Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day Two-Ninety-Eight: The Girl with the Pandering Bust

Tedium continues. I have been assured that Robert will return SOMETIME this week, and I anticipate that 'sometime' will be Friday. How do I know this? Call it a hunch.

The nobles are restless. They aren't going anywhere, and probably won't because they're as afraid as they are bitchy, but it'll be for the best if I can get this stupid caravan underway as quick as possible. Edmund assures me that he's doing everything he can to keep them happy, what with his barding and organizing of War tournaments and such, but even with Grylock helping him there's only so much the dude can accomplish.

Speaking of Edmund… well. We'll get back to him in a minute. Time to employ that organizational stuff Robert was always preaching to me.

Libby and I have been staying in mine and Robert's old room, on the top floor of my parent's house. It's small, and the beds are still better suited to kids than adults, but we're making do. Libby is still so relaxed that she barely complains about anything. That includes the poorly-veiled insults and insinuations from my mother, who utters them even as she's cooing baby words to little Grayson.

She hasn't yet been allowed to hold Grayson. I doubt she ever will hold Grayson. Libby almost never puts that boy down. Really easy to be a father when the mother does most of the work, though I still get to do the occasional diaper changing and feeding. How strange it is to clean up someone else's poo!

My dad's still a fervent lover of booze, and one of my duties has been fetching bottles of rum from Robert's stocks in his restaurant. I don't know that Robert would let dad take rum for free under normal circumstances, but dad insists that he's allowed. Besides, Robert owes him, because without dad, Robert would never have been born. That's a hell of a debt to pay off.

I was rooting through the bottles of water and gin and apple juice behind the restaurant's bar, hoping to find more rum for the old man, when a female voice called out from the (still broken) front door.

"Not sure you're allowed t'do that, stranger."

I straightened. My head whacked against the underside of the bar. I tipped, fell back, landed in a refuse bag full of rotting tomatoes, and swore. That was enough time for the woman, whomever she was, to approach the bar and peer over the edge.

To say that Robert's girlfriend is 'pretty' is to do her a disservice. Hell, any comment is insufficient. She's gorgeous. Long, white hair, full, dark eyes, skin as gloriously chocolate as Edmund's… slinky… dressed as a bar wench… yep. Robert's a lucky man, he surely is.

She smiled at me. "I can see the resemblance. You're his bro, aren'tcha? Dragomir, was it?"

I bit my lip, painfully aware of the heap of smelly tomatoes staining my bum. I saluted her awkwardly. "Ugh. Y… yeah. That's me. Hhhhhhiiiiiii."

"Hi. Bora. Ugly name for a girl, but I live yet. You gonna sit in tomatoes all day, or you gonna brush yourself off 'n tell me why you're stealin' from my liquor cabinets?"

I hesitated. I've barfed all over Libby before and not been ashamed to stare her in the eye, yet this… this… this was different. I felt like I needed to hold myself to a different standard with this woman, and I was already off to a bad start.

Bora rolled her eyes. "Stand up, dammit. I'm a bartender. I've seen a lotta foul shit in my life. Breaches stained with old tomatoes ain't that bad."

I stood, cheeks blazing. Bora stomped around the bar, forced me to turn around, and wiped the chunks of tomato from my butt with a rag. I've never felt so emasculated in my life, and though I'm sure I've said that before, it's REALLY true this time.

"Jeez. Told Robert to get ridda these things… you'd figure he would chuck 'em after they started to smell. Stop fidgeting, I'm almost done. Want a drink? You won't care so much 'bout decorum with a couple shots of Toadstool Sunrise in your stomach."

I shook my head and stepped away. No more cleaning from a beautiful stranger. "Ah, yeah, no thanks. Booze doesn't do much for me."

She leaned against the bar, casually chucking the rag into a waste bin. "Yeah? What, you too prudish to partake of the sinful spirits?"

Another shake. "Nope. Just doesn't get me drunk. What's the point if it doesn't work, y'know?"

Bora blinked a few times, then shrugged. "Sure, whatever you say. So, yeah, why are you stealing our liquor if it doesn't send you to the wind and back?"

I explained. She understood. Oswald visits the Beefiary a LOT. Considering the beaming terms he used to describe Robert's new flame, I'm not surprised. Probably stares at her whenever she's tending bar. 

Ew. Gross old man staring. Hope I never get to that stage of li… hrm, maybe I shouldn't phrase it QUITE like that. You know what I mean, diary.

Bora and I chatted. She met Robert while he and his entourage were travelling to Villeinville, on their way back from a supply run to another town. She was tending bar in a little dump there, she and Robert hit it off, they presumably did the thing with the thinger (WEIRD THOUGHTS, DON'T GO THAT DIRECTION WITH YOUR BROTHER, DRAGOMIR), and he hired her as his bartender. He'd hoped that her charm would bring in lots of new customers, as the Beefiary wasn't faring well.

It had worked. Somewhat. All the men visit the Beefiary whenever Bora's in town. The women avoid it like the green plague. People still seldom buy food from Robert, opting instead to get tanked while they ogle Bora. Running a business is tough stuff.

A bellow from my father, across the village, reminded me why I'd come to the Beefiary in the first place. Hefting a half-empty bottle of rum I thanked Bora for her time and headed out the door -

- but not before stopping, reaching into my pocket, and pulling out a thin piece of wood.

"Oh! Oh. Before I forget. Couldya give this to Robert when ya see him? It's his, after all. I just borrowed it for a while."

Bora eyed the match. I'd been using it to light fires every night for the caravan. I was nervous to have an instant fire-started in my pocket, though, and since the plan was to drag Robert along… why not force him to carry the burden?

"Is that what I think it is?" she asked, plucking the match from my fingers. "Robert told me 'bout it."

I waved my hand in front of the match. It sparked, and a flame danced on the match head. 

Bora's eyes glistened. "Wow. Neat. After everythin' he told me 'bout how your castle was going tits-up, I didn't think I'd get to see this. Thanks, I'll give it to him when he comes back."

I smiled. Waved. Said my goodbyes. Wandered into the early evening sun, rum in one hand, unable to look away from Bora as the door on the Beefiary closed. The tug of her smile was the last thing I saw before the Beefiary was just a building again.

Wow. Bora. What a woman.

Wonder if I should try and hook her up with Edmund instead, though. Makes more sense, doesn't it? Chocolate with chocolate? All the yumminess in one spot? Not that I think Edmund's YUMMY, but… y'know. 

Yeah. Maybe I can suggest that.


Dragomir the Mayor


  1. *Facepalm* Oh Dragomir...they may look like delicious chocolate, but if you try and taste Bora or Edmund, I'm sure you're just gonna walk away with a black-eye!

    1. Dragomir is the most harmless and well-intentioned racist I ever could dream up.

  2. "Jeez. Told Robert to get ridda these things… you'd figure he would chuck 'em after they started to small?
    Isn't it meant to be smell. Sorry if I'm being too pedantic.

    1. Dang! Lotta little typos and stuff lately. Guess two edits per entry isn't doing it. Should probably get myself an editor... anyway, thanks.