Tag Archives: pub

Challenge: Legal Theft: Thief’s Bargain (685 words)


It was the three shots that had done this to her—the three shots and the two boys who had invited her to the bar with the idea of seeing her drunk.  Tea had started with a cider.  That one she had ordered herself.  It had come stronger than she had expected, but Tea knew cider and had been pleased to lose some of the tension from her shoulders to the sharp bite.  Next had followed two shots of distilled agave and coffee—liquors and a recipe imported from the south, brought by the traders.  The last shot had been chased with a larger shot of orange juice and had tasted strangely of pancakes once the initial fire of the alcohol had started to pass.

Now Tea sat on the stool, certainly tipsier than she ever had been before, and she watched her companions in the pub converse and intermingle.  She might have joined them, but they had drifted away from the bar towards the center of the room and joining them would have required standing.  Tea was less than sure about her ability to stand steady, but a strange peace had settled upon her, and her smile sat easily on her lips.

One of the boys—Rafe—came back to sit on her left.  He bent his close-shaved head toward her and said over the babble and the fiddle, the quavering voice of the musician in the corner, plying his trade for the pennies that easily left drunken men’s hands, “He sings of the land to which we travel.”

“You speak the tongue well enough to understand their song?”

He threw out a phrase in which she caught only every third word (even when at her request he repeated it more slowly), but which she understood to mean, “Yes.”

“I only know a few words,” Tea admitted, and she listed them: “Storm, monster, applause, winter, pancake, hello.”  The confession was as easy and as a hello and small talk about the good summer weather.

“You’ll need more than that,” Rafe chided, “if our trip is to be successful.”  He tried to add a few words to her vocabulary, but maybe he noticed that to her right now they were mere nonsense, because he quickly gave up the attempt.  Instead, he told Tea, “The song tells of the cliff-side caves that meet the sea in a shout of joy beside their greatest port.  The sea comes to the caves like a lover.”

She grinned at the vivid analogy, imagining the push and pull of the sea against her legs as she waded out into the high tide.  “Smuggler’s caves?” she wondered.

“Maybe.  Or sea dragons, the legends say.”

“Sea dragons aren’t real.  Are they?”

Rafe shrugged.

“Wouldn’t the dragons attack the city if the caves were theirs?”

“The sailors offer sacrifices to the dragons.  There’s a festival each year.”


“Virgins,” Rafe said.  “And gold.”

“Human sacrifices.”  Tea shuddered.

“Dragons have to eat.”


“Whales and men or girls.”

“Men would make a better meal.”

Rafe shrugged again.  “I can’t tell you about a dragon’s palate.”

“So you’ll make sure that I’m not one of those virgins?”

He smirked.

Tea rolled her eyes.  For a moment the alcohol was hot in her veins.  “That’s not what I meant.”

She felt surprisingly safe despite Rafe’s crooked grin.  She gave him a light, playful shove, grinning back.  “But you will, right, keep them from throwing me to the sea?”

“Foreigners don’t taste as good,” Rafe assured her, “not enough salt, and we’ll be keeping low.  They won’t want us lifting their priceless artifacts.”

“Where will the sword be?”

“Hopefully not in those caves.  Or I might be the one pushing you into the sea.”

“Do you think it will be?”

“Legend has it that it’s within a stone,” Rafe reminded.  “Could be that means a cave.”

“Could be,” Tea countered, “that means it’s never been forged nor mined.”

“In which case we’ll have to hire a blacksmith as well as thief.”

She shoved him again.  “Quickfingers,” she corrected.  “And I haven’t agreed to come with you yet.”

Fliptheotter at The Gate in the Wood is a thief!  She stole my first line to write an awesome story, “Bad Decisions,” of her own.

I play with technology and visit people


I’ve been pretty awful about being timely with these posts, haven’t I?  Sorry.

It’s been a while since I’ve actually talked to you about June.

Let’s see… what’s been going on?

I’ve been having all kinds of trials with technology.  Round about Friday a giant storm came sweeping through our county, with a possible tornado in the next town over, really quite near our house.  Trees were downed all over the place, sometimes three per a yard.  About a third of the town was without power and I’m not 100% sure everyone has it back yet.  Our yard was very thankfully missed.  No downed trees and the power remained on.  Since then, though, our cell phones have been occasionally dropping service, so if you’ve called and I’ve not gotten back to you, I may never have gotten the call.

In addition to that, someone has invented a Mac virus.  Meg, the family computer, caught it.  It comes up as a warning that other viri have been found on the computer and that we need to install the antivirus software that has just been automatically downloaded onto our computer.  We let it run for a while before we realized what it was.  Now we know.  I spent a few hours disinfecting Meg using the instructions from the Apple website.  It was a really well-constructed virus.  I felt really accomplished when I was done and so far -knocks on wood- no damage seems to be done.

Yesterday too I got a new computer!  A 13-inch MacBook Pro with 320 GB of hard-drive space!  Talk about upgrade.  That being said, one of today’s projects will be to try and get it in working order, to work on getting all Leigh-Anne’s information onto… the new girl.  I’ve managed Skype and Flash and gotten all (I think) of my iTunes music into this version of iTunes.  That was a project.  iTunes kept freezing if I tried to download too much at once and then I found a bunch of music missing and had to go on the hunt.  As I type, Office is downloading some “critical” update.

Otherwise, I’ve finally been able to get to see people!

I spent an afternoon with Ms. Sheeran, mostly talking over who we’ve heard from and who we  haven’t, but also a bit of whatever might be coming after Big Girl Day.

Sunday night Erin, Rachel, Nicole, and I actually discovered O’Connors Public House.  There is an Irish pub in our small town!  It was a fun little place with cosy booths, decorations of bottles and knick-knacks in a sort of Appleby’s fashion, and good food.  I ended up with cider and bangers and mash, which–alas!–were not as good as any English pub fare, but still not bad.  We spent our time talking about everything!  Gossip, Harry Potter made his usual appearance, Twilight, The Brave Little Toaster, Merlin, all the movies that are coming out and all the ones we’ve seen with college friends, fanfiction.  I love these girls!  It’s never as if we’ve ever left one another… except that there’s much more to talk about than if we’d seen one another everyday.

Rini and I got together yesterday to make cookie dough and watch High School Musical.  We talked a bit about job opportunities, but mostly just relaxed with one another.