Saga. It’s a cafe on the third and top floor
of a clothing store, on the Street of the Seven-Eyed
Gargoyle. Going up stairs is not easier as a
four-legged giant insect. Well, maybe it would be, except
that I never walk up stairs in Zi Ri form, because (1)
nobody makes stairs the right size, and (2) it’s not a very
good idea to be a small person on the ground. I’d rather fly.
At the door, Across Saga looks like, well, a very ordinary
loungeable sort of cafe. Couches, low oval tables. A
bookshelf in one corner. An Orren woman playing a harp to a
few friends by the fireplace. A bar at which one might order
teas, narcotic teas, wines, cookies, grilled mice, or
noodles. Various people sitting at tables, in twos and
threes and fours. Yes, they were mostly mixed species, but
it mostly didn’t look very remarkable until you looked
closely and noticed that they were more likely to be holding
hands or sitting close lover-style or something than
different-species couples usually are.
I was quite nervous. Ilottat was downright petrified.
I ordered a skewer of grilled mice to share with him.
Ysgwyd:“Yay, the meat-eating
Everyone stared. Everyone in the cafe. Everyone in the