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Question: In Good Times and Bad


August 8, 2016 by Lyn

To Mike: how would you characterize your relationship with Luke?

Oh, gods, you’ve been talking to the giant bird again, haven’t you? I know you like him and all – I’m an incubus, dear, a Daeva. It’s my job to know these things – but talking to him is never a good idea. What did he tell you about us?

Nothing? Well… I suppose that makes sense. And I figure, the way you phrased your question, I could cop out and just say, “we’re crew, with a long, checkered past,” and be done. But I like you, or, more specifically, he likes you – which is a rarity, let me tell you – so I guess I can try to be more specific.

I’m not going to go into how we met, but it was a long time ago. He was very young – I didn’t realize then quite how young – and I was – let’s just say “not so young,” all right?

Fsst, you are a wiseass, aren’t you? All right. This was not long after the American Revolutionary War, and I was there when they first decided to call it America. So I’d already been around a while when the colonials were trying to figure out what to call their new leader.

We… didn’t get off on the right foot. It was a long time before we talked civilly again. Truth be told, I don’t think the bird really approves of me. He’s rather strait-laced (and, yes, the image of Luca in a corset does send me into fits of hysterical laughter – but only where he can’t see nor hear me), and me, well, I’ve done the prim and proper thing. It’s a fine façade for daytime, but boring at night.

I spent nearly a century following Luca around – well, not stalking him or anything, just showing up every few years to torment him. It was kind of entertaining, especially because he’d gotten so uptight and disgusted when he figured out what I was, but, after a while, I guess I got fond of the old bird.

I introduced him and Regine, you know. I had my reasons, which, at the time, seemed perfectly reasonable, but I’m not so sure, now, in retrospect. The departed gods only know what a can of worms we’ve opened up here, the three of us.

It’s not just that: I’m never that altruistic, although watching my kids run through Regine’s mazes might turn me that way. Once the two of them got going – and don’t get me wrong, they don’t agree on almost anything, but their disagreements are something to behold – I turned from Luca’s chief annoyance into that cute little Daeva, pat pat, go sit in a corner and play with your toys and don’t get in our way, Meckil.

It’s quite a come down. And, sure, I have a school full of pretty toys – oh, balls, Keaira, don’t look at me like that – pretty boys and girls to play with, but it’s still being sent to my room to play.

And Luca? Hell, the only time he talks to me these days is to yell at me. Makes it hard for a creature to love him, you know?


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