Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day Two-Twenty-Two: And it's on a Tuesday!


Okay. Okay okay okay. So, you know how, on the weekends, everything just suddenly goes black? And whatever you were doing, you wake up two days later in the same spot, with no memory of the other two days?

I have just experienced something that trumps the weekend phenomenon.

Like I said on Friday, Libby 'n me decided to get a room at an inn. Queen Daena gave Libby a little purse for all her maintenance work on the Matriarch, so we figured, hey, why not splurge? Get a fancy hotel room, eat out at a nice restaurant, have some alcohol…

Maybe… y'know… get Libby feeling relaxed…


That didn't happen, though. No sir. We hunted for an inn; we found one; we went inside. Talked to the manager, a pleasant chap with an oddly textual way of talking (what does that even mean?), and arranged a room for the night. Coin on the front desk, all good. We were bound for dinner.

That's when the weirdness started. Libby and I both began to walk up the stairs to our room. Thing is, neither one of us could control our legs. We freaked out, but the manager behind the desk just bade us a good night and went back to counting his coins. Step, step, step, up the stairs we went -

- and when we hit the top, everything went black.

Cue a short snippet of music. The tinkling of bells.

When the music ended, we were standing back in front of the counter. It was light outside, and the owner greeted us with a robust 'Good morning!'

I asked him what had just happened. He told me we'd slept. I countered that, and he shrugged, saying it was now Tuesday, and we'd gone upstairs, so we must have slept. Libby ducked outside and asked a few people and, sure enough, it was Tuesday.

We were both so flabbergasted, and the man so incredibly unhelpful, that we staggered out of the inn. We're never going back. Inns frighten us both. If Eve had been with us, it might have been a full-on family bonding experience.

Of terror.

So after THAT was all done, Libby wandered into the streets to do some shopping, and I reported in at the merchants' guild building. Turns out I needn't have bothered, 'cause when I got there, one of Evangelina's men - not even Evangelina herself - told me I would not be needed for the talks that day.

Or, in all likelihood, any of the days. So why the hell am I here?!

Rebuffed, I left the building and went back to find Libby. Before I did, though, I ran into two little girls in the streets, about five minutes apart from each other.

First up: Eve. I hadn't really seen her since we'd first arrived in Bottomless, and I was surprised to find her not only walking around the town normally, but buying something from a merchant! Like, legally! No stealing involved! I'm so proud of my little girl!

What was she buying, you ask, diary? Erm… well, weapons, of course. And food. When I spotted her she was chowing down on a giant leg of lamb and strapping about a dozen swords, spears, bows and exotic weapons to her back. I dunno how she could walk without falling over, but that's Eve for ya.

I stooped down to have a chat with her on one of the sidewalks before she could wander away. "Hey! My little angel! Er, devil! Whatever! How are you today, Eve? That's quite a haul you got."

Blink. "Void lady."

Ahh. More gibberish. "Come again, pumpkin?"

She bit her lip. "Oddly… oddly Ed."

"Who's Ed?"

"Via oddly Ed!" Eve shook her head. "Duly died, yo."

I would have laid my hands on her shoulders, but I didn't wanna be slagged by her armaments. I was genuinely concerned. "What are you trying to say, Eve?"

Blink. "I will smite all your loved ones and use their bones in the world's funereal pyre."

Off she went. Don't know if I'll ever understand that girl…

The second tyke to cross my path was, fortunately, quite comprehensible. A little creepy, perhaps, but damn near normal compared to Eve.

"Mud," she said, appearing from behind a trashcan, "it's me. Celine."

I started, dropping a roasted guinea pig I'd bought in the dirt. (Figured I'd try 'em out before they got big in Castle Bonvoyage.) "Gah! Um! Hello, your -"

A hand smothered my mouth before I could say 'princess'. It pulled out of sight when I made it clear I wouldn't use the word. Damned escort ninjas.

"Sorry," Celina apologized, bowing slightly, "but I'd rather remain inconspicuous. You understand, Mud."

So… so tempting to just call her a name… but no. I maintained my poise while scraping my treat out of the filth. (Still good up to a minute later.) "Yes. What can I do for you, er, ma'am?"

Celine pulled a stick from her robes and poked at an oozing orange fruit, splattered against the wall of a nearby alley. "I was listening. You weren't welcomed into today's talks, nor to any other this week. Veeeeeery suspicious."

"I thought so too, your high-"

Slap. Hand over the mouth. I mumbled an apology and it retracted.

"- your… um… highlighter… i… ness."

Celine cocked her eyebrow and laughed. "That's an odd title you have for me. Anyway… you weren't welcome, but you were ordered to come on this trip. Mother considers that dubious, and my ninja and I agree."

Six whispers from all around us concurred. I didn't see anybody. I hate ninjas.

"But you will go anyway."

"I will?"

She nodded. "At least one day. Mother suspects that you were brought along simply to get you out of the castle, Mud. The count does not want you mucking with ambassadorial duties again. Nevertheless, you will have the chance to do so. Tomorrow. Evangelina will be informed shortly."

"I see." I bowed. "Thank you, maj-"

A thin wire dropped out of nowhere and looped lightly under my neck. Celine wagged her finger at me, and I bit my tongue. The wire tugged once, probably to remind me not to be stupid, and disappeared.

"Be at the merchant's guild for sun-up tomorrow. You and the Lord Knight will have places among the guards. Please don't be late, Mud."

Waving goodbye, Celine danced around a corner. Gone. Man, kids these days are crazy. Back in my childhood, we were… normal. Y'know?

So that's that, diary. I'm guarding ambassadors. With my daughter. Again. I'd better bite my tongue this time, 'n not do anything stupid. Although… given the circumstances… maybe that's exactly what Queen Daena wants me to do?

Speaking of which, since WHEN did she get so caught up in all this political nonsense? I guess she was outta the loop for so long, stuck to that tree, that she's tryin' to catch up. Good for her, I guess.

I'm off, diary. Libby 'n I are gonna go get some food, and then she wants to buy some new gloves. For punching. I don’t know if I wanna contribute any of my earnings to that, but I doubt I have a choice. Maybe her aptitude for violence will at least earn us a discount.


Dragomir the Tourist

1 comment:

  1. Huh, and yet when I black out I only ever wake up without any pants and laying next to a rabid badger...