Mirrored from Sythyry.
Back in Large Fruit, the crowd of Elfimel who came to see us had grown.
Grinwipey: “So, d’you wingerheads have anything by way of intoxicants around here?”
Elfimel α: “In Thick Petals, where you have told us your sky-boat rests, the very petals themselves are a wonderful intoxicant, stronger than any other available in any universe!”
Grinwipey: “Oh, is it now? How’d you find that out? Did you travel your persqualey butt over to every other universe and sample every wine, every arrack, every akvavit, every vodka, every whiskey, every kumiss, every brandy? To say nothing of jenevers, lagers, kilju, tepache, absinthe, crème de cassis, and, of course, altvater. A fugging chugging-jug of altvater.”
Elfimel α: “Oh, no! I’ve never tried any of those.”
Grinwipey: “Then perhaps you better try a Brandy Virtuoso from the Tilley Ebrang in Vheshrame. One sip of that, one wave of it under your clonching nose, and you will be transport t’the realm of dizzy inebriation for two happy and very very spinning cycles.” He spun around in the air, his tentacles splaying out in all directions, to illustrate.
Elfimel β: “Oh, me, oh, my! “
Grinwipey: “Or even a Spunçançao from the Mud-Bar in Eigrach. You’d think you had eight legs not two, and you’d be glimberpucked to stand up even with eight of ‘em!” (The Mud-Bar is a real place in Eigrach, one of a hundred bars of no great distinction. If they have a Spunçançao on the menu, they imported it from Mrasteia. And on Mrasteia it is not so strong; it contains wine, bitter lime, strong tea, salt, a splash of brandy, and a small raw oyster — the latter being a replacement of something far more personal and far less suitable for appearing on a bar menu, in the original form. Hard to drink, since there’s that oyster; I’ve never liked them. If they got stronger in Eigrach, I wouldn’t know; I never had one there. Most likely Grinwipey is embroidering the truth, or more.
Elfimel α: “No Elfimel could go to such a place! We are made for Heaven, and in Heaven we shall forever remain!”
Grinwipey: “Awww, you poor little taber-flabers, can’t get your snilts off the fregma or even sip a raunchy staunchy. Well, you can go sprillip yourselves up and rejoice now, for good Gogmogger Grinwipey is here t’help you. I personally will go off to the Tilley Ebrang, the Mud-Bar, and I’ll even throw in Gutrumy House for extraness, and I will bring you back the best of the best that they serve there!”
Elfimel β: “Oh, would you? You are the kindest and most generous of seven-tentacled aerial cephalopods!”
Grinwipey: “Yeah, that’s me, a big floatin’ puddle of clunduddle ‘n kindness, sprinkling my own brand of pure joy over Heaven like a young puppy bein’ held out a window.”
Elfimel α: “You are! Oh, we rejoice in the blessing of Mircannis, that such visitors have come to visit with us!”
Elfimel β: “Our happiness is sublime, though postponed!”
Grinwipey: “Yeah, soon as we get the trumblerlate offa this cosmogruntic donut and back. One thing, though. If I’m doing you a big favor like that, maybe you c’n see your beer clear t’doing one for me?”
Elfimel α: “What is that — oh, what favor is that, delightly Grinwipey who knows all worlds and all their drinks?”
Grinwipey: “Oh, nothing much. Just a few scraps ‘o metal. Shaffing keepsakes of Heaven, wouldn’t you know? Help get back here too, like arcane connections, and that’s the telps.”
Elfimel α: “We’ll get you some! One of the silver pyramids is unravelly, we’ll break some off of that for you!”
Grinwipey: “Well, thankey-wankey.”
(I suspect we can only carry a modest amount of metal to the World Tree with us before getting Tenmen unpleasantly involved. I suspect that Grinwipey knows how much we can bring back — I do not. I am sure that Grinwipey plans to use up our entire quota on himself, and is doing it this way to ensure that he has a prior claim.)
Elfimel γ: “Thankee-what?”
Grinwipey: “Wankey. Like what you can do with your paw when your girlfriend has a headache.”
Elfimel γ: “Girlfriend? Headache?”
Grinwipey: “Aww, a world full of naked girlimels and nobody’s got a streffing girlfriend? I’m a shoggy-only kind of shoggy, but I know enough to mourn m’ears off at that! Or I would if I had ears anyhow.” This took a certain amount of explanation.
Elfimel γ: “What? … Oh! The chambers of Showers and Fountains are devoted to the arts of pleasuring the bodies of other Elfimel. Headaches are unknown in Heaven! When we enter either of those chambers, we split up by twos and threes, and give ourselves to them amongst the pouring waters, which are also convenient for cleaning up afterwards. Or, if we do not wish such recreations, we simply walk briskly through to the far door. But we have no girlfriends here! Since we do not know who each other has been or will be, each time is as intense and spicy and fascinating as the first time together, as pure and poignant as the last!”
Phaniet: [quietly, to Este] “I am not going to get into a debate about that, I am not, I am so not.”
Este: [quietly, to Phaniet] “I dunno. I bet there are some cissies who’d be happy with an endless supply of girls they didn’t have to think about afterwards. I’m sticking with my Cani though, and you don’t need to give me that look!”
At which point those of us in Strayway stopped watching our distant friends, for an angry god broke down the door.