Friday, 5 August 2011

Aftermath - Friday Flash

Up just under the wire.  As always comments and feedback are always welcome.

Aftermath


Wham!  The half-orc’s fist slammed into the bar top. “Barkeeeeeep, more ale!” his voice slurred out the words in a drunken stupor. 

Getta sighed and hurried across her raised platform behind the bar.  It was time for this Halfling to cut that monster off.  “You’re done for the night.  How’s about my famous hang over cure? It’s on the house.  You’ll thank me for it in the morning.”

The half-orc leaned in closer and towered over her his face just inches away. “Ale, Halfling or you won’t be around in the morning,” he shouted into her face.

All through the bar people looked on.  Some looked seriously concerned.  Others pounded their mugs against the table waiting for something to happen.  Getta wiped the spittle from her face with her apron. “This is my place,” she said her voice as pleasant as can be.  “I’ll decide who’ll drink and you’re done.”

“Look...” was the last word she heard.  After that it was nothing but blinding pain and darkness.

***

Getta tried to blink away the pain but her head was throbbing. She lifted her hand up and ran it through her hair it was a tangled wet mess.  There wasn't any doubt in her mind that some of came from her own blood.  The smell in the air told her the rest of it was; Orcish Rot Gut. She sighed, that shit had a stink that would stick to you for weeks. "That half-orc bastard!" she spat the words out like a curse to the darkest of deities.

She tried to use her arm to prop herself up. It had gone numb from laying on it for so long. As she cringed the whole way up as the pins and needles shooting through her arm. She groaned and propped herself up against the stage.  How in the hell did I end up here? she wondered.  She tried to think back through everything that had happened.

The place was packed.  Zephry's Pass was due to open sometime in the next few days. Then things would go back to normal. Tonight however the place had held at least 4 different groups of adventures, and 2 people trying to hire them. Most of the regulars knew to steer clear right before the pass opened.

On the stage was an empty chair with three empty mugs and a small bowl half full of coins.  “No one was performing tonight,” she muttered.  Both to try and figure out if that was true and to convince her it was.  She set her hands on the stage and lifted herself up on to it.  The whole thing took some effort and left her out of breath.

She held her head in her lap as she caught her breath. That little bit of exertion had her head spinning.  Then after several long deep breaths she surveyed her bar.  It had seen better days that was for certain and maybe one or two that could have been described as worse.  A quarter of her heavy wood tables now lay in splinters along with a slightly higher number of chairs.   A lot of broken glass was scattered about the floor but somehow a number of tables had survived the fight with their glasses intact.  A few even had a little bit of alchol left in them. 

She reached over and scooped up the coins from the performers bowl and made them disappear into her pouch. The thought of what the repairs would cost had her head swimming and she just wanted to lie back down and pass out. It wasn’t an option so she reached over and pulled a chair to her and stood up.  It would be her third, fourth, fifth, and sixth leg all rolled in to one and would make standing so much easier.

Slowly and carefully she made her way between the tables, making her way towards the bar. One table she passed was covered in a deck of her cards although several of them had spilled over on to the floor.  What had she done with the cards?  She stared at them for a while trying to remember, before she recalled giving them out to an adventuring party that had order a rather large meal.

She carried on across the tavern at paused again at the table closest to the bar.  Something small and yellowish was sticking out of the table. At first she couldn't quite make it out.  So she reached over and pulled.  It took a bit of wiggling but in the end it popped out just fine.  When she realized what it was she couldn't help but smile.  This was something she would keep, and she dropped the fang into the same pouch that the coins had gone too.  The chair slid much easier than expected as she pushed away from the table.  Cleaning up the blood was going to take almost as much effort as the getting the furniture fixed.

It took a couple of minutes but she finally reached the bar.  The small space that left by her platform was now filled with a half-orc. He was tied-up, unconscious and covered in dried blood.  Judging from the rich brown colour Getta guessed that it was his.   Someone had left her a present she decided with a smile. She was looking forward to her talk the watch when she noticed a second present.  Beyond the Half-orc was a sack.  Hurrying over to it she pulled it open and was greeted by the glitter of silver and gold coins.  A small note was tied to the inside of the bag that read “It was too early to go home so we kept your place open.  Hope this covers the damage and you are out of bread.“

2 comments:

pegjet said...

I've never been here before, so I'm unsure if this is a story unto itself or part of a larger tale. It has the feel of being part of something bigger.

You have to admire Getta's spirit. Glad to see she has supporters, and that she'll be able to keep her tavern open.

Aidan Fritz said...

The opening demanding more ale from the barkeep was good. I was expecting her to use a hammer on him as her "famous hangover cure" but liked the way your plot twisted away from that. Glad to see she's well loved.