I knew exactly that hiding under a mountain of blankets was not an option. At least not forever. It might do for a few hours, or even days, but after that...
"Okay, I give in. What do you want from me?"
The ungulate guy at the foot of the bed shrugged. "Why are you mad at me? I am only the messenger!"
I increased the power of my glare, from stern to superglare, but to no avail.
"Are you coming?" He was nervous. That was clearly visible. He was scratching the good wooden floor with his hoof.
"Stop that!" With a sigh, I threw the blankets off of me and grabbed my morning gown.
"Uhm... there is no need to dress. We can't take anything with us anyway."
This was definitely not my apartment. I looked around me. My brain was sliding around in my head, and not having fun. The moment Goat Boy over there had grabbed my hand, we had been... bzzzzeet... and been... Somewhere Else.
I didn't like being somewhere else.
"What is this? And where?"
"Hssht!" Goat Guy seemed to listen to something. He pointed down the narrow, uneven hallway. In the distance I could see light, flickering with irritation, like really impatient flames. My skin was covered in cappuccino-colored goosebumps. The color was natural. Freezing was rather rare for me.
"I am not going anywhere without clothes." I crossed my arms in front of my chest and couldn't help noticing just how cold it was.
Goat Boy sighed with impatience. "Look, I could just transport us over there, but that would be rather impolite. Don't make me do that."
"Can you scratch yourself behind the ear with these hooves?" I stared at him, feet hip-wide apart, trying to look tough. I was probably failing miserably. No surprise there, at my height it takes more than attitude to impress the others.
He didn't react.
Reluctantly, I gave up on being stubborn. For the moment.
The hallway was dark, with cave-like walls and a dark stone floor. The flickering light, I learned, came from small lamps every few meters, which were set to "fire imitation mode". Or whatever you wanted to call it. It really was more irritating than - I was not sure what they wanted to achieve by this - charming? Cozy?
As we went down the hallway, the sound of a merry gathering echoed towards us. Someone was having a good time. Not me, that much was sure. My feet hurt from touching the cold floor, and my goosebumps looked like medium-grit sandpaper.
Something started bugging me. I mean, apart from the fact that
Option A: I was going insane or
Option B: This was a really, REALLY weird dream or
Option C: ... Nah, forget option C. Too strange.
Be that as it may... wait, I knew that voice!
My DEAD boss, to be exact. The funeral had been last week. Okay, this was a dream. Had to be.
We arrived at a door to our right, behind which the party was taking up speed. Harry Gumble was sitting in what appeared to be a whirlpool, steam curling upwards from the surface of an opaque fluid with a metallic shine, and was just about to toast the rest of the party with a huge glass of - well, whatever. Surely high-proof, that's what had killed him, after all.
I tried to keep my gaze on my former boss and ignore the fact that he was naked. The alternative would be taking in the rest of this madness. As far as I had glanced, none of the - well, not exactly people - around here was human. Horns, more hooves, wings, scales... I preferred not to see any of it.
"Miss Skilling, how good of you to join us!"
"Mister Gumble! How good to see you!" My polite kicked in and saved me from stammering like a madwoman in need of a new jar of marbles.
"I am soo sorry I had to have Alredo there disturb you - but could you teach him how to make a proper cup of coffee? I don't know what this is, but apart from coffee I'm having the blast of my life."
He probably meant afterlife.