I couldn’t do much earlier today. Bleh! Migraine time… It would have to be the second day of an event. Well… an afternoon nap later, maybe I came up with something using the day #2 prompt: the Fourth Grade Spelling List
“Mayor! Another round for my friends!”
The barkeep wiped his hands on his apron and shuffled over to the back shelves near his moneybox where he kept the taller flagons hanging on hooks over the day’s casks. A good day if they paid him, since he’d already called his sons in from the kitchen to help him raise a new cask into the wooden framework that held it up to the wall. A nice bit of creative woodcraft and he was the man who’d come up with the idea to the envy of all the other local innkeepers.
T’were a simple enough thing too. Just a wooden frame slightly smaller than the shelf that lowered around the casks once they were settled on the shelf, holding them in place. So simple, sometimes he wondered how he’d been the only one to come up with it. But as he patted the worn wood with its smoothed grain and slightly sticky finish from the years of dripped wine and ale and greasy palms.., Their loss, his gain.
Soldiers on a holiday … Hopefully that young buck of lordling they were escorting was as good for his debts as he seemed to be to his men. A common touch, and for such a handsome lad. Mayor frowned to himself as he watched the young man offer to dance with one of the maids, bowing low and asking for her hand like she were some lady of the state worthy of such honors. Fool boy… not that he could blame the lad. Della was a looker if one didn’t listen to the stories the maids did relay amongst themselves.
Then, if she were as wrong as they said, she hid it well, he mussed. No shuffling feet, no missteps for her. As Delta laughingly accepted the lordling’s hand, Mayor remembered days when Saninsi and he kicked up their heels on a tavern floor or two in their own youth.
As he leaned over to fill the first flagon, he saw Saninsi smile at him in the silvered glass that he’d placed behind the casks to watch the goings on in the common room. He told himself not to worry. Things were usually better when there were soldiers in residence, provided their lord was one of the local ones…
He didn’t know this young scamp though, and the lad’s willingness to fraternize with his men didn’t bode well. Too common to have the money he’d need for this tab his men and he were growing.
Mayor tried to smile back at his wife, tried to not show how worried he was. No sense in getting her in a state. She was a good woman, but even the finest would fall in a tizzy and remain that way half the night if she thought her home or family might be in danger. He nodded as she set down the pail of sand for the men’s pipes and ash by the door to the outer rooms. A good woman… even still had the slender waist of a girl half her age.
He stood up and placed the flagon on the bar counter, watching as Della and her lordling swung about the hard oak floor, airplaning among the crowd with laughing smiles on their faces.
As he lowered down the next flagon to fill, he decided, once this round was filled, to ask his Saninsi if she’d dance with him too.
It had been too long.
I like it actually. I don’t think it would have come off so well if I’d tried to write it from Alanii’s POV. I considered doing that (actually the bar scene is supposed to be from Val’s POV).
A bit too much blather about the man’s bar and the design of the place… I had no real sense of how to get started here. Played it a bit too much by ear I guess. But it seems to have worked out,at least one of the pieces of his character came through because of that fumbling start. I got a sense of his pride and his humility at the same time, his awareness of how he saw himself in the scheme of things, how he viewed his custom and his competitors. And what he feared…
I hope he enjoys his dance.