with a startled grunt Jared soared into the air with a single flap.
Jared’s dumbfounded friends stood and stared as he sailed away over the rooftops, accompanied by gales of laughter from the assembled Kymerans. “Bring him back, you little bastard!” one of them shouted, shaking his fist at Tullamore’s rapidly disappearing backside. “That’s my roommate you’re flying off with!”
Once he realized the leprechaun was not going to reverse his flight plan, Jared’s roomie turned to face his companions. “What am I going to tell his mother?” he moaned.
A Kymeran with hair the color of lime sherbet stepped forward and clapped the distraught college student on the shoulder. I recognized the wizard as Oddo, one of Hexe’s occasional clients, who came to the house whenever he needed a hangover cured, as he had a tendency to get drunk and sling spells in public—a definite no-no in Golgotham.
“Don’t fret, lad,” Oddo said, slurring his words only slightly. “Your pal will show up in a day or two. . . . Of course, he’ll be a few dozen yards of sausage hanging in a butcher’s window by then. . . .”
“Holy fuck!” the roomie gasped in horror.
Oddo guffawed and slapped his knee, pleased by the shocked look on the college student’s face. “What did I tell ya? The nump fell for it, hook, line, and sinker!” he shouted to the Kymeran onlookers gathered on the sidewalk, who promptly added their belly laughs to the chorus.
“It’s not fuckin’ funny!” the roomie yelled, pushing Oddo aside.
The wizard staggered backward, more surprised than harmed by the attack. He pointed his right hand at his adversary, the six fingers bent at angles impossible for human digits to duplicate, and made a sharp upward motion, as if hailing a cab.
The college student shot six feet into the air like a marionette yanked offstage by the puppeteer, his arms and legs flailing wildly as he screeched at the top of his lungs: “Stop it! Put me down!”
“I will—but only after I make sure you and the other numps have learned your lesson about sticking your noses in places that don’t want you,” Oddo replied. He made a twirling gesture with his right hand and the levitating student began to spin like a top, going faster with each revolution.
“Please! Stop!” he wailed. “I think I’m gonna—I’m gonna—”
I assume the rest of his sentence was puke , because that’s exactly what he did, in copious amounts under high pressure. The cluster of humans directly underneath him nearly trampled one another in their attempt to escape the unwelcome downpour, only to be shoved back by Oddo’s drinking companions, much to the delight of the assembled onlookers, who laughed even louder than before.
In the confusion, one of the humans trying to escape accidentally stumbled into Oddo, causing him to lose control of the wildly spinning college student. The poor bastard went flying like a rock from a slingshot, sailing through the bay window of the Two-Headed Calf with a mighty crash.
The crowd fell instantly silent as Kymeran and human alike stared, dumbstruck, at the smashed window. The most shocked expression belonged to Oddo, who seemed genuinely stunned by what had just transpired. But before the green-haired magician could apologize or find out if the victim of his prank was hurt or not, a frightened voice cried out: “The Kymies are trying to kill us!”
The underlying tension between the Calf’s regulars and the human interlopers finally burst forth, and within seconds the humans were throwing tankards and barley wine bottles at what they perceived to be the enemy. Luckily, the majority of Kymerans weren’t so drunk that they automatically retaliated with sorcery; instead they protected themselves with their right hands, flicking aside the various missiles hurled in their direction before they could make contact.
Lost in the middle of the chaos, Oddo quickly found himself surrounded by angry humans. An arm