A This Time Round: To Die For fiction

"Oh, Adric...!"

Adric looked up from the cards on the table before him. "Oh,
no." he winced. He knew that voice, and especially knew that

He turned to one of the others at the table but did not glance
behind him. "Wes, is she carrying anything, a mallet or

The one called Wes looked up from his cards and toward the
figure hurriedly crossing the room in their direction. "She's
got her hands tucked behind her back, but I think she's got a
phaser." he said, then added expertly: "Type II."

Adric nodded. "Figures. It means she's serious."

The third member of the troika, known as Lucas, shook his head.
"But... we're in the middle of a game. Can't you just ask her

"Sorry, can't. Its in the contract." He shook his head, and
placed the cards to his hand face down. "You two might as
well break for lunch. It usually takes me about an hour to
reconstitute myself."

Lucas and Wes placed their cards face down as well. "Do you
want anything?" Wes asked, casually.

"A sandwich will do. Something high in calories."

"Fine. I'll have it waiting for you when you get back."

Adric turned his chair around to face her. "All right, lets
get this over with." he muttered to himself.

She gave him the least dangerous, most unassuming look she
could muster. "Adric, I have a little surprise..."

He rolled his eyes. "Yes, yes, I know. Scream, scream,
help, help, ohmygodsimgonnadie, now-I'll-never-know-if-I-was-
right, ok, you may shoot me now."

"Thank you."

She fired the phaser at him, point blank range, set on


About an hour later, the sound of hooves could be heard just
outside of the This Time Round.

"Thanks for the lift!" came Adric's cheerful voice from
outside of the establishment, much to the disappointment of a
number of the regulars.


Wes and Lucas were waiting for him back at their table. Wes
handed him a bag from a local eatery, which Adric took
gratefully. He unwrapped the contents and sank his teeth into
it with gusto.

"Doesn't it hurt?" Lucas asked him, as they sat back at the
table to resume their game. "I mean, getting killed all of
the time."

"Yes. Excruciatingly."

"So how do you...?"

"After about the hundredth dead-fic, you get used to it." he
said, waiving his hand dismissively. He looked down at the
cards in his hand, and at the cards on the table. "Now lets
see, where were we... I forgot, whose turn was it?"

"Yours." Lucas and Wes said, simultaneously.

"Oh, good." Adric said, turning two cards on the table
sideways. "Wes, I'm going to Disenchant your Circle of

-- DBK
2 January 1999