Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day One-Seventy-Four: Splooooooosh

Oh, just stick a stork in me. I'm done.

Helpers or not, I've been officially fired from the Beefiary. Most of my jobs at least last until the end of the week, but… no, today's my last day. And why? Because I spilled stuff AGAIN. AGAIN, DIARY. MAYBE I AM BAD AT THIS, AND MAYBE I SHOULDN'T BE THINKING ALL COCKILY. At the very least I shouldn't be serving nobles anymore.

And I wasn't! Not today. No, today Robert told me that I'd be limiting myself STRICTLY to the commoners. I'm good with my own people, and they all seem to like me. Only one who gives me a hard time is Captain Cedric, and that's 'cause he's Captain Cedric. I've come to appreciate that he COULDN'T be anybody else.

Anyway. I'm apparently not bad at cooking rat stew or prepping yak tarts, so at lunch today Robert had me doing that while he cut the veggies and handled the prep work on the meat products. He managed to filch one of his assistants from clean-up duties elsewhere - which, by the way, is going very well; I guess we're used to tidying up after disasters these days - and that dude was handling the noble orders. So all was good.

That is, until I had to deliver a big batch of soup to the jail.

Prisoners need to eat, too. Y'know that, right, diary? They might have done wrong and bad and nonsense, but they need to eat. So after the lunch rush was done for the commoners and everybody was sitting and munching, I grabbed a cart, loaded it down with soup, and headed off to the dungeons. With everyone in the Beefiary it SHOULDA been easy.

Assuming I got outside the Beefiary.

But you know how cafeterias are, diary. Or maybe you don't. If you don't, I guess I'd best describe 'em as chaotic. People are laughing and moving around a lot, and you can never tell what's gonna happen. So when one of the guards leaned back on his stool and elbowed my cart, I probably shouldn't have been surprised and let go of the cart.


But I was. And I did! I The cart rocketed out of my hands, zipping straight down the aisle - and making a beeline for the nobles' section, a subset of the Beefiary with nicer accommodations for the nobles who actually deign to eat with the common folk. The cart blasted right through the velvet and plowed into the first table it could find.

Sitting at that table was Driscol the Count and Lady Evangelina, his consort. After the cart hit the table, they weren't so much 'sitting' as they were 'sprawled on the ground and covered in cooked rat remains'.

I wanted to run. My legs COMMANDED me to run. But the same flight-or-fight frozen expression that comes across animals when you shine a light in their face seemed to hit me, and before I could react beyond prepping myself for a good self-soiling Driscol had crossed the room and grabbed my collar.

And, gods help me, he was half smiling.

"This was the last straw, dog," he whispered, leaning over me and dripping soup on my chef's hat. "This was the excuse I needed. Now I will see you flayed in the dungeon, and that fucking Baron -"

"- will come to the rescue?"

We both started. The Baron was standing right behind Driscol, tapping him on the shoulder.

Driscol kept a tight grip on my collar. "What do you want, cur?"

The Baron smiled. "To thank you. For finding my new assistant for me. I've been looking all over the place for Dragomir. Isn't that right, young man? Haven't I been combing the castle for you all day? And here I find you, at entirely the wrong job, dousing yet another noble! At least it wasn't the king again. You're not just the worst guard, you're the worst everything!"

I nodded. Vigorously.

Driscol sneered. "Well, he's mine, now. And I intend to keep him occupied for the rest of his very short life. Isn't that right, dog?"

I shook my head. Vigorously.

The Baron moved in close, probably aware that eeeeeeveryone in the Beefiary was watching the exchange, and whispered in Driscol's ear. "Is this really how you want to start, Driscol? Fighting over spilled soup? You're not ready to take me on yet, my boy."

Driscol's sneer deepened. I didn't really know what The Baron was talking about, but I could tell that all the rumours about Driscol and The Baron hating each other were totally true. There's something big coming between the two of 'em, I just know it, and Driscol was loathe to let me go and give The Baron wiggle-room.

Eventually, though, he released me. "We'll see," he muttered, and stalked back to Lady Evangelina. They left.

The Baron patted me on the shoulder. "Exciting day! Come see me tomorrow, Dragomir. How does 9 sound? That will give you some time to sleep in. Good man. I'm off! Have a lovely rest!" And he left too.

I stood in place for a few moments, shivering, confused as hell. Eventually a tap on my shoulder brought me back to reality.

It was Robert. "Dragomir? You there?"

"Y… yeah."

"Did you pee yourself?"

"You betcha."

"Okay. Um."

"Yeah, I know, I'm fired."

"That's m'bro."

I took the rest of the day off, quivering in my apartment. I've come close to death many times, diary, but I don't think anyone's outright threatened me like that before. 'cept the king, and he threatens everybody, so it's not QUITE as serious.

I didn't like Driscol before. Now I hate him. And I fear him. He would have killed me on the spot if he'd had a dagger, I bet. What's he planning?

Well, guess I don't need to worry right now. I'm under The Baron's wing. He'll keep me safe. Sure hope what Antonia told me isn't true, 'cause now I trust the guy more than ever.


Dragomir the Ex-Cook

1 comment:

  1. Huh, maybe the Baron needs Dragomir to be a door stop, or a paper-weight (Perfect jobs for someone useless).