As in the mortal realm, important business partnerships in the Netherworld are often sealed over a game of golf. “Aim when the windmill is falling — Ah! Perfect!” (Well, mini golf.) A bat swooped down from a nearby tree, one of the many hazards on the hole, but the golf ball sped by. Hole in three. Nixandrea Z. Dagon, sea nymph, puffed her pipe, sending soap bubbles into the air. “Nice shot, Old Hag.”
“Thank you my dear, and thank you for joining me,” said Atticus Q. Redghost, villain, as he marked his scorecard.
The sea nymph lined up her shot and, with a gentle pop, landed the hole— in two, widening her lead. “My pleasure. Now, what hair-brained scheme are you cooking up? Why are we here?”
“I need the services of a water elemental.” Appropriately enough, the next hole resembled a giant, overflowing tea pot. “Damn, I am terrible at these shots.” He would make it through in seven while Nixxi got a hole in one. “I will never understand how you do that.”
Puffing her pipe, Nixxi winked. “Practice.” “Magic,” Atticus countered.
The pair played through a “haunted wood” scene, knocking the golf balls into the jack-o-lantern held aloft by a headless ghost. Nixxi fell prey to a trap, a tiny dragon swooped in and ate her ball, costing her the lead and tying the game. “Dry winds,” she swore under her breath.
The last hole, an open-mouthed skull, gave them pause. The shortest path could go through either eye or above the jaw bone, it changed throughout the day. “If you make this, I’ll summon your elemental for free,” Nixxi offered. “If I win, dinner is on you for a month.” Atticus lined up his shot and, without looking up, said, “Deal, Splashes.”