Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Day Seven-Thirty-Eight: Let's tell another story

Sigh. Darkness. Waiting. When, oh, when will the end come?

I told Jeffrey a bunch of stories today. Just to pass the time, like. I figured telling stories would help me ignore the Nothing's footsteps. Surprisingly, it worked - though the tactic might've worked better had I not been forced into a muffled whisper.

I have more stories to tell than I first thought. I opened my mouth this morning, not sure what to say, and immediately I began to tell Jeffrey 'bout the time I broke one of the statues in his castle. On my second day, no less. Man, Cedric near dumped me in the moat with the moat monsters. By the time I finished the story I was hoping Jeffrey might crack a smile, but he refused.

I followed up with more stories of home. The first time I met Logan, chasing him along the walls. The first time I had to clean up the Neck. The first time I met Grylock. The first time I wrote an entry in this diary. My first siege. What happened when I went off to find a cure for foulfungus. I even told Jeffrey the full story of the time Logan, Grylock, and I snuck into the king's tower and shaved his head. Still no response...

... but by then, I was beyond caring. I just wanted to talk. I needed to talk so I could stay sane. Sanity is important when one's fate is almost entirely out of their hands. Sanity helps you maintain hope, the hope that, eventually, you'll see home again. Home, friends, family, all that good shit. 

Most of the stories I told Jeffrey are already contained in this diary. A few, though, never made it in. One of them I omitted on purpose, though I may tell it before the end; the others... I dunno why I never told 'em. Guess they just didn't seem that important at the time.

I'll tell one now. Why not? I've been chatting to myself all day. Might as well throw in another one.

This story took place during the early days of Pubton, when our town was... well... a pub. The Beefiary. Everyone was busy setting up the bare-bones of what would eventually be a well-guarded, industrious little metropolis, my son wasn't yet outed as a sadistic little bastard, and I still had use as the mayor. I was important

At the time of the story, sometime 'round November, Libby was busy. Real busy. Hell, I'd argue that she was busier than me, 'cause she handled all the engineering crap. She was so busy on this blustery ol' day that she didn't even come home to our bed, but instead stayed up all night working on a mill with her assistants. A lonely, cold night, that was, even with Grayson to keep me warm.

I've grown quite accustomed to Libby sharing my bed, enough so that I have trouble sleeping when she's not around. So, after Grayson had fallen asleep, I went for a walk 'round the pub. Figured some exercise might help me nod off. I was already bone tired from a day of work, mind, but a little more leg stretching might do the trick. You never know.

So there I was, outside, shivering from the cold, cursing my stupid, floppy sleaves, when somebody on the Beefiary's roof called down to me to keep quiet. I recognized the voice at once, 'cause only one person in Pubton sounded like, well, a goblin.

"What're you doing up there, Grylock?" I yelled, cross. "Get down. You're gonna fall and break your neck sleeping on the roof."

"I'll shleep wherever I likes!" Slurring his words, Grylock stumbled to the edge of the building, a distinct silhouette against the moon. Tough to mistake goblin ears. "'n... 'n you... canna tell me nuthin'!"

"Sure I can, I'm the mayor." I crossed my arms and scowled. I remember trying to give him a scowl of a lifetime, even though I knew he probably couldn't see it in the dark. "Are you drunk?"

"When'm I not drunk?" He raised a large tankard and drank deep. "I... hic!... I love me some breeeews! Ohhhh, ye feisty Goblinoster... um... poshture... oh, hells, how's that shong go... again..."

Shaking my head, I went back inside, ran upstairs, popped open a window, and motioned for the little bastard to come in. He declined with a familiar finger. I threatened; he waved his thinger at me. I tried to bribe; he peed in my general direction. I insulted his mother; he told me he would bed mine if ever he had the chance, and give her a flock of sons far finer than myself.

It took me ten minutes of yelling at the goblin to hit on a lie that might catch his fancy. "Hey, Grylock! Jeffrey's in here!"

"Lies 'n slanders!" He tipped his head so far back to empty the tankdard that I thought he would flop right off of the roof. "So many slanders! 'e... hic... 'e ain't in there!"

"He is." I grinned slyly. "'n we're all gonna beat him up. Don't you wanna join in?"

Grylock paused, so still and so contemplative that he almost appeared sober. Then he opened his mouth and more drunk talk came out. "Yer lyin'."

"I'm not. King Jeffrey just arrived."

"I'm... I'm shtandin' on the entrance." He threw the tankard over the edge of the roof. "I'd know... I'd know if... hic!... shomeone showed up. Aye."

"Maybe. But you're also drunk. Maybe you missed 'im."

His ears pricked. "M... maybe...?"

I seized on the doubt. "If you come in, you can punch him. Maybe even twice."

"... aye?"

"Aye. Truly and for certain."

"... that does sound fun..." His eyebrow went up. "Bring him te the window 'n I'll punch 'im from... hic!... there. Here. Wheresevers."

"Nope, can't, he's leaving." I began to walk away from the window. "Oh no! He's leaving! Better hurry up, Grylock! Hurry, hurry! Before he gets away! Oh no!"

That did the trick, and Grylock came tottering over to get his share of the punching. I slammed the window shut behind him as he fell through, yelled at him for disturbing the peace, and told him to go to fucking bed. He fell promptly asleep, and I left him where he was by the window. I woke up to urine in my cereal the next morning, so I suspect he remembered the ruse and thought ill of my deception.

Ahh, Grylock. You little asshole.

Jeffrey didn't seem to find the story funny. But, then, he didn't seem to think much of anything about it. He just tapped his foot in time with the stomping of titanic feet in the distance, which, I suppose, is better than nothing.


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