In the half-light of the early morning Herling neared the tidy but slightly dilapidated home where Ga-Ga dwelt with her two strange wards. He tried to place his footsteps as cleanly as he could. Ga-Ga lived in the raddled outskirts of ToadChapel, where many of the buildings had deteriorated, decayed, or collapsed altogether. Herling rarely visited Ga-Ga at home, preferring to address her in the public square on market day or as he caught sight of her skirts passing the blacksmith’s shop where he often spent his day.
“Ha! I walk as quiet as the night itself! I’ll surprise Ga-Ga as she’s setting the kettle to boil. Won’t she be pleased to see me!
Those younglings… I must be rid of them. Ga-Ga has no business tending them, rearing them, showering them with her kisses. Better those kisses went only to I! Well, it won’t be long until they do.
Isn’t this a tidy trick, brave Herling? To bait the hook for those little humans and for the maid as well.”
Herling pressed his ear to the wooden door of Ga-Ga’s house, listening with annoyance to soft voices within.
“What’s this? Ga-Ga’s already got a guest. Dûae, by the sound of it. When Ga-Ga is mine, I’ll not listen to that maundering nitwit ever again… and I’ll rid myself and ToadChapel of those troublesome children for once and all!”