Friday, March 29, 2013

Kink, Evil Sidekick - A Recipe for Disaster

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by Ardyth DeBruyn

Villain apprentice Cal desperately needs cash to take his girlfriend to the Dreaded Ball. Prince Bueford needs out of an arranged marriage. Mullog, Bueford's manservant, would love to marry the princess and has the perfect solution: Bueford can buy a potion for disaster from Cal to disrupt the betrothal. Then Mullog can rescue the princess, and everyone can live happily ever after.

How could a little disaster go wrong?

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Kink, Evil Side-kick

Looking for the perfect evil side-kick for Cal, my mind drifted back to Japanese class in high school, when for some reason, one of my classmates was able to convince our teacher to let him keep rats at the back of the class.  He was doing a genetics project and apparently the science teachers weren't inclined to let him use their classroom.

The upshot of it meant I spent a lot of my Japanese class that year playing with rats.  I found them fascinating and often delightful pets, but we quickly learned if they weren't handled regularly, they would go a bit feral.  They also were quite the little escape artists.  They wanted to explore the classroom every chance they could get and we'd have to be careful easing the door open when we arrived in case someone had gotten lose and was looking to escape.

Kink, Cal's pet rat, is considerably more intelligent than a normal rat.  Living with wizards has given him not only the ability to reason, but magic as well.  But Kink still has a rat nature, which means sneaky, curious, and always looking for his next meal.


Around the next corner, the crowds thickened. In the middle of the street, under a red and white awning, sat the busiest of the caf├ęs, Birkanini’s Pizza Shop. Families with bouncy children; young, dewy-eyed lovers; and elderly people, arm in arm, strolled into the shop, emerging with pizzas to sit at the tables in front of it. Everyone wanted Birkanini’s Pizza.

The smells wafted over Cal, making him moan. "Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a piece or two of pizza."

Kink squeaked mournfully.

Mouth watering and eyes burning with unshed tears, Cal turned away. Would he never get the riches and respect he deserved? Suddenly an evil thought burst into his mind. "Hah!" Cal grinned, grabbing Kink from his shoulder. "Are we villains, or are we villains, Kink? Why wait for the pizza to come to us, when we can come to it?"

He dodged a couple of carts, wound across the street to an alley, and circled around to the back of the pizza shop. He gently set Kink down on the stones. "Ready, my evil little rat?"

Kink flashed fangs and dipped his head, then sneaked into the pizza joint. Cal poked his head in, watching the cooks bustle around. No one noticed him. He reached out and snagged an empty cardboard pizza box from the stack next to the door. Grinning like a demon with a freshly damned soul, he sauntered to the corner of the alleyway and watched the front of the shop.

Cute little red and white umbrellas covered small round tables, matching the shop’s awning. A mother fed pizza to a toddler while a father passed around slices to a couple of arm-wrestling young boys. At another table, a young man had the girl with him shut her eyes while he fed her. All the happiness normally would sour Cal, but he had a job to get done here.

Come on, Kink. Don’t let me down.

Kink appeared, poking his head out of the front door. He sat up on his hind legs, nose twitching, a front paw waving at the air. For a moment, no one noticed. Then a small boy, his face smeared with spaghetti sauce, pointed Kink out to his older sister. She screamed and scraped her chair back against the cement. Heads turned; mouths dropped open. Horrified, people looked down at their pizza, dropping it, and dashed away.

Someone in the store shouted and came after Kink with a broom. The rat raced forward into the panicked crowd. Taking his deliciously evil opportunity, Cal walked past the tables, picking up untouched slices from the center plates and loading them into his box. He stole a couple of unopened sodas off the last table as he went by. A quick spell insulated the pizza, keeping it warm. Back in the alley, Kink waited.

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  1. Hi Ardyth, long time no see. lol.

    This story sounds adorable. I must admit rats give me the shivers. But, he does sound like a fun character.

    Good luck with the book.

  2. I read this in an earlier draft, so I know it's funny and with about as wacky as possible.