This one is for the Hatred Blogfest over at Tessa's Blurb, and is about the way that the big, grand hatreds of heroes and villains don't always spread all the way down the ranks. Enjoy.
Hanalf the Dire and Rubens the Paladin of Light faced off across the space of the battered ruins, brandishing weapons, making faces, and promising violence with layers of detailed unpleasantness that even most professional wrestlers would have found a little distasteful. It was only to be expected. One was, after all, a master of the evilest arts, sworn to cruelty and general nastiness, while the other had been voted ‘hardest smiter’ for the forces of Light several years running.
As the two figures glared and prepared for battle, two slightly shorter and less muscular figures crept their way through the ruins, meeting up somewhere towards the middle. They nodded to one another.
“I am sent,” one declared, “on behalf of the good Rubens to offer your master the chance to surrender himself to the forces of Light.”
“Funny that,” the other one said, “I’ve been sent to ask your lad to bow his knee before the forces of Darkness. Any chance of that, do you think? They’ve promised to only horribly torture him a bit."
“It’s more than my one has promised. He’s got the thumbscrews all lined up. For a paladin of light, he’s bloody quick with that kind of thing.”
The evil one’s representative nodded. “So how have you been keeping, Henry?”
“Oh, not bad. You, Trevor?”
“The same. Squiring for the Light’s lot treating you well?”
Henry shrugged. “Same as usual. Plenty of armour to polish, prayers before breakfast, trying to work out how you get curtains to go around a horse, that kind of thing. How’s the hench-ing?”
Trevor’s shrug matched Henry’s. “Well, I’ve got to blacken the armour, and it’s more horrible sacrifices before breakfast then trying to work out which bit of a Thing is which, but it’s basically the same.”
Henry sighed. “It always is.” He took out a small bag and offered the contents to Trevor. “Jellybaby?”
“Don’t mind if I do.” Trevor chewed thoughtfully for a bit. “So I take it your lad’s not about to give in then? Too seething with righteous anger and all that?”
“Got it in one, Trev.”
“And my one’s just generally seething. Oh, and you know better than to call me Trev. It’s bad enough, mine calling me ‘Igor’ half the time without you going round calling me Trev.”
“Sorry,” Henry said, putting away the jellybabies. “So, there’s no chance of reconciling this then?”
Trevor shrugged. “Is there ever? Right, I’d better get back to give his nibs the good news. He gets stroppy if I keep him waiting.”
“Not as stroppy as mine. Did I mention the thumbscrews?”
Trevor considered that. “Oh, before I forget… are you going to Aunty Vera’s this weekend? You know she likes to see us.”
Henry nodded. “I’ll see you there. Though it’ll be meatloaf again.”
Trevor shrugged once more. “It’s always meatloaf. Anyway…”
The two subordinates of good and evil trudged back out of the ruins, paused halfway, and then trudged in the direction they were supposed to be going, secure in the knowledge that mere centuries old hatred’s between good and evil didn’t hold any terrors next to Aunty Vera’s cooking.