Andalon slammed his fist in the ground so hard that he buried his arm up to the elbow.
”We are in hell! We do not whistle, we do not play tag, and, whatever you are thinking of doing next, we don’t do that, either!”
“Must be rotten to be you,” Denae commented unrepentantly, turning three cartwheels, sprinting ahead, turning on her heel and running back to grab Andalon playfully by the tail.
“STOP THAT!” he shouted, and then, in a lower voice, added, “You’ll ruin my reputation.”
Denae went back to quick-marching in step with the demon. Her feelings about forced marches, past, present and future, fit in quite well with hell.
“Okay,” she offered, “I’ll look miserable, moan and even try to stab you every once in a while, if it will make you feel better. I’m going with you, though, whether you like it or not. You’re a lot better than the last traveling companion I had, anyway.”
“Oh, yes, the stick,” responded the demon.
She smiled, “Some might actually call him handsome, in my world.”
Andalon snorted, causing little puffs of smoke from each nostril, “And some might bash him on the head, in my world. I take it you two had a little lovers’ quarrel. What did you do to him?”
The demon leered suggestively.
“I didn’t kill him and eat him, if that’s what you’re thinking. I just broke a few ribs, stole his horse, and left him on the edge of the desert without any water.”
The demon smiled, showing several fangs, “You might be the kind of girl to bring home to mother after all. Why are you so dead-set, and I use the term deliberately, on going to my father’s house? If you are going to try worshipping him, I will tell you that the last human who made it that far is buried under the stairs.”
Denae was dead serious, which pleased Andalon.
“That demon tried to kill my family. Then he tried to kill us again here, including you. Do you have a family? A mother, brothers and sisters.”
“At last count, I had 9,147 brothers and sisters, if you count the half-human ones. These women keep thinking a deal with the devil will make them queen of hell and they can live in a palace and all that. So, they have a baby or two, and my father makes another room for them. They are never satisfied here and just whine and moan all the time. My mother doesn’t like that at all. She is his only demon wife. It all bothers her, the women, the moaning, the nine thousand and some other children. Every now and then she gets really angry about it and bites off one of his ears. He just grows it back after a while, so I am not really sure what the point is.”
“Does it bother him, having his ears bitten off?”
“What do you think?”
“Well, that’s probably the point, I would guess.”