Saturday, March 26, 2011

Laila moves from stand to stand, exploring with the other women. Ramji watches everything she looks at, each item in which Laila shows even a little interest. One stand catches his eye. The jewelry is from around the world. He watches her linger over an intricately woven chain and a set of worry beads. He picks up the worry beads as she moves to look at something Star has picked up. The smiling woman behind the stand stares at his face, eyes going wide as she takes in his markings.

"*Kyni̱gós to̱n Daimóno̱n."

The awe in her voice takes the smile from her face. Fear touches her eyes. He places the bracelet back on the table and nods to her. Ramji turns to walk away but is stopped by a tug on his shirt. Looking down, a child stares up at him.

"Sir, are you real? Momma says there are no more Hunters, and yet you wear the marks."

Ramji leans down to speak quietly to the child. "We are still in the world. Tell your mother that We still watch. Not all of us wear the marks where others can see, and not all demons need to be Hunted. Some just want to live in peace."

The girl pushes something into his hand. "A gift from momma. She hopes my step-father is not one you Hunt."

He looks down at the silver beads interspersed with evil eye beads. There is a spell attached, a subtle touch of demonspelling. He seeks the intent, finding a protective spell for the wearer. Although he cannot weld magic, he can scent it and divine its intent. he nods slowly.

"Tell your mama... and your papa?... That if he is the maker of such beadcraft, he has no fear from Me and Mine." He slides the silver and glass beads, in red and blue with black central dots, onto his wrist. "And tell them both I said thank you."

He walks away, drifting in his companions' wake. Laila sees the somber expression and takes his hand, pulling him into the small group. Her fingers trace over the pupilled beads, noting the Croatian colors. He smiles at her and touches her hair. When she turns back to her friends, he looks back at the jewelry booth. The woman slides her arms around a man returning with coffee, the child rushing to hug him as well. The little girl points in his direction and he salutes the trio, turning it into pushing back his bangs as Laila calls his name.

*Hunter of Demons

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