Not even the peyadh spirits themselves could say for sure from whence they came, in the very rare instances that they deigned to communicate with the “slow folk,” who they considered inestimable bores. This mystery didn’t much perplex the peyadh, for they lived very much in the moment and were concerned primarily with entertaining themselves. An eternity of near incorporeality and nigh invisibility to the slow folk made entertainment a must for these restless beings, usually in the form of impish pranks.

One peyadh, who would have called itself a him and called himself Squout if pressed, enjoyed tweaking the patrons of a Great Plains Greyhound bus station. When Squout had first arrived in the area in the 1920’s, he had tweaked the buses’ engines so they failed in interesting and unpredictable ways–the highlight of which had been a Tulsa-bound International Harvester bus whose engine had simply dropped out a hundred miles into its trip.

Squout had eventually come to sympathize with the mechanics who were forced to remedy his tinkering, especially once they, being a superstitious lot, began leaving him small gifts, and turned his mischief on passengers. Swapping luggage tags on similar suitcases was a favorite, as was swapping suitcase contents between cases and between buses. The mill worker, headed to Topeka, was as confused at finding a set of garters in his suitcase as one Miss Anders, bound for the shady side of St. Louis, was when discovering Oshkosh overalls among her unmentionables.

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