Friday, May 17, 2013

Day Four-Hundred-Sixty: Thievery

Yesterday was all about self-confidence and boosting myself. Today… today things crumbled.

I have vague recollections of complaining that Pubton no longer needed me. That's kinda what drove me to try to leave with Eve… and… uh… Bora. And, in fairness, that's still true. How often do I talk about working in the fields, or repairing fences, or dealing with the reeve, or any of that stuff? I don't, because other people handle those jobs. Everybody has their niche, and I've come to peace with that. I am the mayor, and I do my job when it needs doing, regardless of what that entails. If it means sitting in my room and waiting for constituents to come to me with a problem, I'll do it.

I think I've also come to peace with something else. It's that which made me crumble.

Today was slow. The arrangements for the trial are set, so there was nothing to do in that part of Pubton. King Jeffrey has a lawyer, hired from somewhere outside town, and he'll have to try and convince everyone that Jeffrey is innocent. I don't know where Daena got the guy, and I suppose it doesn't really matter. The court is set up (and looks really good, by the way), the jurors have all been sequestered, and Pagan is brushing up on his law books.

The defence of Pubton continues to grow in scope and strength. Harold assures me that the recruits he hired will be here on Monday, and he'd like me to look them over, having been a former guard myself. We discovered a large amount of iron ore this morning, deposited outside the walls, and Evangelina suspects that June ensorcelled someone or something back in Pubtwon to lug it to us. I'd prefer some help on locating the stupid hut, but, this will have to do, I guess. Horace is already hard at work turning the iron into arms and armour for our incoming troops.

Aside from checking up on everybody in Pubton, which I always try to do on Fridays (it's tough - the town is damned big), there wasn't much for me to do. Eventually, taking Eve in arm, I retired to the Beefiary. With Bora's permission to enter the kitchen we paid our respects to Robert's grave, then sat down to have a bite to eat.

Bora. Things are still weird between us. It's amazing how quickly a relationship can crumble after slowly building up. It's also amazing how foul a kiss can be. I like to think that the horrible taste was a sign from my brain that I'm an idiot and I belong with Libby, but, no. There's something more behind it. No point dwelling on it now, but, some day.

We had fun. Eve's not exactly popular around Pubton, but people have learned to at least be cordial to her, and a few brave souls seem to legitimately like her. Ed's a great example, as he's been trying to teach Eve how to play his lute. I don't think she's catching on at all, but they seem to have fun. They did that for a few hours today while I watched, and then the three of us played one of Libby's board games.

Bah. Teary-eyed frustration. Anyway…

Eve was getting tired, so Ed offered to take her off to bed, as he, too, was a bit sleepy. After muddling out what he actually meant -

"This fair blonde lass seen here /
Be not so full of cheer /
'tis time I say /
Bid gone to day! /
Cast off for Morpheus' pier!"

- I assured Eve that I would be along in an hour or two. Not the most fatherly thing I could have done, leaving my child alone in a house while I sat in a pub, but I knew nobody would try to break in and endanger her. This is Eve. Everyone's still afraid she'll slip back into her old power. And, uh, habits.

… hm. In retrospect… that bastard Doc… he could have… well, he didn't appear or anything, but… shit. Anyway. I'll go with her next time.

You'd figure that the Beefiary would be buzzing on a Friday night, but most people are dead tired from the week's work and will retire early. By 10 in the evening Bora and I were the only ones on the main floor, while somebody stood watch outside Jeffrey's room on the second floor. I'm quite confident that prisoner and jailor had fallen asleep.

It's difficult not to talk to somebody when you're the only two people in the room. Especially if you're already acquaintances. Even more so if you are kind-of-but-not-really former lovers. Swallowing my pride and revulsion, I took a seat by the bar and smiled at Bora.

She smiled back, though cautiously. "Hiya. Been in here a while."

"Yeah. Guess I have."

Bora cleaned a mug. She likes to busy her hands, I've noticed. "Any, um… word… on Libby?"

I shook my head, doffing my cap and rubbing my hands through my hair. "Nope. Nuthin'."

She patted my hand. "Sorry. You'll find her, don't worry."


I sensed an awkward silence settling in, but Bora did not hesitate. She worked one of the taps under the bar and placed a mug in front of me. Foam frothed over the edges. "Here. Drink. Might make you feel better."

I waved it away. "Ain't no point. I'm sure I told you before. I don't get drunk. Never have."

She pushed the glass a few inches closer. "Probably haven't tried enough. Now's the time. Booze isn't good for getting' rid of all your ails, but I think you could use a stiff one right now. Go on, give it a shot."

"But it tastes -"

She lifted the glass and pushed it into my chest. "Just drink it, stupid."

Screwing up my face, I relented. No point turning down free beer, or something. Raising the foam to my lips, I took a sip, wincing as hard liquor parted the foam and burned my throat. I coughed and moved it away again.

Bora laughed and poured herself a drink. "C'mon, keep going. The more you drink, the better it tastes."

It didn't. The taste didn't improve at all. But I drank anyway, because it somehow felt cathartic. Cleansing. As though I could wash away any problem bothering my mind with just a swig of a good drink. Rather than clouding my mind and muddying my thoughts, like alcohol seems to do to so many people, it opened me up.

I chugged one. Then another. Then another. Bora kept pace with me, her mugs the same size, and soon we were giggling over stupid jokes and making dumb observations. It felt like old times, though I was entirely lacking in lust. It was more like… drinking with a buddy. Or… something… I dunno. Something else. She asked about my family, I gave her candid replies. I asked about hers, she offered cryptic non-answers. Trying to work details out of her became a game that lasted almost half an hour.

Twenty minutes before midnight, I decided I'd best get to my little girl before I fell asleep. I stood from my chair, put my hat back on, and said goodnight. Bora did the same, smiling from behind the bar and mopping up a lot of spilled booze from our reverie.

But before I left, my mind still open, I suddenly asked a question. "Do you believe in destiny?"

Bora stopped cleaning. "What?"

I turned back. "Y'know, destiny. Things being… foretold. Can't change your fate. All that mumbo-jumbo."

She smirked. "Sounds like you don't much believe in it."

"I'm…" I looked at my feet. "I'm not sure. Let's hear what you have to say first."

Bora cleared her throat. "I… well. I guess, in a sense, yes, I kinda do."

"You do?"

"Yeah." She waved at the bar. "Take this place. I like bein' a bartender, right? So it's only natural I'd end up in the Beefiary. It's my destiny to be here, 'cause this kinda thing is what I wanna do with my life. My decisions choose my destiny."

"Oh." I shook my head. "S'not quite what I meant by 'destiny'."

"Yeah, I didn't figure." She laughed, propping her head on her hands. It's the kind of uniquely feminine pose I will never get from Libby. "I think you're better off ignoring anythin' to do with destiny, Dragomir. What's gonna happen, will happen. Focus on right now."

I clenched my hands into fists, my voice rising. "But… what… what if I can't ignore it?"

I sensed Bora's frown, even with my head down. "Hey, hey, c'mon. Somethin's the matter, obviously. Maybe you should go sleep -"

I kept going regardless. "No, no, no sleep, because… because… ugh. Destiny…. destiny. What if… fucking… what if parts of me make me… see… things? How do I ignore destiny if it keeps shovin' itself in my fucking skull?"

Bora's silence hovered longer than I would have liked, as though she was trying to figure out a way not to hurt my feelings while still calling me insane. "… what kinds of things?"

I thought back. Back to my dreams. So many dreams. "Things… the castle burning… a door… werewolves… a polar bear… me as mayor… someone in armour, someone I think I know… a guy, with brown hair, and a bunch of bandages over one eye, gods, he looks so familiar… and, and, Pubton… I… I see them, and, and, and then…  Bora…?"

I looked up. I hadn't been focusing on anything beyond my own problems, but I did when I noticed an absence of a companion. Bora was gone. I don't know where she went, hadn't heard her move away and didn't know why she would, but she was gone just the same.

Confused, a little broken inside, I left. I might have bothered to look for her, but there was very little time left until midnight. I would've slumped over in the Beefiary and not woken up until Monday.



A long time ago, the ghost of a man told me I would do three things: rise to prominence, find a weapon, and lead. He might as well have told me that it was my destiny to do these things. And ever since then, I've dreamed dreams that have, eventually, come true.

I just wanted a normal life.

But I don't think I'm meant to have that.


In lieu of being a lazy, poor, irresponsible guard… or even a frustrated, snippy, badly-dressed mayor… in lieu of trying to ignore the problem, or cover it up, or pretend it doesn't exist…

Maybe I should figure out what's really going on here.




  1. This is gonna be interesting, and could possibly end up becoming a good way to give depth to Bora. Or one of those times where Dragomir has to choose between trusting a friend and following destiny (Kinda like how he sadly gave up Barrel...I miss that lil'shape-changing Dragon).

    Also I like how Dragomir is progressing as a character. He's actually becoming a good leader/mayor.

  2. Film anal and Video Sodomie? I doubt the validity of these comments....

    1. Yeeeeah, I get two or three spam comments each day. The spam filter USUALLY gets them... not sure how sodomie got through...

    2. Heheheheehe...I find it hilarious how generic of a comment it is, and the URL just makes it even more funny.