I was bored…
…and wrote this:
What purpose does a deteriorating building, nay, an unhappy meeting of wood, stone, cement and mortar; serve being on the dockside of a busy seafaring town? One purpose at least was apparent from the uproarious sounds coming from within. The more investigative might notice the stench of ale, the fighting noises, and the sailors entering quickly, and departing even more so, seeing as they were mostly thrown out, and they might conclude that it was a bar of much ill-repute and favored by sailors who laid anchor here. The observant, however might reach the same conclusion by looking at a battered, worn-down sign on the place that said, “Happy Sailor Bar and Inn”.
In its present delapidated state it actually said “Hap y S lor Bar n In “, but that is neither here nor there. It existed in a symbiotic relationship with the whore house next door, whose sign, unfortunately, had long since been used as firewood. The resident occupants of said neighboring building made sure that the rooms above the Inn saw more activity than is usual for a place meant to rest the sea-wearied bones of sailors.
The bar itself was a purulent place full of raucous sea hardened rapscallions, who by the sound and looks of it, had no room for remorse or decency. It wasn’t a clean place either; the never cleaned floor and tables were home to life forms grown exclusively on old ale, and food gone bad. It was the kind of place no decent person in his right state of mind would even contemplate to enter. But it served the best damn ale in the entire quad-island region, and the whores were by far the least swindling. These facts, of course invited all sorts of bandits, pirates, and your general variety of ne’er-do-gooders.
A lone venturer entered through the smelly doorway, straight into the putrid stench that seemed strangely at home in this place. He sidestepped over people lying on the floor. Some inebriated, some wounded badly, most were both. Empty bottles, clearly thrown as a strong point in an argument, whizzed by as he ducked them. Slurs and insults involving his ancestors and livestock followed suit as he ignored them too. Strange and greedy looks followed the small parcel he hung with his sword on his waist, as he made his way to the bar.
The bartender, who was also the innkeeper, approached. He was balding man of short stature, his small deep-set eyes weary from all the years of tending to misfits. You could tell the maleficence of the place somehow had an adverse affect on him, despite his round, fat torso. He gave a humorless, unwelcome smile, exposing the shiny golden color of his teeth, and said, “What�s it gonna be?�
The man stared directly through the thick air into the barkeep’s eyes and slowly said, “Surprise me”. The bartender gave a smirk that told the man he knew this was his first time here. He moved briskly behind the counter, and started commixing a beverage. He returned in less than two minutes and set the dirtiest mug ever seen all of quad -island region, filled with a frothing, bubbling orange liquid, in front of him.
The man muttered a tiny “Thanks”, and set about drinking his drink quickly. No sooner had the liquid touched his tongue and the roof of his mouth, all the nerves, all the senses in his body started throbbing and screaming to his brain that this was not fit for human consumption. His tongue longed for the sweet taste of rat-poison as the vile liquid violated the synapses in mouth and…
The man spewed whatever it was he had drunk all over the bar. He turned to the bartender and screamed, “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?�
A disconcerting quiet descended over the bar as the bartender looked up. His voice or face showed no sign of humor as he replied, “A Surprise”.
I intend to do something more with this, though.