Monday, June 13, 2016

"I fail to see how this is going to save your life, Sir. Henry."

"I fail to see how this is going to save your life, Sir. Henry." Akil-Tau swished her tail like a horse swatting flies from its flanks.

Early on, Sir Henry had learned that this was expression of the sphinx's irritation and rising ire and to tread carefully. "It's a distinctly humanistic quality, my dear. We gain a subliminal and deep-seated sense of the strength of another based directly upon their conquests."

 "But it is a farce!" Tau cried, seemingly almost helpless.

Sir Henry started to reply right away but he halted himself. The voice coming out of that massive leonine maw was so strangely feminine and so deceptively small in comparison with the creature's greater form, that it was simple to quickly become overconfident. This was one of the clever species's tricky puzzles that he'd unraveled in his short time. They were more than happy to let a unsuspecting and boorish human talk their way right to their doom. For some unknown reason, sphinxes were preternaturally concerned about manners and displaying the respect that was appropriate for another being's standing, breeding, and bearing. Sir Henry rolled one of the ends of his bushy mustaches between his finger and carefully considered his words before replying.

"So it is, good Akil-Tau", he began, detecting a subtle shift of approval in the creature's golden eyes, "Yet, if I am to continue to serve you in the manner to which you are accustomed, then this is necessary."

"Explain to me why I must debase myself so, human." She replied, flexing her dagger-sized claws.

It was a subtle, yet very real, exercise of dominance. Sir Henry had done well with the verbal challenge Akil-Tau had presented him. By his reckoning, this put him on a different level of consideration in the ancient creature's mind. Henry thought it must be something like, "Now, I no longer consider this man to be a mouse, but rather a rat with sharp teeth. A rat which might bite me and is quite possibly carrying a disease..." in the mind of the sphinx.

The Earl of Occidentalis cursed himself silently, thinking he should have listened to Tenet before getting mixed up with Akil-Tau. Nevertheless, he was stuck now, and would soon be dead--or worse--unless he could navigate this verbal maze and survive another three days. "Great One", Sir Henry began, "the man who hunts me understands hunting and the slaying of creatures. Therefore, if I can appear to be a greater hunter than he, then perhaps he will fear me. If he sees that I have slain a sphinx, then perhaps it will convince him to give up his hunt for me--now seen as a more formidable hunter in his mind--before it ever begins."

The sphinx had begun pacing while Sir Henry spoke, but stopped suddenly and whipped its leonine form towards him. "AND?" The lady-like voice was laced with threat and promised pain.

"An...and then I can continue to serve you, as we have agreed."

It took a long time to get her answer, but Sir Henry was ready to strike when the answer came. The photographer was waiting just outside Tau's chamber and he'd already mentally composed the shot hours ago. The Ferio Lancea was waiting just outside as well. Finally, the sphinx sighed dramatically and flopped to the ground as if she'd just been felled in battle.


And history was made.

Art Source: "Great Sphinx" (c)/by joy-ang
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #tenetstales, #Tenet, #SirHenryandtheSphinx, #Sphinx, #EarlofOccidentalis, #Akil-Tau, #FerioLancea, #aphototokeep


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