As my droplet of poison tea arced towards the bloody tablecloth, I wondered if it was worth it to answer Qli's Tea Party invite in the first place, knowing from her perfect handwriting reduced to shaking scrawl that it was a trap.
Jeremiah and the Hydra head extending from his back raised their cups and grinned in triumph. The skeletal wing lifted the cup to the snakes flickering tongue as the human head copied the motion. Then..they both spat droplets at me as their mouths burst into flame.
"HOLY WATER! DAMN YOU DARIEN!!" The serpent screeched as the human's mouth copied the other's searing jaws.
"Why yes! This teapot was blessed for me by a priest in Tombstone!" I wiped the moisture off my face with a moth-eaten napkin. My droplet was in there somewhere, knocked out of trajectory.
"You sprayed me..with holy water! Why.. thank you father! All my life I've been hoping for your Blessing!"
I felt the tips of the serpent's fangs pressing against the skin of my throat for an instant, before the angry children of Death mobbed Jeremiah. What happened under the wisps I do not know, for I was busy with my escape.
Qli had worn down again. Luckily her porcelain form is her lightest. I picked her up over my shoulder and bolted down the creaking stairs. I felt one board snap under my jump to the filthy rug of the den.
I heard their childish screams grow louder behind me. "Play with us! Play with uuus!" I was able to dodge hurtled toys and silverware flying at deadly velocity to a safe distance in the woods past the front gate. I was out of their domain.
I dropped Qli and wound her back key. My hands and face were growing numb..the poison..
"Father, are we having a picnic..I'll pour some tea.."
I flipped open her gearbox and poked a reset switch with a nearby stick, and she jumped to her feat, Violet eyes and burning pupils gazing at me in horror.
"FATHER! Your face! It's.."
My eyes shut on their own as I fell over, quivering.