“What the fuck are you doing?”
I looked at Steve, his pointed tail darting dangerously close to my rum and cola. “Hey Steve,” I said with a sigh, I had not seen the Demon of Inspiration in what felt like forever, and man had it been good a good forever.
He just glared at me, his whiplike tail coming even closer to my drink.
I snatched it up and took a sip before rolling the dice in my hands. “They’re Storycubes. See, you roll them, and each one has a different image, that you somehow fit into a story.”
“Are you trying to replace me?” He asked, and I barely managed to pull my drink out from under the tip of his tail, slashing a little bit of it on myself.
“No! But, uh,” I thought fast, and then remembered he could read my mind.
“Yeah, I’ve been away for so long. And what’s this bullshit. You missed me? Ahh, that’s so cute.”
“Missed might be a strong word,” I told him as I remembered all of the crap he had pulled, “at least you came in wearing pants.”
“That reminds me,” he said, and I averted my eyes as he stripped out of the blue jeans he had been wearing. “So, let’s see what we’ve got.” He made his way over to the table and looked on. “Well go ahead, roll them.”
I stared at him for a minute and then, realizing he was not going to leave me alone, I rolled all five dice that were in my hand.
“Ooh, is that an axe? I got an idea-“
I closed my eyes and held up my hand as the scene of a brutal murder, a woman, possibly my wife, on the floor beside me, an axe in my hand. I threw my drink, glass and all at the demon.
He smiled back, “Hmm, what could we do with that key?”
“I’ve got an idea,” I said, and I held in my mind an image of him wrapped in heavy chains being thrown over the side of a ship into a storm tossed sea.
“That was great, you even managed to use the wave one too! Do you get bonus points? Are you winning?”
“Do I get to be topsies?” He said, feeding me an image of both of us in bondage gear, leather masks covering both of our faces, his horns sticking through a pair of tears in the forehead.
I shuddered, as he added “Tied, two all.”
We both looked at the last die and both of us shook our heads.
“Are they wrestling?” he asked.
“Yeah, I think so.”
“Aren’t you already working on a story about wrestling?”
“Does it involve any of those other things?”
“Hmm. Roll them again.”
“Should I pick others?”
“You have more?”
I pulled the plush Crown Royal bag out from my bag, and watched his eyes light up, at lest until I pulled the drawstrings open and dumped the nearly thirty other dice onto the table.
“I got all excited.”
“I can see that. Please can you put some fucking pants on!” I grabbed five more dice quickly, looking for anything that would distract me from Steve and his now throbbing- I shuddered and almost fell from my chair.
I rolled the dice and set them down in front of me, staring in disbelief. An abacas, an elephant, the sun, a gear, and finally, a crown. “Steve, did you do something to my roll, or the dice?”
“Nope,” he said as he grabbed my winter coat and wrapped it around himself, using it to hide his nakedness.
I made a mental note to dry clean the coat later, but stared at the dice before pulling up a calculator, trying to remember my probability classes from nearly half my life ago before giving up, not even sure where to start.
“Dude, that looks like the Elephant piece you were working on, you know, about your son? I gave you that idea you know.”
“Yeah,” I nodded before adding, “and I’ve already rolled this exact same outcome before.”
“While you were gone, where were you by the way?”
“You know Janice down the street?”
“The old widow?”
“Yep, that’s the one! We took a cruise and I did some inspiring for her.”
“She’s, like 85!”
“So what, I like a little cougar now and then.”
I left the room, and Steve, still in my coat, behind as I went in search of another glass, and another drink, realizing there was not enough alcohol on the world to help scrub any of what I had though, no matter how momentarily, from my brain.