Amber Calendar Heart
By Kenneth Shumaker
Written: August 5, 2017
Published on Virily: September 19, 2017
In Kenneth Shumaker’s Eren’s Challenge, we enter the world of the robotics research technician, a mature human male, Eren Mallet. During Eren’s 5th Galaxy Palcard sector journey, he encounters hazards with his friend, Esmelda Lantora, the mature human female who is an ambassador’s administrator. The pair struggle with adventures and dramatic developments while in the metropolitan industrial trade city of Goral, on the planet of the Krenar. Here, they fight with bureaucrats and the Hean priestly hierarchy.
In the previous Eren’s Challenge episode 007, ‘Red Paper Book’ …
Having dealt with Everest, Es and Eren now write, and then deliver, the Red Paper book report on Gov Tax Audit assessment manager Havar. Then they wait for Angel’s verdict.
We continue with Eren’s Challenge episode 008, ‘Amber Calendar Heart’ on …
Lezmor 3rd RD 78
Standing rigidly nervous, side-by-side in the iridium-glass cube, Es and I stress as we wait for Angel to finish reading the Red Paper book on Havar. Finally, she closes the back cover of the report and then slams the redwood table hard, swearing loudly in true gnoll. Turning to us, she glares hard, her eyes burning into me, and then Es.
Pointing at Es, Angel utters, “You’ve had contact … you have a reason to contact him again?”
Not sure if this is a question or statement, Es’ brows are knit tight together, and her forehead is deeply wrinkled.
Much as the rest of her kin, Angel quickly reads the confused expression, saying, “No! … Can you contact him if I ask you to?”
Nodding in new understanding, Es utters, “I think a file or two were misplaced or incorrect, and we need to report something.”
Grinning evilly, Angel is about to say something, but with all the tension I can’t help it, I blurt out laughing at Angel’s toothy clownish grin.
Everyone else is cowering in fear of Angel, and I laugh at her when my life is threatened by the hound.
She glares angrily at me as Unhrah whispers in her ear. Then, Angel nods to her lieutenant as Unhrah backs away.
Angel grins again.
Damn it … I can’t help it; I burst out in a tight belly laugh again.
And so does Angel as she slaps her desk with her paw.
The whole room of beings is looking confused, except for Unhrah, Angel, and me. We three are belly laughing now.
As all three of us eventually calm, Angel motions her treasurer to her and whispers to the young male gnoll. He then walks over to Es and me, asking us in crude New Goren, “ID cards.”
We look at each other and decide that since we’re still alive, we’ll take the gamble. I hand him my card, and he slides it into his portable POS trade machine. I watch as he keys in a payment transfer to me of twenty-five K credits.
I look up at Angel and raise my eyebrows in questioning. She grins.
I burst out laughing again, holding my belly.
The treasurer looks at Angel who nods. The pup hands me my card, and then he transfers Es twenty-five thousand.
Angel looks over, no longer grinning, and she says, “You’re now on retainer as my go-to for getting at Havar. Start working in his world, Esmeralda.”
Es saw the large transfers, too. Looking at me, Es raises her hands and shoulders slightly. I give a slow nod and cautiously ask Angel. “Are we on your Amber Calendar?”
Locking eyes with me, straight lipped, Angel replies, “MY friend, for the upcoming months you are the heart of my Amber Calendar. Be ready to answer my calls whenever I call you. As I’ll call you myself, directly.”
My knees go weak. Recalling the people who I’ve known, who have been in Angel’s Amber Calendar, I only know five who have survived the ordeal to tell about it. And they weren’t very healthy at the end of their terms. I sadly nod to Angel, saying, “We’ll do our best, Pargon Angel.”
She dips her muzzle low to me and replies, “I know you will.”
I’ve only seen her do that muzzle dip twice before. It is her sign of respect – something that gnolls will rarely give humans. In the past, I saw Angel give the sign of respect to Unhrah, and the other time was to their leader who I met with Angel at their Arriving ceremony so many years ago.
Their leader, Amber, died in an air car crash two years after the Arriving. I’ve heard that some gnolls say that it wasn’t an accident, even though the Gov claims it was.
By, Kenneth Shumaker
To be continued in the next Eren’s Challenge episode 009, ‘Emerald Hound Raffle’ …
Returning home from Angel’s, Eren finds a note for a raffle in his mail box. On a lark, he goes online and purchases two tickets: one for him and one for Es. The hound running the raffle may be from the gnoll home world.
© 2017 by Kenneth Shumaker with Inevitable Unicorn Press
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Kenneth Shumaker with Inevitable Unicorn Press.
Join Kenneth Shumaker (Rusty Knight) in his Dragoman Bloodgrue Volume collection anthologies. ‘Dragoman Bloodgrue, Volume I: Fare Where?’ is the first of the episodes of the Dragoman Bloodgrue serial series. Read how Bloodgrue tests the gods’ resolve. Do the gods let the brave be fools? Is Bloodgrue brave or a fool? Follow Bloodgrue to see where his life’s path leads him. In ‘Dragoman Bloodgrue, Volume I: Fare Where?’ we are introduced to Bloodgrue as he begins his journey climbing the social ranks of Mount Oryn in North Docks. Find this fine colour volume to purchase as a paperback or e-book on:
Enjoy Kenneth’s new intriguing medieval fantasy novel ‘Laret’, released June 19, 2017. Enter the ‘Laret: Darkness of Souls’ from the ‘Lost Souls’ medieval fantasy novel series and journey with the Black Swans through the Web Shireward as they battle the invading armies of the god Tearmain. This captivating novel is available at the following as a paperback or e-book:
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Thank you for reading.
Kenneth Shumaker and Aria of Inevitable Unicorn Press.