A Chance Meeting

A Chance Meeting

A Chapter by Phil Beckwith

Malingrad was halfway through reciting his story about how he had come across the ogre days before.
“…and so that is my mission, and nothing can jeopardize it.” Mal was telling Bishop.
Bishop, who now sat at the bar half cut, had realized that he was not going to rid himself of the halfling. He made small talk with Mal, noting the voluptuous barmaid who, Bishop could have sworn, had given him a wink not too long ago whilst serving him.
The warrior pretended to follow Mal’s story and seem interested with a series of ‘Uh-huh’s’ and ‘You done say’s’ when really all he could do was examine his real interest. 

He explored the young woman’s body, with his blurred eyes, from head to waist. He could not see any further down due to the bar being in his way. Her long thick curly blonde locks had been the barmaid’s first attribute that had caught Bishop’s eye. It fell down over her shoulder as she worked, and rested upon her swelled cleavage that she boasted with her tight fitting purple dress. She was not the usual small-framed glamour that most men would pine over, but her lady like curves, and swelled breasts only bolstered her appeal upon the warrior. 

“Aleesha,” Bishop had overheard the cook yell through the galley door. She rolled her eyes back and sighed. Whipping her kitchen rag on the bench behind the bar, Aleesha barged through the wooden door only to return with a crooked grin upon her face.

A rood customer, who sat on the opposite side of Malingrad, yelled for the busty barmaid to ‘make a rush of it’ as he impatiently awaited his next refreshment. Aleesha returned slamming the iron mug onto the bar in front of him as she gave the old man a frightening glare. The rood old drunk said not a word but hurriedly looked away, careful not to make eye contact. He then continued to harass another customer of who Bishop didn’t really take notice.

Overlooking this latest uproar, the warrior noted Aleesha’s independence. He admired her from that instant onward. She had a presence of strength about her, unlike any he that he had felt in a woman before. She intrigued him.

*****

It was just about midnight when Dagran stumbled through the batwing doors. He was soaked through. His suede coat had proven little protection from the wet downpour that had been set upon him from the moment he had lost sight of the Karnath Pass.
The old dwarf just stood there, a puddle forming about his feet where his long white, tangled beard was draining itself onto the wooden floorboards. He looked left and right, suspicious of all in sight. Dagran had never met any member of another race before, and considered all a threat. 

Something caught his eye, he saw the bar and behind the bar he eyed a huge barrel labeled ‘ALE.’ Pulling off his suede coat, he stretched and hung it onto the coat rack that seemed much to tall for anybody he’d ever met before. But then again Dag had never met anybody like these humans before either. 

Dagran, head bowed to ensure not to make eye contact with anybody, made his way to the bar and climbed himself up to sit atop of the seemingly tall barstool. Then, and only then, he lifted his head and looked for the barmaid to order a jug of ale. He sighted her further down the bar, slamming a crudely made iron mug in front of an old drunk. She gave an evil glare at the old drunk, who inadvertently turned his head to look away, only to meet with the eyes of the soaking wet old dwarf.

“Aye! whatsh yew lookin’ at short shtuff” he slurred and curled his lip.

Dagran said nothing, just looked back down at the wooden bar in front of him and fiddled with his coin pouch. 

“Oi, beard boy, I wash chalking to yew!” Dagran heard the drunk sputter, and felt a splash of spit spill over his left arm. Dagran grimaced but still ignored the man.

The old dwarf felt a poke in his ribs. He gritted his teeth. Dagran hated being poked. A vivid image of his late father appeared in his mind’s eye, poking and prodding him, bullying the then young Dagran. 

Poke, again. Dagran started to grind his teeth, his eyes swelling and beginning to water from the torment. Others sitting about the common room had decided this game was fun and joined in. They yelled obscenities and laughed, mocking him. Dagran’s face burnt red, as he began to tremble. 
The dwarf looked about with blurred vision in terror, “What is this world I have entered?” he asked himself. 

He saw that now most of the Inn’s populace had joined in on this new amusement, exempting a few customers and the barmaid. These few customers included a broad looking man who seemed only interested in the barmaid. Sitting with the broad looking man was a smaller looking childlike person who was sorting through a few small trinkets on the bar. A group of hooded men wearing robes also sat at a table in the furthest and darkest corner of the common room. They kept to themselves not taking an interest in the immediate entertainment. 

The old drunk who had started the commotion shoved Dagran and the elderly dwarf fell heavily to the floor with a thud. Dag should have stayed down, but defiantly he stood to his feet. Before he could turn to his attacker, Dagran felt his cheek bone crush as the old drunk’s fist clobbered him. He fell back as he moaned in pain. His world spun. Where was he? Which direction was the drunken aggressor?
He stumbled into something, his hand finding what felt like a hilt of a sword.

*****

Bishop was broken from his mesmerizing daydream of Aleesha by a thud to his side. He was suddenly aware of the brawl that had started not too far from where he sat. The seduced, love stricken warrior looked down.

“A dwarf!” he exclaimed.
The dwarf looked up at him, his left eye bloodshot and his left cheek swollen beyond belief. The dwarf was old, Bishop noted, his eyelids sagged slightly, and his long white beard was thinning and tangled.

“Help me lad!” the old dwarf pleaded, “I pay…” Dagran coughed and spat blood down his white beard which was now stained bright red, “I pay in silver!”

Bishop Mon-Durgoth looked up at the dwarf’s attacker, he saw the old drunk with a blood lust grin upon his face as he reached for his scabbard. Bishop’s face began to harden. His eyes narrowed and twitched. He unsheathed his broadsword. The warrior saw only red. 

*****

Aleesha screamed for the men to stop, but the crowd had now risen to their feet and created a fight circle about the two warriors and the fat old dwarf. Her pleads were drained out by the level of the crowd’s voice. There was a clash of steel as Aleesha gritted her teeth awaiting the first cry of blood. Nothing came yet. The crowd suddenly roared and cheered.

“Get up damn yah!” she heard one man cry out.

“Carn, don’t yew loose me dat steel now!” another shouted as Aleesha realized that bets were being made.
*****

Malingrad had put all of his “acquired” possessions away into his loosely slung crosshatch backpack. Slinging it over his left shoulder, Mal then proceeded to where the circle was beginning to form.
“Wow! A bar fight, I ain’t seen one of them in a while!” he said to himself but loud enough for anybody who might happen to be listening.

Tugging on the arm of the first person he could grab, Malingrad absent-mindedly slipped his quick hand into the man’s back pocket then smoothly removed his coin pouch. 

“Aye, you! Bets on the big man winning the fight!” Mal shouted up to his latest unknowing victim. 

“Orright,” the half-drunken farmer replied, “five silvers say the old drunk wins!” he looked down and shook the halfling’s hand.

The halfling shook fondly, and grinned to himself, for he had the added advantage. Malingrad had seen the warrior in action. A sure win, Mal thought to himself.
Malingrad turned his back on the farmer and toyed with the man’s golden ring that had just happened to fall into the halfling’s palm. 

“Hmm, must dropped it, ill put it away for now and return it to him later,” the thief told himself and slipped it into one of his many inner pockets. 

Mal then ran around the circle. He was searching for a break in the border, to try and sneak a better look into the action. He found one, only big enough for a body of his size to fit through. Trying to squeeze his way to the front, all that Mal could see at first was the arms and clothing of the other onlookers. Then with a final duck and shove, he had a front row view.

*****

Bishop had just advanced upon the old drunk and quickly tripped him, landing the man on his back with a thud. The crowd cheered and comments were made although Bish did not hear or take notice of them. Just when the warrior had thought that the short-lived fight was at its sudden end, the old man had something in his hand. Bish did not have the time to examine what it was that the old man held. The warrior tried to counter the sneak attack but it was too late. A white powdery substance clouded about his face blurred his vision. He inhaled, tasted its spice and immediately knew his attacker’s weapon. Bishop felt the world start to spin as his vision blurred. His eyes grew irritated and tired, and his stomach turned over upon itself. The warrior’s opponent, in sudden realization of the peril upon his life, had resorted to reaching into his pocket. He had grabbed a handful of sleeping powder and thrown it into Bishop’s face, creating a dusty cloud about the warrior’s head. 

Bishop stumbled back. He couldn’t see a thing as his vision was blurred. He could feel the powder start to take effect on his mind. Bish’s eyelids felt heavy as he began to lose consciousness. He slapped himself in the face to try and gain control of this drug. The crowd erupted with laughter. 

A kick to the gut sent Bishop back another few paces as he slammed his lower back into one of the tables to the side of the common room. Bishop struggled to his feet, desperately trying to beat the sleep that would his last. Another hit, this time to the face. The room spun faster and faster again. He fell backwards over a few wooden chairs and landed heavily onto the wooden floorboards, or was it the roof? Bishop was uncertain. The room spun. The warrior held the contents of his stomach down to prevent it from hurling his dinner up. He gritted his teeth and wiped the tears from his tired eyes as he barely clung onto his consciousness. His head spun as he stood again defiantly, and made a lame attempt at an attack on the old drunk. The crowd roared and jeered as Bishop swung his sword at the empty air ahead of him. 

A hit to his chin sent the big warrior backwards again. He landed square in the middle of another old wooden table, or as far as he could tell anyway. His back ached from the bowls and cups placed on the table that now dug into his ribs and spine. The crowd laughed and its voice rose once again only to be extinguished as it died into a silent echo of whispers and queries. Then two voices spoke. Their tongue foreign from what Bishop could hear. They seemed to come from people who were seated at the table upon which he lay. 

At that moment Bishop released his grip on the drug like effect of the powder, and the sluggish warrior surrendered himself to the sleep.


 



© 2012 Phil Beckwith


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Added on October 10, 2012
Last Updated on October 10, 2012
Tags: halfling, warrior, dwarf, fantasy, adventure, sword, meeting


Author

Phil Beckwith
Phil Beckwith

Australia



About
I am new to writing though i have so many ideas and feel the need to express them. more..

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A Chapter by Phil Beckwith


Chapter 1 Chapter 1

A Chapter by Phil Beckwith