Late Tuesday howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.
Apologies for the delayed posting. A lightning storm moved in when I was just beginning this flash scene, and since I had to shut the computer down, there was no way to finish in a timely manner.
However, Duff McDuff, my Scottie dog shapeshifter, returns in this scene. He has a dual purpose for having a food and drink booth at the fair. He'll be offering a friendly paw to the fine folks of the Peak, and advertising his Scots Best of Breed Tavern. Also, he'll be introducing Donnie and Dristan, his new partners -- and so much more than their outward appearance. As is always true in Talbot's Peak.
Read on, if you will...
Wearin' Their Kilts at the Talbot's Peak Fair
Duff McDuff threw his arm around the stout shoulders of his last customer, walking the wolf hybrid shifter to the door. The man's Scottish blood hummed, bold as the wind blowing over the heather moors.
Duff opened the oak wood door wide, letting the forest-rich, night air pour inside his tavern. He gave Dante's longtime, biker buddy a hearty slap on the back before wishing him 'goodnight'. Given the tough as a Dire wolf shifter could handle himself, and was headed to the Pleasure Club -- not a great distance -- he didn't concern himself about the man's safe passage.
"Donnie me bonnie lad," Duff barked, as he turned, "yer stirrin' the fire like a crone with a pot of o' special brew."
"The fire's not complainin', as you can well see, ya old growly Scottie dog." Donnie straightened, whipped his lean length around, and winked. A grin spread across his face, long as a bean pole, but uncommonly handsome.
Certainly, the maidens had not a whit's problem stroking the Scottish Deerhound's human face, or his dog face, either -- for that matter.
"Not enough spirit in that wee fire to do any complainin'." Dristan smirked good-naturedly at Donnie.
In a show of playful temper, Donnie brandished the fire poker at Dristan before placing it in its proper place.
Taking his time, Duff strode toward his two warrior comrades from the olden days of epic battles and magnificent magickal chaos.
"Lads, it's summer here in Montana. I'ma takin' the chill off the stones. Givin' the place a proper atmosphere. Don't want me guests to be sweatin' like hogs on a spit."
"Not a pretty picture, Duff," Kyrbella trilled from the kitchen doorway.
Pleased his wee fae-fox shifter had ventured this close to Donnie and Dristan, Duff paused in his steps. "Will ya join us, love?"
With his heart glowing like the bright moon above, Duff smiled. "I promise the lads won't bite," he encouraged in a tender tone.
"No..." her fae light flickered, a sign of Kyrbella's distress. Duff knew little about the small-statured woman he'd rescued, the woman who now held every beat of his heart in the palm of her tiny hand.
"I wanted you to know," she softly voiced, "there are still helpings of tatties, and the onion herb stew is hot." His Kyrbella had taken to religiously watching over the vigor of his health.
She shimmered just for him, beautiful as a rainbow, his fae-fox woman. With another burst of radiance, she disappeared. Most likely he'd find her at the spinning wheel, or weaving the fine delicate cloth she favored.
Duff scowled at the curious, trouble-about-to-happen expressions on Dristan and Donnie's mugs. He knew it well from their days together, an age now lost to history.
"No questions," he mouthed, then curled his lip in fierce Scottie dog warning.
"Yer like cats wantin' to know what could turn 'em stiff as a house plank," Duff continued, closing in on the hearth. "Ye only need to know it was Kyrbella's magick which assisted me in bringing both of you lads through the mists of time -- dense as bowl of over-cooked porridge, I tell ya."
Dristan nodded once, eyeing him with the noble wisdom that was his collie dog nature. "A second chance at life is worth more than a pot o' gold. I'ma agreein', Duff."
"Lot of fine shapeshifter lasses you'll be meetin' at the fair in Talbot's Peak proper," Duff tempted in a lighter tone. He propped a boot on the hearth. Gazing into the flames, he enjoyed their gentle dance in the bed of peat moss.
"The modern kilts arrived," Donnie laid on the brogue. "They'll do, but nothin' like the sweet heavy wool we rolled in, dressing our loins for battle, for livin' in the wild clan lands...once upon a time."
"Once upon a time," Dristan echoed. Sadness laced his voice for all that had been lost to them -- the good sweet life that could have been.
Despite their many victories, their fight to live as a free people, the dark shroud cast by the evil ones had overcome the world.
"The breath of freedom blows from our lungs, just in our livin', in the fight we'll be givin' alongside Dante, and his clan of warriors," Duff solemnly reminded.
"I smell it, Duff, when I run the land in this haven for the shifter-likes of us, for other supernatural beings. The breath of freedom splendidly, savagely whirls like the winds of the White Goddess," Donnie spoke as poet. "Besides," he continued a moment later, "I'll be showin' off me sexy legs to the pantin' ladies when we're servin' real Scotch shortbread -- the old recipe."
"I'll be outdoing ya, spinning me kilt high, when I'm servin' Apple and Bramble Pie, then dancin' with the single maids," Dristan bantered.
In his mind's eye, Duff saw the collie shifter's thick ruff stand, giving him a majestic appearance. Still entranced by the tame fire, Duff grinned to himself. It was a true sweetness to have Donnie and Dristan by his side again. Thank the Great One Above.
"The Fruit and Nut bread tastes like the loveliest dream," Duff straightened, then stretched mightily for moments. "My Kyrbella added a touch o' love magick, so be aware, lads."
"Ya didn't say, Duff, ya big-hearted dog, what liquor stocks you'll be offering the fine shifters and other fair folk, at the fair," Donnie sang in a lilt, the tone he used when courtin' the ladies. "That is, once the wee ones are slumberin' and dreamin'."
"A bit of golden ale, the kind the maids favor. A couple of dark hefty brews for the lads. See for yourself." Duff gestured toward the cases he'd stacked in the far corner that very morning.
Dristan aimed his nose and took several long sniffs. "Heavenly...just a bit 'o heaven in me nostrils. The Scotch," he began, then offered an appreciative, human-sounding bark.
"Yup, lads," Duff proudly woofed. "The Scotch has been aged in me original oak barrels."
"When the stag gods ruled the forests," Donnie spoke like a bard of old.
"When the dragon race still flew the mist-curtained skies," Dristan roughly crooned.
"When the battles were fought without a stitch of clothing," Duff reminisced, a tear in his eye.
"How old are ye?" Dristan and Donnie barked the words in concert.
Seeing both of their brows raised high, the true surprise in their gazes, he winked -- his little tease before answering.
"Scottie dogs rule in that realm, me bonnie canine lads. We're older on Earth than most of the wolf kind." Duff savored their astonishment for a bit. "Why doncha go don those kilts, me boys. Let's have a proper look at ya before I let you loose on the ladies."
Wishing you shapeshifting love on the wild side…
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance