In the third installment of the Kathy Potts series, Kathy returns once more to Ether Plane one year after defeating The Chained One at the beckoning of Daggeuro. The kennin warrior has come to call on her and Byron for their aid. He has stark news for them- in the eight months that the Awakened humans haven’t been able to cross over to Ether Plane, fifty years have passed there, and those years have been dark times. King Ovin has been missing for over three decades, the Dragon God, Gatech, is said to have been slain, and in his place is an unknown creature known as The Destroyer. Said creature has commanded dragonkind to wipe out most civilization, forcing faeriekind to take to hiding and living lives of bare bones survival. Will Kathy and Byron be able to help save the realms of Ether? Find out, in Kingdom No More!
Welcome back everyone. Today, Joshua’s returned, and brought one of his friends with him. Joshua, do you want to introduce us?
- Quoth (a raven-headed man in a checkerboard zoom suit, hands covered in feathers, his talon-feet exposed. He almost always carries a silver microphone, and wears a crimson button shirt and black tie under his blazer. Upon the tie is embossed an insignia, a set of four hooked blue claws. He is an antagonist who frequently features in my Amelia City short horror stories, and is also the principal antagonist of ‘Kingdom No More’, the third and most recent Kathy Potts fantasy novel)
Welcome Quoth. Do you have a full name or any nick names you’d prefer to be called?
- Oh my friend, I have been given many names over the centuries! Freak, devil, monster, even Lucifer, which is somewhat flattering, but also insulting in its own special way. But you? You may call me Quoth.
- It is the name my Master gave me, and he knows best.
- (impish smile fading into a grimace upon his beaked face) Some less thoughtful of mine subordinates call me Tweety Bird, when they think I’m not listening. They begrudge me my station of favor in the Master’s eyes.
Quoth it shall be then. Before we get started, I’m going to be nosy: Do you mind explaining what species you are, and any special gifts you may have?
- Oh come now, (slides backward, suddenly seated in a low slung wicker lounge chair and wearing a crimson evening gown, his frame entirely feminine except for his head, hands and feet. How or when this happened, you can’t tell: it just IS) a girl has to be allowed some secrets! (He flutters his eyes girlishly, and after another blink, you see Quoth as before, but now flashing you a grin somehow too large for his face, a mouth full of gleaming needles)
How can I argue with that? I’ll let you keep your secrets there, but can you out yourself a little about where you were born, and what your family is like?
- In the place where dreams become nightmares, when life itself was in its infancy, still soiling its clouts.
- You would not survive a description of that nebulous realm. Suffice it to say, it was an unpleasant place.
- [As for parents,] I was created by the Master, about whom I shall offer nothing more in detail.
- [And my siblings,] all those the Master personally created by his own hand. There are precious few of us.
Sounds like it was an unpleasant childhood you faced. Did that influence you into being a good or bad being, or do you use those terms to define yourself?
- Good, bad, these are terms your kind coined in an effort to shunt everything into an orderly system of analysis. I am neither, my good fellow. I am a servant of the Master, and that is enough.
Then, what about your personality? Surely that is definable.
- Well, that’s an odd question to allow someone to mull over in this format, don’t you think? I could tell you I’m a real sweetie pie, that I’m just full of hugs! But the truth is, (grows quiet and still, his leering grin once more flashing out) I’d just as soon toss you in a truck-sized blender with some lawn clippings and old jewelry, set it on purée, and drink myself a tall cool glass of Yuppie Suburbanite on the rocks.
::Mutters to self – I know someone who it would be interesting if you came across in a dark alley. Returns to the professional interviewer:: Sounds like you’ve a job that keeps you under the gun. What do you do, and how do you handle the pressure it creates?
- Mine task eternal is to sow discord, chaos and madness, to offer pain and suffering to every world I touch! Do I like it? No, my friend; I revel in it!
- I handle it [the pressure] just fine. As for an example, my Master once requested that I concoct an illness to spread among your kind that would deadly, yet not kill every single human being on the planet. He was well pleased with the result. I believe you called it the Black Plague at the time…
Since you enjoy your job so well, doesn’t that put you at odds with others and make it hard to get along with them?
- Oh, I’m quite personable! I just don’t care to leave most of the folks I meet alive or sane!
::Laughs weakly:: Do you have anyone who helps you in your work?
- There is the Master, of course, and the strangers. They are my subordinates, true, but they are a capable lot. They seldom need my direction.
What happens when one of these insults you?
- If the Master, nothing (trembles). I know better. If a subordinate, a stern reminder that they answer to me.
Someone so brave afraid of something else? I’m not sure I would want to meet your master in a dark alley. Do you have anyone who’d you like to stop, or who would like to stop you?
- Well, there are a few select religious sorts who, unfortunately, are quite genuine in their faith. They trouble me with their lack of fear in the face of what I am, what I do. And then there’s that Journeyman fellow. I’m not quite sure what to make of him, but I would like to see him run down by a Greyhound bus doing 80.
What do you do if they compliment you?
- Why, thank you my good man or lady! Would you kindly now hold still so I can shove this earwig into your skull?
Wouldn’t destroying those individuals make it harder to sew more chaos? Don’t answer that – I can guess. Do you ever day dream about being something different from what you are?
- (folding his arms over his chest with a dry frown, eyebrow raised) I am content to be what I am.
OK, so if you don’t like imagining different futures, what do you see as an immediate future?
- I’d like to see chaos consume a major city, and watch it burn.
What about for yourself? Anything you’d like to change?
- Well, I suppose I’d remove the constraints that limit me to traveling only to a handful of realities.
Has anyone ever turned your head or made you think about marriage?
- (looks carefully at his right hand, then offers a lascivious smile)
Guess not. At least, not in a way I’d recognize. I was just wondering if that might be a secret you’ve been keeping.
- [If I told, it] wouldn’t be much of a secret then, now would it?
Guess not. Do you have any fears that haunt you?
- My greatest fear is one day displeasing the Master to the point where he banishes me.
That does give one an incentive to be an overachiever. Do you have any achievements you can point to that still shine to this day?
- I’m most proud of my work in Roanoak, Virginia. There’s still a few of those folks left, you know, and they’re working out just great…
Quoth, thank you for letting Joshua drag you away from your duties long enough to come over and visit.
Joshua, you have a very wicked imagination, and I think I’m glad you’re on our side of the fence.
For the readers, if you were intrigued by the interview, and wish to read Quoth’s story, you can find it on Amazon Here.
If you enjoyed the interview, and wish me to host one for you, please stop by my Offered Services page and fill out the simple submission form. I’ll get back with you soonest to discuss details.